My Next Door Neighbor

I was fifteen when he was born; and for a few years, we were inseparable. Anyone who didn’t know our family just assumed that he was mine. I was usually fine with that (kept the riff raff away). Over the past ten years, though, he’s slowly and carefully grown into a precious man of God. And, for the most part, I’ve missed it all.

I can remember his birth as vividly as the birth of  my own kids’, and he’s a senior in high school, now! I don’t like to think about how old that makes me. He doesn’t have much time left at home, and his big dreams will most likely take him far from the mountains. This might be my last good chance to get to know my baby brother. And what did God do? He moved me right next door!

If I need ice or chocolate, I just pick up the phone and call him. If I need someone to come sit with the kids, or to wear them out playing soccer in the yard–he’s there. He has a servant’s heart. So when he asked if I would take his senior pictures, I was thrilled to finally have a small, teensy-tiny way to pay him back for everything he’s been to my children–and for everything he’s meant to me.

Yep, this is where we live. That helps. And I can’t take any credit for the photogenic face of the model. For my part in holding the camera, though, I’m pretty proud of these!

Though not as proud as I am of him.

Ladies, you might not want to even let your daughters see these–he’s not looking. God has all of his heart, and he’s waiting for His leading. On second thought, though, do show them these. Every little girl should know that there are still are pure, God-loving, God-fearing, women-respecting young men out there!

And that some of them look like this…

And sing and play the guitar!

Happy graduation year, baby bro! I can’t wait to see what God does next!

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How About a Stream of Barely Consciousness–w/Pictures?

We  haven’t had much rain this week. It keeps threatening to. We get all excited and we run inside. In the end, though, all we get is a sprinkle. Not enough to really wet the ground or to give us a rainbow like the one we had the week before.

I gave away some more Kindle copies of my book last week. Of course, you know that if you “like” Kindom Twindom +1 on Facebook (or if you follow the freebie sites). We gave away over 12,000 copies this time! What. a. rush! Slightly diminished when I received the latest shipment of paperbacks and immediately found a misprint, however. The printer is fixing it for me, but if you received one of these copies, please write me and let me know.

I don’t have anything to add to this one except that this is how I found them…Saturday morning, cartoons on. Heart, be still.

Yes, they were up slightly before me on Saturday morning. I’ve been burning the midnight oil working on a very fascinating editing project and beginning work on my new book.

And for anyone wondering how our littlest boy and girl are doing–oh, I’d say they’re doing just fine. They wear each other out and then pass out in a heap for the better part of the day. I’m waking with the dawn like one does with a new baby. But I love her, our Lula. She’s worth it.

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Just Because

Just because I love footie pajamas…


Just because I love little boys who wear footie pajamas.


Just because I love late night silly fests with little boys who wear footie pajamas…



Just because I think these two boys are the cutest boys to have ever donned footie pajamas…


Just because I’m pretty sure that those of you without boys in footie pajamas will quickly agree…


Just because it’s been a long, hot summer void of the cuteness of footie pajamas…


And just because I love doing things just because.

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A Very Good Place to Start

I’ve always dreamed of a fixer-upper, of a place I could rebuild as I could afford it. Truthfully, I envisioned an old farm house. Definitely not a mobile home.  But God knows exactly what we need. And, who knows, maybe that old farmhouse is still in my future. It’d be a good place to write a book.  I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda proud of the fact that my first book was written in a trailer (that I rented). Oh, and my second is being written in a trailer (that I own).

Sometimes we wait for the revelation of God’s plan like we wait for His tangible, recognizable blessings. Joseph’s time in prison wasn’t pretty; it was dirty…he was hungry. Still, God planned—preordained to use him there. If Joseph had waited for God to use him until that time when he felt exalted or blessed, God would never have exalted or blessed him.from Day 3, 31 Days to Lovely: A Journey of Forgiveness

And yes, I just quoted myself.

I’ve been promising you pictures of the living room, and the truth is I’m still not quite ready to reveal it. I still haven’t hung anything on the walls (though I know what I want to hang), found a rug, installed baseboards, or had the windows trimmed. But because there is really no telling when I’m gonna do those things…here, my friends, is my little home. Maybe it’s because we just came through a massive hailstorm unscathed that I’m finally posting this reveal. You know how you worry about your car in a bad storm? I’m pretty sure my house still has its wheels.

I apologize for the lack of drama in these photos (not for the lack of drama in my life). Well, these might represent a dramatic enough change, but it’s a shame that I didn’t get pictures while the walls were all brown and the floors were covered in two layers of dirty carpet. Shudder. And just the sheer measure of dirt! It’s now abundantly clear to me why some people won’t rent out their homes.

Still, it’s a good thing that the flooring was so dirty. It gave me a good reason to rip it all out (which revealed water damage that I could have fixed before the new floor went down).

Here’s the closest thing I have to a before…

And this (drum roll please) is my current after (with life happening in it, of course).

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5th Baby

In early 2009, I had an easy little family. I knew exactly how to handle my children and discipline wasn’t high on our list of problems. If my children wanted to go to the park, it wasn’t much of a problem to take them. I knew they’d obey while we were there; and if they got out of hand, I’d just scoop them up and cart them home. I rarely even thought of myself as having four children, I guess. It was more like having two children with multiple personality disorder.

But then, our much anticipated fifth baby came along; and with him, the winds of change. Baby Bear was the easiest of all of our babies and has been the most difficult of all of our toddlers. In all honesty, I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to this kid, and that’s at least 50% of the time. I said I had four strong-willed children, and God laughed and gave me Strong Willed 5.0. He gets his way a lot, our Baby Bear. And that’s mostly because he’s so loud.

As a result, he’s the first one I’ve allowed to nap after two in the afternoon.

While I know it will result in this scene around ten or eleven…


I choose peace and quiet in the now.

And, OK, I’m kind of a sucker for his nighttime kisses and snuggles. So sue me! Have you seen those lips?

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