4 Acres

4 Acres
Our 1 Year Olds!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Perfect Fathers' Day Weekend

As long as I can remember I have been a baseball fan. When Rando and I met baseball quickly became the perfect date. Our goal is to go to every MLB stadium. We've been to 4 so we have a ways to go, but next summer we plan on hitting the west coast for our 10th anniversary.

We've introduced our kids to baseball by going to 2 Gwinnett Braves games with them, but they had not been to Turner Field yet. We were given tickets for Saturday night and decided this would be the perfect night to let them enjoy their first Braves game! The night was PERFECT! We fed the kids in the car and then made our way inside the stadium. Our seats were in Section 212, under an overhang, in the shade, and right on top of the action! Avery and Ryleigh did an incredible job! Avery's eyes were glued to the game and Ryleigh went back and forth between watching the game and people watching. Homer came by and gave Avery a five. Well actually Avery would only touch him with 1 finger. It was cute! Rando and Ryleigh caught a foul ball. This was both of theirs first foul ball (I can no longer say I'm the only one in the family to have caught one). On top of all of this the Braves won with a walk off homerun! It was very exciting!

I heard over and over again how cute and how well behaved our kids are! We are so blessed with happy kids that love to go out in public! It is like they know the difference between playtime at home and public behavior. I'm sure there will come a day where we will want to pull our hair out (probably about the time they're 2), but right now we are just taking advantage of having the sweetest kids! This made for a wonderful way to celebrate Fathers' Day! I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband that loves me and our kids! He gets down on the ground to play with the kids, changes diapers, feeds them, and pitches in wherever he is needed! He is a team player and I greatly appreciate him! Avery and Ryleigh light up when they see their daddy! Rando, we love you!

The kids tailgating

Full and ready to go

Our family ready for the game

My boys watching the game

Daddy and his kids

Ryleigh enjoying the game

Avery's face says it all - he LOVED it!

Ryleigh and Daddy with the ball they caught

All 4 of us after a great game!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all thinkgs, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." Ephesians 5:22

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her." Ephesians 5:25

I am so thankful that I know this kind of love! While a student at Shorter College (which became Shorter University yesterday) I met a guy that had a very interesting name. Well actually, my first encounter with him was while I was a senior in H.S. doing a college visit to Shorter. He had long curly hair and my comment in the car was that he had to be a friend of David Gordon (and he was/is... David knows I love him). This guy tells me now that he told a friend that he wanted to marry a girl like me. I'm not sure if that is exactly how it went, but I am very grateful it all worked out.

We had an interesting start. We both had dates to the sorority formal, but yet we started talking and then dating. We went on to the formal with our dates, but danced plenty that night. Just 2 weeks later we broke up, but couldn't stay apart more than 12 hours. On February 14, 1999 we began dating one last time (Rando says we broke up and got back together on this day so that he would be able to remember our anniversary). Our dating years were full of fun. Walks around Garden Lakes, climbing a water tower (shhhh....), 1/2 priced wings after 11 at Applebees, ministering together at Hollywood, and discussing our future dreams together.

On June 2, 2001 we became husband and wife. I can honestly say each day since I have fallen more in love with him every day! We have been through a lot, but I am so thankful that we are best friends and very RARELY have an argument. We've been through the scariest time for the US in our lifetimes - 9/11/01, living off of 1 income while seeking God for where he would have us serve, hard days at work, trying to have kids for 2 years, and so many more. Through each of these trials God brought us closer to Him and each other. I couldn't ask for a better partner in life than my wonderful husband.

The last 14 months have been an exciting journey. I love watching him be daddy! He changes diapers and feeds the kids with the best of them! He loves playing with the kids and making them laugh. They even already team up (4 on 1 - the dog included in that 4) against me! We share so many laughs. We still get time together too! We make every effort to have date nights and do things as a couple.

He respects me, understands me, and loves me no matter what! I am the most fortunate girl in the world! Rando, I love you and I thank God He blessed my life the day He brought you in it! I am looking foward to many more years! Happy 9th Anniversary!

Our engagement picture

Our wedding day

Our family of 4 doing what we love

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Life and Its Curve Balls

WOW! The last month has been a roller coaster! After celebrating the kids' 1st birthday life changed fast! Easter Sunday I got a voice mail from my granddad saying his brother had a stroke and wasn't doing well. Uncle Jerry passed away later that day. My heart broke for my granddad as he lost his last living sibling. He and Jerry had been through so much together over the years (they lost both their parents before my granddad was 6 years old)!

As spring break came to a close and we went back to normal activities "normal" didn't last long. On Monday, April 12th, I walked out of a meeting to find a coworker telling me she saw my husband in the parking lot. I said, "That can't be good." She tried to assure me everything was okay because he had the kids with him. That made it even worse. The kids were suppose to be with my grandparents and Rando was suppose to be in a meeting. He told me my grandmother had fallen while watching the kids and was taken to the hospital via ambulance. So many thoughts rushed through my mind. As I got to the ER Adam told me she had a bleeding in her brain. I remember the whole time having a peace that I know could only come from God.

Come to find out my grandmother had a stroke. She did not wake up for 5 days after her brain surgery. I remember going to bed one night longing to hear her offer me some food 1 more time! I promise I would take her up on it! So many of her little facial expressions and gestures kept replaying in my head. I miss sitting on their couch listening to her stories and watching her play with the kids! They LOVE their great grandparents! After several long days she did wake up, but to this day is still not completely the same. I do have to share that last week while I was at the rehab center with the kids visiting her in the middle of a random conversation did the offer to make me something to eat! Tears welled up fast on that one! You see, I have NEVER been to her house where she didn't ask me multiple times if she could make me a sandwich or something. I had to promise her that I would when she got home b/c there was nothing for her to make me in that room. It is fun to watch her with the kids! Her and Ryleigh laugh and play hand games. Avery just smiles at her as she calls him "sweetie".

I cannot wait until the day when I walk into the room and she says, "Hey Amanda!" It has been so hard to see her like this! She doesn't realize what is going on or that she doesn't make sense a lot of the time she is talking. They say it will all come back, but it will take time. I'm not very patient!

The sweetest thing about this has been watching my granddaddy love on her! We begged him numerous times to go home to get some rest. He has said over and over again, "I've been with her 60 something years and I'm not going to leave her now!" So precious! His love for her has been obvious to everyone that has been around them! She notices him, calls him by name, and loves to give him kisses! Of course he is right there to hold her hand, calm her down, and give her kisses too! I pray that Rando and I will still have that love for each other when we are that age! My grandparents have been sweethearts since they were 5 and 7 years old! Simply AMAZING!

We are so grateful for the many that have prayed for "granny", sent cards, shared kind words, and been there for us throughout this time! She comes home this coming week! It will be good to have her home! God has truly worked miracles! First, he kept her alert long enough to call my granddad and Rando so that the kids could be taken care of. Second, he made the surgery go very easily! Third, in his timing He woke her up! And he continues to work miracles daily. Nurses, doctors, and other caregivers have been touched by the love of Christ that is so evident in my grandparents!

Granny, Happy Mother's Day! I love you and can't wait to spend time with you tomorrow!

Here are some pictures of the kids with my grandmother before the stroke.

Friday, April 9, 2010

1 Year Olds Running (well Crawling) Wild

WOW! I cannot believe it has been a year (April 3rd) since our precious babies entered this world! Being a mom is incredible! It has been more than I could have ever imagined! Being a mom has helped me understand unconditional love like our Heavenly Father has on us (even though I'm not perfect as He is) and the price my mom and dad paid for years (and still pay to this day).

I can honestly say our children are incredibly easy! Yes, there are hard days, but I am grateful for the fun personalities, huge smiles, nights of sleep, laughter for no reason, bright blue eyes, kids reaching up for me, the sounds of "mama" and "dada", and new discoveries daily!

Ryleigh Belle you are our sunshine! You are so full of personality! We can already see the leader in you! Your eyes grab the attention of everyone around, and they sparkle with every grin. You have a take charge / go get'em attitude. We pray that God will use this personality to reach many for Him and minister to those around you as you grow older. You are pulling up on everything and can walk sideways while holding onto things. You talk constantly (no comments from daddy please) saying "mama", "dada", and "gah". You are learning to wave too. You no longer army crawl and can get around very fast on your hands and knees! We love you sweet girl!

Ave-man you are our cuddlebug! You are so laid back and take life in stride! You are so much like your daddy it is crazy! Your smile captures the heart of everyone around you! Your eyes sparkle too! We pray that God will use your love for others and sweet spirit to spread the love of Christ to all that you come in contact with as you grow older! You are starting to pull up on things now. Sometimes you are just content to stay on your knees, but if you want something you will go all the way to your feet. You like to say "mama" and "dada". Other sounds come out as well. You give the sweetest kisses! You get around pretty fast using the army crawl! We love you buddy!

We have survived a year! I know that there is no way I could have made it without first our God, my awesome hands-on husband that is very involved, my mom who watches the kids almost weekly, and other friends and family that pitch in to help! We are also so grateful for a wonderful sitter while I work. Deborah, we love and appreciate you!

Last Saturday we celebrated the kids' birthday with lots of family, friends, food, fellowship, and gifts! It was a great day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We serve an awesome God - in the good and the bad!

The last week and a half have been so emotional. I have felt so convicted over being in a crummy mood because snow messed up my plans the other weekend. So many people are facing extremely trying and heartbreaking times, and I was upset over missing a gymnastics meet!

Last Monday, one of my sister's best friends was admitted into ICU with double pneumonia. This young lady is usually a picture of health and it is still hard to believe she is so sick. The week was a roller coaster ride for her family and friends. As I sat with Dana at the hospital I was amazed at the faith this family has and how when things seemed to be crashing they still had their eyes on Jesus and placed their hope and trust in Him. She is still in ICU and needs our prayers. Yesterday the family got some encouragement from 2 doctors. Keep praying for this young lady, her parents, sister and brother-in-law, extended family, and friends. As a big sister I also ask that you pray for my sister Dana as you can imagine this is hard on her as she watches her friend struggle.

Friday evening Dana and Adam were coming over to our house for dinner and Wii. Rando got called out on a horrible chaplaincy call that would just break your heart. Not too long later we learned that one of our college students, Justin John, had passed away after a very long battle with cancer. The 4 of us were saddened, but also rejoicing in the fact that he was no longer in pain. Justin is now in the presence of our Lord.

On a positive note we had a dear friend and one of our former youth give birth to a healthy baby boy. We got to go visit with them and hold this precious baby Saturday night. Friday night some of our good friends told us they were having a baby girl!

I say all this because I have been reminded over and over lately that our God (the 1 true and holy God)never leaves us. He never changes, and He never loses control. We can trust Him in every aspect of life: sickness, death, parenting, work issues, ministry, and anything else we may face.

I do not understand how people go through life without Christ! If you do not have a relationship with Christ talk to one of us or a Christian friend/relative. He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you!

GymDogs 2010

4 years ago for Valentine's Day Rando surprised me with tickets to see the University of Georgia's gymnastics team compete. He had no idea how expensive this gift would end up being. 4 years later we are season ticket holders and hope to add the kids next year to our season tickets. We love it (and yes I said we)! It is amazing how athletic and incredible these ladies are. They have won 5 straight National Championships and even though this is a rebuilding year we have posted the 2nd highest score in NCAA this year!

Before the season started we got to go to a Meet and Greet with the team. We took mom and dad with us because they are always so good to take us to fun things. A few years ago we took dad to a meet kicking and screaming and now he wants season tickets too! We also met my "second parents" Hank and Debbie at the Meet and Greet. It was fun to get to talk to the girls and get a behind the scenes perspective from the new coach. Afterwards we enjoyed a steak dinner with mom and dad and The Maxwells!

Most meets we are using as date nights, but on February 5th we decided to take the kids to their first meet. I was nervous about this b/c having 2 we do not have any extra hands when we go out just the 4 of us! They were exceptional! They both loved watching the people around them and the girls perform. During the floor routines they danced to some of the music. Avery who usually is not our waver waved at Hairy Dawg. Hairy came over and held Avery for a picture.

We are looking forward to many more years of making memories while enjoying some good gymnastics and cheering on the Bulldogs!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Babies' First Christmas

As a kid you think Christmas could not get any better. Well, it does! What a joy to see Christmas through the eyes of your kids! They do not understand the true meaning yet of course, but I pray that one day they will understand that we give gifts and bless others because we have been given the greatest gift of all - Jesus. He truly is what Christmas is ALL about.

The kids loved Christmas. They actually opened many of their presents and played with the toys. Of course there was some eating of paper and playing with boxes as well. We were blessed to get to spend time with both sides of our family and lots of friends! I can't wait until next year when the kids understand a little more!