Tuesday, October 29, 2013


We have really enjoyed the coming of fall! Last week we carved a pumpkin, roasted some pumpkin seeds and visited a pumpkin patch. Fall is fun!!

We didn't make it to the pumpkin patch we usually go to this year. We had planned to go when the triplets were here, but it rained. But, we found a small pumpkin patch at a local church, so we stopped by one day! The kids had a lot of fun looking at all of the pumpkins and even came home with their own mini pumpkins.

Hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween!! 

Texas State Fair

The Friday before Mig's birthday, we went to the Texas State Fair. A friend of mine gave us 4 tickets - such a blessing. The fair was awesome! We got to go with GiGi and PopPop, my sister, Rachel, Will and the triplets! There was so much to see - everyone had a great time!!

We attended a dog show and a bird show, there was a petting zoo and a car show. Something for everyone!

 I loved reading the food booths and seeing all of the different things people have fried. There was fried sandwiches, fried fruits, and fried butter! We stayed with pretty normal food - Byron got a hamburger and the kids and I had the best corn dogs ever. 

Mig's favorite part was Big Tex, who he called the giant cowboy man. He even praised God for "the giant cowboy man" that night. He really was giant! 

The grounds were beautiful! There was art everywhere. 

 I am so glad we were able to go to the fair - what a fun day! 

Mig's 3rd Birthday Party

Mig decided he wanted a motorcycle birthday party this year. It was a lot of fun! We decorated in black and orange and had some yummy pizza! The house was FULL of family and sweet friends. In fact, there were 11 kids in all - and only 3 of them were girls! It was loud and crazy and wonderful!

This was one happy 3 year old!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Military Honors and a Final Farewell

Papaw was buried with Military Honors at Old Dublin Memorial Park Cemetery. It was a beautiful service full of symbolism and tradition. Papaw would have loved it. We video recorded the ceremony for the family members that couldn't be there. Unfortunately, the video is very blurry. This is my fault. I had the camera set on manual and placed it on a tripod. I asked Byron to "man" the camera - but didn't tell him not to move it or mess with the settings. Of course, the first thing he did was both move it and change the focus. Also, for some reason, the recording stopped as I started playing Amazing Grace on the flute. It started again at the end of the song, so I went ahead and put that in, but that is why only a portion of the song is played on the recording. I'm not sure what happened there. Papaw asked me about 10 years ago to play the flute at his funeral, so it was an honor to be able to fulfill his request. Of course, I hadn't played my flute in public (let alone much at all) in many years - so I was a little rusty, but none the less, I felt like it was a beautiful final way to show my love for my grandfather. YouTube only allows 10 minute videos to be uploaded, so I broke the service into two parts; the Military Ceremony and the Message.

I didn't know much about the symbolism of the Military Honors, so I researched it a bit. They began with the flag ceremony. The following was found at The American Legion's website:

The flag-folding ceremony represents the same religious principles on which our great country was originally founded.
The portion of the flag denoting honor is the canton of blue containing the stars representing states our veterans served in uniform. The canton field of blue dresses from left to right and is inverted only when draped as a pall on the casket of a veteran who has served our country honorably in uniform.
In the U.S. Armed Forces, at the ceremony of retreat, the flag is lowered, folded in a triangle fold and kept under watch throughout the night as a tribute to our nation’s honored dead. The next morning it is brought out and, at the ceremony of reveille, run aloft as a symbol of our belief in the resurrection of the body.
Symbols for the Folds of the Flag
The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature; as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace, as well as in times of war, for His divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
The 10th fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first born.
The 11th fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The 12th fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it has the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under Gen. George Washington and the sailors and Marines who served under Capt. John Paul Jones and were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the U.S. Armed Forces, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.

The flag was presented to my Uncle John who is also a veteran. After the folding of the flag, three volleys were shot by three gunmen. This tradition comes from traditional battle ceasefires where each side would clear the dead. The firing of three volleys indicated the dead were cleared and properly cared for. One of the guards then presented 3 of the casings of the volleys to our family to be placed in the folded flag. 

Taps was played by a lone bugler.Originally composed to signal “lights out,” the somber tune became a traditional way to honor service members, eventually becoming a staple at funeral services to honor the extinguishing of a life. There are requirements about how far away from the burial site the bugler has to be as well. 

At the end of the service, my Uncle John (assisted by my cousin John David) presented the folded flag to my grandmother. 

After the ceremony, we visited with the guests for a little while and then Selah asked if we could stay to watch them place Papaw's remains in the ground. The funeral director had no problem with that - in fact he allowed whoever wanted to take part in burying him to do so. It was quite touching to watch my three children take part in this. I think it is so important for my children to be comfortable with death and dying, and they really are. They totally understand that though Papaw is no longer with us here on earth, he is living in heaven where he can see more beauty than we can imagine and he feels no pain. They are happy for the new life that he has and his new home. There is sadness, but there is also joy in knowing Papaw is with Jesus! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Look Who is 3!

Oh, my!! I can't believe I haven't posted these pictures yet! I posted them on my photography blog but not here! Mig turned 3 on October 12th. I can't believe he is 3. Year 3 is big for me. It is the time where babies stop being toddlers and start being pre-schoolers. Mig is now potty trained and can recognize most numbers and a lot of letters. He speaks in conversations now instead of one or two words at a time. He is still mischief with a smile. He is energetic and loveable and our class clown. I am so blessed to be the one chosen to be his Mommy!!

Here are his 3 year portraits:

Are you in the Denton area and need portraits for your own little blessing? I am back in business taking sessions with all profit from both the session and print sales going to our adoption. Check out my buisness site and contact me: CEDAR CREEK PHOTOGRAPHY

If you aren't in the Denton area and would like to help us finance our adoption, I have some Inspirational Prints for sale on my site with all profit going to our adoption as well. You can purchase those by going to my site link above or this direct link: Inspiration Art Prints


Back in September Byron and I took the kids to see the Disney movie Planes. It was cute - and Mig especially loved it. While we were down in Central Texas, we had a "free" day and were able to hang out with Rachel, Will, and the triplets. We went to lunch, and then to the Georgetown Municipal Airport. The kids loved seeing the little planes taking off and landing. Mig looked for "Dusty Crophopper" the entire time. It was a fun day!

The kids decided this plane looked the most like "Dusty Crophopper" from the movie. 

As we were there, a front began to come through bringing a nice cool breeze and beautiful skies!

I love this line-up!!

 Sweet Tali - she is so photogenic!

Peek-a-Boo, Beautiful!