Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Review: Read and Share: Stories About Jesus

Again, as part of the BookSneeze program from Thomas Nelson, I received a complimentary copy of Read and Share: Stories about Jesus.  I love Bible storybooks and this is a great one for little ones.  The book is a board book form so it is great for little hands and mouths whose parents want to learn all they can about Jesus.  There are 13 stories in the book.  The stories ranged from the birth of Jesus to healings fo Jesus to parables He taught to His ascension. Each story is just one to two pages long.  The story is very simple, but has the Bible verses at the beginning for older children in the family.  At the end of each story is an application part.  Again, very simply done.  A statement is made about the story and how it can relate to our lives today and a question is usually asked to get the little ones to think about the story and how they can be more like Jesus.  I really liked this book and even thought it could be used in a Bible class setting as a foundation for a quarter’s worth of lessons.  I would highly recommend this book to any parent, grandparent or teacher.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

You've Got A Friend in Me

You've got a friend in me

Carter and Hunter at FHU Basketball game "Pool Night"

You've got a friend in me

Whitney and LB enjoying the first half of the game with each other

When the road looks rough ahead

The boys enjoying the game against Lyon on Pool Night

And you're miles and miles
From your nice warm bed

Seevers did not make it through Toy Story 3

Just remember what your old pal said
Boy, you've got a friend in me

Whitney and Madlyn "movin' it!" to Just Dance 1

You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me

Graddy and Carter "Can't Touch This!"

You've got a friend in me

LB with her BFFs enjoying the movie and each other

You've got troubles, well I've got 'em too

Hunter and LB like to Move It! Move It!

There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you

These college kids proved tonight they would do anything for the kids!

We stick together and we see it through

I love these two together!

You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me

These two can talk through anything and about anything

Some other folks might be
A little bit smarter than I am

This picture really can't be described at all!

Bigger and stronger too

Carter wants to be like Hunter in so many ways!

But none of them will ever love you the way I do

The Spice Girls of the night - Claire and Emily (also the 3rd set of siblings here for the night)

It's me and you

No, she is NOT a cheerleader!

And as the years go by
Boys, our friendship will never die

You're gonna see
It's our destiny

I hope my two are like these two when they are older.

You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me

You've got a friend in me

- Randy Newman from Toy Story

Thanks to our college kids friends who came over for dinner, Just Dance and a movie! The kids loved having you here and a part of their lives.  Damon and I are so blessed to have you in our lives. Know we love you and are always here for you!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Charge

My amazing friend, Kristen, has recently branched out in the blogging world - adding her second blog, Pretty Sweet: Heavenly Minded.  I am so inspired by so many blogs I read that DAILY include scriptures from God's word and encouragement to me (and I am sure the thousands of others who read them).  As part of her blogging experience on this new blog, each week she is going to issue a challenge.  The challenge includes a set of verses and then our job is to study those verses for the week; blogging about them on Thursday or Friday.  I can't tell you how excited I am about this!  The method of Bible studying we are using is called Inductive Bible Study (hence, my title: IBS).  You can read the details here.  I added another step. I have been very interested in different versions of the Bible lately, so each day, I read and wrote these verses in a different version. On Thursday, I sat down, reread them all again, wrote it in my own words and made application.  I am new at this on more than one level! So, without further rambling, here is mine for the week:

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ
who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom
Preach the word!
Be ready in season and out of season.
Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but
according to their own desires, because they have itching ears,
they will heap up for themselves teachers,
and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables.
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions,
do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering,
and the time for my departure is at hand.
I have fought the good fight, 
I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith.
Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord,
the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day,
and not to me only, but also to all who have loved
His appearing.
2 Timothy 4:1-8 (NKJV)

Always be ready to teach someone, correct someone, encourage someone with patience and love.  There will come a time to all three because people are looking and listening for what they want.  They will try to suit their wants and desires - not God's.  They will turn away, but you stand firm.  Don't be led down their path.  Be led down the narrow path and do what God has called you to do.  Give all you have to the Lord and His work - from now until the very end!!  Be able to say, "I fought . . . . I finished . . . I stayed with God to the end."  Then, on that day, I will get my eternal reward!  Me and all who have fought beside me!

I need to always be ready.  Who knows when I will have the opportunity to reach someone, help someone, encourage someone. I need to have myself grounded in the truth, so when others start to waver and lean towards their own thinking (Proverbs 3:5-6), I won't.  I can stand firm and try to bring them back.  I should live my life as Romans 12:1 - a living sacrifice. Giving myself fully, completely, whole-heartedly to God and His will for my life.  I want to live for Him fully each and every day of my life from now until the end.  I want to be among those in the end who can stand and receive a crown of righteousness!! Take me, mold me, use me - wear me out for YOUR glory!

Check out the rest of the participants on Kristen's blog!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Every man at some point in his life is going to lose a battle.
He is going to fight and he is going to lose.
But what makes him a man is at the midst of that battle he does not lose himself.
This game is not over, this battle is not over.

- Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Glimpse Into the Future

I really try not to think about my children growing up because it is happening way too fast as it is.  I mean in two months I will be the mother of a NINE YEAR OLD!! I can honestly say I have enjoyed each and every "season" of my kids' lives.  I love this time with LB and I know she is quickly growing into a young lady.  Last night we were invited to go with the teenage girls from church on their JUG (Just Us Girls) night.  We dined at Steak and Shake, shopped at Target and then saw Tangled in 3D in our own private movie theatre - just a coincidence!  It hit me during the movie, when LB and her bestie, Madlyn, were sitting in front of me, that in 3 1/2 years this will be them.  They will be part of the youth group.  I don't know if she will want me around then or not, but I LOVE being wanted now!  We did have a wonderful night with some of my favorite people - both adults and teens!

 Sitting at the Junior High table!
 Me, Cathy (Madlyn's mom) and Diane - two of my most favorite ladies - EVER!!!

One reason I loved this night was seeing my kids with their BIG friends.  God has blessed us so much with such wonderful older friends. These people in our lives mean more than they will EVER know.  I know our lives are so much better because of them!
 LB and older BFF, Katy

While the girls were out and about, Carter got to hang out with his older BFF, Hunter!  They had a great time (so I heard) in the dorm playing video games.  They later hit up IHop for their All-You-Can-Eat Pancake special.  I believe IHop lost money last night!!  I don't know who was more excited about the night - Hunter or Carter. 

What a wonderful night with great friends!
How blessed we are!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Yes, I Let My Boy Hang Out With Them

We love going to the FHU basketball games.  We love seeing our college kids that play basketball play and we really love seeing what our baseball boys are going to do.  This year they decided to have "dress up" nights for each home basketball game and they have stolen the show!"

Yes, these are some of my son's heroes.

Yes, these are the ones my son loves to hang out with during the games.

Yes, these are some of the ones who frequently come to our house.

Yes, these are the ones we love!
80's Exercise Night - for Homecoming!
They jogged in as a group and jogged out as well - it was hysterical!

Christmas Sweater Night before Christmas break

It's Raining 3's Night - every time a 3 was made they would open up the umbrellas and dance around -
umbrellas were also used for other things during the guys' game, but they behaved themselves!

The baseball boys have also taken it upon themselves to warm up with the basketball boys.
Here they are taking a charge . . . .

Yes, these boys should receive the 6th man award for the basketball team.

Yes, these boys always know how to have fun.

Yes, these are the boys my son is hanging out with tonight.

Thanks, Whitney, for letting me borrow these pictures!

Friday, January 21, 2011

One Blessed Mama

I  know that I am extremely blessed when it comes to my children and I am so honored that God chose ME to be their Mama!!  They continually amaze me at the things they do and what they say.  I had one of those days on Wednesday with Carter.  His teacher had them write about their dream for America since they were learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  She slipped me this paper and told me that she thought I would want a copy of it.  I am so glad she did.  I am putting it on here, so I will always have it (and know where it is - ha ha ha!!)  It is always said, "Out of the mouths of babes . . . " Well, this is my 7 year olds' dream.

I have a dream.
I wish that . . . .

Everyone will believe.
Everybody will read the Bible.
Everybody will learn.
Everybody will not fight.
Meagan, Sofie and Anna were back in our class.
Nobody is sick.
Everybody will be friends.
My family and friends could live close to me.
Everybody has a safe home.
Everybody has food and drinks.
Nobody is lost.
Everybody has friends and teachers.
Everybody has toys.
Everybody has family.
Everybody has a car.
Everybody can do stuff.
Everybody can see.

I wish everyone could have experiences like this with their children!  Thank you, God, for giving me mine!

"You gain 
strength, courage, and confidence
by every experience in which you really stop
to look fear in the face.
You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

- Eleanor Roosevelt

(I read this quote in the book Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review: Girl Talk with God

I recently read the book Girl Talk with God by Susie Shellenberger from Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze program.  I was very interested in the book when I saw it.  However, it was very different than what I thought it might be.  Despite the difference, I really liked the book on a whole.  Each chapter (there are 23) deal with some issue our teenage girls are facing these days.  Everything from God’s love to divorce to cutting to pornography to waiting till marriage to social media is covered by Ms. Shellenberger.  She opens the book by explaining how prayer should just be like talking to our best friend.  We should open ourselves up to God, talk to Him and let Him talk back to us.  The chapters are very easy to read (I read it in a day because I just could not stop!) being set up like a conversation between a teenage girl and her Heavenly Father.  The only problem I had with the book was the lack of scriptures used in it.  I think it is important for our teens to be able to go to the Bible to see why we do – and don’t – do certain things.  Some chapters were full of verses to back up the issue at hand; others, while having good Biblical thoughts, had no scriptures.  I plan on using this book to help develop lessons for teenage girls this summer, and will appreciate those chapters which do provide scriptures for me to use.  Overall, a great book to use with teens in a class setting or a one-on-one setting.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Barbie Fashion Fairy Tale Birthday Party

I am so blessed with friends and family who have faith in me!!  I know they have more faith in me and my talents than I do!  My sweet sister-in-law and I were sitting around the computer after Christmas looking at different sites and every time we would come to something, she would look at me and say, "Becky, you could so do that!"  So, she put me up to the task of designing one of her niece's birthday party decorations.  Claire was going to turn 4 and wanted a Barbie Fashion Fairy Tale birthday party.  I had never seen the movie (and never heard of it to be honest), so I googled it!  Found out that Barbie goes to Paris in the movie and that is about all I needed!  I used my friend, Sherry's, Summertime in Paris, Accent Essentials and Once Upon a Princess cricut cartridges and got to work.  Here are the results - not perfect being my first time, but I think I have caught the bug!!!
 These are 12 cupcake pics for the birthday party.  On one side is a "C" for 
Claire and on the other side in Barbie's dress.
I tried to make the dress look as much like the one in the movie as possible.
I used Stickles for the first time and am in LOVE!

 The other 12 cupcake pics had a poodle (Barbie's pal) from the movie on one side,
and a "4" since this is her fourth birthday!
I used Stickles to add a pink bow to the poodle and Martha Steward glitter pens
to give the poodle her gold collar.

I had seen water bottle covers done, but really had no idea what I was doing with this.  They turned out pretty cute, though, and I have learned for next time!
 I wanted something simple from the movie to tie everything together.
What is more Paris than the Eiffel Tower?

I hope precious Claire has a wonderful birthday this weekend with her family.

I had a wonderful time doing these and now my mind is going 90 to nothing.  Valentines' Day ideas are coming soon.  Shoot me an email if you would like me to help you in any way.  Maybe, one day, an etsy shop will be up and going!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We Had Snow Much Fun!

Sunday night after church (school had already been called off) the kids and I got settled in our pajamas and awaited the snow that was to come and did it come!!!! Damon was a work in Jackson and would call every now and then to get weather updates. About 8:30 or so it came and came and came! We woke up Monday morning to a winter wonderland!  That morning the kids went out by themselves for a bit.  I was able to capture a few moments!

 Carter had a snowball fight with himself!
 Each year I love taking pictures of her in the snow!
There is something about it!

Later we all went out to build snowmen!  We have not had a good snowman snow in a while so we all enjoyed creating our specialized men . . . .

 Snowman building stopped for a bit to have a snowball fight.
 Damon with the kids
 A rare shot of me with the kids.
 Carter built - surprise, surprise - a baseball snowman!
He used his All-Star jersey.
 I love this shot of him.
It sums his personality perfectly!
LB and her snowman!
Actually taken the next day because she (is too much like her mama)
went inside as soon as she was done!

We are so thankful for these special family moments God gave us on Monday and are so thankful that He gives us great gifts each and every day!

What An Awesome God We Serve . . .

"For He says to the snow,
'Fall on the earth . . .'
He seals the hand of every man,
That all men may know His work."
Job 37:6-7 (NKJV)

"Lift up your eyes on high,
And see who has created these things . . .
He calls them all by name,
By the greatness of His might
And the strength of His power;
Not one is missing."
Isaiah 40:26 (NKJV)

"Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones,
Give unto the Lord glory and strength.
Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness."
Psalm 29:1-2 (NKJV)

"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."
Psalm 51:7 (NKJV)

a gentle reminder that . . .

" . . .'Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow; . . .'"
Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)
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