Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I've tried it on my own and failed
Temptations and tempests beat against me ceaselessly
Helpless I am in the face of offense
And fearful, and cowardly I am in defense

But the Spirit came upon me with a breath full of Life
And lifted my head up to look above the strife
And a feeling of wholeness wrapped around me and a comfort came
And an assurance that I would never be the same

For above the din of the confusion of life
 I heard a voice say "You are not alone, and never will be"
And a constant Peace I will be to thee

 I know I would not want to live a single day
Without The Holy One as my Helper
My constant defense
The Lover of my soul in the hour of offense

We're each on a mission, as we live our lives
We have no need to fear for we know He will rise
Though hard the road, and difficult the path
We are protected and safe from the enemy's wrath

So send the fire today
Send Your Spirit upon us
We need a touch of Your mighty hand
We need the Power to take a stand
Here we are waiting
For the One to descend
We're waiting for the breath of Your Rushing Wind

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rushing Wind




Rushing wind, blow through this temple,
Blowing out the dust within;
Come and breathe Your breath upon me:
I've been born again.


Holy Spirit, I surrender; take me where You want to go.
Plant me by Your living water,
Plant me deep so I can grow.


Jesus, You’re the One who sets my spirit free;
Use me, Lord; glorify Your Holy Name through me.


Separate me from this world, Lord;
Sanctify my life for You.
Daily change me to Your image,
Help me bear good fruit.


Ev'ry day You're drawing closer;
Trials come to test my faith.
But when all is said and done, Lord,
You know it's been worth the wait.


Jesus, You’re the one who set my spirit free;
Use me, Lord; glorify Your Holy Name through me.


Rushing wind, blow through this temple,
Blowing out the dust within;
Come and breathe You breath upon me,
For I've been born again.

~

Lord, I pray this will be the cry of my heart until I see You one day face to face!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fudgy, Gooey, Cocoa Brownies

 I've made these brownies more times this summer than I want to count. We really, really like them. And they're really simple to make.

For a large batch,
Put 4 sticks of butter in a large saucepan on high heat. Don't think about the amount of butter too much just stick them in the pot and melt them. :) Then wisk in...
Two cups of cocoa powder. Its a lot but it gives it a rich, deep chocolate flavor.
4 cups of sugar (I do cut back on this by about 1/3 of a cup)
Once blended together take the saucepan off the heat and add,
                                                                4 teaspoons of vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
       Six eggs (whisk them into the batter quickly otherwise you'll end up with scrabled eggs.)

2 cups of flour
Add 2 cups of chopped walnuts.

Bake at 350 degrees

And honestly I couldn't tell you how long this bakes. I'd set the timer for 35 minutes and check it. It depends on how hot your oven is but I usually end up baking them for 45 minutes or so. It just depends. But don't rely on the toothpick test because these are supposed to be very gooey. I usually bake them until the edges appear done but the middle looks a bit underbaked.


These are addictive. Just ask my family.

I'd say it probably serves about 15 people,
Or a mom and two teenage daughers.

No, I'm kiddng it usually last our family up to two days. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Heart of Worship


When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart

I'll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

Chorus
I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about you
It's all about you, Jesus
I'm sorry Lord for the things I've made it
When it's all about you
It's all about you, Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much you deserve
Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is yours
Every single breath

Chorus

I'll bring You more than a song
I'll bring Your more than a song
I'll bring You more than a song

You're looking into my heart
Your're looking into my heart
You're looking into my heart
You're looking into my heart
Into my heart
Into my heart

I'll bring You more than a song...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mama, My Best Friend

She taught me how to walk, eat, swim, read, write, sing, and ride my bike
She taught me about God from the time I was born
As a toddler I remember her reading 2 Timothy and Proverbs 31 to me. One of the first verses that she taught me was Deuteronomy 6:4-9
I know that her prayers have been showered over me.
She's a chocoholic. Like mother, like daughter.
I've always wanted my Bible to look as well loved as her's.
She can read me like a book
She knows me better than anyone else
She is really into nutrition and exercise
She doesn't play sports
She played basketball for a short time in middle school but quit because she was scared of the ball
She wanted to marry a doctor and live in New York City. She swore she would never marry a redneck with a tool box on the back of his pickup truck.
She married a redneck with a tool box on the back of his pickup truck.
She's frugal and thrifty
She drives me an hour and a half away for ballet every week.
She always wanted to be a ballerina
When she and my dad were dating she said he was perfect...love is blind. :)
She's lived in West Virginia, Illinois, Georgia, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky
She's always wanted to have a big family

My mom on her wedding day in 1993
She's the one I spill my guts to :)
She's really fun to travel with
She's a hard worker
She has a great sense of humor
She can't stand to waste anything
She's a registered nurse
I always turn to her for advice
Her favorite colors to wear are black and white, I'm the same way :)
I want to go to Washington D.C. with her
She doesn't mind listening to all my ideas...and quotes
Her favorite movies are Fireproof, Facing the Giants, Gone With the Wind and The Parent Trap (old version)
She taught me how to drive, I was the first person she's ever taught.
I've broken her in for all my siblings. :)
She says she hasn't gotten a full night's sleep in seventeen years
She, Lydia, and I (and sometimes my dad) watch 19 Kids and Counting every Tuesday night
She always buys me good books
Sometimes, when I'm about to climb into the suburban she drives off, laughing.  Over and over again. (she likes to do that to Lydia too) - she said she didn't want me to tell that because it makes her sound immature! :)
When I was little she read to me every day, sometimes hours at a time
She expected me to read when I was four, like she did.
I didn't read until I was seven
She's an amazing cake decorator and seamstress...not! :)
She doesn't mind my accents...even when they don't sound right
We have our own brand of humor that we understand completely
She hums and sings a lot
She always wanted long hair as a child
She's not an animal person
She's one of my kindred spirits :)
She seeks after God
She's a noncomformist
She makes great bread
I tell her everything, I know I can completely trust her
My forgetfullness exasperates her (I'm working on that)
Once when we were in the mall parking lot she blew the horn really loudly at a lady who she thought was her sister (it was not.)
I love spending time with her.
She is my dearest, sweetest friend and I mean that 100%

I'm SO glad that God blessed me with the mom that He did. She wants all that He has for our family. She hungers for the things of God and of the Holy Spirit.

My Mom with her two sisters in New York City in 1991

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Dirt on My Dad

The first thing you'll notice about my dad is that he's not afraid to say what he's thinking
He has a very strong personality
He's a really great cook
We've watched a lot of The Andy Griffith Show together over the years
And Food Network
He's extremely protective
My mom says that people either really like him or they really don't like him,
He has a tender side
He loves sarcasm
He works hard to provide for our family
He grew up in Georgia
He doesn't read very much but when he gets a hold of a book he likes he reads it in a day or two
He's always wanted to have a big family
He wanted to have a little girl first to teach him how to be gentle
Lydia gives him a manicure every week, thus he never has to cut his own nails
He's gotten out of the habit of exercising regularly, just sayin' :)
He loves Christmas time
He makes it very special
He wants a tattoo of our family tree
He likes southern Gospel music
He's gone to the dentist once in the last nineteen years
He has great teeth, he's never had a cavity
My parents on their wedding day

He and I rarely have a disagreement
But I exasperate him, and he exasperates me
He encourages me in my goals
I like to hear him pray
He always turns to my mom for health advice, he doesn't always listen to her though
He turned twenty-five nine days after I was born
He and Gabe are going to hike part of the Appalachian trail in October
He can't carry a tune
He had long hair in highschool
He bought my mom a pair of ugly men's hiking shoes for her birthday one year. Other than that he usually is really great about birthdays.
I usually like the clothes he gives me for Christmas, he has good taste.
He's the kite, my mom's the string
Financially, he's the free spirit, my mom's the nerd
He's not fun to travel with but once you get to your destination he has a good time
When I was younger he bought me leopard print footed pajamas for Christmas as at joke. They were hideous.
He lets the boys eat junk food :)
He's a command man...as if you didn't know that
He gives me good advice, I value his opinion a lot
There's been many nights when he has comes to pick me up from ballet at 9 o'clock at night, he's never once complained
He can't put on accents to save his life
He's a good planner and coordinator
He respects my mom
He's very generous
He's hospitable
He has called Lily Kate "Baby Girl" since the day she was born
He dislikes math
He was in the army when I was born
He's a dreamer
He loves bull mastiffs
He likes sports
He never misses one of the boys baseball games
He's a good builder
My mom's nickname for him is Scotty-boy
He's creative
If he's in the kitchen while I'm cooking he always has to tell me what I'm doing wrong, then he sees that I'm annoyed and he lets me get on with my work..most of the time.
He got his Bachelor's degree last year!!
Lily Kate has him wrapped around her little finger :)
He introduced me to sushi, I've been hooked ever since.
The first time my mom met him she thought she was cute but a little arrogant.
My mom can't stand to be in the kitchen while my dad is cooking.
He likes war movies.
He always has a new business scheme cooking up in his mind. Right now it's a food truck business. I suppose I'd be his sous chef. :)

God really created my dad with a unique personality. I've really never met anyone like him. Haha.
I believe God has great plans for him. I'm thankful for him. I believe that God has something great in store for him.
I love you :)
Oh, and one other thing. He doesn't know I'm writing this... :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

All about my Little, Big Sister

~Abigail Layne~


This is Lydia-- you read about me yesterday...

I told Abigail since she had written about all of us, that I was going to write about her, and surprisingly she agreed! :)


 She is a very kind person.  She does not like to say ANYTHING unkind about anyone.
        She gives great gifts... despite the fact that she is a major tight-wad.
  She likes to bake- one of my favorites is chocolate cheesecake.
           She is the most indecisive person I know.
                             She is extremely creative.
She gets obsessive about things (ballet, chocolate, accents, Europe, books, quotes, Les Miserables, just to name a few).  We laugh saying that she could go an entire day speaking only in quotes.
She really likes chocolate.  When my mom walks in from grocery shopping, her first question is "did you buy any chocolate?"
She cries about e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. She cries when she is happy, she cries when  she is sad. She cries when she is frustrated, and she cries when she is mad. She said that if there was a pill that she could take to make her not cry, she would take it. 
She is an amazing driver... that's all I am going to say. ;)


She is a beautiful dancer.
      She entertains us daily with her attempts at playing "Les Miserables" songs on the piano. It is indeed miserable.
She humours us with her daily attempts at accents- particularly her British accent. 
      When it comes to swimming, she is a good diver.
She is a dreamer.  She is very soft-spoken.  She is a hard worker, always striving for excellence.
If you look through her ballet bag, you will find a spare big toe-nail in a plastic bag.. we call it her prosthetic toenail.  She lost it dancing en pointe and she had to bandaid it back on before the new nail grew in.
     She is extremely forgetful, but she is quick to remind us that she does remember important things.
Even though she is extremely careful with her money (as in not spending it), you will find it laying around the house, along with various other things of hers.


 She brushes her teeth ferociously.
      She walks like a ballerina (aka- duck)... and she's proud of it, go figure. ;)
She desperately wants to travel.


If something is difficult she thinks she has to do it.  She started running when we lived in south Georgia and would run in 100+ degree weather. 
   She had an enormous amount of hair when she was born... she still does.


 She hates the fact that people sometimes think that I am older than her.
       She likes to point out that she is the guinea pig of the family.
She and I have shared a room since we were very little.
      She is a stickler for traditions.
She thinks my south Georgia accent is excellent, although she really dislikes it! :)


 She loves beautiful things-- music, home decor, old things, clothes/aprons, flowers...
       She and I love to sing together... except when I try to harmonize and it doesn't come out quite right- then she gets annoyed and stops.


She is a beautiful girl, and I am so happy to have her as my sister. God has been working so much in her life and it is very evident. She follows hard after the heart of God.  She is willing to let Him use her in whatever way He wants to.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Big Little Sister

Lydia Caroline

She's my best friend, room mate, and critic
She has a great sense of humor
When it comes to teasing she can dish it out but she can't take it
She is very creative
She reads my mom's news feed on Facebook
Did I mention that she's really nosy?
She's great at putting outfits together
She adores babies
She doesn't like animals, especially dogs
She sings in the shower...everyone in the house can hear her
I won't say what she thinks about boys because she'd slug me
She took ballet for seven years then switched to piano
She doesn't always share her emotions
She's a great care giver
She LOVES watermelon
And shoes
She is a procrastinator but when she finally gets around to doing a job she does it with excellence
She despises math
Sometimes we have to peel her away from the computer screen
I could see her having a lot of children
She makes fun of my driving ability
She makes fun of my brownies
She's a very opinionated person
She and I have spent many nights watching Road to Avonlea together on her little DVD player
She's three and a half inches taller than me
And she thinks its really great
People think that she's older-I clarify it for them :)
We make it a point never to go to bed mad at each other
We're similar in a lot of ways and totally different in others
She requires a lot of sleep
She's bossy to me, I guess she's paying me back for all the years I bossed her around
She has a quick wit
Sometimes I want to shake her with frustration, sometimes she wants to shake me
She can seem shy if you don't know her well but once you do she's VERY outgoing
She takes a lot of self portraits
She stalks blogs
She hates to run
She chews bubble gum for days (she saves it for later) it's disgusting :)
At one point she had five blogs going
She gets to do things a lot sooner than I did
She's great at impersonations! She does a MEAN south Georgia accent!
She makes me laugh so hard
She's a manipulator!
She drove for the first time a few weeks ago on our friends farm. I was in the back of the pickup truck and she almost sent me sailing through the back window a time or two. :) She did a great job for a first timer though.
She's very kind
When she gives a compliment I know she means it.
When we play a game if she's losing she sometimes resorts to cheating
When she's playing spoons she sometimes resorts to clawing
She likes to add her two cents worth :)
She's my dear friend

God has really been working in her life! I look forward to seeing what He has in store for her, she's special to me.

She told me she had to proof read this before I can post it. I hope she approves.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gabriel Baldwin

Gabe is the oldest of the boys, he has a lot of oldest child characteristics
He's a hard worker
He loves Man vs. Wild and Survivor Man
He and I have an ongoing debate on whether baseball or ballet is harder.
He's very kind and considerate and he's a lot of fun too.
When it comes to clothes, comfort is his top priority...I try to get him to branch out. Sometimes he likes that and sometimes he doesn't.
He loves baseball, hiking, and camping
He can do twenty pushpups
He's great at making things and figuring out how things work
He hates chocolate
He's a grouch when he doesn't get enough sleep :)
He likes country music
He doesn't like ballet
He's a big Braves baseball fan
I won't say what he thinks about girls because he asked me not to
He's going to be a middle schooler this year
He likes war movies, especially The Patriot
He's not a huge sweet eater.
He keeps Titus from getting too swell headed. :)
He's the slow and steady type.
He's honorable

He's a gentleman in every sense of the word. And I mean that.

Titus Hudson

Titus Hudson


He has a great smile!
He eats constantly
He's very strong for his age, he's proud of it too. :)
When he gives me a hug I feel like I'm being tackled
He's named after the biblical Titus and the missionary Hudson Taylor
He loves dogs
He thinks girls are nice
He can't sit still for very long
He wants to cut the grass but he's not quite big enough yet
He's LOUD
He lives life with PASSION
He acts like ballet is for wimps but he loves to dance
He likes Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, and Tom and Jerry
He loves to be gross
Shock factor-that's what Titus likes
He's never mean to me, he's just pesty! :)
He has really dark brown eyes, they were almost black when he was a baby
He had WILD hair too.
It took him a while to learn how to talk, he was a man of few words
He has a great laugh, it's LOUD
He loves to buy gifts
He's really growing in his walk with the Lord
His name means "of the giants" somehow that seems to fit

He is going to do great things...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Levi Walker

Levi's my youngest brother. Charming, clever, handsome...haha


He has beautiful eyes
He has a bad temper
He's a big teaser
He loves to sing
He gives me driving instructions
He has a lisp :)
He really likes celtic music
He appreciates words of affirmation
He has a guitar with two strings remaining.
He's not very kind to our cat.
He "accompanies" himself on the piano while he sings "Les Miserable" songs
He likes girls (a lot)
He learned to swim this summer
His birth was the worst out of all three I've seen.
He is very charming. When he was very small he would ride in a backpack on my dad and sing "Amazing Grace" at the top of his lungs.
He appreciates ballet.
He loves sushi, coffee, and spaghetti
For about nine months my mom, Lydia, and I couldn't leave the house without him going through the following routine:

"You're gorgeous, and pretty, and beautiful! I love you! And you're genteel, and I so adore you! You are my one heart, you are my one star, you are my one pink Georgia bulldog. GOODBYE!" (can you tell he has separation anxiety? :)

He and I have a lot in common, he wants to travel. He and I are going to go to England together one day-he is absolutely sure of it.

I love this boy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Little Sister

A Few Random Things About Lily Kate,

Every time she sees a picture of herself she goes, "ME! ME!"

She loves wearing something new.

She doesn't eat anything that's green (except for avacados)

She loves yogurt, cheese, and hummus

She's being potty trained....she's had a couple accidents today. Fun.

She loves to dance

She loves having her toenails painted.

She almost always has a ponytail "sprouting" out of her head.

When it comes to sleeping she's a GREAT faker

She and I are exactly 14 years, 2 months, and 25 days apart in age

She has many nicknames...Lady Katherine...Katie Bug...The Duchess...Baby Girl...

She and my dad have a very special bond

She doesn't use very many words but what she does say she says with great emotion. haha

She has a pink blanket known as "tag"...they are quite attached.

She loves sneaking chocolate


I love having a little sister. She's my little dancer, my little buddy, my little friend. She has a very special place in my heart. I'm so glad God gave her to me. She turned two last month. I got to be at her birth which was a really great experience. I was hoping she would have black hair...she had no hair. But that's okay! She looks a lot like I did at her age, minus the hair. She's quite a personality, she has her own ideas about things. It's so much fun seeing her discover new things. She really loves music and dance, and pretty things. When she spots something nice she yells, "bobo!" meaning "beautiful!"

She is very special.