Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

My sweet Jesus died on the cross on this day, two thousand years ago.  I cannot imagine the scorn and the shame He endured, all in the name of love.  But it wasn't finished!  Death couldn't keep Him, the grave couldn't hold Him.  I get so overwhelmed at what He did for me...for you.  All so that we may live eternally with Him.  I don't understand why someone would want to live their life without knowing Him, this same sweet Jesus, the One who was pierced for all filth and sin.  To think that life is so much better with Him at the center is something I am so thankful for, and it baffles me why people wouldn't want this free gift of grace and mercy that He bestows to us.  I cannot imagine my life without Him and I don't ever want to know a minute without Him.  And I know that I won't, praise God!

Whew.  This weekend gets me, can you tell?  This is my favorite holiday of all, I believe.  It just holds this special place in my heart, for so many reasons, but first and foremost because of what Jesus did for us.  Another reason is that this time last year, Jonah, Noah and I got baptized by our beloved family/children's pastor.  I will never in a million years forget that day!  I later learned that a few people were there (on accident or to witness, I'm not sure!) that I would have never expected to be there.

This was not just a day off for us, needless to say.  I hate when people don't observe the real reason for a holiday, and because of that, when we take a day off, we celebrate it, we talk about it, we reverently observe it.  What better way to do all that, than to go love on a bunch of a inner-city kids, in the name of Jesus?  And not just love on them, but to share with them why it's a joy and a privilege to be able to do that.
We went to Brinkley Heights with the teenagers from our youth group today.  I got some really great pictures, and I'd love for you to see them all, but my phone is misbehaving and is going to have to have a factory reset.  I think it's a software problem.  I did, however, manage to find some of the ones that I took today.  We went to four different sites, the 50 teenagers that we took, and from there they branched out to different neighborhoods to pick up some sweet kiddos.  (And they even picked up the ones that aren't so sweet!)

I was at the Geurnsey site with Graham.  Jonah and Noah stayed with me.


 







We started off the day in prayer, then we sat up the site, then our teenagers walked to the surrounding neighborhoods to pick some kids up.  We had four stations~Easter egg-dying, recreation, snack and Bible story.  While the younger group went through all the stations, the older kids hunted for the hundreds of candy-stuffed eggs that Jonah, Noah and I hid.

After all of that, they were able to sit and enjoy a puppet show, put on by Force, our church's amazing puppet team.  :)  It was an amazing day, and it has me so excited for Street Reach, which I plan on going to this summer.  I'm not sure about all those details yet, but I know I'll figure it all out.

I'd love to say that the day ended there, but it felt like it was just beginning.  After Street Reach, Graham had to work from four to seven.  I took him as I headed home from Memphis, then picked him back up three hours later.  In between doing that, I took Drew to church for Secret Church, an event that lasts from six until midnight.  Graham went to this, after work.  And in the morning, he works again.  From eight to four.  It's going to be an exhausting weekend.  Tomorrow afternoon, we plan on dying Easter eggs, and tomorrow night we might (or might not) go to a movie.

Are you tired from reading all this yet?  I am.  I will be thankful for the week to come back, after a weekend like this!


I took some time to enjoy the glorious sunset tonight, on my way to get Graham.  It felt amazing outside, and I was enjoying the time of being alone, singing along to the radio at the top of my lungs and breathing in the fresh air.


My friend Kelly took this of Drew today.


And this would be Drew and his friend-girl.  :)  Could he be standing any further away and any more awkwardly?!?!  Makes me laugh.

It was an amazing day.  I thank the Lord for His goodness and that He is always with us.

I pray that you took the time to observe what this day off was all about.  If you have kids, I encourage you to share with them, the importance of why we take off on days like today.  Don't just let it be a "fun" day off.  It's so much more than that!  If there is one piece of parenting advice I ever give you, let it be this: remember that your kids will only have as much Jesus as you.  If you live your life in a way that they know you put Him before everything else, chances are they will mimic you someday.  If you don't live like that, if you put other things above Him, then know they will do the same thing.  Think about the way you want your kids to be, and start modeling that behavior.

Okay, I'm done with parental advice.  And believe it or not, at eleven oh six at night, I have laundry to do.  Sheets are in the dryer and Graham's uniform is in the wash.  Good heavens, a mom's day never ends.  ;)  I'm not complaining, though.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Love to all!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

middle of the week

It's been a pretty great, uneventful week.  I'm only posting because I hate letting the blog sit dormant for too long.  I don't know why, so please don't ask.  ;)

It was quite cool here yesterday.  We had some rain come through on Monday night, and with it came cooler temps.  I was particularly looking forward to my coffee when I woke up yesterday.  To celebrate, I used my most favorite of all of my favorite coffee mugs.


Isn't it precious?  Jonah bought me this with his very own money, all by himself, two years ago for Mother's Day.  I only use it on special occasions.

My favorite time is early in the morning...nothing but Jesus, me and a hot cup of coffee is the perfect way to start each day.

While the kids did school work yesterday, I cleaned the kitchen and dining room.  I also majorly cleaned out the dining room hutch, which was haunting me with all the junk that was cluttered up inside.  Now it looks all nice and pretty-ful!


The dishes you see were were the ones Toddley and I picked out eighteen years ago.  I still love them.  :)

I love this cross my mom-in-love bought me for Christmas.


I'm always reminds of Hillsong United's Lead Me To The Cross.  With it being resurrection week, the cross and its inhabitant has been on my mind almost constantly.  I've been reading about Him this week, in Matthew, and now in 1 Peter.

I'm going to stop here and invite you to church Sunday.  If you don't have a church home, will you come with me?  We have two services this week, one at nine fifteen and another at ten forty-five Sunday morning.  I would love to have you join us!  We will probably be at the early service.  If you do come, let me know so I can sit with you!

Today was warmer and sunshine-y.  We had our second weekly picnic date with Abbey, one of my favorite people of all time, from church.


It was even her day off, which was sweet of her to share with me.  :)

How has your week been?  I pray it's been fantabulous.  I've had some sweet phone conversations this week, with one of my favorite and dearest friends, Andrea.  We've laughed together this week, but a couple weeks ago, we cried together, as our Bible study teacher said kind words about her son, who is about to graduate.  I love friends like her, and hope you all have at least one of her in your life.  Everybody needs an Andrea who prances for you and who shares pics of her lovey pants.  :)  Enjoy what's left of your evening!  Love to all.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mom's Night Out & A Contest

Want to enter in a contests for a trip for two to Hollywood for a movie premier?  If you do, then visit this website.


I don't know if you remember in early March when my mom-in-love and I got to go to the premier of this movie, Mom's Night Out, but if you don't remember that, you can read my blog post about it here.  

I'm not being paid (I wish!) to talk about this movie, but it is REALLY, REALLY good and really, really funny.  Go see it!  It opens on Friday May 9th (Mother's Day weekend).  It's so important to see wholesome movies like this one, and it's amazing to not have to worry about the type of language they use.  

Plan your night out with your hubby, or grab some of your girlfriends and go!  

That is all.  Love to all!

weekend

I was trying to find some pictures I had taken from this weekend, and would you believe that there were only three that I took??  I know...so unlike me.  But when you don't really do much over the span of a weekend, you don't really have tons of pictures to take.  ;)

Friday night found us helping my sister Trish move.  It went really, really fast with the crew we had moving.  It was one of those (many) times that I was thankful for two things: one, that I have lots of boys (plus a friend that night) and two, that they are not afraid to throw themselves into some hard work.

After all the moving and some unpacking was done, we were on our way home and spotted this from Byhalia:


It doesn't take much to excite my kids...and this sign made us all so happy!  What a great use of open space on a building.

Saturday found us all spread out...Graham went to work, Todd had a sheriff's department event, and the rest of us stayed home.  I might have watched tv all day long.  (Parenthood, of course.)

My sister came over Saturday night to eat with us, then we just hung out until we were both about ready to crash.

Sunday found us at church, then we went to upgrade our phones!


I'm in love with my new phone.  I went with a totally different one that I had planned, but I could not be any happier.

We got to see Todd's parents, whom I dearly love.


I love messing with this precious man.  Don't I look beautifully attractive?!  ;)

Yesterday we ate lunch at Zaxby's and the kids asked Papa for a dollar to play the claw game.  Noah won this little stuffed animal, which he gave to me so I could sleep with it each night.  His words.


Sigh.  My boys are precious and they do a good job of making me feel treasured.

Happy Monday to you!  Love to all.

Friday, April 11, 2014

flashback Friday


This was the last year this sweet thing was in elementary school.  I remember bawling my eyes out on his last day~I worked at this school for three years, and I dreaded the thought of him not smiling like this every time he saw me in the halls.


This was the year Drew was in third grade.  He ran to catch a pop-up (Is that the right word?) thrown by Graham and it met his face instead.  He adored this black eye.


Jonah was two.  Enough said.  But I could suck on those sweet little cheeks.


My favorite picture ever taken of Noah.  Climbing a tree with chocolate all over his face.  Typical.  This was taken by my favorite photography friend, Jerry.


Sweet summertime and baseball.


My most favorite picture of Drew.  Such joy.


Squishy cheeks.  :)


My somber little Noah.  I love the look on his face, and his big blue eyes and his gorgeous eyelashes.

Sigh.

Where has the time gone?  Seems like all this just happened yesterday...I can't be getting older, can I?!?!

I'm in a thoughtful mood today, I guess.  Love to all.

Thursday & Friday

Good mornin'!  It is a beautiful day outside today!  I am excited about our day...we'll be having my dad over and then we'll be helping my sister move.  The boys don't know that I am totally subjecting them to slave labor today.  ;)  Not really, but I plan on an assembly line, for sure!  I have some strong and willing boys in my house, and I even have an extra today.  He spent last night with Drew.  Homeschool perks.

Yesterday was our homeschool group day, and on the way there we had to stop for gas.  Graham was driving us and he pumped the gas for me.  As I was sitting in the passenger seat of my car, I found a pair of earrings I had forgotten about.  I am so bad about taking jewelry in my car and stashing it somewhere.  It's been a year since I had worn these!  I took a picture of the earrings, after I had cleaned them off.


Aren't they cute?  And then I started laughing, because literally every single piece of jewelry I wear came from my sister Debi.  These earrings, my favorite bracelets, even the two rings I wear, including the one I count as my 'wedding ring' (mine doesn't fit anymore), the necklace I had on yesterday~Debi is one of the most selfless people I know.  She's the type of girl who, if you compliment her on something she wears, would probably take it off and give it to you.  She's done that for me lots of times.  Isn't that sweet??

We continued on our school day, including all the normal school day activities.  Afterward, we participated in Seder, in which I was afraid I would get kicked out of.  I ended up at a table with my four boys and three of their friends and laughed almost the whole way throughout.  I am not even kidding.  I have this issue of laughing when I shouldn't.  I guess the laughing part isn't a bad thing, I just consider myself to be filled with joy, however, it would be better to laugh when I can do so out loud and not spew water because I was trying to keep it in.

(Yes, I did that.  I have issues.)

We had to make a couple stops on the way home, and we passed one of my favorite flags blowing in the breeze.


I'm such a patriotic person.

When we came home, Graham got the mail and found a goodie in our mailbox!  I love when that happens!  I told you last week that I'm on Beth Moore's new Children Of The Day Bible study launch team?  Well, they sent us all candles!  It says, "You light up a room."


And it smells heavenly.  We ended our day with just one child at home.  Noah.  The other three went to a soccer game with our friends, so we enjoyed a nice and quiet dinner, then went to Verizon to play with phones.  (We get new phones next week.)  We took Noah to get his favorite ice cream from Baskin Robbins, then Todd bought us each a butterbeer latte from Starbucks.

Sigh.  I love those drinks.

Well...I hear laundry calling my name.  Hope your day is great!  Love to all.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

(almost) wordless Wednesday

Sunshine, sixty something degrees, a cool breeze, half the amount of kids, finished school work, a sweet friend who loves picnics as much as me...

...all those things made the perfect day to enjoy outside, eating a yummy and healthy lunch.



It was a delight to get to pack lunch for my friend Abbey, one of two girls who minister to our youth-aged girls at church.  They feed into their lives, so I think it's appropriate to offer them the same thing.

A sweet friendship, getting more acquainted with one another, looking forward to every Wednesday from here to an indefinite amount of time, realizing her soul resonates with mine somehow...

...it was a really great day.


Isn't she beautiful?  But even more so on the inside, where it counts the most.

I hope your day was good.

Love to all.

p.s.

Don't forget to do this:


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

miscellaneously random

I thought I would share what we did the rest of today, and even a little from yesterday.  We had a lot of school.  That's about it.  ;)  Not really, we did more than that, but I'm trying to get them to finish before my surgery.  (Have I already said that?  Sometimes I feel so repetitive.)

Anyhoo, I mentioned that I'm addicted to the show Parenthood?  My sweet friend read my blog post yesterday and brought season one over!  I have the world's sweetest, most thoughtful friends.  :)


Her response to me?  She was repaying kindness.  I almost cried.  I love little random acts of kindness, and this was no exception.  God love her sweet soul.  She brought a huge smile to my face and made my day.

When Todd came home yesterday afternoon, he told me he would eat dinner later because he was going to change the brakes (not breaks) on his truck.  His little helper immediately went and changed into something sloppy and rushed out to help him.


I captured the shot.  (Did you honestly think I wouldn't?!)  Then I left for Bible study.

This morning dawned bright and early, and when I turned around from doing something, I saw Jonah doing this.


This was after he and Noah folded an entire load of towels all by themselves and Noah started a load of laundry.  They cleaned the whole kitchen for me, including loading the dishwasher and starting it.  Jonah told me he was trying to learn to do all the things that I wouldn't be able to do for the weeks after my surgery.  My heart might have melted a little when he said that.  He even told me he would make lunch for me everyday.  "I'm great at making grilled cheese sandwiches now, Mom!"

These boys of mine do love me and I am so blessed!

I sat and looked at my calendar for a bit, to make sure I wasn't going to forget anything of utmost importance.


I've got a busy next two or three weeks.

I am so excited about tomorrow!  I'm packing a picnic lunch for the boys and me to meet my friend Abbey at the park.  She loves picnics and the weather will be amazing and beautiful.  :)  I can almost picture the Instagram photo ops now.

The boys and I went to Walmart today to pick up a few things.  Post-It Notes was one of those items.


Because who in the world doesn't love brightly colored Post-It Notes?!?!

Sigh.  Sometimes I amuse myself at my love for the most piddly of things.

We're also eating dinner at church again tomorrow night, which is an added bonus because I don't have to cook anything.  I loved sitting at the table with sweet friends as we ate last week.

Well.  I am going to bed.  I have a couple chapters in my book left and I am dying to finish it!  I pray the Lord brings you sweet rest.  Love to all.