Monday, June 28, 2010

Hello World!

How are ya today?
I had the opportunity to shoot a 6 day old boy today and it delighted me to no end!

I won a giveaway yesterday for a $40 gift card to CSN stores! I hardly ever win anything and I am stoked!

If you are coming to the blog party tomorrow, I will see you then! Can't wait to catch up! Don't forget sack lunches, towels, and swimsuits. I have popsicles for kiddie treats.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Do We Break His Heart?

Sometimes I wonder how the Holy Spirit feels ever since He took up residence in my physical frame. I think He is the most priceless thing that I have ever encountered. He is living and moving and breathing deep down in the recesses of my being. The Holy Spirit is the most intimate part of my life as He is constantly pointing the way to Jesus.

Do I take that gift for granted?

Ephesians 4:30 says "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

The Greek word for grieve is " lupeite." I have had a taste of that. It means to cause sorrow or heaviness. The Holy Spirit has personality and can feel. To think that He has suffered similar emotions really makes me stop and think for a moment. But, to think that I may have been the cause of that sorrow just about breaks my heart.

I think the command to "not grieve the Holy Spirit" is an interesting one. It doesn't say, "Don't make him angry." It seems be more of a delicate and tender term. When we are grieving Him, it is almost as if a piece of Him dies since we are not choosing His ways.

The Holy Spirit is a fire that dwells within our beings. The Word tells us not to quench the Spirit. To quench is to suppress fire. Do my actions and thoughts prevent Him from being revealed to the world? What would that look like?

~coveting something that belongs to another
~ingratitude towards God
~impure thoughts
~no time for prayer
~no time for God's word...but time for a novel
~unbelief...not believing God is who he says he is
~bitterness...being unmerciful towards others
~unkind mouth is not a means of grace

The list could go on forever. Any sin in my life absolutely rips the Spirit's heart out. Spurgeon says that "He sorrows in his soul because he knows what sorrow these things must bring to our souls."

He decided to take up His residence in a physical frame that would not always choose the Godly path. Seems like a risky decision to me. Seems like a very loving and selfless decision.

God, give me grace to choose thoughts and actions that point to the glory of our Savior. And help me be more mindful of what breaks your heart.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blog Party!

I haven't seen so many of you in so long. Let's together, ya, ya, ya!!!

My house
Tuesday June 29th
10 am--??
Bring sack lunches
Paige is making a treat!
Bring swimsuits/towels for kids...for kiddie pool

Let me know if you can make it!

Taste and See...

...that the Lord is good! Just wanted to give you a quick encouraging word. When I was at the beach, I was filled to the max with enjoyment and relaxation. But, one day, my soul was just hungry for more than crashing waves, sand between my toes, and the warmth of rays on my back. I opened up the only thing that can satisfy and this is what I read: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness." (Jeremiah 31:3)

I have read those words one hundred times, but they popped off the page this time. This time, I felt like God was writing them on the crevices of my remain forever.

The word "loved" there means "to have affection for." The word "everlasting" means that "it is concealed to the vanishing point." In other words, we simply can't see the start or finish of his great affection for us.

After finding some other verses that use both the words "love" and "everlasting" I found out that a lot of them are tied to the concept of his covenant with us. He won't go against something that is within the bounds of his covenant because that covenant is basically with himself, and he isn't about to not make good on his Name, you know?

So, this is a short and sweet post. But, is there anything more priceless than truly starting to grasp the fact that He loves you with an everlasting love?

He is affectionate towards you dear one. Always has been and always will be.

Monday, June 21, 2010

For Your Monday Laugh

When God created me, I don't think He checked the "ability to jump" box.
happy monday.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!
Love, your lil' Lulu! You love to have fun...especially when a Ranger, horse, cow, or tractor is involved.

I'll never forget when you dropped me off at UCA 15 years ago. It was about 110 heat index but I wasn't about to mistake the tears rolling down your cheeks for sweat. That moment is precious to me. I hadn't seen you cry a whole lot during my 18 years of life. To see those tears shed for me will always bring a bittersweet smile to my face. I didn't want you to leave that day. But, thanks for doing it anyway.
You were a good Dad then and a good Dad now. I love you forever!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Toy Story 3 and the endless tears...

I had promised the boys many months ago that we would go see Toy Story 3 on opening day. So, we hit the matinee and grabbed the best seats in the house. I thought I was totally ready: potty break: check
water fountain break: check
Airheads candy hidden in purse: check
cell phone off: check
Sam's blanket: check
Kleenex: missing!

No kidding. I needed some Kleenex for that movie and in a bad way. I am all for my boys growing up and leaving the house one day. Isn't that the end goal, to prepare them for life on their own?! And yet, when "Andy" left for college, it hit me. My boys are indeed going to leave one day.

All the toys that are near and dear to them now won't mean much to them in just a few years. All the laughter surrounding light saber fights, stuffed animal sporting events, Jurassic park dinosaur adventures, and of course, Buzz Lightyear to the rescue, will one day be reduced to mere memories. And for some reason, the thought of that has opened up a well of tears that has still not run dry.

Some days, I just want to capture childhood, place it in a bottle, and keep it there forever.

Yes, indeed, Kleenex would have been a nice addition to that movie. It might have even kept the 4 year old from leaning over and asking quite loudly, "Are you CRYING???" It probably didn't help matters that the seven year old wouldn't even hold my hand as we entered the theater. "I am too old for that, Mom." My response: "Well, your Dad is 38 years old and he isn't too old to hold my hand."

I need about 100 more kids. I am sure that will solve everything. I should get right on that.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We have a winner, folks!

You are right, Jenny!

The pictures are of the guts of a baseball. Cade was being quite inquisitive the other day and decided to find out what made a baseball a baseball. After about thirty minutes of unwinding the string, we finally came across a tiny bouncy ball. So there you have it: a bouncy ball and lots of string make up that all American ball.

Jenny, come find me at church Sunday and I will hand over your Sonic gift card!

Hey everyone...what is your favorite summer drink from Sonic?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Trivia GIVEAWAY!

Are you thinking I am off my rocker? Tell me what the above is a picture of and you will have won yourself a gift card to Sonic. Out of towners apply, so guess away! If more than one person gets the right answer, then will select the winner. Giveaway ends at 9 pm on June 17th. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cade is TEN!

For Cade...
Happy Birthday to my firstborn son. I remember things very was a few weeks before I found out I was going to have you and I was crying out to God to reveal His plan for my life. I was about to graduate college and wasn't confident that I wanted to teach or not. Eric and I had never anticipated getting pregnant only 14 months after being married, but we embraced it once we found out the good news. Once I looked into your sweet face, I knew exactly what God's plan for me was...I was to be your Mommy. And you were to teach me about the unconditional love that God has for me.

God has used you in mighty ways since then. You have brought joy and peace to our home. You have been such a good teacher and role model to your younger brothers. You have stood your ground on issues while God has used you to display that there still is a thing called truth in this world.

When you were around 4, you seemed to have developed a very timid spirit. You would wail to no end if I tried to leave you at Vacation Bible School or anywhere that wasn't familiar. We prayed incessantly over your spirit, that it would be strong and courageous and that you would not live life in fear. God has done a mighty work. You are very courageous and self confident. You aren't afraid of trying new things. You have an adventuresome outlook on life. We praise God for working in your life and shaping you into what He has intended all along.

Luke 1:80 says, "And the child grew and became strong in spirit..." We thank God for that work that continues to this day. His hand is upon you are He loves you with an everlasting love, CBS. We believe that His favor is all over your life and we know your heart's desire is to glorify God and love Him with all your being. That makes a mommy quite content.

You were an absolutely gorgeous baby boy. Every time we went to Walmart, someone would stop me and tell me how beautiful you were. Most of the time, they thought you were a girl, despite your bib that said "praise Heaven for little boys." Part of me wants to go back and hold that little chunk of love one more time. The rest of me is happy to tickle you in bed at night before I give you some kisses.

You have been a gift to us in so many ways. We couldn't be more proud of you and we look forward to the next ten years! Happy Birthday!

Let's just say that I was all about having little "model shoots" way back then...even before I knew anything about how a camera works!

Putting babies in baskets doesn't seem to be a new trend with me! HA!

You are competitive and athletic!

You are kind and obedient.

You are handsome and have a tender heart.

You are still quite the model...

You are goofy, but you know when to stop before you drive me crazy.

You are just a joy and delight. We love you!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The 10th Birthday Party

My firstborn is turning ten tomorrow. I have had the joy of calling him my son for a whole decade. Where does the time go?

Cade chose rock wall climbing for his party this year and it was a hit! It was an all-boy party which suits me just fine. I hope he still wants to have all-boy parties when he is 16. hee.

Cade's long arms and legs enabled him to climb that wall as if he had been born to do it. He was up and down so fast that I hardly had time to take his picture.

Eli is giving it a shot!
Sam wanted to try, too! Lil bit isn't afraid of nothing!
Razorback basketball cake anyone?

You are cuter than cute to me and always will be.

Happy 10th. sniff.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Stuffed Animal Parties and Journal Sneaks

We loved stuffed animals around here. Webkins to be specific. There is something sweet and innocent about your almost ten year old boy asking for a new stuffed animal Webkins for his birthday.
For cheap entertainment, the boys love to line up all their animals on the bed and play all sorts of things like animal racing, basketball, football, and baseball. It is cute to see them picking teams and letting the little guys come to life.
On a totally different note, I was going through the boys' school things and came across some journals that they were required to write in. It was fun to see not only their handwriting improve, but their spelling and writing abilities as well. Being a lover of words, let's just say that I treasure their little journals.
I have permission from Cade to share one little entry with is all about his mommy, so you can see why I was so eager to put it up! (wink. wink.)

Monday, April 12, 2010
When I think of my mom she's working hard. She helps me make things right with things that are hard, and to get along with my brothers. I like it when she takes me places. I love it when she's on her blog. My mom shows love to me by helping others. She is like no other mom because she loves us so much. My mom is different because she is not from around here, she was born in Fayetteville, AR. She is sometimes strict, but that doesn't make her a bad mom. She is very peaceful. I think of her as a mom that will never die. Her strength is photographing. She will photographer anyone she knows, for example people from church. I can't name one name that she has not photographered. She is the best mom in the world. And that is why I love my mom.
The End.
I think of her as a mom that will never die...
I think of my Mom the same way, sweet son. And, kid, you are cracking me up about the photographer lines.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Dolphin Excursion

When I was a little girl, I swore I was going to work with dolphins in some way or another when I grew up. Sea World was my favorite destination and my heart would leap into my chest every time I saw a dolphin jump out of the water. Now that I am all grown up, God didn't give me a career out of Sea World, but He still fills my heart with delight when I get to feast upon a dolphin or two.

This was the boy's first dolphin excursion/boat ride and they were amazed. It is always fun to share one of your own passions with your children and then see their eyes light up when the sense of wonder seems to overtake their very beings.

As soon as we hopped onto our boat, it started to rain. I wasn't so worried about us getting wet, but my camera was a different story. I was about to find out if my Lowepro camera bag was indeed waterproof. As we traveled farther out, the rain stopped and alas, the camera was saved.

The dolphins didn't jump as much as usual. I guess they don't care to be frisky when it is uber cloudy outside. But, the little taste that we did get was enough to praise God for once again pouring delight into this little soul of mine.

The boat ride was absolutely delightful. I was curious as to whether the boys would get bored on a 2 hour ride, but they were enthralled with every moment and were totally caught up in our adventure.

My heart broke for Captain Richie, as he talked about the pending oil doom. I wondered just how badly his family would be affected if things turned for the worse.

So, here is to boat rides, fresh air, family, and a special little thing called a dolphin!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Beach...Friend Edition

Girls gone wild...beach style. The beach is fun no matter what, but throw in some good friends, and it becomes hilarious. We had a great time reading, eating candy, laughing, eating shrimp, putting snakes in Michelle's bed, eating Erica's dessert creations, riding go karts, body surfing, digging our toes in the sand, celebrating birthdays, playing card games, and, umm, did I say eating yet?

me, Erica, Michelle, and Beth

Erica and her squeeze, Andy

Chelle and Todd

Don't you love her hat?

Michelle, you are such a good sport to wear your birthday hat from the boys during breakfast at Cracker Barrel. You even wore it on top of your already existing are a trooper, I tell ya! You're the cutest 40 year old I've ever seen!

Beth and Beck...soaking up some rays.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cade + Baseball = FUN!

I gotta tell you...if you have a little tot in tball and you don't think you can survive another year of boredom...even though your kid looks really cute swinging and hitting the tee instead of the ball...hang in there...this sport gets really fun in a couple more years!

The fans just get cuter and cuter, too!