Monday, November 30, 2009

Embarassing moment

Throughout life, there are certain songs that remind me of particular events - a soundtrack to my life, if you will.

Tonight, as I tucked my daughter into bed, I heard the song 'Ave Maria' playing on the radio. Instantly, my mind was brought back in time to a most embarrassing moment. Since I wasn't sure what I was going to write today, I thought I would share it with you.

Picture it, Clifton, New Jersey, the year was 2000. While my commute was only about 8 miles, it usually took aboutt 30 minutes to get home. The car I drove back then had a radio, but the dial wouldn't work. Stuck in the middle of a few stations & all I got was static. So, I usually opted to SING on my commute.

I'm sure I looked funny driving down Route 46, my mouth moving a mile-a-minute. Thank goodness for air conditioning - the windows were up & no one could hear that I wasn't actually singing along/listening to the radio.

I had recently been promoted to lead computer operator & given my 1st cellphone. While I might have been working in IT, I was NOT a technology guru. I knew NOTHING about locking the keypad - NOTHING!!! Can you see where this is going?

One day, on my way home from work, I began to sing. Mind you, it's not like I decided to sing a very current/popular song. Nope. I opted to sing - you guessed it - Ave Maria. Not only was I singing 'Ave Maria', I decided to sing it OPERA style. Oooh... and after the first line or 2, I didn't know the words, so I just made them up - pretending I sang in Italian.

Something made me check my cellphone & I had noticed that it was connected to my boss' line. Embarrassed, I said 'hello' & there was no answer. I hung up & didn't think about it again.

The next day, my boss called me into his office. No problem. Picked up a notebook & pen and walked on in. He started telling me that he had received an interesting voice mail the night before & said I should probably hear it. He had this smile on his face... something was going on. All of a sudden, everything CLICKED! Of course he wasn't on the other line the day before while I was 'singing' - it had been RECORDED on his VOICE MAIL!!!

Ohhhh... the HORROR! I was MORTIFIED! He was laughing hysterically. I KNEW he had listened to it - and probably the whole thing. With my luck, he saved it & played it for a few others around the office.

Yep! My 15 minutes of fame.... all on an office voice mail. Needless to say, I learned that day the importance of locking your keypad.

Enjoy the laugh... It's one of my favorite stories to tell about myself.

Many blessings,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How much did it cost?

As I grow older, I find that I am becoming more & more open about my faith. I won't hit you over the head with it, but I am not about to hide it either. Lately it seems as though the best way to express my beliefs has been through songs. Specifically worship songs.

It's always awe inspiring when I sit in service & start singing, realizing that the song is speaking directly to me. Sure they put the titles of the songs on the screen prior to service beginning & I'll take a peek - make sure I know the song. But rarely do I actually THINK about the song until we start singing.

Today was one of those days. I loved the 3 songs that we sang today, but it was the 3rd one that REALLY spoke to me - especially since we are in this season of CHRISTmas. We observe this holiday to reflect on the birth of a Savior - our Savior. I am well aware that Jesus was not actually born on December 25, but more likely during the spring.

I digress.

For me, Christmas is about the birth & resurrection of my Savior. You see, there couldn't have been a resurrection if there wasn't a birth. Thinking of that baby born in a manager 2000 years ago gets me to thinking about His death. Jesus endured a PAINFUL & humiliating death so that I may live in Heaven for eternity.

That brings me to today's 3rd song. Once again, it's a Chris Tomlin song - God seems to really speak to me through Chris' words. Today, the song 'Here I am to Worship' helped drive home the reality of what was put into action the moment that Jesus was born.
I'll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
I'll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
And I'll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
No, I'll never know how much it cost
I will never know how it broke God's heart to see His only Son upon that cross, suffering for sins that He did not commit, but for the sins that I would commit in my life. I will never fully comprehend the amount of love that God has for me that He was so willing to draw me closer to Him through the death & resurrection of His Son.

What I do know is that God truly does love me. He set a plan in motion thousands of years ago because of His love for me - and YOU!

And it doesn't cost ME a thing.

Many blessings,

Lyrics | Chris Tomlin - Here I Am To Worship lyrics

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What about Joseph?

It's 2 days after Thanksgiving and that means the Christmas season is officially upon us. String up the lights, tinsel, blast the Christmas music. Shopping chaos all around. USPS, UPS & FedEx working overtime to get those packages delivered on time.

This is my favorite time of year. For us, Christmas is more than gifts under a tree, stockings hung by the mantel & Christmas carols. It's about the birth of a Savior. A sweet, precious baby born to save the world - Jesus.

I always wanted to meet Mary, the mother of Jesus, to know her thoughts on being chosen by God to give birth & raise Jesus. Watching His ministry then watching Him get crucified. The heartbreak of seeing her son die, but then the amazement of learning of His resurrection.

Joseph, Mary's husband, is often overlooked throughout the story. He seems to play a very little role in the story of Christ. Yet, I wonder what it must have been like for him too. Learning that his fiance' was pregnant with a child not his; teaching his son the family trade of carpentry. We don't know much about Joseph.

MercyMe sings a beautiful song titled "Joseph's Lullaby". I can picture Joseph rocking his newborn son in his arms thinking these very words, especially the line:
I believe the glory of Heaven
Is lying in my arms tonight

But Lord, I ask that He for just this moment

Simply be my child

I am so very grateful for the events that took place over 2000 years ago. An event that changed the world. The triumphant birth of a King. The best part: Wise men still seek Him!

Many blessings,

Lyrics | MercyMe - Joseph’s lullaby lyrics

Friday, November 27, 2009

The beauty of.....

Yesterday, I wrote about my youngest sister, Jessica. Today you get to "meet" my middle sister, Christa.

You wouldn't think that 3 years between siblings would be a lot, but to kids it is a lifetime - especially when there is another sibling only 1 year younger than the the middle. Anyway, because I was only 3 at the time, I don't remember much about Christa's arrival into my life. Quite honestly, I don't remember when I became aware of her presence. In my mind, she was just always there.

Because of her close age with Jessica, I don't think I was necessarily 'needed' in Christa's world. Nor was she needed in mine. We just kind of coasted through life together. Always doing our own things. She was into cheering & I was into softball. The only thing that we really had in common, besides parents, was a volatile relationship with a certain teacher.

My fondest memory of Christa was one of her birthdays. It was summer... and we were older - I was in my 20's. We both happened to have the day off of work & impulsively decided to take a trip to Great Adventure - that's Six Flags to those who aren't from NJ. What a day!! Just the 2 of us, riding rides, doing goofy things like buying pictures from rides, photos in a photo booth, sitting on a GIANT chair. Nothing special, but one of the best days together.

Christa has grown into this amazing woman. She is a talented clothing designer - for herself & close friends. She's got this personality that just lights up a room when she enters. You KNOW she's there! You want to be with her. Her laugh in contagious. She always has a smile. She hides her heartbreak better than anyone I know - which can be a real bummer because you want to be there for her, not after its all over.

She's beautiful & seems comfortable in her own skin. I see a lot of her in my daughter, Chelsea. Little things that only the family would notice - taking other peoples shoes. Yet I love the fact that these 'things' were inherited some how.

I wish we spent more time together. We really don't have any excuses - we only live about 30 minutes from one another. Our lives couldn't be anymore different though. She's a city girl & I'm content in the country. When we are together, I just want to hug her. No matter what we are doing together, we always wind up having fun.

I'm lucky to have Christa as a sister. I look forward to growing old with her... it will definitely be an adventure!

Many blessings,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

TGFJ.... (thank God for Jessica)

Growing up, my youngest sister, Jessica, & I didn't necessarily get along. There's a 4 year age difference between us with a middle sister in between. Actually, Jessica & the middle, Christa, are only a year apart, so they were close growing up - like twins. So, Jessica & I didn't have much of a relationship - I couldn't be bothered with her; mainly because we have similar personalities.

Even when I was in my late teens/early 20's, we'd argue & fight. Heck, one time we had a fist fight. Let's just say ambulance were involved.

It wasn't until my sister announced that she was pregnant with my niece that I really even tried to get to know her. The first thing that made me stop thinking of myself & start thinking of her was bringing her to one of her 1st doctor appointment. Listening to the heartbeat of the life who became my niece was life changing.

That's not to say we've always seen eye-to-eye. We're polar opposites, yet both VERY compassionate about our beliefs.

We've been talking more recently; really getting to know one another. Spending time really listening to one another. We're still very different, but I think we accept each other's differences instead of fighting them.

I loved spending Thanksgiving with her this year & was heartbroken when it was time to leave. One of those moments where I really wished we lived right next door to one another so we could share a cup of coffee in the mornings as we get the kids off to school (and I don't even drink coffee). Maybe one day.

I cherish this change in our relationship. It's become a grown-up relationship. I thank God for the change and pray that we will continue to grow together.

I love you Jess!

Many blessings,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hmmm... what to say?

It's been one of those days. Not much went on so there's not much to say. For the first time in a LONG time, we are spending Thanksgiving with my mom. Honestly, I can't remember the last time we spent Thanksgiving together. Heck, I can barely remember the last holiday we spent together.. Easter 2007 I think.

Craig & I (mostly Craig though) packed up the van & headed to North Carolina. We won't be spending a lot of time in Charlotte, just 3 days. We've got the dog with us, so he can't sit still long.

It should be a nice holiday. My youngest sister & her daughter live here too. It's always FUN to watch the kids spending time with their cousin, Jasmine. Justin is a GOOFBALL with her.

My middle sister is on her way too. Bringing her new boyfriend, Brian. He seems like he fits in the family already - which is a good thing!

I'm looking forward to the food - YUMMY - but more importantly spending time with my family. I just wish my father wasn't alone in NJ working for the holiday.

I'm sure pictures will follow!

Many blessings,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So much to be thankful for...

In celebration of Thanksgiving, I've decided to list a few reasons that I'm thankful.

1- I am thankful for a loving husband, Craig, who does a wonderful job supporting his family and being the head of our household & spiritual leader.

2- I am thankful for my amazing daughter, Chelsea, who has got the biggest heart I've even seen in a pre-teen.

3- I am thankful for my super son, Justin, who LOVES to read just as much as I do.

4- I am thankful for my beloved family. We certainly put the FUN in dysFUNctional!

5- I am thankful for my husband's family. They've welcomed me into the family with open arms.

6- I am thankful for my AWESOME God, who sent His son to die for me. Talk about LOVE.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Many blessings,

Monday, November 23, 2009

Entertainment or just too much?

A few months ago I blogged about my thoughts on the Grammys. Not impressed.

Last night we were exposed to the American Music Awards. I didn't watch it - forgot it was on AND I was doing some Christmas shopping with a friend. Either way, I wouldn't have watched it. But I've certainly heard a lot about it. Enough to pique my curiosity and check out what all of the hoopla was all about.

Adam Lambert.

I wasn't a huge fan of his while he was on American Idol. I found him to be too screechy and campy. Just not my style. His performance last night only solidified my stand.

I checked it out on YouTube - which has since removed it from their site. Oh my word!!! Seriously, did he need to grind his crotch in the face of another male? And all of those semi-naked people - men and women. Oh, guy on a leash too! Who can forget that kiss.. grabbed his straight keyboard player and kissed him.

You can do what you want in your life. Honestly, I do not care. What I DO care about is what you are going to show on network television. My children watch those channels are there are certain things that I do NOT want them to be exposed to. Adam's performance was one of them.

Now he's all upset that the network 'edited' his performance for the West Coast viewing audience & is calling it censorship.

So, is it? Do you think it's censorship? I would really like feedback on this.

Personally - I do not think it is censorship. We need to draw the line as to what is shown on TV, especially during family viewing hours.

Many blessings,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Family Trees & God's plan

I'm not really into genealogy, though through a movie (Everyone's Hero) I learned that one of my mother's relatives used to play for the New York Yankees. I think someone on my dad's side played pro baseball too.


Our pastor began a 5-part series titled 'An Unexpected Christmas'. He began the Christmas story with Jesus' lineage from the book of Matthew. Check it out! Most people skip over that part of Matthew because its just a bunch of names. I know I have. Something Andy said though made me understand WHY Matthew began his 'book' that way. He was trying to prove to the Jewish people that Jesus was the Messiah by showing that His lineage was through the line of David & all the way back to Abraham. Fascinating!

One thing that is really unique about Jesus' lineage recorded in the Bible is that Matthew felt it necessary to include a few women. That was unheard of back in those days.

I, of course, had to pick up my Bible and verify. As I scanned for the names, they started popping out at me. Tamar, Rahab, Ruth... These were everyday women that God used in such a BIG way. In fact, our pastor pointed out one more woman in that list.... she's not mentioned by name though. She is simply called "Solomon's mother had been Uriah's wife". Not much of a title is it?

If you know your Bible - which I thought I did - you'd know that Solomon's mother was Bathsheba, who was formerly married to Uriah until King David saw her & wanted her. David then planned to have Uriah killed in battle so that he could have Bathsheba. Who knew!?!?

What am I getting at?

Many of us struggle with God's plan for us. Questioning whether He knows what He's doing. Wondering if He's pushing us just a little TOO far. Debating as to whether God could really use us in His story.

The truth is, He can & He is. God used 'tainted' women like Tamar, Rahab & woman-formerly-known-as-Uriah's-wife to be a part of one of the greatest stories ever told. He also used an amazing woman, Ruth, in that very same story. I know I am happy about that!!! If God can use that assortment of women to tell His story, then He certainly can use ME too!

I may never have a book written about me... I may never be famous or talked about for generations to come (well - my family might). But I am a little part of the greatest story ever told. HIS STORY!

Many blessings,

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Justin's favorite recipe

Anyone who REALLY knows me can attest that I am not a cook. Most are usually surprised that I can boil water. Craig is the cook of the family. That is, until recently.

With me being unemployed and Craig working later hours, I've decided to start cooking. Now, we're NOT talking about gourmet meals here. Actually, I'm quite a fan of casseroles & crock pot meals.

I've decided to share a favorite. Well, it's actually JUSTIN's favorite. He's our picky eater, yet cannot get enough of this one.

Chicken cordon bleu casserole
2 lbs. chicken breast, chunks
1/2 c. 2% milk
8 oz. baby swiss cheese, chunk
8 oz. ham, diced
1 can 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup
1 c. 2% milk

Dip chicken in 1/2 c. milk, then flour. Brown in skillet until golden.

Place browned chunks in 9x13 baking dish.
Add swiss cheese & ham.
Mix soup & 1 c. milk.
Pour over dish.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

We usually serve with egg noodles & broccoli.

Many blessings,

Friday, November 20, 2009

The price of beauty

I don't remember comparing myself to the famous women I'd see in a magazine when I was growing up. Yes, I did get Seventeen, but I didn't strive to be like anyone in it. Maybe it's because I was skinny back then. What did shape my 'view' of myself were my friends & family. I wasn't immune to a distorted self-view... far from it.

Raising a daughter in today's society is tough. The media has become more & more present & in-your-face. Images of 'beautiful' women are everywhere; magazines, billboards, commercials, videos. We can't escape them. It's hard to counter the lies that society tells are young women.

Perfect example. Study this recent magazine cover of Demi Moore.

Notice anything missing?? How about her hip?

In yet ANOTHER Photoshop debacle, our beloved media manages to go a little TOO far with tweaking their cover.

It's no wonder our girls have a higher percentage of eating disorders. They are striving to be AN AIRBRUSH IMAGE! Impossible!! Unattainable!

If I'm honest with you, I'd say that I was happy for these errors. FINALLY, parents are armed with PROOF that the images seen in a magazine are fake.

Parents, grandparents & friends, I urge you to use this to your advantage with the girls in your life.

Many blessings,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fall fun

Growing up in New Jersey, I remember we would rake all of our leaves & put them in the street. Then, at some point, a street sweeper would come by - or maybe the DPW. Before that, we would spend HOURS playing in the leaves. Jumping, hiding, sitting. I loved hearing the crunch of the leaves... and the smell of fall. Never once did we worry about bugs, ticks, poops, critters.

Since having kids, I can't say that I've really encouraged my children to play in the leaves. I haven't necessarily DIScouraged it either. Nevertheless, I don't think my children have even done it. That is until recently.

Last weekend, while the husbands were splitting wood at a friend's house, the ladies got together with the kids. My friend, Kristin, had gathered leaves earlier in the day so that her kids could play in them. Man, she's good!!! She piled them up to the top of the swing set slide & all of the kids had a chance to slide down. Mine had a blast!! Of course, I was still worried about bugs & ticks, but as long as they were having fun it just didn't matter.

Even Chelsea got in on the fun. She shed her preteen 'tude and went in head first (literally & figuratively). Justin couldn't get enough. It ALMOST makes me want to blow the leaves in the front yard so they can play again - ALMOST.

Here's to jumping in the leaves & having fun!

Many blessings,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Adding to the brood...

Compared to my husband's family, I come from a rather large family. There were 3 kids in my family, not to mention the numerous foster siblings at any given time. Couple that with 7 cousins on my mom's side of the family & 4 on my dad's side. A family gathering could be quite an event.

Since having my own children, I've wanted a large family. Well, not Jon & Kate large, but larger than 2. God has blessed me with 2 beautiful & healthy children. Yet, I yearn for more. I know what you're thinking - just have more. I wish it were that easy.

One thing I remember from growing up (and it even happens a little now) was the sibling jealousy. Not feeling like Mom's favorite. Living in a family with 3 girls - it was hard to be a favorite. That's where my children come in. Because I have been blessed with a girl AND a boy, I can honestly tell my children that they are my favorite daughter/son. Sneaky - I know! Thinking of adding to my family would through that whole plan off! Hahahaha....

Plus, I was concerned at how my kids would do with adding another child to the mix. Justin has been SO used to being the 'baby', how would he react to no longer being the baby?

Why do I worry??

As you can see from this picture, Justin is in love with Alaina. Granted, I know that Alaina isn't ours & it's totally easy to love someone that doesn't LIVE with you, but he really does love her. He even asked me to have have another baby so he can share his room.

And Chelsea? HEAVEN ON EARTH! The thought of someone else to love just brings joy to her heart.

So, with starting the fostering process, I've chatted with my kids a bit. I wanted to know what THEY thought about it. I mean, they are the ones who would be doing the sharing. Chelsea loved the thought of being able to have an older sibling. Someone to protect her & look after her. After assuring Justin that we weren't looking for a foster home for HIM, that WE would be a foster home to a child, he's on board too!

It's a long process. One that will take months. But I know that God is preparing the way. Opening up our hearts and choosing just the right child to live with us.

Many blessings,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Finding Jesus

For the most part, I grew up going to church. We attended Sunday School each week. There were even a few years where I got the perfect attendance pin. I remember learning about the Patriarchs, Joseph's coat & rise in Egypt, David & Goliath and several other 'famous' Old Testament stories. I vaguely remember a story about Jesus walking on water & when he fed the 5,000. What I know I never learned was that knowing Jesus was about a personal relationship with him.

At some point, my family started attending a different church. One that was definitely more charismatic. Each Sunday there would be an alter call. I remember one week raising my hand & going up front. The pastor's son prayed over me. I was SO excited about it, but didn't realize what it was supposed to mean. I think I just like the fact that everyone got so happy. Again, I don't remember learning about Jesus.

It wasn't until my friend, Krista, invited me to her church. Actually, I think the first 'church' thing I went to with her was a Winter Retreat. That weekend, each youth group was to perform some type of skit. Our group chose to act out the Carman song 'Lazarus'. My part was to be one of Lazarus' sisters. The video dates the event. Super corny. But Carman had a way of bringing Jesus to life.

I couldn't get over it! Jesus raised someone from the dead? I needed to know more! I think I drove the youth group leaders nuts with my questions - especially about that song. I just couldn't get enough. That was the beginning of my relationship.

My journey began that weekend. I'd love to say it's been a trouble-free journey, but I'd be lying. Life has been rocky. There were times when I turned my back on Him. Yet, here I am 20+ years later, still learning about my Lord. It's not just about believing in someone, it's about a relationship.

I didn't just find Jesus.... He found me!

Many blessings,

Monday, November 16, 2009

Alaina update

In June 2009, a wonderful friend gave birth to her precious daughter, Alaina. While the pregnancy was normal, the delivery was not. To make a long story short, Alaina was on the verge of life & death at her birth. She had ingested meconium & her little lungs were fighting for air. Stephanie & her husband, Scotlon, endured several weeks of NICU praying that their 1st born would survive.

Fast forward to November 2009. Alaina is a beautiful & healthy little monster. She's the sweetest baby, full of laughs & smiles. I'm thrilled at the chance to babysit her.

While feeding Alaina today, I started thinking about her rough start to this world & the many prayers that went up in her name. Clearly, God had another plan for this precious child. I cannot wait to see how He uses her. I will admit that Alaina was in the hands of some fabulous nurses & doctors, but all of the glory needs to go straight to God.

The song that comes to mind - HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD.
Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God
Many blessings,

Lyrics | Chris Tomlin lyrics - How Great Is Our God lyrics

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Take my life

Again with the music.

Worship is my FAVORITE way to commune with God. It seems as though it's been His favorite lately too! I get so much out of the songs I sing to Him.

Each Sunday, we go to our church, worshiping our Heavenly Father, & hearing His word. I love the worship at Browns Bridge. The musicians are SO talented and the lyrics are powerful. Every so often there is a song that seems like it's being sung just for me. Today was that day.

I'm in a transition right now. Mainly a job transition, but really looking at it, it's a LIFE transition. I'm not sure where He wants me. I look to Him daily for what His plan may be. Some days I can clearly hear His voice and some days I wonder what I'm missing.

Singing "Take My Life" by Chris Tomlin today just was a way I could surrender my will over to God. The words are exactly what I want to say to Him.
Here am I, All of me.
Take my life, It's all for thee.

I want Him to take my life and use it for HIS will - not mine. It's become such a personal song to me. A prayer. A promise.

I don't know what He has in store for me, but I cannot wait to see where He leads me. No matter what it is, I know that it will be for His glory - not mine. That's the way I want it - and the way it should be.

Listen to the words - read along. Make them your prayer as it has become mine.

Many blessings,

Lyrics | Chris Tomlin - Take my life lyrics

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friendship & marriage

I've been thinking about friendship lately; how do I make an impact in someone's life? Does my definition differ THAT much from everyone else's? Am I too quick to categorize someone as a friend compared to most other people?

While I LOVE living in Georgia and I absolutely ADORE my friends here, I've sometimes thought that I didn't have REAL friendships here. I mean, is there really anyone in my life that I can just call up and say 'Hey, let's go out' and then actually go without anyone having to ask their spouse for "permission"? Didn't I have that sort of thing with my friends in NJ?

God has shown me that I do have friends here - real friends just like I did in NJ. Nothing's changed - well, nothing except the importance of my marriage. Living in NJ, I wasn't really all that interested in working on my marriage. We were fine, weren't we? I would TELL Craig that I was going out with friends, rarely taking into him into consideration.

All of that's changed. While I still love going out with friends, I think about him first. Have we spent enough time together this week? Have I spent enough time with the kids? It's not that I have to ask permission to go out - Craig rarely tells me no. However, it is a respect thing... I respect him & our relationship to make sure nothing else is going on.

Trust me, I'm not winning any 'Wife of the Year' awards anytime soon. I've got a LONG way to go. Every day I try a little bit harder. Every day I ask God to join our marriage; to help me put Craig first.

Wow - this is SO not the direction I thought this entry was going to go. Clearly, God had something else in store.

Many blessings,

Friday, November 13, 2009


I'm a huge music fan - can't you tell? I think every other post has something in it about music. Right now, I'm really into worship music - songs that really praise my Heavenly Father.

The Fee Band is a local favorite, though they're really starting to hit it big. They recently released their 2nd album, Hope Rising. It's one of our favorites!!! It plays non-stop in the van. Chelsea & I both have it on our iPods & Craig plays it on his laptop. Each song is more powerful than the one before.

My all-time favorite (at the moment) is Arms That Hold the Universe. It reminds me of just how powerful God is, yet He loves me enough to provide for me. He's there in the good times & bad. Especially during the bad.

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It's gonna be alright
And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He's in control
He will never let you go

His reach is just SO massive, yet it's small enough to hold & comfort me. I feel so special. His love is just SO awesome!

Many blessings,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blessings abound

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

I remember singing this as a kid in church... never understood what it 'meant'. Just knew that it was a vital part of our religious ceremony. Every so often the tune would change slightly, but the words were always the same. I can't even remember which part of the service it was sung.

Enough of the stroll down memory lane.

God has been blessing us in small ways and each time this song pops in my head. I think it's because I love putting a 'soundtrack' to my life - I need to think in music. While His blessings may seem small to us - they're blessings nonetheless. He provides when we can't... heck, He provides no matter what.

As we enter into this season of thanksgiving, I know that I have much to be thankful for. What are you thankful for?

Many blessings,

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So very thankful

Today is Veteran's Day.. a day that we should take a moment to stop & thank all of the Vets, young & old, for the sacrifices they made for our freedom.

As I sat to reflect on what this day meant to me, I realized just how many people in my life participated in some way, shape, or form instilling freedom in our beloved country. I may not be a fan of our current President, but I DO have the freedom to speak my mind about him, if I so choose. So many other countries do not have that luxury.

One person that came to mind was Craig's grandfather, Bud, who passed away earlier this year. Bud served our country in the merchant marines. While on his ship, it was torpedoed by Cubans. He was lost at sea for days, thankfully to be rescued.

Another person that hopped in my mind was my father, Bob. My dad joined the Army and fought in Viet Nam for 2 tours. I grew up among the monsters of that war and it has only been recent that I've learned more about what he endured over there.

Other relatives have been in the military, so have friends. I am always amazed at the sacrifices people are willing to make in order to keep our country free.

Thank you to all the vets and God bless you!!

Many blessings,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I probably shouldn't be admitting this, but since I made a promise to be transparent I'll shall. Today was one of those days where I would have lost my head if it were not attached.

Justin forgot his lunch, so I told Craig that I would swing it by the school before heading out to my unemployment workshop.

I FORGOT! Thankfully there was extra money in Justin's lunch account so he was able to buy.

Craig took out the meat for the pot roast so that I could start dinner before leaving for the unemployment workshop.

I FORGOT! Thankfully our crockpot is on the hotter side when set on HIGH. Able to cook dinner in 3 1/2 hours.

Managed to remember the unemployment workshop at 11, take Craig's shirts to the cleaners, swing by Kristin's house to print off the foster information and FINALLY start the pot roast.

Hoping tomorrow is better!

Many blessings,

Monday, November 9, 2009

Decisions, decisions

During the times that my computer chooses to not cooperate, I was able to do a little research on becoming a foster family. We even requested information from Bethany Children Services. There is SO much do to in order to become a foster family and I cannot WAIT to get started.

Craig & I have completely different personalities when it comes to life. He's a 'information' gatherer before he makes a decision. I, on the other hand, like to jump in with both feet and THEN look back. What a blessing that God put us together - we certainly DO balance eachother out.

Anyway, the more I read about fostering the more I know it's a direction we should head. Even the kids are excited - of course, Justin needed to be convinced that we weren't putting HIM in a foster home. Crazy kid!!!

So, the process begins. Just some paperwork to fill out for now. Then some training classes. It will be a long process but worth every second just to shower our love on a child who needs it.

Many blessings,

Sunday, November 8, 2009


What a great Sunday!

Had a packed house at small group this morning. I cannot believe that I went into this fearful. I can't imagine NOT doing this. My small group girls are so sweet and have become a big part of my life. My co-leader is becoming a wonderful friend & mentor. I am just SO blessed!

Craig and I spoke briefly about fostering. There's definitely a LOT we need to discuss & work out. I think we both have different opinions as to what age we would take in. He's leaning towards high school and I'm leaning more towards elementary school age. We're in the fact finding stage. Tomorrow I'll make a call to Bethany to see if I can get more info. Bethany is a Christian organization that helps place foster children. There's an information session this Thursday evening. Craig wants to wait for the December meeting, but I am already trying to figure out HOW we can go to the one this Thursday.

Spent the rest of the afternoon napping on the couch. I am planning on stamping this evening, once Craig is home from Inside-Out and the kids are in bed. I've got some invites to make which need to be mailed this week. Hope the inspiration won't take too long to visit.

There's not much on the agenda for the week. Knitting on Monday night, Tuesday is a seminar at unemployment. Wednesday is early release for the kids - Veterans Day. I'm sure things will pick up as the week goes by.

Many blessings,


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Finality & hope

For the most part, I am a control freak. I've gotten a little bit better with handing things over to God. However, when it comes to OTHER people/things making decisions for me, I don't deal well.

I've always longed for a large family. I am blessed with 2 beautiful & healthy children whom I cherish and adore, but I've always wanted more. Craig is perfectly happy with 2. Don't get me wrong, I am too. But there is that part of me that longs for another. What stinks is that my body has decided no more too. I'm not unable to conceive, quite the opposite. Because of depression and medication that I take for it, I have been advised by several doctors that it would be in my best interest to not have anymore children.

For the past few years, I've accepted this 'decision'. It's only been as of late that this 'decision' has really made me mad. Several friends are pregnant and I am jealous & angry. Jealous that it isn't me and angry that my body has decided otherwise.

I want to wallow in self-pity quite honestly. I throw the BEST pity parties!!!

Craig made a suggestion that I'm really excited about. Of course I've been trying to get as much info as I can, but not happy with what I've found. I can't wait to go to church tomorrow & find my friend Mary Beth. Craig suggested that we try to become foster parents!!!

What a wonderful gift we can give another child... a child who has been through a horrible situation. Give them love & stability and a sense of normalcy.

Now I have a project. Try to find as much information as I can about becoming a foster parent. I want to get the ball rolling on this.

I'll keep you updated!

Many blessings,


Friday, November 6, 2009

365 blogging

Not that I necessarily NEED a reason to blog, I've decided to join my friend, Stephanie, and accept the challenge to blog every day. I can't promise they're all going to be meaningful & thought-provoking, but I will document my daily life. Much like the diaries I kept as a kid, I'll write what pops into my mind. Beware - that could mean I blog SEVERAL times a day. Now that I'm older, I find that my thoughts are a lot more RANDOM!!

Join me on this journey. Take a walk through life with me... I can't promise an adventure, but I can promise that it WILL be entertaining!

Many blessings,


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You gotta have girlfriends....

God created us to be relational. We are not to be alone. We should be 'doing life' with other people; be transparent & let others in.

That's the beauty of having girlfriends!! These are the friends in your life who look out for you. They're the ones you can call when you need to cry, they'll drop whatever is going on & meet you for Starbucks. They listen to what's NOT being said.

Throughout my life, I have been truly blessed by the friends that I've had. Each person has played a pivotal role in my life - some were good & some not so good. But each one holds a special place in my heart. There are friendships that I wish I still had & friendships that I have and know I shouldn't.

So, I got to thinking... where are Kate's girlfriends? How sad that she has gone through this media circus alone. When she started her show 'Jon & Kate plus 8' where was her best friend telling her what a mistake she was about to make? When her marriage started going south, where were her friends to tell her to drop the show & focus on the marriage? Instead, she's surrounded by "handlers" who supposedly have her best interests at heart. But do they really???

Dear friend, I thank God for you & the role that you have played in my life. I am blessed by what we've been through and cannot wait to see what is to come. Thank you for letting me trust in you so that I can be ME... transparent & open. I pray that I have given you that same safe place.

Many blessings,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Broken Road

On a stormy November day in 1997, I was blessed to marry an amazing man. November 2nd we celebrate our 12th year of marriage.

I would have never imagined that our lives would have turned out the way they have. We've experienced tremendous ups & downs, the births of 2 beautiful children, and moved away from our families. Our marriage has survived and grows stronger each day.

As I look back on my life, not just my married life, I see that God has prepared me for this relationship. While my teenage years were spent looking for a man to love me, God led me to the man that He hand-picked for me. The only way to describe it are the words to the beautiful song "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts.

Every long lost dream
Led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart
They were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way
Into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

Many blessings,