Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday at the Park?!!!

My hubby and a good friend from church, who happens to be a music teacher who is currently being a stay at home mom, put together a youth choir. It is something that was needed, something that had been missing from our church for a while. We have been running about 30 plus kids.
To reward the kiddos for their hard work this semester, Kevin signed them up to sing at Holiday at the Park, at Six Flags. Since not all the boys could go, due to ball games, Kevin and our music minister sang with the group. They went on a one night trip to Texas, where they sang and then got to play at the park for four hours. They had a great time.

Could you pick out my three? Wish I could have gone, but I had to work. I am so thankful they had a great time and for the moms who took pictures for me.

Hope you are having a beautiful week preparing for the big BIRTHDAY!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

It is Starting to Look a Little Like Christmas...

I have all but a couple of gifts bought, wrapped and under the tree. It is easier to do that when your children are older and you don't have to worry about "Santa." It is more about storage, which I have hardly none, so things get wrapped fast around here. It is a good feeling to know I am a hair away from being done.


I put my tree up Thanksgiving weekend. It took me another week to get all the storage boxes put away...good grief.
My main tree is full of angels, nativities, seasonal words and symbols of Christ. I LOVE it. Sometimes I just sit and watch the lights shimmer. It is simple, but that is how I felt this year. Simplicity was the key for me this year during a very busy and crazy time. I never even found something for the top of the tree. I thought about different things, but nothing seemed right, and I didn't want to spend the money. However, the more I look at it, the bare top has grown on me.
Sometimes I wish I could keep it up year peaceful. But then it wouldn't be as special, would it?

My "Santa tree" is in my dining room. It holds all the santas, snowmen, Hallmark ornaments and handmade ornaments that the kiddos have collected through the years.

My snowman collection. It wouldn't bee holiday decorating without them. I love each one, and the special people that gave them to me.

I was LATE getting my picture for my Christmas card this year. Too busy, rainy days and kids not working with me, that I was "stressing" about a picture. Finally, the night of the band Christmas concert, I got them both to agree to pose for their CRAZY mom and her camera. Simple, right? It was worse than taking pictures of toddlers. One would smile, the other wouldn't, or they would get goofy, and mom was serious. That is NEVER a fun moment. In the end, I didn't get the DREAM shot, that I can frame for the grandmas, but a few worthy enough for a Christmas card, I guess. I took plenty trying, though.
Some with Santa hats...

There were some with hugs...
There were some with the dog...
After umpteen BILLION shots, this is the one I finally ended up putting on a card, only I did it in black and white. Or it might have been one similar. Who knows, I took so many. :)


Move over Betty Crocker, I got my baking on. Last night I made Christmas cookies to give to my coworkers for the holidays. I made four different kinds of Oreo balls, easy but very yummy. I made peppermint bark. I made fudge. I also made these cute little guys...

I put a sampling of all I made in little gift boxes and gave them out today. Yummy for the tummy! They were received with smiles.

Christmas is just around the corner. It is so hard to believe it is almost here.
Praying you all have a safe and happy couple of weeks preparing for the holiday.
May you have peace...
After all, it will be the Prince of Peace's birthday real soon.

Monday, December 5, 2011

If you want stress...sign your child up for BAND!!!

My daughter decided to play the flute in 6Th grade. She is pretty good. She has managed to stay in the top three chairs in junior high and now is 6Th chair out of the high school band. Not too shabby.

Yeah, we are pretty proud of her. Her dad was a band geek and she is on her way to following in his footsteps. (only he played the trumpet.)

However, sometimes it is hard and stressful to be good at your craft. There are tears over missed notes, frustration over marching band, pressure from your peers and the band directors and stress over competitions.


If you were in band then you have a good idea what I am talking about. If you were not, well it is a competition between schools and the kids are ranked. Those that qualify get to play in a big concert later in the school year. It is the best of the best. It is a BIG deal!

Last year, my daughter "spazzed" out, as she would say and didn't do well at all. So, this year the nerves were running crazy. Tears, frustration, moments of "I HATE THE FLUTE!!!" and a roller coaster attitude that went from a calmness to full blown panic attack. She felt the pressure.

What is a mom to do?

We went over scripture. We hashed out the situation. We had many a pep talk. We prayed.

I put her on the bus Saturday morning, ready for the ordeal to be over. I prayed some more. I even cried a little over worry for her. And then I got the text that afternoon...

"I got first band 4 flute :) :) :) :) oh my gosh i am so happy but yet nervous at da same time. it was so good :) to kno he (God) was wit me."

Excuse the and their texts!!! She really does have an "A" in English. But I had to share.

Basically what that means, is out of 120 flutes, my baby came in 4Th. We are so proud!

And she is learning a valuable lesson early...God is with us in EVERYTHING.

God is good.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Blessings...

Hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving.
I did.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Trying hard to be thankful...

First of all, I am thankful. I came from a beautiful, close family who raised me to know the Lord on a personal level. I married into a beautiful family who loves me. I now have my own beautiful family that humbles me everyday, with their love. I am blessed. And I know it.


that doesn't mean bad things don't happen to blessed people. We live in a CRAZY, Ugly world FULL of SIN. Bad things will happen. Sometimes my prayers are not always answered the way I want them to be answered either. God ALWAYS answers prayers. God DOES NOT create bad things to happen to me, but sometimes HE allows them. His ways are so much greater than mine, that my little brain sometimes can not begin to comprehend the "Whys" of this world.

I can, however, look back and take a walk down memory lane and realize after the fact, the BIGGER picture, the blessings that sometimes came from pain. I can see how I grew, what contributed in making me the person I am now, or how I grew closer to my Jesus through it all. I may never understand why my baby brother died when I was five. I may not get why I had to be the one to have scoliosis as a child and wear a back brace. It seems unfair that I had to lose three grandparents in one year. I will always ask what if I hadn't miscarried that one little soul before I even got use to the fact that I would be a mom again. I will sit in angry confusion as a friend, a fellow minister's wife dies too young, leaving behind a sweet young family. I will feel helpless as cancer is allowed to attack the bodies of both my husband's parents at the same time. I will still cry as my sister's heart hurts right now and needs love and prayers. I will still weep as as my husband loses a dear aunt, one week before Thanksgiving.

Someone told me at work one time, that I had the "perfect" life. She said I had "no problems." No one has a perfect life. Everyone has problems. It is how you deal with those problems that separates you from the world. It is about having HOPE.

It is about laying your troubles at the feet of the Lord, daily, no matter how little or big. It is about covering the people you love and care about daily in prayer. It is about knowing that trouble will come your way, sometimes it seems too often, but that you plead for strength from the Lord on an hourly basis. It is about knowing that God loves you.


when the storms come, the tears flow and you feel like you have no more energy to face whatever lies ahead, be THANKFUL. Even when the bills stack up, the car breaks down, children get sick or work is hard, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. ALWAYS.

It has been a hard few months for my heart. There is a family issue (in my extended family) that has left me broken and sometimes angry. There has been death in my hubby's family. There has been busyness. There has been situations at work and church that hurt my feelings. Material things have broken down and caused stress. There has been sickness. The ugly of this world has been looming. Yet, I chose to put my faith in the God of peace. He gives me Hope, daily.

When I am trying hard to be thankful, HE IS THERE. And that, in its self is enough to rejoice over.

Happy Thanksgiving friends! I pray you have the blessing of hope today.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

One Last Picture...

The first part of October, Kevin and I went to a small family reunion at the park. It was his dad's side of the family. Every year they get together for an afternoon of visiting and food. I took my camera. My father-in-law had requested that I take pictures, so I was ready to face the small crowd of "I hate my picture taken" family rebels.

First click was Kev's Aunt Marsha. Now, I have to tell a little history here... Aunt Marsha is QUEEN of not wanting her picture taken. She will turn her head, stick out her tongue, put her hands in front of her face until you get tired of trying and move on. But that day was different. The first click was a smile. She looked straight at the camera and smiled. I even got a second picture of her with a cousin. Again she looked straight at the camera and smiled. I remember thinking "WOW!", but went on to hound all the other poor victims who had to put up with crazy camera lady that day.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday night. It was bonfire night for the youth group at church. We do it every year, the Wednesday before the week of Thanksgiving. I again was taking pictures. Of course the kiddos like to pose a little more than Kev's relatives. :) That night I was looking at the pictures I was taking and went forward too far. The first picture on the memory card was Aunt Marsha. I stopped for a moment and smiled. I then went back to the bonfire and teenagers, not giving that picture another thought...


My phone rang Wednesday night late. It was my brother-in-law needing to speak to Kevin. His Aunt Marsha had passed away from a stroke. She was gone. He went on to the hospital to see his uncle and I laid in bed thinking about all that had happened. And then I remembered the picture. It would turn out to be the last picture taken of her, that I know of. She smiled for one last picture.

She couldn't have known at that moment, yet I have to think that maybe, just maybe the thought crossed her mind..."I think I will smile this time." Thank you, Lord for what I believe must have been a sweet whisper in her ear. Her family needed that one last picture.

Aunt Marsha, you will be missed.

Please pray for my hubby's family. Our day was spent graveside.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Just Thought...

That once I said goodbye to October that things would settle down.

Let me see...
In the month of October I had three nights of football games a week, one to two days of soccer every week, church every Wednesday and Sunday of course, plus the extra church activities. Two band competitions, one which I went to, the other just was a late night picking up. There were THREE birthdays, two of those came with parties, the other one just made me feel old. And of course there was work and school and...don't know if I had much time for anything else.

I did enjoy it. A mom always enjoys watching her kids go and do the things they love. I am kind of living through my kids too, for I was NOT athletic or very musical and truth be told, NOT an honor student. I had to work for every grade I got, and some of those grades weren't very good. But even though you enjoy the activities, the same ones over and over can wear you out at times. So, I thought when October passed and the sports and marching band came to an end that things would slow down.

NO. November has it's own crazy schedule.
Full of All Region Band tryout practice, hand bells at church, piano lessons, hunting schedules, final soccer games, and holiday plans.
LOVE Thanksgiving!!!

Talking about Thanksgiving...I may sound like I am whining over my schedule, but I am really not. Truth be told, I am tired and I just want a little sympathy from the other moms who are in the same boat, but who like me, WOULD NOT CHANGE A THING.
For although I am tired and ready for a little Thanksgiving break, I am so thankful that my family is happy and healthy and can go and do and spend time together.

As for the holidays... I AM READY!!!
In fact, I already have half my Christmas shopping done.
Doing a little happy dance right now!!!
May even put my tree up early, so I can enjoy the lights a little longer.

I may just close this post before I ramble any more. I will close with this picture...

My baby at her last football game of the season. Sadly we lost Friday night in the playoffs, but she was happy marching band was over for the year.
Now we just have concert band...

Hope you have a blessed week as you go about your own busy schedules.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Let the hunting begin...

My family hunts. I don't hunt. I couldn't pull the trigger on Bambi or his family if I tried. I am the gal who cried when she ran over a squirrel one day. I am the gal who can't kill the mouse even though it had invaded my space.

I eat meat. Just don't want to know what happened to it before it reached the frying pan. Some things are better left alone. I don't like deer meat either. I don't even like the smell of it cooking.
BUT my family sure loves it. And daddy knows how to cook it.

Did I tell you my family hunts? Did you know we are smack dab in the middle of hunting season? It is good cause I get some "Mama time," bad because everything has to be planned around the hunting.

I may not be a hunter but I have trained my hubby right. He took pictures for me today with his phone, just so his picture obsessed wife could see how cute the kiddos look hunting. (Sadly nothing was shot today.) I may not be all about the hunting, but I have to admit my babies look cute in their orange. :)

Hope you have a great week!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sleeping with the radio on...

My family LOVES music. You will hear music flowing through our house any given time of the day. My hubby has taught his kids a love for music...all kinds (as long as it is clean and appropriate.) Being the Christian Student Minister that he is, he has told kids that for every style of music they love to listen to on the radio, he can find them a good, clean Christian version of the same style. And he can. Rap, country, pop, heavy metal, etc... he is up to the challenge.

I love that my kids have the ability to test their musical ears with various sounds and don't have to worry about the negative influence of the lyrics. After all, just because I can't stand "rap" doesn't mean my child doesn't like the beat. Thankful I have a hubby who has bridged that gap, so that now my daughter can listen to different styles while still harming mom's ears, doesn't harm her soul.

Yes, my hubs loves ALL styles of music. And his daughter takes after him. Mom here, well as hard rock as I got in high school was BonJovi and Journey if that tells you anything. (They are still my guilty pleasures if I am honest.) I am more just an easy listening pop kind of gal, like a little country and LOVE Christian praise.

My son? He is 13. You would think he would be jammin' to the latest hit, music blaring and in love with songs shouting profanity every 5 seconds. You would think...

BUT when it comes to music, he is an old soul, like his mom. He and I share a love for Chris Tomlin, David Barnes, and David Crowder. When dad has the car radio on a country station, he wants to switch it back to "klove."

His latest thing is sleeping with his ipod on all night. When we were kids we slept with the radio, but now he will hook his ipod up to his speakers and let the music flow. Every morning as I walk down the hall I am greeted with sweet melodies of praise. There is something so peaceful about that. There is something about it that calms my soul and prepares me for the day. Maybe my son is on to something...

I know his tastes might change as he gets older. I know that one day he might fall in love with the crazy music other teenagers his age listen to and we may even fight a time or two over it. But for now, I am thankful that he chooses to fill his head with sweet words lifting up the sweet name of Jesus. He ends his day with thoughts of praise and he wakes up the same way. That does a mommy's heart good.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wrapping up October...

October was CRAZY!!!

Jordan played football for the first time. Kayla turned 15. There were soccer games and piano lessons. Jordan played the trumpet with the 8th graders on Thursday nights, since he is in advanced 7th grade band. Kayla continued to march every Friday night with the high school band and had two band competitions this month. I turned 41. My son turned 13 today and we celebrated by volunteering at our church fall carnival tonight. It has been a month full of memories for sure.

We have been busy. Yes, I am tired, BUT I have enjoyed every minute of being there for my kiddos. I could have done without the turning 41 business a few days ago, but God and I have come a long way through the years, so if I was truly honest, I wouldn't change that either. God is good... and I am blessed.

I am in love with #32. (Even when the sun is in my eyes on the visitor side of the field.)
We celebrated Jordan's birthday Saturday night. Eight of his friends came to play. Nothing like a room full of 12 and 13 year old boys to test your patience level...just saying.
Friday night the band director let the band dress up in costumes. Kayla had several costumes, but most of them she couldn't march in, so we went with the old poodle skirt. It was cold that night, so she wore leggings. I wonder did they have leggings in the 50's? :)
Isn't she cute?! My mother-in-law made this skirt for her when she was in the 2nd or third grade and it still fits.

My trumpet boy.

Can you believe this young man turned 13 today? UGH!!!

I can't believe I turned 41 four days ago. Double UGH!!!

My two men. Love them.

Kayla and I ran the popcorn machine at the fall fest tonight.

Hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday tomorrow.
Shine bright for Jesus in this dark world.

Friday, October 28, 2011


We finally had time to carve the pumpkins that have been sitting on my dining room table for the past two weeks.

Kayla's is the Minnie Mouse.
Jordan's is Spiderman.
Kevin's is the crazy eye.

It is a bit chilly today. Let Fall truly begin.
Have a Great weekend!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birthday Cake...

Tonight my hubby told me to go to my in-laws house after the band competition. I got there and was surprised with some great birthday gifts.
(It is kind a secret, but I turn the 41 tomorrow. YIKES!!!)

I got new bath towels (Thanks Jordan!), some computer software I am anxious to try (Thanks Kev!) and a new BIG crockpot which I can't wait to use (Thanks Grandma and Papa!). And then there was the cake, made by my favorite gal in the world!

Oh how I love this girl. She makes me smile! :)

We thought it was funny that her red ICEE mouth matched the cake. :)

Happy Birthday to me!
I am blessed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Football Festival Week...

Jordan is the one wearing the blue beanie on the back row. This picture was taken at their face painting party on blue and white day. It was 7:00a.m. in the morning. YIKES!!!

It was football festival week at the middle school this week. Basically, it is their version of Homecoming week, without the Homecoming court. They just have a blast dressing up in costumes all week, painting signs, jeans and whatever else they can turn blue and play some football.

Jordan got in the spirit of things, all but one day. He dressed up like Spiderman on super hero day. Angry smurf on cartoon/movie character day. He painted jeans for blue & white day. And then he went and played some football and a little trumpet.
My blue eyed super hero.

La, la,la la la, la....

Kevin drew the football and helmet for the girls to paint at the sign party. He was super dad of the day. :)

My dinner every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday in the month of October. Yummy!!!

My favorite number this year. :)

My trumpet boy. He is actually getting pretty good at his instrument. He is taking after his dad in that area.

It has been a crazy, long week. Yet, I am trying hard to enjoy memories such as these, for I know the moments are going to fly by and one day, too soon, I will be missing them.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh My Aching Back!!!

Saturday was just another day full of laundry and grocery shopping. My weeknights are so busy these days that it seems like I have to play catch up on Saturday. Yuck!

Only this Saturday, my body had a mind of it's own. About half way through the day, my back gave out. Plum gave out. Couldn't move without sharp pain. Couldn't move with out making funny noises to which my son thought was hilarious until he realized mom wasn't kidding around. (BOYS!!!) Not sure if it is a pinched nerve, muscle spasm or what. The tricky part is I have to be careful about what I take for it, since I am allergic to aspirin and all sister related drugs. FUN!

I didn't make it to church yesterday and I stayed home from work today to rest. I am better, Praise the Lord! I can move now which is a plus. I just wear out real easy and certain movements still cause pain, but I will probably get to go back to work tomorrow.

But this weekend has been full of blessings despite my painful state. I think sometimes God allows our bodies to shut down for a little while so we will "BE STILL" and know who God is. Somehow the everyday problems don't seem half as stressful, after rest and quiet time or BIG TIME pain. :)

I had time to talk to my parents on the phone. I got to nap and sleep in, things I usually never have time to do anymore. I received TLC from the hubby and kids. I was blessed beyond words (I will share later) and I was shown over and over that when you trust, God is faithful.

So, although my back was a achin', God was a blessin'. That makes it a pretty good weekend.

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It is a PARTY!!!

We celebrated Kayla's 15Th birthday with a "Cake Boss" theme. My mother-in-law graciously baked a small cake for each guest. I provided icing, fondant, M&M's and lots of decorating tools to help Kayla and her pals display their creative "sweet" side. They had a BLAST!!!

Kayla made her sign that hung on the wall. We had the party in our youth room at church. I bought cheap plastic tablecloths to cut down on the mess. Kayla's FAVORITE colors are purple and green.

I made everyone wear these goofy baker's hats for fun picture moments... including her "oh so cool" brother. :)

Here are a few samples of the cakes made by her friends...
This one was CUTE. Her friend Zach made cars our of fondant.

Chloe made an M&M cake.
They voted on the cakes and this "star" cake was the winner.
Cute little ocean scene made by friend Courtney.

Jordan was allowed to invite a friend who is the brother of one of Kayla's friends. His creation kind of scared me just a little...

Another pal created this pink and green starred cake.

Kayla's cake was suppose to be our dog's head on top, I think, but I think she gave it horns instead of ears. :)
Jordan's cake looked like something our of a Dr. Seuss book.

Daddy joined the fun too.

There were a few other masterpieces that didn't manage to get a photo op. :( However, every kid had a GREAT time.
Grandma and Papa came to see what all the fun was about.

Of course mom and dad got birthday hugs.
And "YES!" my kids really do love each other.
I promise!

Overall it was a fun day celebrating this beautiful girl, inside and out, that we love so much.

I am so blessed.