Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Big House.

After quite the full summer, we decided to hit the road and enjoy a relaxing week up in Ruidoso at the Big House.  We knew going into it that the supposed 5 hour car trip would take a little bit longer with our travel companion, so we just gave into that and made a day out of it. We stopped to eat and check out my brother's family's new house.


Griff wasn't too impressed with the house because he didn't understand why Jax and his toys weren't there. Next time buddy!  We hit the road again and stopped in Roswell to wander Target and grab a snack. Griff chose a well balanced diet of Target popcorn and Cheetos. Funny enough, he wouldn't let us open them until we made it to the Big House! I couldn't believe his determination. He must get that from me and his looks from his dad :)


We told him he could either nap in the car and play when we get to the Big House, or stay away in the car and nap at the Big House. He instantly put his thumb in his mouth, grabbed his pillow and closed his eyes and was out. I watched him in amazement and realized that our next kid is probably going to never sleep!


Our days at the Big House were lazy, full of good food and fun family time. Griffin Scout got to ride his first pony, Scout.
Please note the shark shorts and mcqueen shirt, both new gifts from Bami from the thrift store. It seems as if he will be a trend setter some day!

Cornerstone Bakery is a must with kids in Ruidoso. They give you dough to play with and Griff was entertained for a full hour. It was almost like we were there by ourselves! Be warned, they are covered in flour after it's over!



We also went putt putting and go karting. Griff definitely had the right strategy for putt putt- hit it once, then pick it up and put it down beside the hole, then hit it in for par. Mulligan as many times as needed ;)



We were actually considering passing on the go karts because of the cost and not totally being sure if he would enjoy it, but a family was ready to go and gave us 4 tickets, which was perfect for us to do two go kart rides.  I don't know why we worried about it either, as G Man loved getting to be a crazy driver!



We finished out our trip by stopping at the waterpark in Brownfield on the way home.  This was really our first family vacation now that G actually knows what's going on. He did great in the car both ways and didn't have any accidents, which now makes us officially potty trained and is the cherry on top to finish out our summer! Ruidoso spoiled us with high's in the mid 70's and rain most days, so it's been extra brutal to come home to 100+ degree days. Cody and I both agree that we wouldn't mind if FBC Ruidoso calls him to be a pastor someday when we're closer to retirement! Thanks to Bamps and Bami for letting us use the Big House and Noni & Boots for letting us crash part of your vacation!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Is It August Yet?

Cody and I could be the only people who are ready for August to be here, because that means we survived our summer. I thought that summer's were busy with a youth minister husband, and then I became a children's minister and it only got busier. We've survived VBS, Jr. High and High School camps and now I have children's camps next week and then we will celebrate! Don't get me wrong, we've had some great weeks and loved getting to see our kids experience Christ, but it wears you out when you feel responsible for the safety of other people's kids! (plus, I don't feel old enough to be the sponsor yet!)

Our High School camp was held in Glorieta, New Mexico, which used to be a rather popular location to have church cabins until the land sold recently. I was happy to see that my hometown's church's cabin is still standing and our girl councilor was actually living in it (with 36 other girls! glad it wasn't me! :)


Camp at Glorieta was much more outdoorsy than I was prepared for, but we all ended up having a great time and dare I say, even enjoyed the outdoorsy activities! (Feel free to stop reading now if you don't want to see pictures of me doing said outdoorsy stuff! Videos won't work... maybe some day I'll update this with them!)

We drift triked:


I didn't know it, but drifting is apparently the process of making yourself slide sideways. I was a scaredy cat the first time, but showed the boys up the second ;)

We did the Zip Drop:

Our cute group getting ready to go!

We'll be jumping off of this:

Which for two sissies, looked like this:

(wah wah wah... picture two sissy's jumping off!)

What you can't see is where the other two people on the Zip Drop had already jumped off on the count of three, but Cody and I were frozen up there. Some of our group thought we planned it that way so just the two of us went together... but no, we were just scared! It took a huge moment of courage for me to jump, which is why you see me so happy to be back on the ground!

We did a lot of hiking in the beautiful mountains:


And we also pretended to be movie stars by braving the Stunt Jump. As you can see, they won't be hiring me as a double any time soon! I was the first chicken to make the jump (no need to tell you how long it took!) but I inspired Cody and our other sponsor Marie to make the jump too!

(pretend you see a superstar jumping off a 20 ft ledge onto a blow up landing)

All in all it was a great week, but we're glad to be home with our boy and seriously are looking forward to a little bit of a slower pace in August! I head out today for one last week of camp, which is actually pre-teen camp (monday - thursday) and children's camp (thursday and friday) combined. Yep... we'll pretty much pull into the parking lot, empty the bus, load back up and leave again. Not sure why I was feeling so ambitious when I made these plans!! I know it will be a great week, but I'm ready for Friday already! ;) 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Senior Sunday 2030

am i the only mom who was weepy this morning during senior sunday? cody had them play a video [of children i didn't even know mind you!] of kids growing up from toddlers to graduates and i felt like i was watching griff grow up in front of me. the days are long but the years are short and soon enough it will be our senior sunday. 


luckily, i came home to this silly boy who kept me laughing all day. "i lub your shoes momma!" 
plus,  don't you think these will be gems in his senior slideshow? 


(i don't know why this video is so tiny. click the four arrows at the bottom right hand to see it bigger mom ;) 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Six on Saturday [griffin style]



a few weeks ago we took griffin to his first movie to see HOME. as you can see, he could hardly take his eyes off of the screen to say cheese. luckily it was a crowd of mostly kids so any noises he made didn't matter, though he mostly only said, "more popcorn please!" cody and I are already looking forward to a few more movie nights this summer!


griff got some new summer shoes, but we're still trying to teach him that sandals don't require socks. he makes it look pretty cute though!



we've stepped our toes into the world of potty training and it's going ok. he does mostly good at home with us, but won't go on the potty at school. I am a bribing mom, so every day he goes I remind him - "if you go tee-tee or poo-poo on the potty at school we can get ice cream!" ice cream is a great motivator too :)



you can tell we've been talking a little too much about potty training. I went to go use the bathroom the other day and Griff walked up to me and said "push hard momma!"

[we stress every day with G to keep his undies clean and dry]

a few days later he saw a pair of his socks on the floor and said they were yucky. I explained it was clean laundry that we needed to put up and he said "clean and dry! clean and dry!"


one day at school was "wacky hair wednesday." considering that G has crazy hair most days, Cody went with something different - the tri hawk. Personally, I thick he looks like he's ready to star in Dumb and Dumber Three!


our latest obsession: minions.


he'd make a pretty cute minion to me!

Monday, April 27, 2015


well hey there blog friends. it's been a long time since anything of much worth has been posted around these parts. there have been things on my heart this past year and a half that haven't been right to share, but i'm feeling that now is the time to start opening up. it's long, but hopefully worth it. i'm hoping to be back more regularly now, though this shouldn't be the only topic I cover. i'm grateful for this space and for you!

Have you had a season where God continues to put a message on your heart? I'm sure if I went back and read past journals and even this blog I would be able to seem the themes that He has given to me to carry me through different seasons.  And even though I'm not out of this season yet, I want to document it before I move on. 




breaking down walls. 

These are the phrases that keep coming up on our Wednesday and Sunday morning lessons. For the teaching I do with the children, we take a theme to study for the whole month and break it down into different lessons each week. Spring break and bad weather caused our March month to be off, so we were finally ready to start our April lessons, on the last Wednesday night of the month! Our new element for this month is "FAITHFULNESS." [standing firm with God by keeping our promises to Him and others.] 

I hadn't done much prep work before and in some real honesty, I wasn't feeling very faithful Tuesday night. In fact, I wrote something in my prayer journal along the lines of "Why have you abandoned me? Why haven't you answered my prayers yet? Am I not faithful enough? Do I not trust you enough? Do I not love you enough? I feel forgotten God." Not pretty, I know. 

I went to work on Wednesday feeling beaten down.  Unfortunately, that's not reason enough to cancel our services so I set out to get everything ready for that night. I piddled away, planning out games, music, snacks and crafts and all that was left was to finalize the lesson. The Big Idea of of Faithfulness we were looking at was "We can trust God to keep His promises." and our Scripture for the night focused on the Israelites being brought out of Egypt and the land of slavery, yet ending up being backed up against the Red Sea as the Egyptian army chased after them. Typically, our lessons use a scripture to support one idea. For instance, last month we talked about integrity. One week's focus was "integrity is not always an easy choice" and we looked at the story of Shadrach, Mescach and Abednego. This week's lesson was a different style and used portions of scripture to prove a small point about faithfulness. Here's what they are:

 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”  So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle... By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.  Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

[exodus 13: 17-18; 21-22] 

Faithfulness Fact #1 -
God knows where to lead us, and He will lead us to safety and His blessing.

God knew His people weren’t very strong and might decide to return to Egypt if they had to fight another country right away. If we trust God to lead us, we have to trust the direction He takes us. Do you think the Israelites wondered why they were going the "long way?" They grumbled and complained a lot on their journey to the Promise Land, so it's not hard to imagine them doing so from the start. If we say we trust God to keep His promises to us, we can't bail out on His plan as soon as it gets uncomfortable. 

To help the people understand His faithfulness and to see it every day and night, God even had them follow a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. There was never a moment when the Israelites were alone. God made Himself plain to see every step of the way. He is visible to us every day too, if we only slow down long enough to see Him. 

Faithfulness Fact #2 -
God is never surprised by anything that happens to us; He already has prepared a way to help us out. We just have to keep our trust in Him. 

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. 
[exodus 14:5-7]

Before long, the Egyptians caught up with the Israelites as they camped by the sea. The 
faith of the Israelites fell to pieces and they became so scared they cried out against
Moses and God. In Exodus 14:11 they asked Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us out here to the desert to die?” They were so upset with Moses and God they even said in Exodus 14:12, “We told you to leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians. It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

Even in the middle of all the terror and complaining, one man stood firm and continued to trust in God: Moses! He was God’s chosen leader for the Israelites, the one who had gone before Pharaoh at the time of each plague. Moses had seen the power of God and it had changed him forever. He knew our Big Idea of the Day was the truth. He knew they could trust God to keep His promises.

 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
[exodus 14:13-14]

Faithfulness Fact #3- 
God will keep his Promises to us in miraculous ways. 

When they made the great choice to trust God, a miracle occurred! At the moment things looked so awful, so hopeless, but then God told Moses to stretch out his staff over the sea. When Moses obeyed, God caused a mighty east wind to turn back the water and make the land beneath dry, so the Israelites could pass over the sea. All night long, the waters were turned back and the Israelites began to cross to the other side. The Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

we need to remember we find God’s power when we stand still and trust Him.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I don't know what my children got out of the lesson, but I fully believe it was a lesson just for me. we need to remember we find God’s power when we stand still and trust Him.  Standing still and trusting Him is where I begin to struggle. Instead, I'd rather try to control everything in my power and spend my days obsessing if things are going to go in my favor this month. 

Almost a year and a half ago Cody and I decided we were ready for our family to grow again. Even typing that I want to laugh, because we can decide all we want, but that doesn't mean it's actually going to happen. Instead, it feels like we are walking the "long way." And if I think having another baby is to be my "Promised Land," I would make a mighty fine Israelite because I am complaining and grumbling along the way. In fact, God would probably describe me as a whiney toddler right now with the amount of "Why's?" I have thrown His way.  It's a weird place we sit in - we do have a child already so obviously it was possible for us, but yet, it's taking so long to happen it's hard to ignore some of the questions that pop up in my head. 

Here's the question I have the hardest time with: why are you silent God? 

For as much as I've prayed and asked for wisdom and guidance about our family [is it not the right time? is there something wrong with me? are we supposed to see a specialist? are we supposed to be pursuing adoption and that's why we're not getting pregnant?] God is remaining silent.  

I'm thankful that He is at least the strong silent type. Even though He hasn't spoken the right direction to us yet, His presence has still been felt. I know without a doubt that my faith, though sometimes feeling small and weak, is stronger than it would have been right now had I quickly gotten pregnant like I originally planned. I know that God has us on the long way for a reason and He is not surprised by this timing. I do feel like the desire in my heart for more children is a promise that He will someday fulfill and when that day comes, it will be miraculous, maybe even as big as the parting of the Red Sea. 

Sunday during our small group with the youth group we talked about the Battle of Jericho. I imagine they must have felt rather silly trying to take down a mighty wall by WALKING, but they did what the Lord commanded them to do. 13 times they end up walking around the city followed by shouting for the Lord and the walls came tumbling down. Trying unsuccessfully for a baby feels like a wall we will never be able to break down. Would you join me in walking? We would love your prayers as we navigate how to step forward from here.  Please know that I'm also willing to talk in person about this, but if you ask Cody any questions, he might get a little awkward on you! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Easter Sale - 2015

this year,  choose a gift for your family that will keep giving all year long. 



usps takes about 2-3 days to deliver these, so make sure the easter bunny knows to order them in time :) 

head over the the etsy shop to get yours. may your family be blessed! 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Grandma's Chocolate Cake

Griff and I ended up taking a last minute trip to the panhandle last weekend to have a chance to see my grandmother again. She's been in and out of the hospital for several months now and just hasn't been able to get fully well. I am so thankful we ended up going, as she has taken a turn for worse and is being moved into hospice today.  While we wanted her to be comfortable and without pain, you're just never ready to say goodbye.

When I think about my grandmother, I think about:

Cousin's Week
          - hosting all eleven grandkids for a week of fun! my token cousin's week is when I was around 10 years old and when my mom came to pick us up, I bragged that I hadn't brushed my hair all week! (this is back when it was long and thick... it was a rat's nest! no rules at grandma's house though!) we always had matching shirts, made play dough and bubbles, slept in the garage [in the summer, in texas! how did we survive that heat??] and even braved palo duro canyon to camp outdoors! sometimes, when i'm exhausted after a long day with only one toddler, I can't imagine how they had the energy to entertain us all week!

          - my grandmother had an amazing puppet ministry. I can't even tell you the countless shows she put on across the state and in Brazil. Lee Greenwood's "I'm Proud To Be An American" is a song that makes me think of my brother and her, because she always did a performance to it. As a young child, having a puppeteer grandmother was basically the equivalence of being related to a celebrity ;)

          -Lots and lots and lots of games! My grandparents loved to play games and I am so grateful that she kept quite the social circle with her games after he passed away. I actually can't tell you the last time I beat her in a game of Wahoo either!

Chocolate Sheet Cake
          - Oh, Grandma's chocolate sheet cake! This will forever go down as my top dessert. It's so perfect.  It doesn't matter how full I am, what time of day it is or the diet I'm on, I can't turn down her chocolate sheet cake. Grandma knows my love for it and up until her health starting failing, every time I came to visit her she had my own 9x9 pan that she was pulling fresh out on the oven.  I am so grateful that almost 7 years ago for a wedding present, I had a family friend that put together a recipe book for me and had family members contribute some of their favorites. I don't have many from Grandma, but she knew what I would want.



Our family would appreciate your prayers right now. Though we are preparing for a lot of grief, I think we'll make her chocolate cake this weekend and celebrate the blessing she is to us!