Monday, December 7, 2009

Wow!

I am soooooo far behind in my blogging world, but the real world does come first.


Just wanted to say hello, and let you all know I am alive.

Will post soon...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My parents...




I am so grateful for godly parents. I really have such amazing parents.

My dad has such a great sense of humor...I like to think I get my sense of humor from him (along with my Groucho Marx eyebrows). He is one of the hardest working people I know...I think he only has two speeds he runs on...turbo and stop. If he isn't working hard, then you'll find him snoozing on the couch. :)

He is such a great Grandpa, too. He calls Jonathan every day after school to see how his day went. He spoils him rotten, too.

I love my dad so much! I think I'll always be Daddy's girl.

Now my mom is so adorable...I just love her to bits! She is smart and hard-working. Everyone depends on her. She is a rock.

She is also such a prayer warrior. I remember when I lived at home, seeing my mom on her knees first thing every morning. Her love for God shines from her face.

Now, my dad's sense of humor comes in handy with my mom. It's like having an instant laugh track. She just thinks almost everything he does is funny!

I am truly grateful to have such wonderful parents who would do just about anything for any one. I am truly blessed!

(...and I have a new appreciation for them now that I am a parent. Sorry for all I put you through...and for using permanent marker to decorate the walls...and for coloring underneath the dining room table...and for ripping my wallpaper down...and for talking back...and....)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Military Wife

Today, I want to say how thankful I am for my freedom. I am thankful for those who are serving our country currently and those who have served in the past. Your sacrifice and service enables me to live the life I live today. THANK YOU!!!!


But, there is one group I am really grateful for...the military wives. Their sacrifice often goes unnoticed. Read this letter below. It was passed on to me from a military wife. What it says is so true.


Dear Military Wife,


I am an American woman that has no idea what is going on in the military other than what I hear on the news.


I have never had to let go of someone so that they could go fight for people that they didn't know, people that sometimes do not appreciate or understand what they are fighting for. I have never had a sleepless night of worry because of a report that another bomb has exploded and I still haven't heard from my husband. I have never had to wait for months on end to hold the one that I loved so.


I have never had to tell my children that daddy wasn't coming home tonight because he was so far away fighting for something that they aren't yet old enough to understand. I have never had to hold my head high and suppress the tears as I hear that it will be at least another six months of separation before my loved one gets to come home.


I have never had to deal with a holiday away from the one that I thought I would share every day of my life with.


And I have never had to feel the panic rising in my heart at the sound of a ringing phone or knock at the door for fear that it is the news that everyone is terrified of getting.


For the reasons listed above, I can not tell you that I understand how you feel. I can not tell you that you must be strong. I can not say that you shouldn't be angry, because you "knew what you were getting into when you married a military man". I can not say these things because I have never had to walk in your shoes.


What I can say for certain is that because of your unselfish acts of bravery and your husbands willingness to stand up for those who see him as "just another soldier" - I will never have to walk in your shoes.


I do understand that as a military wife you are expected to uphold a certain amount of control, but I never understood how you could do it, until now. I have figured out that you are not like other women. You are of a special breed. You have a strength within you that holds life together in the darkest of hours, a strength of which I will never possess. The faith you have is what makes you stand out in a crowd; it makes you glow with emotion and swell with pride at the mention of The United States of America.


You are a special lady, a wonderful partner and a glorious American.


I have more respect for your husband than I could ever tell you, but until recently I never thought much about those that the soldier leaves at home during deployment.


Until this moment I could never put into words exactly what America meant to me.


Until this moment, I had no real reason to.... Until I heard of you.


Your husband and his military family hold this nation close, safe from those who wish to hurt us...but you and those like you are the backbone of the American family. You keep the wheels in motion and the hearts alive while most would just break completely down. Military families make this nation what it is today.


You give us all hope and you emit a warming light at the end of a long dark tunnel.


Because of you and your family...I am able to be me. I am able to have my family. I am able to walk free in this great land. Because of you and your family, I can look ahead to the future with the knowledge that life is going to be okay. Because of you and your family, I can awake to a new day, everyday.


I realize that you are a stronger person than I will ever be because of these things and I just wanted to take the time today to say thank you to you and your family for allowing me that freedom.


I will never be able to repay this debt to you, as it is unmatchable. However, I hope that you know that no matter where you are...what you are doing...what has happened today...or what will happen tomorrow...Your husband will NEVER be "just another soldier" to me.... And you, dear sweet lady, will never be forgotten.


You are all in my prayer's everyday and I pray that God will bring you back together with your loved one safely.


May God Bless You!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How Could I Be Anything But Thankful?

When I look back at some of this pics over the years, I can only say how grateful I am that God gave J to us when He did. He is such evidence of God's best for our lives. My mama heart is overwhelmed and my eyes are brimming with tears of gratefulness.

From the day you were born,
to first teeth and first Thanksgivings,
to first birthdays,
to the first time pitching with Daddy's old glove,
and to first trophies...
to the many, many more memories we are so blessed to have. My heart is overwhelmed with gratefulness for my son with the loving heart, the adorable belly laugh, the competitive spirit, the best hugs and this amazing amount of potential. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for J.

It has been eight wonderful years...sure there have been trials. And yes, there was that time you put stickers all over the closet door, cut your brand new shirt at preschool, broke one of my favorite figurines, or that day when you came home from school crying because of the bullies... but son, the blessings way outweigh those trials. I hope that Daddy and I will always seek God's wisdom as we help mold you into a man of character.

I love you, J. And I am so very thankful to be your mommy!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Better Late than Never


So I have been pretty sick the past couple of days and haven't had the energy to blog. So here is the next thing I am thankful for....



I am grateful to have such a wonderful husband. He has been such a great help these past couple of days...taking care of J, cleaning the house (because he knows I can't stand it to be dirty!), and just being there for me.

This coming year will be our 10th anniversary. We have definitely had our ups and downs, but God is faithful. I am so blessed to have a man like Tim in my life. Here are some of the things I love most about him (in no particular order):

His positive outlook
The way he laughs at himself when he makes a clever remark
His passion for people
His determination to be a good husband and provider
How loud he sings at church
The way he loves to help people...any time, any day
How he is still a kid at heart
How he desires so greatly to be used of God

I could go on and on and on...but I am truly thankful for Tim.

I love you, Honey!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I've Got Plenty to be Thankful For!

I love the old movie Holiday Inn...where Bing Crosby sings the song with the above title. Anyway, I do have so much to be thankful for, so I am going to spend a little time this month writing some of those things down.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my Lord Jesus who gave His live for me. I am grateful for His word and how he speaks to me through it. I am grateful that I am His child...and nothing can ever take that away.

Friday, October 30, 2009

My Achy, Breaky Heart

Before you get on to me for using the title of a one hit wonder Billy Ray Cyrus song, it really does sum up how I am feeling today.

Do you ever just have those days where you just don't know what to do as a parent? Well, today was one of them for me.

Poor J had a rough day at school. His class was supposed to work on a diorama of Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Now if you know J, you know that art is not his gift, but we always encourage him to do his best to use the creativity that God has given him. But somewhere along the line, this "attitude" comes out when it comes to doing art. Anyway, the diorama had to come home with him to work on this weekend. This was just the beginning.

After several near meltdowns, we hit the final straw...cleaning up the playroom. A simple task, but not so simple tonight. The "attitude" came back for a visit.

Somedays, it seems like no matter what you do or say as a mom, you just can't get through. By the end of our conversation, he hit the melting point.

After trying to get through to him, it was just time for bed. He was exhausted; we were exhausted. We prayed with him and tucked him in with lots of hugs and kisses.

But still I wonder how I am going to get through to him tomorrow. For him to know that he is smart, and fun, and a beautiful child of God.

Sometimes I miss those baby days...where you can just hug them and kiss them and they know they are loved and they are special.

I know I'll be doing lots of praying tonight...praying for J, praying for wisdom for us as parents, and praying that God would heal a few achy, breaky hearts.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some more chocolate for your life...


Photo by Ree (The Pioneer Woman)
Ah, I love Virginia, but the weather here has been a bit bleak...sprinkling...cloudy...cool. So, everyone needs a little something to perk us up!

Check out this recipe from the Pioneer Woman. If you haven't checked out her cooking blog before, I am warning you...you will be hooked! Ah, I just love it!

Today, Ree posted this recipe for truffles with sea salt. They look yummy! Check it out!!

Finally Home

I had such a great time in Springfield. It was so refreshing to have girl time with my friends, to see dear former coworkers, and to eat at all of my favorite restaurants. :) I truly felt so loved.

I think I figured out that I slept a total of 22 hours over 5 days, but it was definitely worth it!

AND, my house survived!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Going "Home"

This weekend, I am going to be going back to Springfield to visit my dear friend Katie who will be getting married soon. I am looking forward to girl time...hanging out, laughing until we are sick, and then laughing some more (not to mention mass quantities of Cheddar's spinach dip).

I also get to spend time with my dear friend Paula. It has been way too long!

I am looking forward to going, but I am wondering how I am going to feel. I haven't been back to Springfield in over two years. I miss so many things there still...and I miss the people even more. I think this will be a bittersweet time.

Anyway, T and J are going to have guys night while I am gone. Pizza, movies, camping out in the living room. J likes guys night because he can burp all he wants. Ahh, the little things in life. :)

Hopefully my house is still intact when I return!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A whole lotta love...

My precious friend Jenny Erdman of Paper Napkin Photo rocks!

You need to hop on over to her site to read the story of Heath and Cassie. Heath started attending our military small group a couple of months ago, and he surprised us two weeks ago by telling us he was getting married...that coming Friday.

You see, Heath is in the Army and got warning orders that he would be deployed again within the next year. So, rather than waiting for the wedding they were planning next year, Heath and Cassie moved their wedding up.

Enter Jenny Erdman...a sweet friend from church who has a photography business on the side. I had asked Heath if they had a photographer, and he said no. So, I asked Jenny if she was willing to come to the small ceremony on the mountain and take some photos. She selflessly gave of her time and took some lovely photos.

Congrats to Heath and Cassie and thanks to Jenny.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Taste Selects

My friend Beth is having a grand opening today of her new location in downtown Lynchburg. Go visit her at Taste Selects Cupcakery!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Catching up with a few more pictures

Our summer has been really fun. While we really didn't take a vacation, we have made lots of weekend trips to visit family as you have seen by the previous posts.

Here are just a few more pictures from our last weekend adventure...King's Dominion. We decided to take J because this is the last year that he could ride the kid rides. Aside from Silver Dollar City, he really hasn't been to an amusement park. So we decided to make some memories. :)

We had a blast...hope you enjoy the pictures!





Thursday, August 13, 2009

These Look Yummy...I Need to Try This


This is from a NY Times article from July 2008.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Jacques Torres

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content, available at Whole Foods
Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A few more vacation photos...

Here are some pictures from our time in Atlanta at the Falcons Training Camp.





Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Seriously yummy!


I just tried the new flavor of Special K Bars...chocolatey pretzel...and they are seriously good. Only 90 calories per bar...of course I could eat the whole box, but that is another story!

You can download a $1 off coupon at coupons.com.

Seriously, yummy! That is a good dose of chocolate for today!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Yeebird... Yee-gotta check it out!

When we lived in Springfield, MO, I worked at a wonderful church...Second Baptist Church. The pastor is Pastor John Marshall...a great pastor and friend. Our apartment where we lived was across the hall from his dear mother-in-law, who we loved dearly.

Anyway, Pastor and Ruth Marshall's daughter, Rebekah, has a wonderful blog, yeebird, that you absolutely must check out. She is so creative! She posts photos of her craft projects (which are AMAZING!) and lovely photos of her family and friends. It really is a great blog!

This week, Rebekah is celebrating her 100th post with a giveaway of some of her favorite things (and mine, too!). Click here to check it out!

http://yeebird.blogspot.com/2009/08/post-100giveaway-times-3.html

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sorry for the delay...and now for some chocolate!

Hi, Friends.

Jonathan and I got back from our visit to PA Tuesday night. Wednesday we did laundry and Thursday we packed our suitcases again. Friday after Tim got done with work, we headed to Atlanta to visit the in-laws. But it wasn't just a social visit...my father-in-law got saved three weeks ago and got baptized Sunday night. Of course we had to be there for that! God is so good!!!

So that is the reason for my delay in posting pics...so here are some from our trip to Hershey, PA.








Saturday, July 25, 2009

A little update

Jonathan and I are in PA visiting my parents for the weekend. It has been a fun trip so far!

Yesterday, we visited my great uncle and aunt. He is going to be 97 years old this year...and they will be celebrating 60 years of marriage. They are so adorable. Just love them to pieces!

Today, we went to the Pittsburgh Zoo. We got there early and enjoyed a beautiful day. The animals were amazing. The new polar bear exhibit is really cool. I promise to add pics when we get home.

Tomorrow is a church day, of course. My uncle and aunt will be coming for dinner, as well as my brother and his fiancee Andrea. Should be a good day.

Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens...

A few of my favorite things:

Traveling to a new place

Reading

Chocolate

Rainy days at home

Sleeping in

Laughing so hard that I cry

Baby feet

Camp fires

Road Trips

Warm, clean sheets

London

Cheesecake

Naps

Photography

Sweet Tea

Pajamas

Vacations

Playing board games

Cooking

McVities Caramel Digestives

Big Cities

Good Friends

Fireworks

Just being home with my family.


How about you? What are your favorite things?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

ShopDiscover...and Discover Savings!

In the economy that we live in, every penny counts. I am constantly looking for ways to save a little more. And I love saving money more than I love chocolate!!!

There are several things I love about using my Discover Card.

One, we get great cashback rewards...and every few months there is a new category where we can get additional cash back.

Two, they are really great about abnormal charges. If there is something that doesn't seem right, they call us to verify. I love that!

Three, ShopDiscover. Not only do I get my cash back for using my card, I can shop through ShopDiscover and get even more rewards. For example, we got an extra 5% cash back when we bought my hubby's new computer online from the Apple Store through shop Discover. I love it!

We usually "save" our cashback bonus to use on something special we both agree on. Sometimes we use it to pay our account, sometimes we get restaurant certificates, etc... There are a ton of options.

Now, I am not suggesting that you go max out your card at ShopDiscover, but if you spend wisely, you can get some great deals...as well as extra cashback bonuses.

For example, this blog "represents entry in the ShopDiscover blog promotion with a chance to win a Discover Gift Card." That is a good deal to me.!!!

So check it out! You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Honey!

Well, it has been nine years this very moment since I married my best friend and the love of my life. And I am truly grateful for the journey. Sure there have been ups and downs, but that is what makes us appreciate the mountaintops even more. God has truly blessed me in giving me a good husband who loves me and cares for me (and even does laundry!).

Tim, I love you and I hope we have many, many more anniversaries to come.

SHMILY!

Cool Bike

I know today's our 9th anniversary, but honey, I love this bike! Just click on the pic to check it out!

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Monday, July 13, 2009

A little update

I couldn't sleep Friday night, so I woke up at 4 AM. I was trying to decide what to do with the day, and then I decided to take the fam to Norfolk. Tim has been wanting to go there for a while, so I decided that there was no better time than the present...plus our ninth anniversary is Tuesday so it was a good excuse.

We had a great time touring the base and seeing the ships. We also went downtown to the Navy museum and toured the USS Wisconsin.



J got to swim at the hotel, so he was happy. He also got to sleep on a "magic bed" (sofa bed) so he was pretty happy!




We went to church at TRBC via internet. Then we went to VA beach where the boys had a great time playing in the waves until J consumed too much salt water.



We then went to Fort Story and saw the Cape Henry Lighthouses. We climbed up to the top of Old Cape Henry Light. Let's just say that after climbing the stairs to the Eiffel Tower, this was a piece of cake!






It was nice to get away together...so often it seems our only "vacations" are to visit family or with family, so it was nice to be just us. Just wish we could have stayed longer!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I am a terrible blogger...

Life is busy, and there are some things that just have to be lower on the priority list. For me, blogging is one of those things. Between being a wife and mommy, working full time plus other ministries I am involved in, I end up with little time to blog.

I have found myself going back and forth between wanting more and extreme gratefulness. It is summer...people are going on vacations, stay-at-home mommies are with their children all of the time, etc... And I admit, I am struggling with envy. I wish I didn't have to work, but I choose to work so my son can go to a Christian school...and a great one at that.

But on the other hand, I have been asking God to help me battle envy, and I find myself filled with extreme gratefulness. I have a soft bed to sleep on, a roof over my head, food, clothing, family, health. I am a spoiled American Christian. We have so much, and sometimes we forget that because we are too busy chasing after the newest gadget or buying the perfect house...or keeping up with the people around us.

Yet Scripture very clearly tells us to lay up our treasure in Heaven. So I guess I am taking a little personal inventory of how much I am actually laying up in Heaven instead of worrying about what I don't have here on earth.

God has entrusted me with many things...and to whom much is given, much is required. I want to be found faithful at the end. I just need an attitude check now and then.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Rain...

I don't know what it is about the rain. I used to hate when it rained. Until we moved here to Virginia, I really disliked rain. Now I seem to look forward to a good rain storm. I wonder what made me change how I feel about the rain. I wonder what that means about me.

Well, I am off to enjoy the rain. Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's been a while...

I have been so awful about blogging lately...and it is pretty low on my priority list, I must say.

Things here have been fine, but busy. Jonathan just finished up baseball last week and has started taking swimming lessons. Only two more weeks of school for him. He also was in a kid's musical at church last week. He did a great job.

Tim finished up one seminary class and is starting another. Needless to say, his head in a book these day.

As for me, I just try to keep up with my family and make things run smoother. We had a huge conference at church, and I ended up selling books for Mark DeYmaz, Francis Chan, Billy Hornsby and Kerry Shook. And for the big news, I did save $25 using coupons while I grocery shopped yesterday. :) Pretty sad that is the highlight of my week.

Here are some photos from the last few weeks.



Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Lesson from a Viking...

So I was reading the news headlines, and this story about a new Vikings draftee caught my attention...

From Yahoo Sports:

"New Vikings Signee Retains His Loyalty to Target
By MJD

A lot of guys, when they sign an NFL contract, might go out and buy something expensive, have a huge party, buy some jewelry, or maybe get a tattoo.

But if Nick Urban, former standout lineman at Winona State and brand new Minnesota Viking, is going to get a tattoo, it's going to be a red bullseye underneath the words, "Expect More. Pay Less."

Urban works (or worked) at Target, and you know what he did as soon as he found out the Vikings were giving him a contract? He put on the red shirt and worked his scheduled shift at Target.

From Access Vikings, via the watchful eye of Sportress of Blogitude:
“They were nice enough to take me on, knowing my situation and I owed them a lot,” Urban said of his bosses at Target, who gave him flexible, part-time hours so he could train for his shot at the NFL. “My parents raised me that way. They were nice enough to help out [at Target] and people that are nice enough to help you, you don’t just leave high and dry.”

That's fantastic. I'd love to think that if I were in Urban's shoes, I'd do the same thing, because I really admire the selflessness and loyalty he showed here...

...The next step for Urban is making the roster, and I wish him tremendous luck with that. He sounds like the kind of guy who deserves it.
"

Now initially, I am absolutely thrilled to hear about a guy who has a great work ethic and is doing the right thing by sticking by his employer and doing his job.

But now that I think about it for a bit, I think it is so sad that this is even considered newsworthy today...someone doing what they are supposed to do...doing a job and doing it well. That sure says a lot about the world we live in today.

I wish Urban the best. The world needs a whole lot more people with that work ethic. The welfare lines would sure be shorter!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thoughts...

I have been feeling a little "beat up" by the Word lately...my selfish heart is definitely getting pounded. Sometimes I feel like there isn't any more of me left to give...and I forget to let Christ take control.

He has been stretching me and teaching me and guiding me in paths that I never dreamed I would take, but I am interested to see where the journey leads.

So when I feel like I am not enough (which I am not), I need to truly depend on Christ and allow Him to be enough.

If you are reading this, please pray for me this moment. That I will continue to allow God to lead and not make plans that are not His will. If you know me, you know that is my struggle...I like to have everything planned out and all of my ducks in a row.

I can still plan...I just can't forget to check in with the Master Planner first!

Have a blessed week!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Military Wife

I found this online, but the author is unknown....


Dear Military Wife,

I am an American woman that has no idea what is going on in the military other than what I hear on the news.

I have never had to let go of someone so that they could go fight for people that they didn't know, people that sometimes do not appreciate or understand what they are fighting for. I have never had a sleepless night of worry because of a report that another bomb has exploded and I still haven't heard from my husband. I have never had to wait for months on end to hold the one that I loved so.

I have never had to tell my children that daddy wasn't coming home tonight because he was so far away fighting for something that they aren't yet old enough to understand. I have never had to hold my head high and suppress the tears as I hear that it will be at least another six months of separation before my loved one gets to come home.

I have never had to deal with a holiday away from the one that I thought I would share every day of my life with.

And I have never had to feel the panic rising in my heart at the sound of a ringing phone or knock at the door for fear that it is the news that everyone is terrified of getting.

For the reasons listed above, I can not tell you that I understand how you feel. I can not tell you that you must be strong. I can not say that you shouldn't be angry, because you "knew what you were getting into when you married a military man". I can not say these things because I have never had to walk in your shoes.

What I can say for certain is that because of your unselfish acts of bravery and your husbands willingness to stand up for those who see him as "just another soldier" - I will never have to walk in your shoes.

I do understand that as a military wife you are expected to uphold a certain amount of control, but I never understood how you could do it, until now. I have figured out that you are not like other women. You are of a special breed. You have a strength within you that holds life together in the darkest of hours, a strength of which I will never possess. The faith you have is what makes you stand out in a crowd; it makes you glow with emotion and swell with pride at the mention of The United States of America.

You are a special lady, a wonderful partner and a glorious American.

I have more respect for your husband than I could ever tell you, but until recently I never thought much about those that the soldier leaves at home during deployment.

Until this moment I could never put into words exactly what America meant to me.

Until this moment, I had no real reason to.... Until I heard of you.

Your husband and his military family hold this nation close, safe from those who wish to hurt us...but you and those like you are the backbone of the American family. You keep the wheels in motion and the hearts alive while most would just break completely down. Military families make this nation what it is today.

You give us all hope and you emit a warming light at the end of a long dark tunnel.

Because of you and your family...I am able to be me. I am able to have my family. I am able to walk free in this great land. Because of you and your family, I can look ahead to the future with the knowledge that life is going to be okay. Because of you and your family, I can awake to a new day, everyday.

I realize that you are a stronger person than I will ever be because of these things and I just wanted to take the time today to say thank you to you and your family for allowing me that freedom.

I will never be able to repay this debt to you, as it is unmatchable. However, I hope that you know that no matter where you are...what you are doing...what has happened today...or what will happen tomorrow...Your husband will NEVER be "just another soldier" to me.... And you, dear sweet lady, will never be forgotten.

You are all in my prayer's everyday and I pray that God will bring you back together with your loved one safely.

May God Bless You!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, J!



Dear Jonathan,

It is hard to believe that you are 8 years old today. It seems like I cannot even remember our life without you. You have brought us so much joy.

I know that you are getting older every day, and every day brings more changes; but I hope and pray that you keep the sweet, kind spirit you have as well as your joy in life. You are so very special...one of a kind. God has great plans for you, my son. Always keep your eyes and heart focused on Him. You will never be alone with Christ by your side.

Daddy and I love you so much!

Happy Birthday!!! Eight is GREAT!!!

Love, Mommy

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wonder Women...the Military Wives

My husband Tim has such a burden for the military. He is currently in seminary at Liberty, pursuing a M.Div in chaplaincy so he can be a Navy chaplain. This burden led him to start the MANA Military Ministry at Thomas Road.

At first, we thought that the ministry might reach out to the ROTC guys or the Nat. Guard guys at the local armory, as well as chaplain candidates at the seminary. Turns out that God has other plans so far.

The military wives.

This group of courageous women, most with young children, are here in Lynchburg while their husbands are in boot camp or getting ready to be deployed. Such a void is left behind when their husbands leave. Who will mow the grass? Who will keep me safe at night? Will I ever have a moment to myself again? How do I really know what to expect? These questions, along with many others, are difficult questions that the military wife has to ask herself.

So now, we are faced with how we can help them. What are their needs that we as a church can meet? There are moments when I am overwhelmed at the task. My heart reaches out to them, but sometimes I wonder if the task is bigger than I am...and it is. It is God-sized.

So would you pray along with me that God would send those who are best to minister to these Wonder Women? Pray for them...for safety for their husbands and peace in their hearts while they are away.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Power of Zero

A great blog post from my friend Rusty Goodwin:

The Power of Zero

So, I’m sitting at home the other day watching a program about the origins of mathematics. I know you are thinking to yourself “How boring is this guy’s life that he watches a show like that?” but hang in there with me. It was quite interesting.

I learned that the numbers we use today originated in India. This culture was the first to invent an individual symbol to represent each of the numbers 1-9. This made commerce, measuring, counting, agriculture, everything much easier to manage. Yet while they had symbols that represented 1-9 no culture had yet invented the concept of 0 (zero).

Eventually, after time, the Indian people came to realize the power of zero, the concept of nothing. They came up with the symbol for it that we still use today, 0. Immediately, their whole mathematical system changed. It became infinitely more powerful and efficient. Other cultures and nations caught on to the concept of zero and it dramatically changed all aspects of culture at that time. Imagine the power of nothing. I’ll bet they had no idea how the concept of nothing would change the world.

Imagine math equations with no zero. Just think, there would be no binary system without zero and thus, no computers. Imagine trying to understand the number 1 million without zero. How long do you think your accountant would stay in business without zero? Impossible.

Okay, so here’s the application. Many times each of us feels like we are not significant. On any given day there are people in our organizations that feel like nothing. Just remember the power of nothing. The number 1 is great but look at it now. 1,000,000,000,000. Put twelve nothings after it and it is much greater. Take away one of those nothings and you have exponentially decreased the value of that number. So, if you are a nothing, don’t underestimate your value, be encouraged. You matter. We all do.

If you are a number 1 or 2, just remember, you are worth more if you have a bunch of us nothings on your side. You can make a much bigger impact with all of us nothings behind you; An exponential difference.

Maybe this is what Paul meant when he encouraged the body of Christ to actually act as if there were one body. Every part has a function and every part matters.

Maybe that is why when Christ came to this earth he chose to make himself of “no reputation”. Maybe he understood that adding value was better than being valued. After all, he did come so we could not only have life but have it more abundantly.

Maybe this is what Christ meant when he told his disciples that in order to be the greatest, they had to be the least. Last time I checked zero was the least.

Go Zero!

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's that time of year again...

J's birthday is coming up soon, and we are trying to get his party plans all in order. Now if you know me, I like to have every little detail planned out way ahead of time, but this time, I just can't seem to get my act together!

He wants a sports party with all different stations...basketball free throws, soccer goal, and lots more.

The question is, how many children to invite. He has a class of 26 children. Do you invite them all? I know our little house couldn't handle them all...

Guess I better get planning...I only have a couple weeks until it is here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Happenings

Not too much going on here in Stantonland. J was supposed to have baseball tonight, but the game was rained out. I am actually kind of thankful... it is cold out, and I really didn't want to sit out there in the cold drizzle.

I spent the day working with Sarah at the TRBC costume shop. She is really doing a great job getting things cleaned up and organized over there.

We were going through a bunch of hats today that were donated to the church. There are some really great hats there...kind of made me wish that we still dressed up like that on occasion. Some of them were so well preserved in their original hat boxes. Wish I had my camera with me!

Tim is helping his friend Isaiah this weekend. Isaiah's youth group is having an all night activity Friday night. We'll see how long Tim lasts! Ha! I think he will have a great time.

Haven't figured out what J and I will do tomorrow night yet. We may just hang out at home.

Oh well! Happy Thursday!

Monday, March 23, 2009

This Morning's Bible Reading

1 Corinthians 3

1. And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

3. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

4. For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

5. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

6. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

7. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

8. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

9. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

10. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

11. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

13. Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

14. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

16. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

17. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

18. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

19. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

20. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

21. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

22. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's;

23. And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Q and A session with J

ABOUT MOM

These questions were all answered by J (word for word)

1. What is something mom always says to you?
I love you

2 What makes mom happy?
When I obey

3. What makes mom sad?
When I don't obey

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
When she does something silly

5. What was your mom like as a child?
She was little

6. How old is your mom?
31

7. How tall is your mom?
Big

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Play with me

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Work

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
For being a good mom

11. What is your mom really good at?
Sports

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Sports

13. What does your mom do for a job?
Music office

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
Chicken

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
When she does something really good and funny

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Luigi (I guess that is the Italian coming out!)

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Play basketball

18. How are you and your mom the same?
We both have black hair and white skin

19. How are you and your mom different?
She has glasses and I don't and she is a girl and I am a boy

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Because she does (with giggles)

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
He is funny

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
To go see grammy and pappy and mama and papa

ABOUT DAD

1. What is something Dad always says to you?
Not really anything

2 What makes Dad happy?
Nothing

3. What makes Dad sad?
Nothing

4. How does your Dad make you laugh?
Nothing

5. What was your Dad like as a child?
I don't know

6. How old is your Dad?
31

7. How tall is your Dad?
Huge

8. What is his favorite thing to do?
Play with me

9. What does your Dad do when you're not around?
Work

10. If your Dad becomes famous, what will it be for?
For being a good dad

11. What is your Dad really good at?
Soccer

12. What is your Dad not very good at?
Work

13. What does your Dad do for a job?
DLP Student Accounts

14. What is your Dad's favorite food?
Seafood

15. What makes you proud of your Dad?
I don't know

16. If your Dad were a cartoon character, who would he be?
Mario

17. What do you and your Dad do together?
Play

18. How are you and your Dad the same?
We are boys and we both have black hair

19. How are you and your Dad different?
He has really different skin with psoriasis and he wears glasses

20. How do you know your Dad loves you?
Just because

21. What does your Dad like most about your Mom?
He loves her

22. Where is your Dad's favorite place to go?
Basketball games and football games


ABOUT HIMSELF

1. What is something you always say?
Knock-knock jokes

2. What makes you happy?
I can play games

3. What makes you sad?
When I get hurt

4. How does mom or dad make you laugh?
When they do something funny

5. What was your hair like as a child?
Bald

6. How old are you?
7 and about to be 8 in a month

7. How tall are you?
Small

8. What is your favorite thing to do?
Play basketball

9. What do you do when your parents are not around?
Play video games

10. If you become famous, what will it be for?
Playing basketball

11. What are you really good at?
Basketball

12. What are you not very good at?
Tennis

13. What do you do for a job?
Cashier at the fudge shop

14. What is your favorite food?
McDonalds

15. What makes you proud of you?
How I am really good at stuff

16. If your you were a cartoon character, who would you be?
Dry Bones

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Play basketball

18. How do you know your mom and dad love you?
Because they do

19. What do you like most about your dad?
He is funny and bad

20. Where is your favorite place to go?
McDonalds

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday

Boy, am I a slacker or what? I haven't posted in almost a month...though I am not sure why. Every time I go to post something, I just can't seem to come up with anything.

So here I am today at the urging (nagging?) of a friend. :)

This week, my son is on spring break. It has been an absolutely gorgeous week so far...70 degrees every day. Well, yesterday, I had the blessing of being a mommy at home all day long. We had such a good day. The day began with J coming into my room shouting, "Mommy! I pulled out my tooth!" I was SO glad as this tooth has been dangling in J's mouth for several weeks. (He hates when I pull them out for him). So, he proceeded to call Daddy and the grandparents. MaMa asked him what he gets for losing his tooth, so I told him that he could pick whatever he wanted to do for the day.

Well, after a little deciding over a breakfast of waffles, J decided that he wanted both of us to stay in our pajamas all day long and watch a movie. So that is what we did (although I cheated and took a shower and changed into clean jammies). We watched several episodes of Seventh Heaven on DVD (we got it from the library...our TV blew up, so we have to watch it on one of the computers).

After a while, J wanted a mayonnaise sandwich. Yep, that is it. Just plain mayo and bread. Yuck! So I added cheese to mine. Then I asked him what he wanted to do. And again, he wanted to watch more Seventh Heaven and still wear our jammies. So that is what we did until 3:00. Thankfully, we changed into our day clothes and went outside to play a little basketball. Then we went to visit Jacque at Fabulus Fudge and take her the mail like we do every day (we share a mailbox with her).

At 5PM, Daddy came home from work, and he and J played some more basketball. Then we told J since it was "J Day" he could pick where we would eat dinner...and of course, he chose McDonalds. After that we let him browse at Game Stop for a few minutes and then went to see the movie "Bolt." It was a cute movie, and J really enjoyed it.

Then J decided to ask if he could stay up as late as he wanted to, and to that, we did say no. :)

It was nice to not be at work all day, but to be able to be at home with J. I miss those times. I do love my job, but I wish I could be home more.

Anyway, that was our Wonderful Wednesday...how's that for posting?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Late Night Blogging

It seems I really have not had the energy or the desire to blog lately. I am not really sure why that is, but it has been a while.

So tonight, I find myself wide awake at 2:30 in the morning...lots of thoughts running through my head, and I just can't seem to sleep. So here I am.

Most of my thoughts are surrounding a ministry project I was asked to help with over a year ago. I was so thrilled to be a part of it...put all of my energy and passion into it for about a year. Long hours, hard work (physical and mental). And in a matter of moments, it was all gone...for some reasons I have yet to understand.

It is hard because I know that there are fragments of the work around that reflect the time, effort and money put in to this ministry that never was...and sometimes (on nights like tonight) I wake up and think about it...wondering what I could have done differently.

Was it just a waste of the Lord's money? We still have supplies sitting in boxes...some of the very expensive.

Why did those in charge allow it to go as far as they did if they did not support it 100%?

Why does it still hurt?

Where has my passion gone?

As I sit here in tears just thinking about it all, I find that I am still hurt. I am not angry...just sad for what it could have been. Every now and then, there is talk about starting it up again, but in a much different form. I must confess, I have lost all passion for the project. I see major mountains, and frankly, I am just too tired to climb them. This project needs leadership and vision...and the person who had that is no longer a part of the project...and boy, I just don't know if I can do it all over again on my own.

So I know most of this makes little sense to most of you...I just needed to write what was on my heart right now.

Father, help me walk in Your ways. Lead me, guide me and help me to follow. Heal the ache in my heart and give me passion to serve you today...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Overwhelmed, but Believing

Today is one of those days where I just plain feel overwhelmed. Not because of the tasks ahead of me, but because of the choices ahead of me.

If you are someone who knows me personally, you know that decision-making is not one of my strong characteristics. I am a great follower, co-captain, second fiddle. Though I can lead and have a strong personality to lead, I often choose not to because I know that there are others out there who are much more well-equipped than I am.

So we have some big decisions in front of us...and though I am overwhelmed and struggle with unbelief, today I am choosing to believe God.

Father, I am so grateful for Your love. Today, I choose to believe You. Help me to listen for Your voice and not the other voices of doubt, unbelief and self. I love You. Amen.

A co-worker just shared this a moment ago..."God whispers in your soul and speaks to your mind. Sometimes when you don't have time to listen, he has to throw a brick at you. It's your choice: Listen to the whisper, or wait for the brick."

I choose the whisper...and I will wait.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I've got a lot of living left to do...

Here is a very neat list that I found on another blog. You go through the list and bold the ones you've already done. Interesting!

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort


25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run


32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person


34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo's David

41. Sung karoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater


55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma


65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial


71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone


78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House


87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby


95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cellphone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Read an entire book in one day

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Pittsburgh Gal at Heart...

So this was definitely a big night for all of us Steeler fans! What an awesome game! Both sides played their hearts out.

We haven't lived in PA for several years, but I grew up just north of Pittsburgh, so I will always be a Pittsburgh girl at heart. My guys decided this year to cheer for the Cardinals...a little bit out of orneriness and a lot because of the fact that Kurt Warner is a believer.

Towards the middle of the game, my seven year old started getting upset because the Cardinals weren't winning and Kurt Warner is a Christian.

Sometimes I think that we as believers feel that way. We are offended when something goes wrong in our lives. We act as if we should be the "winner" in every situation. But that is not true. Christ promised to be with us...but He never promised everything in our lives would magically work out simply because we are a Christian. We will face tough times...disappointment...heartache.

However, all things do work for our good. We may not see it at the time. We may only see the trouble we are facing. But if we allow Him to work, Christ uses those situations for His glory and our best good.

In the end, we do win. We have eternal life with Christ...a Super Bowl trophy doesn't even come close to that!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Quote on My Desk

"But in Friendship... we think we have chosen our peers. In reality, a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another, posting to different regiments, the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting – any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples 'Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,' can truly say 'You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.' The Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others."
-C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Randomness...

Hi, friends. Sorry it has been so long since I have posted.

We had a wonderful time on our cruise to Mexico. It was nice to be together as a family without the crazy business of cell phones and computers. Though I love these conveniences, sometimes I think they make our lives busier than they need to be.

Anyway, before I go off on a tangent, we woke up to beautifully ice covered trees this morning. It looked a bit like Narnia around here. I was waiting for the characters to come out of our woods. :) It amazed me to see the beauty that surrounded me. All I could think is "How Great is Our God!" The ultimate creative One who made this beautifully intricate world, the King of Kings, Great Jehovah cares about me...insignificant me with all of my faults, failures, shortcomings and selfishness.

Quite an overwhelming thought, isn't it?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cruising...

Hi, Friends.

The Stanton Family will be taking a break from blogging this week. We have an amazing opportunity to go on a Christian cruise to Mexico thanks to my wonderful boss, Charles Billingsley. You can check it out here.

Anyway, we are looking forward to some time together. Hope it doesn't rain!

Thanks, Kathy and Sarah, for holding down the fort. And thanks, Jacque, for taking care of our house!

Hope to have pictures to post when we return.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year, Friends!

Hard to believe that another year has come and gone!
Things have been a bit crazy in the Stanton house lately. We spent Christmas in Atlanta with Tim's family. Jonathan had a WONDERFUL time with his cousins Riley and Walker. We were also able to catch up with Angela and Larry Prince.


My brother got engaged over the holidays and is planning a November 2009 wedding. We are so happy for Kenny and Andrea.

Tim turned 31 on December 29. Boy, are we getting OLD! :)

Jonathan also got his tonsils out the same day. So this past week has been pretty mellow in the Stanton house.

Hope your new year has started out well. Looking forward to what God has in store in 2009!