Friday, July 31, 2009

the truth...

about boys. Ok, not all boys but I wanted to share the truth about one boy in particular. There are some things that I have learned about boys that I never would have learned without having my very own Micahbird. We are blessed to know him for sure...but raising him is a challenge and high calling that some may never get to experience. What I am saying is that after getting to really learn Micah's personality we could possibly label him a strong willed child, an agressive boy, a passionate soul, a heathen. You take your pick...I will first say I wouldn't change it for the world.(most of the time) Because I know that our Heavenly Father knit him together in my womb and to Him Micah is all of who he should be. With that being said there are some things about him that make him different or special. I have noticed in my parenting days that I am much more sensitive to this type of boy than I was before I had him. Before I had children I was like some of you (I know you don't want to admit it but it is true) I thought that those unruly boys running around the store or hitting people on the playground indeed needed some parents with some gumption. I would look at the mom with the screaming child at the grocery store and think...sheesh lady get some control. Oh not I say a prayer and move away:) My point to this post is yet to be determined. I wanted to just let others into the light of what it is like to have a boy that is what some call "all boy" so that you can then be more sympathetic to those around you or if this all sounds familiar let you know you aren't alone. Now I am not saying we want your pity but we just want a little grace and some slack every now and then. Something in me causes me to do something that all the magazines and books tell you not to: compare. I know none of you do this but I am just like that. So when I look at the kids I taught, my friends kiddo's, kiddo's in my family and strangers near and far I see lots of kids that seem to simply obey without threats or corporal punishment. I wonder how they do it. I wonder why I am failing and what in the world will ever become of our sweet toddler if I can't gain control. But in researching and praying I have discovered that God created us all differently and Micah just happens to be that way. Now don't get me wrong, if we roll over and don't discipline him we are doing him and the free world a disservice but if we do the best we can with what we know then I think and hope and pray God will honor that. When I had conferences teaching school I used to remind parents of boys like him in my classroom that one day there wild banchee's would be passionate about their wife, and family and best of all our Jesus. These mom's would look at me with weary eyes and say "you don't have children, do you?" Little did I know one day I would understand that weariness all to well. I still believe what I said but I also understand it might seem a bit pious when spoken by a single, first year teacher:) I don't know what our precious Sadie Jane is going to be like, but I know that Micah will be part of her example so she is bound to have some of that strong will and passion in her as well. I just finished reading another one of James Dobson's books on The Strong Willed Child and was definitely encouraged and challenged. I am thankful for Micah's personality because I know that when shaped and directed with the love of our Jesus he will be a powerful tool for our Lord. But that doesn't mean that in the mean time I am not desparately pleading with God to help me do just that...because at times it seems an insurmountable task. So join me today and pray for those boys and girls who seem to go against the flow and push the limits, they sure will need it and I know their parents do to...along with some grace and mercy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor

Ok, so it was more my dad and Mick's labor but it paid off nonetheless. If you remember a while back we started a garden and weren't sure how it would turn out. It has turned out great and we actually had some of our beans and lettuce for dinner tonight. I think Mick could have been a farmer had he stayed in South Ga. The tomato's (which we don't like) have been so fruitful and if you need any please let us know. The garden is starting to dwindle but it has been such a fun project for Micah to watch day to day and finally get to "pick the red tomato" These particular pictures are of Micah getting to pick a tomato he waited and waited for...

Sunday, July 26, 2009


...more appropriately named Zoocity I think. Our last day in Florida we spent alone. The Harper's and Eidson's had to get home to their puppies so we got one night to ourselves. No offense to our fun family but it was nice to be by ourselves a little bit. We hung out all together and went to the zoo in Panama City. We were worried it would be hokie but it was actually really cool. It was VERY small. But for me being all hot and pregnant all the time it was perfect. And it held Micah's attention. His favorite part was the petting zoo and the playground of course. The giraffe was really neat and were I not about to pass out I would have loved to pet it. Again Mick did a great job picking up my slack. I am so thankful for the time we have had this summer as a family, with all the challenges it has entailed, because all too soon our world is to be rocked again.

my little musician

Playing with Uncle Mick Mick
Riding the train at Pier Park

Nana reading to Charlee Ray

Learning from the pro.

Micah loves to play the guitar. Micah also loves his Uncle Mick Mick (yes, for those that don't know Mick's sister married one of Mick's best friends who happens to be named Mickey). Mick Mick happens to be a really good guitarist. Anyways, Mickey brought his guitar on vacation and Micah was soooo excited. He watched every move Mickey made and then sang along with every song. He then got his "guitar" and played along. It was the cutest thing. Micah also actually knew alot of the songs that we sing so I was really impressed. Poor Mick Mick though had to wing it in order to play the big hits like ABC's and Take Me Out to the Ballgame. The kiddos had the most fun I think just playing in the condo together and performing gymnastics for us. They are each so different and all such hoots. I think we all cracked up just watching them work it.

Fun with the Ladies

Our fam with Des.
Our only family pic.
Destiny, Devon and I.

They were all trying to get Micah to look...that is why they all look so funny:)

We happened to be in PC the same time as two of Mick's old softball players and their families. They also happen to be our friends. AND they love Micah...or at least they act like it anyways. We got to eat two dinners with some of them and had so much fun. It's a shame we live in the same town but only go to dinner together in another state. Both nights we went to dinner with them the ladies stole Micah for a while and played with him. He thought it was the BEST thing. And when he gets older and looks at pictures he will realize just how good he had it. These girls are so stinkin' cute and I didn't want to sit with them on the beach at all.

Beach Bound

Micah and his Bay!

Cutie Charlee Ray.

The three kiddos jumping in.

Micah jumping to Mick. He wanted to do it all by hisself.

Their signature move.

Kisses for my cool dude.


Did this suit shrink from our trip to Pensacola?? Nope, Sadie Jane is just growing fast.

We spent the last week in Panama City Beach with Mick's parents, Aunt Wendy, Mick Mick and Bay and Charlee Ray. As good as Micah was on our trip to Pensacola, he was the opposite on this trip. He was whiny and obstinate most of the time. He enjoyed the time in the water and playing with his cousins but he is definitely testing his limits and my patience (more on that subject later). Overall it was a good trip. Being big pregnant isn't that much fun in the heat but Mick was SO good about helping out and I don't think I had to buckle Micah into his carseat once the whole week! Mick really made it a relaxing trip for me so I am definitely thankful for that. There are so many cute pictures of the kiddos swimming I will have to keep this post just to that subject alone. On the swimming thing Micah is really close to getting it...hopefully next summer we can teach him the doggie paddle and he'll be good to go. We'll see though.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Story of Us

So some have asked but others may be less than interested in our story of how we came to be The Harper's but one day I will want to share this story with Micah and SadieJane, so here it will be for their embarrassment and enjoyment.

Mick and I originally met through a neighbor. She happened to be alot older than me(I always thought she and her friends were the coolest and could do no wrong and would try to hang out with them whenever possible:)) So when I got into high school and one of her friends was my teacher I automatically felt that I had an in. This teacher happened to be Mick. I had him for a really easy math class for lazy smart seniors (so he describes us). He led FCA and was a good role model for students. My mom and a friend from high school both seem to remember that I had a crush on him then, I honestly have NO recollection of this said crush at all. I remember discussing his cuteness factor and that all the girls decided we only found him that cute because he was a teacher and there just wasn't that much to choose from:) Anyways the fact that I new him out of the classroom gave me liscense to tease him incessantly in class. I was constantly talking and mouthing off in his class and it was the only class I was ever kicked out of in my school career. There are two stories in particular that Mick likes to bring up but I'll save those since this is going to be insanely long as it is...So anyways, that was that...Coach Harper signed my yearbook that year hoping that I had much success in the future and that I kept my priorities straight...etc. That was the last I thought I would see or hear from him. Little did we know God had a way different plan.

I went off to college, grew up alot and learned alot about myself and Jesus along the way. While I grew closer to the Lord than ever before I definitely had gained a bit of legalism and judgemental side as some Christians tend to do...I know, no, not me:) I heard off and on of "Coach Harper's" failed relationships and the seeming curse that there seemed to be on his search for Mrs. Right. I assumed he obviously wasn't "living right" and was very dissappointed to hear that another leader had fallen off their pedestal. In some ways I had a right to be dissappointed but I had no idea what was really going on with him...just heresay. I will leave Mick's past at that and just say that he experienced grace and forgiveness in ways that I had not been familiar with and through his circumstances became a better man of God than he was before(in my opinion)...mistakes and all.

Mick and I remet 6 years after high school at the Atlanta Break Co. in Dville. I walked in to eat lunch with my mom and saw his whole family sitting there. I was teaching at a Christian school dating on and off and thought absolutely nothing of seeing my old teacher there. I had honestly avoided him in the past because I felt he had failed us students by making mistakes (that's the love of Jesus talking don't ya know) BUT, he happened to be holding a six month old Bay at the time I walked by and I could not resist that cute little bald headed baby girl! I walked right up and picked her up. Knowing Wendy now, she was probably freaking out that Mick let some stranger hold her baby. I talked to them for a minute and then headed to the table with my mom. My mom and I ate lunch and then Mick came over to the table to talk to me again. My mom had her back to Mick and kept laughing at me while he talked. I went on and on about not finding any good guys to date, always a bridesmaid never a bride, etc...thinking I was talking to my teacher not a perspective suitor. Eventually Mick asks for a date...I was totally taken off guard and my mom really started laughing (she says she saw it coming from the moment we walked in) I was so taken back that instead I offered him my phone number and said maybe we could talk about a date...but in my mind it was a big no thank you sir. He left and his mom came over to the table to say "I hope to see you again, real soon!" I thought she was a little bit strange to say that but apparently Mick had informed his whole family that I was "the" girl he was supposed to date. A mutual friend of ours had gotten my number to "babysit" a few months earlier in an effort to apparently set us up. He never did and Mick said he had just prayed that if God wanted him to invest in another relationship He would have to make it obvious. Mick didn't tell me this til a little bit later...but true or not if you play the "I've been praying about you" card on a girl, there's a good chance you've got her:)

After that meeting we had a four hour "phone date" where I grilled Mick about his past and expected to be able to send him packing since he obviously didn't meet my standards and lists of what I thought a Christian girl should have...Mick often referred to these things by asking what book he could read to know exactly what my expectations were. What I found out in our first conversation was that Mick was a godly man who had yes, made mistakes, but he had also learned about God's grace and he really knew how bad we needed it. He was honest with me from the get go taking responsibility for all of his actions and I found myself really liking who he was...even with all the baggage. Not that I was baggage free myself mind you...

We then started to date and things moved pretty quickly. About a month in I took a month long hiatus. The town we live in is big and small at the same time and people's talk started to get to me. I didn't think I could handle people judging me the way that I had judged Mick so I politely told Mick I wasn't interested. He told me that was fine...he admitted God hadn't told him that but that he would respect me and not call me anymore. What? I expected way more opposition...I thought he really liked me!! So for a month or so I went on but I kept thinking about how I was letting other people make a decision for me, instead of praying and letting God help me work through something that might be a little harder than I had planned. So a month later, I called Mick, and hung up. Yeah, I just wanted to remind him I was alot younger than he was. He had caller ID back then, when he had money:) so he called me right back. We decided to try again and shortly fell in love and got engaged and got married. Pretty much that quick. Today is our 5 year anniversary of marriage and exactly 6 years from our first date.

I tell this whole story for memories sake but to also challenge others who like me thought inside the box...all along I had been praying that God would do more than I could ask or imagine for a husband. And having me marry my high school math teacher was definitely in that area. God used a situation that to many looked rushed, doomed to fail, and a little creepy I am sure:) But in the end we are proof of the redemption that He offers us in Jesus Christ. That what looks crazy or unworkable from the outside is really just how God planned it all along. I wont pretend to be perfect or that I know all the answers. There are areas that we are still working through like everyone else but when your relationship in itself reminds you of the grace that God gave us through Jesus there is a Hope that He will see it through until we go to be with Him and I trust and pray that's how it'll be.

Happy Anniversary, Coach Harper! Sorry that I have been so hard on you along the way. Thank you for being patient with me and loving me with unconditional love through Jesus. You truly are what God had in mind for me. Thank you for teaching me more about our Jesus and loving me well. I couldn't have asked for a better spouse for the last five years and I can't wait to see what God does in the next 50! I love you much!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chicken House with The Collier's

Ellis, Camden, and Micah

Cheesing it up! I love this one!


Every now and then my college roommate and her family pass through headed to or from visiting their own family and they make a stop close to us if we are lucky. They used to spend the night but now that their kiddo's are bigger they try to do the whole trip in a day. While we wish they'd stay the night, having our own boy now we understand the need to get home. Today we met at a CFA closer to us, but not the ones that I work at...Micah wasn't thrilled with the idea of heading to his 3rd chicken house in 3 hours but once he realized there would be friends to play with he was good to go. (He worked with me all morning so he deserved a break). As always it was so good to see Krissy and Aaron who I went to PC with...Krissy and I were roomies for 3 years there and I miss those days alot. (You can tell because I write about it often) So here are a few pictures of the boys, in between injuries and poops...hence Ellis' absence in a few pics. It is always so short of a visit and we never finish a sentence with the kiddo's but to just see a heart friends(ie. somebody that know's my heart even before I have to explain myself) face was good for me. Please come back Collier's and stay and play...please oh please!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend Getaway.

The Happy Couple...
trying to get a picture in the room...not so good.

Courtesy of Jenny, Budda, and Hayden. We will be celebrating our 5th anniversary this Friday and then heading to PCBeach for the Harper family vacation...sooo we celebrated this past weekend. I had really wanted to try to getaway before SadieJane got here and to try to actually communicate as husband and wife again. We weren't sure it was going to happen and I was anxious about leaving Micah for only the 2nd time in his little life but it all worked out. Mick and I went to a B&B outside of Birmingham, Alabama for two whole nights. I wanted to get away and not really do anything but talk, get a vision for our family, pray, read books and rest a little. We got to do all of the above and more. We picked out life verses to pray for Micah and SadieJane, prayed for their future and talked about disciplining Micah more effectively. We talked about our marriage and what we need from each other. It was probably the first time in 5 years that we have had to be so intentional with our time, but I think it will be of great value and I hope we can continue to make time to do it in the future. I bought "The Strong-willed Child" by James Dobson on the way there and have almost finished it. It is an incredible resource and has made me feel a whole lot better about our sweet Micah who definitely appears to be a strong willed bird. This post is more for my records and to let Jenny know her time spent with two wild banchee's was greatly appreciated and used for great good. Thanks so much Mom!

As a sidenote a few have asked and I don't think I have ever done a full post on how Mick and I came to be so I think I will save that for our actual anniversary. I know you all just can't wait for all the sordid details. It is such a scandal:)

Happy Birthday Jax-seen!

Jaxson and Monkey Joe
Trying to get a pictures with the boys when we realized it was going to look like Taron and Mick were together...Kevin and I didn't get our picture taken:) I put it up because it is the only one of Micah's face...

See what I mean...we have three more just like this one!

After CAD we headed to Micah's best buddies Birthday Monkey Joe's. Jaxson threw a great party and we are so thankful for their friendship. Micah calls him Jax-seen instead of Jaxson for some reason. We also had Hayden with us as it was my mom and dad's anniversary. (Happy Day, Jenny and Budda!) The boys had a great time playing and poor Mick was beat when we left. It is hard as a pregnant lady to get on those jumpy things and my balance isn't what it used to be so I stayed off for the most part. Which left Mick to wrangle both boys. The boys had a great time, somuch so that they slept until 9 the next morning!!