Thursday, September 27, 2012

some things I need to talk about

I have cried so many times this week that I have officially lost count.  I have a little more to tell you about our dear friend and neighbor, Mr. Paul. 

Remember how much I cried on Saturday when I found out that he had passed away? 

I finally figured out that it's because I wasn't sure if he was saved or not. 

I have prayed on many occasions for God to break my heart for what breaks His heart.  And Saturday, I think He did that.  I think I got a glimpse of how He must feel when His children choose not to follow Him.  Or believe in Him.  Or have a relationship with Him.  I was completely and utterly heartbroken over missed opportunities. 

If you only ever get one thing I write on this blog, or out of my Facebook page, let it be this: live your life on purpose.  Don't take for granted opportunities you might have to share the love of Jesus with others!  Often times, the Jesus people see in you might be the only glimpse of Him they ever get.  Take the time and ask that loved one, "Do you have a real relationship with the Lord?"  And if they say no, ask them if they want to know how. 

It astounds me that people think they're not good enough to have that relationship with Him.  Thank God, He doesn't require us to be good enough!  We'll never be good enough, not any of us.  But once we ask forgiveness and for Him to come into our hearts, He starts His transformation on us.  We are all works in progress.  None of us should ever be content with our relationships with Him.  We should always be striving to know Him better, and we should all be committed to studying His word. 

My challenge to you and to myself is this: how can you (I) live to make a difference in the lives of others?  We don't have forever left on this earth, you know.  He will come back for us, and I want to be ready.  I want to know that I did everything I could to take everyone I could to Heaven with me.  Live on purpose.  Live like Trey did.  He was unashamed in his faith.  I pray that I am that way.  And that my kids are that way.

Live on purpose.  I dare you.

Love to all.  


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

lots and lots of pictures

Yesterday we had an amazing field trip.  Jonah, Noah and I went on a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River.  I've never been on one for an actual cruise, though.  I thought I would share some pictures for those not on Facebook.  Ahem, Big Daddy.  We have GOT to get you set up on Facebook.  :-)


 The one below is The River Queen that we were on. 






I wanted one picture with the boys and me, and Jonah flat out refused.  At least I have one little one that loves me. 


It was a lot of fun, and very informative.  It was kind of a history-filled cruise.  We loved it. 

Because the weather was so amazing, we decided to have a picnic at a park in Germantown.  I had packed us lunch before we left yesterday morning because I knew we would be starving by the time we got off the boat. 



Why is it that food tastes so much better when you're outside on a cool Fall day?  I am itching to go camping!!!



What's a trip to the park without a little play time?  I love these guys. 

We're going to a funeral this morning and afterward, we're having another picnic at this same park so Graham and Drew can join us. 

Love to all. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

a sad post

So, the last time I posted was on Friday.  About my emotional morning.  Turns out, Friday was nothing compared to my Saturday. 

We found out that our beloved friend and neighbor, Mr. Paul, died very unexpectedly. 

Do you remember me talking about him on here before?  He shared his love of gardening with my boys, teaching them how to plant and pick tomatoes.  For the past two years, he bought the boys each their own plant to grow.  He also shared the bounty from his garden with us. 

We dearly loved this man, with his bald head and scruffy beard.  He might have looked rough around the edges, but inside, he had the heart of a teddy bear.  In fact, because I didn't know him well at the time, when he first invited the boys down to help him plant veggies, I was quite hesitant.  Later on, he came back, thanking us for allowing him to spend time with our kids.

That's why I have taken his death so hard.  He was almost like an extra grandparent.  He invested so much time, energy and love into the upbringing of these boys of mine.  He loved them like they were his own grandkids. 

He once told me that my kids inspired him to be a better person. 

Well, he inspired the same of us.  We often invited him to church with us, but he never came.  I don't know if he went to church, or not.  I pray that this sweet man saw Jesus in each of my boys'.  I pray that they made a difference in his life. 

I sincerely hope that I see him in Heaven someday. 

I also pray that I remember this~to live my life on purpose, which is to point everyone I can to the Lord. 

Please pray for his family~he leaves behind a wife, three daughters, one grand daughter, a mother and three sisters.  And a host of friends like us.  And pray for the boys~the only one it's hit was Graham, and he just so happened to be in first period today when it hit him.  He had to be excused for about five minutes this morning to compose himself.  We're all planning on attending his funeral tomorrow. 

Love to all. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday

Wow.  I have had such an emotional morning.  I wonder what in the world causes these crazy emotions of mine?  I've already cried three times at least, and it's only 8:20 a.m.  And should you be the type to not ever let anyone cry alone, I thought I would share with you what has been the cause of my emotions.

I have to start in reverse order.  The last thing that made me cry is from one of my favorite blogs, Time-Warp Wife.  Here's a video that she shared this morning.  And I did a linky thing on the name of her blog.  Just click on her blog title and Mr. Linky will take you straight there.



I hope this works for you...turn the volume up and watch this precious man.  You might want to grab some tissue!

Another thing that just got me this morning was this picture I saw on Instagram:

  
I showed that to Graham and Drew this morning, and for some reason, I just lost it.  As in, I went from being fine straight to the ugly cry in three seconds.  I was almost embarrassed by it.  I took the opportunity to pray for the whole family.  Maybe that's why I cried...to help bear their burden for a while and to intercede for them.  Who knows?  But I did pray for them, and the entire time I prayed, I cried.  Does that ever happen to you?  I really do think those moments are the times that God wants us to lift someone up in prayer.  

I also cried when I prayed for Graham and Drew in the car on the way to school.  I am so proud of Drew for helping lead devotion in Bible club this morning.  I know he was a little nervous, so I prayed that God would just give him and his two friends, Josh and Bryce, the words He wanted them to say.  

And Graham.  God love him.  He likes this girl at school and today is her birthday, so he's giving her a gift.  I prayed that the little action of him giving her a gift would help her to feel treasured.  Because she is, by an Almighty God.  I pray that she received it kindly and with gratitude.  At times, he has such a kind heart.  I pray that God will continue to soften his heart through moments like this~of showing His love to others. 

These boys of mine are growing up way too fast for me.  I love them so much, and I love the gift God has given me in taking care of them.  I love doting on my precious family, all five of them.  I love buying their favorite foods at the grocery.  I love planning special moments for them.  I love every single moment that God gives us together.  I try to not take our time for granted.  

Speaking of loving and doting on them, I am super excited about a date Todd and I have tomorrow.  He got an amazing Groupon deal this week on a restaurant in The Ville, and we are going there for lunch tomorrow.  Just him and me.  :-)  I'm thinking we need to make this a bi-monthly thing, at the least.  It's easier for us now that the boys are a little older.  We'll be leaving the older two in charge of the younger two. 

As I write this, I'm watching The Today show.  There is a video that's really popular on YouTube right now that I love, it's one of Drew's favorite songs~Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe.  It's really catchy, and for some reason, I love this song in the classical version.  They're on The Today show performing it this morning.  In case you would like to watch it, here it is:  



It does pick up a lot in the middle.  I love it!  I miss being in a choir so much...particularly a choir that sounds so refined.  My favorite time of ever being in a choir was when we had a director named Kent Ferrin.  He had this way of making us feel so treasured and appreciated.  He and his precious wife were dear friends of mine, and I still miss them.  

Well, I'd better get off of here.  I have laundry waiting, beds that need to be made and floors that need to be vacuumed.  Happy Friday to you!  Love to all.   

 




Wednesday, September 19, 2012

another day in pictures

Are you tired of my pictures yet?  It will probably become more of a challenge to keep taking different pictures each day.  But I do love to picture-take.  :-)  And I do love to take pictures of my older boys, too, but they're not around as much.  And they are selective about who takes what kind of picture of them.  When I am lucky enough to get a shot of them, they make me promise not to post it to Instagram.  I usually do, though, on the sly.  Because that's what kind of a mom I am. 

I will share that today was an amazingly gorgeous day outside.  In honor of this beautiful day that God gave us, we had school outside at the park.  We were there for about two and a half hours, and left to come home only because we got hungry.

We took our books, our jackets and Jonah took his truck.


See?  It's great fun to a nine year old boy to slide your monster truck down a slide.  I love this picture~check out the sun's rays coming down on this precious little guy of mine.  And that face...oh my.

Not to be outdone, this little dude is pretty good-lookin', too.


Not that you can see his face, but is his position not funny?  He was doing his language for the day, and making new sentences out of run-on sentences.  He does not love to write, which is probably why he had assumed this position.

They would work through a subject, and they would take a break.  And while they did that, I did this:


I do love some outside time spent in God's word.  I can't wait for tomorrow's reading time~I'm starting in the book of Esther, which just so happens to be another favorite of mine.  Thanks to Beth Moore, that is.  She wrote an amazing Bible study to go along with that book in the Bible and she does have this way of making the story come to life like only she can.  I would love to start another one of her studies, so if you're in my area and reading this and know of any upcoming studies of hers that might be done in your church, let me know.  We're not allowed to do hers in my church anymore.  :-(  I'm not even going to go there right now, but I totally disagree with what people in my church who are saying I don't need to do anything else by her.

Anyway.

And last, but not least...


It's a good thing he's cute.  It helps me like him more.  And what's a post without a picture of our furry friends?

How was your day?  Share the love and let me know what you've been up to!  Love to all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

a day in pictures

I changed the format on my blog.  Do you like it?  Do you hate it?  Are you confused?  I think I actually like it.  

I might change it back, but then again, I might not.  I'm in the mood to play around with it a little.

I was looking back, though, and I have to thank my friend Shari for making me blog with pictures more.  It was so boring when it was just words, and when I'm reading blogs, I live for the ones with the pictures.  So, Shari, if you're reading, thank you.  :-)

Here's what went on in my day today:


 Every morning starts just like this.  Coffee, the Bible, a devotion to provide us with a guide to reading the Bible...I do love a good morning.  Our day goes so smoothly when we start it focused on the One who made the days to begin with.  :-)

 After I took Graham and Drew to school, I came home, got dressed, and the rest of us headed to Walmart for a little grocery shopping.  I finished that, came home, put it all away, cleaned out the fridge and the pantry, vacuumed, and we sat down to start school.

We began with math, then followed it with Spelling, Vocabulary and Poetry.  :-)  I do love me some poetry, too.


They were writing down their Unit 2 spelling words.  Are they not precious?

We went on with school and finished it up with a little geography and some reading and thinking skills.  All in all, it was a wonderful day, if I do say so myself.  Tomorrow we will start on time again, and we will work through tomorrow's and Thursday's work.  Because of our enrichment classes, it's somewhat necessary to finish at least most of that day's work.

My friend Aimee picked up all the boys from the middle school today.  While I was waiting on them to come home, I was able to complete all my Bible study homework for this week and get caught up again on my Chronological Bible reading plan.  I'm expecting to be finished with the Old Testament this week, and that is exciting to me!  I was thankful that I had the time to do this, and I had the perfect opportunity while Jonah and Noah were playing quietly in the same room. 

I made a new (to me) recipe tonight.  I've eaten it plenty of times, I've just never made it.  It's called Low Country Boil.  It's shrimp, smoked sausages and potatoes.  The recipe also called for corn, but I forgot it.  It was so simple!  I filled the stock pot three fourths of the way full, dumped in two tablespoons of salt, a fourth of a cup of Old Bay Seasoning, let it boil, dumped in the potatoes and let them boil for fifteen minutes, dumped in the rest of it after that and let it all boil for seven more minutes.  It was perfect!


Doesn't it look yummy?  I mashed up all the potatoes like baked potatoes and smeared them in butter, sour cream, salt and pepper.  I also made garlic bread.  Our tummies are stuffed, but man it was good!

After dinner, while I was cleaning the kitchen, I thought I would take the time to show you what the inside of my cabinet doors look like:



I did this several years ago.  Why waste all that amazing space?  I'd much rather look at my sweet kids than some ugly wood paneling, wouldn't you?

And look at this adorable-ness:



Can they please stop growing?  I miss them being so little!  The picture of them as cows was their first walking Halloween.  They were exhausted. 

So that was our day.  How was yours?  For all the people who have left comments, thank you!  I love seeing that little notification.  Don't be shy...keep them coming!  Love to all. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

things you might witness in my home, if you were a fly on the wall

1.  The colossal messes that are made daily.  I really try hard to keep our home straightened and de-cluttered and clean.  I do a pretty good job at the straightened and de-cluttered part, but I fall behind on the cleaning.  Now that I am educating my own children, there's no time!  Ha! 

2.  Me vacuuming up soil and cactus thorns from the man cave floor.  Our neighbor's boy came over to play today and decided it would be cool to flip flop all over the couch upstairs.  Which might not have been such a bad thing, except for the fact that a cactus got in the way of his feet.  The cactus toppled over and dirt went everywhere.  The good thing is that the floor is now all nice and clean.

3.  A non-put-together Jennifer.  Today was pajama day at school.  :-)  Don't judge, please.  It was blah and raining, and why the heck not?  I didn't get to the store, either, but I did get out after dinner.  Remember the painting party I mentioned?


Isn't it cute?!  I can't wait to hang it tomorrow!  After my morning trip to the grocery store, that is.  And hopefully after I get a shower.  Since that didn't happen today, either.  (It was a long day of school, again!  A great day, but a long one.  However, we completed two days' worth of work again.  I let them have off on Friday since Graham and Drew were off, so we had to play catch-up.)

4.  A very restless dog.  Or maybe two dogs.  Andy the Wonder Dog is terrified of rain, did I mention that before?  He paces when it rains.  Chicken.  And Evil Knievel has pulled a ligament in his left hind leg and was put on bed rest for this week.  HA!  Have you seen my puppy???  Him and bed rest will NEVER go in the same sentence.  N.E.V.E.R.E.V.E.R.  Do you hear me?  So, the vet said we could him a Benadryl to calm him down.  Well, we accidentally gave him three this morning.  (And yes, it was an accident, not on purpose!)  I gave him one when I got up, and before Todd left for work, he gave him two.

Do you know that it didn't even phase the demon dog?  I couldn't knock him out if I tried, apparently.

5.  Lots of laughing and being silly.  Half the time, we all walk around talking in our own little dialog and accents.  We are particularly good at talking like small children.  (Again, don't judge.  It makes us all laugh and have fun, and that's all that matters, right?)

6.  Books.  I have them everywhere, and I am not even buying them anymore, I promise!  I'm only borrowing from my happy place nowadays.

7.  Lots of techie stuff.  We have  two laptops, a desktop, two smart phones, two dumb phones, two iPod's, and two touch-pads.  I know, right?  I feel kinda guilty being that "connected".  Kids in parts of the world don't have drinking water, but Heaven forbid our WiFi go down! 

8.  Laundry.  She and I are not getting along anymore.  I used to complete her each day, but today she took over my laundry room.  I plan on trying to knock her out tomorrow. 

9.  Shoes.  I have this issue about not putting my shoes away.  I'll get them almost to my closet, but I'll leave them in my bathroom floor.  And in the kitchen are Todd's shoes.  And in the living room are Graham's and Drew's shoes.  The only two that are good at putting theirs away are Jonah and Noah.  God love their little hearts.

10.  Soda cans.  I wish we didn't drink so much of it, but the kids have one a day.  Jonah and Noah don't always, but the older boys do.  Now that they're older, they want it more.  They also drink sweet tea and a little water every once in a while. 

That's all. 

Love to all. 

blah Monday

Today is rainy.  There's some little ping, ping, ping going on in my fireplace that is quite mesmerizing, although potentially bad.  It's probably the leak that we had fixed once, the repair that didn't work. 

I am thankful everyday to be a stay-at-home-wife, but today, I am extra thankful.  I'm thinking it's going to be a take a shower and put on clean pajamas kind of day.  Although, maybe not, because I do need to get to the store at some point.  Maybe for just a couple or four things, though, since it is raining and all.  And tonight I'm going to a painting party that my friend and neighbor Katie invited me to.  We're painting a cross.  :-)  Did you know that I love crosses? 


This is my stairwell wall.  I've added several more since this was taken back in May. 

Other goings-on from this weekend included three of my kids starting lacrosse Fall ball.  Jonah, Drew and Graham.  Noah wants to stick with baseball.  It's a short season~only about a month, with practices on Friday late afternoons and Sunday afternoons after church.  I have no idea when "games" will be played, although I don't think they'll be playing real games, probably just scrimmages. 

Saturday I went out with my mom and sister, Lisa.  It was really nice and it's been a while since I've done that.  We had dinner at mom's Saturday night, too.  Yesterday it was church and practice.  Our neighbor's kids came and stayed with us for a few hours, too, which Jonah and Noah loved. 

And that's about it~our weekend in a nutshell.  How was yours?  Share the love and comment!

Love to all. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Fave

I got this idea from Time Warp Wife to share a couple of my favorite links from this week.  I would take you to her blog via linky thing, but I can't at this moment. 

Just Google Time Warp Wife.  Or "like" her on Facebook.

Here are two amazing blogs I read today and wanted to share:

One is from To Love, Honor and Vacuum and is titled, Allowing Kids to Fail.  The writer perfectly portrays how a mother has this need and want to do everything for her child.  It's basically all about tough love. 

One last is from a blog called Raising Arrows.  This one is called, What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Homeschooling

Even though I'm new at this homeschool thing, it's something I have wanted to do for years.  I think homeschooling is a calling from God, and apparently I was too stubborn to answer His call for me.  And even though I know bad days will be plentiful, I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to do this with my two youngest.  I'm also thankful for a wonderfully, sweet, hardworking husband who allowed me to quit my job and cut off the extra money I made from hauling kids back and forth to school.  We're down to living on one income, and though things are tight, God has this way of working it all out. 

I hope you take the time to read them!  They're both amazing articles. 

We've had a little change of plans for the day.  I think that rain is looming on our horizon, so instead of going to the zoo, we've decided to go to a huge park in Memphis.  We're going to eat at Chick Fil A and then we're going to the park.  :-)  It is an awesome park day! 

I love long weekends, don't you?  Love to all!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hump Day

I love the middle of the week.  Especially when it's a short week.  Today is kind of our Friday~tomorrow we have our enrichment classes at Germantown Presbyterian and Friday (after a tiny amount of school work and some quizzes and a spelling test), we are going to the zoo with my sweet Daddy! 

I can't wait.  It's been sweet forever since we've been~last November, to be exact.  I can't believe it's been that long.  We will be picnic-ing and exploring.  :-)  Can you tell I love the zoo?

Today was a long day of school work for Jonah and Noah, but we completed two days of work in about six hours.  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. 

I thought I would share some pics with you, in the same order as our day went.  


The sunset sunrise was beautiful this morning!  It made me think of the Scripture (or was it song?!) that says, "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."  Our God is quite the painter of landscapes, isn't He?


I just love our lil town.  The Ville.  Happy sigh inserted here.


Crash's new favorite thing to do is snuggle with Todd in the mornings.  Usually Todd is still asleep while I'm getting dressed, and this is how I caught this little guy this morning.  Is he not precious?  He was a good boy today, and I'm choosing to call him by his given name instead of Evil Knievel. 


We studied about birds today in science.  Jonah was on a mission.


Noah was busy looking up information for different state birds.  I think he was reading about mockingbirds here.  (I swear, I almost just wrote Mockingjay.  Too much Hunger Games???)


Crash's next favorite thing is playing tug of war with Todd when he comes home from work everyday.  He was waiting for Todd to give him the go-ahead to grab the toy.  He was patiently waiting for it. 

That's all.  I am beat!  I'm hitting the hay. 

Love to all!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

another day of homeschool

It has been an amazing day!  I almost hate to write that statement.  I feel like I'm opening myself up to all kinds of crazy just by writing it.  But if I am, I will deal with it when I get there.  For now, I am going to enjoy the good.

We love our new curriculum!  It's so simple, and I love how it's all Christ centered.  :-)  The only down side to all of it is that Jonah and Noah love it so much, they're inadvertently making their big brothers jealous.  I'm thinking that the two older boys are seriously contemplating being homeschooled next year. I secretly hope that they will want that!  I would love to have days like today with all of them. 

Anyway, we were finishing up today at 12:50 and 1:00!  Woohoo!  It's amazing how much work you can get done if you take away all the bathroom breaks, recess, lunch times, walking back and forth and special classes.  And to make our day even more amazing, after we finished up our work for the day, we decided to do a little home economics lesson and we made homemade chocolate chip cookies.  They were so good, even Big Daddy would have been proud. 

I started writing this earlier in the day and I am just now getting around to sitting back down.  We've eaten dinner and my kitchen has been cleaned.  As I write, I am hearing a bunch of boys in my front yard play football.  I love the sound of them all. 

I had a whole slew of things I was going to talk about, but I'm thinking I'm better off keeping my mouth shut on those subjects for now.  :-)

How was your day?  Love to all!

Monday, September 10, 2012

a picture is worth a thousand words...

...and I don't have that many words tonight.  So this will be short on words and long in pictures. 

I hope you don't mind.


I love this girl and miss her so much since she married and moved away.  However, as sad as I am at times when I have to say goodbye, I am so happy that God brought her the man of her dreams, the one she had prayed for so long.  He is so faithful!  And that goes with us being friends, too.  Our friendship was very unexpected, but she has been one of the biggest blessings God has ever given me.  She fills my girlfriend love tank to full every time I'm with her, and is every bit as affectionate as I am.  :-)  I love her.


He's really not pale, I promise.  It's the coloring of the photo editing ap I'm using.  We played backyard detective today for science.  They had to dig around and find all the living organisms they could.  In this jar is a worm and some other odd little creepy crawly things. 

Bleck.


I have to admit, I was a little nervous about him holding this so close to his face.  But he doesn't seem bothered at all, does he?


Because it was so beautiful outside and because we can as homeschoolers, we picnic-ed on our back deck today.  :-)  I love the freedom we have! 


Is he not beautiful?  His eyes alone will melt the heart of any girl who ever gives him a second glance.  :-) 

That is all.  I am beat and am about to go fall into bed.  I hope I can read at least a few pages of my book before I slip into the Land of Nod, but I'm doubtful. 

Love to all.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

weekend musings

The temperatures this weekend have been ahmaazing!  I am so ready for Fall weather, aren't you?!  There is just something about crisp air, the smell of a fire, sitting around a fire pit or campfire roasting marshmallows for s'mores, sweatshirts, blankets...

I'll stop myself. 

We all know how I feel about my favorite time of year.  I'm contemplating pulling down my Fall decorations this week, too, but it might still be too early.  As much as I love some seasonal decorating, I'm also a stickler for enjoying the season we're in, and technically, it's still Summer. 

Anyway.

The kids played outside ALL DAY yesterday.  I seriously only saw them when they came into eat.  All the neighborhood kids were out and about, and they were in Heaven.  The hubby and I were lazy.  We lounged around all day in our pj's and watched t.v.  I also read a little and I went through all the curriculum that came in the mail Friday.  I made a lesson plan for Monday and am anxious to start!  I decided to do only Monday because my teacher stuff won't come in until tomorrow.  I think there's a detailed outline of what I need to do when, so I thought I would wait and see.

Last night, instead of our usual Saturday night plan (going to Nana's and Big Daddy's house), we went to my friend Christa's parents' house.  :-)  Her hubby is here for two weeks doing a remodel project for them and she joined him this weekend.  We ate dinner and got all caught back up.  Another one of my sweet friends was there, too, Jennie.  I'm sad to say that it's been a year and a half since I have seen that girl.  And yes, we live in the same town.

It was a great night.  Today we've cleaned a little and straightened up things in preparation for this week.  I'll probably hit the grocery store tomorrow for some necessities, and then we will be immersed in our second first week of school.

Confusing, huh?

I know.  I do have one very exciting piece of news, and that is that I bought a Northface jacket that looks brand-spanking new for $20!  Isn't that amazing!?!?  My friend posted on Facebook that she was selling one in the next size up that Jonah and Noah need, and we have one that size but needed one more.  So, we bought it!  I'm so excited about that deal, and so thankful for it!  Those are the warmest jackets and because they're so light, my kids never complain about having to wear them. 

It was even a little worth the bashing I took from a "friend" about being sneaky, under-handed and cheating her out of this deal for her nephew.  Seriously.  I cannot believe she would think that I would be like that!  We were both looking for a good deal, and it was to my benefit that this friend of mine lives at the end of my street.  If she had gotten it first, I never would have accused her the things she accused me of. 

Oh, well.  All that matters is that the Lord knows the condition of my heart. 

Love to all. 


Friday, September 7, 2012

be mindful

I love those two little words, "be mindful".  I tell my kids to always be mindful of the people and situation around them.  Do you say that?  Or tell your kids that?  Or yourself?

I think as Christians we need to be mindful of the Holy Spirit.  I'm not any great theologian, but I believe the Holy Spirit is our advocate.  Do you know what that word means?  He is the One who looks after us, and He wants the best for us. 

Just in case I may not be right, I'm going to take a minute to check out the true meaning of that word.

Dictionary.com says this about the word advocate:
  
To speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly: He advocated higher salaries for teachers.

I was right, it turns out.  :-)  I love it when that happens.  

But I believe that about God as the Holy Spirit~He wants the best for us.  And, I believe in some cases, He leads us to shut our mouths when the time is appropriate.  And when we are blessed enough to realize when He is leading us to shutting our mouths, we need to be mindful of His leading.  

I won't go into details, but tonight the Holy Spirit literally stopped me in my tracks, turned me around and softened my heart.  Right before He did this, I was in tears, crying out to God to help me be less of a mess.  And in the next instant, I almost felt like He reached down, picked me up, turned me around and changed my heart and my attitude.  

I knew right away that this was exactly what happened, and it was an answer to my cry for His guidance.  And right away, I was humbled and thankful that He cares so much for me.  

I might break down and tell the rest of the story eventually, but for now, I'll stop at this point.  

I just want to encourage you to be mindful of His presence.  He is literally one conversation away from helping you.  If you feel like you're alone and don't know what to do, call out to Him.  He hears, He knows what we go through.  Even when I sometimes don't know what to pray, all I say is "Jesus".  Over and over and over and over, until I feel His peace washing over me.  

And that's okay with Him, after all He is the giver of life, the Creator of our hearts.  He knows what we think before we can ever speak it.

Reach out.  Receive all He has to offer.  Be mindful of His holy presence.  

Love to all.  

things & such

My titles are always so original, aren't they?  I thought I had better post again so the first entry you see isn't quite so negative. 

Our week has been good.  Is it just me, though, or do short weeks always seem the longest?  All I have to say is, thank the good Lord that I am not working in an elementary school anymore!  Short weeks there were always the worst imaginable.  I'm thankful I was able to work there for the time that I did so I could be with my kids, but I'm also relieved to be away from it now.  And I love having Jonah and Noah home with me.  I wish Graham and Drew were here, too!  They're thinking about it for next year.  :-)

Drew had a big project due in science this week.  I am so proud of him for getting this done on Monday and Tuesday.  I didn't have to ask him, he just took that initiative himself.  While we were at Nana's and Big Daddy's on Monday for dinner, he found and painted a rock. 


His name is Jerry.  (Sorry for the bad quality of this pic...I didn't realize it was that bad until I saw it enlarged like this.)

On Tuesday, Graham auditioned for the worship band at church.  :-)  I'm so proud of him and his confidence in the abilities that God has given him.  He sang TobyMac's Me Without You and I think he might have played the drums.  I think where they need help the most is with the drums.  He was given an "assignment"...to learn a couple songs and give it a go one night in Wednesday night service. 

Since summer has officially ended with the passing of Labor day, I cannot wait to go camping!  We have an amazing new tent to try out...not bigger than our other one, but taller than the one we used previously.  It'll be awesome to not have to stoop over to get to the places we'll be sleeping.  I am officially done with the hot weather, too.  It's September, and we're still under heat advisories. 


Doesn't that look amazing?!  Except for the bottle of beer that she has in her hand...I will replace that with hot chocolate of a cup of fresh coffee.  :-)  I can't wait! 

Yesterday, we had our day of school at Germantown Presbyterian.  We all love it.  Jonah and Noah got to cook yesterday in their Continental Cooking class.  They made tacos.  They also ate grapes and some type of bread, as they talked about Egypt in their geography class, and they had cherry turnovers in their last class.  I love my Bible study class.  It's not my usual easy, flowery type of Bible study, either.  It's hard.  It's an in-depth look at God's written word.  It's called Precept Upon Precept.  The teacher is an amazingly gifted woman who is very easy to listen to. 

So, that's about it for our week.  It's been good!  Our new curriculum is due to arrive today, well at least part of it, and I can't wait to unpack it and look at all.  The rest will arrive on Monday and hopefully on Tuesday, we'll be back to our new normal routine of school.  I am excited about getting back into it all.

How has your week been?  Share the love and comment!  I feel like I'm writing in the black hole again.  ;-)

Love to all. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

things I'm over

1.  I am so over people putting other people up on pedestals.  Todd and I got an email last night from the American Family Association (AFA), informing parents of Nickelodeon pushing their viewers (kids) to follow the illustrious Jason Biggs on Twitter.  And then there was a link to click on to see what they were talking about.  I was horrified over what I was reading. 

Heaven forbid one of my children ever lay eyes on anything that vulgar.  In case you're wondering what Jason Biggs and Nickelodeon have in common, he is one of the voice-overs in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show or movie.  Whichever one, my kids won't be watching it.  Not that they would anyway, but I'm seriously thinking we need to ban that channel from now on.  It's no surprise, since that channel is owned by the same people who own MTV. 

2.  I am tired of seeing all the political posts on Facebook.  Maybe I need to take a Facebook break.  It turns out that I have quite a few liberal friends.  That gives me a sick feeling!  Not that all liberals are bad people, but I don't understand how people who call themselves Christians can be liberal.  I don't necessarily vote on political parties~Republican or Democrat.  I vote on morals.  My morals usually lean toward the Republican candidates, or the conservative side. 

And hearing about last night's speakers taking God out of the picture is not even right.  I saw someone post on Facebook that maybe they shouldn't do that, especially since they're standing on a platform, breathing the air that God gave us to breathe.  They are walking on scary territory taking God out of everything, and one day they will have to face Him for that. 

*Disclaimer: if you are reading this and disagree with my post, please keep all negative comments to yourself.  This is my blog, therefore these are my thoughts. 

3.  On a totally different note, I am over my voice sounding weird.  I woke up yesterday with this voice/throat thing and it's bothering me.  It doesn't hurt, but I'm not talking right and I can't sing!  And I love to sing.  I was in the kitchen yesterday and listening to Klove, and when a song came on that I love and I tried to sing it, I ended up sounding like a teenaged boy going through puberty.  I don't know if I'm coming down with a cold or sinus thing (but I have no other symptoms) or if I'm getting laryngitis.  Either way, it's on my nerves. 

Also, to make it worse, last night my husband caught a cave cricket in our garage. 


For your viewing pleasure, in case you've never seen one.  These are also called camel crickets or spider crickets.  He thought it would be fun to put this little sucker in a glass spice jar and bring it in to show me.  I was screaming so loud that I am shocked somebody didn't hear me and call the po-po.  Seriously, I went a little crazy.  This went on for five minutes, and not only Todd but Graham, Drew and Jonah kept showing it to me.  I couldn't move and every time they brought it near to my face, I would scream.  And no, it was not on purpose.  It looked exactly like a huge spider. 

I'm not sure if I'm talking to them yet.  I was a little stand-offish this morning with all of them.  Except for sweet baby Noah, who was the only one not in on it.

And now I'm scared to go in my garage.

All I can say is that I am SO getting my husband back for this.  It'll be when he least expects it. 

This image is one I found on Google, it wasn't the one he caught (and then released). 

Well, thanks for reading all my current frustrations.  Love to all. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

pinterest & such

I keep finding myself on Pinterest.  Goodness gracious, have you seen it?!  Last night I was browsing recipes, and I'm pretty sure I came up with my meals for this week.  :-)  I can't wait to try them!

Here are a couple ideas:




That first one looks so good, but I can't remember the name of it.  If I end up making it, I'll let you know how it turns out.  This second one is a new spin on my favorite soup: chicken tortilla soup.  This one is a lot less fat.  I am making myself hungry!

In browsing the beloved Pinterest, I came across some other images of things that make me happy:


Is this image above not the sweetest thing you have ever seen?  I want to be like that when I grow up!  


We all know how this girl feels about some OPI.  I've been looking at and drooling over their new Germany collection.  :-)  I can't wait to purchase one or three!  I'm hoping my mom and I can make a run to the state beauty supply place in the next month or so.  I re-did my toes and fingers yesterday.  My color of choice for this week: Road House Blues.  It's a really deep navy blue. 


This picture is amazing.  I love to worship God, and often I find myself distracted in church.  I don't know why this is.  I don't know if it's the music, the people around me, the lack of feeling the words are sung with or what, but this picture is beautiful to me.  And it's making me be determined to let all of that go the next time I'm in church and just worship.  Regardless of my surroundings, I intend to do just that.  Is this baby not precious?  I love how he's holding his little hand over his heart.  I've done that before, when I've been so full of God that I thought I would explode. 

I miss that feeling. 

Well, lest I waste my entire day on this computer, I'm off to start this Tuesday. 

Love to all.