Thursday, December 23, 2010


Early in the morning on Wednesday, December 16,  Deano, my brother-in-law, died of a heart attack. Pam was there with him when he died.  I can't imagine how difficult this is for her right now.  Chris and I left Thursday morning before the snowfall to be with her for the funeral.  The trip was treacherous for a while as the snow covered the already cold highway, but thankfully we made it safely.  Friday was the service, and then we headed to my mom's, who is only 5 hours away, since we were driving two vehicles home and I'm a wimp about these things. 

I was driving the truck that Chris bought from his uncle, a vehicle I'd never driven before, and Chris followed in the car.  I was leading and very nervous at first.  As we travelled I became more comfortable with the truck and felt a little more at ease.   We were cruising along through Greensboro and almost to Virginia when we hit the fog.  No one was ahead of me at that point, and I felt encased by the cloud and the darkness.  We were in unfamiliar territory at this point too, with a GPS that was malfunctioning.  I strained to see the road ahead.  The fog would lift some, but it always returned.  God mercifully sent people to drive in front of me.  As long as I could see their tail lights, I felt o.k.  I prayed a lot---really a lot.  When we stopped for gas Chris led, and I felt better.  We drove in the fog in the dark for 2 1/2 hours, and we finally ran out of it 10 miles before reaching my mom's.  How thankful I was!!!

As I was lost in the fog, I had lots of time to think.  I thought about how much our lives are like the fog.  I can't see what's ahead, and I'm not sure of the road.  If there is a light in front of me to show me the way, then I feel more confident, even though I still don't really know what's ahead.  The Bible says that God's Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.  Like the tail lights of the car in front of me, it can show me the next step in this crazy life. 

This has been a year of deaths for me--my dad, parents of friends, relatives.  I don't know why this shocks me so much.  No one gets out of here alive.  We start the process the moment we are conceived, and yet when the time comes it seems unfair, surreal.  Like driving in the fog, we don't see what is ahead, what is around us, where the road bends.  God says that our lives are like a vapor--like fog--that disappears quickly.  That doesn't seem true until you are facing the death of another loved one.  I can only imagine the fog that my mom and now Pam are wading through.  But God is always so faithful to lead us when we rely on Him.  We just need to remember that when the fog is closing in and everything is dark.

Monday, November 29, 2010


We were supposed to travel to Chris' family in South Carolina for Thanksgiving this year.  But football.  Since Fred's team won in their regional playoff game, that meant that they played on November 27th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and it also meant practice all weak.  We reviewed our options and decided that we needed to stay home for Thanksgiving this year.  It was nice to not travel, but we were sad at the prospect of missing family.  On Monday, I woke up and found that our niece had posted on Facebook that they were coming up here instead.  They weren't coming for Thanksgiving, but they would arrive on Friday.  Both my father-in-law and mother-in-law said that they wanted to come up to see Fred play, so they packed up and headed north. 

                                        At very cold Osborne waiting for the game.
                                     Bud and Rosie cheering for Clemson--to no avail.
                         Rosie even has glasses to go with her outfit, but Ashley needs to help her with them.

We enjoyed having them here so much.  It meant a lot to all of us that they would travel that far to see a game.  The game was VERY COLD and kind of sad, but they were here.  When it was all finished, we came home and made a warm fire, ate good food and watched more football.  It was a wonderful blessing that we all treasure. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Isn't it just like life?  Today there are so many things I'm thankful for!  I guess this shows that I am, unfortunately, bound by circumstances way too much.  I'm making a list.....
--bacon cheeseburgers on the grill for dinner
--7 layer bars
--another Wildcat victory--1st year in regional playoffs, first year of undefeated at home, first time to beat Massaponax in the history of Mountain View-excitement all around.
--good friends
--beautiful weather

                                              Before the game meal--love these boys!!!
Peter enjoying the 7 layer bars.  As he helped me make them, he asked, "Mom, if they would have lost today, would we still be making 7 layer bars?"  "Probably not."  "Then I'm so glad they won!"
It's a thankful kind of day!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Some days it's hard to find things to be thankful for.  Can you relate?  It seems that many things conspire to make the day hard and just miserable. It takes effort to find those things for which I'm thankful on those days.  I don't have pictures, but I am thankful for the safe trip to Baltimore today to take my mom to the airport.  I'm thankful that 95 was completely uneventful, making the trip much quicker than I had thought or planned.  I'm thankful for clear skies and clear lanes.  I'm thankful that perhaps tomorrow will be another opportunity to be thankful, and I'm continually thankful for more laughter last night playing Balderdash with my family--and did you know that limosis is a sudden and overwhelming urge to eat chalk?  Who knew?

Monday, November 15, 2010


I'm thankful for my faithful, resourceful, and good looking husband. He provides the stability and grace in our family. I appreciate him so much. He is not afraid to try anything, and therefore very handy to have around. He listens to me without judging, gives me sound advice, and loves me madly. I love having him work at home every day and hate when he is gone. He is one of the best dad's I know and a great example for our boys. We met when I was just 16 (which sounds VERY young now), and have been together since. God has blessed me with a amazing man! I love you, Honey!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


                                                      Peter getting ready to kick off.
                                                Half-time snack--you still get that at 10.
                                                   Getting ready to get that ball!
                                              Fred is #34 in case you missed it!
                                                        Ready for anything!
I have said this before, but that was two years ago, so I'll say again, I am thankful for football.  Peter played this year.  Chris caved and let him play a year before his brothers were allowed.  I guess that happens when you are the baby.  He had a great time, and unlike two of his older siblings, would like to continue.  He was the kicker and he played running back. He also played a little center and defensive end and he punted.   He scored 2 touchdowns and did fairly well.  Mainly though he had fun--and he worked hard, at least some of the time. 
As we've watched Fred play and grow, I see so many benefits to football.  He told me recently that football taught him that he could keep going when he felt like he wanted to quit, and that his coaches pushed him farther than he ever thought he could go. There are so many character building opportunities in football that you just don't run across regularly. He has learned discipline and perseverance, and how to stand for Christ while playing hard.  He really has had great coaches and mentors in all this as well.  I will be sad to see it end (hopefully not for another 4 weeks!!!), but perhaps Peter will continue.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I'm thankful that people can change.  When my dad came back from Vietnam, they told him to change out of his uniform before he flew home if he knew what was best for him.  People harassed soldiers returning from war.  When he came back, he was alone.  There wasn't a plane full of Marines with him.  It must have been frightening to come home from the fighting and the worry that you will be hurt by some of the people you are trying to protect only to have to worry about being mocked or hurt or worse by your own countrymen.  Today, regardless of political persuasion, people in general seem very supportive of our troops.  We were out with one of Ben's friends yesterday, and I asked if they were going to eat at Applebee's that evening since his dad is in the Army.  He said that whenever they go out to eat during the week his dad is usually meeting them there from work and so still has his uniform on.  Inevitably, he said, at least 5 people say, "Thank you for serving our country."  That's a much better way to treat those who serve us so selflessly.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Getting a letter is a joy, isn't it?  I mean a real, hand-written, enveloped, put in the mail letter.  We don't get many of those anymore, and technically, we didn't get these letters in the mail, but we are all still thankful for them.  There is a group from our church in India right now celebrating Bombay Teen Challenge's 20th anniversary.  One of the women must have overnighted letters from our boys--the 13 who stayed with families from our church this summer--and we received them on Sunday.  It is a treasure and a gift.  We have written to Amar, but haven't really heard from him.  Internet access is spotty at best and virtually non-existent at the home where the boys live, so we don't hear from Amar electronically either.  He took the time to write each of us a long letter telling us what he is doing and talking about his visit here with us.  As we read them, we could hear Amar saying those words to us in his broken English since he writes English much the same way as he speaks it.  I'm thankful for Amar, how he changed our lives, for the time we got to be his family, and for these precious letters.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Normally when we play a family game together it turns into a loud, fall on the floor, side-splitting laughing affair, which would be why Chris doesn't like to play often.  Last night was one of those nights.  We were playing Crazy Uno, and all of a sudden, everything was funny to someone.  I can barely recall how it all began, but Peter played a card on Ben and then used Ben's line on him, and we all lost it.  I don't remember when I laughed so hard.  We did manage to play several more games in the midst of the laughter, but it was tough.  Chris, thankfully, was talking with his dad on the phone and then had to find something on the computer.  The rest of us were a bit out of control.  I'm so thankful that my boys love to laugh with each other and can play games together.  I felt like there was music, albeit very LOUD music, in the air as we tried to catch our breaths.  As I was trying to wind them down and get to bed, Ben came in my room, wiping the tears from his eyes from laughing so hard and sighed, "I love my family."  Who wouldn't be thankful for that?

Monday, November 8, 2010

My mom

I'm so thankful that my mom came to visit me this weekend.  It's not been an easy several months with my dad's death, but she has made the effort to come visit us at least twice since then.  She was here this weekend to see Sam's play and to watch Fred's game.  She loves her grandkids so much and wants to be involved in as much of their lives that she can--even enduring a football game in November.  I'm thankful that we had the time together and that she made me a pumpkin pie :). 

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Today I was thinking about what I would post, and I did think that I would write about our church--how I appreciate our Pastor's heart for the lost, how the people are so welcoming and affirming etc.  I am still thankful for those things, but today's message just really struck me.  I'm thankful that Darryl is willing to say hard things from the pulpit, challenging us to live authentic Christian lives and to not fake it.  The message this morning was "When I believe in God but don't walk the walk."  I'm challenged to no longer just blend in but to stand out for Christ.  I'm challenged to examine my life, my comforts, my time, to see where I have put Jesus on the back burner.  I'm challenged to listen to God to see where He would have me serve rather than jumping into the deep end with no direction (which is my tendency).  I don't want to live as lukewarm any more and have Jesus say, "I want to spit you out"  (Rev. 3:16)--basically "you make me sick."  Jesus said to the church in Laodicea, "You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realized that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked."  (Rev. 3:20).  I'm thankful for the wake up call because the price of not waking up is very high.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Robin Hood

Sam loves drama--not teenage "drama," but acting.  He's pretty good at it, and we try to encourage him with it whenever we have a chance.  Being homeschooled narrows the opportunities, though, so I'm thankful that there is a group here in Stafford called YACTS, Young Adult Children's Theater of Stafford.  Their goal is to expose children and young adults to opportunities to use their gifts in a positive way.  Sam was excited to try out.  He memorized a monologue from Cyrano to try out.  He did an excellent job of expounding the many ways to insult someone with a nose the size of Cyrano's.  He got the part of Robin Hood.  Today he did so well (they all did really).  He didn't have a ton of lines, but he stayed in character when he was on stage, making faces and gestures while others were talking.  He hammed it up pretty well.  I am so proud of him for his accomplishment with this and I'm thankful for Sam.

Friday, November 5, 2010


No, I'm not packing for the weekend.  I'm getting clothes out to wear to the game tonight--many, many layers of clothes. 

Tonight we head to Massaponax for a football game.  It's cold.  It's going to get colder.  I'm thankful for warm clothes and many layers. Do you detect the theme here?   I'm also thankful for my big blanket that I'm planning on wrapping around me.  Virginia has definitely taken it's toll on my ability to handle the cold, as I'm sure it's a LOT colder in Ohio.  I guess that also makes me thankful that I'm not there :).

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Poor Ginger wishes he could come in and enjoy the heat.  He's tried persistently.  But Bree is allergic, and we like Bree better.

Today it is 47 degrees and rainy.  I'm very thankful for heat.  We live in a house that was retro-fitted for heat about 50 years after it was built.  It has no space under the house--none--no crawl space, no room to fit unless you are a cat.  That means that the heating ducts are in the ceiling, or near it.  Heat rises.  The upstairs is toasty; the downstairs not so much.  Last week Chris suggested we get a portable heater for the kitchen, which tends to be the coldest room in the house, as well as the room where I spend most of my time.  I told him no--it would be fine.  Monday however, I wanted to rethink that decision.  It was COLD!  I couldn't stop shivering, so I resorted to jumping jacks while making breakfast and washing dishes.  Chris also noticed the cold.  He was even more bundled than usual.  About 10:30 he came out to the kitchen with an "ah ha" look on his face.  We hadn't changed our ducts from summer to winter.  In the summer we close all the downstairs ducts to get the air conditioning upstairs.  I had closed all of the upstairs registers when we turned the heat on, but I hadn't thought to do the downstairs.  That made a huge difference, and I could stop doing calisthenics.  It's still never really "warm" but at least it's not cold either.  I'm so thankful for indoor heating! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I'm so thankful for our country and for the freedoms we enjoy.  We may or may not like what is going on in our government, nevertheless, we have opportunities that are afforded to very few in this world.  "We the people," get to decide who will lead us. We choose the direction our country will take.  We are the government.  I'm also thankful that more people are getting involved in the process.  It is our responsibility and our duty. 
That being said, I'm so thankful that God is NEVER up for reelection. He wasn't ringing His hands over this or any election.  I am first and foremost a citizen of His eternal kingdom.  It's so important that we remember, "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God."  Romans 13:1  And one day soon His government will be established, and it will never end.  Now that's something to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I am thankful for the teenagers in my life--mine and other people's.  Some of my best days are when there are teens here playing volleyball, roasting hotdogs and sharing their lives with us.  We had a bonfire on Saturday for the youth at our church and their friends.  They played volleyball until it was dark and then moved on to Man Hunt and Ghost in the Graveyard.  It's so much fun to hear them talk and watch them play, but the best part for me is the conversation.  After many had left, a few stayed and we talked for the next hour or so.  What a privilege to get a peak into their lives and be able to just love them.   

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's November

Two years ago I joined with some friends in posting things for which I was thankful each day.  I'm hoping to do that again this year (but no promises:).  It really helped me to spend some time each day focusing on God and on the good in my life.  That's not my natural bent, but it is something which I want to cultivate.  So here goes.....

I'm thankful for my friend Dr. Schulz.  She is an acupuncturist, chiropractor, alternative doctor and every other thing.  When I see her she pries me from the ceiling and reassures me that things are fine.  We've been seeing her for probably 4 or 5 years, and she really has become a friend.  I didn't have to go for quite a while, and I truly missed seeing her and Lynn, the receptionist.  I went today and got to catch up on their lives some and feel better too. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The New Normal

About a month ago, when Sam was again complaining of an ache, pain, or other sickness, we decided it was time to home school.  He has been wanting us to homeschool since half way through 6th grade, but since most of his problems with school involved deadlines and organization, we figured being home wouldn't help that.  God has a way of making Himself very clear, however, and so three weeks ago we pulled Sam out of school and started the journey of homeschooling.

 I've done it before when Fred was in 4th, 5th and 6th grades.  It was good and hard.  I had 4 children at home, three of whom I was trying to teach, and one who just wanted his mama.  It's very different to have just Sam here.  He's in 7th grade and a very good reader--perfectly capable of reading for understanding and following instructions.  He has actually done very well, but this week the honeymoon is over.  There were more times of having to go back and do it again, more complaining, and less work done to the best of his ability.  I expected that, but it's still not fun.

We start each day with God's Word, which we were doing before, but for some reason it's different.  Maybe it's the time spent talking about it.  I can see the difference in Sam in just 3 short weeks.  He's happier, he's getting along with his brothers better, he's making better choices.  For that, it's worth it.  On  the down side, I may never see my husband alone again.  My day of school starts at 8:30 and finishes about 6 or 7.  After Sam is done, the others get home, and I am doing homework with them.  So those pictures represent the bulk of every day.  But they also represent the eternal souls that God has put in our care. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


 He remembered to be a gentleman, and Dad let him take the car.
                                                                            Bree and Fred
 I love this picture.  Bree posted it on face book in black and white and for the caption wrote, Fred Fulton, Holy Spirit, Bree Jordan.
                                                               Great group of kids
 When we arrived at Bree's to take pictures, some of the gentlemen were having trouble with their ties.  Bree's dad was out of town, so her brother googled "how to tie a tie."  It was so funny!  Chris rescued them.  He tied 3 of the ties for the evening.  Fred missed a step, so he had some help.
                                                   Sam and Peter at the tailgate party
                                                                 After the game
                                                          Ben ready for the monster slide
                                                                         Fred is #34
Let me first just say that so far I DO NOT like the new system for Blogger--I can't seem to figure out how to put the pictures on, so imagine these in reverse order!!! 

Life is, um, stressful right now.  There are things, things, things going on.  We started homeschooling Sam this week, which is the culmination of a bunch of other stuff.  So instead of going down that road, I wanted to share what has been bringing me joy.  I have always enjoyed high school football (seriously Chris!), but it's so much more fun now that I have a vested interest.  I love to watch Fred play.  He is in almost the entire game.  He runs the defense and does it very well.  Since it's inception 6 years ago, Mountain View has not had a winning football team, but this year they are 5 and 1 so far.  It's been an exciting ride.  Last week was homecoming, and the team won again--a hard fought battle.  We went to the tailgate party and parade before the game, and then enjoyed the evening with many friends.  The next evening was the dance, which Fred attended with Bree, his girlfriend.  This is all new territory for us, but it's been so much fun.  I'm thankful for these moments of joy. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Random pictures

This is Peter's reaction every day.  Usually we don't see it until he gets off the bus. He shouts, "YES, yeah, WOO HOO!" every day.  The people waiting in cars behind the bus usually smile at him and sometimes honk.  They must understand the sentiment.  I guess he wanted to just pose before he got on the bus the first day of school.
Sam ready for his first day of 7th grade.  He gets to ride alone this year.  I think it's his first time in a school without another Fulton--well, a blood relation Fulton.
Fred and Ben on their first day of school--Fred as a senior and Ben as a freshman.  Fred drives in order to save us the trip to pick him up every day after practice.  Ben decided on taking the bus home over football practice.
The boys, led by Zachary, discovered that poke weed berries make great body paint!  Thankfully, it also washes off pretty easily.  I imagined them going to school the first day stained purple. 
Sam had a 13th birthday party with many of his friends.  I have to confess that this was the first birthday party I'd ever been to where wresting was one of the main attractions.  I can't imagine how I missed that in the list of party games!
One of our pictures from a birthday showed Fred puckered and ready to blow out someone's candles, so now this is the running birthday joke. Sam handled it well at his birthday party.

There is some new format for this blog that I haven't figured out.  I thought it would be easy to write a little post.  I was wrong.  When I click anywhere, I get moved to a random picture. Yikes!  I hope I can figure it out before I start hopping to other people's pictures.  I'm guessing you can tell that by the fact that there are three of the same pictures posted.  I tried to edit this and get them out, but then the bottom picture disappears too.  I give up.  I'm sorry for the triple pictures.  Help me!