Juggling Life with Joy!

Juggling Life with Joy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. ~Washington Irving

I love this quote about mother's. How true it is. I am very blessed to have a such a close and wonderful relationship with my mom. She has always been my hero! I realize how blessed I am every time I talk to her, because I know not everyone has a wonderful and caring mom.
Even now, I remember some of the hardships we dealt with when I was a child. Mom went to nursing school and still was a full time wife and mother. Daddy had to hold down three jobs just to make ends meet so mom would fulfill her dream to be a nurse. She is my inspiration as I am preparing to go back to school to finish my nursing degree as well. I can clearly remember some nights waking up at 2 am and hearing her still studying for an exam the next day. Not only did she finish nursing school while still maintaining her domestic duties, but she finished #1 in her class. She is to this day a very successful career woman!
My mom was the mom who our friends loved to be around. In the summer, the neighborhood kids would come to our house and ask if my mom could come out and play too. We would play hide and seek forever it seemed on those summer nights. On a few occasions mom may have taken my girlfriends and I out to toilet paper, I mean decorate the outside of houses! She was also known to be invited to a few slumber parties also!
As I have become a mother and wife I realize what a great example she has set before me. My hubby and I both agree she is probably the most forgiving wife ever on this earth. Without bringing up too much family drama, I have always known my mother to quickly forgive. Mom and dad were high school sweethearts and she loved him with everything she had. They were married 35 years. It wasn't always the perfect relationship, but they did love one another. Mom and daddy did everything together. When I say everything I mean it...even pedicures and manicures. I even remember my brother and I teasing them a few times because they would wear matching clothes sometimes.(like sweatshirts or jogging suits! lol!) I also realize since having children how much she sacrificed. She hardly ever bought anything for her. I don't really ever remember as a child really appreciating everything she did for me as a child/teenager. I was a brat growing up and only wanted the best clothes with a certain brand name. Or I would NOT wear it!!! God has an awesome way of changing someone, because if you really know me now you know I am not like that!
I have always known my mom could survive any hardship coming her way. But I did not realize exactly her faith and strength she had until the hard, difficult, confusing 7 weeks that we faced with my daddy. She fought so hard for him. She never gave up, and when everyone else seemed to throw in the towel, she pressed on and looked at the positive. On several occasions, the only way dad's heart rate would stay in a healthy range was for mom to talk to him. His heart rate would immediately jump. Those 7 weeks, though hard taught me so much about my own relationship with my husband and the scriptures about marriage. The one that comes to mind is the one about two become one. As I was observing the effect she would have on daddy that verse so came to life. Daddy really depended on mom. He would be so scared or confused and he just wanted mom to handle everything he needed to get better during his stay. Even up until he died, he responded with her. The very last thing he did was respond to her voice. She asked him to kiss her one more time. He puckered his lips and he kissed her. Then less than a minute later he left this world for heaven. As I left the room where daddy was at to go and talk with my children I turned to see mom and what she was doing. I just remember being so tired and in shock about losing him. But, mom had this incredible peace and strength within her. As the nurses unhooked daddy, she bathed him. She gave him his last bath. I did not stay for that as it was a private moment. But, as they finished up, I did peer in the room to see if she was ok. She looked like such an angel. She had just finished his bath, and was telling him she loved him. Wow! I don't know how she did that. Even in that moment I was so hurt and shocked and started crying and she comforted me.
Today, while in church I glanced over at my mom and I so hope to be just like her. I have learned so much from her over the year's. But I real learned so much more through daddy's sickness. She has incredible faith, and trust. We reminisced this weekend about daddy and cried some. I know she really misses him. But I also know she is going to make it. She is my inspiration!

I love you mom! Daddy loved you too! Thank you so much for being my best friend and the best grandmother. My kids love you so much and I am blessed with everything you do for them!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fair Fun!

Recently our family got to go to our annual fair! We had the best time! Thankfully, a friend told us how to get our children in and the rides would be for free! We have lived here for four years now but just found out this: If your children show three exhibits in the fair they get to get a ride wristband and ride all the rides for free!!! This is very important info that I am glad we found out this year! It is normally very expensive to go to the fair! In fact, we have always just avoided going because it is so expensive! My three kids really enjoyed making things though to put in the fair. Kyndal actually won third place in a picture that she put in the photography exhibit. Kaitlyn won third in a photography exhibit of birds. We were so proud of them! I can't wait until next year! Here are a few photos I snapped of all the fun!

The kids with the Q99 bear!

Hilton and Kyndal getting ready to be dropped!

I love Caleb's face in the background here! He loved every ride he was allowed to get on!

We all rode the ferris wheel and when we got to the top I snapped a pic of the view from where we lived! Ahh, beautiful scenery!

Kaitlyn riding the carousel! Is there anyway to stop her from growing up so fast??

Kaitlyn met up with two of her friends to go ride the rides together!

I have been definetly shown in the past few months just how blessed I am. I am reminded often just how short and precious life is. Our family has a very busy life, but I realized that some of the busyness is not important! I am in the process of eliminating the not so important things of life. The things that take up our precious time! I am replacing them with things that are important! I want to make memories every day with my family. One day when my kids look back at thier childhood I want them to be able to say that they remember me and thier dad always being there for them! I don't want to be remembered for having a clean house, or always being too busy for my children. My first mission field that God has called me to is to be a godly wife and then a mother. Sometimes as a mom we tend to think that we are "just stuck at home" and not out in the world winning souls to Christ. But, I realized a long time ago that praying for my husband and keeping the day to day activites of the house in order, that I am serving the Lord. It is frustrating to do chores, laundry, grocery shop, etc..but one day I heard a devotional that instead of being frustrated about having to mop the floor AGAIN, then start praising God for the floor you are mopping! I know it sounds funny, but we really are truly blessed! We are to do everything for the glory of the Lord. Laundry in my house is neverending! It can be so time consuming. Here recently when I am folding the laundry I say a little prayer for that person. Example, if I am folding Kaitlyn's shirt then I pray something for her that I know she needs prayer about or praise God for what joy she brings to the family. I promise you will see a different way of doing laundry.
Then I was so convicted one day about my true mission field! I was feeling down when my childrern were younger, and I guess having a pity party because I felt like I wasn't out there in the world doing "work" for the Lord. I wasn't visiting the sick, or delivering meals. I was at home! I was at home changing diapers, making meals, nursing a baby, pottty training, wiping noses! But then, I realized that there is a season for everything! That there would be a season where I could go out and visit, deliver food to the hungry....BUT...my first mission field are to my three little children. We are to train them up in the Lord. Just wanted to encourage the moms who feel like they don't have a purpose! You do...your children need you, because noone else is responsible to tell them about God and his love story to us...not thier sunday school teacher, the pastor, grandma or grandaddy... But as a mother or father we are the ones who are to tell them and encourage them to enter a relationship with our Creator!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

All Stars!

Just wanted to post a quick note about the Salem AllStars team! We were all so proud of these girls! Kaitlyn and her team mates played so hard in the Allstar games. They came in 2nd place this year. There were lots of tears after they lost, but I can honestly say that they did their best. This was Kaitlyn's first year on this team. We were so proud of her!
2011 12U Salem Allstar team

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Can Only Imagine

So, it has really taken me some time to really express how I have been since my daddy passed away. Honestly,I have really been a little afraid to blog about it. My feelings are so raw about everything, that I was afraid that I would come across as not having faith or hope. But, I decided a long time ago that I was going to be real! That just because I am a pastor's wife, that I can't be an emotional mess from time to time! See, when I was much younger and new at this ministry stuff, I didn't know how to be a pastor's wife! I actually hated did not like my first impression of being a pastor's wife! Trust me, I looked to see if they had a college class on being a PW!! haha! But thankfully, in God's perfect timing, he sent us to this sweet country church called dawson baptist church. They let me grow in my faith, and, well pretty much grow up! (Cut me some slack, I was only 19 when I married Hilton.) I stuck my mouth in my foot several times but they were very gracious and patient to let me learn what I really knew inside the whole time! TO BE REAL! You see, there are no perfect people including PW's! I was so down and out before I realized  that I did know how to be a PW...poor bethel baptist church! HAHA!

Anyway, so I am going to be real talking here about my dad. And I do have lots of faith and hope! But...I am human! I hurt, am sad, and have cried alot!

 I am very close to my parents. Our relationship has not always been perfect, but we would never let hours, or even days go by without asking for forgiveness and love. I loved it when mom and dad would come up here in Virginia and spend the weekend with us. No matter how much they came, when they left we always would cry. My kids love and adore both of them with all their heart. My husband had a very special bond with both of them. He looked up to my dad because daddy could fix anything. Daddy always had a project to work on here at our house when he would come. He loved Hilton like a son, and they did things together often. Not many son in laws have a special relationship like that with the father in law. I am thankful that we were able to have that.
Daddy loved his grandchildren. Recently, mom gave me dad's phone and his computer, and almost every pic was of one of the grandchildren, or him and mom somewhere together. Speaking of together...mom and dad had 34 years of marriage together. Life was not always perfect, but they worked hard to keep the marriage and love together. She is an awesome wife! I can't wait til my next post blogging about what an amazing woman she is!
Anyway, his life was about family. He loved it when the family came together. It was hard for him when we moved away to Virginia four years ago. He cried, but he knew it was the right thing and he gave us his blessing!
Daddy liked weird things. Like those tv shows that tell you how they put things together. For example, learning how they make the mold to make the post to a lamp. He was a very smart man. There was nothing my dad could not fix and if he didn't know how he went and bought a book on it to learn.  I never would take a mechanic's advice on anything until I talked to my dad about it. He could fix ANYTHING!!! He loved coffee, Barnes and Noble, the beach, country music, mustangs, racing, the restaurants that was run locally not by a chain company, Cracker Barrell, fried chicken, biscuits, biscuits,biscuits(ha) baking, Christmas, decorating, to talk, Lowes Home Improvement, auto part stores, movies, making fun of mom, the mountains, The Home Place,...LIFE!
Anyway, I just feel like at the moment that I am in a fog. I have heard alot of people say that when a loved one dies. So I am borrowing it. I feel like since June 4th that I am just going through the motions of my daily routines. I still cry every day. There is always a memory to pop up or I see something that daddy would like to know. Things still run in my head about his whole hospital ordeal. The whys and what if's about his surgery, and care. Through this, I have felt God's peace, but I do miss him. I know where he is and am so thankful he is fully healed.
You see, daddy wanted to live! I will never understand why he went the way he did. For those of you who don't know, daddy was in the hospital for 7 up and down roller coaster weeks. He fought really hard. Daddy never really talked much about his cancer leading up to his surgery. Daddy just wanted to do whatever it took to get rid of it. He was so brave and did whatever the doctors asked of him. We had some precious moments during that hospital stay. I told him constantly how proud I was of him and how much I loved him. One day when I came in he grinned and winked at me. He couldn't talk because he was on a ventilator. That wink meant the world to me. A few days before he could do that, we had almost lost him and they heavily sedated him to let his body rest. I will never forget that wink. Then another time, when I came in he smiled at me and rubbed my hair, told me it was light(it really needed color) and that I was pretty.  Then one time I told him if he didn't get well I was going to go get his mustand and take it for a ride. He whispered and made driving motions with his hands and told me to go get the mustang and come pick him up and I could drive. My most favorite memory, was when we took all the grandchildren down to see him and he was so alert and happy! That was only a week before he passed. I praise God that he got better briefly to see those grandbabies.
Deep down, I really am thankful for the way that daddy died. He went so peacefully and he was surrounded by his wife, my brother and his wife, hilton and me, two of my aunts, his sister and husband, and his mother in law(grammy). Yes, I am selfish and REALLY wanted him to stay here on earth with us. But God has a greater plan. Before daddy's surgery we still had lots of fun family get togethers. We didn't really dwell on the cancer daddy was facing. He was beating it at the time. That is why it was so shocking that dad died due to his complicated liver! Some families don't have that. They go through devasting years, month, days, hours and watch sickness overcome a loved one. I honestly believe it would have been more horrible for daddy to die from the cancer. He really loved his life and family. Years ago our family had to deal with losing my grandfather from cancer and we watched that cancer just slowly take him away. I am thankful my children did not witness that. Cancer is a hard thing to deal with. I know daddy would have cried and cried if he had to be totally aware. Daddy was so tired at the end, and he was ready for rest. He was ready for heaven.
The song I can only imagine was played at his funeral. That song will never be the same for me. I know he is having a wonderful time up in heaven, and has met Jesus and reunited with his grandparents and his dad joined him two weeks ago. He has met our sweet baby, Bailey that we lost due to miscarriage 6 years ago. He has a sweet grandbaby in heaven! If there is one thing I know he loved and that was his grandchildren!
My heart breaks more easily now than ever since he died. It is really hard when my children cry for him. I am so proud of them. They have handled it well. They still ask why did he have to die and we sit and talk about it and cry. We are slowly getting back to our new normal. Right now it seems that it is getting harder than easier. We are having to realize life without him. It is just plain hard. We are in a season of mourning and sadness. We miss him. We want to hear his voice, and his laugh. Silly, I even miss his smell of his aftershave.

I know in time, we will get through this tough time. God has already been very gracious and sent so much peace with our family. I am so blessed that we have a hope that this is our temporary home and that one day we will see daddy again. How do people deal with things like this without faith in God?? It is so hard having faith, I can't imagine not having faith.

Thank you all for who have been praying for our family. We have felt your love and prayers and so thankful for every prayer spoken. If there is one more thing I can say to add to this...please realize how precious every moment you have with your family is. Take pictures, tell them how much you love them, never let a day go by if you are angry with someone without resolving it, make lots and lots of memories..even if it's just at home or running errands..laugh about something with your children...as my cousin's wife said on facebook recently.

Life is fleeting,make it count. Stephanie Mize

We love you daddy! Thank you for laughter, and smiles and silly songs! I am so thankful for all the happy times we were able to have as a family! You were the best grandfather! Your grandchildren have so many wonderful memories to cherish! You will never be forgotton!

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Character of Caleb

When I, uh, we were pregnant with our son, we knew we wanted to name him Caleb. The first time I ever saw the name Caleb was in the Old Testament in the Bible. If you are not familiar with him, Caleb was one of the 12 that went and spied on the Promised Land. Well, I decided to do a little more research to discover more about the man from whom we were getting ready to name our son by. Caleb in Hebrew means "wholehearted". He also showed courage,faithfulness,  was a warrior and possessed a different spirit! (Numbers 14:24)Caleb always had the right attitude toward God's will.Things in life didn't always come easy for this man. Caleb took a stand with God when everyone else was willing to oppose God's will. He had to face adversity and they even wanted to kill Caleb for his willingness to encourage the people to go in and take the Promised Land. He told them, ""If the Lord delight in us,then he will bring us into this land, and give it to us." He was trying to tell the people that the Lord promised them the land if they will just have faith they could overcome the enemy.
 When choosing his name, little did we know of how our Caleb would live up to this name. We became pregnant with Caleb 5 months after we miscarried our third child. We were so nervous at the time and a little anxious until we could finally feel him moving inside me. The pregnancy was considered a little high risk. Every time we had a checkup, it seemed that a lab test was suspicious, or an ultrasound had to be redone. But finally, on Feb. 17th he was born. But he was born very, very sick. At the time, I did not know how sick he was. Caleb ended up having to be transferred to  Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, NC and spent 2 weeks in the NICU. (For a nicu baby that was a pretty short stay!)  He had to have what is called a double exchange transfusion. 80% of his blood had to be taken out and replaced with "clean" blood. They had to "purify"the blood of all impurities before it was given to him, or it would kill him. Even as a newborn he was such a little fighter. The nurses would comment how strong he was considering how sick he was.Then once we were home, a lab test came back saying his carnitine levels were bad and he was severely anemic! Finally after 6 months he was declared to have normal levels and no longer anemic. But then his white cell count was horrible and the scare of leukemia came up. We were sent to UNC Chapel Hill for testing and while there they discovered he had an egg allergy and he had MRSA behind his ear and severe eczema. We were prescribed an epi pen, an antibiotic for the MRSA and tar shampoo for eczema. (Just to note..his eczema was so bad that his skin cracked so bad on his scalp and behind legs and his ears. The wound behind his ear was so bad and that is how we found the MRSA.) Then at 18 months he was diagnosed with a peanut allergy. Whew!!! Needless to say we were exhausted with all the testing!
But I look back and can now see the story of my Caleb. He has beat a lot of the odds. It was a  miracle that he made it alive at birth! It was a miracle that he didn't have leukemia but his white cell count was wacky due to the eczema and MRSA. He overcame his egg allergy! Caleb also goes to a peanut study at Duke and is losing his peanut allergy.  Caleb has always been a little fighter and has overcome so many odds and he is only 5 now! They were lots of needle sticks, and heel sticks, IV's, medicines, poking, etc... I know in my heart that God has great things planned for him because the enemy wanted to destroy him since birth!

Every time I become down or my faith is a little shaky I look at my little fella! I remind myself that when things seem to be going wrong, to keep my focus on God and his promises because God will keep his promise to us! Nothing is impossible with God. Have you ever read the story of this great man? I encourage you to do so. This man never gave up. He never retired doing the Lord's work. Even in his old age he did God's work. He stood for truth, even when it was not popular! He was not concerned with what everyone else thought, but rather what God thought. Caleb never blamed God, but simply trusted. Oh if only I could be more like Caleb! I am challenged more and more to have more courage and to become stronger to do the Lord's will in my life!  I pray about this in my three children's lives as well! I pray they will stand for what is right and work hard for the Lord!

I know right now that Caleb doesn't understand the deep meaning about anything I said above! He is a typical five year old! He loves cars, baseball, trucks, and making all kinds of noises with his mouth. I never knew that your mouth could make so many car or gun sounds! HA! I have told him about the Caleb of the bible and what he did. We read a lot of bible stories! He does ask a lot of questions, especially here lately he ask alot about heaven and Jesus dying on the cross. I love hearing him try to explain about the story of Jesus dying on the cross and rising on the third day. He recently attended a bible school and he came home and told me," Mommy, God is wild about us!"

Here are a few pics of my little Caleb and a backyard play day we had with a slip and slide! Best $10 I ever spent!


putting his

whole heart



Friday, July 15, 2011


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Monday, July 11, 2011


Kaitlyn Victoria Jeffreys

This was Kaitlyn's second year playing fast pitch softball! She was able to play second base this year. She worked very hard from last year. She started out in the outfield last season, but showed the coach she was able to do more. I was so proud of her and her team... CRUSH!
They went undefeated this season and made it to Allstars! I was also very excited that Kaitlyn got to play in the Allstar games. They take 12 of the best of both of the Salem 12U teams and make them one team. We came in 2nd for Allstars. I will have another post about that soon! Enjoy a few pics I took!

Swing batter swing!

 Running to first after a hit to third base!

Getting ready to make a play. Waiting for the batter to swing!

Trying to steal home, but had to turn back to third!!! (She was safe..whew!!)

Some of the CRUSH girls! Love them!
(Drew, Chloe, Kaitlyn, Sammy, Autumn, Jenny,Rylee)

Kaitlyn we are so proud of you! You did very well this year! Thank you for always doing your best and being a great first child! I love the morals and values that you already express in your words and actions!