Monday, November 27, 2006

Come, ye thankful people, come....

We made some yummy cornbread dressing! (Mamaw you should be so proud!)
Chris' brother and girlfriend came to celebrate Thanksgiving at our house. I didn't take very many pictures because we were too busy making way too much food :) It was a dreary day outside but we enjoyed the food and fellowship together inside. We did conclude at the end of the day that we have much to be thankful for! Our hearts desire would be to share our gratitude with those who mean so much that live so far away. We are thankful for our families who love us so much! Even though we don't always get to share our memories cheek to cheek, you are in our thoughts on these special days and we are prayerful for our next beautiful reunion!

Samuel had his Thanksgiving Feast at school last Tuesday. The feather clad Indians (boys) and bonnet wearing pilgrims (girls) made their way into the atrium of the church and sang a few songs. We then had a true *feast* that rivaled my Thursday dinner for sure!

I love this hymn and so I looked up the lyrics so I could post it (without my embellishments). I hope it blesses you as it did me.....

Come, ye thankful people, come, Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in, Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide For our wants to be supplied.
Come to God's own temple, come, Raise the song of harvest home!

All the world is God's own field, Fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown, Unto joy or sorrow grown:
First the blade and then the ear, Then the full corn shall appear; --
Lord of harvest, grant that we Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, And shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day All offences purge away;
Give His angels charge at last, In the fire the tares to cast,
But the fruitful ears to store In His garner evermore.

Friday, November 17, 2006


"That she has trained her children for heaven, rather than for earth, for God, rather than for man--she is the parent that will be considered wise at last. Train with an eye to my children's souls. We are made what we are by training. Our character takes the form of what mold into which our first years were cast. The path of obedience is the way in which He gives blessing. Determine to make your children obey you, though it cost you much trouble, and cost them many tears. Obedience is the only reality. The mark of well-trained children is that they do whatsoever their parents command them - cheerfully, willingly and at once." John Ryle 1888.

This quote is from the girltalk blog. It such a beautiful reminder of what our obligation to Him really is and makes the ordinary and mundane so incredibly powerful and important. To guide them through the path of obedience is sometimes, the most laborious task I have ever attempted. Certainly without His mercy and wisdom it would end in utter failure. I am so incredibly grateful for the Godly wisdom that has been provided to me through his word and the sisters in Christ who mentor to me through that.

This picture of Samuel was taken almost 4 years ago and almost seems like it never happened because that passage of time took place so quickly! Therefore, today I must be certain that I am *training them for heaven* with *an eye on their soul*. It definitely puts a purpose in your morning when you see past the pancakes and realize what we are being held accountable for!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Black Friday

This website lists all the sales for next Friday. It's a crazy day, but if you do your homework you can really save some money :)


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Running (or trying to)

We ran the 8K this past Saturday (me, friend-Kelly, friend-Dusty) and my girls ran the Kids 1-mile Fun Run. The weather was beautiful but almost too warm for a November race. No complaints though, because the route took us through some of the most beautifully lined streets in our state. The leaves had not taken too much of a beating yet (that came Sat. night) and their color was stunning! What fell to the ground made a rainbow effect of color for us to follow to the finish line.

Sweet friend Kelly (aka: professional athlete disguising herself as a stay-at-home mother) was able to start the race with the gun.

Dusty and I were *many* blocks downhill awaiting the arrival of my girls. Not being from "downtown" I certainly took for granted our ability to arrive to the 8K starting line on time. Well, as Dusty and I made it up the final hill, pushing, panting, heaving, (needing to potty), and we rounded the corner....YES we made it!!! To the finish line you ask? Not quite because that was just getting us to the STARTING POINT! As we rounded the corner we slid in with the other swarm of thousands and began our race with a great disadvantage. #1 being that our bladders were not empty and #2 we had just ran uphill for 1/2 mile!

No excuses, right? We did well and we achieved our goal time and passed a lot of high school girls along the way. Basically that is our motivation when we run races. We pick the girls with the high school t-shirts on, the way-too short shorts, the sweet little hair ribbon blowin' in the breeze and with a stealth-like approach we draft for a couple of seconds behind them and grin before we LEAVE'EM IN OUR DUST BABY! Sorry if that sounds wicked or mean. That's not my intent. However, we must do something to combat the fact that there are 70+ year old women who are beating us (thanks dear for reminding me).

Our friend Kelly (the mom with the cape) set a personal record, but we'll see whose bladder holds out better when Kelly delivers a couple of more babies, right??? Dusty and I would have finished together but in the final moments nearing the finish line, her bladder.....with respect to Dusty and her privacy I will just say that her bladder was not her friend. Regardless, she finished within seconds of me, even though I was a lousy friend and I abandoned her in her moment of need. What was I to do? My bladder was working for goodness sakes!

The marathon was the really big race of the day (been there, done that, t-shirt was not worth it). There is always talk about how *fantastic* it is to see this guy sprinting for 2+ hours and how *amazing* he is to be so fast! I agree to some extent but I am starting to think that age categories are not enough for prize allotment. You see, I feel like there should be more of an appreciation for the mom of 4 or more. The mom who is overweight (I'd like to see him run with about 35 pounds strapped to his back) The mom who ran the whole stinkin' marathon but it took way longer than 2 hours. I mean come on, I would like to see that guy from Kenya run for like 5 or more hours. Now that takes endurance, my friend. Maybe if his bladder was failing him and his uterus was trying to come out and he had to run 6 blocks up-hill because he was dedicated to watching his children race then maybe, just maybe he wouldn't have looked so much like a cheetah when he crossed that finish line. Hmmm.... makes ya think doesn't it?

I applaud all runners, but there is a special place in my heart for the mother.... especially the one who is bladder-challenged :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Biblical Beauty

In honor of our first night doing this bible study, sweet hubbie bought these pink roses! The girls thought they were beautiful and I was giddy to have been thought of. It's nice to be a girl.

Tonight we began our Biblical Beauty study here in our home. Hannah, with about 10 of her friends came over for a couple of hours and we ate pizza (of course) ate cookies (of course) and jumped in head first into this really wonderful study about what God has to say about true Biblical Beauty! This ministry began with the Fun With Faith clubs ( that I have been a part of since Hannah was in first grade. I started with a co-leader, a few kids in Hannah's class and another handful from the co-leader's class and we embarked on a bible club right there in the public school cafeteria! This year we will meet at our house because these girls have BUSY schedules and it seemed like Friday night worked great for everyone (plus, Chris can take Samuel on Daddy Dates)

I have secretly longed for this day when we could curl up on my couch, barefoot with Bibles in hand and these young girls eager to lay their burdens down....somewhere. I can remember this age so vividly. I ached to belong and felt like so much of an outcast. Even my trips to church were painful. Usually a borrowed dress and a borrowed bible and at 11 years old, I'm not sure which was worse? The ladies in the Sunday School class made a forced effort to include me but always managed to shine light on the inability for this "unchurched" kid to fit in. ..."Kim, would you like to read this passage from Leviticus?" Fumbling through the pages and nearly to the back of the bible before someone would snicker and mutter and the color would creep up my neck and I would ache to belong. ..."Here honey, take this paperwork that your parents need to fill out so we can put you on our roll". Yea, little did they know that my parents spoke with vile hatred of church and literature that I brought home was "propaganda". Painful as it was, God was working on me......even then.

I have always had a love for this age. I can relate to them so well. I still feel like there are days when I am as lost and overwhelmed as they are, but with different problems. Most of all, I have wanted the opportunity to share with them the true gospel. I have wanted the opportunity to dispel any myths about the *way* you should pray, *where* you should pray, and *what* you should pray. As God leads me, I will teach them the truth about His word and the faith that comes by grace alone. I am excited about these lessons which cover beautiful topics like: patience, kindness, love, joy, modesty, humility, gentleness, hospitality, purity, and forgiveness. They will learn about how God purposed them; each and every part and they can't reject their physical attributes without rejecting God. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made" Psalm 139:14 They are learning that even their personality traits are God-given and He intends that they glorify Him, no matter what! We talked about what our culture today says in direct conflict to what the bible says. I will post updates to our weekly club and share some insight from their perspective!

Wow, could I have used a little something like this in 1982??? Take a peek at this little snapshot of me. It was suggested in the curriculum to show the girls how much *change* is taking place :) Try not to laugh too hard! Check out those wings!

Should Wal-Mart reflect Christian values?

O.K., for the most part, my blog has been an outlet for writing about my family. Pictures with a short little ditty about the day have helped keep our family (far away) up to date and at the same time, allow me to express the joys and blessings of being a wife & mother. I have had several burdens, convictions, ideas & questions come into my feeble mind but I have found it extremely difficult to have either A)the quiet needed to compile thoughts B)the time needed to compile thoughts OR C) the energy needed to compile thoughts. I want to be so cautious with my words when I am decidedly arguing for biblical convictions.

Well, this thought is obviously not going down without a fight because I have found myself having an ongoing conversation (with myself) for the last couple of days. It's time to include others.

Wal-Mart is donating 5% of online sales to a homosexual group. If you haven't received the e-mail, just hang tight because it most certainly is coming your way. I have received a whopping *6* e-mails on this subject within the last 24 hours. It appears to be rubbing people the wrong way and really exciting the Christian community, provoking the "oh-so-common" petition that Donald Wildmon is famous for. I have no real issue with Don Wildmon, but more of a concern with the zealous outrage that seems to come with his e-mails.

First, Wal-Mart has never identified itself as a Christian organization. While I suppose some would argue that they have stood for family values, I for one have never used their store as my platform or their business plan as a model for my family. They have had very public problems with the treatment of employees and created an even greater stink over what they have done to *small-town* America. Still, I shop there. I suppose it is choosing the lesser evil. If I can save money at Wal-mart, then I am able to give more money elsewhere (think church, pro-life organizations, missions, etc.).....Back to Wal-mart being pagan.

My issue with the e-mail and the overall attention paid to this matter is this: Should I really be surprised when Wal-mart doesn't adhere to Christian values?

"By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" Matthew 7:16

I know this could really start a riot. I understand the importance of standing up for Christ. I just question where does that start? Doesn't it undermine the goal of the gospel when we only stand up for *Headline* issues and never really change the way we live our lives? I like to use this analogy from my old YMCA step-aerobics days. When the teacher would come in and be *not-so-much* in shape, I would have a little less respect for this teacher. I mean if she couldn't apply her teaching to her *own* life, then how could I trust that it was something she truly believed. Is Christ truly life-changing? Why doesn't the world see that?

Isn't is much easier to sign a petition and forward it to 60 of your closest Christian brothers & sisters, than make a real stand for Christ? To acknowledge him in your child's school, at your workplace or with your neighbor is a concept that provokes fear and humiliation. To deny your own selfish desires (television programs, movies, music) or ungodly talk with friends is definitely on the back burner. I mean, this Wal-mart issue is right here in our face and we can make a real difference as Christ-followers if we just sign & forward, right? Sorry for the sarcasm. It helps to mask the anger.

I wonder what kind of difference we could make if all those who profess Christ began to live a life of denial to self and complete allegiance to Him.

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1Peter 3:15

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Monster Jam 2006

MONSTER (monster) (monster) (monster) JAM (jam) (jam) (jam)

You must use your imagination to hear the guy with the gravelly voice and the huge echo to achieve the full affect!

Samuel and Daddy went to the Monster Jam-2006 this weekend and had the time of their lives! I can't say that I fully understand this phenomenon but I do know for a fact that when a commercial for this event would come on television there would be veins bulging from Samuel's neck and we would grow concerned that one might burst over the excitement.

I would say that this was probably Samuel and Daddy's first *guy* date. He has taken the girls out many times and treated them like young ladies; opening the door for them, treating them to dinner, shopping and time together. The girls usually choose a trip to the mall and of course Dad usually indulges in a sequined, cheesy, poorly made accessory that I am far too sensible for. It ends up being tons of fun for the girls and I am sure that while Dad is blessed by the company he might not be too thrilled with the marathon shopping sprees in Claires.

The *guy* date has proven to be much more appealing (at least the venue)
Here's the checklist:
1)should take place in an arena/coliseum/or outdoor stadium......check
2)they should sell peanuts/nachos/or meat on a stick......check
3)something or someone should move as fast as possible/crush obstacles/show brute strength......check, check, & check

You realize that you could substitute a monster truck for a guy dressed in a helmet and pads and still meet all the criteria?

The Monsters were of course the gigantic trucks with the favorite being the "Frave Didder" better known as the *Grave Digger*. According to my son's reenactment, the large trucks would wait to be summoned by the man with the microphone and then they would rev their especially large engines and pop enormous *wheelies*. The crowd then shrieks with joy and secretly hopes that one of the tires will pop off and go flying in the air. Puzzled? You are not alone.

I can't say that I understand their fondness for these super-duper, crazy-big, Monster-Monster-Monster trucks! What I do understand is that the two boys who I love the most in this world shared a special night making memories, which totally blesses my heart (even if they inhaled way too many *monster* fumes)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swan, & Underwear Pirate

We had a wonderful night on October 31st! (shhhh.....halloween)!

Hannah went as Jack Sparrow which turned out more difficult than I had expected. I've always tried to stay humble about her beauty because quite frankly I can't say I had much to do with it. It did make it especially hard to turn her into a menacing, hairy, stinky, *man* pirate! We managed, even though she boycotted the glue-on beard and I completely failed at turning the wig into dreadlocks. I hate to say it, but when I look at the pictures I'm gettin' a little, *Tommy Lee/Poison/80's Rock Music* playing in my head. Not good, huh?

Emma wanted to be the beautiful Elizabeth Swan. I think we pulled it off (but check out the Nike flip-flops at the bottom of the picture!) Pretty funny and oh so *Emma*!

Samuel is known as the *Underwear Pirate* because when you least expect it, the Underwear Pirate will throw down his Spiderman candy bucket (total fashion clash?) and stand ready to fight any ol' treasure stealing Power Ranger that comes his way (all the while, his Finding Nemo underwear is peeking out of his pants- see last picture)

We had a great time and ate way too much candy (so I guess the tummy-aches were well-deserved?) The only downside of trick-or-treating with older children is their ability to take such an accurate inventory of their loot!

.....Reeses? What Reeses?

Pumpkin Carving

I defend the condition of these pumpkins by first stating that I am not a professional pumpkin carver. That shouldn't come as a surprise, especially after taking a look at these gourds after I was finished with them! I suppose the whole *pattern* idea is wise, but I prefer the "saw-as-you-go" method. For those who know me, this shouldn't come as a surprise either!

Emma enjoyed sinking her hands into the meat of her pumpkin, which unfortunately had been in the blazing sun for too many days and started to grow a little *soft* on the backside, if ya know what I mean (groan from the crowd). It was her idea to carve the cross, which was easy in comparison to the Ichthus! From the look on Hannah's face you can see that *pumpkin- gutting* is not her thing. Sorry Dad, it looks like you've only got one fish cleaner in this set of sisters :)