Thursday, July 28, 2011

Camp Creative Part 2

Behold!  More YUMMY Camp Creative pictures!

 So after baking with 50 kids for two days, I was a sucker and went home and baked this one for our reception as well.

 These are the cupcakes made by the preschoolers and first and second graders.

 Carson's cupcake: Yellow with a green smiley face.

All the little ones knew exactly which cupcake was theirs when it came time to eat!

All of the cakes below were made by the 5th and 6th graders.

The finished products waiting to be eaten up!

Tour of Duty: the final week

Well, my Tour of Duty Bible Study is completed.  What a blessing it was!  I learned so much about myself, about God, about deployment.  What an AWESOME experience.

Below our my answers (along with the questions) for the final week.  Please feel free to comment even if you didn't do the study.

1. The chapter this week started with some heavy questions about God’s purpose for your life. If you feel comfortable sharing, what were some of your answers?

As my husband and I talked last night, I found this to be more true than ever: to be the best wife I can be.  With what he feels called to do, he needs me to be supportive and understanding.  When I do that, I am making him happy.  

I think a big purpose of my life is to serve.  Some older ladies at church told me that I am serving alongside Jeff.  We are serving God, our country, and our church together.

Being blessed with children, I know I have the awesome, sometimes scary, responsibility of guiding my sons to be men of God.

2. What are your thoughts on Romans 8:28?

Love it! If I follow in God's will, He will provide for me.

We have a family friend who is running from God's will and the more he runs, the worse things seem to get for him and his family.  

Being in God's will is sometimes scary, but He promises to bless us for our obedience.

3. What’s the difference between self-created courage and courage that comes from God? What insights did you have as you read about courage?

Courage is NOT about me. It is about humbling myself (which can be scary) and fully relying on the strength of God.  It is about surrendering myself to his will, his plans, and allowing him to work through me.

4. What did you learn from the story of Esther this week?

I think I was just reminded more than ever that this is my time to serve God.  Whether it is being an Army wife or a preacher's wife, a mother, a teacher, or friend, He has chosen me for this time and I must be obedient to His calling.

5. How do you find yourself being courageous? In what areas of life do you struggle with this?

Sometimes the courage to just hang in there is difficult.  Exhaustion sets in and it is so easy to give up. Being a mom of three boys, working full time as a teacher, being involved at church, and coaching whatever sport we've signed up for leaves me very tired sometimes.  Therefore I sometimes say I can't do other things God wants me to do.  I think sometimes it takes courage to say, "ok, I have had enough," and I think it takes even more courage to say, "God, I need you. I can't do this but I know you can. Please help me." 

6. What’s the biggest takeaway you’ve had from this study and sharing and hearing from the other ladies who have participated over the last 8 weeks?

I have learned that whatever lies ahead, whatever God places before me, I can get through it with Him by my side.  I am never alone.  I have to be willing to admit that I can't do it alone and I need God.  I have to open my eyes to see how He is working in my life.  I have to give him praise for what he does for me.

I would like to say as well that I had a neat experience the other day. I was talking with some older ladies at church and they could totally relate to things I go through.  They talked about their experiences from their husbands and brothers who had been in Vietnam and other war ravaged places.  Although they aren't my age, they had lots of words of wisdom.  I encourage you to seek out such Christian women on your journey. They bring a fresh perspective.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Camp Creative

For the last 3 years, our church has done a wonderful program called Camp Creative.  It teaches children creative ways to worship and serve God.  This year I was asked to teach a class called Shakin' and Bakin'. I taught the children (ages 4 - 6 grade) how to bake cakes, make icing, and decorate.  Here are the cakes from Colin's class:

Our verse for my class was Psalm 34:8: Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good: Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Guess who is turning 9?

I so can't believe it!

 This shows how much I love my child!  I am NOT a Yankees fan and still can't believe I made him this cake.
 I am so thankful that Jeff was home this year for Colin's birthday.

I still can't believe we got him phone!


Friday, July 22, 2011

And Sometimes I Cry

Laughter, tears, insanity. 

It all comes with being a mom.

I absolutely love it. 

Everything from hearing "Mama" 500 times a day to being thrown up on by one of my boys.  I love the giggles coming from the bedroom while they are playing and the stare downs I get when they don't get their way.  I love the banshee cry of an angry sibling and the sweet I love you later that seems to come from no where.

Yes, I love being a mom.

Sometimes it gets me.

Carter started daycare yesterday.

Ordinarily, this would be no big deal.  Colin started when he was 6 months old and Carson when he was 15 months old.  Happyland has been part of my life for the last 8 1/2 years with about 4 more to go!

But yesterday, I lost it.

As I handed off my Carter to his teacher (one of my former 4th grade students), the tears started rolling.  I cried all the way home trying to compose myself before the big boys and their daddy saw me.  When Jeff asked me if I cried, I nodded and started all over again. 

His solution to the problem, "Do we need to have another one?"

I love being a mom. Sometimes it makes me laugh and sometimes it makes me cry.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

HA HA HA! I Laugh in the Face of.....Motherhood!



There's nothing like it.

This past weekend we decided to take a day trip .  So we headed up I65 and found ourselves at the Lincoln Birthplace.

 Yes, I am very aware that I look a little pregnant in this picture, but I assure you, I am not.

 Colin was so excited to touch the cornerstone placed by Theodore Rosevelt.

Carson and his GIANT Lincoln Penny.

The boys really wanted to visit the Kentucky Railway Museum.  It really wasn't what they expected and it didn't take much to convince them to leave.

So, since we were all starving, we continued on those long winding roads to the Toll Gate Cafe outside the Maker's Mark Distillery.  As we are placing our order......


My middle child throws up ALL over my feet.  Thank you winding roads and Nintendo DS.

So, it is a very good thing I have a very good sense of humor because sometimes I must laugh in the face motherhood!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tour of Duty Chapter 6

I seriously can't believe that I am almost finished with the Tour of Duty Bible study. It has truly been amazing. Thank you, Sara!

Below are the questions for the week and my answers. Please feel free to comment even if you aren't completing the study.

1. Discuss your biggest giant that keeps your eyes off God. Is this giant a recent distraction, or is it a giant that keeps returning?

I think the biggest giant that keeps my eyes off God is the Giant of Stuff.  This stays in my face constantly and makes me get my priorities mixed up.  I then lose sight of God. The Stuff is a mix of things: rest, reading books, blogging, playing on the iPad, work, or sports.  All of these things can quickly take control and I find myself so busy (mostly playing catch up) that My relationship with God is not a priority.

2. Do you agree with the statement “Giants require confrontation”? How have you confronted your giants lately?

Yes. Yes. Yes.  Just last night, I confronted the Giants of Worry and Guilt  I prayed and prayed about it.

3. How does knowing that the enemy could be the driving force behind your giant change your perspective on it?

It is a reminder that Satan knows my weaknesses. But it is also a reminder that "the battle is the Lord's," and through Him, I can overcome whatever I am facing.

4. How has your giant drawn attention away from God?

Sometimes it just overwhelms me and it is all I think about, almost "forgetting" that God is there with me.

5. What part of the David and Goliath story hit home with you this week?

I think what got me the most was that although David expressed his faith in God, Saul just kept on with the "human stuff." It was like, "oh, God is on your side? Great. But take this armor too." Saul was making David's God too small.  I think we are all guilty of that at times.

6. Which of the bulleted items on page 93 is the hardest for you to remember and why?

We've already overcome giants with God's help.  

I think maybe I get so wrapped up in the giant that when it is conquered I may not give God the credit.  When that happens it is so easy to forget what He has done for me.  If I give Him thanks, then I can remember what he's done for me the next time I am confronted by a giant.

7. Which giant do you struggle with the most: loss, doubt, failure, disappointment, or time?

Ummm, all of them!  I think really though I struggle with doubt.  I want to be successful I whatever I am doing, but sometimes I wondering what I'm thinking/doing and convince myself that I don't have what it takes or that those who say they care rally don't.

8. Discuss these verses: John 15:4-5 and Isaiah 40:31. How do these verses both challenge and encourage you?

I think all to often we are quick to rely on our own strength or even that of others (our support system). Either way, we don't get what we really need. We won't until we hand over all of our burdens to the  Lord (really and truly laying them at the foot odd the cross). When we do this, God gives us unimaginable strength, wisdom, peace, and rest.   These verses encourage me to seek Him immediately because he promises to provide.

9. What would your life look like without God? How can you trust Him more fully this week?
Without God....oh my gosh, my life would be a mess! I am holding back laughter right now.  I know people who solely depend on the advice of others.  They never seek God's will.  If I did that...Ha!  I will put my trust, my faith, my hope in Him.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


We are approaching Jeff's ordination into the ministry, so I am really curious...ALL YOU CHAPLAIN'S WIVES, what can we expect?  Specifically from those that are Southern Baptists?  I know this will be done at church beginning with private questioning from some local pastors, and then a recommendation will be made to the church to ordain my husband, with a vote then being taken.  Just wondering what else we need to know.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm a Sucker

Last year, I agreed to help coach Carson's soccer team.  I assisted a wonderful couple from church.  It was great fun.  So this year, I agreed to help again.  Kylie decided she wanted to play, so Hilarie said she would help Leslie and I this year.  Well, come to find out, the soccer board didn't have enough people to be head coaches!  Oh, no.  It was decided that Leslie would coach a team and Hilarie and I would coach a team. They still needed one more team.  So we convinced Hilarie to head coach too. Well, maybe I'm not the only sucker!  Leslie and I worked it all out so that we will practice on the same days and at the same time.  That way we can scrimmage and even practice together if need be.  It will work out and be great. After all, it is for the kids.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Big Dog is in the house.

Heating and Cooling guy came to fix a frozen AC unit.

Big boys played Toy Story 3 Legos on my bed.

Little one is eating us out of house and home.

I've been hanging out on the couch working on my Tour of Duty Bible study.

Why are we being bums today?

It is 96 degrees and the Heat Index is at 113.  It is summer in South Central KY!

Tour of Duty Chapter 5

I can't believe I am in week 6 of the Tour of Duty Bible Study. Below are the questions for Chapter 5, along with my answers.  Even if you aren't participating in the study, still feel free to comment.

1. We’re in our sixth week of this study – only 2 weeks left!! What has God taught you recently through the journey of deployment? It can be big or small.

Although I am not going through a deployment right now, I feel that God is truly preparing my heart for one. I am learning so much: don't lose heart, God has a plan, and although not everyone will understand, I am NOT alone.

2. What did you think about this chapter this week? Have you found yourself on a Mountain for One recently? If you feel comfortable, share what that’s been like.

With any season of life, I think we do find ourselves on a Mountain for One.  I think it is only natural for us to want to escape and even do so a little.  It may be even a little "healthy" to do so with the right perspective. However, we must not stay there too long.

1Peter 5:8 says, "Be sober! Be on the alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour."

If we stay on our Mountain of One and in our Cave too long not seeking a way out, the devil will devour us. Although we need some down time, too much is a bad thing.  I'm finding more and more we need to find balance in our lives.

3. If you feel comfortable, share your response to the question on page 75 regarding a time when you wanted to give up.

This is totally not military related, may even seem a little petty, but...each year our church holds a block party. We have food, games, prizes, inflatables, music, and a cake walk.  This actual event drew my family to the church a few years earlier. Each year the "help" gets smaller and smaller.  Last year, I did almost all the work. It was very frustrating. I was just a committee member and took care of most of the planning. Even some people didn't want to get the big tent for our meal because of the cost (those same people sure enjoyed that tent though!). At the end of the months of planning and the actual event, I told my pastor I wanted off the committee, that it wasn't my job to do it all, and I didn't even get to enjoy the event with my family because I was too busy working it.  God got me then.  It wasn't about me, but I made it that way. The whole event is about Him and I forgot that during my pity party. I later apologized to my pastor for my attitude and told him I would love to continue to be a part of the event.

4. To which CAVE do you most often retreat in hard times?

I think I retreat to the CAVE of Self Pity.  It is mental though. I don't normally talk about it. I gripe to myself.  I don't share my heartaches too often.  I usually just quit keeping up with my responsibilities for a few days until I get over myself.

5. What has God already done in your life that you missed because you weren’t looking?

I think I missed out on things due to fear.  My middle school music teacher encouraged my to be in the high school color guard, but I didn't feel like I was good enough.  I even backed out of living in the dorms in college due to fear, of what, I don't know. I just chickened out.  When you lack self esteem fear grips you and you miss out on what God can offer you. Those things could have built my confidence and provided great experiences.

6. Read Philippians 4:8 and discuss your thoughts. What other verses has God used to encourage you?

When I read Philippians 4:8, I am reminded that whatever we set our thoughts upon is what we become. We can make excuses for ourselves about many things to make us "not look so bad." When we do, that becomes our lifestyle.  One thing I am seeing now is that some women that I care about are convincing themselves they need a break from their husbands and children, so for them it is ok to go out to clubs just to get away.  I think that is asking for trouble. I don't see anything wrong with some moms taking time to go to dinner to hang out to talk, but going out drinking to places where others are there to hook up, not so good. We have to be very careful of becoming worn out. We shouldn't view our families, our lives, or the season we are in as a burden, when we do, that is asking Satan to come on in and take over.

I love Psalm 118:24: This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  It reminds me that each day is a gift. We are not promised tomorrow, so we should make the most of today.

7. Like Elijah, what action is God telling you to do?

I think God is telling me to be in his presence.  So many times I find myself slipping away from Him because I have made my life so busy and so unorganized.  I need to focus on Him.

8. How has God been whispering encouragement to you this week?

I think he is whispering, "Balance. Me first, then family. I'm with you." 

9. How do you make reading your Bible a priority? When do you do this? What tips can you share with other women in the group?

Unfortunately, just sitting down reading the Bible, doesn't always happen.  Like many, I make excuses on why I don't: busy with responsibilities, tired, you name it, I probably said it.  However, I love a group study.  For me, at this time in my life, it works for me.  I have a group who is holding me accountable, I can discuss and get other perspectives, yet still hold to what God is telling me. 

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Hot Rods Faith and Family Night

Last night was the second Hot Rods Faith and Family Night.  We had a great time with our big boys, family, church family, and friends.

Colin and Ben eating the Macho Nachos!  

Pitcher Austin Hubbard sharing a bit about his faith.

The Omega Force Strong Man Team.

Christian artist Jaime Jamgochian performing.

Michael Kutcher, twin brother of Ashton Kutcher, talking about his life with Cerebral Palsy.

Jacob's ball team on the field with the Hot Rod's during the National Anthem.  

Have you ever

 cotton candy
 like this?