Friday, July 31, 2009

Favorite Picture Friday

Since I have officially hit the road Jack, I thought I would post a short but sweet new thing. I copied my friend Kim. Her blog is Twice Blessed...you can get to it from mine.

Here is my favorite picture for this Friday. Enjoy. And love to all. And hi ho paint, let's get where we ain't.


Freaky Twin Aliens is what I like to call this one.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Book Review # 6

My summer is almost ending, and I have enjoyed many wonderful books this summer. One that I have started is Blue Like Play Dough, by Tricia Goyer.

Blue Like Play Dough, by Tricia Goyer

In the everyday stretch and squeeze of motherhood, Tricia Goyer often feels smooshed by the demands of life. In Blue Like Play Dough, she shares her unlikely journey from rebellious, pregnant teen to busy wife and mom with big dreams of her own. As her story unfolds, Tricia realizes that God has more in store for her than she has ever imagined possible.

Sure, life is messy and beset by doubts. But God keeps showing up in the most unlikely places–in a bowl of carrot soup, the umpteenth reading of Goodnight Moon, a woe-is me teen drama, or play dough in the hands of a child.

In Tricia’s transparent account, you’ll find understanding, laughter, and strength for your own story. And in the daily push and pull, you’ll learn to recognizes the loving hands of God at work in your life… and know He has something beautiful in mind.

Tricia Goyer is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Generation NeXt Parenting and the Gold Medallion finalist Life Interrupted. Goyer writes for publications such as Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family, speaks to women’s groups nationwide and has been a presenter at the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) national convention. She and her husband, John, live with their family in Montana.

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Do any of you bloggy peeps want to join me in Blogging For Books? If you are interested, please click here.

Love to all and happy reading!!

Funny Saying

We were driving down Appling Road in Cordova, and Drew was checking out the scenery going by. We got to Bellevue Baptist Church {which is, in fact, a mega church} with the 3 white crosses in front and Drew asked, "Mom, is that cross in the middle the one that Jesus was nailed to?" In all sincerity, with a straight face. I told him that, no, it was not. That cross was no longer there, and it was at a place near Jerusalem called Galgotha. THEN HE ASKED, "Did Pappaw and Grandma Sandy get to see it?" I laughed, because at first I thought he meant that because of their age. But then I realized he meant it because they went to Jerusalem last March. Funny. Kids and all that.

And no, I still haven't packed. Apparently, I work better under the last minute kind of pressure. I also do NOT procrastinate.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Whatcha Doin'?

We're just hanging out. Not doing much. I'm on this horribly addictive thing called the computer, 2 of my kids are on the other one, I have one upstairs playing something either on the Wii or the PS2, and I am watching iCarly while I write this.

We just got home from Costco. I love me some Costco! I think I said that yesterday, didn't I? I had to buy snacks for the road and while we were there, we ate lunch. Yum. I might have gotten some churros, too. Have you ever had one of those things?? Holy cow, they are delicious. They're these long pieces of bread with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top. Yummy. The best part is that they didn't eat them all, so we'll have them as a snack later.

So our fun thing for the day was when Drew chipped his tooth. All the kid was doing was eating pizza. I don't know if he bit down too hard or if there was something hard on the pizza {it was cheese, so I doubt it} or what, but he got this horrible look on his face all of a sudden. Then he almost started crying. Just because it scared him. But he's fine now. It's a baby tooth, and even if I took him to the dentist, there's nothing he would be able to do. So. He's getting used to the weird feeling.

I wrote this post not to tell you about the amazingly exciting day we've had, but to share another blog with you. Go here and read all about Stellan. This family needs some serious prayer. I also pray for another little boy named Gavin, he's the one in the picture along the top right. Gavin needs prayer right now, too. Just in case you're reading this and need something to do. These little boys need a miracle three days ago.

For those of us with children that are perfectly healthy, we need to thank the Lord. Because I cannot imagine having to face what these families are going through. Love to all of you today, and say a prayer of thanksgiving for all God has blessed us with.

Ephesians 3:14~21 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as God's people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Why I Love Rainy Days

I seriously do love them. Rainy days, that is. They're great for sleeping late, for sitting and doodling on the computer for hours on end, for an excuse not to get dressed until time to leave, and for organizing the tornado closet!!! My husband is SOOO going to fall in love with me all over again because of this.

He is the one who always has to go search through that closet for something or other, and every time he opens the door, he gets really mad and starts grumbling. I'm probably making him sound bad, but it is seriously the one room in the entire house that he ABSOLUTELY hates. With a passion. So today, I cleaned it out. Not because of him grumbling, because even though he may do that, he would never in a million kajillion years ask me to clean out that closet. He knows I would bite his head off if he asked me. I have really been meaning to do it forever, and I just never seem to have the time. Today I did. It was amazing. I am so happy right now. I want to do my entire house, but I know that if I attempt to do that, I will get overwhelmed and not finish.

So, we've got this great closet under the stairs {hence the "tornado closet"} that I fell in love with the minute I first saw this house. It's huge. Which is why it gets so messy. Anyway, there are shelves on one wall, and a coat rack on the other wall. And loads of space in between. Remember this post? In all that glorious space was just a pile of junk. Including 2 beanbags that belong to the boys. I'm not sure where the other 2 are. I hung up all the coats that just got thrown in there, I threw away a whole garbage can full of stuff...and NOT the indoor kind of garbage can. I mean the garbage cans that belong to the city of Collierville. Yup. I had that much junk and paperwork from the school year. Ridiculous, I tell you.

Since I got rid of all that junk, that cleared off all the shelves. Now 1 shelf is designated for extra school supplies, and the other shelves are all for the million and four games that we own. Since I put all that onto the shelves, it cleared off the floor. And now???? The only thing on the floor are the 2 beanbags and the sparkling, clean carpet.

I love me some clean closets, y'all. My hubby is going to be shocked that he can even see that clean carpet. It was all I can do, since he's having the worst day he's had in a long time. He's moving out of his GINORMOUS warehouse today. And tomorrow. But today has not been good. The guys they had scheduled to help had a scheduling conflict, so they weren't there. It's also been raining on and off all day. They haven't done all the things they wanted to for today.

So. I have 30 minutes to sit and enjoy doing nothing. I have to get dressed then, and leave to go to the choirpractor. And yes, I'm still misspelling it on purpose. After that we're going to eat Pei Wei at church, then it's VBS again! Fun times! I really am loving the VBS thing...it's fun doing registration b/c you get to see everybody, and the kids are having a blast.

Love to all! Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'll Let You Guess...




Girlfriend Fun


these lovely ladies.



And I cannot wait.

Good Mornting

It was a phenomenal weekend. Again. It always seems like they all are nowadays. My only complaint is the speed in which they pass.

Friday night we went to my dad's house and hung out while the kids played and fished. Saturday night, one of our friends turned 40 and we went to The Butcher Shop downtown to celebrate with them. It was a lot of fun. It was great to have a night out without the kids since that never happens! It's funny because every time we have a night alone, we always end up at Walmart. Saturday night was no exception.

Last year we went out one night before school started and bought all their school supplies. Saturday night we didn't do that, although I wish we had. I have to do that sometime this week. It's either this week or the Saturday before school starts, and most of you know me and shopping on Saturdays. Bad combination. I hate shopping.

Other things on the agenda for this week are laundry, keeping my house clean {because I will NOT come home to a dirty house!}, sorting clothes, packing, getting things organized and ready for our trip! I am beside myself with excitement!! I cannot wait for Friday!

Until then we have a busy week. Our church has family VBS this week, and I'm working all 4 nights. I also have to squeeze in 3 chiropractor appointments, finalize all of our plans for our trip, and manage to keep my 4 kids entertained and happy all week. Because who wants 4 fighting kids on such a busy week? Today their friend Aaron is here, so they're good for today. Who knows what the other days may bring?

Well. I need to get off this thing and get started. I have phone calls to make and laundry waiting on me. I hope your Monday is blessed, and if you're reading this and are local to Memphis, bring the family to our VBS tonight! There's a family conference for the adults, too! It all starts at 6:30 tonight through Wednesday night. Hope to see some of you there. Love to all!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Trial


I love this picture, too. I posted it a while back, so you may remember it.
I just figured out how to make the images on my blog appear larger.
For all you peeps that have eye problems.
Like myself.
So I thought I would test it.
You may now continue to your regularly scheduled programs.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Night

This was taken at my dad's house tonight. Is this not heaven to some young men, or what? Graham was driving the little kids on my dad's John Deere riding mower.

My sweet little animal lover, Noah. When the other boys were playing football, he was doing this. This is Scooter, my dad's and Sandy's newest addition. One of four.



I don't think this needs any other words. But I am blessed. Truly, truly blessed.

Calm Before The Storm?

I'm enjoying these last few days of not doing much. Next week, that is all going to be changing. Our church's vacation Bible school is Sunday night through Wednesday night of this next week. I agreed to head up registration this year since my friend who did it last year will be out of town. I'm not really sure why I agreed to this...I could be getting things ready for us to leave for vacation on Friday.

Speaking of that...I am so excited! We got our reservations made last night for the stop on the way to Tampa, and all day yesterday I studied maps of Disney World. I found all the cheapest {NOT CHEAP, BUT THE cheapEST} places to eat and I made a list of where the restaurants are located {like in Tomorrow Land or Adventure Land}. I did the same thing with rides. Because we have one day, we will not be able to hit everything, but I'm confident that we will get to do a lot and still have a blast. We'll at least TRY to hit the highlights of the park.

I'm grateful that Debi invited us to stay with her...her persistence is what pushed us to go. So thanks, Deb. This is the perfect ending to our amazing summer.

Speaking of summer, who in the world would believe that it's been like fall here all week? I don't want to seem like I'm complaining, but it's kind of been a bummer. Travis and Katie's pool has been almost to the freezing point {not really, but at 79 degrees, it sure did feel like it!}, and the kids have not been able to swim. It had just gotten to the point of feeling really good, too. Oh well, at least starting today it's warming back up. Hopefully we can spend some time having fun in the sun next week. When I'm not frantically getting things ready for our trip, that is.

We will be lost today without my dad being here. All of you {most of you} know that he spends every Friday with us. Not today, though. We're going over to his house tonight for a picnic outside, and so the kiddos can run around and play. He has to do yard work today to get ready for that tonight. Even the boys are bummed. So we don't have a lot to do today. We're going to my chiropractor this morning...because my back is KILLING ME again, and well, it's the 3rd time this week...we're going to buy a birthday card for Sandy and Grandma Rena, and we may go eat somewhere. May. I'm not sure about that one yet. The boys could eat CiCi's pizza everyday of their lives, and I'm sure at some point, will beg me to take them there.

Well, I need to go get a second cup of coffee. My first cup is out. So. Hope you all have a wonderfully blessed Friday!!! Love to all!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Enjoying It While It Lasts

There is something so blissful about the kiddos sleeping in late. One day this week, Graham slept in until 12:30. I think it was Monday. We'd had a busy weekend, and they'd been up really late every night. This is one of the best things about summer to me. I have no schedule, no time limits, nothing. So if they want to sleep late, so be it. It's nice to have peace and quiet in the early morning hours.

I wish I was better about how I spend that time. Sometimes I am really disciplined, and don't do anything until I have my devotion, prayer, and Bible reading time with the Lord. Some mornings, like this one, I get on the computer the minute I wake up. :( I know that I am not supposed to do that...and no one tells me I can't, I just make these "deals" with myself. And my number one "deal" is that before I do anything, I spend quiet time before the Lord.

I somehow got sidetracked~imagine that. That's getting easier and easier for me nowadays. Anyway, I was saying that I love this feeling of relaxation that summer brings. All too soon {only 2 more weeks left of summer vacay}, this will be a fond memory. And the monotony will start again. Well, not really, because there is NEVER monotony working in an elementary school. I definitely learned that over the course of the last year. I have to be ready to "go go go" the second I get there, I need to be 100% willing to fill in wherever I am needed {because my job is NEVER the only job I have~I have to do lots of other jobs, too!}, and I have to put on my happy face for the almost 900 students who see me that day. It's not always easy~hellurrrr, remember last year???~but I do love it. I am also VERY excited to be going back this year.

So you can see why I love the laziness of summer. It's bliss. I am someone who is VERY structured and VERY organized. Except during the months of June and July. Then I get to be the fun mom who lets everything go. My kids probably like me a lot more in these 2 months, come to think of it. I am so obsessed about time, and how we spend all the time we have~which is not much during the school year months. I need to work on that...my obsession with time. I definitely need to learn to let some of that go, and just enjoy the time that God has given us! I think that will be what I work toward this year.

This summer has taught me a lot. Things like I don't have to have a perfect house, or gourmet meals for my family every day~because they love the simple things~, I don't have to be supermom...I can let go of all that and just have fun. I don't do it nearly as often as I should.

So, maybe, come to think of it, I am not dreading the beginning of the school year so bad now. It sounds like I will be busy remembering my new goal, and enjoying the satisfaction it will give me when I achieve it.

Is there anything you want to challenge yourself with as we start this school year? I love new beginnings, and this is what the new school year represents to me. I encourage you each to find something to work toward this year.

I hope you all have an amazing day! Love to all!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To My Gorgeous, Fabulous Sista Debi

Okay. I seriously had to do another post, because Debi was the only one who responded to my earlier post. She is crazy. CrAzY. I tell you no lies, peeps, if you want to check out her crazy Madea~quotin' self, go on over to her blog, GirlzAsoulSista. Click on the title of her blog to read about her. Put the SHUT to the UP, as she says, and just go.

Okay, since she wins the prize {which is our presence in her house for 3 fun filled nights, starting NEXT Saturday!}, here we go. These are her questions, my answers. Happy Reading.

1~Do you want more kids and when? H to the N. She'll get that. I am done. Finis. No MoRe. Seriously, I've always said that if money were NOT an issue, I probably would have had more. I do love the little things. I was created to be a mom.

2~How do I read when it's so loud in my house? Debi, you think my kids are loud??? I do read...not so much when the kids are around though. Unless it's a Karen Kingsbury that I can't put down. Or a Robin Jones Gunn. I love me some Christ~lovin' fiction. I read mainly at night. When Todd's watching something I don't like, in bed, in the bathtub...it's my escape from this crazy reality I call my life. You should try it. It's great.

3~What is my dream job? Being either in some kind of full time ministry, or writing. I love to write. Duh. Hence this blog which I have posted on THREE~COUNT THEM 1~2~3~TIMES TODAY. Is that a record? Do I get a prize? How about a pedi? Or a mani? Or a dye job to cover the ends of my hair that my friend thought I'd just had highlighted?? I could go for that.

4~Do I think I'm {Debi} crazy for going to law school at my age~~like how I left that off of here, Deb?? No!!!!! I soooooo do not think that is crazy! More power to you, girlfriend, if that is your dream, GO FOR IT!! You would make an amazing attorney!!! Is that a polite way of saying that you like to argue??? Hmmm...

5~Would you talk about me to the other sistas behind my back if I did? Okay, at this point, I have to stop for an admission here. I was taking a drink of coffee when I read that part, and I spewed it out my nose. SeRiOuSlY. Had to wipe off the desk. Luckily none landed on the computer in front of me. And no, Todd, I was not on the laptop. Debi, I do not talk about my sistas behind their back. Except maybe if her hair is bad and it needs a little fixin'. But that's okay. Kidding! I would encourage you to go...not discourage it!

6~Do you have any childhood memories with me? This part makes me sad. I don't have many. I do remember always wanting to be around you and Lisa. I have a vivid memory of spilling a very expensive bottle of makeup onto your dresser. Or maybe I just remember Mom telling me about it. I remember loving to hear you sing, and you being the life of the party. I remember you being in the Memphis State pageant, and getting beaten only by the girl, Kelly {WHAT WAS HER LAST NAME?????}, who went on to be Ms. Tennessee, then Ms. America. Yup, folks, you heard right, my sister is that gorgeous. I remember you winning the Ms. Congeniality award...and yes, people, my sister was also the ORIGINAL Ms. Congeniality. You'd'a made Sandra Bullock proud. I remember idolizing you~I wanted to be EXACTLY like you. I don't remember much quality time, though. I was either too young to remember, then you were away at college, then you moved to the Sunshine State. Like I said, that part makes me sad.

This post was fun...I hope you thought so too. I would LOVE to be whisked away!!! I would absolutely LURVE it!!! I cannot wait to come see you! We're all so excited...thanks for the invite! This is the perfect way for us to end our summer. Did I mention that we'll come back home on Friday {we'll arrive home on Friday b/c though we're leaving you on Wed. morning, we're going to spend Wed. day and night with Paul, then head home on Thursday}, the boys will be leaving on Saturday for an all day canoe trip to the Buffaloe River {yikes!}, church on Sunday~actually, that probably won't happen. We'll probably play hookie and invite ourselves to Travis and Katie's for one last swim and cook out party before school starts. Then school will start on Monday. Holy cow. I may need to pray and ask God to give me strength! I will need a vacay from the vacay! Love to you, Dembra. Muah.

oNe MoRe ThInG

I got this idea from my bloggy friend, Dawn. You can click on her name to see her blog. She's fantabulous.

Anyway, she did this on her blog, and I am copying the idea. Hope you don't mind, Dawn.

If there is anything you would like to ask me, or talk about...post your comments and I will answer anything you ask, or discuss anything you want to talk about.

Just for fun...since you all read about me...I'd love to get to know YOU. You could also give some advice, maybe on something that worked great for your large family. Share a recipe. Tell a story. Give your testimony. You can tell me about you, or you can ask me about me. I'm open. Be creative, and have fun!!

WhY...

WhY...
am I watching Hannah Montana when I am the only one in my living room?
is it when I have 6 kids, none fight, but when it's my 4, they do?
can't I ever like my hair? Just once, in 32 years would be nice.
am I never satisfied with the polish on my toes and feel the need to redo them every week?
is it that EVERY SINGLE TIME I play a game with my kids, they beat me?
am I hideously uncomfortable at the center of attention?
do I think I never have enough books?
am I such a neat freak?
can't I make myself paint the living room? I have been wanting it done forever.
can't Todd and I agree on a simple color to paint said room?
can I return an email do quickly but not a telephone call?

Hmmm, good things to ponder.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

HaPpY tUeSdAy

Praise God, for the first time in six days, I am almost pain free in my back. For someone who has a high pain tolerance {hello, pregnancy of twins and c~section}, my back hurt so bad. I know I've had lots of people praying for me, and thanks to that {and Jason Coleman}, I am almost pain free.

Debi, like I said, we are NOT getting out of Disney. Especially now. Speaking of that, the boys are getting more excited. Now that the date is drawing near. They were excited before, but now they're counting down. Fun times ahead!!

We're not doing much of anything today. It is only supposed to get up to 80 degrees today {hallelujah!}, and we found out yesterday that Travis and Katie's pool is waaaaaaay too cold. It was 79 degrees in the water. And only 81 {or close to that} outside. Seriously. I'll be spending my day with Mr. Maytag.

The boys all have friends coming over today~DC and his little sister, Hannah. They're spending tonight with us. I am going to Mom's Night Out with the moms in my church, and am sharing tonight. Sharing what? Hmmmm, come and find out.

I have a favor to ask of all of you who are reading this...what do you think of my new background? Can you see all of it ok? Or do you not see enough polka dots? Let me know what you think...I may be changing it again. It's ok on my computer, but this is a wide screen laptop and it may look a lot different on yours. Thanks! Love to all!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills~where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD watches over you~the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm~he will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Friday, July 17, 2009

UpDaTe On My BaCk

For anyone who is interested...and in case you need something to pray for...I got the results back from the chiro {choirpractor, as Drew says} this morning. In my lower back, in between the discs in my spine, all the gel~like stuff is gone. That stuff {for lack of a better word} is the cushion that your spine needs. Because mine is gone, it's basically bone rubbing against bone. My hip is significantly lower on one one side {which is why one of my legs is 2 inches shorter than the other one}, and it's all twisted around. I'm walking around twisted. I knew I was messed up. I also have an issue in my neck {which I have NO pain whatsoever there, thank You, Jesus}. I am almost at phase 2 of arthritis in my neck.

The good news? All of this can be corrected by the incredible choirpractor {I misspelled it on purpose you proof reading people, PHYLLIS} Jason Coleman. No he is not paying me to plug him here. Hmmm. Maybe he should. It will take lots of time, so I will be getting to know him 3 times a week indefinitely. Once the pain subsides, and he said it would go away quickly, he will start me on physical therapy to strengthen my abdominal muscles. They've grown weak b/c of the hip thing~when I use them too much it is painful, so I don't use them. Yikes. Can we say weight gain??? Anyway. After some time, he will also start me on massage therapy. Oh shoot. The things I must endure. BRING IT ON. Love me some message therapy.

I must follow doctor's orders. :) Seriously, though, God is good. I was scared that he was going to say the s------ word. Surgery. Praise God, Jason can do all this himself. For anyone that is not convinced that choirpractors are a good thing~trust me. They are. I say that anytime someone can treat your symptoms and fix the problem without medication...that is DEFINITELY fantastic. I will not be on any medication. Except for the 1000 mg of ibuprofen that I'm taking until the pain goes away. Because if I don't take that much...I can't take a good breath. And yes, that is perfectly alright, I have checked.

So. That's all. I'm ready for lunch now. I'm starving!!! Hongry, as my beautiful friend, Christa, says. Speaking of her....we went and blessed the church staff with our presence. I AM KIDDING, I PROMISE...the boys LOVE going there and getting candy from anyone who gives it away. Pastor Lindberg, Fred, Dianne...and they got cherry cola, too. Well, I gotta run....Dad's here!!!

Happy Friday

It's been a great week. Except for the one teeny tiny little thing with my back. But other than that, it's been great. My back is really hurt...I went to see an AMAZING chiropractor yesterday {Dr. Jason Coleman} and though he was unable to adjust me, he tested my spine in all the other areas. He couldn't adjust me because my lower back muscles are really inflamed. He instructed me to put ice on it every other hour in 20 minute segments. He said it's definitely a disc issue. It could have been there for years and the pain just suddenly hit. He took lots of xrays and this morning I'm going back to talk about those xrays and the treatment plans. This all just happened Wednesday afternoon, by the way. It got really bad yesterday though, and every time I moved even a little, it took my breath completely away.

Anyway. I celebrated my friend Christa's birthday with her and 4 other girls last night. We had a blast. We ate at Jim's Grille out here in Collierville, then went to Starbucks and a movie afterward. Only 3 of us went to the movie, though, Christa, Amy and myself. We got in for FREE! All 3 of us! I LOVE free. It was a very pleasant surprise!! It was loads of fun. Christa is turning 28 on Sunday, and she invited all of her closest friends to come celebrate with her last night. Fun! We're seeing her today too, because the boys picked her out a little something they want to give her.

So today my plans are chiropractor, lunch with Daddy, and swimming. Maybe. The boys asked if Pappaw would want to swim with us, and I'm not sure if he would or not, but we can watch them swim. It rained a LOT the past 2 days, and the water just may be freezing. Or close to it. That doesn't bother the boys, but it does me. I can only stand it if it's above 81 degrees.

I came across this Scripture yesterday and wanted to share it.

Nehemiah 9:6 You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

Isaiah 45:5 God, I praise You because You are the LORD, and there is no other; apart from You there is no God.


Well, I need to get off this thing and go wake the boys up. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday! Remember my challenge to go to church this weekend...and get plugged in!! We have lots of things for families going on at our church right now. Tonight we're having game night for the families at First. Fun times, people. Get involved!!! Love to all.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Book Review # 5

Julie Lyons was working as a crime reporter when she followed a hunch into the South Dallas ghetto. She wasn’t hunting drug dealers, but drug addicts who had been supernaturally healed of their addictions. Was there a church in the most violent part of the city that prayed for addicts and got results?

At The Body of Christ Assembly, a rundown church on an out-of-the-way street, Lyons found the story she was looking for. The minister welcomed criminals, prostitutes, and street people–anyone who needed God. He prayed for the sick, the addicted, and the demon-possessed, and people were supernaturally healed.

Lyons’s story landed on the front page of the Dallas Times Herald. But she got much more than just a great story, she found an unlikely spiritual home. Though the parishioners at The Body of Christ Assembly are black and Pentecostal, and Lyons is white and from a traditional church background, she embraced their spirituality–that of “the Holy Ghost and fire.”

It’s all here in Holy Roller–the stories of people desperate for God’s help. And the actions of a God who doesn’t forget the people who need His power.

Cover art:

Holy Roller

Author Bio

Julie Lyons is an award-winning writer, editor and investigative reporter who for more than 11 years served as editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer, an alternative weekly newspaper owned by Village Voice Media. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a B.A. in English from Seattle Pacific University. She and her husband, Larry Lyons Jr., live in Dallas with their son.

Thunderstorms

I think at one time in my life, I considered thunderstorms to be relaxing. Especially in the middle of the night. They just seemed to make me fall into a deeper sleep. And the daytime kind~those were great too, because I need an excuse to stay in my pajamas all day every once in a while. I used to do that all the time, especially when Jonah and Noah were not in school, but now...well, I just think it's lazy, and laziness is like idleness, and I don't like that either.

So back to the thunderstorms. I used to think that. But then I had Graham. He has NEVER enjoyed thunderstorms, and since he was born, they would wake him up. Add to that mixture Drew when he came along, who needs to know exactly how long the storm is going to last, and which way it's moving, and is it going to produce a tornado? Jonah and Noah will not be brought into this equation~they have slept right through storms their entire lives, God love their little hearts. And speaking of God~He knew that by the time they were born~I could NOT fit one more child into my bed.

Anyway. I keep getting side tracked. You're about to see why. The storm started in the wee hours of this morning, and into my room marched Graham. He scares the daylights out of me~he'll just stand beside my bed and stare at me. That totally creeps me out. I woke up, because I could just feel that penetrating stare, and he asked if he could lay on my floor beside Andy the WonderDog. To which I said, of course. Why did he even wake me up for that??

Just when I was starting to doze back off, Drew walked in. And he lays practically on top of poor Andy. Then he realized he didn't have enough room, so he crawled into bed with me and Todd. Todd just loves when they do this, by the way. Well, my night {oh, wait, it's morning isn't it?} of sleep was officially over at that point. Because Drew likes to snuggle.

I should have just gotten up at 5 am when all this occurred. I probably could have gotten more rest on the couch in the living room. But I didn't. Instead, I chose to sleep on the remaining 4 inches of space I had in my own bed, twisted at an odd angle, which made my already sore back even more sore. It's gonna be a fun day.

Actually, it is, if I can stay awake through it. I am celebrating one of my best friends' birthday with her and a group of other girls tonight!!! Dinner and a movie are great, but add to that friends, and well, it's even better! I hope you all have a fantabulous day~and may God grant you the peace to stay in your jammies all day. Love to all!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cheering Stones

Have you ever had such an amazing thing happen that you felt like you would burst if you didn't share it with someone? Maybe the news of a baby on the way, or an engagement, or a job interview that went well, to name a few?

This is what I feel like with my faith. I love Jesus more than anyone or anything else in my entire life. I believe that He alone can fill a spot in my heart that no one else, or nothing else, can. I love Him more and more each day. Sometimes His love for me so overwhelms me, that all I can do is sit and cry and whisper, "Thank You, thank You, thank You", over and over and over.

I was reading in Luke this morning. I was so engrossed in these parables that before I knew it, 2 hours had gone by. I cannot wait to type out the words I read that thrilled me so.

Luke 19:28~40

~~Jesus' Triumphal Entry~~

After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. 29 As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. 30 "Go into that village over there," he told them. "As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, 'Why are you untying that colt?' just say, 'The Lord needs it.'" 32 So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33 And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, "Why are you untying that colt?" 34 And the disciples simply replied, "The Lord needs it." 35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on. 36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. 38 "Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!" 39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, "Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!" 40 He replied, "If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!"


That is EXACTLY what I feel like. I know that there are real problems in today's world. I know that there is uncertainty, illness and things much greater, but I also know that the GREAT I AM is bigger than each one of those needs.

Faith is such a simple thing. Jesus instructs us to have faith like a child. What is faith like a child? Faith, simply defined by Webster's dictionary is, belief and trust in and loyalty to God, firm belief in something for which there is no proof. And your faith in God can change your life and your circumstances. God does NOT make bad things happen to us. But He sure does give us tests and trials. James 1:2~4 says, 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 cannot sit by and say nothing. If I did, I would burst into cheers, just like those stones that Jesus is talking about. Can you just imagine? All you have to do is cast all your worries and your cares upon Him, just like 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to do. Surrender them to Him today, I promise you that nothing is too small for Him to care about. His word also tells us that if He even cares for the birds of the air, how much greater is His love for us {Matthew 6:26}?

What are you facing today? What do you need to give to Him today? I urge you to just try it~you will be amazed by His love and His care for you.

And if you are wondering what the Scriptures in Luke had to do with all this~the answer is not a thing. Those words just perfectly captured my love for my Savior and the feelings that I often experience about Him. I felt led to share them with you so you would know exactly where I come from when I write about my love for Him.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

R U Ready?

Living Proof Live Rio Rancho NM from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.



Beth Moore & her worship team & Living Proof Ministries are coming to Memphis, TN at the FedEx Forum October 9th and 10th!! I am ready, are YOU?

A New Thing

I am overwhelmed by the amount of love I was shown yesterday over my mom. I posted the same thing {basically} on my facebook status yesterday, and was so thankful over all who were praying.

We spent the whole afternoon at the doctor's office yesterday. They really didn't give her any definitive answer as to what was going on. They did some blood work, and a cardio score {?} before she left, and she should know something by today. They found a blockage on the right side of her heart...they tested it further with that last cardio test she underwent before she left. Please keep praying as she waits for the results.

We're having a lazy day today. I do need to get up here shortly and do some laundry and clean/vacuum, but after that, we're headed to the pool. We didn't swim yesterday, and the boys are ready for some water action. Me too.

Exciting stuff, huh? Such is my life. I hope you all have a great day. Love to all.

Isaiah 43:19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

I am claiming this verse over you all today.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Just 1 Little Thing...

I don't have a lot of time, so this is going to be really short today. I am taking my mom to the doctor today. She has had some issues going on for quite some time now, and a new thing just came up on Friday~she keeps on getting really dizzy. So. I am taking her to the doctor today at 1:15. I would really appreciate it if you all would say a prayer for her this morning. She is very nervous, and needs some of that all~surpassing peace that can only come from God. I know that no matter what, she is in His hands.

Thank you so much...it's great having praying friends...whether you're reading this on my blog, or via my blog on FaceBook. I appreciate and love you all dearly. I'll update later.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thankfulness

We had the best weekend. EVER. Really. My family was home, and we spent the entire weekend hanging out with the awesome friends God has so blessed us with. I could not ask for anything more.

Tonight at church, during our family communion and prayer time, I was so completely overwhelmed with so many things, one of which is God's faithfulness. This morning in Sunday school, I heard a comment that I really like. It was basically that if you live your life in a way that pleases our Lord and Savior, you live under the umbrella of His blessings. Take from that what you want...I'm taking that to mean what I think it says.

Todd and I have waited our whole married life to have a group of good, solid friends. We have found them. Perhaps they've always been there, it's just been us who hasn't been available. I know that things get in the way of church~life, sickness, stress, busyness, but I want to encourage each one of you with this; if you find a local, Bible~believing church and faithfully attend and GET INVOLVED, you will be so blessed.

I'm not saying that you're going to Hell for not going to church...not at all. Church just helps us along the path to Heaven. Friends who are upright and steady, and encouragement and prayer for the taking are just 2 very small examples of what you can gain from going.

Not only church~consider Sunday night church. It is so different from Sunday morning church. I always {somewhat} joke around and say that Sunday nights are when the faithfuls show up. I don't mean to step on toes, here. It's just that if you could have been in attendance during tonight's service...you would understand. The praise and worship is different, the prayer is better...we always go up front to pray...the preaching style is different, and lately, communion has been offered during the night service. I love it, too, because Pastor makes it family communion.

Aren't those words just beautiful? I think so. Tonight was amazing. There is something so intimate about singing, praising next to all your closest friends. And Sunday nights are the perfect time to hang out after church~we have a group of friends that we go out with some Sunday nights for our Sunday Taco Nights at the local Taco Bell.

My best friends are the ones that I attend church with. If this post only gives you one thing tonight~let it be the consideration of attending church faithfully. And by faithfully, I mean Sunday morning. Sunday night. Wednesday night. Don't just go, friends. Go, and get involved. If I say one thing without fail, it is that~find "your" area in your church, and serve with your whole heart. Don't just go and get, get, get. Sometimes it is good to be the giver.

Please think about it this week. And if you are reading this, and don't have a church that you attend {and if you're local to me}, consider "trying out" our church. It may not be for you. But it just may. Come, and see if you can be blessed. If this is you~please contact me either on here, on facebook, email, or by phone, and let me know if you want to come to my church. Just try it. You just might be blessed, I promise.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mr. Paul & His Yummy Homegrown Veggies

Repost: In loving memory of the amazing Mr. Paul McKenzie, who once told me that my boys inspired him to be a better person.  Well, he inspired the same of me.  May he rest in peace.

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We have lots of amazing neighbors, it's no joke. One of them is Mr. Paul, and I am dedicating this to him. A couple of months ago he saw the boys playing outside and invited them to come help him plant veggies in his vegetable garden in his back yard. I will tell you that this man is quite rough looking {bald, long beard, rides a Harley, tatoos}, and I don't know him at all. Needless to say, I was skeptical. Graham came to ask if it was okay, and I had to call Todd before I could answer him. I know. Shame on me. He answered me with an enthusiastic, "Yes!", so off they went.


About an hour later, they came home with all kinds of stories about how nice Mr. Paul was, and they told me all about his rules. Which were: never play in his yard, never go into his yard without first asking our permission, and when they do go in his yard always leave the gate wide open.

Mr. Paul came down a couple weeks lat
er and told us all these things himself, and thanked us for letting him have the opportunity to instill the appreciation of homegrown vegetables in them. He also thanked us for trusting him enough with them to let them go down to his house, because of the way he looks, well he doesn't make friends easily. I know. I got the message: NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER. So today when Graham, Drew and I got home, Mr. Paul had invited them back down to pick their veggies. And this is what they came home with. YUMMY. I've already tasted!

He also sent them home with these beautiful hydrangeas. I love these things...I grew up calling them pom~poms, but the flower is one and the same. These are the ones that you can change the color by sticking a rusty nail in the ground beside the base of the bush. They all came home bearing these beauties, and they were all instructed {by Mr. Paul} to tell me they loved me.


See? I told you I'd already tasted. I immediately cut these little jewels up, because who doesn't love bell peppers with ranch dip??? I do, and we're sharing our bounty with our friends at their house tonight. Yum! I thought they were beautiful, and thought about saving them for the presentation, but we're not going to be here, we'll be at their house. They're still pretty, though.

I made Drew come and taste a tomato. Mr. Paul made them each try a cherry tomato {his house, his rules, right??}, but I wanted Drew to taste one the way I like it~fresh off the plant with a little salt on it. I am making myself hungry again. My lunch consisted of tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and grapes. Which was delicious. I am thinking about going and getting some more!

He loved it!!!

I forced myself to stop eating and save the rest for Todd. Which was about 2 slices. I had 3 for myself. Couldn't help it. Yum. {I wonder how many times I can say a version of that word during this?}



This was after they'd all been cleaned and wiped off. Aren't they beautiful? Mr. Paul, if you're reading this, thank you. I appreciate people like you. It's true that it takes more than a mom and dad to raise children, and it's people like YOU that we want helping us along our way.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

P.S. Mr. Paul also just happened to get the boys and their story and veggies in the Collierville Herald newspaper. The week that he came down to talk to Todd and me, he brought with him the 5 papers that he had bought to give to us to share with our family. Is that amazing, or what? Love to all of you today.

My Family Is Back!

I was so glad to see the other half of my family when I pulled up to the church yesterday. I didn't want to let go of any of them. It was wonderful. I knew they would be tired and would want to relax, so I invited ourselves over to Katie's and Travis' house for a swim and cookout. We provided all the food {since I invited us}, she provided company, the pool, and the grill. It was nice.

I am doing laundry all day today. It's a good thing I was caught up yesterday when they all came home, because they brought home some really dirty {smelly} clothes. I just threw them straight into the wash. I'm working on loads 1 and 2 right now, I have another 2 to finish today. Good times.

We're going to some friends' house tonight for a cookout and games. I am so excited...there's 3 of us families going {4 including the ones' who invited us}, and all the kids get along so good. Fun times!

Well, I'm going to run~I need to get a jump start on the mountain in my laundry room! Love to all!

Friday, July 10, 2009

10 Things I Love { & Miss} About My Man

1. His voice~it is way too quiet without him here
2. Sleeping beside him at night
3. The way we talk each other to sleep
4. His hugs
5. The way he makes me laugh
6. The sounds of him getting dressed in the morning
7. His good morning kiss & 'I love you'
8. Him telling me all about his day
9. The fact that I can call and bug him all I want during the day~but not so this week
10. Just him

Thursday, July 9, 2009

BoReDoM

Seriously. How bored should I be with 2 kids still hanging around? Three at this exact moment? Because Andy the friend is here. Not to be confused with Andy the SuperDog. Or is it WonderDog? I forget. Right now, he's Andy the DepressedDog, because his master is not here.

I have been walking around in a funk all day. I am bored. CrAzilY bored. Bored out of my ever loving mind. Jonah and Noah have been playing with their buddy all day, and I have been just sitting here. Because even the laundry is done. And bored. I will be so glad when my other 3 boys will be home.

I know they have had an amazing time, though. Today was bake the cake day at camp, where they just pour all the cake ingredients over all 800+ campers. Fun stuff. Flour. Water. Chocolate. Eggs. Good times, people, good times. This is the favored activity at Camp Jack.

So, I've had lots of times to just think. About what we're going to do this weekend, about school starting back {blah}, about lots and lots of things. I am going to watch Friends tonight. Christa came over last night to hang out with me and the little guys, and she loaned me Season 10 of Friends. So. That's what I'll be doing when the kiddos go to bed. They're ready to go to bed now, but we have to wait until 9:19 so we can see the space station pass over Collierville. Because it will be doing just that in a little less than 30 minutes.

Well, lest I bore you anymore, I am getting off this thing.

Home Sweet Home

We had a great time visiting with the Nashville {actually they live in Spring Hill} branch of the Goodwin family. It was good for Jonah and Noah~since Graham and Drew get to go to camp, Jonah and Noah needed something fun to do. We mainly just hung around their house, and my little guys were more than happy to be there and just get to play with Nathan. They don't remember ever going to his house before, so it was fun. We did swim one day for a little while, and Tracy and I got the chance to hang out, which we NEVER get to do. Fun times for everyone.

I seriously miss my husband and Graham and Drew. I know they're having a great time, though. We're swimming today and hanging out with friends. We're counting down the days until our REAL vacation. I am so excited. We are going to see my sister, Debi, in Tampa! We'll also be getting to see my brother, Paul, who lives in Orlando. And...speaking of Orlando...WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!! Whoop whoop!!!

I cannot wait. We're going to leave on Friday, July 30th and take 2 days to drive to Tampa. We'll be with Debi and her family on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. We'll do the Disney thing on that Monday, probably. The boys say that they're excited~and they are, especially about getting to stay with Debi and her family. They LOVE Austin and Nicole. But when we talk about the Magic Kingdom, they have absolutely NO comprehension of what to even expect. It is so huge, and more than they could ever imagine. I am so excited to see their faces the first time they see it. I cannot wait.

So, for now, we are home. And enjoying our time here. The boys have a friend coming over today, and we're going to just hang out and relax and swim. Sounds like the most perfect day ever. I hope you all have a fantabulous day doing whatever it is you do. Love to all.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TransformHer

I came across an amazing Bible verse this morning in my quiet time and wanted to share it.

2 Corinthians 3:18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. {New Living Translation}

Are those not the most beautiful words you have ever read? I love this verse...it reminded me of the movie, The Transformers. I want to be that...to make this my prayer...to be changed into His glorious image. I love the thought of that. I hope that people see my Jesus in me.

Well, I am not at home, I am in Nashville {Spring Hill} with my sister~in~love Tracy and her sweet kiddos. So, I am going to get off of here and go hang out with them and with Phyllis. Love to all!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Book Review #4

Hello, fellow readers! If you have missed my book reviews, then this post will not leave you disappointed.

Tonight I will be reviewing a fabulous, hot~off~the~shelf book entitled, The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn. It is beautifully written by Liz Johnson.

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Kidnapped~for her protection!

Myles Parsons is just another inmate in Kenzie Thorn's GED course...until his abduction plan succeeds. Terrified, Kenzie doesn't want to believe his explanation. That he's Myles Borden, FBI agent~placed under cover because someone wants her dead.

Now that Myles has got her out of harm's way, his plans start to fall apart. He attempts to take Kenzie to a safe house~but the stubborn woman won't go! He struggles to protect her even as she takes care of him. He tries to keep his distance...and finds himself falling in love.

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If you love a good romance/mystery that is tastefully written...this is the book for you. It's a Love Inspired book, which are all Christ~centered. It took me a grand total of 5 days to read this book~had I been alone or in silence, it probably would have taken a day or two.

I definitely recommend this book. Happy reading to you all!

For more information about this author, please go to www.lizjohnsonbooks.com.

Ministry

I keep on thinking of the verse Isaiah 58:10 about "spending yourself" that I posted a couple weeks ago. I love that one verse so much~the actual words are, "and if you spend yourselves on 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." {NIV translation.}

This month, Music Man gave us off the whole month of July. We are officially out for summer until August 12th, to be exact. I am jumping on the bandwagon to enjoy some things within our church that I normally wouldn't get to because of my commitment to choir. I plan on attending our Wednesday night women's group meetings, starting a new Bible study with them {that I am SO excited about, titled, "The New Eve"!}, and today I started by working in our kids' department. I am one that fully believes wherever your kids are, there you should be.

I asked if they needed help, which they did because the pastor and his wife were out of town, and ended up being blessed in return. I was able to stand behind all the kids~aged 6 to 12~and listen to and watch them worship. I was blessed beyond words. Ashley {the wonderful, amazing, superwoman Ashley who can sing and preach like there is NO tomorrow} is great with these kids. She chose kids to help "lead" in worship, then just opened up her heart to the Lord and sang to Him, leading these kids by example. She encouraged them to close their eyes and get one on one before God. And they did. I was crying by the time we'd sang the last song.

I thought the tears were dried until this precious little blind girl named Kerri stepped up and starting singing, "Who Am I", by Casting Crowns. She has the most beautiful, clear voice you have ever heard in a child that young. And she doesn't just sing, she worships Jesus in her own special way.

I was so thankful to have been able to be up there with these kids today. I was truly blessed, and my night became like my noonday. I loved witnessing my own boys up there in their own element. Graham was in charge of all things techno {computer monitors with verses of the day, lights, special effects} and Drew was in charge of sound. I love how they have seen their dad giving back~spending of himself~and how they are doing the exact same thing.

I encourage each of you to find a spot to minister in at your church. It is so much better to give than to receive, folks. There is always room for volunteers, whether it's greeting, being in choir, helping in the nursery, or in the sound/video booth, there is ALWAYS room for one more. And if you don't belong to a church, find another area...help an elderly person to their car with groceries, or if someone in the line at the grocery in front of you is short on money, give them the difference. God truly does bless those who bless others. Love to all of you today. In the sweet name of Jesus.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th!

We began our 4th of July celebration last night with some close friends, the Coleman's. We cooked out, played a new {to us} card game called Presidents and Losers {actually there's a different name, but I'm not gonna say it}, watched the fireworks in Collierville, then swam. Fun times. So yesterday as I was getting ready, I was taking pics, making these 2 cuties act like they love each other.


I was in the process of neatening things up around here {making the boys put up their toys}, when I went into to use the, ahem, facilities, and this is what I found.


And this. They had bought these little thingies {for lack of a better word, because what would YOU call them?} at CiCi's pizza yesterday. Thirty~four of them, to be exact. Yup. 34. Jonah and Noah decided that their little guys were hot and wanted to "swim". So. They swam. In my bathroom.


I asked them to please let them swim in the bathroom upstairs. Because I wouldn't want them to accidentally drown while our guests were here that night. Because you just never know.

This was my veggie tray. Nothing special, I just love my dish. And fresh veggies with yummy homemade ranch dip. Mmmm mmmm. Just screams "sUmMeR", doesn't it?


So we ate. And talked. And played cards. And watched the Ville's fireworks. And swam. And this is what we came home to at 1:30 am. DC couldn't hold his eyes open any longer. They all got out of the pool at midnight oh one {like that?} and we played cards over at Travis and Katie's. It was a grand time had by all.


God love little Noah. He couldn't stay up either.


And neither could these 2. Is this not the sweetest thing you have EVER seen? This is precious little Hannah. And Jonah. We decided that this would be the photo we showed on the big screen at their wedding rehearsal dinner. Just because. They are SO gonna get married someday. They even shared the same pillow!


Love to all of you today. May you have a blessed day with your family, your friends, and may you take the time to give thanks for this wonderful, FREE country that we are so blessed to live in.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Thursday

I cannot believe it is July 2nd. I am really not sure where all our summer has gone, but it seriously needs to slow down. I love 4th of July!!! I think {know} that my blood is red, white and blue. I am as patriotic as they come. Put a soldier in front of me, and I want to hug him/her. Give me a song with reenactments of certain historical scenes {Iwo Gima, 9-11}, and I cry so hard I can't even sing the song. And yes. If you saw Celebrate America at our church last weekend, I was crying. Trying my best to hold it together and mouth enough to at least look like I was singing. And trying to see Music Man through the haze of tears in my eyes.

I love America. God bless her. We think we have it bad in our economy now, but what about those poor third world countries that don't even have their own clean drinking water? Or the people in China that can't express their love for God? I am so thankful that we still have the freedom of speech. That we can attend church services and worship there together as a church family. That we can pray in public places. We are so fortunate to be able to have all those freedoms.

I am so looking forward to this weekend. We're cooking out with friends tomorrow night, then walking over to the park across the street to watch the fireworks. And maybe shoot off a few of our own. Poor Andy the SuperDog. We need to sedate him so he's not so nervous during the loud noise. You know that every single year at this time, it's DAYS before he'll go outside by himself. It's ridiculous. The big baby. If I didn't love him so much, I'd be mad at him. But it's impossible to stay mad at those huge puppy dog brown eyes. He can't help himself.

Anyway. I'm about to run an errand real quick. Todd just got home and I'm trying to convince him to take the boys swimming. And get in with them. I need some peace and quiet. We spent the night with Nana last night to keep her company while Big Daddy was in Little Rock, and I discovered that my kids even talk in their sleep. So some quiet would be GREAT. I hope you all enjoy your day, and if I don't post...Happy Independence Day! Love to all!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I Am Blessed

I've said it before, and I'll say it again and again. In today's world of change and uncertain futures, I feel very fortunate. I do think that I am in the minority~anyone who is reading this and has been married and are still happy is considered to be in that minority. When Todd and I got married 12 and a half years ago {13 on October 4th}, we were told by the pastor, and I use that term lightly, that we would never make it.

It's kinda funny me making that statement because today when I opened up my devotion, the main verse of the day was John 10:10 which says, " The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give a rich and satisfying life." Today's devo was titled "Ignoring The Hope Stealers". The story was along the same lines as mine~a girl graduated from college after being told in junior high that she would never make it because of low standardized test scores. Have you ever had a hope stealer?

Why do people say things like that? Of course you know that when someone says you'll never do something, or you'll never stay together, it instantly becomes a challenge, a competition to beat those odds. I don't understand why people say these kinds of things...even if you're thinking them, don't speak them out loud. I just want to shake them and say, "Didn't your mama teach you any better?!"

So yes, in light of those ill~spoken words, and in light of marriages crumbling all around me, I feel blessed. Marriage is not all sweet and sappy. It takes some serious work. Especially when you throw kids into the mix. It takes both partners giving 100% all the time.

I guess I'm writing all this because I have a dear friend who is on my mind today. She never expected to have a failed marriage, she married her best friend from childhood, for crying out loud. She is facing the end of that marriage today. It will be legally over in just a short while. She's still stunned {even though it may have been years in coming}, she's left with a 3 year old child, and she's having to start all over. So she's been on my mind. I've been praying for her all morning, just a quiet, "God give her strength for this moment. Even though weeping may last through tonight, give her that peace knowing that joy will come in the morning" kind of prayer.

Once again, I definitely do not deserve His blessings, but He has definitely blessed me. I am so rich in His love. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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...