Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Update

Have any of you ever participated in a Bible study?  I've done several that Beth Moore wrote.  I've also done some by Priscilla Shirer, Kay Arthur, Anne Graham Lotz, Kelly Minter, Lysa Terkeurst and John Eldridge. 

My favorite is Beth Moore. 

Probably because she seems to be as emotional and sappy as me. 

I've spent the entire morning crying over my last day of homework.  (Yes, I am a complete and total nerd, and I love the homework.  It's the best part of a Bible study, because when you're alone with God and His word, THAT is when He speaks.)


My favorite tools to work with.  This is the Bible my in-love's bought me for Christmas.  Isn't it pretty?  I love it. 


Ahhh.  Such an amazing study.  I need to pray for Beth Moore...that God will continue to use her to write.  Her in depth Bible studies have changed lives, and she has taught me how to study Scripture. 


Another necessity for me to read my Bible and study it.  I love these little things.  In fact, I love them so much that they're out of ink.  I am going to go buy myself some more today after work.


What was laid out on my kitchen table this morning.  What you don't see is the plate with blueberry muffins on it and the cup of coffee I had to celebrate the end of another successful study.  :)

This was all done in my cherished quiet time.  I skipped my scheduled Bible reading for today so I could finish this day's homework and have some extra time to read the book of James again and then have some extended prayer time. 

I would say this is a great start to my Wednesday.  Except for the fact that I cried my makeup off.  Oh, well.  At least my heart looks good.  :)

How are you spending your today? 

Since it's Leap Day?  Why not spend it doing something meaningful and life-changing? 

I will be looking for way to do those things today, too. 

Love to all. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

random

Did you know that one of my favorite sounds is the sound of my boys and their Dad playing basketball in the driveway?  I love that this means the television doesn't get turned on at all until almost bedtime.  It makes for a short night (kind of, for me), but it's worth it.  I am so thankful for an active, involved husband!!  It's one of God's gifts to me.

I do not remember what I ever did without a kitchen radio.  I am sure that I functioned okay...but that was all I did.  I love spending time in my kitchen and the radio is probably what makes me love it so much.  That, and a Christian radio station.  Even for people that may now know the Lord, the d.j.'s on Klove are so positive...maybe that's why they named the station Positive & Encouraging Klove.  Hmmm.  Ya think?

I am a little frightened at the thought of what the insects are going to be like this summer.  With little to no winter weather, nothing has really died.  There were mosquitos out last night, for crying out loud.  If they're bad in February, imagine what they're going to be like in July.  Yikes.  They'll be the size of birds!

So, becoming half the man he once was, (what Todd likes to say happened to Crash at the vet's office on Friday) does seem to have calmed the pup down.  Just a tad, but still.  He came home last night (they also boarded him while we were gone), and was he ever relieved to see his boys!  I don't know who was more excited.  Todd, Graham, Drew, Jonah, Noah or Crash. 

I am so glad that basketball seems to be one sport that Todd doesn't love.  Have I ever mentioned that I detest the sound of tennis shoes squeaking across the court??  I do.  Instead of watching basketball right now, we're watching Swamp Men.  Don't know how I feel about this show either, but still...I'm pretty sure it's better than basketball.

Dinner was a success tonight.  And last night.  Last night we had "Creamy Chicken Casserole" (a Weeknight Southern Living recipe that I made the first week in January), roasted asparagus and salad.  Tonight we had "Filet Mignon with Brown Horseradish Gravy" (another Weeknight Southern Living recipe), mashed potatoes, salad with homemade viniagrette, and crusty bread.  I thought Drew was going to pass out he was so excited.  Noah, too.  I'm pretty sure they both ate their weight in food tonight.  Our dinner table was almost silent as everyone devoured their food.  We ate at a little after six thirty, and you would have thought they hadn't eaten in three days. 

It just dawned on me that I haven't talked to my mom since Sunday.  That's very unusual for me...and her.  We usually talk every morning, but we haven't so far this week. 

I love days when I get to come home from work and watch my shows that I've recorded.  The one I watched today was Smash.  Do you watch it?  I love the music in it.  And I love the people in it.  One is Debra Messing and the other is Katharine McPhee.  I have loved Debra Messing since Will and Grace was on...she still reminds me of a modern day Lucy.  If they ever decide to do a "Lucy" movie, she should have the roll of her, hands down.  Katharine McPhee is new to me, but man, the gal can sing.  She gives me chills every time I hear her. 

I cannot wait for a night when I can borrow Travis' and Katie's copy of Chicago.  I've never seen it, and I love musicals.  Another one I want to see is Moulin Rouge.  I've never seen that either.  One that I watched somewhat recently was Burlesque.  Oh my goodness...words can't explain.  I love these musicals, and I think it all stems from my Dad.  When I was young, he was subscribed to a movie club that sent him one classical movie every month or so.  Some of our favorites were Singing in the Rain, South Pacific, Meet Me In St. Louis, That's Entertainment!, and our all time favorite ever (the one that we watched every single Sunday afternoon)...The Sound of Music.  I STILL remember the lyrics to all these songs.  Todd loves it when I sing to him.  ;) 

Well, speaking of the man I love...he needs this laptop.  So, I guess I'll stop writing a list of random things and think of more to write tomorrow.  This is what happens when you work with kids...you bottle up all your words and put them in a blog post. 

Love to all. 

The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:3-10

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Why I Hate Thursdays (a re-post)

You all know I have an aversion to Thursday, right?  Well, lately I've been wondering why.  Here's what I've come up with: my dislike for this day of the week stems all the way back to 7th grade.  I was happy in my school from kindergarten through 6th grade.  My dad decided it would be a good idea for me to go ECS starting in 7th grade.  Which, just let me insert here, I am glad he made this choice for me now, looking back.  Knowing what I know now, and all that.  But at the time, I was one VERY unhappy camper. 

I was twelve years old and going into a new school where all the kids had known each other since pre-kindergarten, for heaven's sake!  And here I come, a shy girl (at first) with crazy frizzy/curly hair (yes, I've had issues with it my entire life), who knows NOT ONE SOUL.  See the unhappiness?

So I'm at a new school, dubbed the "new girl", thrown into a whole new world.  One that included CHAPEL.  Now, don't get me wrong; I had been raised in church my whole life.  So it's not that I was against going to a "church" type service, chapel was just something that I didn't enjoy.  Because boring people would come and speak.  And we had to sing.  And I was sitting in the front row.

Well, guess what day of the week chapel was on?  You got it.  Thursday.  It sucked being a 7th grader at ECS.  Well, at least a 7th grader that was new to private school.  I thought everyone was snobby.  And most were.  There was a very small handful of people that were nice to me, one of which was a girl named Halle.  And another gamed Allison.  Allison also happened to be my first friend on the school bus on my first day of kindergarten at Mt. Pisgah.  There were also four more: Amanda, Stacie, Tara and Tabitha.  I'll never forget that day.  Anyway...back to my story, and why I hate Thursdays.

The girls were MEAN, I am not going to lie here.  All the meanness made me self conscience of the way I looked.  Credit that to the crazy frizzy/curly hair, what have you, but you see my dilemma.  So, we had chapel on Thursday, and I was in the front row. 

I eventually got a little used to it.  And started to hate chapel a little less.  A LITTLE, I said.  Doesn't mean I loved it, just that the thought of it didn't make me want to hurl anymore.  Until one day.  The day that changed the rest of my life, I'll forever think.

I remember the day like it was yesterday.  I had on the cutest little purple pleated skirt (hello, it was like 1989 or something) and a matching striped sweater that looked adorable on me.  I loved it, and I loved the way I looked when I wore it.  And it was one of the few skirts I owned...because, yes, I was a total tomboy and HATED to shop and hated to wear anything halfway feminine.  I hated to shop so much, in fact, that my sweet mom started doing the shopping and bringing the stuff she thought I'd like home.  I'd try it on, and if I liked it, I would keep it.  If I didn't like it, she would return it.  I know.  I was a spoiled rotten brat, and she was a very gracious mom.

Anyway.  We're walking into chapel, and I needed to hit up the little girl's room before I made the trek down to my seat.  In front of God and everybody.  Keep this in mind.  I did my business, washed my hands, and walked out.  And alllllllllllllllllllll the way down to the very front row.

And then I heard laughter coming from behind me.  From a "friend" (Tabitha) who was walking behind me.  I turned around to see what she was laughing at, and when I jerked around really fast, I felt a lot of cold air on my legs.  On the BACK of my legs.  On a part that should have been covered by my cute little purple pleated skirt, but wasn't, because it had gotten tucked into my tights and STAYED THERE, for crying out loud. 

Tabitha had walked out behind me, and to this day I don't know if she saw it or not, but for whatever reason, she did not tell me that the blasted skirt was tucked into my panties.  Tights.  Whatever.  I don't know if I ever believed her or not, but this was always what she told me.  I don't think anyone else ever saw it happen, looking back, but back then that was one embarrassing situation.  Still would be, in fact!  We laughed and laughed and laughed about this for the rest of my  6 year career at ECS.  I don't think I'll ever forget it.  And I so wish I could find Tabitha now, all these years later, and laugh about it with her.

This girl was one of my closest friends at school.  She also saw every dumb thing I ever did.  For instance, the skirt and panty issue.  She also saw me slip on a banana peel in the cafeteria once.  Hello, is this cartoon world, or what?!  I slipped on the peel (who KNEW they were so stinkin' slick?!) threw my hamburger up in the air and juggled a few things to keep from falling, and was SO HORRIFIED at how stupid I must have looked, that I didn't even stop to pick up my burger.  I was pretty proud of myself, though, because Tabitha and I sat at the same lunch table, and I was so excited that she didn't see me do this one dumb thing, for once.  UNTIL a girl (a sweet, girl, I might add) named Amber picked up my dropped hamburger and graciously brought it to me, saying, "Here, Jennifer, you dropped this when you slid on that banana peel."

Tabitha spewed Coke out of her nose.  And I almost peed on myself, I was laughing so hard.

She saw me take a flying leap off of some new steps down by the cafeteria on a rainy day, she saw me fall in mud, she saw my boot laces stick together one day in algebra as I was walking down the aisle unable to move my feet for fear of breaking my nose, she saw me crawl out from under a bathroom stall one day, because, who the HECK knew I was claustrophobic in locked bathroom stalls????  She saw me wig out in a cave (again, small, trapped spaces and me do not get along), she witnessed all 6 years of my bad crazy frizzy/curly hair days, she saw me through my first car, my first wreck, and my first driver's ed course when I called my instructor, the illustrious Coach Powers "gay".

She sat in d-hall with me a time or four, too.  She was NOT one of those "fair weather friends".  She was an awesome gal who was a true friend...one I would LOVE to talk to now.  So if any of my ECS and facebook friends are reading this and know how to find Tabitha (used to be) Middleton, I would love to know how to contact her. 

So, I hope you all had a great laugh at my expense.  I know I have.  I just thought you all would find interesting the reasons why I Hate Thursdays. 

Oh, and just for my peace of mind, I didn't hate ECS forever.  By the time I was halfway through my 7th grade year, I'd fallen in love with it.  The school, the teachers, and the friends I made.  I came to know and love almost everybody there (almost, I said) and made some of the best friends I've ever had.  And by the time senior year came along, we were all like one big, happy family.

Well, most of the time, anyway.  ;)  More about THAT on another day, though.

Love to all.

Just Some Pictures...and maybe a few words


Drew.  Eleven years old.  Almost twelve.  Lover of all things food, girls, texting his friends, his actual best friends (last count, three), and Collierville Dragon Lacrosse.


Number eight.  Defender on his Lacrosse team.  His feet are officially bigger than mine, and we cannot keep him in clothes.  


Loves to talk.  Loves to watch his Dragons.  Loves (even more) to play with his Dragons.


He might not run very fast, he might not be the tallest, but when defending, he can have the strength of a wall. 

And all the gentleness of a bull in a china shop. 

Please slow down, Drew.  I am not quite ready for you to be growing up. 

Love to all. 

Things That Make Me Happy

My husband and the way that he provides for our family.  He is the hardest working man I know. 


Such great smiles.

The fact that I "caught" Jonah and Noah reading their Bibles this morning.  And that they are working on memorizing Scripture.

My Travis Cottrell cd, Jesus Saves.  This is my all-time favorite praise and worship music. 

Seeing the piles of Kleenex my Bible study homework made me use.  I spent the entire morning crying over this last week in my James study as I read about the last part of his life.  One question that got me was, "What will you ask James when you see him in Heaven?"  I wouldn't ask him anything.  I would hug him and thank him for his words of wisdom.

Writing our meal plan out this week on my little dry erase board that hangs on the fridge.  And imagining the smiles and cheers I'm going to get when I tell them we're having steak tomorrow night.

The beautiful weather.  It's ten thirty-five and sixty-one degrees outside.  Beautiful.  I am ready for Spring and a camping trip!

Friends...and a warm welcome-home last night.

The thought of a nice night at home.  :)  I have a yummy dinner planned and I cannot wait to cook!  I've missed my own cooking this weekend...as fun as it was being away, I don't love eating out all that much anymore.  The food is so much richer and it had my stomach messed up all weekend.

Jesus.  His love.  His mercy.  His grace.  His faithfulness.  His goodness.

I love Him.

(I saved the best for last.)

What makes you happy?  Share the love!

Love to all. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Night

Well, I've been secretive on here because of the fact that I do not want my stepdad to yell at me for putting this out there in cyber space.  However, he doesn't live in our neighborhood and have our neighbors that watch out for us.

That being said (plus, I've already said it twice on Facebook), we're in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The older boys have a weekend long lacrosse tournament here and when Todd got a phone call from one of his customers for a job to do here, we decided to come early and make a whole weekend of it.

Fun!  We love to travel, and though we might not be far away, we're far enough to really feel like we're "away".  I love how much the boys love staying in hotels, and ours is awesome.  Wanna see a pic?


This is the outside.  Obviously.





These are the inside.  We're on the seventh floor.  :)

Heaven, in the eyes of little boys.  And glass elevators...oh my goodness gracious.  Amazing!  For them, at least.  Every time it goes down, my tummy drops.



Aren't they cute??

This is where we spent our afternoon...





Man, I love these guys.

What are your plans this weekend?

I cannot WAIT to cheer me on some CMS Dragons! 

Love your babies tonight.

Love to all.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

thankful Thursday

I am thankful for:

friends who encourage.  Christy, thank you for sharing your Jesus Calling devotion with me this morning.
friends who inspire.  Shari, this is you.
friends who don't really know what the word "distance" means.  My heart feels as if they're right beside me.
an unexpected gesture of affection from one of my kids. 
a husband who makes me feel loved and treasured.  And who takes care of me.  :)
a hug, a kiss, a smile...a little goes a LONG way. 
worship music.  I'm listening to it right now. 
good health. 
quiet time.
accountability.
my beloved furry companions.  Andy the Wonder Dog is beside me as I write. 

Gotta run!  Love to all. 

Happy Thursday

I'm much better this morning, after my little pity party last night.  It's funny how writing it out helps me to shed a tear or two, and then afterward, I feel so much better. 

It might have been the cookies and milk and my two favorite shows that I watched that helped me,too.

Anyway, the point is that I am better.

I have big plans for today.  I plan on getting ahead several days in my Bible reading because of the weekend tournament we'll be at weekend.  I don't want to take a chance on missing any days.  I've gotten behind a day or two, and so far, I've been quick to catch back up.  I usually try to read ahead, especially if it's near a weekend.  I tend to get behind on weekends.  I have an accountability group that I check in with on Facebook, and so far, they're doing their job!

After work, I need to make a Walmart run and get stocked up on healthy snacks for the weekend. 

After school lets out today, we're going to the circus.  I am so excited...Jonah and Noah have never been to a circus!  I can't wait.  I have my camera all charged up and ready to go so I can take pictures. 

Well, my two older boys are ready to go.  They have to be at school early this morning.  Have a great day!  Love to all. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

pity party anyone?

I really shouldn't have a blog about the pity party I feel like having, but I'm gonna.  And yes, I know that sentence is not correct.  I don't want to talk about it.

I was sad tonight when I walked into my Bible study group.  There were maybe twelve women in there and when I walked in they all turned around...and then didn't say one.single.word. to me.  Not one.  They don't even know my name and have never asked to know it.  Even though I've asked many of theirs.  I almost cried for the friends I left behind at First Assembly.  In fact, even as I write that last sentence, my eyes are welling up with tears. 

Then my sweet friend Ginger walked in and sat beside me in the front row.  (We're the favorites.  HA.  Just kiddin'.  Kinda.  Although we are the ones that answer most of the questions and talk the most.)  When I told her how sad that made me, she leaned over and me and hugged me.  Whew.  Gettin' all teary again. 

Our facilitator wasn't there tonight.  Usually I would just talk to her and Ginger, but I beat Ginger there and Lori is about to be birthing a grandbaby.  Well.  Not herself, but you get my drift. 

Another friend, Andrea, walked in and Ginger and I talked to her, too.  She was there with the dvd so we could get started.  And she hugged me, too. 

I guess the reason I'm laying this all out here (other than to show you that I have sad/bad days) is to let you know that as much as I love our new place of worship, I desperately miss things about my old church, Memphis First Assembly of God.  I miss the friendships that I had there.  I'm working so hard to make new ones in my new place of worship, but it takes time.  And honestly, after tonight, I'm a little discouraged.  Kind of a lot discouraged, honestly. 

I love my Bible study on the book of James, but as much as I love it, I get the feeling that many women who are doing it are participating just to be participating.  Or maybe to hear Beth Moore speak.  I don't know if they don't care to do the homework and grow spiritually, or if they just don't like it, or what.  For someone like me, who is doing it to grow closer to God and to become more Christ like, it is sad that they are not as thrilled with it as I have been. 

And that last sentence makes me miss my friend, Norma, who facilitated our Bible studies at F/A.  She got every bit as excited as I did over a good Bible study and a fresh word from God. 

Maybe I'm wrong in my speculations (and that is all they are).  Maybe I'm not. 

But tonight, as I write this, my heart hurts for the old friendships I left behind.  Not that they're still not my friends.  They always will be...I just don't get to see them anymore.  My dad and I often talk of how things like this are going to make Heaven so amazing.  Imagine all the people we'll see again...ones who have gone on before us, and friends that we had here on earth, maybe to never be seen again in this earthly realm. 

Please excuse me, as I am super emotional tonight.  I wanted to share a little glimpse of how sometimes I can be really insecure in who I am.  I know WHOSE I am, and I know my hope and confidence should only come from Him, but sometimes I have nights like this.  I'm not saying we're going to go back to our old church.  We're not.  We're going to tough it out and cultivate relationships here that will be similar to what we left behind at First Assembly.  Not exactly the same, but similar.  I hope.  Surely, right?

I know that tonight is just what I titled this...a pity party.  And I'll be fine.  I'll get past this and the next time I write, things will be great again. 

It's just that sometimes, girls need a good cry.  Thanks for letting me have mine on here.

Love to all.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras

I don't know why I wrote that, because this post has absolutely nothing to do with Mardi Gras.  I guess I was just thinking of a title.  Who knows?

Today was a good day.  Considering I was only at work for a little less than two hours.  (I only work three hours everyday.)  The middle school called.  Drew was sick to his stomach and not feeling well.  :-(  I'm thinking he has what Graham and I had.  My prayer is that nobody else gets this!!!  Or if they do, that it's gone by Friday.

We have an all weekend tournament, and I really don't want my kids to be sick.

I picked Drew up and we came home so he could eat (a little) and he slept away the rest of the afternoon.  I ran home the boy that I take home during the weeks, came home, ran Graham back to Lacrosse practice, then came home to prepare dinner.  I made it an easy night for myself.  We had spaghetti, salad with homemade viniagrette and bread drizzled with olive oil and sea salt.  YUM.

I could eat an entire loaf of bread made like that.  Yup, I'm a bread girl.

I don't know if Drew will make it to school tomorrow.  I'm not sure yet if I'll stay home with him or not.  I left early today and I'm already planning on missing on Friday.  I guess I'll wait and see how he's feeling in the morning.

Speaking of morning, one of the things that made my day start so good was an email conversation with a dear friend.  There is nothing like catching up...even internet style.  :)

Well, the hubs has started Last Man Standing, so that's my cue to sign off.  Love to all.

you never know...

I got this cute email from my stepdad, Bill (aka Big Daddy) today and thought I would share.  You just never know what God might be up to in your life...none of this is impossible!

Enjoy!

Me (in a tizzy) : God, can I ask you something?

GOD: Sure.

Me: Promise you won't get mad?

GOD: I promise.

Me: (frustrated): Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?

GOD: What do you mean?

Me: Well I woke up late,

GOD: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start,

GOD: Okay....

Me (growling): At lunch, they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait

GOD: Hmmmm..

Me: On the way home, my phone went dead, just as I picked up a call

GOD: All right

Me (loudly): And to top it all off, when I got home, I just wanted to soak  my feet in my foot massager and relax, but it wouldn't work. Nothing went  right today! Why did you do that?

GOD: Well let me see..... the death angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.

Me (humbled): Oh...

GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that might have hit you if you were on the road

Me (ashamed): ............

GOD: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick and I didn't  want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work

Me (embarrassed): Oh.....

GOD: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to  give a false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let  you talk to them so you would be covered

Me (softly): I see God

GOD: Oh and that foot massager, it had a short  that was going to throw  out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in  the dark.

Me: I'm sorry God.

GOD: Don't be sorry, just learn to trust me.........in all things, the  good and the bad

Me: I WILL trust you God

GOD: And don't doubt that my plan for your day is always better than your  plan

Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, thank you for everything today.

GOD: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I  love looking after my children.


Scriptural References: II Samuel 22:31, Proverbs 3:5, Hebrews 2:1
3 "A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed..." (Proverbs 11:25)NIV
 
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.(1 Thes. 5:18)NIV


Love to all.  

Monday, February 20, 2012

my afternoon in the kitchen

The weather today was beautiful, and Graham and Drew spent most of the afternoon outside.  We went to lunch (Jonah and Noah were at their friend Andy's house), then to the library, then to pick up Drew's friend, Will. 

After they spent the entire weekend together.

Anyway, I dropped them all off at home and headed to the grocery store.  I know...the story of my life. 

I bought lots of goodies, and I had HUGE intentions when I got home.  I wanted to unpack everything (after all those boys hauled everything in from my car) and put it all away, then I wanted to take care of breakfast and lunch for all of this week.  So, I did. 

I made blueberry and chocolate chip muffins for breakfast.



And yes, there is one missing.  Someone just had to sample them as they cooled. 

I wanted to rinse and slice the strawberries I picked up for my sweet Noah.


I wanted to rinse and take off the vine the luscious grapes that were marked down $1.49.  Kroger is starting to redeem themselves.  A little. 


A little bruised, but who cares?  They will only last until Wednesday.  Maybe. 

I also wanted to peel the skin off and slice the kiwi that Drew loves. 


I also needed to make chicken salad for Graham, and tuna for Drew and Noah. 


I didn't take a close up.  It was already in the container, ready to refrigerated.  I also made their lunches for tomorrow, with the exception of their drinks, and I got dinner completely ready to put into the oven the second we walked in the door from Lacrosse practice. 

It was a busy afternoon!  I spent a grand total of three hours in the kitchen, doing all this.  I also straightened my pantry, made more tea, cleaned out the leftovers that never got eaten from last week, loaded the dishwasher, did another load of laundry, not to mention boiling the eggs for the tuna and then making all this stuff. 

It's so easy to eat better when you take the time to prepare the food.  Not that I'm encouraging three hours, but I had nothing else to be doing at the time.  And I'm not saying we eat perfectly healthy...I'm just trying to buy less processed and more "real".  And I love being in my kitchen.  My radio in there makes me the time fly by, and I love doing all this while singing and looking out my enormous kitchen window.  It's a happy place for me, my kitchen. 

And just so that you don't feel bad....this usually never happens.  It might if I had Monday's off, but I don't.  Today the kids were out of school and last week I was home with Graham. 

How was your day? 

Love to all. 

#1000

I cannot believe that this post is my thousandth post.  I cannot believe I've had that much to say over the years, and that some of you read what I write.  I cannot believe that I've stuck with it. 

For a long time, this blog kind of took the place of my journal.  For those of you who don't know me, I am an avid reader/writer/journal-er.  I love to read my Bible and write in it, and then I write it all down in my journal.  I have pages filled with just that day's reading plan, I've got pages filled with prayers over my husband and kids, I've got pages filled with verses. 

It's another one of the things that I would like to hand down to my kids someday. 

But along the way, the blog started to replace my journal. 

This Christmas, one of the gifts I received that Drew picked out for me was a new journal.  Since then, I have filled almost half of it.  I've picked it back up and spend my quiet time in the morning doing what I love to do.  There are some things (actually, there are LOTS of things) that I don't write on this blog or on Facebook. 

As for my quiet time in the mornings, sometimes I have this time when the boys are at school, but sometimes I have it when they're here.  It just depends on what we're doing that day.  It's important for them to see me have this quiet time, especially the older two.  They're at the age when they should be having their own quiet time.  Our church really teaches that to the kids...they reinforce over and over and over that a relationship with God doesn't just happen at church.  Most of your relationship with Him should be cultivated throughout the days that you're not in church.  I know that God speaks to me most often in the midst of the quiet...and through His written word. 

With all that being said...I can't believe I've written so much over the years.  Thank you for taking the time to read this silly 'ol blog.  I started it on a whim one day, then didn't write again for months.  Then when Todd had his major surgery four years ago, I started writing again as an outlet for all the fearful emotions I had going on inside my head.

For those of you who comment, thank you.  Even if I might not always respond back, I appreciate you taking the time to comment.  It makes me feel loved.  :)  For the majority of you who read this and don't ever (ever, ever, ever) comment, thanks for reading.  I've gotten a few comments over the years from someone who had read what I wrote, and I was shocked that they read it.  I forget that I have this under my signature on the emails that I send out.

I hope that somewhere along the way the Lord has used what I wrote to reach your heart.  I hope that you see through the verses I've written out on here how much He loves you.  My prayer is that He uses what I write to reach people that may not know Him...or to encourage people to have a deeper relationship with Him.  I've prayed many times over what I wrote before I hit that little orange button that says 'PUBLISH POST'.  Because that button is sometimes intimidating to me.  I pray that I've never seemed preach-y, or that you've taken what I've written as me bragging.  That has never been the intention of this blog, I assure you.

And for those of you readers who never (ever, ever, ever) comment, please do so every once in a while!  As I've started saying lately, share the love.  :) 

Happy President's day.  Love to all.

Jen.  (aka Jenny, Mom, Mommy, Aunt Jennifer, Mrs. Goodwin, Mrs. Jennifer, the Mom of those boys, and Todd's wife.)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Facebook

Facebook has good qualities and bad qualities.  I would say that one good quality is keeping up with family and friends who live out of town.  Like my sister, Debi, whom I would love to see where she lives since we haven't been there yet.  Facebook allows me to do just that. 

I have gotten back in touch with family that I haven't seen in forever.  Like my niece, Amanda. 

I've gotten back in touch with dear friends from my childhood, like my friend Stacy. 

In the midst of all the good, though, there also lies evil just waiting for us.  I heard someone say just recently that Facebook was causing divorces.  The temptation is easy for people to try and look someone up from their past.  Especially if they're treading rough waters in their marriage. 

Another bad thing is the way it can make your head swell with pride.  Pride is such an evil thing...and something that all of us struggle with.  For example, you put out a great status update...and you keep checking back to see how many people "liked" it. 

Sound familiar?  Am I stepping on toes?  Trust me...I have already stepped on mine in writing this. 

All this to say that I came across a great picture that someone put on their Facebook profile today.  I quickly "shared" it on my own wall...because it makes you think.  I thought I would share it with you.


Does it?  Do we serve and honor the Lord with what is on our Facebook pages? 

It makes you think, doesn't it?

Love to all. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

love/hate


OR


I love when kids do something nice without you having to ask them. 
I do not love when above mentioned kids argue with you.  Can anyone say, "Disrespectful?"  No, thank you.  Not in this house.

I love nights that we get to stay home.
I do not love nights that we don't.  Unless it's going to church, and that I do love.

I love when my husband walks through my door.
I do not love when he does not.  I miss his presence when he's gone.  I can't imagine what widows must feel like...but this feeling reminds me to pray for them.  Every chance I get. 

I love doing little things for the ones I love.  Like replacing his favorite lotion in the living room. 
I do not love when I forget to do more of these everyday little "things" that make everyday so wonderful.  I really do have good intentions, but I am really bad at putting them into fruition. 

I love talking to my girlfriends.
I do not love when I don't.  I miss them if too much time goes by, and then, when something reminds me of them, it makes me a little sad. 

I love winter.
I do not love winter when it feels like spring.

I love when kids get to play outside because of the nice weather.
I do not love rain.  Unless it's on a day when I don't have to go anywhere.  (Are you picking up on the fact that I love to be at home?)

I love long weekends. 
I do not love the week following one. 

I love when something good happens through the power of my words.  (I got a little blessing today from a stranger at Chik-Fil-A...he told me that I was God's gift to him this morning.  He thanked me for taking the time to tell him "Good morning", and he thanked me for my smile.  Can you believe that?  He so totally made my day!  Such a small, seemingly insignificant thing...yet to him, it wasn't.)
I do not love when something negative happens through the power of my words.  (Graham got out of my car this morning on a bad note.  I prayed all day long that despite our tiff, that his day would still be good, and that he would feel God's presence and my love.)  

What do you love and do not love?

Share the love and comment.  (And thank you so much for all the comments lately!  It always makes my day.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

He...

fills my gas tank.
fixes things for me and won't tell me how...so that I will always need him, he says.
calls me Jenny.
has really strong, rough hands.
is a natural-born teaser.
laughs this really cute laugh.
loves taking the boys places.
laughs at me when I talk silly to him.
thinks I cook good. 
loves me no matter what I look like.
has this voice that I love that turns all gravelly when he gets sleepy.
is a wonderful dad.
is an even more amazing husband.
is Todd.

Happy Wednesday!

I love this day of the week.  It's right in the middle, and after this day is the downhill slide to the weekend. 

Speaking of weekend, we've had some changes in our original plans.  The kids were originally going to attend Disciple Now at our church, but that isn't happening anymore.  They're okay with it...too many things kept popping up during that same weekend, so they decided not to participate.

This weekend is another long weekend!  We're off Monday for Presidents' day.  I am going to have to come up with something fun and wonderful for us to do together.  Which really shouldn't be all that difficult.  :)

I only have two more weeks of our Bible study.  While I love completing a study, I hate seeing a good one end.  This one has been good.  Way better than just "good".  I love learning stuff and then taking the time to apply it.  It makes me feel smarter.  Especially in the eyes of my Jesus.  I aim to live for Him. 

Last night was really good.  Our practices got cancelled because of wet fields, so we ended up at home.  I was able to cook dinner at a leisurely pace, instead of frantically trying to finish, and when I found out that we would be spending the afternoon and evening at home, I took the opportunity to change into my favorite comfy clothes.  I love nights like that. 

The kids got all sugared up on their candy from us, and then on Aunt Lisa's (she stopped by to bring them something...how sweet is that??), and they ran an errand with their dad.  Actually, the relaxing part was only on my end.  Todd had to work a little later than he thought, and when he got home he had to sort and organize jerseys for 5/6th grade lacrosse.  Then he had to run the extras to the 7/8th grade president's house. 

That was when the boys were gone.  Except for Noah.  He and I stayed back, and while he created and made himself a hat, I read my book.  :)  I'm almost finished with Janet Evanovich's number eighteen.  This is the first time in YEARS that I've been caught up on her novels, and the first time I've had to wait on the next one in I can't even tell you when. 

Sad, huh?

How was your night?  Last night was nothing special...except if you're me.  It was a normal night for us...and that was what was so perfect about it.  I know too many people that only wish they had husbands and kids to celebrate with.  I pray I never take mine for granted. 

Today is a new day, and for this I am thankful.  We have church tonight, and I feel like I have lots to look forward to.  Do you? 

Have a great day and love to all!

Monday, February 13, 2012

words

Graham got up to go to school along with Drew this morning, but couldn't quite make it.  I chose to give him another day home to recuperate from the awful stomach bug he had.  I was going to go to work, but then he asked me to stay home with him.  So I did.  :)  This time together is priceless.

So, since we were home, I did three days of Bible study homework.  I still need to get caught back up on my Bible reading, but hey...at least I have a head's up on the homework, right? 

I took the time to plan what we were eating this week, doing some extensive research on the internet.  This week's recipes come from a blog that I follow, Comfy in the Kitchen.  Click here if you want to check out Janelle's blog for yourself. 

Since Graham is still not feeling well, we will all be home together tonight.  Tomorrow night, both the older boys will have lacrosse practice.  So, we're celebrating our Valentine's day tonight.  We're having a really yummy, special meal with all the trimmings.  And the special sweet treat afterwards?  Homemade individual chocolate molten lava cakes.  Served warm with vanilla ice cream.  Speaking of...I forgot that last item at the grocery store. 

I will try to remember to take pictures.  Since Todd and I really don't celebrate this day (except for with our boys), I figured this would be a nice treat.  And yes, you read that Todd and I don't celebrate this day.  We do exchange cards, but that's about it.  Well, I take that back...he brings home flowers sometimes, but honestly?  Todd's the guy that brings me home flowers just because, at any given time.  Like back in the Fall, I'd had the worst day in all of history, he stopped and brought home a beautiful Fall arrangement of flowers. 

This day kind of makes my stomach turn.  I think it's dumb.  And what about the single people?  I feel bad for them!  We do the cards for the sake of the boys'...I think we are both in agreement that it's important for them to see us do this.  We do want them to be good husbands someday!  This is a Hallmark-created holiday that is way too commercialized.  How about being romantic everyday?  Because, honestly, that is way more romantic to me than just one day a year. 

Okay, I'm done. 

Since I'm home, I got a head start on tonight's dinner.  I don't even want to tell you what I'm making yet...it doesn't sound very good by the name, but the picture looked ahmaaazing!!  I can't wait to try it.  So far, I've only repeated one thing in five weeks now: tilapia, and that was per the boys' request.  I hope tonight's meal turns out as good as I think it will. 

And the molten lava cakes?  I cannot wait to see the boys' faces when they bite into those delicious little things.  :)

Have I mentioned that I love cooking for my family?

It's one of God's blessings.  I love that I have a whole house full of boys who love to eat. 

How are you celebrating Valentine's day?  Or are you?

Share the love and let me know!  Love to all. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

missing kids

My kids were gone most of the weekend.  The only one here almost all of Saturday was Graham, but he was sick and spent the day sleeping on and off.  Jonah and Noah came home later that afternoon, but Drew was gone until today after lunch. 

Man, I miss my kids when they're gone. 

Even with one of them gone...it's too quiet.  Drew is the loud one, in case you were wondering.  But Graham must come in a close second, because with him sleeping all day yesterday, it was just quiet and weird. 

I am definitely much happier when all my chicks are under one roof.  Are you that way?  I feel super protective of them, and though time away does make the heart grow fonder, I genuinely miss them when they're not here. 

Some other stuff:

Friday night my best friend and I went to dinner and to see The Vow.  Oh my goodness.  See it.  It's an awesome chick flick, and perfect being right here near Valentine's day. 

I cleaned a lot yesterday and went through half a can of Lysol.

I read almost half of the newest Janet Evanovich book, Explosive Eighteen. 

I made a really yummy lunch for Todd and I yesterday. 

I grocery shopped for some things to get us by till Monday.

I'm planning our meals this week and am not very motivated.  Except for dessert one night...I pretty much have that one figured out.  Is it bad that I just want dessert on Valentine's night???  I found a recipe for individual molten lava cakes.  Shut your mouth.  I know, right?

I thought about vacuuming the downstairs again.  But didn't. 

I repainted my fingernails.  Road House Blues.  :)  I love this website.  Click here if you want to see what I'm talking about. 

I took a couple naps.  One yesterday and one today. 

We hung out with our neighbors, because what would a weekend be without a little Travis and Katie?

What did you do this weekend? 

Share the love and comment.  If ya want.  Love to all. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Morning Reading

After I drop all the kids off every morning, I run back home and dig into God's word.  I LOVE this time...much more than I ever dreamed I would, and if I miss a day, then I'm sad.  There is nothing as important as having one on one time with God.  In fact, the more time I have with Him, the nicer I am. 

Imagine that. 

I've heard so many times since my kids were little to never neglect myself.  I think what the articles that I've read mean by that phrase is taking the time to pamper yourself.  And there is nothing wrong with doing just that occasionally.  I do think there is something terribly wrong with those of us who know and love and serve the Lord, yet never take the time to be alone with Him. 

Especially when we have ample opportunities. 

I lived that way for so long.  I would long to know God more, but I would never crack open my Bible.  I would flip mindlessly through the pages, but without any plan in mind to start reading.  I've done devotions, and those were good for a while, but I've reached the point in my life that I don't want anything except God's word.  I don't want a sweet, flowery story...I want knowledge.  I want to know Him better.  I want to know more about what some of the things in the Bible mean. 

After browsing my Youversion ap on my cell phone, I came across the Chronological Bible.  I am history kind of gal, and I think that this way, how it is read in order, makes more sense to the way my brain works.  I'm actually reading it, and I'm absorbing it.  That is huge for me.  Before, I would read it and not get it.  This time around, it's sinking in. 

I've been reading in Exodus the past several days.  There's some great stuff in this book.  A lot of it is about Moses being used by God.  Ever since chapter 25 (I think) it's been very meticulous in all the description of details.  But I'm still truckin' on. 

Today I read a couple verses that jumped out at me.  I thought I would share. 

Exodus 34:6 says, "the LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin."

Think about those words...slow to anger.  Compassionate and gracious.  Abounding in love and faithfulness.  My heart was pounding as I read and rewrote those words in my journal.  He is so good

The next verse was from the same chapter (34) verse 14 and says, "Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."

I think that jumped out because sometimes I put other things first in my life.  Things like checking emails.  Writing on this blog.  Posting on Facebook. 

Get my drift? 

It's been a (somewhat) painful and eye-opening experience, this plan of reading the Bible everyday.  There have been days that I've missed, and there have been days that I've read more than just that one day's.  I am learning...I am getting it...and hopefully, God is changing me through His word.

Isn't that what it's all about?  Changing to be more like Him?  And telling people about Him that don't know Him? 

Thanks for reading what was on my mind.  Love to all. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bible Study

This Bible study that Beth Moore wrote on James is U.N.B.E.L.I.E.V.A.B.L.E.  And so different than how I thought it would go...but so much better than I imagined! 

If you get the chance to do this study, DO IT!  I promise you will not be dumber when you're through.  :) 

Days four and five this week stood out for me.  Day four was on James 3:6-12, on the tongue being such a small part of the body, but the one part that can praise God and curse men.  You all know by now (at least I hope so!) how much I love my sweet Jesus.  But you also know that when one of my boys' is wronged, I go crazy.  Perfect example of how James talks about the fact that fresh water and salt water cannot flow from the same spring. 

Yet it happens. 

The solution?  PRAY.  Stay in God's word and read this part of James over and over and over until my thick head gets it.  She says this one thing that really got me:

"I have been one bitter woman in the course of my life and I'm not anymore. That is the sweetness of redemption and a miracle of God if I've ever experienced one."

She wrote that, but really...I could have written it.  It's so true.  I was bitter...and angry...and resentful.  BUT GOD CHANGED ME.  He can change anybody!  I hope that He's changed me so much that people won't believe that I used to be that way.  I pray that's so.  I pray I never forget this, either.  

Day five was really good, too.  That day was on James 3:13-18.  I just want to share what it says:

"Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." 

Let it be so.  Lord, let it be so.  May God always make me pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 

Love to all. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What's For Dinner?

Are any of you discouraged and in a rut with cooking?  I was until about four weeks ago, and I vowed to not make the same meal twice in less than a month's time.

Until last night, when my kids requested that we start having tilapia every Monday night.  :)  I do love cooking for kids that love to eat!

I was sitting here, browsing recipes for tonight, when I wondered, what do people do who don't watch the Food Network?  That question led me to writing this post.  I hope it helps you get over that pesky hump.

I love all cooking shows, but I would have to say that my number one favorite is Barefoot Contessa.  She makes really yummy, rustic, and usually healthy meals.  Tonight's dinner idea came from her.  If you want to see what's on tonight's menu, click here.  I am going to make with this yummy dish with cheesy mashed potatoes (per kids' request) and roasted broccoli.  The broccoli has become their new favorite.  It's so easy, and so good!  All I do is drizzle olive oil and salt over the florets. Then I roast them at 400 degrees for about fifteen minutes.

I also love Giada and Rachel Ray.  Although, Giada's recipes are complicated most times (and though I do love cooking, I do not love complicated) and Rachel's don't always appeal to me.  One of my newer favorites is The Pioneer Woman...Ree Drummond.  I watched this past weekend's episode last night and one of these nights, I will try my hand at broccoli cheddar soup served in little bread bowls.

This is still a learning process for me.  I am learning what to keep on hand (olive oil, chicken stock, lots of spices and fresh herbs, fresh veggies, wine for cooking) and what I really don't need anymore (canned or frozen veggies or anything in a box).  It's amazing how much more we look forward to dinner each night.  The kids' expressions are what does it...and the fact that they told me the other night that I might be as good a cook as Big Daddy.  :)  That is quite the accomplishment, I must say.

What's working for you?  Where do you go to search for meal ideas?  Share the love and let me know!  Lest I run out of ideas, heaven forbid!

Happy cooking and love to all!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Thankful

I'm thankful for:

*sunshine, so Crash can play to his little heart's content in the back yard.
*kids that give me little things to make my day good!  I have one little fourth grader in mind...
*making my kids' lunch in a way that makes them smile.
*seeing them laugh and have fun at school.  We're blessed.
*a fast day at work!  And uneventful, too.
*God's presence...and giving me more of an attitude of gratitude than grumpiness.
*kids who hug me at work.
*a husband who will go to a meeting because he knows I hate confrontation!
*the way that God reminds me of my commitment to being a better, more Godly wife.
*a washer and dryer that work!  Graham came home with some funky clothes from the birthday party out in the woods.
*a freezer with food inside of it.  I pulled tonight's dinner out this morning.
*sunshine!  Have I mentioned that?

What are you thankful for on this beautiful Monday??

Love to all!

Monday & The Weekend

I had this great idea last night to take pictures of all my favorite Super Bowl commercials...so I did, then I emailed them all to myself.  The plan was to then download them to my computer and upload them to the blog.  Well, guess what?  I emailed myself nothing.  And I already erased them from my phone. 

So much for that, right?

I enjoyed the commercials from the comfort of my own home last night...all by myself.  I won't say I was lonely, either...it was actually quite nice.  I was also reading my book at the same time (The Hunger Games), so when the commercials came on, I put the book down to watch.  :)  I enjoyed myself...don't judge. 

The weekend was spent with friends and with our little immediate family.  It was amazing.  We had our neighbors and dearest friends over, the Dickson's, Saturday night.  I made a yummy grown-up version of pigs'n'blankets.  I used cheesy bratwursts and coated them in a butter/mustard/worcestershire sauce/poppy seed sauce.  So amazing.  Too bad they're all gone, or I'd show you. 

I've been in an anti-social mood this weekend.  Except for Saturday when the neighbors came over, but I don't have to try to impress them.  :)  I don't know why I've been like this, either.  Hopefully today that will change, since I'm about to go to work.  I love the people I work with, so I don't want to seem like I'm all in crazy mood. 

I am thankful that this is a short week!  And today the sun is shining.  I finished my book.  I caught up on reading the greatest Book of all.  And now, I must go. 

Happy Monday...love to all!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tales From Friday

It wouldn't be a normal day if...

it wasn't someone's birthday.  This includes me serenading them with half their class joining in.  ;-)
some adorable kid didn't ask, "Mrs. Goodwin!  Did you paint your hair black?"
someone didn't tattle on someone who looked at them the wrong way.
there wasn't a lot of drama.
some parent didn't get mad at me for something.  Like following the rules.
Crash didn't drive me bonkers at some point in the day.
Todd didn't say something in a cute voice to make me less mad at him.  ;-)
Jonah didn't want to watch some crazy show.  Tonight is Finding Bigfoot.
Noah didn't climb something he shouldn't. 
Graham didn't do something to irritate someone in my house.
Drew didn't make me cringe in embarrassment. 
I didn't think how blessed I am...and thank God for all these little moments in life. 

Forever Friday

I think I want to start a new Friday thing on my blog.  Forever Friday.  I'd like to take the time and write about something that is very important to me, and that has utmost importance...and something that will impact my "forever".

Did I lose you?

Today I want to write about marriage.  Marriage impacts our today's and our tomorrow's...for as long as the Lord tarries.

Marriage is a gift from God.  Even on our very worst days.  I don't know about you, but Todd is just about the only one who still loves me after he sees all my different sides.  I'm not always in a good mood, I am not always positive, I don't always take the time pray before I speak...and yet he loves me.  He comes home to me night after night and genuinely wants to spend time with me.  And our boys.  That's more than a lot of people I know can say.

Last night, Todd and I had a conversation about marriage...ours, and the marriage of another couple we know.  I won't go into details, because I don't want to betray any confidences, but I woke up with this on my heart this morning.  I also took the time and prayed for our marriage and the marriage of our friends'.

Ours is nowhere near perfect.  I need to say that again.  OURS IS NOWHERE NEAR PERFECT.  Did you get that?  But God is not finished with us.  We are constant works in progress.

That being said, there are a few things I do everyday that can't do anything but help our daily life.  I thought I would share, and I pray that this reaches exactly the person it needs to reach.

I pray for Todd every single day.  It is impossible to be mad at someone you pray for them.  Not that I'm mad at him everyday, but when I am, I pray for him.  (I pray for myself then, too.)

I always say 'good morning' to him.  Even though some days he doesn't respond back.  He is NOT a morning person. 

I hug him every night before I go to bed.  For a long time, too, not just a quick little meaningless hug.  (We go to bed at different times.  Because I get up during the 5a.m. hour, I am required to get into bed somewhat early each night.  He is a night owl.)

I kiss him each night when he comes home from work.  Who in the world wants to come home feeling unwelcome??  Not me.

I also bug call him often during the day.  Hee hee.  Some days it's way more than he's happy about, but I can't help myself.  He also happens to be my best friend.

One last thing, and then I have to leave for work.  I read this next portion in a book a long time ago.  My favorite author, Karen Kingsbury, is who wrote this...NOT ME.  You see why I pray that God continues to bless my favorite authors with stories...they do NOTHING but strengthen the one who reads them.  Enjoy!

Ten Secrets To A Happy Marriage (as written by Karen Kingsbury)

1. God has us here to serve one another. Love acted out is serving.
2. Women need respect and nurturing. Love your wife so she knows you'd lay your life down for her. Continue to date and admire her. Share a hobby~find something you can do to have fun together.
3. Laugh often.
4. Be patient. Love crumbles quickly under the weight of unmet expectations.
5. Spend more time trying to fix yourself than your spouse.
6. Keep short accounts. The Bible says, "Do not let the sun go down while you are angry." Make it a habit to forgive.
7. Determine up front that divorce is not an option.
8. Learn about love languages. Not all people show love or receive it the same way. You want a back rub and your wife wants a clean kitchen. The love languages are fairly simple: acts of service, time, physical touch, gifts and words of affirmation. Learn them. Love is better received when it's in the language the person speaks. (The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman)
9. Words of affirmation are a love language for all men. Use them often!!
10. Men are born to be leaders. He cannot lead unless she gives him the confidence to do so. If you love your husband, build him up. Confident men do not seek love outside the home.


Love to all.   

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Just a feeling I had today when I woke up...the thankfulness part, I mean.  I thought I would go with this and post on the ole blog.  :)

I am thankful for:

God's holy word.  I am in love with Him more and more...the more I read, the more I love Him. 

the fact that He abides in me.  No longer do we have to talk to Him through someone else.  His Holy Spirit allows us to go boldly into the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16 "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.").

sunshine!  After last night's thunderstorms, I was so excited when I saw the sun peek its head out from behind the early morning fog.  Thank You, Lord...this is one of Your blessings.

comfortable clothes.  I'm so glad I don't have to dress up so much everyday.  Sometimes I do go in to work a little dressier than usual, but today is not one of those days.  I'm not saying I'm the most stylish or anything, but I consider myself presentable and if it's comfy, then it's a plus.  :)

my children's grandparents!  I'm so excited that our elementary school is doing a Grandparents' Day event this year, and my two little's will be WELL represented.  I pray that I never take one moment they have with all their Grands for granted.  They are one of our gifts in our life (James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from the above, coming down from the Father of lights with Whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change.").

I could go on, but I have to go to work!  Another thing that I am thankful for...

Love to all!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Life, Anyone?


Does anyone else have this problem? 

Just wonderin'. 

Love to all.

trials

I read something in the Bible so unbelievably encouraging today.  I think I've read it before, but I might not have paid attention.  I paid attention today, though.  It really struck a chord with me, and I thought I would share. 

To begin, let me start by saying that I was reading in Exodus...chapters 13, 14 and 15 (Day 34 of the Chronological Bible in a year plan). 

At this point in Exodus, Moses had done all that the Lord asked him to do.  Pharoah was being stubborn, and despite all the nasty plagues that He kept sending to the Egyptians, Pharoah would not let the Israelites go.  He was still holding them captive.  Finally, he does indeed let them go.  And then changes his mind.  (What a drama queen, right?  I can just picture what he must have looked like.)

At the time when he changed his mind, Moses had been warned by the Lord about what was going to happen.  Moses was instructed to guide the Israelites to cross the Red Sea.  So, Moses held out his staff and the Red Sea parted.  My translation says that an east wind blew and turned the water into dry land (chapter 14, verse 21).  With Pharoah and his Egyptians hot on their heels, they crossed. 

So did Pharoah and his peeps. 

But guess what happened? 

The water that had parted suddenly rushed into a normal ocean again and swept them (the Egyptians) all into the sea. 

I love all the excitement and action. 

But what caught my attention this morning was this: back when the Israelites were afraid of being captured again, the Lord was right there to reassure them.  Let me just share the verses that jumped out at me.

Exodus 14:13, 14 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today.  The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

The Lord will fight for you. 

The Lord will fight for me. 

And those pesky Egyptians?  Well, rest assured that He is greater than them.  Those Egyptians can be any trial you're facing today.  My prayer is that you will take encouragement that the battle you fight isn't yours, but God's.  And He will fight it for you.  He will fight for YOU

Isn't that simply beautiful? 

Love to all. 

A Few More of My Favorite Things

Wednesday's are awesome, because we are halfway through our week!  I don't rush through my life, normally, but during the school week I am always counting down until we're all together again on the weekend.  :)

My electric griddle.  It's a plug-in thing that Todd bought four years ago on one of our vacations.  I make so many things on this thing!  Sausage, bacon, grilled sandwiches, French toast, pancakes, hamburgers, hot dogs, fried eggs are just a few.  I love it so much that I'm on griddle #2.  It's easy to clean (it has a nonstick surface) and I store it in its box behind our kitchen table.  I use it too much to put it away.

Moroccan oil.  Click here if you want to see what it looks like.  I put it in my hair to tame the frizz, and I rub it all over my neck and on my hands.  I could drink this stuff it smells so good.  The kind I'm using right now is not actually this brand, but it's similar.  It smells heavenly.

Cerave moisturizing cream.  I'll give you the link to this is well.  Just click here.  My mom had bought this for herself and didn't care for it so she gave it to me.  Since using it, my dry skin has not been so dry and itchy.  I have horrible dry skin all over my face and my hands.  I wash my face with hot water and then use this moisturizer.  Simple, easy, and for me, it works. 

Time with Graham and Drew in the mornings.  I love being able to pray with them in the car before dropping them off.  Today's request from Drew: all of middle school has a writing assessment today.  He's writing about his role model, and he's unsure of what he's going to write about. 

Unfortunately, this is all I have time for...gotta run them to school for FCA.  Happy Wednesday and love to all!

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals , and friends, for this blog post.  We've had a great week around ...