Monday, August 31, 2009

What is "great"?

I just started reading this book by Shawn Wood called 200 Pomegranates And An Audience Of One. He is a pastor and the book is about creating a life of meaning and influence. On the back cover, a pastor named Tim Stevens writes "This is a book for anyone who wants to be great at something- parenting, teaching, leading, whatever. God has a purpose for you, and this book will give you the motivation and inspiration to get there."

Well, I was reading along and something I read just gave me one of those "whoa, that's deep" moments. He referenced Matthew 20:26-28 where Jesus says, "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransome for many." Shawn then asked a few really interesting questions..."Have you ever found yourself wishing that you could do something truly meaningful with your life? That you could be great at something that would leave a legacy?" And here's where we come to the "whoa, that's deep" moment. Pay attention here, because this is good. When he goes on to ask..."Do you ever find yourself thinking about being great by being a servant to your husband? By meeting the needs of your wife? By washing the feet of your children? By loving your enemies at work and serving your competition on the sales team? This is the new great."

Did you catch that? Well, did you? As Christians, we can become so entangled in how we can do "great" things for the Lord and completely miss the opportunities that are right in front of us each and every day. We can become so trapped in the thought that being involved in several ministries at church and doing lots of service projects are the ways we can best serve the Lord and we can actually miss the opportunities where He is asking us on a daily basis to do "great" things for Him.

I just thought this was one of those simple ideas that are so easy to overlook and that we sometimes need a reminder of.

I hope it makes you think a little too and be more aware of being a servant to others to share God's love. So, let your light shine and do "great" things for God!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hair Boredom...Yet Again.

If you know me, you know I change my hair a lot. I just get bored with it easily. So, I'm thinking of going shorter. Here's a picture of my current style and some pictures of some styles I like and am drawing inspiration from. Basically something more funky and less polished looking. I'm thinking of doing something different with the color too, like maybe a little more chunky highlights in blonde and red, while keeping the darker base color. Any suggestions?

My current hairstyle

Some ideas I'm looking at

I like the bottom right picture here

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What An Amazing Feeling!

I am officially down 20 pounds! I feel soooo much better. I'm not done yet...about another 20 to go. Just to be able to say that I'm half-way to my goal is a really good feeling though. Today I have been going through my clothes in my closet and my drawers and am giving away the things that are now too big for me. Who knew it could be so much fun to give your clothes away?! I am really looking forward to when it's time to get my winter wardrobe out of storage and start trying things on to see what I have that will still fit me. I know that is going to feel amazing. So, yay for accomplishing what I have and for what's to come. I am finally actually doing this. I am finally getting rid of this weight that has held me back and made me self-concious for way too long. I am finally beginning to feel comfortable in my own skin and that feeling is priceless!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Someone, stop me!

I really don't think I should be allowed to go into Sam's Club, at least not with my kids in tow. Brian and I would probably be fine on our own, but definitely not with the kids. We ran in after church today to pick up a few things that have become staples of our Weight Watchers eating plan and were only planning on spending around $20.00. Well, we ended up walking out having spent $150.00! How does $20.00 turn into $150.00 you ask? Well, when your kids complain that they are sick of eating cereal and you buy them french toast sticks, when the kids are asking for ice cream and you find some yummy looking ice cream sandwiches that will only be 2 WW points, when the kids are wanting some snack food so you let them get some cheez-its and then you decide that you need some kind of snack food too and get yourself some yummy salsa and chips, when they have samples of breakfast sandwiches that Brian samples and decides would be good for him to heat up quickly on his way out the door for work in the mornings, when you see the delicious pre-cooked and seasoned chicken breasts that would make quick dinners...need I go on? It's truly amazing the damage that can be done when a family of 5 heads into a store like that...hungry. We know better. We cannot do that again. (yeah, ok) I do have to say though, that I left with one purchase that I truly am excited about. I found a great preschool curriculum book for Asher that has letters, reading, math, etc. lessons for me to use with him. He was so excited about it and I'm excited to start our homeschooling. Only 2 weeks left of summer vacation and then it's time to get to work! I'm trying to plan ahead and would like to get some kind of lesson plans going for a few weeks out at a time, at least. I'm going to be flexible and do our lessons based on Asher's pace of learning, but it will be nice to have some sort of plan. In the meantime, I'm going to steer clear of Sam's Club.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Embarking On A New Journey...Homeschooling Asher

So, the Young 4's program that Asher was supposed to be starting, that was suggested by the team that evaluated him for his stuttering and that he was extremely excited about...doesn't appear to be getting the funding it needs and from what we know so far, isn't going to be happening. I was really looking forward to it for Asher and he was looking forward to it too. He will be 4 at the end of October, and while he is very intelligent and tested at 5 year old level in many areas, he does have stuttering issues and this program would have been great for him.

Here's a picture of him that we took when we went for his Young 4's interview.

I have decided that I am going to embark on the journey of homeschooling him this year. I know that having him on a good schedule will prepare him for Kindergarten next year. He is going to be one of the youngest kids in his class and I really want to give him a good, solid headstart on things. I would really like to get him reading, or at least well on his way to, by the time the school year starts next year. I also really want to incorporate Christian materials into his learning.

Now is the time where I admit that I don't know anything about how to prepare for this, what materials to use, what kind of schedule is best, etc. I need help from other homeschooling moms. Especially moms who have or are homeschooling pre-school kids. So, any of you lovely ladies who read this, please help!

Here is a picture of where our homeschooling will mostly take place. There is storage space under the benches, so I plan on storing his materials in there and it will kind of be his special place, since he's really into that sort of thing. Any suggestions on how I can improve the space or if a different space would be better, are more than welcome.

I also found this really great place called The Homeschool Lounge that has all sorts of information, live chats, etc. for homeschoolers. I plan on delving deep into their resources. You can check out all they have to offer by clicking on the button below.

So, there it is. Any help whatsoever would be greatly appreciated. Trust me, I need all the help I can get. ;-)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Great is the love poured out for all

I am just amazed and filled with love when I look at the ways the Lord is working in my life and the lives of the people around me. I was brought to tears (uncontrollable tears streaming down my face) when singing this song at church on Sunday because our God is just so awesome and loves us so much. I can't even explain it, but if you have a relationship with the Lord, then you know exactly what I mean and if you don't have a relationship with Him, then you are missing the most amazing feeling this life has to offer. The fact that God became flesh and came to this earth to be beaten and crucified, all so that we would be free of the bondage of sin and be able to enter into the holiness of His presence in Heaven someday is just something that overwhelms me and breaks me. Who am I that He would do this for me? Who am I that He would care about my hurts? Who am I that He would love me and call me His? I never knew life until I came to know Jesus and I will never be the same. He has saved me from a life of mediocrity and selfishness, a life without true joy and peace, a life that would have ended without an eternity in heaven. He has loved me so much that He has saved me and wants to save us all...this is our God.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm So Thankful For My Family

I got to spend several days in a row with my family last weekend and it just made me realize how truly blessed I am to have them all in my life. Here are some pictures from our adventures. God is so good.

Brian and I at my cousin, Erica's, wedding.

All of the cousins together at Erica's wedding. We miss you, sweet cousin Andrew.

My niece, Payton, and Asher making funny faces for the camera.

Me with my Grandma Powser at her surprise 80th birthday party.

My Grandma Johnson and I (she went back to Florida on Tuesday and I am missing her terribly).

Water balloon fun at our family reunion!

My Aunt Janice (my dad's sister) and my dad, just after she got him good with a water balloon. It was 92 degrees and extremely humid that day, so I don't think he minded all that much.

Brian, down 30 pounds and lookin' hot!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm Back!

So, I was gone for 10 days to Brown City Camp and had an unbelievable time with my husband and kiddos, as well as a ton of our friends from church. There is just something about that place that can't be explained. At the end of our camping trip we had my cousin's wedding on Friday, a surprise 80th birthday party for my grandma on Saturday, a family reunion on Sunday and then I spent Monday with my other grandma before she went back to Florida on Tuesday and my cousin, Lanae, before she left to move to Texas on Tuesday. Let me just say, that I'm just now recovering from all of that and still haven't managed to get my laundry caught up. It has been a crazy busy time for us. Oh, and I didn't even mention the fact that my sister-in-law had her baby on Wednesday, so I have a new little niece. Her name is Kayla Kaye and due to the fact that two of my boys have colds and I have something going on with my ears and throat, I haven't even gotten to meet her yet! Anyway though, just wanted to stay that I'm still alive and will be getting back to blogging regularly. Hoping to meet a weight loss milestone when I weigh-in on Monday, so I'm off now to workout!