Monday, December 29, 2008


I have been in a spiritual desert lately. Desert, without a drop to drink. Parched & dry. Longing for water, yet nothing comes my way. I have longed to pursue Jesus in the past few months, but with every scripture I read, nothing inside me moves; nothing inside me changes or even desires to change. I have felt the Enemy nip at my feet with every step, coupling my doubt & anxiety amidst the holidays & good cheer. It has crippled my spirit, & made me sad much of the time.

You see, I have a fear. A constant fear, if you will...about 8 years old now. A fear that Ben & the boys will be taken from me, & I will be left here. Left here without them, & only me. This began when I started dating Ben, & has fluctuated with each year. When I had Lincoln, it developed into something bigger. I wasn't dealing with one fear, but two. And two big ones. Then with Levi's arrival, I was faced with the trio. I feared that my boys would be taken from me all at once & I would be nothing but a childless mother & a husband-less wife. Uplifting, I know.

All through these years of struggle, I have known that this is the Enemy's work, one not of my own; but of Satan attempting to steal my joy, only to replace it with doubt, fear & anxiety for my loved ones' well-being. I have prayed against it, willed against it, read scripture through it, done bible studies on it, & cried through it countless times.

On Saturday, as Ben was packing up to travel to Boone, North Carolina with two Rocketown teenagers, I kept debating whether or not to go to church by myself with the boys. It's a lot of work to go to church with the 2 of them, just me, without Ben. Lots of gear, directions for the childcare team, sippy cups, diapers, wipes, whathaveyou. I woke up yesterday morning with a feeling of near dread...knowing I should go, but just not wanting to go through the 'trouble'. I ended up going, & I feel for certain that this was the work of the Holy Spirit. I had called Ben to see what he thought about me going by myself (and under any other circumstance, he would've said something like, 'Don't worry about it--Just keep the boys at home & we'll go next week as a family...'), but yesterday when I asked him, he replied with special emphasis: "Rhondi, just take the boys and go. You need to be there. Just make yourself go & go." Well, that did it. I had no other excuse now. Ben was usually my built-in...but now he had just screwed it all up.

I know this is a ridiculously long build-up to my point in all this, but my simple point is this: God is faithful. We sang the old hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness" at church, & I felt God's faithfulness nearer than the clothes on my arms, and the breath on my face.

"Morning by morning, new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me..."

Whether I feel his mercies are new every morning or not...they are still new. Whether I feel He has provided everything to me or He hasn't...He still has. These truths are just that--truths. I know that Satan has a foothold in my life. This foothold lies in the fear that Ben & the boys will be taken. Even still...God is faithful. His mercies are brand new with each morning, & I can set my feet upon this rock of truth. He is faithful, while knowing I doubt His faithfulness. He is steadfast, while knowing I doubt His steadfastness. He is sovereign, while knowing I doubt His sovereignty. Praise God for a Savior such as this. Jesus worked on my heart yesterday morning at church while I worshiped, pulling me back to Him once again. Though I have (and we all have, I presume) a weakness for something the Devil himself has a hold on, God's faithfulness is that much bigger...that much stronger still. Am I afraid that the ones I love will die? Of course. Am I scared that I will be left alone for the latter days of my life? Yes sir, without a question. But wow. Wow that God is stronger than such anxious thoughts, such doubt, such fright, such 'maybe-sadness'. I left with a peace yesterday that felt renewing...a peace that cannot be, nor ever can be quenched by the Enemy. Jesus is my Sustainer, Jesus is my Peace, Jesus is my. The sentence can end just like that, I believe. Having such months of dryness & emptiness makes that morning's worship that much sweeter.
Great is Thy Faithfulness...I am awakened.
Blessed Be Your Name, Savior.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Did somebody call for a doctor?!?

If so, then great! Because Dr. Lincoln is in the HIZZZ-ouse... We had a very merry and bright Christmas in St. Louis with Ben's family, & Lincoln & Levi got some very cool presents (including a doctor's kit) from good ole' St. Nick. He's a funny guy, that Santa. I kinda have a crush on him.

It was downright frosty in St. Louis, so we spent all of our days indoors playing. I can't remember posting about this before, but Ben's parents may be living in the best home for children in the history of all things historical. They have a HUGE basement (pinball machine, Super Mario Bros. machine, pool table, big screen TV, etc.) filled with Hot Wheels, Little People toys, trains, planes, automobiles, and a real live-in clown who is on staff 24 hours a day to entertain anyone & everyone. (OK, kidding about that last part)

So all of that PLUS 3 nephews & 1 neice makes for a very active & fun-filled week! Of course, I had very little time to get out the camera & start snapping photos, but the times that I did--were well-received & fruitful. I will click as I see fit.

Let's get a kick to it:

A doctor's kit had been on Linc's List for quite some time. And when he saw it, he went bananas. He opened it right up & said, "I think you're sick, Momma!". Here he is taking my blood pressure:

Giving me a shot...

The doctor in deep concentration (BTW, he can't be "Dr. Lincoln" unless he has his blue glasses on):

Another one of Lincoln's favorite toys was Marble Run: (which, incidentally, was a favorite of Ben's when he was 3)

His top-notch present from Mimi & Papa (my parents) was a digital camera. Not 5 minutes had passed after he had opened up the camera, than the camera was full with pictures & needed to be uploaded to the computer:

BUT...not to be outdone by his little brother, Mr. MacDaddy Himself. (I can't get enough of this guy):

Levi & his cousin Mitchell got some serious face & cuddle time during the time we were there. Mitchell is amazing with kids, so he was on-hand whenever we needed some extra help with Levi. Levi just loves Mitch to pieces, & so is the same with Mitch. Here the sweet boys are (Mitch is 13):

Here L-Train is with his walker from Gigi (his great-grandma):

Levi & Gigi (Levi McLain is her namesake):

Lincoln cracking Levi up:

Ben with Shrek ears on...and Levi thinking it was the most hilarious thing ever:

We're trying to teach Linc how to ride a bike, so the big present of Christmas morning was a Spiderman bike. More than the desire for the bike, however, was Linc's desire for a bike bell & a bike horn...both of which were promptly put on the bike by Ben on Christmas Eve. Lincoln loved it all, & we even rode the bike on the tennis courts by Ben's parent's house later on in the afternoon:

Levi with Great-Grandpa Seabaugh:

Levi with sweet MeMaw & PawPaw:

I will leave you with the sweetest face in the world. This is what I get to wake up to every morning. My darling Levi:

We had an amazing Christmas filled with family, joy & laughter. The boys had a wonderful time, & we had a great time visiting with all of our sweet relatives.

I pray that your Christmases were bright, & may your New Year be full of love & joy.
May you experience the peace & hope that Jesus the Savior brings.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

lookey here

I'm trying to improve my photography possibly being able to take a picture of both boys with their heads in the same frame & maybe a smile out of one. It's not going so well. Levi's pretty easy to get a smile out of , but to get both of them smiling is a joke. Here are a few that I have taken the past couple days hoping something would turn out:

this was the best one I could get:

here's me trying to take a self-portrait of the three of us...Levi won't take part in this charade (Linc isn't too thrilled either, for that matter).

a cute contemplative christmas boy:

levi wanting to take the camera from momma:

already wanting to leave us:

Then, this morning, Ben & Linc went out in our backyard to go sledding down our hill with some of the other neighborhood kids. Here they are having fun:

Take a look at the trees in our backyard. It's so pretty with all the snow.

Happy Snow Day,

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

January 13 & 14...You know you're gonna watch it.

Kara DioGuardi Pictures, Images and Photos

American Idol Season 8 premieres January 13 & 14. A new girl, Kara DioGuardi (as I'm sure you all have heard in the past few months--and hello!--she sure takes a swift kick to Paula's teeth in the looks department...just sayin), has joined in on all of the judging fun. You know exactly what this means, America: Someone new to make fun of! If you happen to be a new reader of this blog, or maybe have only read posts of mine that have not been during the Idol season, then I will apologize right now. You may need to reconsider your viewing of Camp Cissell. During Idol season, I tend to go a little overboard. And when I say overboard, what I really mean is I watch every single episode & just make fun of people. It's what I do, you can't change it. So if you're up to it, then let's have some fun this season! I'm hoping for an all-emotional breakdown from Paula, a bitter & angry Simon from his break-up with his girlfriend of 6 years, & a washed-up Randy who keeps trying to live in his glory days. Wheee!!

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours. We were in McKinney, Texas visiting my side of the family over the holiday. There are five grandchildren here under the age of 6, so it's a party everywhere you turn. I woke up the morning of Thanksgiving, cooked with my mom (Paula Deen's stuffing-yum-, pecan pie, squash casserole) & then we had friends come over to the house. We ate the big feast around 3pm. Lincoln did great, & with every bite he took, he said, "Mmm, mmm,'s soo good!" He was quite enthusiastic about eating the turkey. Which, BTW, is named "Modene". The turkey's name has been Modene since I can remember, so Lincoln was super excited about calling the turkey by its appropriate name. Modene was super yummy this year.
Here are some photos that we captured the past few days that we were there:

My mom & I preparing to cook:

Momma & Lincoln reading a fire engine book:

Visiting with family & friends before eating:

The Three Musketeers: Lucy, Tatum, & Lincoln

Papa with Lucy, Tatum & Lincoln:

Here we are hanging out, playing guitar, & just chatting:

And here's the newest member of our family, Miss Charlotte Scott. She's donning the newest fashion trend:

We are happy to be back home. The drive to Texas took about 10 hours each way. It was a very long drive, but also very fun with the boys. Lincoln & Levi played very well with each other...Lincoln made Levi laugh so hard. Although it was a very long ride, it was also really great family time.
I pray that your Thanksgiving was great too.
Post ya later,

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

santa baby

Tell me this isn't the cutest Santa Baby you've ever seen. I just want to dunk him in my coffee.
Feast your eyes:

Happy Santa:

Profile Santa:

Backwards Santa:

Close-Up Santa:

Sleepy Santa:

Cute, Cute, and More Cute. I'm completely in love.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Christmas Tag

This is a fun Christmas tag in which I was tagged by Court. Wanna know my Christmas timing/style/decorating? You know you do.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I like either one. Gift bags are soooo much easier & quicker, but wrapping paper looks nicer. It just depends on how much time I have to wrap it & get it to the recipient.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. I don't like real trees. It sounds like a good idea in theory. But that's where it ends. The watering, the needles everywhere...who has the time?

3. When do you put up the tree? Our decorations have been up for a week now. Lincoln was just too excited to wait any longer.

4. When do you take the tree down? A few days after Christmas.

5. Do you like eggnog? Ggrrroooosssss.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Baby was a baby that talked. That was huge for me.

7. Hardest person to buy for? my brother-in-law, Todd

8. Easiest person to buy for? my sister...we like the same things, so it's fairly easy.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? We do, but it's not up this year, due to the 10-month old putting everything in his mouth. Not a smart idea this year.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, although I may change it up this year.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I got nothin'. (meaning I have no idea, not that I got nothin' for Christmas)

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? There is only one ultimate Christmas movie. "It's A Wonderful Life".

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Sure!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Breakfast casserole & sausage balls

16. Lights on the tree? yes, all white.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, & Frank Sinatra's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel either to Texas or to St. Louis. This year, it's St. Louis.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? No, Rudolph is the only one that matters!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? a big bow cascading down this year

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We open one present on Christmas Eve, & then all the rest on Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Seeing everyone decorate their homes before, uh...wait a minute...

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? all golds, silvers, bronzes, & whites...can't beat it.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? How can you choose this? My mom is the best cook ever, so anything she makes kicks arse.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Mine & Ben's list has dwindled since we've had kids. We no longer really get each other presents for Christmas...we usually just concentrate on the kiddos. I'm fine with this.

26. Who is most likely to respond to this? I have no clue...

27. Does Santa wrap your gift or leave them unwrapped? Wrapped. Unless it's something huge, like a hot wheels track or a bicycle. Then we display it in all its glory.

Ok girls, hop to it. I tag Lindsay & Melissa.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Day at the Farm!

Brace yourselves, people. This is an extremely photo-heavy post, so get ready! We had a wonderful afternoon today, spending time with our friends Joel & Holly at their house/farm. Their kids Samuel & Lily were there too, & we all had fun showing Lincoln & Levi the animals. They have 2 goats (Martha & Diablo), lots of chickens, 3 horses (Shine, Allegro, & Bono), 3 dogs (Ruby, Sunny, & Luna), and a few cats (can't remember their names). So you can imagine the fun that Lincoln had playing with all of them! He was able to feed the goats all by himself...all the while calling out their names, petting them, & chasing them...

We quickly figured out that whoever holds the bag of tortilla chips is Martha's favorite! Here's sweet Lily getting jumped on by Martha the Goat.

Lincoln kept trying to feed Diablo, who is a very shy goat. Lincoln would run at him full speed, screaming with a chip in his hand saying "Come here Diablo! I've got a chip for you!" This was Diablo's reaction:

Lincoln & Momma feeding the goats a chip:

Here's Holly holding Levi, helping Lincoln feed Martha:

After we fed the goats, Lincoln rode a horse for the first time! He LOVED this, & thought he was super cool. He rode a horse named Shine, & Holly walked him around the farm while Lincoln rode him. Every time Shine would stop walking, Holly would tell Lincoln to kick Shine to make him start walking again. He would kick him & say, "Yee-haw!" Hilarious.

We thought we should put a helmet on him halfway during his ride. I got a little nervous, afraid he was going to slide off Shine. Doesn't this hat make him totally look like a jockey? He's about the same size, too.

After that, Lincoln got to go to the chicken coop to chase the chickens & he even got to get two fresh eggs. He thought this was quite possibly the coolest thing ever. He named them #1 and original. He kept them in his lap the entire way home from the farm, telling us "Ssshh" anytime we talked because "it would wake up the chicks."

Holly let us ride in her ATV. And she even let Lincoln 'drive' by himself! He loved it, but he liked honking the horn even more. Here's him & Holly:

Sweet Levi had a good time too. He was held by everyone, but here are some cutes ones with Ben & Joel.

We had a great day & tonight when we put Lincoln to bed, I asked him what he thought of it all. He said, "It was so much fun at the farm. I like Miss Holly. She's my own best favorite cousin." Huh? I think he's trying to navigate his way around the meaning of friend, cousin, brother, grandmother, wife, husband, & all the other relationship labels. So that, in Lincoln terms, is what he calls a good friend.

Hope y'all are having a good weekend. We sure are.
Post ya later,

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