Monday, December 22, 2008

Our dentist adventure

And we're off... today Seth will be seeing the dentist to have a tooth (or what remains of a tooth) extracted and a spacer put in. Basically last Tuesday he broke his tooth while eating a quesadilla. They said it appears the tooth never had a chance because it grew in "funky." We've seen two dentists now and been charged about $125! Today will run us about $300 or more. The joy of medical bills.

Seth is very nervous and I'm not sure how he's going to do. I will update when we get home. Until then, please pray for the little guy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Praying for the family

Yesterday I got a call from my friend, Patti and she was in tears. She had just gotten the news that her nephew, Travis 11 years old, passed away in his sleep. He was severely handicapped and suffered from Mitochondrial disease. My heart is aching for this family today! There are five other children who are going to miss their brother so much. Not to mention his parents, siblings, Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents.

Travis may have never been able to talk but he sure was cute. I remember seeing him lay on the couch and laugh while we were celebrating birthdays. I trust that he is safe with the Lord in Heaven today, probably doing things his earthy body never allowed him to do!

Please join with me and pray for this family!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma

Yesterday was my Grandma's 78th Birthday. My Grandma is one special lady! I have so many memories of her over the years. It was such a treat when we got to stay the night at her house. Her guest room always seemed huge to me. She had a giant king size bed that we like to jump on when she wasn't around (sorry Grandma!). I remember times we helped her bake dozens of cookies for VBS. In the summer there was no better place to be... we lived in Grandma's pool, complete with slide and diving board.

Not only did I watch her in the role of Grandma but also as a Pastor's wife for over 20 years. Leading women's groups or special events. Taking time to make sure everyone else was taken care of before herself. A woman with a huge Faith!

She was also the mother of my mother, not an easy job I'm sure (just kidding Mom).

As I've grown I've watched her go from a Grandma to a Great Grandma. It's even more special to see interacting with my boys. She takes her job very seriously and loves to spend time with them. She spoils them with special clothes or toys here and there. She always has tasty snacks in jars on the counter that they can't resist. She evens plays outside with them from time to time!

Thank you Grandma for being such a special lady. You've influenced my life in ways you'll never even know. I'm proud to call you Grandma! I love you!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas Chains

Sorry I haven't been posting lately. We're doing a study right now with Beth Moore in my women's home team. Last month she said something that really hit home with me... "You can't do a thousand things and do them all well." It really made me stop and think about what is truly important. So if you don't see me posting quite as often, it's probably because I'm off playing with my kids or enjoying life!

Now onto what I started to tell you about. I wanted to do those cute little green/red paper chains with my kids. I started searching the internet for a poem to put on the top but wasn't thrilled with the results I found. So I made up a new poem and thought I would share. I decided to go with something simple that my kids could understand...

Christmas day is almost here
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

We open gifts and sing fun songs
We wait for this time all year long.

But it’s never too late
To remember why we celebrate…

Jesus was born a sweet baby boy
He filled the world with so much joy.

His live He gave
For our lives to save!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Look what I've done...

I totally stole this from Julie but I know she won't care. Check out my answers and then go see what she's done... she's way more exciting than I am :o)

The ones in Bold are the ones I've done...

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis (in a bug catcher)
10. Sang a solo (just a small part)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (does Wii count - probably not)
32. Been on a cruise (soon)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke -
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa (SOON!)
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to the drive in

55. Been in a movie (a home video, haha)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (well, “let go” is more appropriate - “phased out” maybe)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (working on it)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (helped)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Now copy and paste it... I can't wait to see what you've done!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Sherry...

Happy Birthday to my sister!!

This was us in the good old days,
when life was easy and we didn't have a care in the world...

Friday, November 28, 2008

So exciting!

Go here and check out the good news my friend Julie got today...

Four Plus More

I'm so super excited!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Hostest with the Mostest

I have to give a big shout out to Jen, our host for the evening! We had a wonderful time hanging out at her house with her family and friends. There was amazing Ethiopian food like injera, beef stew and more. I actually enjoyed all of it. I'm a very picky eater but went with a great attitude and was pleasantly surprised.

Jen and her hubby are off to pick up their sweet baby boy in about 6 weeks. I have been praying for so long about their journey. They are amazing parents to their three girls and I know Jonas will be just as loved. What a blessing to watch this journey they have been on!

Also found out tonight that Jen and Dustin will most likely be able to travel with Julie and Mark, some other good friends of ours. How neat is that? We've all been praying about that for a while. Just when we thought it wasn't possible, God is opening up doors. I can't wait to meet all three of these wonderful little ones that are coming home to new families!

Jen and Julie, I want you both to know just how special you are and how much I'm praying for you! They Lord has sure blessed me with your friendships! Love you both!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What to carve?

Here is the pumpkin I carved two years ago...


Curious George

Tomorrow night we're going to a party where there will be a contest for the best carved pumpkin. I've got some good ideas swirling around but I'll take suggestions!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's one of those days...

I'm might loose my mind before it's over!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Grocery Trip

So many are shocked when I tell them we stay on a tight grocery budget of about $85 per week. That means everything from milk & cheese to diapers & paper towels. I've been doing it for so long that it doesn't seem unreasonable. In fact, I'm glad Jeff bumped me up about $20 this year.

That's why I decided to post a picture and list the items I got. There were some great deals and plenty of free items! Like the Spaghetti O's... they paid me a penny per can to take them home and the salad was free!

Deals from Frys...

1 Box Capri Suns
1 Container Jif Peanut Butter
1 Box Tyson Chicken Patties
1 Bag Tyson Chicken Tenders
4 Cans Chili Beans
2 Cans Libby's Green Beans
2 Cans Chicken Broth
1 Can Black Beans
3 Rolls Bounty Paper Towels
1 Box Ziploc Sandwich Bags
2 Boxes Mama Bella Garlic Bread
1 Container Quaker Oat Meal
1 Box Quaker Instant Oatmeal
1 Bag Dole Salad
1 Bag Mozzerella Cheese
1 Container Riccotta Cheese
3 Boxes Mac & Cheese
4 Milk (1/2 Gallon)
2 Hunts Pasta Sauce
6 Cans Spaghetti O's
2 Cans Tomato Soup
2 Cans Chicken Noodle Soup
1 Box Croutons
1 Container Vegetable Oil

Total before Card and Coupons $94.26
Card Savings and coupons $59.87
Grand Total $34.39

Jeff's mouth dropped open when he saw the total. Then they scanned my card and coupons and his mouth dropped even further! I actually forgot a $1 coupon so it would have been less. It's always fun for me to take the challenge of staying within my budget. I take pride in the fact that I'm saving money and still feeding my family well.

I wish I would have taken pictures of the items I purchased at the other grocery stores but I forgot. One of these days I'll post about our menu and what we actually eat each week. Then maybe I'll let you in on my secrets of stocking up on different items each week to keep us going!

Tagged...

I've actually been tagged by two different people now so I guess I should get on this...
Heidi and Jen both had some really random stuff to share. We'll see what I can come up with!

1. I love the # 5. I think it's because I was born on March 5th. I've loved it since I was a little girl. Interesting that we have 5 people living in our home!

2. It's strange that I love #5 because I don't care for odd numbers. I often stop the microwave or TV volume on an even number because I just like them more.

3. About a year ago I realized that the show King of Queens is talking about Queens, NY. Duh!

4. I would love to be a nurse on the Labor and Delivery floor someday. I think it would be so much fun to care for those women in labor and watch new life being born each day. When my kids are all in school I just might go back myself!

5. As a child and even an adult I loved mashed potatoes but with each pregnancy my tastes changed. While pregnant with Josh I couldn't eat them. Then with Seth I loved them again. Jake came along and I couldn't stand them. Now I eat them but they're not my favorite :o)

6. I love being in the kitchen! Baking, cooking, trying new things. I just don't know if I could actually do it professionally because I'm a really picky eater. It would be easier for me to tell you a list of things I would eat then a list that I wouldn't!

7. I can say the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish. It's because I was in a bilingual class in 2nd and 6th grade. It was fun and I learned quite a bit of Spanish.

So now I'm tagging 7 other people...
Sherry
Jodi
Barbie
Shawnie
Amber
Jenny
Mark

Have fun... I can't wait to see your answers!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jedi Training

On our recent trip to Disneyland the boys were very excited to visit Star Tours, the ride. Last time neither of them were big enough but this time both made the height requirements. They don't know much about Star Wars and had only seen one of the actual movies. Their friends talk about it and so in their eyes, it's the greatest!

So when Jeff and I were checking out the shows and attractions we were interested to see they had a new Jedi Training Show. Sounded like fun but we didn't mention it to the boys because we knew they would be bugging us all day. At one point my Dad and Jeff went to ride Space Mountain while the rest of us all hung out. Then Star Wars music started to play and caught the boys attention attention. Soon an announcement was made that the show and training was about to start. We made our way toward the stage and here's what happened next...


The "Master" came out and started picking younglings to train.
Josh got on the stage...
Seth was jumping up and down and the "Master" laughed and said
"You, the youngling that is very excited, come up and help me."
Do you see the blue circles they're standing on?
At one point the "Master" told all of them to look down at the circle.
Seth looked down for a good 3 minutes because he was so nervous.
Finally the "Master" told him he could look up.
I had tears in my eyes because he was trying so hard to be a good listener!

Practicing their new moves...

Josh was actually fighting Darth Vader on stage with the "Master."

Storm Troopers were also trying to get in on the action

This is serious stuff!

In the end they were both awarded diplomas.
Now they are officially Padawans, students of the Ancient Jedi Training.

They were bummed that they didn't get to keep the costume or light saber!
They did however get Mickey Mouse light sabers as souvenirs.
Jeff and I were happy because they cost under $5!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Why Leave?

In the past year I've heard of several Moms who have chosen to end their marriages and leave families behind. It just blows my mind that you could turn around and walk away. What on earth would seriously possess a mother to do this? All I can think about is that the evil one is working overtime to get into families and home and rip them apart. It breaks my heart to see these husbands and children left behind to pick up the pieces! I pray that God will cause these women to have a change of heart and reconsider their decisions! I know the Lord could "fix" the things that seem so wrong and they could live a long, happy life with their family by their sides!

For I know the plan I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a bright future! Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Join and support...

I was on Heidi's blog this morning and found this...

They are asking 1 million women to join to help find a cure! Please consider it, there's not too much time involved and it looks like they have several at-home kits you use.

Please click here to learn more...

www.armyofwomen.org

Monday, September 29, 2008

Where do they come up with it?

This morning Seth, my 4 year old, wanted to take the Bible with him in Grandma's car. He asked me what the whole name of his Bible was. I said "It's the Holy Bible." Then he replied "Holy Bible" the way someone would say "Holy Cow!" It cracked my Mom and I up. We had a talk about the way you actually say it because we wouldn't want to be disrespectful to God.

Last week Josh, my 7 year old, wanted to help me make the meatballs for spaghetti. Side note, we use turkey because it's healthier and we all enjoy the flavor more. Back to my story, I told him to go ahead and squish in all the seasons. He was a bit grossed out so I reminded him that once he becomes a chef/baker, he would have to do this kind of thing. He looked at me so seriously and said "Mom, that's why I'll hire people to do this kind of work for me!" Oh if only we could all hire people to work for us... I guess he's got it all planned out.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Longest Night Ever

Last Wednesday night the boys an I ran to IKEA with my Mom and sister. It was a great night and we got a few good deals. On the way home Grandma treated everyone to a surprise treat from Sonic. About 20 minutes from home Jacob started screaming and crying like he was in pain. About 5 minutes later he was throwing up. At some point that night he started running a slight fever but I just figured it was bug and it would quickly pass.

On Sunday he was still running a fever so I kept him home from church. We ran over to urgent care because I was concerned about how long the fever had been hanging on. They checked him for strep and ear infections but nothing showed up. At that point I was told it was just viral and would pass in 7-10 days.

By Tuesday when the fevers were still getting up to 103 every 4 hours or so I was truly concerned. Then I notice that he was having a hard time turning his neck but wasn't sure what to think. My Mom kept him at her house so none of our high school students would catch anything. That night I took my sister home and was visiting with my Mom when I noticed he had a small bulge on the left side of his neck. I started putting all the pieces together and was a little freaked out! I did what every good Mom does and headed to the internet to see what it could be. Then it hit me, what if it was meningitis?

I called up a friend who is a nurse and she said to me, "Stacey, don't mess around with this. You need to get him in tonight." She went on to say that it sounded like it could possibly be meningitis and they may have to do a spinal tap. She said we should go to the children's hospital because they are trained to work with kids and would take great care of him. My Mom and sister came and picked me up and we headed down to the hospital.

After we waited for a few hours we were finally seen by the doctor and she was concerned. Finally the test results came back and said he did not have meningitis but Lymphadenitis. Basically his lymph nodes are swollen due to infection. The gave him an IV antibiotic and sent us home with a prescription for antibiotics that he will take for the next 10 days.

We are still waiting for the test results to come back on mumps but I'm praying those will be negative! Thank you Lord that it wasn't anything too scary and they were able to treat it quickly!

Here he is after the first IV
He was so tired after fighting the nurses...

Here he is after the second IV... he was back asleep in minutes!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Rockstar Baby

This picture cracks me up! I had been playing with his hair and puffing it up so he looks hilarious! He loves to play with Josh's guitar. Sorry it's blurry, I used my cell.

My College Guy

That's right ladies, I'm married to a college man! I'm really excited as Jeff and I begin this new time in our lives. Jeff is finally going back to college. He attended Moody Bible Institute for 3 years in Chicago but had to leave due to the horrible relationship he was in. For the last 9 I've been trying to get him to go back (not Chicago, college). Well a couple weeks ago he called and said "I finally did it, I signed up and I'm going back to school."

So by the end of 2009 he will graduate with his bachelor's degree in business. It's going to be tough for the next year because the boys won't see him on Wednesday nights but it will be worth it in the end. Who knows how many new doors this will open for him!

I love you Jeff and I'm proud of you for taking this next step towards your goal!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Knot on the Noggin

So this is what your 15 month old will look like on the way to the ER after a high school boy runs into him and he does a face plant on the driveway...

He's fine now but it was really scary at first!!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Racing for a cure

My Mom has started a team and we're Racing for a Cure next month! I would love to have you join our team or show support by giving. Our team goal is $1000. You can get more info here (sorry, you'll have to copy and paste)...


https://www.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=275924&lis=1&kntae275924=4D8393BE5AC94700995EB72413FAEFD4&supId=0&team=3163691&cj=Y

Friday, September 05, 2008

15 months already?

God truly blessed our home with this little guy!
I often wonder what would have happened if we wouldn't have tried to get pregnant again.
We would have missed such a beautiful blessing in our lives!
He is so happy and content with life.

Today we celebrate 15 months of his life on earth and I couldn't be more happy!
Thank you Lord for such a sweet little guy.




Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Land of Mouse...

We leave bright and early in the morning to visit Mickey! We're hitting the beach tomorrow, Disneyland on Saturday, California Adventure on Sunday and heading home on Monday. It should be exciting! We're hoping the boys are old enough to really enjoy the rides and adventure. We haven't been since Seth was two so we'll see how he does... last time he punched Mickey right in the gut. I was mortified then but am able to laugh now. He's probably the kind of kid they train for :o)

I'll keep you posted and have pictures up soon...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Where does the time go?

On July 29th, 2001 he came into our world.
He was a peanut weighing in at 5 lbs 13 oz & less that 19 inches long.
We were so proud of him from the start!
It's so crazy how time flies by and kids grow and change.
Now he's about 70 lbs, 4' 3" tall and wears a size 4 1/2 shoe!
It was like we blinked and now he's in the 2nd grade...

His cool new backpack

Seth never wants to let him go on the first day

My three boys... what an adventure!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh really?

My kids always silly stuff and I thought I would share a couple of the things I've heard recently...

Josh ~ "Did you hear those people speaking Grittish?"

Seth ~ "I'm so glad God gave me super sonic speed, Mom!"

Josh ~ "You've got to be a nut not to be able to get a bronze metal!"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

He will provide...

I knew God would provide and I knew what He wanted me to do so why was I struggling so much? I had felt Him tugging at my heart and asking me to step out of my comfort zone to work with High School Students for a few months. He was ready for me to make the change but I was comfortable in the preschool ministry, not yet ready for all that came with a new area of service.

The opportunity even opened up at one point for me to step into a higher position in preschool and I was about to take it. I think He was testing me to see how I would respond. At first I said yes and was about to jump in without a care. Then I realized that I wasn't putting my whole heart into it and there was no way He would bless this silly move. I called Adrienne, our director and confessed that I was really struggling. She totally understood and accepted my resignation over the phone. It was hard to say goodbye to this area of comfort in my life. I knew the routine, the people I served with and I like the extra money it was bringing to our budget. There were tears because I wasn't sure how God would provide.

The first week in the High School area was very different and so loud compared to preschool. These students can talk back and tell you what they think about life! What a shock to my system but I knew God was working in my heart and life. He was blessing me and preparing me before I ever even knew it. The ride was about to take off and all I could do was hang on!

We started GO training and had such a blast watching God work in the students hearts and lives. Jeff and I were so amazed by their talents and gifts. The Lord had really given them some wonderful abilities and they were using them to serve Him in so many ways. Their Faith is huge and we want just a small piece of it.

Life continued and we kept having to pull from savings knowing that God was eventually bring the income needed to help pay the bills. We went on the GO trip and had so much fun. The week after we got back I got an email from our children's director, Adrienne, asking if I would be interested in watching her two young boys. The money she was offering to pay was almost exactly what I had given up two months before. God was screaming "Here's your answer, thank you for being patient and trusting me!"

Everything has been going great. The extra income is just enough. I have been able to attend many of the summer activities and even go to camp with these students. God is using me in ways I never thought possible and it's all because I was willing to step out in faith and trust His will in my life! We are so thankful that when God asks you to follow Him, He always shows up and provides for your needs!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. Corinthians 9:8

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So much going on...

I hate doing this but here's a quick run down of what's been happening and what's to come around our house...

~ God has been providing in incredible ways since I stepped out in faith a few months ago!

~We got a new puppy and the boys named her Shadow. She's a yorkie-poo and is mostly black with a little bit of brown. She's very cute and fits in nicely around here.

~ The boys I babysit are very allergic to dogs so looks like she might be leaving us sooner than we expected!

~ My Grandpa has been very sick and several of his organs are shutting down. Please pray!

~ Went to High School Summer camp with church and had a blast. Did white water rafting... pictures to come! My Hubby, Mom and Sister all did wonderful with the kids while I was gone. It was the longest Jeff and I have been apart in our 8 1/2 years of married life.

~ Celebrated Josh's 7th birthday. How in the world do I have a 7 year old already??

~ Getting ready for Josh to start 2nd grade next week. School already??

So there will be lots of pictures coming soon but I wanted everyone to know I was fine and enjoying life! Can't wait to catch up with all of you soon.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Christmas in July

I just had to share with all of you the wonderful deals I scored yesterday at Toys R Us. They were amazing. Right now the store near us is taking an additional 20% off all clearance items. So here are some of the deals I got...

T.J. Beary Tales for $15 (originally $50)

Magnetics Cars $1.98 (originally $14.98)

Dora Leapster Game $3.98 (originally $29)

Another magnetics set $3.98 (originally $30)

Stocking stuffers from .40 - $1.98

It was incredible and I'm already getting ready for Christmas! If you live nearby you should go check it out and see what they have!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

In My Eyes...

A long time ago I talked to Shalee via email and had a great time. I mentioned that we should swap phone numbers and actually talk on the phone. She thought that was a great idea and emailed me her number. I was pregnant with Jacob at the time and was getting preparing for life with three little boys. My intentions were good but I never made the call. Eventually I just got comfortable knowing I had the phone number but not actually taking the first step. It was ridiculous, I know!

So the other day I left a comment, like I always do and she replied to it. She is such a crack up and I love hearing her take on life. Anyway, I mentioned that I had wanted to call but always chickened out. I got an email back saying "Check your cell phone you big dummy!" I laughed so hard when I read that and then quickly checked my messages. She left one saying "Stace it's me Shalee, quit chickening out and call me you big dummy!" Then I couldn't stop laughing.

I picked up the phone and called her. She was so easy to talk to and asked about my family. We had a great time talking for about 20 minutes. It was wonderful to actually hear her voice! I'm so glad we finally made it a priority to chat. I know it won't be the last time! Thanks Shalee for making me step out and say hello :o)


Speaking of blogging friends, my friend Beth has been trying to blog for a while now. She always posts stuff and then gets frustrated and takes a break. Yesterday I went to her house to help her get it all set up and ready. So stop by and say hi to Beth when you get a chance!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

You. Will. Get. Wet.

This is a message I got on my Myspace page earlier this week. I knew exactly what they were talking about. Last night was Water Wars with out Jr. High and High School students at church. I originally thought that I might go but try not to get too wet. You know, I'm uncomfortable with the way I look and my hair gets really curly and the excuses kept coming. Eventually I realized that when you work with youth... you're going to get wet!

So I went with a great attitude and didn't even care when they broke water balloons on top of my head or down my pants. They thought I was awesome for joining in and I had a blast! It was a win, win situation.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Unexpected blessings

On Thursday I was a little frustrated because Jacob had been running a fever for the last several days. I knew it wasn't getting better and he needed to be seen by the doctor. I wasn't upset that he had a fever, I was upset that he was sick again. He just had his tubes put in on the 5th and I dreaded hearing that he had an ear infection so soon after. They squeezed me in at 4 that day. Thank the Lord it wasn't his ears but his tonsils were huge and he needed antibiotics. Our doctor, who is a former neighbor, stood and talked with me for quite a while after the appointment. I kept thinking, "I need to get going, I still need to fill the prescription."

Little did I know that God had a plan. As I walked into the lobby I ran into an old friend, Tabby. I was in Kindergarten through 6th grade with this girl. We've seen each other a handful of times since. As we stood and talked about our lives we realized we had quite a bit in common. In fact, she has two little girls that are close in age to Josh and Jacob. I was able to invite her to church and she seemed very excited. I'm glad God put me there at that exact moment to reunite with an old friend and to possibly see Him work through her life.

Thank you Lord that your timing is perfect! If Jacob would have been well I might not have had the chance to show your love to an old friend.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The backseat of life

A couple of weeks ago I was taking Seth somewhere as a surprise. As we drove he kept asking things like...

"Are you going to tell me where we're going?"

"How long will it take?"

"Are we there yet?"

"Where are we going? Just tell me!"

It got me thinking about how many times I'm riding along in life with God and I'm bugging him about the plans He has for me. I know I question His plans and authority in my life. I say I completely trust Him for the things He is doing but I nag Him about what's next or when we'll get there.

Today I want to start fresh and not question Him. I want to hang on and enjoy the ride, knowing that eventually He will reveal the surprise for my life. I want to trust that there is a reason He's not telling me exactly what's around the corner!

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to give you hope and a bright future. Jeremiah 29:11.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

GO Missions Trip 2008

Take a look at the pictures and see what a blast we had...




We just got back from the GO missions trip with our church. What an amazing 8 days we had. God was definitely there and we felt it each day. I'm blown away by the amount of talent these students have. The Lord has given them some wonderful gifts to use for Him. There were several times Jeff and I just sat back and watched them lead. We saw so many of them grow during the 10 weeks of training leading up to the trip but it's incredible the growth they actually have while on the trip.

We are so proud of each of them. Darius had to switch us to another team at the last minute and that was hard. However, we knew God had a plan in doing this and trusted Him to lead. It was weird not being with the team we had all through the 10 weeks of training but it worked out great. They were so excepting of us and were glad to have us as leaders. We kept teasing our old team that they were in our hearts and we missed them. I think it all worked out fine because we still got to hang out each day when we got back to the school.

I guess I should tell you a little bit about the trip itself... We took off around 7:30 on Saturday the 7th. The trip was going fine until the students decided we needed to stop every 1 or so to pee. By about the 4th stop Darius had had enough. We stopped and he had a talk with everyone and then we were back on the road with scheduled stops only. The first night we showed up and only had one room for all of us. Not the ideal set up when you have guys and girls but we made due. The following night another room opened up. The girls moved to the new room and left the gym to the guys.

Up in the girl's room we had lots of fun at night. We giggled, laughed, talked and even wrestled a couple of times. In the morning we all got back together and did a devotion. I had such a great time leading the devotions each morning. The first morning was tough because everyone wasn't sure about opening up but after that we had some really great conversations. I'm so glad Darius asked me to lead that. I'm already coming up with some great ideas to use next year!

Each evening we would eat breakfast, have quiet time, pray, go over what God did in our VBS for the day and then Darius would teach on something God had laid on his heart. During the time between "Holy Huddle" and "lights out" we had so much fun. We played basketball, boxed, blogged, made cards, play card games or just hung out. These students know how to have fun! One night the guys even put on a "glow stick show" for us girls.

It wasn't your typical camp food and I have to give a big thanks to Mark and Lynne! We had pot roast, baked ranch chicken, spaghetti, tacos and so much more. It was so yummy!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Happy First Birthday Jake!

He's a winner in my book...

But it was confirmed again this school year. He was the first student to get a character award in his class. Then I got a call from the teacher letting us know that Josh would be getting the citizenship award at the end of the year school assembly. We were so proud of him! Especially because he's now won this award two years in a row!! Here are a couple pictures of him on the big day..

A picture with Mrs. Lewis (what a wonderful teacher!)

At the front with other proud students

I had more pictures I wanted to post but they had the school name on them and I know that's not a smart idea. So you'll just have to use your imaginations :o)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

He's done it again...

My wonderful husband has done it again. Check out this email I got from him this morning...

Here's a list of some things I love about you:
1. There's no one else like you.
2. You have a great sense of humor.
3. You have an incredible memory.
4. Your mad bargain hunting skills
5. You are very generous.
6. You take care of our home and kids
7. You are level-headed
8. You're usually right.
9. You're a great mother for our boys.
10. You are a great cook.
11. You try to look for the positive in most situations
12. You were there for me when my mom got sick
13. Serving with you at church / high school ministry
14. Your smile
15. How you slyly get me to rub your back
16. You chose me and no one else

Love you. Have a great day.

Isn't that just the sweetest thing a husband could do??

Saturday, May 31, 2008

So I am...

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

I am Elinor Dashwood!


Take the Quiz here!

Let me know who you are!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thank goodness Julie tagged me for this because I have absolutely nothing to talk about these days...

Four jobs I’ve had:
1. Staples (2 different ones)
2. Wee Learner's Preschool
3. Ran my own day care (in home)
4. Avon

Four movies I’ve watched more than once: (I could name way more than 4)
1. 50 First Dates
2. Ms. Congeniality
3. While You Were Sleeping
4. Night at the Museum

Four places I’ve lived:
1. Phoenix, AZ
2. Goodyear, AZ
3.
4.

Four TV shows I watch:
1. CSI original, NY & Miami
2. American Idol
3. House
4. ER

Four places I’ve been:
1. California
2. South Dakota (as far as I've been)
3. Nebraska
4. Oklahoma

Four people who email me regularly:

1. My Mom

2. Jeff

3. Julie

4. Tina

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Anything Mexican
2. Orange chicken and rice
3. Spaghetti
4. Pizza

Four places I would love to visit:
1. Indonesia
2. Chicago
3. Hawaii
4. New York

Four things I’m looking forward to in the coming year:
1. Vacation with the family
2. Going on the GO trip with the youth
3. God's continued blessing in our lives
4. Watching my kids turn 1, 4 and 7!

Four friends I’m tagging:

  1. Sherry
  2. Jodi
  3. Kelley
  4. Vicki

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Life's about to get busy

We have lots of fun stuff coming up soon...

I'm planning a shower for my friend Julie on the 30th. She is adopting two little ones from Ethiopia. God is truly doing amazing things through her and her family this year! I'm so proud of her and I can't wait to meet these two beautiful children!

We're also planning Jake's first birthday party for May 31st. It's not going to be anything big, just cake and ice cream and maybe a few munchies. He's too young to remember it all anyway.

Then Josh's last day of school is the 4th. He's pretty excited about that!

We leave for the GO missions trip at our church on the 7th and return the 14th. It will be lots of fun and I can't wait to see how God works in all of our lives while we're gone. It's been an amazing journey as we prepare each week. I can only imagine what the actual trip will hold!

Jacob will be having tubes put in on the 19th. I'm nervous but we did it with Seth already so it shouldn't be too scary for me. It's such a quick operation and I know it will help so much. He's already had six ear infections since January. Poor thing.

Then on the 19th we have a wedding to attend for a sweet couple at church.

Anyway, it looks like it's going to be a full calendar. I bet it's all going to fly by as time seems to do these days. I will try and get pictures for each event and share them with you all :o)

Monday, May 12, 2008

First Little Shiner

In my world I have come to realize that boys play hard and that means they're gonna have bumps and bruises along the way! Well, Jake got his first little shiner a couple of weeks ago. I thought I would share a couple of pictures with all of you...

Can you see it there below his left eye?


I guess maybe it's a little hard to tell in the pictures...
As you can see he also loves sticking his tongue out every time I take his picture. It's something he's just started in the last couple of weeks. He also does it when he's acting shy or a bit nervous about his surroundings. So silly!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I just have to start out by saying how thankful I am to have my Mom in my life this year more than ever before. It's hard when you find out someone special in your life is sick, especially when they are touched with cancer. My Mom is so special and has not once thrown in the towel or considered giving in when times got tough. During this trial in her life I have seen her grow so much. I am so proud of her! What a wonderful example of Christ living through her. I know she wouldn't be the woman she is today without her faith in the Lord!

I also know she wouldn't be the woman and mother she is today if she didn't have the influence of her Mother. What another great example of a Christian woman. My Grandma has such a kind and gentle spirit. She can find the good in anyone or anything.

I'm am so blessed to be touched by both of these incredible women. I love them and appreciate them more than I could ever say. Life just wouldn't be the same without them!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

That was random...

We hear this saying a lot working with the High School students at church. They say it all the time! Speaking of High School... Jeff and I attended a leaders meeting on Sunday night and were presented with "Leaders of the month!" Darius and Nicole said some awesome things about Jeff and I that made us feel great. Then he presented us with the award and a gift card to Chili's. It's so awesome to work with those students each week in our home and at church. They are such a blessing in our lives and we thank the Lord for giving us this opportunity!

The other night I had to laugh as I overheard Jeff walk into the boy's room and say "Just FYI guys, tomorrow we're going to do such and such." The boys said "What's an FYI?" Later I asked him if maybe he had been spending too much time at work :o)

Today my Mom is working on something really cool that I will eventually be able to talk about. Until then, I'm praying that she has the courage to get through it! I love you Mom!!

My friend Julie's dog died last week and I'm so glad I was able to go with her to the vet. I can't imagine if she had to do it alone. Poor thing was so upset and I think the last three weeks or so had just caught up with her. Love you Julie and I'm sorry you had to go through that!

My friend Patti is so great! She is always helping out when I need her... watching the kids and helping pick up Josh from school. I was telling my Mom just yesterday that she is actually like a big sister to me sometimes. I never thought I really needed one until she came along. I'm so thankful that God brought us together!!

I miss my sister in law, Tina so much. I've really been struggling lately with her being gone. I'm not sure why it's not getting easier. She's doing what God has called her to do and I'm so proud of her. What an awesome example of following God's will in your life!!

I'm so thankful that my sister is up and walking again. It's been great to see her so encouraged lately. God truly blessed me when He placed her in my life!

So it really was random but I got some things out of my head and off my heart. Thanks for listening!!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Stepping Stones of Life

On Wednesday night my Mom has a women's home team in her home. The women are ranging in ages from 25 to 50. We all come from different backgrounds, races, and marital status. We do however share a special bond, we all have a relationship with Jesus Christ and that unites us!

This past Wednesday night we talked about the stepping stones of life. My Mom had gotten a basket full of small stones and asked us each to write significant milestones in our lives along with the dates. It was such an awesome time of sharing and growing together as a group! I'm so blessed to have each of these women in my life!

I wanted to share with you some of the milestones, good or bad, that have helped shape me to be the woman I am today...

1981 ~ Born to the best parents ever
1982 ~ Became a big sister
1986 ~ Accepted Christ as my Savior
1987 ~ Baptized on my 6th birthday by my Grandpa
1983 ~ Started Jr. High... very rough time
1997 ~ Got my first job
1998 ~ Attempted rape by my cousin
1999 ~ Graduated High School
2000 ~ Became an aunt for the 1st time
2000 ~ Married Jeff and gained a wonderful sister in law, Tina
2001 ~ Jeff has a seizure while I was 5 months pregnant w/ Josh
2001 ~ Mother in law Peggie finds breast cancer
2001 ~ Auntie again... #2
2001 ~ Josh was born
2001 ~ Got counseling and fought back!
2001 ~ Met my friend Julie
2003 ~ Auntie again... #3
2004 ~ Seth was born
2004 ~ Auntie again... #4
2004 ~ My sister got sick, left home and we didn't contact us for 5 months
2004 ~ MIL, Peggie has emergency brain surgery to remove tumor
2007 ~ My BIL and SIL leave for South East Asia... hard to say goodbye!
2007 ~ Jacob was born
2007 ~ My Mom found breast cancer
2007 ~ Moved positions in my church preschool area
2007 ~ My MIL passed away
2008 ~ Step down from preschool at church and start working with High School


Sorry it turned out to be so long but I wanted to share my heart. Thanks for taking time to read and listen to my story!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

It's Shaping Up... *Updated*

To be a crazy day! Josh woke up and pretty much starting "tossing his cookies" right away. Then as I was trying to get him to the bathroom Jacob crawled through it. I got Josh started in the shower so he could get cleaned up and grabbed Jake for the bathtub. I removed his diaper and set him on my leg not realizing he had pooped in his diaper. So I had to run get wipes for that while still holding him at arms length to keep from getting smeared any more!

And that was all before 8 this morning...

Oh the joys of motherhood, it's a beautiful thing I tell ya!

* * Updated * *

Just keeping everyone informed because I know you all want to know how my day is going :o)
Josh has "tossed his cookies" 7 more times. Jacob had another poopy diaper... of the explosive nature! Seth slipped in Josh's "cookies" that I didn't know about and is now in the tub. I finally got a shower with about 2 minutes of peace and quiet... Hallelujah!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Be sure your dirty dishes will find you out

Last night as we were getting ready for our high school home team to come over I realized my dishwasher was full. It had been run and they were all clean but I didn't have time to unload it. So I remembered my friend Julie once telling me about someone she knew who filled the oven will dirty dishes once for a party. I decided to try it thinking that none of them would ever be the wiser. It was going great until one of them said "why is the baby's bottle in the oven?" Then she opened the oven and saw the rest of the dirty dishes. I admitted right then and there what I had done and we all had a good laugh! Next time I guess I'll have to use the pantry or a cupboard!!

So have you ever hidden dirty dishes as a desperate measure?

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Poop Diaries

Yesterday Jeff said to me "Do you ever feel like life as a parent revolves around poop?" I just laughed. Today that became even more clear as I changed each poopy diaper. Jacob must have had at least three. Then I got to thinking about how many times a day we're dealing with someone having an accident, a poopy diaper or someone being constipated. Wow, who knew?

This evening it became even more clear to me how many times we deal with this subject. Jacob was outside in his jumparoo watching Jeff plant our new tree. All of a sudden Jeff says "What in the world are you jumping around in Jacob?" I came over to take a look, too. That's when we both realized he had had some sort of explosion and it was all over his legs, feets and clothes! We quickly hosed him off and ran him to the bathtub. What a mess!

Anyway, some of you may have quit reading after the title but I couldn't help but share :o)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The 2 Day Yard Sale

Friday and Saturday we had a yard sale to benefit my Mom. She has been fighting breast cancer since October. As far as the doctors can tell she is now cancer free and that is so exciting! However the bills are coming in and she's having copay after copay and that begins to pile up. So my sister and I decided to do something to help... my friend Julie suggested a yard sale. They had such great success with it and thought it would be a great idea. In fact, I have to give a huge thank you to my friends Julie and Jen for the trailer full of leftovers. That really helped! Plus, a thank you to my friends Patti, Brenda, my Aunt Karen and my father in law. You all went above and beyond in helping out this weekend.

We also decided to put out a jar and a sign that said "Help us fight... donations accepted." Then we also gave away free pink ribbons my sister made up. It was so awesome to see people donate everything from change to ten dollar bills. We heard so many stories from customers who lost a loved one to breast cancer. It's amazing how many women are dying from this each year!

Well, the grand total for both days was right at $1000. That is definitely going to help pay off some of her medical bills and help while she's not working!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mother of the year award...

I won't be earning that anytime soon. I totally forgot to pack Josh's lunch this morning! I don't know how something so routine could have been forgotten. We do it each morning without fail. I pack it up and he puts it in his backpack. I felt horrible when he called from school...

"Uh hi Mom, it's Josh." (voice shaking and on the verge of tears)

"Hi bud, what's going on?"

"Mom, could you please just bring me a lunch?"

"You don't have your lunch?"

"We didn't pack it this morning."

"Okay honey, I'll bring it down in just a little while."

"Thanks Mom!"

I felt like I was going to cry as I hung up with him. It was so sad to hear him trying to keep it together. I'm glad I was at home and could run it down there quickly! He looked so relieved as I entered the classroom with it.

Guess I'll have to try for that award again next year, huh?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sick kids... never fun!

Poor Jacob has been fighting off ear infections for a couple weeks now. I took him him about two and a half weeks ago because I knew his little ears were hurting pretty bad. The doc said it was his fifth ear infection since January and that's not a good sign. The the following week when he was 9 days in on that antibiotic, I had to take him back. At that point the doc said it had only gotten worse and was now a double infection. So we started the second round of antibiotics. On the fifth and final day of that particular medication I realized he was running a fever. Ugh... back to the doctors to have them say it was still getting worse! I had to hold him down while two nurses gave him antibiotic shots. It is horrible to watch but I knew it was the best thing. Today we go back in to see if it's any better. My thought is that he still has the infection because he's not happy at all. I just feel so bad for him. We will be seeing the ENT later this month to set up his tube surgery. Please pray for the little guy... and his mama!

Last night Seth went to bed with a fever. I prayed it would be a small thing and that he would wake up feeling great this morning. Nope, he still has a fever and it's getting higher. Hopefully they will be willing to take a look at him today, too! I'm guessing he's got an ear infection also.

Poor guys, I just want to make it better for them!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Angels are Rejoicing and so am I...

Yesterday was a big day for Josh... He asked Jesus to live in his heart! It was a great time as we drove to school. I had led him in the prayer once before when he was about 41/2 but he was questioning it. I made sure he knew it was important and something you have to know in your heart is true. We talked about all that it meant and he answered each question with confidence. I know this time he truly understood and got it.

Before he got out of the car I told him the Bible said the angels are rejoicing and having a party for him. He got so excited and said "how long with the party be?" It was such a special moment for us. I will never forget that day!

Thank you Lord for giving me this child and for the special moments we share!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tagged...

I was tagged by my friend at Jen. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their name, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What I was doing 10 years ago:

Ten years ago would be April of 1998. I was a junior in high school. I was working part time, taking a couple college classes and doing my homeschooling. Jeff and I were promised so I was looking forward to the day we would get engaged and eventually married.

Five Snacks I enjoy:
1) Ice Cream
2) Oatmeal & Cranberry Cookies
3) Dark Chocolate
4) Chips and Salsa
5) Crackers

What I would do if I were a billionaire:
1) Pay off our medical bills and save up a bunch
2) Get my hubby a new car with AC
3) Give more to our church
4) Go visit my BIL and SIL in South East Asia
5) Take my whole family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents - everyone) on a vacation

Five jobs that I have had:
1) Front end supervisor and Bookkeeper at Staples
2) Preschool teacher at Wee Learners
3) Working part time for our church
4) Ran my own in home daycare for 5 years
5) Selling Avon and Premier Designs Jewelry


Three of my habits
1) I put tons of ice in my drinks
2) I have a hard time saying no
3) I'm sure my husband could think of more than I can :o)

Five place I have lived:
1) I have always lived here in AZ!
2)
3)
4)
5)

Five People I Want to Get to Know Better: (a nice way of saying TAG!)

My Sister
My Mom
Julie
Jodi
Kelley

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Prayer for my Mom

My Beautiful Mom...


Please be in prayer for my Mom this week. She has been in the hospital since Monday afternoon. They aren't sure exactly what is going on in her body right now. It started with a fever and they are pretty sure there's an infection somewhere. Today they did tests to check her colon and stomach... nothing fun! We're waiting on the results of those. Pray that it's nothing serious. Also pray that she won't catch anything else while she's at the hospital. Her immune system is already compromised due to the Chemo treatments. We just want to see her healthy again soon!!

Monday, April 07, 2008

An apple a day... keeps the dentist away?

Josh lost his first top tooth last week. He was very excited! He tried and tried to pull it out but just couldn't seem to do it. My Mom told him to try an apple. He doesn't like apples so he wasn't sure about it. She said he could just spit the apple out after he bit into it. So by about the second bite it fell out. He was so thrilled and Seth was happy to eat the rest of his apple!

The tooth fairy gave him $2 dollars and left fairy dust on his pillow!







Friday, April 04, 2008

I'm exhausted

My friends Julie and Jen are both adopting from Ethiopia very soon. I can't wait and my heart is so overwhelmed for them. It's like having a friend that's pregnant and you're just waiting for each new step of the process... I don't understand it all but I'm trying to be as supportive as possible. It's been so neat to watch God bless both of these families!

Well, last weekend and this weekend they are doing yard sales to help raise money for their adoption fees. I think it's an awesome idea! Today I headed out to Julie's house for a few hours. I sold a few items and helped reorganize things. Then I actually started talking with a woman from Kenya who was looking for a new church to visit. I quickly took the opportunity to invite her to ours. I sure hope she comes!

They have so much stuff still. Tearing it all down was hard work. I'm glad I stayed though because I got an amazing workout!

Girls, I hope you know how much I love you and how excited I am for your families. You are amazing women and your faith is BIG! I know God is going to continue to bless you both!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I'm a colon

Found this over at Shalee's Diner. Read it and see if it sounds like me...




You Are a Colon



You are very orderly and fact driven.

You aren't concerned much with theories or dreams... only what's true or untrue.



You are brilliant and incredibly learned. Anything you know is well researched.

You like to make lists and sort through things step by step. You aren't subject to whim or emotions.



Your friends see you as a constant source of knowledge and advice.

(But they are a little sick of you being right all of the time!)



You excel in: Leadership positions



You get along best with: The Semi-Colon



Jeff was an exclamation point!

C'mon people... take the test already and tell me what you are...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

He strikes again...

A few weeks ago I came home from Bible Study and Jeff said " You should look at the camera." Here's what I saw...


Seth decided to play in the chocolate syrup

Then Jacob got involved by swimming around in it

Daddy stuck in him in the tub with all his clothes on and started the bath!

What an awesome husband! He got both boys cleaned up and tossed the clothes right in the washer. You can't even tell they were dirty now. He also scrubbed the rug and it looks great. Plus on top of all that, he took pictures so we can always remember what happened!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

8 Years ago...

It was a Saturday morning 8 years ago that I woke up with butterflies. I knew it was going to be one of the biggest days of my life! I had so many emotions running through me. My sister and I walked a couple doors down to the church to help start setting up. Then we ran to get our hair done. I still hadn't decided whether I wanted to wear my hair up or down so I left it up to my stylist. She did a half up, half down look. It turned out wonderful and I felt like a princess.

We met up with the rest of the girls a couple hours later back at the church. My Mom was busy getting all the decorations set up and in place. She had made them herself which saved lots of money and put a personal touch on them. I was just in Heaven and felt like I was floating on clouds that whole morning. The girls and I ate some lunch but I was so nervous I couldn't get much down.

A little while later we started the process of getting dressed. My dress was so beautiful but so heavy and the train was really long! I needed lots of help getting it on. My Mom did some last minute touch ups on my hair and make up. My Dad came in and checked on me. We took lots of pictures. My Grandparents, cousins, Aunts and Uncles all came in to say hi. I was actually the second cousin to get married on that side of the family and the first on the other. It was a big deal for everyone!

The girls and I went to the back of the church and got ready to head down the isle. I was so nervous by this point. They all decided they needed to kiss me, I don't know if it was more for my benefit or theirs. It was a special moment though and I'll always remember it. They all took their turns heading down the isle and then it was my turn. I was actually supposed to be hidden from everyone but attendance ended up being so big that day there were people sitting in the foyer and along the outside isles. So there were lots of people who got to see me before they were really supposed to.

Right before the doors opened my Dad and I decided to just walk slow and not staggered like we had practiced. Just too much thinking involved! So the doors opened and we headed down the isle. At one point I tripped and my Dad caught me from falling. I don't think everyone knew but I sure was embarrassed. I remember when Jeff and I finally saw each other it was amazing. He was so surprised and happy. You could see it all over his face. I was pretty happy, too! It was exciting to have my Grandpa and Uncle preform the ceremony together. I couldn't make up my mind about which one should do it so I decided to use both. It turned out perfect!

I can't really tell you much about the reception because that was all a blur. I remember cutting the cake, throwing the bouquet and saying hi to a whole lot of people. It was kind of overwhelming at the time. Eventually we headed out to the parking lot where Jeff surprised me with a limo. As we walked out everyone was blowing bubbles. It was my first and only time to ride in a limo and it was a blast! I popped out of the top and waved goodbye to everyone as we drove away!

The next morning we had breakfast with family and headed for California. We stayed in La Hola in a beautiful hotel. During the next few days was lots of laughing and a few tears. Jeff wasn't sure what he had gotten himself into but he hung in there and took care of me. It was a wonderful time to just hang out and spend time together.

I like what my Mom asked me on Sunday... "So 8 years and three kids later, how does it feel?" It feels great. I'm still very much in love. In fact, I'm more in love now than ever before! I can't believe how blessed we are. The Lord has always taken care of us and I know He will continue to provide for our family. I can't imagine what it would be like if He wasn't at the center of it all. That makes all the difference!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dear Drunk and Confused

Dear Drunk and Confused,

I want to take a minute and let you know I'm praying for you. This morning when I saw you laying on the sidewalk with your son standing next to you I felt horrible! I first thought you must have been out for a walk and slipped and fell. When I stopped to see if you needed help it became clear that there was more to the story. Your shirt was completely twisted to the point it was coming off. Plus, the bottle of beer laying next to you was a big clue. Then you started yelling at your son and I knew something wasn't right. As he tried to talk to me you just became more angry. At that point I felt it was better if I got back in my car.

I'm sorry I had to call the police but I didn't what else to do. It was so obvious that you and your son were in danger. Especially when you stumbled out into the busy street in front of several cars and left him on the curb. He stood there waiting and watching to make sure you were safe. He seemed so grown up for only being about 4 or 5. It's obvious he's seen you this way before and that breaks my heart!

Tonight I'm praying for both of you. I'm praying that you are getting cleaned up. I'm praying that your son is in the care of someone special and he's being able to just be a kid. I'm praying that whatever is going on in your life, this might be your wake up call. I'm praying that you might reach out to someone and find the help and love you need! I'm praying that both of you are safe!

Stacey

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What a blessing!

Some time ago I was driving down the road and felt like God was speaking to me about High School girls for some reason. I thought to myself "Yeah God, I think I could definitely work with those girls. It would be good for them and me!" Jeff was working with Jr. High at our church at the time but I was involved in preschool and didn't really get too involved with the youth. So the thought just kind of came and went. The very next week Darius pulled Jeff aside at church and asked if he would be willing to move to the High School service and start a home team (or Elevator) for them in our home. I love the way God prepares our hearts for what's to come!

So we started a High School Elevator in our home on Tuesday nights. Let me tell you... they are incredible and blow me away each week. They are so smart and so in tune with life around them. They are watching more than we realize! I wasn't sure what to expect at first but they are awesome! Each week they show up and share what God's doing in their lives and hearts. We usually hang out for a little while, play a game, dive into the lesson and then share prayer time together. It's is so fun to watch them share and see them grow. I would have never expected some of these kids to hang out together but they have all just connected and bonded!

About a month or so ago Darius pulled us aside again and asked if we would be willing to serve this summer during the GO missions trip at our church. Jeff and I thought about it and prayed to see what God would want. We both felt a very strong YES and signed up to help. We're very excited about it and can't wait to see how God is going to use us. What an amazing opportunity to serve alongside these kids as they teach VBS for some kids who may never hear about Jesus otherwise. We are both so excited and we're trying to get geared up for the trip. The ten week training will start in just a couple weeks. We will be praying, training and equipping these kids to serve God in the community. I can't wait to update you and share what God is doing in all of our lives!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's been a long time...

... since I've been this sick! Whatever I've got has really knocked me out! I'm talking fevers that just keep coming and won't back down. Plus, lots of other real yucky junk going on!

I couldn't get in at my regular doctor's office yesterday so they sent me to urgent care. I found one on my insurance plan and headed over there. They checked me for strep throat and any of you that have had that test know it's not fun. After that came back negative they tested me for the flu. Did you know they have a test for flu these days? I didn't... it wasn't fun either. They pretty much stick a swab up your nose and roll it around... it feels like it touches your throat! I wouldn't recommend it! Well, that came back negative which shocked the doc because he thought for sure I had the flu. Anyway, he sent me home without any real diagnosis but some antibiotics. I started those yesterday and already had my second dose today so hopefully I'll be up and ready for the big Easter Carnival happening at church tomorrow!

I have to say a big thank you to my sister for watching the two younger boys yesterday so I could take the trip to the doc and then enjoy a much needed nap! Also to my good friend Patti for picking up Josh after school and keeping him for four hours. You both are so good to me!!

Friday, March 07, 2008

27th Birthday

Wednesday was my 27th birthday and I wanted to post something but I ran out of time. Oh well, I'll post something now. How about 27 things about me that you might not know...

1. As a little girl I took baton classes and was in a couple of little shows

2. I met my husband 22 years ago

3. I sell Avon

4. I used to sell Premier Designs Jewelry

5. I can touch my tongue to my nose

6. I once bounced a friend off a teeter totter at summer camp... she broke her collarbone!

7. I can say the Pledge Of Allegiance in Spanish

8. In 3rd and 6th grade I got straight A's

9. I love shopping

10. I cried on my Honeymoom because I missed my family

11. I fell in love with and actually wore the very first wedding dress I tried on

12. I love Mexican food and could eat it every day

13. I love scrapbooking but don't leave much time for it

14. I love to read

15. I always wanted to have two daughters

16. I grew up knowing all of my grandparents and they are actually all still alive

17. I prefer iced tea over hot tea

18. I've had five surgeries where I was put under... that's a strange feeling!

19. I can remember things (in detail) starting from about age 4

20. I would love to write a children's book someday

21. Tulips are my favorite flower

22. I drive a red mini van

23. Red and purple are my favorite colors

24. I collect Willow Tree figurines... thanks to Julie for getting me started

25. I someday hope to visit my Sister in Law in South East Asia

26. Our family moved for the first time when I was 16 years old

27. Since I've been married I've moved 4 times

Did you learn anything you didn't already know??

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Tips for celebrating family birthdays...

Register each person in your family with Cold Stone Creamery and get a special coupon for a free Love it size ice cream to be used the week of your birthday!

Join Fazoli's E-family Club and get special coupons for a free dessert

Join The Melting Pot's Club Fondue and get coupons for a free chocolate fondue

Join Red Robin's E-club and get a free hamburger on your big day!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Not again...

Remember my last post where I talked about loosing my mind when I left my purse at McDonald's? Well, I've proven once again that I don't have any brain cells left!

Yesterday Seth woke up with pink eye in both eyes! I called right away to make him an appointment and they said come in at 4:15. We got there and Seth decided to come through the front of the van to get out. So he hops up in my seat, hops out, locks the door and shuts it all before I could blink. Oh believe me people, he really is that fast! Thank the Lord I had the sliding door open still. Well, in all the commotion I set the keys down as I was getting Jake out and forgot to pick them up.

It turns out he has double pink eye or conjunctivitis whatever you want to call it and a double ear infection! Poor little guy, I felt horrible that I didn't even know his ears were hurting! We loaded up on prescriptions for antibiotics, eye drops and ear drops and headed out the door. It was then I realized I didn't have my keys. I walked out to the van to confirm it and found them laying right next to Jacob's seat. So Jeff came about 45 minutes later and bailed me out! I'm so glad to have a wonderful husband who takes care of me and doesn't make me feel even more stupid when I do these things!

Anyway, I need to say thanks to Patti for picking up Josh from school and watching him while this whole circus took place. She also fed him dinner with her family since I didn't get there until after 6:00! It's awesome to have such great friends around.

Plus, Grandma came and brought us each a drink and a snack to help us pass the time as we waited for Daddy... how great is she?