Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Those Summer Days Will Wear A Kid (or 3) Out!

Brian and I were sitting down in the family room downloading some songs to put onto our MP3 player for the upcoming week at camp and the kids were running back and forth through the house playing, wrestling, etc. It was the usual chaos that ensues at the end of the day in our house and we were doing our normal routine of trying not to go insane. Things started to quiet down and each of the boys came down and got a blanket to go watch t.v. and settle down. After a few minutes, Asher came down all irritated and said "Gavin, he's sleeping with the blanket. I want to watch t.v. and eat Cheez-its." He crawled up onto my lap and ate some Cheez-its, then jumped down and danced to some of the songs we were downloading. When he got tired of that, he headed up into the living room and before we knew it...all was quiet. Brian and I decided that it was probably bed time and we went to tell the kids that they needed to go to bed and this is what we found...

I guess all that playing outside during the day in the sprinkler, riding bikes, playing basketball, swinging, etc. knocked their little butts out. They really must have been tired, because this morning when we were having crazy storms with booming thunder that was shaking the house and even kinda freaking me out, they never moved a muscle. If only bedtime were that easy all the time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Communication is the problem to the answer."

Here's a little bit of my dorkiness shining on through. I have had this song in my head for days, so I found it on youtube and have been jamming and thoroughly enjoying myself. It's a catchy little ditty and I've always loved it. It's got to be one of my favorite songs of all time. So, here, enjoy yourself along with me...

As a side note: Brian has informed me that this is a horrible song and no one else will enjoy it. Oh well, I love it. Poo on him.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Blessed...but Stressed

Oh man, I just feel like there's so much going on right now and so much money (that we don't have) having to go out to things right now and it's completely stressing me out! I almost feel guilty to feel stressed about stuff though, when I am so incredibly blessed at the same time. Who am I to complain, when I have a healthy and happy family, a nice home, 2 fully functioning vehicles...heck, I even have this computer I'm typing on right now?! Sometimes things just feel so overwhelming and out of my control and I guess that's because they really are out of my control. I guess I just need to accept that and go with the flow as calmly and with as little kicking and screaming (let's not forget crying) as possible. Ya know, typing this has actually chilled me out a little and kinda slapped me in the face and made me realize that none of what's going on is actually as bad as I'm telling myself it is. Whew, how theraputic this whole blogging thing can be sometimes. Ok, I'm not gonna say I'm completely de-stressed, but it's certainly been knocked down a few notches. Now, off to watch a movie with my husband and kids and relish the fact that we're able to spend this time together and enjoy being with one another.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Catcher Upper

So, the past few days have held some excitement for me and the rest of the fam. We've been thoroughly enjoying Vacation Bible School. I've been helping out with the 3rd graders each night and Brian has started working during the REC time. He had the fun job of filling buckets of water the other day, for the kids to soak their water bombs in. He seemed to enjoy hanging out with all the kids and chatting with some of the adults around there too. The boys have been having a lot of fun and they are both going to be taking friends with them for the next couple nights. I can't believe there are only 2 nights left! It always goes by so fast. It is absolute chaos, but it is the most beautiful and fun chaos there is. Gavin was telling Brian and I last night that he thinks more people should teach their kids about Christian music instead of other kinds of music that have swearing and bad things in them. That makes me so happy to hear him say things like that. People put such a stigma on Christian music and it's completely out of ignorance, because I know if people were exposed to the huge array of Christian music there is out there, there is something everyone would like. I'm guilty of being one of those people who thought it was dorky too, but once I started listening to it and discovering all the different bands and different sounds there are, I don't miss that other kind of music at all. It's also so awesome to see some of the younger people that are involved in our church and what an impact they make on the kids. I was also guilty of thinking really Christian people were dorky, but nothing could be further from the truth. Of course, I'm not naive enough to say that there aren't some dorky people, but aren't there dorky people everywhere? Anyway, there are some of the younger people (I believe they are in their very late teens to very early twenties) that are doing things for VBS and I know my kids think they are awesome. They are fun, fashionable, just all around cool people. I think it is awesome for our kids to see people who are "cool" like that who love the Lord with everything they've got. They are all going to Bible Colleges and are planning to spend their lives in some sort of ministry. How cool is that? I just think it's a great thing for all of the kids at VBS this week to see. I know they are an inspiration to me, so I hope they are to the kids as well. As for myself, I am making great new friends this week. I have already been invited by a couple different people to join them for different things at Brown City Camp when we go. I just really feel like I am creating great bonds with some really wonderful people who have the same interests and love for the Lord as I do. I truly have never felt more amazing in my life. God is doing great things in my life as well as in Brian and the boys' lives. I hope He will use us for His good.

Other than the VBS stuff, we've just been hanging out and doing stuff at home during the day. The boys have enjoyed playing in the sprinkler and writing on the driveway with sidewalk chalk (I must admit I was glad the rain came and washed it off because as cute as it is for them to draw a bunch of stuff, I hate the way it looks on the driveway) LOL. I've been working out daily and have now lost 15 pounds total, since I started this journey, but am down 20 pounds total from this time last year. It's not a ton, but it still feels great. I have gotten rid of all of my "big" clothes, so gaining that weight back is not even an option because I won't have anything to wear if I do and I refuse to go buy more clothes in those sizes. So, I'm feeling fantastic. I weigh the least I've weighed since before I got pregnant with Gavin. That is absolutely insane to me! I can't believe I've been so heavy for over 10 years! I still have a good 25 or more pounds to lose to be where I really want to be and I know I can get there. I'm no longer expecting the weight to just hurry up and come off, because it just doesn't seem to work that way. However, I know that the best and most healthy way to do it is gradually and that it will stay off easier if I do it that way and I am content with that. So, my body's getting smaller, I'm continually growing in my faith and happiness and life is just beyond great. I know there will be bumps in the road, but I know that with how much I have grown and with all the love and support that I have around me...nothing is too much for me to handle.

By the way, this is one of the songs we sang with the kids last night and that we sing in Venue as well. It always gives me chills when we sing this and I really think about just how awesome God is and what He sent is Son to do for us. Really pay attention to the words. No matter where you are in your life or what you may have done, God wants to save you and all you have to do is ask Him.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

What an absolutely awesome day it has been so far and it's not even 2:00 in the afternoon!

I went to my bible study and church by myself this morning (the kids went to their classes), because Brian went to work today. I wish he could've been there to enjoy everything with me, but I still had an incredible morning. My bible study was great (we're studying the book of James) and I visited with some people in that class. Between bible study and Venue was really awesome though. I got to talk to Pastor Phil (our head pastor) for a while, which was really nice, because I've missed him lately. Seems like the weeks I have been there, he hasn't been, so it was really nice to get to talk to him for a few minutes. I also got the chance to talk to Julie, who really embraced me and made me feel comfortable when we were first starting to attend Colonial Woods. She and her husband, Pastor Dwight are just awesome people and I feel so blessed to know them. One of the greatest conversations I had though, was with a woman who I met back in March. She and I were at a packet stuffing meeting in preparation for Ladies Day Away. As we got talking and she was telling some things about people in her family, I realized that I knew her son and his wife and son. Her son is a severe diabetic and had just before that been hospitalized and the family was basically told that he wouldn't make it through his current situation. However, he did pull through (absolutely God's doing) and his wife and he went on a much deserved vacation together. When I ran into his mom today (first time I have seen her since that night in March) I asked her how he was doing. She smiled at me and started telling me about how since that big scare with him, they have had so many great times together. She was telling me how her daughter just recently got married in June and that at the wedding she was watching her son out on the dance floor, dancing and having a wonderful time and that it made her cry tears of joy that he was still here to celebrate his sister's wedding and to enjoy life. She said that the day after the wedding, the family had a big picnic and that he was out playing volleyball and she cried tears of joy and thankfulness again. By the time our conversation ended, I felt so uplifted and was so happy to see the joy that God has provided for that family. She thanked me more than once for asking about her son and how he was doing and we parted feeling happy and blessed. I really feel that God meant for us to meet this morning and to talk. It was just a really nice time.

Then, we come to Venue (our contemporary church service). The message was like it was speaking specifically to me. It was all about an issue that I have been struggling with for over a month now. God brought such peace to me today and answered the questions that I have been asking. I left feeling so incredibly peaceful and happy, it is just beyond description. All I can say is, our God is amazing and constant in our lives and He will see us through anything and bring us peace, if only we seek Him.

I came home from church feeling so incredible and then had another great thing happen! Our old dog, Biscuit, came to visit! Some of you may remember that we had gotten a dog in May of 2007. By October, we knew he just wasn't the dog for our family. He was extremely high strung and was pretty much destroying our house. We actually found him a new home on Asher's 2nd birthday. It was a bittersweet day. While I knew he was going to a good home and that we would no longer have to deal with our house being chewed up, peed on, etc. I was still sad to see him go. Well, the people who took him absolutely love him and they keep in touch with me through emails. I was talking to the girl yesterday and she said she would like to bring him over to visit us today and I was excited and so were the boys! So, about half an hour after we got home from church, Biscuit was here to visit! He's so cute and it was really nice to see him. The boys were happy too. We're making plans to take the kids (she has a 2 year old son) to the park near her house, so we can visit him again and let the kids play. I'm so glad things have worked out the way they have and that we still get to see him. She said to please let her know whenever we'd like to see him and we're welcome to any time. So, that's a cool deal.

So, this has been a great day so far. I'm super excited for tonight as well. It's the first night in the week of vacation bible school and I'm going to be working with the upcoming 3rd graders, so I'll be with all of the kids I taught in 2nd grade Sunday School all year. I'm really looking forward to it and there is nothing like seeing kids learning about the Lord and enjoying themselves. I can't wait!

Yay, what a happy day!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4th of July weekend fun!

We had such a great 4th of July weekend. We left Thursday evening and headed out to my Aunt Nette's house for a weekend of camping with the fam. The first night was just my aunt and uncle, Brian, the boys, my cousins, my grandma and my Mom and Dad and I. We played some Texas Hold 'em and sat around a fire, where Delyn and Jason joined us late. The next morning, I got up at 7:00 and ran 2 miles, then headed back to the house for breakfast and a shower. More family showed up on Friday to spend the weekend. All of us basically lived in our bathing suits all weekend and played tons of games, swam in the pool, etc. We finished off each night with a nice campfire and lots of laughing. On Saturday, we set up a tournament with brackets for playing the different games and it was a ton of fun. After dinner, a bunch of people played volleyball. I went for my 2 mile run that evening. Sunday, we all got up and had breakfast and hung out for a while. We played some volleyball in the pool and sunbathed a little. We played a few games, but spent most of the time just hanging out and talking. Poor Aunt Nette had to get up at 4:00 the next morning to work, and Brian, the kids and I didn't even leave until after 11:30. It was hard to leave after such a great weekend with a ton of the people I love the most. I really cherish these times we spend together and am grateful to have such a close family. So, that was our weekend. Here are just a few random pictures. I realize that most of the pictures were taken on someone else's camera so hopefully I'll get those later.

Uncle Jeff and Andrew showing off their strength.

Lindsay doing some goofy cheerleading move or something.

My Dad, who is always doing something weird.

Rachel, Gavin and Austin playing horseshoes.

Me being shadowed by Brian's big head. LOL

On a side I was taking a shower on Thursday to get ready to go to my Aunt and Uncle's house, I heard Asher say to me through the shower door "Daddy's socks." I looked out and he was wearing some of Brian's work socks. He was so proud of himself and looked so dang cute, so I had to take some pictures.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Oh what a beautiful, wet morning

Well, my day started off with the alarm going off at 5:00 A.M. and me getting up and getting ready to run. I've been getting up at 5:15 all week and getting out to run by 5:30 (yes, it takes me 15 minutes to get ready to go running because I need to get dressed, pull the top of my hair back and brush my teeth so I don't knock myself out from my morning breath blowing back in my face as I run), but today I had special plans. So, Brian got in the shower and while he was in there, I surprised him and made him breakfast. Yeah, it was just scrambled eggs with cheese in them and toast, but he was surprised and happy and that's all I cared about. Once I was done making his breakfast, I laced up my running shoes and took off for my morning run. Let's just say that this lovely Michigan weather we've been having added an extra experience to my running today. It started out as just a mist, but began to actually rain by the time I was just a little over half way through my run. This caused me to come to a sad realization...I'm not made of sugar as I had previously thought. Oh well, I guess I was bound to learn that sooner or later. I came home looking like a drowned rat, but to a very happy and thankful husband who gave me a big hug and kiss (even though I was soaked with rain and sweat) and thanked me again for the breakfast I had made. I sweetly told him not to start expecting it and to buy some pop-tarts if he did (Now, didn't you see that coming? It is me, afterall.) All in all, it was a fantastic way to start my day and I'm feeling great. I'm so proud of myself for getting up so early for the past 4 days and getting out and running (even when the weather wasn't the best). I'm taking my running shoes and heart rate monitor with me this weekend to my Aunt and Uncle's house and I will be running every morning while I'm there too. I'm seeing and feeling a change in myself (not weight-wise yet, but in more important ways) and I'm not going to give up on myself. Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful wet morning.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cookies up the wazoo

So, I'm going to help out at church tonight with the children's ministry and I am supposed to bring snack. Well, being the maniac I am...I went way overboard with the snackage. Let's just say that the pastor told me there would probably be 25 kids at most and yet I made and am taking 90 cookies. Oh, because if there even are 20 kids there, I'm sure they need 4 cookies, right? I actually made more than that, so my boys and that biggest kid of mine could have a couple too, but I just never cease to go overboard with stuff. So, at about 6:15 tonight, I'll be toting 90 cookies up to some kids. I figure loading them up on a sugary snack at 7:30 at night is probably exactly what their parents would appreciate. Don't ya think?