Friday, July 31, 2009

End of an era

A new chapter is beginning at our house. God is so good. I spoke about it a couple of weeks ago in a Gratituesday post. Four - five months ago, Jays boss of five years was "thrown under the bus" so to speak and let go from the company as regional manager. This is the same person who got Jay's position approved, regional warehouse manager. Jay loved his job. He enjoyed it immensely. Stressful at times, and a big commitment, but he was good at it and he knew it. Less than two months of that boss being gone, they demoted Jay, doing away with his position. He was again a local warehouse manager. Cold unhappy winds through this house did blow. God is good though, they did not mess with his salary, though we lost a large chunk of change from his traveling expenses / benefits. That chunk of change is what we were budgeting the kids being back in private school again, on.

I've been sitting here for a few months now wondering how we are going to manage keeping the kids back in private school this coming year. Book fees have been due, wondering how we'll have first months tuition ready, all sorts of things. We were sitting here one night eating dinner and Jay's phone rang. It was his old boss. After dinner he went outside to call him back, and come back with a huge smile on his face and said "that was the call I've been waiting for...". I didn't realize they had still been talking regularly. Apparently he, his former boss ("C") left Jay's company and got a "promotion" with another company doing the exact line of work, except its local to NC, SC and VA whereas the other one is known nationwide. There was an opening, and C was calling to offer Jay the job. A promotion(!!) from where he was at. A BIG promotion! A BIG raise! No really, like a 27% pay increase, with the potential of it being 40%! They pay 50% of whatever your private insurance monthly premiums are (WOW! we get to choose our own plan!); and he gets a company vehicle AND gas card! That would add another 3% to his income, PRAISE BE TO GOD!! I cried. Yes, I did. Tears of joy, for sure. (My first thought is we can now "afford" to have more kids, LOL!)

So today marks the end of an era. He is very excited about this new job (and getting to work under C again), and I could not be prouder of him. No longer will we be in the red in our budget, as long as we continue to seek God's wisdom and not waste what He has given to us. We have the security we've never had about where the kid's tuition money would come from. That has been why for 3 years we've went without health insurance, it was that or private school and we took our chances. God is giving us so much I am soooooo excited to share with others. I already have a laundry list of things I want to do with any windfalls we have after our (small in the grand scheme of things) debt is paid off.

He called and said he was on his way home right before I started writing this. He's officially gone from the company he's been at for five years, moving on to greater things this coming Monday. To God be the glory.

Healthcare: The Public Plan Deception

Their own words speak for themselves. I have never seen such deception in my life, and if middle America, us every day people do not start talking about this with each other we are going to be forced to live this! We cannot sit back and let them take our power of choice away from us, it's too important for our children and our grandchildren.

This is an overview of the current Health Care bill. It references specific pages in the bill, which, the full text can be read here. After you read it and are concerned (and you will be), download this flier and print a few out to hand out to family, friends, and strangers. The more people that get information in their hands, the better off our country will be.

from the AFA~
"Members of Congress will be exempt from being forced into this plan. They will have their own. The liberals, Democrats and some Republicans - while forcing you to join the plan - refuse to include themselves. Members of Congress will have a better plan which gives them freedom you will be denied."

If you live in the triad area of North Carolina, this meeting will be one to attend:

Winston-Salem Healthcare Rally/Press Conference with Congresswoman Virginia Foxx
11:30 am
Golden Corral
180 Hanes Mall Circle
Winston-Salem, NC 27103

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pres. Obama on bills

This is a quote of President Obama criticizing the Bush administration back in 2004:
"When you rush these budgets that are a foot high and nobody has any idea what's in them and nobody has read them ... {reporter: 14 pounds it was.} Yeah ... it gets rushed through without any clear deliberation or debate then these kind of things happen and I think this is in some ways what happened to the Patriot Act. I mean you remember there was no real debate about that. It was so quick after 9/11 that it was introduced that people felt very intimidated by the administration."
So I guess since YOU are President now Mr. Obama, pushing through thousand plus page bills and Czars that are likely Communists is an acceptable thing, right? I believe us in middle American call that hypocrisy. I believe when you act and say things one way to accomplish something then act and say things another way once you have accomplished your goal, makes you a liar.
In politics, isn't that referred to as "political expediency"? WHY should we trust Obama? I don't. I'm trusting in the Lord that Americans wake up and realize how important it is to pay attention to the political process and get involved in making their country a better place. A FREE place with LIBERTY and limited government once again!

It deserves it's own post

My cousin called this morning and told me she was coming home today! Praise the Lord! I even mentioned it on my birthday wish-list that her coming home was one of my wishes, but that was between God and I. Thank you Lord for this most perfect birthday wish! :O)

Continue praying for her. She has along recovery ahead of her and she needs a lot of grace to get through it.

Happy Birthday to me!

Today is the fourth anniversary of my 30th birthday. It's been a wonderful day so far. Yesterday was equally good, if not better. Yesterday morning I posted on my personal Facebook status:
"It's so nice and quiet here. Hannah's quietly on her computer and I'm doing my bible reading on mine. No TVs, only the sound of the bible audio (not playing *right* now, but ..), the ceiling fan, and the bug sounds from outside."
The TV was not turned on until 4pm! Hannah and I spent an hour playing on Pixie Hollow, and that was an easy hour, too. Today has almost been like that. It's a beautiful day. I got up and grabbed a shower first thing. I called our Pastor's devotional line and listened to that before calling my prayer partner. This month I'm paired with a "Titus 2" lady that I have not had an opportunity to really get to know beyond "hi, how are you doing?" and a few short conversations, so this is nice. We just started this week for August. Technically, the prayer calls are supposed to be five minutes for the Pastor (it's the Pastor's Prayer Team) but we talked 30 minutes this morning (which was very nice!) and prayed for a number of things.

I have a certain frame of mind, or mood, that I like to have set when I sit down to do my bible reading and somehow that has gotten off course today, though. The phone has rang a lot more than normal, but I welcomed one call, an answer to one of my birthday wishes! It was my cousin telling me she is coming home today! Praise the Lord! She still has a long road ahead of her as far as her recovery, so please continue to pray for her. I got a call yesterday from my BFF asking for my address. When I told her I asked if she was sending me a card and she said no she was getting me one of the magazine subscriptions I wanted :D What a great friend not to question the fact I'm overweight but enjoy reading fitness magazines, LOL!!
Another call today was Dad wanting to know if 6:30 was good for my birthday dinner, tonight. I told mom the other day we would do it tomorrow because that's payday, but they're buying all our suppers tonight Applebees, yay! What a blessing! I just love their Quesedilla Burger, it's awesome!

I am so blessed. Thank you Lord!

Tell Me Thursday: Family Fun Day

Tell Me Thursday is hosted by , be sure to hop over and see other participant's posts!

This week's Wordless Wednesday was about Family Fun Day. Every year our church holds Family Fun Day. They rent out the big bouncy things for the kids to play; create a giant fenced in play yard for the toddlers (if you click on that picture you can see a bigger, more detailed version of the pic). The teens and athletic adults play basketball, soccer, and volleyball. Some years we've had a rock climbing wall that Jackson LOVED. There's food provided and everyone brings desserts. I love the dessert tables at our church events. Everything looks so good, but in recent events I've always managed to somehow to gravitate toward something Mel made not even knowing she made it (beforehand) LOL There's patriotic music played, as well as live singing of good, God honoring songs. This year, "Uncle Sam" showed up and passed out pocket sized Constitution/ Bill of Rights booklets. :o)

Its a great time of fellowship, and we end the evening watching the fireworks show that is thrown by the town a few blocks down the road.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Titus is moonlighting

I think our cat Titus is moonlighting with another family. That's what you would think to look at the first picture in this post ;o)
I'll have to post the pictures of him I took the other day. That cat seems to just get fatter and fatter while his brother Timothy stays the same size. Wonder why?

My Birthday "List"

I got to thinking last night as we were heading to bed and I was clarifying to Jay what I would like for my birthday (7/30) if he or anyone else was wondering. Of course, he knows what to get me. Lambertis GCs and I'm good. Don't stray from what works, right?

Other things, which, as I list them, is mostly reading material.
Subscription to Clean Eating Magazine, and Oxygen Magazine.
Books: Common Sense by Glenn Beck, and Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin.
GC to Cato.

Tree to come home from the hospital. But that's between me and God ;)

The improvement is amazing

I spent a good while at the hopital yesterday and my cousin is doing SO good. She walked around her unit twice in a row right before lunch, and she had already walked three times before I got there! I cried a little, she cried a little, then a counselor from cardic services come in and talked to her for a while explaining what to expect in coming weeks. He was very helpful. I'm glad that they have someone like that on staff. All he does is counsel with cardiac patients on the floor. It's sad when you think about it though because, he has a full time job doing that- that means there are that many people sick each day!

My other cousin who works in the cath lab and was there with her when she had her heartattack come in for a visit while I was there. She had a printout of her heart when they took the first couple of pictures at the beginning of her procedure. It showed the blockage and she explained it a little and WOW~ definately a HUGE difference between what it was supposed to be and what it was.

Keep praying. She might get to go home today!

Wordless Wednesday: Family Fun Day

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

She's in a regular room!

Cousin update 7/28
She's doing SO well. They moved her to the special cardiac unit yesterday, which is a regular room with no designated visiting times. She's up, walking some, ALL of the tubes are out, praise the Lord! She has certain goals they want her to meet each day, like yesterday they wanted her to walk "around the block"- the unit four times. She done one here, one there, not all at one time of course. She has her "pickle" she uses for her respiratory therapy- it's a green plastic thing that looks like a pickle that has replaced that blue thing they used to have you blow in and however high the white ball inside went, was what your progress was. The pickle is cooler (no pun intended!) and seems more efficient.

She remembers three of the ten shocks of the paddles. She has the memory of the pain, in that it hurt, but not the memory of the physical pain, if that makes sense. (I remember going to Disneyworld when I was five, but only that we were there. I cannot tell you how I felt when I met Pooh, even though the pictures say I was happy beyond belief.) That, I'm thankful for. That she doesn't remember. (I wish I could remember meeting Pooh!)

She might get to come home Wednesday or Thursday- isn't that amazing?! They will do an echocardiograham to determine that physical state of her heart, and then decide from there when she'll come home.

So much to be thankful for this gratituesday. To read more gratituesday posts, click here.

What does it mean to be a believer in Christ?

I just found this article and thought it was really good. Not a long read, it gets to the heart of the matter speaking about what it means to be a believer in Christ in the social realm. I would have added an extra paragraph concerning the need for salvation, but that's the difference of denominational-type perspectives. Hope you appreciate it as I did :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cousin update 7/27

I went to see her yesterday. She was awake and talking, praise the Lord! They took the tube out and had her sitting in a chair beside her bed Saturday night. She just keeps getting better and better. She's not out of the woods yet, we're awaiting an echocardiogram to see the true condition of her heart. They are expecting a certain degree of damage to her heart.
I am SO thankful the Lord had His hand in all of this. She was supposed to go in second Friday morning, at 6:30 thereabouts. The first patient's doctor was running late, so they took her early. It was only a few minutes into her procedure when she had the heartattack. Because of the abnormal circumstances in the lab, a lot more people were available to work on her during her heartattack, including another cousin of mine on my dad's side of the family. She had already seen Tree before she went into her procedure. She said there were about 20 people helping. She was able to sit with Tree and talk to her through everything that was happening.

Only God could make that happen.

more to come :)

QOTW: Propaganda?

This question was posed by the American Family Association's Facebook page and I thought it was very interesting, the parallels:

"When Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) used the phrase “government-run health care" in an email to describe a proposed plan offered by Democrats that would compete with private insurers, Democrats said he must use the term "public option" instead. Nazi Germany had a Minister of Propaganda to make sure the government was portrayed in a positive light. I say some in Congress are using the same tactics. What do you say?"

Are you following the healthcare debate? why or why not? What do you say concerning the above quote?

New ways to enter giveaway!

I've added three new ways to enter the Christian murder mystery giveaway. You haven't entered yet? It ends Friday! Enter now.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

She's doing better

I'm happy to announce my cousin is is still improving little by little. Even the things that could happen and still be normal, is not happening, praise the Lord! I went for the 6am visit this morning and he rpotassium went from low to normal. Her heart is now beating on its own, where they had a balloon inserted beside her heart helping it beat yesterday. The goal today is to wean her off the ventilator and possible excabate (sic?) - take out the tube from her throat. She's still communicating well when she's not overly sedated.

The capacity of what happened yesterday:
She went in for a scheduled heart catherization. They found the 90+% blockage in her main artery- thick plaque. They tried to insert a stint and couldn't, and tried a balloon to open up the vein. When they done that she had a heart attack. Her heart was in a lethal rhythm, and they had to shock her with the paddles TEN TIMES to get her heart back to normal.

more to come.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cousin update

Praise the Lord, it's the end of the day, and she is doing MUCH better. There is so much to say, but I am exhuasted. I just got home from almost twelve hours at the hospital and I plan on being back at 6 for the 6-6:30 visit. She's a loved gal and there are a number of people to squeeze in in such little time frames as what the Cardio Vascular Surgical Unit allows ;) By 9:30 tonight she was not only aware of her surroundings but purposefully communicating with everyone in every way she possible could considering the fact her chest had been wide open, she had a tube down her throat, tons of iVs it seemed coming from every which way ... it was overwhelming at best. She was answering simple questions with the squeeze of her hand, nodding her head, she even tried to wave bye when her mom and I were leaving. THANK YOU JESUS!!

more at a later time, please continue to pray!!

Prayers please!!!!

update: this is the story: her main artery was 99.9% blocked, and when they tried to put a balloon in she flatlined. They just got her stable enough for the surgery, and she went in right at 10am(ET), and it should take 3 hours. Mom is watching the kids and Im headed over there soon. My aunt's a wreck, she just lost her husband 6/22/09 and now this.

9am update: she has already been taken for pre op. They said they needed to do the surgery asap.

My cousin went in this morning for a heart catherization. My mother called at 8am saying it is done and they've told her she will be having open heart surgery ... TODAY. She needs salvation, she's overweight (I know that sounds bad but in terms of surgery weight is an issue, right?); and she has MS. The MS is not dibilitating by far but it's still a factor in her life. PLEASE pray for her, the Lord knows her name. She's one of my closest relatives. This is the daughter of the uncle that passed in June (22nd). My aunt is a wreck. She needs prayer as well.

pray for me- I was up most of last night not able to sleep. Got to sleep for less than two hours when I woke to horrible stomach pain. Got back to sleep for an hour before mom called. (This is coming off a migrane Tuesday night - yesterday morning.)
I also need to find somewhere for the kids to hang out. Please cover us all today!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

MJ, celebrities, society

So much to say, but my biggest question right now, is WHY?
I remember when I was eight years old- older than my daughter but younger than my son. I might actually have been seven when my MJ obsession started. I thought Beat It was the best song in the world. My aunt was a big MJ fan and would pick me up for sleepovers and we would listen to that album the whole time we were together. When I was eight I was allowed to get my ears pierced. After six weeks with studs in my ears I was allowed to get my next pair of earrings, and I remember my aunt and I going to Claires at the mall and picking out a pair of "dangling" (as I said then) earrings with this picture on them. I remember getting my first radio with a cassette player, asking for the same album, and falling asleep many a nights listening to that album. "Human Nature" was usually the song that brought the slumber ;)

The funniest thing I remember, looking back it being funny, is my trying to sing the songs not knowing the words, just making the sounds. I remember thinking about that as I watched David Cook do Billy Jean. Unfortunately for MJ, that was really the only thing I listened to until Debbie Gibson stormed my scene in my middle school years. MJ, besides the bigger hits, was a backburner entertainer to me except for the Smooth Criminal video (because of the choreography) and maybe a couple of others.

Now, anyone who knows me, or has read any of my personal ponderings on parenting and my own childhood before, knows that there's a blaring neon disclosure close by stating I was not raised as a Christian, and I OFTEN wonder WHY my parents allowed me to do the things I done! Even with the generational gap, I would NEVER allow Hannah and Jackson to listen to MJ's music! (and, anything else I listened to in my younger years, which I still question to this day whether the influence of music in my younger years led to the behavior I exhibited in my teen years.)

That being said, the first thing that always come to my mind when hearing his name is him being fabulous entertainer. The songs seemed to always end up sounding the same in parts, so I was not mesmerized by his music, but his ability to perform. It was different. It was creative, and if you tried to mock his dancing, you'd best pay close attention. When he was accused of inappropriate actions with minors, I did not follow that. I was a little busy what with a three year old and pregant and carrying Hannah and all. I was not a news-follower back then. I found out about 9-11 through online message boards, if that tells you anything. (Although, to my defense, I found out before the towers fell and had the TV on then.)

I've seen a lot of talk over the past few weeks about this man, for good and bad. I've realized just how out of "the loop" I've been over the years- then again you're not hearing me complain about that. However, I have pondered some things ...

With all the talk about MJ being such an icon for the 'black community', where were they to hold him accountable when it come out he was possibly abusing prescription drugs?

If his family is that close knit, where were THEY, when it was suspected he was abusing prescription drugs?

What parent, allows their children to have sleepovers at an adult man's house?

What responsible adult, in charge of a child's safety and well being, allows said children to have sleepovers at an adult man's house?

Have we, as a society, elevated celebrities to such a level that we have no standards of living anymore? MJ is not the first celebrity to have a doctor wrapped around their finger- where are the standards?

Why does it seem our country will celebrate this man when he's dead, but he was deemed a "weirdo" when he was living? Where were alllll these people who speak so highly of him now that he's dead, when he was standing alone accused of said charges?

Why is it ok to deem him a pariah for his accusations, when he was found not guilty? I'm talking about us every day people- since when has it been ok to condemn someone when we were not even in the situation to make any kind of true discernment about what happened or didn't happen?

Here's an additional challenge / thought for Christian readers:
If a man was found guilty and served time for said crime, and was born again while he was in prison. He was repentent for his sins and determined to live out his life serving the Lord for the rest of his days: how differently would you look at him? Any?

---> I guess having had these types of accusations happen "close to home" for me, the idea of just letting things "be" and not saying anything at all was better than the alternative of condemnation when it did not directly apply to me. The bible says sin is sin. That sin is not set apart in the bible, it is no different than gossiping, and how many of us do that? Someone accused of such a thing is in no different position in the eyes of God than the woman in the next cubicle from you, or your next door neighbor if they do not profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. <---

Why NOW, are they showing the video of the Pepsi commercial with his hair catching fire? That's horrible! Just let the man be dead already! Sure, that just might have been when his prescription drug problem started, but why didn't someone get concerned back then- why the hindsight?

Have we as a society become so idolatrous that we allow celebrities to essentially kill themselves? Yes, they're famous, but they are still people, too. They still should be treated as people. I'm personally not very big into "celebrity following", but take Jon & Kate for example. This is a real family. If one of my family members had a TV show like theirs, I would watch it. I would want to support my loved ones with my support via ratings. If they wrote a book, I would support them by buying their books and promoting it. (I'm doing that right now!)
Honestly? I've loved Kate Gosselin since day one. She is a woman you either relate to, understand, or "love to hate". Everyone should (have) watch(ed) that show with the idea that not everyone is going to see things the same, and not a single one of us have ever been in her / their shoes having twins and sextuplets following three years later. I had one, then followed with one three years later. I can't possibly pretend to know what I would exactly do if I were in her shoes. As a professing sister in Christ, she's been on my heart from day one.

On June 22, 2009 they announced their divorce. I was so saddened. I was shocked, however, to hear of their intentions to continue taping the show. I cannot condone this. I've watched from season one, but I will NOT condone this with my support via ratings! Other people agree, I've shared more in this post. My point is, this is a real family. Why would society choose to continue watching this show, when those precious children are having their parents' divorce played out on national television? Mady and Cara are going into third grade this year, right? Every kid in their school could be watching what is going on in their family. Is that fair to them? If the parents are not using the good sense the Lord gave them and are continuing with this, then WE can use the good sense the Lord gave US, and CHOOSE to NOT watch it and participate in this.

We can choose to do a lot more of this, too! If the ratings were not there, the smut that is on TV and in movies, would not be there. However, we must reward the good, too. When the Kit Kitteredge movie come out, friends still looked at me funny when I said I was taking Hannah. Why wouldn't I take Hannah to see a rated G child's movie in the midday? Maybe if more people did take their children to see wholesome, family friendly family movies at the theaters, then Hollywood would wake up and make more wholesome, family friendly family movies, instead of the smut that is typically put out, now. It is such a shame to see such talented actors result to taking on such poor roles that will mean nothing in a few years, whereas we ALL remember our favorite movies as children, don't we?

I believe if the conservative sect of society done two things, that by the time our children are faced with parenting decisions, we just might be able to make our country a better place in terms of entertainment:

1) Stop enabling celebrities to become idols. Treat them as people, too. No amount of talent in the world is going to get someone to heaven. Pray for Hollywood! (I was so tickled when Jackson told me he had been praying for Tony Hawk's salvation :) Hold them accountable. Make your voice heard when possible that certain things are not acceptable, like Jon and Kate. Consider refusing to support actors that do not share your values if they are extreme. It's possible that less people will work with them if they become a liability. Create a demand for politically indifferent actors in Hollywood. Like Michael Jordan said so long ago "Republicans buy shoes, too."

2) Support good entertainment. When possible, don't wait for movies to come out on DVD. If DVD sales are the going thing, the film industry will make straight-to-DVD movies. We all know those are not as good as the ones that hit the theaters, and the theaters is where the buzz spins among the world. Not to mention, how will we know when a movie is released? About all know when a movie is being released in the theaters. Create a demand for good entertainment. Our children need us too! If you do not attend the movie theater by conviction, look for other ways to support the rise of good, moral entertainment. If you have some ideas to share please comment! *

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Book Giveaway: Christian Murder Mystery

"Christian murder mystery? Wendy did you say that right?"

Yep! I sure did! It was just released recently, and it is the FIRST in the series. Lizzy Armentrout is the author, visit her website and read her testimony (you won't regret it!).

It's a great book, as I've had the priviledge to read it already! Don't believe me? Read the first three chapters for yourself!

(.... Welcome back!)
So you want your own copy, huh? I can help you with that. I've talked Lizzy into giving away one free copy to a lucky CalvaryGirl reader!
How to enter? Very easy ...

New Ways to enter (as of 7/27):
* Leave a comment telling us what part of Lizzy's site you enjoyed the most.

* Post about this giveaway on your blog, comment leaving the link to the post.

* Grab one of my buttons and add it to your sidebar- comment leaving the link to your blog.

Other ways to enter:

* Join Lizzy's fan page on Facebook. Come back and comment in this post that you have joined.

* Follow Lizzy on Twitter. Come back and comment that are are including your twitter name. (Note: you must be a follower for the duration of the contest. If you unfollow before the contest is over, your entry will be deleted.)

* Tweet the contest using this message:
RT @CalvaryGirl is having a #giveaway for @lizzyarmentrout, free copy of her Christian murder mystery- go see! #cgbook
---> come back each time you tweet this and comment including your status link (to the tweet) and get an extra entry! One entry every three hours, how great is that? If I didn't have a copy already I'd be tweeting away, and you got your link back to the blog in the tweet to come back to comment, perfect! (the status link is the link for the time the tweet was posted, hover over the time ("5 seconds ago"), click "copy shortcut" or "copy link address", then paste it into your comment.

Oh? You want more chances to win? I'm happy to oblige.

* Join my fan page on Facebook. It's brand new! Come back and comment in this post that you have joined.

* Follow me on Twitter. Come back and comment that are are including your twitter name. Same follow-rule applies as Lizzy.

* Follow me on Google Connect (upper left hand corner of the blog.)

* Add my button (linked) to your sidebar on your blog. Comment including your blog link.

* Register on Lizzy's website. Come back and comment that you have and what your username is on her site.

There you go! TEN chances to win, not counting all the tweeting you can get done, up to 8 tweets per day!
(Just be sure you come back and comment with your status message, and use the tweet provided!)

The contest will end July 31, 2009, at 11:55pm.
The winner will be chosen at random through
I will announce the winner on the blog, and Lizzy and I both will via Twitter and our Facebook pages Saturday, August 1st.
The winner will have until Tuesday night at 11:59 to claim their prize, otherwise I will draw another winner and announce them Wednesday morning. I will continue doing this until the book is claimed by the announced winner. So keep reading! :o)

I'm so excited about this giveaway! This truly is a great book, and if you don't want to wait on the giveaway, you can purchase the book ($14.99) through the publisher here.

Ready, Set, Go!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

495: Gratituesday: July 14th

click here to read more Gratituesday posts

Today is huge. Just HUGE. Many months of prayers was answered last night. Unexpectedly, no less. Not an actual specific "God make this specific thing happen this way ...", no, I've learned not to limit my God that way, with my personal expectations. I know he can exceed them and part of the joy of being His child is waiting to see what He will do in our lives- even when we do not deserve it. That's the bigger praise today. God chooses to bless us, even though we continually fall short of what we want to be for Him! He brings a peace upon us that ONLY he can bring. You can walk into an easy situation believing it is God, when in reality, it is fleshly security that our minds find in situations that we dismiss as God's peace. So right now, even though I am positive God answered a ton of month's worth of prayers last night, and I am so grateful for the opportunity that's been presented before us, I'm still seeking his total peace on the situation.

Have you ever heard the saying "if it's to good to be true... then it is"? That's what's happening right now. Our kids are back in Christian school, despite a recession in the economy. Our bills are being paid, despite Jay's being demoted a few months ago. We have WONDERFUL landlords. We had an awesome turnout at our yard sale last week to meet school bills. The kids and I had a terrific vacation last week for a lot less money than we expected. What more could we ask for? Then a call comes in last night. Traditionally, I would chalk that call up as too good to be true. There's a catch somewhere. Truly, I would. However, I see God's hand in this. I see what he's done over the past number of months. I see how he has placed every piece of this puzzle perfectly in place for us, and even though I know I see this, it seems like I am outside of myself asking "is this really happening? why us? we've done nothing to deserve this." and we don't, but by the grace of God this is happening.

What's happening? I can't tell :p~~~ but rejoice with me, you'll find out in due time! It's HUGE!

Meanwhile keep an eye out, I have a GREAT giveaway coming up. Do you like mystery books? What would you think about a Christian murder mystery?

Monday, July 13, 2009

We're home, we're home!

Thank you to all who prayed for safe travel for the kids and I in the past week. Our vacation was wonderful. I've told Jay we need to start saving now so we can go back for a full week ourselves next year. I could not believe how beautiful the weather was. You would think the second week of July would be blistering heat midday, but we literally stayed outside almost the full day! The only reason we come in between 2-3 was for our late lunch! The ocean was the perfect temperature, perfect waves- not too rough, just enough to give us a nice workout we didn't realize we were getting. I knew it when I got home and was not moving, though!

I want to share some more pictures with you this week from the trip. My new camera- remmeber the one I got fo Mother's day? It's so awesome! I got some terriffic water shots, and with the 15x zoom, some really great expressions, too! Right now we're getting ready to take Hannah to the doctor. She's been complaining about her left breast hurting on and off for about three weeks, minus last week. Im not sure if it was not hurting, or if she was too busy to notice. She woke up this morning with it hurting though and there's 'something' there that wasn't there before, so I got her an appointment so have things checked out. Seven is too early for puberty so I'm concerned considering our family history of cancer. We'd appreciate your prayers!

Have a great day, and from our Pastor's devotional this morning:
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." -- Galations 6:9-10

I have a giveaway coming up in the next couple of days, too! I'm working out the details right now, it's going to be GREAT!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tell me Thursday: where are we?

Tell Me Thursday is hosted by , be sure to hop over and see other participant's posts!

Last week you got to see a very happy twelve year old get her first cell phone at her birthday party. This week, we're vacationing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with the same family, my BFF and her kids, and her three neices ... and my two kids. yes, this week we are doing our own experiement of "Wendy and Kristi Plus 9".

She come down last Friday with her four and one neice. My two kids and I arrived Monday at lunch time. The other two neices arrived on Tuesday evening. We're coming home today, bringing two of the neices home with us to meet their grandpa. Poor Jackson, he's been surrounded by girls ALL WEEK! The ages from oldest to youngest is 15, 15, 13, 13, 12, 12, 10, 8, and 7. we wake up, get ready, eat, go to the beach, go to the pool, come in to eat. Go back out to the beach, then to the pool, and in for dinner. Jackson has one weird sunburn, that's for sure! The first day I sprayed some spray-sunscreen on his back, and his burn looks like a rash. His and Hannah's face crisped the first day but I went and got some zinc based sunscreen like the surfers use that can't be rubbed off easily and that's made a HUGE difference. No aloe for us this year, yay!

The second 15 year old just turned such yesterday. We went out for pizza (and got a few funny looks as the whole brood was walking to the back of the restaurant) for dinner. Kristi had T's phone in her pocketbook and surprised her after dinner with it. I have video. You're going to have to come back and see that one once we get home and I get it uploaded. Right now we're sitting at the table, and Kristi is calling out names and numbers helping Jackson enter contacts into my new cell phone (basic, pre paid, not a big deal, etc

We're going to be leaving in the next few hours. Pray for us! It's a 4-5 hour drive with minimal stops, but it's raining right now.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Teach Them Diligently

I want to share a post with you that was a recent blessing for me. I honestly could have written this post word for word! As I was reading it I felt like Miss Tracey was reading the many thoughts that have crossed my mind over the years and put them into writing. I hope this devotion blesses you as much as it did me. I love how the Lord sends people into our life at the perfect moments to let us know we are not the only ones having the feelings we have, and trials we do.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Being cautious of "teachers"

As Christians, we have to always be on guard as to what we hear and read these days, even on Christian websites, pages by Christians, and even other Christians. When I say other Christians, I mean sometimes our brothers and sisters in Christ may be misunderstanding something in God's Word, and might be "teaching" their misunderstandings to other Christians. There are Christian websites, that might support ideas and doctrines that not in line with God's Word. You might find a sharp looking "Christian blog" that might have the honest of intentions (or maybe not), that might not be aware they are misleading people regarding bible doctrine because they do not realize they are in error themselves.

That being said, I want to make it clear that I do not claim to have any more authority in the Word of God than anyone other born again believer that might read this blog. A lot of the more in depth devotionals you will read on this site is directly from notes I have taken during sermons. I believe my church is extremely doctrinally sound, therefore I am confident in my notes that are derived from the teaching done at church. If I do post something related to doctrine written by myself, it has been previewed by other trusted Christians to validate the wording and to make sure there can be no misunderstanding.
However, I urge everyone to come to their own peace about their bible concerns through their prayer life, bible studies, and counseling with their trusted Christian mentors. If you believe I can help, I will be glad to in any way I can.

I'm seeing more often in Christian themed conversations warnings of false teachers and the like. I believe that the more grounded in the Word of God you are, the closer in fellowship you are with God and will have a "spirit check" about everything you encounter. This has definitely been my experience. I am a double checker. If I am in doubt about something someone tells me or something I read, I file it in the "later" folder of my mind until I have a moment to look it up for myself. There was a time in my life when I was spending a GREAT deal of time studying the bible to prove to myself why I believed what I believed. In that, I mean, I knew in my heart what I believed was right according to the bible, it was the being able to have a verse or passage come to mind when speaking to someone that supported what I believed. To be able to have a conversation about topics.

I believe this is a good thing. It is important to be able to give an answer to why you believe what you do, the bible says so:

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

1 Peter 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

I believe that knowing firsthand the "whys" of your beliefs, you are able to guide through the muddled waters of the internet (or others) and not get pulled into wavelengths of thinking that might lead you astray in your own walk with God. By having that knowledge behind you, you are better able to approach things with the "I know what I believe and why" instead of "I want to learn more about God and this sounds good / this person seems to really know what they're talking about".

Because "false" teachers can be directly misleading you, or indirectly misleading you.*

Friday, July 3, 2009

489 Family Friday: July 3rd

It's Family Friday time again! Family Friday is hosted by, thank you Danielle!

As we approach the birthday of America this weekend, I have been pondering the idea of teaching our children to appreciate the country they live in. I was not. I had no idea until I was in my late teens and early adulthood that American even interacted with other countries. I was in a bubble. I do not want my kids to grow up like that. I want my children to love their country, and the heritage we have in it. I want them to have an understanding of where our country has went from, and be concerned about where it is headed. I want them not juts to be an American, I want them to be proud of that and never take their freedoms as an American for granted.

I believe in our society that has been lost a great deal. There has been a wave in this generation of selfishness and self centeredness I cannot recollect happening in history. There are people who live in America, and live with all of the freedom she offers, yet, they seem to hate everything it stands for. I will never understand this.

"What is Memorial Day about, mommy?". I was ashamed that I could not truly explain the holiday, Memorial day, except that it was a day to remember fallen soldiers. You would never know that though to look at society as a whole. In general, national holidays are an excuse to have an extra day off of work, and have a cookout or go on a mini vacation. That's so sad! How many people TRULY CELEBRATE national holidays, for the holidays they are?

I'm learning, too, as I go, but this Independence Day, we are going to read the Declaration of Independence. We read the nativity story the night before Christmas, because that it what Christmas IS ABOUT. So from now on, we will read "the story" of America's birthday, on July 4th, with just as much importance as the nativity story on Christmas.

and carry on our quirky tradition of watching Will Smith's movie "Independence Day". We started doing that way before the kids were born, and it just "is". I love this speech:

Happy Birthday America!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Things that'll make you laugh

The child age structure is very interesting in our family. My sister the eldest, me the youngest by 12 1/2 years. When her first was born, I was 11. When her second was born, I was 12. Her first was 10 when her third was born. Are you still with me?

When her youngest was 2 1/2, Jackson was born, then Hannah 3 years later. When Hannah was four, my sister's first grandchild, Braden, was born via her oldest. Not two years later, here come ^Jordan^, her second. So the grandchildren in our family literally look like steps that would work out the glutes!

We don't get to see #3, Jonathan (12 years old) a lot. It's probably been four months since he's been over here. I've seen him a couple of times in recent weeks but the kid's haven't. Jackson and Hannah are very excited when they get to spend time together. He come over while sis was at work Tuesday. Bless his heart, he had a bike accident earlier in the day and REALLY scuffed up his elbow, knee, and the palm of one hand. I was changing the bandage on his knee, finished, and went to start on his elbow. I told him to stand up so he could turn his arm around under the light ....

He says "Wow you're getting short!"

Raising Foodies: Adventurous Eaters pt3

This is part three in the series about children trying new foods. I left you with a video of Jackson trying sushi with raw salmon. Did you like it?

We love going to Whole Foods and eating off their hot bar and salad bar. It is an excellent opportunity for both kids to try out new foods without us being committed to an entire dish and risk wasting food. They have a sushi section with a great variety of kinds to try, and if you try it and do not like it, they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee on their products, which is GREAT!

Jackson come home from camp last Friday, and I thought it would be nice for him to come home to lunch at our favorite "hot spot". Low and behold, he went straight to the sushi section and was carefully browsing everything in te cabinet. I could see dillemma on his face, and asked what was wrong. Everything he was interested in cost $10-$11. Hey, we saved that much with him being gone all week so I let him get a "rainbow roll". Concerned about the various meats on it I was talking to the sushi chef about ....... the eel. However, I felt better knowing the eel and the shrimp was cooked, whew! The other rolls had raw salmon and raw tuna. The sushi chef quickly offered to let Jackson sample the ee before we purchased the whole plate. He LOVED the eel! That hands down is probably his favorite sushi meat thus far. I heard a couple of moans "ohhh this is SO good" as I saw him taking small bites of it not to devour it in one or two big gulps ike he is more than able to do.

Sorry, no video for that experience, but I do have a video!

This week, we have Jackson trying pickled ginger. He's a very good child to "clean his plate" when given proper proportions to begin with, so he was determined to eat the ginger, too.
Will he like the ginger? Lets see!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tell Me Thursday: Abbey's Birthday

Tell Me Thursday is hosted by , be sure to hop over and see other participant's posts!

There once was a girl named Abbey. Her mom is CalvaryGirl's lifelong best friend. Abbey was turning twelve. She wanted a Wow Wow Wubzy cake but the bakery had no idea who that was, so Elmo was #2 on Abbey's list. For our story we're going to assume the saying is true that "once they hit ten, it starts all over again". So if you're shopping for a cake for a twelve year old, take away ten years and think about what a two year old would like!

Her party was at the local putt putt place. Everyone was having a good time. They had just finished pizza and was ready for some cake. Aunt Wendy (aka CalvaryGirl) was mighty proud of that candle shot- notice how one is out and one is not?

After cake, Abbey started opening her presents. She got some clothes, some money in cards, and right before this one her paternal grandma had just given her an iPod Touch. Frankly, most kids assume something that big was meant for the end, and she's humoring everyone in opening the rest of her presents so she can play with her new iPod. (right?)

Oh look! It's a BOX!

OOOHHHHH! Look at what's IN the box! Could it be? Could it REALLY be?

It could! It COULD!!! Just when a twelve year old girl thinks her birthday could not get ANY better~

Her daddy went and bought her a CELL PHONE!!! She has been asking and asking and asking and asking. Mom keeps saying NO, No, NOOOOOO! (But dad said "well I'm doing it anyway", and mom said "I'm not monitoring her minutes, you pay for what she uses" ...)

and LOOK! Daddy got me unlimited text! Who is she texting in this picture? Her "boyfriend". Little did she know when she was headed out to the bumper boats, daddy was texting with her "boyfriend" too.

I'm with my BFF- a twelve year old has no business with a cell phone in all reality; but the look on her face was priceless!

So tell me:
do you know a twelve year old with a cell phone? If so, what practical use does it serve for them?

Wordless Wednesday: Abbey's Birthday

Visit the Tell Me Thursday post to view the pictures along with the story that was behind them! :)