Friday, July 31, 2009

Thankful Thursday...Little Marco is 2!

This is my little guy two years ago. After having three girls, I had no idea what to expect raising a boy. Well, let me tell ya. This kid is ALL boy. He is rough and tumble, loves dirt, loves to get into everything, is not afraid to climb.... makes me a nervous wreck.
But - he's also the sweetest, most affectionate out of all my kids. He loves to cuddle with his momma or sisters and he loves to sing along during our worship time at church.

We will be having a little party for him on Monday, but his sisters made him a little cake (which tasted incredible) and his dad gave him one of his gifts - a nerf gun.

It took him a while to blow out these two candles. So funny.

Of course, he didn't waste time with his new toys.
This little guy has changed our lives. He has brought joy to us that we didn't even know could exist. We didn't even know what we were missing! I don't know what he'll grow up to be, but I have dreams and I hope and pray that we can help him and guide him to follow his own dreams as well.
We love you Marco Joseph!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Forgiveness is an act of grace...

Wow! It's been almost a week since my last post. The time has just been flying! I really want to know how we can request more hours in the day and more weeks to our summer. I get up early and go to bed late because there's so much I want to accomplish in a day. Oh, well...what can you do? =]
Matthew 5:7~Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
I just finished teaching a little series on Forgiveness in my ladies group. It's something that I really felt was necessary. I felt like I needed these ladies (and myself) to really understand that as long as we are carrying unforgiveness, grudges, guilt, etc...we are not fully allowing ourselves to move on. How can we serve others and live freely if we don't want to forgive?
Forgiveness does not mean that you are forgetting or accepting or approving whatever has happened. It is not a feeling, it's not trusting that person again, it's not pretending you weren't hurt, and it's not even reconciliation.
Forgiveness is a DECISION. It is a decision to obey God, but no one - not even God, can make you forgive. It is up to you.
Ephesians 4:32 ~ "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
Forgiveness can protect the forgiver from himself.
Forgiveness is an act of grace.
Surprisingly, one of the most needed lessons I taught was on "Forgiving Yourself". How many of us carry guilt from our past? Regrets that haunt your present day?
Psalm 25:7~Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.
You may be thinking of something you did or even something that was done to you and you blame yourself. This can hinder you from living a free life!
I am sorry, friend, but there is nothing you can do to change the past. You need to decide to let those things go. Forgive them...forgive yourself.
You can choose to wallow in the pain and disappointment or you can walk away from those memories and start creating new ones.
Don't use what has happened as a crutch of disability. Face those things head on, move them out of your way and go forward.
If Christ can forgive all sins, why is it so hard to forgive ourselves? That burden is keeping you in bondage. It is like carrying an extra weight...and let's not get into how tiring that is!
There are people that have physical illness from carrying around an unforgiving spirit.
Problems with high blood pressure, stress, hostility, depression, etc. can creep up on you and stay with you as long as you are holding on to the past. Let it go. Give it to God.
1 Peter 5:7~Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

I bid you peace and freedom today my friends! There is much to be done.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday...

I don't know if it's already a meme, but it sounds good, right? Thankful Thursday! Sounds way better than Thoughtless Thursday or Thumbsucker about Thistle Thursday? Yeah, that is exactly what I thought. Thankful sounds best!
My sweet grandmother, who is 84 years old and well, gave me her copy of "Streams in the Desert". Her Aunt Zeda (my great great aunt) wrote a sweet note in the front and it is dated March 13, 1946. That's my grandmother's birthday.
Anyway, I love seeing it on the bookshelves at stores even today. Her copy was made in 1945 and was in it's 24th printing! I guess there's some good stuff in this book!
It's a daily devotional book of encouragement. Filled with great verses, quotes, anecdotes...and it's meant to be read daily and is dated as such.
It has been updated and modernized many times since it's original writing (I think 1925), and you can follow it on line. The stories are no longer in the same order, but it's all good.
Todays verse is:
"Giving thanks always for all things unto God." Ephesians 5:20
Well, isn't that just perfect timing? Right when I was about to get my thankfulness on!! Mrs. Cowman goes on to say that there once was a man that drew some black dots. They looked at his work and could not make sense of it. All they saw was an irregular assemblage of black dots, but then, this same man added a few lines, put in a few rests, then a clef at the beginning, and they saw that those black dots were actually music notes. On sounding them, they were singing,
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below."
There are many black dots and spots in our lives, and we cannot understand why God permitted them to come. But if we let God come in and take lead and adjust the dots in the proper way, and draw the lines and add the rests where they need to be - He will make a glorious harmony. Why would I want to get in the way of that?
"Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties." ~C.H. Spurgeon

I'm thankful for the new property that we'll be renting for our congregation. So much room to grow! Lots of classrooms and lots of parking!

I'm thankful that my kids are active and that they love being outdoors and trying new things.
This is Hannah at Lake Perris during swim camp. Her first experience kayaking.

I am thankful that my children are happy. We may not be rich in material wealth, but we certainly are blessed beyond measure!
This is Taryn at SoupPlantation. She has a beautiful smile, don't you agree?

I am thankful that all of my children love to read. I hope that it will open up their mind, that it will allow them to dream and that they will know our Heavenly Father more because of it.
This is my little Marco. He loves to "read" back to us. He's pretty good with following the pictures. Not bad for someone who's not yet 2 years old. =]

I am thankful for the simple color and beauty that surrounds me.

I am thankful that my children all enjoy being silly. We love to laugh as a family. We laugh hard. Laughter is good for the soul.
Here's Naomi making one of her famous faces. I definitely need to scrapbook all the faces this girl makes. So funny. Of course, if you ask her to do it on command - she clams up. LOL

I am thankful for a husband who is my best friend, an awesome father, a hard working provider and loving pastor. He gives so much and never asks for anything in return.
Here's Marco carrying little Marco on a Sunday afternoon.

I am thankful for so much. I am thankful that I have a blog or place that I can come to put my thoughts. Until next time....
Oh, be sure and appreciate all the black dots and scribbles in your life. Someone is writing your song!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Life is good...

I can not say that I have the perfect life,
but I can say that I have a good life.
I am blessed beyond measure.
I am surrounded by positive, loving people.
I have a God who loves me as I am.
I enjoy laughing and laughing hard.
I am not afraid to cry when I need to cry.
There is beauty around me.
I have friends all over the world,
some I've never met face to face.
I love all different kinds of music,
it speaks to my soul.
I enjoy trying new things.
I am learning from my mistakes.
Life is good.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Venus is in sight!

Okay...first let me say that I am only using a point and shoot type of camera, but I love it. These pictures are not great, but I wanted to capture Venus shining so bright next to the moon. These were taken on July 10th at about 11:30 p.m.
I love looking at the heavens! The sky is hardly ever clear enough to really see a lot of stars around here, but it's been alright.

I changed the setting on this one. Not as zoomed in, but you can see how bright Venus stood out in the sky.

Psalm 8:1,3 - 5
O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Fill Ins...

My little guy loves to "read" and lately Mickey Mouse is his favorite!
Friday Fill Ins is a fun weekly meme. You can check out more right here.
My words are in this color... we go!

1. The last thing I ate was free chicken strips from Chik-fil-a and one of their brand new Peach shakes...YUM.

2. A new swimsuit for each of my older girls is something I recently bought.

3. When it rains, it surprises us all. We don't get many rainy days here in Southern California...I used to live in Washington state, now that is another story. My sentence would probably read, "When it rains, it probably is a day that ends in a 'Y'. lol

4. My husband, Marco, was the first person I talked to today.

5. Hugs are best when spontaneously given.

6. Knowing that everybody in my family is always looking out for each other brings me extra comfort.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to preparing my presentations for tomorrows meeting, tomorrow my plans include speaking at said meeting and Sunday, I want to spend the day relaxing with my family and meeting in the house of the Lord!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 4 of Swim Camp...

So, the two older girls have been attending a swim camp (not over-night) that will last for two weeks. They are on day 4 now and have been loving it. They were both aprehensive about joining when they heard about all the exercising and running they'd have to do, but so far, they've been keeping up without a problem.
Besides learning to swim better, they've learned about water safety, CPR, first-aid, nutrition and more. Next week, the camp will continue at a nearby lake. They will get a chance to learn to kayak and knee board as well as some other things.
I've been going and staying and hanging out with a couple of the other moms. It would be too much for me to drive back and forth that distance every day, so I've let the little ones take full advantage of the play time as well. Everybody's happy and it makes for a great summer. Here are some pics I thought I'd share...

Hannah doing laps.

Marco playing in the wader pool while we pass the day away...

Naomi playing on the jungle gym there.

Taryn, who gets darker by the second - even with sunblock, helping a friend with sit-ups.

Hannah in the plaid shorts warming up with arm rolls.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Are Women Born This Way?

This really made me smile. Explains a lot about us girls. lol
(Make sure you pause my music on the side bar first!)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My little guy... in-laws came over on Monday night to celebrate Jaime's birthday. They ended up taking all three girls home with them to stay for the week. It's been just me and little man during the days. I have been loving it.
I am always up way earlier than any of the kids, but this week, I've tip-toed around even more quietly than I usually do, 'cause once this boy is up - he is UP! He makes the Energizer Bunny look wimpy!
I decided to really take note of a recent blog post I read about mentoring. Really getting involved and not just giving orders.
So, we've been playing, counting, laughing, wrestling, running, chasing, more laughing, butterfly kisses, eating...I can't get enough of this kid. He really has changed my life.
Yesterday, I had to work on an order for Etsy. I could've just stuck a video in the t.v. and shuffled him off to the other room, but the thought of it practically broke my heart.
I asked him if he wanted to color while mommy worked.
Duh. What kind of question is that? All of my kids have a special fondness for anything art related. Hmmmm...wonder where they get that from?
The following pictures are of him just having a blast. I let him use my beloved Mr. Sketch smelly markers. They truly are the best markers ever.
No, he did not color everywhere because I was too involved in my project...I let him. At first, I tried to stop him and then I thought - "Why not? It's washable."
So I let him go to town.
I love him. I love him,especially, all painted up.
I needed this week with him. Being the youngest of 4 in a very busy family is not always easy. You tend to get shuffled aside more often than not. I get to focus on him and him alone. Ahhhhh... my guy.