Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

I realize that it's only a couple of minutes away from being the day after Christmas, but this is the first chance I've had all day to sit down at my computer. We started off our morning here at the house and watched the kids open their gifts. Then we went to my parent's house for a few hours and then spent the rest of the evening at my in-law's. It's been a day full of family and friends and food!

I wanted to share with you one tradition that my parents started with me and my siblings while growing up-a birthday cake for Jesus. Since having children of my own, we've also decided to carry on this tradition, but we've added/changed a few details.

1. We make our cake round to represent the world.

2. We make it chocolate to represent sin.



3. We top the cake with white frosting representing how we are washed clean/forgiven when you accept Christ as your Savior.



4. We put Red icing and candles on the cake representing Christ's shed blood on the cross for us.



5. We eat the cake for breakfast. It's the one and only time of year when my children are allowed to do that, and they love it!

I hope every one of you had a wonderful day celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Holidays Are Upon Us

And all I've managed to do so far is to make a list of gift ideas (that was just done today). Note, nothing has actually been purchased yet! In fact, we don't even have a tree up, decorations out, nothing! Nada! Zilch! None!

And yet surprisingly, I'm not even stressed over it. God has really been showing me that I need to slow down, enjoy my surroundings, focus on Him and the true meaning of Christmas more...instead of rushing here and there in search of the right Christmas presents. Hopefully I'll make some more progress soon...in the upcoming week or so, but just wanted to encourage you fellow slackers (if there are any out there) to slow down enough to enjoy yourself and to cherish the real gifts this Christmas...mainly, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Arkansas Bound

I'll be heading out the door in about 15 minutes for a week away in Arkansas. God has been leading me to read a couple of books that I have just not had time for, so I'm anticipating some good quiet time to read, relax and reflect on all that God has been doing in my life (and in the life of my family), and what He's calling us to do.

I would covet any and all prayers on my behalf this week to clearly hear God's voice and to heed his direction...(as well as for safe travel on my behalf and for my family as I'm away from them).

Looking forward to sharing some things when I return!

Until then...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"It's Just Going Too Fast!"




When I tuck my 3 kids into bed each night, I always pray with them. They also enjoy having me sit in their rooms with them to visit for a bit too. I must admit, I normally have so many other "irons in the fire" that I tend to just squeeze in a minute or two of chit-chat and then rush on about my business so that I too can get some sleep!

Last night however, was not one of those nights. While I was folding laundry and the boys were finishing up dinner, J asked me, "If I go to bed right now, would you have time to visit with me for a while?" I said yes, so she literally jumped in bed right then! After I instructed the 2 boys on what needed to be done, and put the laundry down, I wound up lying in her bed visiting and talking about anything and everything from dolls, to scrapbooking to school, etc. She was holding my hand, which I find sweet, yet also amusing (she is physically affectionate, yet she knows she has something to hold onto in attempts to pull me back in once I try to walk away). ;) I was about ready to make my rounds through my boy's rooms when E walked in and said, "When are you going to come pray with me??" I got slightly irritated with him for having gotten out of bed in the first place and not trusting me to keep my word. All I said was, "I suggest you make your way back to your room right now. I will be in there in just a minute."

After having prayed with N, I went to find E. I explained to him why I was upset with him, but he didn't say a word. I then lied down to visit with him for a minute, and he handed me one of the books he had taken to bed with him. It was by Karen Kingsbury (if you have never read this book, be forewarned, it is a MAJOR tear jerker!!! If you have read it, then you'll totally understand where I'm coming from) called, "Let Me Hold You Longer." I assumed he was wanting me to read it to him, when he said, "I'm upset." When I asked why, he opened it to the last page and said, "Read this and you'll know." I thought the book just made him sad, but then he started boo-hooing and said, "It's just going too fast!!! I never want that day to come! I just love you so much, I can't ever let you go!"

I instantaneously felt guilt for having corrected him without finding out why he had come to look for me, and my heart melted at the same time. I just held on to him and cried with him.

So hold on to your kids and cherish every moment, because the time is going by way too fast!


"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him." Psalm 127:3

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is." Psalm 39:4

"Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is." Ephesians 5:15-17

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just Lay It Down

While attempting to send a text message to my cousin earlier this morning, something dawned on me. My phone doesn't seem to send texts very well while I'm holding the phone in my hand. The majority of the time, after I finish typing, I have to go lay the phone on the kitchen counter (by the window) in order for them to go through (I don't know if it's due to our metal roof, if we perhaps live in a dead-zone, or if my phone is just old...? But any way you look at it, it's still frustrating)!

Think of the phone in terms of being our hopes, our dreams, our cares and concerns. We try to hold on to them, over see the process, and maintain control. However, God wants us to lay them down. When we release the cares of this world and roll them onto His back, He carries them for us. He alone knows what is best and has promised to provide for our every need. He is our Jehovah-jireh, our Provider.

Lately, God has begun to disassemble the puzzle of my life that I've been attempting to piece together over the past 8 years, and has started to create a totally different picture than what I had originally planned. Humanly, it's terrifying, yet at the same time, it's exciting to see Him at work! I'm learning step by baby-step to walk in faith, trust Him, and to release the dreams of what I expected my life to look like and to lay it down...at His feet.

Our God is a good God, a loving God, an all-knowing God. Worthy of our praise, our adoration and our trust. Are you getting frustrated by trying to piece your life together on your own? Are you tired of not getting a signal and needing direction?

Lay your life down so that He can pick you up. It's the best upgrade you could ever hope for!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dark Clouds, Blue Skies




The weather outside this morning reminded me of a conversation my daughter and I had several years back when she was little. J has always had a pretty laid back kind of personality, not one to get in much trouble. But for some reason, during this particular season of her life, she had been testing the boundaries left and right. So we stepped up to the challenge, giving her a fair trade...one consequence for every wrong and disobedient action on her part. Instead of it softening her heart, thus changing her behavior, she started taking it personally and told me sadly one day, "I'm just a bad kid." This word picture just popped in my head as we were sitting outside and I told her, "Honey, look up at the sky. What color is it?" She responded as I knew she would, "Gray." "Nope, it's not gray," I said. She looked confused. Indeed, it was very dark and cloudy that day (as it is today), but there just happened to be one small 'hole' where the clouds were parted and you could see plainly the true color of the sky...blue. I told her, "You are a blue sky. That is how God created you and how he sees you. But your sin and disobedience are like those gray clouds-covering up your true colors." It seemed to make sense to her and helped change her outlook on herself.

I think we all get down on ourselves occasionally when we tend to repeat the same mistake over and over, even though we know it's not right. Or we continually fall back into our sinful ways and thought patterns we once held onto before we came to Christ. We begin to believe Satan's lies (he is referred to as the Father of lies in John 8:44) and take his accusations personally (he is also referred to as the Accuser in Revelation 12:10), instead of seeing ourselves how God does. In Ephesians 1:3-8 listen to what God has to say about us:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, in Christ; for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding."

You and I are: *Blessed, *Chosen, *Adopted, *Favored, *Redeemed, *Forgiven

Do you see yourself as a gray cloud or as a blue sky? I know the illustration is a little child-like, but sometimes that's the level I work best on. ;) I pray that today "you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

"Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him." Romans 6:7,8

Thursday, October 15, 2009

There is a Time for Everything Under Heaven

And apparently, much to my dismay, this season I'm in is one for not writing! The words just aren't there. I long for the day when this blockage is removed and the words flow effortlessly and smoothly from my brain through my fingers, down onto the keyboard.

Don't give up on me! I will be back!

This too shall pass...hopefully sooner than later. ;)

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Love My Seester!

These are just some random pictures of my sister and me taken about a month ago on my niece's birthday outing. We had SO much fun together that day...lots and lots of laughs!! I could list so many different inside jokes, but they're just that-inside jokes. Noone else would understand and get quite the same kick out of them! The Bible says that "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22 Needless to say, when we get together, we overdose!!!









Sara, here are some insiders that I thought you would appreciate:

1. A wooden hairbrush and a curling iron.
2. Dancing in Marble Slab gets you free ice cream!
3. An airplane pilot and being held hostage.
4. "I can't see..." "You can't see???"
5. "Grab your sacks."
6. "Sara, you've always wanted to be George!"
7. "Oh crap!!" "What?" "WHAT?" "I don't know! You're the one that said, "Oh crap!!"
8. "Ridin' with my top down, listenin' to my Jesus Music" and Sonic.
9. "Get away from me! You stink horribly!!!"
10. Green gum.
11. Cara: "Look at this! I said LOOK AT THIS!!!!"

I could go on, but suffice it to say, thanks for many a laugh!!! I love you and am thankful to have you as my sister!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!

Today is the first day of Fall-by far, my favorite time of year!!! And to make it even better, our first cool front blew in this morning too...complete with thunder and lightning!!! Another one of my favorite things! I just had to share my excitement with you!



On another note, I have so many thoughts and ideas rolling around in my head on things that I'm dying to blog on, but they seem to be getting stuck somewhere inside my brain...pray for release!! ;)

Until then...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Prayers for the Fielder Family

My very good friend Rebecca went home to be with her Lord & Savior yesterday evening after a long, hard battle with cancer.



This picture is of Rebecca and our third Amigo, Tina, taken just a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, even with all the time we spent together, I don't have any pictures of us! Even with her sickness drawing to a close in her body, she still had a sparkle in her eye and joy in her heart!

I spoke with her husband (she always referred to him as "My beloved") Bobby this morning, and he's really at a loss...understandably so. Rebecca has 3 boys...her eldest Mitchell McCall (she called him "My Mitchell"), Austin and "Mr." Aaron. In fact, she called Aaron that so often, one day I was drawing a blank on his middle name and I asked him as I was buckling him up in our car, "What's your middle name?" He said, "Aaron." I said, "No, your first name is Aaron." He came back with, "No, it's my middle name." I then said, "Your name is Aaron _____ Fielder." And he said, "My name is Mr. Aaron Fielder!" Ha-ha-ha!!! She also has one little grandson, Lyric Micah McCall.

Rebecca was such a Godly woman, speaking Scriptures, encouraging you, looking on the bright side of things, never one to complain!! She and I got to be very good friends a little over 8 years ago-right after Aaron was born...and even as close as we were, she was still a very closed, private person. She never liked to focus on herself and her cancer...never one to offer up information, but leaving one to ask point-blank questions. She would answer (sometimes indirectly) and then change the subject. :) That was Rebecca!

I think her two favorite words were, "Yes, Dear!" If you talked to her longer than 10 seconds, you were all but guaranteed to be called, "Dear." And dear she was!

I will truly miss my friend, but take comfort in the fact that this separation is only temporary. We shall be together again in Heaven!

In the meantime, please keep her family in your prayers as she is leaving behind a huge void in their lives, yet such a tremendous legacy!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm Not Sure I Even Remember How to Do This Anymore!?

It's been SO very long since I've blogged...I've meant to, I want to...but the time just seems to escape me! And I don't like doing anything half-heartedly, so I figure it's better to say nothing at all until I can gather my thoughts and organize them in a reasonably understandable manner. :)

But you've been waiting so very patiently during my absence, I could at least give you a quick run-down on what's been going on in our world.

1.School is now back in full swing! We made the choice to move our daughter to the private Christian school here in town and she is LOVING it!!! I can't tell you how many tears were shed last year over not wanting to go to school, due to the girl's making fun of her or leaving her out, the mean teachers (trust me, I've seen it for myself...there was reason to cry!), etc. The school she's in has 17 kids ranging in age from preschool (2 years old) to high school. It's self-paced and as long as she completes her work and stays out of trouble, there are field trips every Friday!

2. The boys are still attending the local elementary school, and so far-so good. We hope to move them to the private school for next school year, but in the meantime, we're encouraging them to continue being God's light in a dark world.

3. I'm no longer working at our church (can't remember if I've already posted that info), so I can stay home during the day. It's amazing how much you can truly get accomplished when you're not having to leave in the middle of the day for a couple of hours! :)

My brain is so fried, I can't think of any other updates at the moment. But as a reward for reading this far, here's a picture of my three on the first day of school...(pre Jamie's hair getting fixed). ;)



Until next time...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'm Still Here!

I promise I haven't walked away from the blogging world! This Summer has by far been the busiest one we've ever had!!! I haven't even had much time to think, much less put those mumbled, jumbled thoughts down for the world to read!

So...I thought I would just check in to let you know I'm still here and fully intend to begin writing again once my world settles down a little...which in essence means, tomorrow, August 24th. First Day of School!

"Heaven came down and glory filled my soul..."

Stay tuned! ;)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday

While my boy's are outside, and J is helping her daddy make dinner, I thought I'd squeeze in a few minutes to make my "Thankful Thursday" entry before I forget. Some friends of mine tend to have a theme running through their lists, and I suppose on occasion you might find one on mine. However, randomnenss is my specialty! So, staying true to my nature, that's what you're going to get today!

1. When I lived in WV 13 years ago, I had a very good friend named Chris. He was a police officer, and when he was off duty, he worked security at the Putt-Putt where I worked. He was engaged, and I was dating someone at the time, so there was nothing going on-we were just really great friends. Several people at work claimed to be Christians and even went to church, but their day-in, day-out lives weren't any different from the rest of the world. Chris however, lived the life. When I left West Virginia, I left with the intention of returning, so I didn't get anyone's addresses or phone numbers. For those of you who know me, know that's not how my story ended up. I've thought about him and even tried looking for him throughout the years, but "Chris Little" is a very common name...makes it kind of difficult to track someone down! However, I am so happy to report...that Chris found me on Facebook July 3rd! It's been great reconnecting with a long, lost friend!!! He left law enforcement and now is a professional singer/piano player with a Southern Gospel Group called, Forgiven. I promise to post a video of them soon.

2. I'm thankful for my children who are openly loving with me, and tell me repeatedly things throughout the day such as, "I love you!" or "You're the best mom in the world!" Actually, E came up to me yesterday and said, "Who WOULDN'T love you??" That's one smart kid!! Ha! :)

3. God very plainly, matter-of-factly told me a while back to stop eating sugar. I thought it would be easy to do, but instead, I've really struggled. But I'm happy to say that today is Day 7 of absolutely NO processed carbs, and NO refined sugar!! As Beth Moore says, "Thus far, the Lord has helped me!" And I am truly thankful that He has!

4. I'm thankful that I was finally able to get some answers with our youngest son! I took him to a local Christian counselor, but she was very gracious and admitted that he is totally out of their league. We're now in the process of trying to choose a Child Psychiatrist. We would covet your continued prayers in that regard.

5. And last but not least, I'm very thankful for a day just to hang out here at home. This summer has been extremely busy with everyone running in different directions! Today was a nice change of pace though, with everyone just being here together.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chances

Death suddenly whisked you away like a strong, Summer wind.
Now it's standing firmly, trying hard not to bend.
Fearing that I too will slip out of life's arms.
Afraid of what is to come,
Not wanting to face anymore harm.

Now that you're gone, our lives have all changed.
Every day is different,
Nothing is the same.

I often sit and think of you, remembering the past.
It seems as though you're still here with me,
You just came and went so fast.

There's so much I wanted to share with you, but I kept it all inside.
And now that you aren't here, my chances have been denied.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Don't Jump to Conclusions!

I feel the need to preface this post with an explanation.

I love writing, but it also makes me feel very vulnerable, and exposed at times...kind of like when I was walking towards the bus stop in 7th grade only to realize that my brother's friend Dalton was walking behind me the entire time holding my skirt up! I was mortified!! Putting my writings out there for all the world to see (it would probably be more accurate to say, "for the 2 of you readers to see") puts that same feeling in my gut.

Now to the explanation...I haven't written poetry in years! The majority of my writings were done in high school. And to be honest, a lot of it is dark. However, I have never dealt with most of the topics I've written on...I've never been depressed, have never contemplated suicide, my mother's never died (thankfully!!), etc. So, PLEASE don't assume I'm hiding some deep, dark secrets or need to have an intervention called on me!!

Now...with that said, here's my first poem I've chosen to post per my friend Ginny's request.

TORN

I'm afraid to reveal to you my true feelings-
Simply because I'm afraid of admitting them to myself.
How can I live-
Knowing I've pledged my life to one
When secretly I've given my heart to another?
How can I say that I love him with my head...
But I love you with my heart?
This will have to remain our little secret-
Yours and mine.
Never to reveal my true feelings to him-
It would crush and utterly destroy his world!

I suddenly feel trapped!

How do you trust that God's will is perfect in circumstances such as this?

Do I continue lying to myself...to him...to you?

I want you to know me-
The real me.
I want to bare my soul to you.
I want to throw off all these hindrances,
All these facades.
I have to be honest...

I'm in love with you!

I have loved you from the first time we met...
And I will love you forever.

Questions begin echoing through my mind-
Questions of integrity and morality.

I just have to ask,
Do you feel the same way towards me?
Or am I making a fool of myself?

I long to see you!
Yet I'm terrified!
Will my true feelings show for you?
How could they not?

Why?
Why now??
Why not 10 years ago???
Maybe I could have saved you-
Sparing you the emptiness, loneliness and pain you've experienced,
And you could have done the same for me.

It's not fair!

Yes, I love him.
I made a choice to love him.
I made a promise.
But with you...
I can never escape the thought of you.
You've consumed me for days, months, years...
Longing to find you,
To reconnect our hearts together once more.

I can't wait for sleep to come.
Only then can I be with you,
Unhindered by reality.

Then it's like you never even left-
I can still see your face.
Hear your laugh.
Taste your kiss.

I want to hold your hands in mine-
Even if only for a brief moment.
But I couldn't bear to let you go!
Afraid that 13 more years will pass-
Only to lose you again.
I can't do that to my heart.

Yet I have to ask myself,
Which is more painful...?
Not knowing where you are, yet holding you close in my dreams...
Or being so close to you, yet knowing I can't have you?

But I need you!

Just trust that my heart belongs to you.

Nothing!

Time.
Distance.
People.
Circumstances.

Nothing will ever change the fact that my heart is yours.

I love you!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Was Hairless When Hairless Wasn't Cool!

Kind of like the song, "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool."

I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata when I was in 4th grade, back in 1985. My mom happened upon a couple of bald spots on my scalp one day, and have since undergone numerous shots (15-20 per spot) and several different creams throughout the years to try to treat it, in hopes of getting my hair to grow back. Thankfully, it doesn't affect my scalp as severely as it does the rest of my body. Somewhere along the way, the hair on my arms and legs has disappeared...which makes shaving a thing of the past. I honestly can't complain at all in that regard!!

Now fast forward 20+ years:

J's going into the 6th grade this fall and wanted to start shaving, but was/is afraid of cutting herself with a razor. So, she decided she wanted to try these instead:



Have you seen them on TV or in the store? Since when did it become fashionable to look like you have Alopecia?? I totally get not wanting hair on your legs and under your arms (I unfortunately still have to shave there). But the commercials show these women using these crystals on their faces, arms, underarms, legs, etc. Why haven't there been commercials all these years showing women shaving their faces and their arms??

Not much of a point here in this post. I just find it ironic. Now then, don't you feel smarter after reading this? ;)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thankful Thursday...

And I only have 15 minutes left before I'll have to retitle it, "Forgetful Friday!" I try, I try.

1. I'm thankful that my good friend's Cippi & Robin have a healthy, beautiful baby boy (Riley Mark) as of last Thursday, June 25th. And even more thankful that they don't mind me and my children hanging out over there each and every day to see him...and them too of course! ;)

2. I'm thankful for my sister, who my children lovingly refer to as "SaSa." She's volunteered to take them to a movie tomorrow, which will give this Momma a break for a couple of hours! Sara, you're the best!

3. And while I'm taking a break from my children, I'm thankful that I get to spend it having some girl time/shopping with my wonderful sister-in-law Renee! I've known her and her family for 21 years and 11 months...her mom was my Diabetes educator when I was diagnosed at the ripe old age of 10.

4. I'm thankful that my brother Mark and sister-in-law Renee (see above) are expecting Bebe Numero Dos!! I'm going to be an aunt again!!! I can't wait!

5. And lastly (for tonight), I'm thankful that I can sleep in tomorrow, and don't have to get up early at the crack of dawn like I did today...since my husband forgot his house key (in the house), and woke us up by beating on our bedroom window. It's been a long day and I need some rest!

Good night all!

Baker Kid's Comedy Hour

I happened upon some funnies that I had written down on the kids last night and wanted to share. Of course you may not get the chuckle out of them that I did, but then again, that's my right as the parent to think they're hilarious. ;)

1. E (7 years) announced, "I know why we hold hands when we pray! So we won't eat the food!"

2. The rice that I was making for dinner wasn't through cooking, but N (6) was hungry, so I decided to go ahead and let him eat what was already prepared. I put a little bit of chicken and some vegetables on his plate, and when I put it in front of him at the table, he put his hands on the sides of his head and shook it while saying, "Gweat!! We must be poor!"

3. J and E (8 & 7) were playing together, but J didn't want to do anything that E suggested. Frustrated, he came to me and asked, "Does J even HAVE an imagination?? Because she never uses it!"

4. On Sunday, January 1, 2006, J (7) was told to clean her room. She said, "Do I have to??" When I told her yes, she replied with, "But Mom, it's the Sabbath!"

5. Just one day later (1/2/06), we were outside watching the kid's play with their battery operated Jeep they got for Christmas the week before. J attempted to run down E (who were both laughing hysterically), not realizing he could have gotten hurt...she thought since it was just a "toy" car it wouldn't do any damage. Once we got her stopped and explained otherwise to her, N (5) immediately runs and lays down in front of the Jeep. When we told him to get up, he said, "But I need to learn my lesson the hard way!"

6. In December of 2006, we took a family vacation to Red River, New Mexico. Upon arriving in our cabin for the night, N excitedly runs around to check everything out. He runs into the kitchen and hollers out, "AWWW!!! The kid's even have their OWN TV!!!" It was a microwave.

7. E (7) and N (6) were in the backseat of our car fighting over a black crayon. Both boys claimed it was their own. E finally stopped arguing and said, "God, YOU know the truth...and HE ain't tellin' it!!!"

8. Again, E (7) and N (6) were arguing over a toy that N had taken away from E...and again, we were in the car. Yes, this scenario happens OFTEN. E says, "Tell N to give me back my toy!" N responds with, "I don't have it!! I put it in that...whatever it's called." Without missing a beat, E said, "Ya, it's called 'in your pocket.'"

Well, that concludes our show for the evening, folks. Hope you enjoyed yourselves. Please come back again soon.

“God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me." Genesis 21:6

Friday, June 19, 2009

Opposites

How you know you're in Pennsylvania:

Lush, green rolling hills, trees, and brightly colored flowers in all varieties.










How you know you're back in Texas:

Flat and dead.



Will post more details of our trip soon. Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys...

Just a short funny on my 2 boys...

E & N were sitting at the dinner table a few minutes ago, and E is talking 90 miles an hour in Pig Latin! He picked it up from J a while back and uses it 99% of the time now! It does drive me crazy, so he's required to speak plain ol' English to his mother! ;) N on the other hand, can pick out certain words here and there when J & E are carrying on a "secret" conversation, but overall doesn't understand it very well.

E repeats the same sentence a couple of times, which upsets N, and he responds with, "I am NOT a dummy!!!"

E then says very nonchalantly, "I SAID you have sauce on your forehead!"

I don't know why it struck me so funny, but I guess that's just every day life between the two of them. :)

Thankful Thursday

About 1 1/2 weeks ago, I decided to take part in "Thankful Thursday." I haven't been in the habit of blogging as much as I would like to be, so I thought this would give me a chance to regularly make a post, and help me focus more on the positives in my life, instead of the negatives...and then last Thursday came and went...and I forgot all about posting. Ooops. So, without any further ado, here's my list of what I'm thankful for today...

1. I'm thankful that I got to spend some time with my 22 month-old nephew Ty today. He is the smartest (honestly), most talkative, expressive, funny, kid I've ever met! Did I mention cute? His mom (my sister-in-law) is teaching Summer School in Victoria, and my parent's are helping watch him during the day, so we swung by their house while we were in town earlier this morning. He is a riot! I love him and are very thankful that Mark & Renee are bringing him up in a loving, Christian home.

2. I'm thankful for my hardworking, devoted, loyal, dedicated husband who worked his normal 12-hour shift 14 days/nights in a row so we could have a little more play money on our vacation (starting tomorrow)! He takes his role as being our provider very seriously, and I admire him for that.

3. I'm thankful that my house is somewhat quiet at the moment, when it's been filled with lots of noise today...some good, some not so good. Hey, I've got 3 kids that are natural-born sinners, what can I say? Ha! :)

4. I'm thankful that my (going into) 6th grade daughter still wants me to tuck her into bed each night, and then begs me to lie in bed with her and chit-chat for a few minutes before she falls off to sleep...hopefully this tradition will carry on for many more years to come!

5. I'm thankful that God never quits loving me, no matter what I do or how many times I mess up. Thankfully I can't earn his love, and also therefore can't do anything to lose it either! He is the same yesterday, today and forever!

Well, we leave out tomorrow for PA, DC & NY! I'm a little excited, and a little more nervous. :) Please pray for a safe trip. If all goes well, I'll see you again next Thursday, June 18th (hopefully with lots of pictures to share)!

Enjoy your week!! :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Itsy Bitsy Spider



God amazes me. He just does. How he uses simple things in life to open my eyes to something huge.

This morning as I was sitting on the front porch steps having my quiet time, I noticed a spider out of the corner of my eye. I put my Bible down for a moment and looked to see what it was doing. At first glance, I didn't see anything, but when the sun started to come up, it was evident...he/she was busy spinning its web. It was fascinating! I've never watched a spider in action before. It would drop down a few inches, slide over to the right, do whatever it is that spiders do in that one particular spot, come back to the left side, and then continue on. I know, my grasp on how spiders spin a web is mind boggling, isn't it? Ha! ;) Then I started thinking, "So many times when God's at work in our lives, it's like that spider web. Sometimes it may appear as if nothing is happening, but in reality, He's busy at work making something truly miraculous. It may not be visible to the naked eye, but in the end, we'll understand."


"Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
John 13:7

"For the word of the Lord holds true,and we can trust everything he does."
Psalm 33:4

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Really???

I bought this container of Gatorade just 2 days ago and thanks to my children didn't get to enjoy any of it. Noah was the only child at home yesterday evening, so when he asked if he could have some, I gave in, although I was secretly hoping to save the last bit for myself. I didn't watch him pour his glass, but saw him put it back in the fridge, so I assumed there was plenty left to drink. How disappointed I was when I opened the door and saw this!!!



Really now?? Was it worth the few cents of energy it took to keep the refrigerator running to keep this amount of Gatorade cool?? Honestly?

Welcome to my world. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

So much to do, and so little time to do it!

I'm feeling a bit like the rabbit off "Alice in Wonderland" lately...frantically rushing here and there while repeating, "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!"

Paul and I finally decided on our vacation destination...Pennsylvania! I've heard from a friend of mine how beautiful the Amish countryside is, and Paul and I are ready to take a step back and relax-so we thought we could do a bit of site seeing, as well as get away from all the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives and enjoy some simplicity (with a trip to Hershey, PA for some chocolate, of course). However, that leaves me with less than 2 weeks to prepare...there's laundry to be washed, clothes and toiletries to be packed, itenteries to be made, etc. For some procrastinators out there, 11 days may seem like more than enough time! However, for this planner/organizer personality, it's not nearly enough..well, with everything else going on in my world at the moment!

I've also decided to resign from my job. I've had the honor of working part-time as our church secretary for the past 4 years, but the time has come for me to step down. Originally, I could come in when I wanted as long as I got the job done. However, now I'm required to be there at the same time each and every day. Normally, that wouldn't be a problem-especially if I was dependent on the money to provide for my family, pay the bills, etc. But that's not the case. I get to use my paycheck for extra spending money...but $10 an hour isn't worth having to miss out on some of my kid's activities at school, etc. While I'm really looking forward to being home each and every day, there are still plenty of loose ends that need to be tied up before Wednesday...and I'm beginning to wonder how I'm going to manage to get it all done.

Our church is also having a garage sale this Saturday, and I was volunteered to help price the items (during my normal working hours). And in preparation of the sale, I decided now would be a great time to clean out my kid's closets...WHAT WAS I THINKING???

I just need to keep my parent's favorite Bible verse in mind..."This too shall pass." ;)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Vacation, anyone?

Paul and I are trying to decide where to go on vacation. He'll be off from June 12th through the 25th (although we don't plan to stay gone that long). We simply can't make up our minds!?!? Do you have any good ideas? Let me hear 'em!

Paul would prefer to be outdoors, relaxing by a lake, doing some fishing and/or swimming, etc.

The kid's want fun, fun, fun, activities like swimming and more fun!

I on the other hand am not quite sure what I want to do...?

HELP!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

11 Years Ago...Yesterday

I became a mom for the first time! Jamie Lynn Baker was born on May 17, 1998 at 8:22 p.m. weighing in at 7 lbs, and was 18 1/2 inches long. However, being born at only 34 weeks, she was a huge preemie! ;) She only had to stay in the NICU for 9 days, and has been great ever since! I would love to post more information, but that will have to wait until another time...so, I'll leave you with one of her first pictures. Enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Simple, Yet Profound


Last week, I suddenly found myself hurled into the midst of a spiritual battle-one that has left me holding up not only my shield of faith, but fighting on behalf of my husband as well, when he doesn't have the strength to defend himself. I didn't see this coming, and have been struggling occasionally with thoughts such as, "This is not fair, God! I didn't do anything to bring this upon myself. Yet, here I am having to fight for the both of us! I didn't get myself into this mess! I shouldn't be left trying to piece this back together! This isn't my responsibility." Yet, this really shouldn't catch me off guard. In the back of my mind, I knew that an attack was pending, and God in His faithfulness has been preparing me for a while now...everywhere I turned, the subject of the Armor of God was being thrust in my lap. I find it no coincedence either that we just finished "Believing God" by Beth Moore last week too! God's timing is nothing short of miraculous.

Then yesterday morning, while I was running around like a mad woman, trying to rush out the door for church on time, my nearly 11 year old daughter was taking her sweet time, getting dressed and ready for the day. She was pondering which piece of jewelry would best suit her outfit, and I suggested this necklace that my mom and dad gave her a few year's ago in honor of her baptism. So while she non chalantly walks off to brush her hair, I dashed back to my room for the necklace. All my necklaces are currently hanging on a clothes hanger since I don't own a nice jewelry box-and for now it does the job (However, if any of you reading this feel the need to mention to Paul the idea of buying me a jewelry box for Mother's Day, I'm sure it's really the voice of the Holy Spirit). ;) I attempted to slide the necklace around and off the others, but instead of coming off easily as they normally do, it got all tangled up. As I'm standing there fighting this physical battle with the necklace, some thoughts of my spiritual battle came to mind, and I began to wrestle them both at the same time. The necklace was just about to let loose, when the cord got caught on another chain, which snagged it pretty badly. Eventually, I got it off and inspected the damage. There wasn't anything I could do to hide the damage or to make it go away. I didn't have the time to attempt to make it better, and honestly, I felt it might just make the problem worse. I simply slid the cross pendant to the front so she could put it on, and the cross was hanging right over the mess! Right then, I heard these words, "The cross covers it all!"

I thought, "You're right Lord, the cross does cover it all!"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!




My dad's oldest brother, Lawrence, was (and still is) my favorite uncle! And while growing up, I was never ashamed to admit that I was his favorite niece! :) Uncle Lawrence's job frequently took him out of the country to live in other parts of the world for months at a time. Even though he was gone quite a bit, there are still several fond memories I have of Uncle Lawrence and our time spent together...there were gifts from far off places, such as a silver coin never touched by human hands, bags of foreign money, opal necklaces, perfume from London, etc.

There are many other special memories I have, aside from the gifts he gave...I remember the first time I saw him cry on our way to my Uncle Arlie's funeral back in 1994 as he and I rode alone together in his car. There were George Strait concerts when my cousin worked for MCA records, dinners at Chili's, shopping trips to the Galleria...and there are many more that I don't have room for here.

His sense of humor is unlike any other I've ever known...once while our family was staying in a hotel when we were visiting my aunt and uncle out of town, he called my sister and me from the next room, while we were next door alone. He kept speaking to us in foreign languages, scaring us to death!! Once while eating out at a Mexican food restaurant, he and my dad got up and danced along with the waiters who were singing Happy Birthday to another customer...you just never knew quite what to expect! :)

But the memories that have burned themselves into my mind the most are simply of his presence in my life-especially at Easter! In our home, Easter wasn't Easter without Uncle Lawrence! It didn't matter if he was living in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Liberia or New Orleans-year after year, he went out of his way (literally) to ensure that he was at home with us on that day.

On Easter morning, we would have to sit in my brother's room to keep us from peeking out the back door while Uncle Lawrence helped my parents hide the eggs. Then the hunt began...the most exciting part of it was trying to find the one "Prize egg" that Uncle Lawrence had stuffed money into, and we all wanted to be the first to find it! I would always wind up being disappointed and frustrated that I never once found the special "Prize egg" (somehow, my oldest brother, Clay, seemed to find it every year)! Like all kids do, there were times when one of us would continually pass up the obviously "hidden" egg lying in the grass. Uncle Lawrence would have to point us in the right direction in search of it. And if that didn't work, he would then take us by the hand and lead us to the right place (One of my favorite pictures is of Ericson holding his Easter basket when he was about 2 1/2 and Uncle Lawrence is there right beside him, bending over and pointing to an egg in my parent's front yard). Then when the hunt was over, my brothers, sister and I would sit on the back porch peeling and eating the boiled eggs, while opening the plastic ones and devouring the candy inside.

As much as I truly love my Uncle Lawrence, and as much as I know he loves me, my heart is troubled because he doesn't know the true meaning of Easter. He's never personally met the Jesus who went out of His way to point us and lead us to Heaven. Easter has always been my favorite holiday-mainly because of the special memories associated with it because of the close relationship I share with my uncle. But more importantly, it's about another close relationship I share...the relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ who willingly laid down his life for you and for me. Then three days later, rising again so that we might live forever with him. Unlike the "Prize egg" that my uncle would hide in the back yard, Jesus is not available only for the first lucky few who find Him. In John 3:16 it says, "...that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life."

Please don't let the real meaning of Easter pass you by this year! Ask God to soften your heart and open your eyes...to show you the miracle of Easter in fresh, new ways; ways you might never have seen before.

You might just be surprised at what you find!

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

I would also covet your prayers tomorrow...due to my Aunt Maria's cancer, this is the first year that my Uncle Lawrence won't be here to celebrate with me and my family!

Friday, April 3, 2009

I'm Believing God!

I sat down to read my Beth Moore Bible Study, "Believing God" earlier this morning after dropping the kid's off at school. As much as I want my children to see me reading God's word and studying the Scriptures, sometimes you just can't absorb it very well while you have paper airplanes zooming across the room from every direction, a recorder playing "Hot Cross Buns" in your right ear, a child's planner being thrust in your face for you to sign, etc. :)

There were a couple of things she says in Week 8, Day 2 that I wanted to share with you (Today is really Day 3, but see above as to why I'm playing catch-up today).

"When we find our callings, let's persist in them, not attempting to do a thousand things well but fanning our gifts to a flame and pursuing excellence in the few. If we do, Beloved, we will reap! The harvest may not become obvious in our lifetime, but it will surely come. Never, never forget this biblical promise: "if we sow the things of the Spirit, we will reap the things of the Spirit (see Gal. 6:8-9). Every time. God is faithful. Thank Him in advance for the harvest each time you sow. The flood may not fall on those seeds until after you see Jesus, but the rain will surely come. Believe God! Tirelessly plant the things of the Spirit in the soil of earth. Let nothing make you quit. Though the harvest tarry, it shall come!"

There are 2 specific prayer requests that I've been praying for for many years now (although I don't want to disclose the details here in Cyber-space for all the world to see...maybe one day when they've been answered). Although I haven't seen the harvest yet, God has given me an assurance in my spirit, and has confirmed it in several different ways that I will receive what I have asked for! It's encouraging me to keep on seeking Him in prayer until the flood has come and watered the seeds.

The verses below caught my eye while I was cleaning out my Bible a moment ago, and I felt God telling me to pray them over my requests...When we pray God's word, we know we're praying in accordance with God's will (we don't always know the outcome because God will answer in His way at just the right time). But I know He's still at work and is going to come through. I can hardly wait to see how He moves!!


"Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will." 2 Timothy 2:5-6


Is there something you're believing God for in prayer but haven't seen the fruits of your labor yet? Don't quit! Be encouraged with this verse:

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

When you know God has laid something on your heart, then believe He will answer. Don't be persuaded by others who try to question or doubt your faith. Keep believing God!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Be Bold!

One day over Spring Break, I saw a side of my daughter that not too many people ever get to see...including me. Jamie is normally on the quiet side, tends to lay low, keeps to herself, normally found with her nose in a book.

We had gone to the State Park to visit friend's who were camping there for the week, when Jamie comes storming across the street, waving her hands around in the air, and this is what I heard her saying...

"This boy, he called me fat!! So I flicked him upside his head and he took off crying and said he was gonna tell his mom, but I don't care! I'm not scared!!"

It caught me totally off guard! I honestly had to stifle my giggles because part of me found it funny. But I calmed her down, and told her she needed to go apologize to that kid for "flicking him upside his head." Regardless of what he did, she was only responsible for her actions. Even though the fleshly side of me wanted to go pin him down so she could do it again (Don't ever call my baby fat!), I knew she needed to swallow her pride and do the right thing.

Then last night in our "Believing God" Bible Study, we were talking about our witness as Christians and how God has called us to be bold. I thought about Jamie's incident at the park and wondered how much of an impact we would truly have on this world if all Christians were bold for Christ...not being worried about what others may think of us, or scared we're going to step on someone's toes, but to run this race with perseverance, knowing the prize that awaits us at the end.

"The wicked run away when no one is chasing them,but the godly are as bold as lions." Proverbs 28:1

"This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9




And incidentally, no, the little boy did not come back to the playground.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Muddled

That's the only word that comes to mind regarding my thoughts lately. Several ideas have come to me that I would like to put on the blog, but obviously none of them have come to fruition.

This may be too graphic of a word picture to use here, but it just fits so well! Forgive me if it offends...I simply don't know of a better way to describe how I write.

You know how your stomach starts churning, gurgling and rumbling before you get sick to your stomach? You can't pinpoint the exact time you're going to have to make a mad dash for the bathroom, but you know it's imminent. You're not given the option of penciling it in on your calendar to make sure it fits in your schedule. Neither can you force yourself to just sit down and let it all out! But when it's time, it's time!

That's how I write. My mind starts churning, gurgling and rumbling. I don't know what I'm supposed to write about, nor do I know when it's coming. I can't force myself to sit down and "let it all out." But when it's time, it's time! It just flows forth and that's that!

Like I said, not a very pretty word picture, but a picture nonetheless. :)

I guess lately I'm just having a severe case of verbal constipation. HA!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wipe Your Feet!

At a bridal shower recently, we asked all the guests to bring a gift that has helped them grow in their journey of becoming a godly wife and/or mom.

I spent countless hours thinking, pondering, praying and agonizing over what I might present to my friend to symbolize what God had been using in my own life to make me more like Him. Finally, it hit me! I knew the perfect gift! But then reality hit, and I knew that I couldn't possibly give away N! ;)

In all seriousness, I truly believe that God has placed N in my life to stretch me, grow me, and make me more dependant upon Him. If we never encounter some rough patches, or walk through valleys-those hard and sometimes frightening places-we will never truly appreciate the mountain top experiences in life. We can grow so accustomed to life being easy, we lose our appreciation of it and take it for granted.

God says in Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

It makes me think of a welcome mat lying outside your front door. Every time you step in or out of your house, you walk across the mat, yet never really stop to notice it, or make much use of it. You simply "take it for granted" and probably even forget it's presence. But that's on a sunny day!

All of a sudden, when a thunderstorm comes and your shoes get muddy, you now actually stop on the mat, carefully wiping and scraping all of the dirt and mud off-taking full advantage of the mat and what it has to offer.

Isn't that kind of the way we tend to treat our relationship with God? We run over Him every day with short, quick prayers here and there..."Thanks for this" or "Help me with that." But only when we run into the rough, nasty circumstances of life and have mud up to our ankles, where God forces us to our knees in humble dependence upon Him, do we truly stop, take notice of Him, and interact with Him the way we were created to.

We may not always understand what He's doing in our lives, or why He chooses the paths that He places us on...but He doesn't ask us for our opinion! We're simply called to trust Him.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

"The word of our Lord holds true, and everything He does is worthy of our trust." Psalm 33:4


You're sure to experience many good, fun, happy times in life, but like it or not, you'll also experience your share of hard, uneasy times as well. This is where I want to encourage you to "wipe your feet" on God if you will.

"Cast all your cares on him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7


Regardless of what ups and downs you face, I pray that God will bless you on your journey. May your door mat continually serve as a reminder of God's constant, active presence in your life. Don't wait for the hard times to seek His face, but daily go to the Lord in prayer...that's the only way you'll ever thrive and grow.

"Remain in me and I in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:4-5

May you never take His presence for granted!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's a Small World After All...

Small world stories have always fascinated me, and since I have a couple of my own, I thought I would share...

1. A couple of years ago, I was at the church working (not during my regular hours), and the phone rang (which it had been doing a lot that day, so I didn't think anything of it). The voice on the other end of the line said, "Hello. May I speak with Bethany?" I identified myself as such, and then she told me that our husband's worked together, and that's how she got my number. My first reaction was, "Uh-oh!" Because just one month before I had received a call from one of Paul's co-worker's spouses crying and all upset, wanting some help and advice on their crumbling marriage. I thought, "Surely this isn't another one of those situations!?"

Thankfully, that wasn't the case at all! The lady on the phone (Meghan)and another lady (I forget her name) were planning on going to the park and wanted to invite me & the kid's along. I had other plans that afternoon, but was trying to think of how I could work around them so I could join in on the fun...you know me-ready and willing to meet new people at any given point in time! Anyhow...I said, "Sure. Which park are you going to?" When she told me the name of it, it didn't sound familiar. So I asked her where it was located and then she told me another name that didn't sound familiar. I then concluded that she lived near the plant and didn't realize I was an hour away. She then asked me where I was. But when I told her, she responded with, "Where?" I told her again, and she then asked in a reserved tone of voice, "Where does your husband work?" I said, "In Old Ocean." She said, "In the ocean???" By now I was beginning to figure out that I wasn't who she thought I was! I explained that he worked in a gasoline refinery in the town of Old Ocean, and she asked very hesitantly, "You mean...your husband isn't in the Coast Guard??" I said, "No.?" We start laughing, and she says, "Let me read the phone number to you...so she reads, "___-___-0598" and I said, "That's the number, and my name is Bethany, but I'm not the person you're looking for." I asked her where she was and she said, "Oregon!" She asked me where Edna was and of course you all reading this know the answer to that question! So anyhow...she starts talking and visiting...I told her it wasn't my home number, that it's the church where I worked. She asked what type of church it was and I told her Baptist. She said, "Everyone in Texas is Baptist, aren't they? Just kidding!" She was a Christian though...we established that much. We went on to discuss several things & found out we had lots in common...just a few examples: She had three kids, I had three kids. Her oldest was nine, my oldest was nine. Her middle son was going to be 7 in August, my youngest son was going to be 7 in August...It was crazy! Needless to say, we had a really good, encouraging conversation! She ended with, "Is this a divine appointment or what? Well, ________(insert the lady with the forgotten name here) is here waiting to go to the park, so I better let you go." I told her I hoped she and the other lady had a GREAT time at the park, and was sorry I couldn't go with them that day, but there was always next time, right? We still keep up with one another through e-mail and Myspace, too.

How weird was that??

2. I moved to West Virginia for the summer (3 months & 8 days to be exact) when I was 19 and worked at Rock Lake Putt-Putt in South Charleston. To this very day, it is still the absolute most favorite job I've ever had...well, besides being a wife & mom! ;) It really helps the environment when your boss is a Christian (& runs his business like it) too! The day before I was flying back home, I was standing at the ice cream counter and was tracing my name in the ice. Someone standing nearby asked what I was doing that for, and I said, "I'm leaving to go home tomorrow, and I'm leaving them something to remember me by." :) She said, "Where are you from?" I told her, and then she said, "My best friend lives in Victoria!" I asked for her name, and when she said, "Christy Spradlin" it shocked me! She and her entire family were members at our church, and I had known them practically all my life!!

Wild!

3. This is my most recent encounter...if you keep up with my blog, then you're aware that Paul and I just got back from a "Weekend to Remember" marriage conference (that had 4,200 people there, remember?). A couple of days ago, I get an e-mail from a lady (Hi Lezlee!!) saying that she has also been reading my blog, and she and her husband were also at the same conference!!! Although we didn't meet while there, I thought that was pretty neat. And I was equally excited to see that I actually had a "real" blog reader...not that you don't count Mom, but... :) Just kidding!!!


From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth- he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. Psalm 33:13-15

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We're Back!




Well, the conference has come and gone, and we're back home in one piece. The conference was really good; I truly enjoyed the speakers! Dennis Rainey was there (which was really cool since this is the only conference he's speaking at ALL year), as well as Dan Jarrell & Kyle & Sharon Dodd. I had never heard of these speakers before, but they did a great job! We didn't learn anything new, but I suppose it helped reiterate some things we need to keep in mind over the course of our married life together.

The resort was fabulous, but oh my!! It is the largest thing I've ever seen!!! We weren't the only conference there mind you, and our conference alone had over 4,200 people in attendance!! The day's were filled with sessions, with 15 minute breaks spread throughout the day (as well as one for lunch)...try getting 4,200 people fed (in the snack line) or to the bathroom, or through the book store in that amount of time! Impossible. Saturday morning, Paul and I decided to run to Cracker Barrel and get breakfast (thinking we were being smart) instead of going to one of the way over-priced (story on that shortly), too crowded restaurants (that you had to make reservations for if you wanted a seat, but didn't accept same-day reservations) in the resort. Well, we did make it back (right on time), but by the time we parked in the parking garage and high tailed it over to the convention center (down stairs, across parking lots, through the resort, down the hall, up the escalators, etc.) you've put in a good 20-30 minute semi-jog!! So, at least we got our exercise! :) It wasn't nearly as relaxing as I had hoped, but it was still good!

Okay, here's our over-priced story...after breakfast at Cracker Barrel, we really weren't very hungry for lunch. So, Paul had the bright idea of just picking up some snacks, taking them back to our room, and hanging out for an hour until the next session. I got a Coca-Cola Zero, and he a Vitamin Water. We grabbed a small package of Peanut M&M's (in case my bloodsugar went low during the conference), an individual sized bag of Dorito's, a box of Ritz crackers with a small block of Smoked Swiss cheese. $35!!!!! Isn't that insane??? Brunch on Sunday after the conference was over? $32 dollars a plate!!! Although I must admit, that was some GOOD food!!! And the atmosphere was really neat too. And needless to say, that by the time we even made it back to our room, we literally had like 15 minutes to eat before heading back out the door! HA!

I'm truly not complaining! I would do it all over again...just to spend time alone with Paul and get away from our day-in, day-out routine. It really was well worth it. But next time, I think we'll go to a smaller resort...a girl needs to relax! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm OUTTA here!!!




No, no! Not gone from the blogging world...sorry for the little scare! :)

Paul and I are leaving first thing in the morning for time away!!! I am so excited! I honestly don't remember the last time just the two of us got away for a couple of days without children in tow?

We're going to Grapevine to attend Family Life's "Weekend to Remember" marriage conference! I've never personally been to one, but heard they're awesome!

We'll be gone through Sunday, so expect no updates until Monday...or later. :)

Have a very Happy Valentine's Day and a GREAT weekend!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Honor Him.

Yesterday was a pretty stressful day for me...outwardly, full of struggles with my youngest son. Internally, full of struggles with my weight issues.

A really good friend of ours decided a little over a week ago that we should text one another every time we ate something, since he's attempting to lose weight as well. I thought it sounded good for accountability's sake, and thought it would be worth a try. So I sent out my first text on Sunday, February 1st as I sat down for breakfast. To my surprise, we've followed through remarkably well! Being a Type-1 Diabetic, I should keep track of what I eat anyway, and you would think with me being a list maker (aka list LOVER!) I would follow through with that on my own...however, every time I try, I fail. Those little books the doctor's give you to keep track of your bloodsugar reading's are WAY too small to be of any use! And carrying a binder around with me every where I go, isn't very do-able either.? This texting thing though, I'm loving it! I sat down yesterday, reading back over the texts I sent this past week, and wrote down my food diary all at once. Love! Love, love!

On the other side of the same coin, however, it just kind of discouraged me because I've been working out faithfully, walking, drinking lots of water, not eating sugar (all of this for over 6 weeks now), and I haven't seen ANY results in regards to my weight! None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Zip. Absolutely NOTHING! Not even 1 pound! While our friend on the other hand has lost 6 (in the past week alone)! Yes, I know, he's a man. He's naturally going to lose it faster...but he also loves to tell me how I'm not getting enough fiber in my diet, & if I would just do what he says, eat what he eats, etc, I would see results. Trust me, I get plenty of fiber, but nothing gives...? UGH!

Then this morning, I sat down with my Bible before my kid's got up, and I was reading through Psalms 41-45 (I have Psalms marked off so I read a certain section each day of the month). I came to chapter 45, verses 10 & 11. And this is what it says,

"Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear: Forget your people and your father's house. The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord."

This is my translation..."Forget your friend and his advice. Don't worry about what other people think about you. And probably the hardest thing of all to do, is to stop being so critical of yourself! Even if you don't see yourself as thin & beautiful, I am enthralled by your beauty!!!! I love you just the way you are, and that's all that matters!!! I'm just asking you to honor me. Stop worring about your results. You honor me. You're not responsible for the outcome...that's in my hands. You simply honor me. The scale is not your lord. I am your Lord."

I forget sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) that God isn't as concerned with my physical appearance, but rather my heart. In my mind, if I'm absorbed in it, He must be too! :) I'm not saying we shouldn't strive to care for our bodies, because they are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we need to be good stewards of everything He's given us! But the words that jumped off the page and stuck with me were the words, "Honor him."

Honor him.

Do we truly honor him? It's a question I need to ponder upon...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What Was She Thinkin'??





This morning right after J woke up, she grabbed a carton of yogurt out of the fridge, and instead of getting a spoon (like normal people), she chose to pour it in her mouth...I guess she wasn't expecting it to come out quite so fast!? It filled her mouth, one nostril, got all over her face, her hands, and promptly fell to the floor. Thank you Lord, for hardwood floors!!! :) She kept her head tilted back, in a vain attempt to make less of a mess, but she couldn't really ask for help either since her mouth was full of vanilla yogurt! I must admit, I thought it was pretty funny!

Her hair may have darkened up quite a bit from when she were little, but she is still a true blonde!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Poor Mom!

(Forgive me Mom for posting this, but I thought it was too funny not to share! And being the kind, thoughtful person that you are, I know you would not want to prohibit these faithful blog readers (all 1 or 2) from having a good laugh! It's even Biblical, you know?)

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22

So, with that said, here is my mom's story that she shared with me via e-mail. Enjoy!!!

I like to keep everyone up to date on the family happenings....since most of you live a distance away now. Yesterday morning, I got out of bed and immediately let the dogs out to pee. I decided to put in a load of wash while waiting for them to come in and eat breakfast. Dad stepped to the kitchen/utility room door and said he was going to Clay's to check the mail, get the electric meter reading, and just check things out.
"Okey-dokey....see you later!" And off he went. In about two minutes the dogs are ready to go in the house. I reached for the doorknob of the kitchen/utility room door and IT IS LOCKED! Your dad had LOCKED THE DOOR, then left. That leaves me in the utility room, in a flannel nightgown and TENNIS SHOES (since that was the first pair of shoes I found when I got out of bed). Oh, and let's not forget it is 29 freaking degrees outside! I tried everything I could find to pick the lock, but nothing worked. I wound up sitting in my car, in the garage, for 45 min. until he gets back from Clay's house and lets me in the back door. End of story. And yes, he IS still alive and breathing and doesn't even have knots on his head. So you all may rest easy. Love, Mom

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pray for Connie

It seems I've had a lot of prayer requests lately, huh? But in a strange way, I find it exciting, because it's an opportunity to watch God work!

I know I've mentioned Connie on here before...I believe when her brother was diagnosed with cancer recently. Due to his diagnosis, she decided to get herself checked out from head to toe (she's also been having some problems with her stomach, etc.). Anyhow! They have found a spot on her pancreas, and will be sending her to MD Anderson to have further tests done.

So far, she's handling the news okay. The doctor who found the growth can't tell if the spot is filled with fluid, or is a solid mass, etc. so we don't know if it's cancerous or what.?

Would you please be praying for her peace of mind and her healing?

I'll keep you posted.

Thanks!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tyler Has Arrived...But Please Pray!







I apologize for the late update...it's been a busy day. In fact, my sister and her 3 girl's came out and visited for a while so they could see their "Uncle Pie." Paul was given that name accidentally by Ashton, my oldest neice, but it was too cute, and has since stuck. Anyhow! That's another story for another time. Onto Tyler...

I spoke with Jennifer earlier this afternoon, and she gave me all the stats:

Tyler Jesse Broadstreet was born today, Friday, January 23rd, 2009 at 9:38 a.m. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 1 oz, and was 20 1/2" long.

Tyler apparently swallowed some amniotic fluid that they were not able to suction out of his lung, so they currently are watching him in the nursery, and treating him with antibiotics. They're saying as of now, the worst case scenario is that he'll have to stay up to 7 days in the hospital, but Jennifer could be released as early as Sunday. She understandably doesn't want to leave the hospital without her baby, and she asked me to ask all of you to please be praying for his recovery and that he'll be allowed to go home with her.

Thanks for your prayers!!!

Tyler Is On His Way!!

My best friend Jennifer in Indiana is having her baby boy, Tyler Jesse Broadstreet, today! She may even be delivering as we speak? I know she's very excited, and I just had to share my excitement with you all as well!

I met Jennifer in Sunday School, during my senior year of high school. She walked in behind this other girl in our Sunday School class who had a habit of bringing some fellow "band nerds" with her, so I just assumed she was "one of those." :) Ha! We quickly found out she wasn't who we thought, and then we discovered our common love of...Jesus and food!!! :) We walked across the street to the little gas station before Sunday School started and bought 2 of our favorites...chocolate milk and Chili Cheese Frito's! :) Yes, sad to say, that was our breakfast on many, many Sunday mornings at Victoria Bible Church! We went to a mini-carnival in the K-Mart parking lot that afternoon, we made bets on who had the messiest bedroom, and then went to each other's house to see who was right (I WON!), we spent the night at her house that evening, and that was that!

She was a night-owl, and I an early bird...which made for some interesting sleepovers to say the least! :) One time, a bunch of us (meaning her sisters, my sister, and our common friend Sarah) were staying over and doing facials, etc. in her upstairs bedroom, when I fell asleep and they decided they were going to go downstairs and make Kool-Aid.?? She forced me up and told me I could go lay on their bar. :) Well, she indeed woke me up...instead of sugar in the Kool-Aid, she accidentally put 1 c.+ of SALT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was the nastiest thing I've ever tasted!!!

I avoided confrontation at all cost, and she taught me how to talk out problems...for which I will be eternally grateful! We've cried together, we've laughed together, we've prayed together...she is a true friend!

Just over 3 years ago, I had the privilege of flying to Florida after she had her first baby, Abbie, and stayed with her a week. Now, in about 6 more weeks, I'll be able to do the same and get to see baby Tyler!!

I promise to post picts. when I get some! In the meantime, please pray for a safe and healthy delivery!

Love you, Jennifer!!!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Special Prayer Request

My friend Phyllis has requested prayer for her new grandbaby, Joshua Tyson, who was born nearly 6 weeks ago, on December 10th.

He is currently in the hospital in New Orleans because he was born with 2 heart conditions.

The first one is that his aorta and pulmonary artery were fused into one-they never separated while in the womb. They had to do surgery on him, and thankfully pulled through that one remarkably well!

The second condition is "truncus arteriosis." I personally have not read up on this, so I can't explain it to you, but he will have to have surgery to correct that as well at a later date.

Please keep baby Tyson in your prayers! If I can, I'll try to post pictures as soon as I get some. ;)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Random Trivia for the Day

I heard this yesterday on the radio, and I thought, "Isn't God neat?" I'm a firm believer that NOTHING in this life happens by coincedence! He is involved in each & every intricate detail of our lives! Anyhow...here's your trivia for the day:

The words, "Fear Not" appear in the Bible 365 times! One for each day of the year.

Cool, huh? Apparently God's trying to tell us something. I pray that we will have the ears to hear Him when He speaks, the heart to accept it, and the courage to obey.