Friday, September 23, 2011

Just a thought and a little catch up

So I realize it has been forever but as some of you may know I have dial-up internet in the great city of Autaugaville, and I really don't have much time to blog at school, so that kind of takes time away from the blog.  Not much is going on around here we are just working and enjoying every minute we can with this sweet little girl

Pretty much every photo has her tongue sticking out now
I wanted to share a little something I read the other day and what it meant to me.

God’s strong name is our help.”  Psalm 124:8

You have a ticket to heaven no thief can take, an eternal home no divorce can break. Every sin of your life has been cast to the sea. Every mistake you’ve made is nailed to the tree. You’re blood-bought and heaven-made. A child of God—forever saved. So be grateful, joyful—for isn’t it true? What you don’t have is much less than what you do.

How powerful is that there is nothing I can I can do to be separated from the Him.  The things I don't have are much less than what I do. I have all I will ever need in Jesus Chris.  It doesn't matter if my child has the greatest clothes, the most expensive toys, or a fancy bed to sleep in. What matters most is I teach her about her Heavenly Father that will be there for her when everyone else will turn away. It doesn't matter if I have a 3000 square foot brand new house or a two bedroom block house. It matters that I love my husband with all of my heart and serve God with all that I have wherever I live.  Really in the grand scheme of things that is all that matters.  I am truly blessed beyond belief and I just need to be reminded of that sometimes.

I hope you all have a great weekend.  I am super excited because I get to go spend the whole day, just me and my mom, going to Birmingham to see Les Miserables.  I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  I will miss Mattie terribly but I am sure she will be just fine with her Daddy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Anyone who has ever lost anyone close to them will understand this feeling.  The days after that someone passes away are tough.  You pick up the phone and go to call them and remember they aren't there, you think you see them in traffic or in a crowd of people and then you remember they are gone.  Then as time passes you don't do that near as much.  Now I am in no way saying that I don't miss my daddy anymore. I miss him still to this day but the pain of that hurt has over time become so much easier to deal with.

The thing is it is the unexpected things in life that creep up and get you and take you back to the day they left earth.  This happened to me recently.  I was at home with Mattie just me and her and basketball was on ( if you can call some of the NCAA tournament basketball but that is another blog entry).  Mattie has enjoyed basketball since birth.  She watches basketball  like she watches Elmo, she never looks away. I thought wouldn't Daddy think that was neat, a granddaughter who loves basketball. I became so sad at the fact that daddy wasn't here to see her. Well if you know anything about missing someone you know that it just kind of snowballs from there into what my family calls ugly crying. You think of all the big events they have missed from funerals to weddings to births. That is what I mean by the small things that get us.  I was prepared to miss my daddy when I got married.  I was prepared to miss him when I had Mattie. I have been prepared at other events to miss him. It is the little things like watching your child watch a basketball game, hearing a song on the radio, or maybe a certain scripture that take you back to that place of sadness that they are not there.

Basketball was always mine and my dads thing.  I wasn't very good at it but I understood the game. My dad along with Coach Windle coached me from 7th-12th grade and I couldn't think of two better men to learn from.  They took a totally different approach but they were wonderful with us girls and they loved us dearly and we always knew that. I sat there and watched Mattie just staring at the TV and I couldn't help but think Daddy was smiling down thinking of how much fun we had in that gym at Morgan Academy so long ago. I don't want to get into the spirituality of all of that and if it is even possible but sometimes just thinking about that gives me comfort in the hardest times.  The morning after all of this happened  Kyle didn't ride to work with me, so that means I had total control of the radio.  Well I was listening to Andrew Peterson again, he really is that good, and here is the song that was playing.

More by Andrew Peterson

This is not the end here at this grave
This is just a hole that someone made
Every hole was made to fill
And every heart can feel it still--
Our nature hates a vacuum

This is not the hardest part of all
This is just the seed that has to fall
All our lives we till the ground
Until we lay our sorrows down
And watch the sky for rain

There is more
More than all this pain
More than all the falling down
And the getting up again
There is more
More than we can see
From our tiny vantage point
In this vast eternity
There is more

A thing resounds when it rings true
Ringing all the bells inside of you
Like a golden sky on a summer eve
Your heart is tugging at your sleeve
And you cannot say why
There must be more

There is more
More than we can stand
Standing in the glory
Of a love that never ends
There is more
More than we can guess
More and more, forever more
And not a second less

There is more than what the naked eye can see
Clothing all our days with mystery
Watching over everything
Wilder than our wildest dreams
Could ever dream to be

You know there is so much more than that pain.  There are so many good things that have come from my dads death.  I would rather not get into it for everyone to read but I just encourage you to think about all the good that can come from something tragic. I do know that there are days that are so hard you don't think you can go on, just ask a girl who cried like a crazy woman over the little girl below watching a basketball game.

Mattie waiting to take her picture for the directory at church

It didn't take long to go to this

When it was her turn to have her picture this is the face she made

Monday, April 4, 2011

I could never and why do you?

So many people have told me since I married Kyle that I could never live as far out as you live or why do you live all the way out in the country.  Well there are some definite pros and cons. Some of the pros are

This is one of my side yards
This is my other side yard

This is my front yard

 These are the only things that watch you when you decide to walk/run after a long time of not walk/running.

We can grow all of our own vegetables

   and we have a yard to go outside to anytime the weather permits


I guess I can only think of one con off the top of my head and that is it takes a little while to get to town and the can be tough especially when gas is well over $3.00 a gallon.  I don't really have any cute photos to show the cons except for this:

  Mattie can drive wherever she wants in a matter of minutes, Kyle and I on the other hand can not.

I realize for some the wide open spaces would drive them crazy but I on the other hand love it.  I hope you all have a blessed Monday and I need to blog about something I have had on my mind lately maybe later today or tomorrow.  Until then.....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

God comes through once again...

This past weekend I got my feelings hurt pretty badly.  It doesn't happen very often but I did.  It ended up not being a big deal and I shouldn't have gotten near as upset as I allowed myself to be. Anyway I decided to take off to the great city of Selma, Alabama and see my mom.  I don't know if you all have a mother like mine, well Paul and Katie do. My mom has never been one to tell you what you wanted to hear but always what you needed to hear and always in a loving manner.  As I was leaving her house I ask God to give me a word, a song, a bit of scripture something to help me get over this hurt I was feeling. I got in the car and before we got to the end of the road Mattie was asleep and  my CD on shuffle played the following song

 It's so easy to cash in these chips on my shoulder
So easy to loose this old tongue like a tiger
It's easy to let all this bitterness smolder
Just to hide it away like a cigarette lighter

It's easy to curse and to hurt and to hinder
It's easy to not have the heart to remember
That I am a priest and a prince in the Kingdom of God

I've got voices that scream in my head like a siren
Fears that I feel in the night when I sleep
Stupid choices I made when I played in the mire
Like a kid in the mud on some dirty blind street
I swore on the Bible to not tell a lie
But I've lied and lied
And I crossed my heart and I hoped to die
And I've died and died

But if it's true that you gathered my sin in Your hand
And You cast it as far as the east from the west
If it's true that You put on the flesh of a man
And You walked in my shoes through the shadow of death

If it's true that You dwell in the halls of my heart
Then I'm not just a fool with a fancy guitar
No, I am a priest and a prince in the Kingdom of God

I thought about that and must have played that song 7 times on the way home.  It is so much easier to be ugly back but I chose not to and I am glad I didn't because it really wasn't a big deal at all and how foolish would I have looked.  Also it is hard to remember sometimes that we are priest for God, all of us no matter what our job, just a thought.  The song is Fool with a Fancy Guitar by Andrew Peterson and I think he is fabulous. Anyway I hope you all have a great day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What If.....

Last night I was in the kitchen cooking supper and it was a little later than usually for Mattie's supper time.  She proceeded to her seat and tried to crawl up.  I said Mattie supper isn't ready just yet so you will have to wait. She sat on the floor and said what sounds like amen and clapped her hands, I don't know why she claps after we pray but she does. Anyway I thought, how funny, she thinks if she says the blessing she will get to eat.

Then I thought what if no one ever taught her to pray. What if no one ever prayed with me. What if daddy didn't die and what if, what if, what if, the list can go on and on and on you get what I am saying here.  I thought back to my thought for the day the other day. It said:

“We do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself speaks to God for us.” Romans 8:26

You know, we really don’t know what to pray for, do we? What if God had answered every prayer that you ever prayed? Just think who you’d be married to. Just think where you’d be living. Just think what you’d be doing.
God loves us so much that sometimes he gives us what we need and not what we ask.

I am amazed more and more everyday at how much God loves me. I heard this song last weekend on our radio station that we get with Dish network.  Anyway it just kind of sums it up I think.  Paul Coleman sings it and I love it

Here I am
In a river of questions
Can I pour my heart out to a listening ear?
I see this life
Its valley's and mountains
And I think of all the roads that brought me here

I've questioned my reasons
The life I'm living
I've questioned my ability
To judge wrong from right
I've questioned all the things that I've ever called certain
My race, my religion, my country, my mind

But the one thing I don't question is you
You really love me like you say you do
You really love me like you say you do
Hold me
Hold me

I've questioned significance
Meaning and relevance
Does the work I'm doing really matter at all?
Well I've questioned my friendships
Alliance, dependence
Who will still be here when I fall?

Only one thing doesn't change
Only one thing stays the same
All I know at the end of the day is your love remains

And this is just because I love these pictures of Mattie and I think she is cute.

She is putting together her outfit here. 

After "she got it like she liked it"

Mattie's face when you tell her "I want a kiss" 

Have a great rest of the day and good weekend and for all my teacher friends a great spring break.


Friday, February 18, 2011

One of those days

I am not one to dwell on days that are bad but let me just say I have never been more ready for this weekend.  We have registration, planning for reading round-up, book fair, and an art night that I am a part of, all going on within the next 15 days.  Can anyone else say stressed. I am super excited though because I get to spend tomorrow with Mattie and Natalie Reese Carter.  YEAH!!! I am so glad Blake, Amanda, Shay, Denise, and the older girls are going. So ready for some fun.  Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Here are just a couple of pictures of Mattie during Valentine's weekend.  She reminds me of my sister since every photo of  Katie as a child her mouth is open.  Anyway I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day.

This was at the beginning of our little photo shoot. ( it only lasted about 10 minutes total)

I think she heard the cows at this point

She was so excited here, for what reason I don't know.  I think that she reminds me most of Katie here though.

Anyway I hope to blog later this week about what is going on with us. I just wated to get these up so my brother mainly could see these. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fun Night and That Lesson I Learned

Last night I had the great privilege of watching two of my 3 nieces, Callie and Natalie.  I love watching them mainly for selfish reasons.  They entertain my child and when she gets into something she shouldn't they are quick to holler Aunt Leslie, Mattie is into... insert whatever here.  Here is a picture of how our evening started off.

All of the girls go to the same day care so I picked them all up from school.  Mattie has a set of Elmo books and they are all reading them, well Callie is probably the only one attempting to read, but they are all looking

After I picked them up we went back to our house to have some fun.  They really do play well together.

Mattie was so excited because Natalie was reading her Itsy Bitsy Spider

This is the girls all watching Sesame Street.  I have a rule they can't sit too close to the TV. They have to sit on the rug or on the couch.  This is how they lined up on the rug.  It is too funny, that they lined up by age. All that is missing is Aubrey and Ford.

This is the girls on the couch, again lined up by age on their own.

After that we ate supper then we made cookies and decorated with icing and sprinkles.  Callie asked how to ice the cookie. I told her it was easier if you held the cookie in your hand and iced the cookie that way. Here is Callie she was already eating her cookie before I could snap a picture.

Then there is Natalie.  When I looked at her hands they were covered in icing and nothing was on the cookie. I said, " Natalie why is the icing on your hand and not your cookie ? " She looked at me and said "Aunt Leslie you said to ice my hand." I guess I should have been more clear in the hold the cookie in your hand and ice the cookie. Here is Natalie

This is the face and...

here are the hands.  I love this child.  She cracks me up

Mattie kept on doing her "Where's is she hand and face this morning"  she was saying where Ca Ca (Callie) I tried to get a picture of it but this is all I got.  I think it is still cute.

Now for the lesson I learned.  I subscribe to a daily devotional/thought for the day thing  from Max Lucado and yesterday this was in my e-mail.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4 NKJV
To mourn for your sins is a natural outflow of poverty of spirit
. . . Many know they are wrong, yet they pretend they are right. As a result, they never taste the exquisite sorrow of repentance.
Of all the paths to joy, this one has to be the strangest. True blessedness, Jesus says, begins with deep sadness.

Wow I never thought of it that way.  I have always thought I would be blessed because I had mourned so much.  I mourned for Kevin, my summer missionary partner, who passed away in '98, I mourned for my daddy, grandmother, and Uncle David who all died within 24 months starting in June of 2000. 

I never really gave much thought of mourning for my sins. The definition of mourn is to feel or express deep regret for.  Shouldn't we feel regret over the times we wrong our Lord.

In talking with my mother the other day I realized, or really was more reminded, of something about myself.  I am so great at looking at what other people "do wrong"  whatever it may be, and then when I "do something wrong" (i.e. overeat, judge others, don't stand up for what I believe) I am the first to justify it. Overeating, I simple say it is only one cookie or I have eaten so well all day, one whatever want hurt.  In judging others I make their sin so much worse than anything I would ever do. (sarcasm intended) In standing up for what I believe, I fear that I will hurt someones feelings and I don't want to get into it for whatever reason. 

I am going to start working on thinking of my sin in a spirit of great mourning.  When I wrong God shouldn't I feel and express great regret?  I think I should.  Father please forgive me when I have sinned against you.  I know my sin is no more insignificant or significant than others.  I love you Lord and thank you for all the hard times that have come my way because I know they only make me stronger. I rejoice for all the good that has come out of those times.  It make me enjoy the good times of so much more.

Y'all have a great weekend


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sick Day (Tuesday) and a great lesson this morning (Wednesday)

So Mattie Carter had strep throat for like the second time in her short life. I took her Monday because she started with a cough that wouldn't quit.  She never ran a fever or any other normal symptoms.  Her pediatrician said it took the test 20 seconds for positive to pop up.  I always feel bad because I hear people say I hurt so bad for my child when he/she is sick but I have to say Mattie is a great sick child or wild shall I say.  Below is a picture of Mattie eating her breakfast on her "sick day"

Well she was doing so well I thought I will let her play in her room while I washed dishes. Now Mattie has nothing in her room that she can really get into except the door on her changing table that has her Q-tips, powder, and other night time things. I put an activity cube my mom gave her for her birthday in front of the door so she can't get into all the stuff. This is a real wood heavy duty activity cube (see below)

so it should be hard for her to move any amount much less do what she did in under two minutes. This is what I saw when I came into her room

When I said her name and told her to clean up this is the face that I got.

How in the world can you get on to this face? Well being that I am a teacher and have a great fear that my child will be the kid that no one wants in their class it is very easy to get on to this face.  I made her pick everything up, which she did only stopping a couple of times to play with Hokey Pokey Elmo (thanks aunt K-K)

I will have to complete the great lesson I learned this morning tomorrow because I get to hang out with these sweet girls this evening.

This picture is from the last time the girl spent the night together.  It makes me think of all the fun I had spending the night with my cousins growing up.  I promise I will blog tomorrow about my lesson. Talk with you all later.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A little Mister Rogers for you......

A couple of years ago my mom or sister, I don't remember which one, gave me a book entitled The World According to Mister Rogers.  It is a collection of quotes from Mister Rogers.  I was looking for a particular quote and I ran across this one instead.

" The gifts we treasure most over the years are often small and simple.  In easy times and in tough times, what seems to matter most is the way we show those nearest us that we've been listening to their needs, to their joys, and to their challenges."

I  think that is so true.  I can only remember one really big gift I ever received and I remember it because "Santa" told me they were not able to find it and on Christmas morning it was there. It was a hot pink and purple ten speed bike and I loved it, well until it was stolen. 

I can go on and on though about small things or gifts that people have done for us.  I remember my mom always made notes, poems, or even scavenger hunts directing us to gifts we received.  I remember getting to sleep with my mom when my dad worked night shift.  I also remember daddy coaching me in basketball and learning so many more lessons other than basketball.  I remember having an MRI and being so afraid and that morning my mom came in my room before I left and said I want to pray for you, that wasn't unusual but I just remember that so vividly. I remember Katie buying me a CD by Jason Mraz and attaching the sweetest note saying it isn't a lot but I had a great time with you at the Jason Mraz concert and I thought you could remember it this way.  The sweetest thing ever was when our Dad died watching the youth from our church.   I worked with the youth and they were all  friends of my sister ( they were the same age). Those sweet young people came to the hospital, visitation, and my dad's funeral.  It was as if they were grown up.  

So... what are some things you remember from your childhood be it big or small ?

Hope you guys have a great day


Monday, January 31, 2011

Experience True Joy

I have started reading a devotional book in the morning that I received for Christmas.  It is the Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer and I loved what it had to stay this morning. It says, "There is no fear in love (dread does not exist) but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and so he who is afraid had not reached the full maturity of love (is not yet grown into love's complete perfection)." 1 John 4:16

A lack of confidence is a condition, you might call it an illness. When you are sick what causes that illness? A deficiency of something and an invasion of some kind that shouldn't be there. In the case of lack of confidence the thing missing is obviously confidence but what takes over us when we lack confidence... FEAR.

A fearful person won't step out of their comfort zone to do anything.  Fear is a cruel ruler and it keeps its subject in constant torment.

Ask God today to replace your fear with confidence.

On a side note I am trying to memorize a verse every week and do some kind of random act of kindness each day.  My verse this week is James 1:12.  It says " Blessed are those that persevere under trail, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."  What a great verse to go along with today's study.

I hope y'all have a great day and I am still working on my random act of kindness for the day.  I challenge you to try it. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

I know I have already posted once today but.....

I was just trying to see how to set this all up and see how to actually do a blog. I enjoy journaling a great deal so I figured what better way to journal than a blog.  It will be around longer and it is easier for me to type and keep up with things that are special to me. The most special thing to me would be Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior without Him nothing is possible.  The other things in my life that are special are one Mr Kyle Carter.  I love that man so much.  We have been married almost 3 years and I am so thankful I waited until I was ummm, up in age, if you will, for the Lord to send him to me. The next best thing is ......

Mattie Alise Carter

this picture is about 3 months old but it is one of my favorite of her.  I think she is pretty amazing.  There is so much more to say but alas I have to go do bus duty. I do enjoy bus duty it means the day is over and in today's case it means... IT IS THE WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you guys have a great one.

First Post

So this is my first post.  I read everyone elses blogs so I thought why not start my own.  It is mainly for friends far and near to read and keep up with life. Also I can do this on my break from work and facebook isn't available at school.  I hope to keep you all updated on everything going on with us.