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
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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.