Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm Back! And Dizzy with Details...

I just got back home two hours ago from a week adventure with the family. I watched Kevin marry two young lovers, who use to be members of his youth group. So, there was plenty of hugging the necks of old and dear friends, good food and all the bridal fun that goes with an outdoor wedding. (IT WAS HOT!!!)

We explored downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas, which is where the wedding was. We had fun family time going in and out of all the little shops. The kids enjoyed spending our money on little trinkets here and there. Hey! We were on vacation!

We then moved on to my mom and dad's place and went to church with the family on Sunday. On Monday, we went to Branson, Missouri and took the kids shopping at the Landing and later went and saw the musical production of "Noah." (It was wonderful. My favorite part was watching my six year old nephew, whose eyes were "glued" to the show.) Tuesday we went to Silver Dollar City, where were had a fun day of riding rides, eating junk like funnel cakes and dippin dots and spending all our good earned money on things to DRINK. (Needless to say we all came home worn out from a good day of fun.)

And then all good things must come to an end... today was the dreaded day of traveling back home and getting back to work. I'm not sure if my head was just dreading the return to day to day life or what, but this morning I woke up dizzy. I think it is just my allergies working in high gear and creating a little fluid on the ear drums, but it made the four hour trip home not fun for me. It did get me out of unpacking the car when I got home and I've been laid up on the couch ever since our return.

I am feeling better, but I'm taking it easy since I have to return to work tomorrow. (Say a little prayer for me.) Anyway, I will go now, and hopefully will have time to visit with all of you tomorrow. This "dizzy" blond is going to sign off for now and go find her pillow.

Pictures to come of all our adventures... I promise.

Hope you are having a beautiful summer, friends!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy anniversary to me!

I first met my hubby in a college cafeteria. I was "salad bar girl" and he was known as the "singing dishwasher." While we slaved away at our work study jobs, we met, became friends and eventually fell in love. Believe it or not that would be about 21 years ago. WOW!

We dated for almost a whole four years before saying "I do." On June 26, 1993, I married my sweetheart. I am so thankful for this teddy bear of a guy, who can sing like an angel, has the heart of a servant, is a dad you can totally look up to, loves the Lord and for some weird reason loves me. I am so blessed.

I will be in and out for the next few days, spending some much needed quality time with the family and my hubby of 17 years. But don't worry, you know me and my friend the camera will record every minute of the fun. Hope you are all having a beautiful summer...

I love you, Kev! Thanks for just simply loving me, flaws and all.

This picture was taken 20 years ago. We haven't changed that much, have we? (Be kind!) :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

All in the day and the life of raising a son...

I should probably start out with the fact that I am thankful my son doesn't read my blog much, not because I write things I shouldn't, but rather the fact that he is at that age where EVERYTHING is embarrassing, yet he is so fun to write about. One day, he will be able to look back and laugh, but for now, EVERYTHING is over dramatized and he is super sensitive. If you have any adolescents of the male persuasion then you KNOW exactly what I'm talking about. Some days a mom can't win in the mind of an eleven year old son... so I guess this is my secret revenge. If I can't get even I will just blog about the poor soul. :)

The other night my hubby planned a water night for the youth group at church. We rented the blow up water slides and the kids had a blast. My son went to the water party with his dad, so I never realized what he was wearing, etc... After the shindig was over, he went home with me. No big deal, the rest of the evening went pretty normal.

The next day I went to work. I don't know if it is HOT in your neck of the woods, but it is smoldering around here. August is scaring me, since we are already hitting the 100s in June. Anyway, it was my lunch break. I got in my car, about to die with heat stroke, for there is absolutely no shade in the parking lot. Only, it got worse. I started to notice that my car STUNK. Now, not only was I frying, I was having trouble breathing from the heat and smell inside the car. I look around... yeah, there is some trash in the floorboard, but nothing unusual or new that would reek like that. I keep looking, finally looking in the backseat... there in the floorboard laid my son's tennis shoes. Can anyone say "FEBREEZE?!"

Lord, when did my cute little boy turn into a young man who needs deodorant, at least two baths a day, three changes of clothing and a little Febreeze squirted in the shoes? Did you know he will be in middle school this year? Seriously, do you think I'm ready for this? I'm not so sure. I'm not ready for him to grow up. Can I throw a tantrum? Will it work? Can't he stay my little guy forever? Can't he stay my little man, who thought mom was the greatest? Pretty please with a cherry on top...

No?! I was afraid you would say that.

The other day we were at Walmart and I got just a little weepy eyed. There stood before me was a whole toy isle of nothing but Toy Story merchandise. I still remember with fondness all the characters, for they were all my son's favorites when he was little. He had a Woody doll that was a sleeping partner, A Buzz that could fly on those adventurous days of jumping off beds and climbing on the back of the couches and then he had all the miniture characters for quiet moments of play. There was everything from Buzz, to Mr. Potato Head to "Balumpalump." What? You don't know who "Balumpalump" is? Well, you might know him by his show name "Bullseye," but around our house back in the day, he was "Balumpalump." You see, I asked my little Jorboy one day why he called horses by the unusual name, to which he replied, "That is what you call them, Mommy. You always make them ride and sing "Balumpalump" over and over." Hmm... I had to think of that one until one day I caught myself doing it. I would say "Balumpalump" over and over to the tune of the old Lone Ranger theme. So there you have it.

Anyway, back to Walmart, as I looked down the isle, I was sad, for I no longer had a little boy who was tugging at my hand begging to go look at the Toy Story toys. In fact I asked him the other day to go down the isle with me and he refused, heading to the electronics department. HE hasn't even asked to see the movie... Can I just cry puddles now? Lord, are you sure he has to grow up?

He does? I was afraid you would say that.

My son left for a week of church camp. Part of me is so very envious of his week. Another part is so very happy that I am blessed with a child who loves camp. As we were packing his bag, he had put his Bible and his devotional book in the side pocket. Ahh... another sign he is growing up, when they think of something beside "just having a good time." Oh, how that does a mom's heart good. I miss my little man already. So, he really is growing up, isn't he, Lord?

Alrighty then, I guess I'm going to have to start praying for strength, find my invisible clothespin, and hang on for the ride of my life, as I enter this unknown territory, stinky feet and all.

Something tells me that I am in for a roller coaster ride, but that I'm going to enjoy every minute... gosh, I love this kid. :)

To be a good father...

Well, I wasn't a good mother, 'cause I forgot to get the camera out and take a good Father's Day picture. Oh well, I will have to be sure and make up for it during vacation with lots of pictures of family togetherness.

Anyway, we had a good day. It was a great day of reflection for me, 'cause I realize in this crazy world how blessed I really am. I have a great dad, who taught me from a very young age what is really important in this world. He and my mom led totally by example and their sacrifices for the Lord and family through the years have been HUGE. Love ya, Jim-Dad!

Before they passed on, I was blessed with some pretty terrific grandpas too. Oh how I miss them...

I married and acquired a second "Papa" who I adore. He is a man with a great big servant's heart and has raised a son of the same. Yeah, I'm pretty blessed.

However, the true blessing came when I married the love of my life seventeen years ago and on October 1, 1996, saw him hold his baby girl for the first time. I just thought I was in love with him, up to that point. Nothing prepared me for the tenderness this big guy could have and how much he loves his kiddos. I thank God everyday for him and how blessed my children are to call him "dad." I love ya, Kev.

Most of all, though, I realize that the blessings overflow in my life because of the love of the Heavenly Father. I was raised surrounded by people who knew and understood a love so much bigger than anything I could imagine. Have our lives been perfect? "NO!!!" Yet, we have been graced with the knowledge that God the Father, sent His son, and sacrificially allowed Him to die for me. Why? Because He loved me and you. It is that simple. Such a gift deserves my praise, everyday, and not just on Father's Day! Yes, I am blessed.

Hope you all enjoyed a day of praising the Lord for His goodness and thanking Him for the wonderful men in your life.


On a side note, which I thought was funny, my preacher yesterday had a message for all the fathers. Big surprise, right? Anyway, he had several points of what a good father should be. After the service, Kevin looks over at Kayla and asked her how he rated, after hearing the sermon. She looked back at him and said "Dad, you will have to figure that one out for yourself."

Teenagers! Gotta love them!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

All I was missing was the okra...

What was for dinner last night? Well, a little of this...

Some of this....

A few of these...

And a big juicy bite of this (well actually I think I ate two whole ones before we even sat down for dinner. I kind of like them just a little. :))...

Thanks to my in-laws for the fresh goodies from their garden. Can you say yummy?!!! At one point I looked down at my plate at the fresh stewed potatoes, the tomatoes and asked my family what was the one thing missing for this to be the perfect plate for me. "Fried okra." Funny thing is, the steak was forgotten for me, as I gobbled up some fresh garden goodness. Thanks Papa and Grandma! Please tell me there is some okra growing in that garden of yours...

Hope you have had a happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm so excited!

My anniversary is at the end of the month. Did I tell you that my hubby is officiating a wedding ceremony on MY anniversary at the end of this month? Did I tell you that my sister is celebrating her December anniversary on MY anniversary this year by going to Mexico? Excuse me? Something a little wrong with all of this don't you think?

Anyway, what do I decide to do? I decide to take some vacation time myself, pack up the family to go watch the wedding and then go to my mom's house and spend time with the grandparents and the kids my sweet sister left behind. And the truth is I am excited about it too. Love and miss my parents like no body's business, so time with them is always precious. As for the kiddos... I love those three little boys like my own. We are going to have a grand time. My own kids are excited.

My parents live only about thirty miles south of Branson, so we have plenty of fun planned already. How do you entertain a 6 year old all the way up to grandpa? Go to Silver Dollar City, of course. And if you are in Branson, taking in a show is a must. I'm really excited about this one, in fact I think I am more excited than the kids. We are going to see...

So, tag on some quality family time, a little shopping and of course my mom's cooking and who needs Mexico anyway? Love ya, sis. I expect a present. :)

Yeah, I'm excited! Where are you going on vacation this year?

Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


"...approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we might receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16
Happy Sunday, friends!
Prayers and blessing...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dear Self,

Sweetheart, it is plum alright. Everyone has "those" days when NOTHIN' seems to go right...or should I say "one of those weeks?"

It is alright that you are tired. You have been going, going, going. Your body is just telling you that it needs a little REST. So embrace the fact that you have gone to bed at least an hour earlier, every night this week. This is not a crime. Nothing says it is wrong to be in bed before your kids. They are a young teen and a tween and out of school for the summer. You are not getting any younger and have to be at work by 7:00a.m. every morning. REST. I'm giving you permission...

It is alright that you are bribing your children to do their chores. They need spending money for vacation time, you need a clean house to come home to. It is a win win situation, sister. Have no guilt over this. You don't have to be the "perfect" mom. They are old enough to pull their weight around the house. Thirty minutes of chores everyday will not kill them. :) As for the money? Make them earn it. Either way it comes out of your pocket. Relax. And by the way, didn't the fresh mopped kitchen floor smell and look good when you came home?

It is alright to be a little cranky. After all you woke up in the middle of the night last night with a terrible case of heartburn. UGH! Need to get back on your meds, darling. Anyway, while everyone was snoozing away, you were awake PRAYING for relief. The fact that you survived the day on two less hours of sleep is truly AMAZING. So if you are a little cranky, so what. Just don't take it out on the kiddos...oops! If you accidentally do this, just make sure to apologize and throw in an "I love you" and the big puppy dog eyes and...

It is alright that you do not understand the world of electronics. Seriously, isn't that why you married your hubby in the first place? (Actually, I married him, cause I love the stuffin' out of him, but since he is good with anything electronic and for the sake of this post...) I mean, when people build DVD players, cell phones, even alarm clocks, could just somebody think of ME?!!! I know this world does not evolve around me (sure found that out the hard way!), but life sure would run smoother if it did. Those yellow and black "dummy" books should just go ahead and print "Mich" on the cover, 'cause I probably need to read them all. Last night I had computer problems, last week it was the clock, today my cell... Say a prayer for the hubby. He earns a jewel in his crown just for putting up with me.

It is alright that you forgot your mom and dad were out of town. It is alright that you left several messages on their phone, only to be reminded by dear ol' sis that they aren't there. Here is hoping I didn't sound frustrated... (Love you mom and dad! Hope you are having fun!) Seriously trying to remember what I said on those messages, after all I have been a little cranky this week...

It is alright that you had a frustrating conversation today. It is alright that you thought ugly thoughts and were just a tad angry. After all, you held your tongue. You were a trooper and let it go, when the fiery words were itching to be said. It is alright because you asked the Lord for strength and He gave it. A situation which could have been bad, was just uncomfortable, because of the Lord's hand over your mouth. It's alright...

It is alright that you burnt half of dinner tonight. It is totally alright that you served "Breakfast" for dinner. Love that! Yet, somehow the sausage ended up burnt, the first round of toast burnt... I told the hubby that it was a good thing Kayla was cooking the bacon. :) Of course the fam said the sausage was good. I wouldn't eat the burnt, "I"M FED UP WITH YOU MEAT PATTIES," so I don't know if they were trying to make mommy dearest feel good or if I came up with a new family favorite; "Burnt sausage, the other black meat." :) We didn't starve so I guess that is what matters.

It is alright that you decided to just go to bed and start tomorrow fresh, since today has been so very "hunky dory." (Another southern phrase, which means "just wonderful.") Did you hear me self?!! IT IS ALRIGHT.

I once heard that when you don't feel like being thankful, to be thankful anyway. That when you feel like it has been a roller coaster of emotions kind of a day, you can still find something to thank the good Lord for. They are right...

Thank you Lord for simply being there, every step of the way. I couldn't have made it without you. You said we would have those days, that not everything in this world would be easy. Not everyone will always be easy to get along with. There will be days of crankiness, frustrating conversations and burnt toast. So thankful you are bigger than all of that. So very thankful.

Although I think I will just go and "rest" in your love now...

Yeah, it is going to be alright.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Divine Restraint

I was reading my bible last night, doing a little journaling, when I picked a devotional book my hubby gave me for Mother's Day. I had already read a few of the entries, but last night the words literally jumped off the page at me and left me thinking...
"I know everything about you, far more than you know about yourself. But I restrain My yearning to "fix" you, waiting instead for you to come to Me for help. Imagine the divine restraint this requires, for I HAVE ALL POWER IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH." - God
(Taken from the devotional book "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young)
WOW! I had never really looked at things from God's point of view, like that before. Changes my perspective on a lot. Especially for yours truly who likes to have CONTROL a little too much at times.
Here is hoping you are having a BEAUTIFUL Wednesday. Remember, the Lord is there, just waiting to help us "fix things," we just have to ask.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A HUGE Sigh of Relief...

Remember an "unspoken" prayer request I had a few weeks ago? I got my answer today in the mail. Praising God for an answered prayer.

(My mammogram, that I had the other day and was so very nervous about turned up with a "shadow" that looked suspicious. I got the dreaded phone call where they tell you that you may have what is a benign tumor in my left breast and further testing will be needed. Talk about sick to my stomach. My hubby and I are already dealing with the fact that his parents both have this horrible disease, but now the possibility could be... Anyway, THANKS for the prayers. No matter what His answer would have been, I know He would have gotten us through it, I am just thankful the answer was "nothing wrong." I'm doing a happy dance today.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

This Song Goes Out To...

Last week my baby girl was having a hard time of it. The emotions were getting the best of her. Nothing big or to worry about, for those family members that get on and read a post here and there. Just normal everyday "stuff" that happens in the day and life of a 13 year old.

Anyway, she was "venting" her heart out one night. I was trying my best to listen and give thoughtful responses, but she didn't want to hear any of it. Finally, I just simple made her go to bed, knowing it was late and that her being TIRED was the root of all this drama anyway. After a big hug and a "I love you, tomorrow is a new day!" I went to my room and said a prayer for my little girl, before shutting my own eyes. Of course I prayed the normal, "Lord, help Kayla..." Yet, I also remember praying specifically that he would send her a surprise, a little something from Him, that would bring her a little "joy."

The next morning, I went to wake her up. Upon entering her room, I realized her stereo was on. I remember thinking it was odd, because she doesn't usually sleep with it on, but on the other hand shrugging it off, knowing she wouldn't be the first teenager to sleep with the radio on. At least it was on a Christian station...

Upon waking, Kayla sits up a little startled. I watch as her eyes begin to clear and she wakes up. All of a sudden there is a HUGE smile on her face. "Mom, it is my favorite song! They are playing my favorite song on the radio!"

Tears were forgotten. I leaned over with a kiss and simply stated "Kayla, I think God gave you a gift to start your day." Her smiled just got bigger.

God is good. He does care. And He loves reminding us that He is there and so much BIGGER than all the little drama in our everyday lives.

Prayers and blessings, friends!

What is Kayla's favorite chorus of the week? An oldie, but goody...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Playing Catch Up...It's a Luau, the hubby turns "40," and Memorial Day!

First of all "THANKS!" for all the prayers. We have A LOT going on these days, but we believe in a BIG God who CARES A LOT TOO! I promise to share more about this at a later date.
In the meantime, I thought I would play catch up and show you why I have been so busy...
Did I tell you my hubby turned "40" two weeks ago? Well, we celebrated in style last Wednesday. Since Kev is just the most wonderful student minister EVER, I always celebrate his birthday ever year with some of his favorite people... HIS KIDS. Yep, we ONLY had about a 100+ teenagers helping us celebrate this milestone. And we did it Luau style. Can you say "FUN?!!!"
I have been planning the party for weeks, but spent all day last Wednesday decorating. Here is the end result of my hours of slaving away...

A friend at church did the cake. Isn't it the cutest? We also had cupcakes in rainbow colors to go with the theme.
So here is the birthday boy himself...
He may be "40," but this guy is a total "kid" at heart.

We played the limbo.

Jordan and his "stacked hats" look. You have to be a pretty cool dude to pull this look off. :)

Kayla won a door prize. Pop-ice, anyone?

And of course the "token" picture to prove I was there in years to come. Sorry for the tired eyes, jinky hair and little to none make-up look. It was a good, but VERY LONG DAY, for moi.

Family came in this past weekend for Memorial Day. Kevin's brother and his family came to spend some time with the family. I have been a busy beaver, catching up on my laundry as well as joining in on the family fun. My niece who is the same age as Kayla has been staying over at our house most of the time too.
The girls made "cousin" shirts, or as my niece described them; "CBFF shirts." (Cousins Best Friends Forever) I took a few pictures to mark the occasion.

I don't know about you, but we had steak, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, veggies from the garden and salad for Memorial Day dinner. Yummy! My favorite meal.
Hope you all had a beautiful holiday. I would like to take a minute to say "Thanks!" to all the soldiers and their families who sacrifice daily so that I can have the freedoms I have today. It is with a grateful heart that I celebrate. God is so very good and I daily feel blessed.
Happy Tuesday, friends!