All posts by akirkley

School and Fall 9.12.17 – 10.17.17

Fall hasn’t felt like fall, except that it’s been crazy busy. I think I’ll have a goal next year to blog weekly- and I may try and start that soon. But who knows… 

Church is steady and rolling, as always. We’ve started doing some Sunday night healing services that are just so awesome, and that’s added a little to what we normally do. It’s been so worth it though. 

Our ministers, who text each other to dress the same, are some great guys. 


If we aren’t schooling or churching, we’re working on Mawmaw’s house. We are getting close too. It’s getting exciting. Sheetrock finishers are coming tomorrow! 

And my view from the scaffolds ain’t so bad…

I have to take a moment here and brag on my kiddos. They were outside, from 8am until lunch, and then from lunch til about 3 or 4 for about a week straight and I heard almost no complaining, and lots of giggles as they played in the sand and hunted for frogs. 

And other tiny critters. 

This lil toad here has been in my house at least 3 times. 

And I had a little high school reunion. It was so much fun getting to see all the folks I graduated with, or at least a lot of them. 

This here is a gal that I’ve known for a long time. We reserved the back page of our yearbooks for each other. Most recently we’ve laughed so much at the dumb things we used to do. 

Our group def had the most school spirt, and why they put ME up there?? I don’t know. We laughed so much that night. 

And my Judah is in a Daddy-only phase. He came to me and asked for a red shirt and blue jeans. I didn’t know why until Wes walked into the room. 

And sometimes chool pauses because we’ve got a trencher and we need to learn how stuff works. 

I even made homemade pizza dough. There is a first for everything!

And we went camping with Nana and Papa J at Flint Creek and had a lot of fun. 

My little outdoor kids. 

Never with shoes. 

They are such a delight, even when I’m yelling at them for bringing a frog in my house, again

I know these days won’t last, my daughter is already sending me messages from her computer that contain more words than pictures, and it sorta makes me sad. 

And another part of me is excited to get to watch all the girly movies again with her when she’s a teenager and I can’t wait to be the one she tells her secrets to. 

I love being her mom. 

And judah, my sweet little dirty child. His feet are stained with red clay and he barely listens, but his heart is gold and he wants to be good. He’s just got too much boy in him. He thinks after he acts and I’m praying him through that. I love him so. 
Alright- it’s bath time followed by bed time and as a tired mom- I can’t wait. 

😜

August- 8.15.17 – 9.11.17

The summer has come and gone. It’s September and school is in full swing (most days). We started early and so we have had a few days off here and there. When it’s 77* and breezy- we take a ride. School will be there tomorrow. 

Speaking of riding: Lucy is officially a no-training-wheels bike rider! We’ve been trying to take her to the trace as often as we can because there she can just go, and go and go like she wants too. Our road isn’t set up for humans to be on really. 

People think my posts about “What I See When I’m Running” are just for giggles- but truly they are for awareness that at any moment a person on a phone could end my life. So, we don’t really allow Lucy to ride on the road at our house unless one of us is out there to yell at the folks who pass by going 40mph on a basically one lane curvy little backroad. 

So the trace is much safer, and no one loses their voice. 

I also have 2 fish! Judah’s fully gotten the hang of swimming and they both love it so much. So long as they have on their masks, they swim swim swim. 

And school this year has been fun. It’s a new challenge, because Lucy’s subjects are a little more lengthy. Slightly more in depth. Her reading is still her strongest subject and man does she love to read. 

She also loves doing her science stuff. She’s got a few projects and reports to do this year with our homeschool group and she’s already gearing up. She’s so creative I feel like I need to document that I’m not the one doing the projects for her. She really is doing all of it. (Ok, minus anything with exact-o blades or hot glue). 

And my little man. Wow. He surprises me each day in his school. Reading definitely doesn’t come as easy for him. But he’s a trooper and he tries. He tries hard and he almost always gets it. We’ve had a couple of days where it just wasn’t happening. And on those days we pause, go outside or upstairs and we sit together and we just talk. 

He is only 5. He’s reading some, knows all his letter sounds and is counting really well, so I’m super happy with where he is. He’s also taking Vocational courses with the headmaster of the school. 😏 

He loves helping his daddy so very much. And I don’t mind at all him helping in the shop. Have you ever taken your car to get it fixed? $75 an hour labor isn’t bad money. You can make a living without a college degree. 

That may be where Judah’s headed. And maybe where Lucy is. I don’t know. And I don’t care. They will graduate ready for college- whether or not they go. 

But now… I’m not worried about that. I’m still taking walks with my 5 year old who wants to point out every spider and hold my hand. 

And I love it. 

Wes has officially hired me as his crew member for graffiti work. I feel like I’m helpful to the team. My very first piece:

The lights were out because of electricians so the first part that says “you jelly?” Isn’t really readable. 

And then my hands. They are easier to see in real life. The contrast in the picture isn’t great. They are sign language hands that say T M F D. For TeaM Fitness Depot. It’s Paul’s hashtag he uses for gym posts. 

That was a fun job. My hand still sorta aches. 

And these two cookie-eating cuties. Insomnia Cookies in Hattiesburg ain’t no joke. Delicious!

And just in case you were wondering: Lucy Bea is still her crazy eclectic self. I caught her “shopping” at the house Mawmaw’s stuff is stored in. She gets her digging/shopping honest- from both sides- Ms. Steph and me!

My cute little bag lady… 😂

Ok. That’s a pretty major update. I’m back to life- school doesn’t happen if I’m not there!

July into August: 7.9.17-8.14.17

Yep. I’m guessing I’m once a month blogging now. To see all the pictures, my flickr is loaded. And I try and update my facebook and Instagram some still. I’m on my way out though. I’m seriously about to drop it all. I’m tired of being tied.

Anyway- what we’ve been doing….

School! Yes! In July! Why not man?? It’s hot. You either have to be in water, or inside. And so we figure when it’s October or November and bearable outside, we will play and play and play. And we’ll take our days off then. But while it’s 96 with a heat index of 109? We’ll get busy and knock some days off our list.

Both of my kiddos are doing exceptionally well. I’m amazed really. They learn SO differently. I feel for teacher who have a class of 19 Kindergarteners. It just doesn’t make sense teaching them all the same way. I’ve had to adjust how I’m teaching the most basic thing: reading. My two do not learn the same. And I couldn’t imagine how bad Judah would be doing if he were in school. And I can’t imagine how bad Lucy would be doing if she was in school and being forced to learn like Judah needs to. Only one could excel. Teachers just can’t- not that they don’t want to- I was there. I was in a classroom – I know. You want each child to learn. But when you’ve got to keep control… learning is last.

Anyway – off that soapbox…

And this.. My last picture with my four year old boy. He’s no longer 4.

He’s FIVE! My baby is five. Oh where did it go. I’m glad it’s behind us, don’t get me wrong. He’s so much fun. So nonstop. Excited, loves to do. Loves to go. He’s just my favorite.

And I do believe I’ve got a couple of swimmers on my hands now. Judah’s sorta figured it out. Lucy figured it out last year and had to refresh this year. She’s swimming like a fish. And Judah… like a fish with.. some ticks I guess? He’s getting there.

And my sweet Lucy. I was doing some music for a local retirement home and Lucy had to come with me. I asked her if she wanted to make cards like the last time we went to a place like this – and she said YES! So, She and Ms. Freida handed them out while I did some music with my team (Ms. Sam and  Hannah). We had a great time and Lucy was the star of the show for sure.

I think about the things I could be doing for her. Dance lessons, Karate, different classes… And I sorta feel bad because we don’t really offer those to her right now. Mostly because they are so expensive. I don’t want to pay over $1500 a year for a hobby she sorta likes. Her year of dance made a huge difference in her life, but, we can’t afford to do every-little-thing they want to do.

And then I see her willingly spend almost 2 hours each day over 2 days making cards for people she doesn’t know. I see her putting little details into each one. I see her saying she want’s them all to be fair and equal, because that’s right, that’s what you should do.

And I feel like maybe she doesn’t have to have all that extra. She doesn’t have to have a hobby like everyone else. Because, she’s definitely not like everyone else. She is so creative and generous. And She came with me to the home and handed out her cards and spoke to each person she gave one to. Not a whole lot, but she answered questions and she said you’re welcome. And I think… This seven year old I’m raising.. she’s not too bad.

And I want to encourage her to continue making and giving. I want to encourage her to see that giving to others is just as much fun as being given too. I want her to grow up in Christ like she is already and I want her to have a better foundation than even I had.

Man this girl… She’s my favorite.

We played in makeup. I’m not going to show you what she did to me, but trust me when I say, people would think Wes beat me. I got it all off later…

And my little boy. He comes home today and I’m gonna swoop him up in the biggest hug you ever did see.

He’s been gone with his Daddy and his Papa J to a car show in Ohio! He’s been too far away from me. He’ll call and we’ll talk on the phone and he says, “Mom, I like it here. You should have come too.” I love that he misses me.

And most of all… My husband.

I’m such a super blessed lady. Gah, I cannot stress that enough. This man loves his children so much. He sent me pictures all weekend of pink cars to show Lucy. He sent me probably 30 pictures of Judah beside cars with his goofy little grin. He wanted to take Judah. Judah’s not the easiest kid ever – he’s 5. And a five year old no matter how good is still a 5 year old.

Every time I talked to Wes, “He’s doing good. He’s hanging in there.” No matter what, he loves his children and he wants them to be whole.

And he loves me.

And yes, yes, yes… we fight. Pretty much all the time. We argue and we have spats, and we’ll go 3 hours without speaking to each other some days. And we are in a unique situation where we are both home, all day. So we are around each other, all day, every day, for the most part. When he studies at the church or when I have errands, that’s about it.

And we seriously look forward to drinking our coffee on the porch with each other each morning. We love to talk to each other. We would choose each other over anyone or anything else. (I’ll have to double check with Wes on that one, because he did just see most of his dream cars this past weekend so I may have bumped down a spot or two.) I’ll be back up in #1 slot when he sees me though.

He consistently pursues me and I’m forever grateful for him giving me compliments when I don’t feel like they are true. I love that he loves every part of me, even the parts of myself that I can’t stand to look at. Or the parts of me that aren’t where they should be as wife and mother – he loves me through them. I hope he knows that I love him through any of his.

I’ve missed my Judah, and I’ve loved spending time with Lucy, but most of all, I’m so so ready to have my husband back.

And that gets you caught up for July and part of August. Maybe I’ll update again at the end of August. (And maybe not… I might be busy living my life with my sweet family!)

The last month: 6.15.17-7:8.17

Man. I am super lazy. Blogging is full on back burner. I’m recording life in my journal again, and so my need for the blog is less and less. I do like having an online record, so I’m not stopping it, but it’s obviously not as much of a priority as it once was. 

So to catch you up. 


Kids went to VBS at my dad’s church. My aunt Karla and uncle Jerry were so kind to come get them and let them ride the bus to Bible school. The kids were beside themselves wth excitement. 

We went to the beach with Wes’ family. The whole lot of us went. It was quite a crowd. But we had a ton of fun. 

The weather wasn’t perfect the first half of he week- actually so much so that the lifeguards were giving tickets if you got in the water. So, in the sand we played and in the pool. Then, the last couple of days we all got sunburned. 


Ugh my hair makes me mad. 

A big step happened. This was the last picture I had with my 6 year old!



Now she’s 7. She had a sleepover and we had a party at church with a bunch of her church friends. 


We had a nice visit from Mimi and Pop and celebrated both birthdays. So glad we could see them. 

My kids went to spend the night with Mawmaw… for one night. Think they packed enough?!


We had a crazy July 4th bash… on July 3. Wes was leaving and so the family was around and we did fireworks and laughed harder than I have in a long time. 


The kids either loved it, or hated it. Mine- loved it. 

This year. 

(Also- check out Judah’s attire 🙄)

And then we saw the guys off to India. 


The best picture I’ve ever seen was the one from Johnpaul.


They made it. Man am I missing my hubs. 

I’ve been able to talk to him way more regularly though, which has been good. The kids miss him too. Quite a bit. 

And in the spirit of not missing him, Judah’s definitely kept me on my toes. 

And Lucy’s worked hard at not biting her nails, so I rewarded her with A gel manicure. She was SO excited. 


And you are caught up! 

Dentists, DeSoto, and de Other Stuff 5.20.17-6.14.17

So… It has been almost a month. Sorry about that. Actually, I’m not sorry. I’ve been trying to be less on Social Media (which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t). In the end, I’m more present with the people that I’m around and that’s what I’m trying to do.

The kiddos went to the dentist. No cavities! (I feel like I need to add… They’ve only been like one other time. And I think that was just Lucy. She was like 1. I long time should have been bringing them. Oops.)

Lucy loved the Dentist trip and was super pumped about all her “free stuff” (the toothpaste and new brush and floss.) She can’t wait to go back.

We’ve been getting stuff done at Mawmaw’s in between rain.

While we were digging up stumps at the new land, we dug up one by our house too. It’s going to look so different once grass grows in.

And what’s summer if not for lazing.

And swimming (or splashing..) This was the last of this pool pretty much. The kids wanted to see Tiger (our cat) swim. And… there goes the top ring. 

Judah was the “Church Cop.” Better watch that one while he’s undercover.. He’ll be like Don Johnson and lose himself. Nah, deep down Judah will do what’s right.

Lucy got an easy bake oven from Pawpaw Bruce’s whos been cleaning out. It was Kaileys. Lucy made sugar cookies. And we ate them. And then we realized they were like 10 years old.

(We all lived.)

And last weekend we decided to go camping. And we took Kowalski.

We didn’t know just how ol’ K-Dog was gonna do. But he was fantastic. He always came when we called, he stayed pretty close by (thankfully the campground was literally empty, and so we didn’t have to keep him right by us the whole trip.)

He LOVED it. 

He loved sleeping in the tent with us too. 

He was more exhausted than any of us I do believe. 

Everywhere we were… He was right by us. 

The kids did good too. This was their first legit kayaking trip. We’ve paddled them short bits, like in ponds and lakes, but never set out on an actual “drop this car here and go put in and paddle down then go get the other car” type of trip.

Lucy rode with Papa J, and Judah with daddy for the most part. K-dog was with me.

He did good too. He wasn’t as big of a fan of the kayak as he was just being out in the sand, but he didn’t try and get out, and that’s what mattered.

This was our going home picture. Everybody’s pooped.

And the kids started VBS this week at my dad’s church. My Uncle is the bus driver and they’ve so sweetly said they’d come pick my kids up and bring them home for a day so they feel like real bus riders.

Lucy couldn’t be more ecstatic.

And after day one, they came home with this need to paint. So, I got out some super cheap paints, and we painted. Some of their paintngs are.. chaos. Un-look-at-able. And some are actually quite impressive when you can tell what’s going on.

And this is Judah “helping” us with some work at Pawpaw Bruce’s.

Looks like Bruce taught him well.

PS – they were watching Scooby Doo.

I’m so glad my dad is home and feeling better. I don’t like visiting him in the hospital; I do like the chance to just reconnect and talk with my dad. Good Ol’ Bruce.

Well, that gets you caught up!

Thanks for reading with us and sticking with us.