Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm sure you may have noticed by now that once again my comments are not working on my last post.  I'm getting fairly sick and tired of these problems I'm having with Disqus.  I'm irritated that I contacted them four days ago and they have yet to get back to me.  I'm irritated that my blog comments just aren't working.  UGH.

Hopefully I figure all this out soon ...

There was a park ...

At this park were four fabulous children and their crazy step-mom.  There were the older boys (who didn't appear in many pictures, as they were off playing football most of the day):

There was the youngest boy:

There was the oldest child, and the only daughter in this particular bunch:

There was the crazy step-mom:

There was playing:

There was mountain climbing:

And fun was had by all.  Once upon a time, our story was told.  Now our day at the park is over.

The end.
Alright everybody, that sweet little boy should NOT have to spend his first birthday in the hospital yet again. As many of you know, the MckFamily is near and dear to my heart and it is just heart wrenching to know that darling Stellan is back in the hospital once again. I think it's time that we start praying a different prayer for him - not just for his healing, but for a completely NEW heart. Jesus already took this sickness when He died on the cross, and it's time that we bridged the gap for Stellan and started praying for a new heart. That sweet little babe should not have to be spending his first birthday in the hospital clinging to life. Pray with me?

Father, You and You alone know the outcome of the situation that Stellan is in. I thank You and I trust You for his healing. The Bible says that where two or three are gathered, You are there, and I believe that even pertains to our blogging world. Please Lord, reach down with your healing power and breathe new life into Stellan. The SVT and all the side effects that have been plaguing that sweet boy MUST GO in Jesus name. Your word also says that Jesus took all of our sicknesses and infirmities when He died on the cross and I am claiming that for Stellan right now. Holy Spirit be near him in his hospital room. Be with Jennifer and the rest of the "MckFamily". Bring your peace that passes all understanding and let them know that You are with them. Father, bring Your healing power and give Stellan a new heart. Make his heart whole and healthy and allow this situation to bring glory and honor to You. Be with Stellan's doctors. Give them clear direction. Give them clear minds and let them see You through this darling little babe. I love You, Lord, and I praise You for your work in Stellan's life. Be with him and his family now. In Jesus name - AMEN!

Won't you post your own prayer? Instead of just SAYING that we're praying for Stellan, let's make it known that we are!

To check in on how he's doing, visit Jennifer's blog here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Colin is very accustomed to his bedtime routine - so much that, if ever his routine is forgotten or done out of order, it sends him into a funk. Some days this is completely frustrating, as there are moments when I just want to get him in his PJs, get his teeth brushed and let him go to sleep! However, his routine also includes story time and a bedtime prayer. Tonight was NOT a rushed through evening - in fact, I very much enjoyed bedtime tonight. Colin told me around 8pm that he was ready for bed, so he went potty and I brushed his teeth, then we went to his bedroom to change into pajamas and to get his story read and get him tucked in. As I was getting him into his pajamas, I was singing a bedtime song to him. He chose out his bedtime story - tonight's choice was "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly". Once upon a time I sang this story to him, and ever since then his request is always: "no Kami, don't just read it, SING IT pleeeeeeease!" How could I resist. So together we sang "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly", though he was trying more to get the words correct as we sang more than he was trying to sing! :) After that he asked me to sing another song to him - so I cuddled him and was singing "You Are Mine" by Go Fish. When I was done, he completely melted my heart when he said, "Kami, can we pray?" I love that! I love that he doesn't want to go to bed without praying. So I tucked him into bed and said a prayer asking God to watch over Colin, to give him good dreams, to help him sleep through the night and to help him to not pee his bed (I know it's kind of funny that we pray this - but every time we do, he doesn't pee the bed!). Then I tucked him into bed and kissed him goodnight and said, "Sweet dreams baby. Kami loves you!"

... he responded with, "Sweet dreams to you, too, baby. Colin loves you!" ... and my heart is completely melted! Aaaahhhh the life of a stepmom! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Alright, so the comments in my "I don't have commenting ability on my site" post seem to be working?? I'm not sure. SO - I'm trying to figure this out - can you do me a favor and leave a comment on this post so I can see if it truly works or not?


Somehow in the transition from old address to new, I have lost my commenting system. I'm well aware of this and hoping that disqus gets back to me soon on this! If you need to contact me, feel free to email me at:

Sorry for the inconvenience .. it's driving me crazy!!

This morning has been a crazy one already. I got up early and put a French Toast Bake in the oven, spent some quality time with my hubby while that was baking. I ate said French Toast Bake with my family 40 minutes later and realized it was disgusting. Gave permission to all family members to throw the nasty bake in the garbage disposal. Showered and got ready. Watched my husband try to repair our Wii. Searched online for diagrams as to HOW to reassemble said Wii. Failed to figure it out. Bid farewell to Monte and Iain as they headed out to winterize our boat (all the while the Wii is currently on our countertop completely disassembled and we have been given strict instructions stating "DO NOT TOUCH THIS!"). I watched the family eat lunch, and realized that I have yet to do so myself. This will happen in just a few minutes, of that I am sure. While it has been a lazy Saturday morning here, it also seems to have been an exhausting Saturday morning! Why is that? Why is it that, when your schedule finally allows for some down time and some relaxation, you actually find yourself to feel tired and run down? I just don't get it!

This afternoon (once Monte and Iain return from winterizing the boat) we are heading out to buy Halloween costumes for the boys. While I'm still not sure how I feel about trick-or-treating (this stemming from the fact that we were not allowed to trick-or-treat as children) or about Halloween in general, I'm not going to take this opportunity away from our kids as it's something they've always done. That being said, I also am not going to go out with them - My Monte gets that pleasure! I'm going to stay at home and hand out candy to the cute kids who ring our doorbell. I'm going to sit in my chair and enjoy my book and a cup of tea. I'm going to enjoy the peace and quiet that will come with an evening to myself, even if it's only for an hour or so!

On a completely different note, have you ever listened to the song "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller? If you haven't, I highly recommend it. In fact, I like it so much that I've just added it as the music on my blog. I'm not sure where I first heard the song, but I completely love it. The lyrics talk about how we need to wait on the Lord:

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

That song just truly strikes something within me - something that can identify with the message. Something that screams out that even though I may not have control of the circumstances in my life, while I am waiting on the Lord to provide answers, I am still serving and worshiping the Lord and pressing on to the things that He has called me to do. I feel that way a lot in my life right now - that with all of the questions that come up regarding selling our home and potentially moving to be closer to family, regarding the unknown about having more children, regarding a lot of circumstances of our every day lives - I'm feeling that I need to just press on toward a more intimate relationship with my Creator. Even though I'm waiting and the answers that I want might not be in front of me at this moment, I will still press forward toward what God is calling me to do. I will continue to trust Him that the answers I'm seeking will come in His timing and not a moment sooner. I will trust that He is in control - and that's really all that I need to know, anyway!

Friday, October 23, 2009

You may have noticed, or perhaps you didn't notice at all, but I've recently made some minor changes to my blog that I want to share with all of you! First and foremost is that I've registered my own domain! What does that mean? Well, it means that you will now be able to access my blog by visiting instead of going through my blogspot address. While the former address ( will still get you here for a few days, it's much easier with my new address.

Also, my email has changed! Anybody who may have my former email address can certainly continue to email me there, but because I'm getting more blog-related email, I decided to create an email specifically for my blog and blog followers! You can now contact me at:

With that change, the only thing that did not change over was my blog list (found on the right side bar under "My Heart Loves to Read About"). I had to recreate that blog list, which has caused some minor problems equalling the fact that I don't have a blog address for some of my friends who I was following only on that list and not on my dashboard! So, if you were formerly on that list and you no longer are, will you please send an email and let me know your blog address?

Hoping these changes make blogging a little easier here!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This "Thank You" is LONG overdue!  If you've been following my blog for any amount of time you're probably well aware of the fact that our house is currently listed on the market for sale.  Our goal in selling is to move closer to family, as right now we are just over an hours drive away from them.  While I know that isn't too far of a drive, when you're going to visit them several times a week, it puts a LOT of miles on the vehicles!  Over all, though, we just want to be closer.  So, in attempts to get some attention on our house, we held two different open houses this past weekend.  In preparation for said open houses, I came up with an idea that I was just thrilled about - why not have cookies with our address on them so people will remember our house?!  Who better to make those cookies than Amanda?  If you've followed her blog at all, you likely know that Amanda is an AMAZING baker and her creations are not only tasty but they're beautiful as well!

I was so happy to get to spend an hour or so with Amanda when I picked the cookies up.  Isn't she a beautiful woman?  Her beauty shines inside and out ...

Thank you so much, Amanda, for all that you did!  I might have to order up some more cookies soon - they went so quickly! :)  You're a phenomenal friend!

What's that?  Why didn't I post a picture of the cookies?  Because they had my address on them, silly, and I wasn't able to capture a picture of them without displaying said address ... and I just don't do that!  Here's a little extra cookie she made for us and our Home Sweet Home ...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I had my appointment.  My OBGYN did a quick exam and drew some blood.  Then he had me schedule an appointment for a fertility exam.  He explained that I will receive an ultrasound, an X-ray and a pretty invasive exam on that date.  He explained that the fact that I haven't had a period in the last seven months is something that needs to be addressed whether I'm going to have babies or not.  Evidently it's not a good thing to not be able to hang out with Aunt Flo every month!  So as of right now, I really have no answers.  I don't know if my body is going to be able to conceive and carry a baby.  I don't know that it's not.  I do know, however, that I will not go far into fertility options.  I go up and down with the way that I feel about the situation, with wondering whether I really want to have a baby of my own or if I'm happy being a (step)mom to the four wonderful kids that I have now.  I wonder if maybe God has another path for me.  I also wonder if maybe He is going to use this situation for His glory and I am going to have a baby?  There are so many things that run through my head pertaining to this, and I can't really get all of those thoughts straight.

I want to be honest with you - after I left my appointment, I was a complete Debbie Downer.  I felt sorry for myself.  I cried.  I was gloom and doom and was just certain that this desire in my heart was not going to be fulfilled.  I allowed myself to be in a puddle of pity.  This is one of the many reasons that I'm thankful that I have a sister who is so strong in her faith.  Through the midst of feeling sorry for myself, in the middle of my tears, she gently reminded me that I don't have to look at this as final.  I don't have to take anything that the doctors say as final, because God doesn't depend on the doctors.  She reminded me of the verse in Proverbs that says "the tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it shall eat of its fruit."  There is so much power in the words that we speak - and Tanya reminded me of the need to start speaking LIFE and to not allow this attack to drag me down.

I'm not going to lie, it took me awhile to get out of the funk.  In my heart, Ephesians 6:12 kept ringing loud and clear: "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."  This battle is not something I'm waging against my own body, but this is a direct attack from the enemy.  This is something that I need to know I will be victorious in.  I have already won this battle because Jesus went before me and fought the fight in my place.

So today, I have a smile on my face and in my heart, I'm happy to say that I am not worried about my upcoming exam and I truly have peace about whatever outcomes come my way.  God has me in His arms, and that's the only thing I need to know!   

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This is a really fun "getting to know you" event and I'm happy to join in! Visit Lynnette's Blog to find out the details!

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while you're blogging?
I'm not really a snacking sort of woman - it just doesn't really ever hit me that I need something to snack on.  Every once in awhile I'll have yellow corn chips or Goldfish crackers, but not that frequently.  However, I am almost never without a cup of Teavana tea when I'm on the computer!

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?
Being that the question asks about a thing and not about a person, I would have to say either my computer or my telephone, entirely because it's my means of communication to a whole lot of people that I love! 

3. Beach, Mountains or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?
When I thought about it, my answer really surprised me, but I would have to say a farm. Not that I love animals, not that I love the thought of having crops (though I would love to have my own garden!), but entirely because I can see that as being the scene of many adventures for our kids. They would love it, which in turn would make me love it.

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty?
Laundry.  It's not so much the putting it in the washer or dryer that I hate, it's the folding.  It's SO tedious and takes SO MUCH time!  Ugh .... :)

5. Who do people say you remind them of?
I've been told a lot that I am very much like my mom, but I believe it's more because of her reoccurring 'blonde moments' and her ability to pass gas than it is anything else! :)

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying at home with the fam?
While I love to socialize, nothing beats being with my family.  I would have to say I'm somewhere in the middle - how about staying home and hosting a dinner party with friends and my family?!

7. What's your all time favorite movie?
I get made fun of for this, but it is still "Beauty and the Beast".  It's a classic.  Sweet girl wins over the heart of an angry and sheltered beast and true love wins out in the end.  I love it!

8. Do you sleep in your make up or remove it like a good girl every night?
This is part of the reason that I love my Bare Minerals makeup - because I'm terrible at remembering to take it off before bed!  I really need to take it off around 8:30pm, that way once bedtime routines are done and everybody is tucked in, my face is clean before I'm too insanely tired to do anything about it!  I have mascara stains on my pillowcase that prove this fact ... :)

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it?
I don't really have a hidden talent, though I would just love to be able to sing and not have people ask me to be quiet!!!

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at?
Picking things up with my toes.  My sister would tell you it's because I have "monkey feet".

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?
I say that it was all God!  Monte and I had been acquaintances but didn't get to know each other until we went to dinner one evening.  At that dinner I realized I had found my soul mate, I was in love and we were going to be married!

12. What is something you love to smell?
No making fun of me for this, but I love the smell of Monte's deodorant!  He doesn't wear cologne, but the deodorant smells great enough to be cologne :)

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.
I like to get fully ready (hair done, makeup on and dressed to my liking) no matter what I'm doing.  I can be spending the day doing laundry and cleaning and I still want to look good doing it.  I do it for myself, as I know I'm not productive when I don't get ready, but I know a few people that think I'm crazy for it!

14. When you have extra money (HA!) what's the first thing you think to do with it?
Date night with the hubby - Benihana?  Yes please!

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?
It depends on what I'm laughing at and the degree of laughter.  I definitely have a loud laugh if I'm laughing at something truly funny, but if I'm laughing to appease my children, it's sometimes a silent laugh.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Maurices, Maurices, Maurices!

17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time?
I'd take up scrapbooking.  I think I'd like it, I just don't really have any motivation to get started on it!

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?
I'm trying so hard to learn frugality, but I can't lie - I'm a big spender.

19. Who is your favorite character of all time (from a movie or book)? (Can't be real)
Ashley Baxter Blake from several of Karen Kingsbury's books.  I love her character, she's been through so much and yet learns how to trust God through all of it.

20. Would you want to be famous?
For my writing, I absolutely would.

Can I really admit to the fact that I am so much of a nerd and so excited to send out our Christmas cards this year that I have already ordered them?!  That's right, last night Claire and I spent quite a bit of time designing and ordering Christmas cards for our family to send out .... and I am SO EXCITED about it!  I will admit that, while living with family on and off for the last six years, I had more than my fair share of jealousy over not being able to send out Christmas cards.  For me, this was associated with the fact that I was not married - I had no husband or family to show off pictures of, and I couldn't justify sending cards out with me and pictures of my brother's dog (as he suggested)!  Something in me always longed to be able to send out Christmas cards.  Guess what?  This year I get to do just that!  Last night, we placed our order and I will be addressing them over the course of the next month (let's face it, I did give myself too much time, but I'm just that excited about it!) until the amazing day comes that I get to SEND THEM OUT!!  Life, as I know it, is amazing :)

As a side note, I do want to say a very sincere thank you to everybody who commented on my last post or emailed me regarding it.  While my heart is still hurting, I have decided that it's time to move forward and scheduled an appointment with my OBGYN to find out what's going on.  That appointment is at 10:45am today.  I'm finally to the point where I'm ready to know the truth about anything that may be wrong (consider this a warning to anybody who doesn't want to know a little too much information about me - stop reading right now!), as I haven't had a visit from my unfriendly monthly guest since I miscarried in February.  This isn't necessarily abnormal for me, as I have never been completely regular, but I've also never been this irregular.  So, I've agreed with my Monte that it is time to figure out what's going on.  I would sincerely appreciate your prayers regarding this appointment.

That's all I've got for you today!  So, until next time, have a great day!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

While over seven months have passed since I wrote this post, somehow I feel like I'm back at square one.  I feel like I'm back to that night when the cramping began, back to the moment I began to bleed, back at the moment when I realized that my greatest fear since I found out I was pregnant was slowly coming true: I was miscarrying my baby.  I don't know if it's because of the fact that my heart has longed to be pregnant again, I don't know if it's because it's October 15th that is chosen to remember all babies who were stillborn or miscarried, I don't know if it's because I've been a step-mother for ten months and I'm now realizing that not one of them will ever call me mom.  I want to be mom.  I want to pee on a stick and have it tell me that I'm pregnant.  I want to know the joy of holding my own newborn baby in my arms.  I want to know what it feels like to watch my tummy grow as my baby grows.

Today, my heart hurts.  Today, the tears don't seem to stop falling.  While I know that I need to turn to the arms of God and find my comfort in Him, somehow I feel so completely numb to all of the emotions going on inside of me that I feel as if I'm unable to move.  Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  I want so much to just turn into the arms of my Savior and allow Him to comfort me.  

Lord, I need you.  Emotionally, I'm crashing inside.  I'm overwhelmed and defeated, I'm burdened and hurting.  Please be with me. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

My sweet blogging friend, September, has given me the Kreativ Blogger Award!  I stumbled upon September's blog through a mutual blogging friend and have been hooked ever since!  Her heart for God, her love for her family, her ambition in life and her fabulous ability to write are what keep drawing me back to her blog!  September, thank you so much for deeming me a Kreativ Blogger :)

One thing I love about this award is that, not only do I get to receive it, but I get to give it away as well!  Want to know how it works?  Here are the "rules":

- Tell a little about the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
- Copy and paste the award and include it in a blog post.
- List seven (7) interesting things about yourself that people may not know.
- Pick seven (7) Kreativ Blogger friends to pass the award to.  Link to their blogs in your post and ask them to follow these "rules" in accepting their award!

Seven Random Facts About Kami:

1.  I am married to a man who is 17+ years my senior.  Upon marrying him, I became an instant step-mother to four fabulous children.

2.  I have several passions in my life including God, my husband, my family, writing and blogging, photography and having long phone conversations with my sister.

3.  I'm a girly-girl and a major Vikings fan.  I love my stilettos and cute clothes, makeup and hairstyling - though come Sunday afternoon I am in sweats and a Tshirt and cheering on the Vikings with my hubby. 

4.  I've held many jobs in my life including managing a salon and managing a physical therapy clinic.  My current "job" of managing our household is by far my favorite!

5.  I make some amazing spaghetti sauce!

6.  I recently won a full makeover and will be the recipient of said treatment on November 7th.  Hair cut and color, makeup, clothes and a lunch date with a fabulous woman from my MOPs group.  Sounds like a great day to me!

7.  I can pick my nose with my tongue, though I will spare you the demonstration!


My seven nominees for the Kreativ Blogger award are:

(sorry guys, she has a private blog, but I still feel she's worthy of the award!)

Christy at Kent and Christy

(sorry again, it's another private blog!)

Amanda at I Am Mommy

While there certainly are others that I would love to pass this award onto, I am limited to only seven - so those are the seven I choose!  Happy blogging ....

This past weekend I learned about a few people who are followers of my blog, and I truly had no idea that they were!  One of them is someone I have never met in person, but her husband is one of our family's favorite people - entirely because he owns the restaurant in our small town here!  So here's a shout-out to Scotty B's wife - I'm very happy to know that you follow my blog!

Another person that I've recently learned follows my blog is my friend, Sarah.  While Sarah and I don't know each other all that well, our husbands are ride-share partners, business partners and friends - and they have been for years!  Sarah recently sent me an email that truly touched my heart and blessed me completely.  In this email, she complimented me on several areas of my life (and let's face it, everybody loves a good compliment every now and then!), two of which were my ability to articulate my emotions and feelings as well as my faith in God.  She truly gave me the biggest compliment she could in writing this, because my relationship with God is such a priority in my life, I appreciate knowing when people can see His love shining through me!  I love the way she phrased something in her email, and because she gave me permission to use it on my blog, I'm going to!  She said, "Myself, It’s like I hide my words, feelings and sometimes my faith in a shoebox in the bottom of the closet, behind the door, covered with bathrobes that fell off hangers – (if you get the picture)!"  I love how descriptive this statement is (and Sarah, I believe that articulates quite clearly and beautifully!) and I can truly say that I have been there myself.  There was a period of time between living in my parents' house and living in my Monte's house in which I truly struggled with my relationship with God and with knowing where I stood in my faith.  It wasn't until I fell back to what I knew was true - not until I realized that I needed God more than I needed my next breath - that I truly found my place in Him again.  James 4:8 says "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."  In other words, God is a gentleman and He is not going to force Himself into your life.  You have to invite Him to come close to you - you have to seek Him.  Where did I find Him?  In a good, Bible based church.  One where a relationship with God is sought after, one where the love of God is taught far more than the wrath of God.  One where you can see God as a true, loving Father.

If you find yourself in a place where your faith is in the shoebox, behind the door and under the fallen robes - maybe it's time to take it out and find a significant place for it in your life again.  Maybe God is knocking on the door of your heart and it's time that you open that door.  It's very well worth it, you have my word on that! :)

Getting back to what I didn't know - I didn't know that so many people that "know" me (or at least know of me or my family) follow my blog.  I do want you to know that I love that you do, I love that you've decided to share in our world and I love that you come back to visit!  Make yourself known - leave a comment and let me know that you've stopped by.  I'd love to welcome you to my blog and thank you personally for reading my blog :)

Not Me! Monday is a blog carnival started by MckMama. Visit her blog to see what things others have not been doing this week!

My husband and I most certainly did not think that it would be a good idea to bring all four of our children with us when we went to look at a house yesterday. Whatever would make us think that doing such a thing is a good idea is definitely NOT beyond me!

While looking at said house, my children did not run around it like wild apes and I certainly did not have to punish them for this. My children are always perfectly behaved and would never think to misbehave in a home that is not their own!

This past week, my sweet Ellis was certainly NOT forced to wear a hospital mask for four straight days as he fought the flu. I also did NOT wear a mask every time that I went downstairs to be with him, give him medicine, check on him or even walk by the room that he is in. I am in no way so susceptible to catching illnesses that I willingly wear a hospital mask while taking care of my ill child. Also, in no way did my husband laugh at me when he saw me wearing such mask ... and I certainly did NOT hit him for laughing at me!

In no way do I find it odd that it is snowing outside far before any of the leaves have fallen from our trees - or before any of them have lost their green color! Likewise, in no way am I truly excited for the snow and there is no possible way that I have taken this UNgorgeous snowfall and used it for many photo opportunities already this morning. I would NEVER do that!

This past Friday while heading to my car after a wonderful evening at Mudd Lake with many other wonderful bloggers, I certainly did not have trouble finding my car and did not use the keys to make it light up and honk, only to discover that I was standing directly next to it! This was certainly NOT witnessed by my blogging friend, Jodie, and I certainly did NOT blame it on the fact that I was driving my husband's vehicle and not my own. I always know where I parked and have no problem finding our truck, even in the dark!

I also did NOT forget about writing my blog post about Mudd Lake and I certainly am NOT shamelessly adding my photos from then to my Not Me! Monday. I never ever take the easy way out and combine blog posts just to make life a little bit easier!

This is NOT a picture of me and my dear friend, Jennifer, also lovingly known as MckMama ...

... and this is certainly not a picture of me and my dear friend, Christy, who I have come to know through the blogging world and can certainly call her one of my friends ...

... and this is not a picture of my blogging friend, Jodie, and I.  We certainly did NOT meet at the MckBrunch and I was not at all thrilled to see her at the Mudd Lake event (though I secretly have to admit that I really was!) ...

Now, I am NOT going to go and sit by our fireplace while drinking a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy this beautiful scenery ... I would NEVER do something like that while I should be cleaning the house in preparation for our open house this Saturday, or while I should be taking the kids outside to play in the snow while they're home for MEA break this week.  Nope, NOT ME!  :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

My Little Life

Five Question Friday is a blog carnival started by Mama M - head over to her blog and see what she and others answered to their Five Question Friday!

1. What is the one thing that you reach for the most in a day (excluding phones, computer or children's butts for spankings)?
Bowls, cups, oatmeal, brown sugar ... the things that are in our cupboards that are above the kids' heads!

2. What is the farthest you have been from home?
We honeymooned in Kaua'i, Hawai'i ... it was fabulous!  Granted, out of the ten days we were there, we only had about one full day of sunshine and nine days of monsoon-like rains ... but it was still a great time!

3. What kind of cell phone do you have? Love it or hate it?
I have a Blackberry Curve.  I'm fine with it - I don't dislike it at all, but I can't really say that I love it (not because I don't like it, but entirely because I don't LOVE things like phones!).

4. Coke or Pepsi?
Diet Coke.  But how about Cherry Dr. Pepper - that's WAY up there on my list!!

5. If you could go back and change anything about your wedding day, what would it be and why?
My hair.  Don't get me wrong, I adore the way that Erin did my hair - the only thing that bothered me (and didn't bother me until I looked back at the pictures) is that there were hardly any pieces down framing my face.  I have a VERY long face and a VERY long neck and it just isn't all that becoming to focus on just that ... where's the hair to take the attention away?!  I guess I'll use my veil instead ...  :)

MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ode to my nieces!

Meet Breanna:

She's sassy and sweet and lots of fun!  A Christian girl with a heart of gold, determination to love and beauty that is all her own.  Through the years we have become far more like friends than like an aunt and niece.  She's an amazing girl and I love her so much!

Meet Lexie:

She's a fun loving, sweet little girl who always has room in her heart to love!  She's rambunctious and wild, yet soft spoken and cuddly .. it just depends on the time of day.  This little girl has captured my heart and I love her so much!

Meet Khloe:

Sweet little Khloe I can't wait to meet you!  She is the precious baby girl that my sister's family is adopting and I can't wait for her to come home and truly be an interacting part of our family!  I love you sweet girl!

Meet Abby:

Beautiful, lovable, sniffable (you can't tell me that you don't smell newborns every single time you hold them!), adorable and lovely.  I'm so happy you've come into our lives!  I love you!

These are four of the most amazing little girls I know and love!  I also have two step-nieces, Brianna and Elizabeth, though I do not have pictures of them right now, I certainly do love and admire them as I do these girls!  God definitely blessed me when he put these girls in my life!

While I was in the midst of a conversation with Claire on Monday evening, we were talking about what she had learned in church the day before. She was asking me why God tells us that we are not supposed to hang around with people who aren't Christians. I was explaining to her that, while we can be friends with those people and SHOULD show them the love of Christ, if we spend most of our time with them, it's quite likely that they will take us away from our Christianity as opposed to us bringing them to know Jesus. I told her that it's like having a bad piece of fruit in the midst of fresh fruit. That one bad piece can turn the other fruit rotten in a hurry, whereas the other pieces cannot take the rotten piece and make it whole again. She nodded to show her understanding and then said:

"Nobody can ever take me away from my Jesus!"

Bless your heart sweet girl - that is my prayer for you always. May you never be taken away from your Jesus!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"It takes no courage, effort or achievement to be unhappy - rather, being unhappy is choosing the easy way out." -C.S. Lewis

My pastor recently did a two-part sermon on happiness, and it got me thinking a lot! How often are we wrapped up in the circumstances of our every day life and allow them to control our emotions and our moods? For me, this is something that I've been working on for quite awhile - yes, that's right, I have a goal not to be moody! What kind of woman can accomplish a goal like that - aren't all women moody?! I'll tell you this: a woman who's life is driven by Christ can accomplish that goal. We are equipped in happiness! Philippians 4:4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." If we are walking with the Holy Spirit within us, we should be living out these fruits! So how do we battle unhappiness when it comes lurking around? There are a few steps that Pastor Joel touched on that I think are great points:

1. Beware of human nature.
Human nature causes the insatiable desire for more. We need more of everything and aren't happy and aren't satisfied without MORE! This is a huge area of work in many people's lives (mine included!) - we need to learn to be content in where we are with what we have! I truly believe that God will not bless us with MORE if we are constantly longing and lusting for more material things.

2. Watch out for comparisons.
Let's face it, comparisons kill. They kill your heart, they kill your joy, they kill your feeling of adequacy. One thing that really stuck out to me in the message is that God is most glorified in us when we are satisfied in Him. How amazing that God shines through us even more brightly when He truly is ALL that we need!

3. Adjust expectations.
Expectations can undermine gratitude - gratitude is the KEY to happiness. We need to be thankful for where we are in life and the blessings that God has given us! Rarely do our expectations get met the way that we want them to. Rarely. Think about it. :)

4. Look out for the missing tile.
Imagine you have just redone your bathroom and it is beautiful. The finishing of it is just amazing. Unfortunately, in one tiny spot there is a missing tile, yet to be put in place. If we fixate on the missing element of our lives, we will totally miss the greatness around us! We need to realign our focus to see what we DO have instead of what we don't have!

5. Know your genes and biochemistry.
Yes, depression is something that is hereditary. No, that doesn't mean that you have to suffer from it. Understand the areas that you may be affected due to your biochemistry. If your family has suffered from depression, instead of falling into it yourself - FIGHT your way to happiness! Don't settle for what the world expects you to be, but fight with everything in you for who God has made you to be!

By no means am I saying that you should never be unhappy! Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." There is always a time for mourning and healing, but those should be just that: times - moments - seasons. They should not be something that overcomes us and becomes us.

Nehemiah 8:10b says, "Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." It's time for us to take up that joy and truly walk and live in the joy of the Lord.