Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Candy Land with Jesus

Aleigha- "Mom will you play candyland with me?"

Me- "Sure Aleigha but can Kaden play too?"

Aleigha- "yes, you and Kaden can be on a team and me and Jesus can be on a team."

Me- "but I want to be on Jesus' team too."

Aleigha- "Okay mom He can be on both of our teams because we both need Him to win".

How did one four -year -old little girl get so smart?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Go see it!!!

In all honesty, I don't go to movies a lot. Too many kiddo's- not enough time. But can I just encourage you to GO SEE THIS ONE. Todd and I went on a date last night (THANK YOU ADDISYN AND KEEGAN for babysitting!) and I cannot recommend this movie enough. It's so refreshing to actually see a movie with scripture and not nasty language!!! Take your spouse by the hand and GO SEE IT!!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy 2nd Gotcha Day Mya Sofia!!!

2 years ago today Todd and I flew home from Guatemala seeing life for the first time through the eyes of an orphan. Although Aleigha had come home 2 years before at 6 months of age- it was a whole new experience this time around with an almost 4 year old. Seeing the excitement, the fear, the firsts, the experiences of her new life- her new ‘world’ was something I will never forget. This precious child has taught me so much about myself and my world- yet more than anything else she has taught me more about the love of God.
One of the greatest blessings Mya received at Eagles Nest (and there were many) was the start of her relationship with the Lord. The caregivers at the orphanage often prayed with the children and taught Mya that there was hope- even at a time in life when things were so uncertain. Mya told me that she prayed every night with the caregivers for a family. For her forever family who would come and bring her home. While today is Mya’s special day I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to those who made Mya’s Gotcha Day possible. I am so thankful for Special Delivery, The Boggs, and for the caregivers. For you see- they were the answer to someone’s prayer. Have you ever thought about that? YOU could be the answer to someone else’s prayer when you allow God to use you- use your life. I am so thankful that the Boggs answered God’s call. They let God use their lives for HIS glory. Every time a hurting, scared child was brought to safely, every time a child found their forever family it was because of the work they allowed God to do through them. I remember the evening Felis our caseworker from Special Delivery called to tell us Mya was out of PGN . Notice I said ‘evening’. It was after hours- after a time where she did not have to be working and yet out of the beauty in her heart she took time away from her family, her children to call and give us our good news. Things like that- the little extra’s made such a difference.
So today I want to say THANK YOU Special Delivery – thank you Larry and Claire Boggs and thank you Felis for being the answer to Mya’s prayer, to our prayer and to hundreds of orphans and adoptive families prayers. We appreciate you guys more than you will ever know. What you have done for the ‘least of these’ does not go unnoticed- by us- or by God.

Here is the video we made for Mya shortly after she came home! Happy Gotcha Day sweet girl- you bless us daily!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thought for the day...

The man whispered, "God, speak to me" and a Chickadee sang.
But, the man did not hear.
So the man yelled "God, speak to me!"
And, the thunder rolled across the sky.
But, the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said, "God let me see you."
And a star shined brightly.
But the man did not notice.
And, the man shouted, "God show me a miracle!"
And, a life was born. But, the man did not know.
So, the man cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are here!"
Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man.
But, the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

Don't miss out on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way that you expect...

This and that and a recipe

I've been a slacker on the blog front this week. It's been a bit busy around here- doing a little potty training, cleaning house, school projects- and just all the other 'stuff' life throws our way each and every day. So just that you all know I am still alive I thought I'd post a recipe today. I brought this to Bible Study on Wednesday and it was a big hit so I thought I'd share it with all of my 3 faithful blog readers. :0)

Breakfast Cheesecake

2 pkgs. cream cheese
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 pkgs. crescent rolls
1/2 c. cinnamon sugar mixture

Whip together the 2 pkgs cream cheese, 1 c. sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla. Set aside. Open 1 pkg. crescent rolls- flatten in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Spread whipped cream cheese mixture over the crescent rolls. Flatten can of crescent rolls over the top of that. Pour melted butter on top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

(**side note- yes I realize that is not a fat free recipe- that is why I brought it to share with the bible study group and didn't eat it all by myself!)

Monday, September 15, 2008

What it takes to be a #1 fan

All Travis and Keegan have to do is look up into the stands and there they will see their #1 fans!


Blown away by this praise

I am going to be honest with you- some days being a mommy seems like a thankless job. There are moments when I feel like nothing I am doing makes a difference and times where I feel like I could pull my hair out in frustration. I hear myself saying things like "If I've told you once I've told you a thousand times to pick your dirty socks up off the floor!" Times where I feel like no one appreciates the time I spend in the kitchen, the laundry room or the taxi service I provide. And yet then there are times... times when I sneak into my kids rooms at night to stare at them sleeping and a love so powerful consumes my heart and I feel like it might explode. And times like this weekend when I find myself down on my knees thanking God for this wonderful gift of parenting. Times that totally out do and over come all of the bad moments where I might have raised my voice louder than I should, and times when I wondered if anyone was really listening.. They are you know, they are listening. Probably more than we ever thought possible. This weekend I went into my 13- year old daughter Addisyn's room to, you know, pick up those dirty socks... and this is what I found.

9/13/08 7th

My Hero
The person I most admire is my mom. She is a patient and caring person. She would do anything for anyone. She is my hero, my mom’s name is Amy. She is the mother of seven kids right now and she will probably adopt more. That’s right, some of her kids are adopted. My mom cares for the needy, the helpless, and the hurting- she cares for the orphans.
My mom adopted my sisters Mya and Aleigha from Guatemala. Now she goes on mission trips to that country. My mom also adopted my brother Kaden, through the foster care system. Adopting takes a lot of training and paperwork. That takes a lot of patience. Like I said earlier, my mom is patient. Not to mention that she also has four biological children. With as many kids as she has, she still has room to love more. What’s really neat about my mom is that she finds a way to come to our football games, cheer us on at our volleyball games, work the concession stands to raise money for things like the Texas Math and Science Competition Association, as well as take us to our church events. I love my mom. Through it all she is always there for me. She has a big heart, and is a great Christian. She has a passion for doing God’s will. I want to be just like her. She is awesome and nice. She is really inspiring, and I really admire her.
My mom is my hero.
Seriously, could life get any better?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Do not grow weary

Some days for me it is really hard to stay strong in God’s call for my life. I find that everywhere I look there are flashing billboards calling my name- and the choices are endless. Some of these choices are very tempting-they are called comfort, ease, immediate gratification- and they all cater to ME. I gotta admit, most days- they all sound really, really good. Safe.
And then I remember...I’ve visited those places before.
Been there. Done that.
And you know what- it’s false advertisement and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Lately I have really been struggling with not allowing the enemy to defeat me. God has a big job ahead for us- I don’t even know for certain all of the details, but I know He is at work. (*as a side note- I think God does that on purpose- only tells us a little bit at a time because He knows that it is all we can handle at once). I know that I need to stay in His word, keep my eyes focused on Him and Him ONLY and not let the lies that Satan tells us detour me. I know that I need to say to Him 'Lord, whatever you will is, once again I submit to you… Have your way in me.'

I'll end with this written by Teresa Seputis:

Do Not Grow Weary In Well-Doing
My child, do not grow weary in well-doing. Do not allow the enemy of your soul to wear you out, drag you down, or discourage you. Don't you realize that this is one of his strategies against you, designed to shut you down and make you ineffective. At times he uses direct attack and confrontation. At times he tries to get you so busy with tasks that I have not assigned to you, so that you are too exhausted to do the things that I have given you to do. And at other times, he will play mind-games with your expectations. He will tell you that you are working so hard, and no one appreciates what you are doing. Or he will try to convince you that all of your efforts to obey and honor Me are for naught, and are accomplishing nothing. But I say to you--don't listen to his voice, for he is a liar and he has no power over you. Choose to believe My truth, and know that I am with you always. I am doing a good work in you life, and I desire to do good works through you. So again, I say to you: do not grow weary in well-doing.

Happy 16th Birthday Keegan!!

Happy 16th Birthday to my sweet Sugar boy! I can’t help but think back over 16 years of memories and smile so big that my gums show! There are just no words to say how crazy I am about this kid! Keegan is one of those kids who make my job as a mother effortless. He has always been the easiest child- laid back, pleasant, and makes me smile nonstop. Yet this doesn’t even begin to touch on how proud I am of the kind of person he is daily.

Keegan, the way you handle difficult situations and the way you always treat others with love and respect tells me so much about who you truly are- and I am so proud. As I sit back and watch you grow into a young man of God I am in awe of how you not only talk about Jesus with others- but how your life truly reflects your beliefs. I will spend the rest of my life praising God for allowing me to be your mother- it is one of my greatest joys. Thank you for the past 16 years. You bless me daily and I love you more than you will ever be able to fully understand (at least until you are a daddy one day) Happy 16th! YOU ARE SO LOVED!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Somebody's Hero

Today in Memory of 9-11 I wanted to share this story I found on Prime Time with God by Os Hillman. I pray that we never forget… yet I am also reminded that each day God gives us is a day to be somebody’s hero. Each day is a day to make a difference in someone else’s life. How will you do that today?

Turning Tragedy into TriumphTGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman09-11-2008

"So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you" (2 Cor 4:12).

On 9/11/01, New York City firefighter Stephen Siller had just completed his shift when he heard on his truck's scanner that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. Siller quickly turned his truck around and attempted to drive back to Manhattan via the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel but found the entrance blocked by abandoned vehicles. Desperate to join his elite Squad One brothers, Siller donned 75 pounds of fire gear and ran a mile-and-a-half through the tunnel, before an emergency vehicle picked him up and dropped him off at Tower Two.
Siller had been orphaned at the age of 10 and raised by his much older brothers and sisters. Siller died that day trying to save others. He left behind a wife and five children.
His story proved so inspirational that it became a legend in the newsrooms and firehouses of New York City. His six siblings - who in many ways viewed Siller as a son, as well as a brother - found themselves grappling with a dilemma: should they allow the tragic circumstances of their brother's death to paralyze and embitter them or use it as a catalyst to help others and preserve his memory?

The Siller family chose the latter.

Once they made that decision, and armed with no extraordinary wealth or political clout, the siblings combined forces to convince New York officials to close down the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel the last Sunday morning of each September and stage the "Tunnel to Towers Run" to commemorate their brother's heroic last run.
Each year since 9/11 tens of thousands of runners have retraced the steps of a hero. As part of the event 343 New York City firefighters, each representing a fallen comrade and holding an American flag, stand throughout the length of the tunnel. They are joined by firefighters from across the United States, each holding a poster-size picture of a firefighter who perished on 9/11.
The Siller family has raised more than $1 million and donated the money to charities that benefit families of those affected by the 9/11 attacks.
This is a tribute to one heartbroken family who opted to channel its energy into triumph out of tragedy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The benefits of a cell phone

In case you haven’t noticed- we live in a cellular world. I can’t remember the last time I was out in public and didn't hear a ring tone. Flip phones, bright colors, customizable face plates, games, text messaging...I think it’s safe to say that cell phones are here to stay. Communicating by cell phone has become an important means of socializing for teens. Face-to-face conversation is old school to kids. Now it's all about text messaging-even if you're only sitting a few seats away from the person. For parents, cell phones are a great way to monitor or check in with their kids. One study done by NOP World Technology showed that seventy-five percent of 15- to 17-year-olds and 40 percent of 12- to 14- year olds carry cell phones!
Cell phone do more than just let us communicate – you can also get sports scores, entertainment updates, keep track of appointments and create to do lists. They can serve as a calculator and and alarm clock- as well as store contact information. Yet the greatest thing of all, at least for this parent- is that cell phones serve the greatest form of easy discipline. For you see, all I have to do is this…

And I get this...

And this....
And for those of you who are wondering, yes, I made them take those pictures to win back cell phone privileges. A mama's gotta do what a mama's gotta do. ;0)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Banana-Oat Breaksfast cookie

While we are on the subject of menu's I wanted to post this recipe. I can already tell mornings are going to be, shall we say, 'interesting'. Getting everyone up and ready and out the door on time is already challenging. Addisyn has to be at her school 3 days a week at 6 a.m for volleyball! Yikes! So I found this recipe for "Banana-oat Breakfast cookies! Quick and easy and at least I know they have eaten something. Probably not as good for you as a big bowl of oatmeal or eggs- but some days we just don't have time for that. It's gotta be better than a poptart though! :0)

Ingredients:1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cherries or raisins

In a large mixing bowl, beat peanut butter and butter with electric mixer 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla until mixed. Beat in bananas, baking soda and salt. Mix in flours and germ. Stir in oats and cherries. Drop by 1/4-cup measure 4 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet . Spread to 3-inch rounds. Bake in 350F oven 15 to 16 minutes, or until edges are browned. Let stand 1 minute. Remove; cool on wire racks. Serve in 24 hours or freeze.

Monthly Menu

With the lazy days of summer behind us and in an attempt to get organized and stay in our budget I am back to planning our once a month menu. While I do not at all enjoy the big shopping day- once it is over it is so nice. I do visit the grocery story weekly for fresh fruit, milk, etc but it makes those stops with kiddo’s in tow a lot easier.
Anyway- here is the menu we have planned for the month- we probably double what most families do (feeding those big boys is no easy task!). I basically decided on 24 meals, which will be plenty because we tail gate on Friday night before football and some times we will just do left-overs. Our grocery budget is around $800 which includes diapers and toiletries.

1. Beef and noodles in crockpot, greenbeans
2. Chicken Strips, mashed potatoes and corn
3. Toasted cheese dogs , butter noodles and cooked carrots
4. Spaghetti, garlic bread and salad
5. Sour cream chicken enchilada’s, chips and salsa
6. Calzones and fruit
7. Hamburgers and French fries
8. Tacos’ and Mexican rice
9. Pulled Pork Sandwiches (crockpot) and cheesy potatoes, veggies
10. Ham in the crockpot, party potatoes and corn
11. Chili Mac, corn bread and fruit
12. Chicken Alfredo Pizza and salad
13. Meatball Subs, chips and fruit
14. Ham and cheese wraps/ chips and dip
15. Pasta with white sauce, crab and a salad
16. Chicken and dumplings in the crockpot and fruit
17. Italian chicken sandwiches, spinach, and chips
18. Over-night French Toast bake, sausage links and fruit
19. Meatloaf, baked potatoes and a veggie
20. Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits and beans
21. Baked Ziti and spinach salad
22. Chicken Nachos in crock pot
23. BLTS and chips
24. Homemade Mac and cheese and salad

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dangerous Surrender- a second time around

I decided to read Dangerous Surrender again by Kay Warren. If you have not read it yet- please do it! It will change who you are- if you dare to let it. This is my second time reading through it and I have realized that I could probably read it 10 more times and still something new would hit me. Today I wanted to share this with you...

" The bottom line 'proof' of our love for Jesus is a surprising measurement. It's not found in the ways we've typically used to evaluate our spiritual maturity. Proof of our love for Jesus is found not merely in attending church, reading the bible, singing praise songs, being part of the choir, teaching a Sunday School class, or serving as an usher or an elder (although each of those activities is an important part of a growing spiritual life), but in loving and serving the sick, the poor, the weak, and the marginalized.

You can't physically give Jesus shelter, fix him a meal, or put a clean shirt on his back; you can't visit him in a prison cell or offer him a drink of water. But when you do it for them- for the least- you are doing it for him. And when you're not doing it for them, you're not doing it for him.
Ouch. "
(Kay Warren, Dangerous Surrender)

How much can one heart take?

Today was a really hard day for me... Travis' first day as a Senior and Mya's first day of Kindergarten. I look at my baby boy and wonder how the time ever went that quickly? This will be his last year home with me- his last year of High school. It seems like only yesterday it was his first day of Kindergarten. When I finally pulled myself together over that thought, I looked at my precious little Mya. She hasn't even been in our home for 2 years yet and already she is heading to school for all day Kindergarten. How much can one mama's heart take?

As I plastered a smile on my face and made my way down the hallway to her classroom I couldn't help but notice all of the shiny new shoes and spiffy backpacks each child proudly displayed. We continued on down the hallway towards her room- with each step I whispered in her ear, telling her how proud I was of her -and how much fun she was going to have. Once we knew she was situated in her new room Aleigha and I headed out to the car where we broke down into tears and wept in the parking lot. I know Aleigha feels like part of her is missing... and I do too.

So many emotions were going through my head... so many worries... Did she had enough pencils? Would she remember her lunch box and would the other children be kind to her? Would Keegan be in the same class as his friends and would Addisyn remember her locker combination. Did Travis remember his lunch money and what if Kallan missed the bus? As I prayed asking God to watch over all of my children God spoke to me in His ever so gently way. He brought the shiny new sneakers that I had noticed on the children to mind and reminded me where my job as these children's mother really was. Many times we worry about providing our children with enough... We worry that others may not see the beauty we see in them and we worry that life may not be 'perfect' for them. But God reminded me that the 'assets' we give our children can be lost, stolen, or eventually wear out. He reminded me that through suffering and trails we learn to turn to Him and grown stronger... and that it doesn't matter how the world views us- but what matter is how HE sees us. I have no control over other's behavior- all I can do is give my children an example of a life committed to Him. My legacy in this world should not be to making sure that my children always have the latest clothes or the best shoes- but my legacy is that as a mother I taught them by my example to live their lives for Christ and trust in Him alone.

Praying for a wonderful school year... that each day our children grow closer to the Lord and that His light shines through every decision, every breath they take. Thank you Lord for allowing me to mother my precious children. Help me to always remember that they are only mine for a short time -but yours forever.

I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children live in the truth. 3 John 4