Friday, November 28, 2008

Why Would You Write This As A Children's Book?

Crocodile! by: Mick Inkpen
This cute little book is about a crocodile who goes around eating his friends and family and at the end of the book he is out of things to eat and he holds out his hands and it says, "And grinning wide, he looks at YOU!"  That's about the time Zeke made these faces.

Zeke keeps saying, "That book is SO mean!"  Then he throws the book on the floor.

Why on earth would you write a children's book about a crocodile that ate a grandma?!


We packed out the Via house with about 30 people yesterday and about 500 entres and sidedishes.  It was a sweet time with all our family, friends and grandkids.  We started out the afternoon with a family tradition.  Josh lead us in worship and Jacob gave a little devotion.

While I was sitting there I couldn't help but think about the many things I'm thankful for.  God is so good.

Do you have any family Thanksgiving traditions?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Oh Yes, I Did Partake

11pm came around last night and my sister-in-laws, Kelly and Joy, and I took off with our coupons to the Black Friday Extravaganza at CVS.  It's a good thing we went early because we got the LAST of several of the items.  The deals were supposed to start ringing up at midnight and we were ready.  

I very rarely post pictures on here of my awesome deals, but this was way too fun not to.
We mapped it all out...

We conquered...

We racked up!

I spent all of my 21 ECB's
I paid $1.86 out of pocket
I saved about $125
I got about 40 ECB's back

I can't handle the craziness of the normal Black Friday shopping the day after Thanksgiving so it was fun for me to get out and get some deals.  Even if it was IPod earbuds, toothpaste and makeup=)

Don't worry, I am very thankful on this AWESOME Thanksgiving.  Where do I begin to write a list though?=)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Isn't That What Normal Families Do?

Last Saturday we did what normal families do ... we took the whole day off and had a family day.  We usually aren't able to just relax on Saturday with all the preparation (mentally and physically) for Sunday but we decided it was a must.  It was a brisk, fall day and Freedom Park was calling out to us=)

People were out playing soccer, football, and volleyball and the kids had a blast on the playground.  We ate a picnic and made friends with a squirrel.  By the end of the day he was literally eating corn chips out of Zeke's hand.   

Then we headed over to the coolest starbucks around.  They have a fun kid's table so Rainy and Zeke could entertain themselves while Josh and I carried on a normal conversation.  

What an awesome day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Well, today I'm...

Yesterday we had a busy day.  We had a couple of overdubs to finish in the studio from the live recording.  We went to the studio first thing in the morning and then we jumped in the car to drive to Columbia, SC.  Josh's sister, Joy, had a vocal recital that Josh and I accompanied for last night.  She did a great job by the way=)  Anyway, we had to get on the road right after she did her 3 songs because Areyna had a Thanksgiving Feast at her school this morning.  We made it home right at 10pm and of course the kids didn't sleep at all on the way home so they were a little cranky this morning.  

So, after having such a full day yesterday we have a lot to get done before we can head out of town to Josh's parents house in VA in the morning.

Here's what I've been frantically working on...

...stuffing the newsletter, washing clothes, folding clothes, packing, giving a couple of lessons, fixing food for Areyna's Thanksgiving feast for her school, playing with the kids, getting all the paperwork together to renew our kids insurance, working on bank deposits, trying to clean up this disaster area called OUR HOUSE=)  Oh yeah, and finding a cute new blog background.  Now you know that is important;)

We are SO ready for THANKSGIVING.

OK, I'm off to go check a few more items from my list!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Clap Your Hands & Shout Out To God

This was taken while my kids were playing "church".  Rainy even dropped off her baby dolls in their "class" before entering the worship service lead by none other than Zeke Via.

Somehow Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star was first on the set list today.

It's so funny to see the things these kids pick up on=)  

Friday, November 21, 2008

He's 2 - #15 - Poor Puppy

Puppy had a little run-in with the candle

This picture doesn't do justice to the eye and face damage to poor puppie doggie

Zeke swore that a band-aid would "make him all better"

iTunes Fairy

Some people find money in their dryer...

Some people win FREE chick-fil-a for a year...

Some people get a chance to be interviewed for a TV show...

What good fortune have we had lately?  Well, we have an iTunes card that we keep using up.  Yes, I wrote that right.  BUT ... Every time we get down to around $3 on our account it magically reloads.  We can't for the life of us figure it out.  The first time it happened to Josh he just thought that he had read the account balance incorrectly the last time he used it.  But it has happened like 3 times!  It's no vacation to Costa Rica or anything, but pretty sweet none-the-less=)

What kind of good fortune have you come across lately?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What We're Having - Chili Topped Potatoes

I love this site:  $5 Dinners

Tonight I'm making Chili Topped Potatoes  with a salad for right at $5!

This Week Has Been A Little Different Than Last

Last week was a rough week.  We'd been on the road off and on for over a month and we were in desperate need for a break.  I usually count on 3 long days of TRANSITION before the kids start acting "normal" again=)  But it took a little longer than anticipated for my kids to get back in the swing of things last week.  Can we say clingy, cranky, whiny, fussy, LYING, tears, screaming, etc. ...

This week, on the other hand, has been GLORIOUS!!!  I have seen a lot of this - a closed door.  
They have been playing, unprompted, by themselves ALL WEEK.  They'll go into a room and we won't see them for 30-45 minutes because they are making birthday cakes, having picnics, sharing their toys, leading worship for Areyna and her "friends", going to parks, and taking naps.  We didn't even give them room-time 2 of these days because they were playing so well together and allowing Josh and I to get our work done.  It has been so nice.  They haven't been getting into anything and they have been practicing first-time obedience!

Whose children are these???  Just kidding, I have LOVED every minute of it!=)

A Fun Giveaway

Do you use re-usable bags for grocery shopping?  I do...and I love them.  Well, if you want to start or you need some more go over to SIMPLE MOM to enter to win some for FREE.  They are super cute and fun=)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PreSchool Worship

The director at Areyna's school asked if we would come in for chapel and talk about what we do and sing some songs with the kids. It brought back such sweet memories from when I was a preschool music teacher when I was pregnant with Rainy.

Anyway, yesterday was the big day. Rainy even came up with us and helped us teach her friends our Easter songs from last year! The kids seemed to really have a good time and Rainy was ecstatic for us to be there. She kept thanking us all day for coming=)

The set:
This Little Light Of Mine
Jesus Got Up
Jesus Loves Me
Deep & Wide
Romans 16:19

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

If Only I Would Have Waited

I thought I'd try to be "on top of things" this year instead of scurrying around at the last minute to get our Christmas pictures taken to put in our December Newsletter.

So, we take the pictures and order ALL 480 photo cards on Sunday night. Shew, it's done...


On Monday morning I get an add from Snapfish with a COUPON CODE for the first 20 photo cards for $.20, WHAT???


Today I get another add saying that we could have gotten FREE SHIPPING if we would have ordered them on the 18th!!!

That just ain't right. Oh well, So much for saving A TON of money...

Family Pictures

Thanks, Joy, for the AWESOME pictures=)

Monday, November 17, 2008

I DO NOT Have Happy Feet

My feet DO NOT like shoes.  They like to feel FREE ... and BAREFOOT!  But, if I do wear shoes my feet and I have an understanding that I am only to wear FLIP FLOPS!  

I abide by their rules MOST of the time, but yesterday I was feeling a little "sassy" and I wanted to wear my high heal boots.  This would have been fine EXCEPT for the fact that I was going to be on my feet ALL DAY!!  I lead worship with Josh in the morning (starting at 8am) and then came home and had lunch.  Then I hopped in the car for another rehearsal so I could lead worship with my friend Sara last night.  As if that weren't enough, I decided that I needed to get my grocery shopping done on the way home.  I didn't walk in my front door until 7:45pm.  

My feet were SCREAMING at me!  As soon as I took my boots off my feet SIGHED with relief and then went directly into rebellion.  I can barely walk this morning.  I feel like they have swelled up into size 10s.  I don't know how you women do it who have to wear real high heals ALL day!  Or worse, LIKE TO wear them?!

I always tell my kid's that there are consequences.  This is mine=)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's Up

Just a quick update to let you know we're up and running on iTunes!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Can Think Of 2 Things

What do you do on a day like today when it is cold and rainy and out of things to do inside...

Improvise - All you need is a BIG box, a LONG belt, an EXCITED kid and a CREATIVE daddy

Shhh...wait and listen to the thunder.  That's right, it's November and we're hearing THUNDER!!!=)

Can't Stop Smilin'

Last week my friend, Sara, came up to me and told me to pick a night this week for her to come play with the kids so Josh and I could go out on a date.  I was so excited.  It has been a long (GREAT, but long) month and most of the time we are without the kids we have a band rehearsal or a gig so this was really special.

We got out our Entertainment Book and looked at our options.  We chose Brixx Pizza in UpTown Charlotte followed by the coolest Starbucks in Charlotte.  It's in an old house and has such a cool atmosphere.  We hardly ever go out to eat so this was such a treat!

Nothing fancy or extravagant.  Nothing pricy.  We were only gone a couple of hours.  Just quality, one-on-one time with my man.  It was such a GREAT feeling to have an uninterrupted conversation with my best friend.  It was such a GREAT feeling to know my kids were being taken care of by someone they love and that they were having a great time and that they were HAPPY that their mommy and daddy got to go on a date.

What a blessing that was to us!  I just couldn't stop smiling last night=)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Josh Has A New Hobbie

With the weather getting cold and the debris piling up in the backyard (It takes almost 1 hour to get to the city dump to get rid of this stuff) Josh has found a new way to relieve stress (j/k), AND get rid of our trimmed tree and bush branches.  He just loves to have a fire going inside.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When My Body Says "ENOUGH"

Me and Rainy's "friends"

At the beginning of every year Josh and I sit down and try to write down our goals that we have been praying through and we re-evaluate our mission and vision for our ministry.  This year we had quite the list.  I NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS thought we'd get around to it all.  Yes, I doubted!  I doubted that we'd have the finances, resources or the opportunities to accomplish all that we thought God was leading us to do.  Was I ever wrong!!  We accomplished every single thing that was on our list ... and then some!  That's what I get for doubting God=)  He is SO faithful.

I just want to take a second to thank all of you who help support us so we can continue to do what we do!  This is not our ministry, but God's.  We truly believe God has given us a calling and a responsibility and we are trying to be faithful.  

All this said, after being on the road every weekend (plus some) in October, followed by nightly rehearsals for the Live recording the next weekend ... my body told me, "ENOUGH".  I am so glad we have this weekend FREE because all day yesterday I felt like I was coming down with the flu or something.  I was so weak and shaky, had an upset stomach and couldn't keep my eyes open for the life of me.  The kids were really sweet, coming up to me and saying "Aww, sorry mommy", and "Here are my friends, they will make your tummy not hurt", and "I love you, mommy!"  Today I feel much better, it's just that initial let-down that is killer!

I love our job, I love my family, I love my kids, and I love that God made our bodies to tell us when we need a break...

Here's to laying around JUST ONE MORE DAY in my jammies=)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Make Your Own

Tortilla Chips

Have you noticed how stinkin' expensive a bag of chips is?  Well I have!  Doritos and Sun Chips are my favorite kinds of chips and ONE bag of those can run up to $4.  So, I asked my awesome sister, who can make just about ANYTHING in the kitchen, if she had a recipe for chips.  Of course she did=)

Tortillas - flour OR corn (I bought a whole bag of corn tortillas - 100 count - for around $3)
Cooking Spray

Preheat the oven to 350
Spray the cookie sheet with cooking spray
Cut the tortillas in quarters and lay them flat on the cookie sheet
Sprinkle with salt and pepper
Bake for 7-10 minutes (or until crispy)
Bag 'em up

So easy, So cheap!

**My sister also has a variation for those of us with a sweet tooth - substitute the salt and pepper with some sugar and cinnamon=)**

Monday, November 10, 2008

Last Night We ...

Ate way too much junk food...

Watched way too many episodes of Lost while the kids were napping...

Allowed the kids to sleep way too late during their nap...

Got way too messy eating homemade pizza on the floor while watching way too much TV with the kids...

Played with the kids way too late into the night (Josh helped Zeke write his first song, it's pretty cute!)...

We had a GREAT relaxing afternoon/night after the Live Recording yesterday at Southbrook.  What a wonderful way to end such a wonderful day=)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Selah For the Impatient and Demanding

(An excerpt from Experiencing God, speaking about the story of Mary, Martha and Lazarus)
"If I had come when you asked me to, you know that I could have healed him because you have seen me heal many, many times.  But, you would have never known any more about me than you already know.  I knew that you were ready for a greater revelation of me.  I wanted you to know that I am the resurrection and the life.  My refusal and my silence was not rejection.  It was an opportunity for me to disclose to you more of me than you have ever known."

"These things I plan won't happen right away.  Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass.  Just be patient!  They will not be overdue a single day!"
Habakkuk 2:3

"Those who are good at waiting are those who are convinced that God will provide, that He is on schedule, and that He is in control."
(Taken from Character Makeover)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I've Been Waiting

Every year I look forward to the time when this tree turns bright red. (Check out my little Prince and Princess playing by the grapevine) The tree sits right outside the kids playroom window and gives the whole room a bright red glow.  It is BEAUTIFUL!

That room used to be Zeke's baby room.  We moved here, to Charlotte, when Zeke was 6 weeks old so by the time this tree turned red that first year Zeke was about 4 months old.  I remember sitting in that room rocking Zeke.  Where has the time gone?

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Whole Weekend

This is the first weekend in over a month that we don't have to go ANYWHERE!  I am so excited.  We are in desperate need of a "traveling break".  I knew it was time to take a break when I couldn't stop crying after dropping the kids off last weekend.  It was the third time in 1 week that we'd had to leave them to go play somewhere.  Don't get me wrong, I love what we do, but am very grateful for a weekend at home, with my kids=)

We are still going to be busy though.  This Sunday at Southbrook we are recording our first ever LIVE RECORDING and we are so pumped about it!  We have had rehearsals almost every night (including CharlotteONE rehearsal and gig this week)!  It's been CRAZY busy but the end result will be amazing.  PLUS, we get to CRASH next week!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Selah For The Multi-tasker

"Don't just do something; Stand There!"

"Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret."     Psalm 37:7

Delays and roadblocks are often there for a reason.  Use these times to pray and to slow down, not to indulge in your pet peeves brought on by impatience. 

Patience = Love

"Love is never haughty or selfish or rude.  Love does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable or touchy.  It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong."
1 Corinthians 13:5

*Taken from Character Makeover.*

Things That Make Me Happy

I was just awarded my first blogger award for Kreativ Blogger by Living Balanced.   Upon receiving this award I get to name 6 things that make me happy and then pass the award on to 6 here 'goes=)

1-Pepsi - Josh and I rarely buy soda, but I just crave the soothing bubbles sometimes, ya know?

2-Candles - I love how just a scent can bring back such sweet memories.  I also love the relaxed mood that candles add to a cozy house...

3-My Family - It's true.  They bring me so much joy!  God couldn't have blessed me with a better, sweeter family=)

4-Leading Worship With My Husband

5-Window Days - especially in the FALL!

6-Friends - you know, the kind that just get you!

Here are 6 creative bloggers that I'm gonna tag:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Feel Like We Just Did This, But Bring It On!

Apparently it's here again.  
Triple coupon time at Harris Teeter.  
Check out THIS LINK for some pretty hot deals!
This could be a rumor.  Does anyone have any REAL facts???

***Erin at CouponCravings just confirmed it***
Thanks Erin!
She also gave me another LINK to look at=)

She Made Me Smile

I was having a bit of a rough morning.  A little anxious, a little stressed.  On my way to taking Rainy to school Areyna said ...

"Mommy, are you still sad?"

Me: "No Rainy, I'm fine baby."

Rainy: "Come on, mommy ... look at me ... give me a smile=)"

How can you NOT!!  I love that girl...

***Don't forget to go ENTER TO WIN if you haven't already!***

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

You Won't Want To Miss This!!!

My friend Heather is helping me give away not 1 ... but THREE of our new CD's!  Head on over to her blog to enter for a chance to win=)

Remember, you can download Immanuel for FREE on Josh's blog.

You can also now download the entire album HERE or order your own copy HERE.

It will be up on ITunes in another couple of weeks!

We Went, We Voted, We Got FREE Coffee

After I dropped Rainy off at school  we headed over to vote.  We had to wait a whole 2 minutes in line (I was really dreading a 3 hour wait)!!!  Then we headed over to Starbucks to take advantage of their promotion. They are giving away a FREE tall coffee for ALL voters!  Zeke liked the Venus Flytrap more than the free coffee=)

He's 2 - #14

We were looking for Zeke the other day.  
We should have known he'd be hanging out 
in the bathroom sink, of course=)

Monday, November 3, 2008

1 And 333

I have been blogging for 1 year TODAY!  Here's a look back at my first post.  I never thought I'd have anything to say.  I wasn't sure who would ever read this thing and what exactly a blog even was.  After a few months I really got the hang of it.  333 posts later I am addicted.  But I'd like to know what motivates YOU to keep blogging?  Now, I KNOW I have some shy readers, but I'd really like to hear from you.  If you don't have a blog, I want to know what draws you back to your computer to keep reading more?  

What it is for me...

1-A place of my own -  a place where I can be free to say what I want to say

2-Sometimes it's just nice to know I'm not alone - whether I'm reading a blog or writing my own post it's nice to hear that other's are going through similar situations.

3 - A place to keep in touch - I have family in CO, VA, NC, FL, MD and friends ALL OVER.  It's an easy way to stay connected and share information and pictures so we don't seem so far apart.

4 - Keeps Me Accountable - I like to journal things that God is teaching me and things I'm working on.  I am more prone to stick to it if other's know what I'm working on=)

5 - So we can learn from each other - I try to be open and honest.  If I've learned a lesson the hard way I would love to be an encouragement to someone else to try it a different/better way!  And, just look at what I've learned from other's blogs!!!

6 - Cheap, easy hobbie - I don't have to pay for ANYTHING!!!  I can blog as little or as much as I want...

So, don't be shy, tell me why do you blog and what got you hooked?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Princess And A Pumpkin

This weekend Josh and I loaded up the van with our band and headed up to Richmond, VA to play for Grace Community Baptist Church.  Josh's friend Ed is the youth pastor and he wanted to do a night focused on the heart of worship.  What an AMAZING night!!

Our friends Wes and Jenn generously offered to take our kids while we were gone.  They have a little boy named Owen who is a little younger than Rainy.  They kids had a blast playing together and dressing up to go trunk-or-treating!  We couldn't do what we do without friends like these!  Thanks guys!!!

Areyna, Palin, McCain & Zeke=)

Areyna, Zeke & Owen

My Princess and her Pumpkin

*Sorry if this is short and if there are tons of misspelled words=)  We left around 10am and didn't get in until around 6:30.