Friday, December 29, 2017

Into 2018!

What is 2018 going to hold for our crew?  Well . . . we are about to find out!

Some of our favorite things will continue . . .
SCHOOL! (most days)
NEIGHBORS! (running from house to house)
AU Football! WAR EAGLE!

And we will have some big changes . . . 
A NEW DRIVER! (well, learner's permit)
TRY OUTS! (for school teams, bigger teams)

But, whatever this year holds the Martins will do it all together, as a family, as a team.
We pray your family has a year of first & favorites.  
A year that you will look back on & know you did right & true.

"Finally, brothers, 
whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure
whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, 
if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
Philippians 4:8

Happy New Year!
~ the Martins

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas Letter 2017!

"looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, 
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, 
despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2

Merry Christmas! 
We pray this little letter finds you with family celebrating the gift of Jesus.
Our little family is looking forward to tonight, tomorrow, & all next week celebrating with our BIG family.  We are looking forward to Christmas services, presents, meals & COUSIN-TIME!  We are looking forward to time together. 

This year has been CRAZY! CRAZY FUN!
We have 2 in middle school, 1 in elementary & 1 in pre-school!  We cannot believe that next year one starts high school & another starts kindergarten!! (Although he says he may skip straight onto middle school & I am about to agree to that idea.)  We of course have played A LOT of soccer & done A LOT of twirling & have picked back up some basketball, because life was about to get too easy if we had had a few weeks off from a sport.

This year we have torn up 1 knee, had 1 bad back, broken 1 clavicle, & only had 1 black eye.  I think I may be forgetting something, but I am sure there was a good story behind why I am forgetting.

We have started a Bible study at our house that is for the ladies in the neighborhood, but has blessed our whole family.  It was sweet to see the kids watch as prayers were answered . . ."Mom, what if no one shows up for your Bible study that you are praying about? Mom, what if it is only 1 person?" 10 women walked in the first night . . . "Wow, Mom, I am watching God answer prayers."  Always beautiful to watch their hearts open to the things of God.  Along the same lines, it has been a sweet thing to watch William & his friends join the church, as the boys have known each other since infancy & they stood side-by-side & took vows to serve the church & talked of their faith & the faith of their families.  It was a beautiful testimony to His love & promises to our families.
"We will tell the next generation all the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord."
Psalm 78:4

We traveled this Summer on an exciting adventure out West.  Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon & Las Vegas were beautiful places!  As we got on the plane at the beginning of our trip the youngest looks up & says I want to see a volcano & BatMan! ??? Well, guess what? There was the coolest BatMan standing next to an erupting volcano on the strip in Vegas! WFM5 & Daddy walked Angels Landing& we hiked a small part of the Narrows.  We ate dinner overlooking the Grand Canyon at sunset & floated around HorseShoe Bend. After all that, Mimi & Papa have already invited us on another trip next year! (Each year I wonder . . .)

Daddy has worked HARD, Mommy has driven many carpools & the kids have studied & played. We have grown, inside & out.  We have lived many fun adventures with some wonderful people.  God has been so good to our family this year, He has watched over us in travel, play, school & work & we could document many more, but no one wants a letter that long.  Sooo. . . Merry Christmas, Happy New Year & War Eagle  from our crazies to yours!  May you see His goodness over your family in 2018!

~ the Martins
Marty, Jocelyn, Baylor (14), William (basically 12), Whitt (10) & Baby Lee-Lee (5)

"I will make my dwelling among them & walk among them, 
& I will be there God, & they shall be my people."
2 Corinthians 6:16b

Monday, November 13, 2017

My Bubble . . .

March  . . . .It has become a joke, but we have a perfect little bubble for our little family.  Someone said one time, "you live in an old-fashioned neighborhood."  I truly do - kids play all over the place, we yell out the door at dinner time to come inside, there is always a pick-up game going on.
We sit on front stoops & tell the truths of our life.  We cheer each other on.
We do life - real life - together.
This is such a blessing to my children. I have started praying that they have the same thing in their lives when they are parenting.
October . . . .I could not remembered the last time that I blogged. I could not remember the last time I sat down & wrote my heart & their story.  I know blogging is going out-of-style, but for me this is the baby books that I could not handle.  They need to know the moments that meant something to me & our stories are a big part of their adventures.

We have gotten our hair cut for the craziest of reasons, we have celebrated just being brothers, & we have driven carpools.  We have gotten new vans & traveled & started school again.  We twirl & we kick. We have made the team & not made the team.  We have tried new things & still love the old things. We have broken things & fixed things.
I want to document the things of this time as it has been a time of learning for this mommy.  Learning that it does not all have to be just right, it does not all have to be the way I would have planned. You can drive the minivan (that you made your husband swear you would never drive) & you can forget a birthday & lose a kid (but just for a minute) & God is still God & He is sovereign & good & true.
We have watched as paths have been directed, we have prayed & watched as God answered.
We have been a family, a crazy family at that, but a family trying to be good & true.

We are doing a lot of growing up & with that comes some growing pains, but we are powering through.  We are on adventures, as individuals & as a family, but always with God steering the way.
One day they will look back & remember the stories behind these pictures . . . the convertible rides with grandparents in a scenery that only God could have made, a first day of school with friends who are more like family, a hike to look out over the world and a new puppy.  I am chronicling to remember & for them to have a piece of the memory.
Hebrews 12:2
Love, Mommy

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Book Thoughts

Books! I love to read, but I have to be honest - I have not read a lot of "parenting books."  They seem to be very overwhelming & when you have so many great parents around you, well . . .

I have recently been introduced to a Bible study series called "She Reads Truth."  This group puts out some great online/book Bible studies that are true to Scripture.  They are geared to get women focusing back on Scripture & not on what the world says of Scripture.  Why are so many people looking for truth & help in places that offer whatever they feel like offering?  These Bible studies have renewed my love of God's Word, of His truth.  The creators wrote a book (above) with the same name.  When I heard about the book I thought it would tell their stories & I was curious, BUT the book did so much more.  The book talked of finding permanent in an ever-changing world.  I think I look for permanent & everything is always changing.  I think I want to rest in permanence, but that can only be found in one place - GOD!  I think, actually I know, this book clarified my thoughts for myself & brought to light the truths I knew, but always took for granted.

The other book pictures above was a gift from my sister-in-law that I started awhile ago& of course misplaced. . . I thought it was supposed to be a funny story (and it was HILARIOUS), but it was also a beautiful Bible study on women & relationships & on the truths of Scripture.  Whoever thought you would pick up a funny story & underline half of it because you wanted to make sure those truths stuck a little more?  I cried from the funny stories & the truths of Scripture.

When you get out books & have to have your Bible(s) open & a couple of different color pens ready for underling in all, well then, you need to recommend.
And of course they will be saved for my girl as well . . .

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Cinco is 11!

It's true - our Cinco is turning 11!
Our first boy is growing up much too fast (do I say that in every birthday post?) & this Momma is ready for him to STOP!  I love this age - he is still innocent & funny, but carries on great conversations & thinks of others.
So far nothing "tween" is showing up.   We are ALL boy.
He got his first gun at Christmas (be-be)  & I will have to take him shopping today to get him some new clothes because he has hit a growth spurt.
Can you always be this fun?
Can you always be this cool?
Can you always love your momma this much & not be afraid for anyone to know it?
Thank you for being a great big brother.  Thank you for doing well in school & being an example in class.
I pray your dreams come true & I know they will when you work at them so hard.
To another great year! Love, Mommy

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcome 2017!

Welcome 2017!
Welcome to our home & family!
Welcome to our new adventures!

We are so excited to meet you & see what you have in store.
We are ready for more twirling, soccer, football, music & imaginary friends.
We are excited for good grades & playdates.
We are ready for riding & running through the neighborhood.

What will you teach us this year?
What will you hold for our hearts?

We know there will be good & bad, happy & sad, but may they all come gently & truthfully?
We know there will be grace, but may there be extra helpings.
We know there will be lots of Love, but may it grow in abundance.

"What is one thing you are looking forward to in 2017?
Bay: Being in the leadership class - 8th grade!
WFM5: Going to middle school!
Whitty: Going to a new school by himself
Baby Lee-Lee: Playing with Kazoo (pet hamster)

"We have seen His glory, 
the glory of the one and only Son, 
who came from the Father,
full of grace and truth."
John 1:14

~ the Martins

Friday, December 16, 2016

Merry Christmas to you & yours . . .

From our family to yours we wish you the Merriest of Christmases!
I am taking a Christmas card off my to-do list this year, I LOVE a Christmas card, but this momma needed more time to focus on other things this year.
We had a hard time in October & November with the hospitalization & then loss of my grandfather.  Great-Granddaddy Bill was a special man who my kids miss every day.  We talk about his funny statements & how we were so glad he moved closer to be with us in his last years.  We learned stories about when he was a little boy & we learned about how he gave back to others & his church.  We learned how he loved his family.  We learned these important things & how family ALWAYS comes first!
We learned A LOT of things this year . . .
We learned the value of hard work & how everything in life is not always easy-peesy.
We learned that we are all different & how that is special & the way God made us.
We learned to pray for our country & trust in God's sovereignty.
We learned that we are all smart & have hidden talents.
We learned that our cousins are some of the best friends around.
We learned that our Daddy can win a hole-in-one contest on a COOL cruise.
We learned that grandparents should not travel at the same time & we are spoiled with them living SO CLOSE.
We learned that our neighborhood is a gift from above.

Can you tell we have been busy?!

Our family has watched many twirling performances, soccer games, football games & imaginary friends.
Our family has WON & lost.
Our family has practiced.
Our family has driven carpool & enjoyed ICEES.
Our family has worshiped & served together.

Our family has done all of this as a family.
Our family is one of life's greatest gifts from God.
Salvation & family are the truest of gifts
So as you celebrate this BEAUTIFUL season with your family, know we are praying for peace & truth & love for you & yours.

the Martins
Marty, Jocelyn , Baylor (13), William (10), Whitt (9) & Lee-Lee (4)