John, Sara Beth, Callum, Haley, Kobe, and Samuel

John, Sara Beth, Callum, Haley, Kobe, and Samuel

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday 7-28-11

And for this week...the winners are....

1. God.  He is really "showing out" in my life right now and I am so thankful! He is really beginning to manifest the desires of my heart right before my eyes.

Psalm 27:
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

2. Jesus! He is worthy to be praised!

3. My Husband. This morning when I woke up I could not help but thank God for putting me in the "right season" in my life to know that I did not need to let an opportunity pass me by when I met John. I am so thankful that I woke up to see my husband having "alone time" with God. I am so blessed to be married to a man who seeks a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit!

4. My Kids! You know, I have been sitting "back" and listening more lately instead of always leading the talking with the kids. You can learn a lot from them sometimes! I am also seeing opportunities just presenting themselves for me to "teach" them about. I love hearing their takes on things in life. It is so sweet, cute, and at times down right comical!

5. My Parents. I am beginning to see a trend in these posts with the some of the same things each week... but I just can't help but feel so thankful and blessed for these constant things in my life and my parents are one of those things!

6. Patience. It is hard. It is trying. It is worth it. Try it.

7. Love for My "Enemies". Or you may say... frenemies (friend enemies). They may come in the form of co-workers, the man in front of you in a check out line, a person at school, or even someone you just happen to run across in life. I have been treated very hurtfully and down right cold by someone recently. I chose to love them. When you have the love of God inside you can't help but come out. When someone pokes me...I want love and forgiveness to come out... and that is just what happened. I was talked to so ugly but all that came out was in love. I am so glad I was tested so that I could "pass" that test!  I am so thankful that I am at a point in my life where I absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, "get" that what others say,do, and how they act DOES NOT define me... what they say about me or to me doesn't mean it is true... it DEFINES them and who they really are by how they are acting. If one of my children reads this later in life... I hope they learn this sooner than I did. I use to let put downs and critical words define who I thought I I know different. He makes everything glorious... He made me... What does that make me???

8. The Ability to QUICKLY forgive. I can honestly say that I do not hold grudges. I am so glad that I am past that. I don't have to stay angry with someone over something they did FOREVER ago. I can forgive and let go and let God. I LOVE what the Lord provides when we let Him take over.

9. My Church. I say "my" because I consider it my home church. It is a place I look forward to going and a place I LOVE being involved in everything that goes on. I love love love our pastors and each person at Church of the Shoals. What an awesome place!

10. Unexplained Blessings and Opportunities. I love these because that is when you KNOW God has His hands right in the middle of your life. He will if you let Him.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So Pitiful!

It's 11:00 PM and I am enjoying one of my guilty little pleasures: Pintrest. I am day  night dreaming of cute craft ideas and planning my next wreath I am going to make and thinking about how good a new recipe will turn out and all the fun stuff us thirty year olds do late at night. When, all of a sudden I am startled back into reality...  By these two...  Begging to stay up a little later! Kobe wants to stay up to play a game and Samuel wants to stay up to watch TV...just a little bit he says... I say no. He says, 'but a little bit is just one and that's not a whole lot'! Do you think they got their way or do you think I sent these cuties straight back to bed? OF course, I sent them straight back to bed! Happy Pinning on pintrest friends!

What little boys who beg to stay up late might look like

52 Home---Week 30

July 26, 2011

The kitchen...after the boys "cleaned" it for me

Friday, July 22, 2011


So, I have been a twenty something for a decade now.  Twenty. Twenty One. Twenty Two. Twenty Three. Twenty Four. Twenty Five. Twenty Six. Twenty Seven. Twenty Eight. Twenty Nine. and now...

Twenty Ten. I think that is a very nice way of saying thirty. Twenty Ten. Sounds good to me.

John is really giving me a good "ribbing" about turning thirty and I know it is all in good fun and I can take it. It really doesn't bother me. The other day I asked Callum if I could go into his band camp and watch him for a few minutes and he said "Sure it's not like your old...I mean you aren't THIRTY yet." Everyone seems to thing "thirty" is old. SO, that is why I am turning twenty ten. That way I can be in my twenties and still be "cool" or at least a little cool.. OK, I know I am not cool in any way but hey, a girl can dream!

Monday morning I woke up to THIRTY black birds hanging around my home in various locations... makeup bag, ceiling fans, cereal bowl, lunch bag, you get the picture. Tuesday morning I woke up to a HUGE banner on the dining room table that said "Happy Birthday. The BIG 3-0"...all compliments of Haley.

I know that I have had friends who "freaked" out when they turned thirty and I have seen it on TV too. But, honestly I am just not that freaked out... granted it could be because after all I am ONLY turning twenty ten.

The best things in my entire life happened to me during my twenties. I became a mommy for the first time to Kobe. I met my John. I got married. I gained another son and a daughter and some new family members. I became a mommy to my second son Samuel. My twenties were great! I have heard that things grow better in my thirties will probably be the best years of my life and bring even more great things and opportunities to me and my family!

I am just now starting to see what my life is about. I haven't figured it all out but the older I get...the smarter I get. I never would have thought that to be true...but what your parents say is usually right! I am in a really happy place right now. Everything isn't perfect. I am still being "worked on" by God. My family and my home is still being worked on too. But, I love the progress we have made and I love how my little family works together. I love the way John and my children make me feel and make each other feel. I love that I have found a true peace and a real relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe that the best years are yet to come for me. SO, I don't mind turning thirty  twenty ten. I like the way my life is going and I love WHERE my life is going. So, LOOK out world! I am one year wiser, stronger, tougher, and I am ready to take this chapter of my life on!

So, with that said....

Happy Twenty Tenth Birthday to Me!

Five On Friday 7-22-11 (Similes Part 2)

Here is this week's Five On Friday! I got the list HERE if you would like to participate and create your own Friday 5 blog. I hope you each had a Fabulous Friday, friends!

This Week's Topic: Similes (Part 2)

1. What’s your best advice for someone who’s as drunk as a skunk? **Take two aspirins. Go to Bed. Wake Up and Go to Church!**

2. What’s your best advice for someone who’s as busy as a bee? **Slow down. Take time to smell the roses… and make sure you have on some comfortable shoes!**

3. What’s your best advice for someone who’s as nutty as a fruitcake? ** Please don’t try to take me for a ride on YOUR crazy train!**

4. What’s your best advice for someone who’s as sick as a dog? **Go to bed. Get up and Take a good shower…that always makes me feel better. Well, that and a Sonic Blast. A Reese Cup one with EXTRA Reese Cups and NO whipped cream…just in case you are taking notes.**

5. What’s your best advice for someone who’s as ugly as sin? **Buy cute clothes and shoes.**

*******From "We did Similes Part 1 , and it’s something I’ve always wanted to revisit."-----I went back and decided to do the part one just for fun. So, here is part one to Similes:

1.Who in your life is as blind as a bat? **My Mom! Or maybe Kobe... that child couldn't see something sitting right in front of him!**

2.Who in your life is as happy as a clam? **ME!**

3.Who in your life is as mad as a wet hen? **That's a good one... I will need to be careful here... uhm... The girl I am training to take my position when I leave to be a SAHM... she didn't realize all the work I do and now regrets accepting the position!**

4.Who in your life is as stubborn as a mule? **Me, again! (And John, too!)**

5.Who in your life is as quiet as a mouse? **No one that I am ever around stays quiet for long!**

Thursday, July 21, 2011

No Particular Reason

I have no particular reason for this post except that I LOVE the lyrics of this song and I want my boys to be able to know this as one of my favorite songs:

Oh Lord You Are Beautiful by Keith Green

Oh Lord, you're beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

Oh Lord, you're beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

I want to take your word and shine it all around.
But first help me just to live it Lord.
And when I'm doing well, help me to never seek a crown.
For my reward is giving glory to you.

Oh Lord, please light the fire,
That once burned bright and clear.
Replace the lamp of my first love,
That burns with Holy fear.

I want to take your word and shine it all around.
But first help me just to live it Lord.
And when I'm doing well, help me to never seek a crown.
For my reward is giving glory to you.

Oh Lord, you're beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

I pray each day that a fire for Jesus Christ to be ignited inside of my children. I pray for them to develop a loving and intimate realationship with Jesus Christ. It is true, we have such a great friend in Jesus. I used to jump on the phone with a friend to complain about something that was happening or to share something good that had happened...Now, the first thing I do is Praise Him for everything and then ask for help in what I am going through.

Thankful Thursday 7-21-11

My list this week:

1. God. Thankful for the little and big blessings He pours out on me daily.

2. Jesus. Just the pure mention of His name makes me tear up with an overwhelming feeling of love.

3. John. Poor guy! He didn't know what he was getting himself into but I am glad he figured it all out and we have fine tuned our schedules, ideas, faith, and marriage over these past five years. We are a work in progress and I know it will only get better...but right now I am really satisfied and happy with us! I am blessed with him!

4. My Babies. OK, I know that at some point I have to quit calling them my babies...but it isn't today so... My babies are my WORLD. I adore them. I feel a little disconnected from them this week because of the various camps (Callum has band camp and Kobe has basketball camp) and the fact that we aren't sitting down for dinner this week. One thing that made me proud though... Callum noticed it and did NOT like the fact that we haven't ALL sat down for dinner this week. He actually got VERY disappointed when he figured out that we weren't able to have family dinner time Monday night. I ate after we all got home (at 9:30 PM) John ate after work but before he went to see Callum at band camp and came to watch Kobe at basketball and Haley ate before John came home from work....Samuel... well, he ate a LOT of snacks and a Lunchable and several juice boxes at the two camps while waiting and wishing he had "a practice" to go to (his words, bless him!). This is how it has been ALL week. I am looking forward to getting our family dinner back!

5. My Parents. My parents always step up and in a BIG way. Whether it is help with work on our home/yard, advice, babysitting, or helping shuffle kids to and fro... they are always there and we are SO APPRECIATIVE. We love our Nana and Poppa (the kids find it funny when I call them my mom and dad and correct me..."NO! You mean Nana and Poppa).  I joke them and say well, they might be your grandparents...but they are MY parents!

6. Church of the Shoals. I absolutely adore my church. I love each and every person there. I LOVE our Pastors. I had a friend visit with me on Sunday. She said that she LOVED it and felt so welcome and will be coming back with me this Sunday! Her kids had such a great time as well. It is nice to be involved in a church family like that.

7. Being A Mercy Shower. OK, that is not shower like what you take in the mornings... that is show-er like I am showing you something. I took a test on what type of person I am during a church service a couple of weeks ago. We took these fun little tests to try and see what gifts the Lord has given us and where our talents could best be used. We got to pick our top three scoring areas to get literature to read up on to explain our results. I was a Mercy Shower, A Server, and A Shepherd. I am glad to be labeled as those things. I show mercy to those in need and try to help. I am willing to help others and I have a heart for the lost. Yeah... I will take those.

8. Perfect Melancholy. I got a perfect melancholy when it came to personality. At first, when I got that I couldn't believe it because that isn't really how I "see" myself. But, when I began to read over the traits it was me. Right on the money. A lot of people who have known me from years gone by still see me a little differently. I am glad to be a living testament that becoming a Christian and developing an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ changes you and every single thing about you...and for the better!

9. Leftovers and Salad. Thankfully, I made a huge pan of lasagna on Monday. John called and said he had a horrible day so I did what any wife would do: I made him his most favorite meal. Lasagna, garlic bread, and salad. It is a good thing I did that too. That pan of lasagna has pretty much fed my family this week with us all being so scattered with camps and church.

10. Friends. Real Ones. There is nothing on the planet like a friend who is willing to drop whatever they are doing and talk to you for two hours at 10:00 on a Friday night and have "girl time" from miles away.Nothing.

What are you thankful for this week? Count your blessings... you will forget your troubles that way!


Monday, July 18, 2011

52 Home---Week 29

Buster Bean, Chief,A Boy and his dog...Dog Days of Summer!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

This Could Be Dangerous

Elbow pads and knee pads!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Friday, July 15, 2011

Five On Friday 7-15-11 (Long Journeys)

Here is this week's Five On Friday! I got the list  HERE if you would like to participate and create your own Friday 5 blog. I hope you each had a Fabulous Friday, friends!

This Week's Topic: Long Journeys

1. What is the longest distance you’ve traveled (in one trip) by foot? **In college I signed up for a Camping and Hiking class. I traveled from the road where the bus dropped me off ten miles away the first day and I have no earthly idea how many more miles over the next few days but it was a lot! And… I broke my wrist the first evening we were there so I am sure the rest of the trip seemed longer than it actually was.**

2. What is the longest trip you’ve taken by car? **I guess that would be to St. Louis, Mousouri. Either it was the longest trip ever or just seemed that way because my dad drove us in circles trying to get to the zoo one day! Although, the trip from New Orleans home last year felt like the longest trip in the history of America!**

3. What is the longest trip you’ve taken by plane? **New York.**

4. What is the longest trip you’ve taken on some kind of water craft? **The Caribbean. We went on a cruise last year to Mexico to Cozumel, Progresso, and Yucatan.**

5. What is the longest trip you’ve taken aboard a bus or train? **Sadly, I have NEVER traveled on a train or bus. Unless you count a church bus… and then that would be Orlando to Disney World. I would like to travel by train someday.**

Let me know if you start a Friday 5 blog so I can come see your answers!

Thankful Thursday 7-14-11

Top Ten This Week:

1. God’s Blind Love. I say that because he sees through the rough edges, the “holes” in the knees of our jeans, the dust on the table, the junk left in my car, the crooked pictures on the wall, and all the mess and still loves us imperfections and all. He is Perfect Love!

2. Jesus’ Patience and Unconditional Love. There are times in life when we as humans do get angry and sometimes it causes us to lash out at our Heavenly Father. We question Him, “Why? Why, did you let this happen?” or “Why would you not work that out for me??”. We have to realize that He is working it out. It is already completed. He has finished the book. He knows what He is doing. HE IS IN CONTROL. Even when we lash out and get angry…He is still there just loving us and being patient with us like we would our own children. It literally brings tears to my eyes to even think about it.

3. John. This week has been rough. Last Saturday was probably one of the worst days I have had in a while. I lashed out on God and on John. Even though, the “bad” things happened to us both I still chose to take it out on John. He was feeling just as upset, if not more, as I was feeling. I felt horrible and so guilty. John truly showed me Christian love. He remained calm. He hugged me and told me that we were in it together. Those little things mean so much. I am so proud of the Christian man God gave me.

4. My boys! OH yes! These guys make my heart smile. They make my eyes light up and a little lump to form In the back of my throat sometimes. They are so sweet. I am so blessed to be called “mommy” by them.

5. My Parents. Last Saturday I was, as previously stated, having a "terrible, horrible, no good, very  bad day" (to say the very least). I called my Dad. He told me that it seems that I must be doing something right. He said that I am obviously intimidating the devil because he was coming after me and my family hard that day. My mom told me to put on the armor of God and fight the devil off with it. I am lucky to have such great parents.

6. Bad Days. That is weird to some I know. But, last Saturday a tree limb knocked out a window and dented up John’s car. Homeowner’s wouldn’t pay for it even though it was caused by a storm... and his car only has liability coverage because it is paid for. Our lawnmower died. I borrowed my dad’s to get through that particular grass cutting. His lawnmower died. We had some other things happened the day before and I was going off of two hours of sleep. Now, it doesn’t seem that bad but that day it was HUGE! I was literally praising God saying that the devil could just flee because His praises would always be on my lips and I was thanking God for all of His blessings when my dad’s lawnmower died. Later, I realized that without that lawnmower dying I couldn’t have praised Him in my “storm”. I was able to handle a situation that could have been horrible in a good way and it helped John and I get practice handling things as a Christian couple. It also made time for my dad and John to spend some time together and so… bad days… aren’t always “bad”.

7. Media Fast. I am thankful that John stepped up as the head of our household and decided for us to go on a media fast. At first, the thought of no TV or computer absolutely terrified me. Now, I honestly don’t know how I ever had time for it! I have gotten so much accomplished and spent some really great quality time with John and the kids. I think Family Board Game Night is going to be a regular at our house!

8. Only 11 more days of work! YAY! Then I can be home with all three boys and Scout! I am so excited about that. I am so thankful the Lord worked it all out. I just stepped out of the way and he did it all. Glory to God!

9. Saturday. Of course, I love every Saturday. But, this Saturday, Callum comes home from visiting his mom for the summer. I have missed him! I probably won’t see him much between drum camp, church beach retreat, and band camp but I am happy to be able to be there to take him to those places and be there when he gets home! I have missed that guy!

10. Talks. This week has brought on a lot and I mean a LOT of talks. We have had individual talks with Kobe and Haley and Aaron’s son Trace. It is good to talk to them one on one and see what is going on with them. What they are feeling and take time to answer any questions that they may have. We try to do this at least once every two weeks with each child and it really helps our relationships and I think it builds trust between us.

Your turn... what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

For My Child

My Child,

You may not know me,

but I know everything about you.

Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up.

Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways.

Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.

Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.

Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being.

Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring.

Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived.

Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation.

Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake,

for all your days are written in my book.

Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth

and where you would live.

Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother's womb.

Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born.

Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented

by those who don't know me.

John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry,

but am the complete expression of love.

1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.

1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child

and I am your Father.

1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.

Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father.

Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.

James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.

Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love.

Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless

as the sand on the seashore.

Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you.

Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession.

Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you

with all my heart and all my soul.

Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things.

Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart,

you will find me.

Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you

the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires.

Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you

than you could possibly imagine.

Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you

in all your troubles.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted,

I am close to you.

Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb,

I have carried you close to my heart.

Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away

every tear from your eyes.

Revelation 21:3-4

And I'll take away all the pain

you have suffered on this earth.

Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you

even as I love my son, Jesus.

John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.

John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being.

Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you,

not against you.

Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression

of my love for you.

1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved

that I might gain your love.

Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,

you receive me.

1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you

from my love again.

Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I'll throw the biggest party

heaven has ever seen.

Luke 15:7

I have always been Father,

and will always be Father.

Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…

Will you be my child?

John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you.

Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad

Almighty God


Age  29 (for a few more days, anyway!)

Bed Size  Queen

Chore You Hate  cleaning the bathroom

 Dogs  Buster (Boston Terrier) and Chief (Boxer)

Essential Start of Your Day  A splash of water to my face!

Favorite Color  Black and Pink…it is a tie

Gold or Silver  Silver

Height  5'5

Instruments I Have Played  Piano and Violin

Job Title  Accounting/Collections Specialists (for 13 more working days and then a Stay At Home Mommy!)

Kids  Callum (14) Haley (13) Kobe (9) Sam (4)

Love  My Savior and John

Moms Name Sara Ellen Waldrep McCollum

Nickname  For some reason my mom always called me Beth Lynn when I was little… I have no idea why. My dad called me Hotrod. People at school called me Buffy… Only ONE person to this day could call me that and not get a roll of the eyes and that would be Charlie Moore…he started it.

Overnight Hospital Stay  When I had my children

Pet Peeve  I have SO many. The one that comes to mind right off is PLEASE don’t use a woman’s decorative towel to dry your hands or a decorative pillow to put under your head or feet!

Quote Favorite

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

Elizabeth Stone quote

Right or Left Handed  Right

Siblings None

Time You Wake Up  I would like to wake up at 5:00. I set my alarm for that time but rarely do I ever get up at that time…More like 6:45.

Upsetting People who have children but don’t take care of them or spend the necessary time needed to show them care and love.

Vegetables You Dislike Uhmmm…beets.

What Makes You Run Late  Not being able to leave one single thing out of place when I leave the house. Beds have to be made, dishes out of the sink, couch pillows and throws in their appropriate places and folded nicely… etc.

X-Rays You've Had  Arm and wrist

Yummy Food  My grandmother’s Chicken Pot Pie or my Mom’s potato soup

Zoo Animal  Otters!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ever Chaging

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies. ~Author Unknown

Changes. They can sometimes be considered bad. They can sometimes be considered good. They can sometimes be exciting and at other times absolutely dreaded. We have had some changes going on in our household lately and each and every one of them is very exciting.

We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance. ~Harrison Ford

One thing that has changed is that we have decided to get out of debt. We have decided to begin following Dave Ramsey’s plan for Financial Peace. We have done several things that he has suggested. We tried selling my car to get rid of the payment but so far that hasn’t happened and that is OK. We went on to the next step. We cut out each and every thing that is not completely necessary. We sacrificed quite a bit but I am very proud of us for being responsible and mature enough to go through with doing it. We cut our cell phone bill drastically by dumping our data packages and smart phones. That was a hard one and probably the most dreaded and the most overwhelming one to think about because our lives are simply at our finger tips with the technology it provides but we got downright serious about it and did it. It is a HUGE adjustment. But, I am so proud of us and I am so happy we did it. We obviously dumped our smart phones for some old phones that we already had that we didn’t have to purchase. They are old style flip phones and I am having a hard time “dumbing down” and figuring out how to use these simple gadgets but it will be worth it. It calls out. It accepts calls. It receives and sends texts. I will survive! We also discontinued a couple of subscriptions and lowered our Netflix package (we couldn’t give up everything!)  and our DirecTv package. We went to the most simple and basic package they offer. The kids still have their favorite channels and I still have local channels and the kid's music channel and the Christian music channel “The Spirit” is offered and so, once again, we will survive! I am really proud of us and the sacrifice it took to even start this process so I can’t imagine how we are going to feel when we shout “WE ARE DEBT FREE!”. It feels good to be a responsible parent and adult. We want to get out from under the “slave” mentality of working to pay bills and buy “stuff”. We can't wait to be able to live in a "giving" mode like we should be living.

"Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins.
If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined
No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."
Matthew 9:17 (NIV)

For the Lord your God will bless you as He has promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you. Deuteronomy 15:6

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

While doing our budget for the Financial Peace program… we realized and began implementing our second change:

Beginning August 1st I will become a Stay At Home Mommy. The Lord knew this was a desire in my heart for quite some time now but the timing had to be His and not ours. I am so happy to report that I will be more available to my husband, children, and our household. I am really looking forward to it and I cannot wait.

He gives the childless woman a family,
making her a happy mother."
Psalm 113:9 New Living Translation

Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:"
Proverbs 31:28 New Living Translation

I am sure some people just had a gigantic “HUH???” run through their minds… so, we are trying to get out of debt and I quit my job?? That is where the third change comes in:

Because I don’t want to just equal out by staying home and saving on childcare costs for Kobe and Samuel and I still want to make some money to supplement so that we can reduce this debt quickly…I am going to be helping a sweet and dear friend of mine from church out with her daughter while she works. She was praying for someone to come along that she could trust to love and watch over her sweet Scout and I was praying the Lord would show me a way to supplement our income so He used us to answer each other’s prayers. We are both very excited about it and Samuel is thrilled to have Scout coming to play every day. I am also looking at using my “crafty/artsy” side and do something I love and create things and make a little money doing it…but that will come a little later. There couldn’t possibly be more changes??? Yes, there can.

But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT)

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 

Next would be:

My family has decided to participate in a Media Fast. Instead of the traditional “meal/food fast” we are giving up media. We have “unplugged” from the world and tuned in to the Kingdom. We began on July 1st. We are enjoying more quality family time and getting a LOT done around the house. We are also spending more time with God and talking about God and reading about Jesus in our Bibles and devotionals. The kids have handled it so well. I am really proud of them. We have had two family movie nights so far and because we aren’t doing them so often the kids were so grateful and excited to have that time with all of us just being together watching a movie. We have completely eliminated the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 and the Internet unless we have decided in advance we are going to give some special media time and so far it has worked out. We have had a couple of Family Game Nights and I have really enjoyed those. I am enjoying talking to John each night instead of blankly staring at the TV or playing on the Internet. Our Pastor made us some lists of things to do to help get through a 40 day Media Fast. One was to simplify and organize your house. We started with our closets. MAN! I LOVE our closets now. They used to be the one thing I disliked the most in our home and now they are one of my favorite things. I love them. We ended up having a HUGE amount of stuff once everything was cleaned out of the house that we no longer used. Which lead us to doing something Dave Ramsey recommends… having a yard sale. Everything has clicked together so well. I love when His plans come together!

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let
God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Then you will learn to know
God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
Romans 12:2 (NLT)

"Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning." Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity."
Joel 2:12-13 (NIV)

We have also decided to do some “Facelifting” to the outside of our home. I am probably the most excited about this change. I can NOT wait to see what it turns out to look like! It is my birthday present from my mom and dad. It is getting started by this weekend. John has already started some of it by sprucing up the trees and bushes and our fence. It looks so nice and he isn’t even finished yet! We also got a new “member” added to our family yesterday. A new lawnmower. It is so nice and shiny and red! The kids were actually fighting over who would use it! We have needed one badly for a few months and ours finally completely died. My dad and John have already brought it ‘back to life’ three or four times this year so we let it go for good this last time.

Changes can be scary and they can bring all sorts of emotions. For me, these changes are so exciting and I absolutely can NOT wait to start a new season in my life.

"And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change
and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3 (NIV)

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!"
 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

As Pastor Bill always says... Don't take a picture of me now because this is not the finished product. God is still working on me!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

52 Week ---Week 27

Happy Fourth of July! John did another theme hair style for Kobe.
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52 Home--- Week 28

Media Fast brings good old fashioned fun! Monopoly!
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Five on Friday 7-8-11 (Rock Star Treatment)

Here is this week's Five On Friday! I got the list at HERE if you would like to participate and create your own Friday 5 blog. I hope you each had a Fabulous Friday, friends!

This Week's Topic: Rock Star Treatment
1. What instructions do you have for your chauffeur this weekend? **Enjoy your weekend! I want to stay home and relax!**

2. What instructions do you have for your personal chef this weekend? **I would like a seafood feast on Friday evening, For Saturday I will take your choice of a menu item but on Sunday morning I MUST have omelets and a breakfast feast fit for a King  Queen!**

3. What instructions do you have for your errand-boy (or errand-girl) this weekend? **Grocery Shopping!!!**

4. What instructions do you have for your maid this weekend? **Dust the ceiling fans, do the baseboards, and by all means please do not forget to DEEP clean the bathroom.**

5. You don’t have a personal handyman, so I’m lending you mine. What three tasks would you like him to tackle this weekend? **Get started on the porch modification, fix the walk path from driveway to front door, and build me two flower beds on either side of the front porch steps!**

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thankful Thursday 7-7-2011

This week's Top Ten List is:

1. God. He provides… and in a *big* way!

2. Jesus. His is our Risen Lord!

3. Family. My guys literally make my whole day! I am so blessed to have them and to be able to share each and every day with them. I love making memories with them!

4. Parents. We are all so thankful for my parents. They are always there for us whether we need advice, to borrow tools, a break from the kids, or just to hang out.

5. Church. I am so thankful for our church family and pastors at Church of the Shoals. I adore each and every single person there. I am so happy this is where God chose to plant my family!

6. Friends. Good friends are hard to come by so when you find one… hang on to them!

7. Knowing your Kids Watch and Listen. I am thankful that my children watch and listen to us and repeat our behavior (most of the time—sometimes they act up, but hey, they are kids!) Kobe asked for a Facebook account. I said no. Then I decided that he could have one if we had dual control. Meaning, that he would know the username (and of course, I would too!) and I would know the password. That way it took both of us to be able to log on and I could check out any friend requests, messages, etc. He was trying to guess what I used as the password the other day in the car. He guessed “Jesus” and the “God”. Then he guessed our dog’s name and gave up. Samuel guessed Heaven. It meant a lot to me that Jesus,God, and Heaven were the first  things that came to their minds when he thought of me. Last night on the way home from church Samuel asked if I could have him a baby sister and if we could name her God!

8. New beginnings. I love the excitement of good changes on the horizon.

9. Answered Prayers. I have had a desire in my heart for quite some time now. I have prayed about it and daydreamed about it. I always thought the answer was “no”. But I LOVE “not now” because that means… it is in store for you. Just be obedient and listen and watch for your moment and claim it!

10. Thunderstorms. I love them for many reasons. But today, I LOVE them because it gets us out of doing yard work. Don’t tell the kids I said that… I always tell them to be cheerful helpers! I would have been a cheerful helper but I am more cheerful knowing that I don’t have to!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fights, Fireworks, and Ice Cream..OH MY!

Summer in the South. I say I despise being hot… and I honestly do but I can’t think of a better time to be a Southerner than in the Summer. Alabama summers are hot and humid, yes, but the days are LONG and easy and the nights are even better. You can hear crickets chirping and watch lightening bugs and since you don't have to come in until the street lights pop on... you can stay out pretty late since it doesn't get really dark until after 8:30!. This summer has proven to be one of the best so far. We have been trying to pack in as much as we possibly can into each weekend and I would say that we are doing pretty good so far. This past weekend was a long holiday weekend to celebrate the 4th of July. The South, being patriotic, long weekends, and family… I mean all of those things just fit together perfectly.

Thursday night I decided to get all of the house work and yard work done so that we could really relax and enjoy our long weekend together. We all pitched in and got a LOT done to the yard. My parents came over to help too. My mom watched Samuel and helped move our vehicles around and my dad helped John chainsaw trees down that were damaged in the recent storms. We had several LARGE trees with damage so we needed help. We got a lot of things done in the yard that needed to be done and some things done that we just wanted to get done. I went and picked up dinner and desert for everyone and we all ate together. After that, it was pretty late and we had work the next morning so we all showered and headed to bed. I was happy though because I knew that the next day began a long and fun weekend.

Friday. At 4:30 I was literally in my car headed down the highway to get my boys picked up! I was so ready for us to all get home and get our weekend started. As soon as we pulled up to our house Samuel began asking to get his slip and slide out. OK, he got this slip n slide for his birthday back in May and it was still in the box. I know, the horror! So, I decided to be a cool mom and set it up in our side yard. The boys played on it for a few minutes and then just as quickly as the excitement came it was gone. The new had worn off. They had each hurt themselves slipping and sliding (I don’t know what they thought they were going to be doing on a “slip n slide”) and they were hungry and DONE! So, I did what any good mother would do…I took the opportunity to put this little adventure to rest. I dried them off and we went in and made one of their favorites…mini corn dogs! One day I am going to get back to cooking a meat and three vegetables and a roll (Sam and Callum’s favorite part) but just not right now! That is just a benefit of the summer: Easy Meals! So, after our feast of corn dogs and chips we decided to find a movie to watch. We all hovered around and watched a Will Smith movie (hey, Will Smith movies just go with the 4th of July!). After that Haley, Kobe, and Samuel decided that they wanted to go to my parent’s house. It was after 8:30 but it wasn’t technically dark yet so to them it was still day time. I agreed and carried them, loaded with movies, popcorn, and candy to Nana and Poppa’s house. John and I decided to indulge in a little guilty pleasure while there were no kids in the house: Glee—Season 2 arrived on Netflix that very day!

Saturday. When John and I got up we headed to my parent’s house. We had agreed to help do some housework and yard work with them on Saturday. I worked in the house helping my mom get some chores done and helping her clean and John and the kids helped outside. Once finished helping out I went and got everyone lunch and picked up a few things for the weekend and picked up each child something special for being such a big help over the past couple of days. I got Samuel Hot Wheels, Kobe Pokemon cards, and Haley had been wanting some sunglasses and a big pack of her favorite gum since she was leaving in a couple days to go to the beach with some of her family on her mom’s side. After lunch, we were tired! We all went home and decided we needed to rest. Samuel and Haley played a game together, Kobe and I watched Space Jam and John worked on his phone and new Tab. Kobe and I fell asleep for a MUCH needed nap. We all woke up just in time to shower and get ready to go to Buffalo Wild Wings for the UFC fight. We had the *best* time. We just hung out and talked and enjoyed the fights together. It was definitely a very fun night. We got home at a reasonable time and got plenty of rest for church the next day.

Sunday. Sunday morning was like every other Sunday morning. We got up and all got dressed for church and headed out the door. Except, I usually make cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we had star shaped donuts in honor of the 4th of July. They had icing and sprinkles…and were pretty good if I do say so myself. After church we decided to try two new things. 1. T-Bones Grill and 2. A Media Fast for 40 days. We had a delicious lunch at T-Bones and while we ate we discussed what fasting media would be like. We would give up our Facebook time, TV time, PlayStation/game time, and Internet time. We would replace this time that we would have spent using media with parying/conneting with God and spending more quality time as a family and getting our family,helath, and house in order. Pastor Bill gave us a little helpful brochure that gave us 40 things to do in 40 days to improve your health and on the opposite side it showed things to do instead of using “media”. The kids weren’t so thrilled. It started immediately when we got home. We normally come in from church and watch movies, play on the computer, PlayStation, and nap. So, this day was a little different. I made some goodies for our church picnic that we were going to that evening and John played Battleship with the kids. After that…my favorite part of Sunday…NAPTIME! We woke up just in time to pack our car down, get fireworks, and make it to the picnic just in time. I got baptized at the Freedom Party. I was so nervous! I am so thankful for a sweet and great friend, Rachel, who prayed for me and told me how proud she was of me. I am not a fan of water in my face so it was a big deal. Rachel’s little boy got baptized as well and he had the privilege of being baptized by his grandfather (her father). It was the sweetest moment that I believe I have ever witnessed. My good  friend, Tabitha got baptized that day too and so I was glad to be able to stand with her and share that moment together. It was a very happy occasion and one that I will remember forever. After that the kids got to swim and play games and the adults did too. We talked and hung out and it was such a fun time. Samuel got into the pool (for the first time without me or John) and had such a great time. I couldn’t believe he was so good at it and wasn’t afraid at all! We had to beg him to get out just to eat! He spend the majority of the night in the pool with Kobe and Haley. Haley eventually decided to join the youth group in a game of volleyball and seemed to really have a great time. Finally, it was the moment we had been waiting for: FIREWORKS! We all lined up and sat down together and watched the fireworks and OOOHHH’d and AHHHHH’d and then John got out his surprise for all the kids: Sparklers. They had so much fun with those sparklers. As we were leaving Nana invited the kids to spend the night at her house again… they couldn’t have been more thrilled! So, John and I dropped them off and headed home with Haley. We got her all ready to leave out around 3:30 in the morning for the beach. We were all so tired but a good tired. We had a great time and knew we would rest very well.

Monday. Began at 3:00 A.M. and not because Haley was telling us good-bye either. My phone rang at 3 AM. That is not the best feeling in the world, especially when your kids are not at home. It was my mom calling to say that Samuel had a nightmare and couldn’t be consoled and wanted his mommy and daddy. I got on the phone with Sam and tried to console him and he just wasn’t having it. He wanted us and he wanted us NOW! So, since Haley was due to leave in about a half hour I stayed there to tell her good bye and John left to get Samuel picked up. Sweet Sam. Bless his little heart. He was terrified when he got home he immediately snuggled up to me and kissed me and told me he loved me. It wasn’t the way I thought my day would begin but I would take it. Haley left for the beach and we slept in a little bit. Once we were all awake we ate breakfast together and Sam brought out the Batman Cave and Joker set. My dad came and got Sam and took him back to his house and John and I decided to do one of the things on our list of suggestions from Pastor Bill. We cleaned out our closets! They look so nice now. I am so glad John motivated me to do it. It is like we got a brand new space! We hung them according to what type of shirt (and I broke mine on down into colors) and pants and separated them with shirts on the top racks and pants on the bottom racks. It is so organized and I absolutely love it. We also DEEP cleaned our kitchen and laundry room. It is so nice to walk into those rooms now. I am trying to clean (really clean, organize ,and simplify) one room a day. It is turning out nicely. After that we decided to “pal around” for a little bit and then headed to my mom’s. My mom made potato salad and baked beans, my dad grilled ribs, and we made corn on the cob and two kinds of homemade ice cream. And of course, we cut up some tomato for Kobe... you know he thinks he has to have a fresh tomato with every meal in the summer! I had never made homemade ice cream so my dad showed me how. We did it together and that was fun. After dinner was all cleaned up we had a Family Movie night with my parents and watched a HORRIBLE movie that John has been dying to see: True Grit. Well, the movie was OK but it was S-L-O-W moving. We snacked all throughout the movie on cupcakes, ice cream, popcorn and candy. After the movie we decided to pack it up and head on home. On our way we found the “cheap seats” to the fireworks display at the river and enjoyed watching some of those fireworks. I liked the spot because it wasn’t crowded…in fact only one other car was there. Everyone was happy as we made our way home and once all the sparklers had been “sparkled” and the poppers had been "popped" it was time for bed.

It was a great weekend. I think it is one we will remember for many years to come. When I think of the past few days only one song comes to mind at it is this one:

Sunday In the South by Shenandoah

Millworker houses lined up in a row
Another southern Sunday's morning glow
Beneath the steeple all the people have begun
Shakin' hands with the man who grips the gospel gun
While the quiet prayer
The smell of dinner on the ground
Fills up the mornin' air
ain't nothin' sweeter around
I can almost hear my momma pray
Oh Lord forgive us, when we doubt

another sacred Sunday in the South

A ragged rebel flag flies high above it all
poppin' in the wind like an angry cannon ball
Now the coals of history are cold and still
but they still smell the powder burning and they probably always will
and on the old town square under the barber shop pole
they set me up in the chair
when I was 4-years old
I cannot almost hear my papa say
wont you hold still son stop squirmin’ around
another southern Sunday's comin' 'round

I can almost hear the old folks say
you'll make it big one day and leave this town
it's another lazy Sunday, back around

I can feel the evenin' sun go down
and all the lights in the houses one by one go out
softly in the distance nothin' stirs about
and the night is filled
with the sound of a whippoorwill
on a Sunday in the south alright

And the Star Spangled Banner, of course! Once again... I got all caught up in the activities and took ZERO pictures.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thankful Thursday 6-30-11

Things I am most thankful for this week :

1. God’s Love. He is in the business of making miracles out of messes!

2. Jesus. Thank you Jesus for guiding me along the path that I take in life.

3. Family. I love my husband and kids! Those guys mean everything to me.

4. Parents. I am so glad that I have my parents near by and that we get to spend time with them and see them often. I love having them involved and being able to share our lives with them!

5. LONG WEEKENDS! We have a long weekend this week because of July 4th holiday. I am SO glad to have an extra day with all of us off from work and the daily schedule so that we can spend extra time together.

6. The little things. This morning I was watching the dogs run and play after eachother when I took them outside. It was so cute! Just hearing Samuel giggle on the way to school and Kobe looking back giving me a smile when I go to work… he may be too big to hug me and tell me he loves me in front of his friends…but that smile (you all know the one that your kids give when they think no one is looking) says it all!

7. Involvement. I am thankful that I have a husband who isn’t “displaced”. He is around and he goes to (almost) every event. He is at every single practice and game. He goes to every open house at school and every parent meeting. He takes notes and makes suggestions. He helps prepare for tests, homework, and “the big game”. He helps out around the house and in the yard. He makes sure we are taken care of. I am the same way. We are a lot a like. I am thankful that my children have involvement from both parents and that John and I have it from eachother.

8. Oatmeal. I LOVE Quaker Weight Control banana bread oatmeal. I had the maple and brown sugar yesterday. IT is delicious.

9. Countdowns. I love having a countdown to something BIG. It makes me feel like a little kid. I get all filled with excitement and so anxious.

10. Provision. I am so thankful that we serve a God who provides for us anything we need. We only have to ask. He wants us to!


Five on Friday 7-1-11 (5 for Five's Fifth)

Here is this week's Five On Friday! I got the list at HERE if you would like to participate and create your own Friday 5 blog. I hope you each had a Fabulous Friday, friends!

This Week's Topic:  5 for Five's Fifth--this sounds strange but today marks the fifth anniversary of the blog I get these topics/questions from each week!

1. Of the five weekdays, which is the easiest to get through? **FRIDAY!!**

2. Which of the five little piggies is the most bizarrely characterized? **The little piggy who had roast beef!**

3. Of fire, earth, metal, water, and wood, from which do you draw your power? **??????**

4. Haribo Gummy Bears come in five flavors: pineapple (white), strawberry (green), raspberry (red), lemon (yellow) and orange (orange). Which is your favorite? **Raspberry!**

5. Which of the five basic tastes (sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, and savoriness) best describes your personality? **Salty!**