Thursday, February 26, 2009

A New Day

First, let me apologize for the complete and total pity party I had yesterday. How dumb of me. Oh well, it's over and it's a new day. Have you ever had one of those moments when God just seems to kind of hit you in the head? Well, I have and did again this morning. I was reading my devotion, and the theme for the next 5 days is words of encouragement. I just had a conversation with my mom~in~love about a situation I'm a part of (really can't say more than that, it's all confidential), and God using me in a situation to help someone. And then I read these words from Proverbs 15:4: Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Hello, God? I got the message. Thank You for speaking to me today.

The devotion goes on to tell about a young lady named Maya who at 20 years of age was struggling to find her place in life. She kept encountering trial after trial and was feeling pretty dejected. She had been in San Francisco visiting her mom and was headed back to her home, across the country. As she was about to leave her mom, her mom whispered in her ear, "You know I think you are the most amazing woman I have ever met." Maya started thinking, 'What if I really am somebody?' That was a turning point in her life, and that statement filled her with confidence and hope. Today, Maya Angelou is a best selling poet, novelist and poet laureate of the United States. All because of that one little whisper of encouragement.

See my point here? I am to encourage someone today. And I know exactly who. I don't yet know how I'll do that, or what I will say, but it is something God wants me to do, and I will. Who can you encourage today?? I challenge you to find someone today to breathe words of life into. I am the only smiling face some of my friends @ CES see in their day. I will make them my goal today, to smile, love and to encourage them. And for that one special someone...well, I'll get to her, too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pity Party

So, yes, I am normal, and have these moments of major pity on myself. Like this morning, for instance. I'm right in the middle of a wonderful pity party for myself when I get an email from my stepmom, Sandy. In this perfectly timed email, she tells me that our God is awesome, and in all things He reigns. That even though I may have to strain my eyes to see good in this right now, that good will come from this. I just started boohooing. Talk about an eye opener. God is good, and He does care for me during this time!!!

Though this isn't a major trial I'm going through, I'm very uncomfortable in this boot and my back is already killing me from walking so unevenly. So, if you would like to, I am asking you to pray for me. I am really trying not to whine and complain (I can't stand those kinds of peeps and SHO don't want to be one, plus, what does it accomplish??? Z.I.L.C.H.). God is good, all the time. And to HIM be the glory in my ankle issue. Thank you, Sandy, for your much needed encouragement this morning. Have a blessed Wednesday, and love to all.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My New Shoe

So I woke up a few days ago with severe pain in my left ankle. I thought it would go away, and the pain did lessen, but last night I was up all night with it. When I woke up this morning, I could not put any pressure on it and ended up in tears while I was packing their lunches. It was truly a pitiful sight. So I went to an orthopedic, and it turns out I have a severe case of tendonitis. It's been building up for months, and it finally got bad enough for me to go to the doctor. He said the good news is it did not require surgery. The bad news was that I have to keep it completely immobilized for TWO MONTHS. So for the next 2 months, here is my stylish new shoe. Don't you wish you had one?

I took off work today because before I can work again, I need to learn how to walk in this thing. I almost broke my neck coming out of the hospital this morning. And several times later, too. I'm sure the man that was sitting in his truck as I came out got a great laugh out of my mortification. I cannot walk down steps, either. It's difficult to figure out, and very awkward.

The other great news is that it's a boot and not a cast. I can at least take it off when I sleep and shower. Praise the Lord! Other great news of the day: my sister had a biopsy yesterday, and all was benign. God is good!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

From The Word Of God

Psalm 33

1 Let the godly sing for joy to the LORD; it is fitting for the pure to praise Him. 2 Praise the LORD with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten stringed harp. 3 Sing a new song of praise to Him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. 4 For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything he does. 5 He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the LORD fills the earth. 6 The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. 7 He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs. 8 Let the whole world fear the LORD, and let everyone stand in awe of him. 9 For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command. 10 The LORD frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes. 11 But the LORD's plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. 12 What joy for the nation whose God is the LORD, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance. 13 The LORD looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. 14 From his throne he observes all who live on earth. 15 He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. 16 The best~equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. 17 Don't count on your warhorse to give you victory~for all its strength it cannot save you. 18 But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. 19 He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. 20 We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.

It's no wonder people have written complete praise songs out of the book of Psalm. Even if you can't carry a tune in a bucket, just think of the words you're offering up to Him in praise! We don't offer up sacrifices to the Lord anymore like they did back in the Old Testament days, but one thing we can always offer up to Him is our praise.

I thought I was going to start jumping in church yesterday~we sang some powerful worship songs. We sang "My God Is Mighty To Save" (SAVIOR, HE CAN MOVE THE MOUNTAINS! MY GOD IS MIGHTY TO SAVE, HE IS MIGHTY TO SAVE! FOREVER! AUTHOR OF SALVATION! HE ROSE AND CONQUERED THE GRAVE! JESUS CONQUERED THE GRAVE!) How can you not jump or dance or run to that song???? We serve a God who moves mountains!!! Both literally and figuratively!!!

I am overflowing with His love this morning. He has given Himself to me in abundance, and I want the entire world to know. Anyone can have this! All He wants is for you to ask Him! The King of Kings, and Lord of Lords created this beautiful world that we live in. He is a complex God. Yet, it's all so simple. Ask, and you shall receive. That's it.

On a lighter note; Jonah thought he was THE BOMB getting dressed this morning. He looked ridiculously adorable in yesterday's outfit, so he wore it to school today. He actually said, "Mommy, do you think my friends will think I look good?" God love him. To which I answered, "Yes, of course they will, sweet baby."

Dear Heavenly Father, can you just freeze time? I would love to put in a request that we just stay at this phase in our life. I do not want my kids to get any bigger. I don't think my heart can handle it. I didn't want them to get to any milestone of their childhood, but You have brought me through this far, so please don't leave me now! Please and thank You.

Well, I must leave the wonderful world of blogging and go on to face the rest of my today. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look~see into my life. I hope you are blessed as a result, and I pray that you will feel the love of the Lord on you today.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Saturday!

Look at my sweet little Noah! We were in the middle of our weekend project (more about that in a minute) last night, and I realized I hadn't seen or heard from Noah in a while. I came back downstairs to check on him, and this is what I found. Him and Jonah had been playing with all their webkinz animals, and apparently Noah just passed out surrounded by all of his! This is what a long week of kindergarten does to an almost 6 year old!
Weekend project? We (now no one pass out when they read this) painted Graham's and Drew's closet last night. GASP! Todd designed and is installing a new closet organization system for the older boys today. I am so excited!!! I love this kind of stuff! Anyway, since the closet had to be emptied out, I decided we should just go ahead and paint it, since it's never been done in the 5 years we've been here. Actually, from the look of it, it looks as if it hasn't been painted since the house was built back in the 80's. It was pretty bad. I'll post some pics of it all, once it's completed.

Right now, I'm sitting in quiet. Todd and the boys went to a pancake breakfast fundraiser for their school. They're raising money for some additional playground equipment. I opted not to go. I'm not that big of a breakfast eater (unless it's at night), and I can always use some quiet in my day. I don't get it that often.

Other than the project I mentioned, that's about all we have planned for today. Well, that and our weekly dinner with Nana & Big Daddy. :) That's one of the highlights of my weeks. I get to go over there and just sit. Ahhhh, blessed grandparents.

I hope you all enjoy your Saturday. Love to all!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday??? Already???

I love short weeks. I mean L~O~V~E them. For some strange reason I woke up at 5:30 this morning. I started to get back in bed but decided against it and hopped in the shower instead to assure that I would stay awake! That is my problem, I can wake up early, but give me a comfy chair, and I'm back in la~la land. Go figure. Of course I didn't sit this morning once I went downstairs. I packed lunches and snacks times 5 and cleaned out the boys' backpacks.

And let me just tell you what I found in my darling Jonah's backpack. I found 1 stuffed little doggie, 1 stuffed bluebird (that he is planning to give to his sweet little friend, Abby), 2 suckers, 1 pack of candy, chapstick, his hat & gloves, some little teddy bears that he gets in the cafeteria for being good, a rock or 4 and his valentine that he made me at school. That kid is crazy. And his teacher allows him to be. He loves taking show & tell, and he has to have a stuffed friend in his backpack at all times. It's his lifeline to home. Or to me. :)

Graham and Noah's bags were okay, just the normal empty snack bags, water bottles and pieces of trash. But Drew's? Ummmmm, no. His was bad. He always carries at least 4 rocks that he finds on the playground everyday. He had 1 "crystal" (as he likes to call it), several snack items I'm pretty sure I didn't put in there, lots (LOTS) of trash and some more little "treasures". Oh, my kids. I will miss these days when they're gone. I think. No, I will. I love how they bring me goodies. Kind of like a cat bringing its owner a dead bird. They do love me, and there will come a day when they will outgrow this. :(

I am ready for work~at least in appearance. Not so in any other way. My stomach hurts. So much so that I almost called in, but I'm going to chance it and see how it goes. And I'm not ready for Graham's class at lunch. They're trying to figure out who did something really bad in their class. I'm pretty sure I know the culprit (not who you think, probably) and am sad about it. I think it was unintentional. I feel like it was done to show off more than anything, but in the meantime, the action requires punishment. Which means no more fun lunches for my sweet little Graham. This doesn't come from me, either, but straight from admin.

Well, if you think of it, say a prayer over my stomach. I think it's what I had for dinner last night...pretty sure it's really bad heart burn. I'm going to go find some antacid before I leave. Love to all!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Some Disturbing Facts About Myself

So I'm just going to lay it all out on the line here. I've noticed somethings about myself that I'm not sure are good or bad. They can all probably be a little of both, if taken in large doses. Hmmm, I'll have to think about that some more.

1. I am shamelessly addicted to reality television. I love Jon&Kate, The Bachelor (&ette), The Amazing Race, Dancing With The Stars, and probably a few more that I just can't think of off the top of my head. There are good things about some of these shows, some I said, not all. There is not much good found in The Bachelor. And especially in last night's episode. Enough said about that.

2. I think that I am slightly obsessive compulsive. Really. There are certain things I check and recheck: the garage door being shut (I've slept with it open all night a few times, hence the reason), the back door being locked, the counter being completely smooth and clean (if there are 'rough' spots I can feel, it drives me nuts), my alarm clock being set to the exact right time (even though I NEVER get up at that said time), I could go on but I'll save myself the embarrassment. (Is that spelled right? My spell check says yes, but it looks strange to me. Oh, that's another thing...I check, double and triple check what I write b/c I hate spelling/grammar mistakes. I am the word police.)

3. I am never happy with my hair. I don't complain about it, because what can that help? All that does is annoy everyone around you. I won't change it because the thing that stinks about curly hair is that there is no 'style' for it. I can do short hair. Or I can do long hair. I can do layers and make it a little better. Or I can do no layers and go for the desirable triangle look. None of which are particularly flattering. The other thing I hate about it is that even when it's long...past my shoulders, I can never tell. The longer it gets, the curlier it gets. It seems as if it will forever be 'shoulder length'.

4. I am addicted to this blog. I absolutely love to write on here. It occurred to me the other day that it may seem as if I am bragging on this blog about my wonderful, great life. If you feel that way at all, I am so sorry. I really do NOT intend to do that. I feel amazingly blessed by God that sometimes the words just pour out of me. Oftentimes after I write on here, I just stop and praise God for what He has done in my life. I am by no means perfect (ask Graham and Drew how I flipped out yesterday over a broken picture frame) and never will be, but I am saved by God's amazing grace. Really. I just want the world to see God's goodness. Because He is.

The other thing I am addicted to, which is not necessarily a bad thing, is keeping a healthy balance of the things I love most: keeping my husband comfortable and happy in his home, and making sure my kids are happy, well balanced and well taken care of. Like I said, these things aren't really bad, but I am a bit obsessive about making sure of these things. I keep a clean house. There are certain things that bother me in a house: people knowing and seeing that I have pets (and smelling them), and dirty~ness. I hate cobwebs, dust on the ceiling, and pet hair on the floor. Just to name a few. I work hard to keep our home clean and picked up. Or clutter~free. Well, almost. Hard to do with 4 boys who don't like to put things away. I get immense joy from cleaning and organizing. The bad thing is that I drag the boys into it. BUT, to my benefit, my motto is 'Lots of helping hands make for faster work', so it really is a team effort. The good thing about being like this is that I am always ready for people to come over. I love when people just 'drop in' and surprise us. My goal is to always have an open door, and by doing a little work everyday, that makes it all possible. I may write more about that another day, because I think that this is a gift. Either you have it or you don't, and like I love getting helpful hints, I wouldn't mind sharing some of mine.

5. I love when people leave comments on my blog. I do. Not to say how great I am, but just to drop in and say hi. I leave a comment on almost every blog I read (notice my growing list to the right of this post). SO IF YOU DON'T USUALLY COMMENT, PLEASE DO. It would make my day. Ahem, Mom, Bill, Tricia, Dad, Sandy, Katie, Shea, Nikki, Erika, Debi, Lisa and any other ones I'm forgetting. If you don't see your name, then thank you for leaving me little notes. =) I know. I'm weird. I really do like the little things in life, you know? Words are one of my favorite things. Ever since the day Todd and I (Todd and I? Todd and me? Todd and myself? SEE THE PROBLEM HERE???) started dating, I have told him that what I love the absolute most are cards. I could totally go without the gift, but give me a nice card, and my world is well. I love giving cards, as well. I love the thought process that goes into giving them...the going out, finding the right words, the right picture on the front, the right logo on the back (yes, I admit, I am a Hallmark kind of gal), the right colors, you name it. And I don't just sign my name, I include my own personal note. Maybe I should be in the card designing business. Hmmm, that will require some more thought as well.

Well, talk about random. I totally went off subject on that last one. I need to make some decisions in my life. Consider this my plea to you to pray for this area in my life; I need to decide what I want to do with my life. One thing I know; God created me to be a wife and mom. Those are my number one desires in life and will forever remain that way. But what about the REST of my life? When the boys don't need so much 'help' at school in their classrooms? When the days of being their room mom are over? When they grow up and leave this little nest Todd and I have made for them? I pray about this all the time, for God to show me what He wants for my life. If I had to narrow it down to one thing, it would be to write. I absolutely love to do this. As you all know from the thousands of times I've said that. At one time I would have said that my greatest desire would be to teach, but I think that has changed since I've started working at their elementary school. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad place to work. If you're me and just stay in the cafeteria. All the other areas are too difficult. There's way too much politically correctness going on there, and we all know I've been known a time or a hundred to just completely speak my mind. Especially when it comes to my Jesus and not hiding His truth. I better stop now.

Anyway, I've been praying this prayer for such a long time now. I don't want to write just any old thing. I don't know if I want to write a book, or articles for magazines, or short stories, or fiction, or non~fiction, or books for adults, books for children or books for teens. See? I'm confused. The other thing is my lack of training for this. I don't think publishers would take a glance at something like a blog. So how do I start? I could go to school, but there's the whole money (or lack thereof) issue. I did find a writer's conference coming up in May in my area~a fourth of a mile away, to be exact~that sounds promising. I got in contact with the people doing the conference and they answered the questions I had: what happens after the conference? Am I free (and trained) to start writing? How do I find a publisher? Well, turns out, I would be trained to start a writing career. As for the publishing thing, I think they also train you on how to be your own publisher, because that's the easier route. I don't know enough about it, really, and need to do some more research before I make any decisions. This costs a lot of money and I am not in the business of wasting that hard earned green stuff. But it's something to think about, isn't it?

Well, now that I've talked your ear off, I'm going to answer the bell on my drier that's telling me the clothes are dry. Thank you for reading my blog today. It's amazing how much better I feel when I 'talk' it all out. (I wonder if it's okay to finish a sentence with the word 'out'? Seems like it's not, if I remember correctly from elementary school. Isn't that called a dangling participle?) Good heavens, I don't know where that though even came from. One thing, though: these thoughts are all thoughts that I have when writing. The only difference is that I usually don't write out those thoughts. See how my little brain works??? Go ahead, laugh. I'm laughing as I finish this. Okay, enough, really. May you feel the love of the Lord shining upon you today and everyday.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Weekend's End

We've had such a great weekend, as usual! Friday night we went to some friends' house and had the yummiest dinner ever. Brad made grilled chicken and to go with it we had mashed potatoes, salad, bread and cupcakes for dessert. Yes, cupcakes. Not the fanciest variety of dessert, but one all the kiddos loved. They iced them themselves and decorated them with sprinkles. What fun. We hung out with them and just caught up on our lives and then played the new dice game I love, Farkle. Fun times, indeed.

Saturday was just a really nice lazy day. My weekend would not be complete without some sort of organization project, so that's what I did for part of the day on Saturday. This week's culprit was Jonah's and Noah's closet. It was a mess, but all is well now that it's all neat and tidy once again. We'll see for how long.

My hubby and I have this weird tradition of NOT celebrating valentine's day. This day means absolutely nothing to me, and I once told him that if he ever bought me flowers on this day that they jack up the prices, I would be mad. But of course, being the wonderful man he is, he still bought me flowers. I'm sure they came from Costco, home of the $14 bouquet of roses. Doesn't matter to me, they're still gorgeous!

We don't celebrate this day because we celebrate it every single day. I don't need one day a year for him to show me his love. He shows it every single day. On Saturday morning, he chose to show God's love to an elderly lady we go to church with. Him and one of the pastors went and repaired her fence for her. I would much rather him do something like that, than to shower me with unnecessary gifts. I know, I know, that's not very romantic, but trust me, we can be that way. Why do you think we have 4 kids???

So tonight Graham and Drew are having friends spend the night with us. We opted to stay home from church so they could play. Currently, they're all upstairs playing the Wii, and Todd and I are downstairs watching Indiana Jones. The newest one. Me and the boys watched it the other night when Todd had to work, so now we're watching it. It's really great, if you haven't already seen it. I love me some Indiana, I gotta admit. Even after all these years.

Well, I'm gonna run. I'm turning this thing off to watch our movie together. I hope you have all enjoyed your weekend...I know I have, and it's not even over. I have tomorrow and Tuesday off, too!!!! I'm very excited!!! Well, goodnight and love to all!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Favorite Valentine's Day Memory

Todd and I were not even married yet when this happened. I was in a salon doing what all women do in salons and Todd decided to surprise me. I have to admit, that when I saw him, I wasn't very happy, because we all know what we look like during this time. But it was sweet. Anyway, he'd decided to surprise me while I was there, and I saw him pull up. He got out and seemed to be struggling with something. Boyd (my hairstylist) and I just stopped and time froze. The whole place went silent as we all watched my beloved struggling to get out of his little Toyota Camry.

He finally makes it out of the car, with all of his goodies. Well, almost. In his arms were a card, some roses, and a HUGE balloon that said "I Love You". About the time he goes to shut the door, a strong gust of wind comes out of nowhere and snatches the balloon right out of his hand. Inside the salon, in the midst of the quiet, we all gasp. And as Todd stands there, gaping up at the sky, all the silence vanished as the entire place erupted in laughter. Poor Todd finally gets over the shock of what happened, and walks in, shaking his head and probably mumbling the whole way, if I know my man, and I do. He walks in the door, and hears all this laughter, and just looks at me with this sheepish little grin on his face and went to explain what had happened. I think he may have still had the string in his hand. Boyd laughed so hard, I think he wet himself. It's a wonder Todd was so good~natured about the whole incident, but he was.

The last time I saw Boyd, which was about 5 years ago, he STILL has to run to the bathroom when telling this story. It became the favored "Beauty Shop Story" that any and all heard as they spent their time in those chairs. Oh, and about that runaway balloon; Todd replaced it. I think they even gave him a free one. Thank you, Todd, for this great memory, and all the others that have followed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What Was In My Email Inbox When I Came Home Tonight

This week on Klove, they had a Fireproof contest going. The contest was to submit your fun and creative tip on how to keep your marriage fresh and exciting. So, just for fun, I submitted my tip. It was something along the lines of this:

After 12 years of marriage, my husband and I have learned that for us to stay in tune to each other, we need to kiss often and laugh all we can. So we do that everyday. We kiss so often that our 4 boys don't even say, "Ewww, gross" anymore. We have learned to find joy in our day to day life by doing this and will continue to do it for the rest of our days.

I entered us just for fun, because you just never know right???? Well, when I got home tonight, guess what was in my inbox?????

Congratulations! Your Fun & Creative Relationship Tip was chosen to be a qualifier for this week’s K-LOVE’s Fireproof Flyaway! Listen Friday afternoon with Lisa to find out who the Grand Prize winner will be!

Since you have won the qualifying prize pack I need to get a mailing address from you as soon as possible so I can get this out to you!

Thanks & Good Luck!

Oh my goodness!!!!! Can you believe we might possibly win?!?!?!?!?! Did I mention what the grand prize was? A trip to the Fireproof Flyaway Weekend To Remember marriage conference at the RESORT LOCATION OF OUR CHOICE. Holy cow. I would die if we won this. We so desperately need this, it is not even funny!!! One of the resort locations, by the way, is in Hawaii. We are one of the qualifiers for this giveaway. Our prize for qualifying is a dvd copy of the brand new release, Fireproof, and a copy of the book The Love Dare.

So, needless to say, will you please pray with us that we win?!?!?!?! I would love to do this with Todd. I've been wanting to go to one of these conferences forever, and if this is the way we get to do it, then all the better!!! So, thanks for praying with us!!! Oh, and the winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon onair with Lisa, between 5~9pm. Thanks and love to all!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Little Jonah Bug

My baby is home with pink eye today. Poor little thing. He woke up and with his eye squinted shut and said, "Mom, I think there's something wrong with my eye." And thus began our morning. I put him up on the kitchen counter, washed my hands, and resumed packing snacks and lunches for this semi~gorgeous Wednesday morning. I finished and looked for the eye drops and found them! And put them in his eyes. Hopefully he'll be good enough for school tomorrow. I think the rule is that after 24 hours of being on the drops, he's good to go back.

So what are we going today? Well, first off, I'm always thankful for a day at home with one of my angels. They are few and far between, and we don't get much one on one time, so that's always nice. We're going to thoroughly enjoy our time together. I do need to run to Target for some more of Jonah's medicine (more about that in a second), and I need to return some library books. We'll probably get some more while we're there. Also we may see if I can find a copy of a book that Drew needs for book club.

Okay, as for Jonah's medicine, I may not have shared this, so here goes. Jonah, as of six months ago, was still wetting the bed at night. Drew did the same thing as a 5 year old. I was thinking that what Drew had, Jonah had. But that's not the case. Drew had to have minor surgery at age 5 to enlarge the urethra (sp??). It wasn't large enough and he never emptied his bladder. Jonah, it turns out, has an overactive bladder. His urethra is fine, turns out, and we were so thankful. The doctor told Todd about some oral medicine that he wanted to try with him to see if it helped the problem at all. And it has! He's been on it for almost three months now, and he's able to actually hold it~and he doesn't have to go as frequently. It has also been several weeks since Jonah's wet the bed. I think he's had one accident during two months, and that was because he drank too much water before bedtime.

During this whole finding out what was going on process, during two seperate ultrasounds, they have discovered that it seems as if Jonah was born with just one kidney. GASP! I can almost hear you all doing that as you read this. This is NOT a big deal at all, since lots of people survive with just one kidney. What this does mean is that it's enlarged, so he may have to be more careful with some sports, than other kids. He'll probably never play something like tackle football or ice hockey.

And by the way, I have not actually been told any of this by a doctor, I have just researched it on the computer. It does make sense, though, and I do plan on talking to his doctor about it someday~if I can remember. So far I have not remembered. Todd's taking him back to the urologist in a couple months for a re~check, and we can discuss it then. None of this is absolutely for sure, although the ultrasounds do seem to point that way. I am not worried about this at all~lots of people go through something similar, and this is actually pretty common, according to what I read on the internet.

Moving on to other things now, Jonah has been a busy little bug this morning. He's made a gift for his special friend, Abby and a card. She told him yesterday that she didn't like anybody in their class anymore, and he insisted on making her a gift and card to cheer her up. Is that a little man, or what??? Learned that from his daddy, that smart little guy!!! So, below are some pics as to what he's been up to. Cutie pie.

And I did not help him one single bit. He did it all by himself. Check out the detail on the girl's face on the front. I love how he made her face. And I love how he signed his name!! I'm so proud!!! Well, love to all and HaPpY wEdNeSdAy!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From Mourning To Dancing

I loved this morning's devotion. Not necessarily the devotional story itself, but the verse that went with it. It's one of my very favorite passages in Scripture, and also one of my favorite hymns. That's right, I said hymns. I love the lyrics of the old hymns...and the ones on today's hymns as well. Anyway, this is the Scripture I read and what God laid on my heart after:

Lamentations 3:22~24 The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!"

Jeremiah wrote this passage during a very difficult time. Poor man~he saw a lot of hardship in his days back then. His beloved city Jerusalem lay in ruins. Once "the queen of all the earth" (verse 1), she now lay in ruin. Infants and children lay dying in the streets, crying out from hunger pains, yet there was no one there to comfort them or bring food. Their neighbors became their enemies as they faced this trying time. In ch.3 verse 30 the Word says to turn the other cheek to those who strike you and to accept the insults of your enemies. The world as they knew it was a thing of the past. It was literally caving in around them.

Yet in the midst of this pain and sorrow, Jeremiah states what I wrote above in verses 22~24. He knew that even though his world was a wreck, that God was still a loving, forgiving God that gave His new mercies each morning. Even though he could have turned his back on the God he loved and served, he didn't. He chose to put all his hope in Him, the same God who is good to those who depend on Him (verse 25), and to those who search for Him.

God won't always bring us out of our pit when we want Him to. But He will bring us out of it. There is always a lesson to be learned from our trials.In the book of James that's why the Word says to rejoice in these times. I know I've learned plenty along the way, and when I look back, I am thankful for what I have been through because it has taught me to trust in Him. It's hard to think like this when we're going through something hard, though, that's why it's important to stay in God's word!!! If all else fails, and you don't know where to begin, go to the book of Psalm. In this same devotion I'm doing, there is one day that they mention praying the Psalm's's the last 7 chapters of Psalm. When you don't know what to say, pray those aloud. I did it one morning, and let me tell you, it's powerful. The hairs on me were standing straight up by the time I got to the end.

If Jeremiah can put his hope in the Lord, don't you think we can in whatever we're facing? Read His word, and just sit quietly and see what He speaks to you...maybe not audibly, but see if you feel something in your heart. Often He speaks to me that's just a thought I get suddenly, or a Scripture He'll bring to my mind. Just sit and do as Psalm 46:10 says: "Be still, and know that I am God!" He will speak to you, I promise.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Prayer Life?

Hmmm, is this what I'm like? Take the time and think about it this week.

HaPpY mOnDaY

It is going to be a fabulous week, I just know it. First off, the weekend was too good for this not to be an amazing week. Second, God is good and He loves us. Period. Actually that one is number one. Third, after Friday, we have a loooonnnnng weekend! Two whole days off next week. One for President's day, one for teacher in service. So it's going to be a fabulous week.

First on my agenda today is laundry!!! Well, in that case, I really shouldn't be on the computer, should I?? I just packed lunches and snacks for the day, though, so I thought I deserved a treat. Anyway, aside from my job @ CES, and volunteering for Drew's class in the mornings, the only other thing I'll be doing there this week is hanging out in Jonah's class. I love those kids. They're all so funny and cute. So are the ones in Noah's class, but the kids in Jonah's class have such funny personalities. It's hilarious. I'd love to be a fly on her wall on any given day.

We had church last night!!!! And "church" in this sentence is definitely a verb! It was awesome! We had a concert of praise, and we had so much fun!!! I love nights like that. It's really awesome~and this guy Cory gave his testimony, then sang "Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone", and I just could not stop crying. It was amazing!!!

Okay, well, I really must get off here now. I need to go start my day....until to all!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Weekend

This day has been heaven. The boys had friends over today and they played and ran outside to their little hearts' content. It was incredible. I am SOOOO ready for spring!!! This weather has been a tease, and one that is going to frustrate me when the weather turns back to cold! I don't know if it's going to be cold or not, but on Monday, the rain starts. Oh joy. What a perfect Monday!

Drew has this friend (also named Drew) that lives behind us...actually, he lives behind our next door neighbor, and quite frequently when I can't find Drew, I look out the kitchen window and see them hanging out, talking over the fence. It's precious. Katie told me I should buy him a step ladder so at least he'll be more comfortable. Hmm. Good idea! Anyway, that's his friend who came over today. He went and picked him up on his bike and later on they all went to play basketball at his house. How much fun is that???

We had an ahhhhmazing dinner as usual, at Mom's and Bill's. Y.U.M.M.Y. Food for the soul. It's just better when Bill cooks it, ya know??? The boys had a great time, too, and even made the s'mores I mentioned on here the other night. Drew had his night made because Bill gave him an old briefcase. Drew's been wanting one for a while, and when Bill handed him his old one, I thought Drew was going to burst with happiness. He walked around saying, "I'm a grown man now." He decided he was going to be a clown agent, and he was going to keep all the clown contracts inside the briefcase. Where he came up with this, I have no idea. But this kid is a trip. He cracks me up. They all make it so much fun for me as their mom!!!

So now we're home watching U of M stomp Gonzaga. Yup. You read that right. We're (TODD) is watching basketball. Who ever would have thought??? I think he discovered last year that as long as it was the Tiger's, that he enjoyed it. I think he may have done it so he'll have something to talk about with David and King Rusty. Maybe, maybe not. Who knows??? Well, I'm gonna read now~I started a new book, and I'm ready to get lost in it. If anyone wants some great book recommendations, let me know. I've got a list a mile long. Love to all and bon soire!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

HaPpY fRiDaY

I am thrilled beyond words that I lasted until today. I told all my little friends @ lunch today that it was Happy Friday, and it was. And is. We tried to make plans for tonight at the last minute, but it didn't work out. Which I'm kind of glad, because it feels so nice to be able to sit here and watch our new movie in our jammies! I bought Madagascar 2 today, and as soon as Todd finishes watching one little part of Dirty Jobs, we're going to start it up.

The weather was beautiful today, and is going to be even more beautiful tomorrow. The boys are all having friends over and we're just hanging out here until we go eat at Mom's and Bill's. Graham and Drew tried to have friends over tonight to spend the night, but that didn't work either. I guess I should start to plan a little better. I did for a while, but here lately, I can't seem to get it together. That and I'm always the planner, which gets old after a while.

Anyway, I just wanted to give a quick update...I'm gonna shut this thing off and hang out with my amazing family. Love to all and Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Light At The End Of My Tunnel

Man, I am beat. It has been a week. Not a bad one, just a week. I'm exhausted, and feel like my internal battery is running low. I've been up at the boys school EVERY single morning and afternoon, everyday this week. Volunteering. I am NOT doing that next week. I kind of made myself this mess because I can't seem to say "no". Well, guess what? Next week I am going to say it, regardless of who or what it is. The only 2 things I still want to do are for Drew's teacher and Jonah's teacher. They don't take long, but they bring me sheer joy. I would help with Noah's class, but she never needs anything, the turkey!

I am so ready for this weekend. I don't think we're doing anything magnificent, I'm just looking forward to the time with family and the GORGEOUS weather we're supposed to have on Saturday. We're going to Nana's and Big Daddy's for dinner Sat. night, and with it being a nice day, I'm sure the boys will be riding their bikes out there, or making a fort, or digging in the endless dirt, topped off with making milk shakes and maybe even s'mores. Well, one or the other~they don't need all that sugar. We've not seen them in a few weeks, so we're all looking forward to it.

Another thing we're looking forward to is the SPRING! Every year at this time, I just start yearning for the warmer weather. I love hanging out outside with the boys while they play. We also love going on bike rides, and I'm hoping we can start doing that again once spring comes. We're almost ready to play ball again, too. I can't believe it's been almost a year since they last played.

What a year it's been. I look at Jonah and Noah and how amazing they read, and I'm blown away. This time last year, I was stressing because Jonah would cry just at the mention of school. I had a lot to be stressed about. I'm loving his teacher more and more everyday...Noah's too, for that matter. But I have this bond with Jonah's teacher that will forever link us together. The woman is amazing. I love her like crazy and am dreading the last days of kindergarten. I know I'm going to be a crying mess, but she assured me today that she would cry with me.

Speaking of my little Jonah, this kid amazes me. Ask him what the number one rule for his class is, and he will tell you this: "We are FAMILY and we love and take care of each other". Today I found out that they had this really complicated craft to do and it had six or seven steps to follow in order. Him and his sweet little friend, Ashleigh finished theirs first, then started helping all the other kids put theirs together. Mrs. Miles almost cried when she told me how much he's improved over the last few weeks. It's like this light bulb has gone off in his head, and all of a sudden, he just gets it. He is ready for first grade. I'm not, but at least someone in this house is.

And Noah has amazed me right from the beginning. He will tell you all about a quiet "e" and how when it's on the end of a word, it has to be quiet so he can sneak up and pinch the letter in front of him. Ask him about "a,e,i,o, and u" and he'll tell you proudly that those are the superheroes of every word in the dictionary. He can read. Not really huge words, but he can do it, and he picked up on it all at the very beginning.

This is the part where having twins was horrible, because when one progressed faster than the other, the other had a hard time with it. For instance this one night we were going over all of our sight words at the dinner table. Noah had done his first, and it was Jonah's turn. Well he had just found out that Noah never had to take i~station (a reading program designed to each individual child, taken during free time during the day). Anyway, Jonah started going over the words and we got to one word and he said, "I don't know that one, go ask Noah what it is, I'm sure he can tell you." And walked off. After I picked my mouth up off the floor and finished laughing, I called him back in and explained that even though Noah knew it, Jonah had to know it to be able to read like a big boy.

I went to Jonah's teacher the next day in tears, and she was able to give me some pointers for him. Bottom line was, he felt left out and he hated it. All is better now, though, and he no longer has to have that extra help at i~station. They totally switched personalities on me this year, and I'm still trying to recoup from it. They're both amazing little guys, though, and I'm blessed to be able to be there with them everyday and watch them on their journey.

I feel the same with Graham's and Drew's teachers...though we got off to a rocky start with Drew's teacher for the SECOND year in a row (Graham had her last year), we've overcome that and are now on the same page. Which thrills me beyond words, if you know me at all. And most of you do. Graham's teacher just needs to move up to 5th grade with Graham next year. Except for the fact that Drew wants her next year. Both these ladies are amazing, they're older and I love that. I feel like older teachers have so much more to offer them in everything they do. And again, I am blessed because I know all these teachers personally. Working there definitely has its advantages.

Well, I started writing this to express my excitement over the weekend, but once again, I took a different path. I guess if we want dinner tonight, I'd better get up and start it. Even though I really don't want to. This chair feels amazing to my aching self. I must have walked another three miles today, with all the running around I did. Okay, I'm finished. Happy cooking to you all!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Little Funny!

Todd, please do NOT feel free to comment. I love this!

Devotion From Proverbs 31 Ministries

I wanted to share this. I think it applies to a lot of us, especially those of us with kids in school right now. I have a friend who encourages me daily to step back and look at how I spend my time. She holds me accountable for spending uninterrupted time each day with my Jesus. Sharon, if you're reading this, thank you. Your friendship means more to me than you'll ever know. I have already prayed for you today, but will continue it through the day. If I can do anything, let me know. Love ya lots!


4 Feb 2009

Zoe Elmore

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him." Psalm 62:5 (NIV)

Who knew that rest was something to seek after like one would pursue a virtuous quality? After all, aren't virtues supposed to be difficult and even require heroic action? I consider rest to be passive, a do-nothing kind of thing. What is the value of that in our daily lives, especially in the life of a busy woman?

Rest, like all things, is only good if it is taken in the right measure and at the right time. When I was a singer (in my former years), I learned that a properly placed rest is as effective as any note. By putting rest into practice in our lives, we reap the benefit and value it brings. As women, many of us have forgotten the importance of rest and how to employ the proper placing of the pause.

When people ask how things are going, more often than not the response is, "Busy as usual," or "There aren't enough hours in the day to get it all done."

Why are we so busy and why do many of us feel this way?

I think one reason may be that our society has sold women a false sense of self-worth by connecting our value to our level of busyness. We should ask ourselves the important question found in Galatians 1:10, "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or God? Or am I still trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."

Now please don't think I am suggesting all women go on permanent rest and take to our beds leaving our responsibilities and families to suffer. Heaven forbid! What I am suggesting is this. When faced with another opportunity to "do" one more thing, "go" to one more event or "host" one more party, resist the urge to immediately throw up your hand a nd volunteer. Pause and pray, asking the Lord's direction regarding each matter. Perhaps the Lord has someone else in mind to "fill" the position.

Some women have discovered the secret to living a full yet balanced life. Their busy life is punctuated with periods of rest, and that rest consists of a time of prayer. When I see women who rest in the midst of their busy lives I do not see them frantic and harried like myself. Their spiritual balance allows them to accomplish more with less stress.

Perhaps they have learned to employ the truths found in Matthew 11:29, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (NIV). Just like farmers hand-crafted a yoke for every work-animal to help and assist them in their work, these women have learned that the Lord's yoke is perfectly fitted to us in order to assist us in the work He has ordained. And resting is one component of that work. When we are obedie nt to do the work God has called us to we can experience the joy and benefit of a balanced spiritual life as we utilize the proper place of rest.

Dear Lord, Thank You for reminding me that rest is an important part of spiritual balance. Teach me to seek Your direction as I prioritize my life's busyness. I want to experience and enjoy the balance of work and rest. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life by Keri Wyatt Kent

Do You Know Him?

Visit Zoe Elmore's blog

God's Purpose for Every Woman: A P31 Devotional Gen Editors. Lysa TerKeurst & Rachel Olsen

Application Steps:
The next time your life becomes frantic and harried, pause for a time of restful prayer.

Memorize the power verses below and learn the benefits of rest; it will help you achieve balance in your spiritual life.

What can you do to ensure proper rest is a part of your life?

What is the Lord calling you to "give up" as a way of making room for proper rest?

Power Verses:
Genesis 2:3, "And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done." (NIV)

Exodus 3 3:14 "The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.'" (NIV)

Hebrews 4:10, "For anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his." (NIV)

© 2008 by Zoe Elmore. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Life

Yesterday was a really good day. It was fairly uneventful in the cafeteria of Collierville Elementary. The kids were actually pretty quiet. Of course, go figure, the one day a principal comes in to observe, but hey it was still quiet, so I'm not going to complain! I woke up with a headache yesterday that finally went away somewhere around 7 or so. I'm thrilled it finally went away. Thank you, Memphis weather. It was 20 degrees cooler yesterday than it was Sunday. I think it was all sinus~related.

The boys are addicted to this game online on a really cool website. If you have kids around my kids' age, little ones included, it's called They LOVE it. They came in yesterday afternoon and did that for a long time. It was kind of nice, because other than "Is it my turn yet, Mommy???", I didn't hear much from them. That and the typical, "MOM! What's for dinner, I'm STARRRRRRVING!" I did fix them a good dinner that they all loved, which is unusual. Someone ALWAYS complains about whatever I make. I was happy.

Do you guys watch Jon & Kate Plus 8? That is my new favorite tv show and the boys love it. I don't know if I could be friends with Kate, though. She seems kind of bossy and she's kind of rude to Jon. Todd never has to put up with that, since I'm so perfect. (Stand back in case that lightning strikes me!) I get so cracked up at the boys, though! All 4 of them sit glued to the screen whenever that show comes on! They've been known to watch it upstairs by themself when they're on their way to sleep at night!

I'm doing this new thing with the third graders in Drew's class~it's called Fluency. It's something designed to help them be more fluent in reading aloud. Way too many kids get left behind in reading, and sometimes it's never caught until it's too late. So this helps them get more comfortable with the whole reading aloud thing. I remember HATING to read out loud when I was in school, which is why I love doing this. Anyway, I go to Drew's class every morning and the kids are given a piece of paper with a long paragraph on it that they have to read to me. I time them and count their mistakes. In the three weeks I've been doing this, I've seen so much improvement! It's so exciting seeing this progress in these sweet kids! There are some who really struggled at first but are getting better and better! I kind of dreaded doing it at first because I didn't know she wanted me to come EVERY morning for the rest of the school year, but I've come to look forward to it so much. And the kids all get these huge smiles on their faces when they see me walk through the door. They love doing it as well. It's really cool.

There are days when I wished I didn't work. I kind of miss those long days of freedom (the few I had), and I miss going to lunch with friends. BUT then I remember how much I love seeing the kids during their day, and I stop that thinking process. For the most part, I still enjoy my job. Well, when the kids are nice, that is. Some days they're not, and I can't stand those days. Anyway, the boys enjoy me being there, and if they're so happy with it, then I am too. That's all that matters, after all.

Well, I have to run, it's time to get everyone dressed and out the door!!! I hope you all have a wonderful day!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Song To Go With...

If you want lyrics, go to KLOVE.COM, click on Music, then lyrics and type in My Deliverer!


Are you up for a challenge? The great thing about this internet thing is that you have unlimited access to all sorts of amazing things. I heard on the radio a couple weeks ago that someone is declaring February 1~15 online Missions week. So, starting today, that is what I'm going to do. May the Lord be glorified in everything I do, write, and say during this time.

Psalm 25:5 Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You.

God is a jealous God, and He wants you to give your heart to Him. He wants to move in there and take up permanent residency. All you have to do is as simple as ABC.

A~Ask Him to forgive you of your sin, and then ask Him to come and live in your heart. He's right there, but He's not going to just barge right in. He's waiting on you to invite Him in!

B~Believe that He is the only way to Heaven!! For none of us will enter Heaven without Jesus, whom God the Father sent down to earth all those thousands of years ago! He is the way, the truth and the life!!!

C~Confess that you are a sinner, and that you want and need Him in your life. The prayer is easy, He's not looking for something complicated. How about something along the lines of, "Lord, I am sorry for the things I've done in my life. I know that I am a sinner, and I am asking that You forgive me. Thank You for Your mercy and Your grace. Lord, I ask that You come into my heart today. I know that You are my only into Heaven, and I ask that You help me to start living my life for You. Thank You, Lord. In Your name I pray, amen."

It won't be easy~His word says that, but He is there to get us through anything that we face. God has changed my life in so many ways, and someday I will sit and tell you all the things He has done in my life. It's amazing. I challenge you today to join with me in this endeavor~we can spread the Word just like missionaries abroad! But all right here in our home. People here need Him too!

Friday Favorites, 7.12.2024.

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