Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Randomness

Haven't given any random updates lately, so I thought I would share where we are in our lives at this point. We had great holidays. J's family came to our house for Thanksgiving and my family came for Christmas. It was the first year we didn't travel anywhere and I loved it! Even the cooking and cleaning on my part. We'll have to arrange that more often.

We finished up football. Cade's team was undefeated, but no playoffs for flag. He can't wait to tackle next year. Coop's team lost in the semi-finals to a team that had the worst sportsmanship I have ever seen. They have actually been kicked out of our league so we won't have to play them next year. Nice. Both big boys are on select baseball teams, so we had baseball tournaments mixed in with football, but we are on a break now. On to basketball. Coop's team, coached by the best coach ever, is 2-1. Cade is playing probably his last year of Upward and in my humble opinion, is the best player on the team. He pouts when its his turn to sit out. Loves it! And although the actual baseball season hasn't started yet, we are in full swing at our house since J is on the Little League board and will be managing both boys' teams. I used to wish that they would take a break in the winter from sports, but was reminded by a fellow baseball mom that if they weren't playing an organized sport, their never ending energy would be running all over my house. Point taken. I'd much rather they take it out on the court or field! Campbell has one more year to sit out, and I'm trying to enjoy that because it will only get crazier!

I'm teaching 2 days a week in the infant class in our MDO. It was supposed to be temporary but I wouldn't want to leave now, I'm quite attached. And it gives me my baby fix! Campbell goes to preschool 4 days a week, and is sad every Friday when he has to stay home with me. He is the youngest in his class since he has an Aug. birth date, but his teachers say you would never know it, except for the potty training issue. Yes, we are still not potty trained. This kid just doesn't care! We are probably at 75% on #1 but no where close on #2. At least he's pretty regular so I know when to put a diaper on him. I'm sure somewhere in this process I have not parented correctly, but he's my third, and I'm tired and have run out of ideas. I am hoping one day he will wake up and be ready to be a big boy. One day. Hopefully soon. Before college.

A little bragging here. I don't do it often because most of the time we just expect our kids to do these things, so I don't want to be one of those moms that constantly brags on her kids. So here is one paragraph and then I'll be done. Straight A's all around. Cooper received another Character Award a few weeks ago. I love those. And he was in the school spelling bee. Out of 20 4th and 5th graders, he was the 14th out. He was the last 4th grader left. He was mad because he got out on "flannel", a fairly easy word. He'll never misspell that word again. I was so proud of him because I am not a speller. I had my first "C" ever in 3rd grade spelling.

I am loving "American Idol", "Once Upon a Time," "Last Man Standing" and "NCIS" of course. But I have really cut down on my tv. Of course I've replaced it with Facebook, Pinterest and reading my Nook. I love Spotify! I'm finding music I listened to in high school and college and it brings such good memories. Today I got the new Kari Jobe CD. AMAZING!

I am trying to get back into eating better and exercising. I found this 15 minute work out on On Demand and did it Monday and today. I couldn't make it through the whole thing. I figure I burned more calories in 15 minutes then I do walking for 30 when I don't even run out of breath usually. I've cut down my sugar and upped my fiber. So we will see what happens.

I will be starting leading a new Bible Study on Feb. 12th on Sunday nights, What Happens when Women Say Yes to God, by Lysa Terkeurst. I'm excited to start something. If anyone local is interested, I can get you a book. Or if you aren't locally, I would love to have you read it with us and we can somehow hold each other accountable long distance. And of course, the VBS discussions are beginning. I've got to buckle my seat belt!

If you've made it to the bottom of this, you are a special person! I owe you one!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Review of "Beyond Molasses Creek"



Beyond Molasses Creek by Nicole Seitz is an amazing novel that brings together the life stories of three individuals into a touching, emotional story of finding peace in the world around you, even when circumstances say otherwise. Ally Green has to come back home after her father dies, and takes the opportunity to reconnect with a childhood friend. But she has a past that has kept her on the run searching for peace, and has a hard time trying to settle down. At the same time, a young lady across the world in Nepal is also trying to find peace as she escapes a hard life and searches for truth. Do these ladies' stories connect? The results are surprising and amazing.
I have not read a novel in a while that touched me as this one did. Beautifully written, with a poetic style that drew me in, this story left me satisfied and at peace with my own story. I loved the back and forth of the characters' stories, both in the present day and the past. I understood where their hearts were and I wanted them to find the peace they were looking for. My only complaint about the book was it was not as Christian based as I thought it would be. There was a lot more room to have God intervene in the story. But I would highly recommend it. A great read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A few of my favorite things...

Some of my new favorite things!

I'm back trying to lose a few more pounds, but its much harder to get started again. Per Lysa Terkeurst, I'm upping my fiber and these are my favorite fiber things.
Chocolate Mocha granola bars! Really yummy if you like coffee and chocolate together!

90 calorie brownies, with fiber! When I'm having a chocolate craving, (which is all day, everyday) it hits the spot!


Todd English Green+Life Thermolon Pots and Pans
I have been needing some new pots and pans because after 15 years of marriage things start falling apart (not my marriage, but all the things we received as wedding gifts. I think you should be able to have a shower every 10 years that you stay married to get new things). I didn't want to get regular non-stick pans because I've heard things about the chemicals they put off, so when I saw these on HSN one night, I ordered them! I got a 10 piece set for around $100, and they are the best pans ever! They say they are dishwasher safe, but I have yet to have to put them in there because everything just wipes right off. And they are PFOA and PTFE free for those of you who are concerned about that kind of thing. I think they are sold out of the set right now on HSN, but if you can find these anywhere with a good deal, grab them!


BISSELL Rewind SmartClean Vacuum
I know this isn't a new favorite for those of you reading about my obsession with this vacuum. But FYI, they have it on sale this week at Target for $89! You won't regret it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I think I'm Back

You may have noticed my lack of spiritual blog posts in the past few months until this week. The Lord and I were the best of friends for a long time, as I was digging deeper into His Word over the past year or so. But then He did something that I didn't like. See Waiting Part 2 to get more reference to that. And even though I knew that it was all for the best in my head and my heart because He told me so, I still got mad and left Him waiting for me. Thank goodness He's so patient with me. I was thinking of my kids again, how they react when I tell them "no". Luckily I have good kids who don't normally pitch fits, but it has happened. They fall on the floor kicking and screaming. I'm not a kicker and a screamer. But when I do get mad at someone, I give them the silent treatment. (Ask my husband.) Of course, that's only in my most immature stages of life, HA! So it finally dawned on me that I was giving the Lord the silent treatment. As if it hurts Him terribly. I'm sure He is disappointed that I'm not talking to Him, but He can go on with His plans without me no problem. I'm the only one missing out on the relationship. So we had a good heart to heart last week and I think I'm back. I'm back in His Word and can feel my thirst for it coming back, slowly.
When I left off my Bible reading plan months ago, I was in Isaiah, and that's not the best place to restart my love for the Word, so I just started in Matthew, Chapter 1 today, thinking I would breeze through it and move on to chapter 2, but I got so much out of it that I wanted to share the biggest things.
* The genealogy from vs 2-16 shows so many different types of people, men & women, good & evil, righteous & unrighteous. A good reminder that He can use anyone, no matter what your background.
* I was so inspired by Joseph's obedience to ignore what the world told him was right and acceptable and marry Mary even though she was pregnant with someone else's child. And he was obviously a Godly man because he recognized that his dream was real and set out to obey it immediately.
* I looked up the word "Messiah" from verse 16 and saw that part of the definition was "the expected king and deliverer of the Jews," and that word "expected" got me. The Jews were expecting a Messiah but He didn't meet their expectations so many didn't accept the very thing they had been waiting for. How many times do I ask God for something and then really wait and expect Him to answer? And when He does, if its not up to my expectations, do I discount it or accept it and praise Him for His answer. It reminded me of this verse.
"In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." Psalm 5:3
O Lord, may I truly be waiting for you, expecting you to answer, expecting miracles, expecting to see you working around me. And may I not ignore you when you do answer prayers! Thank you for not just meeting our expectations, but far surpassing them, exceedingly and abundantly more! Amen.

Monday, January 09, 2012

My Cool Christmas Present

My momma got me two great gifts for Christmas. One was a new scale (not sure what that says about me). My old scale was a rotary dial, not accurate at all. The scale I weigh on at work that is my official weigh in is digital to the half pound. But this baby is digital to the tenth of a pound. Ouch! But its cool.
My other cool gift is a Nook Simple Touch. She offered to get me a higher model, but I'm just beginning to consider using a tablet to read books as opposed to the real thing. I love books, the smell of them, the feeling of the pages as I turn them, being able to underline things and dog ear pages. So I wasn't sure I wanted to spend too much money on something that I might not use much. But I really like it. Not enough to go all in, but the pages look amazing, its so light weight, and its awesome to be able to download a book from my library website and begin reading it immediately. I wanted to get a cover for it, so I took a quick trip to my local Barnes and Noble and was disappointed to see now not attractive yet expensive their covers were. So I came home and used good old Amazon and ordered THIS. It came today and it is beautiful! Love it! Just wanted to give a suggestion to anyone else who may have gotten one for Christmas. Don't cave to the pressure of buying a genuine Nook cover. Not necessary. Happy Reading!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

King of Kings


God showed me something about Himself over the holidays. I was reading off and on a book He Shall be Called, by Robert J. Morgan. Its a devotional book with 150 names of Jesus. One of his names is "King". Morgan reminds us that there are two types of kings in the world. There are kings that are parliamentary monarchs, those that are really there for show. They are surrounded by respect and grandeur but really have no power, like the Queen of England. (I personally think she has more power than the rest of the world gives her credit for.) And then there are those that are absolute monarchs, they run their country, their authority is supreme. Morgan points out that most Christians treat Jesus as a parliamentary monarch. He looks nice, we respect him, go to worship him once a week, but we don't give him authority in our lives. OUCH! He really is our absolute monarch, has ultimate authority whether we acknowledge it everyday or not.

Christmas Eve, our pastor Steve preached about almost the same thing. He pointed out that many people are fine with making Jesus their Savior, but not so game about making him their King. To follow a king, we have to be a servant, obedient, submissive, humble, be willing to sacrifice if the king asks you to. We want him to save us from hell and the struggles of this earth, but not if it calls us to be a servant.

I know there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, but there is conviction of sin, and I have been convicted for weeks about this issue. It all came back today again. I am a control freak. I don't think about that side of me as a bad thing many times, but today it hit me in the face. If I am honest, I want to control everything around me, and when I can't or people don't cooperate, I get really upset and frustrated and my pride gets hurt. And when it comes to the King, I have good days and bad days of letting him be in control. I have had more bad days than good over the last few months, but its time to make a change. May you reign in my life Lord as King, on your throne. Forgive me for moving you off of it. Convict me this week when I try to take that place back. Thank you for not giving up on me. May I truly be a daughter of a King by the way I live my life, not just a title I give myself.

Book Review of "Bittersweet Surrender" by Diann Hunt


Over the holiday break, I was looking for a light, fun read to fill some empty hours, and Bittersweet Surrender by Diann Hunt fit the bill perfectly. Carly Westlake owns a chocolate spa, is recovering from breast cancer, adjusting her to step-mother moving in with her, struggling with losing weight and juggling her lack of love life. She does it all with humor, sarcasm and a realization that she really needs to depend on God as she comes through her issues. As the story unfolds, there is also a mystery going on around her with her friends and family that might end a blossoming romance before it even starts.

This story was a lot of fun, went fast, but was very in depth with character and set descriptions. My only complaint was that I felt like I was reading a book in a sequel, that I was picking up in the middle of a story. But it was a stand alone book, not part of a series. Hunt did a great job of catching me up on where these characters were in the story. I look forward to reading more of her books when I need a light escape.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255