Tuesday, June 29, 2010


There have been so many firsts for Isaac this summer. It was his first Petit Jean (for those of you who don't know, Petit Jean mountain in Arkansas is where my Dad's side of the family gets together *every* summer for a family reunion. LOTS of fun!), swimming, hiking, a water park, and the lakehouse. It's been so much fun! Here are some highlights of all his firsts this summer!

Petit Jean 2010

A 2-fer... swimming at Petit Jean with Madelyn!
Chillin' with Greyson and Madelyn

The annual family birthday party!

Isaac's first hike

Having fun with Sam and Uncle Mike

The Rhodes Jr. Family

Dylan and Audrey's birthday party at the water park.


Mark and Grandpa

Karley is such a little dare-devil!

Isaac and Grandma
The Lakehouse

Isaac and Mommy - ready for his first boat ride.
Isaac can't wait to get on that wakeboard!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Asking for your Prayers

Having a child changes everything. Who hasn't heard that phrase before? As trite as it may sound, that's exactly what's happened in my life. Isaac has changed everything - including my drive and determination at work. I was constantly walking in to the school with mascara streaks down my face from crying my way to work. I hated dropping Isaac off every day. I was distracted by thoughts of him all day long. I found myself becoming apathetic about my work... I didn't know that I was capable of apathy! At that point, I realized that I needed to do whatever I could to find a way to stay at home with our son. The wheels began turning....

Brandon and I sat down one weekend, did the math, and decided that if I were to open up our home for child care, I would only need to keep three children other than Isaac in order for us to afford for me to stay home. To date, I've only got one person that's committed to using me for child care, and she's beginning to get anxious for an actual answer about my plans for next year - and understandably so! Brandon and I have looked at things from a different angle, and have decided that, even if I only have one kid during the day, that I can also make up the income difference by ramping up my piano and voice studio. In order for the studio to make up the income difference, the studio would have to triple in size, which is no small feat. But ALL things are possible with the Lord's help.

I need to channel all of the prayer warriors in my life - and there are MANY of you. I ask that you pray for us to find the financial means for me to stay home, either through child care or the studio, or any combination of the two. Please pray in fervor, as this is a decision that must be made within a matter of weeks. I ask that you also pray that, if it is not in the Lord's will for me to stay home, that He would reinvigorate me with the passion I NEED to do my very best for my students at school, and that he would give me to strength to continue to drop my son off with someone else day after day. Thank you, in advance, for those of you that will pray for us day after day, and for those of you that have already joined in this prayer.
Thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial marathon

Memorial weekend was a busy one for us Ritters, but so much fun! Friday night after work, we made the trek to my Granddad Thurlkill's beautiful home. He put us up both Friday and Saturday nights. Thanks so much for the feeding us and for sharing your home with us, Granddaddy. We so enjoyed getting to visit with you!

Saturday, we traveled to Ruston, La to attend my cousin Sarah's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding - very sweet. The reception was held at an historic Fire Station in down town Ruston and was just lovely. Great food, great fellowship, great fun. I especially loved the fact that her Middle Eastern heritage was honored at the reception through traditional wedding dances and traditional food. Brandon, and I enjoyed the music and dancing, as did Isaac! Here are some pictures of the beautiful bride, her groom and their guests at the wedding reception.

Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy Carter

Catherine and David dancing.

Anna and Aunt Lou at her new best friend's wedding! ;)

Isaac LOVED the bubbles!

Have a wonderful honeymoon!

After the reception, Mom, Brandon, Isaac and I went to visit my sister-in-law's daughter, Sarah's, grave. We wanted to be sure to honor her memory on memorial day and left flowers for her on her grave. Sweet baby girl - I hope I get to meet you one day in Heaven.

In loving memory of Sarah Jean Cobb

Sunday morning was spent at the nursing home where my Granddad Rhodes now resides. It was so hard to see my Granddad in a wheelchair and looking so thin. Nothing like the strapping, tall Granddad that I've always known. He met Isaac for the first time and seemed to be so taken with him. It was really special to see his face light up with joy at the sight of our little boy. I'll never forget that day. Never.

Granddad Rhodes playing with Isaac

I love my Great-Grandmother!

Four generations of Rhodes'

Granddad Thurlkill working those little legs...

Four generations of Thurlkill's

Sunday afternoon, Brandon and I loaded up again to visit Brandon's cousin Phillip to celebrate his 30th birthday. Unfortunately, his birthday party was the same day as Sarah's wedding, but we still wanted to get out there to visit with Phillip, Dare and Hunter to celebrate this milestone with him. Thanks so much for having us - we love you guys!!

We always knew these two would be great buddies!

Thank you, dear Lord, for family. Thank you for those that are with us now, and for the memories of those that have gone to be with you.