Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thanksgiving trees, pumpkins and snacks...

These are our "Thanks" and "Giving" trees this year. Last time we only made a "Thanks" tree but I got this idea from my friend, Tracey, and I love the idea. Starting Nov 1 until Thanksgiving each person will write down on the leaves what they are thankful for and that will go on the "Thanks" tree. On the "Giving" tree they will write down ways that they have served, helped or did something nice for someone else. I am looking forward to reading all of them come Thanksgiving:)

Today was pumpkin carving day! It's definitely a tradition for us and we all love doing it. Brian helps the boys carve while I roast the pumkin seeds. Gosh they are so good. I am a plain jane kinda girl and like my pumpkin seeds with just a little butter and salt. But every year Brian asks to do something different so this year I made him 'Honey and Spice Pumpkin Seeds'.

The ones on the left are plain jane and the ones on the right are the 'Honey and Spice' ones. I wasn't crazy about em at first but they really grew on me. Brian loved em. Here's the recipe if you're interested....

2C fresh pumpkin seeds

1T butter

2T brown sugar

2T honey

1/4t cinnamon

1/4t nutmeg

1/8t clove

1/8t ground black pepper

salt to taste

....toast pumpkin seeds in a pan with butter for 3-5 min. then mix in rest of ingredients. spread seeds on pan and bake in oven at 350 for 12-15 min.

And these Reese's Peanut Butter cup chocolate chip cookie bites were for fun and were sooo good. Brian ate 5:)

Here's the boys' final product and ready to be lit for tomorrow night...

The kids CAN'T WAIT to go trick or treating tomorrow. Caitlin will be an Aggie cheerleader, Christopher and Aggie football player and Caleb didn't want to go with the Aggie theme so he chose to be an Indian. Their dentist is going to give them $1 for every pound of candy they bring in....Caleb's excited to make some money:)

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A sky full of sparkle

Most of my life has been catered to me. To not just meet my needs but to also meet my wants. As I grew up and became independant I continued that way of living-meeting my wants however I pleased-buying what I wanted, being friends with who I wanted, going wherever I wanted. Life's choices were designed around, "Will this make me happy?"

Happiness is fleeting. It is great to have but it makes no promises. And the condition of myself was defined by it. God doesn't promise me happy days and I have learned that fleeting happiness doesn't satisfy. It is fun. And fun is good. But it doesn't quench the soul's thirst.

God's Word is eternal and praise the Lord it is tangible. I have in my hands God living, God active and God seen. The more I drink of it the more it satisfies. Even in days that lack a happy thing.

I have a track record of controlling and manipulating to get what I want. (Poor Brian has recieved the grunt of it) I controlled and manipulated because I wanted happy. I didn't believe that God cared about my heart that way so I set out to make things happen for me.

Oh how I was wrong. I clawed and chewed my way to get my sparkle but little did I know that just around the corner was a sky full of sparkle.

It's not easy for me to be still. To wait. To listen. To be patient. I am a woman of action. I make things happen. But the beauty of the satisfied soul I have found in the stillness, in the waiting and in the listening. God has given me a sky full of sparkle in the growing oneness in a marriage, peace deep within and a trust in a God that satisfies like nothing else.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The first day of school is here! School got pushed back a week because our school changed building locations. Most moms were excited about getting another week of summer but to me it was just delaying the inevitable...but in the grand scheme of things what's one week:)

So here they are all cute and dressed up for school...

We are so excited for Caleb to have Mrs.Howard for his teacher this year since we have known her for over 10 years. When we first joined Watermark, she and her husband were our community group leaders. How fun is that?:)

Hi Christopher!

Going to chapel...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

He's not finished with me yet...

You know how some songs were meant just for you? That's how I feel about Brandon Heath's "Wait and See". The lyrics resignate deep...

"I've been trouble since the day that I got here
Trouble till the day that I disappear
That'll be the day that I finally get it right.

There is hope for me yet
Because God won't forget
All the plans He's made for me
I have to wait and see
He's not finished with me yet

I never really was that good in school
I talked too much, broke the rules
Teachers thought I was a hopeless fool alright

I don't know how but I made it through
It's one of those things that you gotta do
But I always had a knack for tellin the truth

There is hope for me yet
Because God won't forget
All the plans He's made for me
I have to wait and see
He's not finished with me yet"

How thankful I am that God has been showing me how to find my security in Him instead of who I was or who I wasn't. No I wasn't good in school. Yes I broke the rules. Yes many thought I was a hopeless fool. It drove a deep insecurity in me while at the same time drove deep pride in me in what I was good at. But God in his grace has been walking with me and showing me where my identity lies. In Him. Not in what I have or don't have. Who I am or who I'm not. It's a daily battle as I catch myself at times caring too much about what someone else thinks. The song above is a gentle reminder to me of how God sees me...dearly loved and cared for. And as I look back on who I've been I'm reminded of His grace. Thankful that He's not finished with me yet.

"He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He drew me out of deep waters....He led me to a place of safety; He rescued me because He delights in me." 2 Samuel 22: 17 and 20

"For His unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth." Psalm 103:8

"There is noone like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendor. The eternal God is your refuge, and His everlasting arms are under you." Deut 33:26-27

" are precious to me. You are honored and I love you." Isaiah 43:3

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More summer fun

This summer is going by WAY too fast. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm dreading the inevitable...homework, projects, reports, etc... Ugh, just writing that is making me depressed. So changing the subject to funner things:)
We went and picked blueberries in Edom with friends. They were delish. I made 3 batches of yummy blueberry buckle and snacked on the rest frozen. Caleb and Caitlin both loved picking them. Christopher not so much. Caitlin was eating them by the fistful and I will spare you the details of what it did to her bowel movements.:) We then went to Tyler State Park and grilled hot dogs and the kids swam in the lake. That was a big hit.

Happy Birthday Christopher! I have to say we have the best neighbors. They let us use their backyard and swimming pool for his party. How cool is that?

We went to the July 4th parade in our neighborhood where they had games, a dunking booth, snow cone machine and, my favorite, a cotton candy machine:) The kids decorated their bikes and rode in the parade but poor Caitlin couldn't keep up with everyone. Her little legs were peddaling hard. Their was a firetruck that was the 'caboose' of the parade and Caitlin kept looking back in a frantic state fearing that the firetruck was going to run over her. I think they felt sorry for her so they let her ride in the firetruck the rest of the way. She loved it!

Hope you're enjoying your summer as much as we are:)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ballet, Graduation and Swim Meet

Caitlin has been taking ballet through Dancing Angels, which we have really enjoyed. Dancing Angels is a Christian Dance studio that teaches little girls how to glorify God in dancing. It is a very sweet studio. They pray to Jesus before each class and what's even more fun is that her teacher was a childhood friend of mine. She loves Ms. Elizabeth:) Here are snapshots of her end of the year 'recital'. Next year she will be old enough to have her recital in the SMU fun:)

Dajia graduated elementary school!! Below is her class singing "Climb every mountain". Gosh I can't believe it's already been two years and she will be in middle school...I know the tougher years are right around the corner and I'm glad we've been able to build a relationship before the hard years come. I gave her a silver jewelry box with her name engraved on it and she was super excited about it. Love her smile:)

This is the boys' first year of swim team and they have come along way since the first day of practice, which was only 5 days ago. They missed the first week of swim practice because of VBS so most of the kids already knew what was going on and what to expect. After the first day of practice Caleb and Christopher were both ready to quit. Caleb said he cried during practice because it was so hard. Usually I struggle with wanting to rescue him and protect him but, thankfully, not this time. In my head I was thinking,"Dude, there are 7 year old little girls out here doing what you're doing." Thankfully, what was in my head did not come out of my mouth:) I just encouraged him and told him to press on and that he'll probably really enjoy the swim meets.

I was proud of them. They finished a full week of practice with minimal complaining about the difficulty. (In their defense, I am incredibly impressed with all these little kids swimming 15 laps straight and treading water with their arms in the air. There's no way I could do that)

Today was their first swim meet and they did great!!! There were 3 teams competing and Caleb and Christopher both got second place in their division for the freestyle AND the backstroke! And then they each got first place in their division for the relay race. I was screamin it up as usual...settings like that are dangerous for me;) I was super proud of them to see their hard work pay off and they are so proud of their ribbons:)

Thursday, March 31, 2011


God is so so good. I mean He is just SO GOOD. There was an extended period time in my life where I didn't believe that and there are still times even today where I have to choose to believe His Word. But oh my, to get to actually experience The Almighty! When evidence of His Mighty Hand is so vividly seen that all you are physically able to do is just worship! Yesterday was that day. I was talking on the phone with a friend who has been going through Mercy Street's training to become a mentor and she was excited to tell me that she got matched. I asked who it was wondering if I might now her...she pronounced the name 'Sha Keerah'. It didn't sound familiar and so I asked her what school and she said 'Carver'. I thought, 'Hmmm...that's odd because Watermark has started to partner with Carr elementary so all new mentors should recieve a mentee from Carr.' She double checked and sure enough it was Carver...the same school my mentee, Dajia goes to. It couldn't be Shakira could it? Dajia's best friend? But, no, it just couldn't. Her mom won't let her have one and I just saw her last week and surely she would have told me if her mom finally consented?? My friend told me what her last name was but it didn't help since I didn't know it. I told her I was going to find out so I made a phone call and by golly it is her!!!!!!!! I called my friend back, screaming, ecstatic telling her it is her, it is her!!! Tears formed in her eyes and she got goosebumps. She told me that it was my blog on Shakira that caused her to want to mentor. And now to know that she got this precious girl that her heart was aching for!!! I was just beside myself. I don't know if the angels and the heavens can see when our bodies are welled in holy laughter but I knew He was smiling at my discovery to His happenings. I have meditated many times on Psalm 37:23 "He delights in every detail of our lives." And I choose to believe it. BUT to see His Divine hand moving, happening, aligning. It is too much for my heart to intake. All I can respond with is 'thank you Lord for allowing me to see your goodness and for answering prayers for Shakira and allowing a friend to journey with me in this journey of mentoring.' That's all I can say but my heart and soul feel so much more and I know He knows...