Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm Giving Into the Peer Pressure... I Guess I Will Have my Own Giveaway!!!

Everywhere I look in blog land, someone is having a giveaway. I feel the pressure to join the fun. My family will tell you, I love to buy gifts for people. It is simply one of my favorite things to do. I truly love trying to find just the right gift, for those I love. Since I have entered and won a few wonderful surprises along the way, I feel the need to return the favor.

So, here is what I am going to do...

I would like to honor all the moms and grandmas out there (Sorry Jim-Dad! You could enter on mom's behalf...) with a Mother's Day surprise. On Mother's Day, I will select two winners... one grandma and one mom, to win a special something from moi. It will be my "thank you" for all your encouragement, prayers and kind words left, as I ride through my own roller coaster world called "motherhood."

Here is what I need you to do...

1. Tell me if you are just a mother or a grandmother too.
2. Tell me how many children and grandchildren you have. (Include stepchildren, foster children, etc...)
3. Tell me what your favorite color is.
4. Tell me your favorite hobby.
5. Tell me what being a mom/grandma means to you.

What will you win? Hee! Hee! I think I will leave that a surprise. (In other words, I haven't decided yet. :) ) But I promise IT WILL BE GOOD!

I will announce the winner and the prize on Mother's Day!

Hope you join in the fun, 'cause I am so ready to shop and give back to my friends!

Hope you are having a beautiful week!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Found a Love Note in My Purse and it Wasn't From my Hubby...

I was cleaning out my purse the other day and found this...

A note written by my sweet redheaded, blue eyed nephew, Sawyer. I had sent him something for his birthday and a little something letting him know I was praying for him. Easter weekend he gave me this. Isn't it precious? (Don't you love how he spelled my name?!!!) I almost cried when he handed it to me. My sister said he wrote it all by himself. He really is a sweetie!

Here is a picture of Sawyer with my hubby. (don't they look like they could be related?) Somehow, I don't think Kevin minded this little love note at all! :)
Hope you are having a beautiful day!
Several of you who have been praying for Sawyer have asked how he is doing. Great! He is acting like any other little boy his age... full of energy, playing ball and fighting with the brothers. He will continue to be monitored and is not allowed to play full contact sports. But for now, we are so thankful. God is good. Thanks for asking and all the prayers the last few months...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Who Said I Couldn't Bake? Just Call Me Betty Crocker...

I think I was actually the individual that said she couldn't bake. Although through the years I am getting better. In my family, my sister is the true baker... she loves to bake, but I'm more the queen of salads and appetizers. Being the wife of a Student Minister you get real good at the dips and food that looks good on the high dollar "paper" china.

However, my true passion when it comes to eating is BREAD. Love it. Every kind, shape and color. During those PMS moments growing up, I didn't grab chocolate (allergic), but rather headed for the loaf of bread. I could eat at least half a loaf without batting an eye. Needless to say, that is why there is a few extra inches around the waistline. I'm still working on the bread diet. When I perfect it, I will let you all know.

I baked a little bread last night for dinner. Something about kneading, rolling and baking that put a big smile on my face and a yummy in my tummy. Don't these babies look totally delicious?
Yep! Made them totally from scratch. I "needed" me some bread, "rolled" them right out of the can and baked for exactly 13 minutes. Just call me Betty Crocker! My kiddos even fought over their yumminess... with me! :)

Hope you are having a Delicious Day!

Oh, by the way, what's in your bread basket? All about some new ideas...


Just so I don't totally ruin my cooking reputation, I have a gift for you. A yummy roll recipe, which I have been known to make on occasion, when this working mom has a little more time in the kitchen, that is. A friend gave me the recipe umpteen years ago, when I was first married. Love it!

6 cups of self-rising flour

1 package of yeast

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 cup of warm water

2 cups of buttermilk

1/4 cup oil

Dissolve soda in buttermilk. Dissolve yeast in water. Mix all ingredients together. Pinch off desired amount and knead on flour surface. Cut out rolls and put in greased pan. Bake at 450 degrees until golden brown (usually about 15 minutes). Keep dough in refrigerator to use as needed.

Yummy goodness!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Word of the Day is "AMAZING" With a Touch of GRACE.

See this young dude? The one who needs a haircut really, really bad? He would belong to me. Yes, Grandma, I know he is in need of a trim...

Anyway, this guy has decided he wants to learn to play the guitar. One more way he can be like his dad, I guess. We have a junior guitar we bought Kayla several years back that he has been playing around on... Kev has taught him a few notes and he can even play a song, ALREADY. It isn't perfect, but good enough I can tell what he is playing. (He has only been playing for a week or two.) If he keeps practicing there might just be a new guitar in his future.

This mom, who sings off key half the time and can't play an instrument to save her life, thinks her musically inclined kiddos are simply AMAZING. (His sister plays the piano and flute.)

Want to know what song he can play? It is a goodie!!!

Chris Tomlin's "Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone."


Hope you and yours are having an AMAZING day!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Keeping it simple this week...

As you know, if you read any of my stuff, the last few weeks have been pretty rough on my kiddos. Therefore it has been so very rough on this mommy's heart. But as the old quote goes; "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger," or something like that. Anyhoodle, I believe that. I believe we have walked through some fire lately, but you know what? I think we are stronger, closer and more in love with our God, then ever before. I am happy to report that I have two very happy kiddos, who are doing just fine. God is good.

I said all of that to say, that if you don't mind, I think I will keep things simple this week. (Unless something BIG happens, of course.) No deep soul searching posts, just simplicity. Finding pure joy in the little things...

To start?

Beautiful, huh? This was our beautiful blue sky, taken the day after the storms... How something so beautiful could have been so dark and angry the night before. There might not be a rainbow present in this picture, but I believe it still proves there is beauty "after" the storms of life...

Oops! And I said I would keep it simple and not go to the "deep" side of things. Guess I just can't help myself sometimes.

Here is hoping and praying you and yours have a beautiful week, filled with BEAUTIFUL BLUE SKIES.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Storms Rage...

I have NEVER liked storms. As a very young child, I was scared. As a teenager, I was scared. As an adult, I have been scared. Although, I have come a long way. Every now and then I will have found that I slept through a little bit of thunder and lightening, something that once upon a time would NEVER happen. I don't panic when they call for the BIG BOOMS and CRACKLING FLASHES OF LIGHT, anymore. I try my best to act nonchalant when facing a storm these days, because of my son. I'm afraid he takes a little bit after me in this department. :(

YES, I have come a long way...

BUT, then we will have a weekend like this one. The kind where EVERY weatherperson is declaring it to be one of the WORST weekends for STORMS, including HAIL, HEAVY RAIN AND FLOODING, STRONG WINDS AND TORNADOES.

As I have stated, my fear of the thunder and lightening has lightened up. As long as I am safe in my home or in another building, I'm fine. I guess you can say I've grown up a little and gotten through a BIG childhood fear. No, I now sleep fine. I am able to remain calm.

UNLESS, the word TORNADO is mentioned. Panic sets in on a very high setting. I KNOW WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF, SEEN WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF and basically I AM SCARED TO DEATH OF THE WINDY THINGS!!!

So guess who didn't sleep much last night? Guess who woke up and turned on the TV every time she heard a little thunder? Guess who was up at 5:00a.m. this morning tracking a tornado headed her way, only for the warning and rotating clouds to head 7 miles south of our little town? (Thank you, Lord!) Guess who went back to bed, when the warnings had pasted at 9:00a.m. and slept until 2:00p.m. this afternoon?

Yep, that would be me!

I'm sitting here at the computer, THANKFUL, for another escape from the raging storms outside. Praying for those in neighboring states, feeling the brunt of the storm that pasted my way earlier. On the TV, one reporter just announced damaged homes just across the River from our state. Scary stuff. In a matter of seconds the BIG BAD WOLF can BLOW A HOUSE AND HOME DOWN. In seconds...

As I left for work yesterday morning, the Lord knew my heart. HE knew that I was worried. HE knew that I knew storms were headed our way, and that my mommy heart was having a hard time letting her babies go to two different schools to wait for the raging winds to hit. HE knew I was worried about the hubby, who had been gone on a trip all week, who was driving across the state of Arkansas, possibly in bad weather. He knew that the responsibility I have to take care of my babies, all eight of them during storms that could go very wrong, scares the life out of me... HE KNEW I NEEDED TO BE REMINDED OF HIS PRESENCE THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

So, you know what song HE dedicated just for me on the radio yesterday morning? Oh, I know the DJ didn't personally say this "song goes out to Mich, from the Heavenly Father himself." But, I DO NOT believe it was an accident, that it was playing as I made my way to work. The good Lord was sending me a message LOUD AND CLEAR. He wanted me to know that what ever happened, HE WAS STILL THERE, STILL GOD, STILL IN CONTROL AND TOTALLY WORTHY OF MY PRAISE. Totally.

Truth is, that it doesn't have to be a physical storm that comes roaring our way, for God to care. He is there for us through every storm in life. Sickness, broken hearts, financial problems, death of a loved one, even dealing with the "mean kids" at school. He is there and ALWAYS WORTHY OF MY PRAISE.

So, as I'm sitting here, reminded of all the storms of the past, that the Lord as seen me through, I'm praying that He will help me to continue to "grow up" in His WORD, His LOVE and KNOW His PERFECT PEACE, so that I can remain calm when in the eye of the storms, this world will constantly throw my way. May, I let Him help me build a safety net of HIS BRICKS (surrounding my heart and home in prayer and His word), so the BIG BAD WOLF can't blow me and mine down within seconds.

Want to know what song was playing?

Here is praying that you will find reasons to PRAISE HIM in your storms of life. And if you are going through a weekend of rough weather like I was, I'm praying for you and HIS PERFECT PEACE.

Blessings and prayers...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Love Notes...

Last week, the hubby helped me out and cleaned up the kitchen for me. A few minutes later, when I walked through, I found this:Needless to say, I refuse to erase.

Hope you are having a BEAUTIFUL day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The "Motherhood" Bar is Set High...

Nobody ever said motherhood would be easy. In fact, I think it is the most rewarding, yet hardest thing I have ever done in my life. And I'm not talking about the birthing process either.

Yes, being pregnant and going through labor are never easy tasks, but sometimes I think I would rather be taking deep breathes and pushing for life, then deal with some of the day to day tasks of motherhood.

First there is the "June Cleaver" standard that I will NEVER live up to. My house will not always be clean, the laundry will not be caught up and I'm afraid we don't have a home cooked meal at the dinner table every night. Not going to happen in today's world. Not with our busy schedules.

Second, I can NEVER live up to the "Mary, mother of Jesus" standard, because frankly I am too selfish. We recently watched "The Passion" with our kids. Every time I watch that movie, my heart weeps for Mary. Watching her watch her son fulfill His purpose at ALL COSTS, leaves sickening butterflies in the pit of my stomach. As a mom we want our kids to grow up and be the best they can be. As a Christian mom, I desire for my kids to be all they can be for Christ. The question is, will I be able to let them go unselfishly? No matter what the costs may be? I'm afraid my mommy heart is so very selfish at times.

Third, I can't always live up to the standards that I have told my own daughter to aim for. In turn the "bar" she has set for me is VERY HIGH, VERY COSTLY and on some days, I'm really not sure if I can live up to it. Me being all imperfect and weak sometimes.

I know you are probably wondering why all of a sudden I'm so somber. As you know I have had to deal with several issues lately with my daughter and the mess that surrounds the middle school age. It leaves me thinking and praying A LOT. She is doing alright today. She is dealing with what comes her way, when it comes. She is one strong cookie, and I am so very proud.

However, in the middle of all the "mean girl" talk, school frustrations and how to act and respond, there is A LOT OF TALKING about EVERYTHING. Everything is not always an easy subject for mom. In fact, some days it is down right impossible to make sense of it all. Some days I feel the pressure looming, the bar rising and my heart sinking. Truth is, how can I expect my kid to act and be a certain way, if I am not willing to walk that way myself. In other words I have plenty of guilt sometimes. Plenty. Every day I have to throw my hands up and thank the Lord for His GRACE.

This past weekend something happened around here that was questionable. I prefer not to tell details, people involved, etc... because there are people in my little town that do read my blog from time to time. In other words I am not setting out to be judge and jury on anything. I am simply relating how I feel. This particular situation left me confused. My hubby said it best when he said it was "Christian people being WORLDLY." It made us look at certain situations and individuals and "question" everything we thought we knew about them. It made me think A LOT. It also made me feel guilty. Just thinking about it made me feel yucky.

Yesterday, I had a conversation that added to that guilt and made my mommy heart tingle. We were back on the subject of why girls have to be mean sometimes. A normal conversation these days, 'cause Kayla is just trying to understand. In the middle of the conversation, she implied that she had been called "Miss Goody Two Shoes." UGH! I so know where this is going. I have so been there and done that. Poor baby. My daddy was a minister too. There is a reason minister kids can sometimes be the worst, they have a reputation they set out to destroy...

NOBODY likes being called "goody goody." Nobody. It doesn't matter if you are... the phrase has a negative affect on anyone it lands on. It's so sad.

I did my best to once again encourage. I tried my best to not "preach," but listen. I tried. But I thought a lot in between too. And then it was said. The words that pierced my heart and made me feel like a total failure.

"Mom, it is so hard to know what is right and wrong anymore. The world is full of grey. There are a lot of grey people walking around. We are told not to do this and that, when we are young, yet the TV shows we watch, the music we listen to, the gossip being spoken, tells me something else. When the people I love and admire, both young and old, friends and relatives, say they follow Christ yet accept so much of the world as being OK, how do I know what is black and white anymore. I'm confused." (Of course I rephrased an hour conversation, into my own words and a few lines, but you get the meaning.)

OUCH! That bar is so very high...

I have to ask myself, is it alright for me to watch the rated R movie just because I am an adult. Is it alright to watch television shows that make me smile, but make me uncomfortable if my child is in the room. That favorite song on the radio, with the questionable line or word, is it alright for me to listen to it, as long as I don't play it when my kids are in the car? What about that book sitting on the shelf, the one I wouldn't want my little girl to read, but I couldn't put it down until I had read every page? I teach my children to "turn the other cheek," but do I? How many times have I acted one way on Sunday morning, yet found the dirty jokes, gossip tidbits or rumors humorous on Monday morning? It is like we as Christians have said, "If we can't beat them, we will just join them." The lines are so very blurry these days, that I even question what is right and wrong all the time, myself.

OUCH, indeed. My toes were severely stepped on and God used my own daughter to do it.

I guess I will take this one day at a time and try my best to walk carefully. However, I think I should probably not let myself grow so callous of worldly things, that I don't even feel the guilt in certain situations anymore. Lines are being crossed everyday, friends. The only way I will ever reach the bar, is if the Lord pushes me up and opens my eyes to see past it. That has to be my goal. The stakes are too high to not at least aim for that. My baby girl and boy's life depends on it. They depend on me. God gave me these precious people to raise. I need to try my hardest to honor Him in that.

On a happy note, my sweetie pie of a daughter ended our conversation with a smile. She makes me smile anyway... She said this, "Mom, it hurts a little when they called me 'Miss Goody Two Shoes.' But truthfully, they are wrong. I think I am the true rebel at school."

HUH? My mommy heart skipped a beat. Where is she going with this?

"You see, it takes a REBEL to not act like everyone else. It actually takes a REBEL to be 'good' these days."

Thank you, Lord. This girl does my heart good. Let the REBELLION begin. :)

A Few of My New Favorite Things...

This will probably mean that I will never be able to find these products again after today. For some reason PEOPLE think I have good taste. I mean, I choose something and it seems everybody wants it. I start liking something and then all of a sudden the stores are constantly OUT of my favorite brand or product. I should make MILLIONS being a product tester... 'cause EVERYONE seems to want what I WANT!!!

Oh well, back to business. I am going to be a good friend today. I am going to share with you a few of my new finds and PRAY they are still in the store tomorrow. WHY? 'Cause I'm just nice like that. :) I want to share the love...

Granted, you may already know about all these things. Shoot! You may have been using and eating them for years, BUT indulge me, read on and then encourage me with kind words that make my day. Isn't that how friends are suppose to roll?!!! Oh, and feel free to return the favor, if YOU have a favorite product you think I must try.
Let's start with the skin... I have VERY FAIR skin. I am also not getting any younger, people. So, two products I have found lately that I LOVE are these...

This HELPS bunches with the little lines under my aging eyes. I have only used it for a week and already LOVE it. Got it at Sally's for less than 10 buckaroos.
I read somewhere where ALOE is God's natural remedy. I remember my Nanny having an Aloe plant and would always put the sap on my boo boos. Anyhoodle, I found this a few months ago and it is a miracle cure for dry skin, rashes, acne, etc... It leaves my skin super soft and has helped clear up a few imperfections along the way. The best part, in case it doesn't work for you, is that it only costs 1.99. Can't beat the price!
Let's see...

I can't stand bad breathe, crud on my teeth during the day, when I can't stop and brush, and I'm trying to cut back on my eating. The answer, for me?

LOVE this gum. (Sorry, friends if you don't chew. I'm afraid I like to pop bubbles too, for those of you who have pet peeves.) I think a lot of people must like it, for the box of single packs at the register seems to ALWAYS be empty. I've started buying the three pack packages. It really helps the food cravings at work BIG TIME.

As for a few food items that are helping me cut back..

I LOVE fruit. However, I hate cutting it up and preparing it. Answer? These little cups of goodness. Can you say yummy?!!! They are so good, that my hubby started stealing my breakfast treat. I started buying big jars to keep around the house. The pineapple and peach are my favorites, but I haven't found one I didn't like. Best part is that they average around 140 calories a cup. Not bad for the calorie count for breakfast, dessert or a good snack.
Now how about those veggies? Oops! I guess my fave of this brand, really isn't considered a vegetable anymore. Which by the way frustrate me to no end. When I was little, a tomato was a veggie, now it is a fruit. Corn was a veggie, now it is a grain. Potatoes are considered vegetables anymore either, for now they are starches. I really did like it all the other way PEOPLE. They took all my favorite veggies off the vegetable list! But I guess that is another story for another day...
Love the Steamfresh veggies, but the golden and white corn is totally yummy. Best part is that it cooks in the microwave in no time at all. My hubby laughs 'cause I have been know to eat a whole bowl of this yummy goodness by myself. However, there are other great veggies that are microwavable. So important for this gal who is trying to eat more fruit, veggies and good for you foods. Technically I know my sweet corn is not a veggie, but it is better for me than cake, so there!!!

Need a quick breakfast or snack idea? I found these 100 calorie treats a while back. Unfortunately our store can't seem to keep them in stock.

Well, that is my list for today, friends. I'm serious if you have any suggestions for me to try. All about trying to do better with my eating and taking better care of my skin.
Hope you are having a beautiful day. I'm headed to do some much needed laundry. Has anyone found a product that makes that disappear?!!! :)
Back to the "mother"ship!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Guess a Treadmill is Made for Something Besides Storage!

It is on PEOPLE! It is official. Since winter weather has come to an end for now, I am out of luck. No more wearing bulky sweaters and coats to hide the excess "ring" around my middle. Frustrating when you truly feel you have nothing to wear, because nothing fits right.

So, yours truly has decided to once again try to loose the extra few pounds that seem to want to stay around. I have tried about every diet under the sun, and do well on most, as long as I stick to it. However, there are a few side affects here and there that leave me jumping off the healthy train a little too early. For example, the eating no carbs, helped me loose the weight FAST, but after a few weeks, diarrhea became too common of an occurrence for my liking. I also can't eat nuts or chocolate, so that leaves out a lot of the protein bars and shakes.

I've decided to just do it the old fashion way. Keep track of the calories, eat more fruits and veggies, limit my "white" carbs to rewards and just try to eat more healthy. We shall see where this all goes...

Actually, I am announcing my plan to the world, because I need the motivation to keep plugging along. So, every week I am going to mention how I am doing, to help keep me accountable and motivated. So if you have any great suggestions for low calorie snacks or meals or exercises for a nonathletic, "I HATE ANYTHING THAT MAKES YOU SWEAT," gal like me, comment loud and proud, for I can use all the help I can get.

But here is the real humdinger... I am going to TRY to make myself exercise everyday for at least thirty minutes. (My sister has passed out from shock right now, I know.) I have seriously decided I want to get moving a little. So, to get started, I guess I will have to clean this off...

and move this out...

Yep! After I get a movin', the only problem I will hopefully have, is "WHERE TO PUT THE JUNK!" :) Just keeping it real, sorry you had to witness this, but unfortunately the exercise equipment is in my "junk room." We are once again working on cleaning the room up...

Wish me luck, say a prayer and even consider joining me. Summer is not too far around the corner. Oh, I have to be honest... I can't make myself tell my starting weight. Maybe one day... for now I will just let you know how much I lose as I go.

Want to come along?

On a side note, PLEASE say a special prayer for my Mother-in-law. She starts her radiation treatments tomorrow. Last time she didn't get sick, we are hoping for the same this time. Also pray for my Father-in-law, for her treatments are 45 minutes away in the next town. It will get tiring traveling back and forth everyday. Eventually, my hubby and others will help drive, but for this week he is going to do it for sure. Thanks for keeping them and our family in your prayers.

Hope you had a beautiful day!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nothing Like a New Pair of Shoes to Make the Week a Little Brighter...

My baby girl had a hard week. Between the Benchmark and her friends, I wasn't sure if she would come out alive. Wednesday was the day it all hit the fan, so to speak. Seriously, what does it take to find a good friend these days? "Kindred spirits" in the seventh grade are few and far between, I'm telling you.

As I have said before, Kayla has a sense of style all of her own. She has the independent, free spirit attitude to pull it all off too. Most of the time, as long as she is modest, her dad and I let her express herself. Some days it can backfire...

Wednesday she wore a questionable combination. I didn't see it till after I got home from work, but I didn't think it was terrible. I probably wouldn't have put the items together, but then I feel that way about a lot of things she wears, that everyone thinks is "so cute." Anyhoodle, she went to school and was attacked. Not only was she attacked for what she was wearing but it was her FRIENDS that did the attacking! One "friend" picked everything a part... EVERYTHING.

THEN, to make things worse, another FRIEND informed my sweet girl that she was on a list of "ugly" girls that one of the boys had talked about. Nothing hurts a 13 year old more than for someone to call them ugly. Shoot, nothing hurts a 39 year old (me) more than for someone to tell me that I am ugly.

As you can guess, tears were shed. Angry words were vented (all at home, of course). And my baby was in "depressed" mode all Wednesday night. However, I was very proud of her. You see, she might have been hurt, but she didn't come straight home from school and change her clothes, she wore the same outfit to youth group. The only thing changed was her shoes. And we still went and picked up the other friend to take her to youth with us, and not a word about it was said. Kayla was only a little quieter that night is all. She was strong and I loved her for it.

You see, she knows that not everyone likes her style. Shoot she is use to my raised eyebrow. No, what crushed her was that it was her FRIENDS that decided to gang up on her that morning and pick her apart. She also deep down believes that a certain boy has a right to his opinion. Truth is, Kayla doesn't think he is very cute either. She hurt mainly because her friend decided to throw otherwise useless info back in her face, for no reason. It wsn't like Kayla asked whether he liked her or anything. Kayla never gave him a second thought until Wednesday.

So, as you can imagine, I tried to be the best mommy I could be. This was one time that I told the truth when I said "I so understand!" And I do. I have so been there. Let's see, there was the time that my best friend went out with the boy she KNEW I was in total love with. OR how about the time that my boyfriend told me that his best friend thought I was ugly. That stung. Or the time I wasn't invited to the big party and everyone else was. Yep! Life stinks sometimes. The teenage years can be so brutal on the self esteem. I spent the evening trying my best to encourage her and let her know that she will survive.

After encouraging, lending a shoulder for tears and boosting her self esteem back up again, I did the only thing I could. I promised her a girls night Saturday.

Today, being Saturday was our date. We went here...

Retail therapy people! We bought a new shirt and earrings. I bought the shirt for her and she spent her allowance on the earrings.

And then we went here and I finally saw the smile of smiles.

My girl found her a new pair of shoes. Did I tell you that my girl loves her some shoes?! Well she does. She found these...

They had just enough "bling" to make her a very happy girl. I liked them 'cause I paid less. :) Actually I had to do the "BOGO" thing, so I got me a new pair as well...

Comfy. And just so they don't look like "grandma" shoes, they are silver with a silver buckle. Kayla liked them, so I guess I did good. :)

We also went and saw this...

I cried. I am not a huge Miley fan. I'm afraid I got burned out on the whole Hannah Montana thing when Kayla was younger, but she did a good job in this movie. Being a Nicholas Sparks fan, I knew I would love it. His movies make me smile, laugh and cry. I always leave the theater feeling better because I think I have released about every emotion possible. It was a good movie.

And my baby girl is smiling again. Funny, what a little shopping, a new pair of shoes and time with mommy can accomplish. I cherish these moments, for I know as she gets older, they will be fewer and farther apart.

There was a song from the movie called "When I look at You." I know in the video it is a "love" song, but I think it can apply to anyone we give our love to.

Hope you are having a beautiful weekend spending time with those you love.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Motherhood...Somedays It's Walking Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Today my son informed me that it "was not" a good day at school. OK, I'm sorry Jor, "those days" will certainly creep up on you every once in a while. The Good Lord certainly knows I have done my share of venting through the years. I tried my best to encourage, but no matter what I said, it wasn't good enough. UGH! MOTHERHOOD!!!

One of his issues with today, besides the BENCHMARK and a few minor incidents in the classroom (I think he is overreacting on those), was RECESS. He and a bunch of his friends like to throw the ball around and attempt to play football everyday. No big deal... some days he comes home all excited about a big catch he made, other days he tells me that no one will EVER pass him the ball. He is eleven... I never know what the day will hold.

Today it was an issue of him being the "worst" player EVER! (Which of course he isn't!!! Just the other day he was talking about how well he played...) I did what any other mom would do, "Jordan you are not the worst player..."

"Mom, you don't know anything! I am too!"

"Jor, are we really arguing about you being the WORST player?"

"I don't know."

"Well, what would you like me to say?"

"I don't know."

"Wouldn't you have been mad if I had agreed with you and said 'Yeah, you are the worst player EVER?'"

"Well, yeah..."

"OK then, you are NOT the worst player ever...."


There are just some days a mom can't win. Boy do I love that kid, dramaand all!!!

(I LOVE this picture of him acting like his totally crazy, will drive you nuts, adorable self!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poetry to This Mom's Ears...

The other day, my Kayla asked if she could read something to me. Noticing that she was holding her journal, I curiously said "sure." Upon hearing her words, I was left rather speechless. "WOW!" She is only 13!

This is what I heard...

The Price

He was led to Golgotha, our sins He bore
With a crown of thorns on His head that made His heart heavy and sore.

He was nailed to the cross, his hands shattering in pain.
And yet, everyone laughed as if there was something to gain.

They yelled "Come down from that cross, Oh King of the Jews!"
"If you can raise up the temple in three days this should be easy for you."

He hung from the cross all His joints out of place
It must have been terrible to see the look on His face.

He died in the ninth hour after crying out to God,
and in a sense I find it very odd.

That He was willing to die for someone like me, who has done so much wrong
that He was able to die, the desire of His heart strong.

His love is so infinite and true
that He was willing to die for me and you.

He died a painful death and cried "It is done."
So tell me, are you afraid to show that you know God's son?


Food for thought for us all, from one so young. She knows I put it on here, so be sure and let her know what you think. This mom is trying to encourage her creativity. Oh course, when she writes like this, then I am left inspired and encouraged as well. I am so thankful for my children.

Hope you are having a beautiful week!

Prayers and blessings...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy as Punch!

Boy am I TIRED!!! Yesterday I was so busy, I didn't get my Sunday afternoon NAP. It is Biblical PEOPLE! Not a good way to start my week. Just saying...

My hubby was up in the night with a tummy ache, something he ate didn't agree with him. Which means I was awake too. My night went by way too fast for my liking. I dragged out of bed this morning... I was exactly three minutes late for work. Maybe I still have a job. :)

This week is BENCHMARK in my little corner of the world. The WORST school week of the year for grades 8Th and under. My poor babies have to endure testing all week long. Don't you know there will be some good humor around our house in the evenings. Let the bottled up frustration flow, kiddos, let it flow. Mom is already bracing herself...

It is never good to start the week with no clean clothes. We had a super busy weekend... so I guess I have laundry duty tonight. Oh, the joy!

Did you know it was Monday?!!! Oh where, oh where did my little weekend go?

But you know what? Even though it is gearing up to be "one of those weeks," I'm happy. I am really trying to not fret over the little things, for when I remember how little some people have... I have beautiful kids, despite their fussy attitudes. I have a hubby who needs me, instead of one who could care less. At least I have a job, when so many don't and yes, I have plenty of things to wear, dirty or clean. So, my new goal is to take things in stride, appreciate all the little stuff more and just plain be HAPPY. Want to join me in this challenge?

I will end today's post with another Mich story for you to laugh at. This one beats dancing with the wasp BIG TIME!

Anyway, after church, yesterday afternoon, we had a Bridal shower for the church secretary's daughter. A beautiful girl, inside and out, who grew up in the church. She had one of the biggest showers I have been to, since moving here. I was one of TWENTY hostesses. Yeah, you heard me right. And the room was packed. As for the gifts... THREE tables full, plus packages on the floor.

I was the gift lady, which meant after the bride-to-be opened something and showed her family, I took the gift and placed it on a table for everyone else to GAWK over. You do have to remember you are at church, ladies. No coveting here, please. :)

She received a lot of gifts and my feet hurt from standing for THREE hours. The shower was only suppose to last an hour and a half, but by the time I helped clean up and packed up the slew of gifts, well it was after four. Yep, pretty tired.

Now for the funny part. God really does seem to want to teach me humility this week. Seriously, every time I turn around I am doing something crazy and embarrassing myself to no end. Yesterday would be no different.

I had been standing doing my "job," for a while when one of the other hostesses said she would let me have a break. So I went straight to the punch bowl. The punch bowl was one of those that have a spigot. I'm sure there is a fancy name for them, but since I don't know it, I found a picture. Beautiful, but I am really missing the old fashion kind with a ladle, right now.

Anyway, I went to get me a drink. I put my cup under the spigot, lifted and expected the sweet punch to flow. Oh it flowed alright, but the whole punch bowl broke into two pieces, the part containing the punch, separated from the pedestal it was connected to. Mind you the punch is still flowing... Friends, my heart stopped, I could feel my face turning three different shades of bright red, I was scared to death that I had broken the punch bowl.

Here I was, with a broken piece of beautiful crystal in one hand, while punch was drowning the table, mortified. That is when you wish the ground would rise and swallow you whole. That is when you are thankful that you are among friends. SERIOUSLY!

After a couple of ladies came to my rescue and the mess was cleaned up, a couple of the ladies started to giggle. You see, they had "glued" the two pieces together before the shower "praying" that it would stay together. And it did for the better part of the shower...well, until "I" decided I needed a drink, that is. God, I do think you have a sense of humor. All in the attempt to say "Mich, get over yourself!" I'm sure.

I have to laugh now, but for a quick moment I was doing nothing but panicking. I am so thankful God graced me with a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at myself. I was very embarrassed, but I have had a good laugh over the whole thing since. Needless to say, the ladies think I should stick to the gifts and allow someone else to get the punch, in the future. :)

Hope you have a beautiful week!

Say a prayer for my kiddos. They have Benchmark testing this week. UGH!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Celebrating Life...

This post was originally written last year. It was written with a prayerful heart, for I was remembering and celebrating a lot during that time. It was Easter weekend, my dad's birthday and the two year anniversary of my beloved Nanny. While dealing with all the many conflicting emotions, I wrote. Writing is healing for me.
Again, this year I was doing some much needed cleaning and once again found a very special photo. So I decided to repost this very special diary of my loving thoughts, since I hadn't met many of my bloggy friends at that time. So, bear with me as you read it, for tomorrow is not Easter, and it will actually be three years now, but the heart felt words remain stronger than ever.
Happy Birthday, Dad!
Hope you have a beautiful day tomorrow! I love you very much. Thank you for letting me share this story. I pray that it will inspire others to love a little more, hug a little more and SING always with a loving heart.
Nanny, in a few days it will be three years, that you slipped quietly from this world. I still remember you asking me for "permission" to "go see Jesus." I still remember being the one watching take your last breathe. I thought I would be devastated, but I can still see the yearning in your eyes to "go home." My heart still aches a little, I still want to pick up the phone and call you. I still miss you terribly. Yet, I know you are in a beautiful place, squeezing the Lord tight, because you can't live without your hugs. Thank you for being an example of how to love and be loved. I love and miss you bunches and bunches.
Dear friends, hope you are having a beautiful weekend! During your busyness, remember to take time to show those you love how much you care.
Again, thank you for letting me share again this beautiful example of how we should all celebrate life.
It was two years ago today. We were all gathered at my Nanny's house. Years of dealing with a congested heart had caught up with her. She was now in bed surrounded by family and friends with the help of hospice. She was very weak and could barely speak, mostly she just slept.

It was also my dad's birthday. What a birthday gift to sit and watch the minutes tick by, as your loving mother rests, wondering if each breathe she took would be her last. I still remember the heartache I felt throughout the day for my dad.

However this wonderful woman he called "Mom," even in her weakened state worried about her baby. She managed to express to us her desire to get him something for his birthday. He would often tease her about getting out of the bed to bake her a pie, for my Nanny was certainly the best cook in the world and she could make a scrumptious coconut cream pie! Yum! I can still taste it. So the cousins and I concocted a plan to buy her a pie as a substitute for one of hers, in place of a birthday cake.

All morning my Nanny seemed silent, like she was concentrating real hard about something. She was VERY weak and drugged, so any coherent sentence from her took a lot of effort.The plan was in place. We set the pie on her lap and called my Dad in. We all kind of said the "Happy Birthdays" for her and Dad smiled his big smile for his beautiful mom. But then in the quiet, we all heard a harsh whisper;

"Hap py BIRth day "

My Nanny was singing the birthday song. Now you have to understand, my Nanny couldn't sing. There have been so many stories told and jokes said about her singing, that it isn't even funny. But, there in the stunned quiet of the room, this wonderful woman we all loved was singing her last song, to the son that she loved. It was the most beautiful song I've ever heard!I realized in that moment that she had been working all morning to remember the words, to save her strength so that she could sing for my dad. It ended up being her "perfect gift" for him, the pie was totally forgotten.

My Nanny would go to be with her Savior two days later. But she was able to leave a lot of love and precious memories behind. Now I know you are probably wondering why I chose to write a story about the passing of my grandmother on my dad's birthday, so I'm going to tell you. I was digging through the pictures, looking for one of my dad, so I could write a "Happy Birthday" post and came across a very special photo taken exactly two years ago. I debated for a minute and decided that it was very appropriate.You see, not only is it my dad's birthday, but it is Easter weekend. This picture and memory represent to me what Easter is all about. Life and death and HOPE!

I have been truly blessed to belong to a family who raised me to know my Savior. This week it is important to reflect on the hope we have in Christ, for every moment is precious...minutes ticking by. The Heavenly Father who gives us life, also brought us hope and a wonderful reason to celebrate!

Happy Birthday, Dad! I love you! I know Nanny is up in heaven with Jesus celebrating your special day! I wonder if they are having a slice of coconut cream pie? :)

(Poohpa (my dad), with Kayla and Jordan)

To the rest of the world...
Happy Easter!
May you know the peace that comes with knowing and believing in the Easter story.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Need a laugh? Picture this...

I'm walking out of the local flea market, for as you know I love a good bargain. Found one. Some crazy vendor was selling all their CDs for 1.00. YES, you read me right, "1.00." Although the CDs were used, and a few years old, they were in good shape, no scratches. I paid six big ones for six CDs of favorites like Chris Tomlin, Pocket Full of Rocks and Hillsong classics. Yep, pretty proud of myself...
Oh wait, that wasn't my story. I was suppose to make you laugh. Sorry, got a little sidetracked with my purchase. I LOVE Christian music, so... Oops! There I go again. Now, where was I?

Oh yeah...

I was walking out of the local flea market, to my car. It was closing time so the parking lot was pretty much empty. Right as I get close to my car door, I see one of these...

If you know me well, then you know that there are just some critters on this earth that I have to ask the good Lord, "WHY?" I mean, don't you think this world would be a prettier place with out the bugs that bite, sting or just plain give me the "heber jebers?!!!" Anyway, back to my story...
I see the BIGGEST RED WASP I have ever seen, on my door. I stop. I realize when it flies at me that it KNOWS I'm there. IT WANTS ME. I walk slowly to the right, then back to the left. I took a few steps back, a couple forward, all the while dodging the BIG RED WASP, the HUGEST ONE EVER, that WOULD NOT LEAVE ME ALONE!!! Finally, after doing a dance with one of God's meanest creatures, I make a run for the car, get in and QUICKLY slam the door. As I am sitting in the driver's seat, panting from the parking lot Tango I just endured, I look around and realize that I am in an empty parking lot. There I was, in clear view of anyone who cared, in the middle my little town at rush hour. Straight ahead lies the BIG glass windows of the flea market right by the cashier. To the side of me are cars sitting at the busy street light. On the other side is the drive through at the bank...
I can only hope that God was the only one who witnessed my dance with Mr. Sting. I can only imagine what kind of score Carrie Ann, Len or Bruno would have given me.
Happy Weekend! Hope it is a good one!
Prayers and blessings...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Closet FULL of Nothing to Wear...A Lesson in Humility

Spring has arrived. Flowers are blooming, bugs are swarming and big fluffy clouds fill the sky. There also happens to be a pollen invasion in my neck of the woods, which allergy girl here is having troubles with, but that is another story for another day. Today, I am playing catch up. This mom has been a little busy lately, so the writing hasn't been as frequent, but I'm still around, reading up on all my bloggy pals... Anyway, today I am going to share a BIG lesson learned Easter weekend.

Actually, truthfully it is a lesson God has the grace to continually teach me over and over, for unfortunately this imperfect person can't seem to grab on to this special tidbit of truth and run with it. No, God has to hit me over the head with this lesson in big size portions constantly. Some days, it just hurts a little more than others.

Let me start by saying, my biggest downfall in life happens to be my INSECURITIES. Yep! There you have it people. News flash! Mich doesn't have it all together. In fact Mich happens to be one of the most insecure people I know. :) I've mentioned in past posts about my fear of stage fright, my need to be a people pleaser and little bits and pieces about my insecurities, but I don't think I have ever really laid it out on the table for you, or posted it so to speak. There are plenty of them, insecurities that is and they tend to gang up on me when I least expect it.

Easter weekend would be no exception. Now before I go any further, as you can tell by my last post, I had a BEAUTIFUL EASTER weekend. I am one blessed gal and I know it. Believe me I really do! My insecurities lie not with my family and those I love. Proud of each and every one... in fact sometimes I think I probably live too much through them, because I am not brave enough to go out on my own, but then that is another story, too, for another day.

Today's story actually starts the weekend before Easter. In the clothing store... In the dressing room... In front of the mirror... There is a sad, rather depressed woman looking back at me. I leave the store with only a new pair of shoes and a necklace... not a good day for clothes shopping. So, to make myself feel better, I started making excuses to myself... "I'll save money and just wear one of my old Easter outfits this year, it will be fine." I go on my way, all is fine and dandy, I give dressing for Easter not another thought.
Until Saturday night. I decided (and I am glad I did) to go and lay me out something to wear for Easter services. I think this is where I have to be honest, I am not a dress person. Actually, I think all the sundresses and spring dresses are cute, but I don't think they look good on my body type : a little too white, a little too round and a little too short. That being said, I only have about "0" dresses in my closet and maybe "3" skirts. I modeled for my family the skirts. It didn't go over well. I know them too well and could read the facial expressions. I think what it came down to, was that I wasn't comfortable with the outfits, so therefore I didn't look comfortable. Of course I realize that NOW, but while I was trying on and frustrated... there were a few tears, a few phrases like "I feel fat." and a huge hug from the hubby.
I finally looked again at the closet FULL of clothes and went with a pair of dress capri's, a bright tank top, my old faithful white denim jacket (love a good denim jacket!!!) and my NEW pair of shoes (they were heels) and my NEW necklace. Again, I went and modeled for the family. This time I got a thumbs up. However, although my family and I agreed on a suitable outfit, I still had a "moment."
One of those quiet little moments with the Lord, when I just had to ask for the umpteenth time "WHY?" Lord, "why" did you give me skin that refuses to tan? "Why" do I have to have a grandpa slow metabolism that makes it so very hard to shed a much needed pound? "Why" does shopping for clothes and looking presentable have to be so hard for me? "Why" do I care that much?
AH HA! In that quiet moment the truth came bearing it's ugly face once again. I wasn't really worried about having an Easter dress. No, the truth was, I was worried about what people would think about what I was wearing or how I looked. In a weak moment on Saturday night I cared too much about the opinions of others. Way too much. That is when the Lord hugged the stuffing out of me and said "Child, why are you really going to Easter services?"

HELLO!!! Sometimes the truth is hard to hear. The tears of frustration over clothes turned to tears of a humbled heart. Sure, new Easter duds can make the day special... I loved my family all decked out in their new clothes. Yet, if we get so wrapped up in how the outside looks, and forget on dressing and preparing the heart for the celebration, then where does that leave us? I had spent too much time on coloring eggs and buying chocolate, that I had forgotten to prepare my heart along the way.

Easter or Resurrection day is the most beautiful of holidays. It is the celebration of LIFE and not just life here on earth, but life ETERNAL. The truth is, that every day as an imperfect person saved by grace, is a celebration. And everyday, when I let the insecurities run rampant and take over, letting the opinions of others rule, I take away from WHO should be the true ruler of my heart each moment of every day. Whether it is about a Sunday dress or the sting that gossip can leave behind, I need to work everyday at making my focus about pleasing the Lord and everything else will fall into place.

I know that it is easier typing the words than following them... That is why I am so thankful for a Savior who came, died and rose again, just for ME! He loves me to death, INSECURITIES AND ALL!!!

So the next time I have one of those weak female moments, when I look in the mirror and do not like what I see, I need to try to look past the physical imperfections, and look a little deeper, at say maybe the heart? Instead of worrying about a closet full of clothes, I think I might need to focus on a heart full of Christ. That way I can be dressed right for every occasion.

By the time I went to bed Saturday night, I was alright. In fact, I was looking forward to the next day. I was ready to share the Easter story with my kiddos in Sunday School and then worship the Savior. It was going to be a good day.

The next morning, I got up, dressed and ready. I felt good. I even grabbed the camera as I ran out the door, in order to take the "dreaded" Easter pictures... Jordan informs me that my neck is RED. Blotchy red. As in "allergy" attack blotchy red. (HATE POLLEN!!!) I have a weak moment of "what will people think..." and then quickly realized once again what I was doing. After a pause, I shrug and we take pictures. Blotchy red was soon forgotten. I realized that I was being humbled and that I had a choice how I reacted. Lesson learned.

Until the next time, of course...

Hope you are having a beautiful week.

The Easter pictures with the "red" itchy shade of humbleness. Funny, we took pictures after church too and the allergy attack was gone. :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pictures, Pictures, and even more Pictures of my FAVORITE PEOPLE!!! (Yes, Amb, that includes YOU!!!)

This Easter was WONDERFUL. I went Thursday to spend a few precious days with my BEAUTIFUL family, came home and spent Sunday morning with my kiddos in Sunday School and then went to "Big" church for a powerful reminder in worship of just what my Savior did FOR ME!!! I then had the in-laws over for dinner last night, where we fried up the fish and everything that goes with it. And then watched the "traditional" "Sound of Music" on TV. (My mother-in-law and I love that movie.) Great times, fantastic memories all spent with the people I love most in this world. Thanking the Lord for all His blessings ALWAYS!

So, in celebration of a AWESOME weekend, here is a little picture show of memories, and moments spent with those VERY SPECIAL people. Although, I am sad that I didn't get one picture of the fish dinner and my kids with their grandparents last night. Sorry Papa and Grandma! Love you bunches and enjoyed having you over.
Let the pictures begin...

My dad's little country church put on "The Living Lord's Supper." They did a FANTASTIC job.

I saw this gal pal, one of my truly FAVORITE people in the world, my little sis. Also known to Kayla and Jordan as "Auntie Amb." Grammy's house just wouldn't be the same without her "rascally" bunch there.

CUTE! Kirk (the BIL) almost smiled. I can at least see his cute dimple.

Me and the "baby" of the family. Shh... I KNOW he is really a "BIG" boy now, but the women in my family refuse to let our baby grow up. Tate is just the cutest...with his daddy's dimple, of course.

My two favorite red haired boys. Sawyer with his Uncle Kev. Many people when they see all the gang together, actually think Sawyer belongs to me.

Aunt Jo, that would be Jim-Dad's sister is always good for a HUG.

Cousin Rich. Getting him to take a simple picture with a simple smile is a job in its self. He truly CRACKS me up!

We celebrated Sawyer's birthday Thursday night. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SAW!!!

The boys all wearing their "Jerusalem" hats that my dad got them on his trip to Israel.

My mom. I LOVE her to pieces!!!

Jim-Dad. Love him LOTS too. I am one BLESSED gal.

The DREADED Easter pose, taken before Sunday School. At least Jordan half-smiled.

My flower child. She definitely has her own sense of style. Yet, I find her ADORABLE!!!

I LOVE THESE THREE so very much!!!

My hubby got his first PINK shirt this year. He looked cute and the teenagers thought he looked COOL. He even had a bright pink tie to match, but by the time the camera came out after church, the tie was OFF.

I will end with this picture. Jordan's egg. ENOUGH SAID, I think.

Hope you and yours had a beautiful Easter, rich with LOVE, LAUGHTER and THE SAVIOR.

Prayers and blessings...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Doing the Happy Dance!!!

My Savior is RISEN!!!
Happy Resurrection Day, friends!!!