Wednesday, September 30, 2009

[ Simple Country Girl ]

Yep, that's me.... I'm just a simple country girl that it doesn't take much to entertain or impress me. I'm sure my hubby is ever so thankful for that on many occasions. I'm a cheap date. ;o) And being the simple person that I am made yesterday a really awesome day because after months of waiting and work.... we have our first egg!! lol Yep, that's what I said. Egg.

We studied, we read books, we wanted to be 'hobby farmers' this year. Of course, the best laid plans seem to go astray at times. We have been eating homecooked meals more than boxed quickies or fast food. Hubby loves homemade bread (and I'm overdue on making some!). We were going to plant a garden and can this year. Even venture into the world of organicly grown. That didn't exactly get done. I read the almanac and planted lots of tomatoes and peppers inside, but before I got them transplanted they became so rooted they died out. Did I mention we thought we'd move and why plant a garden when we may be moving and not get to enjoy the harvest? Yeah right. That was a good excuse.

We bought chickens. Chicks. During Orscheln's Chick Days we made a trip to the store, bought 11 chicks (yes 11). Ten Rhode Island Reds and one lonely little Buff O. Tanner had to have a chick of his own so those little yellow ones caught his eye. He named his chick 'Poachie'. I have no idea where he came up with it, and know for a fact that he has no idea what a poached egg is. lol :o) We knew how many months we'd have to wait before we got eggs and got a chicken house, feeders, waterers, heat lamps, daddy made nesting boxes. We were prepared. As the chicks got bigger we decided to let them brave the elements (our dogs and cats) and teach them how to roam around the yard to eat dirt and bugs like 'normal' chickens. This was going great, the cats and dogs soon got hen pecked and learned to leave the girls alone. Each night Tyler put the girls to bed and they were growing and thriving. We did lose one baby to bad health so ten seemed like a good round number. Then, one week......they started dropping like flies. Well, not dropping...disappearing. I think we must have fed every coyote in the county in one week. We're down to 7 chickens. Good ole Poachie is still around though.

Then it happened. After months of waiting and thinking maybe we had 'handicapped' chickens that were never going to lay we got one egg!!! Tyler came in the house yesterday with our very first egg. And you would have thought he'd brought his momma a pair of diamond earrings. Yep, I ran through the house showing off our first egg (Taylor had a girlfriend over to study for a test) so I'm sure Jennie thought I was nuts. Then I had to take a picture of it. I knew it was small, but didn't realize just how tiny until I set it in the egg carton (we've saved dozens of them hoping to fill them up quickly). That little sucker is so small it wobbles in the hole. It barely rises above the cones that separate the holes. But it's an egg!! One beautiful, brown, perfectly shaped egg.
Did I mention I got excited? Using this as my Word Filled Wednesday post I guess this could be like a small lesson.... do you consider the glass half empty or half full? Do you revel in the little things or feel slighted that you don't have the bigger things you want? I can look at my egg carton with that one tiny little lonely egg and see 11 other empty slots. But is it a pitiful sight? I don't think so. It's one step toward a goal that we worked hard for. It's one egg in the line of many more eggs to come. It's one blessing. I'm that carton. Waiting for God to finish filling me up and blessing me daily. Which He does when we fill ourselves with His word and His love. (there's a sad analogy huh? Me an egg carton, and God's my eggs. LOL) But you can find the good in anything if you just know where to look for it. So, yes I'm a simple country girl. Excited over my one little brown egg.

"There's more to come. We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling short-changed. Quite the contrary--we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit."
--Romans 5:3-5 The Message

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

[ Blog Hop ♥ 3 Things Every Parent Should Teach Their Child ]

Today's blog hop wanted us to list three things you should teach your kids. Excluding of course the obvious things such as God, loving one another, being honest. Things that most EVERYONE wants to or does teach their children. Think outside the box.

Three things I want to teach my children (which seems odd that some of them come later in life and I wonder if I've managed to do a good job getting such a late start):
  1. Respect Elders - We all start out as babies in this world and grow and mature and learn and do. The one thing that really bothers me is to see children disrespecting someone who is a parent, someone else's parent or an elderly person in the community. I used to work for a senior citizen facility (not a nursing home either!), and it amazed me daily the stories I would hear or the sadness coming from some of the people around me. Their children had no time for them, they never hear from their grandchildren. None of us would be where we are if it weren't for our parents and our grandparents. They used to be young and full of life and even onery like us at one time. They just want to share in the love, laughter and fun that they are leaving as a legacy. Take time to call your grandmother, you don't have to take a vacation and spend a week with her, just a simple phone call would have her telling her friends for days what you were doing and how proud she is of you. When you see someone at the grocery store struggling to reach something from a shelf, ask if you can help. Open a door for someone with a walker... even if you have to wait two extra minutes for them to catch up to you. You know they are headed in the same direction, why make them struggle just because you're in a big fat hurry? Take time to care, take time to love.
  2. Don't WHINE! - no matter how bad or miserable you think your life is I can guarantee you there is someone somewhere who is worse off than you are. Your selfishness and arrogance is uncalled for and will not be tolerated. Things you have are not a right they are a privilege and you should act accordingly. Don't complain to me that you want the newest video game because your friend has one (especially when you just got the one you wanted last week), I'm going to tell you enough is enough. There are children in the world who don't even know what a video game is. Don't complain that we're having chilli for supper when you hate it and want something else because I'm not fixing something special for you. There are children in the world who are lucky to eat one meal a day and would think you are eating like a king. You are allowed to complain when you feel neglected or need attention because there are children in the world who would love to have the warm hug and comfort of a parent and I should not deprive you of such things just because I get wrapped up in my own doings. I'm first and foremost your mother and will always take the time to hug and kiss you and run and play.
  3. Don't Conform - There will always be others who tell you to do this or do that and they want you to do it their way. To come along, go with the flow, who's gonna know? Remember that mom and dad may not always find out (which is highly unlikely), but you have someone greater to answer to than me. God knows your heart and sees and hears everything in your life. He has orchestrated every move to help you grow and learn or to teach you hard lessons. Don't let others dictate your actions by making you feel out of place. You are unique and special and why would anyone who truly loved and cared about you, want you any differently than the way you are? Be strong, be confident and stand up for what you believe in. Even when others tell you you're wrong or lame or a loser. Love them anyway, despite their shortcomings, but don't conform to their standards. I think you're pretty special just the way you are and your true friends see those same qualities you possess that I see. That God sees. Be proud of them. Be proud of you.... because there is only one of you in this whole entire universe. That's pretty freakin' special! ;-)

So, that's my three things. Of course, being a parent I could name at least 100 more things... who couldn't? And we all know our parents styles are correct don't we? lol ;-) (NOT!) I know I'm far from a perfect parent but my children sure do make me proud (most days) and I thank God for them everyday and ask for His guidance and help in making sure I teach them what He would want me to. Happy Tuesday to you all! I'm off to 'hop'.... ♥

MckLinky Blog Hop

Special thanks to Hand Sanitizers for sponsoring this blog hop.

Monday, September 28, 2009

[ The Strength of Mercy ]

The Strength of Mercy: Making a Difference in the World One Child at a Time The Strength of Mercy: Making a Difference in the World One Child at a Time by Jan Beazely

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I couldn't have loved this book more!!! Seeing how God led this family to their adoption journey and the faith of their following is so heartwarming. I may even have to read this one again someday! Kept me wanting to read to see what and where it was going next. Would recommend to anyone learning or wondering about adoption. Or even faith. Their following and their faith in God couldn't be stronger.

View all my reviews >>

[ Happy B♥Day to My Hubby and Signs ]

Today is my hubby's birthday! He's the Big 4-0!! I can't believe it! The other part that is hard for me to believe is that I've been there for all his birthdays since he was 16 years old. Unbelievable is how that feels. Our oldest daughter has passed the age I was when I met her daddy. I've spent more years with him than without him during my entire lifetime... that's what happens when you marry a high school sweetheart you met at 15. If my daughter came to me now and told me she found the person she was going to spend the rest of her life with I'd think she was talking teenage nonsense. I wonder what my parents thought. :-]

I can't say it's been all great, but it's definitely something I wouldn't change for anything. There's been more good than bad and all the things we experience in our lives are for a purpose. They make us stronger, teach us lessons and make our hearts what they are. God has seen us through and brought us to the point in our relationship where my life would be empty without him. He's a terrific daddy, a wonderful husband and has a heart and a passion for the Lord. Watching him study daily and want to teach our children and share with them....and others, brings me happiness.

So, today.... Happy b-day honey! I know you're at work and already having a bad day (because you called and I wish you could have taken the day off), but you'll have surprises when you get home! We love you daddy! I wish I could take you back to Tennessee to go fly-fishing today. But someday soon. I promise.

Thursday was my birthday and I had a terrific day. My momma brought me lunch at home while I was working and we ate and visited before she had to go. My favorite lunch... mini pizza and corn nuggets. Yum! Then of course, it was season premier of Grey's Anatomy! Woo Hoo!!! The kids and I went to my friend Diane's and had taco dinner and she made me a chocolate cake. :-] Tanner loves playing with Brian, Tyler always finds time for Kristi and Taylor and Kevin of course watched Grey's with us. I really enjoyed the evening. Eric got me a card from him and one from the kids and a new gold necklace with praying hands on it.

So, it's been a busy week of birthdays for us. Three birthdays all within 8 days. September is a great month for us. Plus, we've been visiting churches the last few weeks. Newtown Christian church was awesome, visiting with my uncle and other friends. We drove an hour one way to visit their church and even the kids liked it. Yesterday, we visited the First Assembly of God, it was friends and family day and everyone was encouraged to invite a visitor. Joy invited us to attend church and we saw lots of friends and family there also. It used to be Eric's 'home church' and lots of his family still attend there. We saw aunts and uncles, cousins, some even came from Iowa to visit.

My favorite part of the day yesterday seemed like it came out of nowhere. I've been reading, studying and praying about adoption for so long now. Some days it just seems like something that is stuck in my head and really no purpose or plan and other days I wait to see where the Lord leads us. I feel very strongly that it's something that's been placed in my heart for a purpose. Yesterday started out as a day that I just had so many mixed feelings and before I even had my shower I said a prayer and ask God to help me understand. If it was something He placed in my heart and had a plan for our family and it's His will to show me that I was on the right path. That it is His will and it would all work out. One of the verses that was shared during the sermon at church was Habakkuk 2:3. I cried.

"For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay." Habakkuk 2:3

After church we went to my mom and dad's for dinner. Mom fixed a full meal, meat and potatoes and dessert! YUM I ate so much I couldn't wait to change into my 'fat pants' when we got home. And of course, to take my Sunday afternoon nap. It was a terrific day. Looking forward to an even greater week.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

[ Please VOTE! ]

Kari is having a contest! Nominate your favorite or most worthy "Brave Hearted Chick". All you have to do is leave a comment. I nominated Kelly Putty and am encouraging others to do the same!!! Kelly is my 'Ordinary Hero' lately. She's been in my thoughts and prayers constantly. It's all a very long story, but trust me, she definitely is deserving and one "BRAVE HEARTED CHICK!"

So, please.... GO VOTE! And I'm sure while you're voting, or perhaps reading Kelly's latest update on her blog she'd appreciate any prayers you'd offer up for her and her group....and especially the children.

Friday, September 25, 2009

[ Friday Freebie ]

Okay...this is really cool. The blog link has been in my sidebar for quite some time but if you're a scrapbook fanatic (and I know some of you who are!) this is pretty cool. Plus, I found another new blog with awesome ideas from her site! Check it out!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

[ WFW ]

Word Filled Wednesday.... sounds great. I'm always at a loss for what to blog come hump day. So I stumbled upon WFW. Enjoy!

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."
--Colossians 2:6-7

Saturday, September 19, 2009

[ happy 6TH birthday ]

My little Tanner turned 6 today! I can't believe it's been six years since our 'surprise' was born. I remember Eric saying he'd be going to football games on the OATS bus (which is senior citizen transportation in our town). Now he just looks forward to going to the games, no matter how he gets there. Yes, our Tanner is a football fanatic. All he wanted for his birthday was a "Chiefs helmet, and a Chiefs shirt, and Chiefs football pants, and Chiefs shoulder pads, and one of those chin things for his helmet and a thing to put in his mouth to keep his teeth in." "Oh yeah, and a Chiefs football." He found this cute little hat at Wal Mart the other day and I couldn't resist buying it. It looks like a vintage leather helmet they used to wear to play football. He loves it and wears it everywhere now. He actually slept in this morning and just about the time we were going to run in his room to surprise him and say Happy Birthday, he came running into the living room and said, "It's my Birfday!" So we tackled him and threw him on the couch for a ticklefest and his birthday spankings. :)
He made himself a sign for his 'party' which we didn't actually invite anyone. Our family is on vacation out of town, his sister actually took off this morning to a Mizzou game with the FCA group from school (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), so it was just me, daddy and the boys today. Tanner's sign says "Tanner Lynch is having birthday party! 6 yrs old" (except with a few more spelling errors I think. ;) lol He may be daddy's boy, but it's always mommy he draws in his pictures of himself.

He of course informed us he was ready for his presents. Where were they? (No....he's not spoiled at all.) Being the mother-of-the-year that I am his gift was of course wrapped in the finest paper and matching ribbon with a giant card personalized just for Tanner. NOT... what dream was that from? He was made to close his eyes for his surprise and Dad brought out the present from the closet. Okay, so I'm a slacker this year. Did I mention we've all been sick? It won't be the wrapping paper he remember anyway.... it was that look on his face when he saw that BIG RED helmet that will be remembered.

A real CHIEFS UNIFORM! Helmet, jersey and pants. It came with iron-on numbers so he could choose his jersey number. Which of course he and dad had to look on the internet to see just who he wanted to be. #7... Matt Castle. I think his college stats cinched it for Tanner. All he heard was how many touchdowns and received passes and he said, "Yeah, yeah, that's the one. How many touchdowns did I make dad? Yeah, him." So, of course we had to have a 'Heisman pose'.....this was as good as we could do before he lost his balance. ;) lol
After playing tackle with the dog for a while we all decided we needed to have breakfast out today. We all got ready and headed to Jamesport for a home-cooked breakfast. :) I was taking pictures over my shoulder in the car of the boys in the backseat. I didn't think they knew what I was doing because I wasn't turned around. I would turn the camera around and just click hoping I got what I wanted. Someone caught on to me, and this is what I saw when I brought my camera back around to look.... I busted out laughing. "GOTCHA mom!" The kids used to be embarrassed by my need to pack my camera everywhere. I think they've conformed finally.
Tyler decided he wanted to take a picture too (my budding photographer to be). So daddy and I stood in front of the restaurant for a quick pic before going inside. (photojournalism right?) Sunny, squinting our eyes, want to fill our guts look....
We always have tons of pictures of everybody with daddy, but mom never gets to be in the picture. Tyler is learning and loves to shoot, so today I actually let him touch my camera. :) It was worth it to have pictures of me and my birthday boy. Waiting on our breakfast. Tanner had a pancake of course the size of his plate and almost finished the whole thing.
After breakfast we had to go to the grocery store to pick up the cake. Tanner had no idea that dad had already ordered it. He wanted to show me which one he wanted and ask me to buy the toys to go on top and he wanted to go home so mom could make his cake for him. While Tyler distracted him and helped him search the book so he could show him what he wanted, dad was asking the bakery lady for his pre-ordered masterpiece. :) Just what Tanner had shown him 4 days earlier. This one bubby.... this one right here...
As dad turned around and said.... like this? He was so surprised. Eric had him read the top and of course he can't read yet, but he can certainly make out his name when it's written somewhere. That cake says Tanner! lol Yep.... sure does. He was surprised and loved it. (I think he forgot all about wanting mom to make it.)
Of course he had to pick out just the right candle to go on top. You can't have a birthday without blowing out a birthday candle. We convinced him he just needed a six.... not a 5 and a 1. Which is what he wanted. A 5 for how old he was and add 1 mom. That's how old I am now. But we managed to settle on a 6.
We finally got to head back home and none of us were hungry (even Tanner I'm sure), but he wanted to eat cake! So, of course we had to party. ;-) I don't know what he wished for but I have a feeling it was probably more football stuff. That, or to play football. He's very upset over the fact that they don't have football leagues in our town for kids his age. He's ready to move anywhere they have football. And I know dad is just smitten with it all.
Crazy kid... his cake had nothing to do with football either. His second favorite love.... skateboards. You couldn't convince him to have football on his cake. We even offered to bribe the boy with money.... he just wanted those skateboards. Go figure....

Happy Birthday baby boy! We love you very much Tanner and as soon as sissy gets home from the Mizzou game we'll have more cake and more surprises!

Friday, September 18, 2009

[ Friday Freebie & Prayer ]

Yeah, it's Friday! I wish I wasn't so sick, I might enjoy the day more. Going on day three of this nasty cold (that my hubby is hoping isn't the swine flu). Excuse my political incorrectness. I still eat bacon. :)

So, my Friday Freebie is a Christmas Ornament this week! :) How cool is that? Christmas is my favorite holiday and I splurge on ornaments every year. We always get new ones. The kids each get a new one to add to their collection. When they leave home, they'll have enough to decorate their own trees. Mine may end up bare by the time I have an empty nest. I think last time we counted we had almost 500 ornaments for our tree. Again, did I mention how much I ♥ Christmas?! Click on the picture below to be taken to the site to complete the form for your free ornament!

So, onto the next bit of goodies for Friday. Our pastor has been discussing prayer lately and being prayer warriors. Which has had me thinking quite a bit. When someone asks you to pray or you receive prayer requests do you literally say a prayer for them or just say you will and then never really get around to it? Do you use the prayer chain from your church or study group as your gossip track or are you really concerned with the prayers that need to be lifted? I only ask these things because they have been thoughts and actions of my own in the past. I've had my prayer life changed and learned how easy it can be to send up a prayer for someone, or myself at any given moment.

Being singled out to say grace at dinner everyday on our trip was a huge push for me. A giant leap you might say. I found a comfort zone. I used to be embarrassed to pray outloud in the company of others. But as I quickly learned on my trip my comfort level wasn't realistic for several areas of my life. So, now I begin to pray. Pray everyday. Prayers of thanksgiving, prayers of need, prayers for understanding and healing.

Someone sent me a message this morning thanking me for something else and upon knowing I wasn't feeling well added "IM PRAYING FOR YOU" in all caps. :) To me, that was a sign that an actual prayer was being said for me. For which I was very greatful. I challenge you.... when you say you are praying for someone, actually stop what you are doing and say a prayer right then. It takes only a few seconds or minutes of your time. But it's sincere.

I'm going to leave the link on my sidebar with the picture below as an open invitation when you need prayer, send a request. I can share it with others, I can keep it private. But I can guarantee you that a prayer will be said. We all know prayer works but we have to do it with a sincere heart and honesty. Won't you pray with me? Won't you allow me to pray for you?

So, I'm going to share a request this morning. I'm praying over it and ask that anyone who wants to pray with me do so. One of the organizations that I follow regularly on the web, All God's Children International, has space left for their next mission trip to Africa. AFRICA! :) Did I mention I dream big these days? My trip to Haiti opened up my heart and mind to so many things, so many people. I'm saving money now to return to Haiti, but when I saw that there were spaces left to go on their trip to Africa I became excited at the possibility that I could do that also. So, that's my prayer. For guidance as to wether I should go, and if so the means to get there. it's actually not much more than a trip to Hait. Can you believe it? I'm starting to wonder if I wouldn't have made a good missionary if my life had been different. But, I'm also aware that God has placed me right where I needed to be too. I wouldn't trade my life for anything and these new adventures are just a new chapter to be explored.

I'll pray for you today, and anytime you ask. Yes, I've actually said a prayer for anyone who is reading this. :) Try it! You can click on the photo to send a prayer request and it will remain in the sidebar too. Or feel free to e-mail me directly at I hope you'll use it, and find comfort when you do.

So, I'm still reading too. Finished Fields of the Fatherless by Tom Davis (how awesome I think this man is!). I've started reading Hope Lives. I encourage anyone to read Tom's book. It gives practical suggestions for helping 'the least of these' in many ways. Some even right in your own backyard. :) yes, did I say practical? Not everyone is called to adopt or travel on missions. But there are things that can be done right in your home town to help those in need. Please find a way to share your gifts, to help someone less fortunate than yourself. You'll make God smile. I promise. :)

Happy Friday from my sick bed. Hope you have a better weekend than mine is shaping up to be. My baby's 6th birthday is tomorrow and I need strength to party (like a 6 yr old). So wish me luck. Dad has alrady ordered the cake and his gift came in the mail on Tuesday. Thank goodness daddy has been helping take care of me this week. Otherwise we'd be celebrating without sweets. Maybe that wasn't to help me, but to satisfy his sweet tooth. (Or spoil the golden child.....) lol

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

[ My Surprise Today ]

Today was an incredible day. So much to be thankful for and so many surprises I never expected. I've been reading and reading and reading lately. Amazon is making a killing off of me. :) Thanks Diane. Thank goodness for that prime membership and free shipping. it's definitely paying for itself. Any-WHO.... I finished reading "Adopted For Life", definitely something I'm glad I read. Explaining our adoption by God, and how He wants us to serve by living by His word.
James 1:27 (NIV)
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
I'm feeling this call stronger than one can imagine. I want to adopt. Not just care for others. Yes, I know I should do that, and I'm learning and doing. Everyday. But I believe God has placed it in my heart to adopt and I'm just waiting to see how it all plays out. With great anticipation I might add.

I started on "Fields of the Fatherless" Saturday. I'm almost finished with it today. I'm just so excited and eager to read and learn of God's chosen people and how He wants us to love and care for "the least of these". As I'm reading this book today, so many things stuck out in my mind, jumped off the page, literally. I've dog-eared so many pages in this book. I keep wondering and asking God daily how He's leading me in my love for adoption and today as I'm reading I felt like He actually spoke to me. Something that wasn't even in my mind, wasn't in my thoughts jumped in my heart and I knew it was something I needed to do. God was telling me that I needed to sincerely empty my heart before Him. I can't seek the desires of my heart until I let go of some of my baggage.

I stopped what I was doing right then and there. I bowed my head and ask God to sincerely forgive me. Outloud. Not just passing thoughts in my head like I've prayed so many times before. I know He hears me, but showing the true spirit of seeking and asking came to me today. I cried, I begged. For forgiveness for the pain I've put my family through in the last few years. Thanking Him once again for my amazing and wonderful husband. He's one of my greatest gifts from God and no one can possibly begin to love me as much as Eric does. I had learned how to forgive him, but I hadn't truly learned to ask for forgiveness for myself.

I also ask for forgiveness and help in healing old wounds. Feelings of betrayal and bitterness from someone who I thought was one of my strongest bonds in this life. Someone I would have given soooo much for. After years of anger, disappointment and bitterness that I didn't know how to let go of I finally did today. It was so easy. I learned I was trying to control it and I had to let God have it. Did I mention easy? It was taken in an instant and I can't explain the feeling of release I had. Like someone had just breathed life into my chest. It was awesome I tell ya! :)

My afternoon was incredible. I've been walking on a cloud ever since. After a session with a beautiful girl (her spirit and smile were so contagious!), I came home to get my mail and this is what I found in my little silver box.
I thought it was a new book (remember my amazon addiction?), or one of my new FREE reads for being a book reviewer. And then I saw the return address. I got so excited! I ripped it open and this is what came out.
Reading the card and slowly unfolding it to see the front of the shirt I began to cry. Here was a piece of someone's heart. A shirt I purchased as a fundraiser for someone's adoption fund. I'm wanting to adopt so badly and actually having something material to make me realize that there are real people, adopting real orphans in the world. And somehow I was a small part of it. Today I became a small part of the Dubois Family's adoption for their son from Ethiopia. I'm in love with my new shirt. GO. SEEK. LOVE. If you feel like getting a new cool shirt, or feel a tug at your heart to support an adoption of a family, go.... look at their site, seek.... find your size and favorite style of shirt, love.... it's a small donation that goes a long way. I know they would appreciate it. I just wonder how many more are in store for my future because I have a feeling I'm gonna wear this one out!
So, I'd like to say I hope your day was as wonderful as mine. But I know in my heart it can't compare. :) I still hope you had an awesome day. I pray that you are led in some way to help others in need. Everyone isn't called to adopt. We're all commanded to love and help 'the least of these'. Happy Tuesday to you!

[ Will You Help Me? ]

Scroll to the bottom of the page and turn the music player off and come back up to listen to this short video clip. :) Will you help me, help them?

Orphan Sunday from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

[ A Birthday Present For Me ]

Yes, I know it's only September 8th and my birthday isn't until the 24th but....... this is going to be the best birthday present ever!!!!

I expect total quiet in my house and uninterrupted TV time for two hours. Yes, I believe Grey's is my all time favorite show. Anyone can feel free to send gifts or cards, they're all GREATLY appreciated, but you're going to have a hard time if you're trying to top the gift from ABC. :) lol Happy Tuesday, before the 2nd Thursday, before my birthday!

Blog Hop ♥ We Remember 9/11

This week's blog hop is remember the tragic day of 9/11. Something we don't think about as much anymore. It doesn't seem as threatening or invasive any longer. Yet, it still looms there. It saddens us when we think about it. And I'm sure those that were more directly affected than myself, remember it everyday.

Do you remember where you were? What you were doing? How you felt? I'd heard those questions ask about so many other historic milestones in our country's past.... Kennedy's assassination, the explosion of the space shuttle, even Elvis's death. After 9/11 I knew what those feelings and questions represented. A part of my life has seen history in the making. A moment that will forever be printed in school textbooks and relived on the History channel.

I remember being at work and hearing the interruption in the radio music. Wondering if it was just some political garbage I didn't want to listen to and how put off I felt at first thinking they were cutting into my tunes! ;) I like to sing while I'm working. And then as it became more and more urgent and gripping I took notice. We all took notice. What seemed like it was literally thousands of miles away could be a threat to me. To my family. To my friends. I worked at a senior citizen handicapped housing complex. Chris and I snuck away to Louise's apartment to watch the news broadcast with her. We sat there for what seemed like hours which was just a few short minutes watching the buildings fall, the replay of the crashes. It was like someone was starting to choke the life out of me and for once I felt like I wasn't safe. I've never felt that way in my life. Never really been scared of anything. And for the first time ever.... I was afraid. I wanted to grab my kids from school and run home and pray. I wanted my husband home from work. Seeing the hundreds of people wandering and running aimlessly I had to remind myself I was 'safe'. I wasn't alone, I wasn't wondering where my husband was or if he was alive. Yet that urgency remained. I remember thinking, this is what people are talking about when they say "who would want to bring a child into the world like this?" I remember thinking that same thought when my third child was born only two short years later.

Thoughts race through your mind that just because you live 'in the middle of nowhere' as we frequently refer to our little corner of the world in Northwest Missouri... I wasn't so 'hidden' after all. What if it just continued to spread our direction, like those movies you see....the horror and grief rippling out from the east coast to the west. When was it going to reach us? What would we do? A thousand thoughts race through your mind, bomb shelters from the 50's, stockpiling food in the cellar, living out your days alone in your home with just your family and wondering where everyone else has gone. The story doesn't end that way (thankfully), but the thoughts that race through your mind at a time like that are crazy. I also remember how safe and secure I felt that night when I did have my children home from school and my husband there with us. Our family was together that night, safe, and alive. We explained to our kids the new 'mast plan' if something happened that close to home. Where to go, what to do. And we quizzed them to make sure they understood the rules. I never thought I'd have to teach my children something like that. This many years later, I don't even remember the plan. I chose to leave my kids in school that day. I'm sure they were watching news feeds in the classrooms just like we were when the space shuttle exploded. I remember it vividly. I'm sure they remember 9/11 much the same.

I also remember thinking to myself I'll never fly again. NEVER. Period. September 11, 2001 was 8 years ago. Wow, that seems hard to fathom. Just this past summer, only a few short months ago was the first time I've flown again. I took a Mission Trip to Haiti. Some of those same fears came back before we boarded that first flight. They were quickly put to rest, but it was a strange feeling that something so long ago can have such a profound effect all these years later.

After having that third baby in 2003 I remember wanting more than ever to stay home with him and share and watch everything he did. I didn't have that luxury with the two oldest children like I wanted. As luck would have it, before he turned two that dream came true. I think everyone looked at things differently after 9/11. We stopped taking little things for granted (for awhile), we loved more, we laughed more, we risked more. Somehow as time passes we fall back into that normalcy and stop taking notice of the little things again. Why? Everyday is a blessing. Everyday is a gift. Treasure it, revel in it. Pray for those that need to realize life is short. Give your Life to the Lord, give your time to your family.

How do you remember 9/11?

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, September 7, 2009

[ Book 'Em Danno! ]

Okay, so unless you're 'ancient' like me (according to my kids), that wouldn't make as much sense to you. I always wanted to have an excuse to say it, so today is my excuse. ;o) lol

It's official! The BOOK SWAP is scheduled! Mark your calendars and show up at my shop (1309 E 9th St, Trenton, MO) for FREE BOOKS!!! Yep, FREE!!! Wednesday, September 9th from 5-7 p.m. we're sharing our books and magazines with whoever shows up!!! Bring books, give books, get books!

I'm so excited I can hardly wait! Lots of folks said they were going to participate already and I'm anxious to see what good reads show up. Maybe we can start making this a regular affair. Every three months or something. Give everyone a chance to read all the goodies they go home with. I knew when my kids ask if they could participate too that it needed to be something for everyone. So, I'm bringing books for children, teens, adults, magazines, crafts, etc. The kids are even looking forward to it!!! We've already got a pile of goodies ready to go!

Our big box is stuffed to capacity!

And just look at all these scrapbook and card magazines I'm ditching! I mean sharing....

And, this little mess is just PART of the books my daughter didn't think she could part with. Even though she's read most of them. Did I mention she's 17 and still has her Beverly Cleary books and Junie B. Jones that she refuses to let go of! lol :o) We love our books. But I can't fault her... I refuse to let go of the Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks stash.
So how's you're piles coming along? I'm excited to see what all shows up. And the even better part is, the few people I've talked to are really into this too. They aren't just bringing a handful of books, they have LOTS to share too. Boxes are coming!! Woo Hoo!!! I don't think there's much I get as excited over as books. Did I mention I LOVE BOOKS!?! ♥
Now, something else for you book lovers...I got my e-mail confirmation and am 'officially' a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson. More great ways to get FREE books!!! I'm gonna have links and sites to share in a flyer at the book swap too so others can check out the awesome ways to get free books online! Just by sharing your opinion (something we're not always encouraged to do), can pay off big time!!!
So, mark your calendars and I'll see you Wednesday!!! Consider this your Friday Freebie too... the FREE book review site. Thomas Nelson that is. one said you had to like my Friday Freebie (or that I absolutely had to post it on Friday)! Just consider it FREE! :) Have an awesome week everyone!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

[ Pray Till You Pass Out ]

Have you ever done that before? Literally prayed till you pass out? Well, I did last night. I'm pretty sure I have before, but this morning I woke up with a sense of how I left something unfinished, and I wondered if I got all the things out that I wanted to talk to God about. Of course, it doesn't matter if I actually voiced them because God knows our hearts and our minds. He was right there listening, holding my hand, probably rocking me to sleep saying, "Slow down my child....we'll get to them all. I promise."

I went to bed thinking I might read for a while, then I thought 'no, I'll skip my reading tonight and spend my time praying.' I always say a prayer before I go to bed, and encourage my children to do the same. When they were little we said prayers with them, and then it's more of something you hope you instilled in them to continue, rather than push them towards. I know they still say prayers, but sometimes I wonder if it's an everyday thing or just once in a while. I ask Tanner the other night when I tucked him in, "Did you say your prayers?" "Yes, Mom." "Really? When was the last time you said them?" (expecting him to say two minutes ago--his answer for anything in the past these days). Instead he surprised me. "I said them yesterday, Dad helped me when he tucked me in." Still teaching them, that's our job. :)

So, last night I was on a mission. I'd read so many things I wanted to share with God. It's like a warm-up to always start with the things I'm thankful for, my overflowing of His amazing blessings I find in my family, friends, children, husband, my everyday life providing me food and shelter. You get the idea. Thanking Him most of all for my salvation and Jesus. It still overwhelms me and amazes me that someone would share so much in giving their only son just for little 'ole me. Could you do the same? I know I couldn't. I have two boys and no one I know is worth as much as them. No one on this earth that is. Blah blah're getting the idea right?

Then I start on the 'important' stuff.
  • I've read friends' blogs where some are beginning their fundraising efforts for adoption (I seriously want a new shirt!), praying for their success with their efforts and wishing they surpass their goals.
  • Another blogger that is an advocate for several people's adoptions, just giving to any in need because it's what her heart is lead to do. After her own adoptions and knowing the need she's reaching out and sharing with others who are called by God to follow the same dream of adoption. What an incredible woman. Her family has vowed to eat rice and beans for a month to save money and send it to others who need it more than they do. I pray that this will be such a valuable lesson to her children that they will grow in her example and God will bless her and allow her to reach so many others.
  • I begin to pray for people I've been told are now battling cancer. Something I can only imagine the toll it takes on a body, mind and spirit and pray that children are not left without mothers due to this terrible affliction.
  • I pray for the Orphanage in Canaan where Bobi lives and for God to bless the children and the work she's doing there and the new relationship she's building. What a blessing! I think we all have mommy goggles when it comes to Bobi and want to care for her like she's ours.
  • I remember praying for the mission and everyone related to it. The new relationships growing there. The happiness of leaders and strength to build the mission and grow.
  • I prayed for the new organization that I found through Tom Davis and the book I'm reading "Red Letters". I 'stumbled upon' 5 for 50 (stumbled...yeah right), and discovered what $5 dollars can do. Five dollars. F-I-V-E! It boggles the mind when I think of the money people spend on various things when so little can do so much for people in other countries. God's people. Go ahead, I dare you..... spend $5.
  • I prayed for Kelly Putty after reading her latest post about returning to Africa. I pray for her safety, and for her group's safety. Travel mercies and that they will share the love of God and teach the people they encounter about the sacrifice of Jesus. To help the children, feeding them, loving them, keeping them safe. Building a life for them, finding families for them. Oh how I wish I could go with her.
  • And then I started praying about adoption. That neverending battle in my mind. What's His plan for me and this thing that tugs at my heart. This prayer turns into a conversation, asking questions, making statements and my mind takes off and I don't remember when I fell asleep or what I actually got out or what my last 'waking' thoughts were. I just remember feeling a void when I woke that I left something unfinished. It will never be finished. I wait everyday to understand, to have it make sense. Yet I'm greatful for the many people God has called to follow through with this thing called adoption and the many MANY orphans who find the love of a family.

So....have you ever fallen asleep in mid-prayer? I did. Today I'll still work on that conversation with God. He's in my heart and mind all the time. I sit and work while talking to Him, while singing songs praising Him. Maybe you'll try that tonight. Praying till you fall asleep that is.

"Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you."

Mark 11:24

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

[ Now READ This! ]

It's really been a quite hum drum day. Same 'ole same 'ole. It was nice to get out and do a couple of new shoots and click the shutter. But there's so much to do I just feel like I'm at a stand still at times. So the last couple of days have just been blah for me. I miss reading. I miss lots of things....and people. :s So, to get my daily fix of smiles and joy I read friends' blogs to catch up.

The highlights of my day have come in the last couple of hours, surfing and reading...then working some more. Then surfing and reading. I tend to have adult ADD at times. Especially at night with the distractions of kids about the house and the TV running. Did I mention I finished Nights in Rodanthe tonight (the movie) and watched A Walk in The Clouds for the umpteenth time. Talk about chick flix! Oiy. I've cried enough tears tonight to water a garden.

Anywho.... While doing my nightly surfing I stumble upon a friends' sidebar button that is a book review link. So guess what? I click, follow and fill out the form. I'm going to get to be a book reviewer!! How cool is that?! I'll post info on it soon when I get the details and widgets for the blog. But the best part of the whole deal (it's not getting paid), is FREE BOOKS! Wowza! I thrive on books. I'm so excited!!

And then, while surfing away... I pre-order this book.

My heroine! Ree has finally finished and published her cookbook and I'm pre-ordering my copy! The sticky buns I made last week came from her site. I'm excited to see what it has in store! I've been following Ree's blog for the last three years and she cracks me up. A woman after my own heart.....if I lived on a remote ranch in Wyoming. Something I've dreamed about on occasion, but know is not a reality. So I live vicariously through her blog. :)

That's my day (or should I say night) in a nutshell. Any other bookworms out there? I'm planning a book swap very soon too!!! I'll post more about that when I get some dates finalized. It's gonna be FREE books for lots of folks!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Blog Hop ♥ Baby Pics!

This weeks Blog Hop is baby photos!! How cute!!! I'm sure there will be some hilarious ones. Sometimes babies are adorable, sometimes they are downright ugly! Yes, I said it... ugly. ;) lol We all know they exist. But it's the cute, chubby, rolly polly ones that I adore! Being a photographer allows me to see the whole array of precious faces that God places on this earth. Just wanted to share a few of my favorties. :)
And last, but certainly not least.... let's not forget MY Babies!!! :) My three greatest blessings. There's no greater love known to mankind than the love for a child.

MckLinky Blog Hop