Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lord Help Me!

As promised, in a very transparent way, I will now reveal my list of goals for the new year.

1. Rest and Walk in the Lord. (Surely this will affect all other goals!)

2. Spend purposeful time investing in my family. Bruce first...then kids!

3. Do some very intentional things in my community to share Christ love.

4. Host weekly dinner for 3 couples in our church

5. Have more home-cooked meals that don't involve the microwave!---or a large square box with a frozen disc. (the people in #4 will be glad for this one)

6. Parent Responsibly- Follow Through- Be a Godly example.

7. Carried over from last year....get more organized!

8. Become more healthy...better choices... (will be reading the book Guided By Him by Julie Morris)

9. Potty train Tucker.....ok...he's three...if this doesn't happen by next January I will probably need medication!

10. Learn some new skills for blogging and work. I'd love to learn some web design.

That about sums it up....plenty to do...Lord help me!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


It's the dreaded time of year...everyone's asking "what's your new year resolution?" and even when they aren't asking somehow...I feel compelled to tell them what I will be working hard to achieve over the next 12 months.

Last year, I made the #1 resolution people in America make. To lose weight. I failed. I am still the exact weight I was then. This year the resolution will be different. I am going to (with God's help) live more healthy, to take better stewardship of this one body God has given me.

Last year, I resolved to be better organized for sanity's sake. So I worked hard and then hired a housekeeper. She is a God-send and ministers to me in countless ways. So, I am better organized...thanks to me a little and her a lot!

I also deeply desired to be able to stay home with my kids. God answered that prayer and in August, provided my part-time work at home job to develop into more hours and I was able to quit my other 2 part time jobs. This has been a huge blessing all around. God's provision and answer to my prayers has been such a blessing. Plus...I get to do something that I love!

So...this year what's it gonna be for you? What are you resolving, promising, aiming, hoping and wishing to accomplish? I will be posting mine tomorrow. For now, I would love to hear yours! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Smells of the season

Gingerbread, pumpkin pie, apple cidar, roasted turkey, fresh breads and homemade cookies..the smells of the season. My most favorite smells include vanilla and sugar cookies and include even the occasional pine aroma from a live tree.

This Christmas Eve started like most of the rest since we have had children. We were busy getting things ready for Santa's arrival...reindeer food, cookies, pepermint stick (because it's in some old song that Savannah heard on the radio) and milk. We were wrapping last minute gifts, making our last emergency trip to the local Dollar General store and pretty much trying to keep the kids under control. It was hurried and crazy but at 4pm things took a turn...we left for church. Seems like focusing on the true meaning of Christmas has a calming effect. We enjoyed fellowship, music and communion with our church family and returned home to welcome more friends for Christmas Eve finger foods.

When everyone was tucked in bed and Bruce and I were finishing last minute preparations for Santa's arrival, we decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and cook the ham throughout the night, leaving the oven open for more food to be cooked in the morning....we really are a genius pair. You should have seen us in action, preparing the ham, placing it carefully in the aluminum pan, covering the pan with foil, preheating the oven to 325 degrees and then, placing the ham in the oven. We appeared as skilled kitchen help.

By the time Bruce had finished assembling some "no assembly required" toys, it was 2am and we turned in.....

At 3am I woke up and needed to go to the bathroom. I noticed the aroma of the ham baking was beginning to fill the house....AHHH pork..the other white meat.

At 4:30 I woke up again....potty break #2 (might have something to do with the fact that I drank 1 gallon of diet coke before bed). As I stumbled to the bathroom my eyes were very blurried...but I chalked it up to being tired. When I exited the master bath, the light caught it....the hazy fog filling the house...the smell hit me...this time...not so pleasant...something was burning!

I quickly squirried to the kitchen and immediately noticed the smoke coming through the stove top burners...I opened the oven....smoke filled the kitchen....I gasped...hoping the ham wasn't on fire...then I discovered....

The liquid from the ham was spilling over into the oven....and BURNING!!! Not to mention the fact that when I opened the door to the oven, that same liquid was spilling onto my kitchen, greasy, burnt smelling liquid.

I removed the ham from the oven. Disturbed that our genius idea had gone so far south. Ironically, it was about this time that Bruce showed up on the scene "I thought I smelled something" were his first words. HA...yay...something alright!

Together, we cleaned up and then glazed our little pork product and then went back to bed....

When I got up later...the smell still lingered in the fact it is still here now...So, I guess for the Stinson's we have a new smell of the season to throw in our memory bank.

For the record...the ham was delicious. Everyone loved it!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What's on your Christmas menu?

Here's our menu for Christmas...I'd love to hear about yours (I'm always looking for new ideas!)

Glazed ham
Green Bean Casserole (new spin)
Corn Souffle'
Broccoli Salad
Mashed Potatoes
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Deviled Eggs
Lemon Bread (more like a cake)
Homemade Rolls
Banana Pudding


Favorite Christmas Song

These are the lyrics to my new favorite Christmas song. You can listen to How Many Kings on my playlist at the bottom of this screen, but more important than each note of the song is the message of the bottom line of this song. I'm posting the lyrics so you can see how beautifully written it is...and see the message along with hearing it when you come to my site.


Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe after all we’ve projected
A child in a manger

Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mothers shawl
Just a child
Is this who we’ve waited for?

Cause how many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn savior
All that we have whether costly or meek
Because we believe
Gold for his honor and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross he’ll suffer
Do you believe, is this who we’ve waited for?
(It’s who we’ve waited for)

How many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many Gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
Only one did that for me

All for me
All for you
All for me
All for you

Friday, December 19, 2008


I've been part of some kind of on-line group for women in ministry for over 10 years now. I can tell you that I have experienced endless support, encouragement, counsel, correction and love by being a part of a large group of women who walk in the same kind of shoes, live in the same kind of fish bowl and love the ministry that God has given them, the same way I do.

A friend of mine started a yahoo group for women who are in ministry (women's, children, music, missionaries...) or who are married to someone in ministry. It's become a great source for idea exchanges, prayer support and just overall ministry encouragement. We share experiences and heartaches and women share wisdom and bear each others burdens.

If you're interested in learning more about WHIM (Women's Hearts in Ministry) check it out at You'll need to join the group and the moderator will email you confirmation information.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Philosophy of Education

A homeschooling mom friend shared these quotes on her site at
These are fantastic quotes not only as we teach our children, but as we work in our churches and communities. Enjoy!

1. The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think — rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men. ~Bill Beattie

2. Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it. ~William Haley

3. All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth. ~Aristotle

4. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~Aristotle

5. To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge. ~Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

6. Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous. ~Confucius

7. The aim of education is the knowledge not of fact, but of values. ~Dean William R. Inge

8. It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. ~Epictetus

9. Who dares to teach must never cease to learn. ~John Cotton Dana

10. The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them. ~Mark Twain

11. I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. ~Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

12. If I ran a school, I’d give the average grade to the ones who gave me all the right answers, for being good parrots. I’d give the top grades to those who made a lot of mistakes and told me about them, and then told me what they learned from them. ~R. Buckminster Fuller

13. Merely to stuff the child with a lot of information, making him pass examinations, is the most unintelligent form of education. ~Jiddu Krishnamurti

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mission News

Thrilled! Excited! Head over Heels! --- All just a few of the emotions and expressions I am feeling about what God is doing through the Mission Gunter. We are getting ready to do our food distribution for Christmas on Saturday. Each church in the community volunteered to get involved by providing something for our food distribution. One church is providing 40 gallons of milk, another church is providing meat, and another church is providing brand new blankets for each box. Someone else called and said they are donating bread!!!!

I wish you could know what an answer to prayer this is for The Mission. It has taken one solid year of praying, working hard and talking about The Mission for us to see this kind of involvement in our community. IT's ALL GOD!!!

I can't help but think about the huge impact the church (in general) in the community will make this Saturday and beyond. Baptist, Church of Christ and non-denominational coming together to help meet the physical needs of our community...and who knows maybe even plant the seed that will be watered for spirtual growth in the future.

Tucker's grammar isn't that good (he's only 3...don't panic) and one phrase that he says is "I can't know"....what he means is "I don't know". This phrase came to my mind when I was thinking about the marvelous plans God has for the Mission..."I can't know" the extent that God is going to use us, but I know this weekend will be a timy glimpse of a dream come true. God's people being the church.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Figuring things out....

So by now you've seen enough mistakes on my blog to know that I am so very green at this whole blogosphere journey! I changed my background the other day and I have no idea what I did but I disable any comments readers could leave! So, if you've been wondering why you couldn't leave me a comment....things have been fixed and you can comment away again!

Monday, December 15, 2008

10 Favorite things about my birthday boy

Tucker is 3 are some of my favorite things about him:

1. His laugh
2. That whenever there is a mouse on TV he holds my hand because he knows I am horrified of them!
3. The way he says Savannah--- SAWANNA
4. That when we wants to be rocked, he tells me to hold him like baby Jesus.
5. His smile
6. That he loves his friends
7. When he calls me his "best buddy"
8. That he has a good sense of humor
9. He recently has started asking if he can say the prayer before meals
10. That he shares my love for Resee's Peanut Butter Cups


Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Three R's

Barely noticeable are the new small words under my blog title. I've been thinking for some time about what I am really striving to accomplish by keeping these journals (now Blog). Running seemed to define what I do most days from before sun up to long after dusk. Reaching seemed to identify my dependence and walk with God and Rest is that quality of life that I hope to embrace each day as I Run and Reach. Does this make sense? Hopefully.

Motherhood at this stage is pretty exhausting! It really doesn't matter if the kids are sick or well or if a day of homeschooling is studious or a waste or if the church is running 20 or 200. It takes a super-hero amount of energy to get through any day. I admit this is a journey that I embrace and sometimes am exasperated by! It's hard work!

I'm hoping by finally identifying what I am about will help me put things into perspective better and will keep me focused on the goals God sets before me. I know this: I have the special privilege of guiding two precious children to adulthood. I know I am not alone. I have a God who will guide them, a father who adores them, Grandparents who will pray and support us and a host of loving and supportive friends and family that will be there to cheer them on their walk. SO...I need to get it together...Do my best...jumpstart each day in HIS Word...Keep focused and realize that learning doesn't always happen at a desk in school. The most important lessons are caught in the moments of each day, at dinner with the family, baking cookies in the kitchen, riding in the car, saying prayers at night and loving each other...after all the greatest of these...the greatest...the absolute greatest thing I can teach and LOVE.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Most Memorable Christmas Gifts I've Received

1. Holly Hobby dollhouse
2. Little House on the Prairie Collction of books
3. Anne of Green Gables Collection
4. Kitchen Aid Mixer
5. Tickets to Josh Groban
6. $100 pinned to the Christmas tree when I was 19 and in college and dirt poor!

It's funny to me that the price of these items ranges from a couple of dollars to hundreds of dollars. I guess things just mean different things to different people. God's always been more than generous to me and has blessed me with many things that aren't on my "need" list. He gives me my wants much of the time. I'm reminded of that as I look at this blessing list of nothing terribly 'need" worthy!

He blesses us beyond anything we could ever imagine.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


My last 24 hours have been CRAZY! My friend from Beaumont came to stay with us 2 days while in the area working. While here, she had a horrible reaction to some medication she is on and we ended up spending 4 hours in the ER. When I got home, Tucker, who has been sick for 3 days, was worse than ever...fever, vomitting, coughing, stuffy nose....YUCK! Anyway, we had a pretty sleepless night.

Isn't it funny how much can change in 24 short hours. The house was clean, we had company over, we were talking about a staff dinner we were to host tonight, we were making PLANS. Needless to say....all those plans...and the clean house changed pretty quickly!

Somehow, in the chaos that transpired, I imagined how it must have been 24 hours before Christ was born. My mind has been dwelling on the nativity story lately so I pondered there for a while. What was Mary thinking. Knowing the Savior of the World was on his way in just hours. What about Joseph? Do you think he felt the weight most father's feel when they are about to become a parent. I also thought about Mary's parents, how do you think they felt knowing their daughter was soon to deliver and was heading out of town! (I know my mom wouldn't have been happy!) This quiet little world where Joseph and Mary lived was soon to explode with the activity of baby...our Savior. 24 hours...changed the world.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Handmade Gifts

I'd like to hear your opinion on this:
Do you enjoy receiving handmade gifts at the holidays? Something as simple as a tin of muffins from a girlfriend, or something handmade like pillowcases from an aunt...I'm just wondering if they have the same value they have had in past generations and I'm also wondering if there will be a resurgence since the economy is declining and more people will be affected financially.
I personally love handmade gifts. I love the idea of someone thinking of me as they made muffins or pillowcases. I love a good story to go with a good handmade gift. I love the idea of the time invested in a handmade gift. I love the idea of someone's hands working to make me happy.
Just wondering how you feel about it..let me know!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Clean House...

On Mondays my wonderful housekeeper/friend comes and cleans my home. It's awesome. By the time she leaves my house is looking and smelling good. I have often told Bruce if I had to choose between him and her...he better watch out! The clean look doesn't last long with 2 kids home all day though and usually by Thursday we are doing lots of 5 minute clean-ups throughout the day.

In the past I have worried about what others would think of me if my house wasn't perfect when they came for a meal or even just popped in unannounced. I've decided this is something I am not going to worry about too much anymore. I feel like I have missed out on some wonderful memory making visiting opportunities because I am trying to be super-mom, employee extraordinaire and pastor's wife....all the while....not able to keep things together at home. So I've decided that I am going to do my best to keep things tidy. I am going to do my daily sprucing up...and if someone pops in or I want to invite someone over for dinner at 4pm....I'm gonna do it by golly! I'm not going to stand in the foyer hoping no one sees past me.

So....when are YOU coming for dinner?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Unto Us...

I have been thinking a lot about the Christmas season and what it is beginning to look like in my family as our children grow. In my quiet time this week I was reading in Isaiah:
"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given....and the chastisement of our sin was upon him."
This passage of scripture hit me like a ton of bricks. It is SO very personal. These personal pronouns in the passage emphasis the individual gift Jesus is to each person on earth. He is like the perfectly selected gift you search for at Christmas. He's not the bulk packaging you find at SAM's or Costco. This very individual Savior wants a personal, intimate, one on one relationship with me. I've known this for most of my life, but reading about it in the Old Testament, through the prophecy of our coming Savior, brought things full circle for me. There's been some talk recently about the song "Above All" that we sing at church. The song talks about when Jesus was hanging on the cross that He was thinking of me "above all". Well, I don't know about when He was on the cross...but I certainly think that people are the most important thing to him and that his relationship with me is personal and that perhaps in his omniscience I am what he thinks about....after all He came to us (me)...given in the package of a tiny baby to us (me), to take our (my) sin and yours on himself. How much more personal, individual and perfect a gift could there be to share this season.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Memories

During the Christmas season when I was growing up, I remember a couple of memorable moments that have impacted me as an adult. One memory is of my dad. He passed away when I was 18, so this is one of my most special holiday memories.

I had a friend who came from a large family. Becky's dad was a part-time preacher and carpet layer. They struggled to make ends meet. It was sometime in the 1980's when I my dad did something I will never forget. Before I go on, you must understand, my family was not "rich". We had what we needed and some of what we wanted, my parents taught us three kids a strong work ethic and before I was thirteen I had already realized that I could make some cash doing different odd jobs...babysitting, cleaning...Anyway, that is what makes this such a special memory. We were at church when I saw my dad walk up to Becky's dad and hand him a bundle of money. It was exchanged during a handshake. I knew what dad was doing. I saw Becky's dad's eyes well up with tears and I watched 2 men embrace in a strong manly way. I will never forget.

What I learned that day is that needy people are all around us. Some are needy because of generational poverty...their parents were needy, their grandparents and so forth. Some are needy because times are tough. With the economy going south I am seeing more of this everyday. People who could normally take care of their family but because of the economy, a job loss, health concerns...they can't. And then there are those who don't want to do better for themselves. They aren't motivated, don't care, use excuses.... I don't have to look far in my town to see each one of these scenerios played out.

What my dad did was put feet to action. He saw a need and did something about it. I also saw the response of a grown man wanting to care for his family and seeing hope and gratitude in his eyes jumpstarts me to action. I learned you don't have to have a lot to do a lot. My family didn't have money to throw away. There were three kids and my uncle and my parents living in a modest home with one income, yet, God placed a burden on my dad's heart to help meet the needs of others. I doubt anyone else besides my mom saw what happened that day at church, but it was one of the loudest sermons ever preached to me in church.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Little Known Facts

I've noticed a few of my blogger friends do some creative "getting to know you" posting periodically. Here's my attempt at giving you a sneak peak into a few little known facts about me:

1. I have recently become a night owl.
2. My favorite book of the Bible is Proverbs
3. I love Pizza Hut deep dish pizza
4. I have a pet peeve about tardiness
5. I have jammy days with my kids at least once every 2 weeks
6. I would have loved to have lived during the early 1900's
7. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday
8. My favorite character quality is loyalty
9. I love rainy days
10. When I was a child I loved watching TGIF on Friday nights.

There will be more to come....I'd love to hear a few little known facts about them below or leave your own blog link!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What's In Your Wallet?

I've been thinking of some ways our family can cut back in 09 recently. We are probably like most Americans our age. We have a little saved, college funds for the kids, a little in retirement and make ends meet each month, but with the recession word being tossed around like a pillow at a pillow fight, I'm thinking change is coming!!!..and I don't mean our President elect!

I was thinking of ways I could be more frugal and came up with a few:

1. Meal planning and coupon cutting
2. Planting my own veggies
3. Plan trips to town to be more strategic
4. Make dinner at home on Sundays instead of our traditional "eat out" meal
5. Use the Fireplace more this winter instead of running the heat so much
6. Request items on Freecycle that I want instead of going and buying them new
7. Second hand shop for the kids and keep a good eye out for sale items
8. Turn lights out when not in the room
9. Scale down on TV we really need 300 channels..most of which we don't watch!
10. Tithe....God takes care of those who obey Him.

Lest you think I am worried that we won't make it during this recession...FEAR NOT! I've been thinking about a simpler lifestyle for a long time. This will just make it easier.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Casting Crowns

Last night we were blessed to go to Casting Crowns Christmas Tour Concert. They are traveling with Michael English, Natalie Grant, Avalon, Pure Energy, and Denver and the Mile High Orchestra. It was a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season. CC certainly has a way of bringing it all into focus. Our seats were awesome! Thanks to our good friend Darren (who is the stage director for CC) we were able to get free tickets and backstage passes.

Almost as good as the concert...or maybe even better is the fact that we ran into three friends from college....each holds a special place in our hearts. Jamie was on the same dorm floor as me for 2 years of college. We were EL ED majors and had classes together and years later I still have great memories of friendship with her. Another was the wife of a dear friend who passed away in his 30's. Bruce and I spent a summer traveling with Kodi's hubby. Brian was always the one who kept our group laughing! David was also there and it was awesome to see him and Bruce hanging out. He was in our wedding and it was fun to catch up! Hopefully there will be lots more meetings (maybe more intentional next time!) God is good to encourage and refresh friendships!

It was an awesome night!

Friday, November 28, 2008


Bruce and I have been married for 15 years. For most of those 15 years, we have shopped on Black Friday. Some years we have shopped seperately (I'd leave way before him and he would meet up with me later in the day.) However, since we welcomed our two children into the family, for some reason, we have made it a special day to go shop together. Believe's the only time we shop for a full day together!!! Bruce went undiagnosed with ADHD for all of his childhood years...those who know him as an adult can just imagine what a mischievious child he must have been...however as an adult the most I usually have to worry about is him getting heavily distracted when a lot is going on. Thus, shopping the day after Thanksgiving can be eventful, challenging and a bit on the crazy side. This year Bruce decided that we should go to Garden Ridge around 9pm on Thanksgiving night to look for Christmas decor, then we would make our way over to the outlet mall (which opened at midnight) stay for several hours, then we would take a short nap in the car (this is when the flashing red lights should have been sounding loudly in my head) to get "re-energized" and then go to Toys R Us and other places that opened around 4-5am. Then we would come home, take a nap and return to shop around 12noon. This was a CRAZY ADHD idea!!!! So I said....sure. WHAT WAS I THINKING!!! We, along with 1000's of other people braved Black Friday at midnight at the outlet mall. It was unbeliebable. I'm not sure where my brain was when I agreed to all this, but I think it has to do with brain cells and childbirth. Bruce stood out in the pouring rain in the Toys R Us line for 2 hours while I stayed in the I am guessing all my brain cells did not seep out of my body during the birth of my kids. However, my feet tell me tonight that I better use what little brain power I do have and stay off them tomorrow...or else!
I write this in jest. Bruce and I really did have a great time. It's fun doing things a little on the wild and crazy side sometimes...I am glad I have a whole year to recover from this stunt.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

List of thanks continued:

As promised, I continue my list of gratitudes:

16. Yummy food
17. Grandparents...near and far
18. Afternoon naps
19. Piano concerts
20. Salvation

Add yours too...comment below!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Savannah's Gratitude List

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Caramel Bars for Thanksgiving

Here's a new recipe that I am trying out for Thanksgiving dessert.
Caramel Bars

32 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Add to Recipe Box
My folders:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together the caramels and heavy cream, stirring occasionally until smooth.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the melted butter until well blended. Press Half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Reserve the rest.
Bake the crust for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the caramel mixture over the top and then crumble the remaining crust mixture over everything.
Return to the oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasted. Cut into squares while it is still warm.

More to be thankful for

Continuing on with my gratitude list for this week:

11. The Mission Gunter...a dream come true
12. My housekeeper
13. My computer
14. Mommy daughter dates with Savannah
15. Bruce's mac and cheese

Don't forget to give thanks on your own or post a comment below!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Continued Thanks

Join me as I continue to count my blessings this week. Feel free to hit the comment button below and let me know what you're thankful for this Thanksgiving!

6. For cuddle time with Tucker
7. For a mom who taught me to make the most with what you have
8. For a job that pays well and allows me to stay home with my kids
9. For God's Word...the only perfect guidebook
10. For my husband, best friend, biggest fan, pastor...wrapped up in one!

Don't forget to add yours!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Week...

I would love to hear what you are thankful for this holiday season. I am going to try to post something everyday this week that represents what I am thankful for. Just click the comment link and let me hear from you!

I am thankful for:

1. Children's own especially and others too!
2. Piano lessons...the ones my parents paid for
3. Good books
4. A Fire in the fireplace
5. People who make me laugh

More to come!

Manna Worldwide

By now, if you've read my blog for any period of time, you have figured out that God has placed a passion within me to be an instrument in meeting spiritual and physical needs of those less fortunate. Yesterday at church, Chuck and Carla Ward and their great girls were there to present Manna Worldwide, a ministry dedicated to do the same thing in other countries. They partner with missionaries and open feeding centers all over the world in order to nourish children's bodies and feed their soul with Jesus love. They are feeding over 7,000 children 2 meals a day! AWESOME!
Check out their site:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Feed the Need....SUCCESS!

We are so thankful for all those who took the time to give, sort, organize and deliver food. It is truly a group effort to pull these events off. Our coordinating board member for this event was Morgan Waggoner. She did an outstanding job and I'm so thankful she took this event and ran with it! She's awesome I tell you!

Our goal is to have another major collection involving churches in the area in June. This will give us time to use the food we have before it expires and restock with fresh food.

More pics on my facebook!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fantastic Family Friday

Friday's at our house are awesome! It's Bruce's day off and it's technically our Saturday. Since Bruce is a pastor, our family is really busy on Sundays, so we take full advantage of our Fantastic Family Fridays. In fact, we don't even have of the great things about homeschooling is the flexibility to make your own schedule...and this one works for us at this time in our lives.

Today started this way. Bruce had a short meeting at church at 8am. Kid's slept in, I worked until 9am. Bruce came home with donuts from the lustrious donut shop in Gunter. Donuts=happy at our house!

I ran to Wal-mart to pick up Christmas light for the kid's Christmas tree. We have one very large tree for our living room, a small one for the play room and 2 small trees for the kid's room. I have been out-voted and there are now colored lights on the playroom tree. Thankfully I think I am still in charge of the big tree in the living room and it is pre-lit in WHITE! Thank God! So I picked up the needed lights are ran back home (which took 1 1/2 hours since we live in the middle of no-where!). Then we spent some time decorated and lighting trees. We ran and grabbed some pizza at the local pizza shop and then just hung out at home for a while before the pep rally at the school. It was just a fun day!

If you have kids you know life doesn't make time on its own for you to enjoy them. One thing I am trying to do, is work harder at taking time to just relax with work, no phone, no computer....just us. That's why I love Fridays!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mission Gunter

Tonight is our Mission Gunter Board Meeting. Most people dread board meetings. Not me! I usually leave our board meetings excited, focused, energized and ready to do the impossible! Mission Gunter is truly a heart dream come true. God has blessed me with a kindred spirit who partners with me and together...with God at the helm, we are trying to make some kind of eternal difference in our town. Currently we are working on Feed the Need and getting ready to do some exciting things in 2009.

The Mission has been very instrumental in helping form my view of what our community really needs. Unfortunately, what eases the mind and heart of most Christians is to give food and clothing, pay a bill or buy new tires for a family that is in need. While I agree there is a place for this, and certainly am involved in meeting tangible needs, I am finding that giving a handout isn't what they really need. They need education to make better decisions, which means we need volunteers to teach and mentor and befriend. They need to know Jesus loves them, which means there needs to be intentional friendships formed to be sure that someone tells them. They need someone to breathe life into their discouraged bones, which means they need spiritually mature people to encourage and love them. What does this mean? It means that more than food, clothing and money...we need people. People who want to do more than ease their conscience by giving instead of being. Don't get me wrong. I am very thankful for those who do donate tangible things....but we need both! And right now more than ever...we need people. Men, women and teenagers who want to volunteer themselves. There is no easy fix for poverty.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Parent's Night at TeamKID I am a little biased, but I think our church has one of the best Children's Ministries I have ever seen. Tonight was parent's night at TeamKID, so needless to say it was a madhouse of parents, siblings and teamKIDS. It was organized might have just been chaos at times, but was AWESOME! The kids signed in and then during the warm up activity they got to make their own trail mix...the good kind with m&m candy! They loved this! DeeDee, Mandy and Wendy did a great job having everything set up and organzied. The theme story was a skit on the story of Ruth. Those actors will get an Academy Award I'm telling you...the drama was unforgetable!

There were probably 100 people there for parent night. The impact this program is having on the lives of the kids on our community won't fully be known on this earth....but I can't wait to see the kids who are called to his service, become good Christian parents, become responsible and loving adults, because of something they learned at TeamKID.

Hat's off to the TeamKID leaders! Awesome job tonight...and yummy trail mix...Savannah shared hers.

Unsettled Heart

You know that feeling of hunger (stomach growling..knawing pain) and the feeling of a 20 pound weight on you chest? That's how I am feeling right now. Confused but content, vulnerable yet protected. The mind can play crazy games and try to convince us that untruths are truths. Sorting out all these feelings can sometimes be as hard as actually going through the storm. Satan loves to make samll things big in our minds. I'm striving today to NOT let him succeed. I am purposed and positioned to focus on Christ, His love, His truth, His way, His protection.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Figuring things out

I know next to nothing about most things. I'm a constant reader and made decent grades in school and college, but I still have only a surface understanding of many things and no understanding of most things. I'm not proud of that, just stating facts.

I am a bit amused these days at the amount of people who have everything figured answer for everything...the last word...know it alls. These people parade around acting like they have never/will never make a mistake, a bad judgement, a wrong turn. What's funny is half the time they don't even have all the information. They don't know the details, the inner workings, the core of the problems, the issues or the laws.

With all there is to know in the world, I think I want to know more about giving people a second chance (this doesn't come easily for me) and about second impressions instead of firsts, apologies and forgiveness and helping build up instead of tear down. But most of these require not having it all figured out. They require understanding, not jumping to conclusions, thinking the best of someone before you think the worst and allowing for mistakes, blunders and wrong turns.I am working on this....because I don't have it all figured out!

A Lesson in History

I am doing research for work and came across this blog entry from In light of the economy, our ever present race to take care of the poor and just my personal opinion about poverty, this rang loudly in my heart:

Read this letter that Hudson Taylor penned in a similar environment on a similar day, November 18, 1857:

"Many seem to think I am very poor. This is true enough in one sense, but I thank God it is “as poor, yet making many rich.” My God shall supply all my needs; to him be the glory. I would not, if I could, be otherwise than I am—entirely dependent myself upon the Lord, and used as a channel of help to others.

On Saturday we supplied, as usual, breakfast to the destitute poor, who came to the number of 70. Sometimes they do not reach 40, at other times exceeding 80. They come to us every day, Lord’s Day excepted, for then we cannot manage to attend to them and get through all our other duties, too.

Well, on that Saturday morning we paid all expenses, and provided ourselves for the morrow, after which we had not a single dollar left between us. How the Lord was going to provide for Monday we knew not; but over our mantelpiece hung two scrolls in the Chinese character—Ebenezer, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us”; and Jehovah-Jireh, “The Lord will provide”—and he kept us from doubting for a moment.

That very day the mail came in, a week sooner than was expected (emphasis mine), and Mr. Jones received $214. We thanked God and took courage.

On Monday the poor had their breakfast as usual, for we had not told them not to come, being assured that it was the Lord’s work, and that the Lord would provide. We could not help our eyes filling with tears of gratitude when we saw not only our own needs supplied, but the widow and the orphan, the blind and the lame, the friendless and the destitute, together provided for by the bounty of him who feeds the ravens."

Now, if our hearts are not dually inflamed with worship to YHWH-JIREH and conviction of trust... we have walked a long way away from our shepherd.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Catching Up!

We are back from our terrific 2 week vacation through the Smokey Mtns, Cumberland Foothills and Ozarks. It was the best time I have had in my entire life! That's saying a lot since the kids are 6 and 2! We enjoyed seeing so much of God's creation and creativity. We rested, and ran 90 to nothin' and ate some pretty marvelous food. I ate a chattagooey sandwich, apple fritters with apple butter, an ultimate sandwich, potato twirls and lots of other new and different delicacies! We stayed one week in the foot of Look Out Mountain. The other week we stayed in Gatlinburg in the Smokies. I could go on and on....but I would most likely bore anyone taking time to read this besides my family!

So, today, I catch up. I've opened enough mail to start my own a struggling economy you would think businesses would save money by halting their junk mail! I'm updating a media list of 1200 for work and I am doing LAUNDRY! Last night I got to catch up a little with 2 friends and I've done a little catching up through email this morning. It's good to be home...good to be missed and good to miss too!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Vacation in TN

Currently we are vacationing in TN. Our trip started Sunday and we have enjoyed every minute of it so far. One thing that is abundantly clear is how overwhelmingly beautiful God created the earth. His great attention to detail, color, landscape and shape have been in full views as we have climbed mountains, driven through valleys and seen amazing water creatures and wildlife. WOW! It's teaching me a few lessons along the way. God is in the details, He took as much care designing the multiple colors of the maple leaf in the fall as he did the amazing sea turtles and butterflies. God likes different things. He could have only made one shade of green, but instead, he crayola-ed our world with sage, forest, emerald, light, dark, seafoam and an endless array of other greens that I am witnessing on this trip.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I needed this reminder...

"It remains hard to live the Jesus way, to live and love in a way that brings God glory. The power of our flesh cries out for us to be selfish and to refuse to love those who have not treated us well, have worked against our better interest, or have simply been the annoying gnat in our conversation."

Ed Stetzer & Philip Nation

Sunday, October 26, 2008


As a mom we all have those moments that we take a step back and watch our kids shine. Sometimes these moments are few and far between! I've had a few lately. Savannah led the TeamKIDs in the motto and motions last week at church. If you know her at all then you know she doesn't usually step out in front of a crowd. I was so proud of her! Tucker is coming home from church on a regular basis and telling us what he is learning in his class. It is so incredibly exciting to see them learning about this amazing God we serve. I don't take for granted that this is just going to happen by chance. I realize that intentionally placing them in places they will learn about God and teaching about Him in our home, is vital to their spiritual awareness and health.

I had the opportunity to sharing Christ with a young mom at church today and she accepted Him as her Saviour. This is one of the moments in life that I will hold very close. She was so honest, vulnerable and transparent. I am so glad she got her eternal destiny nailed down today and so humbled that God allowed me to be a part of her eternal story.

Bruce had a moment recently (which he shared in I won't rehash it all here), but I will say that I am so proud of him for taking a stand and being honest and vulnerable. I think sometimes pastors often act like they have the answers to all of life's questions. He admits that he's on a journey and that a bunch of life he hasn't got the answers to. I was touched by the sweet and kind comments made towards him after today's service.

These moments pass by so quickly.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Top Ten Things to do on a Saturday

1. Snuggle with the kids
2. Eat a late breakfast...preferably something involving a pastry
3. Read something that requires very little use of my brain...always fiction
4. Watch movies (or anything I dvr during the week and don't have time to watch)
5. Blog....of course
6. Catch up on Facebook
7. Bake bread
8. Cook a good comfort food meal
9. Bathe the kids early and have a family fun night

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fired Up!

Ok, so seriously, since I started blogging I have kept my opinions to myself...but a girl's gotta say what's on her mind every once in a while and so here goes:

In my inbox everyday I get at least three of four emails from Christian or Moral type groups that monitor the state of the morality in our country. Today's email was telling me to write a letter to a TV network regarding a particular tv show that was offensive. Each day I get ads forcasting the decline America will experience if such and such is elected. Sometimes the email is from a someone just making sure I know what a crucial election this is and that the future is looking like heck if Christian don't stand up for what we believe.


I have had enough. I am sick of spending time arguing over the issues, debating how we are going to make it when SS fund have run out...and all the other topics of deliberation for this election.

This is what I think....pure and simple. If every person who has a relationship with Jesus Christ, would spend their time striving to be truly moral...honest, loving, kind, pure, holy, and further more instilling those same virtues (by example and the spoken word) in our children, then we wouldn't have to worry about the future. We could be a little more sure that the hands it was going to be in 20 years from now, would be moral and upright.

By no means do I believe every kid would turn out to love God and their neighbor, but there's a way better chance than if adults sit back and do nothing. I really have struggled with letting my voice be heard. I get entangled into the arguements and debates like the rest. But the bottom line is this: my kids are the next generation of Americans. If I am expecting anyone else to instill morals, godliness or the Bible in them. I am fooling myself. It's my job, my responsibility. My priviledge. That's how I want to spend my time. TV isn't going to get better. Sure we may make temporary changes to a line up until producers have a different angle to get the same message out. I just think Christians can find better things to feeding the poor, clothing the homeless, teaching a Bible study, sharing God's love with the unfortunate and investing some eternal time into our own kids....not passing it on to the church as their responsibility. a Bible study with your kids, teach them the books of the Bible, do the TeamKID worksheet, and talk about what it means to have a relationship. Get on your soapbox about that...and maybe in 20 years we will see a different America!

OK...I'm finished for tonight!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Revelation Song for Sunday

Talk About it Talk About it Talk About it

Last night was our Ladies Night Out at church. It was awesome!!!!! We did a cooking show type meeting. Tinna outdid herself with the decor...pumpkins, candles, bistro tables, fall leaves and more (she must have moved half her house to the church!) Anyway, Ms. Sue did a her rendition of June Cleaver and did the 1950's Good Housekeeping tips for making your man happy!!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!! It was as funny as the first time I heard her do it....she is FUNNY!

Then I shared all I know about baking bread...which took about 10 minutes. I made the White Amish Bread recipe from I had arrived early and had different loaves at different stages in the baking, rising process.

Then Charlotte shared an out of sight meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green bean recipes. Each had a very creole element and they were awesome!

The night ended with a decadent chocolate dessert that was deliciously rich!

The food was awesome and a relatively easy event to get multiple people involved. I really appreciated all the work and planning that went it to it. Plus...we went home with 5 new recipes and a boatload of new recipes.

Here's the link to the bread I made: Happy Baking!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

What I Like About Autumn

This is my favorite time of year for so many reasons:

1. My kids play outside in the cool fresh air.

2. The leaves change (sort of, we're in Texas ya know!)

3. Open windows

4. Fresh bread- (it always tastes better this time of year)

5. Cool nights

6. Sweaters

7. Scarecrows

8. Pumpkin Patches

9. Cider

10. Community- so many events to be together

Hope you'll find this a most wonderful time of year too!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Teeth Marks

The other night Tucker and Savannah were snuggled up in Savannah's bed watching a funny movie. Things had been quiet for way too long.....if you're a know exactly what I mean. Well, all of the sudden, Tucker screams out in pain and I hear pitter patter footsteps coming down the hall. He runs to me and says, "Deet (his name for Savannah) bite me". Savannah was quick to her own defense strongly arguing...."not was a wasp". (We had bees in our house earlier in the summer and they are used to seeing I didn't freak out about this statement). So I just figured something had stung or bitten Tuck and didn't think another thing about it. Still Tucker was adament that Deet had bitten him.

The next morning we were getting into the car. I picked Tucker up to put him in his carseat....and guess what I saw...TEETH MARKS. Now, either that wasp had teeth or Savannah was in big trouble. So for the next few minutes I quizzed her about how there could be teeth marks on Tucker's face if it was really a wasp. I should her the size of the teethmarks and said it must have been a mighty big wasp. the end of the interrogation....2 hours later....she had confessed to "accidentally" biting Tuck.

I'm not sure what worries me more:

1. I didn't noticed the gigantic teeth marks on his face that night
2. How long it took Savannah to confess
3. That Savannah thinks a wasp's mouth is the same size as hers
4. That I didn't believe Tucker from the get go

---Just another day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Something I read today...from Author Donna Partow

Is the Proverbs 31 Woman a Mythological Creature?*I’ve been following God and studying His Word for nearly thirty years, yet I somehow thought the Proverbs 31 woman was a mythological creature or worse. I thought she was a weapon used by spiritual leaders to make all of us ordinary Christian women feel bad about ourselves.But then I met her in person.They say the wife of noble character is hard to find and it’s true. But I finally found her, tucked away in the mountains north of Bogota, Colombia. And having met her, I became convinced that becoming the woman God wants me to be, the woman he described in Proverbs 31 is not an impossible dream. It’s the only goal worth devoting my life to. I had been invited to Colombia to speak at a conference for Christian leaders from throughout Latin America. Afterwards my host, Hector Torres of Hispanic International Ministries, invited me to spend a few days with his family at his aunt’s home at the base of the Andes Mountains. I didn’t know quite what to expect. The bookstore didn’t have a travel guide on Colombia. The book on Latin America didn’t even devote a chapter to the country that’s been torn by civil war and drug trafficking for the last three decades. It simply said: it’s too dangerous, don’t go there. The mountains, in particular, are known for guerilla activity. I was somewhat apprehensive, to say the least.Imagine my surprise when I arrived at his aunt’s home and stepped into the most peaceful paradise I’d ever experienced anywhere in the world. Our hostess was the picture of beauty, elegance and ease as she welcomed us, showed us to our rooms and then gave us a tour of the breathtaking grounds. We walked and talked amid trees bursting with avocado, bananas, blackberries, guava, oranges, papaya, plantain and tangerines. She showed us her chicken coops, trout pond, coffee crop and even her worm farm. Every inch of her property is productive; it’s a reflection of a woman who embodies energy, creativity and productivity.Breakfast the next morning featured a variety of fresh-squeezed juices and eggs scrambled with tomatoes, peppers and onions, along with freshly grown coffee—and every item on the menu was produced right on the property. Our morning walk took us to her favorite place: a small stone and wrought-iron chapel with wooden benches that looked centuries old. Beatriz exuded quiet God-confidence as she explained that she has spent many hours praying, reading and meditating in this open-air sanctuary. I knew I was standing on holy ground. In the early afternoon, following our three-hour horseback ride through lightly-tamed jungle featuring every conceivable shade of green, we sat by an open fire woodstove, eating steak from a nearby cattle ranch, along with freshly-grown and grilled vegetables. I marveled at the self-sufficiency of this beautiful place and the beautiful woman who oversaw it all. But Beatriz’ story doesn’t begin in this beautiful paradise. Later that night, her story unfolded. In 1950, at the age of 16, Beatriz married a handsome 19-year old, Jose, whom she had met at a relative’s wedding two years earlier. A year later, she had her first child and three more daughters followed in fairly quick succession. She worked side-by-side with her husband in an auto parts store they began together with borrowed money. Although still a teenager, Beatriz had a knack for business. The couple began to prosper. Soon they had a successful corporation, complete with employees and multiple store locations. They were business partners and best friends. They were inseparable.Then on January 23, 1984 at 6:30 pm, Jose was driving home from work when his car was surrounded by six kidnappers who seized him and, four months later, demanded the outrageous sum of $30 million for his release. On March 19, she paid her husband’s captors $1million.She never saw her beloved husband again. Through the pain of that ordeal, Beatriz began seeking God and learned to walk by faith. She started attending a little church where she found Christians who comforted, encouraged and sustained her. The believers gave her the strength she needed to make one of the most difficult decisions of her life: to remain in the mountain home her husband loved so much and to continue tending the gardens that brought him such joy. Slowly, she began planting money-producing fruit trees using funds that came in from rental properties her husband had wisely invested in. She was learning to make it on her own.Her first major business venture was building four massive chicken coups which now house 48,000 chickens. She has no regrets about taking out a second mortgage on the house to start that business, because it now generates a very steady income for her and will continue doing so for many years to come. Then Beatriz began taking classes to learn how the coffee industry operated. Today her coffee harvest fills in the income gap when fruit is out of season and there are no chickens ready to send to market. Somewhere along the line, she started a worm farm—she’s quite proud of it, although I bypassed that part of the tour! About six years ago, she added a grouper pond. “It hasn’t succeeded yet,” she admits, “but time will tell.” Given her track record, it’s bound to become another success. At age 73, Beatriz still works three to four days per week, energetically managing her business affairs. But what I will always remember about Beatriz is not her thriving enterprises and the wisdom God gave her to develop multiple streams of income. What I will always remember is the overwhelming peace that permeated her countenance, her home and her entire surroundings. I’ll always remember her as one of the most capable, dignified women I’ve ever met. In a word, she was altogether lovely. There was not an ounce of bitterness or self-pity in her voice as she recounted her losses. There was only gratitude for the goodness of God. I asked her for her secret. Forgiveness, she answered immediately. “It took me a long time to completely forgive the people who kidnapped my husband and robbed me of all that could have been. But the moment I did, the peace of God overcame me and it has never left.” Beatriz Duenas personifies the peace that passes understanding. It’s a peace that’s returning to these mountains. “The guerillas used to be active in this area, raiding farms and cattle ranches, destroying people’s livelihoods and trying to intimidate everyone,” she recalls. “But I refused to live controlled by fear. I refused to be intimidated and driven out of my own home. Now there are cattle on the hills again.” There were tears of both pride and joy in her eyes as she spoke that last miraculous sentence. She knew she had outlasted the guerillas. Even the developer who decided to build a discotheque in her peaceful mountain town didn’t stand a chance against her prayers. Day after day, she sat in her small chapel, praying for God to intervene. And he did. The disco never opened. The developer did all the work then sold it to a group of Christians who turned it into a church instead. Beatriz can laugh at the days to come, not because the days before were so easy but because she knows her God. Her parting words to me were, “Tell the women they must come to full confidence and assurance that what God has done for me, he can do for them also.” Just two short days in the presence of a genuine Proverbs 31 woman gave me that assurance. It’s the assurance I pray you’ll find on the pages of my latest book, Becoming the Woman God Wants Me To Be: A 90-Day Guide to Living the Proverbs 31 Life (Revell, 2008) The above is an excerpt from Becoming the Woman God Wants Me To Be: A 90-Day Guide to Living the Proverbs 31 Life by Donna Partow

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Everything is coming up pumpkins!

What a great day I had today. There are some moments in time I want to freeze and today was one of them. I took my kids to a pumpkin patch about an hour away from home. It was a total "FUN" Day. We stopped and ate donuts with friends before leaving town and then took our time taking everything in at the patch. I took pics of the kids with their favorite animated characters, ate shaved ice, went on a hayride, the kids played in all sorts of bounce houses, played in the pumpkin patch and talked to the horses and donkeys! We had a blast! I marvel at the sweetness of their innocence and pray they stay sheltered from the harshness of this world for a few more years.

It's not that often that I do fun things out by myself with the kids. Bruce's schedule usually allows for fun things like this to be done together as a family. Today was different and allowed me the chance to spend some mommy time loving and enjoying my kids without all the normal mom commands (don't, stop, no, not now, when your dad gets home....) Thank you Lord!

Went to the GIFT meeting tonight with Bruce. He accepted the nomination to be on their board for the next three years. GIFT is a scholarship program that helps kids who have been raised in our town to be gifted with a scholarship to go to college. It's a great program.

Great day!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What I did today....or why am I so tired

1. Worked until after midnight (this morning)
2. Got caught up on all my PR work
3. Did a few loads of laundry
4. Researched vacation options
5. Played with the kids
6. Cooked Dinner
7. Cleaned Kitchen
8. Bathed Kids
9. Talked to family on the phone
10. Cleaned permanent marker off Savannah's door and several other surfaces in her room (thank you Tucker)

What a day! We will do it all again tomorrow too!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Computer Crankiness

I have been cranky the last two weeks...there, I admit it! About two weeks ago I called Dell about a minor computer problem and over the last two weeks they have managed to replace the mother board, memory (2 times), the hard drive (after they infected my old one), and the cd/dvd driver. WOW...all I really needed was a new battery! Well....all this ended up getting me a new computer at Dell's expense....but what I had to get from one department supervisor to another...well....that's where I got cranky! I had to repeat "That is not acceptable" 40 some odd times before I got anywhere!!! 10 days I will have a new computer. Thankfully someone finally heard me!

Isn't it funny how we have let these modern conveniences become such a huge part of our lives. For me, without a computer I can't pay bills, balance the checkbook, earn a paycheck, listen to music, send email and much more. I am much more prone to clean house and make really good meals though!

So, today Bruce hung out at home, and I have been able to get caught up on all things computer. I feel like I have a better handle on things and can get through the next 10 days without a repeat episode of crankiness! I think my family might like me more!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

10 things I like about my kids

I'm feeling a little stressed out about life, so I figure the best medicine for that is to take time to be grateful for my blessings:

10 Things I Like About My Kids

1. The way Tucker grabs my chin when he wants my undivided attention
2. Savannah's dance moves
3. Their prayers
4. The way Tucker calls Savannah "DEET" (we don't know why)
5. Southern accents...hysterical!
6. The way they look when they are sleeping
7. Savannah's curls
8. Tucker's eyelashes
9. The way Tucker talks with his hands
10. Savannah's theatrics

Monday, September 22, 2008


Today I continued to celebrate my friends 40th birthday. I say continued because we've been celebrating for a little over a week now. I don't care. I like celebrations...pretty much any chance I get to eat dessert and hang out with friends...I'm there. We went to the Blue Mesa (a first for me...but I will be going back...yummy!) I also met some other incredible women in her circle of friends. A photographer, a first time mom at 40, a woman who just found out her husband has cancer and a woman who, when questioned by her son why everyone looks different, replied "God is an artist". It was an amazing lunch and I felt lighter and encouraged after spending two hours over a leisure lunch with them.

I was also gifted with two days of babysitting this week by a sweet godly woman in our church. This comes at a much needed time and I am so glad I don't have to worry about them this week while I have to be away. God always provides for this little incidentals that I spend way too much time thinking about!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The "New" Smell

Our church has recently moved into a "new to us" building. We have renovated the old elementary school in town and have gussied up the place. New paint, new wall decor, new carpet. It's got that new smell you find in new cars, on new babies, and that unfortunatly wears off way too soon. But we are enjoying it while it lasts. God is blessing us with individuals each week that need Jesus. Thankful and prayerfully we are sharing Jesus in an effective way, so they can know him as their forever friend.

School has started back and with that the adventure of keeping Tucker busy while I am trying to teach the 3 r's to Savannah. As long as Tucker is busy...everyone is happy. Savannah is doing good and Tucker is surviving. He's learning a few things along the way about atronauts, family and the alphabet!

Tucker has also proclaimed a few things lately. This morning the first thing he said to me when he woke up was "Mom, I eat my snot." Could I be any more proud!?!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Catching Up

It's been a while!
The summer got got hectic...SAM Club wrapped up...SMAK is over...I had a birthday...Mom came into town and now I am making preparations for school to start back for Savannah!
All that to say...I LOVE the AUTUMN! When school starts back things just seem to fall into place around my house. Our schedules get a little more organized and everyone is in a routine. I like it. I even notice my kids like it. Bruce...not so much....he's a by the seat of his pants kind of guy. He balances me out. I remember before we had kids going to walmart at 12 or 1 am just to get groceries. I can't even think about doing that now!
Anyway...I'm back on the journaling wagon again if anyone cares...I'll be posting more later!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Random thoughts on God's Will

This study on Proverbs is really challenging me to seek God's will on many issues in my life right now. I also see and hear how it is challenging some of the ladies in the study to really take a deeper look into what they have always thought about knowing "God's Will". I love it. It is very rewarding to see people walk away with something they can use in their everyday life. Thank the Lord for Words that don't expire, or become irrelavant after being read once.

In our house God's Will is a big deal. We are constantly finding out how much we haven't figured out about parenting! We are asking God to show us how to raise these little people. Verses that never popped out to me now jump off the page. I've recently made a career change and that has again, been a test of following God or doing what I felt was the right thing to do. One thing I guess I discovered was that just because you "feel" like you are helping or doing the right thing that if you are seeking Him and He shows you otherwise...the best thing to do is listen to HIM! Bruce is looking into hiring a secretary...need God's will for that...The church is hiring a children's minister...need God's will for that. The church is growing...moving...good things...but so much wisdom is needed in order for us to stay centered in God's will. I love it that His Will comes from His heart and that when I am seeking His Will I am closer to His heart. He is awesome!
If you are struggling to understand, find or determine God's Will for your life, get in the Words of God (Bible) and listen as He whispers it to you! I look forward to hearinng about what He has to tell you!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Skunk Always Wins!

Saturday night at 11pm I let Annie, our dog, out to go to the bathroom. Things have never been the same. She routinely takes these midnight runs and I have never been sure just what she gallivants around the neighborhood doing. Now I have a much better idea!

About 15 minutes after Annie went outside, I heard a bit of a ruckus outside the back door. I turned on the lights for the backyard and noticed Annie in the yard, repeatedly wiping her paws over her eyes. I opened the door and immediately smelled the reason she was acting so frantically. She'd been skunked! Somewhere very close to home, a skunk had obviously gotten fed up with her, and sprayed their unforgivable smell all over our Wheaten Terrier.

At first this was a little comical. I went to the computer and "googled" "what to do when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk" and quickly realized this problem was going to be harder to solved than I first thought. I read several posts where dog owners shared their experiences, similar to my own, and noted the solution was tomato juice.

Being that small town living doesn't render itself to late night markets and grocery stores, I knew it would be Sunday before I could do anything about Annie. So, we put her kennel outside, and put her in it!

Sunday afternoon, I purchases 6 large bottles of tomato juice and washed Annie 3 times consecutively to take care of the problem. Hopeful, I let Annie air dry, I came in and took a shower and soaked in the hot tub and rejoiced that I had accomplished the daunting tasked of washing the skunked dog.

About an hour after washing, Annie was dry. I was still smelling a little skunky myself, from washing her, but decided it was time to see if the tomato juice had worked. Bruce had taken the kids to the store so I let Annie in the house and waited for them to arrive home and congratulate me for curing the dog of her horrific smell.

Bruce arrived home with the kids. Annie greeted them at the door. Bruce's first words...."That dog still reeks!" Needless to say, I guess because I had been around her for so long, I didn't smell her funk. Hmmmm.....

Isn't there some sort of Biblical application????

Do I even have to tell you that I have put the dog back outside? I'm getting the skunk-be-gone shampoo this afternoon and will attempt to de-skunk her again! Someone has suggested dipping her in febreeze...hmmm.....

I'll keep you posted!

Yep...we're talking about it!

Drunkenness, Illusions, Greed and Pride....the topics we will be tackling this week in our study of Proverbs. The Bible has tons to say about these issues that we still struggle with many years since Solomon wrote these words!

Most issues that we struggle with in the Christian life can be traced back to one of these four sins. Think about the issues you struggle with....can you think how one of these 4 sins has played a part in your struggle? I can!

This is going to be a great week! I hope you will make plans to be there!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Real Relationship Expert

Oprah, Dr. Phil, Judge Judy....will the real relationship expert please stand. Yet no one really qualifies to stand. The world is offering us many tempting (and some not so) alternatives to getting the advice, counsel and wisdom we need in the relationships we are involved in. It doesn't matter how much good sense, training, natural smarts or good looks....nothing in the world compares to the relationship advice God provides in His Word. Proverbs in plum full of all the wisdom we could ever even begin practicing....but as daunting as it may be, our job is to dig deep and discover what it says about every area of our lives.

That being said (written) I don't want it to ever seem like I don't think God uses mankind to share wisdom with those of us who need help on a regular basis. I am thankful for the people who have spoken loudly into my life during times of confusion, questioning and searching. I feel very blessed to know many wise women who have taken the time to encourage me over the years. I remember one outstanding Sunday School teacher I had from the 4-6th grade. Her name was Nell Cook. She made an unbelievable imprint on my life. I remember vividly lessons on modesty and discretion. She was (is) a woman who took time to invest in an awkward....(very) young girl and helped to encourage me to walk and talk with God.

We have a responsibility to share what we know about God with others. BUT....our opinion should never speak louder than the guidance provided in God's Holy Word! Take time to identify someone who has spoken life into your life by offering wisdom from God and His Word. Maybe take time to write a note or send an email and let them know how thankful you are for what they have done.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Being Intentional in our relationships

Last night at Bible study we talked about relationships....with husbands, friends, children, enemies and nieghbors. WOW! It's amazing that God knew years ago about the things that we would struggle with and deal with today!

Today's activity: search the scriptures for 3 examples of positive relationships. Some that come to mind for me are Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathon, Timothy and Paul....use them if you have trouble thinking of others. Relect and record qualities that made these relationships work. Then find the scriptures in Proverbs that reiterate their positive relationship qualities.

In other news....our trip to Beaumont last week for Lacey and Philip's wedding went well. I had reservations and concerns (most centering around Tucker's crazy sleep patterns and behavior :)
He was great and only at the end of the wedding started really talking where you could hear him. Of course his singing "Shake, Shake your booty" during the ending prayer was just about enough to send me over the edge in hysterical laughter....but other than was quite uneventful on the behavioral front. We were blessed to see Keven and Katherine, our ministry friends from SE Texas and Bruce had the opportunity to preach Sunday in Houston at "grandpa" bill's church. It was also good to see lots of our old friends at Grace Community.

BUT! There's no place like home....I realized on this trip how much I am really settling in and making Gunter my new home. It's only 21 months into this joyful ride and I am hoping for many more months and years to share this life in Gunter.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Well, if anybody from Bible Study is still reading this blog after Tuesday lesson on will be a miracle! I know the lesson was hard to swallow....I was preaching to myself...I know! I would have liked to have left out about half of what I shared so I would feel better about my present condition...but that would have been devastatingly wrong. So you got it all...the good, bad and ugly!
The lesson next Tuesday night is going to be about, friends and neighbors. So, your first assignment....make a list using 3 columns and list the names of the people who will fall into each of these categories. This way you will know exactly who it is we are relating to. Why not take a few moments to say a prayer for each group. I don't think they would mind. We will be looking at husbands, wives, children, parents, friends, enemies, neighbors....
Have a great 4Th of July. We are heading out of town for Lacey and Philips wedding back in Beaumont. Savannah is the flower girl and Bruce is performing the ceremony. I will be away from the blog until Sunday evening! See you then!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


In light of our upcoming study in Proverbs (about poverty, wealth and money in general) I have to share what happened today on my rare shopping trip (alone). Some backgroud: I used to love to shop. I would go with anyone...anywhere...anytime...for however long they wanted. Then I had kids...and now...even a trip to Target is almost more than I can handle if they are with me. Don't get me wrong...I love my kids....but by the time you load 'em up (and their gear), unload them at Target, load them into the buggy, strap them in (make sure you do this...I learned the hard way...Tucker), do your shopping...all the while coming up with 10 jillion excuses why you aren't buying another container of playdough (or whatever)...get to the checkout...(unloading and loading again...this time it's your purchases), go to the car...unload kids and purchases (AGAIN) leaves me wondering.....IS IT WORTH IT!!!????!!! online seems sweeter everyday!
But.....we are preparing to go out of town for a wedding next week and there were just a few things I needed to pick up and Bruce was willing to watch the maniacs...I mean kids...and so I took advantage of a few hours and headed to Frisco. So, I have been looking over the scriptures for Bible Study, preparing for the study and I have a new perspective on spending that really doesn't allow for a lot of needless spending....mind you....a new perspective does not mean I have mastered or even had the opportunity to implement it yet!
I jetted in to a few stores searching for something appropriate for Tucker to wear to a wedding (this is more difficult than you would think). Anyway, I ended up finding a spectacular sale at Old Navy and was able to get just the thing for him there...along with shoes...for less than $20.
I needed ballerina shoes for Savannah and picked up a pair and the good old Payless Shoes...
I picked up Bruce's suit (he's performing the ceremony) at Men's Wearhouse ...freshly pressed.
I was feeling pretty good about the progress I had made on my list....I just had myself left...this should be easy...yeah right! But I said a short prayer and asked God to give me some great bargains so that I could implement what I have been learning. And guess what....He did! I actually got 2 complete outfits and jewelry to match for the cost of what I had budgeted for 2 outfits. You might say....coincedence.....I think not. You see, I fully believe that when we ask God to help us obey that He sees our hearts and helps us...after all if your kids asked you to help them stay within their budget when shopping would!
I challege all GBF ladies in Bible study to ask God for wisdom in dealing with their finances and track your results! God will do His part!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

An Economic Quartet

The Rich, The Poor, The Beggar, The odd mix....yet over and over in the book of Proverbs they are used as examples. So, we need to have a good idea of what each of them really are. Today, look in your concordance and see if you can find verses that help you understand better what these type of people might be like. If you have trouble, go to the dictionary and see how today's scholars define each one. This will be valuable information for you for next week's discussion. Bring your notes if you do this assignment!

On other news....we have booked our vacation to Tennessee for November. I personally can't wait! We will be taking full advantage of the cool weather...and yes...even Christmas festivities in Dollywood (yes...we are redneckin' it!!!!). It's been years since we've been through Gatlinburg and we loved it we are happy to be able to go back to the Smokies.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Money Matters

Next week in Bible Study we will be talking about the rich and the poor. We will be going into great discussions on what makes a person rich or poor. Today, take some time listing what you think makes a person rich/poor. The words are direct opposites. Make sure that you identify the best of each and the worst of each.

This Bible study is such a blessing to me. As I prepare each week, God is showing me such wonderful things. These aha! moments are exciting to me. It's such a humbling experience to know and understand that he wants me to know and understand Him and His Word. Will I ever reach the point that I understand Him fully? No, but my eye is on the goal and one day we will know Him for all He is.

Family News: I am rejoicing tonight because a long time prayer request has been answered in regards to a family member. Ask me about it! I will be glad to tell you about it privately!
Mission Gunter continues week 2 of SAM club tomorrow!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Busy as Bees

YIKES! A few days ago we noticed a little buzzing activity going on outside my office area window. I didn't think too much about it...I have flowers planted and there is a flowering shrub at the end of the house. Well, the buzzing became louder and louder and soon enough we realized we had a real problem. After some investigation....(not me ...remember I am studying how to be wise and a wise person doesn't mess with buzzing bees) Bruce and some handy men friends of ours managed to take care of the problem. The bees had managed to actually get into our wall through a very tiny hole. The guys duct taped the hole after fogging them out. That should take care of the hole until we get it correctly fixed.
The start of this whole fiasco was that Bruce was trimming the bushes in the front of the house and realized that the problem was much bigger than we thought. In my reflection time I have thought about the way foolishness creeps into my life. It never shows up screaming "I'm something stupid". It comes one bee at a time, through a tiny hole and soon you have a whole swarm of them. Wisdom knows to keep the shrubs trimmed and tidy so that bees don't feel comfortable in making a nest...and wisdom would make sure that holes are sealed properly....because....wisdom pays alert...focused. This got me to thinking about being more alert in my own spiritual life and making sure the holes are sealed properly, that I am staying alert and that I am aware of the foolishness around me....but not participating in it!
Looks like we are going to recover from our bee incident....and in the process will learn some valuable lessons about bees. We have remained sting least til now.
Focus today on areas were you haven't kept your guard up...maybe it's a little white lie, a little gossip, a little slander, a little laziness. Take control before things get out of hand!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Misplaced keys, mismatched shoes, single socks and puzzle pieces are items that we are in search of quite a bit at our house. I don't want to even think about the time I have wasted in my life looking, searching in frustration, for these things! Why on earth don't we just learn were to place these things....where they belong???? Am I the only one with this problem?
As I was thinking about a verse in Proverbs this week, this thought came to my mind: If I searched for wisdom in the same way I search for missing keys or a shoe....with that same urgency, expectancy and perseverance....what would God reveal to me? Solomon says that in regards to wisdom, we should search for it with all our heart (remember the definition of heart in Proverbs is "core"). WOW! it just seems like I don't really want wisdom as much as I thought sometimes. Do I search with urgency? Do I search for it expecting to find something? Do I persevere? Take some time today to ask yourself the same questions. Ask God to give you the desire to take part in the search. List ways you can search for Him.

On another note....
I had an opportunity to catch up with a friend from high school today. Growing up she was probably the happiest person I knew! (that's saying a lot....we were teenagers....not normally very happy people!) We found each other on Facebook...It was awesome to reconnect after 16 years! WOW! She still possesses a great outlook on life. She has battled cancer and helps take care of her parents and a multitude of other amazing things. I feel inspired just talking with her. What a blessing!

Friday, June 20, 2008

15 Years and Counting

I found a song a couple of weeks ago that I love. You might have heard it on Christian radio. Anyway, I was listening to it last night and I thought....this is exactly like what we were talking about at Bible study last week about Proverbs 3:5-6 (especially the "make my path straight" part). Here's the link.... Take a listen and think about the words. It was another hiitsu (sp?) (the half has not been told) moment. I hope it blesses your has mine.

Bruce and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary yesterday. Some days it seems like yesterday and others it seems like we have been married since the beginning of time. Aren't there benefits to both feelings? When you first get married there is that ooey gooey lovey dovey type of infatuation. Both husband and wife will bend over backwards to do whatever it is that the other needs. Ice cream at problem, husband going to by feminine problem....fireside problem...watching football no problem. Then there's the comfortableness of an old pair of slippers, chair or sweats. It feels good and familiar. That's my marriage. Don't get me wrong....there's plenty of ooey gooey....but what I love about Bruce is that after 15 years he is familiar to me. He is here for the long haul. He isn't going anywhere without me, he is completely devoted to me and even though we are both a little worse for the wear after 15 years...he isn't throwing me out!!!!!!HAHA! I love our life together. For ten years before we had children, he consumed every moment of my everyday. Now that the hours fly by and we sometime feel like we are ships passing through the night....I am glad that he is my comfortable, familiar friend/husband/companion.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mission Accomplished

The Mission Gunter has completed our first day of SAM Club (Summer Arts and More)! We had 48 kids register and 30 show up! It was a fantastic mix of ethnicity and economic backgrounds! Just what we were praying for. Keelie did a great job of teaching the lesson on oil pastels and lines. Every child created a unique masterpiece that will be showcased in our Gallery Night in August.
What is so great about this summer program is that finally we are getting the opportunity to build relationships with the people that we have been meeting casually over the last 9 months. We are beginning to recognize faces, know names and feel more comfortable with some of our new friends. It's a great time for the Mission in Gunter

GBF Ladies: Today's (tonight's) extra assignment is to write out a prayer for wisdom on a index card or in a journal and carefully ask God for the wisdom you need. Remember in James it tells us to ask, believe and persevere. You go girls!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Exercise in Wisdom

The most important things we can do in our quest for wisdom is to get in the Word of God and pray. As we talked about this at Bible Study last week, I was challenged to really get in God's word and find out what it said about the things that concern me most in my life right now. I took some time to check out the concordance in the back of my study Bible and found that it was a wealth of information in regards to quickly finding scriptures about the exact things I am struggling with. So, today, try it for yourself. Be honest with yourself as you list the three greatest concerns in your life. Then look them up in the back of your Bible in the concordance and look up the verses that it shows. Write down any wisdom you gain from this excercise. Hope it helps!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dad's Day

I'm blessed to have had a dad who was a supreme example of what a father should be. He showed up for all the important events in my early games, award ceremonies, church...he and my mom even went on a double date with me on my first date!!!! Talk about "being there"! He was really involved in my life. He helped my mom homeschool us kids for four years and he was the go-to guy for all the really tough questions. He challenged me to read and I credit him for my love of history and the book of Proverbs.
I miss him. There are days that it really hits me and other days that the memories are not as clear. I have now been without him for half my life. I missed him on my wedding day, on the day my children were born and on most days in between. He is one of the reasons heaven seems sweeter to me. I wish he had had the chance to meet Bruce. I wish that he had the opportunity to see The Mission and to know that he helped inspire that vision with his blatant generosity. Most of all I wish my children could have the opportunity to meet one of the most amazing people who ever lived.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Make a list- Women of Wisdom

Today's extra wisdom activity is to read chapters 1-3 of Proverbs in their entirety. Then list all the times the scriptures say a wise man (the wise, a wise son, a wise daughter or any other way the wise are discribed). Make a note of what principle (not promise) it mentions. Are there any principles that directly apply to what you are dealing with in your life?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Single's Night Out...tons of fun

We just returned home from our first ever Single's Night Out with the fantastic singles at our church. There were 7 adults who risked their lives at cosmic bowling and Manny's Mexican food! We had a great time. I admire these people. They truly are some of the hardest working, dedicated and responsible people I know. I looked around and saw 7 individuals who are moms, dads, professionals, church workers, friends, and leaders. It made me proud to share time with them. They aren't deadbeats, lazy or taking advantage of the system. They have responsibilities and they follow through. I was encouraged by them! I hope that I get to spend much more time with them in the future. I'm reminded that God has a different path for each of's not better or worse because you are married or divorced or single or's just different. God's plan for each of us is perfect and although we might not have picked the path we are on, He is in control and He knows what is best for us.

Go to the Source

GBF Women of's bonus questions is: What are the benefits of memorizing scripture- look at Proverbs 2:1-5. Have you ever benefited from being able to recall a particular scripture during a difficult time. Write it down...then thank God for His Word!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's a zoo around here!

My sister is in town. We hardly ever have the chance to have any quality time alone anymore, so this visit is very special to me. However, my kids know that when family comes to visit, things can get a little crazy! Amy is in town for a little more than 36 hours. We are trying to jam pack as much as we can into this time...crazy aren't we? She wanted to do something fun with the kids so we headed off to the zoo in Gainesville today. It's small....perfect for a 2 year old and there are enough animals to keep the attention of both my kids. The weather wasn't so unbearably hot and we had a really enjoyable time. Feeding the giraffe was the highlight of the excursion for sure. Later we caught a movie...Tucker's first....and unfortunately his last for a while.....he's not he and I spent a great portion of the movie in the theater hall and eventually the car. However, Savannah and Amy had a all was not wasted!

GBF Women of's your bonus material for today: Why is it wise to pray for wisdom? Look at 2 Chronicles 1:10, Psalm 90:12, Ephesians 1:17, Colossians 1:9 and James 1:6.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Women Seeking Wisdom

Tonight was the beginning of our ladies Bible study. We are studying the book of Proverbs and praying believing that God will give us the wisdom we are asking for. For those women wishing to dig a little deeper this week in the's your assignment for today.....Look up the words: scoffer, fool, and simple (as a noun). Use whatever you have...a dictionary, a thesaurus, Google them...get a better understanding of who Proverbs is talking about when it mentions these type people. Make a list of the character traits each of these have. Honestly examine your life and see if you need to make some heart improvements.

In other news, UPS delivered 9 of 14 boxes of art supplies for the Mission today. I haven't opened them yet....I have a slight addiction to office supplies so I am afraid I might get carried away if I rip the boxes open....better wait on Keelie (she appears to be more self - controlled). we had 28 or so sign up for SAM club yesterday at pre-registration! We had lots of parents volunteer to help so some of my fears are settling. It's amazing to see God's hand on every part of this ministry. Thank you Lord!

Monday, June 9, 2008


Yesterday (Sunday) was quite a day! First of all, the worship through music at church was absolutely wonderful. Music has always been able to take me to a place of worship that nothing else can quite compare to. Our worship leader, Charlotte Scales, has a way of working scriptures, stories and Bible history all together and creating an environment that causes people to focus on the reason for our worship...Jesus Christ. It was great!
Then Bruce brought a message which included the announcement that we would be moving to the Gunter Elementary School for our services in September. This will solve all our space needs and it is just miraculous how God has worked it all out. We might feel a little like the children of Israel...moving from location to location...but it's ok...they eventually made it to the promised land!
After the first service a woman came up to me and ask me my name. I told her and she then said are you part of the Mission. I said yes, she then proceeded to tell me an amazing story of how God had restored her faith and family through groceries the Mission had left on her doorstep. It was such a confirmation that Keelie and I are doing exactly what God wants us to do in our community. I am so thankful for a God who knows when we need encouragement.
Tucker has completely recovered from his stomach bug, but now wants to be held all the time. This has resulted in numerous temper tantrums when holding him has been an when I am in the bathroom...or in the car....or cooking. He's so funny, when I tell him to wait just a second...he! mommy hold me RIGHT NOW! (seems "right now" have become a couple of his favorite words!