Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Riley Kate

Three years ago this coming Sunday I witnessed one of the most precious miracles. What began as a tiny seed, knitted together by the very hand of God, was commanded to come forth and take breath- my first born gave her first cry on May 27 at 6:59pm.
She was not the only one who was born that day
This mommy was born...

And this daddy.

We had no idea what we were doing-but we were excited to figure it out! Isn't it interesting that no other time except when one has a baby can you meet someone for two seconds and be willing to die for them? From the first moment we saw her  our lives have literally never been the same. Children truly are "a heritage from the Lord , the fruit of the womb-a reward" Psalm 127:3

Riley Kate is a compassionate child who is kinda an old soul-she understands and reasons things above her age. She has been gifted with a mind that we pray will glorify God all the days of her life. She really is way more than we could have ever imagined. The details she remembers, the way she pretends, her sense of humor, and her sweet snuggles are just some of the ways we delight in her.  We do delight in our children but you know I have to believe as I reflect over the last three years that God has duel purposes in children. They are a gift - my life is way fuller because of this once 5lb 8oz peanut (and my other peanut), but I have been forced (yes sometimes it has felt like coercion) to lay down my life in a deeper way. My children, starting on May 27, 2009, have been instruments that the Lord has used to teach me about his love for me, to show me my sin (especially selfishness), and hopefully made me look more like Christ. 
One of my favorite authors talks about the need to self parent. And as we are knee deep in these teaching years- I find myself imparting wisdom to Riley only to be fully convicted that I need to take my own advice. So having children are for our good (in many ways) and for God's glory. 

I really cannot believe three years have passed since I first held this sweet baby. The 4th/5th grade students I said goodbye to earlier that day (via a kick-line as the busses drove off for summer break ) will begin  8th/9th grade in the fall-wow! 

We are looking forward to celebrating her birthday on Memorial Day (after our moving weekend) at my mom and dad's pool. She is currently a huge Yo Gabba Fan and her party is themed appropriately. Although I  was hoping for more a fancy Nancy themed party- i must admit I am kinda excited about some of the decorations I have prepared. We started our celebration today by doing her 3 year old photo shoot ( nothing professional-just with mommy) and completing our 3 year old questionnaire. I totally ripped this idea from someone else-but you ask your kids the same questions every year at their birthday and see how their answers change.. I plan to make a book (I guess when she is 18) sometime. So heres the pics and her answers. 

This was her Q/A
Riley Kate’s 3rd Birthday Questionnaire
Height- 37.5 inches
1.What is your favorite color? pink /blue
2.What is your favorite TV. Show?  Barney /Yo Gabba
3.What is your favorite thing to play inside? puzzles
4.What is your favorite thing to do outside? swing/ swimming
5.What is your favorite movie? Patty Cake
6.What is your favorite book? Pinkalicious
 7.What is your favorite restaurant? Chickfilla
8.What is your favorite verse? “Love does not delight  in evil but rejoices in the truth”
9.What is your favorite Holiday? Christmas
10.What do you want to be when you grow up? a mommy
11.What is your favorite meal? Turkey and cheese
12.What is your favorite fruit? blueberries
13.What is your favorite snack? Teddy grahams
14.What is your favorite thing to do with mommy? go to the park
15.What is your favorite thing to do with daddy-? go to chipotle
16.Who is your best friend? mommy
17.What is your favorite outfit? pink strawberry shirt and pink shorts
18. What is your favorite toy? Yo Gabba guys
19. What is your favorite song? Roll over /wheels on the bus
20. What is your favorite animal? Monkey
21.What is your favorite game? hide and go seek
22.What is your favorite drink? sweet tea
23.What do you like to take to bed at night? B and yo gabba guys
24.What is your favorite thing for breakfast? bagels
25. What is your favorite dinner? spaghetti

Have a great Wednesday! love The GRANTS 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Moving to the East side

whew.. .its been quiet a long time since I have wrote. So much has happened and I wish I could recap everything but I will just hit the biggest thing.
Around Thanksgiving Aaron began praying and talking a lot about ministry. If you know us very well at all, you know this is not the first time our hearts have spent time considering if this is what God has for us. We have felt in the past God had said not yet-but this time it was different. Aaron had confirmation that now -timing was right and he enrolled for his first seminary class in January. The Lord continued to make clearer his plan for us in this as we continued seeking him. We will be beginning the process of planting an Acts 29 church in the near future by the grace of God. Acts 29 is a network that focuses on planting small, healthy Christ honoring churches in neighborhoods all over a city. We are currently attending an Acts 29 church where Aaron is being mentored/led by the pastor, Jeremy Rose, who has gone through the entire process. We are ever so thankful for he and his wife and their guidance in all of this.
The purchase of our home was hugely affected by this decision. We wanted our home to be in and around the neighborhood we hope to plant in. We close on our home Thursday or Friday of this week (still waiting to hear the final day). We are beyond excited for numerous reasons: 1. Being able to move without bumping into each other :) as has been the case in our 2 bedroom wonderful townhome, 2. Having a backyard for the girls to run and play in, 3. Being in a very fun, up and coming area of Nashville, and most importantly# 4. Beginning to meet neighbors and develop relationships with this community.  This is going to be a journey for our family. There are many steps and processes along the way.  We covet your prayers. I will do my best to update our blog on this and other things more frequently :/

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

Bright New Year New Year's Card
Turn your family photos into holiday cards this season.
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Friday, December 16, 2011

The fullness of time

Because of my introduction to Ann Voskamp and reading her blog, I feel as though this Christmas the blinder on my eyes have been yanked off. Ashamedly, I have thought little about Advent and the waiting of the King in years past. I've watched as the candles have been lit on Sunday mornings in the church service and at the moment thought about the meaning of each.. But this year has been different. Through this season I have  contemplated what it must have been like for God's people in the OT as they knew the promised one was to come-but they waited in the midst of God's silence-hoping, yearning, desiring, to see it become "the fullness of time". Oh what joy they must have felt when the heard it proclaimed that "Christ was born in Bethlehem". What prophesies from old must have ran through their minds. They were expecting this day but they just didn't know when it would come. I can imagine a family who had studied the scriptures-  hung on to the promises of the prophets for generations-what they must of felt when they realized their redeemer was here. Earth changed that day and nothing has ever been the same. Our God put on flesh and came to be near to us so his great rescue mission could be accomplished. While my mind has been in this place-thinking of what it would of been like to celebrate Christ's birth... I think of another advent that all believers are currently in.. The waiting of the return of our King. The same one who humbly came all those years ago and was laid in the manger... will come again to complete his mission.  He will come for his bride and make all this new! The earth once again will never been the same. What a glorious story we get to be apart of-this redemptive love story of our creator. So as you think this Advent season of Christ birth- and place yourself in that story-and think how they must of felt.. .Don't forget you are in the second Advent story-rejoice and long for the day when " the fullness of time" comes and Christ will return and reign forever.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Unfolding of time

Isn't it funny how quickly we forget things? My girls are only 17 months apart and it feels as if its been forever since Riley kate was doing the things Hadley is now. I remember feeling this way the first week we had Hadi home. It was like I was a newbie all over again. I understand why my mom who hasn't had a baby in 27 years can't remember things like -"do you feed them fruit or veggies first?" While, I'm sure in twenty years I won't really care what solid food I started my girls on at 6 months- there will be some "small" things I would like to remember. There have been moments in the past few months that I have watched videos of Riley Kate when she was Hadley's age and actually ached to spend that day with her again. I can't believe how quickly both of them are growing up. I heard a speaker once say-The unfolding of time seems so odd to us because we are meant to be eternal creatures. We once were to live forever -before sin entered the world. I feel this.. I feed the oddity that comes with my girls growing and changing-moving from one season to another. Because I am the sentimental type, (which my girls probably might not even value) every now and then I am going to record the random-nothing-exciting events of our day. I stated at the beginning of the blog that this is mainly record keeping for our family-so I am aware that the next part will bore some if not all-my apologies in advance  :)
My dear girls,
    Today is December 13, 2011. Its a rainy, cold Tuesday and we haven't even gotten out of our PJs. You both woke up this morning around 8:30. We watched our morning show-Patty Cake (of course) and had breakfast. This morning you both had cereal and a banana. Riley Kate -you told mommy when you woke up that you had a dream about Patty Cake and daddy shut the door to the fridge because thats where she lived -(I dunno -it was your dream ). Hadi when you woke up this morning we cuddles a long time before you were ready to get down and play  ( I love when that happens) Mommy cleaned some this morning and you girls played well together-which doesn't always happen. You played well until, Hadley started stealing Mary from Riley's manger scene she was creating with her "little people set". We had a talk and unfortunately a spanking because there was pushing involved. Aunt Ashley and baby Madison came over for a play date. Aunt Ashley brought over two Christmas pillowcase dresses she made for all three of you. We tried them on and you looked so sweet! Riley you have played doctor, pretended to talk on your cell phone, and put your baby down for a nap today. Hadley you have pushed your bus, played with babies, and taken one step (no more), and played with your little red monster. You all loved having Baby Madison over and the three of you did well together. Riley we read one of your 25 (not exaggerating) library books we checked out- "Madeline" a few times today.You really like that book. You had a grilled cheese for lunch with a side of yogurt and have been napping for almost 3 hours. Daddy will be home soon!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Passing moments I don't want to forget #1

As we were reading the story of the birth of Christ before Riley's nap today we began talking about how Jesus came to rescue us.. I could see she was puzzled and didn't exactly know what rescued was.. so off my cuff I tried to think of an explanation that a two year old would grasp.. I choose to use the illustration of  her falling down the steps and mommy catching her..thats kind of like rescuing. I then told her that we all need to be rescued -that mommy does, daddy does, she does, and everyone is the world needs to be rescued from sin. She asked "catched?" I said yes we all need to be "catched" (excuse the bad grammar-she's two :)) Then with a twinkle in her eye she said "mommy catchup like for my chicken..." Guess we will revisit that truth a little later :)    

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Perry's

This past week was a sad week  as my cousin and her husband were told there was no other medical options for their new son and they said goodbye to their 28 day old baby boy-Justice Perry. I know many kept up with him through his facebook page or my status and prayed continuously for him, Sara, Troy, and big brother Noah. Although we miss Owensboro, I am very thankful to be in Nashville for many reasons and this occasion is no exception. Each time I visited Vanderbilt's children's hospital to visit with the Perry's I went desiring to minister to them but left filled and ministered to BY them. I am so thankful I was able to witness what God was and is doing through that family. I have heard complete strangers tell friends of friends that their family was changing Vanderbilt's children's hospital. They suffered well! While they never left their baby and were obvious concerned for him they used this trial as a mission field. They ministered to every other family up there. They were able to do so tirelessly. They considered others needs ahead of their own and asked for specific needs to be met for these other families. They were famous up there.. when i visited  people would stop them to give them updates or ask for prayer. I know it wasn't of their own strength -it couldn't be-it was too supernatural!! It was that of God Almighty's. It was very cool to see that fleshed out. On the Thursday night before Baby Justice went to be with Jesus on Friday, Aaron and I got to hold his hands and sing to him. I even showed him pictures of his cousins-Riley Kate and Hadley. His life renewed my walk with Christ and challenged my prayer life more than I think I am even aware.
When I think eternally or on a very large scale I quickly see how radically different it is from how I think 99.9% of the time. It hit me so hard on Friday afternoon after we heard Justice had died that as godly parents- our number one,  main priority is to raise children that will turn the world upside down for the kingdom of God. We are to raise them so that they will be used by God for God. That is our purpose for parenting- the end goal. I thought about baby Justice's life and even though it was only 28 days long-he did just that... his parents suffered well and through Justice's trial made much of GOD!
My Granny Powell (Sara's granny too) had 9 children-two of which died as children- she is familiar with this pain. She lost her mother, father, and husband within 11 months of one another. She battled and survived TB, was a hardworking farmer's wife who tended the fields, washed clothes on a board, made 90 homemade biscuits a day for her 6 growing boys, husband, and one girl (sara's momma). She is familiar with trials but has so much joy-because of knowing Christ. I feel like she has left a legacy for our family.  Our family of 70+ (Kids, grandchildren, great grandchildren) lost grandaddy ( granny's husband) 27 years ago and until Friday there hasn't been a death. Tomorrow afternoon he will be buried and tomorrow night a memorial service will be in his honor.. BUT one day-oh what a glorious DAY!

If you want to watch the service tomorrow night at 6:30 tune in at- and click on icampus to watch via livestream