Wednesday, June 30, 2010

???

Do you ever feel like this?

Just wonderin'.  Sometimes I do. 

Like when all the questions JUST WON'T STOP.  Come ON, already. 

Sometimes I just want to say, "My motherly duties are exhausted.  I am closed for business until tomorrow.  And my hours of operation will be from noon to four.  After that, good luck." 

Do you ever feel like that??? 

Just wonderin'. 

G'night.

in my neck of the woods (thank you, Al Roker)

What have I been up to, you wonder?  Well, wonder no more.  I will catch you up.  Briefly, hopefully. 

We've been doing lots and lots of this.

(Playing in the water.)

I've been doing lots of this.

(Reading her books.  Among many, many others.)  If you haven't read her books, to change that, go HERE.  I very highly recommend all of her stuff.  She is amazing, and her books are called Life Changing Fiction. For a reason.

We've been hanging out with friends.  We've been going to church.  We've been active in our annual Celebrate America at our church.  We've sung.  We've danced.  We've played.  We've been going to see movies.  We've been memorizing Bible verses.  Last week was Psalm 19:14.  "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." 

This week it's Phillippians 4:13.  "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."

I already know that one, but I want my kids to know it.  Because in His power, we can do anything!

Last week, all of us went to see the Karate Kid.  It was awesome.  Very different from the original, but really good, all the same.  It made me realize how highly I think of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.  And their cute son. 

Last night, I went to a corks & canvas party that my friend, Jessie Hanks hosted.  She's the boys' art teacher at school, and I see why they love her so much.  And look what I did:

Cool, huh?  Little 'ol me.  Who would have thought?? 

It was so much fun to do this...so much so, that I'm thinking of starting a new hobby!  I need to buy some canvases and some more paint.  I already have ideas running around in my head.  :)  And I have lots of naked walls in my family room.

Then after the party last night, my best friend Mandy and I went and did this:

Oh yes, we did.  At the midnight showing.  And had a glorious time amidst all the teeny boppers.  One of them being her sweet daughter, Haley. 

So, that's about it.  We live exciting, on the edge of your seat lives, don't we??? 

I have no idea what today holds.  I slept in until all the arguing woke me up 9:30.  I got home at the wee hour of 2am and had a bit of trouble falling right to sleep.  So I might have read until around 3:15 or so.  Might have.  Because I'm like that. 

SEE ABOVE PICTURE OF TAKE 4 AND GO VISIT KAREN KINGSBURY'S WEBSITE.  I URGE YOU. 

Today's Wednesday, so it's a church night for us.  And another night of me getting to join the women's group!  Which makes my heart so happy.  Again. 

Well.  I need to go start laundry now.  And do some other wiferly and motherly duties. 

I hope your day is blessed.  Jesus and I love you. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

a flashback...

...from my first Living Proof Live event with Beth Moore, Travis Cottrell and the praise team.  This is what they opened up with in Nashville.  It was pitch black in the stadium...and then the lights came up to this song.  By the time they were finished, every woman in the place was standing with both hands raised.  God is good.  All the time.  Enjoy the music.

LPL St. Louis - Call To Worship from Kris Seidenkranz on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

when God speaks in the middle of bananas and bad moods

Yup.  You read it right.  My day started fine.  I don't know when it started to head South, but it did at some point.  I woke up, watched a little Today show, checked my email, got on facebook, caught up on other people's blogs, started laundry, cleaned the kitchen, made banana pudding...

and then I started hearing arguing from the upstairs direction.  Then tears.  From one of my children.  Then these words, "You're not gonna die.  You're not gonna die."  Spoken very unsympathetically, I might add. 

I called the perpetrators downstairs and we had a little come to Jesus meeting. 

Then I had another one with another perpetrator.

Then I had a come to Jesus meeting.  With Jesus.  In the kitchen.  In the middle of my bad mood.  In the middle of my spoken outloud prayer.  Sitting at my kitchen table.  With children going out, coming in, making their way up the stairs, sounding like a small herd of elephants. 

I pulled out my much loved, most treasured possession-my Bible-and started flipping through the book of Psalm.  And my eyes stopped on a devotional that was titled "Hope in the Middle of Despair". 

Not that I'm filled with despair, but my good morning was quickly going awry. 

So I read the devotional and saw that it went along with Psalm 42 and 43.  David was at his wits' end in this passage.  Filled with hopelessness and despair, trying to cast his eyes toward Heaven, desperate for a sign that God had not forgotten him. 

Not that I was like this today...because really, it was just a simple, unexplainable bad mood. 

But then...I had a revelation.  And it was that it was hard to be in a bad mood when my mouth was busy praising my Lord and Savior. 

EUREKA!!!!!

I felt like I had found the motherload!!!!  What a simple concept, right?  WRONG!!!

Why do we do what we DON'T want to do and don't do what we WANT to do??? 

Paul had it right in Romans' 7:15-20.  Take a look.

15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 

If this takes you a few times of reading through it to get it, don't feel bad.  I think I "got it" after try number 73.  Keep reading, by all means, keep reading it!!!

This all goes back to that simple concept...we have to take whatever moment we're living in and pray our way through it.  Whether it's a bad mood, a sickness, a difficult time, depression...GOD CAN AND WILL GET US THROUGH THOSE TIMES!

After I spent some time in prayer and in His word, these lyrics popped into my brain.  And yes, they popped right in there, because I always ask that the Lord will put a song of praise in my heart.  Because that's how I praise Him-through music.  Even though not everyone does, this is how I do it.  Anyway, here are the lyrics, you might remember it.

"As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after Thee.  You alone are my heart's desire, and I long to worship Thee!  For You alone are my strength, my shield.  To You alone may my spirit yield.  You alone are my heart's desire and I long to worship Thee."

That tied in with the scripture from the devotion I'd just read-Psalm 42. 

I went on to think of words of praise that I could say to Him.  These are what popped into my mind:

steadfast
strongtower
strength
shield
rock
fortress
deliverer
help
guide

And I thanked Him for being all of that to me.  He delivered me from my bad mood.  I know this might sound silly to some of you, but I am a simple girl, and I take pleasure in all these "little" things that He does for me!  And if these words help even ONE person to come to know Him and love Him like I do...well, then, I will continue to write about my love for Him until the day that I die. 

Here are the last verses that I read. 


Psalm 43:3&4  "Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You dwell.  Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight."

Hallelujah! 

I had to praise Him, y'all, I just HAD to.  It was bubbling forth.  And then I had to apologize to those above perpetrators that I mentioned.  Because even though they were wrong to do what they had done, I handled the situation badly.  I like for them to know that I am human and that I mess up lots.  And lots and lots and lots.  And then I had a talk with them about how when they felt their attitude slipping down towards the "bad" side, all they had to do was to pray their way through it.  And the Lord would guide them through those muddy waters. 

Praise Him.  Praise You, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.  I adore You. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Wednesday!

I am thoroughly enjoying our week.  It's been hot, but thanks to the best neighbors ever, we're able to spend our afternoons in the pool!  And working on my tan is always kinda nice.  I had one of those delicious mornings on Monday, where I woke up before anyone else and caught up on all the shows I dvr'd while we were in Iceland.  I watched tv for like, 3 or 4 hours.  Seriously.  When have you EVER known me to do that?!

It was amazing.  I even made kids go back upstairs if they came down.  Because every once in a while, a mom just needs time to herself.

We finally got up and moving (and before you think I'm completely lazy, I did fold laundry while I watched!  Multitasking is a good thing!), had devotion with our lunch, and headed to the pool.  Where I proceeded to...

are you ready for this???


...LAY OUT ON A RAFT WHILE MY KIDS PLAYED AROUND ME.

Hallelujah! 

My tan is coming along quite nicely.  :)  If I do say so, myself.

That night I had promised Noah and Jonah they could have a friend spend the night, so while I went to choir practice, they hung out with Garrett.  Todd had a game, and I had practice, so my sweet friend Heather said the little 2 could come hang out.  :)  I love good friends.  Graham, Drew and I went to play practice.  Drew's not in our 4th of July production this year, but he wanted to come hang out.

Yesterday we hung out with my mom all day.  She makes my heart all happy.  It's not often that we get to do this, so I (WE!) enjoyed every minute. 

Last night, Graham had sixth grade Bible study to go to, so while he was there, the other doodlebops and Todd and I went to the Walmart.  For some much-needed groceries.  Among other stuff.  Like doggy nail clippers.  And silly bandz.  And new sunglasses for moi, since mine broke in Iceland.  And maybe even some baseball cards.  Which were too much there, by the way.

We came home and put that up, went and picked up Graham, then let the kids play soccer for a bit.  Jonah ran into one of his friends, the cutie patootie Ben with an even cuter laugh, and he came back home with us.

My dad once told me to never tell them no to friends spending the night.  I do every once in a while.  Not so much in the summer.

Today we're doing more of the same.  With the added bonus of church tonight.  And I get to hang out with the women!  I love going to the women's group on Wednesday nights.  I don't get to often b/c of choir.  So, I'm excited.

I know this isn't the stuff that dreams are made of...but for me...it is just that.  I love every single second that God gives me with my family and my friends.  I am blessed to have such wonderful people in my life...and a collection of friends, the true ones, that would do anything for me if I needed.  I say "collection" because when you have something in a collection, you treasure it.  And I treasure my friends. 

I am always telling the boys that in order to HAVE a friend, you need to BE a friend.  I try my hardest practice that same advice.  Every single person I am close to in my life is a blessing from the Lord. 

I encourage you today, to think of someone you treasure in your life and tell them just that.  Why not write a letter?  If you're pressed for time or separated by distance, email is okay.  I like letters or cards...something tangible that I can pull back out or carry in my purse for an added dose of encouragement.  If you're blessed enough to have even ONE good friend, thank the Lord for them. 

"It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart."  Philippians 1:7

Hope your day is blessed.  :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

because I didn't do this on Father's day

I thought I'd take a moment and express my gratitude to a husband who not only is a wonderful husband, but just happens to be the best dad in the world.

I always thought I would marry a man just like my dad.  And when I first met Todd, I thought to myself, "He is so not like my dad!"  And he's not...not physically, anyway.  But that's where the differences end.

Todd is an attentive dad.  He always promised me that he would make the time for the boys.  That involves playing sports with them, coaching their teams, taking interest  in everything they do-things that meant a lot to him when he was a boy. Whatever that something was, and even if he wasn't interested in it at all-he promised to join them in the activities they chose.

He is every bit as capable as I am, and I know that is a huge blessing!  I've left him for weekends at a time, and especially for nights at a time, and I love that he maximizes that time and turns it into a dad/son fun night!

For instance, Saturday night, my sweet sister Trish and I had a "date" with our dad.  We went downtown to eat at the Spaghetti Warehouse, then we went on a carriage ride.  When I got home, Todd was outside on the front lawn playing ball with them.  He'd also taken them to CiCi's, which just so happens to be their most very favorite.  :)  When I balked at that, he just looked at me and said, "What?  It IS Father's day weekend."

That is what I love about him.

Among many other things.  I also love that he makes them respect me.  He won't stand for them yelling back, "YEAH???" when I call for them.  He has taught them to use manners...the good old fashioned Southern kind.  Another thing he's taught them is to be gentlemen.  He has taught them to hold the door open for me (and any other lady), as well.  I love that.

I tell him all the time how much I love him, and how much I appreciate him.  But even if he never reads this, I hope I express adequately just how blessed I am. 

If you ARE reading this-then I love you, honey.  You're the greatest.  :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

sticks and stones...

...really might break my bones, afterall.  Because of this fact, we started a new thing today. 

I'm picking a Bible verse each week for us to memorize and pick apart.  Today, we're learning about our words and how good they can be...or how hurtful they can be. 

This week's verse is very, very close to my heart.

Psalm 19:14  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. 

I wrote it out, and so did each of the boys.  We each read it out loud, then we talked about it.  We discussed our words, and our thoughts.  And how much God actually knows us...every little teensy, tiny detail.  Every word spoken, and every thought we have.

Then we tried to recite it from memory.  My heart leaped with joy when they recited it from memory back to me. 


I posted each index card on our fridge, so that each time we open its doors, we'll be drinking in God's word. 

I pray that this truth sinks deep into our hearts (mine, Graham's, Drew's, Jonah's and Noah's), and that the next time we want to retaliate with our words...that we'll stop and remember this verse. 

I pray that God's word lives and speaks through each of us. 

Oh, how I love Him. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm Home!!

There are so many things I would love to share about our trip to Iceland.  It's almost too much.  I've started writing it all out this morning, and it's already about 6 pages long!  And I'm only on day 3 of our trip in the journal!

I would love to tell you all about it...but I'm going to say it all in short little thoughts, all the things that God did this week.  Love to all.

HE...

provided traveling mercy
showed His faithfulness
gave us peace
gave us rest
gave us strength...not our own, but His
showed us His love through Mike and Sheila and the people of the Westman Islands
blessed us through a family we will NEVER forget
spoke to me through Amazing Grace being played on a trumpet at 2:30 in the morning
allowed me to feel His presence at that same exact time
opened my heart to follow His Holy Spirit
worked through my fears
showed me how being obedient is the best thing ever
spoke to me through a sweet, heartbroken lady through the same song, Amazing Grace
showed Himself to us through families who invited us into their homes and their hearts
gave me comfort when I was so far away from my kids
allowed us to form new friendships with the team from our church
proved to me how fortunate we are for a loving, supportive church family
blessed me in having my husband by me for our first missions trip (hopefully the first of more to come!)
blessed me beyond measure

There is so much more to share...but for now, this will have to do.  It's almost overwhelming.  As amazing a time we had, it's great to be home with my sweet kids.  I missed them so much that I physically hurt.  There is no place quite like home.  :) 


Saturday, June 5, 2010

3 days and counting

Till we fly off into the great blue yonder.  Is that a song?  It should be. 

Todd and I were talking last night about our upcoming trip, and whether or not we were excited.  And of course, we are excited...but it hasn't really hit yet.  We're leaving the country.  For 8 whole days.  Not only are we leaving the country, we're leaving the country and will not be easily accessible. 

Holy cow. 

It's kinda scary for a mom who hasn't been without her kids for more than a night or two in six years. 

So.  That's where I'm at.  Dreading the goodbyes.  Although I do feel better that the kids won't be riding to the airport with us.  Because you all know how much of a cry baby I can be...especially when the people in my presence cry in front of me.  It's like I've got this rule that says that they are not allowed to cry alone!  I join right in with them.  And there would be teary goodbyes at the airport.  We're leaving home at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning to meet the Iceland team at our church at 6.  So we're going to say our goodbyes Monday night.  Mom is spending the night with us and Trish will be here at some point on Tuesday to begin her duties as their week-long Mom.  :)

I sure do hope she's ready!

We're spending practically the whole day at church tomorrow.  I have to be there at 8:30 for praise team practice.  We're going out to lunch with the Iceland team after church, then going back to church for one final meeting from 2:00-3:30.  Choir practice is at 4:30.  Praise team practice at 5.  Church starts at 6 and we're getting commissioned to go. 

!!!!!

I really am getting excited.  This is a dream come true for me.  One of my favorite hobbies is traveling, and the fact that we're traveling to Europe???  Shut your mouth.

Oh, and about that, technically Iceland is neither Europe nor North America.  Click HERE to find out more.

We've decided against taking the laptop with us.  Where we're going to be is not internet accessible.  Even to talk to our kids is going to be quite the feat.  With the 5 hour time difference, and the texting first, and then the actual phone call...whew.  It makes me tired just thinking about it. 

So, I will have to journal (yikes, with actual PEN & PAPER?!?!), and then hopefully blog about it when I get home. 

And download the hundreds (thousands?) of pictures to the computer.  To share with my peeps.  :)

Well.  That's all for now.  I'm going to go make another big dent in the book I'm reading and head to bed.  Tomorrow is coming bright and early and I need my beauty rest.  LOL. 

G'night.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

iPad adoption fundraiser for the Goodwins

My dear sweet bloggy peeps,

Have you been wanting one of those cool iPad's? Do you have kids in your home that you're thankful for?? Are you thankful that God has made your cup overflow with blessings?

Well. My brother and sister-in-law, Tim and Tracy Goodwin, are in the process of adding to their family. If you are able to do one of two things, I would greatly appreciate it. One, above all is to pray for this family. They have Nathan who is 7 and Joseph (who grew in their hearts instead of Tracy's tummy) who is 4. They are so thankful for those 2 blessings that God has given them.

God has laid it on their hearts to adopt again. This brings me to favor #2. Will you consider donating to help them along the way? For every $10 that you donate, your name will get entered into a chance to win an iPad.

If you are able, will you help? Their home is not complete yet...and it would be an honor if you could help to make it happen.

Click on the website below and see how to get started.

Thanks, and love to all. God bless. Oh...and go love on your kiddos tonight.

iPad adoption fundraiser for the Goodwins

it's funny how when school's out...I don't mind Thursdays

Isn't that funny?  I only dislike them when school is in session.  Hmmmmm.  Just something to sit and think about.

We've had a busy, water-free day.  Drew's not feeling good, so I took him to the doctor.  He has swimmer's ear.  :(  While we were there, I had him check the other boys' ears and mine (since I'm about to spend a LOT of time on a plane), and found out we're all fine and dandy.  Except Drew.  Poor thing.  He has a wick in his ear...it's soaked in a steroid antibiotic ear drop and needs to stay in for a few days.  He's kinda miserable.  We need to invest in some really good ear plugs. 

So we decided to stay out of the water today.  We had lunch with my mom at Steak-n-Shake.  YUMMY.  Then we came back to The Ville and went to Target. 

*Insert big, happy sigh here.*

I love that store.  Seriously. 

We got Drew's prescription for a steroid ear drop filled, then we shopped a little.  I got them each a shirt, and I might have gotten a thing or 4 for me to take to Iceland. 

I'm looking for a messenger bag style purse (that doesn't cost $60) to wear while I'm there.  I found one that I liked at Target, but I wasn't wild about how accessible it is.  As in it didn't have a zipper, and I need a zipper.  So.  I might search some more.  And hope that I find one. 

Jonah and Noah are spending the night tonight with a friend and are so excited.  Noah has asked me every 5 minutes for the past 30, how much longer it would be.  :)  You gotta love a 7 year old.  And he knows how to tell time, but prefers to ask me. 

Can you tell he's the baby in the family?  He's used to people doing things for him. 

Todd has a game tonight.  If the rain stays away.  We're going to go there and watch him play and hope they win.  Since they haven't since the first game.  Except for the one that the other team had to forfeit.  Then, who knows? 

Tomorrow we're hanging out with my dad.  He mentioned Mud Island, but I'm not sure.  If it's 157 degrees, then I am not interested in going.  Neither is my head...since I get headaches from the heat. 

Well.  That's all I've got.  I'll write again soon.  Love to all. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

procrastinating

If I sat down and made a list of all the things we need to do before we leave for Iceland, I'm afraid the list would be a mile long.  But for some reason, I can't bring myself to get started on it.  Hmmmm.  Yes, I do get like this sometimes.  I guess because I know how much I can get done in the day or two before trips.  Maybe I'm finally getting smart and saving myself from all the pointless middle part.  Like list making. 

Whatever the reason...I'm sitting here blogging AGAIN, and enjoying some quality time with Noah.  I was enjoying quality time with Meredith, Matt, Ann and Al before he came in and stole the remote away from me.  Oh well.  He's so cute, I'll let him get away with it.  Maybe it's sucking up to him because of the fact that we almost DROVE AWAY WITHOUT HIM last night. 

He was at the neighbor's house playing with another little boy and I thought he was in the car.  Whoops.  He rode with Mimi and Papa to the ball game and when he got in their car, he said, "Nobody called for me to tell me we were leaving!" 

Whoops.  I had to apologize.  And hey, sometimes, the kid is really quiet.  As in you forget he's there quiet.  Sometimes.  Yeah, I'll say that to make myself feel better. 

Last night Todd opened up his Backyard Barber Shop.  Not really...but he did buzz a kid's hair.  Eli is on their baseball team.  His mom, Amanda, and I were best friends when we were in middle school and part of high school.  Her son Eli had really long hair and decided last night that he wanted it buzzed.  So Todd did it for him.  Anytime we can help a friend save some money...our backyard is open. 

So...that's about it.  We're doing more of the same today...hanging out here until it warms up enough for the boys to swim.  :)  Working on the tan some more...so I can take it to Iceland with me and look strangely and oddly out of place.  Laundry this morning, some light cleaning, a little vacuuming...then off to the pool we go!! 

Have I mentioned that we have the most incredible neighbors in all of the world?  The fact that they let us use their pool every single day is the nicest thing.  Besides that fact...they're never allowed to move.  I've told them that repeatedly, and I hope they believe me.  I dearly love the both of them and I would be sad if they left. 

Well.  I'm going to go get my second cup of coffee for the day.  Love to all. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

brownies, the Karate Kid, and other odd ramblings

I seriously need to go to the grocery store.  I've been going here and there in small trips, but I am about to have to make a big one.  The reason for this title, you wonder?  My kids are eating brownies for breakfast.  :( 

I know I stun you with my amazing parental qualities, and how I make sure they eat 3 well balanced meals a day.

Stand back in case that lightning strikes.

So last night after our cookout and swim, after we were all showered and pajama'ed, my hubby found The A Team on Netflix's instant queue.  So for the next hour and a half, him and all 4 boys sat glued to the television as they watched episodes 1 and 2.  Graham came downstairs wanting to watch the next episode this morning.  He called to Todd to ask how to set it up, and Todd told him he had to wait on him to watch it! 

So Graham and I perused other instant queue options and added some movies for us to enjoy.  So right now, with tummies full of brownies and sweet tea (we're out of milk, I told you I needed to make a grocery trip!), we're hanging out watching The Karate Kid.  I also added 2 and 3 to our queue.  I'm a sucker...these were my favorite movies when I was young!

Well...I say we're sitting here.  4 of us are.  The youngest is playing fetch with Twinkles the Cat who thinks she's a dog.  She makes us laugh.  You can throw something and she'll go get it.  Sometimes.  Other times she just looks at you as if you've lost your mind. 

She loves to watch tv, too.  And she digs through their toys until she finds her most favored thing: a rubber snake.  I told you.  She's weird.  But she makes us laugh. 

We're not doing much today.  We'll probably swim at some point, but before that I have movies to watch and laundry to fold!  And lists to make, and a grocery stop, and...and...and...

Nevermind.  I'd rather just watch this movie and not think about it all. 

We have a baseball game tonight.  :)  I'm ready for it to start back, since it's been a couple weeks since the older boys have played.  My sweet mom-in-law is coming to hang out with us this afternoon.  The adult conversation will be nice. 

Well, speaking of those lists...I'm going to go start the first one now.  I hope you all have a fantabulous Tuesday!  Love to all.