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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Doggy Shopping Family Randomness...

Look what we found!

One day while driving to get my daughter from school I almost ran over this little cutie!! My heart stopped as he ran right out in front of my car! I was running late so I didn't stop right away, but when I came home a friend of mine pulled into the driveway right behind me. We live in the same neighborhood and I told her that I'd seen him on the road near our homes. She said that she had seen him the day before and he must be a stray!  We walked out to the road, and sure enough, there he was! My friend had a towel in her car and she cornered him and caught him!! Bless his baby heart... he was so dirty and shivering! She kept him and took him to the vet where they said that he's 4-8 years old and he seems fairly healthy with the exception of his teeth. He didn't have a chip and had obviously been out for a while so the vet encouraged her to keep him. She already has a dog, and we have a cat, but we are considering keeping him at our house.

My husband had a business trip to prepare for this week and we have been really busy with that, but he does not always travel so when he returns we are going to discuss it to see if our family can swing it! I am afraid to get too excited, but I think he's precious and I would LOVE to have him. Isn't he just the cutest THING!?! If we can't keep him I think my friend will. We don't want him out on the street and we want him to have a good home. OH! I hope it's MY home! PLEASE SANTA!? I've been pretty good this year!

So.

In other news...this week has been a shoppin' flurry and I'VE LOVED IT! I have been so excited by a recent blessing that the Lord has given us that has allowed us to buy some Christmas gifts. It's so awesome when the Lord shows up and blesses you when you don't expect it, isn't it?! I have been shopping here and there while my little girly girl has been at school and I hope she LOVES what she's getting. I can't wait to see her reaction on Christmas day when we come down the stairs as a family and she opens her gifts. I will be sure to share all about it after the Christmas maddness is over and I have a nap.

Speaking of girly girl... she is already beside herself about a little tradition that we started a few years ago. Every year we go to the same bakery to get a BIRTHDAY CAKE FOR JESUS! I take her with  me and we look through the window at the cute little cakes and I let her pick which cake she'd like.

                                                        
                                                                      Christmas 2007

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2009

Last year, we traveled two hours to see my family and we HAD to go to the bakery before we left our town and we TOOK the cake with us! I am telling you.. she will NOT let me forget about Jesus' cake and she is already asking when we are going and if she can blow out the candles. It is always fun to see which one she will choose and she's super excited to go again this year. I hope she never tires of this sweet tradition and our time together. AND the bakery can NEVER close! Oh. That would just be the end of life as we know it.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Changing Christmas

Merry Merry Christmas!! I love this time of year! I am so excited to have special times with my little family and enjoy some neat things that we don't normally do during the rest of the year.

This year I've decided to change lots of things! One is some of my decor. I get tired of things looking the same every year, but I can not afford to go buy ALL new Christmas stuff every time I get bored!           (Shocking! I know.) So after Christmas last year I had an interior decorator GIVE me lots of left over ribbon.(HOW COOL IS THAT!?) I thought I could make lots of new BIG bows and make things look a little different.

Here's my front door... I found these ice skates at a local Christmas show and decided to use them instead of a wreath...

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I think they turned out nice and it is definitely a something different! I also found a wreath stand for $1 at a yard sale so I made a matching bow to sit near the door with the skates..

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For a long time I had a plaid red ribbon on the top of my tree that I liked, but it was time for a change too.

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NICE that a strand of lights right in the middle is not burning and I can't get them to come on... I'm NOT stressin' over it. You can't really tell when you are standing in front of it because the lights are pretty bright. It's hard to see the ribbon in ths picture, but I love it and it updates my tree a little so it makes me happy!

Another change that we are making is that we are purposefully NOT making tons of plans. We have run ourself ragged in years past and while we enjoyed time with friends and family we were just TOO stressed. This year we have still done a few things, but we have not scheduled ourselves so much that we can't just enjoy sitting by the fire at home and having dinner as a family. 073

This year has been a hard year financially for lots of folks and we are no different. At first I was worried about how we'd pay for the gifts that we wanted to buy. Funny thing is... it is kind of freeing to not have much to spend. We will just do the best we can for our family members and let that be it! I have not worried about what to buy everyone (ok, except my in-laws!) and it has been kind of nice. I have made more of an effort to find things that have meaning and not just a shirt or tie because I need a gift for them!

I have found that this year, probably more than any other, I have focused less on the THINGS of Christmas and more on WHY we celebrate just because things have been more simple. I am grateful for more things because I've had time to think about them! My brother is home from rehab. THAT, my friends, is a huge gift to ALL of my family! Who needs a new sweater when he is on the road to recovery and walking a little better everyday!? THAT is such an answer to prayer!!

What have you done to make things more simple this year? I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU! I pray the Lord's richest blessings on you and your family this holiday season! He is so worthy of our praise at this time of year and all year long!

Monday, December 6, 2010

When Reality Hits... It Can Sometimes Hurt! (This is LONG!)

This past week I had a meeting with my daughter's school. It's always a little scary to have a meeting when your kid has special needs. You NEVER know what they might say or how they might feel your kid is doing. I guess it's that way with any kid, huh!?  Since her goals are not the same as a typical 2nd grader I already know that things will obviously be at a slower pace and a lower level, but it's still sometimes hard to hear. After 9 years it is STILL hard!

I was really nervous about this particular meeting because they had mentioned at a previous one that they may want to move Caroline to a different setting/classroom. This would mean that the kids would be lower functioning and I was NOT happy about it one bit. Caroline can read pretty well and she is making slow progress in some of her math skills. Academics are really hard for her and she can be socially awkward with her peers, but she can socialize! The classrooms that they were considering had kids with limited language and most could not read or do math at all.

You'd better believe I was praying and seeking the Lord for His compassionate hand to be on our situation. I know that there is a scripture in Psalms that says "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." I prayed that over and over again! I just kept asking the Lord to show us His goodness and to show the teachers what was best.

The Lord has been so good to us and put people in our path who know a lot about special needs. Since I have been the special needs coordinator at our church the Lord has truly shown me that we are not alone and that our situation could be so much worse (SO QUIT YOUR BELLY ACHIN! and be glad for what you have... yeah, He said that to me! :)!!

One mom also works with kids with special needs as her profession. She was the compliance facilitator for a special needs SCHOOL (like ALL of the kids have needs and she knows the law backwards and forwards... so she kept their entire school up to date on things in the special needs world). I explained my concerns about our teachers wanting to potentially move Caroline and she agreed to go to the meeting with me and my husband ! I could not believe it! God just works in amazing ways! He just does!

Well, the meeting was on Monday and I went to church on Sunday just ready to wear the altar out with my request for God's favor in this situation. I got the the altar and I could not pray. It was like the Lord was saying "You've brought this. I know your need. Rest." I made it to my seat and got ready to hear the sermon. Guess what it was about!?  Trials that we anticipate. Things that we can't see, but that we stress over. Not knowing WHAT'S around the corner but trusting WHO is around the corner! Oh, yea. The pastor might as well have started the sermon with "HEY! MELISSA! This one's for YOU!"

Monday morning comes and I get a text. My friend (with ALL of the knowledge) says that her childcare for the afternoon fell through and she can't make it. I panic a little, text her back with a few questions and pray. God said, "It will be ok! I will be there." I regain composure. That afternoon  my husband comes home from work early. He walks up the stairs and as soon as I see him I know... he had a fever! I LOST IT! I started crying and saying, " I CAN NOT DO THIS BY MYSELF! I CAN NOT!!" (Because it's all about me! Poor guy, with a fever and stomach bug and I am crying about ME!)

I call the teacher and say that I want to reschedule. She said, "Are you panicking about us moving Caroline? We are not going to do that. We don't want to see her in that environment. We are going to just look at her goals and how we can help her best here at our school. We've checked. Right now there isn't a better place for her."

What? You are not moving her? I've almost given myself an ulcer for NOTHING!? Oh, I was so mad at myself for not trusting God. He had told me time and again that it would be ok. People were  praying for us like mad and God had even not allowed me to pray about it because He told me that He was in control. Yet, I continued to stress and worry... ALL FOR NOTHING!!!

The hard reality that they did present to me that day is that Caroline will probably not graduate with a diploma. As we look at her abilities now we have to realize that pre-algebra and calculus are probably not realistic expectations for her and those are requirements for graduation. They do feel that we can work with her and teach her some skills so that one day she might have a job and possibly live on her own or in a group home. Middle school is currently 3 years away for us, but those years pass quickly and the middle school setting is a lot of "inclusion" where the kids with special needs are in regular classes and the special ed. teachers are there to help modify assignments. Caroline probably can't function in that environment very well. We need to be looking at what would be best for her at that time.

When you havea baby you just never anticipate that things will be nothing but wonderful for him/her. You never think that your child won't go to college and you don't plan to have to adapt every part of their lives for them. When I look at those who have children with more severe disabilities I can only imagine the heart of that mom. She got pregnant and had a child that she had great dreams for. Now, those dreams are different and there is a different path that she's having to take. Not that the path isn't good. It is good! It's just different and it's not the path that she thought she'd take with this child. Any child with even mild disabilities bring challenges that parents never anticipate. It's hard not to compare your child with other typically developing kids and it's hard to not want what they have for your own child... just being honest and real.

So.. reality is hard, and sometimes it does hurt, but we are not lying down and quitting. We've got work to do.. spelling words to learn, math problems to do, reading that needs to be done. We are just going to keep working and keep trying and never give up because we never EVER know what God has in store. He may allow us to go through trials like these so that we can minister to those who come behind us. He may allow us to see Him do a miracle in the life of Caroline that could only be explained by His mighty power! What mama would not pray for Him to touch her and just heal whatever has caused these difficulties? He made her... He knows! I just know that without Him I'd be in much despair and there would be days that I probably would worry myself sick! SO.. PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW! Let's live this life to the fullest!
Monday, November 22, 2010

Higher Call

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll! Can you believe it's here? I SERIOUSLY can not. It just seems like fall has completely flown by and I have some how missed it! How does that happen!? I suppose with the busyness of school and work and everything else I just wake up one morning and it's Thanksgiving week!

Thanksgiving makes me all serious minded and reminiscent for some reason. I think I'm like my dad. At Christmas he always cries and thinks about his own parents and his life as a kid. He talks about how he misses those days and how he wishes that he had done some things differently. He can be seriously sentimental and he can make this kid of his tear up in a second! COME ON DAD!


The thing about Thanksgiving for me is that it somehow makes me think about the Higher Call that God has placed on my life. As a wife and mom I realize that I am so thankful for the man and baby girl that God has given me, but with that comes great responsibility to live my life more for Him. I have little eyes watching my every step and a husband that needs to know that he is loved and respected above all else in my home.

I am currently reading the book of Ezekiel for my Quiet Time and God has directly spoken to me through this verse: "Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman over the house of Israel..." (Ezekiel 3:17) Now I know that Ezekiel's responsibility was certainly different than mine, but it's that underlined part that keeps screaming at ME! " I have appointed YOU a watchman over the house..." It's totally out of context, but I don't think that God is calling my attention back to that phrase by accident.

As a part of the higher call that He is placing in my life I truly believe that it is my job to watch all that enters into my home. That includes MY OWN ATTITUDE AND MOUTH! It's funny how I can pick up on other attitudes that are not honoring God and other words that might be tearing others down, but my own? Uh, not so much. Man, do I have a lot of learning and growing to do.

This Thanksgiving we will probably spend our family time at the rehab hospital where my brother is currently recovering from a spinal cord injury. They say that the bulging discs have caused significant swelling around the cord and that he will need time to recover and get back on  his feet.

Not too long ago I told my husband, " You know, I wish we could do something different for Thanksgiving. Every year we just eat and lay around watching football and parades. It seems so self-indulgent." WELL, I guess God heard and He's fixin' that little situation! Unfortunately my brother won't be able to be home, but I am actually a little excited that maybe our family will be able to minister to those who might not have family there to be with them for this Thanksgiving Season! You just never know what God has in store for you as you walk through a little valley.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving! What is the Higher Call that you are sensing God placing in your life? If you blawg about it... let me know!
Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankfulness- Day 10 on the 13th~

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Today I am thankful for the special needs ministry at our church.

I love, love, love seeing these sweet faces come to church each week with so much love and joy in their hearts. 023 

We are so blessed to have a church that is ready and willing to open their doors to kids, and parents of kids, with varying degrees of abilities. We also have a class for adults and it is such a neat thing to see their class work each week.

The teachers love the students so much and they are always willing to do whatever they can to see them learn about Jesus.

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We have a lesson each week that is designed to help every student hear a story from the Bible and we do activities that reinforce the Bible story.. just like any other Sunday school class.

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Who says that every class at church needs to be just like every other class? We ALL need a place and we all have a place in the body of Christ.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankfulness- Day 9 on the 12th!

Today I am thankful for fun things...

Laughter... and smiles....

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Mexican food, Sweet tea. New shoes. Friends...

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Funny faces... ice cream... sunshine...

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happy sounds... like leaves rustling and falling to the ground.

Silly pets that make us laugh...

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Hot pink boas and birthday cake... friends who call just to say hello...

Sliding boards and swing sets... bike rides and sunsets...

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Today I celebrate all things fun because life is WAYYY to serious most of the time!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankfulness- Day 8 on the 11th!

My goal was to be thankful (and tell about it) every day in November. Well, I HAVE been thankful everyday, but blawgin' about it has been a different story. I am not plugged into the internet from my phone and I don't have a laptop so if I am not at home... well, the blawgin' don't get done!

My brother (who I wrote about on day one! My link thingy isn't working... sorry!) had surgery this week to correct the bulging discs that he had affecting his spinal cord. The discs were causing him to be unable to feel his feet and legs and he was really struggling to walk. 015

Once they did the surgery he was able to feel his legs and now, just two days later, he is able to stand on his own again and is walking better everyday.

Today, I am thankful for doctors and nurses. The man that walked into the pre-op room was a man with blood running through is veins just like any of the rest of us. He walked in with nurses who are moms and wives and who breathe one breath at a time just like us. But those people were confident in what they had learned and they were willing and ready to make a difference in the life of our family.

They talked with assurance about the procedure and asked repeatedly if we had any questions, knowing that we were getting ready to walk out of that room and leave our loved one in their hands.

Now, don't get me wrong. This was BATHED in prayer. I had everyone I knew rushing the throne room of God on his behalf. We do know that ultimately God has the final say and He was the one that directed that surgeon's hands.

I just mean that these people were willing to be used in the life of my family and brother to make a difference. What if they'd never been willing to go to school to learn how to do something like replacing a bulging disc with bone and then fusing it together with titanium? AND my brother was the second surgery that day!!

We truly do not realize how fortunate we are in our country to have facilities and trained professionals who attempt to care for those of us in need. Their caring hearts and compassion for life shined through that day.

Oooh... I know! They get paid a pretty penny to do what they do. Some of them drive big fancy cars and live in amazing houses. Thing is... I don't really care. That day that doctor kept my brother from an otherwise paralyzing condition. He also kept my mom and dad from literally losing their minds with worry. It was a miracle and we know that God allowed us to be there to have the help that day so that He might shine through.

I know it's Veteran's Day and I AM thankful for those who fought and continue to fight for our country and the freedoms that we have. Without our Vets the hospitals and healthcare that we have would not exist. (Now, what the government is doing with it all is a TOTAL different story! And a sad one at that!) But today I just need to be ultimately thankful for the men and women who were used to work a miracle in my brother's body!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thankfulness Day 7

Today is Sunday and I am thankful for my faith and relationship with Jesus Christ.

I do not have a testimony that takes me down a long dark path or drugs or alcohol. I did not live an extremely wild life, but I AM a sinner. I believe that what He saved me FROM in this life is just as important as the salvation that I know that I have for eternity.

I asked Jesus into my heart when I was ten. Through out my life I have always longed for friendships and relationships that would fill me. As I got older I dated several guys and I so longed for those relationships to make me safe and secure. I put so much hope in man and when it didn't work out or when it was very apparent that we were NOT a good fit... well, my heart would just break.

In college I truly began to realize that my faith had to be my own. My parents brought me up in church and I loved singing and being active there, but it wasn't until I was faced with some serious situations and issues in school where I had to decide if God was real in MY life. It could not be about what my mom and dad said anymore, but it had to be about what God said and how I was going to decide to live for Him or for this world.

Now, more than 20 years later, I am sure that Jesus is Lord. He saved me from an uncertain future and He is my security. I am eternally grateful for His sacrifice for ME and I am no longer afraid of what the future holds.

Many people who do not know Christ think that being a Christian HAS to be the most boring life ever. Since I have truly started walking with the Lord it has been the biggest adventure of my life! He has such a wonderful plan for each of us and being obedient means doing things that I thought I'd never ever do! You never know where He will take you next and I love knowing that He is in control!! I don't have to worry about taking steps that will lead me down the wrong road as long as I am spending time with Him each day and praying. He WILL direct my path!!

So today I am thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is my Rock. He is my Salvation. He is my ALL in ALL! I can not imagine where I would be without His love and conviction and forgiveness,  and I praise His Name for saving my soul.

What about you? Do you know Christ as Savior? If not, I'd love to share how you can know for sure that your sins are forgiven and that one day YOU will go to heaven when you die.

The Bible says that ALL have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. It also says that the wages (or payment) for sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. I pray that if you are not sure of what your future holds that you will seek Him today!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thankfulness Day 6

Today I am just thankful that it's the weekend! This has been a very busy and emotional week with my brother's need for care and my inability to be with my family. (By the way, he does not have a brain injury. He has a large bulging disc that they will be looking at more closely very soon. PRAISE THE LORD it's not his brain! Thanks for praying!)

On top of my heavy heart our church had a Home for the Holidays event and these girls were asked to sing!

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It was very busy, but a lot of fun and was a good distraction for me since I couldn't travel to be with my family.

I love being a part of a group that worships and sings together! Their friendship has been just a wonderful benefit of being part of such group. Each girl's unique walk with the Lord blesses me every time we are together!

Have a great weekend! I love making myself sit down and think about what I am thankful for! What are YOU thankful for??

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thankfulness Day 5

Today I am thankful for my husband!

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To say that we are opposites would be an understatement, but somehow the Lord saw fit to put us together and I LOVE HIM TO PIECES!!!

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He is right by my side in helping me raise our girl and he is a very strong influence in both of our lives.

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Lately he and his dad and brother have started having lunch once a month to reconnect and establish some accountability. I love that. I love that he's willing to work at our family and that he cares about everyone of us. (That's our niece, Taylor with her uncle Steve!)

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He's a pretty serious guy, but I love that he's willing to step out of his shell and be involved in things that interest our girl.

Work has been pretty tough lately with this economy, but he has hung in there and he continues to work hard though some days are discouraging!

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Just a few minutes ago he left to go on an over night trip to share the love of Christ with a few friends from our Sunday school class in the mountains of Tennessee and Kentucky. I know that God is going to use his gentle spirit and willing heart to point people to Him.

So... today! I am proud and VERY THANKFUL for my sweet man!

I LOVE YOU STEVE!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankfulness Day 4

 

Today I am very, very thankful for this place:

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It is not the biggest or the fanciest... 004

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By no stretch of the imagination is it perfect...

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It is NOT always clean... 003

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It is not always put together, but it is our home.

We make memories here...005

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We live here and love one another here...

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We celebrate here!

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We laugh and we cry here...

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We are silly here and we enjoy our time together.

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We grow in our walks with the Lord here... and we are amazed

at His goodness to us...

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We are grateful that the Lord sees fit to allow us to live in such a place and we pray that our little family honors Him everyday as we live in this gift from Him.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thankfulness- Day 3

Today, and everyday, I am thankful for this face...

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She is growing so much and learning more and more everyday. I am so proud of some of the obstacles that she has overcome and some of the things that she's doing that no one was really sure she'd do! 

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She is so HILARIOUS and makes me laugh every single day. Sometimes she will just stop what she's doing and say, "Mom, I love you!" and it just melts my heart every single time!

I am so proud of her ability to read (the teachers say that she can read better than some 5th graders and she's in 2nd grade!) and I am so proud of her determination to be as much like any other kid without a mild disability. We still have a ways to go, but God is at work in her and I am ETERNALLY thankful to be her mom!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thankfulness- Day 2

Today I am thankful for the girls that God is growing in our Sunday School class.

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Lately we have truly seen God bring some wonderful new friends to our class. One of the things that I love about us is that we are a very diverse group. God has used different life situations and experiences to help each person see that they are truly not alone and that He can, and will, use us if we just open our hands and allow Him to do that.

For example, I have shared many times about my daughter and some of the special needs that she has. Well, recently God brought TWO of the women in this picture into my life, both with daughters with special needs, just to help us all see that He has a plan and that He can use us as support for each other. I have loved that they have been down the road that I am now walking and they truly understand when I share about the disappointments and the small victories that we have around here.

There are numerous stories of how God has brought one girl our way and we've immediately thought, "WOW! HER story sounds like HER story!" and we've been able to see God develop accountability and friendships that have been nothing short of amazing.

The picture is from a recent women's retreat that we planned for the class. God did some wonderful healing work that weekend and He has drawn us closer to Him and to each other since then. Some of the women are new believers and their perspectives and joy is so contagious that you just LOVE being around them! Some have loved Jesus for a long time and their wisdom and perspective encourages the new believers. It is so wonderful to see how God works!

So, today, I am thankful for the women that God is using to encourage me and that I get to share life with on a weekly basis! I love you all and I am praying for you!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness- Day 1

Well, the first of November does inspire one to begin to think of the things that we are thankful for and when I saw that my friend Jennifer at Homeward Bound was telling what she was thankful for... I thought I'd join in! Thanks Jen! I needed some inpiration today!

Today I am thankful for my brother. He had a heart attack this time last year and recovered pretty well. Recently, he fell at work and has injured himself. Initally we thought it was a back injury, but the doctors say that the fall has affected his brain. We are not sure what will happen next, but he has had the highest spirits and he is trusting that everything is going to be fine. The injury has affected his ability to walk and he is currently walking with a walker. He is waiting to see a neurosurgeon in the coming week. He has been through so much and I am diligently praying that the Lord will heal his body completely.


I am also thankful for my parents. Mom and dad have been with my brother through all of this and they are tirelessly working to help him get the care that he needs. Mom is such a positive light in our family and my dad prays, prays, prays. They have not always had it easy, but they try very hard to work together to make our family what it is. Since this accident they have done everything that they can for my brother, and though they are getting older, they do it all with such love and care.

I am thankful because I know that our lives could be so much worse. I am thankful that I have a family that loves Jesus and who sticks together through thick and thin.

If you have a moment would you pray for my family? We are trusting the Lord and the fact that He is Jehovah Raffae "The God Who Heals."
Monday, October 25, 2010

The Nudge

This past weekend a group of girls and I went to sing for the Salvation Army Women's Shelter. As a group we were very conscience of the fact that this was going to be different from any opportunity that we'd had before. We wanted so much to be able to reach out to the women and children in the shelter and we prayed that the Lord would use the music to break down walls so that we would have the opportunity to share about God's amazing love and salvation.

That morning, before I went to meet the other girls, I was getting my shower and contemplating what to wear. It was like I wanted to look my best, but at the same time God nudged me. "Leave your engagement ring at home." I didn't really understand, but it became heavily impressed on me to wear jeans and a t-shirt and not too much jewelry. Thing is...  I kept my engagement ring on!!! I suppose, out of habit, I just continued to get ready and didn't think another thing about what the Lord had specifically said.

We arrived and set up our sound, ran through the songs and prayed. They opened the doors and a line of women and children entered the cafeteria where they would have a meal and we would sing. Immediately one of the girls that sings beside me said, "Oh, my heart is so heavy for them. I don't think I can do this."

As the women and kids began to get their food and sit down to eat we began to sing. There were some upbeat songs and some of them clapped and sang with us. Others looked so down trodden and desperate that they didn't even look up. We began to get some of the children to come up and give us high five's and they wanted to sing in the microphones. We taught them some words and let them sing.

One little boy... probably around 5-6 years old kept coming to me and smiling this huge smile. He kept wanting to sing in my mic and then he said it. "WOW! Look at THAT RING! It's BIG!"

Oh, my heart just sank. God reminded me RIGHT THERE that I had been disobedient and that I had ignored His nudge. Instead of hearing the words of the songs about forgiveness and mercy that little boy had seen my ring!!! I stooped down and told him that Jesus loved him very much and that He had a plan for his life. I hid my ring out of sight and desperately tried to make him hear that no matter what he was loved by a Heavenly Father that could give him much more than rings or pretty temporal things.

Later in the weekend I heard a speaker on Christian radio talking about the nudges that God gives us. He said that often times they are one sentence, but very specific nudges and we are wise to obey even when we don't understand. God really convicted me that He had specifically given me an instruction and that I had chosen not to hear it and act on it immediately.

I am forever telling my daughter to LISTEN THE FIRST TIME! It hurts my heart when she blatantly disobeys me when I know that she has heard my instructions. I can only imagine that my Heavenly Father felt the same way as I obviously disobedient to His command. The wonderful thing about it all is that God still speaks to His children, and though I am not always obedient, He still forgives and He still uses us to do His work.

Maybe God is telling you to do something. Maybe you are sensing a nudge. I pray that you will not be like me, but that you will hear and act immediately. His ways are not our ways and His plans are not our plans. We don't always need to understand, but we DO need to obey the nudge.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Some Catchy Title Goes Here

I don't really know what the title is... probably something about randomness. That's pretty specific, huh?

 There really isn't much to write about this week. Other than the HACK, HACK, HACKING cough that I've had ALL ding-dong week! Everytime I cough in my husband's presence he shakes his head and says, "uh uh. stop now." in his driest tone. It's actually pretty funny. He's as tired of hearing it as I am of doing it!

Those little pre-schoolers and their cute runny noses is who I blame. One day just passed the tissue box around the circle then made everyone have a dab of hand sanitizer. ALL 12 of THEIR TINY NOSES were running of their little faces! Bless!

This week in pre-school a little girl told me that she had made up a song. (I teach music.) I said, "Oh, really!?" Let me hear it!  She sang "I am a catepillar, cute as can be. Wonder what color butterfly I'll be?"
I thought that was VERY creative and precious. THEN another girl raised her hand and said, "I know a song!" I told her to let me hear hers too. She sang, "You change your mind, like a girl changes clothes...."
ALRIGHTY THEN!!! Moving on... moving on!


We have a pretty busy weekend of a birthday party, a hayride and singing so I think it's going to be fun! I just hope I don't HACK, HACK, HACK the whole time!!

Maybe my title should have been more specific. Something like Cougharama... or Coughing and Cuteness??
Have a good weekend! HACK!
Monday, October 18, 2010

The Almost Done Re-do!

Things are not completely done in my year long quest to redo the play/bonus room, but we are making progress and I am SO EXCITED with how things are going that I just could not wait to share!

First we started with bead board. We have 2 doors in the alcove area that really stood out (and were a HUGE KID MAGNET!) because they are painted white. Every time you walked into the room your eye went to those doors.  We had to fix that!

Next was paint because the color was this beigey-pinky-peachy color. I recently had someone give me a plaid sofa that has an off white color in it and it was NOT the color of the walls.  I can't really afford to change the sofa right now (like with a slip cover) and FREE IS FOR ME so we kept the sofa  and decided that it would have to work!

Here's the new bead board and the paint before... with a few samples splattered on:

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And here's the new khaki brown that we painted:

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I wish I had a really good camera so that you could see the color. It looks so much warmer and... just better!

Next, I wanted to change the lighting a little. I went on a search for a CHEAP light fixture and Voile'! I found it!

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It was ugly brown with a piece missing from the candle on the far right, but it was $29. I knew I could add a little paint and some other stuff and we'd make it work!

The other issue that we had was that the light fixture that was already there was a canned light. That means a big hole that can't support another light fixture unless you convert it.

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Well, Lowe's has a fix-it kit! We worked to install it and then got on with the light redo:

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Yep! I hung it in the tree in my front yard and went to town with a can of spray paint! The neighbors just stared, but who cares!? It totally changed the look of the light and it dried pretty quickly in the sun!

That week I was in a store that had some really adorable (AND SUPER EXPENSIVE)  lights in it. There was one light that had 5 arms (like mine!) and they had embellished it with feathers and "jewels"!! It was $300!! Oh my word!! But, I totally loved it so I decided to duplicate it.

I went to Hobby Lobby and got a white boa and some pearly Christmas garland for about $14 total. I cut and hot glued the boa and garland to fit and added the light bulbs and here's the finished product:

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The total cost was only around $45 by the time you added the fixture, paint and fancies... I'll take that ANY day over $300! And it probably saved my marriage... I'm just sayin'...

We also had another cute light that had been in my daughter's room. We thought it would be good to have a light on her new desk, but didn't want to buy something new. We decided to that the pink light would not go:

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So I painted the base brown and kept the blue bow:

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On the same $29 light shopping trip I found a really adorable quilt top that I just loved!! It wasn't that expensive and it just screamed character to me. I wanted something super cute and shabby as a window treatment, but, again, it needed to be super cheap! I am not sure that this will stay this way, but for now... I like this:

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Over the summer we took some cute pictures that I had never printed so I spend .45 each on the prints then went to IKEA and got $5 frames to make a picture wall.

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This isn't finished, but I love the look and I can't wait to add to it!

So.. the ALMOST finished alcove looks like this:

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So far the paint and bead board have been the most expensive things that we have purchased for the room. The desk and sofa were given to us and I have been reusing things in our house along with cheap pictures and frames to help complete the look that I wanted.

I am so happy with how things are fitting together and I can't wait to show you the rest of the room! The plaid couch will have to stay, but it could be worse! I could be sitting on the FLOOR! It's not terrible... it's navy and beige. It could be some CRAZY color scheme!! (I'm trying to get use to the plaid.. can you tell?!?!)