Saturday, July 31, 2010

Leap Of Faith

For those of you who don't know, I stopped working my "real job" in purchasing/inventory control when Erin was 9 months old. I could not stand the thought of not being with her each day. Since then, I have been cleaning houses two days a week to help out with our expenses and to have a little money to set aside. Patrick has a secure job, although not the best environment, he endures to take care of his family.

House cleaning has had its highs and lows since I started. Especially when the economy started going south, so did my workload. It thankfully picked back up this year, and I have been so grateful to the Lord. But this past month or two it slumped again, with customers moving and quitting their own jobs to stay with their families...

Anyway - a few months ago, Kristen, along with many others made a trip to Africa with Compassion International to raise awareness and support of the children there, as well as in other countries, who desperately need our help and the Lord's guidance in their lives. Since their trip, sponsoring a child has been on my heart.

Unfortunately, losing 3 customers in the past 2 months surely did not allow us to financially do that. After last week's bible study, I prayed. "OK Lord, you want me to do this, to be your hands and feet, to take care of the least of these. Please provide the customers so I can do this for Your glory alone."

Matthew 25: 37-40
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

I certainly did not want to make a vow and not fulfill it. As I have certainly done in the past.

Ecclesiastes 5:4-7
When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, "My vow was a mistake." Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.

By simply spreading the word on Facebook through wonderful friends and family, and beleiving that God would be true to His Word, in less than two weeks I was completely booked up again.

So tonight, I have kept my vow, as God kept His to me.

Her name is Adriana. She is six years old and lives in Ecuador. Her birthday is April 11, 2004, only a few months older than Erin. Her home is probably the size of Erin's bedroom. She lives with her Mom & Dad, and helps out in her home by making beds and running errands. She attends church and elementary school.
So far, that is all I know about her, but in a few weeks, I should know more and will share that information too. I am anxious to receive a letter from her, and hope I will be able to translate it!

But for now...

Proverbs 3:5-10

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight. 

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.

This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.

Honor the LORD with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;

 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.

13 Days & Counting

Today Erin & I went to the Creole Museum for a "kindergarten back to school" photo shoot with an old classmate of mine. Not that she is old. Because that we make me, well, older. I can not wait to get the proof's from Kelly, because she does an AWESOME job!

After she snapped a few of Erin, we walked around to the front and I took these.

I can't help it that I had such a beautiful, intelligent, subject...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oh Summer How I Love You!

All summer long, my sister & brother in law have been gracious enough to let us use their pool anytime we wanted. And we wanted. So we have.

Finally, today, I brought the camera with me. I thought it might be my last chance before school started, before I won't have these two sweeties with me all day, every day. Because even though it was nice to get a break with the girls, I'll trade that for these two anytime. Well, almost anytime :)


~Real Beauty~ Bare Tummy Alert

A few days before our recent girls trip, I decided to take belly shots. Kind of like that dove "true beauty" campaign.
So here we are, showing our abdominals..

We are six girls who:

have been friends since elementary school,
who have gotten in much trouble together,
have gone through heartaches together,
to come out better on the other side,
laughed and cried together,
studied and cheated together,
we are moms who work, at home and away,
whose bellies have been stretched, kicked, and cramped,
who always try our best,
but sometimes need a break to unwind and relax...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Girl Trip

This past weekend, with the help of my wondeful, supportive husband and Mom, I drove to Pensacola to spend a couple days with 5 other girls I have been friends with since elementary school. It was nice to get away, to lay around and take care of only yourself, if only for a little while...

Mom took this great picture of the kids and I before I fled sadly said my goodbyes.

The sky shortly after we were run off the beach by the lifeguard patrol guys.

Hanging out at the pool.

We had a great dinner at Flounders Chowder House.
(and a super sweet waitress who took our picture that was full of red hues & had to be changed to black and white)

Delicious seafood nachos & a pina' colada.
I had boasted that I would not need a "to go" box before the food arrived, because I was SO hungry.
Needless to say, 3 of us ate on these nachos - for 2 days and still had leftovers. The "to go" box was so heavy we had to take turns carrying it back to the room!

The next morning the weather was much nicer. And if I have to be awake at 6:00 in the morning, it may as well be on the beach with a cup of coffee.

I had a nice, restful time, but it's always good to be back home again!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

~Silver Lining~

Psalm 42:11

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Shack

I just finished reading the fictional book "The Shack" by Wm. Paul Young, and while I am really unsure what I thought of it, it did have quite a few paragraphs that stood out and I wanted to pass along because they are definately worth pondering.

 If you are completely unfamiliar with it, it's about a man whose young daughter was murdered, then years later was invited back to the place of the murder, to the shack. He was not invited by the killer, but by God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, all in the flesh - sort of.

this was the character having a conversation with the Holy Spirit on who should determine good and evil in the world...

Mack hesitated before finishing his thought, but the Holy Spirit interrupted. "Then it is you who determines good and evil. You become the judge. And to make things more confusing, that which you determine to be good will change over time and circumstance. And then beyond that and even worse, there are billions of you each determining what is good and what is evil. So when your good and evil clashes with your neighbor's, fights and arguements ensue and even wars break out."

a conversation with Jesus regarding the beauty and condition of the earth...

"Our earth is like a child who has grown up without parents, having no one to guide and direct her." As Jesus spoke, his voice intensified in subdued anguish. "Some have attempted to help her, but most have simply tried to use her. Humans, who have been given the task to lovingly steer the world, instead plunder her with no consideration, other than their immediate needs. And they give little thought  for their own children who will inherit their lack of love. So they use her and abuse her with little consideration, and then when she shudders, or blows her breath, they are offended and raise their fist at God."

regarding the state of society...

"God doesn't stop a lot of things that cause Him pain. Your world is severely broken. You demanded your independance, and now you are angry with the One who loved you enough to give it to you. Nothing is as it should be, as God desires it to be, and as it will be one day. Right now your world is lost in darkness and chaos, and horrible things happen to those that He is especially fond of."


Because God promised long ago, and He signed his name with a rainbow!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Christmas In July

I have been thinking about Christmas for about 4 months now. Not because of things that Patrick & I could get the kids though. At least not our kids. This year I have been thinking about Operation Christmas Child.

I decided this year, instead of waiting until the end of the year (when we are busier & more strapped for giving cash) to start collecting items right away. So we did. I would find a shirt or flip flops here and there for $1.00 each. Erin & Luke saved many of their Happy Meal toys to put in them. We were thrown sealed toothbrushes and stuffed animals at parades...We found a few things on clearance at the dollar general...Erin even handmade a necklace and paper crown for a lucky girl.

My closet was getting a little more cramped than I like it to be. So Erin decided it was time to pack the shoeboxes, and we did! My goal was four, two from each of the kids. But by the time we had everything dumped out and the shoeboxes filled, we had six! Three each for boys & girls.

If your family is looking for a way to spread the love of Christ, and give to others who are much less fortunate than we are, I would encourage you to check this out. With shipping, you can pack a shoebox for less than $20.

I am so thankful to Jesus, for Him providing unfailing for us. And I am thankful for our family for being so good to us, so that we can do for others.

And if you need EVEN more encouragement, check out this lady. She is a volunteer for Operation Christmas Child, and their goal is 12,000 shoeboxes this year!

Matthew 25:31-46

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' 46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Friday, July 9, 2010

For The Love Of Chicken

Today was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick Fil A.
Never heard of it? Well I hadn't either until the other day. But what else did we have to do today besides dress up like cows to get free chicken? Hmmm, nothing. So off we went in our printable cow costumes from their website. Cowgirl boots were not required, but worn anyway. And now that I look at this picture, Luke looks a little "flying nunish" the way his cow ears are flipped up!

I expected it to be packed, but it was not. So then, I got nervous. What if this Chick Fil A doesn't participate, and we walk in here like a bunch of loons, dressed like cows. Thankfully one of the cashiers was dressed up, so I knew we were ok.

(Look at their little cow tails)

Erin & Luke each got a complete kids meal and I got a free entree (spicy chicken wrap how I loooove you!)  for sporting a sign & cow ears.  Our lunch for all of us was $1.50 because I had to buy my own drink. Not bad for enduring a few minutes of this!

Dear Cows, I appreciate you!
Dearest Chicken, my belly appreciates you!
Dear McDonalds, step up. I remember when you actually gave books & sand pails with your happy meals.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

~Like Father~

~Like Daughter~

Monday, July 5, 2010

Things I've Learned

This past weekend, the family loaded up for a trip to Houston. The reason for the trip was to get Patrick's "new" to us truck. Yes, we drove to another state for a vehicle. (And no, I do not have a problem with that.) But we did have a few other adventures as well.

Hey Look, there it is!

On the trip, I learned a few things...

The kids are awesome in the car.
Even so, it'll still be a while before we do it again, because I am not awesome at sitting that still.
Erin did ask very early on "Are we almost in Texas?"
To my reply, "Um, no dear, this is Port Allen."

My children have never been so happy to be in a bedroom.

Sea Turtles are cool.

Jellyfish are cool behind glass.

We spotted license plates for 17 states, and 1 from Canada.

Hissing Cockroaches are nasty.

Need a closeup? Sweet dreams :)

Dinosaurs were really big. I didn't take the time to see if these replicas at the Museum of Natural Science were true to size, but they were huge!

The Museum of Natural Science is rediculously expensive.

The beetles are bigger in Texas.
We found a dead one by the pool, that was probably the size of Erin's palm.
Patrick & I will swim in freezing pool water to make my daughter happy.
Especially after she & Luke were so good being stuck in traffic for 3 hours.

After above mentioned traffic, I am near an emotional breakdown.

The bathroom doors in the Houston Zoo are pretty funny.

Beetles come from grubworms.
I happen to think that grubworms are possibly the grossest critter ever, besides their other white friend that I won't even name. maggot. Oops.

After 4 3/4 hours in the car, my posterior loses all sense of feeling.
I don't think this requires an explanation.

Wasps and mosquitos patiently wait for Luke to get home to bite and sting him.

The good Lord watches over us, wherever we go.