Monday, December 26, 2011

Crazy Christmas Weekend

Ready to head to church to celebrate the birth of our Savior! I think my new favorite day for Christmas is Sunday!



I have really neglected this blog lately. But I have a great excuse...I have been enjoying my family this Christmas season. Our holiday hop as I nicknamed it this year started on Thursday when we loaded up and traveled 1 hour north to stay a couple days with my in-laws.


On the first night of our visit we made our way to Santa's Village. We aren't huge Santa people but this is a fun experience for the kids and my father-in-law joined us making it even more fun. I am so glad we went. Even though we don't do Santa at our house Cooper is amazed by him so it was a great experience for him since it was his first time to go. Fun was had by all that is for sure!

Everyone thought a picture in front of the post office would be fun...Until sneaky Cooper stuck his hand inside and pulled out a random kids letter to Santa!

Yeah almost no-body is looking anyone else with multiple children experience that?!?!?

Pictures with Santa. Cooper was amazed and really didn't talk. Duece asked for a dog! And Jesse proclaimed the best gift would be if we got a dog and send Dueces cat Joey to a new home...only my kids!


Duece really wanted Wuggle Pets...he was really excited to find those under the tree.

Look mom and dad "boom drums". Mom and dad now wonder what they were thinking of course it was the ONLY thing he asked for!

Jesse opening her knitting looms. Those made her day since she couldn't use her new pogo stick in the rain. I am waiting for her to create me something great.



I love our traditions and wouldn't change the way we do Christmas morning for anything. I love how appreciative our kids were and are. I am so proud of who they are becoming. But honestly the stress created by our hopping from family to family I could do without. Next year...we think we might go and serve meals at a soup kitchen instead!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pinterest Finds

I don't know about you but I LOVE pinterest. It is my new obsession. I have found more craft, decorating, sewing and cooking ideas then one person can ever do;) But I can't help myself. My very favorite thing I have found on there are little treasures that save money. Because nothing is better then an idea or tip that puts money BACK in my pocket. So I decided to try a couple of my finds and see what I thought. So far I have made 3 different pinterest products. I thought I might share them with you so you can see what you think.





Fist I was out of lotion. Being prone to severally dry skin this time of year I use a ton of lotion and I have to by some rather expensive brands to get good smooth skin and results that last. This is the link I found on pinterest and the instructions I followed. For this I bought the following: 1 bottle baby lotion $1.50 Vaseline $2.50 Vitamin E Cream $4.20 Total:$8.20

I got a large bowl combined all the ingredients and mixed until the consistency of icing. The only thing that I had to measure was the Vaseline because the only tub of it I could find was 16 oz and you only need 8. It made a ton I refilled my empty lotion bottle, the vitamin e containers, and half the baby lotion bottle. I might get a nice big bottle to keep it in next time. My only tip not included in the above link is you might need a funnel to aide in filling you bottles but if you use a container with a lid no need for the funnel. I believe this should last a good long time. I am really enjoying using it and my skin is really soft!




Next I made these ice packs. It was really easy I use the cheap Dawn and snack size bags I already had here. It was really easy I just squirted the Dawn into the Ziploc removed all the air and double bagged it. Placed in the freezer and DONE! Since I used the left over Dawn from another project this one was FREE! We haven't needed them yet so you will have to check back to see what we think.




Last but not least I was out of scrubbing bubbles and it was for sure time to clean the bathrooms so I thought I might try these tub and shower spray I found. It was really easy and worked out to be rather cheap. I spent $1.28 on Dawn and $2.00 on a gallon of Vinegar. Total $3.28 but actually less when you consider that I can use the vinegar in other cleaners or to mop or as a rinse aid in my dishwasher and since I only used 8 oz of the Dawn I was able to make the ice packs. The only thing I did different from the recipe was I only used 8 oz of each since my bottle I had was small. I am going to clean the tub as soon as I post this so I will have to update on how well it does. **Update I tried it cleaned the kids bathroom and it worked wonders on the tub/shower I sprayed it on didn't really let it sit and wiped it off with a magic eraser**




So what have you found on pinterest lately that you have done?!? I would love to know.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Birthday Shout Out

Today I have to give a birthday shout out to my wonderful husband Michael. He is the best this makes 12 birthdays of his we have celebrated together. Back when we celebrated his 19th birthday by attending our town Christmas parade I would have never guessed 12 years later we would still be celebrating together. But God made us for each other to travel the road of life together. I could not have asked for a better partner. Michael is an amazing husband and father. He stops at nothing to make sure we all have what we need and want as of late working 7 days a week.

Michael I couldn't think of another person in this world to spend my life with. Happy Birthday praying we get many more together!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Music Therapy Christmas edition

Woot Woot it is here! My FAVORITE holiday...Christmas. To those who know me know that I love this season. I love my house decorated, I love spending time with the ones we love so dear and I love love love celebrating my saviors birth. I have shared before that the pain of loosing my mom so close to Christmas has caused a black cloud to loom during this time for me in years past. This year I waged war against that cloud and I am so excited about Christmas...my children are happy but since I even went as far as to decorate our cabinet doors the hubs thinks I have LOST IT!

As I mentioned I love celebrating my saviors birth. To me no matter what this is the true "reason for the season" I celebrate His very humble birth and the hope that His resurrection embodies that He will come again. Since I am now addicted to pandora (and pinterest but that is a post for another time) I created a station for Contemporary Christian Christmas songs. While listening to my newly created station I found this song by Third Day. It is GREAT and one of my newest Christmas music favs. Since I have so many I might have to do music therapy twice a week;) Enjoy the Christmas edition of MTT...and be sure to visit Lindsey for her Christmas countdown!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Content...Not for me!

Recently I took advantage of an opportunity to speak at our churches Saturday night service. The Sunday before I had made the comment that I didn't think "We (Christians) were created to be content." Now before you start posting scripture in my comments I know all about what the Bible says about being satisfied in the Lord and being content with what you have. As a matter of fact I shared several verses on both and I agree 100% with both concepts. What I meant when I said "we weren't created to be content" was....I don't think we were created to be quite pew warmers. God created us to be His hands and feet to do the things He did and "even greater". I don't know about you but I want to love on people and show them every thing that a relationship with the our Daddy above has to offer. I quoted our pastors wife when she said "we are intended to move from glory to glory" or from one experience with God onto the next. I don't want just a taste of what God has to offer (you know the I got my ticket I'm good way of thinking) I want more and more over and over flowing in me through me out to the world. No I don't think we were created to be content He created us to be in relationship with Him and relationships grow and change getting better and better. He wants us to be like Him!

This song really speaks to me. It is the theme song from the recently released Courageous titled the same Casting Crowns put to music the "resolution" the fathers of the movie take. But I got to thinking we were created to be courageous and not "watchers on the side lines". I am not content I want to see God move more and to do so I must be Courageous I have to move out of my seat way from my comfort zone and get to work. I pray that my relationship never grows stale and I never be content but always moving from "glory to glory."

We were created to be courageous...let's take back the fight. Let's be the warriors we were created to be.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dare2Share

On Friday my friend Lindsey posted this on her blog and I thought it was GREAT and I had to also borrow and share. No words no explanations just listen and you will see why we think it is GREAT!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Music Therapy Thursday


When I am getting ready to speak as I am this weekend I always listen to tons of Christian music. It gets me fired up and most of the time I hear God speaking to me best while I am listening to music and/or worshipping. This song speaks so much to me. Considering how under attack I have felt lately I feel like I have to "claim victory" almost every day. The realization that I have the power to shut Satan out makes facing this "world" so much easier. God loved us so much He already fought the fight and paid our debt. Listen enjoy and remember "what the cross has done."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Friendship and Fall

It is no secret I have some of the most amazing friends. I don't have tons of friends swooning to meet for lunch and shopping but what I do have are the best friends a woman could ask for. I like to think of it as quality over quantity! I have been a little down lately and it takes a real friend to notice that in me. And notice is just what my sweet friend "T" did and she made plans for a girls day just me and her. It was wonderful she took care of all the details and at the last minute when I was going to have to cancle due to no sitter she even worked that out. We had a blast walked around the most wonderful and HUGE craft fair EVER "Christmas Village" then we had a nice quite lunch at a great Mexican Restaurant we found on our way home. I am so lucky to have friends like this that will as dramatic as it sounds come to my rescue. After that day I was recharged and felt so much better about myself. I thank her so much for showing me that taking that time to myself was worth it because sometimes all the preaching in the world doesn't get through to me:) While we were at lunch this was our view!

Isn't it wonderful? As I looked at the view I was reminded how much joy this time of year actually brings to me no matter the pain it also bears. This season of fall reminds me that God's mercies are new every morning just like the leaves we change, we fall, we are bare but then we blossom and come back better than ever. I love the cool temps that make me want to send hours outside with my family enjoying God's beauty. And this view also made me think about how beautiful those close friendships are to me and just how they really do nurture my heart and soul. I love my "girls" and you know who you are...I have the best friends anyone could ask for!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1st

I can't believe it today is November 1st! Yikes what is that like 53 days to Christmas...who's counting?!?! Now that October has been put to bed and the Halloween candy is being consumed we move into my favorite time of year. Oh wait who am I kidding aside from celebrating my saviors birth and spending time with family reflecting on what we are thankful for I HATE this time of year. I use to be full of Christmas cheer decorating long before the turkey was in the oven never mind eaten. But 8 years ago my mother pasted right in the middle of this "holiday season" after a very short by horrible battle with leukemia. November 12 to be exact. It seems that every year on October 23 my nephew's birthday (he was born just days after my mom was readmitted to battle her leukemia relapse and only 3 days after she was put in a medical coma and onto the ventilator) a black cloud comes over me that I can't shake...said cloud remain on through Nov 12 her death anniversary, 14th my little sisters b-day, Thanksgiving, Dec 15 moms own b-day, Christmas and then my birthday Jan 8. It seems like once my birthday is over the cloud leaves and for a while the pain is pushed aside.

I can't decided what it is about all of this that gets me so down. First of all I know she is in a much better place one from which she would never willing chose to leave and I know that in death as crazy as it sounds she received her ultimate healing all of which I am ok with. This is where I would normally say " I miss her for my kids!" But I am starting to realize that is a lie I miss her for me. I just plain old miss her like crazy. I honestly as selfish as I am going to sound want her back. And there are times when I my need for her is overwhelming. In the middle of all that is going on in my life at this very moment I just wish I had to call and chat with, her advice, her inspiration and her help. I am trying hard this year to let this cloud go! I want to be in a good mood this time of year for my kids and the others around me. I am just having a harder time then usual shaking the cloud.

God is and has been so good to me and my family. And I know the only real way to get through all of this is with Him and the love and support of friends and family. This time I am giving it all to God and not picking it back up He has gotten me through so much and He will get me through this. Anyone else have something that gets them down during this time of year? We can pray for each other!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Frumpy this morning

Well friends so far I have gotten up and dressed 6 straight days! But today I opted for the frumpy look so I could bake cupcakes, clean my house and decorate for my daughters birthday get together. I will of course shower and dress before running the necessary errands this afternoon. But my challenge to get dressed everyday has gotten harder! It has turned off cold here and I am in have very little in the wardrobe department. It seems that I have some sort of basic uniform I was unaware of...I tend to purchase these basics to supply my closet v-neck t-shirt I own one in most every color both long and short sleeves, then I have basic bottoms mostly jeans or jean short or khaki and thanks to my sewing abilities I now have a khaki skirt. So yesterday I got to thinking I can spice up even my simple things so that I am not so frumpy looking! I ventured out and paired my black t-shirt with a cute scarf and earrings. I still felt just as nice as any other day and didn't have to buy a thing. So now I am trying to think outside the box so I don't wear the same things over and over again. Also, I have learned I can make even my cute summer tops work in the winter by pairing them with another basic I have which is a black sweater.

This past week has been wonderful I am so much more on top of things by starting my day off dressed. My husband has really enjoyed it and so have kids. I have been so amazed at how this one little thing can change how I look at my day. So anyone have any tips on working with the wardrobe you already have?!?!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Music Therapy Thursday

I just had to share this song today. It is soul shaking and spirit moving. Whenever I am down and Satan is trying to fill my head with his lies and I need to remind myself of Gods truth I listen to this song. I found this quote via a friends facebook page and think it sums up how this song makes me feel. "I CAN'T BRAG ABOUT MY LOVE FOR GOD BECAUSE I FAIL HIM DAILY. BUT I CAN BRAG ABOUT HIS LOVE FOR ME BECAUSE IT NEVER FAILS!"

I know Daddy loves me and I don't have to be afraid. My debt is paid and I am confident and covered by HIS GREAT LOVE...Listen and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

Today I was so excited we had company. Our good friends the Dobberman's who live in Minnesota had fall break and where here visiting family. So of course we had to have a visit. We invited them to our house for lunch and play time. Michael was sad to have to miss due to work so just Andrea and the kiddos came. I wanted a special treat for dessert to share with our friends. I thought I might have all the ingredients for peanut butter cookies and after fb friend answered my plea for the exact recipe I was in business. Most everyone will have these 3 ingredients on hand at their house and they make a quick and easy tasty treat.

3 Ingredient Cup-a Peanut butter Cookies
1 Cup Peanut butter
1 lg egg
1 Cup Sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all 3 ingredients together in a mixing bowl until blended well. (I used a spoon.) Then roll into walnut sized ball or use a cookie scoop. Then using a sugared fork press each cookie with a cross hatch pattern. Bake for 8-10 minutes and ENJOY. I got around 23-25 cookies out of this mix but some of mine were large.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Giveaway

As all of you know I have joined a very exciting challenge over at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee. Today Sarah Mae is doing a Get Dressed Giveway featuring Down East Basics. They have some really adorable basic pieces any girl would love to add to her collection...I know I personally love the Frazzle Flowe Tee I think it would be cute in the summer with some white capris or a skirt or in the winter with jeans and a cardy. Hurry on over to check out the details of the giveaway!

Frumps to Pumps...Why?

Let me please start by giving an update so far I have gotten dressed 5 straight days. I can't believe how much better I feel about myself. This challenge is hard for me because I don't have alot of clothes but I am enjoying making new combinations out of what I do have. And today I am wearing a cute outfit linen shorts and a cute flowy tank top with flower detail. See I am not getting dressed to the nines everyday I am just dressing in more appropriate clothes for the wife, mother and daughter of a King I am suppose to be.

Now to the WHY???? I thought I was doing this for one set of reasons but like everything in life God is showing me reasons I hadn't even considered. I am doing this for myself I have been in a real low lately and had been dressing that way. But I have to say that the last 5 days getting dressed and fixing my hair are helping me to feel so much better. I entered into this doing it for my husband also...All I can say about that is he noticed and he really does appreciates me looking nice. On Friday night as we started to lay down in our bed that was made (I added that to the challenge for myself) he said "I really like coming home to less chaos and things more pulled together. And a made bed sleeps better!"

No matter how hard I try to teach my children to not judge by outward appearances the sad truth is people are going to judge you. I have experienced it first hand! As a very young mother I happen to experience this ALL THE TIME! I like to say you can never really know a persons heart if you don't take the time to get to know them. But not everyone is that way. I need to put my best foot forward so others will take me seriously as I proclaim Gods word and works in my life and lets be honest here are you going to take me serious if I am standing before you in a a stained t-shirt and lounge pants?!? Of course I would hope the words out of my mouth would be what you hear but sometimes it is hard to hear if you don't take the person seriously!

Sarah Mae's motivational this morning was great. I want to do this in freedom I am not tied to the "list" I made in my original post on this topic. It is just things I am trying to get better at. I am not disappointed if they don't happen I am realistic I have 3 small children and things don't always go as planned. But I am putting my very best foot forward on this one. I know God wants me to be dressed my productiveness when I do so I believe is evidence that I need to do this for myself and my family.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Courageous



On Thursday night I was blessed with the opportunity to go out with some of my wonderful girl friends from church and CWJC to see the newly released movie Courageous. It is a wonderful movie about fathers who are working hard to become the Godly Father's all men are called and created to be. I was doubly blessed when gifted 2 tickets to take my family to see it. So after church last night Michael and I took the kids to the late showing of the movie (so our toddler would go to sleep). My whole entire family enjoyed the movie my toddler even sat quietly! Michael said it was the best movie yet by Sherwood Productions (someone correct me if that is not the name of the church that did it). If you liked Facing the Giants and Fireproof this is a must see and if you haven't seen either of those and are looking for a good wholesome family movie this one has our recommendation.

The movie is very thought provoking about the job you are doing to be the Godly parent God calls us to be. All I know is I don't want to be a "good enough parent" I want to be the one I know God created me to be!

Thankful Thursday

I haven't posted a Thankful Thursday the last 2 weeks so I think I need to catch up! LOL

I have to admit I have so much to be thankful for right now. God has been blessing us in ways that only HE can ordain. And most days all I can say in response is "He is on the throne and in control!" He has even been working out the most intimate of details as only He can. So today I just say God is good and worthy of all my praise!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I got dressed!

I really love this post for Sarah Mae about the "Frumps to Pumps" Challenge. She really does a wonderful job capturing why she and most of us have joined in.

I have to admit I did it yesterday. I got up I didn't get dressed right way because I was crazy and was making a skirt to wear (yes I know I am nuts). But once the skirt was done I donned it with an adorable top and lovely earrings. My biggest challenge is my new loooooonger hair that I normally fashion into a ponytail but yesterday I took the time to blow it dry and I actually wore it most down. I felt fabulous and not just at that moment but all day. Thursdays are insane at my house but I felt on top of things by being dressed. And it was nice that when I needed to leave I didn't have to rush looking for something nice to wear the my class I teach or the movie I saw with the Girls last night. I did it this morning. I got up and got dressed first thing. And today has been amazingly productive. I think the bonus was my hubby who said he thought I looked great and that he really appreciated my trying to be a little more pulled together when he came home.

I started this morning taking pictures to document each day and normally will only join in on Monday's for the updates but I had to share.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Frumps to Pumps

I mentioned a couple weeks back that I was challenging myself to get up and get dressed every single day.Well...I have to admit that I am not doing so great in that challenge. I might be dressed every day but I promise it is frumpy to say the least most of the time. So I am joining some of my bloggy friends for a "Frumps to Pumps" challenge. I am excited. I know I need to do this for my husband and myself. Right now I am beyond frustrated that I can't seem to get the linky to post so here is a blog link to follow along. I hope to grab the linky soon! OK so my goals are as follows.

1.) Get up when the alarm goes off not lay there and watch the morning news!
2.) Make my be as soon as my feet hit the floor.
3.) Be completely dressed before I leave my bedroom in the morning. I mean dressed not my normal cotton shorts or pants and a tshirt I am also going to try to wear more then tshirts more often.
4.) Fix my hair. Recently I have grown my hair out rather long it is almost to the middle of my back and I normally fashion it into some sort of ponytail. So now I would like to do more with it.
5.) Get rid of clothes that don't flatter me. Saving those tshirts and cotton shorts for workouts only...which I need to bring back!
6.) Try some new make up since I don't normally wear make up.
7.) Of course I will wear earrings! That is the only jewelry I ever wear!
8.) Last but not least I want my children to do the same actually get dressed not in lounge clothes and like another blogger share I would like to help my daughter start taming her unruly long hair.

So who wants to joining in visit "Like a warm up of coffee" and grab the linky and link up it will be fun! Updates should be on Mondays so check back...I might actually post some pics!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kids Clothing

I am linking up today with Kelly's Korner on where I get my kiddos clothes. Let me start by saying there was a time when saving money on kids clothes was not my top priority...Back when I had only one child and we had 2 incomes. Now with 3 children, homeschooling and one income I have to say I LOVE to save money dressing my kids and it all pays off when someone oohs and awes over and adorable outfit. So here's how we do it at the McClendon's

**I always do the first two I either sew to save or buy used before any other option...That makes it really easy on our pocket book**
1. I NEVER pay full price for anything. So my first stop for my daughter is most always a great consignment shop in another town. Or the sale rack at about 2 chain stores here locally and one consignment store.
2. For my little one (3 yr old) I make as many clothes as possible for him. He is still small so I love Jon-Jon's, longalls, appliqued shirts and gingham shorts...I am addicted! So it is a good thing I know how to sew it saves TONS of money on those types of things. This child of mine gets 90% of his clothes via hand-me-downs from the grandchild of some wonderful friends at church. So normally what I make him is dress clothes, school things and anything holiday related. I also sew alot for my daughter I love to make her clothes I wish she was still small.
3. I shop the children's place alot for my older son. He loves to actually have outfits (rare for a boy) and they have wonderful pieces that work well together making it easy for him and I to pull together a nice wardrobe for less.
4. I have recently discovered EBay for their clothes I have saved alot of money since being introduced to it. I see lots more things coming from there.

I want to add one small thing...I am picky about what my children wear not really the brands or anything but I like for them to dress age appropriate. My now 11 year old daughter and I have had a fight or two in a clothing store but I want her to look like a little girl (okay a young lady) not a street walker! I think she needs to be young as long as possible I don't think it is healthy to allow her to dress like older girls.

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful to live in a country were I am free to practice my spiritual and religious beliefs as I please whether in my home or in a church. I am also thankful that I am never condemned and my life is never in danger if my opinions of the spiritual nature don't match what others around me believe. I think while I am expressing thanks for "governmental freedoms" I would have to say I am also thankful to live in a country where I can choose how I school my children. Since for this family those two things go hand in hand.

I love my Papa so much that I know even if I lived somewhere that didn't allow me the above freedoms life on the line or not I would still worship and sever Him. He is a good Papa and I just can't resist being at His feet.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Birthday J-Bug

Yesterday September 27 we celebrated this sweet little girls 11th birthday!

That happens to be my favorite picture of my daughter Jesse. I think she was almost 4 when it was taken. (Save me the lectures on the passy!!) But it seems to capture her real personality.



It is beyond hard for me to believe that my oldest child is now 11. The memories of the day of her birth came flooding back as her and I talked yesterday. I was SOOOO young when she was born and scared to death to be a mommy. But that day Wednesday, September 27, 2000 at 8:04 p.m 4 hours after my water was broke my whole life changed. I become a mommy and it was all thanks to this wonderful treasure sent from God. I don't think she will ever realize the positive impact she has had on my life, her daddy's life, or the others around her. She was my mothers only grandchild that she ever got to meet or have a relationship with....I marvel at how God's divine plan was at work from the moment this sweet child was conceived. I believe Jesse will grow into an amazing young lady as she lady has. She is responsible, respectful, very helpful and most of the time (you have to allow a margin to factor in her age LOL) a real joy to be around. I feel blessed to be her mommy and I know her daddy feels the same way. We are two really lucky parents!


Happy Birthday J-bug aka Lovebuttons, Chicken legs, JJ, J, Jester and all those other pet names we have called you over the years! We love you very much!!!


This is a more recent picture of what our sweet little girl looks like also capturing her personality to a T!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I have to admit I had skipped this post yesterday because I thought I was having trouble finding something to be thankful for. Then I looked around. So this week I am thankful for a wonderful husband who works hard to provide for his family. He loves me and is a wonderful daddy. And I am thankful for 3 healthy children God has trusted us with. They are our treasure for sure. I am also thankful for a wonderful church family who are right there when you need them praying just as hard as we are. And friends I am thankful for our nearest and dearest friends those who love us not matter what and listen no matter how long we might rant about what is going on. These people are true blessings in our lives. God has done a great job putting just the right people in our paths lately and I am so thankful for that.

When I have a hard time realizing how good God is I just look around. We truly are blessed people here at our house! Blessed and Thankful!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Early Works Field Trip

Yesterday the kids and I got to take part in our first homeschool field trip. It was alot of fun we went to Early Works a childrens museum in Huntsville only about an hour from here. It was a man who impersonates our 16th president Abe Linclon. He was all dressed like Linclon and he talked for an hour all about his life from birth until his assasination. It was very fun! After the talk we broke into groups and went to different stations to hear more details about Linclon. We ended our outing with a picnic at a local park only 2 blocks from the museum. We had so much fun and my kids are even asking to do a unit study on old Abe. Small perk of homeschooling this little trip only cost us $20 for admission and we packed a lunch...totally a money saver:) Here are a couple pictures...enjoy!









Photo credit to my friend Nicole Knight! Of course I didn't take my camera...Are you suprised!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I thought I better get my Thankful Thursday posted tonight because we are going on our first home school field trip tomorrow.

God showed up in 2 well really 3 big ways at our house this week. I will just kind of leave it at that for privacy reasons which I am sure you understand. But I do want to be really sure that HE gets all the glory for what HE is doing. Even though I shouldn't have been surprised I was at how HE provided just what we needed. For some reason I can really feel God moving for us in all of this.

I guess the best thing to say would be I am thankful for blessings only God can ordain.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I have to share-Testimony



I believe it is important to keep record of what God is doing in our lives and around us. So I just had to share 2 quick little stories.


First, Friday afternoon as I cooked diner Duece and I were helping each other unload the dishwasher. Not our favorite chore...at all! But as he sat on my kitchen counter drying dishes he looked up at me and said he wanted to tell me something. I said ok sure. He made Jesse leave the room, I am not sure why. But he proceeded to tell me about how the other day when "Daddy (Michael) had gotten the phone call with the bad news" and we were so upset he did like he was told and prayed about the situation. I remember going into my bedroom so Michael and I could talk in private and the kids asking why I was upset. I just told them that it was grown up stuff and asked that they please pray. So Duece did...he is so great at doing this. But anyway back to the kitchen. He told me that when he prayed God had spoke to him on the inside you know in his spirit and told him "that everything was going to be ok!" I was stunned at what Duece was telling me but even more stunned when he asked if I believe him. "Of course I believe you Duece!""This is the very thing we would expect out of you!" That kid NEVER seems to amaze me. His heart and love for God shine in him so much. I was humbled that it took my 7 year old to remind me who really had my back!


One more story...On Sunday night I took my children's group from church to the local rec center park for our "Back to Sunday Night" kick off. Or in other words our little get together celebrating an end to the summer break. We had originally planned a pool party but due to recent rains here water temps were a little low for that:) Anyway, we loaded the bus with about 10 children and 3 adults. The playground was already hoppin and we just joined in. When it came time to do our devotion I asked for volunteers from our group to invite the other children at the playground to join us. Several did I think around 6 or 7 sweet little Hispanic children joined our circle. They listened intently to my devotion about letting the little children come to Jesus b/c the Kingdom of Heaven belonged to them. They answered my questions during quiz time and really seemed at home in our group. At the end our group surrounded Duece to lay hands on him and pray for his tummy ache. I opened it up for the children to pray as we normally do and God really showed up. After several of "our" children prayed 2 of the visitors prayed for Duece also. It was a wonderful time of fellowship. I love when God shows up and gives you confirmation that what you are doing is just what He wants you to do!


I am so blessed to work with children during this time of revival and renewing! I know these children really have the Kingdom of God at heart...I am humbled to know and work with all of them!

Of course no camera!

Ok so those of you who know me really well know that I seem to always leave my camera at home when I most need it. And I so needed it yesterday. After church we headed down to the campground to visit my dad and enjoy a boat ride. The weather was perfect not hot at all and overcast. But due to all the recent rain the water was COLD, however that didn't stop my 3 bathing beauties from jumping in. My dad got a new boat a couple months ago and it is so nice and comfy for the family. We enjoyed a scenic ride around before stopping off at the kids favorite island for a swim and to use the rope swing. It was a wonderful time of laughter and fellowship. We all really enjoyed ourselves. I just hate that I didn't take the camera along to snap some shots of what might have been this "seasons" last boating/lake trip. Oh well I will learn one day...maybe:)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I kept saying I was going to get this post up yesterday but that really never happened. We had an interesting day. I sewed all morning while Cooper was at preschool and Jesse and Duece did their seat work. After getting Cooper we had lunch, more school and got ready for me to go teach my CWJC class. Then playgroup, home, diner and then more school. So no post but I am thinking better late then never.

I shared the other day that Michael and I were going through a very trying time right now. But I also shared how we have decided to praise God all the way! So I am going to try every Thursday to do a Thankful post. Because I know the only way we will ever get through any of this is by trusting God to meet all our needs.

This week I am thankful for....The annoying tree that had invaded Ms. Cranford's fence needing to be cut down. I am also thankful for some hemming a sweet friend asked me to do for her. Both brought in a little extra income. God seemed to provide just what we needed to get through that week. I am so thankful for that!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Build up a wall the enemy is coming

God has really been at work in mine and Michael's life lately. I had been really "down" for a while when a prayer meeting started at our church. The purpose of the prayer meeting was to "pray for our church and our community". But what happened to me at or as part of those meetings I believe was God's way of preparing me for some not so great news Michael and I would get 2 days after that last prayer meeting. At the very first prayer meeting my pastors wife had a "word" for me about an "opening or a doorway and it being bright and lined with blue pots." My details are fuzzy because it has been several weeks ago so excuse my vague quoting. Then Jeff our pastor told me that blue was the color of truth. I was so excited to hear those things since I had felt a little off course as far as what God was doing in and through me. Then there was Michael he was experiencing a spiritual low at the time and was really dragging me down. After they prayed over me about him and our marriage God started to move instantly. On the last night of prayer service Jeff and April invited everyone down for individual prayer to be "more filled" for continuing our endeavors. When April prayed over Michael and I she told us to build up a wall to keep the enemy out or in other words do what God is telling you to do right now so the enemy can't get in and God can work out his plan. And Jeff added to that with " I see multiples for you in the form of blessings not one big one like when Cooper was healed but several different ones and we would recognize those as God." (Jeff if you are reading this and it needs correcting let me know!)

Ok so fast forward 2 day after that service. Michael gets a phone call when he comes home from work. I can't share all the details with you Michael and I have decided somethings need to remain private. But it was shattering for us in the financial department. Our lives are going to be seriously impacted. And not for the good. After he hung up the phone we talked about Aprils word and how it felt like the enemy was on our doorstep and it was up to our "wall" to keep him out. We are scared, nervous and things are really grim for us right now in that area. But we don't think God has delivered promise after promise just to leave us in the dust. We know whatever we go through will be for His glory and we will praise Him no matter the storm.

I am going to take the advice of a friend and blog during our journey to downsize ( HA a process that started a long time ago again God preparing us). And I will also use this as a opportunity to share about what God is doing in our lives and in our community and in our church. It is all noteworthy!

I am thankful for April and Jeff. I honestly feel like their words were prophetic in our lives. I can't wait to see what God uses us to do during this time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Homeschooling Why?

God has put it on my heart to share my home school story. Or better yet the reason we chose to home school this year. I had wrote a previous post about why we were going to home school but decided to "pull" it I didn't like the way I had explained things plus it was written before we decided to do this with both children. I had to really think and pray long about weather or not to even share our story since so many negative things had been said to us upon making the choice "public".





Let me take you back to when Jesse was in 1st grade. She had the most wonderful teacher. It was one of the best school years EVER! At the end of the year she was assigned to a teacher I wasn't thrilled for her to have. And my instincts were right. It wasn't a good fight and the year was rough not academically but otherwise. I had chosen to let Jesse continue in school because I was pregnant with our youngest child. Or in other words I was a chicken! By the time the question arose again I wasn't ready to even consider it again. So I sent Duece to public kindergarten...HUGE mistake he was not socially ready and it was a nightmare the whole year. Tears and more tears every single day. He had a wonderful teacher and she loved him to pieces but that didn't matter to Duece. That is when I started really researching it, talking to other home school moms and praying about it. But was swayed by the fact that we had a friend who was a first grade teacher who thought she could change his mind about school. Well as luck would have it Duece was assigned to her class. I thought things would be great but was surprised about 6 weeks into school that things were far from great. I knew in an instant I made the WRONG choice and hadn't listened to my heart or to God. We made it through the year but had decided by the 2nd semester we would be making a change this year.





We really did pray about what God would have us do. And it was then that we realized our reason for homeschooling had almost nothing to do with our public school experience. It had so much more to do with what kind of children we wanted to raise. Our goal as parents is to raise 3 kingdom minded, kingdom growing, love sharing followers of Jesus Christ! Having our children at home with us gives us more time to focus on Kingdom mindedness ( ok is that a word?) and they would of course have far less influence from negative sources. We really feel like we have made the right choice for our family. And the peace that fills our school room is proof that we are doing just as God wants us to do.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New House Rules

We have decided to adopt the Duggar family rules as our own for awhile. I really get a lot of inspiration from this family and I loved their rules when I read them shared on another blog. I really like their approach their rules are faith based and there is NO YELLING in their home. Now that is something I am trying hard to achieve! Anyone who knows me knows I am a "yeller". I don't want to yell anymore. I want my home filled with JOY! I am going to share them with you in case you want to use them and I will be sure to "update" you all on how the new ones are going.


House Rules

1. Always use soft words, even when you don’t feel well.
2. Always display kind actions, even if you have been mistreated.
3. Show joyful attitudes even when no one is looking.
4. Have sincere motives with no thought of self-gain.
5. Think pure thoughts.
6. Always give a good report of others. Never tale-bear unless physical harm will come to someone.
7. Never raise a hand to hit.
8. Never raise a foot to kick.
9. Never raise an object to throw.
10. Never raise a voice to yell.
11. Never raise an eye to scowl.
12. Use one toy/activity at a time.
13. Never let the sun go down on your wrath. (Don’t go to bed angry or guilty.)
14. Amendment J.O.Y.: Put Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. Make serving your family a priority.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Week 1 Update

I just couldn't wait any longer to update everyone on how our first week of Home school had gone! Well...It was GREAT! I have told several people that I woke up Monday morning all 3 kids climbed in bed with me (Michael leaves around 3:30 every day) and we talked for a long time about what we want this year to be like and everything we wanted to learn or places we wanted to visit. It was an amazing way to start the morning of the first day of school. As I lay there surrounded by my treasures I felt at peace with our decision just like I was doing exactly what I was suppose to do. This was not our first official day of school but rather a transition day in which we began review work. We schooled 4 days this week and all 4 were amazing. I can't wait to see what next week holds. We will be schooling 4 days during that week also. We are taking a slow start in order to find our groove while we await the arrival of the rest of our curriculum. I am so excited about the school year I can't hardly wait until we officially start!

Friday, August 12, 2011

No title-Just the truth

Sometimes I can't help but wonder if I am letting my number 1 ministry "go".

I feel as a wife and mother my number one ministry is inside my household. I feel like before I can properly minister to others I have 4 other souls I am to minister to. I am counting my husband because I believe it is part my job to help cultivate his soul along with the children. But as of late I feel I am falling short. I have been a little lazy, bossy, and mean most of the time. I don't like it. I know my family doesn't like it and so I feel like I am letting that ministry "go!" I don't know what is wrong with me but I just can't seem to pull it together sometimes. I want to be so much more as their wife and mother but at the end of the day most of the time I just owe them a huge apology and find myself begging for a do over.

I feel so weak and alone most of the time. I think finding courage to do what I know I should do is hard for me sometimes. I also know that this ministry suffers for reasons I can't control. My strategy from here...Pray! My Papa will lead me through any trouble I have because He loves me so much and He only wants good things for me and my family. With His help we will be all He is calling us to be.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Challenge Anyone

A while back I remember a bloggy world challenge that challenged women to get up every morning and "get dressed"! I don't mean in ratty sweat and a pony tail either. I am talking about getting your self dressed for the day. I didn't take the challenge but realize how important it is. So I have decided to challenge myself and blog readers to do the same. I know women that work may not be in this hole but alot of at home moms are. Myself for sure. I am going to get dressed every single day fix my hair and all. I know it will help my self esteem and it will help my motivation. While I am at it I am challenging myself to make my bed first thing in the morning. Who wants to join me....I am positive it will change my life:)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Under the microscope

Today I began the registration process for the home school covering we intend to use for our children this upcoming year. I am so excited to embark on this adventure that we feel God has called us to do and that we feel is necessary. But all my excitement is mashed when I remember all the criticism we seem to be facing right now. How is it that people can so easily pass judgment but no even ask us why we have chosen this route? Why do family members think they are entitled to an opinon on how we raise our children? And why do I feel like people lack confidence in my emotional ability to do this and do it well? Why oh why must people make me feel like a total parental screw up?!?!

I firmly believe in what we are doing. And I thought I was ready to combat any critics with my tough skin and well thought out answers. But as it draws near time for those final withdraw papers to be sent I found myself second guessing our decision all because of what people had to say about it and how what they were saying made me feel. The truth is (and if you know me you already know this) I put way too much stock in what others think of me both as a person and a mother. I wasn't raised to be this way but teen mom who married young just has a why of letting others make you think you aren't good enough. When the reality is that I am going to be doing just what God intended for me to do...Teach my children. From the very moment they are born and draw that first breath we are their teachers we are the ones to guide and mold them.

It is hard for me to block out all the negative things people are saying but Michael and I are willing to prove them all wrong. Our children are so excited. We can't even wait for the rest of our curriculum to come in and get started. I hate feeling like I am under the microscope but like my mother always said "The best revenge is success!"

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Music Therapy Thursday

Today I am sharing a little Sidewalk Prophets. The song is "You love anyway". Most of the time I am in AWE of the constant unconditional love Daddy pours out on all of us. The real kicker...He loves us no matter what...NOTHING can separate us from that love. These words have been ringing in my ears for weeks. When you think you are a lost cause He believes in you...When you are beat down He picks you up...When you turn your back on Him He never turns His back on you and He...Loves you anyway!



The question was raised
As my conscience fell
A silly, little lie
It didn’t mean much
But it lingers still
In the corners of my mind
Still you call me to walk
On the edge of this world
To spread my dreams and fly
But the future’s so far
My heart is so frail
I think I’d rather stay inside
But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
How You love me
It took more than my strength
To simply be still
To seek but never find
All the reasons we change
The reasons I doubt
And why do loved ones have to die?
But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
I am the thorn in Your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway
See now, I am the man that called out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then, I turned away with this smile on my face
With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life
But You love me anyway
Oh, God… how you love me
You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
You love me, You love me
You love me, You love me
How You love me
How You love me
How You love me

Monday, June 20, 2011

What we have to celebrate

"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten--the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm--my great army that I sent among you." Joel 2:25 NIV

If you had of told me 9 years ago that I would still be married to Michael and that he would become an amazing dad...I would have thought you had lost your mind. As young parents we didn't always make the right choices and Michael seemed to almost cave under the stress. While I matured at a rapid rate Michael on the other hand went on a downward spiral. While I choose not to include all those details now (post for another time) I do however believe Michael and I are living in those very years spoke of in Joel. You see the locust or Satan or rather addiction in our case stole many many years from Michael in his relationship with our oldest two children. And yesterday as we celebrated fathers day we also celebrated that which God had delivered...He is He has repaided to us those lost years. He has mended all hearts and wounds, repaired all relationships, and even blessed us almost 3 years ago with a 3rd child.

It has been wonderful to watch God change, shape and mold Michael into the man he is today. I count it a true blessing to be the woman God chose to place with Michael for this journey. We are a real team and in today's time that in itself is a true blessing. Father's Day has a whole new meaning around here over the past 4 years or so. I am amazed at all God has done in our lives and I am thankful for His promise to restore all those years.

As we embark on new journeys and adventures in this life I know I have something to celebrate...My husband loves me, loves his children, loves God, and would do anything for us. I thank God everyday because I believe he made a perfect match!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Guess What...

We are moving! I can't believe it after 5 years at our current address we are moving on. We will be staying in the same city but have found a home to better suit our needs. It is almost perfect for us and with the addition of a fence and a couple trees in the future it will be just what we need.



I have to admit that while I couldn't be happier about the new place I am mildly sad leaving this one. We moved here when Duece was just 2 years old and Jesse was about to begin Kindergarten. This is where we brought Cooper home from the hospital and we Michael and I have grown in our faith and as a couple. I have a tingle in my heart that as the last box is packed and the doors shut and lock behind us I might be a little sad!


But in the mean time...The moving madness must begin. I am on a mission to clean this house this week so that next week I can start packing from nice clean rooms. I intend to as I pack go through and purge any and all unused items. If we haven't used them here we will not be using them there. I think the local rescue mission store will be getting a LARGE donation:) I have to get a serious move on because we are moving in...JUST TWO WEEKS 15 DAYS TO BE EXACT!

So who wants to help...I can feed you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jesus Rides the Subway-Trevor Morgan

It seems like God is talking to me through worship and music alot these days. So sorry if you haven't been enjoying my very random posting about songs God is using to speak to me.

This one I heard on the radio. As the words came over my speakers I was consumed. I realized Jesus never hung out with the Saints. He mingled among the very ones most of us would never give 2 seconds of our time. But take it from someone who has been there " been kicked around" Jesus can cover any unlovely thing and make it Holy and Righteous. Think about these words the next time you are quick to pass judgment. Everyone is offered the same exact gift from Jesus. Remember He became sin so we might become his righteousness!



Jesus rides the subway
With the junkies and the freaks
Jesus rides the subway
With the hustlers and the creeps
He rubs shoulders with the thieves
And he looks a lot like everyone he sees
Jesus rides the subway
While the pretty people sleep, and he says…
You can lay your burden down
You can lay your burden down
Oh, maybe you’ve been kicked around
But you can lay your burden down
Jesus strolls the sidewalks
On the wrong side of the tracks
Jesus strolls the sidewalks
That poverty attacks
He makes his home among the shacks
Where the fatherless have fallen through the cracks
Jesus strolls the sidewalks
While the righteous turn their backs, and he says…
You can lay your burden down
You can lay your burden down
Oh, maybe you’ve been kicked around
But you can lay your burden down
Jesus went to church on Sunday
Sat in the back and sang the hymns
Jesus went to church on Sunday
But they didn't recognize him, and he said...
You can lay your burden down
You can lay your burden down
Oh, maybe you’ve been kicked around

Friday, June 10, 2011

More Like Falling in Love



If you have read this blog any amount of time you know some things about me...I am a wife, stay at home mom, I craft, we are downsizing our budget and you know that I am a Christ follower! You might also know from Lent or Christmas post that I am a United Methodist. Right?!? Anyway....It hasn't been all that long ago that I thought God was a "gettcha God" ruling from heaven with a wrath like no other. But once I realized God loved me and wanted to be part of all the ends and out of my life I also realized this believing thing was way more about RELATIONSHIP and had almsot nothing to do with what "title" was next to the church I attended.


God doesn't care what religion I am. And if all that religion does is cause me to trip up or be bond by laws and rules he really doesn't want me to be a part of it. We were created from the very begining to be in constant relationship with our Father that is what he wants us to do and he Loves when we love on him and will love on us back!


A couple months back I heard this song and I really think it sums up how I feel about this realtionship-vs- religion thing. Read and enjoy but know that relationship ready and waiting when you are!


More like Fallin In Love- Jason Gray


Give me rules

I will break them

Give me lines I will cross them

I need more than a truth to believe

I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes

To sweep me off my feet

It ought to be

More like falling in love

Than something to believe in

More like losing my heart

Than giving my allegiance

Caught up, called out

Come take a look at me now

It's like I'm falling, oh

It's like I'm falling in love

Give me words

I'll misuse them

Obligations I'll misplace them

'Cause all religion ever made of me

Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet

It never set me free

It's gotta be

It's like I'm falling in love, love, love

Deeper and deeper

It was love that made

Me a believer

In more than a name, a faith, a creed

Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

End of school

It is official Friday was the last day of school and while swim team started weeks ago and it has been nice and HOT for weeks...SUMMER IS HERE! I couldn't be happier to be done with rushed mornings, hours of homework, and whiny voices at the diner table. Since we have chosen to home school we are taking an "extended" summer and not starting school until the first of September so unlike those returning to school we get around 14-16 weeks of summer! I am so excited. We might decided to start school earlier but this is our plan as of now. I am so excited I scored some of my curriculum at low cost or free tonight at a "curriculum fair". But the end of the school year wouldn't be the same without a couple par-tays to attend.





Cooper had the usual Kiddie Kollege "Ice Cream Social" last Wednesday and while I know he loves ice cream he mainly spent the hours hanging out on the playground with his friends. He was so sad when I made him say goodbye for summer to those friends and his teachers. He has asked everyday since then if they can come over to play:) He will go back to Kiddie Kollege next year 3 days a week in their 3 year old program. We love us some Kiddie Kollege.





Duece also had an "Ice Cream Social". It was so sweet to see all of his little class mates enjoying their treat while watching a DVD slide show of the year prepared by Duece's teach Mrs. Odell. Duece was our number 1 reason to visit the idea of homeschool and so imagine my surprise when he cried as we gave hugs and kisses and said good bye. He later told me he was going to miss everyone...That I have to admit made me sad...But I know we are making the right choice for next year!





Jesse had a party in her class that the parents were not invited to attend. However we were invited to attend the awards ceremony. I have to admit I have been extra proud of her all year she took first place in the grandparents day essay contest, preformed in the talent show and had maintained all A's all year. She received several awards including A honor roll, Pals club, AR, and Conduct. I am sure if I forgot one she will remind me;)





I am so proud of my kiddos and can not wait to embark on next years journey with them!





Well, with another school year behind us summer has now begun!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Music Therapy Thursday...Better late than never!

I have really dropped the ball on this blogging thing...I guess I should try harder but honestly don't have the will or want to do a lot right now. But I really wanted to share this song with all of you because it really means alot to me right now as I seem to be in one of life's valleys. It bring me alot of encouragement I hope it does so for you!

Blessings...Laura Story

We pray for blessings

We pray for peace

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep

We pray for healing, for prosperity

We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need

Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights Are what it takes to know You’re near

What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom

Your voice to hear

And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near

We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love

As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

All the while, You hear each desperate plea

And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights Are what it takes to know You’re near

And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us

When darkness seems to win

We know the pain reminds this heart

That this is not, this is not our home

It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

And what if a thousand sleepless nights Are what it takes to know You’re near

What if my greatest disappointments

Or the aching of this life

Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy

And what if trials of this life

The rain, the storms, the hardest nights

Are Your mercies in disguise

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Summer schedule

With the school year drawing to an end and summer already upon us I have found myself to have a real lack of motivation. Is this a probelm...Well of course it is! I don't want to do anything. My house is a wreck, I am super unorganized and can't find much enegy to anything. I have decided I must get a good schedule in mind so I don't find myself bogged down this summer lost between house work, volunteer work, swimming lesson (Cooper) and swim team for my oldest 2. Normally we have tons of summer activities and outings planned but as I shared yesterday not so much the case this summer. So I do need to shape what we are doing into some kind of routine before there becomes none and then I truly would have my work cut our for me next year:) These are my ideas...

Bring back the chore chart...yes I have let this one go since we have been so busy I have been doing my childrens chores for them during the day so they don't have to at night. Since we will be homeschooling next year I am going to redo chores around here and they will have morning chores and evening chores. Plus I want them to have a little more responsibility so I am going to change what each is doing. Totally new expectations.

Actually start taking one day off a week as a family. I mean a real break. Since we are not having night activities at church this summer on Sunday nights I think that day will be on Sunday. Right now my family really just needs to be together...regroup!

Also I would like to start back our family devotion time. I have let this slip since we have been so busy in the evenings. I know it will be part of their schooling next year but it is important to do it as a family also.

Well those are my plans to get us back on a good schedule...How do all of you keep some kind of schedule over the summer?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ideas anyone...

Let me start by saying I really should try to blog a little more regular but I have gotten a little lax in that area. Not because of a shortage of topics but due to insane pace of my life and well somethings I am just not ready to share. I am going to try to do better because I really do love to blog no matter the topic it is a little like therapy for me:) Anyway...

I have decided to take the summer off from my teaching duties at our church. I have been teaching children for almost 3 years now and love every minute of it. But really needed some time for rest, relaxation, regrouping and just being with my family...and a little time focused on making sure that I am feed spiritually. Also, I have TONS of planning to do since I will be homeschooling next year. And while all of my curriculum has been chosen I have still have some kinks to work out.

Since I will have a little free time on my hands this summer I was wondering if you of you had any suggestions on inexpensive or even better free activities I can do with my kids. Swimming is a given however since we are on the swim team:) Please please share your ideas. I had planned on going on a couple trips but I am not sure budget will allow. So any ideas are always welcome.

If I have any home school mom readers I was wondering do you have a "school room" or no? If no, where do you school at? Just wondering what works for others. We have a 4th bedroom that belongs to Cooper was his nursery then my sewing room and when him sharing with Duece didn't work out I moved him back into his room...I digress...He never sleeps in there because someone ( all fingers pointing to Michael) has started letting Cooper sleep with us! So I have pondered the idea of making it a craft/sewing/ computer/ school room! Ideas anyone!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

College/Basic Training Survival Kits

This year a couple seniors at our church are preparing to graduate high school! It is so hard for Michael and I to believe that 2 of the 4 are even old enough to be embarking on this considering we have know these two since they were about 9 years old. This 2 wonderful ladies have babysat for us, helped us with our kiddos at church functions, and well been like part of our family at times. So I decided to come up with some fun/funny little survival kits to give them as gifts. One is going to college while the other is going to basic training to become a Marine! I have done a little research and this is what I have come up with....Let me know what you think and of course if you think I have left anything out!

College Survival Kit:
Sm. laundry basket ( dual purpose so it can hold the loot)
hangers
laundry detergent
Air Freshener
Nice coffee mug
instant coffee
pens
pencils
highlighters
sm. personalized photo album
first aide kit
toilet paper
Kleenex
small screw driver kit

Basic Training Survival Kit ( I know she will not be able to take all these items with her when she leaves...but her mom sure can send them later:) )
Pens
Stamps
Paper
Envelopes
Chap stick
Sunscreen
first aide kit
small sewing kit
Kleenex
sm. personalized photo album
baby wipes
permanent markers
flashlight/batteries
Tylenol

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Batch #1 has been delivered

I am so EXCITED to be able to report 150 crayons and coloring books were delivered this weekend. I delivered 75 to my church to be taken to the Upper Sandmountain Parish and then 75 more were delivered to the shelter at the Arab Rec Center. While I will not accompany those delivered to my church I did get to speak to a lady at the Arab shelter who told us what a blessing those would be to the children there. She even confirmed what I had thought which was the children had lost everything and had little or nothing to keep them occupied.

While in Arab on Sunday Michael and I drove to the Ruth community which was hit rather hard. I was in search of children to encounter and actually give books to. On our first pass through the damage we saw no children went to the Fire Department spoke with some people and on our way out I prayed I would be able to see some children. As we drove out I saw several children at a destroyed trailor park. I got out with some coloring books approached the people and asked if I could share those with the children. When the children came around I told them what I had and Michael (who sat in the car with a sleeping Cooper) said their faces just lite up! I was so happy to bring some joy to them in this time of caos. A grandmother asked if she could have one. As we talked she told me where each family that was in the make shift tent had once lived. I couldn't even tell that trailors or homes of any form had once been there. I was heartbroken by the amount of loss in that small community.

It is apparent that the recovery is long from over. And these people need our continued prayer and support. Thank you to each of you who have helped with this project in anyway...I am blessed to know each of you and have you part of this adventure. Also, keep the coloring books coming I am praying to be able to send around 200 with Hewett's Youth on their upcoming mission trip into 2 very affected areas of Pleasent Grove and Tuscaloosa. Also, I would love to get some out to Hacklesburg and Phil Campell that were also devastated.

Many thanks again...You are all working as the hands and feet of God!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Crayons for Comfort Update





I am so EXCITED!! I posted my project and a link to my blog on facebook and things really have taken off. I can't believe how kind and generous people are. A local business Sew Irrestiable offered to be a drop off site and then several members of my church have said they would bring crayons and coloring books to church on Sunday. Not to include many friends who have stepped up to help. The first batch has already exceeded it's goal and I hope to be able to send items to both the Upper Sand Mountain Parish via Hewett UMC and I will be delivering some to Arab Rec Center that is functioning as a shelter. I have been praying all afternoon over these crayons and coloring books that the children will see Gods love, mercy and grace through the pages. I hope the bring some much needed comfort to those children who are hurting.


Ok so another plea...I want to be able to deliver crayons and coloring books to each hit area...In order to do this I will need 100's more books. I am praying God will provide so we can reach as many children as possible. I know He is big enough to do just that.


Thank you everyone for your help so far...Keep them coming!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Crayons for Comfort



As most of you know by now...if you have power that is. A rare tornado outbreak went on in a large portion of our country and it greatly affected Alabama the state in which I reside. Several EF4 and EF5 tornadoes reaped destruction across several communities and a number of them are rather close to our home. TVA the power co-op took a rough hit and a major portion of N. Alabama went with out power for days and many are still without power. The devastation is unreal and the numbers of lose are startling. But as we recover we know God is on His throne and He is in control.






After seeing the devastation via internet and news adn then hearing stories from my 10 year old daughter who went with my dad to aide friends in clean up whose home was destroyed I had been praying for God to show me a way we could be his hands and feet! Jesse and I were thinking about all the little children affected and got to thinking about how if there homes are destroyed then they would have little to comfort them. Children are simple and while a hug and a kiss are wonderful sometimes they need a little get away. So today after receiving an email from my pastor that our church would be collecting items to aide in relief in the "Upper Sand Mountain Parish" I thought we must send a little something for those sweet children who have lost so much. I had been thinking and praying about different ideas for a couple of days and while on the phone with my pastor decided crayons and coloring books along with a note would be a wonderful way to reach children of a wide age span.






So here I go...I was only going to ask the parents of my SPROUTS class that I teach if they would donate coloring books, crayons, and maybe some fruit snacks to package with our notes but then I thought why not go "viral". So if you would like to help out with what I am calling "Crayons for comfort" let me know and we can get your items package them and make sure they are delivered via our church to a distribution center. Our goal 50!






I pray Gods mighty blessings over this "goal" and over anyone touched or receiving any number of packages we might be able to put together.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Menu Making

Often times people ask me how it is that we are able to afford for me to stay at home on Michael's new much smaller income. And one way I try to save tons of money is in the food department. I do this by making menus for the week ahead based off of what is on sale or mostly what meats are on sale or already in my freezer. I have to admit that I have come lazy in the checking sales department but it goes to prove that even you don't check the sales menu making can save tons of money. I normally try to spend less than $100 a week on food only stuff. I have a different budget for cleaning supplies and toiletries. Here is this weeks menu and incase you wonder my total this week was around $88.00 including Easter Candy!





Monday- Taco Salad





Tuesday- Stuffed shells I got this recipe here and decided to leave out the spinach since we don't like spinach





Wednesday- This is my small group week so I had to provide potatoes, butter, bacon and chives for the loaded baked potatoes we are having...YUMMY





Thursday- Pork chops green beans and corn





Friday-Cheeseburger meatloaf, mashed potatoes and pinto beans





I also purchased stuff to make fried potatoes with sausage but we ate at my dad's Sunday and had those leftovers...so that is a meal that can roll over to next week:)





Here are a couple money saving grocery store tips if you don't want to mess with coupons...






  • I always buy dried beans unless I only need a small amount and then I buy the store brand can.



  • I use mostly store brand products. Wal-Mart has a great store brand and it is very good quality.



  • I buy 90% of our meat on sale and only when it is on sale...Like I said above I have been a little lazy and not keeping up with it like I use to but I am getting back on the wagon with that:)



  • I don't buy tons of pre-packaged snack foods. Most cookies, crackers, chips, ect for the kids school snacks I package myself...unless they happen to be on sale.



  • I ONLY buy what we need for that weeks menu and I didn't enclose lunches and snacks on the above menu but of course I buy only what we need for those also.



Those are just a couple of my little tricks...And they really do save us money!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

NO BUNNY!

Ok I know we are not the only Christan family in the US that doesn't do the Easter Bunny...Are we? And why for the first time EVER did I feel like my kids were missing out on something? Ok back "history" for those of you who don't know us...

There was a time when Michael and I didn't see eye to eye on this whole religion thing. Not that he was against it but kind of thought God was out to get him ( that is a post for another day). So I was alone in that boat trying to lead 2 children in the way they should go. Long and short...Michael gets saved and well we sell out for Jesus...He did a wonderful work in us therefore deserving all the glory and credit. So when we decided to change our ways we decided to change up how we did Easter. Not that the bunny had ever been a huge deal but you know. So we decided no over the top baskets, no commercialism and NO BUNNY! Yeap I said it we did it!

We don't do the bunny. We make all the focus of that time of year be on Jesus and what He did for us. Yes before you flood my inbox we do baskets SMALL candy and some sort of devotional, book or you know the sorts. Like this year Duece is receiving a Bible, Jesse a worship cd and well Cooper is getting Color Wonder from crayola since he is way too young for a Bible and we have enough devotions and story books for his age group to start a toddler library. And our take on the egg thing is that when we decide to take up our cross and follow Jesus we become a new life. The egg for us is a symbol of the new creation we are in Him.

I digress...

We have always been happy with that choice. But for some reason as Cooper brought home coloring pages of sweet bunnies from his preschool and talked of Peter Cottontail I couldn't help but wonder...Are they missing out on something? Or have I actually done a good thing by focusing on the real reason we celebrate which is of course the empty tomb!

All my concern was put to rest as my sweet 2 year old crawled in my lap and told me that " Jesus hung high on a cross, got blood ( I think he means bled), and died." I asked him why Jesus did this and his answer was "He loves Cooker ( this is how he says his own name) and so I can go to heaven with Nonnie and Daddys Pawpaw!" Ok case closed...Jesus loves me, I love Jesus, and so do my kids!

Sunday is coming!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

The death of Jesus as it is told in the book of Matthew:

45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ""Eloi, Eloi," "lama" "sabachthani?""--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, "He's calling Elijah." 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to save him." 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!" 55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons.

I shared yesterday that Resurrection Sunday is my favorite religious holiday. I thought I might need to explain myself...The acts that took place over Holy Week were terrible and the very thoughts of them make me want to cringe. But the self-less love showed by Jesus was immeasurable and what He did for us to this very day amazes me. Celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus is my favorite holiday because it causes us to pause and realize what was REALLY done for us. I can't believe my King huge dying on a cross for me before He knew me to save me! I promise that is the ultimate love! As we observe Good Friday I almost want to hold my breath until Sunday when we all celebrate the empty tomb and our Risen Savior. But He rose ( the miracle of all miracles) as followers we should realize every day is worthy of celebration just for that reason...Because "We sing for the glory of a risen KING!"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Music Therapy Resurrection Edition!

I can hardly contain myself as Sunday is drawing near...It is my most favorite of all holidays! It is Resurrection Sunday (Easter)! It really wasn't until I knew the unconditional love of Papa God that I began to LOVE this time of year. But as I have yielded to His love for me I realized the what was really done for me. So I am sharing Hillsong "Hosanna" this week as my Resurrection Sunday Edition. I can see the generation that they speak of and I believe we are raising that very generation now! Read...Enjoy...


Hosanna, hosanna


Hosanna in the highest


Hosanna, hosanna


Hosanna in the highest


Hosanna in the highest


I see the King of glory


Coming down the clouds with fire


The whole earth shakes, the whole earth shakes


I see His love and mercy

Washing over all our sin

The people sing, the people sing

Hosanna, hosanna

Hosanna in the highest

Hosanna, hosanna

Hosanna in the highest

I see a generation

Rising up to take the place

With selfless faith, selfless faith

I see a near revival

Stirring as we pray and seek

We're on our knees, we're on our knees

Hosanna, hosanna

Hosanna in the highest

Hosanna, hosanna

Hosanna in the highest

Hosanna, hosanna

Hosanna

Heal my heart and make it clean

Open up my eyes to the things unseen

Show me how to love like You have loved me

Break my heart for what breaks Yours

Everything I am for Your kingdom's cause

As I walk from earth into eternity

Hosanna, hosanna

Hosanna in the highest

Hosanna, hosanna

Hosanna in the highest

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Music Therapy Thursday-Third Day!

I couldn't resist posting this wonderful song by Third Day titled "Love Song" for today's therapy. When I hear this song and sing its wonderful words I can almost hear Papa God singing them to me. I am overwhelmed by the love He pours out on us. And I think the Lent season is a perfect time to remember that He loved us so much He hung His only son on a cross to pay the price for us so we might receive what Jesus deserved which is eternal life with Papa. I have had a really rough last couple days and I needed this song for my own therapy today. Enjoy and know you are truly loved!
I've heard it said that a man would climb a mountain

Just to be with the one he loves

How many times has he broken that promise

It has never been done.

I've never climbed the highest mountain

But I walked the hill of calvary



Just to be with you, I'd do anything

There's no price I would not pay

Just to be with you, I'd give anything

I would give my life away.




I've heard it said that a man would swim the ocean

Just to be with the one he loves

How may times has he broken that promise

It can never be done

I've never swam the deepest ocean

But I walked upon the raging sea



I know that you don't understand

the fullness of My love

How I died upon the cross for your sins

And I know that you don't realize

how much that I gave you

But I promise, I would do it all again.

Just to be with you, I've done everything

There's no price I did not pay

Just to be with you, I gave everything

Yes, I gave my life away.