Thursday, January 7, 2016

Family

I love our families!  I have always loved being with family.  As my aunt always reminds me, I was the small child who would cry and cry when it was time to leave my granny's house...EVERY TIME!  I am pretty much the same way today.  When I am with family, my heart is full.  When I have to leave family, my heart is sad!  This is why our moving across the country from Texas to California has been such a big deal.

We have tried to go back to Texas two times each year.  So far, this plan is working, but I already have anxiety about when this is not going to be the case due to THINGS and STUFF as our kids get older.  Ya know?!  (Okay, enough about that because it makes me want to start crying right now, and I need to  start school with my kids, not be a blubbering mess!)  Anyway, we just got back from our visit to Texas.  It was great!  We got to spend time with both of our families, and even though we didn't get to see everyone, I was definitely reminded how very blessed we are!  I mean, both Micah and I have amazing families.  Families that love us and care for us in ways we could never repay!  I often feel very guilty for leaving Texas and moving to California.  I feel like I abandoned the people that love us most. Then I pray, and remember that God moved us here.  He had a plan from the beginning, and even though it is TERRIBLY TOUGH to be away from family, we know that we are in a place where we can serve Christ by serving others, and that he prepared us for this.

     
















With that being said, God is amazing in how he provides "camp family" for us too!  I love our Palomar "camp family" and truly feel like family with each of our staff here.  Ya'll, I couldn't live on a mountain 1 hour away from the grocery store and all of civilization if it weren't for this "camp family!"  We eat meals together, celebrate together, worship together, cry together...just do life!  It's good, and I am so very grateful each day for all of these that live and work here with us!

So, family...whether it's biological or not, it's important!  I am so thankful for a God who loves me and knows me better than I know myself.  A God that provides for needs that I sometimes don't even realize I have.  Thankful that God has given me so many to call "my family"!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Back to life, back to reality!

Back to life, back to reality...those are actually the only words I know to that song, but they will now be on repeat in my head for the remainder of the day!  (Sorry if they are now in your head too!)

Monday morning after Christmas break, ugh!  Who wants to get up and get back to life?!  I prefer to sleep in a few more hours and stay in my pj's all day, and watch more t.v., and eat more carbs, then fall into a coma...BUT, that cannot be!

We were up and out of the house this morning, without any notable whining!  That makes for a great day!  The kids are now at school for the day, and I have been sitting in our church's cafe for the past 2 hours planning for this week and catching up on all things!  It's now lunch time, and it is smelling really good in here.  I think that I should definitely order something healthy, since Micah and I are back on the  "healthy eating" plan today, but I don't WANT to.  I really just want that "Mama's Grilled Cheese" sandwich that has about 10 different cheeses and sourdough bread!  Yum!  I will get something healthy though.  I will.  I will, I really will!

Anyway, I hope that anyone who reads this silly thing had an awesome Christmas and a Happy New Year!  We certainly had a great break with family!  (I'll blog more about that soon.)  Here's to a Happy Monday back in reality!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

On My Mind...

Just some things that are on my mind today:

1.  Horrific Violence -
Today 14 people were killed in San Bernadino, CA.  Innocent people that couldn't help themselves, by gunmen that had no care in the world for life.  Violence has been around always.  I study world history with my kids each day, and believe me, violence has always been around.  I hate it!  I don't want to sit around and wonder what the next thing will be.  I am glad my hope is in Christ!

2.  Going Home -
We're going home in just a few short weeks!  Can't wait!  Oh how we miss our families and can't wait to spend time with them!  While I am super excited to see family, I always get a little sad because I can never see all of the many people that we know and love when we come home.  Just know, whether I see you or not, you are loved and I am thankful for you.

3.  Raising Kids -
HARD!!!!!!  HARD!!!!! WORK!!!!!!   BEST JOB EVER!!!!!!!!  but...HARD, HARD WORK!!!!!

4.  Giving -
I love to give!  If I could give everyone presents all the time, I would!  It makes me happy, but it's hard too.  We went and bought our gifts for the outreach tree at church last night.  It cost over $50 and we really didn't buy much at all.  Micah and I talked about it a bit.  About how so many families do not have money to buy basic needs.  (We bought hats, gloves, baby wipes, socks and underwear...all basic things that are necessary.)  If it was a struggle for me to buy these things for only two children, can you imagine how families with 4 or 5 feel at this time of year?  Help a family if you can.  People have needs!  Lots of people!

5.  Laughter -
I love to laugh!  Lately, Grace and I have been laughing a lot.  (She's at the stage in life where she is legitimately funny, and it's the best!)  I read one chapter from Jen Hatmaker's For The Love while we were at Barnes and Noble last night.  Grace and I laughed so hard in the store that she fell out of her seat.  We quiet laughed, so as not to be too obnoxious, but it was a funny chapter.  Check out a few things that made me laugh really hard.  (I posted them below.)

6. HGTV's Fixer Upper -
Let's just end on a happy note, shall we?  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Fixer Upper, but I think the reason I love it is because I adore Chip and Joanna Gaines!  I love laughing at/with Chip!  I love how Joanna always laughs when he is silly!  I love how Joanna talks to her kids!  (Yes, I know that this is a TV show, but they just seem so very real and authentic!)  Fixer Upper is my 1 hour each week where I settle in and feel like I have just stepped back into Texas and I LOVE it!!!  (Did I already say that?)  And, to end this rambling blog post, I just thought you might like to know that Chip Gaines retweeted me today!  Yep, pretty much made my day!  LOL!  Yes, I need to get a life.




Here are a few things to make you laugh!





Sunday, November 29, 2015

Connecting The Dots

I follow several blogs, daily.  We are THAT family by Kristen Clark Welch, The Big Mama Blog by Melanie Shankle, Money Saving Mom by Crystal Paine, and the original blog that hooked me on all things "blog"...The Pioneer Woman by Ree Drummond.  I read these everyday.  I enjoy them.  They encourage me, teach me, and make me laugh.  So, when Kristen Clark Welch posted that she needed a launch team for her new book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, I decided to apply.  I totally did not think that I would get chosen for this awesome opportunity, but I DID!  I was chosen!  So stinking exciting!  I totally applied on a whim, but knew that I would seriously enjoy this book if chosen, and let me tell you something...not only will I enjoy this book, I am CERTAIN, I will be changed.  Yep, I read the introduction the day before Thanksgiving, and knew then that this was going to be BIG!  Today, Chapter 1, rocked my boat a bit.  Uh huh, entitlement!  Yes, Kristen makes you think about YOURSELF!  How dare she?!  Haha!  She says this, "Entitlement didn't start with my kids.  It began with me.  I entitled them because I was entitled!"  Wow!  I had to stop on that one!  (More to come about chapter one later this week!)

Here's the super cool thing, though!  Last night at church, one of our pastors was reading from Exodus 3.  You know, the chapter where Moses sees the burning bush that isn't burning up, so he goes close and hears the voice of God?!  He speaks to God there!  Yep, heard that story a few times myself, being that I grew up as a preacher's kid in Southeast Texas.  I know that story!  I could tell you that story over and over, but last night I heard something different!  In Exodus 3:13-14, the bible says:

Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the people of Israel.  Suppose I say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.'  Suppose they ask me 'What is his name?'  Then what should I tell them?"  God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM.  Here is what you must say to the Israelites.  Tell them, 'I AM has sent me to you."

Now friends, I am going to be brutally honest here.  I have read and heard that passage many times, but never really grasped what God was saying when he says, "I AM WHO I AM."  Never really got that.  Kind of read it, and kept going...never stopped and processed!  But last night, I understood!  I AM means HE IS means He's Sufficient!  He is everything when I am nothing!  He IS, when I'm not!  I AM...whatever they need, whatever you need, sufficient for anything and everything always!  One of our pastors, Christopher Hillken, says it way better, take a look:


video


Good stuff!  And here is where I realize that God connects all the dots for us!  My entitlement, just might be connected to my lack of understanding that HE IS, sufficient?!  Yep, this book might just be God's way of teaching me about HIS SUFFICIENCY!  I pray that my heart is ready, Lord!  Let's do this!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Not So Sure

I loved blogging, when I blogged.  I have wanted to start back many times, but I get intimidated.  I just want to have fun with it.  If people want to read it, awesome!  For now, its just a way for me to share my thoughts.  Micah and I were talking the other day, and he said that I should start blogging again.  I told him that I really didn't know what my "platform" was.  I don't know where my "lane" is, in this blog world.  I do know that I love writing.  So, I'm going to go for it again.  I may not post for the world to see anytime soon, but I'm going for it.

I'm not so sure...but here it goes!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Some things require a blog post!

Yes, it's been WAY too long!  I mean, so long that it seems a bit ridiculous that I would even sit down to write a post.  However, some things just require a blog post!

God loves me and you!  I mean, that is a simple statement, but here I am a stinking sinner, yet he loves me.  He loved be so much, while I was still a sinner, that He sent His son to die on the cross for me.  I don't always grasp what that really means, and to be completely honest, I don't think my little, simple brain can truly grasp the love of my Savior.  All I know is that He loves me, died for me, and continually shows me that in ways that amaze me!

So, almost two years ago, we took a huge leap of faith and moved to California.  I quit my job, began homeschooling our kiddos, and we moved.  Financially, this freaked me out!  I had prayed, for 9 years, that one day I would be able to stay home with our children, and for the first time, I was willing to truly put my faith in Christ and "go for it."  I have been continuously brought to my knees by God's provision for us.  We never go without a meal.  I mean, honestly, I live at a camp where the chefs are amazing and feed our family most of the time!  It's ridiculous really!  There is never a moment when I have to wonder how I will care for my family or meet their physical needs, because God always provides.  He provides!  Not always through money (though sometimes it is), but in so many different ways.  A kind word, a call from a friend, a package from the grandparents, just so many ways! I'm so undeserving, and in awe that He loves me that much!

When we moved, I was also really worried that I was "messing up" my kids for LIFE!!!!!!!  I wasn't sure that I could actually homeschool them and not have them turn out as the "weird homeschool family!"  Well, I'm still not sure that we aren't becoming that weird homeschool family, but I do know that I'm not messing them up for LIFE!  We had our annual IEP meeting (ARD for my Texas peeps), and I left feeling so encouraged.  I'm the teacher.  I mean, I get to say what he can and can't do.  I get to change up what isn't working and add things in that he needs.  Ultimately, I am responsible for his education and if something isn't working out or needs to be changed, our family decides.  (Disclaimer:  I ABSOLUTELY ADORE the group of people who walked with us on our special education journey in Texas!!!!!!  Ben was always taken care of, and we know that we had people that loved Ben just as much as we did and wanted only the best.  It's just that sometimes, the politics of public school and state requirements get in the way of being able to make the best decisions, even when we are all fighting for it!)  Every single person in our meeting talked about Ben's potential, his strengths, his sweet and loving personality, and what a joy he is.  None of them know me or Micah, so they weren't just trying to be nice to us.  I'm just thankful!  So very thankful!

And, as for Grace, she is really doing great too!  She is becoming such a sweet, kind young lady.  She works really hard in school, and has even mentioned that she enjoys homeschooling lately.  I mean, this is really huge for my social butterfly!  She loves her friends, and we are so thankful to have found a church home where she can meet others, feel comfortable, and grow in Christ.

I know this is long, and I have probably babbled and not made sense throughout.  I am just in awe of God's love!  He shows himself through His beautiful creation, provision for our family, placing Christian friends in our lives that we can have coffee (or cake or both) with, he gives us family that loves us unconditionally no matter how far apart we are!  How is it that we would ever doubt Him, not trust His plan for us, or even just disregard Him?  How?  (Well, I actually know the answer, but...)

I hope that you can hear my heart when I write.  I never want anyone to read this as a judgement toward the decisions you make for your family.  I just wanted to share how God continues to take and mold me.  I want to always be wet clay.  Thankful, grateful, humbled, in awe, amazed, and so much more!  I just thought all of this required a blog post!



Friday, February 21, 2014

Time to mingle with the Stars

Well, we have had a dry spell here.  (No, I am not talking about drought!) Rather, I am talking about going to LA to mingle with the rich and famous!  Ha! Ha!  When we moved here, I was so smitten with LA, and the idea of getting to attend TV tapings and such, because let's be real...I was meant to be on the stage and be friends with "those people"!  (I mean, don't you feel like your life should be the next reality TV show?!  I do!  I already have a name for it...and no I'm not going to tell you!)  Last year, I got to go to American Idol and Sports Nation, which only whet my appetite to do things like that more!  It is super fun to get to see how TV works behind the scenes, and to get to see how ridiculously the "other people" live.  Remember, Mariah Carey and her make-up and hair crew every five minutes?  RIDICULOUS!  Experiencing things like this make me appreciate my simple life!

So there was drought, but the rain has begun...got my American Idol tickets last night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yep, heading to the show on Wednesday.  This Wednesday, for the live performances of the Top 13.  Can't wait!

Then...on March 3rd, Micah and I are heading to the "After the Oscars" live event with Kelly and Michael!  Soooooo exciting, except that this taping is at 5:00 am.  They start letting us in the doors at 3:00 am.  CRAZY!!!!!  And free my friends, all of this is FREE!!!!  I mean, you have to get there, so we do pay for gas, but there is no cost for the tickets!  Makes for a SUPER FUN and EXCITING date, that's cheaper than going to the movies!  So, here's to our time "mingling with the stars!"

After all of this banter about the "stars," I just want to make sure that everyone knows, that more than anything I love sitting here with wet hair, no makeup and my t-shirt and blue jeans outfit.  I love getting to be home with my kids, love on my husband, and serve our staff as much as I can.  (Oh, and as I write this, Ben is placing a rubber snake on my head and laughing hysterically.  He got it at the dentist yesterday.)  I don't HAVE to go to LA, EVER!!!!  I am just ever so grateful that the Lord is allowing us to get to have some fun in our new home, that we would have never experienced back in Texas.

Keep checking in, because I will have pictures to share!  American Idol allows cell phones in the studio now!!!!!!!!  I'll do my best to take GOOD pictures!  Anybody have a favorite?  I'll make a poster just for you!  (And...I will be making a poster for Harry, because I have been a fan a LONG time!)