Monday, June 30, 2008

I got Ty Pennington on SALE!!!

I WISH.....but it is only the dishes he designs. I absolutely love Ty Pennington Style items but they are pricey for our budget. Brian and I were "window" shopping at the mall since our AC is out and has been for two days now when we happened upon these wonderful dishes...



We bought the color HAZE (it is the grey color shown above in the same style. It is a 20 piece 4 place setting. The regular price was $99.99. Guess how much we paid for it????



Did ya guess yet????




ok, here is a picture to prove it.

YEP, that reads $24.87.....pretty cool huh!!!
We also bought a large serving bowl and platter that matches the set for $9.87 (reg. $39.99). Brian and I were discussing that we have never bought dishes before. We have been married for almost 12 years (August 2nd) and we have always used dishes given to us (hand-me-downs) and the sets we rec'd at our wedding . Thanks Mandy, Nancy and Melanie for the great set you gave us, it has suited it's purpose and then some (I think we only have two pieces missing due to breakage). Thanks to Mrs. Irene for the fun Coke-Cola dish set we also rec'd at our wedding and are still using.
We enjoyed the clearance aisles at Sears but I also found these same deals at Sears.com if you are interested.
We would have decorated our whole living room if we weren't worried about how to get the stuff packed and to AR without breaking it.
I LOVE A GREAT BARGAIN!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dangerous Surrender- Chapter 3 Gloriously Ruined

I have been finished with Chapter 3 for a long while but have not posted on it yet. It is about time I start letting you in on how this book has changed my life and I hope the life of others. This chapter has been the best chapter for me yet (I am now on chapter 6 so my thoughts may change later....a woman always holds the right to change her mind).

My first initial thought when I saw the title Gloriously Ruined was, is there more??? I thought that Seriously Disturbed was enough but now Gloriously Ruined. This book is often read in the bath tub while I have no distraction from the everyday responsibilities of having two small children and a husband to take care of. I also feel like I can cry if I want and there is no one there to see or ask questions (as if that has ever stopped me from crying before but it sounds good anyway).

While sitting in the tub reading this wonderful chapter I started to believe that this is the life I want for me and my family. I want us to be exactly where God wants us to be....location and in our hearts and minds. This is not going to be an easy task. I have found that when I search for what is right, many things come up in our lives that is not right and have to be changed.

When I started this journey to what God wants from me, I thought I would help other people do what they are already doing (whatever charity or organization that needs me, I would HELP). But now that I am getting more involved with many charities I see the need for SO many things to change in this world. I am seeing how in many cases a little bit of money or the cost of a coke or coffee can change someones life for a year (Don't Drink the Water???).

I believe that I am getting closer and closer to becoming a Seriously Disturbed Gloriously Ruined servant of the King. I can only explain this transformation through how I am starting to be aware of many things I never even thought of before. When our water was not safe to drink a few weeks ago it lead to this post (Don't Drink the Water???). I can't drink a coke without thinking of how much money we need to give to a clean water charity this month. Every time I go grocery shopping I think of all the children who are hungry and we have access to whatever we want at our fingertips. When I hug my girls many times a day, everyday, my heart breaks for the children in the world who don't have a family to embrace them and be their cheerleaders. When I tell my children I love them, I think of all the children who have never heard those words or who have only heard them so that someone can get what they want from them. This may seem a bit morbid to some of you and you think that it would only make you sad but it has made me DRIVEN. Driven to do something about all of these thing and not just sit back and hope that someone else will take care of it. If you are a child of the King then YOU are the person that God expects to do it too.

God never promised our life would be easy after becoming Christians...in fact it becomes harder to face many of the things we must do but the outcome is so priceless and the JOY is unexplainable. Try it.....find something you are passionate about and get involved. Help someone this week or month. Leave me a comment and tell me what kind of organizations you like to give to....time or money.

If you don't know what to get involved in but have a desire then there is plenty you can do.

Go to Children's Hopechest and donate to get things started in Ethiopia orphanages (get your church, business, organization or club interested in sponsoring an entire orphanage click on programs and then sponsorship to find out more or go on a mission trip....any time you leave your comfort zone and live in someone elses world it is life changing.

Go to my Don't Drink the Water?? post and donate to one of the many charities that provide clean water to people all over the world. $1 can provide clean water for one African for one year!!

Go to Nothing but Nets to donate bed nets to help prevent Malaria. Malaria kills 1 million people every year (mostly children). Donate $10 for a net and save a life!!!

Please remember that while these charities are great things to give to God still expects your tithe of 10% to your local church. These things should be above your tithe. If your budget is tight (I totally understand that) then find creative ways to give. God will bless you with the money to give and your heart will be blessed more than you could imagine.

If you haven't watched the Cardboard Testimonies then go here and see what I want my cardboard to say.

My blog started out being a way for our families and friends from home to see our children grow up and know what is going on in our lives here while we live away from everyone. Now I hope my blog is more about what God wants for our family and what He wants for your family too. You will still see many picture of the children here but between all of that you will see many more posts like this. I will start reading the book Red Letters by Tom Davis soon (you can see a video about Red Letters here).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Great Day at the Playground!

This morning I got out of the house early to go grocery shopping and then when I came home Mili Bear was ready to go to the playground for some fun.

Mili LOVES "walkside" chalk!!!


While Mommy played with Mili on the sidewalk, Daddy had some fun on the swings with Sadie Beth. She LOVED it!!!








Mommy's turn on the swing with Sadie Beth. I think she likes swinging with Daddy better.




Mili is learning the "swing pump" to keep herself going.


Lovin' the wind blowing her hair.






The windblown look!


Sadie Beth about to take her first plunge on the slide.


I am not sure she enjoyed it but Mommy LOVED it!



Sadie Beth's first time sitting in the grass. Lots of pictures to come on this one. Watch the progression of her feet and facial expressions.


What is this stuff????


Don't think I want it on my feet!



What am I suppose to do with this stuff????


Guess I will wave at Mili since I am stuck in this position.


No so bad, maybe I like it a little bit but still don't want my feet on it!



Mili does some fantastic stunts so I have to clap for her but don't think I am letting my feet down on this stuff!!


OK, I am getting tired of this now!!!


Exercising my abs since my feet didn't touch the entire time I was "sitting" or balancing (she never fell over or touched the ground with her hands, she balances like this all the time) there.


OK!!! My abs have had it!!! Come and get me, Mommy!!!



Mili LOVES playing here. We will miss it when we move.



Mili makes a go at the rock wall. Something she has always been afraid of without help.



Getting HIGHER!



Almost There!



WhoooHooo!!! I mastered the mountain!!! Go Mili Go!!!


Mommy teaching Mili how to hopscotch.


Mili did great for her first time.



Look what I can do!!!


Look Mommy, one foot!


Too Cute!!



I feel so refreshed and rejuvenated after some good family time. It always does my heart good and makes me appreciate my precious children and wonderful husband. I heart the fam!!!!
Hope you enjoyed the family play day, I sure did!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

UPDATE: Raniey/Mutz Families

Little Molly is with Jesus. You can read more about it here. You can leave a comment for the family here (they plan to make a book of the comments for Rebecca and Jacob).

I can not imagine the hearts of of these two families right now. So many emotions. Please continue to pray for them weeks, months and years to come.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pray for the Rainey/Mutz families

I am posting this because I know many of my readers are Christians and believe in the power of prayer. Many of you are also familiar with the Dennis Rainey family from Family Life Today. Brian and I went to school with Ashley and Ben, their son and daughter.

Rebecca is another Rainey girl and is now married and just had her first child. While this should be an exciting time for them, they are grieving. I am not sure about all the details but you can read an email that Dennis wrote and is posted on this blog here there is also another blog about it here.

If you will go to the two links you will get all the information about their new baby girl, Molly Ann Mutz. Please pray for the Raniey and the Mutz families as they go through this terrible time in their lives. My heart is breaking for them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Don't Drink the Water????

UPDATE: (if you haven't read this post yet.....read it first) I forgot to mention that Brian and I saved $5 dollars at Red Robin the other day by ordering water instead of soda. I went to charity: water and ordered a bracelet for $5 to help me remember that anytime I eat out I will order water instead of soda. I plan to give the money I would have used to buy the soda to one of the organizations listed below. You would be surprised how fast it adds up. I have also decided that if I do have a soda at a restaurant then I will pay double the amount of the drink toward clean water for someone else. This is just my way of giving back. You find out what works for your family. I am not a coffee drinker but I know how much some of those coffee drinks cost. If some of you would pass up Starbucks (every once and a while, I don't mean everyday) and donate what you would have paid for your coffee, there would be a person on the other side of the world living because you decided to pass up the coffee shoppe (something to think about....huh). Or buy some Saint's Coffee instead and feed an orphan.


This is what we were told a few days ago and we are still on a boil order. A water main broke in another town but the whole county is on a boil order for safety reasons. With two small children this has been a huge headache but recently I have been looking for EVERY opportunity to learn something from God.

Well, if inconvenience isn't the best way to wake me up about the world. Recently my prayers have been to show me the world and not just my small bubble I live in. We are so spoiled in America and I am beginning to realize it more and more each day. This water safety alert has done just that. I am awake and have been for several days now, searching the Internet for information about donating to organizations that focus on giving the gift of life through clean water.

4,500 children die every day from diarrhea caused by unsafe water.

"Waterborne illness kills a child every fifteen seconds and underlies much of the world's disease and malnutrition." UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman

$1 provides clean water for a year for one African. (blood:water mission)

There are many more statistics that would pull at your heart but if the three listed above are not enough then you probably wouldn't donate money anyway and you would not need to read the rest of this entry.

There are some organizations below that you can click on to donate money to provide clean water to those who live each day hauling water from far and then it is contaminated but it is all they have to drink. "Don't drink the water" is not an option for them. I was able to go buy bottled water at the grocery store.


This charity has several countries you can donate to.


This charity has merchandise that you can buy and all the proceeds go to clean water.


This is the charity started by Jars of Clay and it involves wells for clean water and awareness for clean blood, free of HIV/AIDS.











This one has a challenge and you can watch a video explaining it.



I hope God has touched your heart as He has mine. I know that we (or I have many times) turned our heads to all those commercials that show people dying in other countries but it is time that God's people do what we were called to do and take care of ALL in need, not just a select few.

One More Sunflower

I wanted to show you one more picture of our beautiful sunflowers. There are a few more that opened up this morning. I will take a few final pictures of them after all have bloomed and then stop boring you with my photography.



Saturday, June 14, 2008

Chapman Family

For those of you that would like to know how the Steven Curtis Chapman family is doing. Here are a few blogs that you can check out.

On my side bar you can click on the Steven Curtis Chapman link and that will take you to their personal blogs (they have not updated and understandably so) but SCC's manager, Jim Houser, has several entries about how the family is doing and I think there are a few on Grace Graham's blog (Chapman's Assistant). Also the blog titled Kerry Hasenbalg (on the sidebar), has some incite into how the family is doing as well.

Hope you check out the blogs and of course don't stop praying for this awesome family. By the way, I think I heard in one of Jim Houser's interviews (on his blog) that Maria's fund is over $400,000 now. That is amazing!!!

Just thought I would link you all in case you haven't found these sites yourself.

Love to ALL!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I've Got Skills

I LOVE taking photos of anything.....especially nature. Here are a few of my photos I took quickly (because the kids were awake). I know they are not professional but they are as good as it gets right now. I would love to pursue a hobby/career in this at some point (way down the road). I hope you enjoy them.






















Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Letter to Mili Bear 3 years old

I have been meaning to write this for quite sometime since Mili's birthday is on June 2nd but we have been quite busy around here with birthday parties, finishing up responsibilities at church, cleaning out junk, and packing.


Dear Sweet Mili Bear,

It doesn't seem like you should already be the big 3 years old. Mommy is a little sad because it means that you are starting to be so independent and you don't "need" me like you used to. However, Mommy and Daddy's roles as your parents are to raise you so that you will be independent from us and totally dependent on God in the future.

You are starting to test the boundaries we have set for you and therefore spending more time in timeout.

You are learning to recognize, write, and the sound for all of the alphabet.

You can't wait to swim in Nanny and Poppy's swimming pool as soon as we move back to Arkansas.

You are asking WHY after every question or every NO....this may be what sends Mommy over the edge.

You say some of the cutest things I have ever heard in all my life. Here are a few things you say or do that Mommy just loves....

"Should I see what my Disney friends are up to?"

"Well, Actually..."

"paci, PACI!! Where are you???" (as if it could get up and walk to you) (praise God we have thrown the paci away)

The peepee dance is too cute (only when we are at home and can get to a potty quickly).

"OK, if you say so...."

"OK, I will wait......big sigh"

The way you say the word "because" just cracks me up....."becubs"

"I can't seem to reach it."

"What do you think of my hair, Daddy?" (after EVERY bath)

"Go, Mommy, Go!!!" (you are my cheerleader and I LOVE you for that.....you also cheer your friends on too....great personality)

"CHECK, CHECK" (and Daddy follows up with Roger, Roger)

You really love all the princess stuff right now. This has surprised me but you still LOVE your car and sports stuff too.

The way you say "poopa" or "poo" for poopie. I guess you have grown beyond the poopie word. That's so TWO!

"No Worries!!!" (when I am getting upset over something you often say what I say to you....no worries)

You once had a tea party for Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Joseph and said......"they will be here any minute." (I think Mickey Mouse was invited to this tea party too.)

"I broke my crayon and I was crying and Jesus came and fixed my crayon and He told me No Worries to cry."

"I wish we could take a sled up to Jesus in Heaven."

"I think we could climb a ladder to Jesus."

"I think my sunflower will grow big and tall and I can reach all the way up to Heaven."

Someday you will say computer right but for now it is "bacumender".

"You're killin' me!"

"No big deal."

I love all of these thought processes

"I can't seem to......
"I was wondering....
"I was thinking....

I love that you are observant enough to notice things. On TV you will see something and this has been your reaction....

"Pigs don't fly!" (commercial)
"Mailboxes don't talk" (Blues Clues)
"Animals don't talk" (commercial....but it doesn't seem to bother you to watch Charlotte's Web or cartoon animals talking.)

"I think Sadie likes me."

"Sadie is my best friend in the whole world."

I love the way you try to make Sadie laugh when she is crying.

You are a GREAT big sister!!!

I am starting to see that you have such a heart for others. It makes Jesus smile when you care about others.


My favorite thing you say is.......

"Mommy.....I love you!" (with a sweet drawn out voice...music to my ears)

I love you all the way to the moon and back. I am so glad God gave you to me.
Love forever,
Mommy

Spring has Sprung!

Our sunflowers (at least one) broke open this morning. We were so excited to see God's creation right before our eyes. We have enjoyed watching each stage of the growing process (although we thought we would NEVER see this.....







I will post more pictures of the flowers after they have all bloomed.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Mili is 3

Mili's birthday party was today!! We had her party in a park to have enough room for the kids to run and play. It was 95 degrees today of all days (not at all normal for this time of year here...we felt like we were already back in Arkansas).



Mili was surrounded by all of her closest friends and had a wonderful birthday. In her words, "This is the BEST birthday party EVER." She stated this twice while we were at the park and then another time when she got home. I think she LIKED her party.


Hope you enjoy ALL the pictures. There are a TON!


On the way to the park with all 12 balloons in the back seat with Mili, Sadie and myself. FUN, FUN, FUN!











Mili with her boyfriends/future husband possibilities. We love James (left) and Clayton ("Playton" as Mili says) (right)




Look at that cute Birthday Princess!! I told her to hold up her wand and she did...right in front of her face.




A little help from her friends in opening this gift. Clayton (left), James (over shoulder) and Hayden (right...who wouldn't let go of that pizza)





Dora Pirates DVD....evidently a keeper by the facial expression.




Hope Clayton's daddy sees him playing with the princess brush.




Singing Happy Birthday to Mili Bear. Her candle is the number 3 but Mommy didn't turn it around the right way. James' parents (could be future in-laws) are behind Mili.





Trying to figure out how she is going to blow out the flame. Look at her eyes.





Blowing......





Still blowing with a little help from Daddy!







Proud "she" blew it out. Notice her nice clean clothes...








After licking the candle. Notice her clothes.




James with his blue mustache. What a little man!




Itunu is eating her cupcake with a fork like a little lady.




Clayton decided that he would help himself to another cupcake, plus it made a better picture with green and orange.




Sadie Beth enjoying the outdoors.





If Sadie looks wet....she is!!! Mommy and Daddy tried to keep the kids wet with spray bottles.





Mili loves to drive.







Included this picture so you could see where the blue icing from Mili's hands ended up. Look at her bottom.





Walking on the swinging bridge.




Sliding is one of Mili's favorite thing to do at the park.




Mili getting a little push from her friend Reagan on the airplane.




Caleb (or "K-luv" as Mili says it), Reagan and Hayden racing cars with Mili.








I had to include how much fun Sadie Beth had in the car with the balloons. Sorry the resolution is not that great but hope you enjoy it anyway.

video




We had a great 3rd birthday party but Mommy and Daddy are pooped now.


Mili is going to MISS all of her wonderful friends from church. It makes Mommy sad that we have to leave such great Christian families that we have grown to LOVE so much.



FRIENDS- Thanks for braving the 95 degree weather to make this day special for Mili Bear. We LOVE you all!!!