Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Boy, Girl, Boy...

That's right, we had our ultrasound yesterday and found out that our fourth baby is a boy! We are really excited...and thankful for another little Broome boy. I must admit, however, that I was completely wrong on my guess for this one. I was convinced that this baby was a girl! Fred had to keep asking me if I was excited...and I kept saying "yes...I'm so excited...and so shocked!"
Sweet sister has been very gracious in her acceptance of another brother as well...she was a bit confused when the ultrasound technician said that he was a boy-- I think that she was just as sure as I was that this baby was a girl:)
We are very excited and overwhelmingly thankful for him...and what's amazing is that I think that we even have a name already picked out. This is a definite record for me and Fred. We are very slow name-pickers...Anna Bell wasn't officially decided on until we had to write something down to leave the hospital!
...So: Thank You, Lord for this little boy. Thank You for how You have already amazingly knit him so perfectly together and how You continue to sustain his little life. We are so thankful for his place in our family. We are in awe and humbled at the treasure and blessing of him. Thank You, Awesome Creator!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Big Two Year Old

Caleb Judson turned TWO yesterday!

Dearest Caleb,

You are a treasure.

You are sweet and tenderhearted.

You are tough.

You adore your "people" and can make someone feel so special when you run and give hugs.

I love how you say "GOD loves me!"

I love how you say "Aww, man!"

You love trucks, cars, and most of all- trains.

You are so interested in letters and numbers. (And I think that if you were my firstborn, you would definitely know them all by now!)

You really enjoy books.

You are learning to hold your own as you play with J and AB.

I'm so thankful that you are a great sleeper.

You're going to be a wonderful big brother.

Happy 2nd birthday, sweet boy! We love you so much- you are such a joy and blessing. I'm so thankful for you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Friday, and I'm Feeling Random

*I seriously woke up yesterday morning and smiled when I remembered that it was Thursday: no definite plans or places we had to be, a night at home, and (for us) the beginning of the weekend. We ran a few errands in the morning and spent the rest of the day at home. ...And I actually cooked a complete dinner; which is something that I have RARELY done since pregnancy sickness kicked in. My dear, sweet family has lived on frozen meals, kids-eat-free nights around town, or cereal/sandwiches. It's been rough. I don't think that I've been quite as sick as I was with Caleb, but thinking about food is just the worst. I reached the 13 week mark today, so I'm praying that relief comes in the next week or so!

*It's so amazing and awesome how God has already knit this littlest one into our family. I "found out" that I was pregnant while the kids and I were in St. Louis at the end of the summer. I didn't take a test. I guess that by the fourth time around, you just pretty much know:) I didn't tell anyone for nine days! Not even Fred! I didn't want to tell him on the phone or around other people. And I definitely didn't want to tell anyone before him, so I just spent a little over a week joyfully pondering the idea in my heart and thanking God. It was really cool: it was a different kind of excitement than I've felt with any of the other 3, but still a giddy, overwhelming excitement just the same...maybe just a bit more peaceful. It's amazing how much love we already have for this little peach-sized person. We are all really excited! Especially big sis, Anna Bell:)

*I've mentioned several times here how sweet and for the most part, compliant Caleb is...however, as evidenced in this pic- he is almost two:)

*I love this picture of Bella and Caleb. I don't know why they chose to hang out on the bathroom stool, but it sure made for a cute pic!

*This is a pretty old picture, that, for some reason, I never posted...but oh, how thankful I am for precious and rare moments such as these!!!!

*I LOVE this time of year!!! Fall has finally arrived in Macon. The leaves are beautiful. We've been faithfully playing Christmas music for over a week. Oh, I love it.

*We finally decided on a new room arrangement and moved Anna Bell to Joshua's room last weekend. We were blessed with another twin bed from a dear family, so we finally decided that putting J and AB together made the most sense. Their sleeping needs are the most alike and are both at a place where they can fall back asleep easily if someone wakes them up. As I was looking at the once-all-boy room with now two twin beds in it, I looked at Fred and said "It would be so great to go to IKEA to pull this room together." This was at 5:30 on Saturday. Fred looked at me and asked if I wanted to go...ummm....of course I do!!!! So by 5:45, we were all piled into the van and on our way to Atlanta! Crazy, right?!? It was such a fun family night! We pulled up to IKEA at around 7, all ate dinner for $5.00 and were off to shop. We stayed until 9 when they closed and picked out bedding for Anna Bell that worked with the colors already in Joshua's quilt. I also bought some frames to hang in there and little floor mats. The room in not quite together yet...I'll post pictures when I'm finished. It was so fun to do something so last minute and for the kids to be so great with it...it made me realize that as they get older, there's so much more allowance for flexibility.

*Alright, enough randomness for one night- happy Friday y'all!!!!

Funny (and sometimes sweet) Little Conversations

Anna Bell: Mommy, I love the baby girl in your belly.

Me: Anna Bell, we don't know if the baby is a girl or a boy yet. But Who does know?

AB: God.

Me: That's right. And God knows best, doesn't He?

AB: Yep.

...We've had LOTS of conversations like this one with Anna Bell. I was a bit concerned about her at first, and how she will react if this sibling is another brother. However, this is the conversation that she had with an employee at McAllisters a few weeks back:

AB: My mommy has a baby in her tummy. (She pretty much tells everyone she sees!)

Worker: Wow! How exciting! Do you think that you're going to have a brother or a sister?

AB: Only God knows. And God knows best.

...Gotta love it!!!!:)

*After Joshua received a spanking last night:

Anna Bell: Daddy good job. ....You did a good job spanking Joshua.

...Hmm...what an encourager.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

So I guess that I don't have to change my blog...

I started this blog when Anna Bell was first born. Honestly, I didn't think that it would be something that I kept up with. (And by that I mean, sometimes 1 blog a month is actually beyond what I would have expected! Ha!)

Well, I foolishly made the site's web address fourbroomes. What was I thinking? I knew that, if God saw fit, our family would outgrow that name. And although it's been nearly 2 years since we've been a family of 5, the blog name is once again appropriate:) Because come May, we will be a family of 6!!!!!! (four kids works with fourbroomes, right?!?)

We are beyond excited! The kids are excited! It's been fun to see, for the first time, siblings who are old enough to comprehend what is happening (and why mommy is puking all the time!:) We are so thankful for this new little life...more stories and thoughts to come...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rock Ranch 2010

We spent beautiful Saturday at the wonderful Chick-fil-A Rock Ranch. It was a great day with the Browns and Johnsons!
Just a few pictures of our day:
It was Veggie Tales day...one of AB's highlights was meeting Bob and Larry.

Caleb was a bit fussy...which is fairly uncharacteristic of him. We are battling our third ear infection in a month. This mama's praying that we don't have to get tubes!

The train: A definite fan favorite.

Joshua was the only Broome who rode a pony. He loved it. AB and Caleb watched, desperately wanting to build up the courage to ride too...but kept chickening out.

Another fan favorite: the "corn shed." Just when I was thinking that maybe we should buy corn instead of sand for our sandbox, Joshua frantically came out with two kernels or corns shoved way up each nostril. Thankfully, they both came rocketing out when I told him blow his nose!

...And speaking of Chick-fil-A, here's a latest conversation at the Broome house:

me: Anna Bell, thank you SO much for doing such a good job cleaning up your toys!

AB: my pleasure.

Hmmm...maybe we've been eating a little too much cfa around here:)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Just Joshua

Last Friday, Fred and I got to go with Joshua and his class on a pumpkin farm field trip. It was really fun to spend such special time just with him.

I love you, big five year old!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Caleb Judson

Caleb Judson-

You are sweet beyond measure.

You are the biggest cuddle bug.

Your precious little voice melts my heart.

...And yet, you are most definitely one tough cookie.

Especially when your older sister drives you straight into a very large tree branch on the john deer...and as I scoop you up to frantically check for signs of a concussion, all you can do is fuss "RIDE! RIDE" begging to get right back on with your wild driver.

I love you, Caleb boy.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Story of the Summer Bee Drama

I love being outside. I always have. In fact, I think that it was during my senior year of college that I went thru a phase of sleeping outside on the back porch. (I don't think that lasted very long!) ...Anyways, my kids love being outside too. Some of our favorite days include exploring out back, riding bikes, painting outside, searching for critters, and other sorts of outdoor adventures. The thing about living in Macon, Georgia is that you can pretty much play outside all year long. It's blazing hot in the summer months and the mosquitoes are terrible...but we still go outside and just set up our own little mini-water park in the front yard (there are less mosquitoes in the front...so we red-neck it and set up the pool on the driveway!)

Well, while Fred and I were away on a student mission trip at the end of July, my mom came to watch the kids at our house. They did all kinds of fun things together and stayed pretty busy. All was well until the day before Fred and I returned home. Joshua was playing in the next yard over with a neighbor's grandson, while mom and our neighbor were standing out back. They called the two boys back to our yard and before they knew it, both boys were running as fast as their little legs could go and screaming their heads off. It took a minute for the two grandmas to realize what was going on, but once the boys got close enough- it was obvious. One of the boys had disturbed a yellow jacket nest. And my poor, dear baby was covered in yellow jackets. He was, of course, screaming hysterically while my mom fearlessly ripped his clothes off and got him upstairs into a baking soda bath as quickly as possible. Both mom and Joshua got stung 6-8 times by those awful little suckers:( Our neighbors were great: bringing mom Benedryl and checking on her and J several times (mom had a reaction when she was a little girl...she actually called dad that night and said something like "Call me in the morning. If I don't answer, call an ambulance." ...nothing says "sleep well, dear" like that!!!!) Thankfully, mom waited til the whole ordeal was past and Joshua was fine to call me...otherwise, I'm pretty sure my trip would have been cut a day short:) You know, you can't hear something like that without immediately replaying that terrible scene from My Girl.

So, we got home the next evening and everything seemed fine. Joshua had perfectly recovered; you couldn't even tell where he'd been stung. We headed out the next day for our Prosser family beach trip and spent an amazing week living outside in the sand, surf, and at the pool. We got home the next week and as we saw friends that we'd missed for 2 whole weeks, we recounted Joshua's tale of being attacked by bees. Joshua usually loves this sort of thing: telling a great story, seeing the reaction of his audience, receiving the praise of such bravery. However- it backfired on me big-time! Apparently, somewhere along the way, my little boy became deathly afraid of ALL things creepy crawly. We are talking gnats, ants, spiders, ANYTHING that was a bug, he was seriously afraid of! It was terrible. He refused to go outside for over a month and even got upset when we had to park far away at church or at a store. There were times that he even begged for us to carry him over the step and into the van inside of the garage!

My sweet boy was seriously traumatized. It was a good thing to go through, really. It allowed our family A LOT of conversation about trusting God. We prayed with Joshua, we recounted Scripture and accounts of courage from the Bible. We talked about God's goodness and purpose in creating bees. We read books about bees (and every other type of bug!) We talked about how fun outside is and how thankful we are for God's beautiful creation. I could tell all along, that there was a struggle going on in my little guy. He SO wanted to trust...but his fear was holding him back. And after, like I said, over a month of spending mornings and afternoons cooped up indoors, we went to St. Louis for a week and Joshua got over it. As we were praying one day, at the end he said "and thank You, God for bees." wow! That was huge. Joshua is still a bit skittish around bees (I don't blame him!!!!) but we are back to a normal routine of playing outside. We will probably eventually be able to have more conversations about trusting the LORD from all this... but for now, we've decided that it's best to just not talk about it and be VERY thankful that we are past the Summer Bee Drama:)

*These are pictures of me and the kids missing an entire wedding ceremony that Fred officiated...because it was outside. We instead, spent an hour sitting in the van watching Curious George until the reception!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My heart is heavy today. Late last night, one of my heroes went to be with Jesus. And although I'm definitely not a writer, I feel compelled to attempt to describe Gary Varner. This man walked with God in a real and passionate way. His relationship with Christ was evident in everything that he did. As I've thought, prayed, and even been able to visit with Gary and his dear wife, Carol, I've been reminded of all of the ways that they have challenged and encouraged me. I realized that, other than my parents, there are probably no two people who have been more influential in my walk with Christ in my teenage years.

When I was 15 years old, I remember sitting in the Crestview Middle school Gym on a Sunday night. (Our church met there because we didn't yet have a building.) I don't have a very good memory when it comes to these kinds of things, so it's interesting that this moment sits so vividly in my mind. I was sitting with some friends on the stage of the gym when Gary Varner walked up and asked if I had thought about going on the mission trip to Kiev, Ukraine the following spring. I don't remember if I had or not...I probably had because God had already stirred in my heart a love of missions. But I do remember that when he took the time to ask a little squirrelly 15 year old girl if she wanted to go on a mission trip, that meant a lot to me. So that spring break (and week following) I went to Kiev. I then went to Kiev the next year, and the next, and then went to Kursk, Russia with Gary and Carol the summer following my freshman year of college.

It was from these trips and the training that we had in preparation for going, that I learned to share my faith. I saw the world outside of the safe little neighborhood that I knew. I grew to understand and love a culture and people that was so foreign to me. Gary and Carol taught us to be ready to always give an account of the Hope that is in us- whether it be to one person or thrown up on stage in front of hundreds with a translator! They taught me to use the testimony that God has given me to proclaim the Truth of the Gospel. They taught me the importance of respect for other cultures and people, regardless of how different they may be. It's been thirteen years since I've been on a trip with the Varners, but the truth that they diligently ingrained in us still is so fresh in my heart and mind.

Gary was diagnosed with lung cancer last fall. The diagnosis was not good and the effects of the cancer and treatment quickly took Gary to a very painful and restless place. I went to visit him and Carol last spring with my dear friend, Kelli. She beautifully wrote about our time with Gary on her blog. She put into words much better than I ever could the truth and wisdom that Gary shared with us that day. And what she graciously left out of her post is that I bawled my eyes out through a good bit of our conversation. And I'm not a crier. I usually prefer to process emotions when I'm all by myself. But I couldn't help it that day. The tears just kept flowing. I was overwhelmed by several things that day: 1. My dear friend and mentor was going through something awful and unless God saw fit to miraculously heal him, he would be in heaven soon. 2. Floods of memories with the Varners: Going to Russia. Sitting in their basement learning the Four Spiritual Laws until I could say them backwards in my sleep. Taking care of their daughter, Jessica while they were on another trip to Russia. Sitting in their living room as they lovingly yet directly confronted me when I was not making wise choices my junior year of high school. Gary challenging Fred and I at the end of our wedding and praying over us right before we left the church. ...The memories go on and on. 3. Sitting at the feet of a great saint who had spent a lifetime loving Jesus who had the perspective of one who would likely meet Him soon.

Hearing Gary's heart that day was life-changing. He was trusting God in the midst of great suffering. I left their house that day and didn't get over the urgency to pray for Gary and Carol. I've learned through this that although there are a lot of things I can't do to serve people in this stage of life, I CAN pray. And God loves it when His people pray. I can't tell you how many times I've begged God to heal Gary. I can't tell you how many times I've been burdened in the middle of the night or throughout the day to stop and pray for him and Carol. I'm not saying this to toot my own horn or say I'm some kind of prayer warrior...I'm actually pretty unfaithful when it comes to interceding for others. The Lord has worked in my heart to pray faithfully for others through all of this.

I went back to St. Louis a week ago to visit with Gary and Carol again. My sweet daddy flew into Atlanta and the kids and I met him up there. He then drove us back to MO. ...I'm not brave (or foolish!) enough to make the 11-12 hour drive with 3 children all by myself. Gary ended up having a really difficult week and I almost didn't get to see them. Then his precious, selfless wife texted the evening before I left to say that he was up for a visit, if I could come by. I was able to spend over 2 hours again sitting with them and soaking up their wisdom and perspective.

Although I know that Gary felt awful that night, it did not keep him from teaching me what it means to love Jesus. One thing that he said that really stuck out was the importance of loving people. How programs, plans, schedules don't mean much of anything- what really matters is showing people the love of Christ. I was convicted. How many times do I care more about my list of errands or vacuuming the floor than sharing the love of Jesus?!? And here I sat, with a couple that had loved me and so many others so fervently and selflessly over the years. I know that it probably wasn't always convenient or fun to invest in me as a teenager. I'm pretty sure that I was annoying and irresponsible at times!...Yet Gary and Carol cared about me and my relationship with Christ enough to always be there for me. I am more than just a "part of the ministry job" to them. And I'm sure that there were plenty of times that they poured into me without me even thanking them. (However, I'm sure my parents thanked them often!) I want to love people like Gary Varner did. My mom said to Carol the other day, "Can you even imagine how heavy Gary's crown is going to be?!?" I can't imagine.

It makes my heart so happy to think of Gary in the presence of Jesus today. As the kids have said several times today: Mr. Gary is no longer sick. He gets to be with Jesus. He is made new. And for that, I so rejoice today. But when I think about my dear, precious friend Carol Varner, tears automatically well up. They were a team like no other. They loved each other so honestly, faithfully, and deeply. As my mom said, it's not like most couples where the husband goes off to work and the wife does her own thing. In every ministry endeavor, they worked together. And in the last year, Carol was the world's best nurse. (although she would never say that!) Please pray for my friend, Carol. Pray that God would be so near. Pray that she will know His loving arms. Pray for people to surround her and speak Truth in a loving way. And please pray for her kids too: Clayton, his wife Courtney, and Jessica. I pray that they will know what an amazing impact their daddy's faithful service has for the Glory and Kingdom of God.

Thank You, Jesus for working in the heart of Gary Varner. Thank You for using him to impact so many people. Thank You for using him to so mightily display Your glory!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

5 Today...

Five years ago today, our sweet Joshua Baker was born. Joshua, you are such a joy to your Mama. I love to watch you figure things out. You are such a great question-asker: whether it's "Why did God make fire ants?" or "How do water towers work?"... you keep me on my toes:) I love that your heart is so tender to what you do not need to hear/say/watch. You are very quick to want to turn off a video if it is the least bit scary and do not like it if you hear anyone saying something that is unkind. We need to work on your respect with adults on this one...but I am thankful for your boldness to stand up for what's right:) You have become exceptionally good at telling jokes lately. My favorite part is after you tell the joke, and you repeat the punch line and crack yourself up. I am realizing more and more that I have no idea how to raise a boy. On days that we haven't been able to go outside, I think of as many constructive ways as possible for you to get some energy out. And yet, you still seem to have an intense need to body slam and wrestle. I love this about you, but I also really love it that you're still okay with sitting in my lap and reading a book or watching pbs. I love the great conversations that we have about God, missionaries, people that we are praying for, or any other random thing before you go to bed. Daddy and I have realized that this is a sweet and precious time with you. Joshua, I can't believe that you are five. You are no longer a toddler at all...you are a little boy. And I LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Psalm 70:4

"May all who seek You
rejoice and be glad in You!
May those who love Your salvation
say evermore, 'God is great!'"
Wow, I love this verse! I just read it this morning and was so challenged and encouraged...especially since David wrote it in the midst of awful circumstances: while he was seeking rescue from his enemies. My desire is to be a follower of Christ who rejoices and is glad IN HIM...who is a lover of His salvation and says evermore "GOD IS GREAT!"

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Catch Up

Does anyone else ever get behind on blogging about life and it just hinders them from ever getting caught up? ...I feel like that happens to me all the time. I think "Well, I can't blog this until I write about that." Anyways...I just need to let that go. Here are just a few (as usual-random!) blog-note-worthy things going on with the Broomes:

*My dear, sweet, wonderful friend Constance moved to Macon! And what's even better is that her husband, Adam is the new high school pastor at our church! We are having a blast having them here. I keep saying that it's the closest thing to living near family when you don't:) Con and I were friends and roomies in college and in each others' weddings. It's SO fun to have her and her precious children and husband here! We were hanging out on Friday and just sitting around laughing, chatting, watching our kids play- and I couldn't help but smile and thank God for such a sweet and unexpected blessing.

*Last week, I pulled EVERY toy that was in our house into the playroom. SO many things needed to be sorted/stored/purged. We consolidated and now only have toys in the playroom downstairs and Joshua's closet upstairs. I like it. I have a much better handle on what we are actually using and where things are.

*Joshua started 4k and Anna Bell started 3k two weeks ago. They both love it! I can't remember if I've written about this, but I really struggled with whether or not to enroll them this year. We are praying about what to do about school for Joshua next year. We haven't come to a decision yet; we'll be visiting schools and I'm going to start doing some Kindergarten curriculum at home. We'd love to hear any godly wisdom that anyone has to offer. ...But for now, I am glad that we went ahead and did preschool this year. They are going 3 mornings a week. J and AB love it, are in a Christ-centered place, and are learning. They both have fabulous teachers. I'm having sweet time with Caleb (and getting some things accomplished with just 1) and C is even going to MMO on Friday mornings when Fred is off- so we have a date morning every week!

*And here are some pictures that I attempted one morning. I love these kids:)

*Whew. I feel *somewhat* caught up now.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Prosser Family Beach Trip 2010

We got home yesterday from the annual trip to the beach with the Prosser clan. It was wonderful...and as always, I left with a deep appreciation and love for my family. (And also a readiness to get home to our little family routine!) We played in the ocean and pool, went to a little fair, went to the aquarium, stayed up WAY too late and ate WAY too much junk food, loved on cousins, and all around had a really fun time.