Friday, May 30, 2008

FINALLY, pictures of our work... ;-)

Hello, FRIENDS! These are the "before and after" pictures I've been promising to share. I've had such a hard time deciding which order to load them. For me, it's easier to compare something when I can IMMEDIATELY follow the before with the after. However, some of the pictures were made over time. There was a "before, in-between, and after."

I'm quite the dingbat.. so overlook my lack of organization with these photos. It may not look like a lot has changed, but I assure you.. it was a JOB! My mom & I removed LAYERS AND LAYERS of roots (grass) just to be able to plant in the area around the house. The other little bed was made ABOVE ground because there were electrical wires below. (My sweet hubby warned me of this AFTER I'd already pushed the trellis deep into the ground... LOL!!) Common sense should've told me huh? I mean, the whole point of a bed there was to COVER those ugly boxes on the side our house. HA!!!!!!

As for the actual garden... it's been expanded about 3 times already. It's funny because the only things I have planted are tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and watermelons. I DO plan to plant flowers to use for the house in there as well.

Okay.. so this is a peek at what we've been doing. Remember, some of it is "a work in progress." Hehehehe..... Oh yea, and if you're wondering.. the yellow fence is an electric fence to keep the dogs out. O;-) Not so pretty, but it does the job.

MANY THANKS to my Mom who's helped do MOST of the work. Thanks to Link's Dad too... he helped me get the garden started. (As if he'd be reading this... LOL!! Still, I don't want to let his work go unrecognized) =-)

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL weekend! I'll look forward to seeing you again soon.

Until next time...

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday

For more posts on this "WFW" visit The 160 Acre Woods.

Hello, friends! MAN, I can't believe it's been a whole week since I've last posted. I don't have any grand excuses.. just that summer is HERE and we've been BUSY!

I told my friend Susan that I was hoping to share some "before and after" pictures of what we've got accomplished. It's really funny, I've NEVER been one to care much about the outside of my home. It seemed to be all I could do just to keep the INSIDE clean. HA!! I suppose with the boys being older (and not needing as much supervision) and also that they're helping with the chores - I can FINALLY do other things. Now, when they're "grown and gone" I'm SURE I'll be LONGING for the days that they were ALWAYS under my feet. (Not going there this morning - If I do, I'll start up the waterworks... hehe)

Things have been "okay" here. Link, Zach & Gabe are such BLESSINGS. I'm just so VERY THANKFUL that I have them all in my life. There are some days that just seem unbearable - and one of the 3 of them can almost ALWAYS help me refocus when I just can't "get it together." For whatever reason the holidays seem to make us miss Brent more. I survived Mother's Day and now Link has to get through Father's Day. It's just so hard to "celebrate" being parents with one of our children gone.

With that said, we can ALWAYS be THANKFUL for the fact that CHRIST DID pay for our sins, and because of HIM we KNOW that we WILL see each other again. How could we not be thankful for that? Amen?

Okay.. I'm going to go and look for my camera and will TRY to get my latest pictures loaded. I can't wait to show you all that we've been doing here.

I've MISSED you all tremendously and looking forward to getting caught up with each of you! ;-) Thanks SO MUCH for stopping by!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday

Yes, I admit it.. I'm cheating AGAIN! LOL!! I didn't have time to make my own graphic this morning so I "borrowed" one from Answers In Genesis. I hope you all have a WONDERFUL WORD-filled Wednesday!

For more posts on "WFW" check out The 160 Acre Woods.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

I was wrong....

Okay, so I was a little off. I told you that I was a post or two away from my 100th post. Well, I got into the "edit posts" section of my blog and realized there were a few "drafts." After reviewing and deleting them I've learned that today's should be post 91. So I'm still about 9 away. SORRY! I guess that gives me a few more days to try to think of 100 things to say about myself. LOL! I LOVE to yack, don't get me wrong, but to sit and go on and on about myself is just going to be a little difficult. Now, if we were talking about YOU it'd be a different story! I could EASILY ask you one hundred or MORE! Heehee...

So.. about our weekend. Link's sister Virginia and her husband were down so we got to visit some with them. I've shared pictures of her girls before, and HOPED to get some new ones this weekend but everyone was running in different directions. Just to give you a peek at these little beauties I'll share a shot of Addison & Lora Beth with our boys on the 4th of July last year....

I'm hoping to get one of all of them with little Allie Grace soon. (Yes, I got to see her this weekend also) It's funny because the girls quickly let me know that I had to get in line to get some Allie love. (They live an hour or so away so they don't get to see her often) I GUESS I was okay with sharing. LOL!!!!!!!!!!

It's just crazy how fast these kids are growing. It seems like just yesterday that Brent & Addison were our first babies (on the Nason side). We were always comparing how each was growing. (Addison was 2 weeks older than Brent) It's unbelievable how much they've always looked alike. (They really look more like brother/sister twins than cousins) We FINALLY have a new scanner... I'll try to post some pictures of Addison against some of Brent soon so that you can see what I'm talking about.

It's bittersweet to watch her grow. I still see so much of him in her - I can look at Addison who's ALMOST taller than me now and know that Brent would probably be beginning to tower over me as well. (I'm about 5'3" and she's only 12)

We're also seeing Brent even more each day in the boys. ESPECIALLY Gabe. The boys had spent the night with my parents this weekend and being the worrywart that I am, I decided to check in with them. When I called the next morning to make sure all was well, and to see if they needed anything it happened. Just as I was about to get off the phone with Gabe, he said, "Bye." OH MY! It sounded EXACTLY like Brent! EXACTLY! At that very moment grief swept over me and I couldn't "get it together" for the whole rest of the day. I was even still "teary eyed" when I went to bed that night. I just couldn't believe it's been a year and 4+ months since I've heard Brent's voice. I had LOTS of "talks" with GOD that day.. and was again reminded that CHRIST ALONE is my STRENGTH. I CANNOT walk this road without HIM. Yes, our sweet boys are PRECIOUS to us. It's always a blessing to see or hear Brent in things they do or say. I suppose there will always be things that "throw us for a loop?"

Okay.. I won't keep you. I suppose I just felt like sharing my heart this morning rather than the normal rambling I do. (Hehe) I DO APPRECIATE you stopping by! I think I'll leave you on a "lighter note" and with something odd indeed. It's a simease flower that I cut from my new flower bed. Yes, I realize that there's probably no such name, but check it out for yourself and see what YOU'D call it? =-)

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday - Fun in the Sun!

I thought I'd share this picture for today's theme. It cracks me UP because I'd taken so many pics of the kids, that when I asked them to "Say CHEESE!" they all went UNDER! (Well, except for Brent.. LOL!) That's his sweet little head sticking up out of the water. TOO FUNNY!

For more posts on this "FFF" visit Sarah at "Kiss The Frog 4 Me."

In other "news" (if you'd call it that... LOL!) I'm only a post or maybe two away from my 100th post. If I'm remembering right, my friend Susan posted 100 things about herself in hers. So.. if you want to be BORED out of your MIND then check back and see if you can stay awake while learning 100 things about me. HA!!!!!!!

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I thought I'd let this slide show do my "talking" for me today. These are some of the "things" that I'm SO VERY THANKFUL for. Our boys (Zach & Gabe), our new niece (Allie Grace - my sis-in-law's baby), and my sister's children (Ash & Clay)

I thought since I didn't have a "new" picture of Brent, and I'm SO VERY THANKFUL for him too that I would add his here...

I hope you're all having a WONDERFUL Thursday! =-)

For more posts on this Thankful Thursday visit Iris at Sting My Heart

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday, Celebrating my Pookie!

This little lady is more like a daughter to me than a niece... see, my sister found out she was "expecting" quite a few months before we ever conceived. I'd wanted a baby so badly, and for whatever reason, GOD made us wait. I was heartbroken when each of my friends (one by one) was suddenly "with child." My desire to have a little one started to seem as though it would never happen. As we waited and prayed for a baby of our own, my sister (and of course her hubby) let me keep Ash and "doll her up" often. She felt as though she were my own. I can still remember her toddling around with her arms lifted up (wanting me to hold her) as she'd repeatedly say, "Nah-Na" (That's how she said, "Tonya") It was about that time that I nicknamed her "Pookie." I simply adore her!

My sister & I used to stay together ALL THE TIME (when our babes were very young) and the bond between our families grew... Yes, her children DEFINITELY feel as though they are ours!

You know me, I can't keep it "short-n-sweet" for anything. Heehee.. I wanted to share a few more pics. This is a picture of Ash "holding" her best buddy Brent. By the time this one was taken he was nearly as big as she was. (ha!) Oh, a fun fact about Kerry's kids and mine.. They were born in 94, 95, 96, 97, and 2000. YES, we kept our Mom busy those first few years.. HA!!! If you're wondering, Ash was 94, Brent 95, Clay 96, Zach 97, and Gabe 2000

and again at Brent's first birthday party. Obviously it was a costume party - don't ask me why Brent's not wearing his in this pic.. LOL!! Oh, this photo catches me doing what I do best - YACKING! HEEHEE...

I'll end with a picture of the 4 of them together.... (In order from left to right.. Clay, Gabe, Ash & Zach)

Yes, Ash is a PRECIOUS young lady - she's just as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside. I only wish I'd have been more like her at her age. She's so in love with JESUS and her heart is tender beyond words. She is a MIGHTY (little) woman before the LORD and I just LOVE her spirit!

Now, if you'd like to see more posts on this "WFW" please visit The 160 Acre Woods.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Crazy Way We Met - My LATE Marriage Monday Post

Okay... so I'm more than a WEEK late in sharing our love story. I really wanted to post last Monday with everyone else, but just haven't spent much time online. (I've done LOTS of yard work recently) Now, "technically" this doesn't count. The deadline was Wednesday of last week, at midnight. Still, I wanted to share.. so here goes. (Thanks to E-Mom for hosting this WONDERFUL meme!)

Anyway... our story began when I was a junior in high school. My VERY BEST friend at the time (Brad) set us up. He told me about this really great guy (Link) and after swapping messages through Brad I knew I really wanted us to meet! My Mom fixed dinner and said it was okay to ask Link over. Well, I set out to just that. It's really funny because our first "date" almost seemed as though I picked HIM up. LOL! He was hunting and he and a friend had stopped on the side of the road. I stopped to invited him for dinner... and the rest, as they say, is history.

After we dated for about 2 years Link went and asked my Daddy for my hand in marriage. My sister hid my rings so that my finger would be bare and Link would be able to slip that ring right on my finger. Heehee... she's so funny! (And sweet)

Here's a wedding picture of me with my HUGE "high school hair." LOL!! I don't know why Link got cut out? I don't mean to complain but our wedding pictures were TERRIBLE! Many were blurred, some out of focus. Anyway..I so wish our scanner would work.. I'd load some from our wedding. (Maybe it's a blessing that it doesn't work?? HA!!!!!)

I look back now and wish I'd have had GOD in my sights rather than the things I wanted. Our story is "humorous" as far as modern day romance is concerned, but it wasn't "biblical" in any sense. YES, I'd prayed for the man I would marry as a youth... but it NEVER ONCE occurred to me to ask GOD if it were HIS will for Link & me to be together. It was truly a miracle that I didn't end up with someone that would beat me (and our future children) and/or be a womanizer. (Of all the things one might worry about in a mate - Link cheating on me is NOT one of those)

I dated a guy once that stayed in trouble with the law. I THOUGHT I could change him. Once he was in some sort of correction school for boys and the moment he got out he "cheated on me." YES, that's high school drama for you! I say it's a miracle that I didn't end up with someone like that, because I wasn't seeking GOD. I just wanted someone to love me. I wanted to be someone's wife and the mother of his children. When I look back at the many ways my life could've QUICKLY taken me in the WRONG direction I have to stop and PRAISE GOD for HIS provision. Don't you just love it that HE watches over us even when we're NOT where we should be? I'm SO VERY THANKFUL to have a man that loves me in spite of myself. I'm THANKFUL that Link LOVES the LORD his GOD with all his HEART, SOUL, and mind. I'm also THANKFUL for the beautiful children GOD blessed us with. So THAT, my friends... is our love story. ;-)

Now, to share another "something" that's VERY CLOSE to my heart. As you know after Brent went through his battle with cancer, and having him receive his HEAVENLY HEALING, we are now PASSIONATE when it comes to fighting cancer. This is a petition to help raise awareness for childhood cancer. It'll only take a moment of your time and it may be the reason that media will one day give this horrible disease the attention it deserves. To sign click HERE.

Thanks SOOOO MUCH for standing in the gap with us! We love & APPRECIATE YOU!

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday - Mother's Day Edition

Today's FFF theme is "Mother's Day." (I'll fill you in below on what I've been doing in just a few) O=-) It was hard to decide in which order to start sharing these pictures. Did I start with my favorites? (Those that have Brent, Zach and Gabe in them) Or those that have my own Mom? Well, I decided to start out honoring my Mom first. She probably deserves a medal for raising my sister and me. (Although, I'm quite sure I caused MORE trouble.. LOL!) I also want to give an honorable mention to my sister, Kerry since for almost a year she was our stand in "mom" for Zach & Gabe while Brent was in treatment. Yes, she and her husband selflessly took our boys in and kept them when our world began to fall apart. (St. Jude housing rules will only allow 4 to a housing unit - there were FIVE us in all) We decided rather than trying to alternate which of the other two boys would be with us, we'd just leave them together and visit when we could. Their little lives were in shambles too... why separate ONE of them from the rest of us? Anyway.. they moved in with my sister's family and they brought them to see us every week that we didn't get to come home.

So here's a picture of my Mom, my sister (Kerry) and me.

The next is a FOUR generation shot with my Mom, my Grandma, Zach and Gabe, and me.

Now, to share some of our boys and me. This is one of my FAVORITES! Yes, I know my hair is blowing all over my head, it's special to me because it's one of the last "formal" pictures that was made with all of our boys together. My cousin Stephanie offered to come and do a photo shoot at our home just before Brent entered treatment again. (We'd JUST learned that he'd relapsed)

Our sweet Brent & me..

This one is a little older... It was one of the last "formal" pics that was made of our boys & me JUST BEFORE we learned Brent had cancer in 04.

Another with Brent... (EVERYTHING seems to fall under "pre-cancer, during, or after." It's CRAZY like that...... This is DEFINITELY a "pre" photo.

One with Zach... (Also a LOONNNNGGGG time ago.. LOL!)

One with Gabe... it's about a MILLION years old.. HA!!!!!!!

I'll end with one of my all time FAVORITES. It was also taken by my cousin Stephanie. If you've been to Brent's caringbridge site then you've already seen it... A "kissy moment" with Brent (Okay.. I'm a dork, I forgot it's also on my blog. HA!!)

Okay, so I said I'd fill you in. Well, I'll have to do it quickly because I'm about to keep Allie Grace for the day. (WOOHOO!!!!!!) I'm just a little excited. LOL!

I don't know if I mentioned it here, of if it was on Brent's site but I've been dreading Mother's Day just a bit. Please don't think I'm ungrateful for what I have. I'm SO THANKFUL for all THREE of our boys - ESPECIALLY for the time we all had with Brent. It's just a little hard to think of celebrating being a mom without the FIRSTborn here with us. With that said, I've been trying REALLY hard to keep busy. Hopefully, I'll share some pictures of what we've been doing around here soon. All is "well" here on the home front... just missing Brent a little more these days.

Now, I'd like to end with one of my most memorable "Mother's Day" memories EVER. It was May of 05 and Brent was nearing the end of his treatment. (Although we didn't know it at the time... we wouldn't know it at all until we heard "No Evidence of Disease.") Well, we were living in the Target House (St. Jude Housing sponsored by Target) and I was SO SAD to think of celebrating my first Mother's Day EVER without having all of our boys TOGETHER. Link was driving us around Memphis (we were killing time). It just so happened (I'm pretty SURE that GOD was pulling the strings) that we were just heading back to our "place" when I got a call from my sister. She SAID she was just checking in... however, when we got out of the truck and looked around we saw them. They'd driven up with our boys to spend the day with us. It turned out that we weren't separated at all!

Yes, I'm SO VERY THANKFUL for my loving family, friends and these PRECIOUS gifts of LIFE that GOD has given us! Brent, Zach & Gabe changed our lives FOREVER in the most POSITIVE ways!!! Thank You, JESUS, for BLESSING me with such precious gifts - I LOVE them MORE than life itself.

HAPPY Mother's Day, my FRIENDS!!!

For more posts on this "FFF" visit Sarah at Kiss The Frog 4 Me.

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday - Having a Ball!

Today's theme for Favorite Foto Friday is "Having a Ball." Sarah suggested we use pics of our kids doing their favorite things.. her photos for today were of her little beauty playing "baseball." (This little one is OH-SO-CUTE!) I wish our scanner was working so I could upload some pics from our boys ball seasons, but unfortunately it's not working. So.. I'll share some other things they loved...

The boys hanging out with their cousins (Addison & Lora Beth) at the zoo..

I LOVE this one.. Brent looks like he was so "tickled"

I love the sweet look on Brent's face, but it always makes me feel "a little sick" when I see pictures of him during chemo. It's hard to believe he endured so much and still kept his JOY the whole way through. (It was SURELY because of his great LOVE for JESUS!) I chose this picture because it's one of the few that I have of Brent with his buddy Jordan, who was one of his VERY BEST friends! Brent LOVED to hang with Jordan!! (Jordan is my friend Susan's son - we met through Brent's & Jordan's caringbridge sites then got to meet IN PERSON at St. Jude)

and OF COURSE they always LOVE to eat out! This is a picture made at Cracker Barrel in West Memphis, Arkansas. (While Brent was still in treatment at St. Jude)

Finally, I'll end with more recent pics of Zach & Gabe doing what the love best... BEING CLOWNS with their cousins Ashley & Clay! Heehee... (Clay is pictured in white with navy stripes, Gabe's wearing maroon, Ash is in a red tank, and Zach's wearing navy with white stripes)

For more posts on this "FFF" visit Sarah at Kiss The Frog 4 Me.

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