My Family


Monday, November 30, 2009

pay it forward giveaway

not too long ago, i won a pay it forward giveaway from one of my sweet blogging friends keisha.  i received this in the mail a couple of days ago and i just absolutely love it.

it is an ornament and  i can not wait to hang it on my Christmas tree this year and every year. it will be a wonderful memory from keisha every Christmas season when i unpack it to decorate my tree. thank you so much kee. i just love it!

now, i get to pay forward a blessing to a couple of my friends. if you are interested in receiving a gift from me of a few of my very favorite things, if you know me at all, you may be able to closely guess what some of the things will be in my pay it forward package, and you are interested in paying forward a gift of some of your favorite things next, then comment here on this post and let me know you are interested. you can still participate even if you have done this before. if you win, i think you will be very pleased.
i'm not going to tell you what they are though. the winners will have to wait and be surprised. interested?

well, first you'd better read the rules!

in order to win, you need to be willing to...
• give me your mailing address so I can send a small gift your way.
• write your own Pay It Forward post after you receive your gift telling about it, and in that post link back  to my blog.
• come up with gifts to send out to YOUR 2 winners.

sound okay? if you can follow those rules, then leave me a comment letting me know you'd like to be entered! winners will be chosen randomly... out of a my youngest daughter amanda on wednesday evening before she goes to bed at about 9:30 p.m.

if you would like another opportunity to win, hop on over to beth's @ outnumbered three to one.  she is hosting a pay it forward giveaway this week too. she is already showing a cute little gift that she is planning to put in her package. hop on over and check it out. now your chances of winning have just doubled.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

a thanksgiving to remember

we had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. we were able to travel to tulsa to be with my side of the family. we stayed at my sister's home with her family. my whole side of the family was able to be with us. my mom and dad followed us on the 9 hour drive, which went very well. jacob traveled beautifully this time. snacks and entertainment seemed to do the trick and a long 3 hour nap helped too.

we got into town wednesday evening about dinner time and my brother-in-law tony had dinner on the grill waiting on us. what a treat that was!!! my brother brian got in town with his family thursday morning. we all stayed at connie's house the whole time. she and tony were wonderful hosts for all of us. we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner prepared by connie and tony and tony's parents. everything was so delicious. it was such a wonderful time having my whole entire family all together at one time.

the next day we all hung out and enjoyed the day together eating left overs all day. one of the best things about staying at the place where you eat Thanksgiving dinner is eating leftovers for the next few days. we played a lot of games together and enjoyed each other's company. the weather was so beautiful! we enjoyed being outside much of the time.  the guys had a few badminton tournaments and the kids jumped on the trampoline and played baseball, while us girls enjoyed watching the fun and talking.

my nephews, justin and jared





my brother brian, aaron, and my brother in law tony

pictured here left to right: my niece jessica, connie's oldest son's wife, my mom, and my sister connie

that evening most of us all packed up and went to rhema to see the Christmas lights. twenty years ago, i moved to tulsa to go to rhema bible training center and i was able to see the wonderful lights that they display every year. but i did not remember them ever being so spectacular. i have a lot of memories on the grounds of rhema because i went to school there for two years but it is also the place that aaron proposed. i was able to show the kids where their daddy asked me to marry him and it was so beautifully decorated. i think they were just a little impressed.

saturday, we celebrated my niece victoria's birthday at incredible pizza. we ate until we were stuffed and played together for hours.

(my dad, briona my brother's oldest daughter, brayden my brother's son, jared my sister's son, rachel, tony, connie, brian, brooklyn my brother's youngest daughter, holly my brother's wife, my mom, josiah, kristen, my sister's oldest daughter, amanda, victoria my sister's youngest daughter and the birthday girl, olivia, and aaron.)

 our waitress took this shot so that jacob and i could sneak in this pic but we lost sight of rachel and connie.

we had a wonderful time together for several days. we played and played  the whole time.  we ended the time together with an all family game of hide and seek. we turned all of the lights out in the house, set a timer while someone counted, then we all hid while the person seeking looked for us all until the timer went off. the ones that were not found got a point. the first one found was "it" for the next round. after ten times of seeking, the one with the most points won. we all had a blast! connie and tony and i all tied as the winners. i guess we still know how to play this game better than our kids. we have had a lot of practice in our lifetime. :)

it was a wonderful time with our family! we had a thanksgiving to remember!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

i am so thankful....

thanking God for some of the things in my life that may seem small but make life feel really BIG!

i am so thankful ....
1. that my kids say "i love you" to me every night before they go to bed.
2. for feet that touch mine in the middle of the night.
3. for sweet smiles that come from a crib in the corner of my bedroom each morning.
4. that i heard Christian music come from my daughter's bedroom radio today.
5. to be able to learn new Truths with my church family at Bible study.
6. for big strong hugs from my 16 year old son.
7. for catching my husband looking at me from across the room.
8. that i have the opportunity to travel to be with my family for Thanksgiving.
9. to be able to enjoy snuggling with my youngest daughter before bed.
10. for a great cup of coffee each morning.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ABC's Thanksgiving Style

I thought it would be fun to think of a word for each letter of the alphabet for something that I am thankful for. Feel free to try it yourself.

A. aaron
B. baseball (a big part of our family)
C. coffee ( i love me a good cup of coffee) (bad coffee, i can do without)
D. my dad
E. enough
F. family
G. garage big enough for 3 cars
H. home
I.  in a great church family
J. Jesus
K. kids
L. love of my God, family and friends
M. my mom
N. neighbors
O. oneness in the body of Christ
P. position "in Christ"
Q. queen size bed
R.  rest in the finished work of Jesus
S.  simplicity
T. time with my friends and family
U. underwear ( I copied off a Kim)
V. veterans of war that fought for the rights in our country
W. wisdom of God
X. eXtra to bless others
Y. your friendship
Z. zero calorie pepsi

now you try! see if you can do it!


Monday, November 23, 2009

walk worthy of your calling

walk worthy of the calling to which you have been called!
                                 ephesians 4:1
scales Pictures, Images and Photos
"He forordanined us, planned in love for us, to be adopted and revealed as His own children through Jesus Christ." Ephesians 1:5

to be worthy is to be worth the weight of another--indicates equivalence or balance.
one's actions should correspond with one's position in Christ and show the value of His gift toward us.
our identity empowers and dictates our lifestyle!  you are!  therefore be!
if we operate out of our Heavenly position "in Christ,"  our behavior will bring balance to our identity.
our position, what is true inside, should be equally displayed outside.
the weight of our behavior balances out the weight of our position as we grow in the revelation of the power of our identity.
let the power of who you are bring value to what you do!!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

its time to laugh again!

                         this is why i don't work out! :)

i feel kinda bad that i watched this video about 20 times. i laughed harder and harder each time i watched it. i couldn't help myself! it's just too funny!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

no more fences

ever since we got dodger, he has attempted to escape any fence that we put up to keep him in our back yard. aaron was constantly fixing the places in the fence where dodger had found that he could manipulate in a way that would enable him to escape into freedom. dodger would take off to visit everyone and anyone who was interested in paying attention to him. he loved anyone who favored him at all. we had a tag made for his collar that had his name and phone number on it for those times when someone who noticed him might be able to call and let us know where he was. we received hundreds of calls in his lifetime. a couple of them were from the dog pound. many of the times that we were called, the people who had him saved him from being hit on the highway. dodger had no fear of cars on the road. he thought he had as much right to be there as any car did. so, for his safety, aaron continued to fix every place in the fence that dodger seemed to mastermind. even up to a couple of months ago he still made a short escape. his love for freedom was never stifled only prevented by a fence.

i woke up this morning and looked out the sliding glass door to see at the back of our yard a wooden cross that aaron had pounded into the ground in front of the pile of dirt that covered where we buried dodger. i immediately felt sadness all over again. it brought back the vivid memories from the night before when we had watched aaron lower dodger into the ground. later that day, i ventured out there to look a little closer and noticed this...

aaron had put dodger's collar around the cross with the words that said, "no more fences." that is all it took to make tears quickly stream down my face. in my mind, i could see him "free." there are no more fences to confine his desire to greet and meet. run, dodger, run! you are free now! no more fences!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

it's a sad day for our family!

it's a sad day for our family! our first family dog passed away today. we loved him very much! he has been a part of our family for 13 years. josiah was three, rachel was 18 months, and olivia was 6 weeks old when he was welcomed into our family. he was the cutest golden retriever that you have ever seen. he has astonished the vet in living as long as he has. over a year ago, he told us that dodger had already lived past his expected life span and to not expect him to live any longer. but, up until a couple of weeks ago, you never would have known that he was even old, except a little graying in his face. today, he decided it was time to rest from this life and meet us in heaven. we expect for him to greet us there when it is our time to rest from this life as well. he has touched all of our lives and we will never forget him.


                                                                                                isn't he beautiful?

                                                                               he could catch anything!!

                                                                                    he loved the water!

                                                                                 looking for leftovers at the kitchen table

                                    jacob loved to spread his front legs apart and scoot himself back until he could lean upon dodger's chest

                                                                                    or just use him as a pillow

we will miss you very much dodger! you were the best dog EVER!

Monday, November 16, 2009

i am leaning

is there a line that parents should not cross when it comes to telling their teenagers how their behavior makes them feel? do we have the right to say, "hey, that hurts my feelings!" or "being a parent to teenagers is not as fun as i thought it was going to be." or "i would love it if you would think past yourself sometimes, just a little, so you could see how your behavior is overwhelming me right now." is that too much for teenagers to be able to handle? the true frustrations of parenting? the responsibility of caring about the parents feelings? i am not sure where i stand on this. in the last couple of days, i have thought several times how sad that it is that when my kids were young, everything about being their mom was rewarding and fulfilling. but, as my kids have entered their teenage years, the struggles of dealing with attitudes and proper behavior seems so constant that i seldom experience that rewarding feeling on a daily basis. i know that as they grow past this stage and become adults, my sense of fulfillment will become more evident as i get to experience them becoming adults and watch them walk out the course of life that God has prepared for them. but, in the here and now, living in the moment, i am so overwhelmed with constant conflict that i can't find the inner reward.

i know this time will pass and i will look back and remember the wonderful times of raising my teenagers. but right now? i do not like it! can't they just go from ten to twenty, overnight? it is not that i can not see the awesome things about my children. they are all wonderful and have so much potential to become a great influence in the world they live in for the Lord. but, the in between times are about to bury me. i told them that tonight. i am not sure that was the right thing to do or not. i have no desire to make them feel manipulated or guilted into anything. but, i wanted to share with them how hard that it is for me to be in constant battle with them over decisions that i make for their best interest and how weary that i am feeling.  i am not sure that they were the ones i should have taken my frustrations to. only God can empower me when i am weak. it is His grace that i need. help me Lord! i know that as i lean on you when i am weak, i become strong! i am leaning now. i am leaning.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

you add sunshine to my day

several weeks ago i received this award from a wonderful blogging friend of mine maryleigh from blue cotton memory. she is a momma of five boys and writes of her daily pleasures and struggles of raising them for the Lord. her writing is delightful to read. she is a great blogging friend.

use this code to take this bling of an award!-- <"img src=""/"> you have to remove the quotation marks at the beginning and the end of the html in order for the button to pop up wherever you want to put it.

there are no rules to this award. it is just a blessing to those who have blessed you with their comments, encouragement, or inspiration from a writing in their own blog. i would love to pass this award along to all of my blogging friends and followers who have stopped by and made my day a little brighter by their presence in my blogging world. i am always so touched when you stop by and even more so when you comment and let me know you touched my world. so, please accept this award and pass it along to those who add sunshine to your day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

a new breed of "man"

"By abolishing in His own crucified flesh the enmity caused by the Law with its decrees and ordinances, which He annulled, that He from the two might create in Himself one new man, one new quality of humanity out of the two, so making peace." (Ephesians 2:15)

just some things that i have been pondering and meditating on today

1. the Law causes enmity.
2. Jesus annulled the Law.
3. through faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, He created a new breed of "man" (one that never
    existed before) "the God/man" (man filled with the Spirit of God)  
4. there is no longer enmity between the members of this breed of humanity. each member is equal in having
    the same miracle unite them as "one" with God.
5. we are equally united with God and with each other. there is not one who has more Holy Spirit in them than
    another. thereby comes peace.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

what a masterful work of art!

i watched my husband begin to clear our backyard of leaves this past weekend. he raked most of them in a pile and burned them. then he started up the riding lawn mower to give the grass one more good sweep to mulch up the leaves that remained. as i think back on it now, the john deere really did the work. aaron just sat on the seat and steered the rider in the direction that needed to be cared for.

whoever designed the riding tractor was brilliant and went to great lengths to have it created to work perfectly. it is a masterpiece among lawn tools, able to accomplish a great amount of work in a short period of time. but, the mower was not created to do what it does so brilliantly on its own. it was not created to self start and propel itself independently of an owner. beautifully crafted, with so much potential to accomplish so much, it is useful for nothing on its own. unless it is empowered by an owner, it will just sit there and do nothing except be jacob's play toy. but, united with an operator, great work can be accomplished. the beauty of it's accomplishment is displayed in our backyard. what a masterful work of art!

i see the work of Christ in our lives much the same. we are His creation. His work of art! His masterpiece! He went to great lengths, in Jesus, to bring about the ability for us to accomplish great things, to bring us into union with Himself through the Holy Spirit and empower us to radiate His glory in our lives. but, we were not created to do that on our own. we were not created to self start and propel our lives independently. we have been beautifully crafted and empowered by the Holy Spirit with the potential of such good works. but, we are useful for nothing on our own. unless we allow the Operator to start us up and guide us, we are accomplishing nothing. we can pretend to go and work physically, in our own ability, but spiritually, we are just sitting, doing no good thing and revealing no true beauty. ephesians 2:10 says, "for we are God's own handiwork (His masterpiece), recreated in Christ Jesus, that we may do those good works which God planned ahead of time for us that we should walk in them." we have been recreated in Christ Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, to accomplish the great work of displaying the glory of God and as we depend upon our union with Him and are empowered by His strength, His beauty will be displayed in our lives. we are the workmanship of God created to do great work as God empowers us and steers us in the direction that needs to be cared for. what a masterful work of art!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

a birthday celebration and a beautiful fall day!

friday was josiah's birthday. he did not want a party. he just wanted to have his dad cook steaks on the grill and have his grandparents over. that sounded much less expensive than a big party, so we gladly obliged. so, aaron went to the local meat market and got him a 12 oz filet and grilled it to perfection for him. he also grilled sirloin steaks for the rest of us. they were very delicious too! after dinner, he opened his gifts.

an ipod touch! yeah! now maybe he won't need my laptop as often!
                                                                                                    nope! wrong again!

                                                                            jacob is patiently waiting for his cake!
then he enjoys a view from his big brother's broad shoulders as he attempts to hide the remainder of his cake in josiah's ears. we had a wonderful evening celebrating his 16th birthday!

                                      the next day was such a beautiful day. we used it to finish some outside fall clean up.

                                                                 as soon as jacob heard the tractor start up, he took off...

                                                                                          ...and found his spot for the job.

                                                                             then he decided to try his hand at raking leaves

                                                                                     until he got a phone call

                                                                            after that, he was thirsty and done for the day!!

it was fun watching him enjoy a beautiful fall day helping clean up the backyard!