Sunday, July 29, 2012

weekend & such

I think I'm officially out of things to write.  That makes me sad.  I go in spurts of having some sort of block, and then inspiration strikes and I'll post a lot.

So, in the chance that this might bore you, I apologize.  Sometimes life is that way...and trust me, I am very blessed to be able to say that life right now is uneventful.

We had some friends over Friday night.  I invited them over under the pretense of watching the Opening Ceremonies, but darned if we didn't watch a single second.  Not that I mind.  We congregated in the kitchen over tacos and Skipbo.  It was a lot of fun.  Our friends David and Sunny came over, along with a new couple we've gotten to know lately, Matt and Bryna.  Their kids are all around Jonah's and Noah's ages, so it was fun for everyone.

Saturday I read.  Imagine that.  Almost all day, except for the breaks I took to do laundry, eat and clean up the kitchen.  Heaven!  I finished my thirteenth book of the Summer.

Saturday night we took the kids to my mom's and stepdad's house and we went to a couple's shower.  Todd's best friend, Bob, is getting married in October to the sweetest girl, Kensie.  It was fun, but we had to leave early.  We didn't eat dinner until after eight, and I didn't want to stay past nine.  It was still fun.

Today we went to church.  I cried in First Kids' church...today was the fifth grader's last day up there with us.  I know I've said this before, but I am so honored to go to a church that loves our kids so much.  Beth and Craig Bracewell, our leaders in First Kids' church really love each and every kid, and they form these amazing bonds with them over the years.  So does our kids' pastor, Austin and his sweet wife, Amy.  Anyway, today as Beth and Craig said goodbye to the fifth graders, they were also commissioning them for middle school.  They were both extremely choked up...and needless to say, so was I.  You know I don't let anyone cry alone in my presence.

So, it was an emotional day.

Before I even walked in church this morning, I had already cried once over Matt Redman's "10,000 Reasons".  Now, every time I think of that song, I cry.  That is the song that was playing when Trey Erwin met his Maker.  At the end of the song, he let go of his earthly body and gained his perfect one in Heaven.  I cannot listen to this song anymore without bawling my eyes out.  Even before that I knew that was the song that was playing in his room before he passed away, the lyrics to this song just get me.  Every single time.  We have thousands (millions!) of reasons to praise our Heavenly Father.  He alone is worthy.

Tonight we had dinner with our precious neighbors and dearest friends.  Their nephews have been out of town all week, so we were so glad to welcome them back home tonight.  My boys (and we) missed them.  We got all caught up with each other again, since it's been over a week since we've really seen them.  Moments like that are awesome...I love that dear couple more than I can even express, and we are extremely blessed to have them in our lives.

I'm leaving you with the lyrics and video to "10,000 Reasons".  I hope you enjoy.  Love to all.

"10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)"

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

[Chorus x2]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
Lord, I'll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
I'll worship Your holy name 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

random

Yesterday all the boys and I went to our dentist and had our teeth cleaned.  None of us had cavities (YAY!), but I need to schedule an orthodontist appointment for Jonah.  He needs a palate-expander.  :-(

I read so much this weekend it's not even funny.  I finished three books.  Well, the third one, I finished yesterday morning before our appointment.

I am so excited about tonight...my sister and I have a "date" to watch the season finale of The Bachelorette. She's also spending the night.

My best friend and I finally got to see each other!  It's been way too long.  We had dinner Friday night, then perused the aisles of Target afterwards.  I bought the movie Dear John.  And came home and watched it.  Then proceeded to (not) fall asleep until three a.m.  (Todd was working.)

I have no idea what we're having for dinner tonight.  I do know that I need to go buy the fixings for it, though.  I'm craving taco soup, though...not sure if anyone else is, but it sounds yummy to me!

Graham and Drew keep sleeping until eleven.  Two weeks from now is going to be a rude awakening...for all of us, I'm afraid.

Jonah and Noah are sad because their best little buddies (Myles and Zander) are out of town until Sunday.  I'm sure Katie and Travis are glad for the break, but little guys are sad.

Well.  I need a refill on my coffee.

Love to all!


Friday, July 20, 2012

#1105

I was shocked to wake up this morning to the devastating news of the shooting in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater.  My niece works in Aurora, and lives with my sister Debi and her family in Denver.  That is a little close to home.  I cannot imagine what these poor families are going through this morning...my heart goes out to them, and my prayers are with them. 

It's sad that we live in this kind of world today.  It's sad that flying is such a hassle, that our kids know what metal detectors are and that we might think twice before stepping into the doors of another movie theater. 

Just yesterday I had a conversation with my kids about the importance of being aware of their surroundings.  I had just read about an alleged kidnapping attempt in Cordova, a town that is about thirty minutes away from The Ville.

It's just the kind of world that we live in today.  I don't know about you, but in the midst of all the news of tragedy and crime, I need some reassurance. 

This morning in my quiet time (and time of catching up on my Chronological Bible reading plan), I came across a passage in Isaiah that gave me just that: reassurance. 

"He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is key to this treasure."  Isaiah 33:6

He will be our sure foundation...though our days might be unsteady, He will be steady.
He will be our salvation, our wisdom, our knowledge...though we might be unsure.
He will be our treasure...and knowing Him and serving Him is the key.

Are you in need of comfort this morning?  I hope His word brings peace to you.  I know it does to me.

Love to all. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

God is good...

(...all the time!  All the time, God is good!)

I always say those words back whenever I read the phrase, "God is good".  He is, though, right?

Even in death...He is good to quickly take those home who might be suffering.  (Trey Erwin and my Uncle Wayne, who died on the same day last week and whose funerals were at the exact same time on Saturday, but in very different locations.)

Even when Todd's Grandma Rena suddenly passes away Monday night/early Tuesday morning...He is so good to have never let her suffer with a physical illness (though she had Alzheimer's disease, nothing else was physically wrong). 

Even when our air goes out.  For the second week in a row.  (Last week it was the upstairs unit, this week it's the downstairs unit.)  Thank the good Lord that we have Total Protect...a large appliance insurance.  And thank the good Lord that as I type this it's only 74 degrees outside!  Just last week it was in the lower one-hundred's. 

He is so good and faithful to watch over our affairs.  Every little detail, He knows and He takes care of. 

I refuse to let our circumstances get me down...instead, I choose to focus on the blessings God turns them into.

How do you look at life?

Love to all. 


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Grandma Rena


Although she had Alzheimer's disease, this lady was physically healthy when she laid her head down to sleep last night.  Who knew the next time she opened her eyes, she'd be looking at her Jesus face to face?

What a way to go...very quietly, very peacefully.  

It's answer to prayer and a huge blessing to my mom-in-love that she never had to be sick, or in the hospital.  And now she is reunited with her husband and her son.  

I cannot wait for the day when I enter Heaven and get to see all the loved ones who've gone on before me.  

I am so thankful that I am assured that I have a place there with them.  Do you know where you're going when you die?  

I challenge you to remedy that if you don't.  

Love to all. 

tidbits

Last night when I went to bed, I left Jonah downstairs with Todd.  Jonah had requested that they watched "Locked Up Abroad".  So Todd changed the channel and they settled in to watch.  About twenty minutes after I had gone upstairs, Jonah came upstairs.  He told me the show had gotten a little too scary for him to be watching it at night.  Then (and this is the cute part I wanted to share) he told me that he prayed all the time that God would let him have good dreams at night.  But sometimes that prayer didn't work and he ended up having nightmares.  So he started praying that God would give him good dreams and good nightmares.  :-)

As I'm writing this (I've started and stopped lots and lots of times), Noah told me he wants to be the person in Petco who trains dogs.  Ever since he was little bitty, he has loved all animals.  I believe that kids are given certain gifts, and I've discovered all of my boys'...one of Noah's is his way with animals.  :-)  My sweet boy is so precious.

I was in a bad mood last night.  I don't really know why.  I was cleaning the kitchen after dinner and was wondering why in the world I had a mood change all of a sudden.  I think it was Evil Knievel's fault...at least, that's what I'm going to blame it on.  He had two accidents yesterday...and the second one was out of pure defiance.  Grrrr.  It's really hard remembering that he is still a puppy.  Anyway, as I was putting leftovers in the fridge, I saw this Bible verse I have written on an index card:

"Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit."  Proverbs 15:4

I am so thankful I saw that.  (That's the whole point of them being posted on my fridge...they're there for all of us to see.)  It reminded me that my bad mood was not anybody's fault...so instead of me making everyone around me miserable, I just didn't say a lot.  Todd did later tell me that he prefers me to be cheerful.  ;-) 

I saw a little thing from Graham last night that made my heart melt.  As the big brother in the house, he's often not very nice to his siblings.  But last night he came into my room to tell me what Jonah had said about "Locked Up Abroad".  He was laughing, and he told me that what Jonah had said was funny.  I encouraged him, as the older brother, to assure Jonah that he had nothing to be afraid of.  Jonah just told me that he did.  I love it when they're nice to each other.

Drew, God love his little heart, is hilarious.  I don't even think he means to be.  I just think that he's ditzy.  In a good way of course.  He has some endearing little qualities that I love.  The way he is quick to ask if I need help, the way he hugs me and offers to give me lots of kisses all over my face, the way he is always so sweet to Jonah and Noah and their friends...I'm just naming a few.  He is quite the entertainer around here...and he keeps us laughing. 

I'm thankful for each of these boys that God has given me.  I pray that their childhood is amazing, and I pray that someday when they have kids, that their memories are good and filled with laughter.  I know that I will forever treasure these times that God has given me with them. 

Love to all. 




Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday & Such

Happy Monday!  I've had a really great, productive day.  For those of you who might not know much about me, I love productivity!  It's right up there with Godliness to me.  (Yes, I am kidding, but not about the productivity part.)

I told all the boys yesterday that today was going to be a day for cleaning the upstairs and the downstairs.  And putting away all the piles of laundry.  :-)  And their sweet little selves did a lot of work to help me.  They completely cleaned the upstairs...including their bathroom (and for some reason, the only word I can think of when I describe that little space of horrors, is GRODY).

While they were upstairs, I worked on laundry and the downstairs.  I wasn't planning on mopping today because of all the rain in the forecast (rain+dogs=big, fat mess), but when I saw all the dusty paw prints, I decided I couldn't stand to stare at those.  Graham offered to do it for me.  I happily obliged. 

I love helpful kids.  The more helpful and gentlemanly they are, the better husband they'll make someday.

My sweet Graham also offered to grocery shop with me.  I told him how much I appreciate him always willing to come with either me or Todd and help us.  I don't know if it's to "help" so much as it is to just be alone with us.  Either way, we are both thankful for any alone time with any of our boys, and we'll take whatever we can get. 

I'm back home now (obviously).  My house is clean, candles are burning, groceries have been bought and put away, my menu for the week is planned and all is well with my world. 

I feel like I can relax for the rest of the day.  Especially because dinner is simple tonight, with a pretty quick clean up. 

How has your day been so far?  I am praying for all of you who read this.  Love to all!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

thoughts

Death has been all around me lately.  It's the circle of life...some people you know lived a full life and died knowing that (my uncle), some died way before their time (Trey Erwin), and for one precious girl it forever seems imminent (Lucy Krull). 

I was struck the other day (while reading blog after blog, caring bridge after caring bridge) that we can really get burdened down with death.  While blogs and social media are wonderful things, you really get sucked in to the whole story.  (And please know that I do not mean any disrespect when I say this.  I'm just speaking from my heart.) 

As Christians, we should definitely be compassionate and prayerful of the people we know going through sickness.  Definitely, always.  We should not, however, get so burdened down with their stories that we fail to see the good in our own families.  For instance, Thursday when I was reading Trey's caring bridge website and bawling my eyes out, I might have snapped at my kids once or three times.  Yup.  (Please, don't judge.)  Looking back, I'm ashamed at that.  I was then, too, I just didn't see it like I do now.

When did another person's story take precedence over my own children? 

It shouldn't.  That's just it.  And while I am prayerful of people going through sickness, I don't always let myself get so involved.  (Yikes...that sounds selfish, doesn't it?)  Let me explain with a story that my mom-in-love has told me:

Phyllis used to know a lady who was a wife, a mom to multiple kids and she worked full time.  She was involved in everything...including Bible studies.  She was faithful to being in these studies, she was diligent, she never missed.  At some point, she became so engrossed in her Bible study at that time that she failed to pay her kids the required amount of attention. 

Don't you think that this story is sad?  If she couldn't take what she learned from a Bible study and somehow apply it to her life, what was the point in doing the Bible study in the first place?

This is my point with all the sadness that's around me.  I don't want to be so submerged with death and illness that I forget to embrace the life all around me.  This blessed gift of life all around me is evident in my sweet husband, and my four amazing sons.  I don't want to forget about them...I don't want to take a moment for granted with them.

And with all these people mentioned above, I think they would tell me the same thing.  I think they would want us all to remember to live life.  I think they would say to live each moment...the good and the bad.

These are just my thoughts.  Like I mentioned before, I do not mean any disrespect by writing this.  I am just sharing with you what I think God showed me the other day.  I pray that we all take the time to live life in each moment...no matter how big, how small, how seemingly unimportant.  We never know when we might breathe our last, and I don't know about you, but I don't want to have any regrets.

Love to all.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Expectations

I think sometimes mine are too high.  Do you have this problem?  By this statement, I mean that I will expect something to turn out really well...like our 4th of July.  I expected it to be full of family, fireworks, yummy food...and it was full of family (just those of us who reside in our house), but that was about it.

I'm not saying it was bad...just not how I thought it was going to turn out.  We celebrated with our sweet neighbors Tuesday night...we went to their house for a cookout and to swim.  Then we watched the fireworks.  Wednesday, we just sat around.  Literally, all day, that is what we did.  I don't think I got out of my pj's at all.  That is so nice to do every once in a while, and that day was no exception.  I think we were all on overload from being gone so much this summer.  It's been great to have a week with all of us at home.

Back to the expectations, though, why are mine so high?  I think I've had some really great family time over holidays, and I think that might have set the standard.  I don't know if that is the answer or not, but I am starting to learn from my disappointments. 

I'm learning that it's okay to let an idea of something go.  Not every holiday is going to be like a Norman Rockwell painting.  And sometimes, that's not even what life is about.  How many times have we been let down by something that didn't happen exactly the way we wanted it to?  Like my 4th of July...we sat around, watched a little television, read, ate some yummy leftovers, the boys played video games with Todd, and we just generally enjoyed our day together. 

And for us, for that day, was exactly what we needed. 

I hadn't thought about the fact that Todd was tired from running around like crazy all week.  It's not often that he gets a full day at home with us, and he thoroughly enjoyed that time. 

It's also okay that sometimes we celebrate with just our immediate family: Todd, Graham, Drew, Jonah, Noah and myself. 

It's okay that we don't get dressed sometimes, but that we just sit and enjoy the time God has given us to be together. 

It's okay that our normal might not compare to a Facebook friend's holiday celebration...or to a picture someone pins on Pinterest. 

It's okay to be lazy sometimes.  I have issues with this sometimes, too.  I don't like to be idle.  I am pretty sure I get this from my sweet Daddy.  He struggled with the same thing when I was young, although I can relax now better than he ever could...I just don't often completely let go of duties and responsibilities. 

It's also okay for me to every once in a while have a day that I do no laundry, major cooking, cleaning or anything else.  It's okay that I sometimes spend an entire day doing nothing but reading (and finishing) a really good book.  It's okay for me to get caught up in a story like that.

Especially in light of the precious Trey Erwin dying, I am promising myself to let go more often.  I don't want to be the wife and mom who gets so caught up in the details that I miss an important day of doing nothing together. 

I am promising myself to embrace life as it comes more often...like I did last night.  Our upstairs AC is on the fritz and we had a family camp-out in the living room.  Originally I had thought the kids would need to sleep upstairs in the man cave with the door shut.  (We have a window unit in that room, and it was really cool in there.)  And at first I didn't want them sleeping down here on the hardwood floor.  But then I remembered that they're young, and their little backs can handle it just fine.  And it wasn't about being uncomfortable...it was about being together. 

I am promising to not have such high expectations.  I am promising that the only expectation I have will be to embrace my family and the life we have made together.  And in the midst of it all, I promise to try and never take the small moments for granted.  God has given me this amazing family, for who knows how long, and I promise to cherish every single moment we're given. 

Love to all. 



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day

We had our Independence day celebration last night.  Our sweet neighbors, Katie and Travis, invited us over to swim and cookout.  We didn't buy our own fireworks, though.  We're under a burn ban (which, apparently, some people don't care about) and I figured we probably shouldn't. 

We did, however, watch some of these.


Our town puts on a pretty amazing fireworks show.  I just so happen to know the lady in charge of them, too.  Her name is Tammy Townsend, and she was Jonah's second grade teacher.  She's a pyromaniac on the side.  ;-)

She'll tell you that herself. 

It was a nice night.  We don't have much on our agenda for today.  I just had to wake all the boys up, because it's almost ten o'clock and they had to go let out the neighbor's dogs.  (They're dog sitting this week.)  Todd is still upstairs, too.  And me...well, I've been on Facebook and chatting with a sweet friend who lives on Okinawa.  She's coming into town this coming week and we made some plans to get together. 

Happy Independence day to you!  As you celebrate today, don't forget to pray for our nation and our leaders.  Also pray for the morale of our troops...these are things I don't always remember to pray for, but today, I plan on spending a little time doing just that.  I hope you do, too.

Love to all. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I got home from my beach vacation tonight.  It was an amazing week!  I am so thankful my sister Lisa invited us along for her 50th birthday beach bash.  We even got matching t-shirts and light up glasses. 

She is the bomb. 

Our view was amazing! 


See?

This was our balcony...the same one that I watched from as dolphins flipped and jumped out of the water.  Ahmaazing!


Beautiful, huh?


This was Wednesday morning...our first taste of the ocean. 


Not that I love being out on a boat on the ocean...but this just makes me want to do that!  I don't even know how I got this picture...the sun was so bright I could hardly see. 


This was an awesome pier near where we had our beach pictures made. 


Cool, huh?

We did get out a little on Friday for some shopping (all the other days we stayed at the beach)...


Debi and I had a little too much fun in the Bass Pro Shop.  I totally did this for my kids...because I look horrid.

We ate at AJ's our last night.  


I love this place...very cool local hang out.  :-)

And even though so much fun was had and lots of memories were made (more on that in another post), I was ready to say good-bye to this:


So that I could say hello to my boys.  All five of them.  :-)

How was your week?  You can see how mine was. 

Love to all!

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals  (and friends) for this post. This time last week, I was waking up in ...