Thursday, December 01, 2011

Decking our Halls!

As I was reading through my devotional...I was remembering all our memories from the holidays.  I was reading a devotional about God always being present in our lives through the thick and the  thin....and oh how he has been in our lives.  I always think about where we have come over the last 4 years.  Quite constantly actually.  I see Jack doing things the doctors never said he would do and I immediately have a smile stretch acrossed my face.  As I am sure God does his power and might are once again shining through to our world.  THere are a few things about Christmas that make me think about how far God has brought us too.  My fav Christmas ornament was given to us as a wedding present from my Spiritual mentor at the time.  IT is Gorgeous just to hold...but absolutely Gorgeous in this how the lights are shining through.  We have given each of our kids  Christmas ornament each year decorating the tree was extra special to see them all again.  I now know why my mom started this tradition...I think it was more for her than for us.
 There have been a few times over the last six years of our family...that I have felt incredibly blessed and This picture is of things I hold most dear....even with all the projects I have done recently...all the "things" I have collected over the last few months to make my home a bit homier, the only "thing" I couldn't live my family.  They are very dear to my heart and I do all the things I do to try and make their life better. 
 This year at our women's retreat we chose a word/phrase to focus on over the new year. I had many that popped into my mind...but I chose a "clean slate"...something I believe Mary probably wanted when she found out she was going to be pregnant as a virgin in a world that looked at such a thing as impossible.  I can't imagine the ridicule that that young lady must have had to deal with in her time...and the lies people must have told....but what miracle that came out of her hardship.  There is alot that can happen over a year in life, relationships and in space...if we just allow for a clean slate. 
 I don't have near the rejection to deal with that Mary I am guessing that mine should be a bit easier....but peopel desearve forgiveness (actually God demands it for us to be forgiven) and I will be more free in my spirit if I can get rid of some of the ugliness that has come out of hurt.  this clean slate thing...also includes giving myself a clean slate for all the hurt I may have caused or the critisism that I had towards myself and my parenting.  Although it was all in trying to be better...we are going to start the year with a clean slate...for myself, my kids, my friends, and my family.  Let us see where God can take us. 
There is such beauty in allowing God to lead and we just follow where he wants to take us.  Like I said I could have picked many words...such as surrender, reliquishing control...get the similarity.  haha.
All in all the Christmas season...brings about a great anticipation of what is to come.  There is such Joy in my children's eyes as we talk about the coming of Jesus's birthday...and we deck our home with fabulous Goodwill finds and our Christmas decorations from years past.  I look forward to the meaning and memories that will come out of this we await the best Gift we have been Given....the birth of our Savior!!  What kind of decorations do you have up this year?  .link your post below if you feel like sharing...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

wow it has been a while since we have updated....we have had a busy fall with Jack starting his second year of preschool.  He started at a new school this year, mainstreamed....and he is loving it!!  He loves his teacher and he has made many new friends.  Some think of him a bit like their little brothers, he has had to learn to be a bit assertive.  Which is good...he is going to have to learn to say no thank you I can do that...when everyone trys to do things for him.  We have already had a field trip, a thanksgiving dinner and met the firemen.  SO I have many pictures I have to show you soon.  Healthwise Jack has been doing Great.  WE have continued to have stable numbers and look forward to many more years of this.  We have some big decisions to make over the next year...I will share that in another blog.  We discussed it at our yearly appt with Dr Billmire backin September and I feel I have processed it enough to share...I think.  I am sure a few tears will be shed while I type...but when doesn't that happen. 

Avenlea is growing like a weed and also leaps and bounds in her personality.  Which at times has challenged us all..but it is also what we love most about her.  She is a spitfire!!  there is never a dull moment in our day and if i think I have found usually means they are in trouble or sleeping.  But really if they got along wonderfully I think I would think there was something wrong then too.  WE have decided though that the little munchkin is ready to head off to preschool.   She is going to start early this coming spring and join her brother...well sort of.  She will be in the 3 year old class and then will continue  with the same teacher next fall.  This will allow her to be in the pre k class for half a year before she would start Kindergarten at 5.  She is so bored and so jealous of her big brother...we said why not and I am sure I can find things to fill my time on those two mornings a week.  :)  I will however miss our mama/Avenlea time! 

I have been up to no good...or you could say alot of home projects, I have in the works the start to a photography bussiness...(never thought I could enjoy working so much) and then also getting crafty with the crochet needles and sewing machine for orders I am assuming for Christmas as everyone had a time limit on when things needed to get done.  House projects will have their own showcase coming up here...I have been snapping some pictures and once I get caught up with everything...I will post about them...I have had some requests on how the process works.  But there have been total room make overs to furniture redos.  So stay tune. 

well my pictures are done it is time to wrap this up and head off to bed...hope you all have a happy beginning of december and enjoy the snow that showed up just in time to welcome us into the month!! 

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Hours of Powerspraying and painting in 112 degree direct sun.....

after hours of using this power sprayer...we finally got the 6 year old cobwebs we had know the ones that the broom doesn't take down cuz they are too bloomin' sticky. THey were clung so hard to our house and our deck that it took not 1, not 2 but 3 separate sprays with the power washer. I was super excited at the start of this project and after three powersprays and two days painting in the sun.. during the heat of the day cuz you know that is when the kiddos take naps. IT is OFFICIAL---I am AN INDOOR PAINTER!!

I also know that my husband is quite handy...he unplugged some drains in our walk out...hopefully this will help it drain better when it rains...He also took the entire roof off of our deck and rebuilt the railing and repaired our roof...all by himself...I would have looked at it and never thought it could happen.

Due to the lack of time...(cuz I have a hubby that is still working til 7 pm every night...yep 12 hour days) and the fact that it costs money...I need you to imagine our home painted this middle color.  It will happen someday in the next 5 at least before I have to repaint this deck.  haha!!  Do you have it...can you see it...

Pretty Granite color with white trim around the windows and door, and our big white garage door.....yep it is pretty isn't it.  and can see the color we painted out deck...

yep it is a light grayish brown...if I was to give it my own name it would be putty.  ON the paint chip it is called Autum Sand.  it looks so nice to have it freshly painted....I am working on some outdoor cushions for our deck furniture too.  I gotta say the part that makes my minor heat stroke worth it today is that we turned in our aluminum for scrap and paid for the whole I think I have half of what I need to finish the furniture...LOVE IT!!  I will let you know if we decide to paint the house, I am thinking we might need to hire a painting crew...anybody want to volunteer....the pay will be pizza and beer.  :)  til then I will enjoy my morning coffee and a book on our pretty deck. 
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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

happenings of June....

Well since I feel like my life is flying by as I sit and watch....I decided I will do a highlights of june post.  So here goes...the

the beginning of june we had our baby girl turn 2.  She is growing up too fast.  She talks a mile a minute...still mainly gibber gabber and then out of the blue she will have a totaly clear sentence to surprise you.  She has surpassed her bro in weight and height.  Loves having her fingernails painted, her hair done and about the minute you think She is a girly girl.  She will come in from outside covered in sand or mud from head to toe.  Her new discovery this month has been the raspberries in the back of our yard.  She can't ever sneak them as she ends up with them on her fingers and her face from ear to ear.  She is all about her shoes and accessories lately.  She loves wearing bracelets and picking out her own shoes. 

then that same week we headed down to Riley for Jack's surgery.  this was a wake up call to what is going to continue to happen as he gets older.  He is definitely understanding what is happening to him more and more.  We get lots more questions and are having to rely more and more on the man upstairs to give us the answers.  He did very well despite being a bit upset when they carried him off.  He healed quickly and was ready to run far before he had permission too.

We returned home just in time to celebrate father's day.  We had a cookout with family and attempted to make some pavers for Adrian to put in his landscaping...unfortunately...they dry really quickly and we didn't really make anything that even resembled a we decided to redo our porch/deck instead.  Not that that was a father's day gift as it has been a lot of work for Adrian...but it is looking very nice now that it is in the last stages of being finished. 

I got to spend a weekend away in Fort Wayne with my friend Crystal, shopping our little hearts out and getting many new ideas for sewing.  We got to take in the Matilda Jane Art Fair and meet some of their staff at the preparty.  What wonderful ladies and a fabulous company. 

Then I returned home to a sick kid and a sore throat for myself.  We cleaned for a day and then welcomed my mom and niece for the week.  We entertained them, with raspberry picking, swimming, a trip to shipshe, a train ride to shed's aquarium, some shopping and a trip to Long Lake for more swimming, a boat ride and fireworks.  HOpe they enjoyed their time with us as much as we enjoyed having them.  praying they stay healthy and aren't affected by this nasty cold I still have. 

Daddy also made the kids day, by building them a super huge sandbox in the backyard.  Lot of fun and enjoyment yet to come in this for the rest of the summer...hoping this will reduce the fights and sand throwing at least. 

Well I guess that was a recap of June and the beginning of July as well.  Hope this summer is treating you all well...and you are enjoying yours as much as we are.  We look forward to accomplishing more of our projects and sharing them with you....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blessings by Laura Story

I promise that this is my last super serious post for a while...but every now and again I have things I wrestle with...and some are just important enough to share....


We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can't satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

Credits :
songwriters: story, laura mixon
© new spring publishing;new spring publishing

what an amazing way to look at trials, the long road that we have ahead of us in our journey. I think sometimes to where I would be without the trials in my life. Some have moved me away from God and then brought me back even closer..others have just pushed me to Cling to Christ.

I have had a song that I have clung too for each little step of our journey. Recently this is the one I am clung too.  I think about all that i have gone through in my 33 years of life.  I think about where I would be with out my Father in Heaven.  Alot of the trials have taught me huge life lessons, but mostly I think about the spiritual side.  I have learned so much about my father through the trials.  I find myself thanking God for the trials some days, cuz without them would I be on the same walk I am with Him today or would my focus be way off track. 

the words that stick out to me most recently

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can't satisfy?

what if it is just to make us want the new world more....what if it is to have us desire to know Christ even more....what if all that we go through is just the Lord being merciful to us and helping us to cling to what is really worth clinging too.  Reminding our hearts and minds that this is NOT OUR HOME! 
I have never thought of trials this way....I have never thought of the betrayals and the struggles in the light of it being God's way of teaching me not to get comfortable with something that is not His best for me.  Instead thinking of it as His way of making us hunger for our true Home with Him. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hi everyone...I know we have been absent for a long time...we are going to change that a little.  it is hard to keep up with life, facebook, a blog, a caringbridge page and all the new found hobbies that we all have going on around here.  Seriously, I thought adding child was the problem...nope not really cuz that is almost a year ago...and she is really not the issue.  hang with me folks, cuz I am sitting here by myself in a quiet house...and YES I am choosing to write this in my free time...YEPPERS it is that important to me. 
   I am still wheeling from our message at church yesterday.  Ever have those...Well yesterday was a doosy...we were digging into the place in where Jesus calls out the pharasees' for putting their traditions before worshiping God and following him (Mark 7) If I was a good blogger I would go find it for you and post it so you knew exactly what I was talking about...but come on...if you are really interested I want you to dig out your bible. it is:
Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,
‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7 Their worship is a farce,
for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’[d]
8 For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”
(don't worry you are going to want your are going to want to mark this part: 

 Then He goes on to talk about our hearts:
Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. 15 It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.[h]
17 Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used. 18 “Don’t you understand either?” he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? 19 Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.)
20 And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. 21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”

I know that in my life when things are not going my way, or I am being challenged by something it is so easy to fall into these things that defile you.  Don't worry, I have not committed murder, or slept with another man other than my husband.  Crazy though that those are the frist things to come to mind like they are in someway worse than the ones that follow.  When in fact the ones that follow really do more harm to the body of Christ.  I thought about how easy it is to talk about a situation to a friend about another friend.  most of the time I say I am just getting advice...or correct me if I am crazy, but this isn't right is it.  That in all ways is Slander.  I can't tell you how many times i have walked into someone's home or looked at someone and been envious of something they have.  I also know that I lust after not other men...things!  Especially when I want to finish a project I have started or I feel, let me repeat that I FEEL we need it.  These things get in the way of God if they are taking up your thought process obsessively.  I know they get in the way of what God is teaching me. 

I also thought how healthy the church would be if we all confessed these things and then forgave each other they way God calls us too.  I know you are all thinking I am crazy, but seriously if we really forgave and didn't hold a grudge, there would be no fear of confession.  In my world I fear confessing things I have done, because of the judgement of man, not the fear of God.  I have made the stupidest mistakes already and God accepted me back.  It is the people of God who have taught me that they are not always as forgiving.  Me included....I have a very hard time forgiving people when i have felt taken advantage of.  I also have a very hard time trusting them again.  but this damage can never be restored unless their is full forgiveness.  Unfortunately when others move forward and don't feel the same damage from a situation this can be hard to accomplish.  So we need to do our part and leave the rest up to God. 

Someone also brought up Paul calling to not associate with people like this.  I agree with this in the case of unrepentant sinners...but someone needs to love on even the unrepentive sinner.  Everyone can't abandon them, or where will we find them.  Yep that is right.  We will find them accepting something else, another belief that will lead them to a different place and not to the best place....HEAVEN!  Sometimes I have been accused of being to Gracious.  I have been accused of hanging with the wrong crowd.  I have been accused of sticking up for someone with a different belief.  I am ok with this...keep accusing me...I believe that my relationship with them will have far more power that anyone spitting out scripture at them.  I know it was that way for me!!  Thank you to all those people that didn't cast me out when I was letting sin control my life, instead you were loving and gracious and stuck by me. 

I was challenged by how many of us, myself included, participate...and if not participate say nothing to our friends as they speak about others, as they knowingly write off too many things on their taxes, as they are envious or others and things, and as we watch people be greedy or we are greedy ourselves.  I know it might sting at the beginning but I would much rather be called out than continue to be buried in this negativity.  What a great safe place the body of Christ would be to reside! 

I am challenged by this message and what a great time to focus on it.  We are entering a week of reflection.  A time to remember the sacrifice and the gift that was given to us, to celebrate the person who was not afraid to go against the norm, to speak out when His words were not going to be recieved well, and was always willing to have lunch with someone who had done something horrible without judgement. 

I know...not something any of us want to hear....but really think about how much safer of a place it would be to reside.  also this is what God will be looking at when we enter heaven:  Not how much we did, but how much we learned to become more like him.  How many of us don't want to hear: Well done good a faithful servant.  I know I do and my actions are not dersearving in the last few months.