Archive for January, 2009

Family Night #2- Backwards Night

Tonight we had our second family night! We celebrated all thing opposite or backwards!

Here they are with their clothes turned backwards!

We also set up our table under the table! I learned a few things while eating on my floor. One
is that I love that I eat in chairs and I confirmed that the cheap Ikea rug needs to GO!

We ate dessert first and I let them pick it out at the grocery store today, which is
why we have frosted cookies. I also turned them upside down.

We had hotdogs or cheese and a bun for Parker!
The hotdog was on the outside of the bun!

For our devotional, Jason read from Mark 9:35, which states
35And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
We talked about what that looks like at school, at home,
with our friends and how we
are to serve others!

Next, we played upside down Limbo!
The kids first jumped over the stick and them we started from
the lowest point and got higher!
You will notice that Bradley is without pants now because
of course, he had an accident.
He is also in a pull up because Mommy
needs a break.

Emery’s turn.. with a dance flair to it!

Bradley didn’t quite get the devo of putting others

Emery again, with her face cut off, but an amazing dance move..

Parker going big..

Bradley again..

We had fun again and the kids are really enjoying it, which is what it is about!
I would encourage you to have a Family Night, as well! I know that these are the days we will miss, so I am going to make them memorable!

You can find great family night ideas here

Dinner blah’s

After re-entering the world of eating after being out for a couple of days, I still did not have much of an appetite. Which is fine, I will take the one bonus of having a stomach virus!

Combined with our lackluster selection in the pantry and I decided to cook a little dinner from a box.

Big mistake.

Let’s just say after the Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas had simmered for 25 minutes, it looked disgusting. I knew there was no way I was eating what was on my stove. Jason totally agreed.
I just figured I would serve up crescent rolls and throw out some fruit and cheese and call it a Parisian dinner.

But, alas, I also managed to burn the crescent rolls.

I can’t remember the last time a botched dinner up so completely. I know early in our marriage there were many times dinner went down the disposal, but not in the last few years!

So, I did what every mom has done and pulled out the cereal boxes.

I am the poster mom for nutrition. I ate Cocoa Krispies last night and drank the hint of chocolate from the bowl when I was done.

What is your go to meal?

Weekend that ended with a bang

This was one weekend that didn’t quite go as planned. We were planning a big sleepover for Parker’s two best buds, Evan and Peyton. Evan got sick with the stomach virus and bless her little heart, she was so upset that she couldn’t come to the sleepover. So, we moved it to next weekend. We rented some movies and a Wii game and then left Saturday morning to go to Knoxville.
My parents were being thrown a going away party at their church, the church where I grew up at, and Jason had scored tickets to the UT/Memphis game. We knew it would only be a day trip since we had Africa training on Sunday.
Needless to say, we ended up leaving an hour late, but still made it on time!

We had a great day in Knoxville. We stopped at a gas station on our way out of town and let the kids get a snack and Wendy’s! Parker asked us, “Did it cost a lot to get all this stuff?” I think she is learning and understanding more and more about budgeting and that THINGS COST MONEY! She is saving for an Ipod and seeing how long it can take to save up!

I woke up early Sunday NOT FEELING WELL and in rushed the stomach virus. I will spare you the details, but Emery and I both ended up with it. Jason was at church most of the day but he did end up coming to get Bradley so he could play with Jonah during the Africa training. Kind of backfired, because he was a mess last night. Cried over everything, and Jason did great with it. He had to bathe B after an accident, clean up vomit from Emery, make sure I was okay as I was almost passed out on the bathroom floor, help Parker with homework, cook dinner, get them in bed and start laundry. He was a pro.

He also Lysoled our house within a inch of its life! He is a big fan of Lysol!

Needless to say, not what I planned but today is a new day and we are feeling much better.
Thank you Jesus, for short lived stomach bugs!

Family Night #1

Well we did it!

We had our first official Stew Family Night tonight!

Emery wanted to play Uno, so we went with a colors theme!

I decided to have pancakes with fruit for dinner and mixed it up a little by having green pancakes!
We had strawberries, scrambled eggs, blueberries and oranges. We also had bacon and sausage but that was just to eat not because it went with our colors theme!

During dinner we each told our favorite color:

Parker- red (really pink, purple and blue but she chose an Uno card color)

We focused on HONESTY for our virtue and Jason used Psalm 24:3-4 and Matthew 15:18-20. It was appropriate because our girls have a tendency to try and CHEAT at cards. We had to call one of them out a couple of times tonight for trying to sneak in a Draw 4! They may be 5 and 7 but it is on like Donkey Kong when we play a game!

It was a fun night! I am exhausted but so worth the effort. I was praying as I was preparing that God was use these nights to draw them each to Him, to create memories, to teach them about life and to point them a deeper walk with Jesus. One Uno game at a time…

Here is some pics of our night!

Here are our placemats! The girls made cards and wrote our names on each one.
Notice Emery’s backwards J- so cute!

Here is our table- Nothing fancy but the kids pitched in and loved it!
Any ideas on painting my kitchen and breakfast area? Should I go with the same color?

We had green pancakes! Parker was at first leary until she realized it tastes the same!

We dressed in Uno colors and somehow the kids all ended up in red!

Love her dimples so much!

We interrupt this family night for an accident! Just when you think you are
almost there, he goes and has an accident! Don’t get me started
on going #2 in the potty- he is seriously afraid to go!

The girls got Hannah Montana Uno cards for Christmas (no we don’t
watch HM, but I thought this was picture worthy!)

Bradley did great! He sat and played the entire time!

Good times…

Read about some cool family nights here..


We are turning a corner, starting a new chapter, ushering in a new era or, fill in whatever cliche you prefer, in our family!

Tonight, we celebrated our VERY FIRST, OFFICIAL, INTENTIONAL, FOCUSED family night!
Now, we obviously have spent many a nights being a family before tonight, but Jason and I have both felt the need to set aside one night a week to go over the top, go big, in your face kinda family night. We want a family night on steroids. A family night that is creative, fun, character building, theme related and a maker of memories. (I know my use of adjectives is RIDICULOUS, but I am just trying to emphasize our point!)

So, tonight we kicked it off, high school banquet style, with a candlelight dinner and Pizza Hut pizza. CLASSY, we are! Then, we bowled- Wii style!

We explained what we are going to do and began to come up with some themes the kids would like to have over the next month. We decided Emery and Parker would decide one time a month what they would like to do and Jason and I would come up with the other 2 weeks. Bradley will join in when he is older, but for now, he does not really care!
Jason and I are not setting a specific night, although Thursday will probably be when it happens, but we have a need for flexibility for this to be consistent!

The other new family thing we are celebrating, is my parents moving to Murfreesboro, about 25 minutes from our house! Since Kim and I live in Middle TN, they decided to move after my dad retires, which is soon. We have spent this weekend getting them moved into their new house, unpacking and helping them get settled. We are so excited about having them close. Our kids have been blessed with 6 grandparents, who love and adore them. We really could not ask for more!

I also want to take time to ask you guys to pray for a sweet, fellow blogger, Kelly, her husband, Scott and their daughter, Harper. If you read blogs at all, you have probably read about their daughter being born in critical condition and being airlifted to another hospital. Things are looking up, but they still need the body of Christ praying for them. I have never met this family, but isn’t that the beauty of knowing Jesus, our great High Priest? I love seeing people connected through a blog, lifting one another up in prayer!

Lastly, Amy is selling just about the neatest thing I have seen lately! They are selling car clings in the shape of Africa, China, Guatemala, Haiti, Columbia and Ethiopia. Such a creative way to raise money for their adoption of a little girl from Ethiopia! Check out her blog for all the details by clicking on her name above!

My life as an SNL skit

Have you ever felt like you are the star of your own comedy?

I have had a few of those moments recently. I love how the Lord never allows me to get too confident in my role as a mom. Because as soon as I do, it is downhill!

Monday night the girls had a skate party for their school. Jason had tickets to the Belmont (his alma mater) Lipscomb game, which is a BIG deal. Mostly a big deal for those who attended Belmont or Lipscomb, but you get my point! He wanted to go, so he asked Sully and Kristi to come watch Bradley so I could take the girls. Let me just say, in all honesty, I was not thrilled with the prospect of taking this task on ALONE. I really didn’t want to go AT ALL, but the girls were SO EXCITED, so I decided this was one of those things, you just get over and go with it.

Within the first 20 minutes, all I could hear in my head, was “he so owes me for this.”

Not my best wife moment. I get so tired of the “keeping score” that goes on in marriages and I am trying to not “tally the points” of who has gotten their way more.
I don’t want my kids to think I am resentful of the time Jason gets to go and have fun or that he feels that when I am out with friends. As long as we are serving one another, it ALL EVENS OUT!

There is my marriage counseling for the day.

Now, back the skating rink. Please realize that Parker has skated all of 2 times before and Emery has never had 4 wheels on her feet. It takes a good 10 minutes to get laced up and no, I did not put on skates. I could skate with the best of them back in 7th grade, Bon Jovi playing in the background. Ahh, fond memories, but I knew better than to put all of us on wheels.

We ease out onto the rink and legs are flying within SECONDS of hitting the wood. Please realize that parents are lined up all around the rink and you feel like all eyes are on you as I am trying to keep both girls up, smile, speak in a sweet tone, teach them how to skate and offer words of encouragement as they bust it. No really, all I was doing was getting out, “hol it, wait, em one, wait Parker, short steps, Em get up, parker, u okay?” One would start to go down, and then the other, then she would maintain some balance, and the other one starts doing the splits. And, seriously, how do you teach someone to skate? We made it all of 10 feet and I am thinking, “Jesus, Come, PLEASE, COME, NOW!!” Finally, Kara, who is in my small group, had SWEET MERCY, on me, and took Emery around with her. I don’t think she could take watching me crash and burn, right before her eyes!

Each circle they got a little better, but we sure do have a long way to go!

Of course, as soon as we get in the car, I text Jason, that I have just had one of the worst parenting experiences, EVER. By the time he got home and I started telling him, he is doing all he can to not laugh at me. I was honestly trying not to laugh, either, because I was not happy with him. But, we both did end up laughing.

Because, I would have laughed if I would have seen me, I have no doubt about it!

A cool giveaway

My sweet friend, Heather, linked to this giveaway and so I check it out and it is a good one!!

Check it out…


Great Day

I am so thankful for our church. God sent us to FBCSmyrna 5 years ago this month. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Quite the contrary early on, but God used that time to draw us closer to Him, to lead us into a deeper walk of faith and trusting Him, no matter what. I am forever changed and grateful for this place. Today, we got a glimpse of what His church, His body is called to be and how our body of believers is going to set out to see that happen.
Check this out….

LifePoint Church from LifePoint Church on Vimeo.

Our staff has shown such incredible wisdom in this process. They have worked untold hours to make this transition as smooth as possible. I can’t wait to see what is accomplished over the next five years. Multi-campus, global initiatives, a new name….


I have become quite the sporadic blogger lately. I think it is a combination of finding the time, something to write about and the energy to do it!

So, the girls started back to school and we received report cards yesterday. They both did well, which makes us proud of them. They have both worked very hard and we are seeing the fruits of their efforts. Parker is reading like crazy and loves anything science and history. She informed me yesterday all these cool facts about whales. Love it.

Emery is breezing along. We laughed because in PE she got S’s which means she participates and shows teamwork and sportsmanship, SOME OF THE TIME. Just to remind you, Jason and I are very competitive, so our take it or leave it girl, does not fly really well with us! She would much rather be dancing, or singing or playing her pink guitar.

Bradley is currently in his Superman underoos. So cute. He is the cutest pint sized, super hero I have ever seen. If it keeps his undies clean, I will buy a drawer full of underoos. He keeps telling us he wants to fly and then he does the Superman pose. TOO CUTE.



Jason is crazy busy at work. Big things are happening and his week is full to say the least. Stay tuned or show up on Sunday to see the next step our church is taking to reach the world for Christ.

New Year, Day 2

What a great break we have had as a family. Jason has been off of work since Christmas Day and I have so enjoyed having him home. It has become somewhat of a tradition with us that he takes the last week of the year off. He “works” on Christmas Eve, at our Christmas Eve service, which has caused us to stay here at our home the past 2 years. We had so much planned to get done around the house, but most of what has been done was in our barn. Jason received some gift cards and bought storage for his tools for the barn. It still has a lot of boxes in it that we need to go through, but all in good time!

I really wanted to get a lot of the house painted but we have run out of time! I am leaning towards this color, or something similar, for most of the house and then accent with different colors in each room. Our plan is to knock down walls, so I am leaning towards mostly the same color all over the house.

We have been able to spend a lot of time with our friends and family, which I am so thankful for. We saw the Robertson’s while they were in town and it was a sweet time. I am so excited to see how they are being used by the Lord. They have journeyed long in their 9 years together and I love that we have been apart of it. Now, He has taken them to Houston, away from family, friends, a great church, their place of service, but I know that God has greater plans for them!

We also spent Christmas Eve with our dear friends, the Hollomons, the Hales and the Alexanders. Such a fun time. These are the peeps who we have done life with, who have walked through some valleys with us and have been our biggest supports. Love them so much. I am so excited to see how God moves amongst them this year. The Hollomons are waiting for their precious son from Ethiopia and I can’t wait to pay Chris back for all the times he has wired my kids up and then left! He and Dawn have loved us and our children, which is such a blessing. I know that they are going to be great parents. I am ready to hold that little one, that is for sure!

We also got to be with our precious family. They are still such rocks for us. Our parents are without a doubt our number one fans! They love us, are honest with us, support us, give us a break from our children (hint, hint), and have given us a foundation. My parents are moving here in 13 days. Well, at least my mom is until my dad finishes up his job in the next few months. So excited. I didn’t grow up with grandparents living close by so this will be an adventure that my kids will get to experience. It will be weird though, since I have not lived in the same city as my parents since I left for college!

We also had some down time. Time to veg a little and be together as our fam of five. Knox even got to sleep inside some since we had a cold snap! I look forward to spending the year with this motley party of five!