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Archive for July, 2008

Happy 18th Birthday, Cammie! July 30, 1990

On July 30, 1990 at 12:52 p.m., Cammie Nicole Sutton was born.  It’s so hard to believe that it has been 18 years.  Time flashed by at a pace I cannot comprehend.

My Sunshine!

My Sunshine!

Happy 18th Birthday, my firstborn!

As I rewind this moving picture of your life, I recall singing “You Are My Sunshine” to you in utero.  I still think of you when I hear that song.

After 16 hours of labor- horrible, horrible labor- you arrived.  I will never forget that first look.  I saw past those bruises caused by the forceps.  A girl!  A girl?  Your eyes seemed to be telling me that you were trying to let me know all along.  I was certain that you were a bit perturbed that I would just assume you were a boy.  My heart melted…

Time ticked away… Before long you were walking and talking and eventually dancing to tap and ballet.  You asked a lot of questions.  You loved to sing.  One of your favorites was “He is the King”. 

You were just two and a half when your baby sister was born.  You loved Courtney and seemed to take to her right away.  You didn’t show much jealousy.  You did try to feed her potato chips, though.  And you kinda’ freaked out when you found out she did not have teeth yet.  She did have lots of hair, though.  Look at that hair!  Sing it with me now… “Monchichi, Mon-chi-chi.  Monchichi, Mon-chi-chi… La, la, la…”  (Sorry, Court.  Some teens may be embarrassed and possibly traumatized due to this post.)                          

Cammie & baby sister, Courtney

Cammie & baby sister, Courtney

 

When you were three you began asking when Jesus would be coming back to get us.  Those questions led to more questions about how He enters your heart.  I gave my best three-year-old answers to your questions.  And you asked to pray.  We did.  You invited Jesus in your heart in the backseat of our car when you were just three years old.  I continued to pray as you grew that your understanding of Salvation and acceptance of Him would grow, too. 

And grew you did!  All too fast.  Another birthday came and then another and you would be off to Kindergarten.

You were almost five when we were driving one day and you began asking me where the stairs were that led to Heaven.  I wondered why.  I reasoned that you must’ve heard a Sunday School story about Jacob’s Ladder.  You kept asking.  “I know,” you said while pointing out the window, “they must be over there by Popeye’s!” 

Days later, you were staring at a plaque on the wall of Jesus robed in white with outstretched hands floating on the clouds.  You stared for a few moments and said, “Jesus didn’t fall off the clouds.”

“What?”

“He didn’t fall off the clouds.  I didn’t fall off either, Mama.”  You continued to stare and seemed to drift off to what you were describing.  It wasn’t long before I realized you had an experience- perhaps a dream or a vision.

“When,” I asked you.  You began describing what you were wearing.  The exact clothes you had worn several days before.  You told me that you stood on the clouds with Jesus.  You walked up those stairs and you didn’t fall off the clouds and neither did Jesus.

“All the people were there.  And God was there, too.  I didn’t see Him.  But I heard Him,” you said.  I tried to imagine a multitude of people without number- “ALL the people”.  And I thought of when Jesus was baptized.  A perfect picture of the Trinity.  As He was baptized in water, God the Father spoke from Heaven and The Holy Spirit descended like a Dove.

You described the robes that the people were wearing.  Some wore different robes than others.  You told me Jesus held out His hands.  You stared back at the plaque and held out your hands and seemed to think back for a moment.  “He had bleed on His hands, Mama.  He said His bleed can wash my sins away.  And He asked me if I was happy.  And I told Jesus I was happy.”

What a profound moment!  I remember feeling the Presence of The Holy Spirit.  And I knew He had His hand on you.

Looking back, the timing of that experience was amazing.  It wasn’t long before your father and I would separate and eventually divorce.  You were almost six.  This next picture is of you milking a cow at Kleinpeter Farm on a field trip with your class.  I will forever be thankful to your teacher for this picture as I was not there.  It has always been important for me to be present at field trips and school functions.  That year, the single, working mom would be unable to attend.  I keep this picture in my Bible along with the picture/bookmark Courtney made earlier that year in Vacation Bible School.  I am reminded that God carried you both through that time as He did me.

At some point, I suppose your memory has caught up with mine.  You may recall that day at Kleinpeter Farm… the transitions you went through.  We lived with Nana and Poppy for a while.  You had to change schools when you went to second grade.  When you were almost eight, your Joedaddy and I got married.  We became a family.  It took quite a while for you to open up to him.  But you did.  Our bonds grew stronger throughout the years.  And you and Courtney never gave up on us having a baby.  At times, it was both of you who kept my faith going.

More years passed… eight, nine, ten years old.  Do you remember your struggles in third grade?  That was more than likely your hardest year.  You were diagnosed with ADD before fourth grade.  You made it through those next years of elementary with less difficulty.  You were in 4H.  You were making friends.  Eleven, twelve years old.  And… Jr. High! 

You made good grades.  You were a good kid.  You were quiet.  And then one day… you became a teenager.  Your bedroom makeover was clearly the best thing we could’ve done for you for that milestone birthday.  I’ll never forget when I uncovered your eyes like the host of While You Were Out.  The decorator was there.  You were wide-eyed.  “I feel like a Princess!”

Your teen years didn’t go by any slower.  You started High School.  Crushes would change, friends would change… I would worry and pray and hope that I was teaching you what you needed.  For such a long time I would pray with you and Courtney before you went to the schools that we parents call war zones.  I questioned many times whether or not the things I taught you were sinking in.  And I would try and remember the Word of the Lord spoken to me to continue to talk with my children when we were going about our lives.  Driving in the car…sitting at the table.  I knew what He meant.  And I am reminded again now that His Word will not return void.  It WILL accomplish what He intends.  Thirteen, fourteen years old…

You would be 15 when the door opened for me to have a tubal-reversal.  I thank God for the vacation time He allowed for us as a family that December.  I thank God that you and Courtney encouraged me not very long before then by offering to open up an account for me to save for surgery.  But He handled the finances… and the day had finally come.

Did you have any idea that it would not be long at all before I would be pregnant?  I worried when I was sick and dehydrated and under the care of Home Health.  I worried about the sacrifices you and Courtney would have to make during that time.  I hoped you would know it would be worth it.  Those days were hectic.  Deciding to sell the house that had been home to us for over eight years- that was bittersweet… packing and moving to a bigger house to accommodate two teens and a baby on the way…  DRIVER’S ED- yea, that was a big one but you made it through… turning 16… getting your permit… your first job at the produce stand… the loss of Grandpa Ted… and then, Sophie.

Cammie & baby sister, Sophie

Cammie & baby sister, Sophie

You were smitten.  You still are.  I hoped that you and Courtney would see how much work and responsibility is involved with the life of a child.  And of course how much joy!  Those days flew by like all the rest.

My Girls

My Girls

And then you were almost 17.  This seems to have been one of the most trying times for you as well as me.  You met the one who will likely always be considered your first love.  You had some struggles.  You went to live with your father just prior to your 17th birthday.  My heart broke.  But I knew I had to place you in the hands of Christ.  The trials seemed to escalate.  Ultimately, you ran away with your friend.  And as traumatic as that is to even type- He watched over you and we got you back that night.  I will never forget those days when I saw you hurting.  I wanted to protect you from that.  I worried about the mistakes I had made.  I prayed for direction.

Together, we decided you should leave your Senior year of High School and join The National Guard’s Youth Challenge Program.  This would be one of the hardest decisions we would have to make.  And I’m so glad we did.  It was difficult.  I know you struggled, especially at first.  I cried and cried and prayed and prayed. 

In just over five months, you excelled!  You not only finished this challenge, but you did it as a 5-Star Cadet.  And you graduated Co-Cadet of the Cycle.  You were chosen to go to Washington D.C. and represent YCP.  You made fantastic scores on your tests including the ACT and the ASVAB.  You made me so proud!  I am so thankful that “you” were able to see your own potential.  Above all, you prayed.  You even shared your faith and led one of the girls there to the Lord.

Cam-YCP Co-Cadet of the Cycle

Cam-YCP Co-Cadet of the Cycle

You came home.  You got your first car. 

Cam's 1st Car

Cam's 1st Car

You joined the National Guard.  You’ve struggled with this decision.  But, Cammie, HE KNOWS THE PLANS HE HAS FOR YOU.  Those plans are good!  (Jeremiah 29:11) And if not for His strength, I would fall apart, too.  You are, after all, still my little girl.

And now you are turning 18.  This post has been played out in my mind many times.  These milestones have reminded me that HE is still in control.  When Grandma found that Testament that you gave Grandpa Ted so many years ago and sent it to you with your birthday card, I was reminded once again “He is STILL in control”.

Cam & Sophie- Peek-a-boo

Cam & Sophie- Peek-a-boo

Soon you will be leaving for basic training.  I am once again presented with the opportunity to trust Him.  It’s time to let you go.  I hope that you can see His hand on your life throughout the past 18 years.  I pray that you will move beyond your questions, your emotions, your fears and trust Him completely.  It’s safe there… in His arms.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you. saith the LORD, thoughts of peace. and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  Jeremiah 29:11

I don’t know what the future holds, Cammie.  But I know Who holds the future.  I know I can trust Him.  And you can, too.  Now go in peace and courage and do the great things that He has called you to do.  I will be here cheering you on and praying you through.  And I know His grace will be sufficient.  May this be your very best year yet!

I’m so glad to be your Mom.

With much love,

Mom

P.S.

I love you more than Diet Coke! 😉

 

WHAT are they teaching her in Honor’s English?

My daughter, Courtney, is in Honor’s English.  This year- her Sophomore year- will be her second year to take it.  She’s a smart kid.  She knows this.  She knows I know this.

However, she has said some pret-ty interesting things that have made me scratch my head.

Before her Freshman year had ended, she wound up in the E.R. one evening having an x-ray to find out if she had cracked a rib.  I cannot recall what we were discussing when she proudly told her Big Mama (that would be her paternal grandmother) and me, “I’m going to Hard-vard.”

OH, reallly?  Are you???  It wasn’t long before she caught what she said.  I’ll come to her defense just a wee bit because she was a little loopy after the pain medicine she was given.  She later told me (again…don’t recall what we were talking about), “that must’ve been a ‘pigment’ of my imagination.”

Hmmmm?  Pigment?  What pigment would that be?  Again, we laughed and laughed and laughed.  Just like an old Mary Jane joke.  Anyone remember those???? 

Earlier that year, she and her boyfriend (previous boyfriend- not to be confused with her current boyfriend) were eating with Joe and me at Outback.  We reallly heart Outback!  While we watched her attempts to cut her steak, we began discussing her “gracefulness” (or lack thereof) in the area of cooking or, um, eating.  She’s left-handed and looks awkward with a butter knife and a piece of toast.  So she decides to defend herself.  “I have good eti-‘quit’ (etiquette),” she shouts.  To which we laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

Courtney was recently doing some note cards on a book (one of three) she had to read this summer for her upcoming Honor’s English class.  She was asking me a question about the sources she could use.  I pointed something out to her in the ‘pref-ace’ (preffus….best pronunciation I can come up with for lack of upside down e’s).  She then laughed, and laughed, and laughed at me.  “Mom!  It’s PRE-face!”  That would be pre and the word face. 

OH, realllly now?  IS it?  For a second….she made me question myself.  After all, I was never in Honor’s English.

There was much more…but I didn’t write it down.  Perhaps when it comes to me or when her next proud moment arrives…I’ll share!  Because I’m just that kind of mom! 😉

LOOK!  There she is in all of her smartness!

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I love you, Court!  You’re still my Einstein!

MOM

Happy Birthday To Me! July 24, 1969…Do the math!

This picture was taken nearly 39 years ago…sometime after July 24, 1969.  Today is my 39th birthday.  So, I decided to post a picture of me in my “birthday suit” with that baby ‘fro that my Mom just seems to love.  You know the ‘fro!  The middle is combed up into a little curl, the rest is combed down into a little curl….much like a clown!  Just stating the similarities, Mom! 😉

And that’s….”Sincerely ‘fro Me to You”!

For more of Sincerely ‘fro Me to You, visit Kristen here at we are THAT family or click on the link at the top of this post.

 

WFMW: Putting the kitchen table WHERE?

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We moved into our house just over two years ago before Sophie was born.  We left behind a wonderful neighborhood with close friends and a house that we loved dearly.  With two teenage daughters and a baby on the way, we needed more room.

So we found our current home, closed up the arch in the formal dining room, put up french doors and added a door to the entrance leading into the kitchen to make a nursery for Sophie.  We put our kitchen table in the small breakfast nook.  With brick floors, a heavy, wrought iron, round table did not work out well.  So we got rid of that table and got a bar height rectangle kitchen table.  It went here:

That’s my uncle putting the table together for me in January of 2007.   Not a clear pic, but you can see that it was still a tight fit.  We put up with this squeeze as well as trying to drag heavy chairs across the brick.  Until….

I had a brilliant idea to move my kitchen table here:

It is now in the living room.  You can see that it is just to the right of the breakfast nook.  It does block the left french door.  But we rarely open that one.  It was blocked before by our chair anyway.  We have plenty of room to add the leaf to the table for guests.  We also have a bench that can be used if we pulled the table away from the wall.  For now, the bench is in the foyer.  The chair that was there is now here:

…in the breakfoost nook.  Now I have a seating area.  Here are a couple more pics that are a bit more clear.

The ottoman works better with the chair here.  Before, when it was in the living room, we didn’t have a clear walking path so we would have to move it.  The trunk houses Sophie’s toys.  The high chair will likely be moved to the attic when Sophie turns two in September.  Perhaps I will put a plant here.

Now we can see this better while we’re eating:

We NEVER used to watch T.V. while eating.  At our old house, it was a well known rule even with my kids’ friends.  No T.V.  No answering the phone.  Things have changed so much over the last few years.  Work schedules, new child in the home, teen activities.   When we all sit down for a meal together, it’s rare.  We then try to stick to our old rule.  But when we have more of a casual, eating in shifts kind of dinner, we often leave the T.V. on.  Funny…Sophie lays on the floor sometimes when she’s coloring just like that little girl.  Look…here she is:

See?  Had to move the ottoman over in front of the T.V. because the layout did not provide much room for traffic.  Or for coloring on the floor.

Here are a couple more shots of the living room area:

The french doors you see in the foyer lead to Sophie’s room (A.K.A. the former dining room).  So does the door leading into the kitchen.  Here’s a pic of the rest of the kitchen:

More eating room.  I think the new arrangement will work out well since our living room and kitchen are all open- like a Great Room.  Even looks “great”.  Works for me!

For more exciting Works for Me Wednesday ideas, visit Shannon here at rocks in my dryer or click the link at the top of this post.

 

Hide and Seek

Sophie likes to hide from us…

Behind our bedroom curtains we can sometimes hear giggles.  Are the shoes obvious?

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Underneath our bed with a couple of dustbunnies…

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Crawling under here is only fun for a toddler…

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Her first hiding place… where she found all of those shoes…

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And in the pantry where she sneaks her cookies and dog biscuits for Dexter.

 

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Military Mom

This post will not include any fashion fun.  Instead, I’m asking for prayer.

My oldest daughter, Cammie, joined the Louisiana National Guard in March.  She leaves for basic in September.  She turns 18 on the 30th of this month.  And I’m asking for your prayers.

When Cammie talked about joining the military while in the National Guard’s Youth Challenge Program, we were very skeptical about this possibility.  Like most teens, she went back and forth with her choices.  They varied widely.  We prayed.  And while in YCP, Cammie seemingly prayed more, too.  God gave me peace about her final decision.  And although she seems to have misplaced it, I truly believe He gave her peace, too.

Cammie has second guessed this choice.  Being a female in my family means VERY high hormones.  Cammie has struggled with keeping her emotions from guiding her.  As her mom, this has been so difficult.  I don’t always handle it right.  I don’t always say the right things.  I don’t always say or do what I “should”.  More than anything, God’s peace is what I want for her.  I pray that a young age she- and all of my girls- will learn to seek Christ in everything.  EVERYTHING. 

I don’t know how to be a “Military Mom”.  I never saw it coming.  But HE did.  As I hang onto that peace He gave me., I pray she will find it.  He is faithful.

When she graduated from YCP- Co-Cadet of the Cycle- (I just have to proudly say that!) we would announce to others that she had joined the National Guard.  I remember very clearly the many responses.  Some would say, “WHY would you do THAT?”  Many Christian friends even questioned quite strongly this already made decision.  Not all responded this way.  And I don’t fault the ones who did.  I really do not think they meant for their responses to way heavy on Cammie….or her mother.  I don’t necessarily expect others to respond exactly as I think they should.  I’m still feeling my way, well, praying my way, through this.  It’s very serious times that we live in.  This year in particular is a very important year for our country and subsequently, the rest of the world.  I would think I would be nervous if I was about to head to basic training even if I knew this was the right path.

HIS plans are what I have ALWAYS wanted for my children.  I’ve told them to pray always for the one they should marry, even at an early age.  (I suppose I should go ahead and start this with Sophie.)  And I’ve told them to pray for the plans of God on their lives.  I knew that my plans for them just might not be His.  I knew their own plans for their lives just might not be His.  But I know He’s faithful.  And if they trust Him, He will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him.  (Isaiah 26:3)  I pray Cammie does.  And I’m asking you to pray with me.

Please pray for His perfect peace that surpasses all understanding to keep her heart and mind in Christ Jesus.  And please pray for the Military Mom (and Dad…and Joedaddy…oh…AND grandparents….they can be pret-ty protective over their grandchildren).  I humbly ask for any advice you might want to share with me.  I’m still new to this whole blogging thing, but I’ve been amazed already at how profoundly God has worked through this.  I appreciate greatly the prayers and concerns and pray you will all be blessed for reaching out.

Fashion Update with Pics

*Read the info BELOW from Big Mama’s blog post comments to find out how much these jeans cost and where I got them…

Ladies….here are the pics I promised on Big Mama’s comments…

 

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Aren’t they just beautiful??  They have a sailor look, which I LOVE.

As you can see, they hit the floor.  BUT, I didn’t step on them.  AND….do I look 5’4″ to you??  I DID have a red purse with me.  But I need a chunky red bracelet with that white shirt.

And here is the Steve Madden wedge I wore to pull them off….you can see an up close shot of these shoes on Sophie in my post For the Love of Shoes.

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Here is the updated info I posted on Big Mama’s comments:

Ok, Ladies….in answer to some of those questions (hope I don’t hog up all of the comment space, Big Mama!)…I went to American Eagle after looking at them online. They were a bit snug, not tight, but it made them not look quite as good. Didn’t bother going up a size, knew they’d be too big. Went back to Gap, they did not carry varying lengths. These pants clearly are not going to be found (or not likely) in varying lengths. It’s obviously the style to be long, but HEY, I’m 5′4″.

SOOO, I went back to the original store for the $80 pair: Frock Candy. And guess what? First…they looked awesome, the overall look was just nicer and even fit better in the waist than Gap’s pair. But, I had my 15 year old try them on while I put on the Gap pair…she’s taller than I am, but we still worked with that to see if one was longer. Not really. SOOO, this pair looked so way cool, but cost more and was still the same length.

And…I bought them. YES! I did! They will work with my wedges, barely. Don’t know if they work a tad better because the waist fit better than Gap’s pair. Guess that’s a small stretch. They may be a tad shorter. Worse comes to worse…I will scout out a very reputable tailor. But not without proper jean hemming credentials. ANd, no, Big Mama…I will NOT dry them!

I am determined to enjoy these jeans. Besides, worry won’t add stature! ;)

I’ll try to post a pic tomorrow with the wedges