Saturday, December 21, 2013

Almost there...

Housing update, almost done! I flew to Jackson week before last and looked at some houses. Jason had seen a house that was "the one", and I was excited to see it. And I agreed with him. It was great for us. The best part was that it was only a few houses down from the community pool and basketball court, perfect for our kids. We saw another house we loved too, but it was in another neighborhood without a community pool and amenities. And it cost more. So that made our decision easier. So we put our offer in on "the one" and waited. It was a "for sale by owner" and usually that means that the person knows enough about selling a house they can handle it themselves, but not in this case. She didn't know what she was doing or wanted for that matter. And after we waited 5 days, she finally let us know she decided she didn't want to even sell the house. Thanks for that. So we had to trust that God knew that five days wasn't going to harm our time frame and move on.

Jason went and looked at a few more houses and wanted me to come back and look at one more. So for the first time in my life, I booked a flight the day of. Craziness for this planner. Flew out on Tuesday, and flew back Wednesday night. I wasn't feeling it from the house he saw. So we went back to our 2nd choice for a third visit, and I still loved it! The owners are the builders, and decked it out for themselves. My favorite parts are the amazing kitchen, the huge laundry room and the great mud area when you come in from the garage. All those areas are necessary for raising boys. We are losing a bedroom and some living space, but its going to be perfect for us. So we put in an offer, and 24 hours later everything was done. 48 hours later, the inspections were done. That is fast! We are just waiting for the title company to give us a closing date! But it looks like we will only be "homeless" for a week. Amazing!

I went and visited the boys new school and got paperwork. I am so excited that for 5 months of my life, they will all three be in the same school. It will never happen again. The biggest changes are that the doors open at 7AM! And the tardy bell rings at 7:30. My kids don't even get up until 7:15 now. That's going to be an adjustment. And, the 4th and 5th graders are in classes with only their gender, so Cade will be in classes with only boys! They said when they instituted that years ago, test scores went way up. He doesn't seem to mind and I am all for it. And Coop was relieved to know that even though he has to go back to elementary school for a semester, they do have band for 6th graders. So we are all good! Now just to fill out this huge pile of paperwork.

We said our goodbyes to their schools yesterday. Lots of hugs from friends and teachers. I am so thankful that my boys had friends and teachers that they were sad to leave. Not everyone can say that. Very grateful and excited to make some new friends and meet new teachers that will have an impact on them in the future.

So we are going to have a somewhat relaxing Christmas here in Houston, and then get to moving! Trying my best to take one day at a time and enjoy each moment and celebrate Jesus. He has been so good to us!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Home vs House

Housing update: We have a contract on our house! Inspections are over, and after some more negotiations we close on Dec. 27th. It was on the market for 2 weeks. God is so good! Now just to find a place to live. We only have to find a house that is big enough for 3 growing boys, has a lay out that works for us, is move in ready (because we aren't fix it people), but doesn't have the new cookie cutter style. It has to be in a good neighborhood, have a fenced in back yard (again, 3 boys), and is not on a busy street. And we are hoping it is our forever home, at least until we retire to work at Disney World. And now that we have a move out date, has to be available pretty quickly. No biggie.

I have remembered how much I hate looking at houses. I don't mind the actual walking through them, but I detest the looking online part. Luckily I have a husband who loves that part. I have sat with him for many an hour the past month looking and after 30 minutes or so, my eyes glaze over and I am willing to move into a mobile home and park it behind the church. And looking online is almost pointless because you realize that just because you find a house online that looks perfect, you get there and realize the cute rooms you saw on your computer screen are in the craziest floor plan that would never work. Or when it says "backs up to a golf course" they really mean, open your back door and take two steps to the 14th tee box. Yes, heaven to my hubby, but again we have 3 boys who need a back yard.

But now I'm in the good phase where the timing has worked out that my hubby can spend the afternoon with the realtor driving around and narrowing down my choices for me. I am a preschooler in that sense. Just give me 3 houses to choose from. I get overwhelmed. So tomorrow I am flying to MS to look at the top 6 choices and hopefully I love one of them as much as he does and we can make a decision.

I had a meltdown over Thanksgiving about our house in Houston. I love this house. J couldn't grasp why I was upset. Its just a house. But to a mom and wife and emotional girl, it is a home that we have made for our family. We brought a baby home here and he doesn't know anything different. Everything fits just right. But the cool God thing is, after we got home from Thanksgiving, after being gone 8 days, when I walked in, some of that attachment was gone. It is just a house and having all of our personal belongings packed up in the garage, makes it lifeless and not our home anymore. We are just staying here until we move, and the house now almost belongs to someone else. And even though that is sad, its good. I know God already has the right house picked out for us just waiting. He has been so obvious in this part of our journey that we have no doubt He will help us finish this part. One of the Jesus Calling days a few weeks ago said, "Leave the outcomes to Me." And that has stuck with me. He will bring us the right house that will become our home. And I can't wait!

Monday, December 02, 2013

Strength for the Waiting

Today as my hubby starts his new job, I thought I would share some of the ways God gave me strength to get to this day. God has used this waiting time to teach me so much the past six months, so even though waiting stinks, I wouldn't trade it. He used people, songs, scripture, books, all kinds of things to tell me the same sweet reminders over and over... that He is faithful, good, sovereign, trustworthy, and bigger than my dreams and plans. So in case some of you are in the midst of struggles or waiting, I thought I would share some of the things that helped me get through.

1. The Bible
So many scriptures that I can't begin to put them all on here, but He really had me in the story of Moses and the Exodus (appropriate for moving). Over and over He used that story in different ways to remind me to wait on His timing, and to trust his deliverance. The two books below both focused on that story and even though I have read about Moses my whole life, so much came fresh and new.

2. Books
The Red Sea Rules, by Robert J. Morgan
Finding God's Will by Gregg Matte
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

3. Music
God has often used music in my life to speak to me, I have made many a mixed tape in my life! Now I can just make a playlist. Much faster! And when one of them really speaks to me, I print out the lyrics and tape them in my journal. So encouraging! When I went to type up this part for you, I realized none of you probably want to read a list of 30 songs. I wish there was a way to play them on my blog, I used to be able to. So here are just a few songs that have played over and over in my car, in my bedroom, in my kitchen as I clean. They speak truth and peace to me! But if you are in need of a long play list, just let me know.

"Not for a Moment", Meredith Andrews
"Faithful", Hawk Nelson
"Lift my Life Up", Unspoken
"Faithful", Chris Tomlin
"Oceans, Where Feet may Fail", Hillsong United (my current ring tone)
"Waiting Room", Jonny Diaz
"Never Once", Matt Redman
"The Lord our God", Kristian Stanfill, Passion
"Kneel" and "God of the Impossible" - Two off of the Pinelake worship CD (I highly recommend it)
And I think the main song was Sidewalk Prophet's "Help Me Find It". Many a tear was shed at the beginning as I cried out to God for answers, but now I smile, so thankful that we finally have His will clear to us. So thankful today!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Moving the Boys

When we moved to Houston, the big boys were 2 and 4. So they really had no clue what was happening. They went to visit grandparents and came back to a new house. It really wasn't a big deal. But this time is different. They have friends and teams and schools that they are leaving. People keep asking me if they are excited. I'm not sure that is the word, but they are ready.

The two older boys have known about the possibility for months so I think they were relieved to know for sure and get going with the process. They seem to be mature enough to understand that this is a fact of life and that they will make friends soon, they just have to be patient. They are antsy to get there and get on a sports team so they can get moving and get to know people. Cooper will have the biggest adjustment leaving the WAVE program and I think having one more semester back in elementary school. But I'm thankful he'll make friends in a smaller setting.

Now the younger one is a different story. We didn't tell Campbell anything until it was more official, mainly because he has a big mouth and has never met a stranger. So we called him in one night to tell him. We actually thought he would be excited. He has over the years, without any info from us, made comments about moving to a new house or church. Little did we know what was brewing in his head.
"Campbell, we have some exciting news!"
"We are moving!"
And I wish we had videoed it, but he fell on the floor WAILING! That's the only word I can use to describe his reaction. It was the saddest thing. And it was a scared cry, not really a sad cry. So I grabbed him and held him while he cried while J tried to get him to talk about what was wrong. Finally after the longest two minutes of his life, he finally got the words out, "WHO WILL TAKE CARE OF ME IF YOU MOVE?".
That sweet baby thought we were leaving him!
"No, baby, you have to go with us!"
"Oh. Do I get to take my toys?"
"Oh, ok. Do we get to take the tv... the couch... the stairs?" and on and on with things all over the house as he began to comprehend the whole process. And then he skipped away excited. Ug, talk about breaking a momma's heart. What would make him think we would leave him? Can you imagine the heart ache his little five year old heart was feeling thinking he was being abandoned?

We went to MS this weekend so the boys could see the church and town and now I think they may almost be excited. We are all just ready to get passed this transition time and get settled. I'm excited to see how they grow and change during this time. So proud of them!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

So much to be thankful for!

So many things to be thankful for this day. In the midst of such big changes in our lives, we can daily see God blessing us in small and huge ways. And for me, its a matter of making sure that I realize those blessings are from Him and giving him the gratitude He is worthy of.

I thought I would take this Thanksgiving to show thanks for all of the things we have been grateful for the last seven years in Houston. As our time here is ending, I am remembering all of the amazing people, places and gifts we have been privileged to experience.

1. I have loved my job at UBC weekday ministries. I have loved the women I have worked with and each child that has crossed my path. I love sharing Jesus with little ones, leading them in songs, praying with teachers, and giving parents opportunities to share Jesus with their children at home. I have loved rocking babies, even the crying ones. And I have made sweet friends who love doing all those things with me.

2. We have raised three boys here, one of which was born at the local hospital. And we have made great friends as they have grown up playing sports in this community. We have loved spending hours upon hours (upon hours) at NASA Area Little League, Falcon football games, a few years of soccer, Upward and CLBB basketball. There were some down times where things weren't the most fun (losing is never fun) but the friends we grew with made up for those times. My boys have learned so much about working together, how to win and lose graciously, how to listen to their coaches (even their daddy coach), how to encourage their teammates and how to work hard. And we made some great memories with our All Star teams at the end of each season. So much fun!

3. On that same note, we are especially thankful for the JETS select baseball teams our older two have played on the past few years. We are thankful for so many supportive parents and coaches who have helped us on Sunday mornings getting the boys where they needed to be when we were at church and cheering for the boys when we couldn't be there. We made some great friends spending so much time together! And we have some amazing memories of some awesome wins! Lots of trophies on my boys' shelves to carry with us. We are praying we can find some teams for them in MS that might somehow measure up to the JETS.

4. I have loved and will terribly miss VBS every June. I will probably go into withdrawals starting in Feb. when its time to start planning preschool VBS and I'm not there. I have loved leading such a great team of people who want to give up time and lots of energy to serve and love on preschoolers for a week and build a foundation of love for Christ. And I will miss working with such a great team of ladies, laughing, digging stuff out of closets, hanging decorations, eating way too many sweets the week of. I will make some brownies next June the week of VBS and eat them while I pray for those sweet preschoolers and volunteers.

5. I have loved my house. We have a contract on it now, and I am so thankful for that. But its sad to leave it. I told Jason its more than it just being a house. We have made it a home and I know we will make another home somewhere else. But I so wish we could pick up our house and move it to MS. Plenty of room for growing boys!

6. We have been so grateful for great schools for our boys. We are in our 7th year at Ward Elementary and we have made so many friends over the years there. And I am so thankful that all three boys have had the same wonderful, patient, amazing teacher for kindergarten. She has had that special moment of teaching them all to read. And that is a gift I can not say thank you enough for. Lots of other teachers have had a great impact on our boys and they have learned and grown so much, mentally, emotionally, academically and physically while there. So many teachers have told me the last few weeks how sad they are we are leaving because they love our boys so much. And that means the world to a momma. I am so thankful that Cooper has gotten at least one semester in the WAVE program at Westbrook. He has learned a lot of skills that will help him in the future and I am grateful for that.

7. I am thankful that astronauts are not celebrities to me anymore. I am honored to call some friends and know they are men of God who want to explore His creation. They have caused me to see God's world in a different light and recognize even more how small I am and how big our God is. And I am in awe of how many people it takes to get a man into space. So glad I got to see a launch in person! So cool!

8. I am thankful for great friends who will meet me for coffee or watch my kids or give me a hug and pray for us. Grateful for friends who won't say no when I ask them to volunteer for something and will open up their homes to host a TOH party for me. I am going to miss sweet babies being born this spring, but can't wait to see them in pictures. And I am thankful for email, facebook and phones so I will be able to keep up. And love that people are excited to see God moving in our lives.

While I am so amazingly grateful for all of these things, I am even more in awe of all of the things that God will do for us in the future. I know that He is going to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us and to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Our new journey...

I am finally able to share on Facebook and the blogosphere that the Gadmans are beginning a new journey in ministry! After 7 years as Pastor of Family Ministries at University Baptist Church in Houston, we are actually leaving the great state of Texas and heading to Mississippi! And we could not be more excited! This has been such a long process for us and God has taught us so much that there is no way to tell the whole story in one blog post. But I will give you the summary of God’s goodness.

Jason is going to be the Student Pastor at Pinelake Church in Brandon, MS.  Pinelake is a very large church with multi campuses and we began to talk to them in March about a different position. Jason met with two of the senior staff at the Hobby airport and came home and said that he felt a strong connection with them, and it felt natural and good and we were excited to see where it would go. They called soon after to say they were going with someone else for the position they had talked to him about, but they felt a strong connection with him and wanted to know if he would be interested in talking about a different position. We had decided long ago in our marriage and ministry to never close a door on a possibility but let God do the door closing. So we began to talk about student ministry as a possibility.

After many phone interviews, Jason and I went to visit July 4th weekend, and walked around the whole weekend with our mouths open in awe that God would allow us to serve in such an amazing place. When we left, we knew that was where God wanted us. We even kind of seriously joked with each other about quitting our jobs and moving there even if he didn’t get the job. We loved the community, we have always wanted to raise our boys in a smaller area where they would have the opportunity to be involved in more things, but yet have a more laid back atmosphere. And we loved the church. There are so many things about it that we have always dreamed of in a church. When we came back, we felt like we had left a part of ourselves in Mississippi.

They called that week to say that they really loved us and thought we would be a great fit. But that they needed to wait a little bit because they needed to do some staff reorganization first. And they didn’t know how long it would take and they didn’t expect us to wait on them if God opened another door somewhere else. It was kind of a devastating call to get. We were ready to move. But over the next two months, God taught us so much about His sovereignty, trusting Him and about prayer. We learned to pray in faith for miracles and that He is the God of the impossible, but we also learned to pray for his will to be done and his kingdom work to be accomplished. And we finally got to a point of giving it back to him and acknowledging that if it didn’t happen, it would be ok. We trusted him. It was a hard waiting period, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

After two months, we thought about calling them to check in on Monday, Sept. 23rd. But over the weekend, Jason really felt convicted that we wanted God to do this, not us. So we prayed that day, that they would contact us before 6:00 if God still had that door open. And would you believe, they emailed him at 5:30?! Chills. And they were ready to pick up the conversations again if we were. They were going to call us on the 10th to arrange the next step of the process and instead called on Oct. 2 to say they wanted us there on Oct. 21st to meet the personnel team. So we went, and when the plane landed, I said, “We’re home”.

We have been praying for a long time that when God was ready to move us that it would be as clear to us as it was for the Israelites to follow the pillar of cloud and fire. And it has been that clear. We are so thankful and grateful for all that He as blessed us with in this process. Jason starts his new ministry role on Dec. 1 and the boys and I will follow at Christmas to let them finish the semester. They are doing well with moving. I’ll do another post with more details on that. You can check out our new church at We will be at the Reservoir campus. He will be leading the student team, middle school through college. God has called Jason to be a coach of a team, and he is so excited to lead this team to change the lives of students in Mississippi! Once we get settled, we would love to have visitors and show off God’s goodness!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Christmas decorations... in October

Campbell has started asking me why are there Christmas decorations out at the stores already and we have even seen some houses with the Christmas lights already on. Maybe they are Halloween lights? Or maybe they never took the lights down from last Christmas? Anyway, I don't understand either Campbell. But in the spirit of too early Christmas decorations, I thought I would show Trades of Hope Christmas collection 2013! Shop here to have beautiful things in your home and make a difference in the lives of women around the world! They make great teacher gifts since you can split the sets into 3 separate gifts! The nativity set from Haiti is my favorite! Happy Shopping and Merry Early Christmas!

Made of recycled tin, this Haitian piece is a beautiful addition to your Christmas collection. Simple, yet detailed in design, this purchase goes towards supporting the artisans living in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and finding hope with their amazing works of art! Set of 3. Design patterns vary. Made in Haiti Approx. Measurements: 3x4 in each - $28.
Keeping families together in Haiti! Made of recycled cereal boxes in Haiti by people breaking the cycle of poverty for themselves and future generations! Hang some hope on your loved ones tree this year! Made in Haiti - Set of 3 stars. Approx. Measurements: 3 in. - $28

This authentic tri-fold manger scene is made from recycled tin, once 55-gallon drums! The drums are cut open, hammered flat, and marked with designs. The designs are then implemented with a hammer and chisel. This is more than just a wonderful piece for the Christmas season, but a token of support towards these Haitian people working to provide for their families. Made in Haiti, $38.

These Cambodian acid-attacked women are rebuilding their lives, gaining courage by the knowledge that they are not alone. Through this business, mothers are earning their own living in safety and supporting children they were left to raise alone. Made in Cambodia - 3 pair per order (2 red and 1 white) Approx. Measurements: 3in x 4in - $23

These bright knit angels are handcrafted out of alpaca wool by women artisans and mothers in the Peruvian highlands community of Chucuit. These moms make whimsical toys for their kids and from there; puppet knitting has become a natural part of life. Knitting empowers these women, within their household and community. It provides extra income while watching over their kids and caring for their llamas or alpacas. Amazingly, even in their tough environment, the cheerful spirit of these strong women shines through in the quality, detail and creativity they put into each of their puppets. These angel puppets make great Christmas gifts for younger children! Made in Peru Approx. Measurements: 4 in - $18

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Campbell... Two Months Late

My baby turned 5 August 9, and for the first time, we gave him a real birthday party, with friends and everything. For those that know me well, I detest birthday parties. I'm not good at them, can't afford good ones, my kids get presents they don't need, and I'm not convinced that they remember them for too long afterwards. But this was the first year that he asked for a party, and asked and asked and asked. So I gave in. We invited 5 friends, since he was turning 5, and had it at our house. And the big event was playing in the backyard in the sprinklers. Yep, no bounce house, no games, no major decorating. Just come over, have cake and ice cream, open presents and play in the sprinklers. I did bring out the big guns, literally, and had water guns. And I did decorate with previously used Mickey Mouse decorations. I panicked that morning because the forecast called for rain. That's a problem when you only have one activity and its outside. So I asked on Facebook for ideas and someone reminded me about making flubber. I thought that might be a good thing to do rain or shine. So I looked all crafty like I had planned that fun thing all along. I told mommas they could drop their sweet ones off and a few took me up on it. See, I really say that because I don't want mommas to judge my lack of party throwing abilities. Over all, it turned out fine I think. They seemed to have fun. And it wasn't too stressful, except for the flubber experiment that wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be. So here are pics. Don't judge! I'm gifted in other ways!
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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Daughter of the King: The gospel according to Cade

I noticed someone read this past blog today, and so I reread it. Now my sweet one is in 4th grade, so it brought a little tear to my eye to read this. I'm not sure I can describe him the same way. He is still relational, and can have a servant's heart when called upon to, but he is also independent and bossy. Oh but his heart! Love him and am so thankful for him!

Daughter of the King: The gospel according to Cade: Cade wrote this epistle today during church, most of it with no help from me. I thought I would pass it on to bring a smile to your face. Oh...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sept. Update

How did I go a whole month without blogging? I'm not sure. I have no real excuses. I did start one a while back, but it was a deep spiritual one and I think the moment passed and I don't know that I can get that inspirational moment back. Hubby and I were on vacation last week and I had time to blog, but was just enjoying doing nothing. And really nothing big has been going on, other than getting in the back to school routine.

Updates, 6th grader is doing awesome, loves his school, began bringing his trombone home yesterday to practice (Yipee). He is starting quarterback for his football team, which is 0-4. They only have 4 players that have played together the last four years, half the team has never played before until this year. We may not win a game this season, and that is ok. I just don't want him to get hurt.

Fourth grader is a super star. His teacher called me yesterday (strikes fear into every momma's heart) but she called to see if I had any questions or needed anything and to tell me what a great kid he is. She is thrilled to have him in her class and we have a done a great job of parenting. Well that's just awesome! Made my week. He is playing basketball with the Y and loving it. And he and big brother play baseball every other Sunday afternoon, when its not rained out. So we are plenty busy with sports, as usual.

And my big boy kindergartener is growing up so fast! J and I were talking that even after one week he changed. I think the mental stimulation rocked his world and his creativity and excitement about learning is so great to watch. We are making huge progress getting ready by ourselves in the mornings without a battle. And he is so proud of himself when he gets a smiley face at school for his behavior, as if we expect something different. He did cry a little bit the first week after lunch according to his teacher. I think the longer days were getting to him, but he's used to it now.

We are making a change in our pick up routine this week to see if not riding the bus helps us get home any earlier. Even ten minutes would help with homework time. But that means I'm sitting back in the car pool line which I complained about all last year. Sacrifices we make!

School is good for me, love singing with the sweet little ones. I'm volunteering at two schools now. I jumped on the opportunity to make copies for teachers at the middle school. No brains needed there, except when they need holes punches and staples and collated. But I have a masters degree. Surely I can pull that off.

You are now updated. God is good and I am thankful!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First Day of School...

Yesterday was an emotional day around here, for everyone involved. There was excitement, anticipation, anxiousness, worry, joy, fear, sadness, happiness and everything in between. We dropped off a 6th grader for his first day of middle school, full of excitement. He couldn't wait! We dropped off a 4th grader who now feels like big man on campus and ran away from us as fast as he could. I got this! And we dropped off my baby, my little companion for his first day of kindergarten. He had been so excited the whole summer and then the week before turned terrified. He has hugged me more the past week than his whole life put together. But he woke up with a smile on his face and after putting his backpack in his cubby walked right in like a big boy. See ya mom.

As a mom, you almost want them to cry, to miss you, to think they can't live without you. But our goal is to raise them to be independent of you, to want to do things on their own. Such a hard thing to watch. I did shed a tear as I left the school. I probably would have bawled had my hubby not been with me. I didn't want him to make fun of me blubbering like one of those moms who is attached to her kid, because I'm really not. But for my baby to go to school means a new start for me. Its been 11 years of having someone at home with me, someone I'm supposed to be pouring into, and as a preschool teacher I preach about the importance of this foundational time, that is now over. I'm so proud of how each of my boys is growing into a man who can go out into the world and conquer it, who is learning how to handle himself with grace and patience and maturity. And now maybe my house will be a little cleaner!

The boys comforting/celebratory breakfast.

Middle school, here we come!

My comforting/celebratory breakfast!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tips from the trenches...

These are tips that I have personally done and they work! One or two I have mentioned other places, but I wanted them in one place.

1. You can use peanut butter (creamy) to buff out scratches on CD's and DVD's.

2. To get crayon marks off of hard surfaces, simply put a hair dryer on it for a few seconds and wipe it right off!

3. For those yellow baby poop stains, wash with stain stick and regular detergent, but before drying, lay the garment out in the sun and the stain will vanish like magic!

I think I would like to make this a series of blogs, so send me your tips too!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Observations of a 3rd child

My older boys and hubby were away at children's camp last week, so it was just me and the little one for 5 days. I was dreading it because he can get under my skin quicker than anyone. But we really had a great time together. We had two play dates, went to the park and fed ducks, played at McDonalds, library, and had the added joy of dog sitting for our friend Terri while she was on a mission trip, so we had Gracie as a distraction. I let him sleep with me at night, and I think I slept better with him in bed with me, minus the kicking.

I realized at the end of our time together that he had been an angel for the most part. He hadn't whined, complained, pitched any fits, argued or been disrespectful. He got himself dressed, put on his own shoes and when I asked him to do something, he did it. Amazing! He was really enjoyable. And then... the brothers returned, and all the bad qualities that drive me nuts returned. Revelation! Either he acts that way because they get on his nerves, or more likely, he feels like he has to fight for attention. He no longer can get himself dressed or brush his own teeth or eat his dinner. And while Monday morning he walked right into his class at church, this morning, he pitched a walleyed fit! So embarrassing.

We had some sweet friends over today and she kept commenting how much Campbell reminded her of her third child, so apparently its not just mine. But I need to figure out how to fix it. Hopefully when school starts in a few weeks he will get in a routine and some of this will wear off, but I guess I need to pay more attention to him so he doesn't have to fight for it? But I feel like he is all I pay attention to already. I don't know how to pay more attention to him! I do think a routine will help immensely. I hope! Or maybe when he turns 5 in two days, some magic change will over take him.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Peace be With You

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.  - John 20:19, 20

Jesus Calling had part of this verse today just to quote "Peace be with you", but the whole passage jumped out at me like never before. I love that God's word is alive and active and can show you something completely new every time you read it.

The disciples were locked away because of fear. Jesus had just been resurrected, so they were told. But they don't really know what is going on, so they are hiding in fear of the Jewish leaders. Even though they had seen him do so many miracles and he had tried to tell them this was going to happen, they were finding protection in numbers. And "Jesus came". I love that. He came. He came in the midst of their fear, doubts, confusion, sadness, anxiety. He came not in judgment of their lack of faith, not condemning them for hiding, not in anger because they abandoned him. He came and stood among them and said "Peace be with you!" And then he showed them proof of his resurrection, proof that they weren't crazy, delusional or being fooled. And they were overjoyed.

That brings such comfort to me today. He doesn't get frustrated with me when I doubt him. Even though I have seen him do so many things in my life, I still have a lack of faith sometimes that should make God give up on me. But he doesn't. He comes to me where I am, and stands among my stuff and tells me "Peace be with you!" And then he will show me with proof of how faithful he is, again and again. Thank you Jesus for not giving up on this disciple who has so many doubts. You are so good and patient with me.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Major changes on saving money on your grocery budget

My first blog about this was strictly how I grocery shopped for my family. You can read it here if you want.

Then two years ago I did a series on saving money on your grocery budget based on myself and other moms I met with at a preschool moms coffee at church. You can read them here.

But I have had to make a couple of major changes to the way I shop, mainly because I have boys. And the older they get, the more they eat. And I know it will only get worse. So you will notice in my first blog that I did most of my shopping once a month at Walmart. That has changed. I can't get most of my stuff once a month anymore because when the boys open the full pantry or fridge, the food is gone in three days, regardless of how much is in there. You buy it, they will eat it. So now I shop every other week or sometimes once a week. And for the past few months I have done most of my shopping at Randalls. Local people might tell you that its expensive there, but if you shop based on sales, its no too bad. So I check the Randalls' sales and make a list of things we need from that, then make my menu and rest of the list based off the menu. I really love when you spend $75, you get a $10 coupon to spend the next time, so when I go the next week just to get a few things, its almost free! The pluses to that is that its really quick because my list is much shorter since I shop more often. It doesn't take me as long to make my list since I'm not out of as much stuff.  I am buying more of the things that are on sale. And my grocery budget is spread out over the month so I can have some left over at the end of the month. I have spent so much less the past few months. Of course, its hard to say how much of that is my new way of shopping and how much is me not cooking as much since baseball season and then summer entered the picture. That will be put to the test in a few weeks when football season starts and I cook almost every night.

The other major change I've made is not buying drinks. We haven't bought soft drinks since Christmas. J wanted to lose some weight at that point, and he would drink a 6 pack of Coke every day. And once I phased those out, I started buying less juice too, better for the kids. So now I just buy milk, lemonade packets, and water enhancing drops when they are on sale or I have a coupon. We are drinking a lot more water and saving a lot more money!

Summary of how to save money: menu, list and sales, and coupons if you have time. You can do it! Let me know if you have other ideas!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Favorite Things - Peanut Butter

I went back through my old posts to make sure I haven't already blogged about this one and realized all the titles just say My Favorite Things, and that's kind of boring and hard to find what you are looking for. I need something more creative for that series I think.
But my favorite thing this week is peanut butter. I have had a long love affair with peanut butter. As I kid I ate peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. (yes, I think that's gross now). My favorite snack when I got home from high school was a cup with peanut butter, cool whip and chocolate chips. Of course in college, a jar of peanut butter could get me through all kinds of things. When I was pregnant with Coop I would take a jar with me to work and just eat it all day with a spoon. I still wonder if that is why he's still allergic to it. Now I like peanut butter with banana and honey sandwiches and love the peanut butter fudge milkshakes at Sonic. And up to now, I would pick Peter Pan or Jif and be good. But let me introduce you to my new favorite peanut butter!

White Chocolate peanut butter! I found it at my moms last summer and then I couldn't find it around here. So she brought me 6 jars. I have found it here at World Market, and I've heard HEB has it, but I don't shop there. The website says my local Randalls has it but I've never seen it there. It is so yummy! Apparently it originated at a store in New York City, The Peanut Butter & Co Sandwich Shop! Yes, please! And its good for you compared to other peanut butters. Less fat, less calories, a smidgen more sugar, but it has white chocolate in it, so what do you expect? No corn syrup which is important to me. And then this past week at mom's I found this... wait for it!

Dark chocolate peanut butter! So good! I had it yesterday on a sandwich with banana, oh my goodness! I just saw it today being sold on the Home Shopping network and it was way more then in the stores, so don't buy it from them. Their website is, and you can go on there and locate a store near you that has it, so go find it, today!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Vacation

Since we took two bigger trips this past year, there were no summer vacations in the budget this year, so we just got back from our annual summer vacation in Northeast Louisiana. Exciting stuff. But as always, the boys had a blast at my parents house, mainly because there are enough electronics to go around so there is no fighting over stuff. And Memoo hardly ever says no when they want anything. We love El Chico. I love sitting on the back porch and reading and watching the birds. And this year Papa put up a basketball goal and that was a great distraction. The highlight of this trip was shooting lessons. I grew up in a hunting household but refused to ever put my hands on a gun. But we all took turns and I have to say I enjoyed it and was pretty good for my first time.

We went to Sci-port, the children's science museum, and one day went to the Boardwalk, the newest shopping area in town. We spent a long time in the Bass Pro Shop, which is funny since we are not outdoors people. There is actually a Sonic upstairs in the Bass Pro Shop, and it was happy hour, so we drank our drinks watching the giant fish in the fish tank. We also were on a hunt for the Duck Dynasty area and I was shocked out how expensive a plastic Si tea glass was. We found some great deals on shoes at the Nike outlet (with three boys, that is a huge big deal), and then got to hang out with our cousins who came in town for a cook out. Six boys in the house, lots of noise but lots of fun.

Friday morning we made a quick trip to the "water park" as Campbell calls it, but its just a park with a small water sprinkler pad in the corner. The best part of that for me was picking up Southern Maid donuts for me and Campbell. And then J and the big boys dropped us off to play and they went to Krispy Kreme to get their donuts. We don't have either kind of donut where we are, and we argue every time we are in Shreveport what kind are the best, but I'm sorry, Southern Maid are better! Lighter, fluffier, not as sweet, thinner glaze that breaks off on your shirt when you bite into the donut. YUM! I ate my two donuts way too fast and was so disappointed they were gone. Then we packed up, grabbed some lunch and came home. I missed my bed, but it was a great week.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

My Favorite Things This Week...

If you haven't seen the commercial for this yet, let me introduce you to Windex Touch Up.
I had a coupon for it a few weeks ago and thought I would try it out. I was very cynical. "Its just Windex in a cool bottle. I could buy a much bigger spray bottle of the same thing for a lot less. Its just a way for them to make more money." But I LOVE IT! It sits on my kitchen counter right next to the paper towels and I can grab a paper towel, push down twice and clean whatever! And my kids love it. Campbell wants to clean the kitchen table everyday because its fun! I am more than willing to pay an extra dollar for the cool bottle that encourages my kids to clean. I have the blue, but I want the yellow one next for the kitchen and I saw a red one at Walmart the other day, APPLE! Can't wait for that! You're welcome.

My other favorite thing this week is my baby, who is not a baby anymore. He will be 5 in 20 days and I will cry. The two big boys are at preteen camp this week with Granddad's church so its just been the three of us this week. He's been at Preschool Play Days in the mornings, thank goodness, because I don't think I could have kept him occupied. But we've had fun in the afternoons. Yesterday the three of us went swimming and then to the mall and Chick-Fil-a. He's obviously having a growth spurt because usually 4 nuggets is enough. But he ate his 4, one of mine and then took another one from the sample lady. And then he ate all of his fries, a cookie, "forced me" to make brownies when we got home and then leftover chips and cheese.

He is so entertaining though. Wednesday night our friend Holley kept him so J and could have a date night. He didn't want to go but afterwards, told us to go on another date so he could go back. When I put him to bed, he said "You and Daddy have had a bad day."
"Because you haven't gotten to see me much today." :)

The night before we were driving home from somewhere and he said, "Mommy how do you say strawberry in Spanish?"
"I don't know, I don't speak Spanish."
"Well, you can learn. Say Locos Tacos"
 I laughed so hard so he had to repeat his joke for a long time after.

This is my baby last Sunday after Cade's select team had a tough loss in a tournament in Galveston, so we got to have a late lunch at The Spot. He's thoroughly enjoying his hot dog. Love him! 

Monday, July 01, 2013

Confession Time

My name is Christy and I am a piler. I know admitting it is the first step to being healed, so I'm admitting it. I have piles all over the house. The Fly Lady calls them hot spots I believe. Its mostly papers, mail to go through, bills to file, school papers, pictures, drawings, coupons, etc. When my piles get too big, or someone is coming over, then the piles move rooms or, worst case scenario, they get put in a box. For the past few months I have had two boxes, not just one, of piles under my desk in the kitchen, as if that made them invisible to guests. I have had to move my feet when I sit down at the desk to work, but yet, they became invisible to me too. The more I walk by the piles, the more they just blend in, as if they are becoming at home in that spot, or maybe are camouflaged, hiding from me. But, alas, there they are, getting bigger by the day.

Last night I had a strange mood of actually wanting to through the piles. Usually when I get that mood I ignore it. I read a book, or blog or hang out on Facebook, because I think that it will take me hours to go through the piles. But last night, I actually followed through on the feeling that it needed to be done. And would you believe, it only took me an hour to go through both boxes. And I was watching Drop Dead Diva at the time, so I was entertained while doing the dreaded task. I would say 3/4 of both boxes went in the trash. Why do I let the piles get that big, and why do I not just deal with the issue knowing from experience it won't take me near as long as I think it will?

It made me think of a spiritual parallel. I have sins that I know I need to face. I have things that I know God is calling me to do. I struggle daily with spending time with God. And I have learned from experience that facing those things head on is never as tough, as hard, as time consuming as I think they are going to be. But I let them hide in plain sight. I shove them in a box under a desk and hope that no one, including myself, will see my sins, my disobedience or my excuses. And I let them pile up until it seems hopeless that I will ever deal with that sin, or do what God told me to do, or I've missed so many days, I might as well give up. But if I just dealt with all of it immediately, just like the mail coming in, it wouldn't pile up! When I am convicted of a sin, just confess it, repent and move on. When God asks me to do something, just do it. When God calls me to stop what I'm doing and spend time with Him, then do it!

I filed all of the bills and coupons and have a stack of pictures and drawings to put away. And then today when I got the mail I stood over the trashcan and took care of it immediately. No piles starting today! And I read Romans 8 today, and will be there all week. This verse jumped out at me.
"If people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, there is death. But if their thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace." Romans 8:6. I want my mind and home to be a place of life and peace!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Good Kind of Tired

After 4 months of regular season baseball, three post season tournaments, and 20 All Star games in 25 days, Little League is finally over for the year. Cade's 9 year old team lost the first two sectional games right away, so he only missed one of his 9/10 games. That simplifies that long story. Summary of the first game, we started it at 9:25 PM, stopped at 12:20AM tied and had to come back the next night to finish the game. Crazy! His second team went all the way to the championship game but lost. And Cooper's 11 year old team lost in the semi finals. So we brought home a gold, silver and bronze medal which is pretty exciting! The best my boys' teams have ever done in All Stars. But it was for sure exhausting for all of us. I was secretly wanting Cade's second team to lose so we didn't have to go to sectionals with them.

In the midst of All Stars we had VBS. I was the preschool director again, which I dearly love doing, but this year was really hard with baseball going on at the same time. We weren't getting home and in bed until after midnight most nights and then I had to be back at church bright and early. I was very thankful that we got Thursday night off from baseball games. I don't think I got out of bed that day once I got home from VBS. I knew ahead of time it would be tiring, and when I get that tired I usually have an emotional breakdown, so sure enough it happened during Cooper's Wednesday night game. I was feeling way too stressed and sleepy to sit still, so I had been walking around. Coop got up to pitch and ended up walking a run in and he started crying. So of course I lost it. I had to walk to bleachers on another field so no one saw me as I completely fell apart and cried for awhile. But then I was ok. I just needed that time to reboot I guess. VBS was a great week, the smoothest I can remember. We had recruited the best preschool leadership team that I can remember. That takes a huge load of stress off me! So thankful for them! I always think I'm going to lose weight during the week from stress, but when I eat a brownie every time I walk by a snack room, that doesn't happen!

We made it through VBS and to top off the week, while we were at Coop's Sunday night's game, I hear someone crying behind the bleachers and am pretty sure I recognize the cry. So I get up and as I come around the bleachers one of the older kids is bringing Campbell to me and says "he's bleeding." Thanks. Campbell tells me that he just "bonked" his head on a rail, but "my hands were still on the rail." Quick excuses. I should have known better. He has a big gash in the back of his head. Friends suddenly appeared from all over to come help me. I quickly moved the mob away from the field so hopefully my coach husband doesn't know what's going on. We get the bleeding stopped pretty quickly for a head gash, but one of the dads on the team used to be an ENT and tells me he's going to need stitches. So I have to decide if I'm going to leave the rest of the family there, carless, to fend for themselves while I take him to the ER or wait until the game is over. Have I mentioned its already after 10 at this point? When I had walked away we were losing 4-1, but when I came back we were losing 7-1. So yes, let's leave.

I take him to the ER and we didn't wait too long. But we were put in a room with a girl who had a sore throat and fever. Please stay on your side of the curtain. The doctor came in for all of 2 minutes to make sure he didn't have a concussion. Jason comes in at that point convinced I would need him to hold Campbell down while they stitched him up. But the nurse comes in, tells him to lay face down on the pillow, and that he will feel a sting. I turn my head because I don't want to see her sticking the needle in his head. I'm expecting to hear screaming, but instead I hear clicking sounds. I look back and she is putting four staples in his head! That kid never flinched, never whimpered, never shed a tear! I told him how brave he was and J says that's what got him in trouble in the first place. Apparently he got the real story after I left from the big boys who were hanging with him. He was sitting on top of a hand rail and said "look, no hands" and let go, and promptly fell backwards. Nice. I should have taken a picture of him that night with the bandage and tape wrapped around his head. Pulling the tape off his head the next day hurt worse than getting the staples. He gets them pulled out on Monday. Hopefully that is as painless.

So that's been our last few weeks. This week we have slept late, really late! I did nothing the first two days and then started cleaning because I couldn't stand my house that hadn't been cleaned in a month. And lots of laundry, clothes other than baseball uniforms. We are tired, but its the good kind of tired, where you have made lots of memories and done things that make you feel very fulfilled. We don't have any baseball until mid July so I am going to enjoy this time of rest! God is good!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Trades of Hope Giveaway

My sweet friend Cari, who has an amazing blog by the way, is featuring Trades of Hope today with a giveaway from yours truly. So read her blog, and get entered for a Haiti bracelet!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Championship Baseball!!!!

Cade is on the 9 year old NASA West All Star team and we knew when they were all picked it was a special team. Ten of them were on the All Star team last year and our two new additions are great players, including the best girl in little league baseball. We were excited! And it turned out we had reason to be.
Here are pics of how it all began back on Saturday, June 1st.

Yes, we won that game 31-0. It was painful for us to watch, even more for the other team's parents I'm sure. We won our next two games 10-0 and 16-6 which put us into the championship bracket. We had 3 days off and were afraid it would mess with our momentum and it did slightly. On June 7th we played Bayside and lost 6-1, mostly from errors we made from being unfocused and a little cocky I think. But it's a double elimination tournament, so we weren't done yet. The next night we played another hard team that we had thought was going to be hard to beat and knew a loss would end it for us, but we ended up beating them 13-0. So that brought us to the championship game against Bayside. They hadn't lost yet, so we would have to beat the team we lost to twice to win the title. No stress at all!
Game one was rained out, making those poor stressed out boys wait another night to play. Game one was Monday night and we won pretty easily 10-2 giving the boys a huge boost of confidence. Our best pitcher pitched the entire 6 innings, unheard of in 9 year old baseball. They can only pitch 75 pitches and his last pitch was number 75. Craziness!
So last night was game 2 for the district championship. We woke up to an email that one of our best hitters had a stomach bug and had been up all night sick so he was out. Oh dear! We flipped and were home team. At the end of the first inning, we were down 4-3. End of second inning, tied 4-4. Third inning was painful to watch, error after error, three of them from my kid. End of third, we are down 9-5. It looked hopeless, but those boys didn't quit and give up. They plugged away hit after hit. Top of 5th we were down 10-7 and entered the 6th and final inning TIED 10-10. I don't think I have even been that nervous for my kid and I can only imagine what those boys were feeling.
Bayside bats first and ends up scoring 1. We get up to bat down 11-10. That one run could lose it for us. After that I don't think I can remember everything. It was too crazy and nerve wracking. But it ended with us having a runner on 2nd and 3rd, we got a great hit and our runner came home to tie it at 11-11, the runner on 2nd base came home and got out at home. The batter was trying to get to third and got in a run down with the third baseman. The third baseman threw the ball to 2nd for the out and OVERTHREW the ball and it went out to the right field. Our runner ran home and the ball was thrown in from right field and by the skin of his teeth he was safe at home for the win 12-11!!!!!!! I had planned on trying to video the last play of the game but at the last minute decided I was too nervous and didn't want to miss experiencing it being behind the camera. But I wish I could resee it. The boys and coaches were in a dog pile, we were all screaming and jumping up and down the bleachers dangerously close to falling. So many other NASA players and coaches had come to watch and were cheering and screaming. It was one of the most exciting moments I can remember. I can't imagine the stress of parents whose kids make it to the Little League World Series. I don't know if I could watch. Here is the end of this leg of our journey.




We had to celebrate with a Sonic trip and we were all up until almost midnight because we were so wired. Cade wouldn't even take off his uniform to take a shower until 11:40.
Now we play sectionals. There are only 4 teams and its double elimination. The problem is two of the players, one of them mine, are supposed to be playing on the 9/10 team, first game Monday night. And two of the coaches, one of them my husband, are supposed to be coaching the 10/11 team, first game Monday night. And did I mention VBS starts Monday? So while I hope we continue our winning, it would be easier if we didn't. But we'll figure it out. I'm so excited for Cade and Jason to have this memory together. Such a great night!