Wednesday, June 29, 2011


So proud to have this picture that we took two:)
The girls...Wendy, Taron, Heather, Me, Amy, and Kristie
Heather's childhood friends and such blessings to me! Kristie and Amy
Blurry but it says I love my Auntie!
Nana the baby charmer with SadieJane and Maxsim
The crew...look how grown up Bay looks!
SadieJane and Chase played outside and had nothing to do with the shower

There is a group of girls that try to go to the mall on Friday's together. My mom and Heather also come. I decided since Heather likes to "surprise" us with things that we would surprise her with an impromptu small baby shower for little Delilah Dianne. Since my mom couldn't tell us what Heather said when they pulled up to the house in the presence of small children we know that she was indeed surprised. Heather isn't big on large groups or surprises really so we just included a few of her close friends and family. It really was a sweet time of being able to love her and encourage her. Since it was Heather, we knew it would be fine to have all the kiddos there. Micah was sooo into the baby shower and actually helped decorate, anticipated the surprise and sat quietly on the sofa while Heather opened every present! It was too cute. He does love his Aunt Heather and is always looking out for her.
Even though there is always much changing and going on in our family I always have to step back and note how far the Lord has brought us. That Heather would even come to a surprise baby shower is a miracle in itself. Only a few short years ago we would have done this as an intervention and she'd have been hurling herself out of the car. What a change God can do when you trust Him (or even when you doubt). Praise the Lord for a special day!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Can of Worms.

I know that I am opening up a can of worms but I really am curious as to what others think about this. It didn't take us long on our girls trip to get started on our children (poor Katie) and where they would go to school, etc. Well we are all pretty like minded girls...but on this issue we were all over the place. I pretty much have strong opinions on everything, but this one has me confused. I know where my heart lies...but my friend Brittany brought up a school of thought that I had not heard before and hit me hard. So here are the two views I most relate/lean towards. And they are pretty much completely opposing one another! All views expressed are gross generalities for the sake of argument...please read knowing that.

Option 1: Send your child to a Christian School or homeschool-God has given us responsibility as parents to raise our children and to protect them and to teach them about Him. Therefore putting them in either a Christian school or homeschooling would be the most practical option to do these things I've mentioned. With all the things that I hear that go on in 1st grade there are just so many things that at that age my children do NOT need to know. They are also so formative in their early years and can so easily be molded. Their biblical worldview is being shaped and why wouldn't you want it to be, home and school all teaching the SAME thing. This (would appear to) sets them up for the best possible future of following Jesus and knowing Him more. I taught at a Christian school for three years and I loved the dynamics of it. I also loved the childrens childlike faith and the way that they expressed it in the classroom. Something a public school would not foster or even sometime allow. The knowledge that they receive about our Jesus is setting them up to one day go out and share Him with others.

BUT, on the flip side, these children can often be too sheltered, or not prepared academically. They also are demographically set up with a certain group of people. Diversity isn't on alot of Christian school radars.

AND, my favorite rebuttal to this choice, "I've met kids that went to Christian school, they are the worst ones!" In other words Christian school can't change their heart. Neither school can.

Option 2 - Send your child to public school- We are Christians, our calling is to be light in the world, state, our neighborhood and our school. There is a huge impact that your family can make in a public school and if your children are taken out of said school they will lose a ministry opportunity and so will you as a parent. You can teach your child a biblical worldview at home and train them there to go out into their school to be a light and influential child. The kids will actually go to school with those that live around them and increase their opportunity or give them opportunity that they wouldn't have when surrounded by likeminded kiddos in a Christian school. They will have a grasp on temptations and not be overwhelmed by them when they are eventually shoved into the world at a later date if they are in a Christian school. As a parent we have the opportunity to be as involved as the school will allow, sharing Jesus with whoever will listen.

BUT, we all know my issue with drugs and addiction and the sheer amount of those are just way greater in the public school system. Not to mention profanity and sexual information.

AND, the biggest rebuttal to public school education from the Christian/homeschool crowd that I've heard is"Why shouldn't we take the opportunity to shelter our children from these things while we have the chance?". I get that, but can we truly shelter them anywhere.

Lastly, I know families who have made HUGE impacts for Jesus in their public schools and grown as stronger Christians because of it. I also know Christians who have homeschooled, productive, well rounded, adults who are amazing and influential in their colleges. I also know students who are in Christian schools and they are buck wild(and not for the Lord). I also know some public school kids that faced so much peer pressure that they made poor choice after poor choice and now have sunk so low.

Bottom line we can not control our children's hearts. Only the Lord can...we can lead them and teach them. We are called to "raise a child in the way he/she should go..." we are called to mold and shape our children. Biblically speaking the responsibilty lies solely on parents to educate and train their child. So wherever we choose to send them, we need to know what and who is being taught. BUT, as we pray about it obviously no choice is an automatic "most spiritual" choice. I can see even more now how it is based on so many different factors and on each child. There will be no perfect option...only what is perfect for our family. One more year to bathe my bird in prayer and do whatever God calls us to do... which way are you leaning?

*Ammendment: I did leave out a very influential factor. The teacher. That part will really be the kicker and big deciding factor. I know some great ones at each of the schools...well except the homeschool that we are districted for:)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

worry is of the devil...

I sat down and wrote a long post about schooling options the other day then read and reread it four times in hopes of not offending anyone. After much angst I finally got ready to post and half of it was deleted. I decided at that point it wasn't going to be a post...

Why is it that once you have a great experience with the Lord and begin to feel secure things start to crumble? Why is it that the biggest lessons seemed to be learned in trials? Why is it that sin is easily revealed in hard times? I think God answers all of these with each of us in our own way...and for the one's He doesn't I am sure He has a purpose and a reason for not doing so...

After a great girl's trip I came back ready to minister to family and friends and get all my stuff in check. But in the midst of doing that the old worry wart nature started welling up within me. Worrying about what others think and what others think about what I say and what I do. I can remember coming back from church camp and seeing satan get on it to keep me from sharing the joy of Jesus...after a couple of years I started preparing for battle after those trips because I knew it would be a challenge. Hadn't had a trip like that in so long that when I got this girl's trip that turned into a mini "women's retreat:)" that I forgot to prepare myself for the challenge that would inevitably come after being refreshed and ready to be used by the Lord. Instead of ministering and loving people I've found myself getting immobilized by worry or my own thinking. I analyze everything. This isn't something new that has just happened recently. It's just that after the trip I kicked it into high gear... it has gotten worse, I didn't think that was possible. Wouldn't you know a year after doing the "So Long, Insecurity" thing I am now seeming to greet it again with open arms. I feel like writing about this in hopes that I will gain some new perspective and hopefully allow God to show me more of how I can change this area of sin in my life. My brain is seriously on overdrive all the time. I am now applying so much energy figuring out and then assuming what other people think. Then driving myself crazy with what I've decided they think. It happens with friends, family and strangers alike. Ugh. It is exhausting and so hard to stop. I also have a hard time with the balance of caring about someones feeling and worrying about what people think. I know we should have sympathy and care about others, but then where do you draw the line to stop yourself from being consumed by that? I know there are many of you reading this wondering what in the world I am talking about because Mick has no idea how I let this happen. He tries to understand but his brain just doesn't work the way that mine does, and I'm sure most of yours don't either. But I am again trying to "take every thought captive" and make an impact for the Lord. To not let satan run my thoughts and to surrender all of my anxiety to the Lord. I am typing this out in hopes that it somehow helps me to actually do what I say and pray. Unfortunately many of you have experienced my overanxious side by the dreaded "Are you mad at me?" that I feel the need to incessantly ask those that I love. Yet another product of anxiety that I am hoping to allow Jesus to free me from. In college I was a worrier...I guess I've always been one. We would constantly say "worry is of the devil" because for some reason worrying can start to feel profitable. Like I am actually doing something by worrying. But that is just satan wanting me to think that so that I get consumed like I mentioned above. Eventually paralyzed. No. Thanks.

Even as I type this and get ready to share I am proofing trying to make sure no one takes this post personally or thinks I am crazy. And that my friends, is why I feel the need to post it. To put a part of myself out there and to let it go. I want to type posts other than superficial picture posts. If I don't get some security in the Lord and find my identity in Him they'll be nothing left to write about. And I hope not, but if some of you struggle with this...obviously you are not alone, and hopefully sharing the fact that the one other person that feels this way and I can conquer this in His strength. And it will make the devil so sad, because he wont get a foothold on us.

So as soon as this "new me" gets under way I'll be finishing up that schooling post and posting right away.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Beautiful Babies...

Since I was the only one with my camera at the beach I convinced Jessica to let me take some pictures of her with baby Lyla in her belly. Brittany tried to refuse but finally peer pressure won out so I got some picture of her and Sawyer too...but not without some grumbling. This post is my petition for a better camera. I LOVE taking pictures. Shocker. Obviously if you read my blog this is a gross understatement. But seriously I would probably be out of control if I got a nice camera. But still, think of all the neat pictures I could take. If I had cute subjects like these two all the time! Seeing their pregnant bellies really was beautiful and I just couldn't resist taking pictures of two of God's amazing creations...the vast ocean and the way He knits together little ones in a Momma's belly. Both incredible mysteries that only a powerful, awesome God could create.

Just Jump!

Our closest final product...nevermind that only two of us are in the air.
Let's think about this...
OH, my.
Maybe if we let the biggest pregnant girl lift us all up?
Maybe I'll just jump by myself.
Or we could all jump, but we should have waited for Brit to finish going to the bathroom.

Bottom is really hard to get FIVE girls off the ground at the same time with a sad camera on a tripod. Especially if two of those girls are with child:) As you can see...two is much easier:) BUT it was worth the fun we had trying to get it right. And by next year we'll have it perfected.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

1st Race = 1st Place

The best fans in the world!!

This guy didn't run the race, but he has helped so much to make it possible for me to do it that he might as well have!
Micah was just so happy that I got a medal!!
My tough first place face.

Oh wait, I failed to mention that I might have been the only one in my age category! So I technically won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Toot toot! So technically I didn't win...but you know, you take what you get:) While I am a little behind (gasp!) on my blog I wanted to go ahead and post about my first race, because by tomorrow I'll forget most of it. I ran a 10.5K today in honor of a fallen officer and a classmate of Mick's, Blake Gammill. It was a trail run and I had so much fun! My cousins Jane and Paul told me if I ran a race I'd be hooked and they were right. It was a really small, hometown race with not alot of participants in the 10.5K...hence why I won!! But it was perfect for my first race. Here are my observations from a new racers perspective...

~People really jump the gun at the beginning. I started off at the back because I knew I would be slow, but man some of those people acted like it was a 1 mile fun run. Some of those people kept up that sprinting pace...the whole stinkin' time. Man, impressive. Some of those people ended up walking.

~My cousins also told me to just focus on passing the person in front of you. Starting at the back makes this fun and easy...since you've only got one way to go...up! And...technically there is no one to pass you which helps with your confidence I think.

~Trail runs are muddy and have lots of roots, etc. It is not at all like culdesac running that I do.

~Everybody assumes you know what to do...I had no clue that you had to fill out a card at the end or keep up with your own time of when you finished. I just happened to be paying attention. I thought they did that for you...maybe at the bigger races they do?

~I didn't know where to pin my number but I see now why they put them up higher or on your shorts, mine was in an awkward position and drove me crazy...but who can pull over and move those pins when you are trying to win your age division?

~I could see how one might get lost on those trails.

~ People are really weird about passing. I don't know what the ettiquette is but it seems like you should move to the side if I come huffing behind many just stayed in the middle. Weird?

~Men are super competitive about women passing. Ugh. This one guy just wouldn't give up and just kept breathing down my neck. Eventually I left him in the dust. Or so I thought...

At the end of the race I was just so happy to finish, I didn't really feel like sprinting it out since I couldn't get under my time. I did my usual 10 minute miles and finished at 1:05. I was surprised because I thought I would have run faster with competition, but the roots and hills kicked my booty. Anyways, at the end of the race I didn't think there was anyone close to behind me, when all of a sudden the random group of people start cheering for me. I'm all smiling and running then I realize there is a guy(the one that didn't want me passin')....right behind me...he was sprinting it out trying to beat me. Stinker. I still beat him by one second:) (But speaking of etiquitte since I didn't know he was behind me I was totally boxing out, oops!)So when Micah asked if I won, I told him, yep I beat that man over there...the one with the fanny pack on.

Lastly it seemed like races would be much more fun to do with friends...I was the sad and lonely girl til my fans arrived...Anybody wanna run with me next race??

Monday, June 13, 2011

Never Say Never

The girls: Brittany, April, Jessica, Katie and me
Brittany...and her 8 month pregnant self! Best trooper award for sure.
Jessica is 6 and half months pregnant, with Katie.

All of us on the beach...

we brought a tripod and set up shop. 2 hours and 100 pictures later we were exhausted.

In a pyramid you should not put two tall people on one side and two short people on the other:) Lesson learned from my lopsided pose.
The jumping picture...there's a whole post coming on this one:)
Charlie's Angel's??
The Mama's to be together...more on them later too.

I never thought I'd be able to truly enjoy a trip without my family. But I sure did. I never thought you could go on a trip with an odd number and somebody not feel left out. But no one did. (that I know of:)). I never thought you could go on a trip with all girls and have NO drama. But we did. I never thought I would get less sleep than when I am at home with two children. Oh unfortunately you can. I never thought I could laugh and cry so much in four days. But I did. I never thought I could leave my babies and that things would be completely fine with no real problems at all. But there weren't any. I never thought I could learn so much from a few in such little time but I did. I never thought I could love both girls I've known for what seems like forever and girls I might not think I have anything in common with...but I did. I never thought I'd find one person, let alone four others that liked to take pictures so much! But you can see above it was found. I never thought I'd have as much fun as I have when I rock out to Biebster with my babies, but it came close. Never say Never:)
As you can tell my girl's trip this past weekend was a success. For so many reasons. We cried and laughed and talked til my voice was hoarse. We sang Justin Beiber at the loudest volume possible (ok, maybe that was just me) We ate great food and got alot of quality time. My complaint always when spending time with women is that we spend far too much time on the superficial or the surface. With each person being scared to say anything real. I can't stand it. It makes me crazy. So with the fear of being completely annoying I insisted throughout the trip that we talk about things that were important to us by asking questions that each person had to answer. At first this too feels superficial but eventually you get in far enough and everybody feels liscense to let it all hang out. Something I probably do far too much all know that from reading this blog of sometimes too much depth. Anyways I was afraid the trip itself would be fun and I'd get a break but there wouldn't be alot of realness...and I needed that more than any of the other. But there was realness and love and grace and laughter. I am so thankful that I went and can see how going makes me a better wife, friend and mother. I learned things from each girl and God used the trip to renew my love for Him through being able to see others through His eyes. I felt renewed to come home and continue the ministry to my family as well as convicted to continue to get outside of it and minister there too. It was truly beautiful. God reminded me that He gives us friends to sharpen us and at the end of the trip we took time to encourage one another. As each girl encouraged me I thought of the ways that I see Jesus in them and hope that I can be more like them in those ways, and in turn more like our Jesus.