Monday, April 30, 2012

Birthday Smirthday!


So in January I turned the big 40.
And I don't even care..very much...maybe a little....but not a lot.

It's just a number and I am always guessed older than I am by a long shot...
So who cares?!
But you want to know a secret?
I really don't like my birthday.

I love what surrounds my birthday...all the breakfast dates and sweet cards and nice things people feel compelled to say. That stuff is fine and makes me feel warm inside. Not like " a wet my pants kind of warm"...no, a sincere compliment can hang over me for days!! Affirmation and Encouragement is just nice.

I just dislike the actual day.



Dawn and I go way back.. We were born in the same hospital 1 day apart.


Me and my Malaina
I, usually, if I'm not forced to work, would rather just stay in bed with my pjs on. And perhaps on certain birthdays with my covers over my head.
Them's my boys!

After trying to figure out the source of my blues the weeks that proceeded my birthday I finally came to a conclusion...
Shirley, Me, My mom and Cindy...They treated me to breakfast
I think maybe it's this... Birthdays make me feel like I am being evaluated....and after talking to some friends I realized I wasn't alone.

Heather...She is responsible for all this creativity on the table! What a sweet way to show me love! <3


Because this is how it usually goes. On January 9, a day after my day of birth, if someone realizes I just had a birthday their first question is "what'd you do for your birthday?" and since it typically isn't anything to tell anyone about...
 I feel like a loser.
And I wonder ... Am I the only birthday loser in the cosmos? And why is it that I'm the only one in this family who buys my own cake? And then I remember... That's right I'm the mom and I take care of that for everyone else. And why in the world do I even care anymore?

And then Facebook. Oh it's wonderful to hear all the happy birthdays....but even that can feel like a contest.

My best friend in the whole world



Comparison.
There is no winning in it.
Heather, Me and Regina

Hello. Am I talking to anyone today?
It's really crazy the way we do this to ourselves.
Kim and Rolonda
And its really messed up.
And it steals our joy.

Do you want to know one of the nice things my friend said to me at the surprise bash my husband threw for me a week after my birthday? She said...I like how real you are.
I'm not sure I always really like that about myself.
Because I share embarrassing stuff like this. But I share it with a purpose.
1. Because it keeps me humble.
2. Because I think there are other somewhat flawed people out there just like me that may never share how they feel but may feel a little better knowing they aren't the only one.
3. Because I want to share what I've learned through it.
Heather was responsible for making all the sweet specials at the surprise party. And she made sure I had a cake on my birthday! 

And in this case I should say what I am learning. Because even after all these years I still don't have it down.

The day we were born our creator must have been a bit misty eyed as he set our life in motion. He must have looked over at the angels and said "look what I just did!" and as any proud papa would do he must have smiled as he watched his child sleep and said... "I'm so proud of you"!
Shayne, Rolonda, My Mom

It's a little humbling isn't it?
That he knows every detail of us.
Our hair count.
Our thought before we speak it.

And he doesn't compare us with any of his other creations.
No perfect parent would do that with their kids.
Why would God?

The creator of the stars made you and me.
He designed us with a special thought in mind. And he wants us to embrace his plan.
This is where I want to always find worth.
The kind of worth that doesn't depend on people who can not be god to me.
Shirley, Carol, Cindy and Carla

Because when I start to place people in the creator's place I get into a lot of trouble. And I get frustrated because they don't always behave in ways I wish they would...because unlike God these people around me can't actually read my mind.  And sometimes they may even be having their own crisis and seem to be distant for mine.


But not so with my maker.
He is present for every crisis. He never sleeps.
And he longs to be involved in our every moment.

I Really think it's pretty cool.

How we're all his favorites.
Donny G. Always the clown...

But for today.... I would rather celebrate your birthday.
It's just a lot of fun to bring joy to someone else.

I'm kind of glad we don't celebrate more than once a year...

How about you?

Otherwise I'd be like 80 and that would be really old... wink wink~



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sophia's birthday

Sophia had a birthday a few months ago.

I had so much fun thinking up a theme and making little fun treats.

I had a candy table along with cupcakes topped with cotton candy poofs.
Because we all know that 6 little girls need extra sugar when they come to a sleepover party.
Lots of giggles and squealing.

I sure do LOVE that face!

I saw this cute little paper doll chain on Martha Stewart's website. So I copied it.


Dad explaining the ground rules... and how Snickers, the dog, will not hurt anyone... because there were a couple who thought they may get eaten by our beast of a Yorkie. But alas everyone survived and the frightened girls grew to love Snicker's so much they wanted to take her home.
Good job policemen Jason.

And here are the little faces.
What a trip they were!
It sure is fun to be 9 and have friends to share it with!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Love Birds






Over Easter I hosted a bridal shower for the 2nd one in my family to get married in a year.
Brothers.
Both getting married to beautiful brides from the south.
We are happy for them. But sad they are moving so far away. :(

The theme of the shower was "Love Birds".

The table was set in birds, nests and houses.


The white Chocolate Popcorn went over well. It is simply popped corn drizzled with white Chocolate. It is scrumptious.

The painting below was the inspiration for the party. If you are on pinterest, I am sure you may have seen the birds sitting on the wire picture. I took this idea and painted the birds. Then I decoupaged torn scrapbook paper onto the sides of the painting. I used gold and blue paint to fill in. It was part of our gift to the love birds.

The cupcakes were made from a lava cake mix box. It Had chocolate whip in the middle and real whipped cream on top.
I had the kids help me decorate our dollar birdhouses. They painted theirs and I mod podged mine. I Made a little banner of bakers twine and teeny tiny triangle pieces and glued it across the front of the bird house. That table cloth? I picked up 2 matching curtains from goodwill. I Heart the fabric so much!



These are ceramic birds sitting on nests of moss. I painted the clay pots. 2 different sizes and the larger one turned upside down. I super glued them together to give height to the nest.
Below is a closer look.

Here I am with the lovely bride to be.
What fun to be young and in love and anticipating the rest of your life with the one you have chosen!


Lauren wanted to have a bed and bath shower.
I was a little surprised because I figured she may not realize what she is asking for... these aunts of Anthonys? Everyone was very polite,
Until..

One aunt put in a little extra spice. I had to post this picture because of Dale's expression! I think it is just priceless!
We are so excited to come celebrate your marriage Lauren and Anthony!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Milestones

She will be fine.

She will.

She is going to be okay.

I keep telling myself this as my gaze is fixed on the window.

Waiting for her return.

My mind is whirling.
Walking down memory lane. Life was so simple back when I had full control over their daily happenings. I didn't always believe that then but somewhere I knew in my heart that while raising small children had it's own set of stress it was nothing like waiting up for them at night. Not knowing where they were.
I like to physically see each of my children with my own set of eyes before I retire at night. And even if it has changed that I now go to bed before the majority of my house does, I still know that they are present and accounted for.

I know it will not always be like this.
And today marks that change.

In walks a mother with two toddlers in tow.. One on her hip. I remember doing that. How fast it went! The need to have personal space would at times be overwhelming. And now I sit here. Alone. Waiting.
As I watch, my eyes mist over. I know she will never understand my sentiments. So I hold my tongue and smile. I never cared much for the comments about how time flies. I knew it did. I did not want to be reminded. Oh how it flies.

As I wait for my daughter to return with our van and her driving instructor my mind spins. "Remember when.." is the echo I hear.
I realize it is one more "letting go" that must happen in order to accomplish the mission I have been given.

I try to be brave. To act like it's no big deal. Like I do this every day. But as my eyes continue to stare out the window of the BMV, I pray. For safety. And a good report.

I want her to pass but I secretly wish I could just take her back to these days for one more day.
I know it's not wise to start being all sappy. I need to be happy. And part of me truly is.
It's a big deal. She has changed so much.
And she needs wings to fly.
She needs to do these things so she needs me less.
And yet, it's a ripping.. a string that is attached to my heart, and I feel the tug.



Then without warning in she steps.
I have totally missed her reappearance because she parked out of my line of vision.
I hear her chatter and light laugh.
She walks around me until she is front and center and frowns.
I say.. Well?
She..... as her frown instantly turns upside down to her beautiful smile.
PASS! She says as she throws her arms around me.
Yay! I cheer. We need some Starbuck's for that accomplishment!
(and my nerves)

What an achievement!
I am proud of her.
And my heart knows it is right.
And good.
All these changes make me realize my heart actually is a lot stronger than it used to be.
Back when.
Because daily grace is what we all need.
I can't think of the what if's or whens of the future.
I must focus on the grace I have for today.

And today my sweet 16 beauty is a licensed driver.
So I celebrate with her.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's time to take back some ground.

We are 10 weeks into a video series called...
The Truth Project.
You may have heard of it.

It has been transforming for us.
And sobering.
As I think about our country, where we have come from, and where we are headed, I can feel hopeless.

We also went to see Kirk Cameron's movie called... Monumental.
A documentary on the true story of the Pilgrims. Men have been slowly changing history to give us a completely different take on why and how the puritans came to America. Our country is headed in a direction that looks entirely opposite of what our founding fathers ever intended America to look like. It comes out on video this summer. You should see it.

This year as I have worked in the lunch room it has been an eye opening experience. Our kids are faced on every side with lies. Lies about themselves and others. Lies about who God is and who he created us to be. Lies about the existence of God.
Deception is what the father of Lies is all about. And he is very much alive in this world today.

I pray most every day as I work. I pray that God will move in this school. I pray that I would not get desensitized to the world. I pray for protection over my children's hearts and souls. I pray for a love for the hard to love kid. I pray that truth would be spoken.

But as I watched this video series and purchased a teen set for my own tribe to have for our personal devotions. I have become vigilant about preparing them for each day. I have never felt such an urgency to turn up the heat so to speak on our enemy. He twists the truth so cleverly that sometimes makes it difficult to spot... But I know that if I am rooted in the Truth I will see him more clearly.

We talk about lots of things... And we spend daily time together in the Word. To counteract what they hear and see all day. We have had some pretty awkward discussions. But I'm so glad they still talk to me... even when it's awkward.
All four have been excellent students. And have made good choices about friendships. My struggle continues to be over what is best for them individually.

We are seriously considering and praying about some new options for some of them next year.

I don't know yet what God has for them but we are praying for his wisdom as we make those decisions.

One of the verses from the truth project hit me like a ton of bricks last evening.

Revelation 2
5
Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

We don't know at what point he will choose to remove that lamp stand but I don't really want to find out.

My job as a mom is to pray and prepare.
My job as a citizen is to pray and be light.
My job as a child of God is to repent and come back to my first love.

This Morning as I woke with the sunrise I read these verses and believe God gave me a new prayer to pray.
Daniel 9:17-19
Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant.For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O My God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.

Amen.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Vengeance

I love listening to good preaching.
Preaching that hits me between the eyes.

I love when someone opens up a text in a fresh way.
And I even though it hurts.... I know it's exactly what God wanted me to hear.
I hear lots of great sermons from NorthPoint, in Atlanta Georgia.
In fact I listen almost as fast as they publish them.

I heard this one several weeks ago and it was so powerful.
I thought I'd share it here today.

http://www.northpoint.org/messages/vengeance

This is a 2 part message.

Oh and you may need to turn my music off at the side bar. :)
Hope this blesses you as it did me.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring break... How I love thee!

I know these posts are few and far between.
I haven't had the energy or time to post but since we are on spring break I have been a crafty bee.

I'm getting ready to host a shower for my oldest nephew and his soon to be bride this weekend.
They are sweet and in love.
I love to see the paths my precious ones are taking.

For the theme I decided to go with "Love birds".
Since it's spring and they are in love. It makes sense to have all things love, nests, and birds.
So in thematic form I painted this for them.

Shhh. Don't tell.
I hope they don't blog on here this week. :)
I will try to post more shower pictures next week.

And I still needed to finish my Nieces wedding gift from November.
Finally I got to it.



I love the way it turned out.

I am busy with the family this week.
Biking 12 miles yesterday... to the pretzel shop, ping pong tournaments, sleeping in, crafting, Eating out, shopping and tomorrow we go to the air museum. I should say the boys are. The females are opting out for some retail therapy. :0


It's been a wonderful week of relaxed days and evenings.

I wish it could last a month.
But hollah for 7 more weeks of school!!