Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Heart For Christ

Psalm 103 (just a few verses) "BLESS the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;...He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniqities. ... Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul."

Has the Lord ever put so many things on your heart and in your mind at the same time that you begin working on overload? That is where I am today. He has placed many ideas, tasks, and people on my mind. My mind has been jumping all over the place. I am thankful though. It is a comforting feeling when you know something is from the Lord or someone is placed in your path by the Lord. It is always nice to realize "He wants to use me!" Of course we know this in our minds, but sometimes we have to realize this in our hearts.

I know for myself too often I end up going about my daily Christian life in a robot mode, because it is a routine. I have lots of Bible knowledge. I know most of the answers to the questions. I can give counsel. However, it becomes such a routine, such a habit that I don't stop and realize how the Lord wants to use me, work through me, and work on me each day. It needs to be HIM doing it all through me, not me doing it own my own. I don't want to take my relationship with the Lord for granted. I don't want to take my responsibilities from the Lord for granted. I don't want to take what he Has allowed me to learn and what He has shown me for granted. I want to take the time to stop and really consider what new things the Lord has for me each day and realize how amazing He is and be appreciative that He does want to use a sinner like me.

I believe God wants to show us new things each day, but we sometimes put on our "I already know this or I have read this many times before" mindset when we study our Bibles, listen to the preacher's message, have Bible discussions with others, teach our children, counsel with others, etc... Those of us who are from a Christian home, have been to Bible college, in the ministry, or very active in our church are more guilty of this. We know most things in our MINDS, but that hinders us from getting it into our HEARTS.

I want to be careful what I pass on to my children. I want them to get it into their hearts as well as their minds. I don't want to pass on knowledge. I don't want to pass on a routine. I want to pass on a HEART's desire.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook Weekly Thought

Outside My Window...The sun is peeking out behind the clouds. I love the fall mornings!

I am thinking...I have found tons of helpful Christian woman sites and blogs this morning.

I am thankful for...the beautiful weather we are having--I am so thankful that it is fall! It is my FAVORITE season. I love all of the colors and the crispness in the air. It is so nice to be outside during this time.

From the kitchen...sounds of the dishwasher - cold cereal for breakfast, soup for lunch, and probably manwich for dinner -I need to go the grocery store

I am wearing... navy blue Nike shirt and khaki culottes

I am creating...the feeling of fall around the house, birthday stuff for Justus' party

I am going...to pick the girls up from school this afternoon

I am reading...the KJV Bible, How to Raise a Gentleman by Kay West, Boys and Girls Who Became Great Missionaries by John Mueller

I am hoping...to get a lot accomplished around the house today

I am hearing...the boys playing

Around the house...LAUNDRY-- I am behind due to my surgery and pain afterwards

One of my favorite things...I'll repeat again---The Fall Season

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... take Chloe to piano lessons, go grocery shopping, 1st home volleyball game -Tuesday, the boys have a doctors appointment and attend church -Wednesday, Teen Youth Rally - Friday, Justus' birthday party -Saturday, Church Fall bonfire service and hayride -Sunday night

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
BOYS WILL BE BOYS-- I was working outside, and they kept making faces at me through the screen door. I couldn't believe even little Justus got involved. The shirtless boy is our neighbor, Cameron. He comes over to play pretty much every day.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Justus!!


Justus then.....

and Justus now.......

Justus enjoying his birthday breakfast at IHOP. He sat like this most of the time while eating.
Justus sitting in his very own red rocking chair from Grandmama. Each of the kids have one that they received from her on their first birthdays. The PARTY will be next weekend. More pics then.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Scenes of Autumn Around Our House


Yesterday we went to the pumpkin farm to get pumpkins!! When we got home we ate breakfast for dinner. Then we had our first pumpkin pie of the season! It was sooo yummy! I love the fall! I forgot to take the camera when we went, so this picture is from our front steps.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Real Mothers...

Real Mothers don't eat quiche; they don't have time to make it.
Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.
Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.
Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn't come out of carpets.
Real Mothers don't want to know what the vacuum just sucked up.
Real Mothers sometimes ask 'Why me?' and get their answer when a little voice says,

'Because I love you best.'

Real Mothers know that a child 's growth is not measured by height or years or grade...
It is marked by the progression of Mama to Mom to Mother...

The Images of Mother

4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!
8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!
12 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.
14 YEARS OF AGE - Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either.
16 YEARS OF AGE - Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned.
18 YEARS OF AGE - That old woman? She's way out of date!
25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, she might know a little bit about it.
35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.
45 YEARS OF AGE - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?
65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could talk it over with Mom.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Feeling Better

I am still not 100% myself, but I am doing much better. Yesterday, my doctor gave me a better pain medicine. I think this is going to work and help me bounce back. I was able to do some laundry yesterday, and hopefully I will get a few more things done today. I am going to take it slowly. I do have to go get the kids from school today and take Chloe to piano. That drive may be enough to fill my activity level for the day, since school is about 20 miles away. I am not really suppose to drive with my medicine. However, it doesn't seem to make me loopy, so I should be okay.

Last night a lady from our church offered to bring us a meal tonight. What a wonderful blessing. I am very thankful for the help and thoughtfulness. Isn't it wonderful how God meets our needs before we even know what they are? Aaron talked to his insurance boss after that. He has to work in Ft. Wayne today, which is about 1 1/2 hours away. He will not be home until later, so he wouldn't be here to help me with dinner. Now it is just being brought to us, and I don't have to worry about it at all!!!

I am expecting all to be well with me soon. My next posts should be about the kids and our normal lives. Justus will be one this Saturday! We are having his party on October 4th. This weekend was already filled with other events for our family and friends. I can't believe how the year has gone by so quickly. He has really changed a lot during this last month or so. I think his being able to walk did it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Surgery and Birthday

My surgery is over, but I can't really say that it was successful. I had my DNC to get out the placenta. The doctor also had to correct something with my cervix that was not put back together correctly after having Justus, so I have several stitches also. The endometral ablation was not done. The hospital had two machines that are used for the procedure and neither of them would work, so I have to have another surgery in the near future to get that done and take care of my other problems. I am in quite a bit of pain. I was not prepared for that. I thought I might be a little uncomfortable, but it is more than that. It must be from whatever they did for my cervix or from trying out two different machines. I don't know, but I am ready for it to be over. I don't think it is from the DNC, b/c others who have had one didn't mention much pain afterwards. Or maybe I am just a SUPER WIMP! I know I don't have much pain tolerance, but I would say this is worse than I felt after having any of my children. When I think I can get up and do something, I do. Then a little bit afterwards I regret moving around so much.

Pray for me to fill better soon. Me being down for too long will start making things really pile up around here. Then ,as many of you know-especially my family and former college roomates, the piles will start to drive me crazy. Then I will be frustrated at all of the mess and at everyone who made any of it-- including myself.

I turned 31 yesterday. Thank you to everyone for my birthday gifts. I spent my day laying down on the couch and in the bed. I watched lots of movies and slept.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Surgery

Pic: The kids and I a few hours after Justus was born.

Okay, surgery day is approaching. It is tomorrow at 12:30. The time has been changed 3 times this week, but my doctor assured me today that this will be the time. I have had to rearrange the kids and where they are going and when they are going there 2 times. I have got all 4 kids going to a different house. Chloe and Abbie will both be going home from school with friends and spending the night. Asher and Justus are both going to homes of ladies from our church and Aaron will pick them up sometime after I get home.

For those of you whom I have not told and have been asking my surgery has to do with my mommy parts. I will be very discreet and try to explain a little of what is going on. I have been having some difficulties since April. I went to the doctor. I have grown a placenta but no baby has ever formed. My body has been trying to flush it out. I have basically been having a really long miscarriage. I had a miscarriage the month before I got pregnant with Justus. So...within a 15 to 16 month time frame I had 2 failed pregnancies. I am going to have a DNC and something called an endometral uterine ablation. It is an alternative to a hysterectomy. I will not be able to get pregnant again after having this surgery. This is best for my health also. As most of you know each pregnancy has been very difficult on me. I have more problems with my own health after each one. Aaron and I had already made the decision not to have anymore on our own before finding this out. We are very happy and thankful for the 4 healthy children that we have.

Both of these surgeries are outpatient. I will be at the hospital for a few hours afterwards, and then I will be able to come home. I will be down for a little while after that, but at least I will be at home. Thank you for all of your thoughts, notes, and prayers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Justus with a Pacifier?

You all know that none of my kids have ever had a pacifier. Look what Justus found and has had in his mouth today. It was left at our house by mistake.

Life As Usual

Hey everyone! Nothing new or really exciting going on around here. We are just busy with life as usual.

We had good services on Sunday. I taught children's church. We had an indoor picnic. I sat the kids on old table cloths on the floor in the fellowship hall. I gave them something to drink and a snack while I taught the lesson. The lesson was on children coming to see Jesus and all that Jesus can do for even a child and how Jesus wants to hear from them. I also taught them several different events and miracles in the Bible that involved children. The kids loved it! I will have to do it again, maybe two or three times a year that way it won't be too often.--- I mean the picnic not the lesson.

Yesterday the kids went to school. I went to the doctor and the hospital to have my bloodwork and pre-op stuff done for my surgery that will be this Friday. While at the doctor's office Justus tripped and hit his head on the corner of the step that goes up to the patient's table. He got a big gash and blood was getting all over. He was SCREAMING!! I don't blame him. He hit it hard. I was glad that we were at a doctor's office. They cleaned him up, fixed him up, and put a cold pack on it. It doesn't look so bad now. However, yesterday was his picture day. Soo... his pictures have a gash on his forehead. We are capturing the memory! We were still in town at lunch time. Justus was sound asleep and not waking up, so I got to eat outside at Panera Bread with him asleep in the stroller. It was quite peaceful. It was sunny. There was a little breeze. I ate my soup and salad and read a magazine. It was great!! (For some reason as I was typing that I just heard and pictured in my mind Tony the Tiger from Kellog's saying that.)

Today I am Cinderella!! I have lots of household chores to do- mostly laundry. It is cold (60), dark, and rainy outside. It will be quiet at home this morning with just Justus and I, but if it is still rainy this afternoon it will be wild. The kids will be stuck inside. After being at school all day, they need to get rid of energy. Outside is the best place for that.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Aaron's 31st Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday Aaron. He turned 31 today. (Yeah-I know- the picture of me to the left looks pretty rough. I look super tired and my hair is crazy. What is that poof thing up there? Aaron looks cute though) Last night we celebrated with a few friends and their kids. We had a good time of fellowship, food, and fun. We ate Aaron's favorite meal, mexican food- tacos, burritos, and nachos with queso dip. We had ice cream cake for dessert. Instead of putting the traditional Happy Birthday on his cake, I put Congrats Karma #1 in the FF League. Hyles Karma is the name of his team in the fantasy football league. His league is the preacher boy league. Yes, it includes preachers- mostly all pastors or youth pastors in our area. It is a long story on why he picked that name. Anyway, he was #1 in the league this week, so I knew he and the others would get a kick out of that being on the cake. Doug Keppell was at the party last night. He and Aaron play against each other this week, so I thought I would rub it in a little for him too. The kids played with each other and entertained themselves. We did make an attempt at getting them all to lay down to watch a movie, but that didn't last very long. We adults played a game of Balderdash. The girls beat the boys!! Brittain Johnson had the most points overall. I came in second. We had a wonderful time! Now, I am looking forward to going to Emily's mafia party and looking forward to hosting our fall party! Who knows- maybe I am glad to have these activities more than the others. Remember though-- I mostly have conversations with children and play games with children. I may be starving for some meaningful adult times. If so, that's okay!

Our plans to go with our neighbors to the park were cancelled today due to the rain. Still pray for us and our relationship and witness to them.

Look below for pics of last night. I have some cute ones of the kids.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Affectionate Boys

The boys are my loving, huggy, kissy children. Yes, the boys. NO, not the girls. Justus has been giving lots of hugs today. Here is a pic of Asher hugging Justus when he was brand new, and Justus hugging Asher yesterday. Now that he can walk around, he hugs more. I guess it is because he isn't looking at everyone's feet and knees anymore. He is right at hug height.

Lovely Days- Busy Days- Fall Days

All is well around here. We are enjoying the beautiful Fall weather we are getting right now!!! I LOVE the Fall weather!!! It has been around 68 for the past 5 days. This kind of weather is refreshing. It makes me just want to be outside as much as possible. It is not too hot. It is not too cold. The colors that will soon be arriving are my favorite. I really enjoy decorating for the fall too. I do just fall stuff towards the end of September. Then in November I throw in the Pilgrims and Indians for Thanksgiving. I have actually come to enjoy seeing all of the corn being harvested in the fall. (When we first moved to Indiana my thoughts were more of is there anything else to look at around here other than corn.) I love the foods of fall. We have a couple of ladies in our church who love to make pumpkin breads, carrot breads, zucchini breads, etc... We always are given a few loaves. I also love the holiday season that is already surrounding us everywhere. However, it is a little bit crazy to see Wal-Mart already covered with Christmas decorations. We have birthdays this month- three in our house. In October we are hosting at our house a fall party for several of the other young pastors and youth pastors and their families. Right now we mostly just see them at the youth rallies and church camps we all attend with our youth groups. We thought it would be nice to get together when we are not working, when we can be more focused on fellowshipping and really getting to know each other. I am looking forward to it. I am already scouting out the dollar store for cute fall items, so I can start making small gift baskets to give away to each family.

Saturday is Aaron's 31st birthday. Tomorrow we are have two couples and their kids over for a small party. Saturday we are going to a state park about an hour away with our neighbors and their kids. Our children are together most of the day when they get out of school. We have to drag them inside to eat dinner and drag them inside again at dark.( I remember those days. I occasionally miss the times when all I had to worry about was how long I would get to play.) This family is a deep rooted Catholic family. The kids also go to a Catholic school. This is the first time we adults are really spending any time together other than small talk on the sidewalk. Pray for us to be the right witness to them. Of course we want to share the truth of God's Word with them, but we need to know God's timing and how He would have us deal with this. In small areas we have already have had to deal with a few of the differences and falsehoods with our own children. I think it would be easier to deal with our kids becoming friends with a family who does not attend or rarely attends church than the situation we have now. We know that God has put them in our lives or rather us in their lives for a reason. Pray that we can be a light to the truth for them.

We are super busy every weekend. Our next available Saturday is the first Saturday in November. Well, I do have October 11th, but I am pretty sure I am going to squeeze in a garage sale that weekend. Aaron will be away at a Men's retreat though, so it will be me tackling it alone with the kids. Wow! The weekdays are normally packed. They still are, and there are a few added school things. It is busy. It is fun!! But... it is also exhausting at times. Other than piano for Chloe, most of these things that make us busy are responsibilities Aaron and I have committed to. I don't even want to think about what it will be like when the kids are older and have their own practices, ball games, etc...

The picture is of a cute little potato I had in my potato bag. It was the perfect little heart shape. I made it into a twice baked potato for Aaron.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Asher Sleeping

I just posted these precious pictures of the kids peacefully sleeping. Then tonight as I am walking up the stairs this is what I found. At first my thoughts were "Oh my goodness, what is wrong with him. He must have passed out." He was fine- just sound asleep. I do not know what he was doing- probably waiting on me to bring him a "night night cup." We are trying to break him from this habit.

Just ignore the yucky wall papered wall behind him. We are painting it soon. Paint is in the garage. It is on the to do list.

Dream Land

We had a very good time at the youth rally on Friday night. Ted Inman from Heartland Baptist College preached about laying it all on the field for the Lord like a star player does to win the game for his team. Afterwards we had a one-pitch softball tournament. We combined our teens with another church to make a team. We came in 6th place out of 15 teams. That's not so bad. Overall everyone had a great time. However, it was a very late night. I brought the boys home around 11:00. Aaron and the girls did not get home until 2:30. The kids slept VERY late on Saturday. The girls and Asher got up around 11:30. Justus got up around 9:00.

Justus still sleeps without a favorite toy. The other three must have their toys in order to sleep. Asher is hugging his Clifford. Abbie has her baby, Justus. Chloe has her horse, Nordice

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our Every Day Lives & Preacher Kenny Baldwin

We have been busy this week, but not with anything really interesting - just our every day lives. We have been busy doing things at home and at church.
At home all is the same, and all is well. Abbie and Asher are still enjoying school. Asher cries on the days he doesn't get to go. If he continues to do this, we will probably go ahead and send him 5 days instead of 3. If the boy loves school, I want to encourage it. Chloe still could do without school, but she has brought home all A's- and most are A+'s- this week. The picture is of a few of her papers. Abbie has been riding her "two wheeler" as she calls it. She is so proud to not have training wheels anymore. Chloe still won't ride without training wheels, so this makes Abbie even prouder. Justus is perfecting his walking skills. He grins from ear to ear everytime he makes it across the room.

At church all is well also. Yesterday Aaron and I spent a few hours cleaning up his office. It is finally presentable again. His desk and papers and books and just stuff were all getting out of control. We cleaned out and refilled a filing cabinet and cleaned off and refilled the bookshelves. The top of his desk can be seen again. We also had to do the not so enjoyable part of being the pastor and pastor's wife- deal with people problems of not being nice to one another and not respecting one another. Yes, there are many many rewarding things to the ministry, but there are some ugly things too. After much prayer, some counsel from another pastor's wife, talking to the people involved, and making a few responsibility changes at church things are okay. We had good services last night. We are now preparing and rounding up our teens for the first youth rally of this school year. It is Friday. We are having a softball tournament afterwards. It should be fun. The first rally is usually exciting.

Tonight we are going with some of our friends, who are all pastor's and pastor's wives, to hear Kenny Baldwin preach. He is speaking at another independent baptist church in our area. For those of you who don't know, Kenny Baldwin is an excellent and dynamic black preacher who God is using to reach all types of people. Seriously, how many black preachers do you know who frequently are invited to predominantly white independent baptist churches? I only know of two- this man and his father. We were first made aware of him when were at Crown. Then we had him in to preach at one of our Central Indiana Youth Rallies. We are excited to get the oppportunity to hear him preach again.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Spending Time With the Family on Labor Day

We had a very good day today. We went to Richard's and Tonya's (Aaron's aunt and uncle). They live in Indianapolis. The majority of Aaron's family gathered there today. Every year on Labor Day they have squirrel that Richard has hunted. - NO! I do not eat the squirrel myself! They all say that it tastes like chicken. I say give me chicken instead. - Anyway, the kids all played and fished outside. Asher caught three fish. Chloe caught two fish. Abbie caught one fish. I bated a live worm on the hook without making any squealing noises. Abbie also started riding a bike without training wheels today. She just jumped on and did it by herself. The adults all played a game called Mafia. It is too hard to explain on a post, but it is basically a game of brains and bluffing. If you are a good liar or actor, you can do well. It is sort of like a twist between the games Balderdash and Clue. You have to fool or convince people about who you really are or are not instead of writing down a convincing but untrue definition, etc... It was a great game, because everyone could play at the same time. We all had fun, and even a few who are usually very quiet spoke up a little. Everyone liked it so much Emily is now planning to have a Mafia party at her house. It is always nice to get together with family. It is even better when everyone leaves looking forward to when we get to do it again.

Look down below for pics of the kids' fish and a few others.

Justus' New Dinner Table

Justus has found the cats' bowl. He obviously likes the food, because he keeps going back. Yes, he does actually eat it every time.