Monday, July 30, 2012

A time for change

Today is the first day of the rest of my the wife of a cop!

In one of my first blogs Change of Seasons I alluded to the long road we have been on these, hmm...three-plus years, and my husbands desire to be a deputy sheriff.  After completing night classes and training, my husband became a reserve officer last fall (pics of him getting sworn in).  Jessie has put in over 300 hours since last fall as a reserve officer and he has loved, I mean LOVED every minute of it!  Never has he been more sure of anything, except marrying me of course. :)  His passion is evident when you talk to him about his work.

The opportunity has finally come for Jessie to go on full time with the local sheriffs office.  This means training starts over for him.  He will head off to the academy before long for more intense training and testing than what he went through with the reserve classes.  He is excited and nervous and ready!  I know he will do well.  I am SO proud of him for pursuing his dream wholeheartedly! He inspires me.

As Jessie begins his new venture and our family falls in line with all that entails, we are also preparing for our girls to start school.  We home-schooled last year, which was a blessing in many ways.  My girls are SO smart and learn so quickly! It was nice having them home with me one more year, especially while baby number three was still so new.  However, trying to home school while running my business from home, nursing and caring for an infant, and taking care of a new was not an easy task.  While the flexibility was very nice, we were completely burnt out!  Our girls are ready for school, a classroom, a teacher, and new friends.  I am excited for them!  I know they will thrive in their new environment.  I'm looking forward to afternoons with them, catching up on their day, helping them with any homework, and letting them play with their dolls/dollhouse together as I am sure they will miss each other after their busy day.

My husband and I have often joked that we always have big changes, at least one, each year of our marriage.  Whether it is a move, a job change, a baby, a dog, a new business venture, or all of the above, there is never a dull moment in our home.  So it is really difficult for me to imagine the next 25 -or so- years with my husband doing the same thing.  However we will still have our side business, my full-time job.  And our kids are getting to an age where they will soon be involved in sports and plenty of things to keep us extremely busy.

I have no doubt that the fun has just begun!

miscellany monday at lowercase letters
Linking up with Carissa at LowercaseLetters

Monday, July 23, 2012

I HOPE...!

I use this phrase a lot!

I hope you have a great day!
I hope you feel better.

"Real Bible hope is not 'wishing.'  It is earnest, intense, expectation that what God has said will come to pass." Pursuit of His Presence, Kenneth Copeland

The Word says that Faith is the substance of things hoped for!  Hope in this context is not a feeling it is an action. It is a real expectation of knowing what is to come.  In my devotion this morning, I read that "if people would just expect God to move as much as a child expects his grandparents to arrive, He could move on their situation and change things drastically by the power of His Spirit."

Do you have young children?  I don't know about your children, but if my kids hear that their grandparents are coming by to see them they STOP whatever they are doing, get everything together that they want to show their grandparents (artwork, dolls, clothes, etc), ask every 2 minutes -or less- WHEN they will be here even if we've told them it will be 4 more hours.  They KNOW their grandparents are coming to see them, they EXPECT their grandparents to come through that door any second even though they know it might be longer, they ANTICIPATE the excitement of hugging them and playing with them, they LIVE for that moment, and NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!!

Whew!  What a revelation this is to me.  I HOPE for God to move, but it often is in the form of "wishing" rather than pure expectation with a KNOWing that He will do what He has promised.  What has he promised?  Find his promises in the Word.  I have promises I have been standing on...with expectation that the fulfillment of His promise will happen any second!  Well, I wish I could say that was always true...sometimes doubt can cloud my hope.  Sometimes fear can make my hope turn to frustration.  Is my hope pure like a child waiting for their grandparents to walk through that front door?  No, not always.  I should have such strong hope in the promises of God's Word that NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!  Circumstances do not matter.  What people say does not matter.  What the bills say does not matter.  What the doctors say does not matter.  Are you hearing what I'm saying here?!  God's Word is more powerful than anything we can say or do.  His Word is alive and sharper than any two-edged sword.  Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things that you truly HOPE for.

Let's get our minds in gear.  Let's focus on the promise and not the problem.  Boy is that hard to do!!  How do we do it?  We get IN the Word.  Read it-Speak it-Think about it-Believe it.

Your Spirit man is like the muscles in your body.  If you do nothing, you lose muscle and gain fat!  If you are active & eat right, you will gain muscle and lose fat!  Not only that, but the muscle you build will be so full of life that it will continue to burn fat even when you are not working out.  Oh man, this is good....  Well, when you feed on the word and speak and act on the Word you are building your spirit man -with FAITH- like those muscles, and burning up the FAT, aka: doubt and unbelief.  And if your spirit man is built up, then even in those moments of discouragement that will inevitably come, your spirit "muscles" will still be working to burn up that doubt!!

I don't know about you, but I needed to hear this today and just had to share it with you.
So, I truly HOPE you have a great day! ;)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Repost: "So you STILL think God is a merciful God?!"

Like so many others, I am horrified and disheartened at the senseless tragedy that occurred in Aurora Colorado on Thursday night.  I know we will ever understand why bad things happen to good people.  My heart and my prayers go out to the families of those who were killed or injured, and the survivors who witnessed this horrific outpouring of foolishness.

I watched an interview with the mother of a young lady named Jessica on 20/20.  Jessica was in the shopping mall during the shooting in Colorado just a couple weeks ago and survived.  However, she was at the theater with a friend the other night and did not make it out alive.  These things break my heart!

But! I know God is good.  And as the survivor posted in this blog below, "God is always good.  Man is not."  No matter what you are going through: tragic loss, illness, financial struggles...we serve a merciful God!  This world is full of hurt and sadness, but regardless of how circumstances around us may look you must find something bigger than yourself to trust in. And God is there with arms open wide ready to give hope to the hopeless, father the fatherless, and love without condition.  Trust Him with your heart and hurts and you will not be disappointed.  I pray you will be encouraged by Marie's story...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from The Andy Griffith Show

Andy Griffith passed away this morning.  This kinda makes me sad.  The Andy Griffith Show, the black & white ones at least, were a part of my childhood.  That's all thanks to my dad!  They were a part of his childhood and he made us watch them with him...but we liked it. :)  

andy griffiths show andy and barney.jpg

I don't know a whole lot about his personal life, but as for the "lessons" he portrayed on The Andy Griffith Show, they will stick with me forever.  After all, "everything I need to know about life, I learned on The Andy Griffith Show".  Okay, so that's not entirely true, but it is something my dad would say a lot -jokingly- when we were young.  I think he even had a little devotional that provided Biblical application to lessons from Andy.  Maybe that's a stretch, but maybe not.  

A few simple lessons I learned from The Andy Griffith Show:

1. You have to take responsibility for your actions.  When Opey shot the momma bird and had to take care of the babies, then release them when they were ready..."but aren't the trees so nice & full"...ugh, -tears-

2. Drunkenness is not cool.  Barney would accidentally sip on some moonshine now & then, which was really funny.  And Otis Campbell was a sweetheart citizen in Mayberry who would lock himself up when he had a few too many.

3. Guns are not toys.  Barney wasn't allowed to have a bullet in his gun because he had an overeager trigger-finger.  

4. If you need help, just ask.  "Call the man!"  Aunt Bee was so stubborn and never wanted to admit when she was wrong. Didn't she read the script? Andy was always right. ;)

Andy, you were a television legacy.  I don't know where your heart was, but I do hope we get to see you again one day.  Thanks dad for instilling Biblical principles in our lives when we were young, and for introducing us to good, uncontaminated television (and music) classics, as it should be.  I love you!

Me & my Dad .circa 1979
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

True Woman | I'm Not Reading "Fifty Shades of Grey"

I'm so glad to see this blog, True Woman | I'm Not Reading "Fifty Shades of Grey".  I am truly not writing this to judge those who are reading the book.  I just know that for me, I want to preserve the sanctity of my marriage.  That does not mean "anything goes".  I wouldn't want to fill my mind and heart with lust any more than I would want my husband looking at provocative pictures or movies.  The writer of this blog expresses it well.  How do you feel about it?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Baseball First Birthday, but a memory.

Wesley's first birthday has come and gone.  And all I have left to show for it is this sad little instagram picture...
Wesley's 1st Birthday Cake

I made the tragic mistake of clearing my memory card without triple checking to make sure I had successfully imported all of the photos from my camera.  These photos were well over the 300 mark, including everyday silly pictures of my three little ones, Wesley's first haircut, his monumental first birthday, and our annual trip to the Riverbank Zoo.  I was devastated to say the least.  Thankfully I have a picture crazed family who, I am certain, has enough pictures just of Wesley face first in his cake to fill an album. Album, ha, remember those? [Al-bum noun: A blank book for the insertion of photographs, stamps, or pictures.]

I love making special cakes for my kids birthdays.  My mom always did it for us when we were little: choo choo trains, cabbage patch kids.  That is, until we were older and realized that substance-trumps-appearance and began requesting her chocolate chip cookie ice cream cake!  The instagram picture above shows my horrible icing skills, but it was fun!  The bases were made of little graham crackers I coated in white chocolate.  And the billboard was a regular sized graham cracker coated in white chocolate.  I carefully stuck toothpicks into the side of the "billboard" to hold it on the cake.  The baseball didn't stay on the cake so well.  It began to slide off a little and was melty and skewed by the time we made it to the ball field pavilion where we had the party.  The little figure was an afterthought of my husbands, it is actually a little collectors figure of Phil Niekro, who I had the privilege of meeting once upon a time.  Thankfully, despite its appearance, it still tasted really good!
Wesley's First Birthday Keepsake Baseball

I had lots of pictures of this little memento we made at his party (which are long gone), so I snagged this pic out of his room for you to see.   Since I had his handprint on a baseball in the hospital when he was born (see here), I thought a ball with signatures of all of the guests at his first birthday would be a fun idea.  I should have used a better pen for the signatures, because some didn't show up as well as others.  But it is till something special that can stay in his collection for years to come.  

Pictures remind us of the moments we don't want to forget.  Aside from the big milestones, there are moments like these everyday. When my baby boy runs to say 'bii bii' to daddy on his way out the door, or when all the kids shriek with excitement when he is home.  When the kids race through the house chasing each other giggling with joy.  Or when our girls make us sweet notes that say 'I Love You' for no reason at all.  It's moments like these that get me through the whiny, fussy moments that can seem like an eternity at times.  As for the pictures that I deleted into oblivion, I will have to cherish those memories in my heart and be thankful I had those times and that there will be many more to come.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Free Beach Towel

I've alluded to my business a few times in my blog posts, but never really told you what I do.
I own & operate my embroidery business Bold Impressions (follow Bold Impressions on Facebook).  We embroider corporate apparel, personalized bags, towels, blankets, etc, and promotional products.  One day I will take the time to tell you how my husband and I fell into this business, but for now I just want to talk about our current promotion.  I think you will like it!

Buy 1 & we give 1 to a special child
We are giving away -as in FREE of charge- a personalized beach towel to orphans in our local community for EACH personalized beach towel that our customers purchase.  So, for example, when you purchase a personalized beach towel from us for your two children, we will also make a personalized beach towel for two children in local children's homes.  We are already collaborating with Eagle Harbor Ranch, and we have other children's homes lined up for future recipients.  

I would love to see this go national to other children's homes. How wonderful would it be for these children to have something of their own, when the world around them keeps changing and nothing seems constant.  We can share God's love with these children by giving them something of their very own.  

How can you help?
Join us on Facebook  Message me with your order information (see below).  Shipping is available nationwide, and we will invoice through paypal.  If you would like, you can include with your order a note to the recipient of the free towel.  We will deliver all the towels to the children's home once we have accumulated enough orders for each child, so they all get their own towel at once.  
(quantities are limited in some colors, we will confirm your order details before requesting payment)
I knew you would like it!  

Let me know if you have any questions.  I look forward to working with you!

Thanks so much!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bloomin Onion

An onion started sprouting a bit, so I stuck it in a small pot on the window sill just to see how it would do.  My amusing little houseplant may not last forever, but it's kinda cute.  I'm curious if the sprouts are tasty. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

let me tell you about "the birds and the bees"

What do birds and bees have to do with "it"?  That was a silly question I asked my husband the other day.  He wasn't exactly sure I looked it up on Wikipedia.  Haha!!  Yep, I just turned 33, have had 3 children and have been married for almost 9 years, and I just learned about "the birds and the bees".

I was actually wondering what birds and bees have to do with each other to explain the how's and why's of reproduction.  Answer: Absolutely nothing!  

It's rather simple really.  Bees carrying pollen to a flower is supposed to help explain male fertilization.  And birds lay eggs, which is supposed to be a simplistic explanation for female ovulation.  

I know I'm not the only one out there who didn't know what this phrase really I??

Linked up for Miscellany Monday

lowercase letters

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Doting Aunt

The most exciting thing about the Superbowl for me this year was getting together with my family!  My sister and her family have only a few more months here with us before they move on to their next assignment as a military family.  We have been so blessed to have them here so long! And I am so grateful that the timing worked out so we could be there for the birth of their 2nd baby boy.  

Levi Armstrong Thomasson 10lb 12oz February 9, 2012
Our precious little nephew was 6 days past his due date, and was apparently just waiting on his cue from mommy to come out and join us.  It didn't take much encouragement...she was such a champ!

Mommy and Baby

Wouldn't you say she looks amazing!  Especially after delivering this little armful.  I'm sure she'll disclose the full story as only a Mom can, if you want to follow her:  Smiling Faces Beautiful Places.

Beautiful Family
And baby makes 4.  They have an exuberant 20 month old little boy Ethan.  He says "Levi" and "baby", but I don't think he quite understands that this baby is coming home with him, and will change his little world forever--in a good way!

He's such a cutie!!  And he will lead the way for his baby brother in adventure and fun.  He will be such a great big brother and a little helper for mommy and daddy.  Love him!

And my little bundle of fun will have so much fun with his cousins whenever we visit them in their next assignment.  I can just see the 3 boys all grown up, trenching through the yard, building forts, getting filthy dirty and having a blast!  My girls are so excited about their new baby cousin!  I know they will all be Skype buddies and thanks to modern technology stay close no matter where we all are.  

I linked up with Rachel from Finding Joy.
I should also mention that I saved several of these pics from my sister--"stole" is such a harsh word. ;)  
friday favorite things | finding joy

Saturday, February 4, 2012

10 things I LOVE about you

Wesley, you are getting SO big!  In fact, I think you grew even more last night because this morning you looked even bigger.  Today you are 10 months old.  Just a blink away from turning 1 year old.  I just re-read your update I wrote when you were 7 months old, and I am so glad I wrote it, because just as I suspected it seems like ages ago that you would lay in one place and coo and "grunt" contentedly.  My how time flies so quickly.
HE doesn't take a bad picture,
but obviously Mommy's  phone does

  1. You are so sweet Wesley!  You wake up from your naps and bedtime excited to see me and peaking past me to see if your sisters are right behind me, as they usually are.  
  2. You are tough, "all boy" they say.  If you happen to fall, you roll out of it and try again.  Climbing up stairs, cruising around furniture, and trying to get into Marley's cage, you are quite determined.
  3. You are growing up so fast!  I know I said that already, but were crawling before you were 8 months old and now you are standing--bravely letting go--and standing longer each time you practice.  You're moving around furniture like a champ!  And you are about to bust out of those 9 months clothes, filling the 12 months quite comfortably.
  4. There is no doubt in my mind that you will play sports when you are bigger.  Your legs are solid big guy!  The first time we rolled a little ball to you, you rolled it right back consistently.  When everything else gets a courtesy chew and christened with drool, it's like you know how to play with a ball.  Yep, all boy! Mommy & Daddy are proud. ;)  Even when I peaked into your crib last night, you had a toy baseball curled in your hand.
  5. I love your laugh!  Mommy can make you laugh the best!  My favorite play time is after we put the girls to bed and you have your last's just me & you and we play and play!  All I have to say is "I'm gonna get you" and you freeze until I get ya and you cackle and belly laugh.  
  6. Your smile can make anyone feel better!  The grandparents ache for it, I just know it.  We all love your big happy face and all that it entails--pure joy at the sight of someone you love!
  7. You adore your daddy!  After your early morning feedings you look for him in our bed and tackle him until he wakes up to play with you.  If mommy is feeding you and daddy is around, you always stop and give daddy a smile.  He is the only one who you will "high five".  And playtime with daddy is just FUN, playing tackle and climbing all over guys are going to have so much fun once you're really running around!  
  8. You are so patient with your sisters!  You have been abundantly blessed with extra mommy's in the house and you tolerate it well.  They adore you and thankfully you don't mind one bit.  You get carried and toted around like a doll baby and you're so chill about just plop wherever they put you and keep on going to the next thing in reach that you can chew on.  
  9. I am grateful that you are an excellent sleeper!  Unless you are not feeling well, you always grace mommy with a full nights sleep.  I wish I could say I knew the secret to make a baby sleep through the night, I could make millions--or at least help a lot of my mommy friends with some tips.
  10. I love knowing that all of these great qualities about you will be the foundation for the type of man you will be one day.  You are strong, gentle, loving, fun and I believe you will be a great leader!  My prayer over you sweet boy is that your heart will be rooted so deep in God's Word that it will overflow and be evident in every area of your life.  I believe that your sweet nature and strong countenance will gain you favor when you're grown, to minister to people who might otherwise never accept the Love of Jesus in their lives.  You have a divine purpose Wesley!  
                                                                                         I love you sweet boy!

Pirate treasure, or as daddy said "baby booty"

Thursday, January 19, 2012

No Excuses!

"Whether you think you can or can' are right." 
~Henry Ford

Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. 
Romans 12:2a

I just finished a 10 day Beach Body challenge, to kick off the 90 day challenge.  I struggled--man, did I struggle!  While we made a lot of changes and healthy additions and substitutes into our diet, I did it begrudgingly.  I realized in this week and a half that I have a bigger problem than my current pant size.  I have a false sense of entitlement to food--food I think is good.  I have to re-establish what good food really is.  The bigger struggle came to the workout-I whined and even cried, yes I got mad and cried once, because I didn't want to do it.  I made excuses and put it off until the end of the day, until I had the most obvious excuse "it's late, and I'm tired".  However, I KNOW that change will not come if I don't put it into action.

Made to Crave
I went to bed last night reading the book "Made to Crave", which puts our purpose into perspective as it relates to feeding our bodies and feeding our spirit.  I looked up a verse this morning that has been on my mind since then...the phrase "be transformed by the renewing of your mind" was playing over and over in my head.  I knew I needed to transform my way of thinking, and it wasn't going to be easy.  It takes work--hard work--planning & scheduling.  I learned that when I didn't have a snack or meal pre-planned I found myself tempted to grab something "easy."  Curbing our cravings and committing to exercise every day was not going to be me I had every excuse in the book!  But transformation will not take place until I put what I know into action and make a decision to push toward something better--a healthier way of living.  

I had an epiphany!  

There is a common misconception that when we become a Christian we will magically be GOOD, we will supernaturally be BLESSED, just because we gave our hearts to the Lord.  And while those promises are in the Word, it is true that 'old habits die hard.'  Those old habits whatever they may be: drinking, smoking, over-eating, over-spending, gossip won't disappear because we are now believers.  Thank God that through the Blood of Jesus Christ we were made new, however we still have to renew our mindset to what is Good (Philippians 4:8).  We have to renew our minds so we don't fall back into our old habits, our old way of living and thinking.  I looked up RENEW and it means "to be restored to a former state; become new or as if new again."  Transformation of old habits will not take place until we take action--renew is an action word by the way--and make adjustments to change our mindset by getting into God's Word, by pressing PLAY on the workout video, by avoiding temptation and making better choices everyday--NO EXCUSES!

You really HAVE to watch this video:
"By His power we live and move and exist." Acts 17:28a

Monday, January 16, 2012

Been there Pinned that

I received an invite to join something called Pinterest back in October.  I distinctly remember saying to some friends at a pumpkin carving party that I would not join because I didn't need another distraction like facebook.  It was only a couple weeks later that I peaked into Pinterest and was immediately hooked.  

What is Pinterest?  
It is basically a virtual bulletin board customized by you.  

I was always guilty of "bookmarking" things online and never referencing them again.  Even more frustrating was when I would bookmark a recipe or webpage and could not find it in that long list of unorganized bookmarks...or could not remember what I named it.  Pinterest is the perfect solution!  You create your own categories/boards for things you like to search for online: home decor, craft ideas, recipes, a great bag or book.  Okay, you got me, it really is a chic thing.  But in all honesty, it has been a fun and rather handy resource for me the last few months.  

For example, I like to make my kids birthday cakes and have fun with it!  I have a board for birthday ideas with cake ideas I have found online and pinned, and a few fun ideas some other people have pinned and I "re-pinned" onto my own board.  This was Abby's cake I made for her 6th birthday.  It was so fun and turned out super-cute!  

We had a little fun the other week cleaning up all the old broken crayon pieces in the bottom of our little shoebox of crayons.  We baked them in a silicon cupcake pan. 

For a little fun in our homeschooling activities last fall, we traced and cut out the girls hands and feet.  I let them decide what they wanted to make out of their cut-outs.  Katie made a butterfly, and Abby made a tree and a chicken.

At Christmas I took a fun idea from Pinterest and put the kids handprints on ornaments.  I let the girls paint their fingers to look like snowmen.  I messed up on Wesley's handprint...I was so focused on getting a good clean print that I didn't put his print in the right direction, so I had to get a little more creative and make it into something else--I went with a little reindeer.  And it turned out pretty cute I think.  I completed it by writing their name and the year with a marker on the back.

My favorite Pinterest idea come to life was the Christmas wreath I made.  A friend from church hosted a "Pinterest party", where everyone brought the fixin's for their favorite Pin.  This is what I attempted, simply made by stringing ornaments around a wire hanger!

For Thanksgiving, we took on our own crafty little project inspired by Abby.  I think she saw it on nick jr. 

We traced and cut out a template of the girls handprints.  Then rolled out sugar cookie dough and traced our template. I added a smidge of cookie dough to the thumb to give our turkeys a beak-like look.

Then we iced and decorated and had some messy fun.

These were originally going to be place-holders at the Thanksgiving dinner table, 
but we decided not to put everyone's names on them after all. They turned out so cute!

So, if you think Pinterest might be for you then check it out.  Leave a comment and I will be glad to send you an invite.  Click, Join, Follow, and have fun!  Happy Pinning everyone! 

Linking up with Carissa at Lowercase Letters for Miscellany Monday
Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters

Sunday, January 15, 2012

John 3:16

I just LOVE Christmas time!  Not only Christmas day, but the whole season!  I love the lights, the decorating, the smells, the music, thinking of special things to buy or make for loved ones....okay, not so much the shopping part, but just the Spirit of the Season!   It is a time that we can enjoy with family and friends, reach out to those in need, and the underlying purpose is to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ!  Yes, there is chaos amid the blah, crowds and deadlines,...but you can evade reality for moments in the season and just enjoy!

God's Christmas GiftI wanted to make sure our kids didn't get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas this year (and every year).  After we pulled all our decoration goodies out of the attic, I sat down with the girls and read a fun story to kick off our holiday fun.  I picked up this book several years ago and we use it to replace our usual Bible stories at bedtime reading during Christmas.  It is the narrative of a Grandmother telling her grandchildren about the greatest gift...and you have to see for yourself, but it's adorable!  Ha! I just had a flashback to Reading Rainbow--"but don't take my word for it".  Showing my age here, but I digress. ;)  For the weeks following, we decorated, baked, made lots of fun crafts and saw tons of lights!  The girls even had an incredible opportunity to truly give and learn first-hand how it feels to be able to bless someone.

In the midst of all of this we still occasionally lost sight of the "reason for the season" with bickering and some greediness.  So I taught the girls John 3:16.  They recited it on cue whenever I would randomly ask, "why do we celebrate Christmas girls?"...they would answer, because it's Jesus' birthday!!  I want them to understand from the Word of God why God's Gift to us was so special, not just because Mommy and Daddy said so.  And that is something they are learning on their own--it's a heart thing! We can encourage and
teach them, but ultimately they will give their little hearts to the Lord on their own time, as Abby did almost a year ago (Change of Seasons).  The video on the left was aired during a football game on Saturday night.  I was in awe as I watched the Word of God proclaimed so vibrantly on public television!  My sister-in-law helped me find the video of it, because I wanted to show the girls.  They made me re-play it six times!

Abby just celebrated her 6th birthday and our gift to her was a Bible and personalized case to carry to big-kids church.  The first thing she did was look up John 3:16...and she has looked it up dozens of times since and read and read it over and over.  This morning on the way to church as she was reading it in the car, she asked "why does it say that?" and she read it out loud. "Why does it say 'you will not die but have eternal life'?--Great Grandpa died" she said.  That's a tough one to explain, but she's been asking questions like this since she was three!  I explained to her about our physical bodies and our spirit and how we buried Great Grandpa, but his spirit is with Jesus because he gave his heart to the Lord.  I love her heart and desire to learn and truly understand more about the Jesus!  

The pop-up nativity
On Christmas morning we always begin by reading the Christmas story from the Bible and praying together before we open any gifts.  This is a tradition that came from my family that I love, along with cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate,...because it helps us stop and first remember WHY we are exchanging gifts.  It also puts an emphasis on GIVING rather than RECEIVING.  When I bought the book I mentioned before, I also found this beautifully illustrated book that shows "the Story of Christmas" directly from the Luke 2 and Matthew 2.  It has pop-up pages and gorgeous illustrations by John Walker.  I highly recommend this book if you have little ones and also share this tradition or would like to start doing so next year.  So in the middle of the Santa hype and festivities of Christmas, we always brought it back to WHY we were having so much fun and WHO we were celebrating.  John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."  That is what makes Christmastime so special to me.

I'll share a few pics from our holiday below:
Pinterest made the holiday a little extra fun--handprints of my little ones.
Our 3 loves!
Where's Wesley?
Praying before we open gifts at Granny & Grandaddy's house
Abby and Katie with Great Grandma
Wesley with Great Grandma
Daddy reading the Christmas Story

Awesome Braves Rocker from MeMe and PaPa
One picture to prove I was there too. ;)
Sleep-eyed girls with their American Girl Dolls
Never a bad picture of my boy
Wesley playing in the giant box in the aftermath of Christmas 2011

I hope you all have a blessed New Year!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Courage! -this is not a resolution

"The miracle isn't that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
-John Bingham

Just read this quote as I am preparing my grocery list for my adventure in a beach body challenge.  Had I read this any other time, I might have overlooked it.  However, as I am mentally preparing for this challenge, determined not to fail, I am kind of scared.  Yes, scared.  Scared of not succeeding, not following through, not reaching my goals.  Weird, huh!  I haven't ever seriously tried to be fit or lose weight...throughout my life I exercise occasionally and eat whatever we can afford at that time.  Even when I was tiny in college, I was living off sodas and snacks that carried me though my classes and work until I ate dinner late in the evening.  Unfortunately, as a mom of 3 on a limited budget, carbs like cereals, sandwiches, and pastas make up most days.  So a bit of that "fear" is of the unknown--as one who is not good at meal planning, I am really going to have to think about and plan every meal.  As one who will sometimes skip meals like breakfast or lunch, I now have to fit those in AND force snacks in-between as well.  This is overwhelming to me.  

At the same time, I am excited.  I am excited to take my before pics and measurements because I can't wait to see the changes that will occur.  I am eager to see those changes, yet realistic about the timeline.  It has taken me about 8 years to fill these jeans after all, so I know I need to approach this with a sound mind knowing it will take time to reach my goal.  What is my goal?  To feel comfortable and cute in clothing.  To be healthy.  To not be a hypocrite that makes my children eat sensibly as I do the opposite.  Also, since I know we are not having any more children, I feel like it is time to get back to where I know I need to be.  My hubby is on board as well...ready to meet the challenge alongside me.  And Shaun T is propped beside my dvd player ready to roll with my workout of choice, appropriately called Insanity.  

So, Mr. John Bingham, whoever you are--fitness guru no doubt--I haven't started or finished yet.  But as I prepare to begin this challenge I am mustering up the courage to do so.  I know I can do this.  I am ready to do this.  


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