Monday, December 17, 2012

When the Children Cry...

Somehow this song seems entirely appropriate for the recent events...As the family and loved ones prepare to say their final goodbyes to their sweet sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, grandchildren, mothers, aunts...may we always remember that this did not take our Lord by surprise. He is waiting to help heal the broken hearts of so many...please continue to pray for others as you would want them to be praying for you.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart..." Psalm 34:1

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gingerbread Houses with a Christian twist...

I created this lesson to share with my Sunday School Class as we build Gingerbread Houses together.  Please feel free to use this with your family and loved ones too!  I gave each child a copy of the information below to explain the parts to family and friends.

Follow me on
Follow Me on Pinterest

The Gingerbread House

God can be found everywhere and in everything. Using Scripture and the Gingerbread House, I’m going to show you how you can find Christian symbolism by looking at my gingerbread house.

As you can see, everything is edible. I was tempted to eat some of the candy as I was constructing my house, but I didn’t. I also had to exercise patience while constructing the house. At times, I had to hold each piece together waiting on the icing to set. I was impatient, but the Lord helped me be patient. I took my time with each part, and I did my best work. My bible tells me:

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My bretheren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Know this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
James 1:1-4

We used SEVEN graham crackers. God introduced the number SEVEN as a symbol of completion of His initial creative act. It is a number which represents perfection, obedience, and rest. My bible tells me:

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work, which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
Genesis 2:1-4

Each graham cracker is divided into TWO smaller crackers. Just like SEVEN has significant meaning in the Bible, so does the number TWO. God’s word is represented by the number TWO. For example, the Bible is divided into TWO sections: The Old and New Testaments; Noah gathered TWO of every living creature to board the Ark. My bible also tells me:

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.”
Hebrews 4:12

You will notice that each graham cracker is turned the same way, with the lines going up/down. When I pray, my bible reminds me from where my help comes from:

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning,
O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.”
Psalm 5:3

There is only one DOOR, just as there is only one way to Heaven.

“Just saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life;
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:6

There is a DOOR KNOB as to appear as if we could open the door.

“Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be
opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh
findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door,
I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3:20
There is a TREE. TREES are very symbolic in the bible as bearing fruit and deep roots. A TREE is connected with man’s sin in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit of the TREE of Good and Evil. At Calvary, the Lord Jesus Christ died by crucifixion upon a wooden cross. The TREE is decorated with sprinkles to remind me how the Lord sprinkles our lives with His many blessings. My bible tells me:

“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” Matthew 7:17

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, netither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

There is a trinity SNOWMAN.

There are THREE Windows to remind me that God is Omnipotent (all powerful), Omniscience (all knowing), and Omnipresent (always present). Just as if looking through a window, God knows everything about us. My bible tells me:

“O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Psalm 139:1-5

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
Proverbs 15:3

The bottom part of our house is like a BOX for a Gift. I am reminded of God’s gift to me:

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 6:23

The ROOF is shaped like a triangle, reminding me of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It also reminds me of the process of life: Birth, Life, and Death. I am fearfully and wonderfully made with my Spirit, Soul, and Body. The ROOF being 3-sided also reminds me that the Jesus resurrected on the 3rd day. My bible tells me:

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
Matthew 28:19

“And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again.”
Matthew 17:23

The CANDY CANES on the roof are symbolic too! The stripes that are red are like the blood shed for me. The white stripes are for the Savior who is sinless and pure.  And also, my bible tells me:

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

There is a gum drop for the CHIMNEY.  When a CHIMNEY is working, it is the one way for smoke to bellow out.  It makes me think of the sin and ugliness (unrighteousness) leaving us when we accept Jesus as our savior and daily ask Him for the forgiveness of our sins.  My bible tells me:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

The FOUNDATION is a scarlet plate and the gingerbread house is surrounded by SNOW. My bible tells me:

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:
 though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…”
Isaiah 1:18

Now my house is complete. As I look over every detail, I am reminded how God is my refuge. He will provide all that I need: food, water, shelter, and rest. I am also reminded of the place the Lord is preparing for me!
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so,
I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
John 14:2


Ingredients for each house:

7 graham cracker halves (each cracker should have 2 smaller crackers)
            *1 box of crackers should make about 6-7 houses
4 miniature candy canes
1 Red (durable) plate
1 chocolate morsel
1 gum drop
Assorted seasonal candy, cookies, etc:
   I used the following:
*snowmen cupcake candy
*miniature tree cookies
*M & M's
*shredded coconut
*Zip lock bag filled with icing
      **when you cut the hole in the bag's corner, cut it as small as possible
      **I used sandwich bags, but next time I will use larger bags because some of them opened as the
          kids were squeezing out icing!

Ingredients and Directions for the Icing:

1 pound powdered sugar
3 egg whites (at room temp) 
     **room temp can be as easy as placing eggs in a bowl of WARM water for 5 minutes
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla
***Yields 3 cups
Combine all ingredients in medium size bowl. With mixer, blend until smooth, then beat at high speed until very stiff (about 5-7 minutes). 
NOTE: Because the icing dries very quickly, make each batch just before you are ready to use it. IF you must store for a few hours or overnight, cover tightly with plastic wrap. When using, keep container covered with damp cloth or paper towel.
If icing is too thick when using add a few drops of water.
For thicker icing, beat in a little extra powdered sugar.


Make your Door and Windows

Make your roof and add candy canes
Turn over and repeat

Build the base of your house

Add the roof and gum drop chimney
After waiting about 30 minutes to allow your icing to set,
add some icing to your roof &
decorate your windows

(Outline the entire house in icing and let dry)

Transfer to a red plate and glue down the house with icing
Spread some icing and add coconut.
Let dry for 4 hours to fully harden

*This activity takes longer than the hour I attempted to complete it.  Be sure you plan for enough time.   Next year, this will be an activity we complete over 2 Sunday School hours.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's Okay... Thursdays

Its Ok Thursdays

I've been stalking reading my friend Cat's blog for the past few weeks, and I decided to join in this week's link up...

It's Okay Thursday is about listing things in your life that you are okay with.  So, without further ado, It's okay that...
  • I'm a copycat when I can't come up with my own creative ideas for blogging....
  • Although I am almost finished Christmas shopping, I still haven't wrapped my first present....
  • When we forgot to move our Elf Kip the other night, that I quickly distracted the boys and found a new hiding place....
  • I'm the last woman alive who hasn't read the "50 Shades" series...(or "Twilight")...
  • I found I had put my son's clip on tie in my purse this week when I did laundry (I still don't know why...)
  • I've been experimenting with couponing to save some money for our family, but I'm still not the mom who can pay $0.25 for a cart full of groceries...
  • Although I finished my World Literature class yesterday, I still haven't completed my last week of bible study... (This is on the weekend's agenda!)
  •  My car's hatch is full of pine needles from bringing our Christmas tree home 2 weeks ago...
Overall, life is very busy...but it's okay!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 27-28 & Potato Soup recipe

30 Days of Thankfulness
Day 27:
I am thankful my school semester is almost over!  Turns out that I'm not so much a fan of World Literature.  I'm also thankful that after this semester, I only have FOUR more classes left!!!!  (If you listen closely, you just may hear me squealing!)
Day 28:
I am thankful for days off and crock pots.  With my new job, came new advantages.  Most importantly, I have every Wednesday off.  Some Wednesdays, I keep my boys and have a mommy/me day.  Others, I spend time doing school work, grocery shopping, cleaning, napping, or what-ever-else needs to be done.  Yesterday I tried a new crock pot recipe for "Baked Potato Soup" I found on pinterest.  I wanted to share it with you all!  It was sooooo good (and super easy)!

Pinned Image1 - 30oz bag of frozen shredded hash browns
3 - 14oz cans of chicken broth
1 - cream of chicken soup ( I used Family Size)
1/2 cup - onion finely chopped (I used 1/3)
1/4 teaspoon - ground pepper
1 - cream cheese

Garnish soup with:
green onions
cheddar cheese
sour cream
real bacon pieces

Combine frozen hash browns, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, onions, and pepper in a crock pot.  Cook on Low for 6-8 hours.  About an hour before you eat, add the cream cheese.  Serve when cream cheese is melted thoroughly  Garnish with baked potato toppings!

This yields enough to feed 6-7 people. 

It doesn't get much easier than this folks!  It's very, very good! 

If you have any other super easy (and good!) crock pot recipes, let me know!  I'd love some more.  I might end up being a little more comfortable in the kitchen after all! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

30 Days of Thankgiving: Day 20-26

Boy!  I've really gotten behind, haven't I?  I'll try to be brief!

Day 20:
I'm thankful for my Sunday School class.  Such a sweet group of students who make me laugh, think, and teach to the best of my ability--they deserve nothing less than my best, and I trust God to make me sound a lot smarter than I truly am.

Day 21:
I am thankful that I have some really awesome friends! 

Day 22:
I am thankful for the Lord's blessings on me and my family.  We have a roof over our head, clothes on our backs, food on our table, and shoes on our feet.  We are blessed

Day 23:
I am thankful that I choose to skip out on Black Friday shopping keep my sanity by shopping online.

Day 24:
I am thankful that almost a month before Christmas, I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping.  Actually, I was finished.  Then, we decided to draw names at Kyle's parent's house.  So, now I have an excuse to shop a little more...  Ha!

Day 25:
I am thankful for Sunday naps.  Actually, I am thankful for any-day naps. 

Amen!  Amen!  AMEN!

Day 26:
I am thankful for long conversations with friends.  Although it may feel like we've gone forever without talking, we always fall back into coversation so easily.

Monday, November 19, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 17-19

30 Days of Thanksgiving
Happy Monday, ya'll! 

Continuing with my 30 Days of Thanksgiving:

Day 17
I am thankful for my bible study group.  We are continuing with Kelly Minter's "No Other Gods,"  and I have learned so so much about myself the past few weeks.  I've put so many things before the Lord, some intentionally while others unintentionally.  The g-od (little g) I am truly struggling most with is people pleasing.  I put other people's opinions before the Lord's, and God is slowly opening my eyes to how I should only live my life to please Him.  This may turn out to be one of my most favorite bible studies. 

Day 18
I am thankful for my grandparents.  My Grandma Pat is such a special person.  She is always praying for others and putting others before herself.  She is a breast cancer survivor, and we are so thankful that God's healing hand has touched her!  My Grandpa Don is also very special.  He was the grandpa he didn't have to be, and I adore him.  He has a smile that is contagious, and I love his laugh.   

Day 19
I'm thankful for short work weeks and time with family.  We will be celebrating Thanksgiving with my family on Thursday at lunchtime.  We will be celebrating Thanksgiving with Kyle's family Thursday evening.  I'm thankful for the prosperity to indulge myself into a Turkey coma multiple times on Thursday!

I've also been listing ways I am thankful for infertility on my other blog.  You can read more about that here

Friday, November 16, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 16 and Pumpkin Spice Cupcake recipe

Occassionally, I cook.  For those of you who know me, this may come as shocking news to you...but occassionally I feel a little brave and venture out of my comfort zone and into the kitchen.  Kyle does most of the cooking while I do most of the cleaning.  If I'm honest, I like it that way.  I'm not a "neat" cook, and when I see clutter or mess it sets my OCD into full motion.  Imagine my surprise  when I'm trying to get those little mixing attachment thingys out of my hand mixer (see--I don't even know what they're called!), and I kinda sorta accidently turned on the mixer.  I had cake mix EVERYWHERE!!!!  So even though this recipe took me 3 hrs to make, I'm well aware it will probably only take most of you 30 minutes.  Stick with's good...and if my finished product was good, yours will be better! 

A friend shared the recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes on her blog, so I thought...what the heck.  I'll give it a shot.  And y'all--they were actually edible
Since the receipe isn't rocket science, I thought I'd pass it on to you.  Here's what you need:


1 Spice Cake Mix
1 Can of Pumpkin Puree

Icing Ingredients:
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Pkg Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Stick of Butter, melted
4 Cups of Powdered Sugar

Yields 20-24 cupcakes


In a large bowl mix together dry cake mix and pumpkin puree.  Add enough milk to make the batter as thick/thin as you want it.  Mix Well.

Fill cupcakes 3/4

Bake on 350 for 20 minutes

In a bowl mix together cream cheese, melted butter, and 4 cups of powdered sugar.  Add 1 Tsp of Vanilla and 1 Tsp of Cinnamon.  Mix well.

Apply icing to cupcakes once they are completely cool.  You can even use one of those fancy decorating thingy's and get something like this....

This is the finished product!
I actually made this!
Really, I did!
So, you'll probably wondering what this has to do with Thanksgiving and Thankfulness.  Today, I am thankful for trying new things and small miracles. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Days 13-15

Day 13
I am thankful for my job.  Last year at Thanksgiving, I was finding out that my employer was outsourcing our retail accounting department.  We were told MDI would take care of us and find us new jobs within the company.  Thirteen of us were placed among other departments, which ultimately separated a very tight-knit group of our coworkers.  I was so first.  However, I was moved into a new department and although I was at first concerned where I could fit in, now I can honestly say, I've never been happier working with a greater group of women/men in my entire 14 year career with MDI.  It's been an amazing transition for me, and I've learned so, so much which will open opportunities for me here (until I finish school, anyway).

Day 14
I am thankful that I have the support of my husband, family, and friends to finish pursuing my Middle Grades Education degree.  I have 5 classes remaining--which seems totally crazy to me--and I can't wait for God to allow me to stand in front of a group of students every day.  (I get a little giddy when I read that!)  It's my greatest desire that He will influence me and my lessons so that my students see Him.  It's a huge responsibility being an advocate for young students, but the Lord knows my heart and my intentions are to make a difference in students' lives as He made in my own life.  I'm thankful that I have a student's heart for learning.  I'm thankful that God has allowed me the resources to fund continuing in my education program. 

Day 15I am thankful for my co-workers who stepped up to the plate this year.  I can't delve many details, but I'll say that I know that I work with amazing people.  It was so exciting to be on the front lines of how one small seed was brought to complete fruition over the past few weeks.  I'm very thankful for their hearts and their willingness to participate.  And as always, when I asked God to do big things, He did abundantly more!

Monday, November 12, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 10-12

30 Days of Thanksgiving
 30 Days of Thanksgiving continues...

Day 10
I am thankful that this little fellow right here is TWO...I am thankful for all of our family who came out to help celebrate his birthday.  I am thankful that the weather was stunning, and thankful we were able to move his party (at last minutes notice) to the park!  He had so much fun! 

Birthday Boy




(more pictures to come)

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!
Happy Birthday to the US Marine Corp too!
Day 11
I am thankful for the veterans who serve this country here and abroad.  I am thankful for the sacrifices you have made to ensure my protection and freedom.  I am thankful for your willingness to watch your kids grow up in pictures as you serve overseas.  I am thankful for the courage you have to give all in order to protect and serve the land of the free.  I am also thankful for my family members who proudly call themselves veterans.

My Father In Law, former US Marine

(Not picturered are my late Grandparents:  Frank Miller Sr.,  Frank Miller Jr., and Otis Kennedy,)
Day 12
I'm thankful that my husband is able to enjoy a day off to rest (not that he will).  I'm thankful that he has a stable job and works so hard for our family.  I'm thankful that he is allowed time off to be with his family.  I'm also thankful that today is my Mother In Law's birthday!  Happy Birthday MJ!  We love you!

Friday, November 9, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 9

Today I am thankful that my Mother in Love has finished her radiation treatments! She was recently diagnosed with the early stages of breast cancer.  Praise God that she was able to have radiation and a lumpectomy.  She is now in remission and a survivor!  No more radiation!  Yay!  It's a great day!

Maw Maw holding Kohen after his birth

Thursday, November 8, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 6-8

Day 6
I am thankful for the ability to build my character as I handle some of life's disappointments.  I was obviously way too emotionally involved in the election this year.  To echo what my pastor said so well, "We have strayed so far from God."  However, I am thankful that it's times of disappointments that God chooses to build our character (and reveal it to others!).  We've always been told that our actions speak louder than words, or at least I've always been told that.  When you are dealing with "life stuff," I think our actions speaking even louder.  I'm thankful that the election is over, and I know it didn't catch the Lord by surprise that the outcome wasn't what I hoped it would be.  Nevertheless, He is still in control.

My Mom
Day 7
I am thankful for my mom who takes care of my boys while I work.  How she handles the two of them day in and day out is beyond what I could ever imagine I am capable of handling. 
To add to the mix, she also keeps my niece Sarabeth...3 kids under 4...crazy!  I would be completely drained by the end of the day.  She is made to love on her grandkids.  I am so thankful that I can work and know that someone who cares as much for them as I do is taking care of them.  She kisses the boo boos.  She teaches them silly songs.  She's the best Nanny (hands down!) a kid could ever want.  I love you mom!  Thank you for all you do for us.

Sarabeth, Kohen, Kade, Josef, & Kenleigh
Day 8
I am thankful for my sister who has given me 2 sweet nieces and one handsome nephew to love on!  I am thankful that we get along better as adults and we seldom occasionally drive each other crazy.  (I think that means we are more alike than we are different now.)  I am thankful that she spoils my kids and takes all of my "worried mommy" phone calls about bumps, bruises, rashes, etc.  I am thankful that she fills in for my mom so I don't have to miss time from work as her schedule accommodates.  I am thankful she's my sister and for the way she has always encouraged me to do my best.  I love you too, Leigh Ann.  Thank you for being an AWESOME Aunt and sister.

Leigh Ann & Sarabeth

Monday, November 5, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 2-5

Wow, I'm already behind! It's November 5th already?!? Does that seem crazy to anyone else? So, I'm playing "catch up" today....

Day 2

I am thankful for my husband who loves me so well.  He works so hard for our family, and he continually makes us feel important by going above the call of duty for husband and father.  We celebrated our 9th anniversary this year, and I can only imagine how much sweeter my life will be as his wife in the upcoming years.  I love you Kyle.  Thank you for being the best husband a wife could want and best daddy a kid could ask for!

Day 3 & 4
I am thankful for my sweet miracle boys!  I am completely humbled that the kids I cried for now cry for me.  I am so blessed to be your mommy!  I can't imagine my life without either of you!  You make me laugh daily by the quirky things you say and do.  You melt my heart when you say you love me.  You have taught me so much about how precious life can be.  You give me "purpose" to always do my best for my family.  I love you both to the moon and back!

Day 5
I am thankful for my church.  I am thankful that you can feel peace as soon as you enter its doors.  I am thankful for my pastors who preach God's word and who have taught me so much about the Lord and being a Christian.  I am thankful for the Women of Grace who lift each other up in prayer and help edify each other.  I am thankful for the Lord's presences when He sweeps in our church services, and I am thankful for our pastors' obedience to follow His lead.  I am so thankful for all of the people in our church who spoil my kids--Ms. Debbie, Granny Jo, Ms. Yvonne, Ms. Marie, and so many others.  I am very thankful that the Lord led me back to WGBC in 2006...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 1

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Happy November 1st!  Its the season of Thankfulness, home cooking, and holiday shopping!  It's my most favorite time of year.  So many people do the 30 days of Thanksgiving to note what they are thankful for.  I love reading about the things which people find gratifying.  I also found this fun little article that you can use at home with your family.  It's dates are wrong (as its a few years old), but I assure you the content is very relevant.

Anyway, for the next 30 day's I'm going to be saturating my little blog space with things for which I am thankful.  Want to play?  Jump right in!

Day 1
Above all else, I am so deeply grateful for the love of a Risen Lord and Savior who makes me want to be a better person.  My life was once chaos and filled with sin.  I was lost and traveling on the super highway strait to the pits of Hell.  The Lord swept right in and gave me new life, forgave me of my sins, and set my feet upon solid ground--walking day by day with him.  

I recently read this verse and fell in love with it.

"Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand."  Psalm 73:23

Thank you Lord for holding me by my right hand throughout my journey of life so far.  

Liebster Award

My sweet friend Caroline nominated me for the Leibster Award.  Thanks Caroline!

What is the Liebster Blog Award? Well, I'm so happy you asked. The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. I'll answer 11 questions and then nominate another person to participate.

Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging when I was undergoing Infertility treatment.  My friend Deidre had shared with me her blog, and I thought it seemed like a really quick way to connect with others who could understand what I was going through.  You can read about that journey here.  I loved blogging so much that I created a family blog (which is what you're reading now).  I also created a religious blog so I could document what God was teaching me through His word and everyday life.  Lastly, I started a book blog where I would record the books I was reading...  I may be a blog-o-holic, but I love it.  I still hop around on each of my blogs posting when time permits.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is the smell in my mom's kitchen.  I can remember as I was a little kid, I would wake up to the savoring smells of a turkey baking overnight.  The smell would fill our entire house.  As soon as I would get out of bed, I would be greeted to the smells of cooking: turkey, potato salad, dressing...what's weird is that as I type this, I still know this smell--and Thanksgiving is 3 weeks away!

Do you prefer warm or cold weather?
This is easy!  Hot!  I am super cold natured.  I love basking in the sunshine and just feeling the rays hit my face.  I'd much rather be hot than cold--any day.

What is the last thing you do before you go to bed?
Before going to bed, I typically carry my kids to their room and tuck them into bed.  After that, undress, watch 15-20 minutes of the news, and I roll over to my left side and go to sleep.  Not sure why it always has to be the left side, but I've always told my doctor this is why my blood pressure is so good... ;)

What do you do for a living?
I work for a large food distributor in NC.  I've worked at my employer for 14 years in accounting.  Last Fall our department was outsourced so my coworkers and I were moved into various departments.  I was moved to Customer Service and forced to take a demotion.  It didn't bother me so much because I had already decided to return to school to be a middle grades teacher.  I'm currently 5 classes away from having my 2nd bachelor's I hope one day when I'm asked "What do you do for a living?" that I can say, "I make a difference." 

If you could go on a trip tomorrow, where would you go?
Anywhere tropical.  My husband and I traveled to the Dominican Republic a few years ago, and I'd love to go back.

If you could go back to any age, what would it be?
I don't think I would go back to any age.  My school years were that would be out.  My early 20s were filled with marriage and infertility woes--so that's out too.  If I'm answering honestly, I'd have to say that I'm content being 32.

What is your favorite quality in your spouse?
Wow, there are so many qualities that I love about most favorite would be his patience... HA!  That's a joke.  Seriously, my favorite quality *if I'm only picking one* is his thoughtfulness.  He is probably the most thoughtful person that I know.  He loves me well.

What have you or did you learn on your infertility journey?
The most valuable lesson I learned from infertility is that I am not in control.  That was a difficult area for me to relinquish control of.  It's my body--I couldn't understand why I couldn't get pregnant with my body.  I think God really opened my eyes to ultimately His being in control.  I've also learned that even as a parent, it's still very much a part of who I am and who I'll always be.  I constantly pray for people in waiting.  I don't think it will ever leave me.

If you could only shop at one store for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Walmart.  One stop shopping at its finest.

Do you have a favorite quote, verse or song.
My favorite song ever is Matchbox Twenty's "Long Day"  I love all things Matchbox Twenty actually.    My favorite verse is Phil 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content."  (This verse has been prayed over and recited a million many times.)   I don't really have a favorite quote that I can think of off hand.  

That was fun!  Here are some questions for my nomination, Cat.  I'll borrow a few questions from the above list and add a few of  my own:

Why did you start blogging?
What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Who has been most influential in your life?
What is one quirky fact about you?
What is your favorite book, movie, or TV show?
What is your favorite quality about your spouse?
How did you meet your spouse?
What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?
How has God recently revealed Himself to you?
Do you have a life verse?  If so, what is it and how did it come to be?
What else can you tell me about yourself?

Monday, October 29, 2012

A "Kade" funny


One of your favorite things about our amazing church is
 that (if you're a kid) you get to go up to each of our preachers before service 
to receive candy.  Last night, I saw you walk up to Preacher Paul
so excited to receive your tootsie roll.  As you turned around to walk 
away, you decided you wanted to go back for (what I thought) was another piece of candy.
I told your dad, "Look, our son is up there panhandling the preacher."
I saw Paul start laughing, and I wondered what you had possibly
done to embarrass us this time...(like the time you tried to testify during service)...

Before service started, Preacher Paul came up to tell us that when he pulled out your candy
he had also pulled out some cash from his pocket. 
You, sweet darling Kade, told him....
"Pweacher Paul... I tink I want the money." 
What can I say, I've taught you well.

I love you sweet boy!

Thank you for making us laugh!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Recent God Sighting...

I had a true experience with God earlier this week.  I shared the details on a New Post found here

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

We don't Need No Education...

As I type this, for some strange reason I am mentally singing Pink Floyd's "We Don't Need No Education."  That's a great example of grammar, huh?  "We Don't Need No..."  I am proud to say that one of the very important rules of grammar I did learn in school:  a double negative means the opposite...

As I think back to growing up, I can remember asking to sing "Amazing Grace" in music class and kids making fun of me.  I believe I was in 4th or 5th grade.  My feelings were deeply hurt.  I can remember I started crying.  My music teacher, Mrs. Sigmon, came up and knelt down beside of me to ask if I was okay.  I told her that song was played at my grandma's funeral...I find it odd of my elementary school memories, this one is so prevalent.

I can also recall in middle school, a preacher named Ken Freeman visited our school.  He was super cool with the cross shaved in the back of his head.  He introduced us to songs such as "Awesome God."   He taught me being a Christian was the new "cool."  He also had Christian T-Shirts we could purchase.  One T-Shirt in particular stands out even today...It had a huge logo on the front that said, "God's Last Name Isn't D-----t!"  After his visit, I can remember three of my friends and I meeting at lunch to have a bible study while all the other students laughed and made fun of us.  Eventually we stopped...

Wearing the shirt didn't make me a Christian anymore than standing in my garage made me a car.  I don't know if carrying a notebook with a bible verse would have helped, but it certainly couldn't have hurt.  Having a daily reminder would have embedded into my head that there is a greater purpose in life than surviving elementary, middle, or high school. 

Being a witness for Christ at such a young, vulnerable age was hard for me...  I was already struggling with self-esteem issues and "fitting in."  I didn't rest my assurance in setting myself apart from the world when in doing so caused me more trouble, stress, and  ridicule.  Kids can be cruel.  Some of the kids in my school were cruel, and more than I care to remember I was a cruel kid at times too.

Looking back, I wish I had come into contact with more young Christians during my most influential years.  I wish I hadn't cared what others thought of me and that I would have embraced  the opportunity to be a witness for the Lord more often.  I could sit here and wish my life away of all the things I wish I had done differently.  As an adult, I can't help but feel like I wasted so much time...I wasted years and years of developing a relationship with the Lord.  I wasted so many chances to make better decisions by surrounding myself with Christian influences.  I wasted time on unimportant things, time I will never regain.   

This is why I admire children who take a stand for the Lord at an early age.  These kids are bright lights for the Lord in a very dark world.  One child in particular has a heart of missions.  She quotes scripture as a biblical scholar, shows acts of kindness and compassion to fellow peers, and sings beautifully songs of worship.  Another child makes people laugh with her wittiness and sarcasm.  She doesn't take life seriously and lives in the moment.  In my opinion, this is another great form of witnessing for the Lord.  She brings something to the table that most people can't--laughter and  joy-- to people who need it, when they need it most whether she intentionally means to or not.  She is f--unny and makes you happy just to be around her.

There are so many children in my church who inspire you to be a better Christian.  They are examples to children (and adults alike) for what it means to live a Christ-like life.  I'm inspired to be a better example to the world because of them.  I'm inspired to show compassion at its rawest form.  I'm inspired to not let the small things weigh me down.  I'm inspired to memorized God's word.  I'm inspired to pray for today's adolescents.  And, I'm inspired to edify them to continue in their pursuit of Jesus' heart.  I want to see them set themselves apart from the world and kids their own age, and I want to see them witness for Jesus (like I didn't) and avoid having regrets later in life. 

I'm also grateful that Dayspring offers products to encourage adolescents to be proud of their Christian faith.  Visit there website for  the August Special:  All school supplies are buy 2 get 1 free.

I'm so grateful my boys have Christian peers to look up to. When I was a kid, we could actually pray in school.  Carrying Christian school supplies is one way we can "speak out loud" about our amazing Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Disclaimer:  Dayspring provided me with the Notebook sets free of charge.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

RFW: It Only Works When I Breathe

It's been a while since I posted on my Resolutions for Women book by Priscilla Shirer.  Today's lesson is titled:  "It Only Works When I Breathe"

The title immediately caught my attention since my One Word for 2012 is

So, let's talk for a bit, shall we?

This section can be summed up in one sentence: "You will never be able to give the best of yourself if you're not taking care of yourself to begin with."  (page 106)

I don't know about any of you, but I feel somewhat guilty when I take time out for myself.  I know it's needed, time to just recoup from the stresses of life, take a few deep breaths and re-group, but that is time I could be spending with my family, reading God's word, resting, running, cleaning, organizing, etc.  Don't we lack extra time in our day?  Who are we to be so selfish as to need "me" time when it takes so much to make your family work?  After all, we are women, aren't we?  We are accustomed to making sacrifices?  We get up first (sometimes), we eat cold dinners, we are Super Women.  And when we don't make the sacrifice, we oftentimes feel guilty taking time to relax or rejuvenate. 

"But hold on a minute.  Why wouldn't taking care of yourself be considered one of the best possible uses of your time when doing so sets the tone for the rest of your entire life?"  Or week?  Or day?

So hold on ladies, I have your saving grace for "me" time courtesy of Ms. Shirer:  "you must consider the changing needs of [your] body.  What is required to stay replenished, energized, and healthy ten years ago was different from what it needs today...try not to allow the passions God has given [you] to get trampled under the busyness of life...There's just no way around it.  If you're going to stay sharp--if you're going to keep your oxygen levels up--you need a break every now and then.  It's not a break from your life; it's a break for your life."  Aging does come with perks, eh?

So now we ask ourselves, "When will I put on my oxygen mask so I can...bre-e-e-eathe?" (page 110)

By signing my name:

I am choosing not to allow perfectionism to rule my life.  I am determining, rather to consider carfully what God has prioritized for me in this season of my life, and then examine the unique qualities I've been given to bring to those tasks.  I am accepting this resolution as an invitation to become fully engaged in today's assignment and bring all of myself into every one.  I will no longer see taking care of myself as something to be ashamed of but a requirement to enable me to better serve others. 

I will seek to devote the best of myself, my time, and my talents to the primary roles the Lord has entrusted to me in this phase of my life.

Elaine M Killian
August 9, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Broken Seed

New post here.  This explains what God has taught me on brokenness using His word.  Check it out!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

2012 Summer Fun: Camp St. Nate's

Recently, we've been checking off all sorts of fun activities from our very first 2012 Spectacular Summer Fun  Bucket List.  

On Monday July 2, we went for an all day visit at Nathan's house (Kyle's brother).  He lives in Wilbar, NC, and it's about an hour or so away from where we live.  Due to all of our very hectic schedules, we don't see family as often as we'd like.  Nathan rents this really cute mountain house that has a pond out front.  It's not just a pond--it's a fisherman's dream!   This pond is full, FULL of Nate's pet fish... He has everything from brim to bass to catfish that he allows us to "exercise" under the condition that we will toss them back.  Here are a few pictures from our day:

While we were on our way, we saved a turtle that was stranded in the middle of the road and set him free at Nate's.  He was really scared, tucked away in his shell.  After Paw Paw picked out a spot to set him free, we all went inside to say our hellos.  After five minutes passed we went back out to check on the turtle and he was GONE!  

We hope you love your new home in Wilbar Mr. Turtle!

Here's just a little bit of how we spent our day....

We fished!
We actually caught really big fish! This is a catfish...huge!
And yes, we had to toss back before someone grabbed the salt and pepper!
We played "Peak-a-boo...I See You!"

We made homemade Orange/Pineapple Ice Cream

We spent most of the time resting...

...missing my nephew Alex
 (who we haven't seen since Christmas and I must steal borrow pictures off his Facebook page..)
...or laughing!  This is Kade's dragon tail...hilarious kid!
I'll spare you the details!
But most of all... 
We really enjoyed the family time, food, and fellowship!

Thanks Nate for your hospitality!
 Looking forward to next time!

I began blogging several years ago in search of new friends who, like me, were having a difficult time getting pregnant. Five years, 2 miscarriages, 4 failed IUI's, and a doctor who told us "It will never happen" later, we are the proud parents of Kade and Kohen. They are each an example of God's absolute perfection. We thank God where medical intervention stops, Divine intervention begins.