Thursday, July 14, 2011


Summer here has been so quiet. A reall change from our normal everyday life. On one hand I have so enjoyed it and on the other I struggle with the down time. I am so use to going, and going that down time is hard for me.

I did start going to the gym. I am taking the body sculture class and zumba.. I have lost no weight, but I do enjoy the classes and do feel good, so I will take that for now.

The boys have been real low key this summer. They had one football camp that was one night. That is all. Football starts in a couple of weeks. So all this down time will end and the craziness will start.

Matthew will be playing Varsity football and Jacob will be on the middle school team. Timothy will play on the JV team at Birmingham Southern. They are giving him a Varsity number (different that JV number because different position) So we will see how this year goes with him. He is looking forward to it. So our weekends will be all football. Jacob on thursday or sat, Matthew on Friday nights, and Timothy on possibly sats and suns. I am true fooball mama, so this will be fun!

Me and Stephen are going away this weekend. We need some along time before football sets in. With his job and coaching varsity football, we get no "couple" time during football. So this weekend is going to be about us. I am so looking forward to it. Time alone with my sweetie!

thats all for now,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


We are back from vacation. We had such a blessed time on the cruise. We had so much fun as a family and with friends (which are really more like family). The boys shut the boat down every night while us old people went to bed. It really was a great time and we enjoyed it so much.

Baseball ended with a surprise. Matthew's team that had only won two games in the season, came back and won the tournament. Not sure how - but we sure were an excited team! Jacob's basketball team ended up going to the state tournament and ended up 6th in the state and invited to nationals. It was a great way to end the season.

Timothy is off in Athens. He seems to be really enjoying himself and starting to have some fun again. I am very excited to see where this will all take him.

Here are some pictures from the cruise...........................

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wow - Time Flies

It is already mid may and I am not quite ready for what is coming at the end. One thing is a blessing and I am so looking forward to - our cruise. We are as a family going on a cruise! Our best friends, the Keelings are going also. This will be so much fun.
The sad part is on Wednesday after we get back, Timothy heads to Athens for the summer. He is interning with a youth minister friend we have there. It will be a great thing for him, after all he has been through lately. He will be there until he reports for football in August. Then he is at school until Christmas. Momma is having a very hard time with this. She is going to miss her oldest born very much!! I have dreaded it for a while, but I really had no idea that it would hurt so deep. For a mom, this is like cutting off part of you she is. He has been a part of our lives, day and night for so many years that it will feel very much not complete around the house if he is not here. Oh, I know that this is a good and natural thing and he is a great man and has a great head on his shoulders. It isn't that I am worried he will screw up real bad - I just plain will miss him and his presence around the home.
I guess I just need to keep myself busy and try and think of it as another stage of life we must go through with God's help. Once again I am thankful for God's faithful mercies everyday.
We are finishing up baseball (thank goodness, they have won only 2 games), football is done until summer camp, and basketball will finish up at the end of May. Jacob's team finally made it to the championship game of one of the tournaments. They lost - but got second - so we are very happy about that! I have VBS the week we get home from vacation. That will be a lot of fun and am looking forward to it.
That is about it. More later,


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Life in the fast lane

Well, it is picking up here at the Howard household. We have travel basketball going on, baseball, and now spring football. To say we don't have a night off is putting it mildly.

The baseball team finally won a game - thank goodness. I thought Stephen was going to never sleep. The basketball team wins about once a weekend. They play some very good basketball teams and have been getting better and better. The most important part is Jacob is getting better. Football- it is weird not seeing Timothy out there.

Timothy and I went and met his new team - Birmingham Southern Panthers this past Saturday. It was nice and he left very anxious to start. He is so looking forward to starting fresh somewhere and keeping busy with school and football. He will be interning at a church in Athens this summer, which also will be nice to keep him busy and focused on more important things.

That is it - we have no time for anything else. Crazy, I know!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Break

We made our annual spring break trip this year. We go every year now for 6 years with my two girlfriends, Tricia and Susan. We take our kids (minus Timothy) and head out somewhere. We try and go somewhere with a little bit of history (for me) and some science (for others). Some years we have had others come with us and the past 3 years Susan's husband and tagged along. This year we headed to Virginia - now for anyone that knows me - (sorry, Tricia) - you know that I want to live there one day. I love Virginia and think is a very beautiful place. I was not disappointed on this trip. We headed to Williamsburg on the first day. We met up with Susan and Marvin in Jamestown and spent the afternoon there. The next day was rainy so we did the Ripley's Museum - which was awesome and then headed to Norfolk to see the Nauticus Museum and the USS Wisconsin battleship. Loved both of these and got to walk along the waterfront and stop and have dinner. The next day we headed to one of my favorite places - Colonial Williamsburg. I just love this place. I so want to work there one day. It helps remind us of where we have been and what brought us to the place we are. I truly believe that the men that lived there in the 1770's really must be looking down at us and wondering how we could mess something up so badly. There was re-enactment and we got to see the drum and fife play. Yes, I was in heaven and so enjoyed the whole day - did I mention the weather was absolutely gorgeous!? On Thursday we headed to Richmond and went to the Holocaust Museum. This museum is free and so well done. The kids got so much out of it. One of the kids said he thought he knew about the Holocaust, but he found out he didn't. Real eye opener. I am so glad that we as a country thought it important enough to fight that war. Millions of Jews were killed but so many were saved because we were there. My grandfather included. We headed to Appomattox the next day and enjoyed that. We actually were there on the anniversary of the surrender by Lee. We also went to the Natural Bridge and Foamhedge. All and all this trip was so much fun and we enjoyed being with everyone. We have had some difficult things to work through here at home and it was nice to get away and just now worry or think about it for awhile.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Visiting Pennsylvania

This past week, me and my sister traveled to Pennsylvania for my aunt's funeral. It was a sad time saying goodbye to a wonderful person. The nice part was getting to see so much family again. No matter how much time goes by or the differences you have - it is so nice to see family and catch up.
On our last day- me and my sister took a day to wander around and see some things. We first headed to Lancaster, PA (amish country). It is so beautiful there and the first Ellmaker (my maiden name) homestead is there also. We enjoyed driving around and shopping. We then headed to Reading, PA for some shopping. After lunch we went to track down an old ice cream parlor that our grandparents would take us to every summer. With the tracking talents of my sister, we were able to find it and enjoy some icecream.
We then tracked down our grandparents old house. There is a huge farm behind it and we always loved being there. We ended the day with a dinner with our aunt and two cousins. It was so nice to see them and spend some time with them.
I just hate that it takes funerals to get family together. Family is so very precious.

Farm behind my grandparents house

Coventry Ice Cream Parlor

A carriage in Amish Country

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Having Faith

Faith... Do we really know what this word means until we are called to have it and have it alone? This past week has tested the faith of many in our family. We have had to have faith that God's plan is the perfect plan, even when we think it is the wrong plan. Some of us are not there quite yet, but are working on it.

I think the hardest thing is knowing that we have told others when they are going through rough times that God is with them and he will sustain them through it all - but boy it is different when you are going through those times yourself. It is a real eye opener to whether you believe your own words or were they just simply words? I want so much for them to be real and to know that He is with us and His plan is perfect. The words in Psalms 34 were placed in my life this week from just a random thing - but they spoke straight to my heart.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

We have had deaths in the family this week, and deaths of relationships. May God continue to speak to us and comfort us through this and continue to guide our steps as we heal our hearts. Also pray that I can have faith in Him especially in the things that are out of my control.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This past week has been, should we say, full of stress. On one hand it was nice because I got to get up with many friends. I had breakfast with a wonderful lady that I am just starting to get to know. I just love her and look forward to getting to know her better. I had dinner with 3 high school friends. One, I had not seen in 15 years. We had a wonderful time of laughter and remembering. Finally, I had lunch with 2 girlfriends that I love and it was just a time of encouraging and friendship - love it!

The not so fun part was that my Great aunt died on Monday. As my parents were working their way to Pennsylvania, my aunt died of cancer. We knew that my aunt was going, but it still is hard when it finally happens. Me and my sister will be going to Pennsylvania for the funeral tomorrow. So as any mom knows, leaving the family to run around and get everywhere on their own is a job in it self to prepare for.

There are other things going on, just not at liberty to share them, but they are heart issues and sometimes hurt worst than normal stress.

I thank God that I have Him in my life. I can not imagine what life would be like without Him to lean on at times. He gives me strength when I feel drained. He gives me love when I need it the most! I am also very glad to know that my aunt is with Him now with no more cancer!!! That is reason enough to find some happiness in it all!

Monday, January 31, 2011

crazy (normal) as usual

Things here are really about the same. The flu went through our house or at least through the boys. Me or Stephen have not got it yet - keeping fingers crossed.

Jacob and Matthew are still playing basketball. Jacob's team is pretty good and Matthew has only won one game. Jacob has also been asked to play on a 6th grade travel basketball team in the spring. He is excited about this. Just one more thing to add to spring: basketball, baseball, spring football.
Jacob playing b-ball

Speaking of football - it looks like we have a pretty good idea where Timothy will be going to school in the fall. He is at Gainesville College right now and will transfer in the fall. It looks like he will be attending Birmingham Southern and playing football. We don't get all the paperwork until March, but for now and unless God slams a door in our face - I believe that is where he will be. We have been in constant prayer about this and hope that this is where he needs to be. He might also be interning in Athens this summer with his old youth minister's church. Again, this is still up in the air. Timothy wants to go into the ministry, so this would be a great opportunity for him to get a feel for it.

See just normal crazy stuff.

Last please be in prayer for my good friend who was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Right now they are still trying to figure out the best path - but it breaks my heart to see her going through this. She really is stronger than I ever gave her credit for. She is strong in her faith, so I know God will sustain her. I am praying for peace and comfort for her and her family.



Saturday, January 15, 2011


My sister started a blog - Yea for her!!! She really is pretty good at it.

Tonight was a sad night at the Howard house - The falcons lost. We love our football here and this was a hard loss for us. It is hard living in a city where you just can't seem to get a champion in any sport. My boys would take a lacrosse championship at this point - just kidding - no, maybe i'm not.

I realize in the "big scheme of things" that this really is not all that important - but boy it still hurts to see your team lose.

God bless,


Friday, January 14, 2011


I must admit for a Southern girl this snow is extreme!! I know for my northern friends it is funny watching us - but when we don't get this kind of weather but every 10 years or so - it seems a little extreme to us.

I am going to play catch up for a minute. We had a wonderful Christmas. My mom in love and my grandmother spent it with us. Which I feel such a blessing for my kids. Dear friends of ours had a tragedy hit them on Christmas Eve. So it was a time to remember of blessings and hold those we love a little closer.

We spent New Years in a mountain house near Pigeon Forge. We spent that time with my parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, and my grandmother. That time is always special. We always have a great time and always want to do it again (a sure sign that we actually like each other :) ).

We are busy with basketball. Matthew and Jacob are playing rec basketball and Jacob got asked to play on a tournament team over the Christmas holiday. His team won it all and it was a lot of fun to watch. Baseball starts soon and believe it or not football starts in April - UGH! Once again, my husband will be lost to the football world.

We are enjoying watching the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs. They have a really tough game this week - so hopefully we will pull it off and win it.

I have a new friend - well, she really is not all that new anymore - but she reminds me a lot to be thankful for things - even the small things. I am thankful for the snow. It has given Timothy time to recover from his illness and not have to worry about his college classes. It also gave us time to get things done around the house that needed to be done. I also got a huge appreciation for my husband's job. He had to be at work for a couple of days and then when he finally made it home he did a lot from home. He works hard and deals with a lot - We are so very proud of him!!

That is about it. Thanks Ms. H for reminding me to look for the small blessings.

Matthew attacking Claire

Our House

My side yard

Family in the Mountains

The Whole Family

Monday, January 3, 2011

So Impressed

This past holiday season I got a wonderful glimpse at what kind of people my parents are.  Now, please know that I have always thought my parents are great people.  Not perfect, but good people.  But having to do what they do day in and day out for just a couple of weeks – I have acquired a new respect for them.  My grandmother lives with my parents.  She really is in good health considering that she is 90 years old.  Her main problem is her memory.  Now, she slugs along with her walker, but she does try to do as much as she can by herself – she gets ready for bed by herself.  All personal hygiene is done by her and she can get herself stuff to eat.  She simply does it very slowly.  She can remember nothing 5 minutes after you tell her – so be ready to hear her tell a story 6 times a day (and that is if you are lucky). 

My biggest frustration with her is that she talks about wanting to die all the time.  But if I really think about it – She has buried one child already and her husband is already waiting for her in heaven – I might feel the same way too. 

But my parents deal with this every day.  They get a break during the summer when she goes and lives with my one uncles. She goes out there for about 3 months.  Not sure she will be able to keep doing that, but it has been a nice break for my parents.   My other uncle just seems to think that if you ignore your family – they won’t bother you – pretty sad – I believe he is missing out on so many blessings.   Not going to get into that – God is working on my heart when it comes to that uncle.  I see how this responsibility is wearing on my parents – especially my dad – but I also see that they want to do what is right for her and take care of her as along as they can. 

I can only hope that when I grow up I will be as unselfish as they have been.  They have given up a huge part of their later years to take care of her.  For that example, for me and my kids, I thank them.  My children have seen unconditional love at its finest – not perfect love – that only comes from God – but the best example of unconditional love that we humans can possibly give.