Saturday, December 11, 2010

Photo shoot

Yesterday was my big kids' Christmas program for their theater class. I'll post soon with some pics of the production after Sydney shows me how to make some pictures out of the video I took.

Well, I had the genius idea of taking some pictures of the little girls in front of the Christmas tree while we waited for the program to start. I hadn't thought about the fact that they had probably used up all their good behavior earlier that day. (After I had pessimistically given in to my kids' and husband's begging to see Narnia with the little girls in tow, rather than taking the whole gang to the more preschool-friendly Tangled, I was blessed miraculously with being able to sit through the whole movie with a sleeping Janie in my lap, and the red-heads watching the movie like angels.)

Instead of calling the day a success, with returning home from enjoying the movie, successfully painting a Grinch face on Austin, and getting to the Christmas program at the teacher assigned time, I attempted a photo shoot by myself with my big kids off stage somewhere and Kurt saving our seats.

First I had to wait for the dad who was posing his ONE, agreeable, cute little boy for pics, while he snapped shots with his professional looking camera. This is the same man who just HAD to stick around and watch me fumble around with my silly, energetic crew of tired out girls, and my regular old digital camera with cracked viewing screen and missing lens cap... (Incidentally, his presence kept me from using my serious mom voice, and I was stuck in sweet, pleading mom mode- quite the handicap with these little ones at the end of a long day.)

"Okay girls, now, just sit here in front of this tree by the snowman."

"Tessa, don't hide behind Santa, I mean Frosty, I mean the snowman." ( I don't think the girls have seen the Frosty the Snowman TV special yet??)

"Uh, everybody look at me! Janie, look here at Mommy."

Hmm... Janie's not gonna sit still. "Okay girls, just smile for Mommy."

"Good job girls, very cute! Now, I'm going to go get Janie." (aka: chase down the runaway baby)

"Alright, Janie Mommy's going to take your picture, see? Wait! Where's Macy?"

*Quick break to look for where Macy ran off to, and talk to fancy camera dad.*

"I'm going to sit Janie down again girls, but you have to be ready to smile when I sit her down. Macy, stop hugging the snowman now, and just sit and smile. Don't try to pick Janie up when I sit her down. Just smile. And Tessa, stop sitting behind the snowman. Come out from there and look at Mommy and smile, OK?"

"Ready, set, smile... too late."

"Everybody up. Now, one, two, three... stay on your bottom Janie."

"Sit down, Janie. Good girl... for a split second, there."

"Here Macy, see if she'll stay on your lap now. Tessa, I can't see you! Please stop hiding behind Santa, I mean the snowman... "

"Oh well, I give up."

"Alright girls, go sit down with Daddy. I'll keep Janie back here for a few more minutes until it's time to start because I don't think she'll sit in our seats very well right now. Maybe once the music starts she'll be OK."

Stepped away from the tree to watch the girls get to our row of seats...

Went back a few steps to see if Janie was around the tree or if she was starting to wander again...

Proud of herself! I guess she wanted to pose alone!

Content little stinker, huh?

Monday, October 18, 2010

My parents' house

A smile and hug at the door. Love and peace flow.

Water goes into the tea kettle. Cups sat out in a row on the counter. We will be sipping tea soon

On the couch. Mom in her chair, Dad in his.

They want to know how we are... every detail.

A safe place

My little girls grab a book off of the lowest shelf on Mom's bookcase. They know where she keeps their special books... everything has a place and everything in its place....

there is order here

Sweet little girls climb up on Grandma's lap with that book. She reads every word with feeling.

Then it's Grandpa's turn. After the story, a tickle fight

We talk and talk...

about life
about God
about family
about struggles
about victories

I rest here

Dad tells a story about growing up. Life was hard. Such big, interesting escapades. His stories take our imaginations to flight.

My teenage son feels love and unity during the Steelers game. Grandpa pats his grandson's arm as he goes past to put on another pot of water on in the kitchen.

My boy gets his heart filled up

Mom goes to the kitchen to put out some snacks.

Pretty platters, carefully selected

She knew two weeks ago what she would be serving at this moment

This home is lovely

Ordinary visits, not an ordinary atmosphere

This place is full of warmth, not accidentally
Very intentional nurturing here

And holidays-

Tea parties...

tea pots, tea cups, beautiful table linens, egg salad sandwiches, muffins, cookies, proper etiquette, beauty

Christmas Eve...

pile of presents, Dad's train around the tree, delicious meal, Christmas platters and serving dishes, cousins, thumbprint cookies, grandparents watching for children's smiles


the best stuffing and gravy in the world, Mom's good china, warm house, good smells, and lots of relaxing on the couch after the meal


don't take off your church clothes until we take some pictures!
ham, Grandma's potato salad, special chocolate from Grandma to each child

A special place, unique place, just about my favorite place in the world-

a gift

Monday, September 27, 2010

Graduation Testimony

I wanted to post my graduation testimony speech in May, but couldn't find it anywhere...not on the computer or on paper. But I finally came across a copy of what I shared.

Twenty years ago this month, I celebrated my graduation from high school. It is amazing how twenty years ago can seem like a very long time, and yet still feel like just yesterday. In 1990, I was still a child who had no idea what lie ahead down the path God had for me to travel. I've heard it said that the verse in Psalm 119 that says "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path", gives a good picture of God's direction in our lives. It seems as if the light that God sheds just in front of our feet shows us where to step next, but not where the entire path will lead us. I believe that God provided direction for me these last twenty years, but if I had known the whole picture of where God would take me, and what I would go through to prepare me along life's journey, it may have been too overwhelming to take in.

Now, I can look back to even my childhood and see the evidence of a loving, sovereign God, gently guiding me. My parents' testimonies, and their example to me were instrumental in God's shaping of my worldview. My parents are seekers of truth, of information, and of God's ways. They are wonderful examples of the way God uses His people... willing vessels to minister to the Body of Christ; in their case by pastoring, teaching, and leading. God was preparing me as a child, to seek knowledge and then be willing to pass it on, to teach, to make my life a ministry.

Even as I was graduation from high school those two decades ago, my head was in the clouds as I planned my wedding and prepared to head to college as a newlywed. I was on top of the world and dreamed of love, adventure, and white picket fences. I married the man of my dreams, my strong and steady protector and provider. I became Mrs. Kurt Maddox, and God merged our paths together. It is because of Kurt's support, encouragement, and desire like that of myself and my parents to continuously keep learning, that God made a way for me to finish my senior year of college here at Ecclesia this year.

I had entered college all those years ago, with a dream to become a teacher. After three years at the University of Arkansas, I found that God was pulling my heart towards educating a family of my own instead of the classroom full of students that I had imagined. My desire to become a mother and have children of my own that I could love, nurture, and teach kept me from finishing my education at that time.

God has given me six incredible children: Austin, Sydney, Andrew, Macy, Tessa, and Janie. Like I spoke of earlier, had I known that I would be a mother of six, it may have been overwhelming to imagine. But God's lamp that showed the way for the small steps along my life, brought me to desire and treasure each of my special students that God has placed into the Maddox Family's HomeSchool, where love of learning goes hand in hand with love of God. And had I known beforehand that I would take on finishing my degree at a time when I had a newborn and five other children, was homeschooling, and would be helping my husband with life-changing business and political undertakings, I would have said it can't be done. But I have found that it is the times like these in my life that I have ended up exactly where God wants me to be... in complete dependence on Him, trusting Him, and leaning on His love, grace, and mercy. And I am excited about the future: to see what lies ahead next on the path that God is preparing for me.

Again, I want to thank my parents, for being my example. Thank you to my incredible husband and children for all of their support and extended grace. And thank you, Ecclesia College for making it possible for me to complete my degree this year. God bless you all!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Summer in Review: Janie's birthday

In August, Janie Kate celebrated her first birthday...

Happy Birthday, my sweet girl!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Summer in Review: Anniversary

We celebrated 20 years of marriage this summer! Yay for us! I've planned for a couple of years that when we hit 20 years we would take a big romantic trip. Well, real life, politics, and a nursing baby dictated otherwise. Maybe we'll do that next year... who knows? But in the middle of the "summer of craziness" we decided it might be fun to go down memory lane on our anniversary. We took our camera with us on a tour of all of the places we've lived throughout our marriage... and that's a lot of homes! What we both thought of as a great idea, nostalgic and memory filled, ended up having us laughing at ourselves trying to get our faces in front of each house in the snapshots. You'll see that most pictures have us caught in the various stages of forced smiling while trying to keep from completely cracking unintended but fun result of the tour. We each recorded a memory at each stop, and I'm hoping to some day compile our recorded memories and photos into a memory book.

Here is the cross where Kurt proposed to me:

This cross overlooks the city. In the evening you can look down and see the city lights... very pretty!

The duplex we first lived in is now demolished... too bad :(

The one right next to it is still standing... ours was just like this.

We rented this house, and then Kurt talked our landlord into letting us buy the house from him without a down payment, because of all rent we had already paid.

We eventually sold the previous house and rented this one for a very short time.

This was Kurt's parents house. We bought it from them, remodeled it, and settled in to have our first baby here.

From country life to condo life! We don't let things get boring.

We rented here from a very dear, sweet friend of the family.

Time to stop renting for a while and buy a home again. We ended up staying in this home for nearly five years!

We survived the trial of building a home! It was actually fun most of the time... and it turned out so pretty.

On the move again... (Syd took this picture for us while we were still close to home)

Finally, my Taj Mahal Kurt built for me!

After our anniversary, we did end up moving again. But as of our walk down memory lane, this was the completion of the tour. Thank you God, for giving us the grace to be husband and wife for twenty years! I pray we are blessed with many, many more years to come!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Summer in Review: Macy's birthday

On July 2nd, Macy celebrated a birthday!

A Princess Birthday for one of God's little princesses

5 Years Old! That's a big one!


God's little princess devotional

A big hug for a great big brother who bought her a present with his own money

Summer in Review: Look-a-like Cousins

Here are Macy and her look-a-like cousin, Kassandra, during cousin camp...

Three red-heads! So cute!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Summer in Review: Cousin Camp

What's a summer without cousin camp? It just wouldn't be the same!

Cousins Bethany and Lauren in the pool...

My Macy with Cousin Lauren...

Macy getting ready to dive with Cousin Kortnie waiting in line...

My Andrew preparing to dive...

Cousin Kassandra with an abundance of flotation devices... cute! :)

Almost the whole gang (at least the whole gang present this year)...

Cousins Kristen, Cailey, and Kortnie playing cards with Grandma...

Cousin Hannah...

Cousin Kristen...

Playing pool and more cards...

Cousin Karley...

Cousin Cailey and the Queen of Cousin Camp, Saint Joanna!
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