Sunday, December 23, 2007

My Favorite Things #10

Seeing the faces of lost souls coming to Christ. This weekend so far 76 people have given their lives to Christ. The last two services this morning I experienced something that really touched my heart. A couple sitting right next to each other, both timidly raising their hands, eyes closed. Then Pastor Rob asks them to keep their hands raised while everyone opens their eyes and the couple looks at each other with the look of "What are they going to think", but then they realize that both of them have stepped out and made that life-changing commitment at the same time!! Wow, I have tears just thinking about it. Praise the Lord!!

My Favorite Things #9

I know it's late and we're just at the beginning of 2 extremely busy days, but I had to get my post in. I've been thinking about it ALL day. Josh Via is one of my favorite things. Yeah I know he's my husband, but he's so much more than that. He's a great dad, one of the most sensitive guys to the Holy Spirit that I know, he loves me unconditionally, he's played the guitar for years but refuses to be at a stand still and is always looking for things that will make him better, he has a beautiful voice, and he is a GIFTED songwriter. When he introduces a new song he always says WE, but I cannot take a lick of credit for any of his beautiful songs. He Craves the Word of God and his time with the Lord, he truly cares for lost souls. No, he is not perfect, but I love him with ALL OF MY HEART!!!

***NOW***if you're looking for a Christmas weekend service or Christmas Eve service to attend, we know of an AWESOME church, we're a little bias, that has a service just right for you.
Southbrook Church
5607 Monroe-Weddington Road
Weddington, NC 28104
Phone: 704-814-7372
Fax: 704-814-9416

Sun. 8:30am, 10:00am, 11:30
AND Christmas Eve Services 4:00pm, 5:30pm, 7:00pm, 8:30pm and 10:00pm
We'll see you there!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

My Favorite Things #8

BEING A MOM. Yes, it's a challenge sometimes, but man, what a blessing! The funny things they do make me laugh, the silly things they say make me wonder "where they got that from", the temper-tantrums they throw remind me of how careful I need to be to control my temper around them, the harsh things they say help me be more aware of the words that come out of my mouth. It is sometimes scary how much they act like me. What a responsibility I have, as a mother, to exemplify Christ through my everyday life. Sometimes I feel like we, as stay-at-home moms, think that we don't have much of a Christian platform in the community, but, our mission, as Christians, is to reach the lost. What better way to reach this world, than through our children. Raising them in the Word, to grow up to want a personal relationship of their own with Christ, and to become Christian leaders and doers. God has called me to be a mom and I want to do it with excellence.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Favorite Things #7

Betty Crocker's Quick & Easy Cookbook. The caption written on the bottom of the cover is what sold me; "30 minutes or less to dinner every night"! What else could a traveling momma ask for?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Favorite Things #6

Starbucks Coffee, need I say more! Especially on days like today when I wake up feeling as though I haven't even gone to bed yet. Don't get me wrong, I'm having a GREAT day, but my body is trying to tell me otherwise. I have found that my SMALL addiction can have its toll on the checkbook so I bought an espresso maker on sale at Target and found some GREAT recipes for making my own favorite drinks from Starbucks. I thought I'd share a couple=)

2/3 cup whole milk
6 TBSP white choc. chips
coffee/espresso (I found the cheapest Starbucks coffee is at WalMart)
whipped cream

Mix milk and white choc. Chips to bowl and heat until melted. Meanwhile, make coffee or espresso as directed by machine. Mix the milk and melted chips in a mug with the espresso and top with whipped cream. *This says to split and that it makes two, but I use a pretty big mug and drink the whole thing myself =)*

vanilla syrup
caramel sauce

In regular-sized coffee mug add steamed milk w/ some vanilla syrup (about 1oz.). Add freshly brewed espresso and drizzle w/ caramel sauce.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Favorite Things #5

Christmas Parties!!! Paul Allen, Executive Pastor of Southbrook Church, had a Christmas Open House this past weekend at his house for all the volunteers. It was the coolest thing, to have ALL of our closest friends that we do ministry with in one house! I thought I might be the only bad parent to keep my kids up past bedtime, but we were in good company=) Areyna kept telling me, "I don't WANT to leave, we have so many friends here!" I know this may seem silly to be one of my FAVORITE THINGS, but we came from a very dark time last year and it is so encouraging to have friends that love us and are supporting us this year during this season! So, I guess my favorite thing is really our home church, SOUTHBROOK!! Thank you staff and volunteers, for being committed to Christ and obeying His Calling to reach this lost city!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Favorite Things #3

My Job: I am a stay-at-home-mom but I also get to keep my husband organized in the office for our ministry. I love administrating! Here are 10 of my favorite reasons I love my job...
1-I get to listen to this sexy guy play the guitar ALL the time (hey, it's my blog and I can say what I want to=)
2-Me and Josh get to work together.
3-My kids know that their daddy is always close-even if he's "woking in thee office" or away at a meeting with someone.
4-I get to go on business trips with my husband.
5-We can plan our own calendar.
6-There isn't a fear of getting my husband fired-he's the boss=)
7-I very rarely have to get groceries with both of the kids since I can put them down for a nap and leave them here because Josh is home in the office. (This is a definite plus)
8-We get to travel all over and see how God is working in so many different venues.
9-When we play for an event that we can't bring the kids to, the Lord always opens up a place for the kids to stay. Oh...and Josh and I get to have a mini vacation together, just the 2 of us. (it's a rough job, I know)
10-Since we don't get a consistent paycheck we are FORCED to continually rely on God. What a blessing, to see the Lord truly providing for our EVERY NEED!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Favorite Things: #2

I love when I walk in the door after being gone somewhere and the kids jump with excitement and shout out that they missed me and loved me=). Usually they are calling for "daddy,daddy" ALL day, but when I'm the one that's been gone it's nice to know that they miss me too!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Favorite Things

Last night I caught the re-run of the GREATLY anticipated Oprah's "My Favorite Things" show. Josh and I were rolling as we watched people raising their hands to Jesus and others about to pass out when they saw all the goodies they'd be taking home. Josh put a hilarious video of it on his blog. Anyway, it got me thinking of some of my favorite things. I'm gonna tell you one of my favorite things each day until Christmas.

Here goes...
Yesterday my friend Sara asked me to lead worship with her so I left the kids with Josh and got in the car ALL BY MYSELF and drove with the windows down ALL BY MYSELF and listened to some of MY favorite tunes, not Praise Baby or Hermie and Wormie by the way, REALLY loudly just because I could=)

*You may notice that I link to Josh's blog all the time. First of all, he writes better than I do, second, I haven't figured out how to post videos and third, he can't understand how I get so many comments and he never does. I tried to explain that girls just communicate more in general, but you should go and leave a comment just for fun=)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How do YOU conserve water?

Since Josh and I found out about the strict restrictions in our area to conserve water we are evaluating the water usage in our own home, (YES, we do love our environment, but it's mainly so we don't have to pay a butt-load of fines at the end of the month). It's kind of like when you put a budget together and realize exactly where ALL that money has gone. Anyway, here are just a few ways we have been saving water around here. Let me know if you have any other ideas...

1 - Areyna is learning a new rule..."if it's yellow let it mellow and if it's brown flush it down." Laugh if you must, but we're saving loads with this one!! (Very resourceful, thanks Deedee)

2 - We have 2 leaky faucets and the plumber won't be back in town for another week. We have devised yet another plan to use this wasted water. We are putting tupperwear in the sinks under the dripping water and that seems to be more than enough to fill up the coffee pot in the morning and the kids humidifier at night.

3 - Our laundry consists of 1 large dark load and 1 large UNdark load.

4 - Hand soap has been replaced by hand sanitizer.

5 - Clearasil facial wipes have replaced washing with water at night

6 - Paper plates, and plastic cups and silverwear are being used so we only have a couple of dishes to wash.

7 - Lysol wipes have become my best friend.

Last But Definitely Not Least: YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS THIS!

8 - Go to Josh's blog to see our new bathtime ritual for the kids.

Monday, December 10, 2007

That Feeling

Have you ever felt so burdened by someone or something that you felt like you were suffocating and could hardly breathe? Like your anxiety level is so high that your heart is pounding through your chest and it makes you lightheaded? I have only felt this way a handful of times. Two specific times stick out in my head and they both happened around this time last year and both of them were out of my control. This past week I haven't slept well. It's a strange thing, really. I used to deal with sleeping problems, especially in high school and college, but they diminished, for the most part, after I got married. This week has been different, though. It's as if the Lord has been keeping me from sleep because that is the only time I'll hold still long enough for him to speak to me. He has been laying people on my heart to pray for and to find ways to encourage. I have felt this burdened feeling off and on for several days now. Today has been the worst, though. I found out my sister-in-law is in the hospital and the doctors have narrowed it down to 2 different diseases. My heart aches for her and my brother. I've never felt the Lord working on my heart like this before. I want to encourage His people. I want His leaders to feel like they are making a difference, even when they are feeling discouraged and alone. I want to love on my hurting friends, even if I can't relate completely with what they are going through. I want to drive to FL to be with one of my best friends, while he stands by his wife in the hospital. God, the circumstances are out of my control, but you have given me the power to communicate your love. I can do that.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Quote Of The Week

Sitting at the table eating mac-n-cheese before heading out to a Christmas party.

Areyna: out of the blue says "Oh my gosh, it's weak!!"

Me: "What's weak, Areyna?"

Areyna: "The coffee, mom, the coffee's weak!!"

*That's my girl=)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

String Party

When I was little my mom's side of the family started an awesome tradition for New Year's. We would meet at my Aunt's house for our Christmas Celebration. On New Year's Night all the parents and grandparents would stay up past the midnight festivities and play games and do who knows what, but after all that, they would set up the STRING PARTY. Here's how it worked. Each of us kids got a different color of yarn and they would string it ALL OVER THE ROOM. Now remember, I was young and this could be a little exaggerated due to my size (everything looks HUGE when you're little, and a few toys could feel like tons). Anyway, then the grown-ups would proceed to close-pin fun toys to the strings that they had been collecting all year long, such as Chinese yo-yo's, multi-colored crayon balls, animal nose masks etc. After they were done , they left the rolls of yarn sticking out of the room so we could find our color and covered the room off with a sheet so as to hide the long-awaited string party. I remember standing there the next morning with the rest of my siblings and cousins, eyes wide, pulse racing, heart pounding in excited anticipation of what was to come. Then, the sheet was pulled and we would all scramble to find our treasures connected to the spiderweb of colors. My family has such fond memories of those moments that we wanted our own children to experience the thrill of a String Party. So, last year we started it with the next generation. Here are a couple of pictures from this year's string party we held at my sister's for Thanksmas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

How do you ration indoor city water???

Well, we're about to find out. We were just informed tonight, that because of the drought, Monroe is in immediate need for changes. We are down to 100 days of water in our county and our water bill is automatically raised by 15%. Not only that, but if we go over the allotted amount per family, which is 6 gallons, we will be getting charged 5 times the normal sum. Looks like we'll be "saving the flushes" again=)

Check It Out

You have got to check out the CUTE picture of Zeke on Josh's Blog!!! He wants to be just like Daddy=)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's Up

We got our Christmas tree tonight! I love the tradition Josh started on the first Christmas we were married. He buys me a new ornament signifying something that has happened that year. For example, the year before Areyna was born he bought me an ornament that was an empty crib that said "Parents To Be". The tradition has passed on to the kids as well. This year Areyna got a little kitty cat that said "3rd Christmas" and Zeke got a puppy dog with a little tool set. Mine, ironically, was a luggage bag, since we started our own TRAVELING MINISTRY. God has been so good to us. Here are a couple of pics. from the night=)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Sunday-Night-After-Church-Social Feeling

It is 9pm and Josh and I just got home and put the kids to bed (without brushing their teeth or doing any other night-time routine because they are so tired from not sleeping AT ALL TODAY that they are running into walls and doors) and now we are starving. We've practically been gone since 7:30am this morning leading worship for different churches. Anyway, here we sit, hungry...but we can't eat. We've got, what we have phrased as the "Sunday-night-social feeling". If any of you grew up in church you know what I'm talking about. It would occur after a special Sunday night service and everyone would bring a dessert to share for a pot-luck and there was EVERY DESSERT IMAGINABLE to eat...but you just had that blah feeling, a kind of little stomach cramp that you get when you've waited too long to eat or you eat too late. Ahh, oh well. Maybe we'll just go to bed=)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Quote Of The Day

Areyna: "That is sooo cool!"

Me and Josh: "What did you say"

Areyna repeats what she just said.

Me and Josh: "Where did you hear that word?" (not that it's bad, it's just a new phrase that she's never said before)

Areyna: "Probably at church or something, mom."

She is starting to sound so grown up lately=)