Friday, August 29, 2008

Ah, Blessed Weekend

O.k. well I am in much need of some extra sleep this weekend. I had the hardest time getting out of bed this morning. I got up, then just fell back to sleep once I got my coffee. The biggest mistake I made was sitting down in the recliner. Early morning devotion and Bible reading while sitting in the recliner translates into "extra sleep!" I can't do that again. I had two little early birds down here with me, too. Jonah had to wake me up.

I am thrilled that the weekend is here...our good friends the Riley's and the Stall's came over tonight, and after much catching up, we played cards. We haven't had a get together since early June. Three families and eleven kids means scheduling conflicts aplenty. I'm thrilled that school is in session so our lives can slow down and we can start our Friday night ritual again.

I had a fun day...I worked at the boys' school for a couple hours~ I got to see Jonah in his class today. They were in circle time, and his teacher bragged on the picture of his family he colored for her yesterday. It was in the honored spot of importance: on her chalkboard. But only temporarily...she took it home tonight to hang it on her fridge. Now THAT is a woman who loves her babies. There was one more little creative one...a little girl named Abby that wrote a song for Mrs. Miles. Mrs. Miles asked me to stay so Abby could sing me her song. It was so precious I almost cried.

I got to talk to Noah's teacher on my way out, and while I was there this morning, they had a tornado drill. There is no siren, they just go into the hall and crouch down low and cover their heads. Jonah did good, Noah not so good. He was sobbing hysterically...he thought they said VOLCANO drill. It took several people to console him for him to stop. After it was over, he stood up, wiped his tears and said, "Okay, I'm good now. I'm better." Poor little baby. His teacher was cracking up.

After I left their school, my dad, Trish and I went to lunch. Yummy El Porton!!! I love Mexican food!!! We came back to my house after to hang out until the boys came home. We had a great time together...we rarely get to do that, so it was nice. I am so looking forward to this much needed long weekend!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Few Thoughts on Children

I got this from another blog...I did not write any of it myself, and yes my day has been good. Not bad, as this makes it seem. I just liked this and wanted to share it. I especially like the one about childproofing your house...hmmm, why didn't I think of that???


If God had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be
a piece of cake for you ?

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT !

1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk
and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down
and shut up.

2. Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your own children.

3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.

4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word
for word what you shouldn't have said

5. The main purpose of holding children's parties is to remind
yourself that there are children more awful than your own

6. We childproofed our homes, but they are still getting in.


ADVICE FOR THE DAY:

Be nice to your kids.
They will choose your nursing home one day

AND FINALLY:

IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF TENSION AND YOU GET A HEADACHE,
DO WHAT IT SAYS ON THE ASPIRIN BOTTLE:
'TAKE TWO ASPIRIN'
AND 'KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN'!!!!!

Happy Wednesday!!!

I am sooooo glad it's Wednesday! For a few reasons...them being that the week is almost half over! I love hump day! I just told my kids why I used to call it that...because we were at the top of the "hump" (picture a hill), and that after that the rest of the week flies by! The second reason is because this coming weekend is a long one!!! We are all ready for one of those! It's been a crazy past couple weeks. And lastly, and most importantly, my man is coming home!!! He's been gone since Monday morning, and we've all missed him like crazy. I did not have company in my bed last night, other than the cat, and I miss him being next to me.

The boys are going to be so excited to see him today! He's coming home early enough to get them from school, possibly even to check them out early. They will be absolutely thrilled!!! And I'm excited, because I have a room mom meeting with Jonah's teacher after school, and now they won't be with me! It's REALLY hard for them to sit still in a meeting after their long day at school. Anyway, these past days that he's been gone have been lonely. I am so blessed that I do not have a traveling husband. I don't think I would be able to stand it if I did. And it's hard on the boys not seeing him...especially Drew. He just looked at me last night, and stuck his bottom lip out and said, "I miss Daddy." That, my friends, is enough to break your heart. It just about ripped mine right out.

So today, to occupy myself, I am having lunch with the famous Katie Katie. We love her. The boys were all jealous that I get to eat with her and they don't. Nah nah nah boo boo is what I felt like telling them. It's MY day with her. And, Katie, if you're reading this, have you by chance seen the movie, "At First Sight" with Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino (sp?)? I watched it last night and it dawned on me, that that's a great chick flick. If it hadn't have been so late, I would have called you. Maybe we can watch it one night...if Travis and Todd want to watch it with us, they could. I guess. =) I'm kidding, of course they could. I don't know if they'd want to, though. It was an incredible movie and very very sappy! You know, the good kind!

So, that's my day. It's been a good week, for all of us, but we're so glad that Todd is coming home!!! Now it'll be even better. Love to all!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Prayer

I have a couple friends who I prayed for this morning...I was actually thinking of another verse, and went to look it up, but instead, this is what jumped out at me.

Philippians 1:3~11 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart, for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ~to the glory and praise of God.

and one more...

Colossians 1:9~14 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

I know that it's easier said than done... but take heart, and have encouragement over these words of peace that Paul speaks of. God is in control, and in whatever situation, He will be glorified. My friends that I prayed for this morning are strong, faithful women of God, and He will be with them, no matter what. No matter what. I hope these words encourage both of you...you know who you are. I love you both dearly, we are truly sisters in Christ.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bedtime At Our House


It's a special night at our house. Todd is out of town, and I'm afraid I'll get lost by myself in our huge bed, so I have invited 2 pretty cute little kids to join me as I enter the Land of Nod tonight. Don't they look happy? They LOVE sleeping with me. Love, love, love. And Drew is forced to sleep in the middle, because I cannot bear to sleep next to my darling oldest son. He lays sideways a good portion of the night. Which drives me absolutely insane. So, since I'm letting them join me in bed, I had to sweeten the deal for Jonah and Noah. This picture below is what they ask me if they can do every night. And I do mean every night.




If you look closely, Jonah is at the head of the bed (the right), and Noah is at the foot of the bed on top of the covers. It's the only way they won't bother each other...one under the covers, one above them. And in the middle, in all his marvelous glory is Sambo, the fat cat. This is where he sleeps, faithfully every night, by his buddies' side. He usually sleeps with Noah, but tonight he was forced to move over to Jonah's bed.

All is well in our house. I have four happy kids, and one happy mom...well, I would be happier if my hubby was here. But we'll make it on our own for a couple nights. At least with Andy the guard dog, we're not scared.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Quick Catch Up

We had an amazing weekend, as usual. The boys were so glad for the time off from school, and even though they didn't complain, I know that mentally, they were exhausted. Mainly Jonah and Noah...Graham and Drew have gotten used to this routine by now. They didn't have any meltdowns at all this week, and I had several friends with kindergarteners who did crash and burn about halfway through the week. I have bedtime down to a fine science, now. That helps in a huge way!

We spent Friday night trying on jeans at Old Navy (for the awesome sale they had), then went to the town square for some bluegrass. Until I got bitten one too many times, that is, then we had to leave. The mosquitoes were out bad that night. Saturday we spent the day just kind of laying around, taking it easy. Easy to do since it rained. Last night we went to a friends house. They are Jonah's and Noah's Sunday school teachers and they threw an "I Can't Believe They're In Kindergarten" party. Too cute, and way too much fun. We all had a blast, and we were the last ones to leave, as usual. We stayed until almost 11:00. It's amazing they all woke up in such great moods this morning.

Today we spent the morning at church, which was incredible, by the way. We ate lunch at Lenny's then came home for a while. We went out to my mom's house for dinner (I have not seen them in 2 weeks, and the kids were having MAJOR withdrawals...and so were Nana and Big Daddy!), and she cut my hair. See pics below. All in all, it was a fab weekend. I'm sad to see that it's over, but excited that after this week, we have a long weekend to celebrate Labor Day!!!



And to most of you, this does not look that different, but you should have seen the hair she swept up off the floor afterwards. It's the same length it was, just a little trimmed, but she put some layers in it...it was all one length, mostly, and triangular. See why I go to her for all my haircuts?! She's great at it. Thanks, Mom! Love you sooo much!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Happy Little Kindergarteners

This was taken Monday afternoon after school. They are proudly displaying their brand new kindergarten communicator folders. Each year, the kids at our school get a colored folder to bring home, it's the way the teacher talks to you, and sends home papers. They get a different color for each grade. Needless to say, Jonah and Noah are thrilled to finally have their very own. They are so precious as they come home everyday; they tell me about who was good or bad, who they ate with, played with, and they proudly show me all their school work. Noah keeps on asking when he's going to have homework like Graham and Drew. I want to say, "too soon", but don't. Instead, I just think it and treasure these first few weeks of only one child that has homework, instead of all four. Drew has had homework every night so far, but Graham's teacher in fourth grade doesn't like giving homework. She just makes them finish their classwork if they don't finish in class. Which Graham always does, so that's never an issue. I am loving his teacher! Drew, on the other hand, has Graham's teacher from last year...and well, she loves homework. It's not bad though, it only takes him five or ten minutes to finish each night. As long as it's short and sweet, I don't mind it too much. Well, enough for now, I just wanted to post these pics I took on Monday. What else am I going to do??? =)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Late Night Contemplation

Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

I loved this part of a Bible study I did on Daniel. This scripture comes right before King Darius' administrators and satraps basically ratted on Daniel for not bowing to them. Keep in mind that Daniel was in a revered position in the King's eyes. He was different than everyone else...in the beginning of chapter 6, verse 3 the Bible says that "he distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities". So much so that King Darius planned to set him over the entire kingdom.

The part that I love about this portion of Daniel was that those men, the administrators and satraps, had to search hard to find something wrong with Daniel. In fact, after much scrutiny, they could find nothing. So they talked the king into issuing a decree that if anyone prayed to anyone other than the king, that they would be thrown into the lion's den.

I want to be like Daniel. What an incredible man of God he was. Never afraid, never scared to be different, he always made sure that everyone around him knew Who he was praying to. He led his own quiet, respectful life, and in the end was revered because he did so. In the same chapter, verse 10 says that with his "windows opened towards Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God..." In the Bible study that I did, Beth Moore did her thing, and told us that part that says "windows opened towards Jerusalem" was translated as meaning that God's face was shining towards him (Daniel). Forgive me for not knowing how she came to that meaning, if you really want to know you can call or email me, and I will pull my book out and find how she got to that. But just imagine God shining His favor upon us...and that's what He does when we serve and love Him.

How many times do we neglect our prayer life? How many times do we let distractions get in our way of communicating with God?? And I ask myself this, because today was the first day in a long time that I had uninterrupted prayer. How easy it is to let things pile up on us, then use our prayer time to play catch up. I heard from a friend that we should find out how we best get one on one with God. Everyone is different, and whether that time is in the car, the shower, on a walk, or in our living rooms, that time is vital. God likes that we set aside a time, and step out of our comfort zone, and get down to business with Him. Whether it's sitting, kneeling, or flat on my face, I know my day is going to be horrible until I take that time to pray. And sometimes it's before the kids get to school, sometimes it's after. If it's after they go to school, I still take the time to pray with them each day, in case you were worried about that. =)

Fast forward to the last part of chapter 6 in Daniel...the king had issued a decree, albeit unknowingly, and when Daniel was found praying to God, King Darius was forced to carry it out. Daniel was thrown into the lion's den, and a rock was placed in front of the entrance so he couldn't get out. In verse 18, the Word says that King Darius returned to his palace and spent the night without eating, sleeping and being entertained. He was worried about his good friend, Daniel. So the next morning, at the first light of dawn, (verse 19), the king hurried and went to the lion's den. He called out to Daniel and asked if his God had been able to save him, to which Daniel replied, " My God sent His angel and he shut the mouths of the lions", verse 22. And the king was overjoyed, because God had saved his friend.

Daniel so inspired King Darius, that the king issued a new decree...one that in every part of his kingdom, the people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel (verse 26). In the same verse the Bible says, "For He is the living God and He endures forever; His kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end. 27 He rescues and He saves; He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions."

Lord, make me like Daniel, a woman who is unafraid and unhindered of people's opinions of me. I only want to live my life to please You...no one else. Give me the boldness, and the courage to do so. Help me to love people like You did, like Daniel did, and help me not to judge anyone based on appearances. It's not the things that are seen that matter...it's on the unseen. Help me to always live my life for You. Thank You, Father, in Your name I ask this. Amen.

What My Day Felt Like

See this little guy? He's alone, and just kind of hanging out, taking it easy, and he looks like he's enjoying himself. That is what I felt like today! I had a taste of what kids in school feels like, and let me tell you, after nine years of being their mom first, it feels pretty good to be able to take some time and do something that I enjoy!! Which today, was cleaning and organizing. I know, I know, I'm weird, but it is like therapy to me! I get such satisfaction of cleaning and redoing all their drawers and closets. Today was clothes only, and it was only in the boys' rooms. Next week it's on to toys and my room, and GASP! The underneath area of my bed! I am going where no one has gone in 5 years!

I have been playing my praise and worship music, just having the best time doing things that have needed to be done for a long time. I even sat down at lunch and watched HGTV. I realize that to some of you, this sounds totally pathetic, but trust me...HGTV is so much better than Diego, or The Wonder Pets! Once yesterday when I sat down to turn the t.v. on, without thinking I turned it right to the Disney channel. I know, I'll have to work on that.

Well, I have to run...needless to say after all the cleaning and dusting, I had to take a shower, and my free time is running out quickly! More later......

Monday, August 18, 2008

And Now They're Home!!!

I am happy to say that they had a wonderful day. No tears, no meltdowns, and nothing else major happened. They made new friends, although they forgot their names, they played with each other and with other kids at recess, which they went to twice, and they had a yummy, and friend filled lunch. At lunch, Jonah and Noah sit behind each other's tables, and Drew sits next to Jonah's table. So, all is well.

Once I told Noah that yes, he did have to go back tomorrow, he decided that he loves school and can't wait to go back. Oh, and Noah did have one boy who was "avragating" him at center time. I told him just to be nice, and ask politely for a turn tomorrow. The little boy wasn't sharing. Jonah loved his teacher, and all his new friends. And he said that no one got in trouble today. They were all good, according to him. I feel so much better now.

From A Quiet House

I actually have the t.v. on just for noise. I held up great taking Jonah and Noah to kindergarten. They did, too, although Jonah did get just a little teary. But no tears were shed. After we dropped them off, we went to a kindergarten coffee for parents, then I left and went to work making copies for all the first grade teachers. It was fun! And I got to spy on them a little. Once when I went by, Mrs. Miles, Jonah's teacher, had them lined up outside the bathroom, showing them how the girls stand in one line, the boys in another. She was telling them they could go in three at a time.

I didn't get to see Noah, and was not about to go near his class. He was pretty unsure of it all as he sat surrounded by his new friends bright and early this morning. He was sitting next to a little boy named Sherrod (emphasis on the rod), and hopefully made friends with him. He didn't cry either, but he just kind of sat there like, "well, now what? Is this it??" And he did NOT look that excited about it. I know they will love it, once they get used to the routine of it all. And I'm sure I'll come to enjoy the sounds of a quiet house...well, maybe.

I am excited about doing several things around the house, like cleaning out the boys' closets...all of them. Jonah and Noah have tons of clothes that they can't wear anymore, and every time I go to clean the drawers out with them here, I can't. I've already made 2 lunch dates in the next 2 weeks, and I think I have plans with Sunshine this week. I'll have to double check that last one, but I'm sure this week will go quickly. Of course, I am working a couple days at the school this week, so that will help pass the time as well.

I am excited for Jonah and Noah, as they start this next phase of their little lives. I had the time on Thursday to sit and write letters to them, which is something I've been meaning to do for a long time. I started a while back, writing letters to them that I will give them as a gift when they get married. I've only written a handful, and some of them are to all 4 of them, so someday I'll make copies of them all. I also have kept up with their funny little sayings over all these years, and I'll start to organize some of this and put in a special spot. Anyway, back to being excited for them...they are so ready to start knowing how to read. They both are constantly writing things, then asking me what they spell. Which is usually nothing, until the few times Noah started accidentally spelling Mom. =) So they are ready for kindergarten.

I have lots and lots of ideas of what I can do in my newfound spare time, but the one thing I am most excited about is devoting more time to reading the Bible, and memorizing Scripture. That is truly one thing I cannot do when kids are around. I have to have quiet, and needless to say, when all the boys are here, quiet they are not. So I am looking forward to that, and the new Bible study I'll be doing with my girlfriends!!! I cannot wait until that starts!!! So far the book is fab, and I'm anxious to dig into it deeper!!! Well, speaking of, I think I'm going to go do that now, since I have several hours to kill. The laundry will still be here tomorrow, so I can do that then.

Jonah's and Noah's First Official Day of Kindergarten: A Poem

Treat Her Well

Dear world,

I bequeath to you today one little girl in a crisp dress , two twinkling eyes and a happy laugh that ripples all day long and a flash of shiny hair that bounces in the sun when she runs. I trust you’ll treat her well. She’s slipping out of the back yard of my heart this morning and skipping off down the street to her first day of school and never again will she be completely mine. Frail and proud she’ll wave her young and independent hand this morning and say “Good Bye” and walk with little lady steps to the school house. Now she’ll learn to stand in lines and wait by the alphabet for her name to be called. She’ll learn to tune her ears for the sounds of school bells and deadlines and she’ll learn to giggle and gossip and look to the ceiling in a disinterested way when the little boy across the isle sticks out his tongue at her. And now she’ll learn to be jealous and now she’ll learn how it feels to be hurt inside now she’ll learn how not to cry. No longer will she have time to sit on the front porch steps on a summer day and watch an ant scurry across the crack in the side walk. Nor will she have time to pop out of the bed with the dawn and kiss the lilac blooms in the morning dew. No, now she’ll worry about those important things. Things like grades, and which dress to wear and whose best friend is whose. The books and learning will replace the blocks and dolls. Now she’ll find new heroes. For 5 full years now, I’ve been her sage and Santa clause and pal and playmate and father and friend. Now she’ll learn to share her worship with her teachers which is only right but no longer will I be the smartest greatest man in the whole world. Today when that school bell rings for the first time she’ll learn what it means to be a member of a group with all of its privileges and disadvantages too. She’ll learn in time that proper young ladies do not laugh out loud or kiss dogs or keep frogs in pickle jars in bedrooms or even watch ants scurry across cracks in sidewalks in the summer. Today she’ll learn for the first time that all who smile at her are not her friends and I’ll stand at the front porch and watch her start out on that long lonely journey to becoming a woman. So world I bequeath to you today one little girl in a crisp dress with two twinkling eyes and a flash of hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs. I trust you’ll treat her well.


I pasted and copied this poem from the KLove Website: for more stories like this, go to Klove.com, click on 'on air talent', click on John and Sherri Rivers, then click on stories. This one is called 'Treat Her Well'.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Waiting, waiting, waiting

I found out yesterday that Noah got the teacher I requested for him. I ran into her in the hall at their school on my way out yesterday, and found out then. When I got home from picking them up, I found out that I did not get who I requested for Jonah. Which I took to mean God just flat out had other plans for Jonah. So, all last night, I didn't get a call from his teacher. And here it is 1:20 on Saturday afternoon, and I still have no call.

I was on Facebook and Noah's teacher started chatting with me telling she was 99% sure that Jonah did get who I requested. So, I called a friend who called a friend who called that teacher for me, to find out who in the world this poor child is supposed to go see Monday morning. The teacher wasn't there, so the friend of a friend left a message. So...even though I think I know who he got, I'm still not completely sure. Poor Jonah. He's been on a roller coaster. I told him I thought he had one, and now he probably has another. So...who knows? I'm just confused, is all I know. And now you probably are too, just from reading this. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Shared Devotion...

I loved this and wanted to share it with my girlfriends. I think we all tend to do this every once in a while, and this is great advice. Happy Reading!!


August 15, 2008

Cultivating a Beautiful Marriage

Micca Monda Campbell

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

I Thessalonians 5:11(NIV)

Devotion:

Have you ever secretly compared your husband to another man or your wife to another woman? Perhaps you’ve wished they were more thoughtful, spiritual, or a better dresser like “so-and-so.”

If so, let me reassure you. The grass is not greener on the other side. Trust me. That man you’ve got your eye on doesn’t clip his toenails either. Nor does that woman rub her man’s feet while feeding him grapes after a long day of work.

Your spouse and mine are the people we fell in love with. No, they’re not perfect. Maybe all they need is a bit of tender loving care. Instead of comparing and complaining about our partner’s shortcomings, you and I should try nurturing our mates lovingly in the area they need most. We might be surprised by the results.

I heard an encouraging story about an attractive millionaire who married an ordinary woman. The marriage instantly became the talk of the town.

“Why would he marry her when he could have any woman he wanted?” The people whispered among themselves. “It won’t last. She’s just not good enough for him.”

The man took the ordinary woman away for six months on an exotic honeymoon. When he returned, there appeared to be another woman on his arm. She walked with confidence and poise. The countenance of her face glowed with beauty.

“Now that’s the kind of woman a handsome man should be with,” announced the town’s biggest loud mouth.

As the happy couple causally strolled past the gossipmonger, she got a closer look. To her surprise, it wasn’t someone new holding the gentlemen’s arm at all. It was the average woman he had married months ago—completely transformed!

The wise millionaire had taken his common bride away and nurtured her inward beauty. He lovingly spoke positive and encouraging words to her day and night until she believed she was beautiful. The once ordinary woman now carries herself with confidence and exudes the exquisiteness that her husband saw in her all along.

His secret, you ask? He took time to care for and fertilize her confidence until she grew into the grandeur display she was always meant to be.

You and I shouldn’t dream about taking off our shoes and walking around on the neighbors’ grass. Instead, we should try fertilizing our own yard. We might be surprised how it blossoms into a thing of beauty.

Dear Lord, Thank you for my mate. Protect my thoughts and help me to see them as I once did. I’m not perfect either. I don’t want to judge my spouse. Instead, I want to encourage them to be all they can be. Today, I will put away any discontentment, any anger, any lustful thoughts toward another, and work at building a beautiful relationship that brings joy to our marriage and glory to Your Name, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Visit Micca Campbell’s blog

What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

Capture His Heart/ Capture Her Heart, by Lysa Terkeurst

Application Steps:

You and I can cultivate our marriages by choosing to see the good in our spouse or by acknowledging their effort to improve. Build up your spouse with encouraging words. Tuck a poem or card under their pillow.

Be their cheerleader and offer your support often. For instance, if they are trying to get fit, go on a walk with them. Nurture and support your spouse, and at the same time, you’ll be cultivating your marriage.

Reflections:

How did you support and nurture your spouse in the beginning of your relationship?

When is the last time you dated your spouse? What’s keeping you from a date this weekend?

How can seeing the best in your spouse improve your marriage relationship?

Power Verses:

1 Peter 1:22, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” (NIV)

1 Corinthians 13:4, 7, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

First Day of Kindergarten!

We made it through our first day of school with flying colors! When they came home from school yesterday, they were so excited, they could not stop talking about it all! You saw Noah's funny story on the blog I posted earlier, so if that's any indication of how their day was, that is fine with me!!!

Of course, what would a first day be without pictures? When I told them I was taking pictures of them, Jonah said, "Mom, you're only taking one." Hmmm, boy, do I have news for you!


Being blinded by the sun!


Noah



Jonah


Sitting in the floor listening to "If You Bring A Mouse To School"



This is the famous Katie Ledbetter, who is precious!



This is them making an M&M cookie for us to bring home and keep~on it they had to write their first name, their age, their favorite color and their favorite food (we had to help them)


And right after this is when a little boy started crying. We knew if we stayed any longer, they would join in the process, so we took off. They never cried, so it was good that we left when we did! They are so excited to go back on Monday...their only complaint about yesterday was that they couldn't carry their backpacks! I assured them they would be able to do that on Monday. I guess I'll have to tell Noah not to be kissing on any little girls while he's in school. Mom, does that sound familiar? Remember Josh Putnam when I was in kindergarten? I think Mrs. Norwood wrote something about that on my final report card. I guess he gets it honest!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

From the Kindergarten Teacher They Were With Today

Hey! It went great today, but I have a really funny story. (I didn't know if you wanted it on your wall or not, so I'm sending you just a message.) Anyway, when we were putting them down for a nap, Noah asked if he could lay on the carpet next to a girl (Jessica). I didn't think anything about it, I just thought they had become friends, but after a little while I walked over in that direction and him and the little girl were both asleep holding hands. It was so cute! I should have taken a picture. I just wanted to let you know that. Your boys are precious.
See you Monday. Have a good weekend!
Katie

Just Real Quick

I don't have much time, I'm about to go pick up all the boys (notice I said ALL) the boys from school, but I wanted to thank the many many people who have prayed for them and me. Jonah cried just a tad this morning when we first got there, but Todd took him to the side and was able to quickly calm him down. By the end of the tour, he was smiling, and having fun!

They went to the room they would be in, the teacher read a story, then they made a little craft for us to bring home with us. THERE WERE NO TEARS!!! From them or me!! There was this one poor little boy who was just crying hysterically, but not my babies. We knew if we didn't leave soon, they would possibly join them, because after all, they are like their mommy and they are very sympathetic criers! But we left, and not one tear was shed.

And just one more thing...I have the greatest husband on this entire planet. Not only did he go today, he is going with me on Monday to be my moral support. Just thought I'd add that...I love him more and more everyday that God blesses us with, and I could never say that enough.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

While Graham and Drew are Away...

I decided to take pictures of Jonah and Noah doing their favorite activity: playing on the car rug!!! This was a Christmas present from Nana and Big Daddy for Graham and Drew when they were 2 and 3 years old, if that's any indication of how old this thing is. Talk about getting their money's worth! This is their most favorite thing in the whole wide world!






I got in trouble this morning! I dropped off Graham and Drew in a "no no" spot, and a police officer came over and talked to me. I apologized and promised to find another spot tomorrow morning. I chose to not go off on him like I did the other officer at the end of last year. I am so embarrassed I did that! We had a better morning today...yesterday was great, it's just that the kids woke up too early. Before 7 is too early. Today it was close to 7:15 when they started coming downstairs. I definitely like that time better than 6:30! I need my quiet time before I start dealing with the day!

Jonah and Noah have a friend coming over today, Bradley, and they are so excited! His mom is the "cafeteria lady" at Collierville Elementary, as I like to call her. And tomorrow, they're having their last play date with Andy before school starts. He went to school today, so they're spending the day together tomorrow.

Well, I'm off to do fun household stuff....more later.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pictures

I found the camera! Actually, I left it in the cooler, and Todd took it on the canoe trip Saturday. But he didn't take any pictures. So here are our pics from the water park on Friday.

Graham

Drew

Jonah


and last but not least, Noah

And these next pictures are the ones I took of their first day back to school! They were so excited this morning, Drew woke up at 6:30. He was dressed by that time. I told him if he went downstairs, it was fine, but he'd have to do something quiet, because I was having my quiet time. So he sat on the couch and played his Nintendo D.S. while I had my devotion.


Noah and Jonah waiting on their big brothers to get in!



Drew hurriedly tying his shoes. Or not so hurriedly.



They're tied! His heavy bag was already in the car.



and Graham with his 50lb back pack. Seriously.



I went to the grocery store after I dropped them off, and I've already cleaned and organized my kitchen cabinets. Now I'm on the computer. And I still have 3 useable hours before they get out!!! So long!



























Saturday, August 9, 2008

At The Waterpark

After a rough week, this weekend has been nice. Yesterday my step dad and I took the boys to the cool waterpark in Paragould, Arkansas for our second annual trip. I would post pictures, but I seem to have misplaced the camera. Hopefully it will be found soon...especially since I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. But, just in case it's lost, here's a picture from the boys there last year.

This is the coolest waterpark...it's really a playground set into a shallow pool. They did change the rules, and this year you have to be under 4 feet to play on the playground. The slides in the background are only for those above 4 feet. Graham's and Drew's favorite was the red slide. It was one of those tunnel things...the kind I'd get claustrophobic in. =)


This morning, before the sun even rose, I was up packing lunches and snacks for Todd, Graham and Drew. They went on a canoe trip to Buffalo River for the day. I just got off the phone, and it's 9:20 p.m. and they're just now in Jackson...one hour away. Everyone on the bus is passed out...except the driver, Mike and Todd. So Todd's sitting on a cooler next to Mike, talking to him to keep him company...probably so Mike won't fall to sleep. They're exhausted...Todd canoed 10 miles down the river. Mostly by himself. I hope he has my camera, and I hope he got pictures. If so, I will post some later.

Since all them were gone, we didn't have a whole lot to do, so we spent the day at my mom's. Jonah and Noah swam, dug in the dirt, played firefighter and planted some type of bulbs my mom gave them. Jonah kept on running outside to see if his flower was growing yet. Somebody needs to teach that boy some science! Bill took pictures of them outside...at one point, they had on swimming trunks, boots, and fireman hats. I told Mom, Bill and Trish that they looked like the child version of the sexy firefighter calendar. It was hilarious! You'll see soon what I'm talking about; I'll try and post some this week. SINCE I'LL HAVE TIME ON MY HANDS, that is.

Hope your weekend was fab...mine was and still is. Tomorrow night we're having a cookout and swim party with the neighbors again, so that'll be fun for the whole fam...and it'll help Graham and Drew be able to fall asleep quickly. They're always too excited to sleep!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lesson from God

I am facing a day today that I've dreaded since Tuesday. I know I will be tested repeatedly today on patience. So this morning, in my quiet time, I prayed that God would give me a word for this day. I kid you not, when I opened up my morning devotion book, Journey, today's lesson was titled, "One At A Time". The main verse today was Proverbs 16:32 "Patience is better than power, and controlling one's temper, than capturing a city."

The story was about a lady keeping her patience in a certain circumstance. It gave several Scriptural references regarding patience: Proverbs 14:29 says "people with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness." And Proverbs 19:11 says, "Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs." Do you think God is telling me something for today? Something I can claim for myself today? I do! He is so good...and He has a good sense of humor, too! I'd imagine He's up there saying, "Well, you asked for a word from Me, and you got it, child! Now go and act on it!"

The devotion went on and gave the definition of patience: there were three, but one of them stuck out from the rest...patience is defined as "quiet, steady, perseverance, even tempered care". Now if I didn't hear Him before, I certain did when I read that. I get it, I get it!! Really I do...and I realize I am called to "love them like Jesus", according to a certain Casting Crowns song that I like. I am to be His hands, His feet, His arms reaching out in love...all in His name.

I will remember this today as I face my day...I will love and I will be patient, and if I'm not, I will reflect on one of these Scriptures that I am about to commit to my memory...which is my newest pasttime. It's appalling at how bad my memory has gotten...I am starting Scripture memorization and I had the hardest time memorizing only 3 yesterday! I think I got a little over zealous, so today I'm going to memorize only 1...and I assure you, it will be one on patience!

Possible Upcoming Movie or Television Series

This is a clip of a possible upcoming movie or t.v. series based on Karen Kingsbury's Baxter family books, the first series, Redemption. I have cried my way through all these books...there are more following this series, and if you never read anything else in your entire life, I recommend that you read these! They are literally life changing...I cried reading them because they're touching, and sad sometimes. BUT God's grace always shines through at the end of each book, and we're a little more enlightened about the redemption He extends to us. Pray that this movie or t.v. series comes to life,we truly need more movies or shows like this! I have pretty much given up on watching t.v. at night with my children...you can't nowadays, unless it's a game show, which they like, but I would love for them to get caught up in a story like this. Please join me in praying!!!





Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Devotion from Proverbs 31

Some of you may care less about reading things like this, but this was what I read in my daily devotional from them. I get this...my Referee has been nudging me...I challenge you to "rest in Him" (Mark 6:31), and find out if He nudges you. Chances are, He will. Enjoy!

August 6, 2008

Your Heavenly Referee

Micca Monda Campbell

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” Palms 32:8 (NIV)

Devotion:

Have you ever experienced a lack of peace that kept you from moving forward? I have. My husband and I were about to purchase our first home. After viewing several houses, we finally found a perfect fit. Or so we thought.

When closing day came, I couldn’t bring myself to sign the papers. Although it was natural for us to be both excited and nervous about becoming new home owners, I couldn’t shake the feeling of uneasiness. I asked to speak to my husband alone for a moment and discovered that he had the same sick feeling in his stomach as I had in mine. We decided not to move forward.

This was a wise decision. A few short months later, my husband died from a tragic accident. Had we bought the home, I wouldn’t have been able to pay a house note plus support a new baby and myself on one income. That’s when it dawned on me. Our lack of peace on closing day was the Holy Spirit calling a “time out” so that we would think it over and make the right decision.

You and I may not know our future, but God does. Through the Holy Spirit, God directs our steps by the way of peace, or lack of it.

The Holy Spirit works in our lives much like a referee does in a basketball game.

As long as the players stay within the boundaries of the court, they are free to move about. But when there is trouble on the court or the ball goes out of bounds, the referee blows his whistle. The sound of the whistle stops the game until the referee restores order, then he puts the ball back into play.

Likewise, we have a heavenly “Referee” — the Holy Spirit. When there is a lack of peace in our lives, that’s our signal He has blown the whistle and called for a time-out to redirect our path.

Sometimes our ball gets kicked out of bounds by unexpected adversity in our lives. Other times, we step out bounds on our own by giving way to temptation and sin. In each of these circumstances, the Holy Spirit will blow the whistle to gain our attention. If you and I are smart, we’ll wait on our heavenly Referee to restore our peace and put the ball back into play.

For peace to return, we need to wait and listen to the instructions of our Referee. You and I seek those instructions through prayer and meditation of God’s Word. It may also involve repentance before we can move forward. Either way I assure you that stepping out of bounds doesn’t mean God will call “game over.” As we respond and obey the Holy Spirit, He simply puts the ball back into play. Those who have learned to play under the guidance of their heavenly Referee will never stray long outside of the boundaries God has set for their life.

I’m thankful that my husband and I heeded the warning of the Holy Spirit and didn’t purchase that house. In doing so, we were spared undue stress. What about you? Is the heavenly Referee trying to get your attention through a lack of peace? Or is He giving you a green light through a calm sense of rightness? The right path is always marked with peace.

Dear Lord, only You know my future and what is best for my life. Guide me by the power of Your Holy Spirit. I will not move forward until I have a complete sense of peace. Until then, give me the strength I need to wait on You, In Jesus Name, amen.

Related Resources:

Visit Micca Campbell’s blog

Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes

Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer

Application Steps:

God has a distinct plan for your life. He is involved and working for your best. If you have a decision to make, seek God’s counsel. He will guide you by His peace. If you are not experiencing peace, do not move ahead. God will show you the way, and it will be marked by peace.

True, sometimes we have to step out in faith – but the risk will be accompanied by a peace that passes understanding if God is in it.

Reflections:

Have you ever had a lack of peace but moved forward anyway? What was the outcome?

What does it mean to you that God never calls “game over” when you’ve stepped out of bounds?

How can you utilize the help of your heavenly Referee?

Power Verses:

Luke 1:79, “to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace." (NIV)

John 16:13, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (NIV)

Isaiah 58:11, “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (NIV)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Letdown

Well after yesterday's post, they did not test Jonah and Noah. I don't know if they just don't do it anymore, or if they forgot. They probably just don't do it anymore. Which I'm thankful for...I mean, if they don't know everything, they will, right? After all, what is school for??? I get frustrated b/c all these teachers want your kids to know everything from their names (first and last), how to spell and write them, their phone numbers and address, and the alphabet lower and upper case, the sounds each letter makes, and numbers. Counting and reading them. Come on!!


O.K. I'm finished. But, registration went great! The boys are so excited to start school!!! Even Jonah! Thanks to my lovely friend who is praying for me (I love you if you're reading this!)! She's been banging on heaven's doors on my behalf. They all got a Dragon t-shirt, and Jonah hasn't taken it off yet. I think he thinks he'll get to wear it everyday! Hey, if it makes him happy about school, I'll let him! We all saw people we knew...the boys (especially Graham) went around talking to everyone (can we say future politician???), but THEN we saw our most favorite of all, the beloved Phyllis Gaines. The gym teacher. It's so sweet the way she's so into all of them, she was genuinely glad to see them and hugged them so tight. It just about made me cry. I think Graham's teacher from last year may have been offended b/c Ms. Gaines was sitting right next to her when Graham ran up to her. She thought he was coming to see her, but he ran to Ms. Gaines and threw himself into her arms. Ooops. =)

I spent an enormous amount of money at the school then went and spent an enormous amount of money in Kroger. We were out of everything. Now I'm home and listening to the boys playing (fighting) with my friends' kids, who are with us a few hours today, then all day Thursday. And I'm sitting her thinking of how I can tell them I can't keep them anymore. She's a teacher, so when she has to work on a day when they're out, I keep them. But just today, they have fought CONSTANTLY and Cody has cried, literally every ten minutes. And whined. And destroyed Graham's tower. And then lied to me. Pray for me people, here comes their dad. Ask for guidance.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Countdown to School

Tomorrow is registration. After that, there are only six precious days left of summer. I am excited about the rest of their time, though. Tomorrow and Thursday, we're having friends over and swimming. Wednesday is a normal day...we'll be at our church in the morning, and again that night. And Friday, we're going to the awesome water park in Paragould, Arkansas!!! We are the MOST excited about that!!!

I have talked to the little ones about registration, and how a teacher will take them into a room for 5-10 minutes and ask them a bunch of questions. I have told them that they had better not cry! I know I'm expecting a lot when I say this, but I have to have hope, right?? Seriously, though, I don't expect tears tomorrow. I'm more concerned about their answers. For those of you who don't know this story, here's an old one. When Graham was being tested, the teacher asked him, "Where is your heel?" And he said, "I don't know, but if you'll let me use your cell phone, I can call my dad and ask." Those teacher NEVER looked at Graham the same. That was the day he won them over. Apparently that story got around to every teacher, assistant and staff person in the entire school. Which is quite impressive.

Before you ask, yes I did tell Jonah and Noah where their heels were...and no, they did not know. Neither did Drew. Drew won them over too, just not in an obvious way. He won them with his happiness. That child is always smiling when he's at school...he NEVER gets in a bad mood there. It's amazing, actually! That's why I don't mind getting calls from the health room about him. If he's sick, he just wants me to bring him some medicine, and he usually wants to go back to class. There was one time when I actually had to check him out last year. Not bad in 36 (? Is that right??) weeks of school. Now, if I get a phone call from Graham, he always has to talk to me, and it takes him a good 5 minutes just to calm down. Yes, we're working on the drama. Even as I write this.

Bless my husband's heart, y'all just don't know how good this man is. He is the treasurer of the P.T.A. As if it's not bad enough that he's the only man on the board (which the principals and teachers LOVE by the way), he has to sit in meetings for hours on end every month. And talk about BLING for cryin' out loud. Not kidding...just tonight, they were talking about what kind of t-shirts they were getting for the P.T.A. board, and when they turned to ask his opinion, he held up a regular Little Dragon t-shirt...the same ones I'll be buying for the boys. One lady, who shall remain nameless for those of you reading in this school district, actually said that she loved her bling from last year. I just laughed. This same lady wears high heels while working as a crossing guard. You gotta love her, though, she's hysterical. After tonight's meeting, he told me that those women get way off track. Imagine that...us getting chatty and getting off our original trail of thought!

Tomorrow when I take the boys up to register, Todd will be there. He actually has to be there all day. Every check that comes through must have 2 signatures, thus the reason for him being there. It would take HOURS to sign them all if wasn't there tomorrow. Plus, the more he's around, the more likely the principal will be to honor my request of Jonah's and Noah's teachers. Not really, but seeing his face is an excellent reminder!

Alright, well I'm going to bed soon. I had the kids in bed at nine tonight, to start adjusting back to their normal routines. And if I'm going to get up early in the morning, I must go to sleep soon. Otherwise, you can forget it. Too bad Todd's not working tomorrow, I would have actually been awake to fix him lunch for the FIRST TIME ALL SUMMER!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Awesome Weekend

I had to write this...I am so honored to have been able in the past to be a part of Beth Moore Bible studies. All of you know how much I love her, and God has truly blessed this woman with the gift of teaching. She is simply amazing...funny, pretty, crazy, and completely enthralling. She gets your attention from the very first word and hours later, still manages to keep you on the edge of your seat.

One thing I love more than her ability to write and teach is God's word. I love to read it, sing it, pray it, study it, and discuss it with other women of God. I absolutely love it. I have also been fortunate enough to attend one of her events; the first one being last year's Deeper Still in Nashville. This weekend was our 2nd annual Beth Moore conference, and I can honestly say, it's becoming a tradition. Last year while in Nashville, I roomed with an awesome gal, Christa. We were friends before, but truly bonded on that trip. It's hard not to bond to the person you worship with. This year I attended a conference at my church home, via simulcast, along with 70+ thousand women across the country!!! World, really, since Canada, Mexico and Guatemala were participating, as well. You cannot tell me that we did not honor God this weekend. I am positive that His face was shining towards us as we sang His praise, and studied His word.

The other fun part about the weekend, was that Christa and I had a sleepover!!! I know we're in town, but Todd took the boys to Uncle Bob's farm last night, and I had no reason to come home. She's house sitting for some people in our church, and I totally invited myself to stay with her last night. After the conference was over, we went to Starbucks for frappucino's and headed back to the house with a couple other gals, Amy and Heather. We had so much fun!!!!!! We laughed and talked until close to midnight, and when they left, Christa and I pigged out. We ate and talked some more, and finally around 1 or so headed to bed. Where we talked some more. I fell asleep sometime around 3, then woke up at 6 to be dressed and back at church by 7. It's a wonder I'm even awake right now! I did fall asleep at my mom's house tonight, though, so I had a little catnap!

I received a word from God this weekend! I am now a woman of substance, and I am competently competent in God's word! She gave this great illustration on how we should place our hands over our hearts and claim God's word for us. No one, not even the enemy himself, can take that away from us. And he tries, and I know that I myself have let him get away with that in the past. His word is my treasure, and it's the one thing that I can count on for wisdom and guidance in this short time I have on earth. I want His word so deeply embedded in me, that I can perfectly recall certain scripture for certain times. I don't want to just read His word, I want to soak it in, revel in it, study it deeper. God has placed within me a yearning for something...and that something is just to go deeper with Him. I am ready for the next level, whatever that is. I got confirmation for that in a couple different ways today, but I'm not sure what that means. I do know that I CANNOT WAIT until our next Bible study starts!!! I'm contemplating starting one since the lady that used to lead it is no longer here. Not sure about that, though, so you can pray for me if you would like. I don't want to step out of God's will. I want His timing and His guidance. So,we'll see how that goes. Until then, I am lovin me some JESUS, and I praise His name!! All glory and honor be to Him, who is worthy of my highest praise!!!