Wednesday, July 31, 2013

what~not Wednesday

And because I feel the need to, I present to you a numbered blog post.  :)

1.  I am more than overwhelmed with homeschool stuff right now.  There are so many choices, and so many of them are SO EXPENSIVE!!!  And I'm choosing for FOUR, not just two like this time last year.  Yikes.  And, I have one going into high school.  Which counts.  For his future.  And if I mess up, well...I'm going to stop myself now.

2.  I just now, at 4:15 p.m., am dressed for my "day".  Except that it's about to not be day anymore.  So, I'm just now dressed for my night at church.  I stayed in my pajama's all day long.  It was glorious.

3.  Graham and Drew prayer-walked this morning, with some youth from our church.  They ended at a pool party.  And tonight, Jonah and Noah are going to a pool party to end their summer in Midweek Mania.  Graham and Drew are going to "help".

4.  I look so forward to these summer time Wednesday nights...I end up staying forever and chatting with friends.  It's a fun way to get caught up with each other, because we usually don't see one another on Sunday's.

5.  As I type this, I am watching the dumbest cartoon known to man.  Drew loves cartoons.  This one is on the Cartoon Network and is called The Amazing World of Gumball.  I kid you not.  He admitted to me that Graham usually won't let him watch cartoons upstairs...he thinks they're dumb.  (I kinda do, too.)

6.  Drew and I are enjoying an afternoon snack~Cheese Its.  Graham is in the kitchen, attempting to not chop off his finger as he cuts a cantaloupe.  Jonah, Noah and their friend Alex are upstairs playing in the giant fort they made this morning.

Well, as exciting as this list is, I cannot force myself to think of one other thing.  My brain hurts.  Hope your week's been great!  Love to all.

Monday, July 29, 2013

bloggable moments

I didn't think I would ever be able to post a picture from our garden, but at long last, I am able to do just that!  The okra is from Noah's garden box, and the jalapeno's are from Drew's.  The garlic is from Graham's box...did you know that you can plant a clove of garlic and it will grow new garlic?  You can barely see it there on the right.



I'm going to make this okra for Noah tomorrow.

My sweet friend Scottie came over today~we talked about some things for our class that we'll be teaching and for the group that we'll be discipling on Sunday nights.  We had to decide on a book to do with our girls on Sunday night, and then we just sat and enjoyed each other's company.  

I made a yummy dinner tonight~roast cooked in beer and pepperoncini juice, along with the pepperoncini peppers.  It was ridiculous.  In a mouth-watering way.

And then...AND THEN...I pulled together some munchies for our Bachelorette season finale party!  My best friend Mandy came over with her daughter Haley, Haley's friend Margo came, and my sweet new friend Sarah Biggs from church came.  It was so fun!  Until the show ended horribly and someone ended up sobbing.  (Me.)

After I spewed diet coke out of my nose and my mouth.  Do you KNOW how long it's been since I've done that?  I was laughing and before I knew it...well.  You get the drift.  (And yes.  I'm drinking diet coke again.)

Fun times!  Here's a pic of our munchies before Sarah came~she brought some yummy homemade brownies.  :)


It was a great day.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow, too.  We're going to a Redbirds game tomorrow night with my favorite in-love's.  Love to all!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bible Study

May I tell you another story of answered prayer?  Another thing to be encouraged by in your journey of not giving up?

A few weeks ago, on Facebook, I posted a random status that said something like this:

"Hypothetically speaking, if I were to offer a Bible study at my house this Fall on a non-church night, would you be interested in coming?"  

And the response was overwhelming.  I am not the only one longing to do another Beth Moore Bible study!  I think I did specify that it would be by Beth Moore...but I mentioned that I wanted to do the new one.  Anyway, lots of people wanted to do this, so I started looking at prices and what it would cost me and everyone to be a part.  The price was right around $100, plus $10 each for the journals.  I got this feeling of dread in my stomach, because money has been tight all summer, and we honestly just don't have any to spare.  I could have asked everyone to chip in for the leader guide, but I never felt quite right about doing that.

So, I started praying.  What else can I do when I don't know what else to do?  I started asking the Lord for Him to provide a way, either financially or through another option.  And I've kept praying and praying, and this has weighed so heavily on my heart for the past few weeks.

Yesterday morning as I was brushing my teeth, God gave me an idea.  He gave me the idea of getting in touch with a friend who might have some older studies by Beth Moore that are just sitting around.  I know you might be thinking, "Really, crazy lady?  God gave you an idea?"  But I assure you, He did.  I'm going to say and quote this verse YET AGAIN:

Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourselves in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

I have been praying and praying about this, y'all, and to no avail for WEEKS.  And all of a sudden, I get this idea.  I had JUST finished praying and asking Him for knowledge on what to do!  I know I sure didn't come up with it on my own.  It was a God thing.  I am telling you, yet again, have faith in Him, friends!  He does hear, and He does answer, and He does provide for us in so many ways.

So, my friend just so happens to have almost everything ever written by Beth Moore.  She gave me a list to choose from, and I am excited to tell you that starting on Monday night, August 19th, we will be meeting at my home to study God's word together.  We will be studying, David: Seeking A Heart Like His.  I now have the leader guide in my possession and I even have purchased my member book.

Are you reading this and are local to me?  Do you want to be a part?  Come join us!  Buy your member book and show up at my house August 19th.  This is an eleven week study, and we will be meeting every Monday night from 6:30 to about 8:30.  The only night we will NOT meet is Monday, September 9th, when I will be away on vacation.  We might not meet the week of Shelby County's Fall break either, but we'll talk about that later.  We will finish sometime in early November, and I'll probably offer another study right after the Christmas and New Year holiday.

Consider coming and being a part.  This is my favorite Bible study author of all time, and I am crazy excited about studying David.  I could tell you so many stories of why this study appealed to me, but that might make this a little on the long side.  ;)  There will be weekly homework, but don't let that stop you.  The homework is designed to help you better understand what we'll be studying, but if you don't do it, don't let it stop you from coming on a Monday night.  I don't always finish it all, either, and it's okay!  Do what you can and ask the Lord to help you give Him your best...that's what He desires, is our best.

I am so excited!  I can't wait to start!  I might even start a little early.  ;)  I'm leaving you with a trailer of what we'll be doing.  If you do want to be a part and haven't replied on Facebook or through a message I've sent you on there, will you let me know?  You can find me on Facebook or email me at allboys@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading!  Love to all.

B

Friday, July 26, 2013

pictures from our week and last night

Good mornin', Sunshine!  It's a gorgeous day outside, and one that I can't wait to get started on.  My boys, my dad and I are going to the zoo!  We have yet to see the stingray's and it's been ages since we've fed the birds.  I'm thinking that those two items will be on our list of things to do first today.  After lunch, of course.  ;)

Yesterday was one of those amazing days when you stand back and think, "What in the world have I ever done to deserve this kind of day?"  My friend Lori invited us to swim with her, along with four other friends from church.  It was so much fun...we were there from ten to two, and we took a picnic lunch to eat.  There were a ton of kids there...if I counted correctly, it was eighteen kids and six adults.

Whew.

It was a blast.  Last night topped off our perfect day~it was the last Summer concert on the square in The Ville.  :(  I cannot believe school is about to start back for public school kids.  We won't start back until about the third week of August.  I am so glad my kids are homeschooled!  Seriously...I thank God for the blessing it is to be at home with them all.  They are too; they feel sorry for their friends who start back the week after next.

Back to last night~we met some friends from church and sat and talked and listened to music.  I thought I would share some pics.






The night was gorgeous, cool and breezy, the music was wonderful and the friends were plentiful.  It was perfect in every way.  (Even when the police had to escort my friends' kids back to us!  And no, mine were not involved.)

Here's a pic I took Wednesday...we had been running around town with my sweet Mom and we were fooling around with my phone in the car.


I love our crazy kids.  Our sometimes crazier life.  Each moment with these people is a gift to me, and I try my best to always be in the moment with them.  I love being all crazy and happy with them, and the jokes we share each and every day.  I feel like I am favored by the Lord.  I don't mean to sound all braggy by saying that, but I do know that each and every one of us~YOU included~are His treasured possessions.  His word tells us that in Deuteronomy 26:18: "And the LORD has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands."

Know that He loves you, too.  He doesn't just shine down His love on me, y'all...He does this for all of us.  All you have to do is look for it, look for His blessings.  And know that everything in life is a gift from Him.  James 1:17 says that, too, that "every good and perfect gift is from above".  

I pray you walk in His ways.  I pray you know Him, that you honor Him with your life, that you produce the fruits of His Holy Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Not that I am all of those things in every single moment of everyday, but I do have that verse (Galatians 5:22,23) committed to memory.  And when I feel myself being un-fruity, as I like to call it, I remember these attributes and pray for Him to help me change my behavior.

If you don't know Him, can I challenge you to get to know Him?  Read His word.  Start in the book of John.  Get to know Him and see how He speaks to you through His written word.  I dare you! 

Well, once again, my coffee cup is empty.  I must go re-fill before I get a jump start on this day.  I have lots to do before eleven, including running up to my church to laminate some things in preparation for tomorrow's Family Worship Workshop.  I pray your day is blissful, my friends.  Love to all.  


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

God's timing and why I'm so glad I'm not in choir (if that title doesn't make you want to read this, I don't know what will!)

In the past few weeks, God has been showing me how perfect His timing is.  I thought I would share with you just a small sample of His goodness.  I don't know where you are right now in your life, but I pray this will encourage you in your journey.  (Even though the story begins two years ago, I promise to keep it short.)

It's no secret how much I loved our former church.  Had the decision been up to me alone, we would have stayed there.  But the decision wasn't about me, or about Todd; it was about our kids.  When we left First Assembly of God in Memphis, I was super involved with so many things.  I had been in multiple Bible studies, sang in choir, was a section leader in choir at one point, helped lead worship on the worship team, I was a volunteer to help out at kids' events like VBS...you get the drift.

I just kind of assumed that when we started attending Collierville First Baptist Church that I would follow along in those similar footsteps.

So when I didn't, it surprised me.

I didn't love the music at first, but I gave it a chance and tried being in choir.  I never found a spot to fit in there, though, and that stint fizzled out.  I immediately fell in love with our kids' pastor and wife, Austin and Amy, and instead, jumped in with helping in that area.  I went to camp and started helping out at least once a month in kids church, sometimes even two or three times in one month.  I would help at our kids' events, and VBS, you name it, wherever Jonah and Noah were, you could find me nearby.

We got a new worship pastor, and though I now love the music and wanted to get back into choir, I didn't.  I enjoy it each Sunday, I just never tried it again with this new leader, even though I had no excuse not to give it a try.  (Friends even encouraged me to join again, I just didn't.)

We found a Sunday school class that we loved.  We were so sad when our beloved teachers told us they were moving to Arkansas, but we quickly fell in love with the new teachers that came in.  And still, even though a part of me wanted to go back to choir (the familiar), I still did not.

Fast forward to this present moment.  Over the weeks of our Summer, God has made me fall in love with teenagers.  I've gotten to know many in the past few weeks, some because of Todd and his knowing so many from youth camps, and some from just being around them at VBS and kids' camp.  I started sensing God leading me to be more involved with the youth.  This will be Jonah's and Noah's last year in our kids' department, so maybe that's why.

Whatever the reason is, I credit God for all of the events that lead me to right now.

Just last week, during kids' camp, I came to know more and love even more, two sweet teenaged girls.  Both were in my cabin, one on the other side, the other on my side.  One night while we were at camp, on Tuesday night, several people from our church came out to attend our worship service.  After the service Todd started talking to our youth pastor and his wife, Bobby and Erin.  He told them that not only did I want to be more involved, but that he wanted me to be involved as well, because he knew just how much I would love it, and love the teenagers in our youth.

Erin immediately asked him if I would be interested in co-teaching Sunday school starting in a couple weeks.  He didn't answer for me, but do you know what?!  After my kids went to Brinkley Heights, I told my friend Lori that I was thinking about asking if there were any open spots available for me to join in that area starting when school started.  (School starts August 5th here, and our first Sunday will be August 4th.)  Lori said that she was interested in this as well, and we kinda thought we might do this together.

I apparently never told my husband this.  As much as I love our Sunday school teacher and his wife and hate to leave our class (only in attendance each week, not in name), this is really something I was feeling led to pursue.

But I never asked about it.  I don't think Lori ever even asked about it.

Erin just asked if I was willing and I immediately said yes.  She gave me a choice of being with the ninth grade or the tenth grade girls.  She prefers the ninth grade girls because they're just coming up to the high school area from middle school, and she knew that she would get to know them better this way.  (Our youth is separated by middle and high school.)  And then she told me the lady I would be with was my sweet friend Scottie.

The same Scottie I went to Brinkley Heights with the night I started falling in love with all these teenagers.

I couldn't make this up if I tried, y'all.  But do you see how God worked everything out?  He did just that, and He gave me the desires of my heart.  Being a Sunday school teacher is a huge commitment; it means going to functions and retreats, camps, and being available for events that are held during non-church hours.  It a huge commitment to being there and being involved in the lives of these precious girls, one that really knows no time restraints.

Once again, God has brought me out of my comfort zone into an area that I know nothing about.  ("For when I am weak, then I am strong..."~2 Corinthians 12:10.)  I will have to lean on Him to equip me with whatever it is I will need during this next year.  And even though I'm a little nervous about not knowing very many of the teens, I know that I will come to know and love them quickly.  I've already started praying for them, and for this next year we'll spend together.

I don't know what God has in store, but He went to great lengths to make this happen.  I'm thinking that it's going to be an amazing year.  I can't wait to share with you more of His goodness...and I could even take this story further, but for now, I'll stop.

But y'all.  God is so good.  Infinitely more good that I can ever imagine.  In fact, just me writing that reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses of all time.  I'll leave you with that.  (And if you have something you've been praying about, don't give up!  Psalm 37:4 says that if we take delight in the Lord, that He will give us the desires of our heart.)

DO.  NOT.  GIVE.  UP.  

Keep praying, keep seeking Him!  I know I made this lighthearted, but trust me when I say that it wasn't at all.  This was something I had been praying fervently about.

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."  Ephesians 3:20

Love to all.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

fun facts

So remember all the laundry I had to do yesterday?  Would you believe that I did not do any of it?  I am almost ashamed to tell you that I sat around and did a whole lot of nothing all day.  GASP!  I watched The Today Show, and then I switched to the Food Network, and finally, (!!!) I watched Fox News.  She had a boy!  In case all your social media news feeds didn't tell you so.

It's so unlike me to be so unproductive.  I will tell you, though, that I enjoyed every single moment.  :)

On today's agenda is getting our cats to the vet.  One of them has a urinary tract infection, because for the third time in a couple weeks, we found pee on the floor this morning.  Whichever cat it is will be staying at the vet until she's all better.  (I hope it's not Twinkles who's sick.)

And yes, I do love both of the cats.  I just hate when they're sick.

For the second morning in a row, it's raining.  Thunder.  Lightning.  I do love a good, old-fashioned thunderstorm.  I'm assuming that the pool party that Graham and Drew had planned to attend today with our church's youth is canceled.

I hope it's not raining later this afternoon.  If it is, it will throw a damper on the dinner I had planned.  (Grilling in the rain is no fun.)

My best friend is coming over tonight!  I have warned the hubby and the boys that we might lock ourselves into the man cave to watch our show together.  :)  I can't wait to see her!!  We always say we're going to watch our show, then three hours later, we're still talking.  I love her.

Since the little Prince of Cambridge was born yesterday afternoon, I've learned several interesting terms that the British use.  Like the term "winge", for instance.  It means "whine".  "Poppers" are buttons or snaps.  I could go on, but those were the two that came to mind.  We've also had a brief lesson on British government.  And we talked about Princess Diana.

I started a delicious, new book last night.  :)  It's so good, I couldn't put it down.  And when I woke up at one a.m. and couldn't fall back to sleep, I went into my bathroom and read until I got sleepy.  It was about an hour later.

So, on Instagram, I started following Natalie Morales...she's adorable.  And stuck in London, apparently, until the Duke and Duchess and baby Prince make their way out of the hospital.

Speaking of Natalie Morales, I love The Today Show.  I'm watching it now.  I would be perfectly content to watch this show every single morning for the rest of my life.  :)

Well.  My coffee is getting cold, so that means I need to go.  Have a glorious day, my friends.  Love to all.


Monday, July 22, 2013

a rainy Monday

Never in my life have I been so appreciative of a rainy day at home.  My house is pretty thankful, too.  It's been neglected the past week, and it's in need of some special attention.  And laundry...oh, the laundry.  Mountains of it need to be washed, dried, folded and put away.

I would post a picture, but I've been posting them to Twitter instead of Facebook (see previous blog about negative feedback on all my pictures) since we've been gone, and I can't save them the usual way.  So, if you would like to see the pictures from our weekend, I'm giving you a link to my Instagram profile.  (http://instagram.com/all4boys)

We had a really fun weekend at the lake.  Our friends, the Brandenburg's invited us for the second summer to their beautiful lake house at Pickwick.  They have two kids, Garrett who is the same age as Jonah and Noah, and Nathan, who is the same age as Graham.  We met them at a lacrosse game three years ago, and we've been friends ever since.  We look forward to our weekend with them every summer.  The boys are in heaven while we're there, because they have every toy available...four-wheelers, a golf cart, a ski boat, a jet ski, a fishing boat...you name, they've got it.

For today, though, we are being lazy.  I just might stay in my pj's all day.  And watch the live news feeds on an announcement on the royal baby being born!  That's my guilty pleasure for the day.  We all need one of those every once in a blue moon.  I'm hoping for a girl.  And if it is, I hope they name her after Princess Diana.

We'll see about all that, I suppose.  Thanks for reading!  Love to all.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

camp photo dump

Most of you are on Facebook and Instagram, but in case you're not on there, this is for you.  :)


 We arrived safely at camp Sunday afternoon and unloaded the buses and trailer with luggage and waited on our cabin assignments.  This is most of us.


These were my sweet fifth grade girls...Emma in the cubby, then Ellye on the top left, Heather, Holly and Ashton.  My co-counselor was a sweet senior girl named Anna.  We had the best cabin ever...4B.  :)


This was us eating our first dinner there.  Anna is on the left.


Holly is on the left in this pic with Anna~these sweet girls took my phone, took this picture and made it my wallpaper and my lock-screen photo.  ;)  I love them so much that I'm not changing it.


After dinner, we had worship, then a break with a snack, then Minute to Win It!  This was the room before all the campers invaded.  Fun times!


In the morning, after breakfast, we had Morning Watch, which is a fancy name for our quiet time each day.  We would meet in the amphitheater and Austin would go over what we would be reading during this time, then we would split up and go have quiet time with the Lord.  I love this time~it's one of my favorite things about camp.  Austin is teaching the kids how to study God's word with the S.O.A.P. method~Scripture (read it), Observations (write a verse that stood out to you), Apply (apply it to our lives), then Pray (pray over that in our lives).


This was where I loved to sit and study God's word.  Sigh.




After morning watch was time to clean our cabins.  I love clothes lines, don't you?  This picture makes me want to hang one in my backyard.  And our cabin stayed pretty clean!  Our awesome girls were great about making sure to pick up after themselves.  (Girls after my own heart.)

After this time was something called creative movement.  The kids get to pick an activity to do during camp.  They chose from drama, creative movement, sign language, puppets or crafts.  Jonah and Noah picked crafts.  I helped with puppets.

After creative movement was yet another snack, then we had a brief break, followed by Bible study.


Here's the fifth grade girls praying.  This is what it's all about, folks.  And camp is an experience for them to get away and to get closer to God.  We have fun, yes, but we learn and study in an in-depth way, the word of God.  It is awesome.


This is Graham and Holly, leading all the campers in "Little Red Wagon".  We had to sing for our food for each meal.  ;)


This was the mail "Crash" (a.k.a. Drew) sent Todd.  ;)  I love this kid's creativity.


This was the redneck water slide.  Notice all the mud in the pool at the bottom?  Yuck.  The campers loved it, including Jonah, pictured above.

There was also a giant shaving cream war, but I didn't get pictures.  We had a great time away with these kids, worshiping and drawing closer to God.  Our hearts were blessed, and so were the hearts of our campers.  I am so blessed to be a part of our church.  Our pastors are amazing, and I am honored to be able to tell you that our preacher, Brother Chuck is our camp pastor each year.  He comes to camp and stays with us.  He eats with us, he worships with us, and the kids get into shaving cream fights with him.

They love him and they love Austin, our family pastor.

God is so good to us, and this was an incredible few days at camp.  (I know I posted lots on FB...I got some negative feedback on that, but the pictures were for the parents of our campers.  Many of them don't get to go with us, so all those were for them.  If it bugged you, I'm sorry~you can hide me if you feel the need.  I don't ever have to know.)

I pray your week has been wonderful.  Love to all!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

why I memorize Scripture

I have had people ask me why I memorize Scripture.  Especially in today's times when we have the Bible at our fingertips~whether that be the many translations we have laying around our homes or the Bible apps we use on our phones.

The answer is easy: I memorize Scripture so that when I am scared or anxious or fearful about something or a situation, I can pray aloud to God a certain passage of Scripture. 

Do you have to pray Scripture to God?  I don't think there is a right or a wrong way to pray.  However, I do believe something my sweet friend and Bible study teacher said this morning in Bible study.  That is, that by praying God's word back to Him, we are taking our thoughts captive and making them obedient to Him. (Taken from 2 Corinthians 10:5)

For example, if I am worried about money, I know that in Philippians 4:6 and 7, Paul instructs us not to worry about anything, but to pray about everything.  He urges us to tell God what we need and to thank Him for all He's done.  When we do that, we experience the peace of God, which exceeds anything we can understand.  And that peace guards our hearts and minds as we live in Christ Jesus. 

Another example is when my kids are scared during thunderstorms or tornado-producing weather.  I tell them that we know that God alone is our refuge and our place of safety.  He is our God and we trust Him!  He covers us with His feathers and He shelters us with His wings.  His faithful promises are our armor and our protection.  (Taken from Psalm 91:2-4)

So you see, there's no great theological reason as to why I do this.  I memorize His word so I can easily recall it during the times when I need it.  Which is all the time.  Like in the early hours of this morning, for some crazy reason, I woke up at four a.m.  I could NOT go back to sleep to save my life.  As I was laying there in bed, I started thinking of all the things I need to remember to do before Summer is over.  The more I thought, the more anxious I became.  The more anxious I became, the more panic-y I started to get. 

I wish I could tell you that I remembered why I memorize Scripture and quoted His word back to Him, but I didn't.  I did, however, pray.  I also had to get up and go read for a while, just so my mind would stop racing.  (That is why I read in bed, my friends.  To make my mind slow down.)  I finally fell back to sleep, and this morning as I was praying, it dawned on me that I should have started quoting Scripture. 

I pray that I don't get another chance, because this is the second morning this week that this has happened to me, but if I do get the chance, I'm praying that the Lord will remind me of this.

Do you memorize Scripture?  Why?  For those who have been leaving comment "love", thank you!  Don't be shy and keep it coming!

Love to all. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

wacky Wednesday

I thought it would be fun to share some wacky things that I might or might not do.  ;)  I've often said my brain works in weird ways, and the below statements are proof.

*I like to paint my fingernails often.  And my toes, but that's just a given, being that I'm Southern girl.  I either always have to have the colors on my hands and feet match, or I have to have my fingernails lighter than what's on my toes.  And the colors have to be coordinating.  (Don't judge.)  And if the color on my toes gets chipped in the slightest, that's almost worse than them being naked.

*I make deals with myself.  Like when I drink something that's not water during the day time, I have to make sure I drink at least one huge glass of water to flush the non-water drink out.

*I also make deals with myself about how much time I waste sitting.  I only allow myself lazy time after all the laundry has been done and the house has been cleaned (or at least straightened up), like right now.  I've folded the laundry and put it all away, I've gotten dressed, we've eaten lunch and I've cleaned the kitchen and emptied the dishwasher.  And in the morning, during our non-school time, I don't let myself sit past ten or ten-thirty.  Usually I wake up and have my quiet time, and if we don't have anything going on, I love to sit and watch The Today Show.  However, that really happens.

*I rarely turn the television on in the daytime hours.  It doesn't get turned on at all at that time during our school year, but in the Summer months, I will on occasion.  Take this moment, for instance.  I'm listening to K-Love from the kitchen radio while I sit and type this from my chair in our living room.

*I do NOT love poor time management and am always running our schedule through my brain.  For instance, just now Drew called and asked if we could give one of his friends a ride to and from church tonight.  I hesitated at first, because I was trying to run through and think about when we had to leave to pick up Graham from Mimi's house, and when we had to leave to be at church by six.  (I decided that the times were too close to overlapping, so he's coming home with Drew.  They're at the park together now.)

*I can't stand an un-made bed.  It makes me feel like my whole house is in disarray.

*For the same reason as above, I love when all the pillows on our couch are plumped and in place.

*I am a neat-freak.  I do not love clutter, especially in my kitchen.  I love for my counters to be free of paper and odds and ends.  However, I have these five dudes that I live with that make that hard.  So, like right now, all my counters are cleared off, except for the one counter under where my kitchen radio is installed under my cabinet.  That's the counter that I don't use, so if things are out that need to be out, I try to put them over there.  But if something IS on that counter, it must be neat, or it drives me bonkers.  Right now I'm working on getting our lists together for what to pack and what to buy for when we leave for First Kids Camp on Sunday, so those lists are on the counter along with a cup with pens and pencils that they'll need to take with them.

And yes, I realize that the last sentence is weird, too, but if I don't specify those pens as the ones to be left alone until Sunday when we pack for Camp, they will all disappear before that day arrives.  I live in a house full of people that leave things where they shouldn't be or take things to strange places.  (Like when I find multiple pencils or pens or markers in their bathroom.)

(I have to stop the wacky Wednesday post for now and tell you what my dog just did.  Crash been working on finishing a really long bone that Drew bought for him.  He got up and I assumed that he had finished it.  A couple minutes later, he goes over to this potted house plant I have beside my fireplace here in the living room, and I notice he has his head in the flowerpot.  I got onto him and he stopped.  Noah walked over to the plant to see what he had been doing and saw that the stupid dog tried to bury his bone in the container.  I swear, I could not make this stuff up if I tried.  Why can we not just have nice, normal animals?  I think all of ours have these issues that most pets don't have.)

Anyway.

Well now I lost my train of thought.  Go figure.  I guess I'll stop this post and go fold another load of laundry.  Love to all!


Monday, July 8, 2013

my love/hate relationship with social media


 There are wonderful things about social media. 

There are things that suck about social media.

One plus is that it grows ones' circle of friends.  For one that might not have that many friends, it can sure rock someone's day, especially if it's your birthday!

One negative is that it can actually pull us away from talking to our friends.  You know what I mean~instead of picking up the phone to call, why not just FB her?  I have been so guilty of that, and I really try my best to have real conversations with my friends.  At least every once in a while. 

Another pro is that social media puts us back in touch with people we might not normally see or talk to anymore, like old youth pastors or friends that have moved out of town. 

A con would be that sometimes we "friend" people we shouldn't.  (i.e. old boyfriends/girlfriends)

(I'm trying to think of another "pro", but for the life of me, cannot think of even one more.) 

(Am I using too many parentheses?)

The cons:

Social media has forced us to be jealous, competitive, bitter wives and moms.  Don't act shocked, you know you've experienced it.  How many of you LOVE seeing your friends' pictures of the beach while you're here at home working your rear end off?  Especially if you would love a vacation but can't afford one.  (Ouch.) 

*I am guilty of posting too many pictures, I know.  No stone-throwing, please.*

Instead of being thankful for what God has so graciously given us, we become covetous of all we don't have~that fancy new car, a perfect home, a model~skinny body, a love of exercise for the love of Pete!  (Who else is OVER the "I completed seventeen and a half miles of running with this app on my cell phone!"?!?!?!!)

*Don't judge me.  Please.  There are days when I want to post: "I made it out of bed and brushed my teeth before noon today.  Go me!"  Like I said...don't judge me.*

I'll stop with the cons, although I failed to mention my despising of people using it as a means for news (like when a celebrity dies), or political posts, or braggy status updates (although I know we are all guilty of that one). 

What I constantly ask myself is this:

Why do I use social media then, if I mostly hate it? 

There are a few reasons, in no particular order.

1.  I am a mom to teenagers and pre-teenagers.  Social media is THE way to communicate nowadays, and it's the place to "be".  As a mom to pre-and teenaged kids, it is imperative that I stay on top of things socially.  And, quite frankly, if they use it, I use it.  End of story.

2.  I have people in my family and in my circle of friends that don't know Jesus.  I often pray and ask God for Him to use me as a light for Him. 

3.  I love to encourage people.  It's something that God has given me the ability to do, and I try my best to do just that...and social media makes it easy!

4.  I post pictures because it's a place for me to keep them.  I wish I had scrapbooks and photo albums of all the pictures that I've taken over the years, but I don't.  I love to take pictures.  I think I'm pretty decent at capturing images.  Do I call myself a photographer?  No.  Do I believe that I could be if I wanted?  Maybe, if I actually studied it.  Lots of photographer friends judge people like me because of all the apps available now that enable you to mess around with the lighting and filters on pictures you take.  I use them, but I know that it doesn't make my pictures special.  They're special because of who's in them.  And it's a hobby.  Last time I checked, everybody has a hobby.

I am thankful for all the pictures I've posted, too, because I cannot tell you how many times it's sparked conversations or memories about certain times and places.  If my pictures annoy you, I'm sorry.  Don't look at them.  :)

5.  Let's face it~sometimes I do love social media.  I love "talking" with my friends during the day, at my convenience.  I love sharing laughs over crazy animal pictures.  And the nosy person in me LOVES looking at pictures of my friends' kids or beautifully decorated homes.  I've often been inspired by something I've seen, and it'll motivate me to make a change, whether it be in decorating or starting a new type of prayer journal or Bible-reading plan. 

These are the reasons why I love and hate social media. 

Comments?  Arguments?  Thoughts?

Share the love.  Please.  I am so tired of talking to myself.

Love to all. 


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blah

Sadly, I don't have much to write about.  I've been kinda sick, so I'm just going to be sharing a few pictures of what I've been up to since Friday.


Friday night was really rough~I felt like I had fever so I could not get warm and I ached all over.  I was hiding under blankets watching the Lifetime Movie Network.  I watched one whole movie that was so corny I almost couldn't stand it. 

Oh, and I banished myself to the man cave.  The only one allowed in was the cat.


Last night I felt much better, but I was in the mood to watch a couple movies.  The only ones allowed in were the ones who had to show me how to work the X-Box controller (that was how I watched the movies), the ones who brought me Motrin, the ones who brought me water, the Mister and this little lady.  Which I guess is pretty much the whole fam damily.  Even the evil one got in once or twice, I swear, just to freak this one below out.


 Twinkles.  She was in heaven, being alone with me without the bother of Evil Knievel.  (Crash.)

She has this thing that she does that's kinda cute and gross all wrapped up in one.  She loves my brown blanket, and you know how cats knead things?  When she kneads the blanket, she drools.  Isn't that crazy?


And this is what I spent four hours watching.  The Wedding Date first, then The Vow. 

Do you sense a theme in the titles? 

I hope your weekend was better than mine.  I think I'm feeling better.  I think.  I'll know for sure when I go to eat my first meal of the day. 

Love to all. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

celebrating

We spent Wednesday with my friend Lori and her family at their pool.  They had quite the set-up with a giant waterslide, a cotton candy maker, a popcorn machine and burgers, hot dogs and barbecue.  There was so much food, and there were so many teenagers who consumed it all!  They said that they've never had that many teenagers there before.  I was glad to have them around.

I thought I would share some pictures:


Left to right: Noah, Jonah, Alex, Cole and at the top, Doug.  I posted this on Instagram and my friend Sarah hashtagged it #brothersinChrist.  Isn't that cool?  I love this picture.


 Jonah was shoving this yummy-ness in his mouth like there was no tomorrow.


 There was a watermelon-eating contest.


The kids watched the fireworks show from the pool.  That is the perfect way to watch fireworks, I must say!

It was so much fun celebrating with these precious people.  We've come to know and love them through church and through our homeschool group.  I am so thankful for Godly friends!

Yesterday we hung around our house until around three, then we headed out to Nana's and Big Daddy's.  Where you're never too old to play with firecrackers.  ;)  They do love some fireworks...Big Daddy and these boys and their daddy. 




Big Daddy bought some big fireworks this year.  We oohed and aahhhed.  We ate delicious falling-off-the-bone ribs, potato salad, slaw, beans and bread.  We enjoyed Nana's homemade fudge and some peanut butter cheesecake.

Fun was had by all.  :)

 I pray your day was wonderful and that you were surrounded by those you love. 

Love to all. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

tidbits

This might just be a numbered post.  Do you mind?  Who am I kidding...to quote my friend Shari, crickets have been chirping on this ol' blog for the past several weeks.  Oh well, you'll notice I haven't stopped writing.  And believe it or not, I write for myself.  I've always said that it's an outlet.  Hopefully my kids will read this stuff someday.  Or Todd.

Or the government.  There's always them.  ;)

Kidding, kidding...well, a little bit.

Moving on.

1.  It's my favorite week!  I'm kinda bummed that I won't be swimming this week, along with Jonah.  We're giving our ears a rest for the next few days. 

2.  Even though I won't be swimming, I'm excited about hanging out with my friend Lori at her pool tomorrow!  I love her and love the time we get to spend together. 

3.  I read about a new Bible study by Beth Moore that comes out in August.  I'm so excited about it, that I'm thinking of opening up my home on Monday nights for five weeks in a row to study the word of God together with a group of women that I love and admire.  Are you wondering where the boys will be?  Well, so am I, but I'm sure we'll figure out something.  I'm relying on God here...to help me figure out all the details and to get all the kinks worked out. 

I'm really excited about doing another of her studies~it's been over a year since I've done a study written by her and that's too long.  She is my favorite Bible teacher ever.  Apparently, a bunch of women are interested...I don't know how many will show up each week, but I am ready and willing to be that home.  I won't promise that my floor will be void of dog hair, or that my kitchen will be entirely clean, but I will be ready and willing to love on some Godly women and to grow closer to the Lord in studying His word together.  Doesn't it sound fun?!

4.  It's funny how God stretches us beyond our limits.  He is really good at doing that, in fact.  I am in no way a leader type of gal...but I've been wondering the last few months~is He changing me?  I know it's only Him, because in no way whatsoever would I have sought out some of the opportunities He's presented me with since February.  He is good to remind me of His faithfulness, though.  Hmmm...just as I wrote that, I am reminded that just today alone, I've seen the Lamentations three passage four times on Facebook.  You know the one:

"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."  Lamentations 3:22

Maybe that's why I have literally read this over and over today.  I can count on Him for anything...everyone else will eventually disappoint me (of course they will, we're all human), but not Him.  Just today I was meditating on the fact that He says to cast all our anxieties on Him...He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).  He wants to bear our burdens.  

How great is our God?

Sounds like a song, doesn't it?  ;)

5.  We had dinner with the in-love's tonight.  We've been home for about two hours now, and all of the time we've been home, Todd and the boys have been hanging out in our room upstairs.  I have absolutely no idea what they're doing, but whatever it is, they're enjoying themselves.  I'm about to go rain on their parade, though.  I am almost ready to turn in for the night. 

Well, this has been random.  Thanks for reading, though.  Love to all.  



Monday, July 1, 2013

one of my most favorite weeks of the year

Our afternoon started out with lots of prayer.  The chance of rain was close to fifty percent and the way the wind was blowing and the coolness of the temperature sure did make it feel like the weathermen would be right.  I started praying that the Lord would hold it all off until after the fireworks show.  And guess what?  He did! 

"Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart's desires." Psalm 37:4

He truly cares about every little detail of our lives...the small AND the big.  :)  

The temperature was amazing, y'all.  I kid you not~it was the most amazing, perfectly cool evening.  How often have you watched fireworks go off with a blanket wrapped around you?  In Memphis???  (I didn't, but my mom-in-love did.)  I loaded up my car and headed to our area's mega-church, Bellevue, for the greatest showing of fireworks in the city of Memphis...and that I have ever seen, with the exception of the ones at Disney World.


All these were with me.  Noah, Drew, Canon (the one being held), Andrew (in the red), Alex (with his eyes shut), Graham and Jonah.

My motto is "the more the merrier".  Seriously.  I don't know another time that my heart is as happy and full as it is when my car is packed with kids.  It's such a blessing to be a mom/taxi-driver/friend-mom to all these amazing kids.  God has blessed me beyond measure in all these gifts.


Aren't they cute?  Left to right: Jonah, Noah, Alex.  Noah bought them all these shirts with his money...I love his generosity.  The "D" is for "devote", as in the Bible verse from 1 Chronicles 22:19.

"Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God."

I believe these guys will do just that.  I pray that is the case...and I know God will deliver.  :)

There to watch the show with us were my in-love's, a sweet friend named Jennifer, some friends from our church and some of our best couple friends.  And kids...lots and lots of kids.

 

 Before everyone arrived, Noah bought a snow cone to share with Jonah and Alex.  I need to pay him back for it...I just didn't have any cash on me, so he bought his own. 


The sky was beautiful!  After I took this, it really started getting dark.  As in stormy, not nighttime.  At one point right before the fireworks started, it started sprinkling, but God held it all off for us, and it stopped.


This is my sweet friend, Sunny.  We've been friends with this precious couple since Jonah and Noah were about three years old.  Andy is their son, and Jonah's and Noah's best friend in the world.  He's one of my "adopted" kids. 


This sweet friend in the picture above is Tammy Townsend.  She was Jonah's second grade teacher and Alex's third grade teacher.  The sweet girl is her daughter, Carley.  I call her our favorite pyromaniac because she is the one who is usually setting off the fireworks that we so love.  Last night, however, her husband David was the one blowing it all up, so she was able to enjoy the show as a spectator.  She sat with us and answered all the questions that these three boys were asking her.  

I will leave you with some snapshots of my favorite fireworks.








(I love this one above.  You can barely see the outline of the boys watching in child-like wonder.)

We have lots more celebrating to do this week, and I am so excited.  I love this week~to me, it's always been the epitome of Summer.  Great food, swimming, celebrating, fireworks, friends, and family.  What more could we ask for?  I pray you enjoy your week.  How are you celebrating the fourth?  Share the love, leave some comments!  

Thanks and love to all!





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