Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Play that funky music....

So, by now you've probably noticed that this happens once a month. I don't do it on purpose and I definitely don't mean to leave you all hanging. Sometimes the blog funk just happens. Now, it's not because I don't have anything interesting to blog about. Quite the opposite actually. It just happens when life gets busy and family takes precedence.

This week is a bit busier than most weeks. We've had a play date, home group, play practice, lots of driving, trick or treat on Thursday, more driving, an early Thanksgiving on Saturday and more driving! Oh, and I still work every day for a couple of hours.

BUT......

Daylight savings time is on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Which means an extra hour of sleep!!!! At least, I hope that's what I get. The kids like to throw me a curve ball and cheat me out of it sometimes! So, don't forget to change your clocks back before you go to bed on Saturday, and enjoy the extra hour of sleep!!

Me? I'm off to drive some more. Time for Afton's play practice. Ciao~



Sunday, October 26, 2008

Afton funnies, part deux

My kids have been into knock, knock jokes for a long time now. We always get the traditional one's like the banana one, the orange one, and the lettuce in one. They have become pro's at making up their own, Caleb especially.

A couple of weeks ago Afton came up with this one all by herself.

Afton: Knock, knock

Me: Who's there?

Afton: Stranger

Me: Stranger who?

Afton: Why did you let me in?!?!?!

I'd say we taught her pretty well when it comes to answering the door to strangers or letting them in.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Afton funnies

There is a reason I carry a small notebook around with me.

It could be to write down the lyrics to a song I heard, a website I need to check out, milk I need to pick up......OR.......it could be to write down the funny things my children say so I can remember them until I am very old.

Several weeks ago we were at my doctors office. As I was checking in my doctor came around the corner and saw me. He said hello and we chatted for a minute or two. Then he looked at Afton and said, "Hey Afton!"

Afton looks at me and say, "How does he know my name?"

I said, "Oh honey, he is the doctor that delivered you!"

Not thinking too much more about it (because I was finishing up the check in process) we went to sit down.

As we were waiting, Afton says, "Mom? Was I in a box?"

Me, "When?"

Afton, "When I was delivered!"

Me, "Oh, no honey. He is the doctor that helped you be born. That is what delivered means."

Afton, "Oh...." and then I was called into the room.

I just thought that was the cutest thing. It also goes to show how innocent a child's mind is and how they take things so literally. It also helps us understand why we have to explain things in fine detail. So their little minds can understand what we are saying. We just need to be cautious and not give them more than they can handle.

I have another one, but I'll post that later on.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

21 hours...and counting

That's how long I have been awake for...with no sleep in between.

Why did tonight, or should I say last night, have to be the night caffeine got to me?!?! It's never helped me stay awake before when I really needed it. Until last night at 10:05pm. When I stopped to get a coffee for me and a hot chocolate for Afton for our ride home. The only difference was that I stopped at Dunkin Donuts. Do they make high test coffee? Not even Starbucks has the ability to do this to me....

I'm pretty much in deep trouble for my day today.

My mind keeps saying sleep, but for some reason my eyes don't close. So, I have a pot of coffee brewing and I think I need to get an IV drip at some point today.

I haven't pulled an all-niter since I had my kids, at least not that I can remember. I wonder how I'll do? Oh boy....

If you happen to read some random, non sensical posts, don't worry. It just means delirium has set in.

PLEASE.SEND.COFFEE



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sweet 16

Today my youngest sister, Kaileah (pronounced "Kay-lee"..lol) turned 16!

So, I just wanted to tell her how much I love her and I am so glad I am her sister!

You are a beautiful, smart, loving, gentle and kind. You have a beautiful smile and you make me laugh!

Keep trusting in God and let him lead your life. All this will work out in His timing!

You are amazing and I love you so much! I am so thankful we are a family...

Happy 16th birthday to my amazing sister!

With lots of love,

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Favorite random pictures (with captions)

Father and son (and Max)

My best friend, Katie and my "memory" gift to her


A tree right outside our house. It's my favorite color!


My handsome son. (Somehow the girls haven't made it into my pictures yet)
They need to sit still in order to do that...lol


Caleb's big boy bed...all set up.
Mike suggested "signing" the bed rails as a memory!
Smart hubby!


More pictures to come...after I take them!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Not original, but definitely thought provoking

This showed up in my inbox yesterday and I just re-read it and decided to share. I know the last two days my posts have not come from my brain, but they did come from my heart. They've been reminders that I've needed at that very moment. Definitely a "God thing".

What Kind of Day Shall I Have?

I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the day ends.
I have responsibilities to fulfill today. I am important.
My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or ...
I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don't have more money or...
I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely
and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or...
I can rejoice that I am alive.


Today I can lament over all that my parents didn't give me when I was
growing up or...
I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or...
I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends or..
I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new
relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or...
I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can complain because I have to go to school or...
I can eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of
knowledge.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or...
I can feel honored because Life has provided shelter for my mind, body
and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the
sculptor who gets to do the shaping. What today will be like is up to
me. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!


Have a GREAT DAY
~Author Unknown~

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A good reminder for me today

Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.


If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.

If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.

If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.

If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.

If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.


Also, don't forget to lift your children up in prayer, daily!
To help me with this I printed up a guide as a visual reminder. You can pray for one each
day of the month or pray for all of them on one day. Either way, it
is a great way to keep our children covered in prayer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Post in pictures

I just thought I would share some pictures I took this weekend and last night.


This is the cute, hanging pillow my sister gave to me on my birthday. I love it!



Me and Kel taking random pictures while trying not to get in peoples way!



Caleb and Max chillin' on the couch. Did I mention
we named our little boy kitty, Max?



Afton's goose egg.



My little boy sleeping in his big boy bed! *sniff sniff*



Black and Whites of my babies sleeping. Don't they look so much alike?
They are so beautiful.

(Caleb's picture is just below, Afton's is underneath his)



I have more pictures to share, but there are stories that go along with them.

That's another post for another time...when I have more time to sit down and type it out.



Monday, October 13, 2008

Black eyes and big boy beds

Sounds like it should be a country song, huh? Well, it's too good to be just a song...it's our family!

Remember watching America's Funniest Home Videos? Remember watching people walk on the lawn and you just knew they would step on the rake in front of them?

I was in the kitchen peeling, coring and slicing apples when I heard very loud crying coming from my oldest daughter. I usually don't react in panic at the sound of her blood curdling cry because it could mean one of many things. Either she lost a limb or Caleb said he didn't like her mud pie. Either one is equally devastating to her.

I did stop what I was doing and when she came in the house I walked over to her and saw she was holding her eye. Well, right above it. I pulled her hand away and there was a big 'ole goose egg lookin' back at me. So, we put an ice pack on it and 5 minutes later she was ready to go outside.

Apparently
she was jumping on the big, plastic shovel she found in the shed and the handle came up and whacked her just above her left eye. I had to try really hard not to picture it in my head or I would have started laughing. Then we reminded her not to try that with a metal rake!

Fast forward to tonight. I was checking on her eye and brought her into the light to look at her. Sure enough, it's turning a nice shade of blue-ish. I'm just hoping it doesn't close up her left eye. It's that close to it.

On another note, Caleb is now sleeping in a big boy bed *sob*. He's not even three and I was so happy he still loved his crib. It also meant he was in one place when I went it to pick him up. That is, until several days ago.

The smartypants decided he could escape by climbing over the rails onto a chair that was next to his crib. I thought I was pretty smart by moving the chair. Unfortunately Caleb had already figured that it wasn't that much further to the ground.

So, Mike had today off and it was decided that the crib would come down and the big boy bed would go up. I have to say that it looks really good and Caleb seems to like it. I'm just a little sad. My baby, my youngest, my son is growing up. It makes me choke up a bit to realize my little children aren't so little anymore. I miss those days.

Aside from the injuries and the big boy bed it was a pretty productive day. I made banana bread, homemade jelly, and blueberry crumble as well as prepped apples for applesauce. Then the laundry and all that fun stuff too.

I think tomorrow will be my down day. Or at least I like to think so.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Broken

To say that I've felt "broken" this past week is an understatement. I've felt broken, as if all the pieces have been scattered all over the floor and I can't reach them to put them back together. I've been struggling with why I've felt this way. I know there are areas in my life that need revamping. I need to sit down, refocus, and recommit my wants, needs and desires. I've been go, go, go lately that I started to run on auto pilot. Unfortunately, I need fuel to keep running and I ran out of fuel.

Alright, that's enough analogies, but that's exactly how I felt. I've been tired, feeling sick, irritated, grumpy and unhappy. Truthfully. All you moms know what happens when you feel like that, right? You don't have as much patience for your children and family as you should.

Amazingly, I've been reading these short devotionals from Dr Stanley and this week is about brokeness. This was yesterdays.....

Brokenness: The Principle
John 12:24-25

Brokenness hurts, and most of us would rather live without any seasons of pain. Yet during such times, the Lord often does His greatest work in our lives, reshaping and realigning us for His divine purposes.

Jesus beautifully explains the principle of brokenness in John 12:24-25, where He compares our life to a single grain of wheat. If we hold a kernel in our hands, nothing will happen. If we carefully place it in a jar or on a shelf for safekeeping, it will just sit there indefinitely. In its safety, the grain will essentially be useless.

However, if that kernel is placed in the soil where its protective layer is stripped away, something amazing happens. Before long, a little sprout will emerge from the earth and start to grow into something different, useful, and beautiful. Moreover, that new stalk will produce more grains that can be planted, and the stalks they produce will do the same. It's an amazing cycle of life, wherein a single kernel can lead to countless stalks of wheat. But it has to start with the brokenness of one grain.

Jesus did not just speak this example; He lived it. By sacrificing Himself, He was broken and placed in the ground. From that brokenness came new life for us all. From that one "grain," countless new believers, each with a new life, have sprung forth.

Are you feeling broken today? If so, remember the principle of the broken grain. God has certainly not abandoned you; instead, He may be leading you into a season of radical new growth.

Hmmm...that wasn't speaking to me, was it? So, after breaking down in tears after reading this I made an effort to try and keep my brokenness in the right perspective. That meant I needed to be leaning on God at all times for my strength.

Then I read todays devotional...

A Life of Becoming
2 Corinthians 4:7-18

Probably the greatest obstacle to understanding God's purpose for brokenness is this: Most believers think of Christianity as something we do. We pray. We read the Bible. We go to church. We sing hymns. We give money. We do and do--and assume that's the Christian life. It's not.

Authentic Christianity is about becoming rather than doing. The life of faith that God designed involves receiving Jesus into our hearts and allowing Him to change our habits, mindset, beliefs, interests, and concerns so we become more and more like Him.

Realizing this will change our perspective on the heartache we must endure. You see, when we recognize that the Christian life is about Jesus' persistent work of "re-creation" in our lives, then the role of brokenness makes more sense. It's the process God uses to strip us of things that have become, or may one day become, an obstacle to our growth. The Lord also uses this tool to address issues we may have declared "off limits" to Him, such as unhealthy behaviors or relationships that we rationalize.

God doesn't want to be Lord of most of your life; He wants to be Lord of all of your life! So He zeroes in on areas of self-will and self-sufficiency to remove everything within us that relies on "self." He uses brokenness to remove those inclinations so that we can live moment by moment, day by day, in full dependence on Him.

Open your heart, and ask God to reveal any selfish strongholds. Let Him break unhealthy behavior patterns.

I had become focused on "doing" and not "becoming". See how easy it is to forget? See how easy it is to think that we're "doing" the right thing, but in reality we're not. We're trying to do all the right things on our own and with our own strength. No wonder we crash and burn so quickly.

Of course, we're never going to have super human strength to do every task every day, but that's good. We need to have strength from God to complete what He's put before us. We need to commit our works to God and let Him direct our paths (Proverbs 16:3).

With all that said, I'm praying for God to reveal things to me that I was blinded to before.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Commercial fav

Just thought I would post a commercial I thought was pretty funny!




Monday, October 6, 2008

Request

Would you please keep us in your prayers today? We would really appreciate it.

This morning I will be going to visit my grandfather who is in the hospital after having a dizzy spell and falling. He broke his left cheekbone and his left eye is swollen. He isn't able to lift his left arm, and, although he thinks it's because of how he fell, he isn't completely sure. The doctors don't believe he had a stroke or heart attack, but they are going to run tests to try and find out what has been causing the dizzy spells.

He and my grandmother are in their mid-70's, but still active. They've been married over 50 years and are an amazing inspiration! Please pray for his health, as well as wisdom on the doctors part! Also, pray for my grandmother. That she won't worry, but have peace and that she'll remember to pray and trust God in everything.

Lastly, please pray for Mike and I in the area of wisdom in our decision making. We have some things that we're pursuing and we don't want to make decisions based on our emotions, but on what God wants us to do. We want to be completely in tune to his leading and direction.

Thank you for your prayers and for thinking of us.

Have a great Monday!


Saturday, October 4, 2008

A random thought at 5:30 on Saturday morning

My favorite time of day is the early morning. I love the peaceful quiet of the house, and the sense that it's a fresh start. Nothing as happened yet. It's a new beginning and we have an opportunity to make it the best day ever.

I tend to do a lot of thinking in the wee hours of the morning, before there is even light. Mostly because I don't have the sweet sound of children running around the house to distract me. I think about my day, the things I need to do, the goals I have to accomplish. It's at that moment that I need to be committing my day to God in prayer. As it says in Proverbs chapter 16, verse 9 "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." (NLT)

My intentions and plans could be wonderful, but I know that God is the one that directs me in the way He wants me to go. A lot of times I kick and stomp my feet just like my children do when they don't want to do what I've asked. Yet, I act the same way. My responsibility is to obey, just like I tell my children. I am to obey God without question, cheerfully, and right away. That is easier said...

I have a greater understanding of what my kids go through on a daily basis when I look at it like that. I can bring us to the same level and see things from their little eyes. The consequences are different, but the attitude is the same.

God wants each of us, old and young, to obey and respect our authorities. Unless we are asked to do something in disobedience to God, that is. With that being said, we are to obey and respect our current leaders in this country. That doesn't mean we will agree with everything they say or do. We won't like certain decision they make, in fact, we may be completely against it. However, our job is not to belittle the leaders God has put in position. Will they make the right choice every time? Will they be perfect, making no mistakes? Of course not. Is that our job to make that call? No. Our responsibility is to research our current and potential leaders, make an informed decision, and vote for the candidate that is the best choice, one who will not blatantly disregard God's commands.

If a leader is appointed and it's not the leader we wanted we still have to respect and pray for that leader. No matter what. We respect the authority he or she has been given by God and we hold our tongue when it comes to "bashing" them. Of course, we can have an opinion about something they believe or have voted for, and if it is something that directly goes against God's word you can believe He will have something to say to them when they meet Him face to face.

As long as I hear from my God, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

During this presidential election please be praying for our soon to be leader. They need your prayers. They don't need to be bashed. Strongly disagreeing with a standpoint is one thing, but leave the insults and degrading comments out of the race. There is enough of it to go around.

Finally, a quote from John Quincy Adams: "Duty is ours;results are Gods."

We have a duty to be on our knees. That is how we can support our country and our president. We can't change what happened 4 years ago, but we can continue to pray for the future decisions that will be made.

Please prayerfully vote.

...and if what I just wrote wasn't enough to read, then please read this.

God honors obedience to Him especially when it's not the popular thing to do.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Investing

With all the financial uncertainty going on right now it can be difficult not to get wrapped up in the "panic" and "hysteria". It's easy to begin to worry about our future and what will happen. The good news is, as Christians, we already know what's going to happen. We know how the "story" ends. We don't have to be afraid.

We have confidence in God, knowing that whatever happens here on earth is just temporary. Our focus should be on serving Him in all that we do. That also means with our finances.

As I was thinking about the current state of our nation I just happened to open up a devotional email. I know I've said this a million times, but you're going to hear me say it a million more times...God is so faithful and His proves that every day in unique ways!

So, here is what I read this morning....

Investing in Eternity
Matthew 28:18-20

The Christian life is an active life--one dedicated to working, serving, sharing, and helping. Too often, we think that being a Christian simply means showing up for church each Sunday morning and dropping something into the offering plate. That's a good habit, but if this is the sum total of your Christian life, you've missed the mark.

There is a call that Jesus Christ put on all those who would follow Him. That is, He has called us go into the world and make disciples through baptism and teaching. You may say, "Well, that applies just to ministers and missionaries, right?" No. It's is the responsibility of everyone who claims the name of Jesus.

Just look at first word of Matthew 28:19. What does Jesus say? He says, "Go!" In today's terms, He's saying, "Get off the couch! Turn off the TV! Close the computer! Get up, look at the world around you, and tell someone about Me!"

This is not a suggestion. Nor is it a word to only a handful of believers. If you have been saved by the blood of Christ, then Jesus is talking to you!

Making disciples doesn't mean you have to quit your job and become a full-time missionary to a remote part of the globe. But you could walk outside, knock on a neighbor's door, and demonstrate Christ to him. You don't need a show-stopping sermon to minister to others; you need simply a willing and open heart.

What can you do right now to "go . . . and make disciples"? Think about things you can do today to respond to God's call on your life.



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The next thing


From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message for me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, as it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours the quiet words ring,
Like a low inspiration: DO THE NEXT THING.

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment let down from heaven,
Time, opportunity, guidance, are given.
Fear not tomorrows, Child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus. DO THE NEXT THING.

Do it immediately; do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command,
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
Leave all resulting. DO THE NEXT THING.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
(Working or suffering) be thy demeanor.
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance by thy psalm.
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing!
Then, as He beckons thee,
DO THE NEXT THING.
(anonymous)

On those days, when you are weary and exhausted. When you feel as if you can't do one more thing...

How comforting to know that we don't have to worry about this afternoon or tomorrow. We just need to take each moment and do what God asks us to do with much prayer and diligence. Whether that be in our jobs, our home, with our children, or our daily tasks that seem so mundane. When we do our work "...heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men." Colossians 3:23, it pleases Him.


When we do have those moments of fear and worry it's clear what we are to do.

Matthew 11:28 "Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."


Today, my prayer is that I will remember to be faithful to the task God has called me to do as a wife, mother and keeper of our home. That I would do things cheerfully and with a smile on my face even when I am tired and discouraged. My prayer is that I would call upon Him to provide strength to "do the next thing".

Psalm 121:2 "My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."