Saturday, June 28, 2008

Updates and Thoughts

Enjoying a weekend of found time...I think you know what I mean, I find that I am enjoying getting a grip on my loads of laundry, watching movies I've had from my online blockbuster account (Becoming Jane) and finding a few moments to blog some thoughts too. I really enjoy this new trend of blogging...and I enjoy reading others blogs too. I love what my dad said about blogs. He said that sometimes he feels he reading somebody's personal journal - and feels awkward reading them. Even mine sometimes. But, he said it was also really cool to be able to hear and see what goes on in my kids lives and others too. I enjoy the whole blogging process just as I do journaling. I have had several friends do the creative memory thing - and I've felt compelled at times to join them. Seems like the right mom thing to do. But....its too stressful for me. Too much cutting, pasting etc. I don't enjoy that. But a blog is a great way to use your pictures, archive your thoughts and life stories.

Our big news this weekend was from Friday. Nick went to take his drivers test and unfortunately, failed. He was the 3rd test of the day....and the 3rd failing grade the instructor gave out. One girl barely made it out of the parking lot before the instructor made her turn back in and promptly told her it was over and she had failed. She did not put her turn signal on leaving the parking lot. I guess that instructor had seen all she needed at that point.

Nick's test was overall good - if you don't count any of the stop signs he slowed through. Yes, I said slowed through and never stopped. Confusing, because they boldly tell you what to do as you approach them. To be honest, I had never noticed him not coming to a complete stop at stop signs. With me, I see him very cautious. I would have said something if I had noticed only slowing and not stopping....right? But away from me and Kevin...I guess he drives differently. Maybe he was nervous. Or maybe I was too close to or too used to seeing him as I see him and didn't pick up on the fact that he was not doing it correctly. How could I miss that? It seems that is a question we parents as ourselves from time to time about a few things our kids might do...right? Anyway...

As I thought about his test today, I found it very life like. I began thinking of the consequences of driving with other drivers and not stopping at stop signs. That lead to me thinking of life in general. The stop signs, or leadings by the Holy Spirit we have in life. When the spirit BOLDLY says....don't go any farther...stop here. Some call it conviction, others call it their gut feeling. I know that what I hear is the Holy Spirit speaking to me. There were times as a teenager I didn't listen and stop but I proceeded with a slowing...telling myself I had done all I needed to, but never a complete stop. (like Nick's driving) How I wish I would have stopped more and slowed less. I could have avoided a few unpleasant situations, hurt feelings and less bruises I am sure! But God is good....and he loves us through all the circumstances we go through. Thank goodness. Funny how God can speak to us through most any circumstance. That of course, led me to talk to Nick about the importance to stop signs...and my life parallel as well. Instead of just laughing at me....Nick did say, "Wow, I never thought of it that way". By the way, he still laughed at me.

He'll take his test again on Monday. He'll definitely remember to stop at each stop sign. I hope that this is now a reminder of how important it is to ALWAYS stop and pay attentions to signs. Hmmm, pay attention to signs of all kinds. I hope that he also thinks about our talk and how sometimes when the Holy Spirit says STOP....we need to listen. Nick is definitely growing into a man. Look how much he looks like his dad. Amazingly handsome and grown up...but still a boy learning to be a man after God's own heart. He'll keep learning how to listen to the spirit that lives within him his entire life. I don't think we ever have it completely figured out, but as we grow older, I am thankful that the voice we hear is more recognizable and for me, easier to follow.

Pray for Nick on, octagonal sign means STOP!!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Back from Vacation!!

Wow! What a great vacation we had last week. Both Kevin and I feel that we are well rested and ready for our week because it was such a great week. A friend of mine at work, showed me where the Expelled movie by Ben Stein is playing at the Dollar Theater in Hoover this week. I asked some of you about this movie a few months ago, but never made it out to see the film! Well…here is my chance and at $1 – I can’t pass this up. I think we’ll definitely take the boys this week. If you live in Hoover….check it out.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
Rated PG, 1 hr 30 min

Carmike 10 – Birmingham $1 Theater
3443 Lorna Road, Birmingham, AL, 35216
Showtimes: 1:40, 4:25, 7:10, 9:40

Directed by Nathan Frankowski
Starring Ben Stein

Ben Stein travels the world and speaks to men and women who have lost their jobs and their standings in the scientific world because of their association with intelligent design. EXPELLED uses the Berlin Wall as a metaphor and asserts that these people have been unjustly ousted, merely for speaking their minds. It carefully explains the differences between creationism and intelligent design and demonstrates that the latter is a belief held by people of all deity-based faiths, not just Christianity. It also devotes time to the connections between Darwinism and Hitler's regime. The film's climax features Stein going head-to-head with Richard Dawkins, a renowned atheist and author of the bestseller THE GOD DELUSION. Obviously, neither man budges in his firmly held beliefs, but it's fascinating to watch a debate between two undeniably intelligent men, regardless of whose side you're on.

You know, after our time in Florida, there are a few experiences that make you wonder how anyone could resist the idea of God or the fact that there is a great Creator of our Universe. One vacation highlight was snorkeling. My husband and kids love it. Me….not so much…but that is ok. Our nine year old is passionate about snorkeling. I mean passionate. No fear….feels at home. I know that because he feels that strongly, it is a passion that God placed inside of him. It is who he created Max to be. I love that my job as his mom is not to squelch that….but it is to help foster and help him realize that passion. This means….when I know he’s safe in the water with my husband…I need to relax and allow him to enjoy that experience. Even when I see something large swimming with him. I know sometimes as a mom, my instinct is to be safe no matter what….and sometimes that can hinder an experience my boys are having. Sometimes….its good. For instance, when my boys want to have Roman Candle Wars…it is a good thing that I speak up and put my foot down. You know? But when the situation is something that is safe, but out of my comfort zone, I have to remember to relax and let them enjoy. Just because I may be scared of fish swimming with me, doesn’t mean that its bad for my 9 year old…you know? Anyway, all of that to say that Max’s favorite part of our vacation was swimming with the fish and manatees that just found there way to the Fort Pierce Beach and decided to swim with our family for over an hour. Wow! God made some really cool things, and Manatees (sea cows) were definitely one of them. Gentle, but amazingly large and strong. Again, how can anyone look at the variety of animals, birds and insects on our planet and totally believe….that they just happened. That… crazy.

Go see the movie if you can, I am going to and I hope I see you there.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

We are traveling down to Port. St Luce to see some family today. Long trip....glad we stopped last night and spent the night in a hotel. In case you are wondering...yes...traveling can be hard for me when choosing the fun roadside motels. I work in a wonderful resort, and sometimes can be a bit picky about where we stay. Last night, before we could get comfy...Kevin already began the process.....take off the bedspreads....don't touch the topside of the bedspread etc. Believe me, if you've seen Dateline's investigation of how often the bedspreads in most hotels are washed....its all true! But in spite of all that...we are now rested and are about to head out.

Back to today..Father's Day. I've often heard it said that you look for someone to marry that is like your father. I know several people where that is not the case. However, I find that I pretty much fit the comparison. Now, there are things about my husband and father that are different, but there is a deep rooted part of them that is a match. You see both are dreamers and both would do anything for anybody. I'm serious. There is something in both of them know they have been created to help others and that desire within them draws people toward them. I love them both. My mom laughs when I get crazy with my husbands projects and 'I can make that attitude'. He really thinks there is nothing he can't make or do! My dad....same thing. Why not! Especially where cars are concerned. I remember my dad working on many cars when I was growing up. He might have had a part or two left over each that true? Or do I make that up? can defend yourself here if you need to. Its all in love.

Anyway, today I am thankful for my dad. For the core values he instilled within me. The example he set for me in male leadership and for always making me feel loved and protected while growing up. Because of how he raised me, I knew what kind of man I wanted to be with. I love the picture of my dad above. He looks happy..that is the way he is most of the time. There are times he is stressed and even frustrated or mad. But, when asked he'll always respond with a familiar answer. He has a few he uses, but one of my favorite is 'Ah, Aint no hill for a climber'. My dad was often one to pick up hitchhikers. Now, he would probably come after me and my sister if we were to do that today. But I seriously remember one time around Christmas, my sister and I squeezing to one side of the Vega I think, because my dad could not leave this hitch hiker on the side of the road. He told us it would be fine and we needed to help him. I wonder if I remember that correctly....crazy if I do!

When I met Kevin, I knew he was the one. But...I had no idea what an awesome father he would be. Truly, when you see the man you love become a great father, you fall in love with them all over again. know what I mean don't you? The picture above is from a time at a Packer game with his brother and father and my nephew and Scout too. Kevin had a great dad that is now a wonderful father in law to me. I wonder if he knew having daughters one day would be so dramatic! HA! I am sure I (along with my sister in law) bring some drama into his life every now and then. But Kevin's dad imparted wisdom to him that help him lead my family. I am so thankful to him for that and thankful that he is my father in law. What a good gift to me.

Happy Father's Day to all the men out there. For the fathers you are within your home and for the father figure you are to those who do not have fathers inside their home. I am growing more and more aware of the homes that don't have that father influence and how without can be so hard. I love that Kevin along with some of our other friends share their fatherly advice and time with other boys. So easy to see why so many love them!

Have a great Sunday and let the dads hold the remotes for the day....choose the restaurant for lunch or dinner...and don't forget to tell them how much you love them. Dad, I love you! Dad father-in-law...I love you too. And to my wonderful husband, I am in love with you and thankful for all that you do for our family.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Something to laugh at this morning

Need to laugh out loud? Try this....I love this guys stuff... visit his blog for more laughs...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008
#287. Father Abraham had many sons - the VBS tape

I hate advertising.

On some levels I love it because it's what I do for a living and it's what enables me to buy Clifford the Big Red dog products for my daughters. But on other levels I hate it, and the commercial for the Kidz Bop CD reminded me of that.

Kidz Bop is a CD with popular top 40 songs sung by 10-year olds. I’m cool with the idea of kids singing, my 3-year old daughter loves to sing in the car, but the songs they put on these albums are clearly not written for little kids. Take these lyrics from Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel” found on Kidz Bop volume 11. It’s a heartwarming, childhood favorite about getting a phone call from an ex-lover while your current lover is in the other room:

Well, my girl’s in the next room. Sometimes I wish she was you. I guess we never really moved on. It’s really good to hear your voice saying my name. It sounds so sweet. Coming from the lips of an angel. Hearing those words it makes me weak. And I never wanna say goodbye. But girl you make it hard to be faithful, with the lips of an angel.

What 10-year old can’t relate to that song? What 10-year old hasn’t cheated on his girlfriend a time or two? You know how it is. You’re on one slide on the playground, your lady is playing hopscotch and an old flame winks at you from the swing set. What’s a kid to do? Thankfully Hinder and Kidz Bop have prepared you for this moment and upon taking a long, hard pull from a cold chocolate milk, you can stare off into the distance and wistfully say in a voice that hasn’t gone through puberty yet, “Girl you make it hard to be faithful with the lips of an angel.” (There's some debate about whether Kidz Bop changes the lyrics on their version, but it doesn't matter it's still a song about sex.)

I wish I could punch Kidz Bop in the face. But I can't because it's just a CD and that would look weird to see me in a parking lot just punching a CD over and over. What I can do though is make an amazing VBS mix tape for my daughters. That way when we sitting on 22s and rolling through the drive thru at Chick-fil-A the cops won't catch us riding dirty and we can bring the new flava in ya ear like Craig Mack. (Whoa, that sentence was raptastic!)

Here are the song categories you need to keep in mind when it comes to a great VBS mix tape:

1. War themed songs.
I've written about this before, but what can I say, we love teaching our four-year olds some military-flavored songs. My favorite two are probably "God's Army" and "Onward Christian Soldier." I like God's Army because it gets specific and actually mentions things like the infantry. I dig Onward Christian Soldier despite it kind of sounding like something that might have been sung during the Crusades.

2. Size and dimension songs.
We absolutely love measurement songs. From "Deep and Wide" to "My God is so big" we can't get enough of songs that speak to the size of things. Think I'm wrong? How about the song that says, "Zaccheus was a wee little man." It's probably one of my three favorite children songs that focus on someone's lack of height.

3. Happy happy joy smile songs
A lot of Christian children songs are like sunshine deep fried in cotton candy served on a plate made of sugar and rainbows. That is, they are happy. From "Joy, joy down in my heart" to "this little light of mine" we bring the happy when we sing. Even things like the flood that killed most of mankind gets the smile treatment. How can you be depressed about the cleansing of the planet when you sing, "God told Noah there's going to be a floody, floody." I think Donald Miller talked about that in Blue Like Jazz. And on a side note, adding a "y" to the end of any word makes it a little happier. Flood becomes floody, which is makes it kind of feel silly. Maybe next time I get fired, I'll say I got "firedy."

4. One love
Two of the most popular kid songs are "Jesus Loves Me" and "Jesus Loves the Little Children." That second one is funny to me and reminds me of something my daughter said. One day she came home from school and innocently said, "I had a fun time playing with that girl with the brown face on the playground." She was referring to an Indian friend and was being four, not racist. That's kind of what happened with the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children." It's got a verse that says, "Red and yellow, black and white, they're all precious in His sight." (The first site google returns if you search "Jesus loves the little children lyrics" lists the words the way I originally had it in this post.) Yikes, not the most politically correct verse, but I am sure there's a remix out there that cleans that up.

Those are the four key categories, but I promise I have left out one or two. What about "He's got the whole world in His hands" or "the B.I.B.L.E., yes that's the book for me?" I hope you'll share your favorite song but remember, the greatest VeggieTales song ever is "the Cheeseburger Song." That's not opinion, that's

Spot checking their phone....

I talked to a lady yesterday that said she was opposed to parents who read their kids text messages. She felt that it was an invasion of their privacy. She felt the same about logging in to their facebook and myspace pages. I immediately thought of the teenagers that have taken their own lives and left clues all over these online journals. Wow....I am sure those parents feel much differently now. I guarantee you they wish they would have read their childs words.

If our children are posting words or pictures for the entire world to view, why do we feel we are invading their privacy if we view them? As parents it is our responsibility to be in the know.

It takes effort, patience and self control. Why patience and self control? Well, its that reactionary thing we have that sometimes BUSTS out. As parents, when we see something that we know is not right or needs discussion, we have to take hold of that teachable moment. We need to try to react less and parent more. Think about that.....reactions are sometimes involuntary and they can just explode with emotion. When that happens we lose a teachable moment. We've all been there....don't deny it.

My kids know I spot check their text messages and online journals. And even though they know that...I still find things from time to time that we have to discuss. Things that they think might be funny......sometimes aren't. Sometimes I am able to share how things may hurt them in the future. I have to remind them that what they share online is so important. Not just their personal stuff, but pictures too. They have to think ahead to what might effect someone else. What can effect them in the future if someone is looking at them for a job. You know most large corporations now use google to do image and word searches with someone's name to see what pops up. No surprises...... So, be certain before you post your craziest moments online, better yet...maybe don't document each crazy thing with a picture. That might be a better idea anyway.

So, if you haven't checked their phones lately, or their myspace or facebook - do it today. Its Saturday, and it might be raining where you are. (Its raining I don't want to get out just yet) That means you've got some time. Ask your kids to sit with you while you view their pages. And maybe....get your own facebook page. The benefits? I'll post that on another blog....but not only will you learn how to use one of the primary communication tools of the teens'll also be updated daily on the activities of the 'friends' in your network. Activities can mean pictures every time your kids (if they are your facebook friend) upload new'll know and you'll have a chance to view them without happening upon them at a later time. Just a thought....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

FREE MOVIES???? Yes.....Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am - The Rave

It's true! If you don't have the schedule of free it is! 10 am each Tuesday and Wednesday. This schedule is good for both Patton Creek and Lee Branch.

Dates Feature
6/10-6/11 Alvin & the Chipmunks (PG)
6/17-6/18 Bee Movie (PG)
6/24-6/25 Shrek the Third (PG)
7/1-7/2 Fire House Dog (PG)
7/8-7/9 Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (G)
7/15-7/16 Charlotte's Web (G)
7/22-7/23 Surf's Up (PG)
7/29-7/30 Veggie Tales (G)

The Veggie Tales movie is the Pirate one..... I always did want to see that. I'll put that on my calendar...see you there?

When to raise the white flag.....

Summer is just beginning right? I mean we are just now in the middle of June - and I feel tired. Not that I am not enjoying my summer. But there is so much to do. So much to plan for! More laundry, more cleaning (because kids are home and so are their friends!!!), more food to buy and so on. I have made 2 trips to the grocery store this week. The food disappears within days! I have had 5 teenage boys since Tuesday, and believe me, they are having a blast! And please know...I love having them in my home. My boys have great friends - But it does take some work and patience mind you to have a home where kids can hang out.....and want to hang out.

Along with being a teenage busy house, I also work a very people demanding job. I love what I do...but there is always somebody who needs something from me. That seems to be all areas of my life. Most everybody's life I'm sure. I am blessed to have a job that is very flexible and allows me some time at home each afternoon. But there is still that obligation on my part to do my best and serve my employers to the best of my ability. I want to do a good job. I sometimes have a hard time drawing the line between me trying to do a good job and finding balance with my family and time at home. I have a hard time doing this even with my great schedule. It seems as though its a constant cycle. And at times....I can feel the cycle spinning way too fast. I get edgy and just need some space. I feel like I can't do it all and that makes me frustrated.

But guess what.....we can't do it all! It is so unrealistic for me to expect so much of myself. I am not superwoman...even though I like to think I am. You know what I mean, the woman who handles stress with ease, nothing bothers her and she totally still gets all of her laundry done....never letting anything sit longer in the dryer than neccessary! HA! You know that person!!! Even if you are not a woman...I know that men can wrestle with the same type of feelings and pressures.

Today, I am raising the flag. A time out if you will. I am BLESSED to have a boss that appreciates me. When I say I need a day for mental health, he says ok - I am going to pray for you, take the day. He knows that I work hard and my commitment to him is to get my job done. I can do this better when I see that I need a break and I raise my white flag. Those were actually my bosses words...."Thanks for knowing when to raise the white flag". Wow...a rush of peace already.

If you are running and pushing yourself to the limit....stop. Raise your white flag and take a day. Sick days are there for mental health too. I know that my family will benefit from me knowing when to say when. I'll be nicer.....and happier too. So go ahead...if you NEED it....Raise your flag and take time for yourself. If you love your friends and'll do it!

Matthew 11:28

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest", says the Lord.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Life List 16 year old has a friend over who is about to crash. They've had football for the last couple of weeks from 7:30am until around lunch each day. Tonight, they finished the day by attending a great church event that takes place each Tuesday at Cathedral of the Cross Church. It's called The Basement. Visit this page for more's truly amazing!

Well, like I said - Nick's friend is crashing and my son is wide awake. He's intent on making a life list before he goes to bed. Things he wants to accomplish while he is alive on this earth. He seems pretty psyched about it. I wonder if they heard about that tonight at The Basement. Or...has he been thinking about it for a while?

I too have a list going. But my list is compiled of a few things I want to do before I turn 40. I think that God wants and INTENDS for us to soak up every minute of this life. It's a gift. To be enjoyed and to ultimately bring glory to Him. How happy he must be when a teenager sees and feels moved to make the most of their God given life.

I love the song by Point of Grace - How you live.

Grab a cup a cup of coffee....and check this song out. Maybe you'll be inspired to revisit or start a life list of your own.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Prayer to Bless Others

I found a prayer card this morning from a few years ago. I got it at my inlaws church in Georgia. I remember thinking it was a great prayer to be mindful of others. Thought I would share it with you today.

"God in the name of Jesus Christ, make me a blessing to somebody today!"

"Oh that You would bless my family, my church, and my life and bless them indeed. Expand my opportunities and my impact in such a way that I touch more lives for Your glory. Let me do more for you! Oh, that Your hand would be with my family, my church and my life as we are totally dependant on You. Lord, keep us safe from temptations and direct our steps away from all that is not of You. Protect us by your power. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen"

As we left the service that day in North Georgia, the cards were handed to each of us. Two short prayers that could impact us each day. I am praying that you are all blessed today as well as my own family. Hope your day is a great one!!

Playing Games

Do your kids like to play games with you? We love games at our house. All, boardgames, DVD games, you name it...and we probably play it! Tonight Max and I took on Kevin and Scout. It was fun for all of us...until Max and I took the lead. When that happened, Scout started taking his little brother down. I mean letting him have it verbally....Poor Max! Of course we asked him to stop and we didn't allow him to make Max feel bad. It was just obvious that Scout was not going to be happy, or play nice unless he was winning.

Max was enjoying it and totally having a great time! Scout was sulking and getting a bit smarty. We've seen this behavior a bunch lately. Even in the car after football practice with his friends - there is so much smack talk! I mean, there is more cutting on each other than complimenting what they see each other do on the practice field. Why is that?

It seems to be a struggle for Scout to compliment his peers and brothers when they do something good. Have you found that to be the case in your children? Do you find that they only seem to enjoy games when they are the one winning? I know that is normal for some kids and its a learning process to become a gracious winner and a friend who can truly wish the best for his friends at all times!!! That takes maturity. I am praying that Scout soon grows into that kind of friend. I also know that right now, his negative comments come from a place that feels insecure about his reality. That is why he feels a bit intimidated by others who may be doing better at some things than he is. Hey...I still struggle with that some times and I'm about to hit 40!

Ephesians 4:29

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

That verse stands true in most EVERY circumstance we can walk into. Doesn't it? Does that mean that I can say something cutting when I feel bad about myself? No! It doesn't allow for us to ever say anything bad, mean spirited or hurtful to or about anyone else. It says to only say what is helpful...beneficial. Maybe if I keep that standard with my children, they will learn to be gracious losers as well as humble winners. They'll grow into people that are able to give compliments....even when they feel a bit jealous. They'll learn as we all need to learn that its just not about us....ever. You know? It's always about someone else and seeing something good.

If you know my kids...please feel free to pinch their little arms if they are ragging on each other. I need all the help I can get. I know I still have years of this ahead of me, but I do look forward to hearing more of those good comments, one brother to another. It happens....but its rare at times. Whew...I'll get psyched up for another game night soon! They are too much fun to stay away from.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Favorite Things Friday Shout Out...

You know I love blogging…and reading other peoples blogs! Well, I want to share one with you. This is a shout out to my sis-in law Kelly. Kelly has one that is linked at the bottom of my site here. Kelly’s Blog. Easy to find. Every Friday she has a blog called Favorite Things Friday. Always a treat. I love them and you will too….check this one out. You can go into her archives to see other Friday Favorites.

Enjoy!!!! If you have a site you think I might enjoy…..comment…let me know!

Picture This...

There is a verse in the Bible that I have always loved. It speaks peace to me.

Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing

I remember the first time I heard that. It was like wow...I get that. I sing over my children. Well...I guess I did more when they were little. But, when I am happy I sing. When I hold a baby (or even my own big babies) I want to sing. The picture of my God singing over me....perfect peace.

I ran across a blog this morning that I often read. Usually, to laugh a bit. It's called Stuff Christians Like. EXTREMELY sarcastic...but funny at times too. (Steve Irby...if you are reading would like this guy) Well, today, he got serious. Let me back up, all his posts have a serious side to a Christian issue. But he finds a humorous way to make us look deep at something good. I think if you like watching 'The Office' on NBC - you'll like this! I know I've got some 'Office' friends our there. I've seen your facebook pages and your 'Office' flair. Ha!

Anyway, today he has a blog on unused gifts. One line mentions that he heard God say to him that when he used his talents for God, God sings. Beautiful. Read this and see what you think. Like me, maybe you'll become a frequent visitor! You might have to copy and paste this link into your browser...cause I just can't figure out how to put an actual link here. Sorry!! I've only had one cup of coffee.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hard Conversations

Today is almost over, and I am glad to have part of it behind me. I had a hard conversation with a friend today. Basically - it was sharing a situation of moving churches. It's hard to leave what you know sometimes. The comfort and familiarity. The things we count on. But what happens when God says go? When HE says, I have a new adventure for you. I'm learning that you just just do it. If you don't, he'll just keep bringing it back up every opportunity he gets until you finally say....OK God...I'll go. But sharing that with a friend who I know would be sad, is hard. In more ways than you think.

We've been at our church for a long time. Nine years in fact. It is familiar and a place we love deeply. The people we've grown close to are our extended family. We've all been there for each other through so many things. I could fill a journal with our experiences. Actually, I have gone through quite a few while at our church.

For the past few months, we've been praying about a restlessness we've felt and a leading to move to another church. Our decision is not sudden or without seeking God's plan. Finally, after a few months - we've agreed with God to go on a new adventure. A new experience with God leading us as we help launch a new church in our area. EXTREMELY unknown territory. But...oh...the possibilities! I feel a new excitement now to anxiously await what God is going to do and how we are going to be used to begin this new church.

Our kids are excited, but will also miss the familiar. We've talked with them and for the time being, we are allowing them to be involved in our current church so that they keep ties with their friends. They've done life with that church for 9 years. You just don't let go of something like that. But we know, that they too are going to be used to start this new church as well. We feel strongly it will be something that will help define their Christian walk as well.

As I think on our new task, I am also reminded I don't like change too much. So, I looked up the word and studied it for a bit. Here is what I found;

Change - VERB

1 to make different in some way

2 to pass from one form, state, or level to another
to give up (something) and take something else in return

3 to give up (something) and take something else in return

Antonym stabilize

I can look at all these words and be reminded that though I don't like change, it is necessary sometimes to grow, to be used by God, to keep being transformed by God into the person that he has already planned for me to be. He has a plan for me....for my husband and my boys. And unless we surrender and sometimes give up we want...we won't know that full plan. I don't know about you, but I don't want to miss a thing! Even if it means that sometimes I have to give up something (even something I love) for something else (maybe better than I've ever thought could be) in return.

I look forward to sharing more with you on this new phase of our life. We'll all be blessed I know.

Philipians 1:6
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


You might be thinking I am about to write about one of my kids being homesick while at camp. Not the case. Its me! I am homesick...for my 9 year old to come home! Max left this past Friday on a wonderful trip to Disneyworld with his bestfriend from school. They are having a blast. I wish I could see his face as he is having all this fun. The family he is with is wonderful. They are great to him and he loves spending time at their house. I guess, to be honest, I just feel left out of this adventure!

I've talked with him every night but one and he is really having a blast. They already visited the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Sea World. They are still going to go to MGM/Hollywood Park and Epcot - and possibly Magic Kingdom again. Whew...lots of fun!

Even though I know he'll be having fun, I suspect that mid week (like maybe tomorrow) he'll be ready for a little bit of home. Just in case that happens, I've hidden notes in his suitcase. Just little I love you notes to remind him that we hope he enjoys every minute and we'll see him on Saturday. I think our kids love knowing that we miss and love them...and love getting little reminders too!

Are your kids going to camp? Do you think you'll get a bit homesick? Its not that we want our children around us 24/7. Well, maybe we do... But in truth, for me its about the 'life' inside my house. I am used to the craziness my Max adds to my days. The responsibility I have of making sure he eats lunch and stuff like that. My other two boys are older and this summer are doing things on their own at times and are quite efficient at making their own lunches and eating whenever. But Max, will simply just not eat some days unless I make it for him and remind him...its time to eat. Now that is not what this blog is about. The eating lunch part anyway. This is just to get my feelings out about how as a mom, I miss being needed this week for little things like that? Do you ever miss that? Have your kids reached an age that they do so much on their own you have extra time on your hands? I know my older boys need me, sometimes in more ways than before, as teenagers. And I do love this season. I do! Its just different. Its like needing us on their terms sometimes. Not that 'I'm totally dependant upon you thing' that make us feel good as moms. I may sound crazy. As I drove home from work today, I was thinking...Oh, I need to get home to check on Max and see if he wants to play with a friend or something, but then as I remember he is not home - it hits me that I have time to run an errand. That part is nice....but the hug of a 9 year old is better.

I'm far from empty nest - and I'm sure over the next few years I'll be anxiously awaiting for all the boys to fly the coop....or maybe not. But I am sure I'll settle into the new season I am verging on. Just feels weird.

Ecclesiastes 3
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

Monday, June 2, 2008

Kodak Moments

Ok...well, alot has happened since Thursday of last week. We celebrated Nick's birthday and enjoyed a long weekend in Sandestin. It was wonderful. I soaked up every minute of beach time I could without getting burned and found some time to just relax on our beautiful porch in the house we 'lived' in for the weekend. It was exactly what I needed.

I love taking pictures of my boys and our getaways. I want to preserve the moment as much as I can because they are special times. You know what I mean I am sure. Just like when we dress our kids up...we want to enjoy the 'age' they are and what memories we have of them at that time. Am I alone - or do you find that when you are trying to capture the perfect moment, it is any thing BUT a Kodak moment. If its a planned picture, there is whining and frustration between the perfect smiles for the 'click' of the camera. If you are on vacation (like I was) there is silliness and lots of fun faces. Now, the kids are totally enjoying it! Laughing it up....but me (you) the parents, are well....less entertained. It's no longer that Kodak Moment. The picture above is my example. There are many more...believe me. Actually a series of what we were trying to do....but didn't accomplish. But as I look at them now...I think, 'I have really funny kids'. I do! They truly do crack me up. And I love that they enjoy making me laugh. That is just another reminder to me to keep it simple...enjoy the moments...and the 'real life' pictures like these are what makes my family fun.....and special. And for that...I'll exchange every perfectly posed photo in the world! Go love and laugh with your kids today and forget about making your house perfect....nobody really lives in 'those' kind of houses anyway.