Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Week In Review

In case you have been missing me, I am back. I can usually find something to write about, but not so for the last few days. That's why I've had weird posts the past few entries. I've also been very busy with family and friends, and who wants to sit in front of a computer when fun can be had with the humans you love most? Not that you all aren't humans, but you know what I'm saying, right?

Anyhow. My sister Debi flew in from Tampa to see my nephew Tyler graduate. Definitely a reason to celebrate, right? We didn't see her on Wednesday because they were all busy that day, and that night I had a LOOONNNGGG choir practice getting ready for Celebrate America.

Thursday morning, the little boys and I got dressed and went over and hung out over at Lisa's house for a while. {And let me warn you now: this post is full of names. Like Lisa. Debi. Trish. These wonderful and beautiful ladies are all my sisters. Just a little f.y.i.} She was busy listing a house, and Graham and Drew were out spending the night with D.C. so we had nothing else to do. We left, went and bought food necessities from the Walmart then came home. Jonah and Noah had a friend over and we swam. That night Debi, my other sister Trish and I went to see The Proposal. It was good. Not great, but good. A little disappointing for Sandra Bullock fans, but whatever.

Friday we ate lunch with my dad, came home and watched Hotel For Dogs {which was SO cute if you haven't seen it}. Not very interesting stuff, huh? It was hotter than Haiti outside and the boys didn't even want to swim. Gasp. That night was Beau's graduation and party. Saturday dawned way too early, because we stayed and partied till almost midnight. So that morning,we picked up Debi, she went and spoiled my kids at Target, then we came home and hung out here for the majority of the day. I had to have the boys back at church early for Celebrate America, and that's what we did for the rest of the weekend. Well, that and the video from McAllister's. Because what's a meal without a little rappin' to go with it?

We did go see some fireworks Sunday night at Bellevue Baptist Church. It's the biggest fireworks show I have EVER seen. Bigger and better than Collierville's, that's for sure. It was fun.

Yesterday I spent the morning putting my house back in order. The boys all helped me clean the upstairs and you'd be amazed at how much better it all looks. I have a couple of little boys that bring things downstairs and NEVER take them back upstairs. Ahem. Drew. Noah. Unfortunately, those are the 2 that lose everything and anything that's not tied down. Like little men. And wallets with $45 in it. But that's a whole other post. Today I am letting go of all that and focusing on the good.

That being said, I spent some great time in prayer last night and this morning. In reading my devotion this morning the main focus on this week is hope. I felt compelled to share about it because I know some of you who read this are going through some really hard times. Some of you are facing the lack of a job, some are facing health issues, upcoming surgeries, some of you may be facing infidelity within your marriage, some of you are facing issues with trust. I love this morning's verse: 2 Timothy 1:7 God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self~discipline.

He is there when things are good. He is there when things are bad. He is our strength, our rock. When everything else around us is unsure, He is one One sure thing. He never changes. He never fails. I know that me writing this and you experiencing what you're going through are 2 different things, but one thing I know about my God~He never does anything without a reason.

He may have taken you out of your workplace because you hated it. You might have felt like you were trapped and smothered in a job that you cared nothing about. Well I prayed specifically for YOU last night~and you know who you are because I talked to one of you yesterday~that God would bring a job across your path. One that you would love immensely, one that would challenge you and push you above and beyond what you ever though you were capable of doing. And I am confident He will do that. When? I have no idea, because God never does anything on our time. Maybe He's wanting you to use this time to grow closer to Him. When everything is pulled away from us, when we are stripped from all that we have~then and only then can we really know what faith is all about.

Any other reasons for feeling hopeless~He is there to carry you. He has carried me through my fair share of trials, and while I didn't rejoice in them then, I sure do now. James 1:1~4 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. I look back at what I used to be and I thank God for grabbing ahold of me and giving me a good shake. A wake up call. He uses situation and circumstances to grab our attention. So there is always a reason.

Rest assured that I pray for each one of you that reads this. Before I ever write a word, I pray over it. I always pray that God will drop something into my heart that will impression me to write out a certain verse. I hope that {along with a catch up on what we've been up to as a fam} this has brought you hope for today. Love to all.

One more verse: Philippians 4:4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again~rejoice! This morning's devotion brought that verse alive for me...it is saying to be full of joy in the Lord...not to be full of joy in our lives or circumstances, but in the Name of the Lord, to be full of joy. Because He alone gives it to us.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rapper In The Family?

How do I describe this? I can't. Words fail me. You'll see why. I will tell you that they were rapping the words {trying to?} "Throw your hands in some air for some mac." As in mac~n~cheese. You gotta love my sister, Debi. She is CrAzY!! She's also going back home to Tampa today. She'll be missed. She is the love of Jonah's life.


video

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lazy Days

I am uninspired to write, but I thought I'd list some things I love the most about the lazy days of Summer! Enjoy!


Staying up late to watch movies with my hubby
Sleeping late
Quiet time in the morning when all the kids are still sleeping
Letting the kids stay up extra late
Having NO schedule whatsoever
Buying the groceries to fill up my growing young men {because it's a feeding frenzy every 2 hours}
Having cookouts with Travis and Katie
Spending time with my girlfriends {because I do this more in the summer}
Letting all the boys invite friends over {because my Daddy told me to NEVER tell them no to friends}
Spending every single Friday with my Dad
Sunday night church~because the praise and prayer on Sunday nights is 100 times better then
Spending time with our couple friends
Swimming
Taking leisurely showers because it's a rarity in my house
The flowers on my back deck and front sidewalk
Baseball games {Redbirds and my boys' games}
Fireworks


What are some things YOU enjoy?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The New Supposed Blockbuster


The Transformers. Since this is my blog, and MY opinions, let me take a moment or 4 to voice mine. I cannot stand~~~REALLY REALLY HATE IT ACTUALLY~~~when they take what should be a KID movie and make it so bad and so risque that kids can't even see it. Don't get me wrong, I have lots of friends who are all probably going to take their kids to see it, and that may be ok for their kids, but I don't think we're going to.

Do they want to see this? Duh~they're boys, so of course they want to see it. Did they want to see Marley & Me? Yup. Did we take them? Or even watch the Netflix we received in the mail a few weeks ago with them? Nope. I was told that were scenes in it that were questionable. If I won't let them see a movie about a dog and its owner, I'm not going to let them see Transformers.

Would I go see it with my hubby? Yup. Especially if it's scary enough to make me want to cuddle up next to him. And if this movie looked like the one in this poster above, I would let them see it. But it doesn't. What do YOU think??

My Prayer

We had such an amazing time at Bible study last night. I am still doing the Beth Moore study, "Going Beyond Yourself...The Fruits of the Spirit". I've had to miss a couple meetings because of baseball {because I refuse to miss baseball!}, so I was glad to get to be there.

Anyway, the whole dvd was great...the fruit of the Spirit we talked about last night was "goodness". And the verses that spoke volumes to us all were these:

6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

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.

I especially love verse 10...."if you spend yourselves...then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday." That is so true. How have you ever spent yourself? And by that, I mean to pour yourself out onto....to serve....to minister to. It's really amazing how when you do that, God blesses you in return. Have you ever been fortunate enough to do this kind of work?

I love the feeling that you get afterwards...you really do feel taller, stronger....as if your frame has been strengthened. He does bless those who bless others.

Another thing that we talked about last night was our obsession with OURSELVES in these times that we live in. Something that struck me was that we can be self absorbed even in our walk with the Lord. How many times do we ask so much of Him? We ask for things from Him for ourselves, for our loved ones, for friends of friends...do we take enough time to ask Him what we can do for Him today? And I say we...because I am included in this.

So today I feel led to thank Him for all that He has done in my life, all the blessings He so richly pours out on me, and to ask Him what I can do for Him today. This is my new daily prayer. I pray that He will help me to search for opportunities to serve Him. I pray that I am as faithful to Him as He is to me. I pray that He will remind me...daily...that I should act like Jesus did while He walked the earth. I pray that I never judge, or hold back a blessing from someone. You never know what the power of your words do...they can truly make or break someone. I pray that mine reflect the Lord.

Care to join me?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Monday

Here we are just starting our 4th week of summer. But who's counting? We're having a good time, so far. Luckily, the boys are easy to please. If you give them water, they're happy. And we have lots and lots of water. That's what we're doing today, in fact. Swimming. And a little laundry to go with it. I probably should NOT be on the computer, I have so much laundry. It's shameful.

I hope we don't get bored this week. I've been trying to think of things to do, and I pretty much have our days planned out. Lots of swimming. We're going to the movies one day~this week at Summer Kids Fest {Tuesday and Wednesday}, they're showing Tales of Despereaux. Jonah says he's not going with us. He says he's going to work with Daddy that day. He hates movies. I hope Daddy is able to take him with him that day. Hint hint.

Tonight, Jonah and Noah are having friends spend the night. Because they have waited so patiently while Graham and Drew have had friends over. So it's their turn. I'm hoping that Graham and Drew will be invited to someone's house one day. We always seem to have the friends over here. Which is nice, but they like to go to other houses, too.

This weekend is our big Patriotic production at church, so I'll be up there a lot. Tomorrow night is our Bible study, and my sister Debi is coming home on Wednesday. Lots of fun things going on this week. And of course, my nephew Tyler is graduating Friday night. I just have to get us through the days, and we should be fine. Well, Drew is about to starve to death {not}, and my first load of laundry just finished. So. I'm off. Love to all.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

I am blessed, in many ways, but today I am thankful for the men God has given me. The ones of the Dad variety. I have always told people that I was so "special", that I required 2 sets of parents. Special is a good word, don't ya think?

Anyway. I am thankful for all the "dads" I have. The one I am most thankful for is the one that I see every single day. Without fail. The one I fall asleep next to and wake up beside every single day. The one my kids love, admire and respect. The one who is the Coach of their teams, the Counselor at their camp, the rower of the canoe on the canoe trips they take, the Hero they look up to. The one who leads by example. The King of Fair. Because, after all, he is married to the QUEEN of fair.

I am thankful that he is a total "hands on" dad, the kind that is not afraid to get in and get his hands dirty. I love that he takes the time to sit and explain to them the rules of the games that he likes to watch on tv. I love that they get stars in their eyes when he takes the time to have a "guy talk" with them. Because it's never too early.

As his wife, I love that he is such an amazing provider. I love that he can fix anything~even if it means him tearing our dryer down to the bare walls and repairing what was wrong, instead of me getting the new front loader that I so wanted. I love that he can talk me to sleep like no other. I love that he is the total opposite of lazy. He NEVER takes time just for himself, yet he is constantly urging me to go and hang out with the girls.

I love that he is so caring with everyone he comes across~he is the one that makes sure that everyone is always okay. He is the one that always does for his parents and mine. In all of his spare time. These are all the things I love the most about him. The best thing is that he is training his sons to do the exact same thing~to work wholeheartedly, to love and respect me, and to be little gentlemen. I would not want his job, but he does it like no one else can. He is amazing. I love him more and more everyday that I'm with him.

Except for the times he aggravates me. Like smearing his cold hand all over my bare arm at lunch today. And maybe the way he scares the daylights out of me every once in a while. One thing is sure~things are NEVER boring with him around at our house. Todd. I love you. And I do love you all the time~even when you aggravate me. It just means you still have a crush on me.

I Know What You Did Last Night

We had the best Friday night ever. Seriously. Trav and Katie invited us to swim/cook out, so we jumped on the offer. We swam in the yummy warm water {yes, warm, it was up to 86 degrees}, and played around till Katie came home from the gym. We swam for a long time before Travis fired up the grill. He made the best hamburgers. Or maybe they were so delicious b/c we'd been swimming for so long. Either way~yum.

We ate and the boys {all 6 of them b/c Todd and Travis are boys, too} swam again. In the dark. And talked. And competed. And laughed. And threw the lightweights around in the air. Katie and I sat and talked and listened {sang} to the radio. Fun times, people. It was the most wonderful, relaxing Friday night ever. Thank you, Trav and Katie, for being the world's greatest friends/neighbors. We love you.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Friday

John 1:1~5
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

John 1:14
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son.

John 1:16
From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.

John 16:33
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

For anyone who ever doubted God's presence in your life~it's there. Trust me. Though not seen or heard, He is there. His Word is just what it is proclaimed to be; the LIVING, BREATHING WORD OF GOD. Spoken of Him sometimes, and about Him at others. It is His book of instruction to us. Instruction on living, marriage, parenting~anything and everything. It's all right there.

I pray all the time that He will make me fall more in love with Him through His Word. I always pray and ask that He speak to me through it~and I've NEVER been let down. Sure it's not seen, not always heard, but is it there? Yes. Without fail, it's always there, always the same. Steadfast. Dependable. Loyal.

Looking for something to read? Open up a Bible and soak it all in. I love Psalm. I love to speak those back to Him in praise. I also love the Gospels~Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All the "ians" are great~1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians~they're all short {easy to read} and powerful.

Are you looking for a church to attend this weekend? Come to mine~you can click on the picture on the right side of my blog. It's a link that will take you directly to our church's website. Some amazing things have been happening every week. Come see what it's all about, and try to find "your spot" among it all. There is truly something for everyone.

Congratulations, Beau!!!

I am dedicating this post to my handsome nephew, Tyler Shea Yendrek, also lovingly known as "Beau". For fourteen very long years, he has endured school. And I say endure, because nothing in this handsome man's life ever came easy to him.

When everyone else would excel in a subject, he would struggle. He overcame every odd ever stacked against him {and trust me, there were many}, and he did it anyway. Or maybe in spite of. Either way, he is officially walking down the isle on Friday night, June 26th at 7:00.

I am so proud of this man. As his aunt, I can't believe he's even old enough to graduate. I remember the day Tyler {his mama almost named him Griffin Marshall, but I'm so glad Beau became "Beau"!} came into our lives. He literally burst into our family on MY birthday, December 14th. He changed us all forever. And after a while, I was more than happy to share my special day with him. Because I was young, people. Who wants to share their special day when they're 13? Or however old I was?

Tyler was the kid who made all the other kids laugh. He was the jokester, the class clown, the one that the teachers probably cringed to have. Until they got to know him. He also had the amazing ability to win over their hearts the second they truly got to know him. And most of them {all of them?} ended up loving him.

When he was five years old~maybe younger or older, I am unsure on the time frame~he looked exactly like McCauley Culkin. Remember the Home Alone kid? Tyler would put his hands on his little cheeks and scream just like the kid in the movie.

Tyler was "the one" who always had to do something really dumb when I babysat him, Jaret and Erika. My favorite story was the time when Erika came to the top of the stairs and yelled, "Aunt Jennifer!!! I smell gas!!!" I took off running up the stairs and discovered that something DID smell really bad. But it wasn't gas. It was Tyler in the bathroom with the door locked. I started banging on the door and screaming, "Tyler Shea Yendrek, open up this door NOW!!!!!" He finally did open the door and started bawling, all the while begging me not to tell his mommy and daddy.

What was he doing, you wonder? He was burning TOOTHBRUSHES in the bathroom sink, for goodness' sake. That kid. He was always pulling pranks like that. He was also the one who put a dead goose in his mother's brand new jacuzzi bathtub not too long after they'd moved into a new house. And yes, the goose was bloody.

Of course, while I write all this, I am flooded with hundreds of other memories, but I don't have room to write them all out. I am so proud of him. Tyler, if you read this, and I hope you do, I am so proud of you. We will all be there to cheer you on as you walk down the isle. And we don't care WHERE it is, or WHO it's with~you are you and THAT is who we know and care about and love. And we do. We love you so much and are so happy for you!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Power Of Friendship

1 Samuel 1:6~8 So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the LORD had kept her from having children. 7 Year after year it was the same~Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat. 8 "Why are you crying, Hannah?" Elkanah would ask. "Why aren't you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children. You have me~isn't that better than having ten sons?"

Ok, if you're like me, don't ya just want to smack Elkanah for being so insensitive?? I do. Anyway. Back to the story. Elkanah had two wives, Peninnah and Hannah. Peninnah had children, Hannah did not. And don't you just want to walk up to Peninnah and smack her, as well? Who needs women like that in their lives?

Praise the Lord, not all women are like this. I have had my share of friends over the years. Some from when I was a little girl {my childhood best friend Stacy Croft~who I still communicate with, by the way}, some from school, then church friends, high school friends, ones I met in college and lived with in the dorm, single friends, married friends, friends with no kids, friends with kids. Some of them are still around, some are not.

I have so many amazing friends. If I had to narrow it down to one best friend, I couldn't. In fact, I don't really think I've even HAD a best friend since high school. And looking back, I am not sure she was that great of a friend. I struggle with the term "best friend" because I always had a hard time narrowing it down to just one. All my friends are my best friends. I know there is usually just one that that term goes to, but for me, it's never just been one.

Even when I was a little girl, the best friend I mentioned above was not my only best friend. She was my best church friend, my other best friend was from school, and her name was Farrah Young. I didn't have Farrah in my life as long as I did Stacy, but she was there nonetheless. So what is the big deal about all this? Well, from someone who has always struggled making friends of the women variety {because of ridiculousness comments like the one above from people similar to Peninnah}, I've come to a startling conclusion.

It kind of all goes back to the fact that none of us are created alike. And while some of you reading this may truly have ONE best friend, more power to you. I am not that person. I have determined that God has brought many amazing women into my life for a very specific time or function.

Let me explain. If I'm hanging out with the kiddos, bored out of my mind and need to get out of the house, I call my friend Sunny. Even though she works now and it's harder to meet up with her and her kiddos. If I am really frustrated and had a bad day, I call my Mom. Because she is also my friend who listens to me the best. If I am not in the mood for other people's kids and want company, I call Phyllis. Because she is not only my mother~in~love, but a friend who is always up for company. If I have an unexpected night alone when Todd volunteers for the sheriff's department, I call my friend Christa. If I need to feel uplifted very quickly, I call my friend Sharon. One of the greatest friends I have ever had lives right next door to me. Katie is gentle, kind and a rock. She is inspiring to me. I am surrounded by amazing friends in church~our Sunday school class and choir are 2 perfect examples. These are the people we are surrounded by on our walk in life. They are there through the good and through the bad, slow to judge, quick to pray.

Our Pastor had a message several months ago on friendship. He gave us questions to ask ourselves, or with a friend, so we could evaluate our friendship. If I had them next to me I would write them out, but they're in my last finished journal somewhere upstairs. {And the kiddos are still asleep, so no way am I walking up those stairs.}

The questions were ones that made us step back and assess our friendship. Things like, will this person be there for me? In the good and the bad times? Is this friendship healthy? Do we pray for each other? Lift each other up, encourage one another? Is this friendship one~sided, or two~sided? Can we confront each other with an issue we may have and still be friends after? Could we gently admonish, if the need arose? Is God pleased with this friendship? What about what we talk about? Are our conversations pleasing to Him? What about what we do together? Do we glorify Him in all that we do? These are all things to seriously contemplate.

I am blessed to have many friends. And not just the facebook kind of friends, although some of them are on there, too. God has brought me many different women in my life, and I am thankful for each and every one of them. I hope that you have been blessed with the same kind of friends. Some of these women were a very long time in coming, but they were worth the wait.

***Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for these women I have mentioned and the ones that were not. You have truly given me some amazing friends in my life, and I am so thankful. May everything that we ever say or do together please You and glorify Your name. I love You, Lord, and I ask this in Your name. Amen.***

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A New Day

I love the freshness of a day. I love mornings. Even when we accidentally sleep late, like we did this morning. I was awoken by a room full of screaming boys. I don't know what in Sam Hill they were doing, but MAN they were loud. Todd slept late too. Oops. We were up until the wee hours of the morning laughing our heads off over my tongue~tied self. I love times like that. I couldn't have ever tried to be that funny, yet it was hilarious. Guess you had to be there.

Ok. So last night we had crazy weather again. Not as bad as Friday's "clean out the tornado closet" kind, but still. It was RIGHT before my show started. The Bachelorette. COME ON, crazy weather. It still recorded on my DVR, but when I went to watch it with Katie~Katie {btw, had a blast with you if you're reading this!}, all the little pixels were getting all scrunched up together. Thanks to our new DIGITAL television stations. Oh, analogue, where for art thou???

I felt like I was drunk watching tv. Seriously. I kept blinking my eyes repeatedly, hoping that would clear the problem. It didn't. Poor Katie said I had a better picture than she did, because she didn't wear her glasses. :( Can we have a re~do, ABC? Pretty please???

Anyway. On to bigger and better. We get to swim at Katie & Trav's today!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, both of you, if you're reading this. I'm so excited. We may freeze our posteriors off, but hey, we'll be in a pool. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I think they said it was a cool 80 degrees. Trav and his crazy self will swim when it's 78. If you're not sure what that feels like, think of something that once took your breath away. Over and over. And over and over. That's what it feels like. The good news is that's it going to be hot out, so it will be, um, refreshing.

Hopefully baseball will NOT get rained out tonight. My hubby is in charge since both the coach's teams are playing against each other. He's giving Graham a go at pitching. FINALLY. Poor kid has been promised all season that maybe the next game he could pitch. So Todd's in charge tonight and he's getting a shot! Woohoo! I love my hubby. He is SO the king of fair. Just like I am queen of fair. I guess we're a good match. :)

Well, I don't know about you, but I can't take much more of this excitement. I am going to run. And do some laundry. And straighten up some. And then get dressed. Well. Into the swimming suit, I mean. Yay! Happy Tuesday to you all!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

MoNdAy

Today has been very uneventful. We slept late. The kiddos had leftover pancakes for breakfast. Prepared them themselves, the cool little guys. Yup they did. Check my facebook status. It says just as much. We hung around, watched a show {or four}, Graham and Drew rearranged their room {again~thanks to the bottom bunk bed on wheels}, they played fort, cars, and just plain old had fun.

We roused ourselves up from our lazy state and got dressed to go to Costco. My most favorite~ist place eVeR. Seriously, I love me some Costco. The organization, the nice displays, the free samples of food {today it was SPAM~YuCk!}, I love it all. Today's list was SlimFast, fruit rollups and Healthy Choice fudgecicles. Notice a them there? Well, not the fruit rollups. Those are for the kids. When I told Noah we were going to Costco, he said, "Mom the last time we went, you said we'd get fruit rollups the next time we went. It's the next time." How could I refuse? Todd and I are going to start making a life change tomorrow. I refuse to say the D___ word. Because it's simply NOT in my vocabulary.

Forty is approaching {in 8 years, well 71/2} and I don't want to be 40 and unable to get rid of extra pounds. The older you get, the harder it gets. So. We're starting now. Well. Tomorrow. Wish us luck~and STRENGTH! I'll be good, but I don't know about that hubby of mine...haha, only kidding, honey! Thanks for doing it with me!

So now we've had dinner, and I was going to take the boys {plus 1 extra, their friend Matt is spending the night} to the sprinkler park, but it's pouring. Todd's game has been cancelled. :( The Bachelorette comes on in 20 minutes,so the satellite better get ahold of itself. I'm gonna be ticked if I miss a second. Obsessed? What's that?

Well, now I'm officially out of things to say. I thought I'd post and kill some time. Time for what? Um, I don't know. I'm just bored. The kids are upstairs playing, Todd's on the computer, so I thought I might as well do something too. But now I'm done. Au revoir.

Odd Sayings & Such

Noah: {When he woke up this morning} "Mom, look at me. I've growed." Because as he stood there, I saw that his pajama pants were too short. "Jonah's still shorter than me." :( Poor Jonah.

Drew: {On the way to church a week ago} "Dad, can I be your daughter the night that they have the Father/Daughter dinner downtown?" Because though they have Mother/Daughter, Father/Daughter events, all my sons are feeling a little left out. Ahem.

Jonah: "Good morning, Mommy. I love you." Happy sigh.

Graham: "I do NOT like her. I was just messing around." About a certain girl from church.

Out of the mouths of babes.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Our Fun & Fabulous Friday Night

Okay, so before I begin this post, let me just warn you that you are about to go where no blog post has gone before. I am warning you. This is me getting pretty comfortable with YOU and literally opening some very private doors of my home. In my house, if a door is shut, it needs to stay that way because of what could potentially be behind it. So. That said, I'll begin.

I had to clean out our "tornado closet" tonight. Because of the, um, possibly coming tornado. Hence the closet. I refuse to show you a picture of what all I had to pull OUT in order for THEM to get in there. And yes. That very large black object you see would be Andy the Wonderdog laying across my children. All 130 lbs of him. Big bad baby. He was seriously terrified. I have never seen him act like that before. So this was before the tears started.

And this very large, blurry object would be Andy the Wonderdog's partner in crime {or partner in being the most scared animal on the block}, Sambo the FatCat. Hiding. Because of the thunder. What is it with us and our animals? Can we have absolutely no sense of normalcy in our home??? Sambo should be also be known as the disappearing cat, because he can flatten his fat little body and slither up under our entertainment center. Tonight he opted to hide where the boys were. You know. In case he missed out on any fun.

This was where Andy was forced to go because of the flash that kept going off on my camera. Because he was scared of it. And I kept snapping away. Because I think in terms of this here post. Aren't you thrilled?? And this small pile next to Andy was a very minute portion of what had to come out of the tornado closet. The rest was behind me.

Hiding out, having fun. Noah, Jonah, Drew. Drew was scared. Poor thing. When the tornado sirens go off, he goes crazy. In a bad way.

Skippy, the somewhat normal cat. Checking to make sure she wasn't missing out on the fun.

Hanging out. In the hall. Still snapping pictures. Eating gummy worms. Entertaining the kiddos because at this point, they were becoming restless.

Like Mom, like son.

Now our third cat, Twinkles, is in there with the boys. Because they had her blanket. And where the blanket is, there Twinkle Toes is.

Graham. With Twinkles. About to fall asleep. Because he was too comfy. With the pillow and the blanket, who wouldn't be?


We ended our fun and fabulous night with a spontaneous trip to Dairy Queen. Because a very bad commercial came on that advertised the Brownie Batter Blizzard. And I suggested that we all take a drive and go get one to try it out. Todd, Graham and I all give it a thumbs up, by the way. Drew had a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard, and Jonah and Noah had grape arctics. Slushies, basically. All of it was yummy.

When we pulled up, we ran into the boys baseball coach, Ric. They were out there {the DQ is in Cordova, and we're in Collierville} because their power went out earlier, and they were bored, so they were going to his in~laws house. We didn't lose our power, thank the Lord. A good portion of Collierville is still without power. We drove around and saw all the storm damage. Lots of trees down, lots of limbs and debris, but we were okay.

Well, I will end this excitement. I don't think I can handle any more for the night. Todd's falling asleep to wrestling, so I'm gonna wake him up and get caught up on my show!!! The Bachelorette, in case you're curious. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend~take joy in the little moments. Be blessed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rain + No Plans -2 Kids = L.A.Z.Y.D.A.Y.

Catchy title, huh?? I thought so. This whole title thing is way overrated. I struggle with it. I can know what I am going to write, but the whole thing goes to pot without the right title. Not really, but I dislike coming up with them. Can that qualify as writer's block? Title block, maybe? Don't think so.

So, what's been up, you wonder? Not much. It's been a quiet week. I've played kid swap with a few friends. We swam yesterday. Thinking about going to a movie tomorrow. I don't know what I want to see more~Up or Night At The Museum 2. I loved the first Night At The Museum, but Up looks great, too. Such tough choices during these nice summer weeks.

I'm going to a movie with a girlfriend tonight. Woohoo. I LOVE going to movies. I'm pretty sure we're going to see Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. :) There is almost nothing that beats a $2 movie!!! We're going to go next week, too. During the summer at Malco theatres, they have kids summer movie fest and it only costs $2 a ticket on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:30. It is WAY TOO expensive to take a bunch of kids to a movie nowadays, so I appreciate any discounts!

Well, I hate to end this amazingly excited post, but I must. Laundry is calling. I will end it with something funny. Noah asked the magic 8 ball this morning if Noah was Mommy's favorite buddy. The 8 ball said yes. He looked at me and asked, "Is that true?!" I laughed and said that as much as I love him, he was not my favorite, I loved them all equally. Thought that was cute and wanted to share. Love to all!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Encouraging Words

Psalm 62:1 I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. 2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken. 5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. 7 My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. 8 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.

I did not make a mistake typing this out~David says the same thing twice. Verses 2 & 6 are the same. Have you ever been scared and repeated something that would calm you down over and over? I believe that is what David was doing in these verses. I can see him hiding in the wilderness repeating over and over, "He is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken." Powerful words.

I love that God meets us where we are. We don't have to be sitting in church for Him to hear our prayers. A few minutes before I read these verses, I'd been reading in Jonah, and how Jonah cried out to God from the belly of the whale. And God made that whale spit Jonah out. He hears us wherever we are. In the pit, in a pew at church, in the car driving, He even puts someone in our thoughts for us to pray for right then.

We serve such a gracious God. He is the perfect gentleman in my book. Strong, but gentle. His voice can make the ocean part, yet He is sometimes quiet. I have never heard Him audibly, but I have felt His presence time and time again. The same God who spoke the sun into being knows my every thought. The more I know Him, the more I love Him.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Legacy

This morning we got news that our dear friend, Rudy Rosales, was called home to be with the Lord. He was at church on Sunday with his trademark smile and "Good Morning!" as he walked into the choir room with the bulletins he always so lovingly passed out. Who knew that would be the last time we saw him this side of Heaven?

Heaven is a real place, my friends. I know that his family left behind is sad, but they also have hope that Rudy is in Heaven with his Maker. I know that they take comfort in knowing that he is reunited with his beloved wife. It just makes you think about your life. Are you absolutely certain, without a shadow of a doubt, that if you died tonight, you'd end up in Heaven?

God is almighty, all powerful, but He doesn't force us to love Him. He leaves that up to us. He is a jealous God, and He wants us to want Him. To know and love and serve Him with all our hearts. Of course, He loves us all, but just because HE loves US, doesn't guarantee our spot in eternity. In order for us to get there, we have to have Him in our hearts. We have to ask Him to come in, repent of our sins, and admit that we can't do life without Him. We give control of our life over to Him. We remember 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Who we represent. Going to church is great, but it doesn't mean anything if we live different lives out of church.

God is IN us. All of the time. He knows our thoughts before we know them. He knows the outcome of our lives before we were even a thought. I proclaim to be a Christian, and I am one {even when no one is watching}, and I know where I'd end up if I died tonight. I am not scared of death. I have a mansion waiting on me in Heaven when I get there.

Do you have that assurance? Do you need to pray and ask forgiveness for some of the things you do every day, or did last night, or have done in the past? Things that you know are sinful, but just can't seem to stop? Life is hard, friends. I pity the person that tries to do it without the Lord in their life. I have no worries in life~I have given them all to the Lord in prayer. Can I pray for you today? Will you pray? Think about it. This could be a matter of life...or death.

Happy Tuesday!

We were invited to a wedding Saturday afternoon. The wedding was nice. But the reception was gorgeous. It was downtown at the Peabody. Ooh la la. The boys were in heaven, because they've never seen a hotel that big. Think of The Tipton on Suite Life of Zack & Cody. They were like, "Wow!", when they saw it. I think it's safe to say that they were highly impressed.

However, when we walked into the dining room and saw this table {and 40 others just like it} I knew we were in trouble. Because we have some little jokesters for kids. And I was worried about keeping them quiet and entertained. Because this was not at all the 'get up and run around to your little heart's content' kind of reception.

The first thing Drew saw was the butter carved into little ducks. To which he immediately said, "Mom! When your butter your roll, be sure to cut it's head off!" He said it with such glee that I will admit, it bothered me a little. Just because.

Of course he thought his napkin looked just like a miniature little chef's hat. Because who needs a napkin when you can look like a chef? I couldn't resist this picture. I had to snap it. Because, ya know, I think in terms of my blog. And I figured I might as well call this post The Drew Show. God love him. He does keep us laughing, that's for sure.

He was seeing if the phone worked and gasped when he heard a dial tone. Luckily he didn't prank call anyone. I don't even think he knows what that is yet. And Aunt Debi, please don't teach him.

Okay, this one's of Graham too. And the infamous DC. Or the 3 Musketeers. Whatever. It was DC'S uncle that got married, so they had fun hanging out.

This is precious Hannah, DC's little sister. She was the flower girl in the wedding. Noah is enamored by her. He kept saying how pretty she looked. And yes, all 4 of my boys are girl crazy.

View from the rooftop! Todd and I used to come here all the time, so it was cool showing it to the boys. They loved it. They saw the ducks, too, but I forgot to get pictures.

Noah and Drew sitting on the wall of the rooftop. I will admit, this made my stomach drop. I am scared to death of heights, so the second I was done, I made them both get down. I had visions of the rail giving way behind them. Yikes.


And this wrapped up our fun night out.


I will also add that this is like the 4th wedding we've been invited to in about 2 months, so the boys are very edumacated about how to act during weddings. When Graham found out that we were going to this wedding, he said, "Why do all these people keep getting married??" I jus smiled. They've been to so many that they actually look forward to them now. And they sort of think that the bride is a superstar. When we saw Carri {the bride from Saturday}, Drew goes, "Mom! Look! Is that the bride???" No, Drew, that's not the bride. It's just a woman walking through the hotel wearing a wedding dress. My son. Lord, help me. I think I'll end this post on that note.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Book Review #3



Sisterchicks In Wooden Shoes

When a mammogram result comes back abnormal, midlife mama Summer Finley makes a snap decision to relegate fear to the back burner and fulfill a lifelong dream. Summer heads for Holland where she meets up with tulips, wooden shoes, and her best friend, Noelle.

Pen pals since fourth grade, Summer and Noelle have never met face-to-face. Through decades of heart-level correspondence, they have sustained a deep friendship. A week of adventure helps both women trade anxiety for a renewed and deeper trust in God. When Summer confides in Noelle about the abnormal medical report, Noelle finds the freedom to share a long-held heartache, and both women discover they needed each other more than they realized.

Women ages 35 and up, readers of Christian Boomer Lit, and fans of books such as The Yada Yada Prayer Group will enjoy Robin Jones Gunn’s humorous and uplifting style. True-to-life characters and moments of poignancy bring a deeper understanding of the value of life and the gift of true friends. Readers guide and bonus material included.

Author Bio:

Robin Jones Gunn is the best-selling and award-winning author of over seventy books, including the Glenbrooke, Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, Katie Weldon, and Christy and Todd: The College Years teen series. The Sisterchicks® series has sold more than 300,000 units, bringing her total sales to more than 3.5 million books worldwide. A Christy Award winner, Robin is a popular speaker, both at home and abroad, and is frequently interviewed on radio and on television. www.robingunn.com www.sisterchicks.com


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away

I'm bummed. The rain is going to cancel our games. I'm almost positive. I was so looking forward to sitting with family and cheering {yelling?} the boys on. All 3 of them. Todd. Graham. Drew. Those ones.

Today is lazy. The rain is forcing the kiddos to stay inside. Jonah and Noah went to Jackson's house. Which, by the way, I think Jonah has his first girlfriend. Jackson has a little sister {well, slightly younger I should say. Jackson is 6, Jordyn is 5.} whom he loves. When they spent the night over there Friday night, Jackson's dad took them on a walk to a restaurant on the town square called The Silver Caboose. Jackson's grandmother owns the restaurant, so Shea took them there to get ice cream. Jonah and Jordyn {come ON, how cute is that???} held hands the whole way there. However, Noah and Jordyn held hands on the way back. So we may have some sibling rivalry over sweet little Jordyn. :)

Anyway. Graham's {and Drew's} friend Cameron is over here. They're upstairs playing hide and seek. I pray they don't seek into one of my many picture frames hanging on the wall. The last time they played this inside, a couple of frames were broken. :(

They won't. They're good boys. A little girl crazy {ok, a LOT girl crazy}, but still good. I love listening to them talk.

It's a shame about baseball tonight. I think Todd may be more disappointed than Graham and Drew. He was really excited about the possibility of pitching the whole game again. Poor baby.

Well, since they're so occupied, I think I may rest my eyes for a bit. Because, I mean, it is summer. Right?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wednesday, Already?!

It's funny how during the school year, I'm like "Yay! Hump Day!", and now that school's out, I'm like, "What? It's Wednesday already??". {Was that too much punctuation for one sentence?} Blessed summer. I've shocked myself and gotten up early every day this week. I even had uninterrupted time. Uninterrupted time + quiet + little boys sleeping upstairs = good, no great, prayer time. Bliss. Sheer bliss.

So, you can safely assume that since I haven't been writing, I've been thrown into summer fun full throttle. It's been amazing. Monday we spent at the pool with Mimi, yesterday was a day at home {because we haven't been here since last Wednesday}, and today we volunteered at church and swam again. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we're going on a picnic with the illustrious Andi Miles, Jonah's kindergarten teacher. Is she amazing or what? She called Jonah last Thursday and said something like this: "Hi, this is Mrs. Miles, and this message is for Jonah Goodwin. Jonah, I love you and I missed you today. I had to go to work, and I was very sad because you were not there. I'm proud of you, and I miss you already. Tell your mom to call me, and very soon we'll go to the park and have a picnic lunch. Tell Mom I love her too." SERIOUSLY. Phyllis can testify because she was there and heard the whole thing. She is "precious and wonderful", just like she called her sweet little kindergartners every day.

So. I hope that happens. I will have one disappointed little {almost} first grader if it doesn't. We'll reschedule next week if we have to. Tomorrow night is baseball! I can't wait. I am praying the weather holds out on us. I cannot wait to see Todd pitch the whole game again, and I also can't wait for the Heat to rock their field. Again. =) Insert happy sound here.

It's been busy. It's been fun. We've laughed until we've cried, we've played, we've made memories {because when you have a kid like Drew who spreads eagle on a driveway, how can you not?}, we've had friends over 4 times {in 7 days, I might add}, and we've relaxed. I am thrilled that they're not stuck in front of the tv. In fact, yesterday was the first day they'd watched tv in the daytime and turned on the Wii and PS at all. It is blessed. It is wonderful. I love it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Morning Devotion

Psalm 139:1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You know what I'm going to say even before I say it, Lord. 5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! 7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there. If I go down to the grave, you are there. 9 If I ride the waves of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.

I take comfort in these verses. No matter what surrounds me, no matter what troubles I may face, no matter what the future holds for me, I know that my God is there to support me. Do you face anything daunting in your life? Are there health issues you have to contend with? Are these hard times for you and your family? Are you discouraged? Unsure of your future plans? Are you in a difficult place in your life right now? Worn out from all the going and doing you have to do on a daily basis? Not enough strength to take one more bad day? Take comfort in the above words. I also love Jeremiah 29:11, which states, "For I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

My God is my Comforter, my Strength, my Sustainer, my Refuge. He hides me in the shelter of His arms when I can't face what is going on around me. He gives me peace when I cannot find it anywhere in my life, He gives me patience when I ask for it. He is there for me every second of every minute of every hour of every day. He is there in the bad times, and He is there in the good. He is the Love of my life, my Prince of peace, my Everlasting God.

I pray that God will use these words to encourage anyone who needs encouraging today. I pray that as you read the above verses that He puts a desire deep in your heart to read and learn more of His word. I pray that you know Him today. He is there, waiting for you to reach out.

things that make me happy

Yesterday's post was long and detailed.  Today's will be short and sweet.  Here are some random things I've loved this week. I...