Special Guests!

My Grandpa Platten came to Memphis, March 22-24!  He hadn’t been to Memphis since Kathleen and Jason’s wedding and we were thrilled to have him come.  I’ve been telling him about our new house and couldn’t wait to show him.  Grandpa Platten is the kind of guy you want to please.  I hold him in such high esteem and know that he has high expectations for the important things in life- faith, relationships, caring for others, nurturing your family, etc.  So, for him to come and see us in action, then for him to give us such encouraging and approving words means the world to me. 

gpa and laura

dad and family men

Uncle John, cousin Andy, cousin Brian, Grandpa, and Hayden all went to support my Dad as was a featured speaker for the Catholic Men’s Morning of Spirituality.  It meant the world to my Dad to have such important men in our family there supporting him and affirming him.  I was so proud of my Dad for his transparency and willingness to be used by God to lead other men to becoming stronger in their faith and in their roles as the spiritual leaders in their homes.  This is an incredible speech challenging each of us to find our GodSpot- where we are in our faith, what we are doing with our faith, and understanding that God wants to use us where we are, how we are, and with what we’ve been.

Here is a link to his speech, if you are interested in watching:
mom and dad


The weekend was full of family time and it was a great reminder of how much fun and laughter surrounds each gathering.  I am blessed to have loving and HILARIOUS relatives!

Avery got sick over the course of the weekend, then Haley got it two days later.  It was sad to see my kids down and out for a few days.  And I am a little embarrassed to admit it, BUT, I LOVE all the snuggle time that comes from kids that don’t feel good.  Avery didn’t leave my arms except for when she was sleeping (and then only part of the time) for three days.  I relished the time.  She now loves “the Mouse” after watching many episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse together on the couch.  I know that moments like those are why God gives Moms such loving arms- those arms that are sometimes the only things that can bring comfort.  I’m glad I get to be that comfort for three incredible kids. 

Girl Scout Haley!

In December, Haley brought home a paper about joining the Girl Scouts…then proceeded to give me a live advertisement for it- Girl Scouts change your life and teach you tons of skills you NEED!  Like camping, crafts, and lots of stuff!

So, we went to an interest meeting and learned a new craft while talking to some of the girls who are Brownies and Girl Scouts in our area.  Haley LOVED it and her excitement led to me find out about starting a troop.  Well, after going to the "interview" at the local headquarters I was thinking it might be more than I’d want to get into right now as far as leading, but we did enroll her in a local troop that had just started up.  Tonight is the first meeting!  Since the cookie sales had already started up, I went to grab a cookie sheet from the troop leader so Haley could sell her first cookies!!  She was thrilled. 

Hayden and I gave her some tips and facts to tell people and she was off.  No need to teach this little sales girl about up-selling, she’s a natural.  She made several phone calls…even to Hayden.  He said, of course!  Then told her he wanted one of every box.  She said, "okay, that will be eight boxes, now would you like eight of each?"  Then reminded him to get some for his Valentine.  She is a trip!  She has been telling everyone Hayden bought 28 boxes.  Even though he didn’t order 28, he has placed several orders…he can’t say no! 

Her goal was 100 boxes and she has surpassed her goal!  Pappaw Gary told her that if she fell a few boxes short, like 5, then to call him and he would buy some more.  Her response- "well, how about 10?  Then I’d be over my goal!"  I about fell out laughing.  We video taped her sales pitch…you can see it here:

A special thanks to all who bought some…she ended up selling over 150 boxes!!

Haley has her first Daisy meeting tonight.  I decided to teach myself to sew boutique ruffle pants, so Haley and I went to Hancock Fabrics this weekend.  She found some really cute Daisy fleece and we decided to make some pants for her.  She was my helper and loved learning to sew.  She was just giggly and willing to do anything.  She was so proud of her new pants that we made together that she wore them to bed and to school.  She thanked me several times and my heart was happy that we spent time learning something new together and that she enjoyed it as much as I did.


Update- since I am so late posting this, here are a few more experiences Haley has had with her Daisy troop.

Haley LOVES Daisies.  She hasn’t missed a meeting and is always so excited to go.  She did a great job delivering her cookies, but Trey gets the true award.  He carried more boxes than her, and ran door to door helping to deliver…even when she was whining and ready to stop, he wasn’t about to give up!  He is ready for the Boy Scouts and constantly reminds me that Boy Scouts sell Popcorn…I told him I’d definitely buy some from him!

There has been a pinning ceremony and Haley is earning her Daisy badges each meeting.  She loves her vest and is proud when we iron on a new patch.  Yea, for iron on patches!!





As a celebration the local troops all had a skating party…and even earned a fun patch for it.  (go figure!)  Haley was really tired and VERY grumpy before we left and was whining so much we almost didn’t take her- Hayden almost took Trey alone.  But, we all worked together to pull her emotions back together so we could go and have a fun time.

Here is an excerpt from my blog, LouderGod.com, to describe the rest of the evening:

“Well, I feel like a parent of a teenager!  I got a glimpse into that realm this week when we took Haley to her first skating party.  The whole family went and both Trey and Haley put on skates.  Haley has been dreading going to the skating rink because she didn’t know how to skate but I convinced her that the only way to learn is by going to the rink and practicing.  Luckily, my Mother-In-Law gave me great advice about tightening the wheels so we’d have a chance at success.  (She had plenty of experience at the skating rink because my husband loved skating when he was a kid…but who didn’t??)  Haley put on the skates and literally went straight out on the rink…and immediately landed on her behind.  Tears were flowing and I thought we were done.  I wouldn’t let her quit, so we went for a few practice strides on the carpet…then tightened the wheels some more.  From there she was on GO!  She had a little friend there and they were holding hands, going round and round, and even braved it into the center of the rink where it was “SO COOL!”  (Not to leave Trey out, he was a champ too.  He held on to the wall most of the time and never gave up- skating by himself and for much longer than I ever expected.  THEN, he too was brave and went on out to the middle to play limbo!”

haley skating

haley skating

trey limbo

She’s asked MANY more times if she could go back, and has mentioned that she wishes she could live at the skating rink.  I hope this was a great lesson in getting back out there and trying it again.  I hope for my kids to be adventurous to try new things and have optimism that new experiences will be GREAT.  I think Trey and Avery already have this mind set down!

Poor Avery wanted to get out there on the skating rink so bad.  We had fun dancing to the music and playing in the water fountain!

Haley, Haley, Haley–Wow, what a week!


Haley turned six on Wednesday! The first thing I said to Hayden that morning was, “How do we have a six year old?” Time is going fast, but I think we do a great job of making our moments count so I feel like we are taking it in stride. With that said, I look at my little girl and don’t see my little baby. She is getting older, dressing herself (for better or for worse!) and continually amazes me at the things she says and thinks about. Haley is definitely a thinker…like her Dad. I’m so glad she got that trait of his.

Haley started her birthday week off last weekend. The Simons’, Mammaw Clack, Laura/Ryan and crew, my parents, Demarkis, and my cousin Brian all gathered here for a birthday lunch…complete with Birthday Cupcakes. (Choosing to have the famous Birthday Cupcakes at every opportunity is a trait she got from me!) She enjoyed getting a new set of legos and playing with her cousins. Avery adored having Caleb around. They are about the same size and she just repeated, “baby” the entire time they were here. Trey had a blast with Seth and got to attend a birthday party Saturday morning at Build-A-Bear. He had never been and had such a special time. I love watching him listen to the process and be excited about making his bear. He is such a sweetie! (and OH, so cute!)

Saturday night we took a family trip to a Frozen Yogurt shop in Millington with our Sunday School class. Our class is amazing and we have some truly special friends in this group. The kids all get along well and enjoy seeing each other often.

Sunday we had an amazing morning. Haley got BAPTIZED!!! The explanation of the events surrounding her baptism deserve a whole blog post in itself…so stay tuned. She was really nervous about going under water but we had a great pastor that was doing the baptisms and she felt really comfortable with him…he did magic tricks and made her feel right at home. Once she got out of the water she asked, “can I do that again??” She’s asked several times since if she can PLEASE get baptized again. She has told SO many people about her baptism and new identity- A Christian! When I went to school to eat lunch with her for her birthday, all the lunch ladies congratulated us on Haley’s baptism…I am so proud that she is so happy about loving Jesus that she can NOT keep it to herself.




Tuesday night, Haley had her pinning ceremony for Daisy Scouts. (explained in the Girl Scout post.)


Wednesday was Haley’s actual birthday. After chocolate chip pancakes on the blue plate she was off to school. Hayden was able to stay home a little later today, so that made the morning even more special. Haley was VERY worried about going to school and has been thinking about the fact that her teacher does birthday spankings…for months! As her birthday got closer she would ask if she could be absent on that day because she didn’t want to be embarrassed in front of her class. I sent a note to her teacher to make sure she knew how sensitive Haley was about it…Haley’s stomach was hurting two days before her birthday! I asked if they could do it in the morning so she wouldn’t be thinking about it all day. I don’t know if her teacher even had a chance to mention it before Haley had started crying. Of course, there were no birthday spankings that day!

Trey, Avery and I picked up some Happy Meals from McDonald’s and headed to school for lunch. We sat with Haley’s class and brought cookies to help celebrate. I think Trey had more fun than anyone.

After school, Hayden took Haley on a date for dinner. They went to Incredible Pizza. Hayden mentioned that they spent a fortune…but that it was definitely an investment. They had a blast having Haley-Daddy time and I’m not sure which one needed it more. When they got home we opened presents. Trey got to pick out some earrings for Haley and he was so proud to give them to her. It melted my heart, how eager he was to give them to her and tell her that HE had picked them out for her!

Saturday was the BIG party. Haley had thought up the idea to have an Artist Party with the girls in her class. The girls in the class call themselves The Butterfly Team. So, once I found an incredible deal on large canvases at Michael’s, it was a done deal! Haley is more into crafts than anyone I have ever known, so this was the perfect theme. I painted a sample butterfly for the girls to see and also a large canvas birthday picture…also butterfly themed. We set up Simons’ Studio in the basement and the girls had a fantastic time painting and giggling. I was so happy to hear them tell Haley over and over, “this party is better than the most awesome party!” “Will you have this for your party next year??”











As you can see, Haley wasn’t wearing a smile in this final picture.  She was upset because she didn’t want to take a picture with her painting that wasn’t done yet.  She is a perfectionist and LOVES color.  Like a true artist, she didn’t want her masterpiece revealed until it was completed. 

We were all tired by the end of the afternoon. Avery was probably most sad that the party was over because she had unlimited access to the candy from the Sundae Bar while we were opening presents and finishing our paintings. Trey hung in there like a champ with all the girls. His painting went abstract…he didn’t want to paint a girly butterfly. Haley is blessed to have such a loving little brother that desires to be a part of anything that is special to her.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we spent the afternoon playing soccer in the back yard and fishing. We even took a spin on the boat and shook our heads in disbelief…how are we so lucky to live on this lake??? God has given us far more than we ever could have imagined, in every aspect of our life- our kids, our location, our friends, family, our marriage, church, and the list goes on.

Haley learned about Leprechan’s at school this week and had written a note to one asking if he could come live with us…and promising that she would take good care of him. Hayden and I bought gnomes for the kids last year when we were planning our garden. So we thought it might be a great time to bring out the gnomes…our garden is starting to sprout! We decided the Leprechan could leave the gnomes for the kids. He left a green note explaining he was too busy in March to move in but that he asked his buddy to come live here and watch over our garden. The kids were ecstatic!

One last cherry on the cake was a dinner out to Cracker Barrel! That is the kids’ favorite restaurant…and our dinner we’d planned to eat wasn’t quite defrosted. Haley finished off this grading period with all brown lions- no cards pulled! This was a goal of hers and she made it…

I don’t know if there is anything else we could have thrown in this weekend!! We are exhausted- and wouldn’t have it any other way. Thankful.