Friday, October 31, 2008


One of my friends called me the other day to tell me about this panel survey she qualified for.  All you have to do is go and answer some questions about lotion and get $100 cash.  Well, not knowing ANYTHING about where I was going and who was in charge I didn't figure I should go.  Besides, I could tell Josh was about as on board with this idea as he was when I worked for the Prison in Raleigh.  Yes, you read that right.  

I was on staff at the Prison in downtown Raleigh as a Teacher's assistant.  Don't worry, it only lasted 1 day!  I guess the last straw was a conversation between me and Josh that went something like this...

Josh - "You went through all that security?"
Me - "Yeah, don't worry babe, they all had their hand cuffs on the whole time I walked by them.  Until they get to the school on the top floor..."
Josh - "What, the school is on the top floor?!?!"
Me - "Yeah, but..."
Josh - "...and they don't have handcuffs on or restraints when they are RIGHT NEXT TO YOU?!"
Me - "...well..."
Josh - "...and how do they keep up their assignments without any sharp objects?"
Me - "They have pencils"
Josh - "You are quitting tomorrow!"

So, my second day on the job was to go turned in my books ... and my COOL SECURITY TAG (I was really only in it for the official badge - I've always wanted to be under cover or something and this was the closest I'd ever gotten to this line of work!=)

Anyway, it got me thinking about some of the other jobs I've had throughout the years...

1-A cashier at Piggly Wiggly - all throughout high school (this was my very first job)
2-I have played violin gigs ever since middle school (church orchestras, quartets, weddings, etc.)
3-Cracker Barrel waitress- yet another job that only lasted until my training was over.  I HATED IT!!  I went in to give my 2 week notice and they said, don't even bother=)
4-Admin. Assistant at Carolina Hope Christian Adoption Agency - I loved this job!  Back then there were only me and my 2 bosses on staff.  They've really grown!
5-Christan Counselor's office -  This was only a temp. job and man was I glad for it to be over!  All I did was answer phones, but there were like 5 lines.  It was like AIM on steroids, AHHH!
6-Senior Center in Wendell- Our slogan was ... "I'm Awake, I'm Alive, and I Feel Good"=)  I worked in the same building as my friend Emily even though we had a separate group of people.  Boy, that was an interesting job!  
7-Millbrook United Methodist PreSchool, music teacher - fun but challenging, especially since I said I'd never work with kids or be a teacher=)
8-Nanny - After I'd get off work at the preschool I'd drive over to pick Melissa up from school.  She started first grade when I first started watching her.  We still keep in contact with her family.
9-Coupon clipper/Deal Finder - yup, Josh says we just couldn't afford for me to go back to work outside the home=)
10-Mommy-by far my favorite of them all!

It's your turn!  What are some jobs you've had, crazy or ordinary, fun or boring.  I want to know!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Daddy Dates #4

"Chick-fil-A Playground & A Guitar-lover's Heaven"

Josh had a few errands to run and Rainy was sick at home from school so he said he'd take Zeke with him.  Zeke was SO EXCITED to go on his first "Daddy Date"!

Josh needed to get some guitar strings.  I think Josh alone is keeping Guitar Center in business sometimes=)  He always forgets that they don't open until 10, so when he and Zeke arrived around 9:30 they realized that they had some time to kill.  They drove over to the chick-fil-a playground for a little fun in the FREEZING weather!!!

When 10 o'clock rolled around they were definitely ready for guitar center.  Zeke was in heaven with all the guitars and pedals.  Josh said he had a BLAST!!!  This daddy date Rocked this little Rock Star's world!

To Share Or Not To Share

We have LOTS of toys in this house.  You'd think that if 1 toy were being played with by one of my children, the other would find something else, just as fun, to play with, BUT NO ... they only want what the other's got!!  There are several "items" that top the chart though...

Here are a couple of them:

Babydoll stroller
Areyna's Littlest PetShop puppy dog
Pocket Books

You get the picture.  Whether it is just my two kids or we have friends over, these toys are always the ones the kids end up fighting over.

Do you have THESE kinds of toys?  If so, how do you handle this situation?  Put it away to avoid the situation all together, buy another one???  I must admit, there are a couple of these items I've gotten 2 of, just to avoid the meltdown, but for the most part we just try to work it out as best we can.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Words Of Wisdom

Zeke was sitting on the couch with me and wanted us to have a little worship session (somehow the ABC's have made it into our set lists lately, ha!)

Zeke - "Let's sing a song ... how 'bout abcdefg's?"

Me - "Ok, let's sing."

Zeke - "No, we gotta pray first!"

He's been watching his daddy=)


We had an AWESOME night last night!  It was a sweet time of worship and the crowd was really singing out!  Thank you all for your prayers and your encouragement that have gotten us through this project and busy time.  Now it's time to exhale ... ahhhh ... at least for a day or two before we head to Richmond on Friday for a youth gig=)

**Make sure you check back here early next week for a giveaway of the new CD!!!**

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Almost Time

CD Release

Uptown Charlotte, NC - On the corner of N. Tryon and 8th Street

In conjunction with CharlotteONE

Starts at 7pm - IT'S FREE!!!

Hope to see you there=)

I Must Admit...

...that I just had tears in my eyes looking at Rainy's first school pictures!  She just looks so big, so smart, so beautiful, so innocent...

Do you mom's out there just gaze at your kid's pictures and wonder where the time has gone?

*Sorry for getting all sentimental on you=)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Aldi - The Real Scoop

When Josh was in seminary, and before we had kids (I had a little more time on my hands), I was really trying to pinch pennies to make ends meet.  We just thought we had no time and money then=)  Anyway, one day I took THE WHOLE DAY and made a spreadsheet of things that were staples at our house and went to ALL the stores in the area that I could get groceries from.  From most expensive to least expensive this included: Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods, Food Lion and Super Target (we didn't have a Wal-Mart there at the time).  The majority of my list was cheaper at Super Target.  

Well, fast forward 2 moves, 2 kids and 1 self-supported ministry later and we are learning how to stretch a dollar even further!

Recently I found the store Aldi and fell in love with it.  I knew I was saving money but never really did an in-depth study like I did a few years ago.  But, guess what I found today?? Someone else did the work for me.  She compared Aldi prices with Wal-mart prices for the same items.  Look at how much money she is saving!  Go check out this link and then go visit Aldi and save some money=)


Joy, Godfrey and Josh

Wow, what a fulfilling weekend!  We left the conference on Friday afternoon and headed straight to Knightdale where our kids were.  As soon as naps were over we packed up the kids and drove to Raleigh, where another one of Josh's brothers lives, and had a cookout with Godfrey and Joy Wanamitsa from Arise Africa in Uganda, Africa.  They are like family.  Josh lived with them in Uganda for a summer before we got married.  They lead a GREAT ministry there.

Then, we got up the next morning and headed over to Uncle Pal and Aunt Jenn's house for a QUICK visit.  

Then, we headed over to visit our friends Cam and Lynn Wooten.  They have an AMAZING story of Cam's battle with leukemia.  They look back and see how God orchestrated the whole event and used it for His glory!  It was SOOO good to see them.

We got home late, which means the kids went to sleep LATE, only to wake them back up at 6:30am to get to Carmel to lead worship for their 2 early contemporary services then head over to our home church for the GRAND OPENING of the new building.  

After a LONG nap we went back up to church for CharlotteONE rehearsal for the CD Release on Tuesday!

What a GREAT weekend for us!!  What did you do this weekend?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Integrity Worship Conference

Paul Baloche during one of the seminars.
(Now, I'll be completely embarrassed if he were to ever read this, 
but doesn't his base player look like Joey Tribbiani from "Friends"?  
I could have sworn I was watching a newly converted Joey up there worshipping all night during the concert!)

Josh and I have been attending the Integrity Worship Conference here in Charlotte.  It's the first worship conference that I've been able to go to with Josh (he tries to go to a conference one time a year).  Anyway, it has been incredible to see the hearts of these worship leaders and musicians.  The underlying theme that I've totally picked up on is that Worship is not the music we play or the words we sing, it is a lifestyle.  I'll try to get some key things I've learned on here for you soon=)  We've been able to meet all the worship leaders; Paul Baloche, Joel Auge, Glenn Packiam, Dr. Pete Sanchez and Jared Anderson.  They are so down to earth and sincere.

Zeke will be thrilled we met the guy (Jared Anderson) who wrote Counting On God since that is one of his favorites=)

It has been good to be a part of this with Josh but I'm ready to have my sweet kids back!  We're going to get them after the morning sessions...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Little Things

It only takes little things to make me smile sometimes.
These curtains fell down a couple of weeks ago and I didn't realize how much it bothered me until Josh put them back up!!!  It was that thing that was bothering me that I just couldn't put a finger on.  I love my bedroom again=)

I can't for the life of me figure out a good system for REMEMBERING everything I put on the menu for what I'm cooking at night=)  So, I went to the Dollar Spot at Target and got this cork board, switched the backing with the cork and spray-painted it with chalkboard spray-paint.  I might still forget my sides but at least I'll have fun writing them on the board.  Hey, it gives Josh a place to write sweet notes to me to0=)

New bath towels.  I wish I could put a picture of Josh trying to wrap our old little, thin, stinky towels around his waste, but I won't!  That is just what they were though.  For some reason, after the first use they'd get this musty gross smell.  They were tiny.  I mean, I could hardy wrap it around me while I was getting ready in the bathroom.  The material was really rough.

Not anymore!  Towels went on clearance at Target and we had money saved up and IT WAS TIME.  Man I love getting out of the shower lately=)  Lindsey, maybe if you got new towels you would want to get out of the shower quicker=)

Always Check Your Pantry BEFORE You Go Grocery Shopping

...even if the box only cost $.25!  I think we're covered in the dry pasta department!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Exciting News

All 11 Boxes AND the 4 boxes of books we had to order=)
Now, we just need to find a place to put all this "stuff"!!!

***Stay tuned for a give-away of this new cd.
REMEMBER you can get a FREE Download on Josh's blog too!

What I Am NOT Doing Today

1 - Waking up at 6:30 to start my day to get things done before the kids get up

2 - Unloading and reloading the dishwasher

3 - Finish folding laundry

4 - Office work

What I Am Doing...

1 - Sleeping in

2 - Having a long, UNINTERRUPTED quiet time

3 - Taking my time getting ready

4 - Meeting a friend for coffee

5 - Going to Old Navy to get clothes for the kids (it was a little embarrassing having Rainy walk around at her Fall Festival at school yesterday with her pants unbuttoned because they were too small!)=)

6 - Get some Christmas shopping done!

We met Josh's parents half-way between Raleigh, and Charlotte, yesterday, to drop off the kids.  We had band practice last night and we are attending the Integrity Worship Conference TOGETHER for the rest of the week (I've never been able to go with him to any of the conferences he goes to).  I wasn't signed up for today so I have had all day to myself.  Every other time we've dropped the kids off it is because we are leading worship somewhere and so this is the FIRST time without the kids, and Josh, to get things done and to relax!  Don't get me wrong, I miss my kids, but it sure is nice to have this day=)

I Know What I'm Getting Him For Christmas

No, not his own pink slippers since he loves Rainy's so much, but a little broom and dustpan.  This little boy LOVES to clean but this broom just happens to be for our fireplace.  That would explain the black streaks of soot I found all over our living room floor =)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Picks In My Dryer

I was trying to get caught up on laundry yesterday and I kept finding little "surprises" in the washer and dryer while I rotated the laundry.  Here are a few things that are common finds in the Via laundry closet...

1 - Guitar picks - with 2 rock stars in my house these are bound to end up on the list

2 - Airsoft BBs - thanks Timothy Burgess=)

3 - Food - I am always finding stray macaroni noodles or pieces of cereal that didn't completely make it to Zeke's mouth

4 - Gum wrappers (and the occasional piece of gum in the pocket)- Josh & I can go through some gum!  (I mean, would you want to talk to us after leading worship for an hour without some?)

5 - Church name tags - almost every church we lead worship for has the sticker name tag system where you stick some sort of name tag on the back of the kid's shirt and then the parents get to wear one too.  At least ONE of us forgets to take our sticker off BEFORE we put our clothes in the laundry basket.

What are some "surprises" that you find in your dryer?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Moving On

I just finished SKIN by Ted Dekker.  He is such a good writer, especially if he can keep me interested.  This book shows a GREAT depiction of worldly beauty vs. spiritual beauty.  I definitely recommend this read, but you have got to read "The Circle Trilogy" First!!  So many of his other books are wrapped around this series.

Now, I'm moving on to ADAM.  I am never going to catch up with good ole' Ted.  He is a writing fool.  He writes at least ONE book a year I think!  Sheesh, and it taking me an average of 3 months a book, if not more, you do the math=)


Josh and I play a game to see how long we can go in the fall/winter until we turn the heat on.  It was FREEZING when we woke up!  I didn't even take this picture until 10am and it was only 59 inside.  We decided to build a fire and have some fun family time in the living room this morning while we warmed up.  The kids LOVED it!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

OK, Just ONE More Episode

Josh and I have a new favorite date.  We cuddle up in bed, get the MAC out and watch old LOST episodes.  We never really got into it when it started and have wondered what all the hype is about.  So, a few weeks ago we started from the beginning!  That's right, we are on SEASON 1 Episode 19.  But to say that Josh and I are addicted is an UNDERSTATEMENT!  

I mean, a FREE date where we can wear our jammies, no money for gas OR a babysitter.  And I mean, come on, what else would we do every night from 8-11=)  

AND I can't even begin to tell you how emotionally attached to these kinds of shows I get.  I started crying ... yes, CRYING when I learned about John Lock's story, or maybe it was my sleep deprivation kicking in from staying up WAY TOO LATE watching this show!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

10 Steps

I'm in the middle of "Character Makeover" by Katie Brazelton & Shelley Leith and LOVING IT!  I think they wrote the chapter I read today just for me.  Here are the TOP TEN De-Stressors, concluded from Mark 6.

How To Reduce Stress

1. Don't add to your stress; start eliminating it.
*Read Mark 6:5 HERE.
*It takes self-control to resist overcommitment.

2. Remove some stress by delegating.
*Read Mark 6:7-13 HERE.
*I've already discussed my tendency to control and perfectionism, and I feel like these are areas I will always struggle with. In order to alleviate some stress in our lives we must let go of some things, even if it isn't done exactly the way we would do it!
*It takes self-control to resist overcontrolling.

3. Release your stress by rejuvenating.
*Read Mark 6:31 HERE.
*It takes self-control to resist overactivity.

4. Refocus on your passion when stress is escalating.
*Read Mark 6:31-34 HERE.
*This reminded me of a post on Lysa's blog about the "interruptions" in her day and grabbing hold of them to focus on other's.  This is her passion!  We should all have a passion for God's people like this.
*It takes self-control to resist frustration and focus on your passion.

5. Don't avoid your stress; it will be waiting for you.
*Read Mark 6:36-37 HERE.
*My sister and I were just talking about my tendency to ignore our "economic crisis" instead of really grabbing ahold of what is going on and trusting God completely.
*It takes self-control to resist avoiding your problem.

6. Don't increase your stress by exaggerating.
*Read Mark 6:37 HERE.
*It takes self-control to resist overreacting.

7. Address your stress by prioritizing and evaluating.
*Read Mark 6:38 HERE.
*This is a big one for me. I need to calm down and evaluate the real problem instead of exaggerating the "what-if's".=)
*It takes self-control to resist getting overwhelmed.

8. Get help with your stress by organizing and coordinating.
* Read Mark 6:39 HERE.
*It takes self-control to resist overworking.

9. Manage your stress by not deviating.
*Read Mark 6:41-42 HERE.
*Do this by staying in prayer, in good health and on schedule.
*It takes self-control to resist slipping away from good habits.

10. Deepen your faith when stress turns to crisis.
*Read Mark 6:48-51 HERE.
*It takes self-control to resist becoming overanxious.

I don't know about you but this type of thinking and refocusing doesn't come over-night.  It is a process, just like everything else in life.

He's 2 - #13

I went in to go wake up the kids and this is what I walked into.  Zeke had taken his diaper off because want to pee in it and in turn he peed on the floor ... AND BUBBY!  I've been telling him "Don't pee-pee in your diaper or big boy undies.  We need to go in the potty."  Hey, he got the first part right.  It's a process right?=)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Here's What My Day LOOKED Like

6:30 - Up for the morning
7:30 - Get some work done
8:30 - The kids are still catching up from the long weekend=), get some more work done
9:30 - Breakfast
10:30 - Taking advantage of the nice weather
11:30 - Room Time - They play, I catch up on ministry stuff
12:30 - Play outside some more
1:30 - Lunch
2:30 - Daddy Takes A Break, play some more

3:00 - Naptime for them, I get a shower=)
3:30 - Naptime not going so well...
4:00 - Scrapbook, I'm ALMOST caught up!!!

5:30 - Cooking Dinner
6:00 - Dinner with the fam
7:00 - Going for a walk
8:00 - Bedtime for the kiddos and you can tell what I'm doing=)

*I got this fun idea from Jessica.  For all of you visual people like me=)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Boys Vs. Girls - Things You Find

Things you find when you have a little girl...
Princess/dress-up clothes
Things you find when you have a little boy

*This happens to be the long lost beattle friend that Zeke brought inside.  He was a good friend to Zeke and brought companionship to our sweet little boy while we packed up for the weekend.   It appears that he didn't survive the weekend=)  
Could we please pause for a moment of silence...

**DISCLAMER-Now this is not always the case, since Rainy likes to carry around the occasional rolly-polly and Zeke does like to dress up like a princess...but OVERALL this tends to be the recurring theme around this house=)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Areyna absolutely LOVES her school. She comes home with some of the coolest stuff. Yesterday they made bird feeders. She is so excited to find a place to hang it outside.

Anyway, I also noticed that her teachers are having the kids trace their names for practice a lot. I followed the web page at the bottom of their practice pages and it is such a cool link!! You can make a tracer page saying ANYTHING you want. I thought I'd pass it on for all you creative mom's out their looking for something fun and productive to do with your kiddos=) They have other fun activities too!

HERE's the link! Enjoy=)

These Should Not Be Allowed In Children's Bathrooms

A few weeks ago we were at a church leading worship and Areyna told me she had to go to the bathroom, which, of course, was in the middle of band practice=)  Anyway, we ran down the hall and to our dismay walked into a bathroom full of these.  Motion censored toilets.  These aren't exactly my favorite, being the squatting in public bathrooms type (don't worry, I make sure everything is tidy when I'm done).  I like the fact that I don't have to touch the toilet to flush it, but sometimes I trick it, I guess, and it starts flushing in the middle of, well, you know;) 

So, imagine a 3-year-old sitting on one of these.  The thing ALWAYS flushes on her and she gets so scared she either jumps off and pee's on the floor or she jumps off so scared she can't pee at all!!  

Well this time would be different.  We decided to walk a little further down the hall to the kids wing and use one of those short children's pottie's.  We open the door and the kids pottie's are like this too!!!  She did a little better on this one since she fit it better, but she still asked in a shaky voice if "is it going to flush on me?"

So, for any of you wondering what kind of toilet I prefer, it is just the standard, flush it yourself, toilet=)  I know you were dying to know!!


"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am made strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

When I was little I went through this stage where I wanted so badly to have a PERFECT day.  My goal was to get through a WHOLE day without doing anything bad or foolish.  HA!  I wouldn't get 30 minutes into my day before I'd roll my eyes at my mom or push my brother, and I'd feel the defeat of my sin weighing on me.  *Remember, I was like 7 years old=)  I'd feel so guilty for messing up, so defeated by myself because I couldn't be the perfect person that I thought God wanted me to be.  The next day I'd get up and try even harder, but I'd inevitably do something else that didn't please God.

In these verses Paul was talking about the "thorn in the flesh" that God put on Paul to always remind him that God was the one in control.  This "thorn" was NEVER removed.  Paul had to view this weakness as a blessing, as a constant reminder.  He had to shift his focus.

My perspective must shift to view these imperfections, these weaknesses in my life, as tools that God can use to be made GREAT!  That should be my end goal, right?  Not so that I can pat myself on the back for getting through a whole day being a "good person", or being the perfect mom, or having it all together (do you see my perfectionism coming out or what???)  but to make God GREAT!  God will work through my weaknesses if I will allow Him to take total control over them.  He may never take them away, but He can definitely be seen through them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lost And Never Found

Every few months or so I feel the need to go through  Josh's ever-growing pile of unmatched socks and try to find the missing pairs.  They may look close enough that Josh might not know that they don't match but I KNOW!  Why are HIS the only ones that ever go missing? 

Do you wear mis-matched socks=) or do you throw away the missing pair after awhile?

Daddy Dates #3

"Donuts With Daddy"

Rainy's preschool had "Donuts With Daddy" on Friday morning before school.  She was so excited for another date with her daddy!  It was a FREE fun time for them and Josh was excited to meet some of the other dad's in Rainy's class.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Always Dread This Part

We made it home around 6:30 tonight.  We had a GREAT weekend!  It is good to be home now, but I always dread this part.  Somehow my nicely organized packing looks likes this by the end of every trip.  We start throwing things out of bags while we re-pack for the next stop.  Unpacking our car is something like unpacking those MISC. boxes that are full of all the "leftovers" when you move into a new house=)