Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jesus Calling

My sweet friend Marita gave me a little daily devotional book for my birthday called Jesus Calling.  I love it because the daily readings are as if Jesus is talking straight to the reader, then it gives you scripture that coordinates with that days reading.

Today's was especially good and I have a feeling several of these things are going to hit me right when I need them.  I thought I would share today's devo with you.

"I am leading you along a way that is uniquely right for you.  The closer to Me you grow, the more fully you become your true self - the one I designed you to be.  Because you are one of a kind, the path you are traveling with Me diverges increasingly from that of other people.  However, in My mysterious wisdom and ways, I enable you to follow this solitary path while staying in close contact with others.  In fact, the more completely you devote yourself to Me, the more freely you can love people.
Marvel at the beauty of a life intertwined with My Presence.  Rejoice as we journey together in intimate communion.  Enjoy the adventure of finding yourself through losing yourself in Me."
2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
Ephesians 2:10 - For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.
1John 4:7-8 - Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
John 15:4 - Remain in Me, and I in you.  Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mid Thirties

Tomorrow, I will officially be 35 - mid thirties.  Not that I haven't been in the "mid" stage for a while, but...

I remember growing up, I used to think that someone that was 35 was really, truly a grown up.

So according to my child-self, tomorrow I will really, truly be a grown up.

And I have to renew my driver's license.  I know.  Jealous, aren't you?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A New Job

It's been a sweet forever since I blogged.  However, I have a pretty good excuse... sort of.

I have a new full time job.  I'm the Director of Preschool Ministries at Cross Church Fayetteville.  Now, our campus hasn't opened yet.  We're still in the building stages, but there is so much prep involved - it's crazy!  Plus, I'm still working Kids Day Out as well as Friday Night Out until the end of this next week.  It's been a wee bit stressful, but it's also been super exciting!

To back up a bit, I interviewed for the job in September.  September 21st, to be exact, was my first interview.  I remember because I was praying for God to give me some sort of confirmation on what I needed to do for sure.  I was torn in so many ways over this opportunity.  I had some time before I was to meet for the interview, so I grabbed my Bible and sat down to read.  Not having anything in particular that I needed to read, I just went to Proverbs as is my habit if I don't have a reading plan that I'm following - cause, you know, there's wisdom in that there book. :)  I usually go to the chapter that corresponds to the day of the month.  Which was my intention that day.  But all morning long, I kept thinking it was the 22nd.... which is what chapter I turned to.  I began to read and got to verse 6.  I read it and it was, like my sweet friend Marita described to me, like a neon light blazing off the page at me.  It reads, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it." I just wept.  Literally.  It still brings tears to my eyes to think about it.  I was so humbled and so overwhelmed that the God who created the universe chose that moment to speak to me.  He cares enough about me, about the details of my life, to lead me to that verse... on the "wrong" day... that was exactly the scripture I needed to read. That was to be my job - to help in training a child in the way he should go...and to help build truths in the hearts of these precious tiny humans that would be with them forever.  I stayed on that verse and couldn't move past it for a long time.  Then Satan started talking to me again, as he has a habit of doing.  How in the world was I going to pull this off?  Wasn't "so and so" better for the job?  I would probably get in trouble a bunch for just not doing a good enough job (which I hate, nay LOATHE being in trouble).  How was I ever going to be successful in this?  Oh, but then.  But then.... I was able to get past verse 6 and read on through that chapter.  And God did it again.  He spoke loud and clear through verse 19 and said straight to my heart, "I have instructed you today - even you - so that your confidence my be in the Lord."  He instructed me that day - EVEN ME - that I shouldn't worry about what I could do on my own and that my confidence didn't need to be in my abilities, or lack thereof.  My confidence that I would do a good job in the position that God was leading me to should be in the Lord.  If He would choose to put me in that place, He surely would equip me to do the job and if I do a good job, it's only because of Christ and the gifts He has given me - certainly not of myself and of anything coming from me.  By the end of that day of my first interview, I realized that I'd read the "wrong" chapter and was even more overwhelmed that God didn't let me read chapter 21, as was according to the date.  He led me to the perfect thing I was to read.  And God led me to be hired in that position.

And then Satan went to work IMMEDIATELY.  I got the job.  I was on such a spiritual high.  A couple things happened that just completely made my week.  And then BAM!!  Satan was on the attack in a hurry!  Less than 24 hours after it became public info that I was the person for this job, I got slammed to my knees.  For three days, I was in hell.  I literally felt like I was doing battle with the devil.  I felt stripped of anything good in me.  I was miserable.  But God used that time to draw me so close to him.  I remember at one point just closing my eyes, putting my head in my hands, and imagining crawling up into the arms of God and letting His wings cover me with His peace.  Occasionally Rachel will do that with Mike - just crawl up in his arms and let him hold her.  What a sense of peace and belonging to be a small child, covered and protected in your daddy's arms.  That's what my God did for me during those days.  He let me be covered and protected in my Daddy's arms.  Satan was eventually defeated in that battle (to which I totally stuck my tongue out at him over it!) and things went forward from there.  But the whole experience reminded me that the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.  He is good.  All the time.  Regardless of our circumstances.

soooo much!!  My prayer daily is that God will use me.  However I need to be used.  That He will lead the right people to come alongside and help teach and lead these tiny humans.  I can't wait to see lives changed and people come to know Jesus!  I'm so excited!!

"But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Galatians 6:14

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Keep Up With Me...

On the right side of this blog is my Twitter timeline.  Follow me on Twitter, username is miss_jilly_bean, or become my friend on facebook - or just read the timeline on this blog to keep up with me.  I can spend 2 seconds updating Twitter more than I can find time to sit down at my computer, log in to blogger, type out a big message with pictures, etc, etc, etc.

Hopefully this weekend, there may be time to update the blog and get all of you who still might be interested a picture or two from our trip to Las Vegas.  It was fabulous!!

On the adoption front, we have some inquiries in on a few kids from Arkansas and some other states.  All I can say at this point is, this is a frustrating process dealing with the state!  There is not one single person that seems to be an advocate for US.  If we left it up to someone contacting us about available kids that might fit in our family, we would wait for years and maybe still never hear anything.  It's really maddening sometimes to think that there are families like us that are ready and willing to take these kids who need families and yet no one is helping us!  We are doing all the leg work.  There's not one soul that has said, "Hey, it looks like we have a possible match for you" or "what about these kids, would you be interested?"  Nothing.  But we're not quitting.  We're calling.  We're emailing.  We KNOW there are kids out there and we have a place for them and we WANT them!  I know it's all just a matter of God's timing.  His timing is perfect.  His plan is perfect.  There is a child or children out there that God has designed to be a part of our family.  I'm constantly reminding myself that God is in total control, even when I think these people working for the state are all crazy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So Little Time...

I told Mike last night, I think my brain is about to explode.  I have right now only about 3 minutes til I have to get my kids and get home so that I can continue working on getting things ready to go out of town on Friday.  Thankfully Mamaw and Grandma Lynn will be here and my kids will be in incredibly capable hands, but it's still hard to leave and make sure everything is under control.  I thought 7 weeks ago that it was a bit early to start getting things together and that I could wait.  I wish I could go back 7 weeks and tell myself that I was a fool and I needed then to actually START getting stuff together.  Oh well.  The time is quickly approaching and I'm excited!!

So many things to update and this poor blog just doesn't get very much attention. Maybe when I get back home, I will be able to keep up a bit better - and post some pretty fabulous pictures from my trip!!  I'm most excited about the FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!  AAAHHHH!!!!  I get all giddy just thinking about it! :)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Vegas Baby!!

Now, since I haven't posted in like, a hundred years, I figured I would break the dry spell with a little fun!  I'm going to VEGAS!!!  I've never been before and I'm so excited to go, I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas most days! I've researched the crud out of this trip and want to be totally prepared when I get there.

Last week, Mike called me and said he had something he wanted to ask me but he seemed very hesitant to really say it.  I got a little nervous to begin with and just told him to spit it out.  He said he was going to the TIA convention (something to do with tortillas), which is in Las Vegas this year, and wondered if I wanted to go with him.  Uh - HELLO!!  Of COURSE I want to go!!  But wait.  We're less than loaded so how would we pay for such a venture?  And thus comes the good part!  We have extra Frequent Flier Miles that have been "sitting there" for a while on another airline that Mike rarely flies now and happen to have plenty for me to fly to and from Vegas.  PLUS, this little gem, he got me bumped to first class flying out of Vegas when I come home!  WOOT!  Don't know how he did it.  Didn't ask.  Just grateful.  We'll be flying different airlines, but that's cool.  So, travel there and back is free.  Mike's room will be paid for by work and is based on double occupancy, so it won't cost an additional dime for me to stay there as well.  Room - Paid.  If I travel anywhere while I'm there, I'll either be walking or it will be with Mike, which he'll be paying for with his budget through work. Travel in Vegas - Paid.  I'm thinking that granola bars or fruit of some sort will be my morning snack friend and I plan on taking full advantage of the enormous amounts of buffets all over the place there and will use that for my "brunch" most days.  So, my breakfast/lunch will be on us.  Dinner one or two nights that we're there will likely be with vendors.  Dinner one or two nights - Paid.  Dinner the other night or two will be Mike and me.  Mike's food will be paid for by work.  My food will be on us.  Of course, I'll "need" to do some shopping while I'm there, so there will be that.  But other than my part of some of the food and a little shopping money, this trip is mostly taken care of just because I get to tag along with my husband on a business trip!!!  WOOHOO!!  I'm literally so excited, I can barely contain myself!  And the food!  Oh my sweet Lord, the FOOD!!! I fully intend on gaining at LEAST 5lbs while I'm there because I will eat everything in sight and gorge myself to death at the buffets and not care a bit about it!  There are tons of fun things to do there as well.  We LOVE roller coasters, so that might be something we do.  We're looking at going to a show, but my word, those things can get super pricey, so we may stick to the free Treasure Island show and the Bellagio Fountains... or heck, the best thing to do, in my opinion, is people watch and that is totally free.  And you KNOW there are going to be some interesting people to watch in Las Vegas!  Otherwise, I'll be going to as many of the hotels as I can and will take in as many of the sights as I can!  So many of those resorts are a vacation in themselves with all the stuff they have in there!  The one I'm most excited about is the Venetian.  I have the gondola ride set as my screen saver right now.

AAAHHHHH!!!!  We're still about 6 weeks out from leaving, but I know those 6 weeks will fly like crazy with the kids going back to school, KDO starting back, all the fall programs at church starting back - it will FLY!  But I couldn't be more excited!  I can't wait to spend 5 days away with my hubby! We haven't done anything like this since we were married.  We've gone on overnight stuff, but nothing like this!  It will be like the honeymoon we never had - except that Mike will have to be at a boring convention some of the time.  Poor thing.  But while he's gone, I get to do whatever I want!!  HEHEHEHEHE!!  It's the best of both worlds!

In preparation for our trip, I've started running.  I downloaded the Couch to 5K app and have been following that for a couple weeks.  I've dropped a few pounds so far, but I want to loose a few more before we leave.  Partly because I want to get in good shape to walk a thousand miles while I'm there, partly because I want to look thinner than I am now, and partly because I intend to EAT LIKE CRAZY when I'm there and I want to be able to not feel guilty about that.  Hopefully by the time we leave, I'll be able to do the full 5K.  I'm not planning on running in a race - there's not one in particular that I'm training for.  I just want to be able to say I can do it.

So the countdown has begun.  I cannot wait!!  I love having stuff like this to look forward to!  And if any of you that might still read this blog have any suggestions, recommendations, or tips, feel free to share!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


It's been a month since I posted last.  Wow.  Life is just happening faster than I can type sometimes.

We don't have a child in our home yet.  Our adoption home study was completed and filed and we're on the list.  I just saw an email today about a 2 year old boy that's in need of a home.  Maybe soon.  I know God's timing is perfect and I'm perfectly content to wait at this point. 

We still have 2 puppies.  They are nearing 12 weeks old.  I don't want to have puppies in my house anymore.  I want them GONE.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy puppies, but not for this long.  I've got too much other stuff going on to be cleaning up after puppies and they need way more attention than I can give them right now.

We just got back from our family reunion.  We went to Grand Lake in Oklahoma and stayed from Sunday until Wednesday.  It was lovely to be able to sit, read, play cards, hang out with the fam, watch the kids play, and not have one bit of responsibility except to feed my family for 3 days.  I loved that I could sit and read all afternoon and not feel guilty about sitting and reading and not doing my domestic duties.  When I'm at home, I feel like I need to be doing something most of the time.  That I'm being lazy if I just take an hour or two to read.  Which is why I put off reading until I get into bed and usually fall asleep before I've gotten through 5 pages - hence the reason it takes a sweet forever for me to finish a book.  I love to read.  LOVE it.  But it's one of those things that I feel is a luxury and don't give myself permission to do very often.  Over the past few days, however, I've sat down to read whenever I got ready and it was lovely.  I also enjoyed catching up with Mike's dad and brothers that we don't get to see too often.  We enjoy their company and enjoying hanging out together.  Over all, it was a fun, relaxing time.  I didn't take one picture with my "good" camera, though, and very few from my phone.  Mike took a few of the kids fishing, but I don't have them yet.  One of our first vacations that I didn't get a lot of pics.  I'm ok with that, though.  I wanted to be lazy on my vacation and I accomplished that! :)

In case you've been under a rock, Eclipse is coming out next week.  Tanner and I are super excited about it!  We have plans to go opening day.  I can't wait to see it.  I'm sure I'll venture out to the theater on more than one occasion to view it while it's out.  It's only fair - you know, since I did see each of the previous movies at least 3 times in the theater.  As for other movies lately that I've loved, Letters to Juliet was wonderful!  I saw it twice and would go see it again.  I will own that one when it comes out on DVD.  Precious romantic movie.

I'm pretty excited about the 4th of July.  I get to sing on the praise team during our Summer Freedom Celebration!  I first got to sing at Christmas and then on Easter Sunday and now for the 4th!  I enjoy singing soooo much and feel incredibly blessed that I get to do this!  It's just so much stinkin' fun!!!

That's all for now.  I'm off to take my son to the potty for the 493rd time today.  Oh yeah, we're in the midst of potty training.  I HATE doing this!  HATE. IT.  If he weren't so darn cute....

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another Call

This is going to end up being so hard.  It's already hard.  I can tell you right now that I'm going to need to be prayed up every minute in order to have the wisdom and discernment we need in order to know which child to take.

I can't help but think of these kids they called about tonight.  I heard the one year old little girl in the background crying for her daddy.  I'm in tears right now just thinking about it!  I wanted to go grab that child and just rock her to sleep.  And her 3 year old big brother too.  They cannot help what's going on with their parents or what they may have seen already in their little lives.  I just think about Porter and how scared he would be if he was taken from our home.  He would be crying for me and for his daddy.  He would be so confused as to why he wasn't in his house, in his bed.

There are so many things going through my mind right now.  Way too many and way to fast for me to even get them out.  I'm so very thankful that the Holy Spirit can understand my thoughts and my groanings because I can't get many of these things into words.  I'm just so broken for these kids.

God, meet their needs tonight.  Bring them someone that will take care of them tonight and love on them.  Give wisdom to the caseworkers and those trying to place these kids.  They have such a hard job - give them patience and love for these kids.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Our First Call

We just got our first call tonight for a little boy, but we had to say no. That was excrutiating. It's a very real thing now that there are kids right now that are being taken from their homes. And I can't help but wonder what that little boy is going through tonight. I wonder if he's scared. I wonder if he'll be able to sleep. I wonder if the family that's caring for him will take good care of him and hold him when he cries.  My heart is just aching tonight... But I know God has got just the right child for us - and we'll be able to make a difference...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Open For Business

After the busiest week in all of creation, we found out today that we are officially open as a foster home.

That's a very exciting and a very scary thing!  If I knew who I was getting, I could feel a little more prepared.  But we don't know.  And we don't know how long we'll get to keep this first kid, if and when we get them.

We're also going to have an adoption home study done.  Not sure when that will take place, but should be soon.  That way if there are any kids that meet our criteria anywhere in AR, we can have an option to adopt them.  Right now, we're limited to the kids in the four northwestern counties in AR.

We're praying for wisdom and discernment.  I'm praying for an open heart for whoever comes into my home - and at the same time praying for open hands if I'm called to give them back to their bio parents.

This process is not for the faint of heart.... and we're just beginning.....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Life is K-R-A-Z-Y!!!

For the next couple of weeks for sure, my life is on a non-stop crazy train!  Next Tuesday, Mike's mom is having surgery.  That is possibly the least convenient time in all of the world for me, but hey - what's a girl to do.  All next week, Rachel has rehearsals for her dance recital, we've got Mike's mom's surgery, Mike has his first aid class, Tanner has softball, and I have meetings and work all week AND company coming.  And let's not forget I have NINE PUPPIES who are about to start on solid food this weekend and will need to start potty training.  God help me get through the week.  If I can make it til a week from Saturday night with my sanity, it will be a miracle.

As for our adoption stuff, we still just lack Mike's first aid training then we're done and can be licensed for foster care.  We're also going to do an adoption home study.  They've done the foster home study already.  Why are there two, you ask?  As Michelle so eloquently put it, it's a government program and therefore is inefficient.  But if we're going to play the government's game, we have to play by their rules.  Therefore, we are going to do an additional home study.  The foster home study will allow us to be licensed as foster parents with the option of adopting if and when the parents rights are terminated.  This, however, limits us to our area of Arkansas.  They try their best to place foster children in their original county.  It makes sense because of travel issues that might arise with court dates or visitation that will inevitably come.  However, if we do the adoption home study, we would be opened to the possibility of going directly to adoption with a child anywhere in Arkansas that met our criteria and were ready to be adopted.  It might take a little longer with that, but it might be a shorter process in the long run.  We're now just praying for God's wisdom in exactly what we need to do.

For today - I just want to bury my head in the sand with all the stuff we have going on in the next 10 days!  Once May 9th gets here, it should be smooth sailing for a while.... knock on wood!!!! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Our County Lady comes out to visit tomorrow.  She will do the final inspection of our home, make sure we've done everything we've been required to do, and let us know if there's anything else to do before opening our home.  I'm cleaning today and tomorrow - mostly because the house needs it, not just because she's coming.  Mike still has to do his first aid class and that won't be until the first part of May.  I'm not sure how strict they are on stuff like that and if he will for sure have to finish it before we can have our home open.  It makes me very nervous, but excited, to know that we could have a child in our home very, very soon!  Yikes!! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Puppies Have Arrived

Life has been so busy that I haven't taken the time to sit down to my computer to update this poor little blog.

The puppies arrived on Saturday, April 3rd.  There were 9.  That's right.  I said NINE.  That was from ONE rendezvous.  All the puppies survivied.  That's the first time in the three litters that she's had that all them have survived.  They are all doing well.  There's not really much for us to do with them right now except look at them and hold them every once in a while.  Copper pretty much takes care of their every need..... for a couple more weeks anyway.  Then it will be up to us.  So spread the word - if anyone needs a wonderful family dog, we have 9!  In our previous litters, we've had dogs go to several of our family members and friends and have been able to keep up with them.  If it wasn't so hard on Copper, we'd continue to have puppies to provide awesome pets for people.  Our puppies have turned out to be fantastic dogs!  I'm really proud of them!  I'll post pics of the little darlings soon.  They are on my camera, but not on my computer yet.  That's for another time...

Mike is going to complete his CPR this week and the County Lady will come out next week to open our home... I think.  She'll do the final inspection and other than Mike having the First Aid course, we're done.  It's a little crazy to think that we could have a child in our home so soon!  It's exciting, but at the same time, it makes me a little nervous. 

I'm cleaning house today.  Well, not actually right now since I'm typing on my blog, but that's what I have been doing and will continue to do.  I don't have anywhere to be today and I have to say, it's GLORIOUS!  I love days at home like this when I can get a bunch of stuff done and don't have to get "ready" for anything.  I've got on my grubby cleaning clothes and my do-rag.  My eyes are all allergy shot and I don't have a stitch of makeup on.  You talk about looking HOT!  Woohoo.  But who cares, really?  I'm busting tail today and am getting my clean on with my windows wide open to bring in some of that fresh spring air.  I love spring!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Waiting on the Puppies and Adoption Stuff

Copper is due any minute.  Today is Day 63, if my calculations are correct.  Puppies are usually born between day 62 and day 64 gestation.  We should have puppies today or tomorrow.  Or we could have them at the most inconvenient time ever, on Monday.  She's getting pretty restless today, so we may see puppies later on this weekend.  I'll be sure to post pictures once they're here.

Our 9th anniversary was Wednesday.  Mike took off work that day and we all went to the health department to get TB skin tests and then took Rachel and Porter, along with Mike, to get physicals.  We had to get all that done to finish up some paperwork items.  That afternoon, I told Mike we needed to get some stuff taken care of in the back yard, including taking the swings down from the swingset because they had been chewed by the dogs and couldn't be used.  He heard, "take the swingset down."  So we spent a good hour taking down the swingset.  It's amazing how much faster you can get that stuff down than it takes to set it up!  We'd been planning on taking it down anyway.  The wood was not good and the kids got lots of splinters nearly every time they played on it.  It wasn't horrible and didn't need to totally come down before our home study, but it did. :)  Oh well. Then the kids and I cleaned up sticks, various little trash pieces, and dog poo out of the back yard.  What a lovely, romantic way to spend our anniversary! :)  Then Thursday was our home study.  It went great, I think.  The lady that did it was the one who did our training these past several weeks and she also goes to our church, so I was not nervous at all for her to come over.  I feel very comfortable with her.  We have to do a couple more things before we're finished with licensing, including getting Mike in for CPR and first aid training, but once we've got all that stuff done, we're good to go.

At first, we thought we would want a boy that was younger than Rachel - preschool age for sure.  The more we've been in our classes and the further we've gotten in this process, our age has progressively increased.  We really feel like God is not calling us to foster an infant.  He may not even be calling us to foster a preschooler.  We look online at some of these kids who are ready to be adopted now and our hearts are stirred by the elementary age kids.  Those kids who have so much of their lives in front of them, but are so unlikely to be adopted, simply because they aren't babies.  Because we're more open to older kids, there's a chance that we could be able to go directly to adoption rather than having to foster-only first.  With the way the states go, the children have to be in our home for at least 6 months before we can legally adopt them - even if their parents' rights have already been terminated.  If we take a child who's parents' rights have not yet been terminated, we risk having that child go back to their bio parents.  That's pretty much going to be the case if we wait for a preschool age child.  If we choose a child who's on one of the Heart Galleries in Arkansas or anywhere in America, one who is a bit older, the parents rights have been terminated already and therefore negates the risk of them going back to their bio parents.  That in itself is a strong pull for us to consider adopting an older child.  We are looking constantly at all the kids who are ready to be adopted.  We wish we had enough space and financial means to take a hundred kids!  Our hearts break for all these kids!!  We are just in prayer right now that God will show us the plan that He has already laid out for us and that we'll have eyes to see and ears to hear what He has in store for us.  We want to be wise.  We want to be obedient.  And we can't wait to meet the child God has already chose for our family!

Monday, March 22, 2010

This. Is. Not. Good.

Copper is pregnant.  Again.  By accident.  And I'm not one bit happy about it. 

She went into heat in January when all the snow and sub-zero temps were going on.  We were diligent to keep her and Kramer away from each other and had strict instructions that when anyone ever let them out to go potty, they were NEVER to be out together at the same time....  Weeeeeellllllll....... there was one day when I realized after about 30 or 45 minutes that they'd been outside - together.  Suckola!!!!!!  I didn't see any deeds being done, but then again, they'd had plenty of time know...and apparently they did. 

I've noticed that Copper had begun to look as though she was gaining weight.  I didn't think much of it due to the colder weather and not as much exercise, but then it just kept increasing and a little nagging voice said "she's got puppies in there."  I've been in denail for about 2 weeks.  I've felt of her tummy and haven't really been able to feel anything.  Until last night.  I felt a dad gum puppy move.  GRRRRR!!!!  Given that movement and the undeniable fact that she's showing the obvious signs of being preggers, I can't live in denial anymore.  We're going to have a littler of puppies sometime within the next few days, if my calculations are correct.

This is so not the time I wanted to have puppies!  At least it won't be a hundred degrees outside and we won't have that to worry about.  We don't have any major plans to be gone any time soon.  And we're on spring break this week which is good for me to watch her and be right here when she goes into labor.  But we're about to start fostering a child!  I mean, for the love of Pete!  And I've apologized to Copper profusely.  I feel horrible for putting her through this again so quickly.  We sure didn't have that planned for her.  She WILL be getting an appointment made to get fixed as soon as this episode of puppies passes. 

So, if you or anyone you know is remotely interested in a boxer puppy, let me know.  Apparently we'll have some soon.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

CPR Saturday

I have several items to write about, but lately there hasn't been a lot of time to sit down at the comptuer and get it done.  As is the case this morning as I right this.  I'm just finishing a bowl of raisin bran and about to get ready to head to CPR class today.... by myself..... which is part of the rest of the story that I want to right about.

So - off I go to pretend to save a life.....

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Foster/Adopt Blogs

I'm on the hunt for other bloggers who are fostering to adopt.  I've found a few.  I've got them listed on a blog roll on the right side of my blog.  But I want to have some more.

If you know of anyone that's fostering or is adopting through foster care and has a blog, please let me know.  I'd love to have more resources!!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Another Day, Another Class

We have another training class today.  Thursday night was about visitations that foster kids have with birth parents.  I've got to be honest and say that the idea of that does not thrill me in the least.  I could write a whole post just about that notion.  But I lack the time today.  Because...

We have another six hours worth of training to sit through today.  The first session is on discipline.  I've heard a little bit about what we can and cannot do, so I'm interested to see what they say today.  The second session will be on adoption, which I'm a little more pumped about.  There will be an adoption specialist there, so I'm sure we'll have plenty of questions for her.  That's the part that I'm really looking forward to today.

Oh, and I'm also looking forward to getting some lunch 'to go' and having a picnic of sorts with my hubby on the Fayetteville Square!  That will be my favorite part of the day, I'm sure.  I hope the weather holds out and is as nice today as it was yesterday.  I'm so ready for spring, it's ridiculous.

Lastly, I'm SOOOO excited for my friends The Maners!!  They passed court in Ethiopia and will be leaving to go get their son on March 27th... FINALLY!!!  Woohoo!!  Congrats Robyn and Ryan!  You know we're overjoyed for you right now and can't wait until you get home with that precious boy!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Training Classes

So, we’ve been going to “parenting classes” as my husband likes to call them. :)  Actually, in order to foster/adopt through DCFS, a couple must attend 27 hours worth of training as part of the preliminary process.  We just finished session 4 of 9  last night.  All the other stuff was basically review of info that we already had or things that we just knew.  Last night was brutal.  It was about loss.  Our instructor, Laura – who I really like – went over the various stages of loss and grief and we talked about what some of the kids that come into our home might feel.  I have an idea of what we’ll be dealing with, but I’ll freely admit, I don’t fully get it.  It’s hard to imagine where these kids come from because I have NEVER been in any kind of situations like these kids come from.  It will just tear your heart right out!

One of the first things she did was she had all of us get three sticky notes and on one we wrote a person we loved.  On another, we wrote our most prized possession.  On the third, we wrote an aspect of our health that we were thankful for.  At first, I thought it was a little silly, but being the rule follower that I am, I did exactly as she said.  Then, she came around to each one of us and began pulling a post-it from the table in front of us.  She took one person’s loved one post-it.  Another one she took was their prized possession.  And so on.  She then asked how that made us feel that she just came and took our stuff.  Of course they were just post-its but still.  Then she came around for the second round and some people had both their other post-its taken and some people just had one.  Some people didn’t have any.  She asked if that was fair.  Was everyone treated the same?  Did everyone end up with the same stuff?  And THEN, she came around and gave us a post-it back, but it was someone else’s post-it.  Not ours.

Some of these kids going into foster care have everything taken away from them in one fell swoop.  They are taken away from their loved ones.  Even if mom and dad have treated them like absolute crap, they are still THEIR mom and dad and the kids still love them.  They may have been taken with just the clothes on their back.  They may have had to leave their favorite stuffed animal or their pet – their most prized possession.  Laura reminded us that as she gave us the sticky notes back, we might have gotten a pet or someone’s PS3 or a loved one….but it wasn’t OUR stuff.  Put yourself in the place of these kids.  They might be coming into our home and having a ton more stuff than what they had back at mom and dad’s, but it’s our stuff – not THEIRS.  It’s not what makes them comfortable.  WE are not mom and dad to them.  We can love them with all that’s in us, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to experience the stages of grief over the loss of what they have left.

Then.  Oh then.  At the end of class, she played a video for us.  All it was was words scrolling across the screen and occasionally we would hear a kid reading these words.  It was taken from a psychiatrists observations from things kids have said and things he’s witnessed kids experience.  Oh. My. Gosh.  I was literally crying.  It was so heartbreaking.  I mean, I had an idea, but some of the things shocked me.  And most of it is bringing me to my knees.  It makes my heart break.  It makes Mike really angry.  HOW can parents treat kids this way?!  HOW?!?!  How can ANYONE treat a kid that way?!

We found out last night that the newest statistic shows that the number one reason a child in NWA is taken out of his/her home and put into foster care is neglect. NEGLECT!!  I would have guessed drugs in a minute.  But no.  It’s neglect.  Drugs was second, but still.  Overpowered by neglect.  I could just shake some people for that.

And to make matters even worse, I watched a DVR’d episode of Oprah today about child molesters.  I hesitated for weeks about watching it, but especially last night after some of the stuff we heard, I knew I needed to watch it.  I was crying by the end of it.  Because there are kids even around here having to deal with stuff like that.  It makes me SICK!!  I’m nearly to tears even now as I write this.  One of the guys on there put it perfectly when he said by what he was doing, he was killing who that little girl could have been.  I just want to bury my head and pretend that stuff doesn’t happen, but I can’t anymore.  And it breaks my heart for those kids.

I just know, more than ever, we have GOT to help some of these kids.  Mike and I are so passionate about this.  Whatever kind of abuse these kids have come from, we may not be totally equipped, but we have willing arms to hold these babies that need someone to love them.  And open hearts, which may be the most important thing of all.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Heart to Heart Luncheon

Our Bible study group had a luncheon scheduled for yesterday called the Heart To Heart Luncheon.  We were to decide, as our individual groups, what we wanted to do for lunch.  At first, I thought maybe a potluck at my house since I’m close to the church, or maybe we could go out somewhere.  Well, Miss Diane spoke up and invited us to her home for lunch.  I was instantly excited!

My group is several girls that are close to my age and mostly girls in my season of life – we have young children.  Diane is my mom’s age.  And a southern belle if ever I saw one!  Diane prays before each Bible study term begins to see which group God is calling her to be in and for this term, she chose our group…and what a BLESSING!  I didn’t know really who she was before that first Tuesday meeting, but after about a minute and a half, I knew I would come to love this lady!  And boy, have I!!  Imagine a softer version of Paula Deen that just loves Jesus to pieces, and there you have Diane.  Contagious, people!  Seriously. Love her to pieces.

So when Diane said she would like to have us over to her house for lunch, I was excited.  Then she started talking about what she would serve.  Y’all, I just nearly fell out right there at that table when she was talking.  Now, mind you, it wasn’t anything over the top fancy, but just the way she was describing everything gave me major warm fuzzies.  Diane is a hostess extraordinaire! I’ve seen her pictures on facebook, so I knew it was going to be fun and special!  I didn’t realize just how special until we got there.

I knew what neighborhood Diane lived in, so I figured we were going to a nice house.  Yeah.  That’s the understatement of the century.  Her front porch alone was decorated way cuter than my whole house!  Diane of course greeted us at the door and was so excited we were there.  She took us on a tour of her house, and let me just go ahead and say, I could have looked around in there for another 2 hours at all the detail she has put into her home.  One of my favorite things was when she was showing us pictures in her grandson’s room of her husband and father.  There were only 4 or 5 pictures, but each one was very special and had a story behind it.  THAT is my favorite.  I love pictures with special meaning like that and I love to know the history behind the picture.  We all loved looking around and as we came down her staircase, she had us all stop for a picture.  Aren’t we cute?! :)

Bible Study Luncheon

We came downstairs and Diane showed us to the table, which she had set so beautifully. She had special places for each of us with little heart gifts at each place setting!  Oh my word!!  How precious!  We had goblets for our tea or water, gold silverware that was just gorgeous, round pink placemats, and our plates were already filled with fabulous food!  Let me tell you what was on our plate: chicken salad on a lettuce leaf (precious…and DELICIOUS!!), mini raisin bread sandwiches with a cream cheese filling, a fruit and marshmallow salad with pecans, and chocolate covered strawberries.  Was that not a little tea room menu right there?!  Heaven, I tell you!  H.E.A.V.E.N.  Our dessert was a cake that Aimee made with her daughters that Diane served on these tiny little plates that were just absolutely adorable!!  LOVED THAT!!  We also had a little tray at the top of our plate with three small pastel colored mint candies.  Oh my word.  I mean, really.  Could you get any sweeter?!  It’s like that trip to Brighton I had at Christmas where they wrapped up my small little purchase like it was a glorious special treasure and how special I felt at that store.  That’s the way it was at Diane’s house.  I felt SOOO special!!  I still get goose bumps thinking of it!

The most special part of the whole thing, though, was the sweet conversation we all had.  We had two ladies from our group that couldn’t join us and there was another group that only had two ladies in it that day, so Diane invited them to come and fill the spaces we would have.  It was such a sweet time of conversation and it made me want to get to know those ladies even more!  I just love visiting with godly ladies and enjoying times of sweet fellowship.

Overall, it was one of the coolest lunches I’ve ever attended.  I am still not over how special I felt.  And let me just state that I didn’t feel special because all of the “stuff”, or how nice Diane’s house is, or because of the food, or any of that.  It was because of the time that Diane took to make things special, and her attitude about it.  It was just so very thoughtful.  And the thoughtfulness is what makes all the difference in the world, gold silverware or plastic.  If it’s thoughtful, it’s special!! 

And Diane, if you’re reading this, I love you, my sweet Southern Belle!!  Thank you soooooo much for having us over, for treating us like royalty, and for being such a genuine godly example to all of us!  I thank God daily that He directed you to our group.  What a BLESSING!!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Today's Goals

We have another snow day here in NWA.  Lovely.  I'm not sure how I'm feeling about these.  I am one that likes to go-and-do.  But I also enjoy a good day at home.  So today, I'm a bit torn.  There's nothing I can do to change the fact that the schools are out today (and will likely be tomorrow as well), so I'm going to make the most of my day at home.

Tomorrow is Rachel's 6th birthday and Saturday is her party.  There is a massive amount of cleaning that needs to be done at this house before we have company this weekend.  So today, I will be beginning that process.  My goals today are as follows:

  • Wash every article of clothing in this house save those on our bodies.  I'm so over laundry.  I feel like it's all I do sometimes.  But when you have 5 people who wear clothes, what's a mother to do?
  • Put up the party decorations.  Since Rachel's birthday is tomorrow, we might as well go ahead and celebrate, right?!
  • Clean most of, if not all of, my house.  I know there are some touch up things that will have to be done last minute, but if I can get the majority done today, that will relieve some of my stress.
  • Clip and organize my coupons from the past couple of weeks and plan out a menu for next week.  I've got my menu done for the rest of this week and it's such a stress reliever to be able to look at my list and know what I'm cooking tonight and not have to wonder or worry.  I want to be able to plan a menu for a month and just get groceries each week, or every other week, for the month.  We'll see if that actually comes to pass...
  • Read for at least 1 hour.  There is a book that I've been trying to read for about the past 2 weeks that I just can't get through.  That's one thing that frustrates the daylights out of me about myself is my lack of speed in reading.  I love to read, but I can't seem to read very fast.  If anyone has any speed-reading tips they'd like to share, I'm all for it.  There are so many books on my list of ones that I'd like to read, but at the rate I'm going, I'll be 80 before I can get to all of them.
Now, if I can get all of that stuff done before Hollywood Week on American Idol tonight at 7pm on FOX... (I'm just a teensy bit excited about that), then I will feel like I've accomplished something for the day.  I've got my first load of laundry folded on my bed ready to be put away and the next load is almost ready to come out of the dryer.  One load at a time.  Wonder how many I'll have today?  My guess is about 7.  Of course, there could be more...

One last blessing of the day - my sweet Copper is finally finished being in heat.  Lord help us all, that was the worst timing of all the world for her to have been in heat for the past couple of weeks!  She and Kramer are now allowed to be in the same area with each other without fear know.  There was one time about a week ago when Rachel let them outside together without thinking.  I didn't see anything, but I suspect know.  I'm praying that they didn't know.... and even if they did that nothing 'took' and we won't have puppies in about 55 more days.  And if we do, I guess it's God's way of telling us we needed an extra couple hundred dollars. :)

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Our first foster parent training class was scheduled for tonight, but they called this afternoon and cancelled it due to weather scares.  I think it would have been fine, but I'm not the one in charge.  I was going to have to go by myself since Mike is out of town and he would have had to make up the first night of class later, so actually I guess it turned out to be a good thing.  We'll start next Thursday and just go a week later, I suppose. Instead of class tonight, I got to fix my kids dinner, eat my leftover lunch from Mama Tang's (holy cow, that was good stuff!!!), will give the kiddos a bath, put them to bed myself, and then cuddle up under a blanket to enjoy some Grey's and Private Practice while I'm enjoying some hot chai tea that my lovely Secret Sweetie at work gave me today. I might also have a plan for eating a piece of peanut butter pie with that tea.  Maybe... :)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Today has been one of those days where I have just felt so blessed.  I know that EVERY day I am blessed, but some days, don't you just feel it more than others? 

Bible study today was awesome!  One of the other leaders graciously shared with me her guide that she uses for her class and I think I'm going to continue that trend.  We didn't get through everything (what's new), but it was focused, I felt, and very good.  I love, love, love the ladies that are at my table.  I have mad love for them.  We missed a couple girls today and I hate it when we're all not there, but hopefully we can meet all together next week.  Today in the video we watched of Beth Moore, that chick was FIRED UP!!  I just love it!  I mean, the last couple weeks, I have just wanted to jump up and yell "HALLELUJAH!!" a couple of times during the program.  Of course, we are among a bunch of Baptist women and I might get a few crazy looks - but really, who cares?!  It might free one or two of them up to do the same thing! :)

While we're on the topic of jumping up and yelling "HALLELUJAH!!", I literally did that in my kitchen today when I received an oh-so-special email!!  One that I'd been waiting to see for weeks!  I can't wait until I can share more about it, but oh my GOSH!!!  If you could have seen me when I read that email, you would have died laughing at me!  I'm totally not kidding when I say I was jumping up and down in my kitchen and screaming "Thank you JESUS!!!"  I'm really surprised I didn't wake Porter from his nap, I was yelling that loud!  ***UPDATE - THIS JUST IN!! It's not on the DL anymore!!  Go HERE to ready about why I'm so excited!  I'll let their post speak for itself...

That email made me think of a song that the choir did Sunday called, "When I Think About The Lord" and I couldn't get that out of my mind, so I got online and listened to it and had a bit of church by myself at my desk.  The chorus of it says:
"It makes me wanna shout!
Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus!
Lord, you're worthy of all the glory,
and all the honor, and all the praise."
Oh my granny, did I ever have church.  There is just something about songs like that sung by a choir that just take me to the presence of God in a hurry.  Can you even imagine what heaven will be like?!  There are times when I sing that my eyes are closed, I'm thinking about the words to that song, making them my own, and I seriously think if I opened my eyes I would see Jesus sitting right there with me.  Today was like that.  I'm listening to it again as I write this and I'm about to have church again right NOW!!!  Woohoo!!

Then I got a sweet email from my husband.  The Lord is doing an amazing work in his life and I just love watching it!  Things that you get a word from God about may not happen right when you get that word, but to see God work in the mean time and to see HIS perfect timing is just so sweet.

And then I got an email that I get to sing on the praise team again this Sunday.  To say that I love doing that is such an understatement that it just doesn't even come close to doing it justice.  I know that I'm nowhere near as talented as some of the other ladies that sing in our choir, but then I realize it's not about me.  It's not about my talent (or lack of talent).  It's about my obedience to praise.  And by being obedient, God let's me get a little blessing out of it by doing something that I looooove!  And to the powers that be, I say it again, thank you for allowing me that blessing in my week!!

I've also been texting my friend April about some decor for my bedroom.  I just wish I had all the money in the world to let her "go to town" on my room (my whole house for that matter) and decorate it exactly how she would do her house because I love her taste.  But sadly, we don't have a money tree, so I'm limited.  But she was telling me about some cute things that she found at Hobby Lobby today that would look good in my room.  I don't think I can adequately convey how much that just blesses me to death when someone helps me decorate or cleans my house.  I mean, it's beyond joy.  Warm fuzzies to the uttermost.   Last year, I had some friends that I bartered with to come in and do a little 'redesign' in my house.  They didn't buy anything new, really, but just sort of arranged my own stuff for me.  I knew they were at my house one day while I was away and I was a giddy little fool all day because I was so excited someone else was doing something like that for me!  I couldn't wait to get home to see what they'd done!  A couple years ago, Mike asked what I wanted for Mother's Day and I said I wanted to hire someone to clean my house.  I did and a lady came in while I was at work one day and cleaned my house.  Oh. My. Gosh.  That was one of the best days of my life!  It's not that I can't clean my own house or that I even have a messy house, because it's usually pretty clean.  But the fact that someone else was coming in to do something that is SOOOO in my love language just almost was more than I could take - I was so blessed. GIDDY!  There have been a couple times we've had girls come in to babysit for us and when I've gotten home, I've seen the dishes have been washed and put in the dish drainer.  I'm almost getting verklempt just thinking of it!  I mean, am I even coming close to getting my point across of how much that sort of stuff is just so special to me?!  So when April was telling me that while she was out doing HER stuff, she was thinking of MY stuff and what would look good for my room....oh bestill my heart!  It just makes me happy.

So, over all, it has been such a good day of God's blessings.... one right after the other.  I don't know how in the world a wretch like me can deserve His goodness, but I say "Keep the blessings comin', Lord Jesus.  Keep 'em comin'!"

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Pioneer Woman

Why has no one told me about this woman?  Why have I never overheard her name in conversation?  Where has she been all my life?  Will I live long enough to make every single last recipe that's on her website, because they all look to-die-for delish?!  These are questions with no real answers?

I can tell you one thing - I have found a new love!

Glory be to God in the Highest!!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

We got our notification Tuesday that we passed our background check and will be starting our training classes for foster care next Thursday!  We're supposed to get some sort of "invitation" from the training center letting us know when and where and all those important details.  I may be attending this first class by myself, though.  Mike is out of town next week on Thursday, but can make up the class the following week, they say.  I'm really looking forward to getting started on the classes.  It just makes it seem a bit more real.

We've been looking at the possibilities of adopting through foster care from other states as well.  In Arkansas, there aren't many children under the age of 10 even that are ready for adoption from the foster system, but that's not always the case in other states.  Most of the time, when a young child (infant/toddler/etc) goes into foster care, typically their foster parents have the first option of adoption if/when that child is able to be adopted.  Therefore, most of the little kids are adopted by foster parents.  We're interested to see, though, what other states options are.  Some states you have to be a resident for a particular period of time before being able to be a foster parent, so we're trying to figure out what our boundaries are where that's concerned.  We're just praying for wisdom right now in our decision.

I'm loving reading through the Old Testament.  Now, I'm sure my tune will change a bit once I hit Numbers and all that mess with the geneologies and the begats, but for now, I'm enjoying my reading.  My questions have just increased by about a thousand percent, though.  Gina, I'm coming after your OT knowledge sometime soon!!

Speaking of Bible reading, Mike and I had a GREAT, long converstaion with Tanner tonight about the Bible, church, and just God in general.  I love when we have talks like that!  It's SO awesome to see her grow not only physically, but also spiritually and intellectually.  She has such a sweet and tender heart and I just know God is going to use her big time.

And let me just go ahead and say that there is not much more that makes my husband more attractive to me than when he's "into God".  Since the fast, I can tell God has done a MAJOR change in Mike's attitude about several things.  It's just awesome to see how God's working in his life... and how Mike is LETTING God work!  He's just being  He's been in the Word a ton.  He's switched some podcast listening from sports stuff and general talk radio things to a couple different pastors - that he's begging me to listen to as well.  And we even had a quite lengthy conversation last night about the stuff God was teaching us in our quiet times.  Not that we never talked about that sort of stuff, but it's just different.  There's an excitement there for both of us individually that hasn't been there like this before.  I am going to be in daily prayer that we keep this going and that it only gets better.

On the prayer front, I got a book that I started today called "Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference" by Phillip Yancy.  It was recommended by my friend Jennifer the other day at Bible study after our discussion.  I'm really looking forward to getting into it and reading what he has to say.  That is part of my "quest" to be a Godly woman is to have a more effective and meaningful prayer life.  And girls, if you're reading this, your comments really stuck with me and I appreciate them so much!

There are some matters that I'm in deep prayer about lately.  I'm looking forward to being able to share some of those things at a later time and especially when I see how God answers those prayers.  On a couple things, it seems like the answer is "wait".  I do believe that is my least favorite thing about what God says to me.  I can handle a "no" much better than I can deal with "yes, but you have to wait."  Nope.  Don't like that one at all.  But, God is developing perserverance during our wait, which is a certain testing of MY faith, making us mature and complete, lacking nothing.

An ice store is upon us tonight.  School is cancelled tomorrow.  The kids and I will be chillin at the hizzay!  But Lord Jesus, please oh please, spare our power and keep it going!!

Y'all stay warm and cozy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So Much To Say, So Little Time

I have much to blog about, but little time in which to get it accomplished.  This afternoon, maybe?  We'll see.

Porter and I are off to a play date today with some friends from MOPS before the Epic Storm '10 hits (so named by my friend Superchikk).  I hope it's not as bad as people are saying.  I do NOT need another storm like we had last year!!!

More updates on my life coming soon.  I know you are on the edge of your chairs... :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Good Day

Today has been a good day so far.  Knock on wood.

I was able to have a good time with the Lord this morning before any of my family was out of bed.  I do love some Old Testament, but still, there are questions.  And let me just go ahead and put it out there that Moses is totally a man when he's writing this.... He just skimmed over the whole lot of the stories!  Not NEAR enough details!!  Now, if God had chosen a woman to write it, it would have been about a thousand times longer....which is probably why only men authored the books of the Bible.  Hmmm....  Did I just say that? :)  Although, I must say, I'm not sure about Ruth.  That's a much more chick-flick type book than the other books.  If Ruth was a movie, I'm sure my husband would find an excuse not to go see it because it would be a girl movie.  I'm just sayin'.

I did have to rush a bit before school because I didn't have as much time to get myself ready as I would have liked because Rachel and Porter couldn't wear PJ's to school - that would have just been a teensy bit inappropriate.  Thank God they were having something at school that Rachel would eat - school lunch it is today, baby girl!  Woohoo!!  Thank you, Walker Elementary, for serving spaghetti today!  You saved me from a breakdown!

I got to go to our first session of our Bible study today at church.  We're doing Believing God by Beth Moore.  It is going to be AWESOME!!  All of Beth's studies are just incredible and I know this one is going to follow suit, so I'm excited!  And I have a table full of awesome ladies with me through this journey!  I know God has placed each of them at my table for a reason and I'm anxious to see that played out over the next several weeks.

After Bible study, one of our precious ladies offered to take us all to lunch at Mad Pizza in Rogers.  Um, let me just say - YUM-O and a huge THANK YOU to Diane for allowing us all to enjoy that time together and that yummy pizza!!  For this girl who was headed home to a PB&J and also pinching the life out of every penny these days, that was a blessing!!  And I loved visiting with everyone there.  It was a sweet time of fellowship.

Now I'm sitting here typing away, listening to a bit of music and am about to do a little cleaning while I can get it in during Porter's nap.  We are eating out of our pantry and freezer for the next couple of week and are going to try to go to the store as little as possible, so I've got to get all creative for dinner tonight.  I'm about to do what my friend Jennifer did and make and freeze several meals so that we'll have them for the week.  LOVE THAT! I'm totally going to copy you, girl!

And for those who may not know, I'm a major huge fan of American Idol!  I mean, major huge like I voted for Kris Allen over 300 times for the finale last year.  With my votes and Mike's put together, we voted over 600 times for dear Kris.  And OBVIOUSLY, it paid off - cause who's the American Idol?!  Yep.  Exactly.  So I will be watching tonight.  And we can only hope there is another good laugh or two in there like we got last week with the dude singing something about pants on the ground.  Yeah, if you haven't seen that yet, you must youtube it!!  It will bless you, I promise.

I'm off to get a few things doen before Porter wakes up and Rachel gets home from school.  Gotta make hay while the sun's still shinin'.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Old Testament Confusion

The Old Testament is fun to read, don’t get me wrong.  But it confuses me!  I’m a novel reader.  I love the details in the stories I’m reading.  I love to know the whys of a situation.  And I do not feel I’m getting that while I’m reading in Genesis.  I told someone the other day, it really will take me literally forever to sit down and chat with all these people in heaven trying to figure out what they were thinking or what possessed them to do whatever they did.

I’ll give you some examples of the things that are confusing to me or that I have additions questions about:

  • Why in the world did Eve give that apple to Adam?  Seriously.  What was that girl thinking?!
  • Why was it not until Adam’s grandson, Enosh, that people began to worship the Lord?  Obviously God had some sort of communication with Adam and Eve and even Cain and Able, but it says that it wasn’t until Enosh’s lifetime that people began to worship the Lord.
  • How did people live so long – and was it really THAT long?  Are their years number the same as ours?  And if so, what in the world did they look like at 200, 500, and even 900 years old?  I mean, Seth wasn’t born to Adam until he was 130.  But when did they start counting Adam’s age? 
  • Genesis 6:4 REALLY makes me wonder: “In those days, and even afterward, giants lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with human women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes mentioned in legends of old.” (NLT)  There are so many questions in just that one verse, it’s ridiculous!
  • Why did the men think it was ok, as in Abram’s situation with Sarai, to tell the kings or whoever that their wives were their sisters and give them up to the kings’ harems?
  • And what in the world was Sarai thinking to give her maidservant to her husband to sleep with?  Why did ANY of the women do that?  I mean, I realize these ladies had a desire for children, but what in the world?
  • What about Lot offering his two daughters to these creeps in place of the two complete strangers that he’d just taken in?  Are you kidding me?!  I do not get that AT ALL!  I was looking in my study bible at the commentary for that situation and it says “ Lot’s offering his daughters is explained (though not justified) by the demands of hospitality, which obligated a host to protect his guests at all cost.”  Even if that “all costs” meant giving his daughters to these dudes to do only God knows what to them?  That, in my opinion, is seriously messed up!
  • And what’s with Lot’s daughters getting him drunk and sleeping with him to get pregnant?  That’s just gross, my friends.  G-R-O-S-S.  And we think that what some of the kids these days do is crazy.  They’ve got nothing on some of these Old Testament people.  I mean, really.
  • What was Isaac thinking when his dad was about to kill him?  I’m sure a thought something like, “That dude has lost his ever lovin’ mind!!!” would have rolled through my head.  And what all happened in that scenario?  Did Isaac put up any kind of fight against Abraham?  Did he willingly get up on the altar?  I get what the whole point was behind it, sort of, but still – I’d like to know more details, especially from Isaac’s point of view.
  • The whole deal of Jacob and Esau gets me too.  What is the difference between a blessing and a birthright and what was the big deal with either of them?  Why couldn’t Isaac bless both of them?  Why just one?  I’m sure if I knew Jewish history a bit more, I’d understand.  But I don’t know the history, therefore, I’m still confused. :)
  • I totally don’t get the whole deal with Laban giving Leah to Jacob instead of Rachel and then making Jacob work for forever to “earn” Rachel.  And then it seems like those girls just go back and forth having babies and it’s like a competition or something.
  • Why was it ok for these men of God to have concubines or to sleep with their wife’s/wives’ maidservants?  Was it always ok for them to sleep with more than one woman? 

And all these questions are just a few I have and Genesis isn’t even over yet.  If any of you Old Testament gurus have an insight to any of these, feel free to put your two cents in.  I’d love to know more about all this stuff.  And I’m sure I will have many more questions as I read on through the OT.  Like I said, I enjoy it – it fascinates me – but it brings up so many questions for me.  Guess that just means I need to study more… Or Google it. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

God, Change Me

One of my prayers through this time of corporate fasting and prayer has been that God would form me into a godly woman.  I don’t want to be a casual Christian.  I want to be the kind of woman that when people think of me, the first thing they would think is that “she really is a godly woman”.  When I grow up, I want to be like some of these older ladies that I see, ladies like Mike’s granny where it can be said that there is no doubt from anyone that ever knew her or knew of her that she was for SURE going to be in heaven!

The first thing that’s hard for me to grasp in that request is the “woman” part.  There are times that I have to remind myself that I’m 34 years old.  For anyone else, 34 is for sure an adult.  There are other times I have to remind myself that I’m a parent to three children.  For anyone else, having three kids must mean that you’re an adult.  I’ve been married for almost 9 years.  For anyone else, that’s a good amount of time and surely, if you’ve been married that long, you’re an adult.  But most of the time, it’s hard to put it into words… I just don’t feel like I’ve achieved adulthood.  Not that I feel like I’m still a kid or that I’m not mature, but that being an adult or being considered a “woman” is something for people older than me… or younger than me… or just other people than me.  I guess it’s a feeling of inadequacy.  I sometimes don’t feel like I’ve “earned” adulthood yet.  I don’t know what would need to happen in order for me to feel that I had earned it or achieved it.  I guess I feel like I haven’t arrived yet.

The other part is the godly part.  This stems from part of the “woman” part.  I’ve been asked to be one of the leaders of a Bible study at church.  I saw a list of all the group leaders of that study.  My name is on that list.  And I am humbled.  For one thing, I’m the youngest one of the bunch – hence the apprehension on the “woman” part.  Am I old enough to be a leader?  Or a better question is am I mature enough to be a leader?  Then to broach the “godly” aspect of it… what in the world is my name doing on the list with all these awesome, godly women?!  I don’t feel like I’m nearly adequate enough to lead with these ladies.  Satan is wrestling with me on that and causing me to wonder why in the world would any other female want to be in my group when they’ve got all these other ladies to choose from?  I certainly wouldn’t choose me… but then that makes me want to be the kind of woman that I would choose.  If that makes any kind of sense at all.  I would love to be someone that people gravitate toward, not because of who I am, but because of the Christ they see in me.  There are a few people that come to mind when I think of those that I gravitate toward.  There is just something about being around genuinely, godly people.  You come away energized.  That’s the kind of person that I want to be. 

As we start this new Bible study, I have a feeling God is really going to change my life through it.  He’s already changing me through our fast.  There’s more of a yearning for Him than there was before.  There’s more of a hunger for His word.  I want to have a clearer discernment of God’s will in my life.  I want to be so in tune with Him that I can be in a loud, crowded place, but still be able to hear the still, small voice of my Father.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Follow Me?

Are you one of my "followers"?  Do you follow my blog?  If so, I'd love to know!  Leave me a comment or click over to the side where it says "follow".

And can I just say that I don't know when I've ever been this ready for a Monday?!  I'm really looking forward to getting back into the routine of everything.  I feel like I've been dormant for weeks!  When it's summer, it seems like it goes in a flash. This Christmas break, though infinitely shorter than the summer break, seems like it's been two years long!  I'll probably be kicking myself by the time this week's over with and the me at the end of the week will probably want to come back in time and slap the now me in the noggin and say, "What the heck were you thinking?!" :)  But for now, bring on a new week and some routine.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

The New Noblitts

Tanner and I went to the wedding of Brad Noblitt and Caitlin Emert today.  That. Was. Precious!  I enjoy going to weddings, but they are really special when it’s a sweet couple like Brad and Caitlin and both of their families.


One of my favorite parts of any wedding is watching the groom’s reaction when the bride enters the room.  Today, that was absolutely priceless!  Brad’s reaction was one of the sweetest things ever.  He was giving it his best effort not to cry, but with little success.  He later said when I talked to him that he was just so humbled.  Now that is an awesome thing for a groom to say when he sees his bride for the first time on their wedding day.


I loved that my friend Rachel was taking pictures.  She has more talent in her pinky finger than I could ever hope to have.  I told her that with every picture she took, I just kept thinking, I can’t wait to see that one – I can’t wait to see that one – I can’t wait to see that one!  If I could go back and do it again, I’d totally have her take my wedding pictures! :)


There were several things that I could count as my favorite parts of the experience:

* Hearing Alana Damron sing.  Got to LOVE hearing that girl.  WOW!

* Seeing Brad’s reaction when Caitlin came in.

* Seeing how proud Caitlin’s daddy looked.

* Getting to see Kim and Suzanne Noblitt again and give each of them hugs. Made me miss them more.

* Seeing both sets of parents join Brad and Caitlin on stage for prayer after they took communion together and lit the unity candle.  That made me teary for sure!

* Watching/Listening to Brad sing to Caitlin. Oh my word.

* Seeing Brad and Caitlin OUTSIDE IN THE FREEZING COLD with Rachel taking their picture right after the ceremony as we were driving to the reception.  Caitlin said she kept thinking “These better be GOOD!!”  Heck yes, they better be good! That girl was in a strapless wedding gown and Rachel was wearing short sleeves?  Crazy people.  They’ll probably be the best pictures of the bunch. :)

* Watching Brad and Suzanne in the mother/son dance while they sang Celine Dion’s “I’m Your Angel” to each other. SO SWEET!


Over all, it was a super sweet wedding.  I’m really glad we got to be there to experience that with them.  Congrats, Brad and Caitlin!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Some Thoughts on Adoption

There’s a show on the Discovery Health Channel that I catch every now and then called “Adoption Stories”.  I found one today that was about a family adopting a 4 year old foster child from California.  Watching that made me want to go do a little more hunting on the internet, so off to the computer I went. 

There are some sites that you can go to and view pictures of some kids in the foster system waiting to be adopted.  Do NOT do it unless you are prepared to be broken hearted.  We’ve looked at those sites before and just cried over all those kids who don’t have families.  Mike has said more than once, “We need a bigger house.”  I’m so tender-hearted when it comes to kids that if I could, I would take them all.  If I see or hear of a baby or toddler, especially, that isn’t being cared for or is being mistreated, I just want to snatch them right up and bring them home with me and just love them to pieces.  That’s one reason I haven’t pursued some of the mission trips where you just go and hold babies at an orphanage.  I either wouldn’t be able to leave or I’d want to bring them all home with me.  I don’t know that my heart would be able to handle it.

There’s a particular site I looked at this morning that had a listing by state of all the kids waiting to be adopted… then a listing beside it of all the churches in that state.  Staggering.  The poll was done in 2006 so you have to factor that in, but to give you an example, Arkansas had 937 children waiting to be adopted and 5,843 churches.  In every state except one, there were WAY more churches than children.  WAY MORE.  I feel very convicted over that.  And just the simple fact that there are sooooo many kids in this world that don’t have parents, or don’t have parents that will/can care for them, regardless of what state or country they are from absolutely breaks my heart.

It’s been so amazing to watch several of our friends answer God’s call on their lives to adopt, be in international, domestic, or through foster care.  I’m excited that our journey has started and I can’t wait to see what God will do in our lives and in the life of the child He is preparing for our home.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A Husband's Quotes

So my husband is in Minnesota and he said it's not THAT cold. "You could probably stand outside a good half hour in shorts and a T-Shirt before you fell over dead.  Actually, you probably wouldn't FALL over because you'd be frozen to the ground."

And then there was a bit of silence so I asked him what he was doing, to which he answered, "I was just waiting until the car warmed up so I could touch the steering wheel without getting frost bite."

It's cold people.  REALLY cold.  I've never known it to be this cold in AR and I haven't ever been as far north as MN where the high tomorrow is supposed to be -3 I think he said.  Freakin burr.

Thank God for shelter and for luxuries like a fireplace insert with a blower and a husband who took the time to cut wood several months ago and then stack a bunch of it in our sunroom so I could keep a fire going continually.  I am NOT taking that for granted for sure!  I'm counting my many blessings...

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


I’m debating on whether or not to say that I actually have New Year’s Resolutions.  I don’t know that they are resolutions, per say, but I do have a few things that I would like to accomplish this year.


I would like to read the Bible through in a year.  I have never done that.  I’m sure that at some point or another in my life, I’ve probably read every verse in the Bible, but I want to know for sure.  I want to say that I accomplished that.  I have a One Year Bible that I’ve started on, so we’ll see how it goes.  So far, so good – but we’re only on day 5.


I want to read at least 2 books a month.  Now to some (ahem, Michelle), that might seem like child’s play.  But I’m a really slow reader and I might get one book a month read.  I love to read and there are many books that are on my list of must-reads.  So I want to accomplish at least 2 books a month.


I want to clear off at least one of my Mary Kay shelves.  I have three two shelves in my laundry room right now that have Mary Kay products on them.  I’m not currently doing parties or facials and therefore don’t have a major need for a ton of product.  I’m currently having a 50%-75% off sale to get rid of some of the stuff that’s been sitting on my shelves for a long time in order to house the stuff that I sell on a regular basis.  If you’re reading this and need some makeup, please let me know!  My credit card company would appreciate any sales I could make! HA!


Will we have another snow day tomorrow?  The rest of this week?  It remains to be seen.  It might end up being a full 3 weeks out of school.  I told someone earlier today that I love my kids, but I think I might love them more if I wasn’t with them 24/7.  Mama needs a day…