Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for this post.

It's been a good, but low key week around here.  Noah and I are fighting off a sinus infection, so we've spent a lot of time just laying around, resting.  On weeks like this, I am so thankful that we homeschool, because we get to work at our own pace.  (But I'm always thankful that we homeschool.)


Because of what I just said above, I have been spending a lot of free time with my journaling bible.  I love this bible that I got a year ago, but I don't always use it.  I was inspired a couple of weeks ago to get it back out and dust it off, and this week it has been one of my favorite past times.  My friend Tiffany and I texted pictures of our art back and forth this week.


A couple of favorite images I've seen from the interwebs this week.  I love what both of these images say.  Don't talk about people and don't be mean.  Those two phrases seem to be a theme in my life with my kids lately.  About how they act and about how others act and how they should be the opposite.


I've loved journals forever, and I've had some that were my favorites, but it's been over a year since I've loved a journal as much as I love this one.  I'm glad my friend Abbey told me about the journals at Barnes and Noble.  I really want to be done with the current one I'm using.  I'm almost there!


Coffee has been my favorite drink of all this week.  It feels so good and soothing on my scratchy throat!  And my favorite to go mug right now is this one that my sister Lisa bought me.


Last, but not least, is my current favorite OPI nail polish that is pictured above.

It's hard to see in this picture, but it's a sparkly pinkish red.  Perfect for Valentine's day!  It's called Meep, Meep, Meep and it's from the OPI Muppets line from a couple of years ago.  To go with that are my favorite top coat and quick dry spray.  Seche Vite is the topcoat and Rapidry from OPI are what I use on my nails.  Those are the two products that I use to make them look good all the time.  People always think I get them done, but I don't....I just use good products.

Well....laundry is calling me.  Have a great weekend being with those you love!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Wednesday with Noah

Due to the fact that my kids did extra school work Tuesday night and so that they could go to work with Todd yesterday, my Wednesday was just Noah and me.  It was a great day!  Thanks to the wonderful Memphis weather, some of us are battling sinus issues right now.  We feel great in the daytime, but in the morning it's rough.

This boy woke up with a horrible headache yesterday and just had to lay there for a bit until the medicine kicked in.

One thing that I love about dogs is the fact that they can sense when you're not feeling well.  Noah got a drink yesterday morning, took some medicine, then laid down on the couch.  Almost the minute that he laid down, these two pups jumped up there with him.  It's almost like they try to absorb whatever is making you feel bad.  I love them.

(Most of the time.)

Noah requested Subway for lunch, so we got dressed and left for lunch and a few errands.

I couldn't help but thank God for the time I had with him yesterday.  As the baby in the family, he often is quiet because the others are so loud.  When it's just the two of us, I never can help but be amazed at him, and his heart.  He is so kind and compassionate with every person and thing that he comes across, animals included.  I have always thought that he should consider going into veterinary school because of how much animals love him.  The last time we talked about the future, though, he told me he wants to be in the navy.

As we sat and ate lunch and talked, we talked about a little of everything.  He has some really deep thoughts, to be such a young boy.  (Well, I suppose he's not THAT young.)

After lunch we went and bought him some jeans, which he looked really good in.  I cannot keep any of these boys in clothes lately!  After that, we made a run to Barnes & Noble.  I had a gift card and I am almost out of room in my journal, so at the recommendation of a friend, I went there to pick one out.  Noah got one, too.  He was the last of the boys to get a journal, and I am so proud that all four of them now use one.  Jonah just got one on Monday, but Graham and Drew have had theirs for a while.  We all use them to take notes in church, but I am encouraging them to use them for more than that, like to keep up with where they read in the bible and what they pray for.  Here's mine that I bought.

I LOVE getting a new journal.  I always want to start it right away, but I am finishing my other one first.

Our last stop was at Walmart, for more medicine, then it was home for naps.  Seriously...both of us were so tired while we were out, that when we got home, we turned a show on and promptly fell asleep.  I made some coffee so that I could push through the rest of our night.  (I love this mug that my sister Lisa bought for me at Christmas!)

It was a really sweet day.  We had church last night, then I retired upstairs pretty early so I could enjoy a long, hot bath.

I am so thankful to God for the fact that He entrusted me with these boys that we have.  They're surely not perfect, but they are always in the process of being refined and molded into what God has for them.  And though they try my patience on some days, I wouldn't trade my time with them for anything in the world.  I know that as their mom, they are my number one priorities to pour into.  As much as I love teenage girls, these boys are my greatest investment.  I pray daily (sometimes hourly!) that I use my time wisely with them, and that they ALWAYS love God with all their hearts, souls, minds and strength, and that they love their neighbors as themselves.

For the praise and glory of Christ Jesus.

Love to all.

Monday, February 8, 2016

weekend recap

It was a great weekend.  This weekend, I spent Friday night and Saturday with some of my favorite people from church, at a conference called Downline Summit.  I went to this last year and loved it, and this year's version was just as great.  This conference is put on by Downline Institute, a nine month discipleship intensive program for people of all ages.  I would love to go through this someday, even if it's not until all my kids have graduated from high school.  #priorities

This year it was held at a huge church in our area, one called Hope Church.  Each session started with worship, which was amazing.

And then there were TIM talks.  (Like TED talks?)  The TIM stands for something, but I can't remember.  Each session was really, really good.  This is a conference that teaches you about being a disciple and a disciple maker.

My favorite speaker was Jen Wilkin, author of Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both our Hearts and Minds.  Everything she said was biblical and practical.

My other favorite speaker was the preacher of a church in Hendersonville, Tennessee, named Robby Gallaty.  He might be one of the most intelligent people I have ever heard speak on the bible, and believe it or not, in 2003, he was addicted to drugs.  He said that he had a major Paul-like conversion within twenty four hours, much to the dismay of his Roman Catholic father.

On Saturday, we were able to choose two break out sessions that we wanted to attend.  I chose Jen Wilkin first.

And she spoke on how your quiet time should change you, and that there is a wrong way and a right way to go about this.

I took good notes for my friend Abbey, because she went to a different workshop.  After the first workshop came lunch, then workshop two, then the last few TIM talks.  This year we had more of us attend from church.

A few of the people that went weren't with us for this picture, but there were about ten of us in attendance.  It was a great conference.  I plan to look back on my notes some this week, and consider them as I pray about being better at this thing called discipleship.  My first priority is to those that God gave me~my boys.  Everyone else should come after them.

So, there was a game on last night?  Kidding, kidding....I had choir practice right up until game time, and then I met my family at our friends' house.  I stayed until halftime, then left because my head was hurting so bad.  I came home and put on my pajama's, pulled out my journaling bible and supplies and played a Hallmark movie.  Within an hour, my headache had gone away.

I wasn't into the game, obviously, but I always enjoy the food and the commercials.  Now that it's Monday, though, and I'm watching The Today Show replay some of them, they weren't that good.

Today is going to be a quiet and lazy day, and I am thankful for that.  I hope your day is great!  Love to all.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday to us!  It is a gloriously beautiful day here in The Ville, and I have some fun things to look forward to this weekend.

I am linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for this blog post.

My first favorite from this week is something I came across (thanks to my friend Abbey) a couple of weeks ago, and it is a website and radio show called Revive Our Hearts.  The speaker is Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and her radio programs are amazing.  I've been listening for a couple of weeks now, and taking notes.  She has a series called Personal Petitions that is so useful to me in my prayer life.  I've been working my way through the personal petitions and I've listened to one about a dear friend of hers who mentored her, that recently passed away.  I'm going to include a link, just in case you're interested.  I haven't really looked around much at the other parts of the website, but just click on radio show, and you'll see all of the options to listen to.

Because of this website, and because of the fact that I hate all things political on all the morning shows on TV, I haven't been turning it on in the mornings.  I have my quiet time, then I either listen to one of the programs, or I turn on K Love and come into the living room to sit at the computer desk.   It's been kinda nice, if you want to know the truth.  I could probably go without having a TV.

Another favorite of mine from this week was Saturday of last weekend.  My mom, and mom-in-love and I went to a women's event at my church called Legacy, and afterward, Mom and I went and ran a couple of errands.  She had to pick something up in one store, and I wanted to go buy some foundation from Clinique.  That night, the boys and I went out to their house for dinner.  It has been so long since we've been out there!  The boys had fun making cookies with Big Daddy after dinner.

My favorite night from this week was Tuesday night, when Noah and I had a night out.  I let him choose the restaurant of his choice (Chili's) and we enjoyed a yummy dinner and this magnificent thing.

I had a couple of bites and then let him finish if off.  We were both in heaven.  

Todd and the other boys went to a WWE wrestling event at the FedEx Forum.

After our dinner we came home and watched Woodlawn.

Tonight I am going to a conference called Downline Summit here in Memphis with some other youth leaders.  I went to this last year and it was amazing, so I'm really excited about it again this year.  We're going to grab a bite to eat beforehand, then we'll go to the church it's being held at.  It will go through tomorrow afternoon.  And then hopefully we can have a repeat of last weekend and go to my mom's and stepdad's for dinner again.

Hint hint.

Well, I have laundry to finish and things to get done and boys to wake up, so I had better run!  Love to all.  Love to all!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

prayer notebook

I thought I would share all about my prayer notebook.  About a year and a half ago, I came across a blog post put out by Missional Motherhood, and in this post, Donna Gaines (wife of pastor Steve Gaines, of Bellevue Baptist Church) shared about this notebook of hers.  She gave a testimony in this blog post, and either at the end of that post or in the next post, she shared about how to make your own prayer notebook, including pages that can be printed off.

That is the day that my prayer life changed.

I will say here, that to pray this way is a major commitment.  I let it drop for a while, because who has half an hour to an hour every morning, to pray for your family, when you're a mom with kids still at home?  I am ashamed that I let this stop, though, but I know that the enemy was thrilled when I quit praying through this notebook.  Just this week, on Monday, while being particularly frustrated with a kid of mine (I won't name which one), I believe that the Holy Spirit brought to my mind this notebook, and then I just so happened to stumble across this notebook.  I pulled it out from under some things, dusted it off and promptly shut my bedroom door, and I got busy praying these Scriptures over my family.

Here's what my notebook looks like.

I made mine personal, in a three ring binder and with page protectors over all those sheets I printed off a long time ago.  And yes, I have to make everything pretty.

Here are the first few pages of my notebook, and there is a process to how I pray.  I always start off in praise.  For this section in my notebook, I looked up verses from the book of Psalm and wrote them out.  Here are some verses listed that you might not be able to read.

"Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to His name, for that is pleasant."

"Your name, O LORD, endures forever, Your renown, O LORD, through all generations."

"How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!  How vast is the sum of them!"

"You are my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield in Whom I take refuge."

You get the drift, right?  On the next page, I listed some characteristics of God and I praised Him for being those things.

Worthy of praise.
Mighty God.
Everlasting Father.
Prince of Peace.
Wonderful Counselor.

After giving God praise, I say some prayers of thanksgiving.  I'm sure you know what those prayers sound like...I thank Him for my family, for answered prayer, for hearing my prayers and petitions, for our health, for the way that He uses us in ministry, for friends, for our extended families and for our church family.

After that, I always begin by praying for myself.  I ask for God to manifest the fruits of His Spirit in me, to help me to be clothed in my spiritual armor (from Ephesians 6), that I would put on the virtues that Colossians 3 lists, and that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart would be pleasing to Him (Psalm 19:14).  There are some more that I pray as well, that I got from a book called Prayer Portions by Sylvia Guinter.

Next, I start praying for my family.  I personalized this section by adding pictures of my family.

I insert Todd's name in these verses that are listed on the right.  If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see the verses that are listed, and how I wrote his name in the blanks.  I read them off some mornings, but the more I do this, the more I am memorizing them and saying them from memory.  (Bonus: hiding God's word in my heart!)

I do this exact same thing for my kids after I'm done praying for Todd.

When I pray for my kids, I include into these prayers, Alex (who practically lives here) and Woazian, our Compassion child that we sponsor.  I also pray for my future daughters in love.

The next section in the notebook is my church.  I have the names of the pastors (and their wives) listed, and I pray over each one of them.  Included in this section are the teenagers that I am with each week.  If they've texted me a prayer request, I write it on a clean sheet of notebook paper along with the date, and if that prayer gets answered, I write out PRAISE in big letters.  I keep track of these sheets of paper.

I also include in this section, the other youth leaders.

The next section is for my friends.  I write out and pray over any specific need that they give me, and in this section, I include our homeschool group, the other small group leaders and leadership team.  I also include in this section my Tuesday night bible study friends.  I have specific things listed for them, but I at least pray for the ladies in the class.

The next section is for intercession, and I suppose some of the things listed above could be in that section instead.

Then comes government, where I pray over our world, our country, the leaders, our city and town, and ministries like A21 who fight to end human trafficking.

The last section is for my missionary friends.  I have their cards with their sweet faces on pieces of paper, and I have their names and families written beside them.

Well, that's my prayer notebook.  I may not use this every single day of my life, but most days of the week, I do use this as a guide.  On the days I don't use it, I still pray for my family and others, but it's a shorter amount of time and I don't stay as focused.  This remedies that.  I will also state here that getting up so early is something that I ask God for.  I pray each night as I lay down that He would wake me up early to spend this extra time with Him.  He has been faithful to do that for me, too, because I believe that He is glorified in hearing His word prayed to Him over the matter of these things listed.  This is a commitment, but one that is well worth the time.  If we don't pray for our families, who will?!  It's an honor.

If you are interested in the posts I talked about at the beginning of this, I am including the link for you.  Just click here, and it will take you to the Missional Motherhood page.

Thank you for reading.  Love to all!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

what we've been up to and what I'm looking forward to

On Friday of last week, I had lunch with a couple of my friends.  I picked my friend Missy up at her work, then we drove out to a little town about ten minutes down the road from The Ville.  Our other friend Leah had just had a rough week, and we thought it'd be fun to get her out of her house for a lunch together.  (Her son left that week for Army boot camp.)

The weather was glorious that day, and the fellowship together was sweet.  This was a picture I took while I waited on Missy to come out of her office.

She works on our town square and gets to see this every single day.  What a great place to work!  I love our little town square.  Funny story about this picture, though, of Hewlett & Dunn, I actually thought of my sister Debi when I took this.  She loves her some cowboy boots, and she later commented on this picture on Facebook, that she would love a pair of boots from here right about now.

While I was out with my friends, my dad came over and took the boys to lunch.  I met him back here at my house a little after one, and he stayed until about four.  I usually love for us to go out on Friday night, but on this night, I did not feel great, so we stayed in.  I made chicken tenders and Craft macaroni and cheese.  Alex was here with us for the weekend, so it was just those three younger ones while Graham and Drew had a thing at church.  While the older boys were gone, Jonah and Noah had a few friends over, then Graham and Drew ended up back her with friends, so for about an hour, our house was packed and loud.  It was a fun night.

On Saturday, we had an amazing women's event at church, called Legacy.  My mom and my mom-in-love were both there with me, and we had a wonderful time as we played games, talked, ate a yummy breakfast and then listened to two phenomenal ladies speak on how we are to live our lives with others in mind, and how we can disciple and train the younger women.  I loved having the two mama's in my life there with me.

My heart was full to overflowing.

The boys and I went to my mom's and stepdad's for dinner that night, for the first time in ages.  It was good to be out there.  Toddley worked that night.

We had church on Sunday!  Let it be known that I love my church family and I thank God for putting us there.  I had an early choir practice that afternoon, then I rushed back home for community group that night.

Monday was a normal school day, as was yesterday, so nothing new there.  Although yesterday after I went to pray with my friend Abbey, the boys went to lunch with their youth pastor, and then went and made a video for an upcoming thing tonight.  While they were gone, I sat and read a whole book.

I started it at one and finished it before six.  It was a great book!  The television did not get turned on all day long.

The boys had plans with Todd last night, so Noah and I went out for dinner.  We went to his favorite place, Chili's, and ordered an appetizer, yummy entrees and then, this glorious dessert.  (I love the 2 for $20 they offer.)

It was a special night.  After dinner we were kinda miserable, so we went to Redbox to rent a couple movies (Woodlawn and Max) and came home to put on our pajamas and to settle in for the night.

Woodlawn is an amazing movie, in case you haven't seen it.

Today is more of school and then church later.  It's been a great week so far!  I am looking forward to an upcoming conference this weekend, with some of the other youth leaders from church.  I know it'll be great, because it was last year.  I hope your day is great!  Love to all.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday-The Way to my Heart

Happy Tuesday!  I am linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for this fun little post.

There are several ways to my heart, because I am a pretty simple person.  Here are some ways that the boys in my house win me over.

I love when someone does something without me asking them.  (Jonah randomly vacuums.)  I feel like I say so much every day that it's nice to just have someone jump in and do something like that.  (I am fairly certain that his love language is acts of service, because he is always doing things like this around our house.)

I love when Drew is super affectionate with me, like right after he consumed a dinner I made for him that he had been asking for, for weeks.  (Last night's dinner was such~sour cream chicken enchiladas.)  The way to his heart is through food!

I love when Graham comes into my room late at night to talk about life.  As the oldest son, he is very independent and strong and doesn't usually ask for advice, but every once in a blue moon, he gets talkative at night and will come and hang out in my room for a bit and talk to me.  This NEVER gets old!  I feel that as the oldest, he grew up really quickly, especially because Drew was born when he was thirteen months old.  He never had time to himself as the only child, and that has made him fiercely independent.  That is a great quality for a young man to have, though, because we are raising future husbands and fathers, and he needs to be that way.  It's just that he's always been that way.  Sometimes I just want him to act like a kid again.  (He's always been really mature for his age.)

I love when Noah laughs really hard.  He has always been my most serious minded son, and even from the age of about two years old, he rarely smiled or laughed.  I love that as he's gotten older, he has learned to loosen up a bit, and I especially love it when he laughs really hard.  It's such a sweet sound to me!  The older he gets, the funnier he gets (and more like his big brother, Drew), and every once in a while, he will say something that makes Todd and me burst out laughing.  He has a great laugh and it is always contagious, and it makes my heart all fuzzy inside.

(I saved the best for last.)  I love that Toddley has a heart for others.  I cannot tell you how many times we've seen him stop and help someone on the road, or how many times he has bought a homeless person lunch if they were in need.  I love that he loves to give to others.  He is teaching this to our sons, without even knowing it, and they are learning from the best.

What are some ways to your heart?

Love to all!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Goals, Old & New

Am I the only one who thinks that the months between January and March fly by with lightning speed?  Maybe it's because we're almost upon birthday season in our house, but man, I think this every single year and I am always surprised.  I guess I should be used to it by now, but somehow, I'm not.

I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish in January, and here's what the list looked like.

1.  Read lots!  The goal was two read at least two nonfiction books.

Well, I sure did read a lot of books.  I read five books in the month of January, and not one of them was nonfiction.  There's still this month.  I posted the books that I read this month last week, if you're curious.  Just scroll down a bit and you will the post, The Books on my Nightstand-January Edition.  I am already well into my first book for this month, because I started it on Thursday of last week.  I didn't count that one for January but will add it to my list this month.

2.  One (at least) family game night.

Fail.  There was one night when it was just the boys and me at home, and I tried with everything in me to get them to go play a game with me, but nobody was excited about that.  I don't even think we had a friend game night, with our favorite game playing friends.

3.  Have one (at least) family over for dinner.

Well, we had my mom and step-dad over for lunch one Sunday after church, so I counted them as this goal.  (That wasn't planned.)  It was the day that I made a giant pot of homemade chicken noodle soup.  It was so nice coming home to a hot meal after church!  I really need to do this more often.

I also had this sweet lady over two times in two weeks, for dinner.  I'm totally counting her as well!

4.  One date night with Todd.

On Saturday January 9, we went out for sushi.  It was delicious and we had a great time.

5.  Send a couple of letters or cards.

I did this!  I loved doing this one, I love to encourage people.

Here's my list for February.

1.  A date night with Toddley.

2.  Read more than I watch TV.

3.  Send two cards to people.

4.  Walk often, alone and with Callie and Crash.  (Callie has lots of energy she needs to get out!  Walking helps.)

5.  Game night with family.  I am trying this one again!

What are some of your goals?  I'd love to hear some of your ideas in the comments section!  Have a great day and love to all.