Monday, December 29, 2008

Some pics...

These are from Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Love is...

A group of kids ages 4-8 were asked what love is. These are their answers. I think the one about Christmas is my favorite.

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.
So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'
Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'
Billy - age 4

'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.'
Karl - age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'
Chrissy - age 6

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'
Terri - age 4

'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.'
Danny - age 7

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more.
My Mom my and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss'
Emily - age 8

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'
Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,'
Nikka - age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.'
Noelle - age 7

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'
Tommy - age 6

'During my piano recital, I was on the stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.
He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'
Cindy - age 8

'My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'
Clare - age 6

'Love is when Mommy gives my Daddy the best piece of chicken.'
Elaine-age 5

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.'
Chris - age 7

'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.'
Mary Ann - age 4

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'
Lauren - age 4

'When you love somebody,
your eyelashes go up and
down and little stars come
out of you.'
Karen - age 7

'Love is when Mommy sees
Daddy on the toilet and
she doesn't think it's gross.'
Mark - age 6

'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'
Jessica - age 8

And the final one

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,

'Nothing, I just helped him cry'

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Great article

I was surfing the web today and found this great article. I have been really down on myself lately for still having a few extra pounds. Yes, I know I have 4 kids. Anyway, this article was great and encouraging. Check it out.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Jordan!!!

I can't believe Jordan is 9 today!! Where does the time go?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


If you haven't seen it yet, GO!!! I am still processing my thoughts from the movie. I honestly didn't expect the reaction I had. And until this morning, I wasn't really sure why. There was a song in the movie that really spoke to me called "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller. I was listening to it again this morning for my quiet time and it hit me. I think God wanted me to see Fireproof for a reason other than to work on my marriage. Yes, he wants that, too. But I think He was telling me that I need to fireproof my relationship with Him.

One of the main lines in the movie is that fireproof doesn't mean the flames won't get to you, but that when they do, you will be able to withstand them. While Stephen and I have been under tremendous stress these last several months, we still have been confident that our marriage would be able to withstand the stress. We both come from divorced families, and we have always said that we would be willing to do whatever it takes to not let that happen to us. Even during those times where we don't like each other very much, we just know that we will make it.

But honestly, my relationship with God has suffered over these recent months. I haven't taken time to spend with Him. I have basically neglected Him. I have prayed, but I don't think I believed He was really listening or that He really cared. I haven't worked on our relationship at all. Yesterday, I was telling a friend that I was definitely in a valley with God. I wanted to feel Him, but I didn't. How do you think my marriage would work if I went for weeks, months and didn't talk to Stephen? Didn't take time to listen to Him? Probably not very well. But that is what I have done with God. So is it any wonder that I am in this valley? Anyway, this is why I think God wanted me to see this movie and why my reaction was so much stronger and deeper than I thought it would be. Here are the lyrics to the song. The video is on Youtube.

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Takeing every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I saw this quote from Aristotle on my brother-in-law's refridgerator and something about it hit me. "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

So, how do we form a habit of excellence? I would love thoughts on this.

Monday, November 10, 2008


They get to keep the girls!!!! It took a little longer than expected because the biological father wanted to sign his rights over instead of them being terminated so he could get visitation rights. But they get to keep the girls!!!!! Pray that everything gets finalized today so they can put all this behind them.

Pray for the Malugins!!!

If you read this before 10:00 a.m., please lift up Keith and Lydia Malugin. They are friends of mine that I have mentioned before. They have been in a LONG process of finalizing their adoption of their twin baby girls. Today is the day that they find out whether or not they get to keep the babies or give them to the father. I know this may sound confusing, but it has been a heart-wrenching 11 months and we are all ready for this to be over. PLEASE pray the judge leaves the girls with Keith and Lydia. Please, please, please pray.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

True or false...

I got this from a friend today and thought it was too good not to share. The first part wasn't true for me, as far as being afraid if Obama won the election. But I thought the rest of the e-mail was good.

Dear Friends,

For months now my email Inbox has been besieged by nearly hysterical warnings about what will happen if Barack Obama becomes President. I have been encouraged to be worried, afraid, concerned, prepared for disaster, and a whole host of other maladies if this happens. I do not deny the importance of this election, but it seems to me that we need a dose of perspective. So here, on the eve of the election, I would like to start my own email concerning this election. It's a "True/False" test. I'd like for all of us to take it. Feel free to email it on to whomever:

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus will still be King.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our responsibilities as Christians will not have changed one iota.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the greatest agent for social change in America will still be winning the hearts and minds of men and women through the gospel, not legislation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my primary citizenship will still be in this order - (1) the Kingdom of God, (2) America, not vice-versa.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the tomb will still be empty.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the cross, not the government, will still be our salvation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our children will still be more concerned with whether or not we spend time with them than with who is President.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my neighbor will still be my neighbor, and loving him/her will still be the second greatest commandment. (Do you know the first?)

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see abortion ultimately overturned will still be winning men and women to a high view of life through the gospel of Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see gay marriage ultimately defeated will still be winning men and women to a biblical view of marriage through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my retirement will still not match my treasure in Heaven.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, "Jesus Is Lord" will still be the greatest truth in the Universe.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, we will still know that God is in control.

How did you score?

Remember who you are and who He is.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Love it!

Stephen took this picture last night while I was at the gym.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


My dad came down yesterday for Jordan's soccer game. We played in the backyard most of the afternoon, and my dad took this picture of us. I love it! I don't have very many pictures with me in them, so I was really glad to get this one. Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Woo hoo!!!!!!

Stephen got a job!!!!! He starts working at Webb's Refreshments full-time in two weeks! We are so excited!! This will be normal working hours; actually, it will be early morning till afternoon, so he may even be home early enough to pick the kids up from school. Anyway, he is really relieved and excited and thrilled and any other thing you want to throw in there. Thanks to whoever has been praying for us over these last few months. On to the next chapter...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I got this off a "friend" whose daughter is back in the hospital. Ashley Adams has been in and out of the hospital her whole life. She had some transplants when she was born; I don't remember all the details, but Ashley is precious. Anyway, her body is in rejection again, and this is what Trish wrote. Please pray for them.

Hug your children tightly. We were never promised a lifetime with them. Every moment with Ash, Blake, and Al are gifts. I have learned to treasure the beauty of home, of normal, and of nothing special. They are only ours to borrow and in some ways that knowledge comforts me and in other ways it haunts me. Only God knows the number of their days.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Little Elijah

I got this off a friend of a friend's blog. I wanted to share it here because it just touched me so much. Please pray.

Family & Friends,

I am hopeful this email finds you all in good health and spirits. Randall and I are doing well, healthy, and excited about the upcoming arrival of Elijah's little brother (I'm due on Valentines Day!). Elijah is now in the 60th percentile on the regular weight/height charts and will discontinue physical & occupational therapy around his second birthday-which means he is developmentally right on track!

I am writing to request that you pray for our little boys health. By the grace of God, a routine physical revealed a large mass on his liver. An ultrasound, CT Scan and blood work concluded that this softball sized mass is a hepatoblastoma, a form of liver cancer. The mass is too large to be removed so Elijah will undergo a biopsy to confirm the type and stage - then chemotherapy until the tumor is small enough to be removed.

Randall and I are asking our family and friends to pray that Elijah responds well to all that he is about to take on. He has already fought so hard to be with us with entering this world 14 weeks early, spending 2 1/2 months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, struggling with bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and undergoing 4 surgeries all before he was able to walk. He has a difficult 4 month journey ahead of him so please lift him up and pray that the strength, joy and beautiful spirit we see in him everyday continues to carry him through."

Monday, October 06, 2008

Poor Cam-cam *UPDATE*

I have no idea why, but Campbell has decided that she has no intention of letting me lay her down to go to sleep anymore. The last two nights, tonight being the third, she has screamed, SCREAMED until we go get her. We are going on 46 minutes now. I have no idea what to do. She has been my best sleeper. She takes great naps, and I have never had to put her to sleep. Now, even when she is asleep when we lay her down, she wakes up screaming. I am losing it. 48 minutes and counting. She is showing no signs of stopping. The last two nights, Luke and Campbell have both ended up in our bed and we are exhausted. Pray for us.

Well, she ended up crying for a solid hour. I mean screaming at the top of her lungs. She is actually a little hoarse this morning. Anyway, she was showing no signs of stopping, so I went and got her. As soon as I sat down, she put her head down and went to sleep. I held her for about 30 minutes and then put her down. She slept till 7:15 this morning. We'll see what tonight brings. And the only reason I don't think she has an ear infection is because she is fine all the other times. No fever, not grouchy, nothing. And it's not just waking up in the middle of the night. It's when I first put her down, too. Anyway, I am going to carry out our normal routine today and stick with naps, etc. So maybe that will help. Thanks for the prayers and suggestions!!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Family time

Today I have been thinking about ways to have good family time now that the kids are in school. I really miss them, so much that I am praying about whether those feelings are just me missing my kids, or God leading me to homeschool again (next year). So, for now, I am thinking of ways to still have that strong family identity that I miss about homeschooling. What are some of the ways that your family achieves this? I would love suggestions. Thanks!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

You've Got Mail

This movie was on TV last night. Everytime it's on, I just have to watch it. It is one of my all-time favorite movies, for many reasons. One of them is that I really want to live in New York. Ever since I saw this movie for the first time, I have said that I want to live in NY but only if I can live in Kathleen Kelley's apartment and money was no object. Ha ha! I know I will probably never live there, but it's fun to dream!

Anyway, the point of this post is this: there is a quote in the movie that I forget about till I hear it, but everytime I do, it hits me like a ton of bricks. When Kathleen realizes that her store may be in trouble, she is writing an e-mail and she says, "Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, valuable but small. And I wonder if I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave." This is exactly how I feel. Especially in the situation we are in right now. I just feel like there is so much out there that I didn't get to experience because I was married with kids so young. And I wouldn't change that for anything, but I have just been thinking about it. What would I do if I could do anything I wanted? Would I be doing what I am doing right now, or would it be something different? Most days, I say that there is nowhere else I'd rather be. And I believe that. But I am not sure I remember what my dreams were as a kid. Actually, I did dream of being a wife and mother, so maybe this is exactly where I am supposed to be. Well, I am rambling. Just wanted to get these thoughts down to remind myself to be brave. Not to be afraid to try new things. Not to think, "I'm a mom now, I can't do that." Anyway...

Friday, September 26, 2008

My friends need your prayers!!!

My sweet friends, Keith and Lydia, desperately need your prayers. They are trying to finalize their adoption of twin baby girls, and it isn't going well. They have had the babies since they were born. They are 8 months old now. The girls were born in Mississippi, and the adoption office there has royally screwed things up and dropped the ball. To make a long story short, the biological father, who is around 19 I think, has come forward to say he wants custody. It has been like a nightmare and we all just want it to be over and for Keith and Lydia to get to keep their babies. Please join me in praying for them. I know I don't have a lot of details and this post probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but you can still pray. Please pray. I am believing God to work this out for good. Please, please pray.


There is a new movie coming out today called Fireproof. I had only heard of the title until today. I went to the site for the movie and watched the trailer. I couldn't help but pass it on here.

I can't go see it today, or probably before it leaves theaters, but I will definitely be seeing it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

62 years

This is how long my grandparents have now been married. They just celebrated their anniversary this weekend. My dad went with them to Branson, MO and from what I hear, they had a fabulous time. I can't wait to see their pictures.

(The rest of this post will be mainly for my husband, but read on if you wish.)

Stephen, I have spent the last few months being really mad at you. I am sure you have noticed ;) I have wanted to yell and scream, ignore you, and just be plain mad. But I can't. No matter what has happened, what circumstances we find ourselves in, I love you more than words can describe. I always say, "If I didn't love you so much, it wouldn't hurt so much." I say this about my kids to. The Martina McBride song, Blessed, says it best. "I have been blessed with so much more than I deserve, to be here with the ones that love me, to love them so much it hurts." I now know what that is like. To actually hurt you love someone so much.

I am saying all this to say, no matter what happens over the next 50 years, I love you. There is no where else in the world I would rather be than here with you. There is nothing else in the world I would rather be doing than taking care of you and loving you. And no matter what you decide to do, where you decide to take us, I will be there with you. And if you decide to take us nowhere and stay here, I will be behind you all the way. You can do anything you set your mind to and you will be amazing at whatever you end up doing. No matter what anyone else says, you already are successful. Just look at your kids. Look at how much they love you and want to spend time with you. Look at how they listen to you and want to hear everything you have to say. Just watch Cammie when you walk into a room. You love God. You want to do what He wants, eventhough we aren't really sure what that is right now. You love life, learning, family (even the crazy ones ;)), you want to make sure our kids have awesome relationships with their grandparents like we have. I just love that about you.

Anyway, I am rambling. Surprise, surprise ;) I say all this to say, no matter what happens, I look forward to the next 50+ years with you. They will be an adventure for sure and I can't wait to see what God has in store. Times will be hard, but they will be blessed. And I love you always.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Has anyone seen my confidence?

Somewhere along the way, I have lost my confidence. I have come to realize over the last couple of days that this is the reason for most of my problems. And I can't put my finger on what exactly took it away. It isn't that I feel I have lost myself, because I don't feel that way at all. All I ever wanted to do was be a wife and mom. I wanted to stay at home with my babies and take care of my husband. That is exactly who I am and what I want to be doing. But it is more that I feel like I am failing at those things that I am supposed to be doing.

When Jordan and Claire were little, and it was just them, I felt really good about the job I was doing. Things were so simple then. We would get up, eat breakfast, play a little, get dressed, meet friends at the park or whatever, and life just seemed right. Time went by, we lost a couple of jobs, and we settled in Murfreesboro. Stephen started working at State Farm and he loved it. Things were getting back to normal, and Lukey was born. Oh, sweet Luke. I still felt really good about my abilities as a mother. Jordan and Claire hadn't reached the fighting stage yet, I had a perfect little one again and things were right.

But I remember telling Stephen at one point that I was scared for everyone to grow up. Not that I was sad for the baby stage to be over (though, now, I am), but I was terrified. I know how to take care of babies and toddlers. I am quite good at it, if I may say so myself. I love to hold them, take care of them, teach them things, just be with them. But I am terrified of the older stage, where Jordan and Claire are now. How do I parent them? Do I have what it takes to teach them about God and life and everything they need to know? It was almost as if, when I said it out loud that I was terrified of it, Satan said, "Now I've got her! I know just where to bring her down!!" And he took all the confidence I had.

We have been having some trouble with my precious Jordan. He is incredibly smart, funny, a great big brother, just an all around great kid. But for the last few months, probably 6 or so, there has been something going on with him and me. It was like he turned into a different kid around me. A lot of arguing, back-talk, just plain disrespect. I was so frustrated. What was I doing wrong. He was doing it to Stephen, too, but not to the extreme he was doing it with me. I had a really bad day with him this past Saturday, probably the worst it's been, and I called my friend. I went and talked to her for a long time and we just talked through everything. When it started, circumstances, etc. She asked me if I could change one thing to make me feel like I was making some progress, what would it be. I told her that I didn't like myself. At all. I didn't like my body, I didn't like myself as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, etc. There wasn't anything about me that I like. If I could change one thing, it would be to have confidence in myself again.

So, I prayed on the way home that God would show me who I am in Him. No, I can't parent on my own. I can only parent with the Spirit guiding me. He knows Jordan better than I do, and the only way I can parent him is with the Spirit's help. Yesterday was incredible. I told myself that God was with me and that He would help me. He gave me my kids because, with Him, I do have what it takes to be their mom. I have what they need and they can respect me. They can obey me. They just have to know that I love and respect them and that whatever I do, I do because I love God and want the best for them. Not because I want to be a mean mom and not let them do all the things they want.

All this to say, my problem wasn't with Jordan. It was with me. I had believed the lies that Satan was telling me. Lies like I can't be a good mom; I am a terrible homeschooler, I can never make it work; I will never have what it takes to have that phenomenal family I dreamed of. Those were all lies and I know that now. I feel liberated. Not that I feel like everything will be perfect from here on out. But I know the answer to my problems. My strength comes from God alone. As long as I remember that, I will be fine.

I want to share two things that have touched me over the last few days. I am re-reading a book that my friend reminded me of. She calls it her other parenting Bible ;) It is called A Positive Plan for More Calm, Less Stress by Karol Ladd. She also wrote The Power of a Positive Mom, if you are familiar with that. Anyway, it is an excellent book and there is a poem that touched me.

"Let nothing disturb thee,
Let nothing affright thee,
All things are passing,
God changeth never." Teresa of Avila

Also, a scripture keeps coming up and I know why now. It is Isaiah 41:10. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

God is good. God is faithful. And God hears your cries for help.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


When Luke had just turned 2, we moved him to a "big boy bed." Campbell was in our room in a crib, and I wanted my room back. So, I moved the boys in together and the girls in together. I now know that it was too soon to move him. Before, I could put him in his crib and close the door; he would sometimes cry for 5 minutes or so, but then he would go to sleep. When we moved him, he wouldn't stay in the bed and I got in the bad habit of laying down with him to go to sleep. HOnestly, it only takes about 5-10 minutes for him to fall asleep, so I still don't mind laying down with him. What I do mind is when he comes into our room between 1 and 3 a.m. because he can't go back to sleep on his own. It is killing me. I am wondering if maybe I got one of those toddler beds and put it in my room, if I could get him to go to sleep on his own in there. I can't do it in his room because Jordan is in there and it would keep him awake. I can't put a twin in my room because of space. Does anyone have thoughts on this? I am really at a loss.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Funny Luke story...

This was our conversation as we were coming home from errands this morning.

Luke: Mommy, my eye hurts.

Me: I'm sorry. I'll look at it when we get home.

Luke: I think I need some eye drips.

Me: Some what?

Luke: Some eye drips.

Me: Do you mean eye drops?

Luke: Yes, eye drops.

Me: Where did you learn about eye drops? Did you see someone using eye drops?

Luke: Yes, on Diego, there was a crocodile and he had a booboo on his eye and they had to use eye drops to make him feel better. So I think I need some.

Me: Okay, we'll see what we can do when we get home.

Luke: But Mommy?

Me: Yes, Luke?

Luke: I want to call them eye drips.

Me: Okay Luke. You can call them eye drips.

Seriously people, I laugh all day around here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Body Clutter

I am reading this book called Body Clutter. If you are familiar with Fly Lady, it's the same woman. The book is on weight loss. It is really good. Last night when I was reading, something struck me that I hadn't thought of before. She was saying that one of the first things you need to do when trying to lose weight is learn to love yourself. We can't love others until we love ourselves. We won't take care of something that we don't love. Just like clutter in our homes. If it's something we don't really care about, we just shove it in a corner and let it collect dust. If we don't love ourselves, we will not do the things we need to do for ourselves to live the best life we can.

I don't know why I hadn't thought of this before, but it really hit me between the eyes. I started thinking about all the things that I feel like I don't do well. Things I fail at. I failed at homeschool. I fail at talking nicely to my children. I fail at keeping my home like I should. I fail my friends. And all these things have made me love myself less and less, until I just quit taking care of myself. For those of you that know me, you know that weight gain scares me because of my family's history. Most, actually all, of the women on my mom's side of the family are overweight. It isn't only that I want to be a certain size, or that I want to look a certain way. Though that is certainly part of it. I just don't want to end up having all the health problems that I know come with it. I don't want Claire and Campbell to end up having to deal with these same issues when they get older. I don't worry about the boys as much because I already see how much they want to be like their daddy. They have a very good role model in him. But I do worry about the girls. And I worry about me.

How do we get to a point that we start turning things around? How do we learn to love ourselves again? Have any of you been there? If you have, how did you get out of it? Right now I am in one of those neverending vicious cycles and I can't seem to bring myself to the place where I know I need to be. I want to change, but I want it to be permanent. Any suggestions? Advice?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Oh Lukey...

Luke likes to run around in his underwear.

Me: Hey underwear boy!

Luke: My name is underwear MAN!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where do I even begin?

I have been meaning to post for a few days now, but I have no idea where to begin.

When Stephen lost his job back in May, we were devastated. We thought that was where he would be for the rest of his working life. We had no idea what to do next. I brought up the subject of youth ministry again (like I have every few months since we had been out of it) just to make sure that wasn't what Stephen wanted to do. If it was, I wanted to make sure he knew that he had my support. So, we started praying for God to show us what in the world we were supposed to do. But he really didn't feel like youth ministry was what he was supposed to do with his life, so I let it go. Stephen committed to taking several weeks and intentionally listening for God's voice and His direction. In July, Stephen went to Wilderness Trek with some teens from our church. He was really looking forward to the trip, mainly because he knew he would have concentrated time alone there to spend with God. He knew God would speak to him there, eventhough he didn't have any idea what He would say. But he was anxious to get going and hear whatever it was.

When he got home, he was telling me everything he heard from God on that trip. He knew that God was speaking to him about being a better father, husband, spiritual leader in our home, etc. He was so energized. But still, we had no answer about what he was supposed to do. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled with the changes I saw and with the "new Stephen." Not that I didn't love the old one ;) Anyway, I feel like now I know why God spoke to him about our family.

Over the last week, we have both felt a very strong calling to go back into full-time youth ministry. I feel like God spoke to Stephen regarding our family because, to be an effective youth minister, you have to put your family first. You have to be able to show the teens what marriage is supposed to look like. And your family has to be supportive of your ministry. Stephen and I have always looked at ourselves as a team when it comes to ministry, so my supporting him has never been an issue. Anyway, we have sent a resume to a church that isn't around here ;) I don't want to share too much about that yet, but once I know a little more, I will.

I have never liked the idea of moving away from home. My family is all around the Nashville area. But that is one reason I know God is preparing us to move away: I am at COMPLETE peace about moving away. Actually, I am excited about the change. And my kids are even getting excited. I haven't seen Stephen more excited and energized about anything in a long time.

I am rambling. All this to say we covet your prayers over the next few weeks as we see what God has in store. Pray for focus to get stuff done at home. We have A LOT of cleaning out to do if we are moving. We have lived in our house for 4.5 years and there is stuff in our attic that has been up there since we moved in! Nice. Anyway, pray for clarity. Pray for our financial situation; Stephen has been working at Target part-time and reffing soccer, but the money we had saved up is gone, so we are living paycheck to paycheck. We have amazing friends and family who have made sure we have everything we need, but it's still scary. And if we have to go interview somewhere out of town, Stephen will have to take off work without pay for a few days. Most of all, just pray that God's will be done. We are extremely excited to see what God has in store.

Monday, August 11, 2008

First day of school

So, we are completely ready to leave for school. It's 7:12 a.m. We don't have to leave our house till about 7:35 at the earliest. The kids have been ready to go for about 10 minutes. I am killing time. How much longer do you think this will last before we start having to rush to get ready? I give it 3 days.

On a sad note, one of my college friends lost her mom yesterday. She had a massive heart attack. Please pray for my friend Jeannie Woods and her husband Matt and their family.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Possible job opportunity...

I am writing to ask you to pray for an opportunity. My dad met a manager at Green Bank here in town and Stephen went to talk to her today. He said it sounds very promising, so he picked up an application and they will have interviews next week. Please pray that this works out. He really wants to be able to get certified to teach high school, but he needs something full-time to fill in until then. Plus, he will have to quit Target because he has to be available for soccer (which pays more than Target). Target won't let you have Saturdays off, so soccer would be out. Anyway, this bank job would be great and would still allow me to continue to be at home. Thanks!

Monday, August 04, 2008

We're back!

Well, I was attempting to write about Stephen's trip to Wilderness Trek and what all he heard from God on his trip. But I can't get my thoughts straight. I am still overwhelmed with all the things he is sharing. They are all good, don't worry, but overwhelming at the same time. The trip was a blessing, and I am so glad he got the change to go. We did well without him for the most part. The hardest part was not being able to talk to him everyday. They don't let you take your phones on the actual trek, so I didn't talk to him from Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon. SO HARD!!! We stayed at my mom's until Friday. He came home Saturday; his plane got in around 5:00. I feel like I am rambling...pray for us as he finishes school this week and starts to try and figure out what he is supposed to do. Hope your week was good!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blog break

I am headed to my mom's for a few days while Stephen is out of town. She doesn't have a computer at her house, so I will be on a break!! Please pray for Stephen as he is gone to Wilderness Trek in CO. He is really excited about it and is anxious for God to speak to him there. Pray for me as I deal with the kiddos by myself. Campbell and Claire aren't feeling well, so I am already tired. Not good since Stephen won't be home until next Saturday!! Anyway, my mom will be able to help me at night so that will be good. Have a great week!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thank you!

My friend Jaime is doing better today. They have gotten her labor stopped and she is doing much better. The baby is still doing well on the monitors. Keep them in your prayers as they travel home!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Please pray!

Our friends Jeff and Jamie from church are in Memphis right now for a convention and Jamie has been admitted to the hospital. She is 24 weeks pregnant and there is a possibility she will have to deliver early. Please lift them in prayer right now!!

Luke is potty trained!!!

And he did it himself!! Seriously. I had nothing to do with it. Day before yesterday, he woke up and said, "I wanna go pee pee in the potty." So off we went. I had been telling him that when he used the potty all the time, he could wear his new Cars underwear. So, he picked out the ones he wanted to wear. For the rest of the day, he took himself to the potty. EVERYTIME!!! He even pooped in the potty with no problems. I am just beside myself. Yay for Lukey!!!!!

On another note, things are still pretty much the same around here. Stephen is still working at Target and is finishing up school. He goes to Wilderness Trek in Colorado next week. He will be gone Saturday to Saturday. I am NOT looking forward to it, but I know it will be a HUGE blessing for him. I just hate being at home by myself. I am a chicken. I think we may go stay with my mom for part of the week. She works full time, but she would be there to help at night with the kids, so that is probably our plan.

We are going to visit with some friends that we don't get to see much anymore. Well, we go to church together, but since all of them are in school and two of mine are, we just don't get to spend much time together. I am SOOO looking forward to it. Have a blessed day!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fashion Fast

I came across this blog today and wanted to pass the idea along. Everyone I know has MORE than enough of just about everything. Stephen and I have noticed that even in our situation, with him not working full-time yet and our money being EXTREMELY tight, we still have more than enough. What would it be like to not shop for a year? How would it change our views on what we think we "need"? Would we realize how wasteful we are? Would we realize how incredibly blessed we are? It really has me thinking. We have turned off our satellite, cancelling the Y, eating out (this one has been the hardest for me), pretty much everything that we can cut out, we have. I must say, it has been good.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Monday, July 07, 2008

4th of July pictures

These are just some of the 4th of July pictures. I have a few on my camera that I haven't uploaded yet. These are from my sister-in-law.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Please pray...

for the Ivey family. They are trying to adopt two precious children from Haiti and they are apparently having some major setbacks. I had the privelege of meeting them a couple of weeks ago. They are amazing people. Please take a minute and pray for them. Thanks!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I've been tagged!

My friend Mandy at church tagged me. Here goes!

Here are the rules:
a. Link to the person who tagged you.
b. Post the rules on your blog.
c. Write six random things about yourself.
d. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blog.
e. Let each person know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
f. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

1. I have an obsession with my hairstyle. I am always changing it. If it's long, I want it short. If it is short, I want it long. It drives my husband CRAZY!!! I guess growing up around a beauty shop did it too me.

2. I love to sing. Anyone who knows me well knows this already. Claire asked me the other day what my favorite thing to do was. This was my answer.

3. I got married when I was 19.

4. I spend way too much time on the internet. It is kind of an obsession, too, I guess. I love connecting with people.

5. If I had the money and my body would allow it, I would have more babies. I love being pregnant, going to the hospital, having the baby, everything about newborns.

6. I hate going to the grocery store. HATE it. I don't know why really. I don't mind cooking and I certainly don't mind eating. Just going to the store and having to unload it and put it away, yuck. Think maybe I wouldn't eat out so much if I could get over this one? Probably.

I tag Mandy J, Tamara, Kristi, Rachel B, Jennifer B, and Rachel W.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Beach Pictures

We had a great time on our trip. It was much needed family time! There are a ton of pictures. I was really frustrated when I got home because it looks like there was a smudge on our lens and on one side of each picture it looks blurry. O well. Enjoy!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Go vote!!

My friend Tamara is in the finals for the photo contest at 5 Minutes for Mom. "Changing more than diapers" is the one to vote for. It is of "Youngest Girl" and she is COVERED in mud. Precious! So, go vote!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Update on McHaney

My friend's little girl, McHaney, is doing much better and is at home. The surgery went well. Thanks for praying!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rescue Center in Haiti

My friend Tamara is selling these adorable shirts to benefit the Rescue Center in Haiti. $5 from each shirt sold will be donated to the center. She has some very good friends who are adopting two children from there. Lately, I have been made more and more aware of the needs around the world. I so often take for granted how blessed I am. So, if you can, buy a shirt! Claire has one and it is PRECIOUS!! Also visit Aaron's blog and Jamie's blog. These are her friends who are adopting. Thanks!

Pray for McHaney!

My friend Rachel's sweet little girl, McHaney, is having heart surgery today at 11. Please pray for her, Daren and Rachel, and the doctors that she will come through this with flying colors!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sometimes when I need to get away for a few minutes, I read Celebrity Baby Blog. It is kind of fun and just lets my mind wander. Anyway, today I read something from the rapper Xzibit (about whom I know nothing) whose newborn son just passed away. They had a quote from his myspace page and it just really touched me. I wanted to share it here.

"Xavier passed away this morning at 3:30 a.m. and I must tell you this; it is unnatural for a parent to bury a child. I am telling you this because of the same reason I tell you when I'm having a great time, life is too short to be fake. Hold on to your kids if you have them, protect them, and show them you love them every day you wake up and see them, don't take a second you get to hug them, teach them, and care for them for granted. You can have all the material wealth in the world, but it is NOTHING compared to having your family.

I am thankful for all of my blessings and I'm not one to question God's perfect plan, so I leave you with great love and thanks for all the love that was sent earlier on my previous blog to my son. Of course I need to take some time and handle my loss, STAY FOCUSED PEOPLE. It's not promised to any of us."

No matter where we are in life, we all share this need to love and be loved. We are all similar in more ways than we're different. This is what I am learning as I get older.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"The streets of Heaven are far too crowded with angels tonight."

This morning, I learned that my friend Mandy from college lost her father very suddenly on Monday. She and her sister both happened to be in their hometown when their father died. I don't know if I can share the circumstances, but let me just say that they desperately need our prayers. Please pray for the Justice family.

Also, Stephen Curtis Chapman lost his 5 yr old daughter this afternoon. His teenage son accidentally backed over her in his SUV. She was playing in the driveway and he simply didn't see her. I can't even imagine.

Please lift these families up in prayer. They need the comfort only God can give.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hurry up and wait.

This is where we are right now. We have applied for a total of close to 25 jobs. Haven't heard from any of them. We did get some good news this week. Lipscomb is going to let Stephen do an independent study with his Greek. This basically means that he will actually have his degree at the end of this summer and not next May. That is a HUGE blessing. I am still trying to figure out what God wants me to do about working. I have applied for a full-time job at a bank. I honestly can't imagine not being at home everyday. But, it may be something I have to do for a time. We also need clarity on the timing of when to move out of our house. Without going into detail, we need to move but aren't sure what that means, when to do it, whether to do it at all.

We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received. People we haven't seen in years, people we talk to a few times a year, my "readers", long time friends, most of our family, we just can't thank you enough for the support and prayers. We are tired, stressed, ready to see what God is going to do with this. Please continue to pray for the effect this is having on our kids. They are feeling the effects of our stress and it isn't pretty. We are trying to shield them as much as possible, but it's hard. I have a lot more running through my mind right now, but I need to save it for another time. We covet your prayers.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

At least I sure hope it does. Stephen lost his job Monday. I won't go into all the details here. They are still fresh, and honestly they still hurt. We are moving on and ask for your prayers. He has already applied for around 10 positions, some close to home and some not. Right now, he just wants a job.

The one thing I keep telling people, much to their disbelief, is that I am not worried or scared about this. We have been through this two times before. We have NEVER lacked anything. Whether is has been through our family helping us out, our friends supporting us, praying for us, whatever, we have always had our needs met. So, when this happened, strangely enough, I had peace. I hated that it happened, and I hated the circumstances around it, but I had peace. Peace that I know only comes from God. He is our provider. We will keep trusting Him and seeking His will for us, and He has promised to take care of us. So I am not worried about that part.

Please pray for Stephen. Pray that a job comes our way quickly. Pray that God protects his heart. There are some close to us that seem to only want to point out his faults and failures and not let him move on from past/present mistakes. It really isn't very helpful. In fact, it is very hurtful. We are dealing with it. Pray that we will deal with it the way God wants us to, whatever that is. Pray that if I am supposed to work, something will work out that doesn't involve me paying for child care. Pray that the kids won't be scared or worried. Pray that Stephen and I will be able to comfort them and show them that we have faith God will provide, that we can show them their home is stable. Pray that whatever lesson we are supposed to learn through this will be obvious. Pray that our eyes will be open to Him and that we will be looking for God, we will be looking for His will, and we will be looking for what He wants us to know.

If you are a family member, and you didn't know yet, I am sorry that you found out this way. It is still very new (Monday afternoon was when it was official) and we just are exhausted from talking about it, dealing with the consequences and trying to come up with a plan.

We love all of you and covet your prayers right now.