Monday, June 30

Katy Fish

Don't you just love the names your children come up with? Usually when I ask my daughter, "what are you going to call that toy?" Usually the name is something like "salinga or sillywanga or watulla" Very creative, but I know that if it is something I will actually need to remember I ask if we can find a name that Old Mommy can remember. So our new fish is Katy Fish.

On Saturday we took my daughter to Petsmart to surprise her with her birthday present (Today is actually her birthday, I'm sure I'll post tomorrow about that when I have a pictures to share). She has been asking for a fish for a month so we thought we would get her one. Thankfully the helpful Fish-guy convinced my daughter that a Beta fish was the "fanciest" fish there was and much "prettier" than a goldfish. Hallelujah - she loved that! The goldfish requires much more work, he said. Which did not sound good to me. The Beta... hardly any at all. My kind of fish! So Kathryn picked out her fish and was so proud.
When we got home we got Katy Fish all set up. Then my daughter spent the rest of the day sitting by the fish. She brought all her favorite toys down to meet Katy Fish. She even wanted to watch a movie with her new best pal...Little Mermaid of course. But the best was when I saw this.. She was reading a book to Katy Fish. Too cute.

Now... we have already had a few "incidents". She confessed to taking the fish out of the tank and putting her on the table... Oh and did I mention we found some "fin" floating at the bottom of the tank? Not sure what happened there, I believe someone was trying to "pet" her new pal.

Saturday, June 28

God of This City

I heard this Chris Tomlin song for the first time a few weeks ago. I love it. I've been working on a video to go with it for a project for Gideons International. The Austin,TX group is planning a scripture blizt to get Bibles in the hands of thousands of people. This song is perfect for that becasue it is about reaching your city for Christ. Our Nation for Christ...this World for Christ. I hope you listen to these words and think about how you can help to reach your city for Christ too.

For more inspiration go to Amy's site and see more videos today!

***Clarification: I did not make this video, I am working on one similiar to this that will have some pictures added regarding the Gideon project. I thought I should make that clear :-) ***

Thursday, June 26

I Should be...

I should be in my car on my way to work right now, but I hated not to post anything today. It is tough during the week, working Tues - Thur I miss three great blogging days! I'll have to start schedule postings.
Anyway, here is a list of things I should be doing when I am usually blogging:
1.driving to work my house
3.playing with my daughter
4.(I would say spending time with hubby, but he is usually sitting right behind me at his desk on his computer... so does that count as quality time together?)
5.baking fabulous treats to give to the neighbors
6.saving the world
7.reading actual books and not words on a screen
8.sewing... Ooops I don't know how to sew
9.learn to sew
10. did I already say clean my house?

What are the things you should be doing instead of blogging the day away?
I'm off to work now... Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 24

This bloggy journey

So, I've been really thinking over this whole blog thing lately. This weekend I was all excited reading what was going on at She Speaks. I found myself anxiously awaiting Sophie, Mel and Shannon to post about all the excitement. I am still so new in the bloggy world and it still sometimes amazes me. I just have these thoughts in my mind and want to get them out. It has given me a sense of freedom if you will. My husband is still afraid I'm giving away all the family secrets or something. But occasionally... I see that he has hopped over here and given it a read. I came in one day and he was all smiles.

But there are days I struggle with what to say and how to say it. I was relieved today when Boo Mama posted about her talk at the conference. It was about finding your voice in this blogosphere. I appreciate her reminding us all to be ourselves. It is easy to ready your favorite blog and think..."if I could just use that pithy tone Christine has or her quick wit" or be ever so deep and thoughtful as Jenifer or spiritually hysterical and thought provoking as Jon.

But I am just ME, good ole me. I am who I am. I hope you like me, but even if you don't I gotta be me. I know I get kinda pensive and thoughtful one day and talk about a crock pot the next, but I think it all fits, because that is me. That is my busy, working mom life who at almost 38 years old, sometimes doesn't quite know who I want to be when I grow up. I do know that I am enjoying the journey, this crazy, busy, frantic, fun, full of love, struggling to be the woman of God I want to be and feeling blessed beyond measure as I travel down the road.

Thanks for walking down the path with me. I hope we can all be inspired together as we learn from one another and share our lives.

Monday, June 23

Giveaway at the Cafe

You have to go see all the wonderful goodies they are going to give away at the Internet Cafe.

Birthday present Extravaganza?

We have had a busy weekend... what am I saying? It is always busy here, this weekend was no different. Can someone out there tell me if you life isn't busy? I'd like to know your secret. Oh, sorry, I digress. So this weekend we had lots of family in town. My wonderful sista and her family were at my parent's house and my husband's sister and her family were at my in-laws home. We live in this sort of triangle. My parents live 4.98 miles NE of us and my in-laws are 4.12miles North of us. It is great, but when there is a lot going on and especially on holidays, we do the "back-n-forth." You know what I mean? I try so hard to be fair and spend equal amounts with everyone and it makes a girl weary. But we had a great time with everyone. Kathryn was really in hog heaven or I guess I should say, cousin heaven. Gracie makes us all laugh and we love to see her learning to walk and discover the world around her. My sister-in-law has triplets who are 6 days older than my daughter. So when we see them it is a whirl wind! They wear me out. I honestly think my sister-in-law is amazing. I feel overwhelmed with my one child and she is this calm presence in the midst of a storm of activity.

June is also busy because it is birthday month. This is the list of birthday's we have beginning at the end of May running through the end June:

my daughter, 6 cousin b-days, one grandma, one auntie, one great-grandma, and great aunt. I feel certain I left something out there... Oh Yes... Father's day is in there too!

That is A LOT of birthdays. Are you hearing me? I went to Walmart on Friday to buy 5 presents and got out of there having only spent $54, and that was with a few non-bday items. I have to say, I was happy with that. I told my husband, we have to add a few line items into the big Dave Ramsey budget for June birthday's next year. I don't know why it surprises me, but it always does.

So we had birthday celebrations all weekend at the different family houses. Now, this is interesting and I don't know how everyone else handles birthday presents for the kiddos. We are trying desperately not to give in and buy everything she asks for or that we see in the store. I watch her in her room with her toys and she can and will play for hours with the toys she has now, so I think, she doesn't need a bunch of new toys. I say all that to say this, I was overwhelmed at the amount of toys the cousins got for their birthday. I felt sorry for my daughter just sitting there watching them open all these gifts. It took forever. I could not believe it. I lost count but each child must have gotten 5-7 things including clothes. My daughter sat there and had this shocked look 0n her face as I guess I did too. Then I started wondering, are we terrible parents because we don't do this? Now, please do not get me wrong, It is there choice to buy these gifts for their children and they have the money to do so and that is great. If you are big present buyers, good for you. I just have a hard time bringing that much new stuff into an already full room of toys that still get played with.

My daughter's bday is next week. This is what she has consistently asked for... a gold fish. Now, she has started adding things to that list after this weekend (imagine that) they include a crab and a horse. The horse makes me laugh, I'm not sure where that came from. But this is what we have planned for and what she is getting: 1. a gold fish 2. a sleep mat for preschool (she has to have this for nap time and we did not have one 3. a new princess gown.

That is it. I know she will be getting other toys from family the few friends that we invited to the bday party.

So... that is what I am pondering this morning, birthdays and presents. I would LOVE to hear from some of you on the child birthday gift situations at your house. Do you go all out or are you birthday present minimalist? I really do want to know so send some traffic here and lets see what the consensus is, shall we?

Friday, June 20

Audrey's Song

This is a song and video that some of you may have seen. It is about Audrey Caroline. Her mother is Angie Smith, wife of Todd Smith of the group Selah This is a story that I'm sure most of you know, so I won't try to tell it again. But I will tell you why this song means so much to me. It seems this year God has been speaking to me about life, how truly precious it is and how fragile the youngest among us are. Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile have heard me tell the story of our friend who lost their daughter in November, her name was Audrey too. Then Jackson passed away . My cousin, who I love dearly had an ectopic pregnancy two weeks ago and lost her baby. And a very dear friend of mine was told that they will not be able to give birth to a baby conceived by she and her husband.

My heart has been breaking for all these families and yet I know God is in control and He loves them all. He hold the lives of the smallest baby, still yet to be born and he hold each and every one of us. I am overwhelmed beyond any words I can bring to mind for the gift of my daughter. And because of her, I am that much more aware of the pain only a mother can imagine at the loss of a child and that is why this sweet song pulls at my heart. I continue to pray for those who have lost a child and for those who suffer and grieve for the loss of the child they had always hoped to carry and will not be able to do so.

For more inspirational songs and music visit Amy's blog for Then Sings My Soul...

Wednesday, June 18

So Thankful for the Grandparents

Today I am so thankful for the Grandparents in our life. If it were not for them I would be up a creek without a twig to hold on to. They help care for my daughter while I work. This week especially, I am feeling nuttier than normal. We have swim lessons at 9am and then I rush my daughter over to VBS. Then my in-laws have been taking her home afterwards and watching her until I get off work. Today my Mom kept my daughter and she was able to play with my niece who is in town.

I am so blessed to have great parents and in-laws who adore my daughter and love to have her around. They are such a huge part of our lives and my husband and I could not do what we do as parents if it were not for them.

So today I just want to say Thank you MeMaw, PaPaw, Granna and Grandad. You are all the BEST.

Did you know that Ms. Fussypants wants to hear what you are happy about. Check her out and share your thougths there too!

Tuesday, June 17

Making Financial Discussions Work

We are in our 6th week of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. It has been great. I was hoping it would help my husband and I get on the same page as far as our finances go, and it truly has. We have been working for awhile to become debt free and to save. Going through this has helped us both see that we are SO much better off than most people and if we continue what we are doing and make a few changes based on what Dave recommends, we are going to be in great shape. I love what Dave says, "If you live like no one else, one day you will LIVE like no one else"
It is about choices. Do we buy this stuff now and suffer financially in debt or do we wait and save and know that our diligence will pay off in the end? We are choosing the big payoff in the end.

This program is tough but SO smart and easy to understand. Dave really helps you to see that you can pay off debt, you can save, you can give and you can LIVE! Last night my husband and I sat down and went over the budget for next month. We talked, listened to each other and made changes according to what we both agreed on. Honestly, months ago that talk would have been full of anxiety and tension. But not now, we have the same goals ahead. I know there will be some tough discussions about money in the future. OH YES, I am sure of it. But now we know that ultimately we are seeking the best for our family and our future- TOGETHER!

Are you giving, saving and planning for your future? Are you debt free? Dave has some simple steps:
1. save $1000 in an emergency fund
2. Pay off all debt except the house
3. Save 3-6 months expenses
4. Invest 15% of your household income in Roth IRA's and pre-tax retirement funds
5. College fund for kids
6. Pay off home early
7. Build wealth and give

It seems easy when you read it, but it is tough. BUT this program is great to help you see how to do it and the best thing...Dave is a Christian and he uses the scripture to help guide the way.

So, if you are needing help with finances, this week I have to say what works for us is Dave Ramsey. For more Works for Me Wednesday tips go to Rocks in My Dryer .

Sunday, June 15

My Story

My sister encouraged me to share my testimony today. She participated in Seek the Lord Sunday's over at Call Her Blessed so I thought it would be good to let you all know a little... OK a LOT more about me. I pray this speaks to you, but most of all I hope it speaks to the wife who suffers from disappointment and despair and unfaithfulness. I pray you find hope in my story.

I accepted Jesus as my savior as a 7 year old. Led to the Lord by my father and I was baptized. I believed early on that God would fulfill his purpose for my life. I learned about God’s faithfulness, in Sunday school, youth group and especially through the witness of my parent’s. Waking most every morning to find my Mother praying with her Bible on her lap. Many of those prayers had my name on them.
I went away to college. A small Baptist school. I felt prepared to face life and whatever would come my way. I was strong in my walk with the Lord and I couldn't wait to see what God had planned for me. While at college, as many people do, I fell in love and got married. I thought, this is what you do, go to school, find the guy, get married, start a perfect Christian story book life.

What I discovered 5 months into our marriage was my Christian husband was addicted to pornography. It was a secret that had already been damaging his walk with the Lord for 5 years. It had such a tight grip on him and it brought unfaithfulness and deception into our home. I was ashamed and too embarrassed to tell anyone, especially my family. I was naive and did not understand that this addiction is a huge problem not only in the secular world but most assuredly our churches today and Satan is using it to destroy Christian men and Christian homes. I am certain it affects families of women reading this today. It is important for wives to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It is important for men to know YOU MUST GET HELP and you MUST repair your relationship with God and your wife.

Soon into my marriage, I began to understand what Ps. 57:2 Says, “ I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me.” I was crying out to God. It was the beginning of a long lesson as God revealed His faithfulness to “work all things for good for those who love Him”.

My self esteem at this point was gone and my marriage was soon in shambles. But God never failed to show himself to me in those times of defeat and depression. He reminded me those words, “I will never leave you or forsake you” “I will work all things for good” “ I have a purpose for your life”. I held to the promises I had learned growing up as I continued to pray for my husband, my marriage and my life.

As the years passed, I finally got the courage to tell my family what was really going on in my marriage. I did not know then, but understand now, the sorrow and desperation my parents must have felt as they watched me struggle to try and make something out of my marriage and my life. This life I could never have imagined for myself, This hurt I never dreamed a good Christian girl would experience. But, the years passed and the level of his addiction increased and the lies he told and his unwillingness to repent were more than I could take, emotionally and physically, after eight years, I finally left.

Divorce was the ultimate failure, I thought. The disappointment I felt in myself, and in disappointing my God and family was almost to hard to bear. I was devastated and heartbroken.

BUT in the lowest moments I knew, God is faithful when a husband is not. God is faithful and true and I can believe Him. “I cried out to God Most High who fulfils his purpose for me.” I held to Psalm 121. “ I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord. He will not let your foot slip, He who watches over you will not slumber.” And my favorite hymn, "Great is thy Faithfulness, Morning by morning new Mercies I see, Thou changest not, they compassion's they FAIL NOT”. Those were the words that brought me peace and the assurance that I would make it through.

My parents, family and friends continually prayed for me. My parents were faithful to lift me up in prayer knowing that God is faithful. Those prayers, I believe, sustained me and gave me strength to continue on.

And now, I have a wonderful husband, who also grew up at the same church I did. And, God has fulfilled a dream of mine that I had given up early in my first marriage, to have a daughter. Her name is Kathryn. Now, with out a doubt I know God’s purpose for me. To faithfully pray for her, as my parents prayed for me.

Saturday, June 14

God Speaking

How often do you feel like you are all alone waiting for an aswer from God? Often is how I would answer that. It is so easy to forget that God will speak to us, but we have to be listening. It is hard to do when everything around us is chaos; the phone ringing, the 4 year old screaming, the huband needing something, the boss and a deadline looming over head. But we have to STOP and wait to hear him, He is Speaking...
Listen to Mandisa sing God Speaking

For more songs of inspiration and hope go to Signs,Miracles and Wonders for Then Sings My Soul Saturday.

Wednesday, June 11

Stupid things parents say

As a parent I totally find myself saying things that just sound plain stupid. I know you know what I mean. This totally reminds me of one of those moments. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 10

Yahtzee Works for Me

Do you remember this game? A game of our youth? Well, I can honestly say, I re-discovered it last summer. We were on vacation at the beach and I thought it would be fun to take some games. A friend of mine told me that she and her husband played Yahtzee for hours. So, I put it on the list and took it on vacation. Obsession began. I loved it. We had more fun and got my parents addicted to it also. When we came back I couldn't get enough, I was driven to play, I just knew the next roll would get me YAHTZEE But my husband got tired of playing it with me. Alas, so sad. Then I thought, I'm a Internet I found it, the best most wonderful version. I could play all I want, by myself or challenge the computer. Oh Joy or Bliss or Rapture! Then like thatit was gone. It was a free trial. HA! Free... I felt like a druggie looking for her next fix. They got me hooked with there wonderful colors and sounds and then NOTHING! So I broke down and bought it. The best $19 I ever spent. Hours of fun and I'm still playing. Not as much as I used to, I'm blogging now you see and trying to learn html, so tonight before working on my sister's blog, I played a few games. I beat the rascally old computer. Even with his 4 Yahtzee's I beat him. I ROCK!

So, the next time you need a good family game for your vacation. Don't forget my favorite, Yahtzee, it surely works for me.

For more Works for Me ideas check out Rocks in My Dryer.

True Confession of a cluttered life

I cleaned off my desk yesterday. Yes, I did, I really did. My desk here at home where I probably spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME. It has been piling up for SO long. In our home office we have (are you ready for this?) 5 computers. I have one on my desk, my husband has two on a desk plus his laptop and on the other desk another computer that is the server to the network. Now that all sounds like we are running some high tech business here, but we really are not. This must be the hottest room in the house with all the energy flowing in here. It is the largest contributer to our footprint.

Hubby works from home and as you may recall from earlier posts, is in grad school. He is one of those techie guys, writing code all the time and working on major projects. It just got to be too much for our "normal computer system" So we began adding computers. It got to be that I never had a computer to work on but he had programs running all the time. SO, I got my own set up a year ago and woo hooo, Love it. But as you can guess, with three desks in a room and a book shelf, space is limited. So, I've just been piling stuff on my desk for awhile...OK longer than awhile. I found some medical forms and paperwork from when my daughter was born...yes almost 4 years ago. BUT I got it all filed away and now, my desk is so nice and neat.

I just thought you would like to know, it is long in coming. De-clutter the the mind, at least I hope that is how it will work out.

Now... I guess I need to tackle the rest of the house huh?

Sunday, June 8

My new iPod

Today my very good friend Becky gave me this fantastic new toy!

Now, are you ready for this? No, seriously, are you sitting down? This is my first ever mp3 player. I know, I know you are all saying, "what the hey, your first mp3 player? I thought you were much cooler than that" Well, actually, I'm pretty cool, but obviously not that cool. I just don't spend that kind of money on myself. I am so excited. It was a gift for a project I've been helping her with, she really should not have bought it for me, and I am so grateful. I've been playing with it since we got home from church. Now... I have to find some good music to put on it. Oh I can already tell, iTunes and I are going to be very, very good friends!

Thanks Becky... your the BEST!

Saturday, June 7

What is YOUR Cardboard testimony?

If you will look a few posts down you will see the YouTube video "Cardboard Testimonies" This really hit home for me. Last fall a very good friend of mine had one of those moments. You know, THE MOMENT when you know that ALL IS REVEALED. His sin was revealed to us all. Not only to his friends but to more people than you would believe. Then we had a moment. The moment to decide, who do we think we are? Who are we to turn him away, one of us... one of us sinners As we ministered to his wife and talked about how you go forward from here. I thought long and hard and said, who are we to judge ANYONE? I know it is our nature to say, "OH my... poor, poor them. I'm glad that isn't my life" OH PLEASE... but for one moment and all of us are revealed. I remember thinking, what if we sat in church in our pew and wore our sign. You'd look down the row and this is what you would see if we wore our "sign" around our neck; depressed; alcoholic; insecure; sexually abused as a child; never felt love from my parents; afraid of the future; adulterer; liar; homosexual... these are the signs you would see all over the church, they would represent every sin. Do you know how I know it? Because I too have a sign, my cardboard testimony, it would say:
backsliding and defeated I got divorced then the other sign would say...
God's second chance gave me new life touched by His grace

So... what is your cardboard testimony? What would your sign say and how has God changed your life?

Go Tell

For the last 3 years I have had the joy of singing with a group of friends at church. We have been blessed to have such an opportunity. I count it as one of the greatest things I have done up to this point. More than just singing together we have bonded like sisters. Many times our rehearsals turned into times of prayer and encouragement for one another. The music came second and God blesses that. This week we sang together for the last time. One of our members is making a huge move... she is going to Arkansas to establish her new life there as the wife of a minister. Another one of our group is expecting her third child and needs to re-prioritize things in her life as well. So, we are at place of change and excitedly waiting for what God will do in each of our lives next.

So today I on Then Sings My Soul Saturday, I am highlighting one of the songs we did last year. It was a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy it. It is "Go Tell." It is a Christmas song... but I think anytime of year is a good time to talk about telling the good news of Jesus.

For more inspiring songs today go to Signs, Miracles, and Wonders

Friday, June 6

Circa 1972

You MUST go to my sisters blog and see us. It is a total trip. I had no idea she had this and was working on it. AHHH memories!

Wednesday, June 4

Grow Something

As the days of summer come on strong we will be waiting for something to grow. It is a little project we began a few months ago. I told my daughter she could pick out some seeds and we would plant them. She picked carrots, basil and cilantro. OK...OK...I strongly suggested the basil and cilantro but carrots were her choice. She was so excited. She could envision Rabbit from our favorite Winnie the Pooh movie picking more carrots than she could imagine. Now, keep in mind, I had planned for us to use some large pots I already had. I figure, OK we'll see what happens. So we planed the seeds and everyday when we get in the car we would have to go out and look at our carrots, basil and cilantro. Every night when we went to bed we had to pray that God would help them all to grow. In fact I understand that she had her entire Sunday school class of 3 year old praying for them one morning. Well, we believe in prayer at our house and you know what... We have carrots.
It is pretty cool. I honestly did not think the carrots would make it but they are too cute and I have never seen her more proud. She carried them over to show our neighbors.
So this summer, while we are dying from the heat and wishing for clouds, rain, and cool days, we will be watching and waiting and watering our next batch of carrots.

For more ways to beat the heat this summer, check out all the great ideas at Works for me Wednesday home Rocks in My Dryer.

Monday, June 2

Kathryn's Dance

I hope this makes you smile today.

I've been WAY to serious lately

Hey readers... I realize it has been heavy and deep around here lately. So, why not lighten it up a bit, shall we? Now, my husband said, don't blog on this, but who could help from not posting these pictures? We were on a family outing on Saturday and in a crazy- hard to explain accident, my husband completely dislocated these toes. I actually had to pull them back into place myself. (Are you cringing yet?) It was one of those moments, I was either going to make it better or much worse, but how could it be worse? His toes were pointing UP to the sky. It was a moment for sure and he did not as much as yell. He was VERY brave, at least that is what all the kids kept saying. I did agree! Yes, they are broke, and tore all the ligaments, but what do you do for toes? Nothing... he has a fancy shoe to wear and thankfully, he works from home and can take it easy at his computer.

My daughter is so busy being the "Toe Doctor" it is really funny to watch her with him. Last night she explained to me how important it was that while she was sleeping I should take very good care of Daddy. I wonder where she got the idea that I wouldn't? I think she dotes on him more than I do... I'm sure that is true since I am blogging at his hurt toes expense and she is bringing him "feel better toe soup" from her kitchen. In fact she is standing here right now asking why Daddy's toes are on my screen. Oh, and my husband is saying you should all know... they do look much worse now, I took this picture on Saturday night. So, the next time your honey has a horrible accident and he askes you not to post the pictures... do what you think you should... but I just knew that you would want to see them!