Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Have A Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Our official family Christmas card is available for you to view!
I will add more photos to my page after Christmas!!!
Please click either photo to go to link and view photos!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Is Comin' Are Ya Ready?

Are you ready for the day? The moment we all await all year long? I can't wait!!! However, we don't wait to celebrate on one day, noooo, we enjoy the month! Just the thought of gearing up for the big event is so special!!! A great reminder of our Dear Savior Who came to live here...WOW! Among the lame ;)...that's us!

We are wrapping gifts, decorating, preparing to make our Gma Graber's favorite cookies, even making gifts, which ends up being the most fun! The kids get their creative flares going and we even have a laugh or 2! Maiah was making a gift for Marlee the other day, and it was so cute. She pasted paper all over a cereal box, it was priceless! She was so excited when she saw what Marlee made for Mandee, and then when Marlee told her to get out of her room so she could make her a special gift she got all excited! "Marlee's going to make me a wonderful gift too (as her voice raised higher and higher and her eyes widened) like Mandee's (can't say what it is)" She was sooo excited! Way cute! We also plan to watch The Nativity on Christmas Eve in our jams with hot cocoa and munchies. We are all really looking forward to that time as a family!!! Might even exchange a gift or 2!

Dad and his wife will be here for a week, and leave the day after Christmas, so we will have time with them. We plan to go to his house with my brother's family to do a little celebrating, and the Grabers always plan something!

Anyway...I am nursing colds at the moment, doing laundry, the kids lunch is in the oven, and now I am heading downstairs to do school. I will post more about our Christmas fine moments later.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey all...just wanted to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. What a great day to remember all the things we can be thankful for. Actually, we should have Thanksgiving everyday. Daily thanking the Lord for all He's done for us, given us, and spared us from. He is a good and faithful God!

So, today I am blessed because I have life, not only physically, but life in Him! I have a wonderful husband who is healthy and able to work to support all of us in this crazy economy. I have 5 gorgeous children that are able to stay home with me, and I have the pleasure of schooling. I have not lost my home, but am safe in it. I have my health, and that is priceless! Even more of a blessing...so does everyone in my family. I have neighbors who I can freely witness to. I have family, friends, a car to drive, food to eat, a yard to enjoy, a church to worship at, photography jobs, blessings upon blessings, there is no reason to complain!

So today I will be thankful, and though my pick for President was not MY PICK at all, I know my God has allowed him to be there to finish what He has started. My friends...we are on our way HOME!

God bless...have a blessed day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What Is A Real Friend?

Ok girls...this is the biggie! We (as women) have been on at least one up and down roller coaster of friendship in our life. Whether it be when we were little girls, teens, adults +, or somewhere in between. We have all experienced the good, the bad and the ugly of friendships. One thing to remember is that each one is special. May not always be good, but there is something in it that God wants us to get out of it!!!

I want to encourage each of you to take a look at the friendships you have encountered in your lifetime and think about what God might have taught you during that season. For some it may have been patience, others maybe trust, how to encourage or offer grace, and maybe even how to love more like Christ. I need your help...please respond to my blog or email me at etm5@q.com with some personal stories of what you have experienced in your friendships over the years, stories of what you have loved about the friends God has placed in your life, and even the difficult times you've had with them. If you're brave, share the stories about how you've been a good or not-so-good friend at times. I will update you as I get to where I'm going with it all. One day at a time! As the Lord leads!!!

I also just got the book "Grown-Up Girlfriends, Finding and Keeping Real Friends in the Real World" as a bday gift from my dear hubby because I told him I wanted it! I know some of you from Calvary did this as a Digging Deeper class. I would love any and all imput you are willing to share.

If you want names kept private just let me know...not that I'm using it for anything right now, but since this is a blog and all!

God bless...Tonya

Monday, November 3, 2008

Feeling A Heavy Burden For Our Nation


Tomorrow is the big day. Many of you are voting, some are not. Some for McCain, others for Obama. I am troubled that we as Christians can not see the handwriting on the wall. True, we must not fear, we know nothing surprises God. Though the end of time is eminent, we must not just sit back as Christians while our Nation slowly walks away from it's Christian roots.

No need to go into anymore detail than the letters below have expressed, but as far as I can tell there should be one issue in this election, and that is LIFE! If we choose to go directly against the Word of God and expect Him to heal our nation, we are sadly mistaken. If we vote our conscious we can stand proudly. The economy always has a way of finding it's way to recovery. Are we really ready for "Change" when we are uncertain as to exactly what that might mean? Read below for a personal message from me, and a true story about a mom in Canada forced to abort her unborn baby under the new health care system the democrats would like to see put into place in the US.

As the Newsboys say: "If the truth be know, truth is more than to each his own!!!!!"

So I've been pondering, as we all have, about this election and what it might usher in. My heart is heavy, and in some ways I feel excitement that we are closer and closer to our Lord Jesus' return, and in other ways feel a bit dismayed as to what we might have in store before His return.
That being said, I fully trust my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, Whom knows all and is in full control!

I've been thinking a lot about some Scripture that I feel may pertain to us during this election year. I'm wondering how many of you have thought the very same thing. I've often thought of how the Israelites cried to God for a king (1 Samuel 8). God's heart was not to give them a king, however hear His words as He speaks to Samuel, "Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you (Samuel) but they have rejected Me (God) from being king over them. Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day-in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods-so they are doing to you also. Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.". In verse 22 of chapter 8 God granted them their king, even after Samuel's warnings of how they will cry out after what their king has done, and unfortunately God would not answer them in that day. He granted them their wish, He gave them Saul. How many times they cried and complained about their new king, wishing that God had not put them under his leadership...oh how this in so many ways seems to foreshadow our Nation today.

We have a Nation of freedom. Freedom that came at a price. Freedom that Christian men and women have given to us, and fought to keep for us! God has blessed us with abundance in this great Nation, but more and more we turn from Him, do things our way, directly against His Word, and then shake our fist at Him, blaming Him for all the tragedies we face. It goes completely against the Word. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 we see how God feels about His people seeking Him... "and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Will we stand? Will we remain one Nation under God? Though I trust the Lord completely and know He will use whatever comes our way to bring about His will, I also fear what we as a Nation are bringing on ourselves. If we vote in a president after being warned over and over again of the ungodly things he's done/taken part in, and stands for, shame on us. If the only reason we would vote against Obama was because of his stance on abortion, that would be enough. We all know how important life is to God. However, I believe we need to take heed! The warning signs are everywhere! Our Nation is at an incredible low, what a perfect time for one world government and currency. Can't you see it? If the people get what they want, we might just be ushering in the end of times.

Pray for our Nation...for those who don't know the Lord...and share Christ's love, He may not return for many more years, but we are warned to pay attention to the signs of the times, and I have to wonder...

God bless...Tonya

One of my closest friends has a very close friend who moved here from Canada recently. Remember, Canada is using the same health care system that the Democrats are promising to put into effect if Obama takes office. Here's what happened to her...

She was pregnant, was forced to have an amniocentesis, the test proved her baby would be born with down syndrome. This very health care system Obama praises, forced her to have an abortion against her will because the gov't didn't see fit to allow her to keep her unborn down syndrome baby. Today she is still dealing with depression over the whole situation.

So we take away choice from the unborn baby first. Then after convincing the country to vote in a leader who will push this kind of health care system, we will essentially not only give up our unborn babies rights, but our rights to keep our unborn children if the gov't decides it's in their best interest to abort it.

So I ask...do you really want your rights as a citizen of this great nation, to be stripped away little by little? That is what is happening. It's happening in Canada, and it will happen here if we vote in a leader who will support this kind of health care system.

Thank you for your time, please pray, & vote your conscious!!!...Tonya

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sleeping Angel Photo Contest

Sleeping Angel Photo Contest

And isn't my little Malachi quite the sleeping angel?
I would choose the Summer Breeze set for my boy! But which color choice??? Not sure, have to see them all (Blueberry, Country Pine, or Vanilla Cream finish).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Something Funny!

I've been told to stop blogging about books and get back to something funny, like when I thought I was dying cause I had lost 10 lbs. overnight, only to find out my scale was not working correctly...so here ya go...

What is so funny you ask? Well...I'm really not sure today, so I will probably have to share all the funny stories that will come out of our family vacation to CA/Disneyland/Sea World/the beach! I can pretty much guarantee you there will be not only some funny stories, but photos as well.

In the mean time what is on my mind? Well, first...why am I still awake you ask??? It's because my little guy has decided the last few nights that he is a night owl. What is up with that? I am thankful he is feeling so much better however, because he suffered with a spout of roseola. I didn't realize how it made his joints ache. He did NOT want to do much of anything. I am glad he's back to his old self and we can enjoy watching him once again walk around, as he wobbles to keep himself up, and at the same time clapping in his excitement at his new accomplishment!

So for now I will leave you with anticipation for the "Something Funny" to come!

Love ya...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Shack

This one should really come with a warning!!! It is not all theologically sound...please take time to research the links below. God is only who He says He is in the Word of God...remember...this is a FICTION book. I loved it for it's reminder of God's love for us, and the need to forgive...read on...

I think I am addicted. To reading that is. So far my last reads (one I still need to blog about) have changed me in more ways than I can even describe. They have sought out my deepest most parts...the very depths of the deepest most hidden parts that is...only to discover that parts of me in some ways have been stashed away for so many years, hidden as if they never existed.
Ok, that sounds deep, but really what I am trying to say is...over the years we tend to allow hurt and hardship build these ugly callouses over our true being, we become unmoved, and over time something that we never were or were meant to be. Does any of this make sense???
The Shack...another fine read, was one fiction that helped remind me of true forgiveness...TO THE CORE, the greatness of giving back to God what already belongs to Him anyway, and the importance of allowing Him to reign and rule on a daily...min. by min. basis. Though this story was not based on a true story, I do believe there are many people out there who have had to endure so much of what the man in this story (Mack) had to endure, and as painful as it was, we are still called to something more precious than we could have ever imagined!

I won't give away anything...it is priceless, and a MUST READ! Go get it, click on the book to see more on The Shack. Tell me your thoughts about the book, and if you are going to give anything away...PREWARN other readers first.

Cheapest I've found it click here!!!

Though this is a great read, it is NOT in any way theologically right on...I mean it is just a great fiction way to understand the Father's great love for us, and forgiveness. Here are some links for your theological questions:

Nead Adobe Reader (can download for free here)
Readers Review
Trinity Western University

Sunday, August 24, 2008

So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore

Did I get your attention with that title? I really should have written about this book before the Daniel study. I received this book from my aunt, and honestly...it transformed my way of thinking (in a healthy way). It is a fiction book that shares a lot of dialogue between a man named John and a man named Jake. John's insight is amazing, and his sweet approach is something to be learned. A quick read that I couldn't put down! Click on book to see more about it.

Read below:

Some conversations between Jake and John (click to meet Jake)

"This is not difficult, Jake. In this kingdom you really do get what you seek. That is the point of the whole thing. If you are looking for a relationship with God you will find it."

"Then why don't I have it? I thought that's what I had been seeking all along."

"No doubt, it might have been at first. But this works the other way around as well. If you look at what you've ended up with, then you'll know what you've really been seeking!"

..."He told me that after all he's done for me, I owe him this."

"It seems to me that if you owe him then he never really did anything for you."

His words hung in the air while I tried to figure out what he meant. "You mean he didn't do those things for me? Who then? For himself?"

"Who else"

"But where do I find that kind of faith"

"You won't find it. It's something He creates in you, even in the very circumstances you despise. Just keep coming to Him and watch what He will do."

"So there's no trust where there's no relationship?"

"No, there's not."

Some great quotes:

"Everything He wants to do in you will get done as you learn to live in His love."

"...just keep hanging in there with Jesus. He'll sort all of this out in ways you'd never believe..."

"Don't run from your pain, or try to hide it from Him. It won't impress Him and it won't help you."

"He's inviting you to live with Him in the joy of the moment, responding to what He puts right before you."

"Institutionalism breads task-based friendships. As long as you're on the same task together, you can be friends. When you're not, people tend to treat you like damaged goods."

"As long as you need other people to understand you and to approve of what you're doing, you are owned by anyone willing to lie about you."

"Because they draw their affirmation from others they'll never stop to question it, even when the hurtful consequences of their actions become obvious."

"As long as we see church life as a meeting we'll miss its reality and its depth. If the truth were told, the Scriptures tell us very little about how the early church met. It tells us volumes about how they shared His life together. They didn't see the church as a meeting or an institution, but as a family living under Father."

"The more organization you bring to church life, the less life it will contain."

"The church is God's people learning to share His life together."

"He'll (God) often use other people to encourage or equip you in that process (yielding to the Spirit and depending on His power), but the people He uses won't let you grow dependent on them."

"We often mistake the middle of a chapter for the end of the story."

"It's not about teaching, Jake. It's about living. Learn to live this life and you'll find no end of folks to share it with."

"Does trusting God to do what you think is best really sound like trusting God to you?"

"Living in the freedom of God's provision is critical to what God has for you. Learn to live by what God puts before you, not by your plans and schemes."

"If you tell someone the truth before they're ready to hear it, you can push them further away no matter how well intentioned you might be."

"Where Jesus is given first place, the church simply emerges in wonderful ways."

In NO way is this book saying you should avoid a local body, or local home group etc., it is just challenging believers of our motives, and why we do what we do. It has impacted the way I think and feel about the body of Christ. We must never just rely on going to church to fulfill our obligation as a Christian. We should never really feel obligated at all, but step into a real relationship with our Father that spills over into every relationship He places before us.

This is a MUST read...you won't be disappointed!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Something "Moore"

I have been so blessed to be in the Word with Beth Moore. Such a great study in Daniel, and boy has she got me thinking!

Beth is teaching Daniel in ways I never really thought about...at least not as deeply. Looking into the rich context of Babylonian lifestyle, we will soon discover that we all have tendencies to fall into the trap. The trap Beth speaks of is one in which we think so highly of ourselves, that there is none quite like "ME." The Scripture...Isaiah 47:8 & 10..."...I am, and there is none besides me." Pretty warped way of thinking, but we all at times fall or have fallen into this trap.
Click on book cover to read about it.

I am only in chapter 3, but my discoveries are as follows:

1. Babylon is much like our western culture, in that we show favortism, desire the best the world has to offer, like to look good in the eyes of others at any cost, put ourselves above others, desire perfectionism, despise the thought of others getting ahead of us.

2. We are also tempted to speak sweet words to get what we want. Ahh the sweet words we drop upon the ears of those in high places that we might climb the ladder to reach that high place with them. YIKES!

3. Babylon only desired the best of men to be leaders. As a western culture we put a lot of importance on status, age, race, etc...

4. It's caused me to think of the things I put at the top of importance...there are many that might struggle with anything from appearance being everything, to thinking smarter is better, or taking pride in the perfectionism of a well put together home...it can really be just about anything!

5. This one is good...why do we feel we need to be glorified in the things we do...if we are doing them as unto the Lord...or as a ministry, then we should desire nothing more then for the Lord to get ALL the glory. So many times we find ourselves doing things so that we will receive praise from others...a good little pat on our backs!

6. I've learned we are just as wrong in bowing to the world as we are in expecting the world to bow to us...enough said ;)!

7. The importance of becoming culturally relevant without becoming spiritually irrelevant.

8. Reminded that the enemy will always fire the dart right in the center of our inconsistency!

9. Reminded once again of the importance of prayer!!! God delivered Daniel and his friends after they had been in constant prayer!

10. The "I AM" idea is experienced in areas where we claim to be better then others and seek a great image, as well as when we focus on ourselves in other ways, still allowing the focus to be again on self...examples:

I am ugly, and there is none as ugly as me.

I am pitiful, and there is none as pitful as me.

Though different from the prideful views of being better than others, still just as wrong!

We must never seek the approval of others, but be humble putting others first, and always desiring God to receive ALL the glory!

Great quotes:

"Babylonian size egos need bigger strokes...they need the strokes of VIP's"

"Kiss-ups can be as nauseating as "suck-ups!"

"Babel's head coach cheers us on, "Make a name for yourself! Make a name for yourself!"

So, that's as far as I've gotten...like I said, I JUST started chapter 3, and look at all I've already learned. I would encourage you all to look into this study. It's not just a bunch of great theology ;)...and it is...but it brings us to a place of recognizing the Babylonian is each of us. I can't wait to get even deeper into the study.

God bless...I will keep you updated as I read on.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Boy Is Getting So Big!

My Big Sister Took These Beautiful Pictures of Me!

"Ok, so I have got to be the cutest little 13 month old boy in the world!!! And my what big teeth I have! The better to eat Mama's food, cause she's always got the best food on her plate, even if my plate has exactly the same thing on it. OH MY what big eyes I have...the better to bat at Mom to get what I want. MY what a big yawn I have...the better to make my mommy's heart melt with...it makes her want to cuddle me, and I love that! I am just the cutest..."

Monday, August 11, 2008

"Summer Fun" Photo Contest

Summer...BRING IT ON!!!!!

I love photo contests! This picture says it all...She's ready for summer, there's not question about that!
Here my tot preparing to take a dip in our very classy blow up pool (goes great with her get up)!
As a photographer, this is one of my faves! I could capture the most beautiful sunset on the perfect beach with a little baby holding her Daddy's hand, and this would still be the one that captures my heart! That's my girl!

"Summer Fun" Photo Contest! by 5 Minutes for Mom
Vote for your favorite semi-finalists beginning Fri. Aug. 15th, go to above link and cast your vote!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Can It Be?

Ok, so been experiencing this weird stomach pain, and figured it was my hiatle hernia. Of course though...I had to get all freaked out and wonder if it's the "C" word. Had blood work and an ultra sound done, and all looks normal...whatever that is? So I still have issues once in a while, and am waiting a referral for the GIJOE doc ;). In the mean time I am fine...no more worries. No more until this a.m. that is. I stepped on the scale, and WHAT? Since a week ago (says the scale) I lost 12 lbs. oh no...I must have the "C" word...I'm dying! Great...now what? So I showered, got all ready, prayed, and then decided to weigh myself again...oh the dread...what am I going to do???? As I stepped foot on the scale and looked down...WHAT? It can't be...I've just gained 17 lbs. in an hour! Praise the Lord!!!! In one day I went from dropping 12 to gaining 17, putting me at 5 lbs. above my original weight, and I'm happy??? I must be a freak. So the good news is my scale is off...the bad news...I'm still dying...we all are...sorry!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Today I Am Blessed

Just a short blog to remind us all how blessed we are. Today is a good day. I am alive. I am not homeless. I have family who love me. I have a church family who cares. I have friends to laugh with. My husband has a job. My children love the Lord with all their hearts, and share Jesus' saving grace with their friends. I don't have to walk to the store because the Lord has blessed me with a vehicle. There is food in my fridge, I have a fridge. I have a bed, a home, health, and all my needs have been met. The Lord has taken care of me today, just as He has promised. Today I am blessed. There is no doubt that tomorrow won't be any different.

May you never forget the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon you everyday.

Love you...T

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Can We Really Live As Christ?

The answer "NO," only Christ in us can. A book called Classic Christianity has inspired this blog. I am on the last chapter about grace. A short read (my kind of book), but filled with so much meat (or veggies if you prefer ;).
Anyway...here's my story...
So we purchased a Suburban. Found it on Craigslist in CA. Everything checked out, and to make a long story short, we got a screamin' deal and are very blessed! HOWEVER (isn't that always the case? Oh no, not a however!) Though it was immaculate (is that with an i or an e?) anyway...the colors we wanted, loaded, leather interior, DVD, moon roof...loaded, and I do mean loaded there was something beneath the exterior that we loved (even the new car smell existed).
We took a trip to visit Eric at work the other day and as it sat in the sun for a couple hours something rose from beneath the surface. I had gone to get the stroller from the back and thought something didn't smell right. I lifted the mat and oh man did that ever stink. Mason and I about gagged. Though it smelled like brand new everywhere else, hiding just below a large rubber mat was the smell of a wet stinky dog and his potty (literally...pee). Now I begin to feel a wee bit agitated. This is not right, they said it was like new....etc. etc. There is a point here to my story...continue...
I came home and spent 3 hours scrubbing, vacuuming (oh yes we discovered tons of dog hair everywhere too), and disinfecting to rid our new vehicle of this foul odor. In the process I found it was just in there too deep. I could probably spray something that smelled pretty and could cover it for a while, but how long would that last? Even the smell in the large mat wasn't coming out. It was a mess and we felt a little jipped.
Well, it's kind of like us. Yep, from the outside we may look beautiful, might even have this fragrance about us that is lovey, but just beneath the surface there is a real stink. Now comes the problem with that statement...if Christ is in us, how come we stink so much? Or do we?
What I have discovered is this...we as Christians know the truth, we accept the truth (Jesus dying for our sins), but we fail to allow Him to live life through us. It's putting faith into practice I suppose. If we are filled with Him, if He is in us, shouldn't we just ooze Christ all over the place? Well you'd think anyway. Here's the problem, though we have that power, somehow we forget to plug into it (so to speak). If we beleive what His Word says, then we should be able to step back and allow Christ Who is in us to do what we can not. Love, forgive, swallow pride, speak truth and grace, share, step up etc....
The enemy has convinced us of something serious, that we just can't go on. That we are that stink below the surface and we have been discovered. Here's the truth though...just as I scrubbed and cleaned and sprayed and vacuumed for hours, that stink was only going to come right back out when exposed to heat. Sort of like us when we're exposed to a little heat huh? All the cleaning in the world would maybe help, but would never totally eliminate the deeper problem. Not until we actually take the vehicle in and have it recarpeted...all the old out and all the new put back in, can we actually know for certain that the smell is completely out. Now compare that to us. We can look good, smell good, sound good (you get the gist) but until we actually allow Christ to come in and yank out the bad stuff and fill it with Him, we will always have that smell...not the good one either.
The thing is as a Christian, we have had our carpet replaced (so to speak) but for some reason we don't all believe it, so we go on living as though we are not changed. It would be like me complaining of the dog smell in the Burb (we call him Bartoli, AKA Sam...another story) anyway...after we had the old carpet taken out and the new put in. How silly would that be? Not enjoying the new carpet smell even though I actually had it put in. The old stuff long gone, but I just don't believe it, or feel it, or whatever, so I wallow in the past.
Here's something to ponder, how do you think Christ feels when He hears us saying "We just can't go on" or "I can't do it anymore" or "I'm just a failure"? He has to be brokenhearted. You see really the truth is that He is in us...hear that again...HE IS IN US. We are ONLY THE VESSEL. It's not the paper cup that makes a great grape juice. It's the thing that fills that matters...not what it's in. The Suburban could be fully loaded with everything imaginable to mankind, but if a dog peed all over it and it reaked of smoke etc. when you opened the doors nobody would want it. That was us before Christ, but now because He lives in us, we are the gorgeous, loaded Suburban that smells brand new....because it is! We are new. It is NOT us, seriously...it IS NOT US. Can you grasp a hold of that?
Ok, I still haven't figured it all out...will work on that for eternity, but this book has helped me to begin to realize that if God is in me, and all I have to do is abide, then life truly is that easy to live. It's all about just being the plastic cup and allowing Him to fill and use us.
So I begin this new journey of learning to take up that promise in His Word that we HAVE LIFE in HIM! We really do, a life that is fulfilling, so much we've missed because we don't allow Him to live that promise out in and through us. I would love to know your thoughts.
If anyone wants to order a book with us (Classic Christianity), we are ordering a bunch in bulk at a cheaper price to do a Bible study. Interested in a book? Let us know.

God bless...T

Thursday, June 12, 2008

God Gettin' Into the Neighborhood!

Jesus Christ did not come just to get men out of hell and into heaven; He came to get Himself out of heaven and into men. (Classic Christianity-Bob George)

This inspires me to write the experience I had today. After spending much of my last two days cleaning up puke, doing laundry in such large loads it felt like we just got home from vacation, and trying to keep up with the housework, I wasn't too sure if I wanted Eric to take all the kids and the two neighbor boys to church last night. I just wanted a break and time for myself, not chasing after a baby, and cleaning up after my sick 3 year old...but...I new this was important. It just was.

After the family came home from church they shared with me how the one little boy (Marty) raised his hands in worship, and fell to his knees in prayer. I was amazed! Now here's the cool thing...today the two boys are outside playing with my kids. They are writing worship songs. Marty told my kids that last night he felt like something was making his hands light and that he just had to raise them in worship, and that he also felt like he needed to kneel and pray, like a weight was being lifted. He said he wants to go to church with us whenever we go, and he will hide in our trunk if he has to just to get there.

Here's the beauty of this story...if that isn't beauty enough. Two years ago we were to move into a new home. God didn't allow it, no matter how hard we tried to make it happen. Though we were very sad, we began to pray more and more that His will would be done, that He would clearly show us where He wants and needs us to be for His glory. Today, more then ever before I see so very clearly one reason why God kept us planted right here, for this time, for this purpose. I am so very thankful and have been in tears praising my God for His faithfulness.

Please pray for these little boys (Marty & Andrew). Marty is the one who had the God experience last night, but Andrew is just as excited and is a great kid. They are still on the porch writing worship songs. I hope we can get some music put to them and maybe even share them with the worship team in Jr. High. Maybe, just maybe God will use them to write words that will bring praise to our Father's ears.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Commit Your Way to the Lord, Trust In Him and He Will Do This. Psalm 37:5

The literal meaning of this verse is : "Roll your way onto Jehovah and trust upon Him, and He works." This brings to our attention the immediacy of God's action once we commit, or "roll," burdens of any kind from our hands into His. Whether our burden is a sorrow, difficluty, physical need, or concern over the salvation of a loved one, "He works." (Streams in the Desert)

Friends...we need not fear every moment in our lives, because as we give our lives over to Him, we know that He is working out His will in our lives. Who better to trust our lives with than our Heavenly Father?

There are times we feel our world is falling apart and wonder where God is??? He is at work my friend. At work in each one of us. Whatever He feels we need to get to where He has us going, we will experience. Once we truly believe everything that is happening to us is Father filtered, we will begin to accept and understand that there is a purpose in our lives. God wants to use us, and the preparing (pruning) process is not fun, but it's His way of saying, "You are worth it, You're a keeper!"

Have a blessed day...T

I Will Do It Today!

Chimin' words huh? I feel like I've said that so many times. I have so many great plans and POOF, the day slips away and my great ideas, and tender gestures will have to wait until tomorrow. I am then reminded however that we may not have tomorrow, as I remember my Mom. I also think about how life can, in an instant, be taken from you. I read about Steven Curtis Chapmans 5 year old baby hit by their older son in his SUV. Heartbreaking!
Life is too short, so this will be too, because:
Today I am going to go get the rabbit some food!
Today I am going to make a list for dinners for my week.
Today I will actually have dinner prepared for my family.
Today I will get some schoolwork done with the kids.
Today I will tell my kids and husband how very much I treasure them.
Today I will remember all the blessings my Heavenly Father has given me.
Today I will lift up a friend in prayer.
Today I will do as the Lord leads...even when I feel like I've failed at "today" I know if my day was given to Him, that day isn't a failure or loss, it is exactly the day He had planned for me.

Good luck on your day, and may it be blessed...T

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Worth it for a Webkinz...

Ok, so it's a Sunday mornin' and my kids hear that you get a free Webkinz if you spend $10 at Girly Girlz. Of course, as you know, nothing is ever free...let me explain.
So the day seems normal enough. I really don't feel like hopping in the van to go buy a Webkinz. I mean who really needs one more stinkin' beanie to clutter up the house I've been trying to DE-clutter forever anyway? BUT...the loving mother in me says...ya know...I really want to do something with the kids, and it will bless them so let's go!
On our way they are so excited! We even got to buzz through the intersection at UH and 83rd and watch someone get flashed at the light...sure glad it wasn't me! I was already long past the crosswalk...FEW...
Anyway...we get to Girly Girlz (of course Mason is NOT liking the fact that everything in there is pink and froo froo...just get the Kinz and get out.) It's also Webkinz week (or something of the sort) and you get to spin the Wheel of Wow...ooo free pizza, and a pink pencil for Mason (even after he tried to respin a 100 times) and oh, let's guess EXACTLY how many jelly beans in that jar (nobody will EVER get this one), can't forget Plinco, I feel like I just got hit up by Bob Barker! Just get 'em and go already. Few...it was cute and all, even got some great ideas for a Mommy daughter tea party. Gotta plan that one, must hit up Becky. Anyway...my oldest was the only one who made a purchase because they planned to come back later (of course).
So we're off. Get home and kids are straight to the computer for hours of playing with the new Webkinz. They watch as my oldest names hers and sets up...whatever it is you set up. I just feel good that I did something kind for my kids today. I'm such a good Mom.
Fast forward to today...May 7th, they all now have several furry friends, and spend WAY TOO MUCH time on the computer playing their Webkinz games. Oh good grief...at least they aren't out roaming the streets I suppose. Gotta purchase that chair, oh need to sell that lamp, oh they have a game coming on in 5 min., MOM, I need your computer. Whatever, I'm getting sick of these little beanies already...they are taking over my life!!!
Anyway...where was I? Oh ya, May 7th, Eric rolls in and tells me how he thinks he got his picture taken at the same light we saw someone had gotten there's taken a couple weeks back, which reminded me to tell him that I saw the flash go off and was so glad I didn't get busted. He also said he was long past the pretty red line they have neatly painted for you.
Then he headed downstairs and later came back with the mail. He threw it at me, shocked as ever, there I was driving my van through a red light. WHAT?!!! I was in the middle of that intersection when that was taken, what in tarnation are they thinking? Did they photoshop that picture? I'm gonna sue! How ironic that the day I told him the story the stupid thing came in the mail...how's that for crazy?
So now what? I'm a nursing Mom. I can't do school. Oh wait...cool, there's an option to take my class online. Now that is sweet...someone was really thinking...must have been a woman. So I make all my copies, email my info. and sign up. Now I wait, in the mean time I talk to my BFF who shares the bad news with me. You can't take traffic school online for a red light ticket. You have to go to Traffic Survival School...I'm thinking I will need Survival School when I'm done with all of this. I mean are you kidding me? $200 to go to school, and for what? Oh ya, no points and cheaper insurance. Ok, now my even bigger dilema...yep, I'm still nursing my baby. Oh crud. That just stinks. So what now, Eric brings him up on every break? This is crazy. No break for the Mom who hasn't had a ticket or even been pulled over since high school. You would think I committed some hanus(sp?) crime or something...well...I'm about to. Just kidding...
So now comes the clincher...remember the beginning of my story? Yep, nothing is EVER free! This trip to the Webkinz party cost me $200...now that's a screamin' deal eh'.
Click on "busted" picture to right to see enlarged. Can you stand it?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ever Feel Like a Babbbblin' Fool?

I had to pick up our chinese dinner at Shangri La. Let me just say, you can't get much more authentic then this place. Oriental people do the cooking and for the most part take your order and your moo la. When I walked in to pick up my order I was curious, so I asked, "What kind of meat was in the Garlic Chicken?" The little oriental woman looked at me and said "dok meat." I'm sure if you could have seen my eyeballs you would have thought I just got the living daylights squeezed right out of me as I replied, "DOG MEAT?" I'm sure that little lady did her best to hold back her laughter as she responded again (this time drawing out her answer) "DOOOOK meat." Again, with a puzzled look, ready to cancel my order I asked, "DOG meat?" Then it hit me..."Oh, dark meat..." I couldn't turn around and high tail it out of there fast enough. I felt like such a heal. I'm sinking, I'm sinking (see video clip).
Would love to hear some of your best blunders in babbling!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Challenge to RISE ABOVE!

My hubby and I were talking today about how the enemy must know his time here is short lived. It seems wherever we look a marriage is falling apart, a church is splitting, someone is dying, or has cancer or some other disease, finances are terrible, jobs are being lost, and in the midst of all of this, the enemy seems to dive in and work even harder!
CHALLENGE...we must encourage one another on a daily basis. In our marriage, we MUST find someone to remind us that we LOVE our spouse, and our marriage IS important to GOD. We must help those in dire straight where it comes to finances, helping them find work or making them a meal. PRAY for those around us in need and step out in faith when we feel God has put someone or some family on our hearts and we don't know why.
The enemy wants nothing more then to discourage believers and bring them down. If Christ's return is right around the corner the last thing the enemy wants is a bunch of strong Christians covered in the Armor of God beating the pavements and saving souls!
So my cry today is for power...power through Christ. We all have strength, even if we feel we don't. We need a daily reminder that HE is our refuge, HE is our strength, HE is our hope, future, sure strong tower and more....let's hold on and plow forward with more zeal than ever in sharing the Gospel to those who are dying.
If you feel the need leave your prayer requests on my blog! I would love to lift you up in prayer!

God has already won!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Why Organic?

Are you kidding me? Organic? It's so expensive, right? Well, here's an encouraging reason to "GO ORGANIC!" Keep reading...
Our resources seem to have run out. Our stores are filled with all kinds of produce that has been sprayed with all kinds of poisons to protect us? How thoughtful they are...protect us from what? Well I don't want to pull open a large leaf of Romaine only to find some varment nesting there...DO YOU? Ok, now let's get real. It's either bugs or poison (causing cancer, along with all kinds of other ailments) what to do???
If you live here in AZ gardens are a bit harder to maintain, but I have been fortunate enough to get on board with a co op that trucks in organics from CA, as well as some that are grown right here in the valley. Let me tell you, the produce is amazing...take a look at the leafy Romaine above! If you are interested in ordering produce drop me an email...prices are also amazing! This head was only $3.
Just want to share the blessing!

Monday, March 17, 2008

What's A Quiver Anyway?

So let's play some quiveropoly. I want to hear your views on what a quiver is. Take your time to really think this through, and I challenge each of you to use your Bible. This could be fun.

*What does the Word say about our womb? Is it ours? Is it the Lords to do with as He wishes?

*How many quivers are we to have anyway, I mean if a quiver is 5, do we have 5, or 5x70x7? Wait, that's the equation for forgiving...anyway...

*Is God's ultimate will for us to let Him choose the number of children we are to have?

*Just because we are lacking sleep and sanity, is that enough reason to close our own womb, or is God using our trials in child-rearing to build our character (and keep us busy at home you Titus 2 Woman You?!?!)

Let's stir the pot (in a loving way please...be gracious and non-judgemental or I'll have your BLOG!)

Get goin' gals...

Are We There Yet?

Ok, never have done a BLOG before. I mean what is it anyway? AND...who in tarnation ever came up with that name? I mean really, you could write an entire BLOG on what people think of when they hear the word "BLOG or BLOGGER". Anyway...you can tell I'm functioning on very few brain cells, that's what waking every 2 hours will do for ya!

I am tired. That is right, you heard me...tired and every other form of the word (eg. sleepy, exhausted, zombie...). Most of the night there is this little guy attached to my baby-feeding-mechanism. Is that for real? Guess it keeps the teething to a minimum, or whatever...if I can catch some zzz's through it all, I'm good!

So...are we there yet? Kind of brings back memories for so many of us eh'? Driving in the car for days on end, feeling queezy and hoping for a potty break before you flood your drawers. Oh yes, I remember it all too well. Now we plan to do the same to our poor children this summer. Do you think we will get to our destination (any of them) before we hear the dreaded question? ARE WE THERE YET? I think I will offer them 25$ each if they never ask the question. Then I can enter our family in the Guinesses Book of World Records for over 10 miles in a car with more than 5 people without hearing "Are we there yet?"

As we look forward to trotting through Texas, Georga, Tennessee (where we plan to stay the longest), Kentucy (The Creation Museum), Indiana, Kansas or possibly Colorado, I begin to feel this preSSURE...HEAVY PRESSURE...MUST FOCUS...POTTY BREAK...KIDS...MOUTHS...MORE PRESSURE...DIRECTIONS...MAN AT THE WHEEL...MAP QUEST...HUNGER OH THE HUNGER...ARE WE THERE YET? Oh well, I don't read much anyway...who needs to make their mark in some dumb record book?

The journey should be a lot of fun really, and we are looking forward to it! We are excited to visit with our ex-neighbors The Johnsons in TX, our first stop. Then on to GA to stay a few days with our friends The Fletchers. Mason looks forward to seeing his best friend again! The kids can't wait to ride horse too! We will go with them and meet up with The Bullers at Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, total Home School opportunity! Underwater falls, in caves...should be very cool! Then head to our friends, The Bullers home, for probably a good week before we stop in at The Creation Museum (hopefully with them, and maybe even the Fletchers). Then our other 2 stops will be brief overnighters on our trek home. Are you feeling PRESSURE?

So, who can come up with the best ever traveling ideas for kids (and Mom's) for treks up to 16 hours at one time. I will post your ideas, and hey, even use them if they will keep me sain!
Looking forward to our Summer Trek!