Friday, August 31, 2007

I am off to the Beach!!!

Just wanted to send a word out that I am off to the beach!! I am leaving this morning for a long weekend on the Gulf Coast. Kid FREE. I have some special college friends that I am still very close to. This is our 11th annual Labor Day trip to the Gulf. We even went when Hurricane Frances was out in the Gulf and outran it after a delicious meal at our traditional favorite restaurant. ( our saying that year was poo-poo on Frances) Don't worry, we were really 2 days ahead on the storm.

This is a special trip, because words cannot describe what these girls symbolize for me. College was such an incredible experience mainly because of these relationships God put in my life. I thank him continually for that. So, to celebrate it we still go together and feel 20 years old when we are together. The chatting in the house is always so loud, but I love it. I can't wait.

Please pray for J as he is keeping all the kids here for me so I can do this. Thank you sweet husband, you're the man!!!

See you when I get back.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

B turns 13!!!

(Notice B chose cheesecake as opposed to traditional birthday cake. You go Girl!!)
Today was B's 13th birthday. We now have FIVE girls with the word teen in their age. Somebody get me some help!!! No really, we have 5 fabulous girls that are learning and growing just like every other teenager in the world. I pray for these girls daily that they will NOT give in to the trappings of this world. They are all beautiful girls that will be noticed out there in the real world and we are constantly warning them of this fact. The world sees beauty totally different from the way God sees it. He has definitely created each of them with their own beauty.

B is our drama queen, literally. She has a natural talent for acting and singing. She has participated in a children's production company for several years and is now "moving on up". She hopes to find a place to get involved later. I personally think she has a beautiful singing voice and I love to hear her worship while she does chores. When left alone with the four little girls to play, you can almost always bet some production with costumes will take place that evening. It is usually a dance interpretation of some kind with a small plot. I love it!! I can totally see her being a drama teacher one day or directing her own plays. She is introverted, but loves to direct these precious shows we get to see in our very own home!!

Most importantly B is very knowledgeable about the Bible. She is learning how to apply that knowledge daily, which we are very proud. She has come a long way in her walk with Christ. She is the very one, who came into our bedroom in January of 2006 and said, I want to pray to ask Jesus in my heart. To watch this beautiful process unfold in the life of a child that is not even my own biologically, made her my own in this world. To witness the moment, she gave her life to God was one of the most precious memories I will every have of her. Since then, B has begun her journey with God, and let me say, I would hate to go up against B in an old fashioned Bible Drill. That girl knows her Bible and has been known to preach it. After hearing Mark Cahill speak at her school last year, she even went as far as to share her faith with people at Six Flags. She was later called out to tell her own experience of sharing her faith with others with her entire student body. That's what it's about people!!! I wish I could only be that bold.

I hope she had a wonderful, fun 13th birthday. Happy Birthday sweet girl.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

J's Day Off

J does not go to preschool on Tuesdays, so fortunately Mommy and J had a little quality time together. Guess what he chose to do? Have a tea party in his sisters' room with a teddy bear dressed in a wedding dress!!! Hysterical. It was his first chance in months to have Mommy all to himself, yet he chose to play a fun game he had played with his sisters many times before. Too cute. He is a character.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Premiere of High School Musical 2

(J. and R. as Troy Bolton and Ryan Evans from High School Musical)

Those of you with elementary aged kids and middle schoolers, well even high schoolers know the importance of this movie premiere last weekend. We had a suprise visit from two characters from the movie while we were all counting down the beginning of the movie. It was hysterical. My funny husband is always thinking of something to entertain us. The funniest part was he got R in on the drama. They came running in through the den yelling "Let's go Wildcats"!!!

(J. will probably die that I put this picture on here, but I have to let all of you see what a funny guy I live with!!)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Laundry Day

So many people have asked me through the years, "how do you wash clothes for that many people?" I have to say it is a daunting task and drives me even crazier than cooking for that many people. I have tried conquering this task several ways, but have finally settled on the best plan for us. We have a laundry room with large laundry basket sized cubbies. (12 cubbies) Each person has a cubby with their name on it and each day they are required to put their dirty clothes in that cubby. Each person has an assigned laundry day once a week. This means 2 people take a day, with two washers and two dryers; this usually leaves a minimum of 4-5 loads A DAY. I have to say brag, I have taught almost all the kids how to sort lights and darks, start their laundry, fold it, etc. They do a pretty good job. Now. . . is it folded perfect, no, is it always done the way I would do it, no. But, I have had to let that go. Sometimes, I think that is pretty gross their clothes are sitting there dirty all week, just waiting to be cleaned, then I thought further.

Is it the same in my walk with Christ? Do I sit all week and wait for church on Sunday to "Get clean"? The same comparison can be made in my own life when I go through the motions of my week and forget about Christ in a daily relationship. Even though the laundry must wait for its assigned day, our walk with Christ should not wait until Sunday. I must remember the Bible tells us to take up our cross Daily and walk with Him. I can't rely on a "one day a week cleaning up" and assume that will do it. God wants me every day!!!! He desires me and wants that personal daily walk in ALL THAT I DO, not just the dirty laundry.

So. . . have you washed your clothes today?

Friday, August 17, 2007

First Day of School

Is that the Hallelujah Chorus I hear ringing in my head? 8 of our 11 are BACK IN SCHOOL. No really, I am thrilled, but also celebrate what a great summer we had. It was filled with lots and lots of:
-pink cheeks from too little sunscreen
-summer camp
-Vacation Bible School
-7 kids in a wedding party in which I did the flowers (our tutors got married!)
-9 family birthdays!
-lots of Webkinz
-the beach-twice!
-ice cream and popscicles
-a trip to the lake with friends
-playing in the hose and the sprinklers and
-most of all some awesome family time.
Here are just a few pics from our summer.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Commissioning at Conference

This was the commissioning we received at the conference on Friday.

My Dear Sister,
The Maker of Heaven and Earth
Has His hand on you.
Don't trade what He has for you
For the comforts of this world.
Let the love of Christ compel you
And infuse you with courage.
God, even God, who created the heavens
Is the One who comforts you.
Whatever you do,
Don't refuse it!
His grace will guard you from bitterness And Christ will turn your pain Into Holy Passion.
Pour your life lavishly into others.
Humble yourself and share your hardships That others may also share your comfort.
Live till you die!
Then live like there's no tomorrow!
For the King enthroned in Heaven
Is worthy of your all.
Now, go, Girl!
For the Father of Mercies
And the God of all comfort
Goes with you.
Bless be God
And bless be you!

Amazing Freedom

In last weekend's Women of Faith Conference in Atlanta the theme was "Amazing Freedom". As each keynote speaker shared their own story of grief and heartache that God has brought each of them out of, I truly became AMAZED at how they could find freedom through their circumstances. Why do we not become more amazed by the love of God or amazed by the freedom He has given us in Christ. The word amaze means "to fill with great surprise or sudden wonder"; astonish; amazement, which means "an amazed condition; great wonder". Why am I not more astonished by God's Almighty works in my own life? He has done so much for me, but I get in my daily routine and forget His AMAZING power He shows me each day.

The Freedom part comes in once we accept his amazing love and find ourselves "free", spiritually to live for Him. In a current circumstance I find myself in, I told J, my husband, I am just not going to let this get to me, I am just not going there. To which he replied, "Isn't that just so freeing"? There you have it, I chose not to gossip, "wallow" or get caught up in the mess of a crisis, and I gave it to God. That is where the daily freedom comes into play. These women that shared their miraculous stories spoke of that freedom. I loved this definition of free in Webster's: "exempt from certain impositions". In other words, in my life, I am giving it all to God and I am letting him handle my certain impositions as I choose to do His will instead of my own. That feels so incredible.

In the picture above, J, caught a moment when S was twirling at a recent wedding in which she served as the flower girl. There were probably 400 eyes on her at this moment, but she didn't know it. What freedom she must have felt to feel she was the only person twirling at that moment, she could truly let go. We have got to learn to let go and LET GOD. In that kind of living we will find AMAZING FREEDOM. What a lesson for me today. (Can I get an AMEN?)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bow down or fight?

In my recent study on the Fruits of the Spirit by Beth Moore, I have been learning about the various gifts the Spirit gives us for daily living. My husband and I are currently being pressed with an issue that hurts. My prayer to God has been when do I know if I should fight or bow down. Beth has been teaching that Faith fights through a situation while gentleness bows in humble submission to God. So when do we know which one to choose or do we choose both? I told God if he would just tell me which one, I would obey. Please help us pray that God will reveal His plan for us in this current situation.

You know it really is a daily struggle for all of us as moms to know when to fight it or bow down. The daily struggles of cleaning, washing, wiping, folding, pulling, pushing, and giving wear on all of us. God has been showing me, this is it. These moments with little tiny ones won't last forever. J, our 2 year old starts preschool tomorrow. That's it, he's my last baby and the thought of him sitting at a little table with a lunchbox breaks my heart. So I am bowing down in humble gentleness to serve my precious boy for just these few more years. Soon, he won't want me to. So maybe it is having the ability to have both fruits of the Spirit at the same time, to be gentle, while having faith in God that he is there with me always.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Carseat

I have had it with trying to clean car seats!!! J, our youngest, really, really loves to draw while he rides in the car. One of the kids left an open ink pen in his carseat overnight. You guessed it, the next morning there was a huge ink spot. In an effort to "save" the car seat, I decided to wash the covering. Please let me tell you, go ahead friends and buy the extra cover to protect the car seat. I had to totally take the car seat apart to get the cover off. Needless to say, the amount of crumbs that fell in the laundry room from all the bumping and tossing and unscrewing fed our hungry dog. Disgusting!!! I cannot wait to be done with carseats!!! Anybody else?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

What a weekend!!!!

Well friends, I am back from the Women of Faith conference, and I am exhausted. Not only physically, but mentally. I am definitely still in the processing phase. There was so much information, so many speakers, so much scripture, so many stories to tell, that I can't even put into words how I feel.

I will say that I learned everyone has a story to tell, each of us have an issue or area that God is using in our lives. What that story is, is different for each of us. Mine will hopefully be journaled and used for His glory in this blog. I saw each woman that shared this weekend be real and vulnerable before thousands of women. Why can't we be real like that with each other? What is holding us back? What is our story? What are our issues? Beth Moore spoke about the comfort of God (2 Corinthians 2:1-11), that comfort is matchless to any other. God's comfort can be found and used much more effectively when we SHARE our stories, experiences, and spiritual journeys authentically.

Let me be REAL people, I have 11 kids, a wonderful husband, a crazy life, but I DO NOT have it all together. Maybe once we tear down these walls, let people in and see the real stuff we all have we will be more effective in our ministries. Beth spoke about this, and I was really convicted about letting others know I want to be real, and share my life so I can be a comfort to others.

My sweet friends, I love you all, let's all be more real, let each other in and see what God can do!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

M's Birthday

Today is our oldest daughter's birthday. She is now 18, and has lived with us since she was 13. What a bumpy, winding, and adventurous road we have been down with her. I couldn't help but think as she was blowing out her candles today, where would she be if she had not come here? The outcome thus far, may not be quite up to our expectations morally, but she may have even become a mother had she not come to live with us. She has achieved a lot in her little life since she has lived here, and for that we are proud. She has held down jobs, school, extracuricular activities, and even managed save money for a car. Happy Birthday sweet girl and may God continue to change and transform your life!!

I am headed off to Women of Faith for a weekend of rest and learning. Pray for Jonathan here at home with everyone else.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Today the heat index is 104 degrees so far and it is just 2:30 PM. I don't even want my kids to go outside for fear of heat exhaustion. Whew!! So. . . that means they are all inside with me. Which is fine, of course, but we don't start school for several weeks, so our activities and "summer" fun has worn off by this point.

You know it got me thinking, how to we react to pressure when the heat is on us? Naturally we get frustrated, want a quick solution, and a way out. God sometimes seems to turn up the heat in our personal lives and how do we react when the heat is on? Dear Lord, help me always go to you for a temperature check!!!

My sweet mom watched all the kids today so I could run a few errands today, but I was so hot getting in and out of the car, I only got two errands completed. I am so appreciative for her help.

I am headed to the Women of Faith conference this weekend, which will be highlighting a Day with my favorite speaker Beth Moore. This was my birthday present from my precious husband, and I can't wait. He even booked me a room at the Ritz in Atlanta. I absolutely love these gatherings where women of all denominations, yet one in Christ gather to praise Him. Needless to say, my husband will be here with all the kids in this heat. Maybe I will stock up on movie rentals!!


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My First Post

Greetings to my fellow bloggers. This is my first post. Please be patient with me as I navigate this unknown territory. I love reading blogs of friends and organizations. I guess like many of you, it has become a crazy time consuming hobby, yet it helps me. I have learned so much about God, my friends, and how to be a better person by reading real words from other people's lives. In this crazy world of technology, I guess this is really a positive way to encourage and enrich our lives. So I guess, if I can't beat em, join em. I am in people!!!