082116: DPC Love

So, yesterday on our way home from grabbing lunch, we see Wes’ mom pulling out of the church parking lot. We thought that was strange so we pulled in to talk. She rolled her window down and we said, “Hey. What are you doin?” And she, smiling, replies, “Nothing… Bringing Ice… Nothing.”

We looked at each other… “You’re being sneaky…”

“No, I’m not! See y’all in a little while!” And she drove off.

Huh? What just happened?

Then Wes reminds me that Joel and Tyler had planned an impromptu youth event, and all the kids were just dying for their pastor to be there.


And Nicole had asked me earlier in the week if I had anything going on Sunday afternoon, she wanted to come and let me do her nails. But she never mentioned it again, getting closer to her appointment time…

So then I’m sitting outside chatting with my Aunt Mary and  I see Brandi and Jason pull by our house. I thought… That’s weird. They don’t have youth aged kids. Maybe they’re just coming for….


So,  I went inside and I told Wes, “I think the church is planning something. I think they are planning something over there and it’s a surprise but I don’t know what on earth it could be. Brandi and Jason just came by.”

He looked at me like I was bonkers and said, “Maybe they’re just supporting Joel. You know he’s Jason’s brother…”

I rolled my eyes. “Yes. I do know that. It’s just weird. All the stuff that’s been going on…”

So, I dropped it. Mostly because it was 4:15 and Wes had just said, “You ready to walk over?”

So I grabbed my purse and we headed over.

About halfway there I hear Tyler or Joel one, shout, “They’re coming!” Yup, I heard you say that. I knew then my suspicions were correct.

Our church surprised us with a Pastor Appreciation dinner, with both of our campuses combined. They decorated, had SO much food, including all of our favorites (How? Because they sneakily asked me over a month ago what our favorite foods were!)

They even had us our own place settings, which were very much tailored to our interests and likes. Side note here: Brandi Wambolt is one of the most thoughtful and sweetest people on planet earth and if you are not her friend, you are truly missing out. I know you had quite the hand in our gifts and they were 100% on point. Wes got White T’s, shop towels, bottled Pepsi’s and Almond Joys. All of my stuff was OWL and adorable and I got Dr. Pepper’s and DARK CHOCOLATE. And Pens. So many pens. She knows us too well.


And I mentioned the food right? SO MUCH FOOD! I haven’t seen so much food I think since we did a Thanksgiving meal last year! And it was all so good. So so good. And the desserts? *SWOON*

And then they took turns on stage telling us what an influence we had been in their lives, and then they gave us the mic.

And I shared a little bit of what I loved about our Pastor, and then I shared a little bit about what I loved about our church.

You guys are so amazing. You help, when you see someone needs it. You clean even when you’ve got a title. You reach out when someone is in need. You all love Jesus and you all love us so much and it blesses my heart to be a part of this group of folks, and it blesses me so much more to be able to say that I help lead you closer to God in any way possible.

Afterwards we ate and talked and laughed with our big ole family.

Then they gave us a little envelope of cash that they had been collecting for a couple of months, they said? MONTHS you guys and no one let this party slip. And y’all have no idea how much this little envelope blessed us. And I was told by a FEW folks there were stipulations on the money – We had to at least use some of it on a family vacation.

We will. I promise you!

Then we came home and Wes dove into his presents.

The kids “helped” by losing screws and toting stuff off, so we put them on some TV so Dad could work in peace.

And we sat and talked about what a blessed pair we are, with our family that did so much for us, that HID so much from us, that has blessed us so much by allowing us to be a part of their lives.

Even when you call us when you are struggling, when you call us and just need us to sit and cry with you, when you call us because you are confused and need to ask some of the same questions again… We love it. We love helping you all with whatever it is you are dealing with. We love you guys so much and I am eternally grateful God called us to be leaders at DPC and I’m grateful that you all chose us to grow closer to God with.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it til the day I die, DPC’s got some of the best folks around. I love y’all!

081816 – 082016: Mamie & that Boy’s house

We made a quick trip down to see Mamie, my Aunt and my kid’s (3rd? 4th?) Grandmother for her birthday. She’s technically their great aunt, but she’s their Mamie for sure. On our way down there, after we had picked up my cousin, Judah asks me if “that boy” was going to be there. I assumed he meant Pax, his (2nd?) cousin. I told him no, because Pax has school. 

We make our way down and we had some visiting time. At dinner I told Mamie about Judah asking about “that boy” and Judah clarifies, “no, that boy…” And he points to Uncle Earl at the head of the table. We all laughed pretty hard. 

Judah now knows his name. 

My kids do love coming to see their Mamie and that boy. Haha!😂😂😂

We had a good visit, even though it was short. We headed home to get caught up on school because of the busy-ness of the week we did get behind. And that’s why I love homeschool!

Saturday morning Lucy conned us into getting donuts, but the donut place was closed for the weekend, so we had to go to Rameys. Lucy cleaned out her piggy bank (6$) to payor the donuts. 

Obviously I couldn’t let her. And we scored big. And now we have a ton of leftover donuts…

Kids were excited. 

Donuts always get the kids excited. 

And that was our weekend! 

Ps- Judah’s doing great. A little bruised, but besides that, he’s fine. Praise God. 

081616 + 081716: Goodbye Jasmine, hello Cabbage

First off, a HAPPY Birthday to the worlds best Mawmaw. Her birthday was the 16th and we didn’t expect a visit, but after hearing about Judah’s little bump, she couldn’t stay away. We truly do have one of the best Mawmaw’s around. And I’m super blessed that she’s my mother-in-law as well. Love you Ms. Steph!

Now.. for a major change that happened at the Kirkley Household.

I am very serious about Lucy’s responsibilities with our animals. We’ve got a bunch of animals and she helps me take care of them. Some of it is simple stuff, like opening the door for Hunny (our chihuahua) when she needs to go out. She feeds our Ed (our cat) and Kowalski (outside dog) when I ask her to.

And she loves all our animals.

A few months back, we had gotten a couple of rabbits. You all remember Max B and Gadget, right?

Having rabbits had been a dream for Lucy for quite some time. And then we got two little Mini Rex Rabbits and the kids were infatuated. They played with them almost daily (as long as it wasn’t yucky weather). We’d bring them inside and let them hop around and the kids would just sit and rub and play and just had a time with them.

And then tragedy struck and we lost Max B.

And Gadget got promoted to semi-indoor bunny.

And Lucy was happy. She was much more upset about losing Max B than Judah was, and it was his rabbit.

Not long after Gadget got his promotion, a careless mistake (that Lucy still regrets) ended him as well.

And then we moved up to  a different breed, a Mini Lionhead.

And Lucy loved her and named her Jasmine and all was well with the world.

Til Jasmine grew up.

She became quite the hormonal doe that you read about. She was mean.


She’d bite if you held her, scratch you til you bled if you even dared to pick her up. She’d let you pet you, but only on her terms. She also chewed EVERYTHING (laptop cords, speaker wire, extension cords, laptop bag, baskets…)

I had just about had it with that dang old rabbit. And as much as I knew Lucy loved her, I know she wanted a rabbit like Gadget.

You could walk up to Gadget and just pick him up. You could put him in your lap and he’d just sit there and let you pet him for hours. He loved Lucy.

And Jasmine? Well.. if you can catch her, you can attempt to hold her, but she’s going to make you bleed. So, Lucy loved her rabbit from a distance. She never even tried to pick her up since the last time she bit her (which was like April!) I’ve done research on the breeds since having gotten one… and Mini Lionhead Rabbits apparently are notorious for growing up to be little buggers. Also, females are usually meaner than males. So, she was a double whammy.

So I mentioned to Lucy that if she wanted to, we could see about getting a new rabbit and finding a home for Jasmine.

Wes and I talked with her and explained that somewhere else Jasmine might get to sit in a cage and not be messed with (which is obviously what she wants) and she might get a boyfriend bunny and make lots more cute little Jasmines.

And she might could have a bunny that doesn’t scratch or bite, one that likes the treats we give, and one that she can hold and pet while she watches tv.

She cried, and she said, “I love Jasmine, but I just wish she’d be a good rabbit!” and then she’d say stuff like, “She’s just so cute, but she’s just so mean!” All she liked about Jasmine was her cuteness.

She wanted what we were offering but she felt bad for wanting to get rid of Jasmine. I understand that.

So, we thought we were going to take some baby steps and make a few phone calls just to see our options…

I made 2 calls. The second one was a retired couple who raise rabbits as a side hobby and they were willing to take Jasmine, and give us a baby Mini Rex (just like what Gadget was). And they had babies available now. So… I asked Lucy what she wanted to do.

“Can we go look at them today, Mom?”

Well, I guess we are going to rip the bandaid off.

So, Lucy and I drove up to Florence, with Jasmine in tow.

I explained to Lucy, that if she didn’t find one she liked, we didn’t have to get one today, and we’d bring Jas back home and she’d be in her cage and nothing would change if she didn’t want it to.

She kept saying things like, “I’ll really miss her… but I wish she would just let me pet her and hold her.”

Lucy didn’t cry again.

We got there and she loved seeing all the bunnies. She kept looking at the Mini Lionhead babies, which are unparalleled in cuteness. I had to keep bringing her back to the cage of Mini Rex. And she found one she liked.

I did not expect her to go with this color.. he’s like lynx + red. Basically, he’s Peter Rabbit, minus the vest. He’s that color. And he’s SO cute. She named him Peter to begin with, but by the time we got back to the main red light in Florence, she decided to go with Cabbage, which is a much cuter name.

I need to add – the guy who let us do this trade, I offered to pay him for bringing him an old rabbit he couldn’t sell (he will probably breed her, because she is very cute). He told me my money was no good and he felt like every girl should have a rabbit they can hold. It was very sweet of him. I’m grateful that they let us do this.

Before we left, she got to tell Jasmine bye.

She wasn’t as upset as I thought she would be. I explained to her once we got in the car what bittersweet meant, and I think she understood it more at that moment than ever.

She said a couple of times on the way home, “I sure will miss Jasmine, but I do really like Cabbage too.”

And then she said what broke my heart and made me want this whole thing to happen: “Mom… I can’t believe  I’m holding a bunny!”

She’s owned a rabbit since February, and hasn’t held a rabbit in months. Dadgummit Jasmine! Why couldn’t you have been nicer!?

I held about 6 of the little guys when we were picking them out. Cabbage was 100% most calm that day. He scratches a little, but not because he’s trying to get away, he scratches because he tries to be close to you.

Lucy’s already fallen in love again.

It’d be hard not too. Look at this little guy’s ears!

They go on for days! He looks very lynx-ish color here.

And he looks very red here. And did you notice?

He’s got the cutest little cottontail!

Lucy learned a hard life lesson that animals are uncontrollable and we can’t force them to love us. She also learned that nothing is permanent and you can change things if you put forth effort and are willing to make tough decisions.

I feel like this decision was better for us than us keeping Jasmine locked in her tiny cage inside and her being unhappy and us being unhappy. Now we have a new bunny who is still a little skittish and scared for now, but has the potential of being a fantastic little house bunny.

Poor Jasmine will realize the graveness of her mean-error. She had it made. Indoors, temperature controlled room, a loft for her self. Now, she’s outside sharing a pen with another bunny. And Cabbage? He’s living it up in his 1 bedroom, with all the petting and snuggles a bunny could want.

So long, Jasmine. We wish you well and we hope you find lots of happiness in your little bunny life, and know that a little blond girl in Collins will forever miss your cuteness.

081316 – 081516: Judah’s Accident

Today’s post will be a little lengthy.

Sunday night, Lucy and I had a little painting session. It was a lot of fun. She loves to paint.

Now… To the title of this post. My little guy scared me big. Well, so did his dad.

I had 2 classes Monday. My regular class and a Free class. I tried to book them in the same day to avoid me driving to Hattiesburg for hourly pay. So, since I was going to be leaving for work around 1, Wes took the kids with him over to help at Uncle Paul’s new gym. They were painting and getting stuff ready and all of that.

I left, went about my day. Had my first class, went well. I was heading over to Walmart to pick up some groceries and I had texted Wes to see if they were still there and still working. This was about 4pm.

Yeah, about to wrap up. Not much left to do. No news.

So, I run my errands and I get back to work to do some paperwork for my class. I get almost done and I’m about to head over to set up my class for the free class, and I get a text from Wes.

Judah had a pretty bad little accident. We’re home now and he’s fine. I’ll tell you about it later, too much to text.

And so I finished out my class and then went home and got the details.


I had a heart attack.

Ok, not a literal heart attack, but my heart was attacked. I called him almost immediately.

So, basically, as the guys were all leaving and moving some equipment, a door swung open and caught Judah a little bit.

(I’m thinking, that’s not too bad…)

And then Wes says, “Well, that’s just what started it off…”

The door hit Judah, and then as they were attending him for that, a beam that had been propped up over the door started to fall.

This beam is probably 10-12′ long, made of metal and is a part of gym equipment. It’s used to hold hundreds of pounds of equipment with pulleys and levers… It weighs more than 50lbs, probably more like 75.

It slid off the wall, and (sorry guys!) thankfully hit the two guys tending to Judah first, and then hit Judah. It caught one guy in the back, another in the shoulder based on how they were standing, then caught Judah in the head, face, and leg. It just went down his little front.

At this point, I’m hiding in the floral section of Michaels (I had clocked out because after that text, I didn’t know if I needed to stay or not…) and I’m trying my darnedest not to just openly weep.

Wes says, “I saw the whole thing. It wasn’t like he was in the back and we didn’t see it. We were all standing right there and saw it happened. Paul was saying ‘watch that beam!’ as it hit him. And then he started to scream…”

And I lose my breath.

Wes said he’s never heard him scream like that. It scared Wes, Paul and the other two guys, I think pretty bad. They all went home right after the incident. And I think they were all shooken up. Seeing a 28lb four year old (in Wesley’s words) crumple to the ground…

Wes said he dropped his spray gun, and was at him in a second. Scooped him up and just let him scream while he waited for blood, that never came, thank God.

Wes assures me they checked him over and over and rubbed everywhere. He said, “He cried, but I rubbed his leg to make sure it wasn’t broken. His head bump came out, but no blood, except for his lip that was either hit, or he bit. He’s fine.”

So. I took several deep breaths and prayed that my one sign up would miss. (She showed.) And so I had to preface my class with, “Here’s why I’m all over the place tonight…”

I left as soon as I possibly could and got home.

Thankfully, my baby boy was still awake.

And super talkative.

Judah: Mom. I missed you.

Me: Aw baby… I missed you too buddy. How are you feeling?

Judah: I got hurt today. I cried weal loud. Daddy came and got me. I cried weal loud.

Me: You cried loud? I’m so sorry. But daddy got you right? Did daddy help you?

Judah: Yeah. Daddy got me okay.

Me: So, Daddy saved you?

Judah: Yeah, Daddy saved me. It hurt my head, and I cried.

Me: It’s okay that you cried baby. When stuff hurts, it’s okay to cry.

Judah: And wook at my monster trucks…

The conversation took a smooth turn back to his main source of entertainment. He was fine.

Wes had watched him pretty closely and didn’t let him fall asleep on the way home. He didn’t fumble any words (that he doesn’t normally fumble anyway) and he knew all of his trucks by name.

He’s been limping since, a little. He favors his unhurt leg, but he’s walking. His knot on his head is starting to go down, and his cheek, (I’m hoping) won’t bruise too bad.

Wes said something to me while we were on the phone and he was recounting the incident. I said, “I can come home. They’ll understand if I need to leave.”

Wes said, “There’s nothing you can do here. He’s fine. Just do your class.”

I said, “There is something I can do.  I can hold him. I can rock him. I can hum to him. I can feel his little head. I could make him feel better just being near him..”

“He will be fine. I promise.”

So, I stayed. Against all of my motherly instincts to get home as fast as possible.

And he was fine. But I really liked the sound of his, “Mom. I missed you,” being the first thing out of his mouth.

We mom’s have some superpowers that don’t look like superpowers.

I can’t swim as fast as Katie Ledecky, and I can’t do any sort of flip like Simone Biles, but Judah missed me. And I love that little boy so much.

And the last thing I’ll add… Thank you JESUS for his safety, for the fact that the beam could have knocked him unconscious. That it might could have hurt him worse than even unconscious or stitches. You were there watching over my little one when the Devil tried to steal something from me. Thank you so much for protecting Judah. Judah means Praise God and I know that he will live up to his name one day.

080916 – 081216: Week 2 

We’ve been busy schooling. And honestly that’s about it. It takes up a pretty large portion of my day, now that Lucy is doing six subjects and Judah is working on  pre-reading. 

We do take pauses out of our class to study a little bit of nature…

My kids’ classroom isn’t limited to our actual classroom and I’m glad about that. We learn outside, a lot. And it’s so nice when they get bogged down for me to say, “wanna take a break?” And they flood out the door. 

Friday I had class, and Wes had to paint at Uncle Pauls new gym, so Wes took the kids with him. I got home at about 11:30 and had an empty house all to myself. It was crazy. I haven’t been alone in my house for more than like an hour in months. It was nice. Not gonna lie, haha!

Friday night we went out to eat with Ms. Steph and Paul and Christy and all our kiddos for her birthday. Food was good and company was even better. 

That’s it for this week..

Hope your weekend is great!

life lessons, life stories, life in God