Tuesday, June 19, 2018

More Than Just Doing Good Things

Anybody can do good things.
Followers add good news and eternal hope to those good things.

Our family has a soft spot for the homeless in our area.  I'm positive we don't always do the right thing when we try to help, but we do the best we can, with what we have, to whoever the Holy Spirit leads our way.  We also work closely with the people in our church who live and breathe life with these people.

That being said, a few years ago we started putting together little bags for the homeless. We had heard of other people doing this and thought it was a great idea.  I got a bunch of paper bags and put a little snack bag together.  We have all loved being on the lookout for individuals who might need one of these simple bags.

But over time I was convicted that we were missing an opportunity.  Our mission on earth is to share the Hope and Truth of Jesus Christ.  This act of kindness was just that, a kind act, giving a small tangible gift to help, but it was lacking the most important thing! The thing that brings eternal life.

So I began taking each of the kids aside individually and we worked on writing up their personal stories.  I added a family photo with our names at the bottom so the person reading it could put a face to the name.  

I love having something available to hand someone out of the window at a stoplight, while I'm pumping gas or walking into a store.  It shows that they were thought of.  That they are not forgotten. That they are valued. We have been able to hear many stories and even pray over many people.  The kids are highly involved and even take turns praying with the people we meet.

These bags are nothing special, but every one of them now contains the story of life change and directions for someone else to make that same decision. Everything inside is intentional.

Water for physical thirst.
Almonds and granola bars for physical hunger and strength.
A way to physically feel clean and better about self.
Bags to help them carry their things (I found ours on Amazon...of course;).
But most importantly, a personal story and the seed of light to crack open the spiritual darkness.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Photos ~ Bringing In Summer

We have brought summer in with a FULL week of friends and adventures!

Quiet evenings cuddled up with daddy in his chair

shopping with the Colony

Rainy's little tadpoles are growing into tiny little froggies
sweet little CLEAN feet
We have a soft spot for our handicapped chicken, Gimley

Chloe straightening Rainy's hair was entertaining us all, lol
This little guy was still supposed to be in his mama's tummy, but is actually 2 months old now!
He is our newest MC addition.
Cai LOVES cuddling babies:-)
Playing games at Nonnie and G-Daddy's

Noel even came for a visit!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

I Did NOT Cuss Out My Riding Mower Today

I may have gotten a little carried away with my mower today.  The belt is old and wasn't catching the spring to lower the blade.  Something so little can seem so big when it is added to difficult news about friends or the heaviness on the news that is already circulating in my mind.  But today while I was kneeling down cussing out checking out the mower I was gently handed a thought that made me smile.  And then another one.  And then another one.

I thought I'd share some of my the things that I love and that make me smile to jumpstart your smile so that you can try to find some of your own.

Breast cancer runs in my family.  Knowing this has kept me in search of the perfect natural deodorant.  And let me tell you, I have found some doozies.  I have finally found one that I love though! It goes on smooth and clean, not sticky and wet.  I don't have to reapply nearly as much as the other natural deodorants I have tried.  And my friend is the one who makes it!  So if you are in the market for a good REAL deodorant let me know and I'll hook you up with my friend

Which leads me to something that puts this awesome deodorant to the test!  

Every other push mower we have had has been used and pretty beat up.  Not to mention that they have been quite literally heavier than I am and difficult to push up the hill at the bottom of our driveway.  But not this bad boy.  Josh had to finally break down and buy one, but even though it was the cheapest on the lot this puppy is light and even has a lower handle, which is perfect for my not-so-long self. 

Along the same "natural" lines...this little 1 lb. bag of soap nuts was only $19 and should hopefully wash all of my laundry for the next 2 years (because my last bag was 1/2 a lb. and I ordered it last April) .  How is THAT for savings?!  My sister-in-law told me about these gems and I haven't gone back since.  I've even done the whole "make your own detergent" and this, my friends, is even better!

My favorite face cleanser.  I've tried tons of these too and this is my go-to lately.

The vinyl I'm listening to right now.  Have you heard of Nils Frahm?  You need to look him up and take a listen right now.

The two corners of our front porch have 6th generation (at least!) bird nests.  Every year we get about 3 families in each corner and they just keep building their nests higher and higher with each year.  It's so fun to watch the life cycle right outside our window every spring ALL spring.  God even has a perfect family design for the birds.  Both parents prepare the nest.  The mom then lays the eggs and sits.  The dad finds and brings food to the mom as she waits on those eggs to hatch.  Then after they do hatch the dad still brings food (until the baby birds get older and bigger) and brings food to the mom who then eats and "shares" with the babies.

These are my favorite kinds of bouquets.  Wild and free, delivered with love.

That feeling when I finally get time to do Alethia's hair (and pray that it lasts for at least a couple weeks).

Jude checked out a cupcake baking book from the library and I promised that we could try our hand at one of them.  These are little horse cupcakes that Jude made almost all by himself!  That kid LOVES to bake:-)

My favorite pair of shoes

Picnic dinners outside.

Cai is REALLY loving soccer!  We claimed some of the land next to our backyard and Josh made a soccer field.  Then he crafted a goal out of old wood and old packing saran wrap we've had in the shed since we moved here in '09.  This is most likely where you'll find our family in the evenings before bed.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Happy 15th Anniversary (for our 16th Anniversary) ~ A Story In Pictures

We are always running a little behind on celebrations around here.  For example, Jude's birthday was February 9th and I have yet to plan his birthday outing with a buddy.  We are just trying to promote the discipline of patience;)

So we finally made our big 15 year anniversary getaway right after celebrating our 16th.  We decided to go back to Cancun like we did for our 10th anniversary (on our 11th anniversary...see what I mean?).

It did NOT disappoint.

My parents were gracious enough to come hang out here with the kids and take them around to all of their life things while we got away for 5 whole nights of uninterrupted, quiet, peaceful, relaxing, time together.  No instruments, no kids, no agenda...just us and the beach and all the food we wanted to eat, ha!

Embarking on our journey

I thought this was so cool!  I looked out my window and saw our airplane
reflecting on the clouds beneath us.

We were getting so close.  The water was turning crystal clear

Josh brought a book bag FULL of Spanish Gospel tracts and Bibles.
The guy on the cooler was SO anxious to get His and couldn't stop reading it
as soon as Josh told him what it was.

The view as soon as we walked into our room

We woke up with a beautiful sunrise EVERY SINGLE MORNING as we listened to the surf and birds

This was our favorite place to go every night after dinner.  It was a rooftop lounge overlooking the city.

We even kissed a couple of times while we were gone.

And some of this happened too.

Sunset at the rooftop lounge


Antonio, our favorite waiter

Coffee and reading on the beach were a favorite morning occurrence.