Thursday, January 31, 2008

Would You Hurry Up!...Oh...I Love You=)

Many of you already know that Josh has been putting the finishing touches on his very first book, The Discovery. I am so proud of him!! It is a devotional book through the book of John geared toward High School and College-aged students. He has been so diligent to get it written and so obedient to the Lord's leading in it, but I'm ready for it to be at the Press already! He warned me about a week or two ago to "just consider this exam week" and I thought I prepared myself, but I just realized that we have another week left in this "exam week". See, he has a strategy...he finds a place to sit, pretty much anywhere, and puts his headphones in his ears and his computer on his lap and zones out, completely engulfed into perfecting this book. This means that 1. he cannot hear Areyna yelling out her door that she has to "peepee" while I'm across the house doing office work 2. he somehow cannot see (or feel) Zeke pulling on his pant leg and whining to hear the music too 3. he cannot hear the front door bell ring even though he's right next to the front door 4. he cannot hear the timer going off in the kitchen while the beans boil over on the stove while I'm changing a stinky diaper 5. he somehow missed that Areyna and Zeke kept coming in to sit on my lap or talk to me while I try to give a violin lesson 6. he cannot hear his phone ringing off the hook right next to get the picture=) His deadline is next Friday and then I'll have my husband back. All joking aside, though, I never realized everything that goes into writing a book and I can't wait to see the finished product. You are going to love the book, no matter what age you are.


Zeke and his G-daddy - just a few days old

My dad is Grandaddy, but for some reason my kids can't say it quite right. It usually comes out something like "dadadaddy", so we have nicknamed him G-Daddy. My parents live in Colorado Springs, CO so we don't get to see them much and we miss them so much. The week after my sister had her baby in the DC area, my parents flew in to be with her but my dad had a meeting later on that week in South Carolina. He decided he'd drive down to stay with us and we're SO glad he did. Every day since then, oh for about three weeks now, Zeke has not failed to ask for his G-daddy AT LEAST once. We miss you and love you G-Daddy.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Why We Do What We Do

We are in a stage right now with Areyna that, when I ask her to do something and she doesn't really like the idea she either starts to whine (which I CANNOT stand) or starts to throw a temper tantrum. We began to give her a "choice". Here is an example, starting after the temper tantrum has begun.

Me: "Areyna, can you please have some self-control and listen to mommy?"
Me: "You have a choice. You can either choose to stop playing with your toys like mommy just asked you to with a happy heart and come enjoy a nice dinner...OR...You can choose to continue to throw a temper tantrum and choose to disobey mommy and choose consequences. Now, what choice would you like to make?"
Areyna: with a surprisingly much better attitude "I will choose to obey."
(This doesn't work EVERY time, but most of the time.)

In my quiet time today I finished up the book of 2 Samuel. I learned so much in this last chapter. The Lord had allowed Satan to tempt King David and he had a choice to make. David chose the WRONG choice, and his conscience let him know it. He was going to have to deal with the consequences. He went to the Lord and asked for forgiveness and for the Lord to take away his guilt. The Lord replied "This is what the Lord says: I am offering you three choices. Choose one of them, and I will do it to you." He had to choose his consequence. See, he ALREADY chose the path leading to consequences and now he had to choose which consequence he wanted from the Lord. We don't necessarily allow Areyna to choose her consequence, but hopefully by giving her options early on in her life, she will learn how to avoid that path all-together.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Who Stole The Hats?

My mother-in-law has made an art out of Christmas. Let me just tell you why; she has 5 children, 4 of which are married, plus 4 grandkids and another one on the way, her in-laws, her husband's brother, her husband and the honorary Via family (the Hambrick's), not to mention her friends and family that do not come to the Via household for Christmas. One thing she started this year that was pretty creative was to give each grandchild a different type of wrapping paper so we don't spend 30min. looking for their next gift. Back to the post at hand; at the end of Christmas she gives us all an envelope with ALL the gift receipts for each family so if something doesn't work, doesn't fit, or isn't what we particularly liked we can take it back. Well, I was organizing the office last week and I ran across our receipt envelope and I wanted to make sure that we didn't need anything out of it. I ran across one item that she had paid for that we didn't get (it's not uncommon to lose a present here and there) and I wanted to make sure that she didn't receive something she'd paid for. Last Wed. after Charlotte One, which was incredible by the way, we headed to VA to do all our taxes and end of the year paperwork for the ministry (that's a completely different post) so I brought the receipt with me and asked Janet about it. She got this look and without even a word led me into their office and pulled out what you see in the picture. She said that she had wanted to get Zeke a little construction hat to wear when he and his daddy work with their tools and this is what came in the mail. This was clearly NOT WHAT SHE HAD PAID FOR. She was supposed to get 2 matching hats for $11.99 and instead got PLASTIC PARTY HATS from the $1 store. She then drove to "Toys R Us" and asked for a refund with receipt in hand and they said with accusation "Ma'am, we don't carry those here. They aren't even our brand", to which Janet replied, "well, this is what I got in the mail after ordering YOUR construction hats on-line." Anyway, she gladly gave me the 2 packs of plastic hats from for Zeke's birthday party this summer and is becoming very close to NEVER shopping on the internet again.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

OK, That's Just Weird

Josh and I were heading back from a winter conference at Ft. Caswell last Sunday afternoon and we decided it was past time for lunch since the kids were getting a little too cranky. Wendy's seemed like a quick, cheap fix so we stopped. We noticed that all the senior citizens in town had also decided that their Sun. afternoon lunch fix would be fulfilled at this particular Wendy's. We all got our favorites, sat down and devoured our food. Josh finished first so he decided he'd go fill up at the gas station next door while I stayed with the kids. Areyna takes forever because she talks to everyone around her, eats little bites and squirms; Zeke takes forever because, well, he eats more than I do!! Anyway, every couple of min. or so we'd get an elderly visitor at our table who would come over and talk about how cute our kids were, how polite they were, how they warmed up to strangers so quickly, etc. Well, while I was trying to get Areyna to "eat ONE MORE BITE" and clean up Zeke so we could take one more try on the potty before the rest of the ride home, we had a rather ODD encounter with another older couple. After their compliments on our children we just started small talking and as soon as he figured out we were in ministry I knew I was in for it!! He starts going on about how he knew all these SECRETS in the Bible that "not even the good preachers know" such as identical chapters within the Bible, and certain verses that you could "repeat 3 times" to stop bleeding, headaches and various other ailments. It just weirded me out!! Josh came back toward the end of the conversation and has vowed never to leave me alone like that again=) Areyna looked at me later and said "that man was weird". I completely agree Rainy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Charlotte ONE

If you are in college or around that age we better see you at Charlotte One tonight. Return Worship is privileged to be partnering with Charlotte One as we lead worship every Tues. night (except for an occasional concert).

WHEN: Every Tues. night following the general college class schedule
WHERE: First United Methodist Church Uptown
WHAT TIME: 7:00pm
HOW MUCH: IT's FREE, so no excuses!!
GUEST SPEAKER: Voddie Baucham

I'll see you tonight.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Relax, Relate, Release

Did any of you ever watch that show called "It's A Different World"? That was one of my favorites. It used to come on right before or after The Cosby Show. That was my 1 hr. of TV that I got for the day, I always loved that rule mom=) Anyway, there is one thing that Whitley, one of the main characters, taught me that stuck with me through all these years. It goes something like this (you should probably close your eyes to get the full effect), raise your hands up to the sky and say "relax", then bring your hands down along your sides shadowing your body and say "relate", and finally flick your hands in a matter as to say that you are letting it go behind you and say "release". I guess you really just have to have seen it, but it really works for me when I've had a bad day or something is just driving me crazy and I need to just stop talking and "relax, relate and release".

Friday, January 18, 2008

On The Road Again

I had such a good birthday yesterday. I saw snow, I didn't run out to the store for a single thing, I didn't change 1 poopie diaper, we got to drop the kids off for a date night (thanks Dan and Raina, Areyna definitely didn't want to leave last night and I think Zeke could have danced with Barbie all night). Josh took me out to eat and then we hung out, just the 2 of us=) Today I am trying to pack our family up because we are heading out to Oak Island at Ft. Caswell for a Winter Conference. We'll be leading worship of course and Josh will also be teaching 3 sessions. If you think about it, please pray that Rainy and Zeke will behave themselves so we can focus on our mission there and not of fussy babies, because as we speak they are trying my patience as we try to get out the door.

P.S. My sister-in-law and her 2 little ones came to visit us last week. We had a BLAST. Let me just break it down for you...Areyna isn't even 3 yet, Cana is 8 months younger than Areyna, Zeke is 8 months younger than Cana and Kayil is 8 months old. We had 4 kids here under 3 years old. You can see more pictures on Kelly's Blog and read a little more about the week, but I just had to share this picture. Here is Areyna and Cana sitting at the big girl table eating lunch!!

A special thanks goes out to the Singletons. Pastor Rob and his wife Michelle had us over for breakfast last Saturday morning and his daughter gave Areyna 2 of her dancing outfits that no longer fit her. They saved the day a couple of time with the girls. THANK YOU Julianna!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


When I was a preschool music teacher and the threat of snow was in the air, I would literally set my alarm, whether it was 2am or 7am, for whenever the weather man said it was supposed to start. Not only was I waiting in great expectation to see if my school was canceled but I LOVE snow. I just love weather in general, especially storms, but snow is one of my favorites. Josh would always make me so sad because he'd say things like,"babe, you know it's not really going to snow", "it's almost over", or "it won't last" just for kicks. What a nice husband=) All this to say that we were supposed to have a wintry mix and possibly snow and ice tonight and tomorrow and I've had butterflies in my stomach since I heard about the possibility. I said "were" because I just looked outside and saw SNOW. That's right, it's snowing!!! It's my birthday in exactly 1 hour and 14min. and I can't think of a better birthday present. So, I'm off to go play in the snow.

Why Doesn't The Whole World Know About This?

I got a lot of $ saving tips on my post about coupons. There is one idea that my friend Emily told me about that I think a ton of ya'll could benefit from and I'd never heard of before. It is called The Grocery Game. Basically it is a site that compares the Sunday newspaper coupons with current stores sales. You put your zip code in and a list appears of stores that she works with. You get a 4-week trial for $1 and you get to try all the stores "LISTS". If you like it you can choose one store for $10/8 weeks. It's amazing. This is the first week I tried it and saved almost $40 on my week's groceries. The site does all the work for you. You just have to organize your coupons so that when she says to look for a certain one you can find it. It might be a little overwhelming but I am def. trying it. She says that she has a family of 4 and she only spends an average of $50-$60 on groceries a week. Oh, AND if you sign up it asks who referred you and if you get people to put in your e-mail address you get FREE weeks!! So, my e-mail address is Thanks Emily. I can't believe that I had never heard of this.

PS - I am trying Harris Teeter. One of the most expensive stores, I thought, but I have come to find out that they double all coupons under $1 and sometimes triple them, plus they take expired coupons. Not to mention their GREAT weekly sales!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

So Weird

Areyna keeps telling us that her head is cold when we are tucking her in and wants us to wrap her head up in another blanket. It is sooo weird. Where in the world does she get that kind of stuff from?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Coupons and Family Fun

My friend Melissa Rutty is teaching me about the world of COUPONS. I have started buying the Sunday paper and last week I found an unlimited coupon at Duncan Dounuts for a buy one get one free ice cream cone so we all went and got 4 ice cream cones for $4. I was so excited. It was nice to get out of the house with the kids and have a fun, cheap family outing. I'm also learning to get groceries with coupons. Yeah, I feel like a grandma sitting on the floor in the living room cutting out coupons but I saved $14.10 on groceries last week (not counting the $11.35 on the VIC card) and that was my first try. This week will be better because it's double coupon week. THANKS Melissa. You know you've found a true friend when she can teach you to save money=)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Doctors Affirmation

On New Year's Eve I started getting really dizzy. The next 2 days were TERRIBLE. My body ached and hurt so bad that I could hardly move, my head throbbed and pounded in weird places, the kids talking sounded like they were screaming through a megaphone and the little bit of light shining through the clouds felt like I was staring into a flashlight. It was miserable. Then, I woke up and it was gone. Josh and Zeke proceeded to get the same symptoms and they were gone in a couple of days. But, as soon as I thought we were all over it I began getting the sensitivity back to my skin and then full-blown dizziness and faintness. It is the weirdest feeling. I began to scare Josh last night after talking about the banging I would hear in my ears when these waves would come on so I went to the doctor today. I had looked up my symptoms on-line, because you know the internet is ALWAYS accurate, and I was expecting the worst, you know, internal bleeding, swollen brain, vertigo, etc. The doctor asked a few questions and he looked quite puzzled. Then, he sent me off to go get some blood work done among some other things that I'd rather not mention=) The tests came back and I was on pins and needles, ready to face this Giant staring me in the face and he said "Well, I really thought the tests would come back and say that you were pregnant...but you AREN'T (sorry grandparents), you're blood count was great so you are not anemic (which I have been positive with before)" and then he said something insignificant about my Thyroid. He basically said that all I have is a weird Virus and hopefully I'll have a clear head in 3-5 days. You know that feeling that you get when you know something isn't right with your body and you just have to hear a doctor explain your symptoms and it makes it SO MUCH BETTER? Well, I am feeling better today, especially after hearing a doctor tell me I'll be okay and that I wasn't going crazy=)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Prison Break

Josh and I hardly ever watch TV, but when we find a show we are both into, you better believe it's a good one. The first show that we ever got into, and still our FAVORITE, is 24. We'd take turns renting the DVD's from blockbuster with our friends Jody and Emily Jennings in seminary until we got caught up, and now we are addicted. We're pretty bummed, to say the least, that the next season isn't set to air yet because of the writer's strike=( But a couple of years ago we started watching Prison Break. We loved it. Man, it was tough to get to sleep on mon. nights after watching an hour of Prison Break followed by an hour of 24. We thought for sure that last season would be it for Prison Break. I mean, you can only break out of prison so many times and there are only so many main characters that can be killed off; can you tell I'm a little bitter about Dr. Tankretti. I can't believe she died. Anyway, we watched the first couple of episodes last fall of this season and HATED it. They have stretched the plot so thin by now that there were too many holes. Oh well. I was just wondering if anyone knows what's going on with it now. Please tell me Tankretti didn't really die and I'll start watching it again=)
Oh, by the way, my sister had her baby tonight! Baby Abby, 6lb. 14oz. I can't wait to see her. It's my sisters 3rd child, her first girl. They are all so happy.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Prayer Of Areyna

The last few nights Areyna has come out of her room at night talking about a noise she hears outside and that it scares her. We just pray with her, tell her that she can talk to Jesus herself about what she is scared of, peak out her window to make sure nothing is out there, give her a thumbs up that everything is okay, kiss her goodnight and leave her listening for more noises. I sure hope she hasn't inherited any of my sleeping habits. Anyway, last night it was kind of late and we had a VERY brief devotion and tuck in routine. As I was walking out, I looked back to Areyna squeezing her eyes shut as she uttered her VERY FIRST prayer to our Heavenly Father, "Jesus, thank you Jesus for Areyna not being scared of noises anymore, Jesus. Amen". How sweet is that. Completely unprompted.

PS-Thanks for all the tidbits about the peanut butter. I looked at the crackers box today at the grocery store to see what kind of peanut butter was in them and it didn't say. Oh well.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Areyna started eating peanut butter when she was a year and was fine...until about 7 or 8 months later. We gave her a peanut butter cracker and she looked like Will Smith in the movie "Hitch". Everywhere her body came in contact with the peanut butter swelled up and got hives. Needless to say we haven't given her any more peanut butter, nor have we tried to see if Zeke could eat it. Well yesterday Josh was eating peanut butter crackers and we decided it was time to try again, so, we gave each of the kids 1...then 2...NOTHING HAPPENED. We couldn't believe it. I was Ecstatic, something else to add to Areyna's birdlike eating habits. So, today was a huge day; Zeke and Rainy's first Peanut Butter Sandwiches, ever!! They each downed their half sandwich and demanded MORE. So, I made them another. Don't get too excited yet. Yes, Zeke was fine but within 2 minutes Areyna started complaining about her eyes and mouth hurting and her face started to swell up like a balloon again. AHH! I don't understand. So, for now, NO MORE peanut butter for Areyna=( Thank the Lord for Benadryl.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year's Resolution

Have any of you made them? Well, I have one that I'm really going to set out to do. I went to a women's conference with Ginger Plowman a couple of months ago and she had some GREAT insight on child rearing. One thing that convicted me the most is that she said we, as parents, tend to parent only half-way. Meaning, when one of our children does something they shouldn't do, we tell them that they were wrong and give some kind of consequence. God tells us that this kind of parenting is not the complete way. The end goal should not only be to make our children act nice, have good manners and be polite. Although these are all good things, we need to train and discipline the heart and tell them WHY what they did is wrong and give them a way out by showing them and practicing with them what a better action or attitude might have been by using scripture. I'm terrible with memorization but God has commanded us to hide his Word in our hearts, that we might not sin against Him. I want my children to GET THIS and see me apply God's Word to our everyday lives. You can click on Ginger's link above and go to her products and scroll down to a neat little booklet she put together called Wise Words For Moms. What a great tool to get us started!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"It's a FREE-butt world!"

WARNING: If you are male and reading this, consider this your warning to X out now, because this won't mean a thing to you.

But for all you women out there who HATE shopping because you can't ever find anything that fits you right, this is the post for you. Okay okay, this is the second post prompted from the Oprah show. I really don't watch this show all the time, but it comes on at 9pm every night and that is usually the time I'm winding down or have a project going on in the middle of the living room floor with the TV. Anyway, I'd seen the previews for this show all week and have been waiting to see it because I HATE shopping for jeans. Stacy London, from What Not To Wear, was on and she was giving the most helpful hints for finding the Best looking pair of pants, no matter what size you are and what your budget is. Check out this link to Oprah's Page for something that might help you. I know, this is very trivial in the light of what is going on in this world of ours, but God's women gotta look good too, right?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

It's 2008

I cannot believe it's 2008, Holy Cow! We had a good Christmas. I feel like I'm still recovering from the 1500 services we had on Christmas Eve, j/k. Today has been so relaxing. We had football playing in the background all day and we played outside with the kids a lot. Josh was pushing Areyna on her bike in the backyard and he started to explain her "right" and her "left". In my head I was thinking, yeah right she'll never get it, but 5 min. later she had it down, no lie. I couldn't believe it. I have a hard enough time remembering the difference between my right and left and I'm almost 29. Also, Areyna is completely potty trained as of 2 weeks ago. Not only that, Zeke has been with her every step of the way and has started to pull on his diaper and tell me "peepee" right before he goes in his diaper. I've actually sat him on the potty just for fun a couple of times. Good times, good times. I also thought I'd post a picture of Zeke. Can you guess what I asked for for Christmas?? Here's a hint, it came in the little gloves on his hands=)