Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Jon?

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After we bought our pumpkin we came home and carved a silly face. Daddy has gotten really good at his carving skills over the years! The kids enjoyed taking all the "goop" out, even Rylee got in on the action. She however kept trying to eat it. And then when we were all done Rylee grabbed a handful of goop from the bowl and started putting it back into the pumpkin.








When Chris was done with the face we put a candle in and turned off all the lights. In the middle of admiring the pumpkin, Trevor said let's sing Happy Birthday and started singing. We humored him and when the song was done he put his face in and blew the candle out. Later the kids named him Jon :-)

Pumpkin Patch

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Here's some pictures we took at the pumpkin patch last night.





Monday, October 29, 2007

Sewing Project

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Ruth and I finshed my sewing project last night. We stayed away from the sewing machine this time and she taught me the back stitch. Which surprisingly I caught on quickly and was able to contribute quite a bit to finishing it off. I loved hand sewing... I felt so feminine :-) Going to bed last night I kept dreaming of stiching front, back, front, back. The finished project looks great and I can't wait to show it off weds. night! The only problem is the subject HATES her hat. I tried it on her this morning and she cried like it was just absolutely killing her to wear it... so we'll have to see about that!





I'm already dreaming of my next project... I'm thinking possibly a personalized purse for Taylor.

Thanks so much Ruth for all your help and patience in teaching me!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sisterly Fun

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The other day I gave Taylor the opportunity to feed Rylee. I set her up and went to mop the living room and kitchen. Taylor did a great job, I could hear her talking to Rylee lovingly and her encouraging Rylee when she'd take a bite. Well after a few minutes I hear Rylee burst out laughing and Taylor joining in. I come out to see what's happening and here's what I found.



Very cute and messy :-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What's His Name...

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I had a moment with Taylor tonight that was priceless... She was taking a shower and I was getting ready in the bathroom next to her for Life 101. She opens the door and out of nowhere says:
"How did you know his name was Chris?"
I reply with a confused, "What?"
She says, "How did you know daddy's name was Chris?"
Still not quite sure where she's going with this I say, "Uh, I asked him..."
She exclaims, "Oh (like a lightbulb has just gone off) I see so before I get married I'll ask him his name and that's how I'll know."

It sort of doesn't work quite like that Taylor... but hey she's got plenty of time :-)

Birthday, Costume's and more

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Last night we went out with a group of friends to celebrate Jason's b-day. Sitting there last night I could not remember the last time we had got a babysitter to go out to dinner with friends! We have consistent date nights, and lots of ministry mtgs. but last night was a rarity. We had a lot of fun and it made me so thankful for the friends God has given us. Jason is sitting in the back right in blue.

Also this weekend I sewed for the first time in 15 years! My friend Ruth has been so kind as to help and re-teach me how to sew. Our project- a costume for Rylee. I'll save the details for when it's all finished. But here's a sneak peak. Let's just say as cute as the fabric looks it makes a mess! We were literally covered in fuzz Sunday night while sewing! I'm hoping it will stop shedding once it's all done.





I've been battling a cold for the past week and I think it's a sinus infection now. My clue was this morning as I ate breakfast I could feel my sinuses sink in for a few moments with every bite. Ouch. So after a week of trying to fight it "naturally", I'm off to to the doctor in hopes to resume normal life here soon!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Meet My Friend Tiffany...

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My friend Tiffany has decided to join the "blog" world. Tiff is a great friend and we go back a long way!! Actually her husband was in my youth group when I was a freshman. They are now at Sovereign Grace with us, lead a care group and are our neighbors. Still owe you that stick of butter...
She has two of the cutest girls, perhaps one being the chubbiest I've ever seen, sorry Tiffany I just had to say it. And the other one Trevor is in love with... could an arranged marriage be in their future? Possibly :-) Say hello at:

Mommy Moments

Yummy Sloppy Joes

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I made a new recipe from Cooking Light last week that turned out to be absolutely delicious! Originally I made it with the kids in mind but it turned out to be a favorite for Chris and I as well. So if you are looking for just some good all american kind of food, add this to your must try!

Sloppy Joes

Ingredients
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 pound ground round
2 cups no-salt-added tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
12 (1 1/2-ounce) rolls, split

Preparation
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add first 3 ingredients; cook until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in tomato sauce and next 8 ingredients (tomato sauce through black pepper); reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon 1/4 cup beef mixture over bottom half of each bun. Cover with top halves.
Yield
12 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 202(27% from fat); FAT 6.2g (sat 2g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 10.2g; CHOLESTEROL 19mg; CALCIUM 68mg; SODIUM 392mg; FIBER 2.5g; IRON 2.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27g

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Life 101 Begins

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Last night, perhaps one of my favorites ministries our church offeres, began. Life 101. Everyone is welcome. Really everyone, it doesn't matter if you've never been to church before, if you curse, smoke, this is the place for you. We start off with some good food where people literally force food into you until you can no longer take it. I must've been asked five times last night "need more mash potatoes?" as soon as I finished with my helping. At some point at was like, "no, please, you have got to cut me off!!" After dinner is a short teaching and discussion with your group. At Chris and I's table last night were some of my neighbors, which was awesome, my dad and Antonio Banderas. Ok so not really, but I swear he is his twin. He's got the hair and accent, might as well have had the mask of zorro too! He's in his late twenties, been in the states four years, has opened up three greek restaurants and until last night had never read a bible before. Afterwards Rich showed him a greek bible and had him translate part of Hebrews for him. As he tried to translate a verse he commented, "Ah yes this is hard to translate to English." Rich gave him the greek New Testament and a bible to take home with him and prayerfully he'll be back next week! So although I could feel the "life 101" hangover this morning in myself and in the kids as they go to bed late and wake up early for school, I wouldn't trade any of it for the chance to be apart of this ministry and to see God work in amazing ways!
Pray for this class over the next five weeks!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Looking Back pt. 2

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Ok so maybe I do look the same....

Continuing on in my look back at High School years, here's a few things that I've learned over the ten years I've been out. Things I wish I knew then!

1. It's not all about him. Guys, that is. I really should have gone to an all girls school. Let's just say I was boy crazy. As I know every high school girl can be. As a jr/sr I would wonder who I would marry? Would I get married? What if I never get married? And the saddest part is I thought I knew who I was going to marry! And no, it was not Chris. Looking back at my high school journal it was all about boys, ok so really just one or two in particular. Oh how I wish I would've spent my time differently. I was not in a place to get married, neither were the boys. High school girls out there, invest in your girl friends & your parents! You'll be thankful you did!

2. Applied myself more academically. There was one subject I always got A's in. Extra curricular activity. I was vice president of my class, sang in the choir, played fast pitched softball competitively, swam for awhile and attended each and every youth event offered by my church. Not much time left for academics eh? Now I survived, and always did well with my grades but I'm not sure I learned much of anything. It wasn't until I moved to Maryland did I realize how little I knew about American History! I know it's never to late. I'm enjoying books on politics, biography's, education etc in my later years. Looking back I really do believe that I was not the type of learner, still am not, that was served by sitting at a desk all day doing workbooks.

3. Spent more time learning how to cook, sew, manage a home. Those things weren't exactly "popular" in high school and maybe that's why I never learned some of the needed skills for marriage. Of course will all of the above listed activities and trying to maintain a 3.5 gpa, how could I have had time?! It wasn't until I got married and began having children did I realize I had a lot left to learn. High School, nor college, prepared me for "real life".

4. Spent more time with my family. I love my family and thankfully always have. My Mom and I's relationship had it's rocky moments like any typical teenage/parent relationship but at the end of the day I knew they loved me and were always for my good. The youth group I attended didn't do a great job building me into my parents. Quite the opposite I would say. Now not to give off the impression that I'im not thankful for my youth group. I have a lot of great memories and I'm not sure I would've made it through high school without the strong friendships and teaching from church. But how I LOVE the way Sovereign Grace runs their youth group. I remember coming home from attending the Kauflin's youth care group in Maryland. It was during the time Chris was attending Pastor's College. I was so moved seeing all the father's with their sons and all the mother's with their daughters to be taught together. I came home and cried. I called my mom and apologized for all the many ways I pushed her away during my high school years. So all that to say I wish I would've not only spent more time with my family but also look to my Dad and Mom, so much more than I did, for advice and guidance.

5. Evangelize boldly. I did not become reformed until after high school. Believing and growing in this doctrine has given me so much more boldness when it comes to evangelism. Why? Well because it's all about God and who he chooses to save. It's not about how I present it, how perfectly I live out the Gospel or coming up with a slick and clever way to get someone to church. I often lived with the underlying fear when talking to people in high school that I was going to mess things up. Because ultimately it was up to their choosing whether they would get saved or not. But no, It's God's church and His people he is about saving. Now I can freely share the gospel and trust God with the results!

So thankfully God has been at work in my life since high school. If he wasn't I would have nothing to look back on. I also am aware of God's sovereignty in my high school years. Even though yes, I would indeed do things differently today, He still took every aspect of my life and worked it together for my good! Good that I am so undeserving of. I learned so much through broken relationships, extra curricular activities, even how I was "schooled" is making me take a hard look at how I want my children to be taught! The Lord is so faithful!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Gardening Fun

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Well our week without Chris is about to come to an end! There has been so much grace for this trip! We have done more this week than probably the entire month. Taylor was on fall break so it made it easier to go places. I took them to the library for story time. The theme was spiders, yuck, but they loved it and afterwards the kids made a spider craft. I took them to the mall play area with my parents, Disney store, and then spent the night at my parents. The next morning the kids helped my dad pick out flowers at a local nursery and when they were done they chased some rooster's. Wrong day to forget my camera! I had the chance to catch up with two old time friends, have dinner with the Pastor's wives, and all the kids roasted marshmallow's! Yesterday Taylor & Trevor helped my dad plant the flowers they picked out in my parents garden. It was a beautiful morning! So yes, we kept very busy while daddy was gone. We are eager to welcome him home tonight!

I got some great pictures while the kids were gardening with papa. I had a hard time picking out just two or three for the blog so I put ten or so on a sideshow. It's hard to say who enjoyed it more but I think Trevor was the most intense and focused of the two... maybe he'll inherit papa's green thumb. Someone in this family has got to!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sometimes You just need God's Help

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God's big book of virtues help....




Doesn't need to much commentary. Here are the facts.

1. Nightime and I'm coming home with the kids, no Chris
2. I step out of my van to see a faint shadow of a scorpion in front of me
3. I put the kids to bed can't stop thinking of the monster out front and how postitive I am it will make it's way inside
4. I get tough, grab a book and a black light and BAM I've killed my first scorpion!

I didn't realize how gross it was until I went outside this morning and saw it in the light! Ugh it's huge! Chris will have a nice welcome home present when he returns tomorrow :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Battling Impatience

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Chris brought home the book Battling Unbelief last week by John Piper. And like most books he brings home to read, I stole it from his nightstand. I'll be honest, I have skipped through a few chapters but what I've read so far has been absolutely outstanding. The chapter I skipped to is, Battling Impatience. Something I feel I attempt to battle daily. He begins with this:

" Impatience is a form of unbelief. It's what we begin to feel when we start to doubt the wisdom of God's timing or the goodness of God's guidance. It springs up in our hearts when our plan is interrupted or shattered. It may be prompted by a long wait in a checkout line or a sudden blow that knocks out half our dreams. The opposite of impatience is not a glib denial of loss. It's a deepening, ripening, peaceful willingness to wait for God in the unplanned place of obedience and to walk with God at the unplanned pace of obedience- to wait in his place and go at his pace."

So I'm more in the "long wait in a checkout line" category. I seriously was in a long wait at a store the night prior to reading this. I was so struggling with this guy who could not make a decision as to what to get. Only to watch him buy something, return it right there and buy something else instead. Yeah I was not exhibiting a "peaceful" disposition as I tapped my toes frantically behind him! I don't have time for this, I thought.

It's the daily in and out's that seem to "mess up" my nice schedule. No where is coloring on my table with a permanent marker in my schedule. Nor wetting the bed, so now I have to wash sheets for the third time this week. I also don't schedule in sibling fights during room time or again more accidents, while doing my devotions. I lose patience when things just don't go as planned. How I want to have a peaceful willingness to wait for God in the unplanned place and pace of life.

A few pages later Piper says:
" Patience is the evidence of an inner strength. Impatient people are weak, and therefore dependent on external supports- like schedules that go just right and circumstances that support their fragile hearts. (ouch)Their outbursts of oaths and threats and harsh criticism of culprits who crossed their plans do not sound weak. But that noise is all a camouflage of weakness. Patience demands tremendous inner strength."

If you struggle at all like me with impatience and unbelief, I highly recommend this book to you. The key, piper says, is to take hold of the promises of future grace and use them to conquer the unbelief of impatience!


"Infinite wisdom has arranged the whole with infinite love; and infinite power enables me- to rest upon that love. I am in a dear Father's hands- all is secure. When I look to Him, I see nothing but faithfulness- and immutability- and truth; and I have the sweetest peace- I cannot have more peace."
Charles Simeon

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ten years ago...

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Saturday night Chris & I went to my ten year high school reunion. When Chris and I first received the invitation there was quite a bit of discussion as to whether we'd go or not. At one point we settled on no as the answer. I mean after all there were close to 900 people in my graduating class! Would those I knew back then even be there? Well after doing some investigation I found out that yes indeed some of the people I'd love to reconnect would be in attendance. I shared my heart with Chris as to why I'd really like to go and God provided the funds by an unexpected check in the mail. I spent driving to the reunion as I spent most mornings driving into high school. Praying. Praying that I would be an encouragement to those I came into contact with and a light for the Lord. The only difference is this time I had my husband by my side. We had a great time and actually it seemed like I knew and thankfully remembered most everyone there. God's grace at work, being that due to my mommy brain I can barely remember people from a year ago, let alone ten. One girl that I've known since the third grade and lost contact with, is coming over for dinner tomorrow night!

There are so many memories that come to mind as I think about my school years! A lot of great memories actually. I spent some time these past few weeks reading my old journals. One night I pulled out my old Jr. high school journal, something that should be burned and buried forever, and was humbled. I was not a drug addict, I did not sleep with guys but my world was all about me. I was selfish, proud and at least as it seems from my journal, not walking with the Lord. The end of my freshman year God opened my eyes to my need for a Him and my life changed. However changed I became there are still things that I wish I'd done differently back then. Tomorrow I'll post a list of some of those things...

Yes that's my Sr. picture up above. That's the image I had in my mind when a number of people commented on how I haven't changed one bit. Someone would say you look the same and I'd think oh please let it not be so :-)

Friday, October 05, 2007

My Replacement

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My daughter stole my song.... ok we she didn't exactly steal it, I gave it to her a week ago and we've been practicing non-stop! But really who would've thought I'd be replaced so young :-) Last night we laid down some vocal tracks on some of the songs Chris and I wrote for the upcoming Treasure the Word 2 CD. A scripture based CD put to music for our children's ministry and church. This year all of the scriptures came from the book of Ephesians. It was a lot of fun! I was so proud of Taylor. She hung in there and did really great... for being five. There are some definite authentic five year old things in there :-) The CD will end with her singing this lullaby like song.









Here's a small clip of her practicing when we first got there...



I have to say a special thanks to Dale & Megan. Dale is a gifted singer, musician and is mixing and recording the entire cd at his home studio. On top of all of that they are about to have their first child in 2 WEEKS! They have given countless hours and will continue with those hours over the next few months of mixing. Thank you both for your hospitality last night and the way you have sacrificially served our church! And boy do I have a new founded respect for how far you drive to attend our church! You would never know based on your commitment!

Look for the CD you Sovereign Grace Gilbert Church folks in the beginning of December!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sunset Date Night

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Last night my husband surprised me with a memorable, romantic date night. He had our babysitter come a little early and drove us to Saguaro Lake to catch the sunset. As with anything we do it seems, it was an adventure! We unknowingly passed our turn that would take us to the lake so with both started to wonder if we would actually make it before the sun set. I was thankful for the detour though. It gave us a chance to see these gorgeous mountains reflecting the very bright sun.



After sometime, a quick call for help to a friend, we turned around and found the entrance that took us down to the lake. We set up some chairs, ate dinner and watch the most amazing sunset! I love Arizona sunsets!





It was very romantic. That is until the largest skunk I've ever seen decided to join us. No joke! Talk about putting a stink on your date night! He had no interest in leaving, actually just the opposite. I decided getting a picture of the skunk was not worth the risk of getting skunked and smelling for days to come! So we quickly packed up and began talking about what to do next. We weren't far from Fountain Hills so we drove there and camped out under the stars and watched the fountain go off and on for awhile. Fountain Hills, for those of you who may not know, it is the worlds largest fountain. The fountain gets up to 562 feet, 10 feet higher than the Washington Monument!

It was a beautiful night. Lots of conversation, resting, enjoying God's beauty and silence (something that's rarity for us!) We have struggled to find time to talk in the midst of two very talkative children and one that fights going to bed till 9:30. It has been a trying season as I too love to talk, especially with my husband :-)

Thank you Love for such a wonderful night!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Daily Choice

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"Fearless femininity is tested in the moments of life. In our day-to-day living, we want to be women who match the moment with fearless femininity. This involves a daily choice to trust God completely. This mean that whether we are mopping up apple juice and glass shards, repairing a damaged relationship, or struggling to comprehend those devastating test results in our doctor's office, God calls us to respond with strength and dignity and a settled expectancy about the days ahead."
Fearless Femininity pg 200


I have a daily choice to trust God completely. It's sounds easy but off I go into my days with my plans and schedule. Then suddenly and almost daily, interruptions come. Of course it's my choice to think of them as interruptions. I should rather think of them as God's ordained plan for me for that moment. I love the picture she gives of a woman, clothed with strength and dignity and a settled expectancy about the all that lies ahead. In the beautiful high calling of biblical womanhood there is no place for a frazzled, hurried, angry or frightened woman. Just a settledness that God knows, He cares and that He has ordained all her days. Oh how I can grow in trusting God for my day to day moments!