Dear Levi

As I sit here, drinking my afternoon tea, I am pondering you my son.

My third baby. In such a short time, there were three. During a time when life was very uncertain and I was scared. I wasn’t sure God had things in control and didn’t feel I could trust Him. And then a baby.

A baby who changed everything. A baby who changed the course of my life.

laughing

You may be tired of this story, son. Tired of hearing the same words from this Momma. But who can ever tire of hearing of God’s sovereign grace over a life fraught with sin and pain?

God chose you, my son, for a great work. And he sent you to us as a baby to show me just how much He cared for me, for my heart. God is neat like that. Just when we think He doesn’t hear or know or see, He reaches down just in time and proves us wrong.

I knew in that moment when they yelled, “He’s still attached!” And when I felt your wet-warmth seep into my soul. And when I stared into those dark blue eyes in the middle of the night because you were confused as to when you should be awake. And a few months later when God whispered through His word to this weary heart. I knew. I knew there was more to it than what I was seeing.

“So we fix our eyes NOT on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)

In this great big maze of life sometimes we get lost and all we can see are the wrong turns, the dead ends and the unpassable wall that’s in front of our face. We think there is no way out. That there is no purpose to the wandering. That somehow we were forgotten and handed the short end of life. It’s easy to only see the bad, the hard, the suffering. But those are not the only things. And we must tell our eyes not to land there because there is so much more. So much.

Even in the midst of those hard moments, when the breath is knocked out of you and you may be crying. Yes, even then, there can be joy. It may come as buried treasure, you may have to hunt for it, but it is always there. And just like a diamond that is hewn out of a black rock, it will shine blindingly bright in the midst of depressing darkness.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show the all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)

Why do I write these grown up words to my seven year old boy? (SEVEN!!??)

Because you were my buried treasure, Levi. You were the light that began in the dark and hidden place. You were the hope that fluttered inside me. You brought the joy to a weighed down momma during the long stretches of night. You were the gift on my very own birthday. A gift of fulfilled meaning the very moment you came to be.

 CIMG1505

God sent a baby another time in history who changed everything. A baby who changed the course of this world.

A baby born in the midst of great darkness whose purpose was to break open the light. To kindle the flame of hope and to ignite joy.

“For God, who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

And because of that gift, we can find joy. Always. Even in and amongst the sorrow. How sweet of him to use another baby, you, to bring a smaller salvation to my soul. To bring the light of his face into the every day. To encourage me not to lose heart and that nothing, even the hardest of moments, are not wasted.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)

I know that some of these words you may not understand right now. But I know that one day they will make sense and that is why I want you to have them now. You are precious. You have purpose. I promise.

I love each day I have with you. Sometimes I wish I could just drink you in, so that you would seep deep into my pores. It is strange sometimes for me to think that you are your own, thinking and feeling little person and no longer a part of me. I guess that might sound weird to you. But this momma-heart makes me sound that way sometimes. Letting go is a hard thing. And a wonderful thing. But sometimes it just feels strange and I’m not sure I like it. It starts the minute the cord is cut and it is a cutting that continues with every year that comes and goes by. Each year you are a little more of you and a little less of me. And really, that is so good. But it makes my heart twinge just a bit, ‘cause I wonder if it’s enough.

 View More: http://coastlineimagery.pass.us/judah

But again, I’m talking grown-up.

For now, just have fun playing with Lego’s and shooting your bow and arrow. And riding your bike and playing with friends, telling jokes and being silly. Enjoy going to school and learning cursive and a little Latin. Be a good big brother and a good little brother and a brother to a sister who sometimes drives you nuts. There is still so much divine tucked in all these beautiful, childhood wonders. Glory in them, my son. And I’ll worry with the other.

I seriously can’t even tell you how much I love you and just how thankful to God I am for you. You most definitely win the “Best Birthday Present Ever” award!

Happy Birthday!!

Love,

Your Momma

Dear Levi

Levi and I both recently shared our (6th and 31st) birthdays in February. Craziness ensued thereafter, which is my explanation for the delay in posting his letter.

Dear Levi,

I’ll never forget the excitement surrounding your birth.

I couldn’t believe it was my birthday! You were going to be born on my birthday! I just never would have thought that possible!

I told all the nurses there that we would share the same birthday. They were excited too. I was so glad that Dr. Fontana was on call that night. Because he was the very same doctor who delivered me when I was being born! How special.

But you’ve already heard this story many times…

How you interrupted our super bowl party when I thought I was in labor a few weeks before…

How you interrupted my birthday dinner at Nana’s with contractions when it was for real…

How Dr. Fontana was there…

How we didn’t have a name for you yet…

How you were still attached to me when they went to take you away…

How God named you Levi…

But have you heard the part about me falling in love with you?

There is something that happens to a Mama when she has a baby that is both miraculous and obvious. Did you know that her heart grows, doubling in size from what it was? Did you know that I felt it do that? And then it starts to ache just a bit as it continues beating. Because it now beats for an extra person. One more than it did before.

You were placed on my chest, all white and wet and wailing. I remember the warmth of your little body as my hands enveloped you. And the warmth of my heart as it grew to yet another size. I breathed you in and kissed you. You were heavenly. As close to heaven as I will ever be on this earth. Holding my little one all wet for the first time. It’s my favorite.

Your head was so dark and your face so Qualls. And I knew no Marcy was there this time either.

I had been so nervous about adding another one to our family. But after you were here I felt silly for feeling that way. You were just a joy. And you smiled so easily. And fit in so well. And we just loved you so much.

You are now a big six year old. That is so hard for me to believe. I remember you being born so vividly, so it’s hard to believe that it was six years ago.

I love who you are and who you are becoming. You are my favorite 6 year old, that’s for sure. You are learning to read this year and you put Lego’s together so well. You are our little comedian and you love doing stand-up shows for us. And boy how I laugh until the tears come down! You sing along to the worship songs in the car and know every word. And you always ask me, “What’s that song again mom?” And I know, because I know you and I say, “Bless the Lord Oh My Soul?” And you say, “Yeah, that one. That’s my favorite.” It’s my favorite too.

You want to feel important and be heard and sometimes there are tears because you are feeling a little lost I think. I love you then too. And when you can’t find your shoes or your socks even though you just had them on and we are now late. I love you then too. Or when you just want to stay in the car, but we have to go into the store and we wait and wait… I love you then too. And when there’s dirt under your nails and your hair is sticking up and I notice this sitting on the front pew at church. I love you even then.

Because you are my little guy and my heart beats for you. There is no love like a mother’s love…

Well, maybe there is.

God’s love for us is even greater. We are all His favorites. All the time. Even in the middle of our biggest fits and we have to go in time out. He loves us even then too… especially then.

Never forget that. God loves you no matter what. And that’s why I can too.

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy. This Mama’s heart still aches just a bit when I kiss your blond fuzz head. And it always will…

I Have Worms in my Fridge

And no, I don’t mean maggots.

I have worms in my refrigerator because I have boys in my home.

I said I would never have hamsters in my house.

Or snakes…

Or frogs…

Or any other kind of reptile.

But I didn’t have boys when I foolishly said all those things.

And now I even have worms in my fridge.

To feed all those reptiles, you know.

But I don’t really mind anymore. Because I love my boys.

And I’m starting to love what they love.

But absolutely, positively NO tigers or lions!

You gotta draw the line somewhere.

Then and Now

July 4th 2008
July 4th 2012
My how the years go by in a flash!
Thankful for the freedom we have in Christ. And the freedom we have in our country to raise our families in the ways of the Lord.

Dear Levi

Hey Buddy!

Can you believe that IT has actually come? After a year long wait, your birthday is finally  here. Your Mama was even starting to wonder if it would ever arrive!

But it did, and all too soon if you ask me.

And can you believe that you are now 5? I sure can’t.

FIVE.

I know I keep saying it. But it’s just such a big number. I’m making sure we are ready for it. Are we?

Five years ago today…

You were born.

What had been safely inside, I was now being forced to share with the outside. I was glad to share you. To meet you. To see you and count your fingers and toes. To see that Qualls’ chin and eyes and nose – nope, no Marcy there!

But…

I wished you were still just mine. Like a nicely kept secret.

See, a lot had been swirling about. And one day I will tell you all about it. I can’t wait to share that story with you someday, when  you are bigger, when you can understand. Because it was one of the most important times in Mama’s life. But for now, I’ll just say this…

I remember the day I found out you were in my tummy. I was feeling sick. I thought maybe I had the flu or something like that. I was nervous. I told Daddy that on the way home from church, we should stop and get one of those special tests, you know the one that tells you whether or not there is a baby in a Mama’s tummy.

I remember sitting in church. I remember the seat and the outfit I was wearing. I remember hearing the pastor speak and I remember what he said.

He said, “Sometimes God brings difficult circumstances into our lives as believers. But it’s ok. Even if we don’t understand why, even if it doesn’t feel that it could possibly be coming from God, it can still be ok. Because he loves us, and there is a purpose, and it’s going to be ok.”

So I held on tight and told myself that. It would be ok. No matter what.

And you know what? It was. Because God did have a purpose. That purpose was you and the work He would begin through you.

The night you were born we had been at Nana and Papa’s house, do you know why? Because it was MY birthday too! And Nana had fixed a big meal to celebrate. I remember sitting at the table trying to enjoy all the yummy food, but I just couldn’t. Because my labor had begun and I knew it would be soon.

When we got to the hospital I was excited to hear that Dr. Fontana was on call. Because he was the same doctor who delivered me when I was being born! And because it was my birthday, it was 25 years ago to the day. I kept telling all the nurses that it was my birthday and that Dr. Fontana had delivered me too. Everyone was pretty excited.

Well after waiting for a long time (because you were sunny-side-up remember) you finally arrived and they laid you on my chest and I cried. I always do when I meet my babies for the first time. You were covered in white and you were crying and I loved you from the very first moment.

Did you know that God named you? Because Mama and Daddy had a real hard time thinking of just the right name and we needed a lot of help. There were a few names swirling around, but we just didn’t know which one would be right for you.

After you had been born and we were all looking at you and the nurses were wiping and sucking and rubbing you, one of them tried to take you off of my chest. But as the one nurse began to lift you off of me, the other nurse shouted, “Wait! He’s still attached!” Your cord hadn’t been cut yet.

I looked at Baba who was standing right next to me and she smiled. Later I asked Daddy, “Did you hear what she said? She said that he was still attached.”

Why was this important? Because that is exactly what your name means, to be attached.

So we knew. Levi would be your name.

Later I would understand even more why the meaning of your name was so important.

That’s the really special thing about God, Levi. He speaks to us. We can’t always hear His voice like you can hear mine or Daddy’s. But He speaks to us just the same. That’s why we read the Bible together. But He doesn’t only use the Bible to speak to us. He is a great BIG God and uses all sorts of fun ways to speak to His children.

But this time, it was through the Bible that God spoke to Mama. I was reading in Genesis, you know the very first book of the Bible. The same book that talks about creation and Noah and Abraham and Issac and one of your favorites, Jacob. And that’s exactly the part I was reading. That story about Jacob.

Jacob had a wife and her name was Leah. And she wasn’t very happy. In fact, she had been really, really sad. But God was kind to her and kept giving her sons, because children are blessings from God.

I was reading and reading and then I came to the part about her third son and I stopped. Do you know why? Because her third son she named Levi too! How had I not remembered that? I thought it was pretty cool that we had both named our third child the same name. And do you know what? The meaning of your names meant something special to Leah in the Bible too. She said, “I will name him Levi, so that I will be attached to my husband.”

God had a special plan for her Levi. Leah wanted to be happy, to make her husband and family happy. And God was going to use her Levi to help her do that.

And you know what? God had a special plan for MY Levi too. He would use you in the same way to attach us all together. To bring joy and healing and great happiness to our family.

When I read that part in Genesis I knew that God had spoken to me in that special way that He does. He was telling me that He saw and understood. That He had a plan and would take care of us, because He is a caring God.

You are an important little guy, my Levi. God had a special plan and purpose for you from the very first moment you entered this world. I want you to always remember that. To know and believe with all your heart that you are special and that God loves you. That He sees you and is using you to accomplish great things.

Although life was crazy for a time, it was fun introducing you to our world and especially to your big sister and big brother. They loved you from the first moments. We all did.

And your daddy was so good at staying up with you when you had your days and nights mixed up.

This is you smiling at your Daddy

And somehow you fit in so well. And we all asked ourselves how we had ever gotten along without you!

We were now a family of five!

There’s that word again.

FIVE.

How did it go by so fast? I look back at pictures and videos and remember how crazy it was and I really felt that it would be that way forever. But everyone kept telling me that it wouldn’t. Somehow I just didn’t believe them!

But now I do. And I want to hold onto every single moment and put a brick on your head to keep you from growing any bigger. And post a sign on the door that says “NO GETTING BIGGER ALLOWED!”

But I know that that’s impossible and it’s not even right.

I have loved watching you get bigger.

You were the best ‘cheeser’… Every time you saw the camera come out, it was an immediate “CHHEEESSE!”



And you fed yourself so well… You even managed to get oatmeal in your hair – EVERY MORNING! I think this picture is after dinner. And those are mashed potatoes.

You always made us laugh, even before you could talk. And now that you do talk, you are just so stinkin’ funny!

I love your funny sayings, like, “Mom, what should I do with this booger? It’s a giant one.”

And I love your “what if’s”. Like, “Mom, what if a man flew up to the moon so he could roast a marshmallow on the sun? Wouldn’t that be cool?”


I love how you love everything that your big brother and daddy loves. And you want to be just like them. You three really make a good team. I love watching you play together and love each other.

I love how stubborn you are. How LOUD you can be! That you want to always be apart and included… anything from helping in the kitchen to doing school work.

I love how I can’t ever keep your finger nails short enough and somehow they are always filled with dirt… even at church.

I love that you always tell me I smell nice. Even when your version of ‘smelling nice’ is smelling like chicken or ketchup or hot dogs. Do I really smell like hot dogs??

I love your blond head and that it’s stayed the blondest the longest. I love tucking you in at night, you always ask for an extra hug and a butterfly kiss and to tell me something else.

And I have loved watching you watch the new baby grow in my tummy. You were the first to tell me how ‘fat my tummy was getting’ and you love putting your hand on my belly to see if he’s awake. I can’t wait to see you as a big brother. It’s a big responsibility! Are you ready for it?? I think you will be.

I am so proud of you, my Levi. Thanks for showing Mama how to laugh, how to let go and for teaching me that sound effects really are appropriate in every situation.

You truly are a gift. The best birthday present a Mama could ask for!

Love,

Your Mama

A Tribute to Fall

Before we completely move onto Christmas I wanted to pay tribute to this past Fall with some of the fun things that happened in our family… 
We were excited to find out there was a little bean inside. It was fun keeping it a secret
for at least a couple of weeks!
We welcomed fall to our house with a chocolate cake and candles, why not??
The kids had fun dressing up for the annual Down Town Bay Street Trick or Treat. 
 
 Elijah growing up so fast!
 One of the highlights was welcoming home the “hikers”, my brother Hunter and his wife Amy. They finished the PCT after 5 months of hiking.

I love seeing my boys and girl dirty! It means they’ve been having fun outside!
 We were thankful to make a trip to D.C. to visit some dear friends. While there we went to the ‘BIG’ Air and Space Museum. We found the plane that was on Levi’s jacket!

And this plane was on Deke’s shirt! And can you believe it, 
both of those were unplanned!!

I think Olivia’s favorite thing was going to the Antique Store and trying on all the hats.
She’s quite the model!
The kids always have fun in the kitchen creating new desserts.
It was fun seeing our baby for the first time!
Olivia sang her first solo in church last week
This is the baby at 14 weeks. Olivia is demonstrating
how big the baby is right now.
We had fun with our visiting friends from Knoxville, TN. We have missed them
since they moved this past summer.
Leave it up to Deacon and Olivia to find a stray or injured animal. This time it was a
cardinal they tried to nurse back to health… unfortunately the cat
found it the next morning! =(
The Qualls family has the wonderful tradition of letting the smallest members of the family mix up the famous cornbread dressing for Thanksgiving each year. Yes, we make them wash their hands before, but we have no control over the sneezes!
Dustin’s been doing this ever since he can remember!
He was the turkey man at our house this year too! We hosted my family for Thanksgiving for the first time. It was a lot of work, but worth it. It was so much fun having everyone over.

The finished bird! And did I mention this was our first turkey too!

We had 20 people to help us celebrate, hence the second table in the living room. Thanks to my amazingly talented husband, he just happened to have an extra (beautiful) heart-pine table lying around his shop that we were able to use!

Some of the crowd in the kitchen and some of the food – that we are still eating!
The kids table!

My favorite nephew – look at that edible chub!
Yeah, he’s got this chillin’ thing down to a science!
I thought it would be fun to end with the E man giving us a dance!
A lot has happened this Fall. Many ups and downs for sure. But family, especially children help keep things constant and fun and definitely interesting.
I am so grateful for that and the amazing work God continues to do in our lives and hearts.

Surprises

This morning I woke up to a wonderful surprise.

For once it wasn’t screaming or some kind of pounding noise or the need to referee. It was my three children quietly knocking on the door, then poking their heads in and asking if they could come in. I of course said yes, wondering who these nice little children were!

And to my great surprise, they carried in a tray with tea and toast! There was even a little ‘table’ cloth and a homemade butterfly adorning the tray and a towel “in case you spill your tea”.

I was completely and very pleasantly shocked by this sweet gesture. They wanted to bless me and they did.

But the best part I think was the conversation that followed. Olivia asked if I wanted to be alone but I said that I would rather they stay (and watch me eat!). We talked and laughed and cuddled and shared funny stories.

I mostly listened to them take turns talking about silly little things. I love listening to my kids. They are so funny and smart and have real thoughts!! I love it when they let me inside their little hearts, there is so much to see and know and learn.

The toast might have been dry and the tea lukewarm, but I would gladly choose that over a gourmet meal prepared by a fine chef any day.

Later in the morning I received another surprise…

God sometimes has very humorous ways of keeping us humble. And also is so faithful to provide a way of escape from the temptations we face. So to avoid the temptation of boasting in my children or possibly in my mothering, God was so kind to allow my children to…

lock me out of the house

on purpose

in the rain

How quickly I was reminded that the only thing worth boasting in, is our Lord. Everything else… well… is just so dang fickle!!

So thankful for the fun surprises that come our way. Sometimes we have to search for them and find the hidden treasures. But sometimes they are delivered to you in the form of dry toast and cold tea by 3 small children who aren’t ashamed to show you their sweet love.

To Answer the Question…

Why was Levi hiding in the van??

Many of you who read my last post have asked me (and members of my family) how Levi got to be in the van and why he was hiding there.

While typing out that post I started to include the reason, but thought I would spare him possible embarrassment. (Love covers a multitude of sins =0] )

But since it has become an ‘issue’ I will give a brief explanation.

Levi is experiencing, what we like to call, ‘growing pains’. He never had the ‘terrible two’s’ like most children do. Instead, we are now dealing with the ‘furious fours’. ‘Furious’, because, well, he’s just mad about a lot of things right now.

He’s mad because ‘Mommy said so’.
… and because ‘You just have to.’
…but he just ‘Doesn’t want to’.

So there have been lots of ‘discussions’ and ‘attitude adjustments’ going on lately.

What happened last Wednesday was just another manifestation of the ‘furious fours’. ‘Mommy said so’, he ‘didn’t want to’…. so he hid in the van.

It was a very deliberate way of saying to mommy, “Not only do I not want to, I will not, therefore I will hide in the van and stay quiet when you call my name… at least until I get board.” (which if you remember lasted about 30 terrifying minutes)

Although it was intentional, I don’t believe he fully understood what he was doing. He didn’t realize that I would assume the very worst had happened to him or that I would almost call the police or that I would end up collapsing on the floor after he had been found.

He simply was trying to prove a point to me.

Unfortunately for him, I then had to prove a very important point. And I did.

Unfortunately for me, he is still trying to process that point. (yesterday I caught him crawling into a cabinet after I told him to do something he didn’t want to do) So, it continues…

But it’s a process for all of us, isn’t it? We are all the same in this journey called life. We all have a common struggle called sin. We all have a need for a Redeemer. And we all must go through a process even after we are His.

It is a long, difficult process.

Thankfully, our Father isn’t one to collapse or faint or panic or cry out in exasperation. He is long suffering… His love endures forever… and He will never forsake us.

So as I deal with my son’s waywardness and disobedience, I am forced to deal with my own. It is probably one of the most uncomfortable tasks I have ever faced. Because I am constantly being reminded of my own sin. Thankfully the Way has been provided for us. And we don’t have to be perfect. Because He was.

What a truly wonderful thought!

Terror

A frightening thing happened yesterday.

I lost one of my children.

I mean I couldn’t find him. One minute he was there and the next he wasn’t. I called for him and he didn’t answer. I called and called and called, louder and louder and louder. But still there was no answer.

The most baffling thing was, we were at home. We weren’t in a store or somewhere out in town. We were in the safety of our own home. And I couldn’t find my son.

I figured he was hiding. This had happened before. Levi hides and it’s your job to find him – whether you want to play the game or not. Normally the game of ‘find me’ lasts about 45 seconds before you hear him giggling. But it had been longer than usual…

5 minutes…

I check in the closets.

10 minutes…

I look under the beds.

15 minutes….

I ask Olivia and Deacon to help look.

20 minutes….

I am outside yelling at the top of my lungs, “LEVI!!!”  “LEVI WALKER!!!!”

25 minutes…

I pick up the phone to call the police… but I call Dustin instead. He answers. “I can’t find Levi”, I say half crying, half I don’t know what. I had never heard that sound in my voice before. I was surprised he knew it was me.
“What do you mean you can’t find him?”
“Well, I was getting ready in my room, I told him to pick up his toys before we left the house. I came out to check on him and he wasn’t there. I have looked everywhere. I have been screaming his name in the neighborhood. His bike is here. His shoes are gone. And so is my son!! I think I need to call the police.”

30 minutes….

“Did you look in the car?”
“Yes I looked in the car! I have looked everywhere. But I will look again.”

As I turned the corner, I saw him. He was sitting in the front seat of the van wearing one of Dustin’s sweatbands on his head, his ears sticking out. I cried out. I’m not sure if it was a cry of relief or anger.

I hung up the phone. Grabbed my son out of the car, took him inside and very unceremoniously plopped his hiny on my bed.

I sent the other two kids to their rooms and shut myself in the spare room. I had never before felt what I was feeling at that moment. I knew I was not in control. I was literally shaking. I wanted to scream, laugh, cry, throw-up, shout, sing.  I didn’t know which to do first. So I knelt down on the floor, held my head in my hands and just rocked back and forth.

After a few moments I felt more myself. I went in and talked to Levi about what had happened and how badly mommy was scared. He cried his little heart out. I was glad.

I had never felt so completely out of control. It truly was one of the most terrifying moments of my life. I am so thankful he has been found and is safe. That he wasn’t really lost, just hiding.

Later I asked the Lord, what can I learn from this? The passage in Luke 15 came to my mind. I’m sure if you have been in church for any length of time you are also familiar with this passage. It is the parables of the 3 lost things. First there is the lost sheep, second, the lost coin and lastly, the lost son.

Although each story is different, they all involve something that was lost, a time of searching, and finally,
*spoiler alert* what had been lost, was found.

I have a new perspective and appreciation for our searching Father. Although there is no panic on His end as there was on mine, there is still an intense longing to have us. And though He knows full well where each of us are hiding, He still searches us out.

I was reminded of the part that we play as well. Levi did not want to be found, therefore He made the process longer than it should have been. That brought to mind another verse in Luke 13.

“…how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” vs. 34

Oh, God, make me willing! May I never hide from you, only in you and under the shelter of your wings!

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”  Ps. 32:7

I hope I do not have to experience those feelings of helplessness and sheer terror again any time soon. But I am thankful God used it to once again show me His Daddy heart.

Hmmm… It sure is quiet… I better go check on the kids…

Just a Snippet

There are so many things I could potentially blog about. So much happens in a day/week/month. So much goes on in my head and heart and in my life as a wife and homeschooling mother of three. It is hard to pick and choose. I want to be a good steward of my time, but I also want to take time to write down the important things.
These random pictures represent some of what has happened in the past couple of months.
The circus came to town!! We had a blast!! 
The elephants and lions were by far our favorites.
 We were also thrilled to see they had trained house cats too!!
I’m not sure who had more fun. Me or the kids!!!
My parents were able to come with us, which made it even more fun.
Olivia the wizard!
Then Daddy had to take a turn!
The kids love making forts!
And yes, I must confess, I love cleaning them up!
Olivia hard at work.
Yes, you are looking at a math problem!

Ruby is so good at finding hiding/sleeping places.
Here, she is on the linen shelves in the bathroom!

There were 5 birthday’s in the Marcy/Qualls family between January and February.
This is us enjoying some good family time.

That’s Dadada (as my kids like to call him) multi-tasking.
Reading and being a wonderful grand-dad at the same time.

Let me introduce my crazy brother Hunter.

And no, the kids did not do this to him. He did it to himself.
Then the sickness hit!
I’m not sure if we had the flu.
But once it started it didn’t stop for about 3 weeks.
Olivia got it first. Then I got it.
(sorry there’s no pic for that one!)

Deacon was next.
Levi and Daddy were the last to come down with it.
We were dropping like flies!!
This is how we survived!!
Once we were all feeling better we had to get outside
and enjoy some of this lowcountry spring weather.
Not really sure why, but Liv brought her own blanket…
maybe she was afraid of catching more sick germs!

It was bright

Wearing Mommy’s sunglasses makes it better.

Why sit down and eat, when you can stand!!

Once again, bright! But we aren’t complaining,
the sun is out and it’s warm!!

Brothers and best buds.
Believe it or not, that is just a snippet! Our life is so full. I am so thankful. Thankful for family and celebrations, kitties and messes, medicine and whole grain waffles! It may seem mundane. But that is life. God works even in, especially in, the mundane.
Glory be to God.