Monday, December 29, 2008

Ok, it's time...

The last couple of days God has really driven home the obvious fact that I need to get outside of myself to get out of this funk I'm in. I've come across a couple of things just since yesterday that have knocked me upside the head, so to speak.

First, I have Living Proof Ministries blog (Beth Moore) on Google Reader and although I've not been reading blogs very diligently lately, I did "happen" to open this one Saturday and read it. And I think it's a challenge God is asking me to accept. I hope you'll accept it too. It sure can't hurt!

Then later that day, in the shower (usually the only quiet time I get), I was thinking about the times that I have gone through major times of struggle ("the funk"), and it occurred to me that the 3 times I can pinpoint clearly were immediately following times where I was unusually devoted in my relationship with God and where I was in very good communication with Him (in the Word and praying LOTS) and really felt led by Him. And just as I felt I was finally getting a grip on our relationship and expecting great things, something happened that left me feeling blindsided, doubting everything I had just been through. Doubting that I could really trust Him with my life. And in all of those cases, I can look back (although not very far back this time) and see how satan immediately stepped in and threw a fit in my life. OH did he EVER. And I let him. I wrapped myself up in it and wallowed around. Let myself throw a big baby hissy fit right there with him. Became so self-absorbed that I couldn't see past my own hurt feelings.

The good news is, it appears that my recovery time is decreasing. Oh, trust me, I'm hanging onto whatever glimmer of even a hint of a speck of maturing that I can find in this process. There's plenty of mess here. I'm trying to find something positive, so just go with me here. 'Kay? 'Kay. Thanks.

So after my shower (yes, it was a long shower, but my kids were already in bed), I checked blogs before going to bed and "happened" to read Tiffany's. I could totally relate to the last paragraph, and felt so encouraged to know that my sweet, preacher's wife friend was right there in the same boat. And reading her thoughts solidified in my mind that God was trying to point us (me) to HIS WORD. As always. There's no magic bullet. I don't know why I can trust so fully in it when things are good and when He is working clearly in my life, but when I hit a bump in the road, that knowledge somehow gets ejected from my brain. Not surprising, but still frustrating.

Then this morning, another Deaton spoke God's Word straight to me. PRAISE GOD. (I accidentally typed "gold" first...that would not have been a good typo) As in, literally PRAISING GOD is the appropriate offense against satan's attacks. Yes, I meant offense. I'm ready to take back ground, not just defend what little I have left.

And then, as if that weren't enough to blog about, as I'm typing this out, I put in my new Brandon Heath CD (yes, I am the last person on earth without an Ipod) thinking, "'Give Me Your Eyes' will be a great soundtrack for blogging" (which it is), and track 3 comes on and I had to take a break from the blogging to check the lyrics and make sure my ears were not deceiving me. Because I cannot fathom another song that could have spoken so directly to what I was typing at that exact moment...I was in paragraph 3 ALREADY typing, "Doubting that I could really trust Him with my life"...yes, really.
TRUST YOU (Brandon Heath, Chad Cates, and Jason Ingram)
I can't walk without watching where I'm going...I can't speak without knowing what to say...
I can't love and have any hesitation...'Cause I know that You don't work that way...
I can't reach without something to offer...I can't come now, I am so ashamed...
I can't hold out on You any longer...'Cause I know that You don't work that way...

I'm not gonna fight You anymore...I'm not gonna try to lock the door...
You took Your life and gave me Yours...There's no reason why I shouldn't trust You with mine...

It's never easy changing direction...It's so unnatural to loosen up my grip...
Are You growing weary of all my good intentions?...'Cause I know that You don't work that way...

I'm not gonna fight You anymore...I'm not gonna try to lock the door...
You took Your life and gave me Yours...There's no reason why I shouldn't trust You with mine...

Some days the weight upon my shoulder is my shame...I know I should do better...'Cause You say...That I must now surrender...There's no other way...

I'm not gonna fight You anymore...I'm not gonna try to lock the door...
I needed life, You gave me Yours...There's no good reason why I shouldn't trust You with mine...

SOOOOOO....all of that to say, I hope you, WHOEVER YOU ARE, will first follow the links here (there are lots, I know), and then come back here and comment. Whether it is to just say HI, or to share that you are committing to the Scripture challenge, or to let me know you're praying for the Deatons, or to PRAISE HIM for whatever is going on with you, or to say that you also love Brandon Heath's music or WHATEVER...I could use some comments to jumpstart me back on the blogging straight and narrow! And I will not complain if you would like to pray that I can do more praising and less self-pitying in the coming days (weeks-months-years).

"Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live." Psalm 146

Friday, December 26, 2008

More Christmas!

Whew! As if we hadn't already been sufficiently blessed this Christmas, we got together with the Paschals and Folkers for our annual Christmas brunch. Yummy cheesy grits!
It's hard to believe how many kids we have now...from left to right:
Ethan F, Jack F, Noah S, Luke S, Jack S, Willow P, Maddy S
I don't have access to my older photos right now, but here are some shots from the last few Christmases to see how these kids have grown!

Here is little Willow (with Jack S) on New Years' 2006:
...and Maddy, Ethan and Noah (NY 2006)...not sure where Jack F was...
Oh, wait, here he is! He did this to himself...his name IS Jack! (He didn't stay here long, I promise!)
And here they are last Christmas, 2007.
We're so thankful for these "cousins", too!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Smalling Christmas 2008

As in previous years, we headed to Memaw's for Christmas breakfast, although this year we went to her new house. It was very bittersweet, since it's our first without Grandaddy. He was greatly missed by each of us, although I'm sure even more by Memaw than I can imagine. Memaw cooked us a yummy breakfast and then the kids (including us grownup kids!) dove into our presents. Somehow I only managed to take this lone picture while we were there. Hopefully I can scan some of Memaw's at some point. Here's my happyness, aka Noah, with Memaw's tree (post-presents).
And in keeping with tradition, we headed to Uncle Victor and Aunt Shirley's for lunch with their family. Again, it was difficult to not have Grandaddy there with his family, but it meant a lot to us to get to spend time with his (our) extended family there. We are so grateful that our kids have "cousins" (Jared's cousins' kids) that they enjoy seeing (although for some reason I have no pictures of them!).
Noah got a new Leapster from Memaw, so Jack inherited his old one. He was so excited to get to play it without having to ask Noah's permission!
Maddy loves to give bunny ears whenever she can. So proud of herself, and Noah has no idea :)
I'm not exactly sure why Jared changed Luke in the middle of the kitchen floor, but I'm not complaining because that's one less I had to change! And by the way, I love this floor. I had a cheaper version in our old house (the one I did myself while I was pregnant with Luke).
Hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas! We are blessed beyond what we deserve!

Our first Christmas at home!

This was our first year for the kids to wake up at their own house on Christmas morning! We've always spent the night with my parents, which was fun and special and had become our "tradition", but it was also nice to sleep in our own beds this time! Jared let them come in one at a time so they could each have a "moment" to see what Santa had brought.
Jack waited so patiently as the last to go...just look at the anticipation building!
Note to year, do a better job picking up the room before Santa arrives, so we can tell what exactly he brought!
Maddy left Santa a note asking for him to leave her one of his sleigh bells, but he wrote her back saying he needed them to finish his big night, but he left her this newborn FurReal panda instead!
If Jack had gotten nothing all Christmas except this "Electro" and the other 2 Spectacular Spiderman toys he asked for and got, he would have been fine! When he opened his first present on Christmas Eve, from Dani & Poppi, (A NERF SHOOTER) he immediately started to have a meltdown because it was not these 3 Spiderman toys. Once we explained he'd asked Santa for those toys and that these toys were ADDITIONAL TOYS from family, he was okay. What kid gets upset at getting MORE toys than what he asked for?? Next year we'll know better!Luke slept through the morning's festivities, so I posed him by his gifts from Santa while Jared loaded up the other kids to head over to Memaw's!
Maddy adjusting her crown from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" costume Santa brought her:
The annual "Exactly WHO are these toys really for?" picture...Daddy loves the Transformers!
Caring for the newborn panda
Noah as a Jedi Alien or Alien Jedi, not sure which...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve at the White house

The Christmas festivities began with Christmas Eve at the White house (sorry, when you grew up with White as your last name, that never gets old). Mom fixes us the most delicious finger-foods and we snack the night away! This year we remembered to get photos in front of the tree FIRST before the kids got cranky.
Luke giving Aunt Maggie some baby-playing practice before Georgia Grace comes in April!
Isn't she the cutest soon-to-be mama ever? She is absolutely glowing! And so is David :) I can't wait to see them as parents...and for Maggie's sake, I hope the payback isn't too bad!
Me and my wooly man
My younguns
Luke opening his first Christmas present ever!
Of course, he played with the wrapping paper more than the present itself!Aunt Maggie practicing (not that she needs it!) with the larger version kid
Pip and Sarah...aren't you thankful they get to go to their own quiet house?! Enjoy it while you can!!
The Queen and King
"Putting their heads together" is usually not a good thing with these two!
Noah is excited about his Star Wars Clone Wars Leapster game!
Who put THIS on his Christmas list?! (Oh, it was me)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Her last year in single digits

"What?! Seriously?! I'm like an old woman or something!" Yes, my baby Maa-maa is NINE! Actually, I think she was in disbelief over the cashola in her birthday card, but she did totally say that when I told her it was her last year in single digits.

Maddy posing with Memaw and the Hannah Montana jackpot
Maddy posing with her recently-returned-from-Honduras Dani and a Barbie princessThey all look like they're in varying degrees of pain. I guess it is that bad posing with your brothers. She only felt obligated because they'd just given her the "Fairies" book you see in her lap.
At least somebody's happy!!
Why are the pictures of them together always almost good? If not for 8 different minor things, it would be a great picture :)

Happy 9th Birthday, Madeline Jean! I love you, sweet girl!

Liquid Luke

It just occurred to me that since Luke can sit up, he could probably enjoy a big boy bath now! Poor #4. He was a little unsure, but of course as soon as crazy mommy put the camera away, he was all smiles :)

Friday, November 28, 2008


Luke loves his Mum-Mums!
Yet another, "Hey, Mom! Take a picture of this!"
Our mostly-packed living room/dining room
"Hey, Mom! You take a picture of me while I take a picture of you!"
"Hey, Mom! Take a picture of me! I'm a pirate Iron Man!"
Noah and his friend, Graham, a fellow big brother, at Baby Bible presentation
The only picture I have of all 4 kids at Luke's Baby Bible Presentation at church!
Daddy and Jack fell asleep watching cartoons!