Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Part III

So we took off for Richard's parents where we visited with his folks and brothers. This was sorta a downer because 1) Richard's nephews weren't there because their mom is, well, their mom and 2) The computer speakers we got Richard's parents wouldn't work with their computer and 3) The girls each got 3-4 toys! Do the math: that's about 11-12 new toys in my house! Insane!

Argh... I might have time to finish this post eventually! TO BE CONTINUED!
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Christmas Part II

Christmas: The girls didn't get up until my parents showed up close to 9 am! I guess they were tuckered from getting home so late as well. I however was too excited to sleep any longer so I got up around 7:30 am. Put make-up on and everything, so I wouldn't look like the zombie I felt like in the pictures! Went out to the kitchen, emptied the dishwasher, measured out the ingredients for the cake icing and just piddled around the kitchen - made a Chai latte of course!

My most precious memory of the season was Riley running out of the bedroom, telling me it was Jesus birthday and that he lived in her heart. Richard had been chatting with her in bed, but regardless it was adorable and made me super excited.

The girls were ubber excited about mixing the icing and icing the cake. They did a fine job! After they licked plenty of icing we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. Then it was present time. Eventhough, we spent a lot of $ on Christmas this year it didn't appear that way and I enjoyed our small but fun present exchange. Highlights: Richard got an iTouch, me a Nikon D40, we all got the Wii (that we got as a kicker when we bought our computer in August), and the Wii fit. The girls got Barbies, Wii Dora game, and of course their My Little People Play Family House. There were other gifts - clothes and such. Their favorite gift tho: the little make-up kits I got them from Claires! Lol!

I almost forgot Gigi - Gigi's favorite gift would be the ball pit (that was actually Evelyn's when she was 1). She LOVED it! Yes, I realize I regifted, but honestly, she loved it! And there was no point in spending $ on something else when I already had something she would love :)

After the present exchange we fixed a big yummy breakfast of eggs, pancakes, sausage, and bacon! My family bid us fairwell, Tyler was excited to play his new Wii hunting game. And we got ready to head out the door to Richard's parents. Whew! That was all before noon.

(To be continued).
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Sunday, December 27, 2009


Wow! Did we have a nice Christmas?! We got too many presents - I sorta feel guilty. It was a little bit crazy. I actually boxed up two boxes of unopened toys last night and the girls didn't even realize they were missing today. I'm gonna have to cut the grandparents off next year. It's such a touchy subject, but my girls love cute clothes, shoes, DVD's etc that don't take up room that we don't have in our tiny, tiny house. Of course, there are some toys that they've outgrown that can go to Goodwill... But still.

Here was our Christmas:

Christmas Eve: Feast of the 7 fishes at Aunt B's. This was yummy as always. Then we went to church at 8pm! I would like to say that it was a wonderful worshipful experience for me, but I spent the whole time passing notes with the girls using the pew envelopes and prayer cards in order to keep them quiet so everyone else could worship.

We got home from church at 10:30 and Gigi and Riley were already sleeping, and we managed to get Evelyn to sleep fairly soon after that. Of course, we were up til 1 am putting out gifts, stuffing stockings, last minute cleaning, and baking the Birthday cake.

Christmas: (to be continued)
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Thursday, December 10, 2009


So I had a really stinky day yesterday and today - work related. Then this afternoon, I get a phone call from one of my student leaders mom. The conversation started like this "I've been debating all day whether I should call you..." Immediately, my heart sank and I almost started crying. But I pulled it together! Here she had a concern about one of the programs we were doing (that was legitimate) and wanted me to know! I so appreciated her courage in bringing the concern to me directly. She encouraged me and told me she wanted the program to succeed.

Then I almost started crying again because I am overwhelmed by the support that I get from my friends, youth parents, volunteers, and even the kids themselves! Just love it. Praise the Lord!
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Here ya go

So, I just wrote a really long post that I'm not going to post. So, here's a curtosy one :D
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Why I work out!

The top 10 things that motivate/inspire me to work out:

1. My belly.
- I know it's vain. But 3 kids later, it's not exactly a 6 pack.

2.My husband.
- I like it when he's attracted to me. (My hubby is the greatest and has always loved my body even while topping 180 in pregnancy, but still).

3. Sex.
- Enough said.

4. My kids.
- To keep up now and keep on later.

5. My appearance.
- It's not about being hotter than the next girl. But I do feel it's important to portray an image that says you respect and care about yourself.

6. The Biggest Loser.
- I love that show.

7. I like it.
- I like physically exerting myself. The more physical the better. In particular, I like most things outdoors, except jumping off or out of things. Hiking is probably my favorite.

8. Camp Presmont.
- The summer Evelyn was 10 months old, we directed jr high camp and I couldn't walk up the hill without stopping. I made a pact with myself that I would play capture the flag the next year. And I did :)

9. Overweight people.
- I don't envy them.

10. I like to food.
- Don't get me wrong, I do watch what I eat, but I really like food. In particular, I like all things dairy. Lasagna (with lots cheese)? Yes. Ice cream? Yes. Grated cheese on my salad? Yes. Cereal with milk. Yes. Ooo. Read the previous 9 again...

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Monday, November 23, 2009

From the Mom Hat

So Gigi is about to start Potty Training 101. This includes recognizing our bodily functions, introduction to the toilet, seeing what our poop looks like, seeing that poop is supposed to go in the potty and then gets flushed. Toward the end we also start sitting on the potty in the morning and after naps to see if we can pee on the potty! This is followed me acting like an idiot, giving her oodles of praise! This is an intro course so we still always wear a diaper. Potty Training 201 starts circa 18 mos.

So as I'm starting to potty train #3 I'm thinking this should be a breeze. I've trained Evelyn (by 2) and Riley (by 2.5). Evelyn was easy to day-train but didn't night train until around 4. Riley was hard to train (we had some serious issues) but night-trained at the same time she day-trained. But then again ... Who know?! We'll see what Gigi has in store for me.

It's been a long, tiring weekend. Richard has been gone since Saturday morning, so it's been nearly three days of him not helping me. It's actually gone well. But I miss him and I am ready for him to be home.

I'm really, really looking forward to his 4 day weekend for Thanksgiving! That's it. The end.
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

YW Musings

I've been frustrated with myself lately. I know - KNOW - that you can't measure the success of a ministry based on numbers. But lately I have been. I've been letting the my yw mood be set by how many kids are showing up to things. This is horrible because it's one big crazy rollercoaster. I'm so frustrated with the schools - parents - and everyone else who think that Glee clubs and basketball teams should be - and in their world are - more important than being involved in the church! Just once - I'd like to see a parent encourage his child to miss a practice to go to a youth event! So, so frustrated, and even more frustrated that I am frustrated.

I guess I should say something profound here. Something deep about how God is sovereign, good, and bends everything to His will. But I really, really want to have a flourishing youth ministry. One where teens meet Jesus, grow in their faith, and then share that faith with others. I want something radical. I want other adults to catch that vision and ask what they can do to help. I want to see people thristing for Jesus instead of getting drunk of the wine of their choice. But above all that - I'm just tired.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Well, I can't tell you for sure that it's not a placebo effect, but I've been taking a magnesium/calcium supplement for 4 days and have noticed a significant difference in my anxiety level. I took the chaste tree berry for 3 days, but everything I read about says it takes 3 cycles to work and it was giving me throbbing headaches (I knew this was a side-effect), so since I was noticing a difference from the magnesium, I decided to drop it for now.
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I feel like such a slacker today. I got up, got the girls breakfast, cleaned for 30 minutes, read my devotional, read them a few books, then I watched two epidsodes of Biggest Loser, hence the reason I feel like a slacker (but my interet was actually working fast enough to watch and Richard wasn't here need on the computer), finished my newletter, and cleaned for 35 more minutes. And, it's only 4 o'clock.

Geeze. Gotta start dinner and finish this laundry! This is my life. And here's where I remind myself that I have a Father who loves me and I live under His grace :D
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Depression, Supplements and PMS

I don't care if you're a guy and read this, you just may not want to, lol!

So last month, I had an anxiety attack, I blogged about it pretty openly. I'm not ashamed of it; I've come to grips with the fact that it doesn't make me crazy, but here's the deal: I've decided to explore what's going on with me rather than live in solitary confinement like I used to do in the past!

I also had an anxiety attack in Virginia this summer on vacation and I cautiously noted the similarities. They were:

PMS (both attacks actually occurred on Day 15 of my cycle)
Caffeine (I had two cups of tea on the days, more than my usual one)
Worn-out (When Richard is in school, I pretty much have to be super-Kendra because he really has no time to help me)
Run-down (I had slight colds - upper respiratory)
Tired (More tired than usual, hence the reason I would have two cups of tea!)

So as day 15 of my cycle approaches this month, I'm anxious about being anxious! I'm worn-out, tired, and run-down, so it looks as if my only hope is avoiding the caffeine!

We have all been sick lately. Fevers to colds to who knows what else! Well, last year as I was researching yeast infections (because of Gigi's persistant one) and I discovered the most wonderful thing ever: Collostrum! I don't know if my girls had swine or not, but they all carried fevers for less than 24 hours and caput! No more! I really attribute this to my shoving Collostrum and Activia (probiotics) down their throats (nice Mommy, I know). They love it. And, as this swine thing intensifies I started giving them Elderberry syrup as well. It's yummy in milk.

So, I've really been considering going to the doctor and getting meds for this depression/anxiety/PMS thing I have going, but I thought, if Collustrum and Elderberries can fight Swine Flu maybe there's something for PMS and anxiety. So I got on my good friend Google and did some research. I found an interesting article and I'm going to try a Calcium/Magnesium supplement, Chaste Tree Berry and Omega-3's. I'm also going to detox. Whew! I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's a Sleepy Day

So, I'm tired. I was up until 2 a.m. last night. I ended up taking Gigi to the ER. Her underarm temp was 100.7 and when I got to the ER her rectal (pleasant, I know) was 101.7. Everything I read online said that you should add one to an underarm temp reading, so that was accurate. I kinda pushed for them to give me a script for Tamaflu because they diagnosed her with the flu, eventhough, they didn't test her and she doesn't have any other symptoms other than a snotty nose that she's had for a month. Her heart rate was slightly elevated, but that's common with a fever.

So, this morning she wakes - 8 hours since her last dose of Motrin - with no fever! Argh. I know they say they don't fever with teething, but she definately is cutting teeth. Here's my dilemma: do I give her the Tamaflu? I did give her Tylenol this morning. I am definately going to get it filled if I can. I think there's going to be a shortage, and I want it on hand. She has not been in contact with anyone who has H1N1 since this past weekend and they say you typically show symptoms within 1-4 days. Thursday night was over 96 hours since she was around Tyler, and 5 days since my uncle Steve and everyone else who ended up with it. No one else in our house has a fever, but none of us have felt great either. Craziness. Flip a coin, I guess!

So, they split Richard's route AGAIN. It's pretty much retarded. He wanted them to because he couldn't keep up, but it's going to be a significant paycut just when he got his pays back up to where they used to be before they split his route last time. I HATE commission jobs! I guess the good thing is that there is much more room for growth.

It's funny to examine the issues people have with money. I have to CONSTANTLY remind myself that God is my provider. That money is something we use to measure earthly pleasures and not eternal happiness. We believe it's very important to be good stewards of our blessings - you know, store during those 7 years of plenty to make way during the 7 years of famine. But I don't know - I know it's easy for me to generous and trust God when we have more than enough, but when things show the least little sign of getting tight, I have a fear that rises in me.

Argh. I hate my sinful self. Grace, grace, grace abounds . . .

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Taking a Break

So after a morning of cleaning my disaster of a house, which still isn't clean, I'm actually sitting in the recliner with my feet up! Woohoo. I can't blog long, I have to make lunch, do yoga, work, clean some more, then get ready for my date with Richard! Woohoo!

Normally on Thursdays we do preschool but with the condition of the house, we bipassed that today. Evelyn actually already knows everything she needs to start kindergarten a year + early, so I'm not sweating it. (With the exception of picking up after herself)!

Okay. That's it. I have to do a talk this Sunday (to mostly teenagers/ young adults), any topic ideas?
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm not Mrs. Duggar

I have been pregnant or breastfeeding for five consecutive years. FIVE. I really, really (and could pretty easily) wean Gigi now. Some days she doesn't nurse at all, but I always have this tinge of guilt hanging over my head. I nursed the other two until they were 15 and 16 months. I feel like I'm cheating her. And, she had a cold right now that she's been fighting for weeks. Not too bad, but definately a snotty nose. And with the swine flu floating around ...

But the selfish, "I'm entitled to" part of me has no, absolutely no desire to nurse any more. Sigh. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a "guilty" mom. I fully believe that healthy moms make healthy kids, and I don't feel guilty about taking time for me. But this really has nothing to do with that. I just am tired of nursing. I'm willing myself right now to do it until she shakes this cold! YES! I AM!

Maybe I have a little bit of Mrs. Duggar in me;)
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The Search for a Friend, Part II

So today I met with India and her little boy, Solomon at a nearby park. We had a good time. They're new to the area so we chatted about good restaurants and churches. I met them when they attnded our church one Sunday. Nice people.

(That was actually Wednesday, but I'm just now finishing this post).

Anyway, I've decided that I just need to be friendly and put myself out there more and see what friends God brings to me. Not that I'm not being intentional about it. I just figure that maybe the reason I feel rather friendless is because I don't really reach out too much. We'll see. Just sheer ramblings here. Lol.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Feeling Better

Well, I'm technically supposed to be running right now, but between the cold that I have and my asthma acting up it's not going too well. I probably ran about a mile. Now I'm walking along a utility access road in Bellaire waiting for my oil to be changed and my tires rotated. It's a beautiful day. Peak leaf, not too hot, not too cold.

As a was driving into town, trying to convince myself that I was going to be happy today, I started listening to the Lincoln Brewster CD that Richard had in the player. The song that was playing was God You Reign. That combined with my daily devotional helped me regain sight of the fact that God reigns. Despite my fears about what the future might hold, despite my worries about today, despite my personal insecurities, My God reigns! There will be a day where all that I put my hope in will come to be. And right now I'm thankful for that.

The day after an anxiety attack is hard. You're left to struggle with whether your anxiety was justified or if you're just plain crazy. You're physically and emtionally drained. And in my case, overwhelmed by the fact that you still have three children to care for. So thankful right now that we live close to my Mama. I hoped that Richard could take a sick day today, but he was behind on seeing his customers.

I have noticed some striking similarities between this and the last attack (in July) that hopefully will help me in the future. They both occurred during the same time in my monthly cycle, both were within a few days after Richard finsished taking classes, I consumed two caffeinated baverages those days (including chai tea from Starbucks), I was extremely tired both days and a little run-down (hence the need for Starbucks). I also was just discouraged both days; this time because of how poorly my students did on their test.

All the exhaust from the 1 million semi's on this road is not helping my asthma!

This helped too. So glad I started blogging again :D

I could use prayers, friends. Thank you.
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Monday, October 19, 2009


Does anyone else have thoughts that disturb them so profoundly (when contemplating whether they could actually become true) that they get physically sick (vomitting and diareaha)? I'm seriously considering going to the doctor tomorrow.
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Maybe I should give up teaching.

So, I've really loved teaching this quarter. Up until today. Test day. Not only do tests examine the knowledge of the student, but to some degree they also evaluate the effectiveness of the teacher. Well, either I suck or they do. Even my best students struggled to pull-off a C. Only one student got an A, and none a B. 23 points I curved the test, and 7 out of 18 still failed.
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Monday, October 12, 2009

A Leadership Challenge and the Search for a Friend

I started a leadership team this year with some of the girls' in my youth group. Ideally, this would be a co-ed group, but I don't have any guys in my youth group that extend beyond crowd kids. So, it's a group of girls. When I was working the other day, I thought, "I've been doing a pretty poor job of working with the leaders in our group." And since, they're all so busy, I decided to start a private fb group and a weekly "leadership challenge" text. This follows on the heals of the what they learned at the leadership retreat this summer.

Well, this week's challenge was a clique buster. Their task was to either sit with or invite someone new to sit with their group at lunch. Sigh. Well, the one girl did it. I'm so proud of her, but apparantly, her other friends were "soo nice" to the boy that he left half-way through lunch. Argh. Frustration. We'll have to talk this out . . . . If they thought the challenge was hard, wait until I tell them they need to apologize to this kid.

So, I wrote about how I needed a friend, and I also am very keen on not challenging my youth group kids to try something that I'm not willing to try, so I thought: "Who the heck am I going to invite to sit with me at lunch?" Haha. But seriously, very rarely do I reach outside of my current circle of friends. I like to think it's because I'm confined to home and don't have access to people, but really, it's probably just because I'd rather not take the effort to make new friends.

So a few weeks ago, this couple showed up at our church, new to the area, she's a SAHM and they have a little boy (about 18 mo.). I started thinking, "Okay, I need to invite her to hang out with me." I was working up the nerve to call her - this afternoon - in the meantime, after teaching (we were out of TP completely) I ran into Kroger (kid free - Allelujia!) and I saw her! Argh. I took it as a sign from God (because I was seriously thinking about her in the parking lot). I was practically falling over myself trying to catch up with them. I was relieved that the box of tea I needed was in the aisle they were in. So I strolled over, casually, of course, and said, "Hey guys!" I made sure that I grabbed the box of tea from the shelf, so they didn't think I was tracking them down. Haha! We stood there and talked for 5 minutes or so, and I told her about how I was planning on going home to check the weather and see if there would be a good day to meet at the park to play. She seemed agreeable; although, my insecure part makes me feel like she thinks I'm nuts. Sigh . . . after reading this, maybe I am! To be continued . . .

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I Need a Friend

I know the title of this blog may be alarming to those of you who read this because you are my friends. But I've really been thinking a lot lately about how I need a friend. Someone who lives close to me, is a SAHM, perhaps even someone who is going to homeschool. Someone who is definately a Christian. Argh. I'm a very introverted person - I don't need a lot of friends to be happy, but I need close friends - and all my close friends either have jobs or don't live anywhere near me. I also did a poor job of navigating the life adjustment from college to adulthood. In high school and college, you have 24-7 access to your friends. Once you graduate, especially if you don't enter the work-force, you lose that direct access to potential friends. I haven't been making a very intentional effort to find a friend.

But seriously, how do you do that without sounding ridiculous and desperate? It's like asking a boy to go to Sadie Hawkins with you when you're in Jr. High. "Hi! Are you a Christian? Are you a SAHM? Really, tell me more about yourself? Hmmm. . . . you seem like you'll work. Want to be my friend? Want to get together once a week to talk, let the kids play, and drink tea?"

Ah, I've really been struggling with this. All in God's time, right?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back at It!

So a new quarter resumed today at BTC. This time around I'm teaching Pre-Alegbra. I thought I was going to hate it because, come on, if you're in college and need to take pre-algebra. I figured I'd be spending my time explaining mundane things, over and over again. But really, the majority of my students are adults who haven't taken math for 15+ years and need a refresher. Most of them catch on right away. Once again, humbled. I really like it; there's very little prep; and it looks like I could have some fun with it!

With thay said, between Richard and I, we currently have 6-8 sources of income. It's so crazy, during a time of economic turmoil, we're being blessed so abundantly. Granted, those sources range greatly in pay, and two of them have to do with Richard and music, and I've always told him that the band can spend what the band makes. However, on the same hand, we're definately busy, busy, busy! Richard moreso than me. So, the other day, I sat down and did some numbers, and I figured that if we can keep up with the craziness, we can have all of our debt, but approximately $6000 of our mortgage paid off by the end of May! Talk about motivating! Obviously, I understand that life happens in the mean-time, but I'm hoping for the best. I really want to make God-honoring choices with our finances:) We'll probably crack down for the next 8 months and then enjoy next summer! :)

Okay, that's all I got. I decided to write while waiting on Richard to come to bed; he's putting the girls to sleep;)
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Thoughts on Homeschooling

I know people think I'm weird for wanting to home school. Honestly, I have always thought people who home school are weird. But here's sorta why I'm changing my mind.

First, I think it's important to stay home with your children; and we make some financial sacrifices that enable me to do that. Obviously, if for financial reasons, I had to work, I would send my children to school. So here, I'll write out my list of pros and cons for homeschooling. I know some of these aren't 'good' reasons, but they're my reasons none-the-less.


I worry that I'm not disciplined enough.

Will my kids be socially inept? (Even though, I'm listing this as a con, I really don't think this is true, my children do not attend school or day care and are more socially inept than most children their ages).

A lot of SAH mom's use school time as special time with their younger children, or use it to get house work done, or use it to unwind.

I'm sure you can think of more cons, but those are the BIG three for me. I would not home school my children past the 8th grade, at this age, friends often become more important than family (for a time), and I wouldn't want my kids to miss out on all the awesome experiences that high school provides through extra-curricular activities.


I really feel that private education is the way to go, as far as, your children receiving the best traditional education. However, the closest non-Catholic option for us is a 25 minute drive, one-way! It would be crazy for me and unfair to my younger children to spend 2 hours a day in a car, especially, when I can home school in 2 hours a day or less. And, it's much less expensive to home school than pay private tuition.

One-on-one attention. Even if you are homeschooling 8 children, that's still a lower child to teacher ratio than public schools. (Sorry Duggars, you can't use this one as a pro, lol).

Bonding. I think children who have a secure attachment to their parents are actually more confident as adults.

A less hectic life. I understand most people think homeschooling would make life more hectic, but I hope to put my children in dance class at three or four, music (piano or something else) at five, and I suppose I'll let them play little league if they want. We also go to church on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. I really enjoy just staying home during the day without rushing my kids out the door. I want my kids to have a relationship with me apart from me being their chauffeur.

My kids will have time to be kids. School days and years keep getting longer and longer. Homeschooling takes about two hours a day, labor day to memorial day.

Children who are home schooled properly test just as well or better than traditional school children.

I'll witness the milestones. When Evelyn started reading the other day, it was amazing! I can't imagine how I would have felt if I had missed that!

Again, I'm sure there are other pros that I missed. Like not exposing my children to the little hell'yuns in public school and being able to teach Christian beliefs and values. Honestly, while those are perks for me, they're not my main reasons. I believe Christian values can be taught while children attend public schools. And, parents are still the primary influence in a child's life, if you want your children to behavior properly, clean-up your own act - she is more likely to mirror your behavior than her classmates. Classmates can teach your child ill behavior, but I think as long as you are an in-tune parent, you can diffuse this with proper discipline:)

Again, I'm sure some people's list of pros and cons would be completely different - and many may think my list is ridiculous. But it's my list :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Conversations with Evelyn, part something or other

So the other day Evelyn walked in on Richard in his underwear.

E: Why does it look like you have poop in your underwear?

Richard ignores her, relatively speaking, so today she goes up to Richard.

E: Did you poop in your underwear?

R: No.

E: Then why do you have such a big vagina?

Ahhhhh! I laughed so hard I almost cried! I guess he should have answered her the first time . . .
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Little Reader

So, the trouble with mobile blogging is you can accidently hit send and then can't edit!

It's a beautiful evening, so I'm mobile blogging from my yard as the girls burn off energy jumping on the trampoline. I haven't blogged for a week or so, so I thought an update was due. It's actually way past due, so here it is!

Evelyn, my genius little four year old is reading! It's awesome. I decided against preschool. Richard and I have talked a lot about homeschooling, so I decided that I'm going to homeschool Evelyn for at least pre-k and k. Her birthday is August 2nd, so since she misses the cut off date by 2 days, I just decided to do K with her a year early. If we can't do it, I'll send her the next year, and she'll be right on track still! So far I really enjoy it, it's so rewarding to watch her learn and grow!

This should actually be a Conversations with Evelyn piece, but I'll write it here. The other day my dad and Richard's dad were sitting out in the yard and Evelyn was holding herself. When my dad asked her if she had to pee, she replied, "No, I have allergies." Hmmm. . . Maybe I should focus on giving my kids a bath more often!

Riley hasn't hit any major milestones recently, but I feel obligated to write a sentence about her. :) She has been talking more and more, and can speak her mind quite well!

I can't believe how much more you can get done with 3 kids. They really do play together the majority of the day. It's amazing!

Gigi's new favorite word is "NO!" She tells it to me often, and really enjoys asserting herself! Her current goal is to run (away from me) and not fall down!

Richard had a job interview yesterday. We're fairly confident that we're going to take it if offered. There's a potential to make a lot more $$$ than there is with Cintas, and we would really like to build our house without borrowing any $$$. The first year seems like it might suck. Several weeks of Richard being away training, and then a good bit of traveling after that to establish customer base. So again, we're waiting!

I could talk about my job, but that would be annoying since it currently stinks! Pray that I make wise decisions! I really need to make wise decisions. I am really excited about some of our programming that's going to kick off this week, as long as I'm allowed to do it. Apparently, there's something in the Bible about people having to be all things to all people and something else about having to be a member of the church before we're allowed to minister! Please note the extreme amount of saracasm there!

Mom thoughts: so recently, I put my life on a schedule. A written out, detailed schedule, that is still flexible. I was always opposed to doing this, but I'm really finding my life more simple, and relaxed! It includes the basics: devotional, meals, exercise, work, house work. The only trouble I've had with it so far is getting up at a set time. I enjoy sleeping in, and am used to getting up with whatever child wakes me first. But in order to get everything in each day, get dinner on the table by 5:30, and have time to be flexible, I need to get up at 7:45 each day. I've yet to make it!

Well, this post has been long enough! I will reemphasize that we could really use prayer in the areas of my job, and Richard possibly changing jobs! Thank you, friends!
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My Little Reader

It's a beautiful evening, so I'm mobile blogging from my yard as the girls burn off energy jumping on the trampoline. I haven't blogged for a week or so, so I thought an update was due. It's actually way past due, so here it is!

Evelyn, my genius little four year old is reading! It's awesome. I decided against preschool. Richard and I have talked a lot about homeschooling, so I decided that I'm going to homeschool Evelyn for at least pre-k and k. Her birthday is August 2nd, so since she misses the cut off date by 2 days, I just decided to do K with her a year early. If we can't do it, I'll send her the next year, and she'll be right on track still! So far I really enjoy it, it's so rewarding to watch your learn and grow!
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Wedding Weekend!

We are on our way back from my brother's and his new wife's wedding weekend. Wow! Did we have fun!

We started off the weekend on Friday morning by going to Fort Rapids, an indoor water park and resort. It was awesome! The kids loved it and it was some great R&R after some high stress days of getting everything ready to disappear for a weekend. Riley was my most adventurous child and enjoyed the waterslides a lot. I was really impressed with how well it catered to all ages. Richard and I loved the adult slides and the girls had a blast in the babypool area. We stayed there until Saturday afternoon, when we left to check into the wedding hotel, The Columbus, a Reniassace Hotel.

It was fancy schmancy. Luggage carriers and valets. Woohoo! My parents hosted the rehearsal dinner at a small Italian restaurant called Trattoria Roma, I highly recommend it if you are ever visiting Columbus. It was very nice.

Then Sunday was the big day. I'm so thankful for Kayla helping Richard with the girls because I was so busy getting my hair and make-up done and attending to the bride per my bridesmaid duties that I didn't see them all afternoon! We were almost ready to get ready to go down the aisle and I heard Evelyn wailing, I went upstairs and she was upset because my mom was seated already and she wanted to walk down the aisle with her. So needless to say, Evelyn didn't walk, but Riley pulled through like a tropper! Who would have thought!

The ceremony was beautiful and with the exception of Evelyn's fit, it all went off without a hitch. I really enjoyed the remarks by the pastor; although, I can't remember much of it now. The reception was a blast. Hands down the most fun I've had at a reception since my own! We really enjoyed ourselves.

A salute to Seth and Liz, here's to a lifetime of love!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I would just like to say that God is good.

And God answers prayers, in very real ways.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Youth Worker Post

I'm hoping to change the format of our youth group to include a contemporary worship segment. I don't know if it will go through - I have to get it approved by the Christian Education Committee and Session (Church Elders). I know for most of the evangelical world the fact that I just wrote those last two sentences seems proposterous, but just be thankful you're not in my shoes.

Anyway, here's the Message section from my September newsletter that I'm hoping to run.

I know a lot of you are probably wondering why we changed the name of youth group to F.A.D.E. So I thought I would write the message section on this topic. F.A.D.E. stands for faith, adoration, devotion, and esteem. Worship is all about giving adoration, devotion, and esteem to God in response to the faith He has abundantly given to us. God gives us faith and we respond with praise (adoration). We devote ourselves to His good works (devotion) and value his calling for our lives with most significance (esteem).

Wait! There’s more.

Part of worshipping God is about letting our own selfish desires FADE in order to make way for God’s plans. Check out this passage from Philippians 2:1-11 (I paraphrased for brevity; you can read the whole passage from your Bible).

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from love . . . then be like-minded, [love], be one in spirit and purpose. . . In humility, consider others better than yourselves. . . Look not only to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Your attitude should be same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being God, made himself nothing, taking on the form of a servant.
Being found in appearance as man, he humbled himself to death – death on a cross!”

As Christians, as followers of Christ, we are called to follow Christ’s example. That doesn’t mean we’re supposed to die on a cross, but it means that we’re called to put the needs of others ahead of ourselves. We’re called to let our selfishness FADE, so that God’s glory can prevail.

The last couple verses of the passage say this:

“Therefore God exalted [Jesus] to the highest place, and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . . , and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

This is my prayer for us as a youth group and as church, that we would let ourselves FADE in order to bring glory to God.

I think the name is fitting, don’t you?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Highlights from my Life

No time to write a lot, but thought I'd give some highlights:

My bridesmaid dress for my brother's wedding, which is 16 days away, is too tight. I can get it on, but I need to drop 5 to 10 pounds. Pronto. This has influenced a lot of my life lately.

Dieting. I would rather work-out for two hours a day than diet, but at this point, I don't have time to exercise that much and calorie cutting was going to be the only way to do it. Sucks. I'm not too happy.

Exercising: has become my number two priority. 30 minutes for three days, day off, today I start 40 minutes for three days, day off, 50 minutes for three days and I'll hold steady from there. I did a kickboxing video two days ago that kicked my butt. I'm still sore.

Work. I've been swamped lately. Revamping programs, pleading cases, glad for a break in programming as I give the kids a few weeks off to get settled into school. I wrote a report, which helped me process feelings and organize my thoughts . . . so the stress level is back down!

My family. The girls are growing like weeds. Gigi is walking, and turns 10 months old today! Evelyn is starting to write letters. Riley is trying to keep up with Evelyn, she wants to be four and take dance lessons too! They are inseperable . . . it's too cute.

My house: is a mess. Wonder why? I have to clean it today since I'll be having company tomorrow. We're baking cookies (MAJOR TEMPTATION) for the wedding.

Richard. He's extremely busy. Too busy, I wish there was something I could do to lighten his load. But the band is his dream, and we have to pay our bills. So it's work, Affix, and school for him. He's good at setting aside time for us; so thankful that there isn't a TV in our house!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A mom post

So I'm sitting in Robinson mall near Pittsburgh Pa, counting my children over and over again, hoping Richard and company return shortly because Gigi has a poop in her diaper, and I do NOT want to take all three girls to the restroom. Having three children isn't that much different than two at home, but taking them out is a lot harder. We have two strollers with us, a carrier pack, a backpack, and my purse.

I am thankful for a few things: the people who thought of and actually built family restrooms and play areas in malls. That is incredible. Awesome. A mothers sanity.

It is hot today. 90+ degrees with high humidity. I am also thankful for malls that are air conditioned.

Richard is almost here, must prepare to move the herd . . .
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Thursday, August 13, 2009


This is a brief overview of my day yesterday:
Normal morning
Got all three girls ready to go and out the door for a tire appointment at 1:30 p.m.
Spent an hour in the waiting room with all three girls
Got all three back in the van and went through three drive-throughs: the bank, post office, and Burger King (praise the LORD for drive-throughs)
Rachels for a play date of sorts

This is where my hectic day gets crazy. When I got to Rachel's Gigi was sleeping, it was a 75 degree, cloudy day, so I left all the van doors open and left her in the van. We had the other girls in the yard playing and we were talking and I look up and the van doors were all shut! I quickly asked Rachel if she had gotten Gigi out of the van, and she said "Oh, my gosh, no! I saw Riley shut all the doors; I didn't realize Gigi was in there." So I ran over, she was fine (of course, I wouldn't be blogging about it if she wasn't), she was all sweaty but still sleeping. It was still scary.

Then, like an hour later, Gigi fell in the pool. This actually wasn't so scary. We were all in the pool; I was sitting with my feet in it and Gigi was right next to me. And she just fell in. I scooped her up and out and after she got over the initial shock, she was fine. She even started clapping like she did some amazing flip into the pool.

So after my daughter's life was twice endangered, we loaded all the kids up and took them to vacation Bible school. Sigh.

One of my mom's told me there, that they were bringing hospice in for her mom who has lung cancer. This sweet grandmother has lived with her daughter's family her grandchildren's entire lives. So this is going to be an especially hard loss. This is a part of ministry I don't like; it's hard.

Then after VBS, the chair of the CE committee tells me that I need a list of goals for the school year, that they're going to review it and my job description at the next CE meeting. Argh! After talking to one of the session members and my pastor about this (neither of them had any clue what was going on), I just decided to call the CE chair this morning and ask her what was going on. Well, apparrantly, it's the same stuff that always goes on in Presbyterian churches. They wanted to make sure that all of my plans were going through committee.

Committee's can be a good thing. I like accountability, organization, and deligation. Those are good things. However, when certain committees are occupied by the same people for years and years and years, ruts can happen, progress is slowed, and change, well, just doesn't always happen.

Maybe I'm young and naive, but I hope I'm not. I hope I just trust that God can bring transformation - even to an economically depressed, aging population in SE Ohio. Even to a group of Presbyterians who refuse to change, even when change must occur in order to keep the doors open. Even to people whose hearts have been hardened by hard lives . . .

I feel that my words could have been written by the ancient church leaders. These problems have been perpetuated throughout church history because we are sinners: we are prideful, self-righteous, self-involved people, who care to take far more than we are willing to give. I hope and pray that God saves me from this . . .

There are a few people in our church who have been. They are like a drink of fresh water in the parched land of ministry. So I will end this post thankful for them :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Computer

Apparantly, it was just the unbelieveable slowity of our OLD computer that made our internet so slow.

Today, I was trying to do something and it was taking so long that I gave up, called Richard and told him I was buying a new computer, today. So after making sure I had enough money, I called Best Buy to see what they had.

I kid you not: we got an HP notebook, that had everything we needed $100 off and go a free Wii with it! WooHoo! It really was an incredible deal (designed for college students going back to school, I'm sure). Richard is a little peeved that I'm saving it to give the girls as a Christmas present. How awesome is that?! I got their "big" gift for free! The sales rep (young, college aged guy) also kept emphasizing that it came with Wii sports, apparantly that we exciting to him. LOL.

Long story short: Hopefully, I will be blogging more that I have a computer that actually works faster than a turtle :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

And so it goes . . .

I will blame my lack of blogging on three things: an old slow computer, slow internet, and my Blackberry. But it is far past the time that an update is needed.

If I believed in Karma, I would be prone to think that we're living a good life right now. But I don't. I do believe in God, and at this point in our life He is cascading blessings at us right and left. Most people would consider this a good thing, but I'm pretty much just confused. Highlights from our life.

Youth ministry is going well. Still progressing . . . and growing . . . and well, it's baby steps. I've been taking baby steps for three years. It's frustrating, and tiring, and draining. At some point, I just want to take one wild and crazy jump. I have so much vision and direction and hope and certainty that God will provide people and resources to tranform our church. I struggle with getting others to see that vision, to understand that we serve the God of the universe who is able to do infinately more than we ever dare to ask or imagine! Frustration churns in the midst of hope.

I had my first youth ministry "team meeting" yesterday. Believe it or not, we have never had another consistent volunteer in our youth ministry program other than Richard. It's sad. I know. I had one parent, one friend that I recruited from outside the church, and one session member show up. Plus, Richard and two of my teen leaders. It was a nice group. It was so wonderful to have people throwing out ideas that weren't coming from my own head. Their ideas were even better than mine! That's awesome. I love teams. Love them.

Evelyn turned four. Sigh. And sadness. And excitement, we're visiting a dance class tonight. I'm so proud of her. She's growing up just fine.

Motherhood is such a blessing. I was sharing with my youth girls the other day that my dreams in life were to get married and have babies. I'm living my dreams, and at the same time it's sort of discouraging that at 28 am not sure what I want to do with the rest of my life. Obviously, those roles will follow me, but it's odd for me to not have some major life goal that I'm working on. Right now, I'm just soaking in toddlerhood. :)

Richard, on the other hand, has accomplished very few of his dreams; he did marry me. He wants to play music for a living. Do full-time ministry. And provide for his family at the same time. He's a fantastic husband. He works so hard and rarely complains.

[I had someone in the church tell me that her husband couldn't help with the youth program because he works 60 hours a week. Of course, I responded graciously, but I wonder how people feel entitled to say that to me? Richard puts in 10 hour days, has Affix, school, a few other smaller responsibilities, volunteers, and puts US first. I don't expect other people to do all that. It's crazy, and he probably shouldn't be. But it does annoy me when people use that as an excuse].

So moving onward to my amazing, hard-working husband. (Here's where the Karma stuff comes into play).

1. Several weeks ago, Richard applied for a youth ministry position at a church in Wheeling. Not surprisingly, they offered him the job. However, after realizing, there would be no health benefits for our family, and it would be difficult to pay our bills, he respectfully declined. We are two years from being debt free at our current status. This is important for two reasons: 1. I don't feel that debt is wise, Biblical, or financially healthy and 2. we live in a two bedroom house with five people. We need to add on, sooner than later.

2. A few weeks ago, Richard interviewed for a promotion with Cintas. Longer hours, more responsibility, more stress, more money, lots more. They've interviewed at least 6 other people for the position, and due to the lack of response we're thinking Richard didn't get it. But really, we'd be okay with that. BUT still, we don't know for sure.

3. Some producer from LA listened to Affix's album and liked it. Again, no clue what this means.

4. The people from the church in Wheeling called Richard back (after interviewing several well-qualified applicants), and asked him to name his price.

I told Richard today that there are too many life altering possibilities hanging in the balance. We're trying so hard to discern God's voice in the midst of it all, but I'm confused. Just plain confused.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Another post

I wanted to make another post that wasn't about being depressed. Haha. So here are a few random thoughts that I thought about blogging about but weren't really enough to blog about on there own:

1. This weekend, I hosted a shower for my future sister-in-law. It was so nice. I decided forever ago that there was no way I was going to be able to make the food, so I had it catered:) Good decision on my part. I was right. The food was superb thanks to Diane Conroy, and all I had to do was decorate and come up with activities. I didn't want to play games because they're kind of cheesy, so instead Kayla and I brought a bunch of our scrapbooking stuff and we made Liz a scrapbook that all she has to do is stick pictures in. I gave away prizes during the gift opening to whoevers gift Liz was opening when the timer went off. I didn't wrap the prizes either; I let people pick what they wanted. Anyway, thought you may want to steal some ideas. It was awesome!

Oh, and the room in the Bellaire library is a real steal!

2. Yesterday was the Italian picnic that my family oh so loves. We had a good time. My favorite part is the swimming, so I'm not sure why I don't spend more time at the pool.

This is totally random, but at one point when we were there I was using the restroom. I was done but was washing my hands and this mom comes in with I would say between a 6 and 8 year old girl. So she goes into the stall with the girl and is instructing her how to tuck her dress up so she doesn't pee on it. Weird.

3. Work. I'm really behind. Lot going on these next two weeks!
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So I struggle with depression. I'm not really sure to what degree because I've never gone to a mental health professional to be evaluated, but I know enough to know that they'd just prescribe me drugs anyway. I can remember being a teenager where I was at in my parents car the first time I recognized what was actually going on with me. It goes up and down, but when I'm down like this all you tend to remember are the downs, which makes me feel like I've been depressed for the past 12 years! Sigh.

So anyway, in the past I could usually pin-point what triggered my depression: break-ups, deaths, pregnancy and hormone changes. But this time it's befuddling me. My period has been all messed up which could be signaling some hormonal stuff going on, but I really think it's more than that.

Actually, I think it comes from trying to take on other people's problems instead of recognizing that God will in His own time and way.

I'm not going to go into all of the thoughts that race through my mind all day when I'm like this, but I will ask that you pray for me.

Right now I'm just trying to stay productive rather than laying around on the couch all day:(
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Making it Home

We're about three hours into our return trip. We drove 2.5 hours last night while the girls slept and now at 11:51am we're going to go the last five. Richard and I got four to five hours of sleep last night at a Super 8 where the really nice guy gave us the discount rate because it was late. $60 woo hoo! It was nice to get up this morning and take a shower.

It was hard saying good-bye to our friends. It was three years and two kids ago since we last saw them. We picked up where we left off:) The Stonebargers are dods teachers and still live in Yokosuka, Japan, so it was an incredible God-thing that we were free the same weekend they were going to be at the Ellis's. The Ellis's live in Chesapeake and are waiting on Chuck to finish his last year in the Navy, so they can retire from the military life. They are thinking about moving to Harrisbrug VA which is 2.5 hours closer to us:) or Atlanta, boo!

While it was slightly hard on my very introverted self to stay in a house with 12 people for 4 days, we had a great time. We really didn't do much. Cooked, ate, sang, and played Settlers of Catan which I think we got more people addicted too. We went to church on Sunday and the movies on Monday, saw Up (it was good). Yesterday we did take the girls to VA beach and the Virginia aquarium. It was the first time Riley saw the ocean and the first time that Evelyn remembers, so it was pretty cool. Of course, a first for Gigi but she definately won't remember. The girls loved it. Their favorite thing was sitting on the beach while the tide washed up on them. They sat there for an hour! We built a sand turtle since we didn't have anything to build a castle with. The aquarium was cool. Evelyn got to see sea turtles, sharks, and sea horses, some of her favorite characters from Nemo, so she was pretty excited!

Right now I have them counting cars. We just slowly worked our way through road construction. During which I unstrapped Riley and let her poop on the little potty! She decided to be potty trained just in time for the eight hour road trip! I'm not complaining though! Woo hoo for having only one in diapers!

Speaking of diapers and pooping, Gigi's eternal diaper rash has finally gone away! The secret: yogurt with probiotics (activia) and petrolium jelly. This confirms my ongoing suspicion that it was a yeast infection. The vaseline is the absolute best thing for holding moisture off the skin. I'm also grateful that I was able to cure it holistically; it means that the actually internal yeast overgrowth has been dealt with and not just the external symptoms. :)

Well, we're all about to pee ourselves, so I'm going to sign off!
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Friday, July 3, 2009

Getting Close

We're an hour away and it's 1 am. I have to admit that I'm pretty annoyed at richard! We do not travel well together. I try to do things to make it easier and it never is.

He just took ten minutes in the gas station. All three girls woke up and Evelyn peed herself! So now she's going to be riding for the next two hours in her own pee! Ah. I told myself that I'm writing it down that we are not going on vacation next year. At least not anywhere that is more than a 3 hour drive.

The girls did good the first three hours and after that it just didn't work. So we stopped at an outlet mall and fortunately there was a playground there. There was also a book store and we bought some cheap books to play with and they liked that. We stopped to eat dinner at Bob Evans and when we were getting ready to go Gigi had a poop explosion on my arm! Ah.

So we left there sometime before 10 and Richard had a headache so I told him that I would drive. Big mistake! I got to drive through the wonderful Washington DC bypasses at night on July 3. I kept thinking about how many drunk people were probably on the roads and how I was putting my children's lives in danger. Seriously, I was crying at one point when some jerk-off cut me off.

Pause. To :)

So since this has all been negative, I have just decided to say that the highlight of the road trip was driving through the central mountain region of Pa. It was so relaxing, majestic and simple all at once. I just love God's creation.

I do apologize for how awkwardly the last post ended. I was going to save it as a draft and accidentally hit send:) oh well. I guess it makes me more transparent when you get to read my 1:28 am unedited thoughts!

One hour and 42 minutes to go!
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From the Road

We've knocked about one hour off of our 8.5 hour trek to Virginia to see some old Navy friends. We're pretty excited about it. Of course, I already have to pee but I'm going to hold off telling Richard for a little while longer. Riley is sleeping, Gigi is being really good, and Evelyn is munching on some crackers. I feel bad for them; poor unsuspecting souls in regard to how long we're going to have them sitting in their car seats.

Ooo. Crossed what I believe is the Monhengehela river. Forgive the spelling. I mean who really knows how to spell that anyway.

So on to some more, what I think anyway, are more interesting thoughts. I have a crack where my pinky toe meets my foot, on both feet. They hurt. I think it's from doing a lot of yoga recently. I've been doing a lot of yoga because I'm trying to look half decent in my bridesmaid dress for my brother's wedding in two months. Sigh. I wouldn't care so much if all the other bridesmaids weren't a size 6 and under. But regardless, I needed to start getting back into yoga because I would like to eventually get my certification. It's part of my dream job - life coaching.

So it's been way less than two hours since we've left, and I can barely hold the pee! Maybe I'll look for the next starbucks!
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Mobile Blogging

Test three. Hoping this works:)
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Virginia, Here We Come!

Richard, the girls, and I are about to head to Virginia to visit friends of ours that we haven't seen in three years! We're very excited! It's going to be awesome.

I just wanted to tell you all that :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I really shouldn't be blogging right now, but I've been contemplating this today, so I thought I would take the time to record some of my thoughts.

I think a general rule in our culture is that choice is a good thing when it comes to your preference, but a bad thing when it comes to choosing certain people over others.

One of the biggest frustrations I have in doing camp is the lack of follow-through I have with the campers. Most of them, I simply can not follow through with due to time constraints, other obligations, and distance. It's hard to simply let them go. But I do every year, trusting that what the campers experienced that week was what God intended. That God would nurture the seed planted. However, this year I felt compelled to go a little further, so I decided to choose two campers to stay in touch with and nurture. It really wasn't hard to choose two, but it was hard not to choose 5 or 6.

So why did I limit myself even when my heart is aching to do more? Because I know that in order to be an effective wife, mother, and youth leader, I have to limit my relationships with others. Ah. That's such a hard concept for some people to grasp, and I'm sure that if very many people read this blog, some would tear me apart. But it's the truth. I can burn myself out trying to be everything to everyone, or I can entrust most to Jesus and nurture the one's who have been given to me.

Isn't that favoritism? Nope. Favoritism is showing favor (or liking) to someone because we prefer their characteristics over someone elses. Favoritism is a trend in the OT (Abraham favored Isaac over Ishmael, Isaac favored Jacob over Esua, and Jacob favored Joseph and Benjamin over the others). It was a destructive trend that perpetuated much evil (and still does in the world today). It's sad and isn't what God desires of us.

But choosing is different. Choosing is recognizing who God placed in your life to nurture. The opposite of choosing isn't rejecting; it's not choosing. Calvins birthday is coming up and everyone is making a big deal of it - especially since his theology is making a comeback. I've been a Calvinist for as long as I've known what theology is, so I've experienced the questions. And the biggest beef with Calvinism is: a loving God would never choose some and reject others.

This misconception saddens me. (Please don't bash too hardly this analogy; it's not perfect but it's going to serve it's point). I've heard God compared to an awkward teenage boy at a dance. He goes around asking all the girls to dance, hoping some will say yes. Ah, this is so ridiculous. God is all powerful; He freaking created this entire world in 6 days! Six. The presence of His angels knocked people to their knees. He defeated Satan and conquered death! Seriously? God does not play the best odds game. He didn't extend His grace to everyone hoping some would go for it.

Some like to say, well, he extended a general invitation to everyone, but he really only asked the girls whom he knew would say yes. Nope. God goes right to the one's He called, and takes them by the hand, and walks them out onto that dance floor.

I think the biggest issue I have with my entire theology is that God is all powerful and if He saw fit to save the entire world, He could have. Unlike me, He isn't limited to relational and time constraints; He can be everything to everyone.

Okay, my budding theologian friends, thoughts?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Blogging Lull

I apologize to the two or three of you who read this:) for the great blogging lull. I realize it's my fault, but I would like to blame it on my blackberry that I got last month. I never get online anymore and so I never think to blog!

Gosh . . . this month has been crazy.

Affix released their EP CD, Right Where You Are on June 13, where they shared a stage with Darrell Evans and Avelon. Very exciting. They haven't been selling as quickly as I hoped. This is bumming me in particular because Richard and I paid for the CDs and we're being reimbursed with the sales. [I have serious issue when it comes to money (I recognize it and realize that a lot of people do), but I've really been freaking out about upcoming bills that we need to pay]. Anyway, Affix is doing really well, so you should buy their rocking CD at www.rockaffix.com. This is has always been a dream of Richard's, so I'm really excited for him!

From June 14 to 19, we directed Jr. High camp at Presmont for the fourth year running. I'm seriously going to put this year at my favorite year yet. Maybe that's just because last year was really rough on me . . . right after an old camp friend committed suicide, internal conflicts at camp, and I was pregnant, again. We really only had one major behavioral problem (whom we had to send home :( ). We had three campers accept Jesus! And a lot of good was done in the hearts of some of the others who were already Christians. Praise the Lord! There are a few campers who are weighing heavy on my heart still . . . the Serenity Prayer is going to be anthem to deal with that.

My faith walk has really been on a steady up-hill climb over this past year, and I'm so thankful for that. I have been blessed with an incredible husband, three wonderful girls, an awesome ministry, and amazing friends. Thank you:)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Conversations with Evelyn, Part X

First, you should know that Tyler is my 12 year old brother and that Evelyn has my speed dial numbers memorized so she can call people. This morning she was trying to get a hold of my mom.

E: She's not answering.

Me: Are you using my phone? (Richard's phone is identical to mine).

E: I'm using my phone.

Me: Your phone?

E: Ya, my phone. You know how Pappy and Tyler share a cell phone? Well, you and I are going to share this one.

She completely made that deduction all on her own. We're so in for it!

Evelyn has been on a kick for the last few months where she wants a real cell phone. I'm sure the kick isn't going to end until we give in in like 10 years. But I find it amusing how early this is starting. The girls in my youth group help her send text messages back-and-forth. And I'm sure as soon as she can start writing, she's going to be using my phone to do that as well!

And we do have three daughters! Oh, my.

Teenage Boys and Baby Girls

Last night we had a youth group gathering at my house. Usually, we have more girls than guys, but last night we had 8 guys and 6 girls. Keep that in mind as I get further into this. So the first car-load shows up and it's a bunch of the guys. Immediately, one of them is jumping on my girls trampoline which has a 175 pound weight limit. So I look at them and say:
Guys, I have two rules, one at a time on the trampoline and two,
One of the Guys: No jumping off the roof onto the trampoline.
Me: Stay off the roof.
This conversation pretty much sums up younger teenage guys (13 to 15).
So a little while later the girls show up and we're about to start a game of capture the flag; the girls think it's a swell idea to play guys versus girls. I understand the whole women's lib movement and what the intent was . . . but seriously, 8 teenage guys versus 6 teenage girls in a game of capture flag . . . girls, get a clue! Anyway, after 20 minutes of screaming about birds, bugs and poop, the girls finally got their flag hidden in which it took the guys 4 minutes to recover. Sigh.
So after capture the flag, the girls are intent to sit around and talk. The guys are not, and I find out that they're "turkey hunting." I'm not going to even explain what turkey hunting is, but I will say it's extremely inappropriate. So after discovering what it is they were doing, I went up to Richard and explained the situation; his response was, "That's kind of funny!" Ah, girls are so different than guys! He did agree, however, that it was inappropriate and nixed that situation. Ah, praise the Lord, that He saw fitting to make suitable helpers!
So last night, Gigi fell asleep for her evening nap at 5:45. Normally, I would have woken her by 7 but when you have 8 teenage guys, an accessible roof with a trampoline below it, turkey hunting, and an electric fence, for heaven's sake, you let the baby sleep! Apparently, she needed it. She slept until 5 am! She fell back asleep until 7 am. Fell back asleep again at 9 and slept until noon! The great part of that whole scenario is that it's Saturday; Richard and I took shifts and we all got sleep! Yay!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Children

I read some moms' blogs, and it seems like they mostly blog about their children. I, on the other hand, rarely blog about my kids. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I lost my mind, oh, I don't know, probably, when I found out I was pregnant with Gigi. I have three kids, three and under. There are also three very good reasons why I'm not completely insane: I have all girls, my mom has the oldest two probably 20 hours a week, and Richard helps me.
[Not that Richard shouldn't help me, I was just pointing out that he does, probably more than most dads do].
A lot of parents I think have a surreal experience where they have children, where it changes their life. That didn't happen to me. I think part of the reason is because (just like I've believed in Jesus for as long as I can remember), I've wanted to have children for as long as I can remember. Perhaps, I was just loving them way before they were born. I don't know; I'm just thinking as I write.
Anyway, here's some thoughts about my children:
Evelyn is smart, witty, communicative, curly haired,
beautiful, strong-willed, nurturing, creative, and energetic. She has figured out lying, but is learning that it's wrong (thanks to some mama-smackdowns). Ah, she gets her quirkiness from me.
Riley is so different. At 2, she can play by herself for hours, in her own little imaginative world. She's funny, nurturing, straight haired (like her Mama), beautiful, ornery, and smart as well. They both love music and dancing, which shouldn't surprise anyone considering Richard and I.
Gigi's personality has yet to blossom. She's such a "pleasant" baby. She only cries when she has a need, and is just as sweet natured as can be. It's hard to believe that she'll be have "bad behavior" one day. I have a feeling she's going to be hard to catch up with . . . she starting crawling right at 6 months, and is showing no sign of slowing down. She's also a morning baby. Six a.m. beckons her name, unforntunately.
New challenges every day, new blessings every day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Listen to this!

I'm in a good mood today. I guess I'm rolling with the punches and recognizing the blessings! I'm going to recap my day:

1. I got up early to finish typing up the test that I needed to give today at 10 a.m. It was going well until I dumped a glass of water all over the keyboard! I guess when you have a desk top that would just mean buying a new keyboard, but we have a lap top. Hmm.

2. I decided to try to blow-dry it. That went semi-well. I only managed to melt one key off.

3. I went back to trying to do the test, but the backspace and space key would not work. And, the period key would stick. At one point, I had 6 pages of nothing but periods.

4. I managed to email it to my mom, thankfully, she was in my address book because I couldn't type the dot in .com. Apparantly, it went from working too well to not at all.

5. She was nice enough to come out here and try to finish drying the computer while I finished the test at her house, another thanks go's in here because she just got Microsoft Word a few months ago.

6. Riley threw a temper tantrum about Brian babysitting and I caved in and took her to my mom's. Seriously, how do people survive parenting toddlers without family close by?

7. On the way to class, someone ran me off the road. I'm not joking or exaggerating. They were completely left of center on a blind turn! Thankfully, they ran me into someone's yard and not a tree or ditch!

8. My students did horrible on the test! Three A's out of 19 students and it was open book! I'm still peeved at this one. I'm seriously considering not letting my students leave after the next test. (We have a two hour block and I let them leave as soon as they're done). Some of the students practically did not do the last two pages!

9. Richard came home from work sick. Besides the obvious, this is not good for two additional reasons. One, this is the last week in the quarter and Richard hasn't hit all his sales goals, which means his commission rate will drop 1%. And, I had planned to finish laundry and clean our bedroom today, and now he's sleeping in it. However, his boss told him he could work Saturday. And, it's not like the rest of our house isn't a mess. lol.

10. Dang it! The period key is acting up again. It's a good thing Richard started school and in another couple of months we should be able to replace the computer anyway. She's been good, we got it when we got married :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

6 Years Ago Today.

Today is Richard and I's anniversary. Yay!

I'm really excited about it. I don't know the statistics, but I know a lot of marriages don't make it to five years, so that in itself is exciting that we've made it past that and are thriving!

This has been the best year of our marriage. The first year we were married, with the exceptions of a few weeks, we lived apart: Richard in Japan and me at Muskingum. The second year of our marriage we lived in a tiny apartment on Yokosuka Naval base. You may think that was a good year, but I was extremely depressed, and although we made a lot of great memories and had a good time it hasn't compared to this year. The next three loooong years, we lived with my parents while we built our house. Enough said.

But this past year, we have had our own little home, Richard doesn't leave for weeks/months at a time, I have family support, and currently, I'm not pregnant! Yay! Double yay! Triple yay!

In a lot of ways I feel like we're just getting started, just getting good at things . . . we're just figuring this whole thing out. It's great! Awesome!

I love you, Richard! Happy Anniversary :)

My week.

Monday morning I woke up like usual and was going about my day. Someone had sent me a message on facebook that I decided to check. When I got on, I noticed that one of our church kids (who is away at college) had RIP Keith on his wall. It didn't take me long to find a page dedicated to his memory. I asked Scott, who graduated from St. C., what happened; it was then I found out Keith had committed suicide.

I was concerned because he was just a year out of high school, and I wasn't sure what my role should be. After making a few phone calls, I found out he was the cousin of one of my comes-to-youth-stuff-but-not-our-church girls. So I texted all the girls and we met at the church on Monday evening.

It's the second time in my life I've held someone who was grieving the loss of a loved one. There's nothing you can say in those moments, and certainly nothing you can do to make it hurt any less. Then came the questions and flood of emotions that I just listened to and understood, but didn't have an answer for.

Yesterday, I stood at the funeral home with her next to the dead body of her 19 year old cousin. I watched young person, after young person file through and cry and ask the same questions she was asking.

But the hardest part of it all was on Monday evening, that sweet girl looked at me with tears in her pleading eyes and a voice that was whisper said, "And the worst part of it all, I don't even know if he was a Christian." And the hope I could offer her wasn't very comforting.

I could have told her that God was sovereign and righteous and just. I could have told her that he was a God of comfort and mercy and grace. I could have said a lot of things, but all I said was, "All we can do is hope."

Please pray for me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mr. President

I wish President Obama could hear the ordinary conversations that people have everyday. For example, Richard and I had this conversation almost word for word yesterday:

R: I'm really starting to hate Obama.

K: Oh my gosh! I was thinking the same thing earlier today. My dislike has moved to borderline hatred. And when I realized that I started praying that God would change my heart because I know we're supposed to love our enemies.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Conversations with Evelyn, Part IX (maybe)

Riley pretty much is naked as often as she can get away with it. Two year olds love to be naked.

Today she slid down a dirt hill on her naked butt, on purpose. To which Evelyn commented:

"That's impressive!"

Ten More Things . . .

1. Evelyn told me the other day, "You don't ever have fun!" upon me giving her time-out. I wasn't prepared for that talk to start so soon.

2. Camp starts one month from today! Yay! Better start getting ready!

3. Richard started college. "Yay" and "sigh," all at the same time.

4. Gigi is slow crawling, sitting up, and she took a bath the other day with the big girls for the first time!

5. Riley (and Evelyn) destroyed about 1/4 of my little 'greens' garden yesterday. I'm pretty sure I've never been so angry at my children!

6. I baked an apple cake yesterday and have eaten half of it :( Dang it! I'm supposed to be losing ten pounds.

7. I'm tired, but did manage to do yoga today. I probably wouldn't feel so tired if I wasn't sugar crashing from eating so much cake!

8. I made a chart organizing the ministries according to age groups that our church offers. I love doing stuff like that. It helps me think better when I visually organize my thoughts.

9. Richard and I will celebrate our 6 year anniversay this month :) I love him more now than then!

10. I'm going to work on camp stuff . . .

Monday, May 11, 2009

Perseverance of the Saints

So we've been doing some theological debating on Carnal Christianity in regard to it's relationship to the Perseverance of the Saints or Eternal Security.

First, I'm going to agree with some of the others and say that in the parable of the sower only in the last scenario is the person truly saved. Initially, I thought differently from reading it on my own, but I've been reading some other thoughts on it and I changed my mind.

I wanted to publish some thoughts from a few books, but I can't find one of them. I'll try to summarize it the best I can.

First though, from the Westminster Confession (17.1):

"They, whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved."

From my Bible, the Reformation Study Bible, general editor, R.C. Sproul, 1995, p. 1781:

"Those who pursue holiness of heart and love of neighbor and so show themselves to have been regenerated by God are entitled to believe themselves secure in Christ. Belief in perseverance properly understood does not lead to careless living and arrogant presumption.

The regenerate may backslide and fall into sin. In so doing they oppose their own new nature, and the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin (cf. John 16:8) and compels them to repent and be restored to righteousness. When regenerate believers manifest a humble, grateful desire to please the God who saved them, the knowledge that He has pledged to keep them safe forever increases that desire."

Other Bible citations supporting the Perseverance of the Saints: Phil. 1:6, cf. 1 Cor. 1:8-9, 1 Thess. 5:23-24, 2 Thess. 3:3, 2 Tim. 1:12, 4:18.

With all that said, you may think I'm going to change my mind and say Carnal Christianity is impossible, but I'm not :) I'm not going to get into the Biblical side of that. I think the article Amanda posted and Scott in his reply to Amanda's post from May 5 did a pretty good job of summing up that aspect.

The book that I wanted to use a quote from on here, that I know I own and am mad that I can't find, is from Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli. Unfortunately, Mike died before I ever had the opportunity to hear him speak, but I would like to encourage everyone who works in any type of ministry to read his books!

This quote comes from the book Getting Fired for the Glory of God. It's a book of excerpts his kids put together after his death. It's either speeches or columns he wrote. This one comes from "Caring for Your Own Souls while Ministering to Others." I think this is a great testimony to this entire topic we're covering. (pp. 132 and 133).

"When I was 20, I knew everything about Jesus. I swaggered into high schools afraid of no one's arguments. The Bible was true, Jesus was God, and we all needed him. I still believe those things, but the swagger is more like a limp now. I know Jesus, but I don't know much about him. I love the Bible - it's even more true to me today than it was 40 years ago - but the truth I see now is much more complicated and mysterious. Jesus is very real to me, but he's also very elusive. Sometimes I wonder if I'm following him, or he's following me. Life has left it's scars on me. My soul is thick and leathery, faded and torn, knocked around a lot. I'm not as sure about things as I used to be.

Yet here's the amazing part, the one abosolute I cannot shake: Jesus.

As many times as I have disappointed him, as often as I have run from him, he hasn't given up on me. Every time I turn around, he's there. Every time I run from him, he's there.

I don't know as much about Jesus as I used to, but I do know one truth for sure: He's closer."

Some other thoughts:

I personally feel it does us no good to debate theology unless we're going to apply the truths that we uncover to our lives and our ministries. In my personal life, I've long been comforted by the assurance that Christ is continually working in my life. Sometimes I feel like it's more like a tug-of-war than anything else, but it's also reassuring to me to know that Christ is not yet finished me and that He'll bring me to completion! There are times in my life where I question my faith, and it is during those times, that I cling to this truth!

Recently, I've had two other thoughts running through my head:

Equipping Members from Ministry and

the Role of the Church in regard to Conviction.

I've spent a lot of time studying Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry and also PDYM, both by Doug Fields, the youth pastor at Saddleback in So. CA. The leadership at our church has also been studying Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren. (Even if you're not a big Saddleback fan, I would find it hard to believe you could disagree with too much in these books. They have done an excellent job of concretely discribing and organizing how churches should work and wrote it in a very easy to understand format). One of things they emphasize in their books is that members of the church are called into ministry. Obviously, this doesn't mean paid full-time ministry, but your church should have a way for every member to engage in ministry.

Hold on, I'm going to get back to that . . . .

Yesterday, Richard and I were watching some videos produced by Jeanne Mayo's group Youth Leaders' Coach. The video's were suppliments to her book Dirty Little Secrets. Jeanne is hard core; she's not afraid to tackle tough issues. Anyway, she gave this quote by Dr. Dobson. I can't remember it exactly, but the point was this: Dr. Dobson estimates that more young men leave the church over guilt in the area of masturbation than for any reason. That blew my mind! Richard wasn't surprised.

I'm going to roll all of this together now.

Assumming God preserves those whom He calls AND Christians can live carnally, we can therefore assume there are young men (and women) out there who are living carnally most likely out of a false pretense that they will never be able to live up to God's standards! And consequently, are totally missing the bigger picture of God's calling for them into ministry, to bear fruit.

When we start judging people's salvation based on our perceptions* of carnality, we become the very people who are driving sinners out of the church! And I believe it was not your ordinary sinners but rather the morally righteous people at that time whom Jesus was talking about when he said, "Away from me you evil doers." They were the people who held righteousness up for the sake righteousness, rather than righteousness up out of a love filled, humble response to God's calling in their lives.

Okay . . . I'm done! And Amanda, I think we probably did agree from the very beginning :)

*I used the word perception because in order to judge carnality we have to as humans to be able to say, well, here is the line between just sinning and being carnal. I can attest to doing things in my life that I knew were sins, but I wasn't repenting for them and I certainly was justifying them. Did that make me carnal? And if you assume that one can't be carnal and a Christian, explain how I was?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Theology Highlights

Amanda, John, and Richard and I have gotten into debating some theology via Amanda's blog: mandilu.blogspot.com. So I thought before people judged me too harshly, I should give a little history of my theological background and how it's developed over the years. Maybe I'll even make a list of TEN!

1. I grew up Presbyterian, the heir of Calvin's heritage, and I didn't know anything about it. LOL. Our preacher was an Arminian (sp?) and preached firmly against "once saved, always saved" and election. Very, very into free will.

2. When I went to (Presbyterian) church camp my freshman year of high school, the guy who was leading it at the time was a Calvinist. It was first time in my life I had ever been exposed to Calvinism, except for history class, and my teacher made him seem like a loon!

3. I spent several years angry that I had been denied these truths of God's character, and often felt compelled to forcefully share my views with others :(

4. In high school, I was sold out hard core for Christ, and was not in any way a 'carnal Christian.' For the most part, I practiced what I preached, recognizing I will always fall short, hence the reason I'm in need of a savior. But I still had the looming fear, "What if God didn't choose me?" And "It's not fair that God would choose me, and not this person."

5. After 3 more years of church camp, mentoring by two ladies whom I dearly love, an awesome college experience with Tim Burgess, and studying my own Bible, I've recognized the truth of Calvin's theology. I love it and am comforted by it.

6. Side note: I haven't read anything on carnal Christianity, but one of the reasons I'm inclined to believe it's possible, is from personal experience with one of the aforementioned ladies. Man, she jacked her life up hard core with sin and has really allowed parts of her past to enslave her. But I don't doubt for a minute the authenticity of her faith.

7. I've matured a lot. I love my theology, but it's not my God. There's a forward from a book that I'll share with you all later that really explains what I mean by this.

8. I completely trust the sovereignty of God. I don't spend a lot of time (any more) fussing over whether or not my theology is exactly right, what heaven will be like, or even convincing other Christians why they should believe what I believe. I just trust God, and know that His way is the best way.

With 8. said, that leads me to my last two points:

9. If you want to debate theology, I will and can. As long as you're willing to except two truths, the gospel message is first and friendship comes before theology.

10. If you are a person that is dear to my heart and whom I am confident has a personal relationship with Christ, if I feel God's nudge I won't hesitate to challenge you to take steps in your faith :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to Christian Educators workshop that our Presbytery CE director put together. There were just a few people there, and we were sitting around talking during dinner. I get so sick and tired of hearing people in our churches whine about apathy amoung current members and stagnant growth in our churches. AND HOW THEY DON'T FEEL THERE'S ANYTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT. Ah! Quit whining!!!!

Here's a provoking thought that just popped into my head: do you when I'm most effective in ministry? When I'm excited about my faith!

There you have it, advice from Kendra: Stop whining and get excited!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Conspiracy Children

This blog is due to sleep deprivation:

I'm pretty sure that Riley and Gigi conspired against me last night. I think they had a conversation that went something like this:

G: Riley, I have a great idea! Let's keep mom up half the night and make her totally sleep deprived.

R: Yeah! That sounds like fun!

G: Okay, here's what we'll do. I'll get up at around 3:45 a.m. and not cry a lot or anything. Just enough to keep her awake. I'm pretty sure I can make it until around 8:30, when you get up. But just in case I fall asleep, you need to come and cause just enough commotion to wake me back up. I still take naps during the day, so I'll be good.

R: Sounds good! Let's do this!

G: This is going to be awesome!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dinner's good, Mom.

Recently, my three year old has gotten in the habit of telling me, "Dinner's good, Mom." My two year old also repeats it. It's great. Richard frequently tells me that dinner is good, so I'm sure they get it from him. It makes me so grateful to see my children mirroring the great characteristics of their dad :)

I don't want to toot my own horn too much, but I also happen to think dinner is good most nights. So I thought I would share some of my favorite meals with you.

Spinach and Cod

I made this recipe up inspired by a dish from Eat'n Park.

Saute onions in butter, lots of butter.
Add drained, thawed spinach or fresh and saute.
Add bread crumbs until spinach holds together.
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Lay out cod in a baking dish and put butter, salt and pepper on top. Spoon the spinach on top of the cod. Bake at 400 or so until the fish is flakey.

Yummy! Serve with buttered noodles and a veggie!

Notes: I usually just use one onion and one bag of spinach, or sometimes I'll make this dish with swiss chard when it's in season in the summer/fall. You don't need a lot of salt because spinach is naturally salty. Sorry my recipe isn't more detailed, but cooking is more of an artistic expression for me, so I don't usually use recipes.

AND YES, this was the meal that Evelyn was shoving in her face telling me how good it was! And Richard, the fish hater, also likes it.

Conversations with Evelyn, Maybe Part VII

I had a really funny conversation with Evelyn the other day, and now I can't remember it. This one isn't so much funny, but I thought it was pretty clever on my part.

Evelyn and Riley were being really rowdy yesterday, and consequently, driving me crazy. It was mainly Riley, being two, she took all of her clothes out the drawers and then she took apart half a box of tampons. So I sent them both to their room and told them they had to sit on their bed and read books. Which they did, and my life got a lot better :)

A little while later Evelyn came out and announced, "We're good now."

I said, "Good, then it's working."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tales from Youth Ministry

Well, here's something interesting: the youth ministry program that Richard and I nurture has been growing. Both in spiritually and physically. It's been so great. My biggest problem now: the church. We had our sponsorship dinner last night. Not only is it our biggest fundraiser of the year, it's also the best opportunity that the members of our church have to get to see the youth group first hand . . . in all it's goofiness and Godliness. The kids put together a talent show that was awesome! They did a lot of their acts that they did for the school talent show and also did little skits that shared parts of our youth group experience (that were pretty much just goofy).

Explain to me, when we had over 100 people in church Sunday morning, why only about 35 (1/3 parents) showed up for this!? Here's the thing: we raised more money than last year. Why? Because the people that were there, cared and gave us money. But I'm still so, hmm, what's the word, jacked, at the larger congregation. Only 3 or 4 of our 13 session members were there!? Ah!!!

Yesterday, was also our first contemporary youth service. For all of you who have experienced nothing but contemporary worship at large evangelical churches, you probably do not understand why this is a big deal. But it is a very big deal in probably 90% of the churches in the country that didn't emerge in the 80's/90's at the dawn of CCM. I feel that most of the present churches at that time didn't know what was hitting them - and then felt bitter that they were going to have to either change or try to let their beautiful pipe organs compete. Hmmm.

Anway, it went really well. We used a projector and Affix lead worship with just guitars (we'll introduce some more instruments next time). And, I preached. I didn't cry either - or even come close to crying - which is a huge success for me! A lot of people said they really enjoyed my sermon, and they seemed sincere. (Disclaimer: I didn't write it - I adapted one that came with this new curriculum I'm using). It went pretty well, just some technical issues, that we'll iron out for next time. Like getting the screen up higher and Affix bringing their sound system because the church needs a new one! A lot of the youth participated in the service, I knew a contemporary service would be better received if it involved the youth! For now we're going to do this six times a year, but I'm hoping it will lead to permanently blending the two worship styles together!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Love who?!

May Teen Connection Message:

In Matthew 22, Jesus is asked by the Pharisees to give what the greatest of all the commandments is. The Pharisees were a bunch of religious know-it-alls, so I’m sure they were expecting an answer that had something to do with giving money, or not working on the Sabbath, or not murdering, or remembering all of the Jewish holidays. But we all know that Jesus never gives the answers we expect, so here it is from Matthew 22:37-39 (The Message//Remix):
‘Love the Lord your God will all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’

I’d like to focus this message on that second part: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’

What does Jesus really mean here? Is he saying to be nice to others? Does he want us to hold the door open for the people behind us? Fix meals for hungry people? Respect our parents and teachers? Well, obviously, he does (we can double check this from other verses), but I think Jesus is going a lot further here.

I Wikipediaed the word agape (which you’re not allowed to do for school, but I am – since no one is grading this). Agape is a Greek word that really gained popularity in the early church writings. Authors used it to demonstrate “divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love.” Agape also happens to be the word that Jesus uses in Matthew 22 when teaching us what the greatest commandment ever is! So, Jesus isn’t simply telling us to be nice, to hold the door open, to feed the poor, and to respect our parents and teachers.

He’s telling us to voluntarily sacrifice our selfish desires in order to demonstrate God’s love to people who do NOT deserve it! I know: it’s radical. That’s the thing about Jesus. He wasn’t a luke-warm, mediocre Christian. He was extreme! Radical! Today we’d probably think He was cool, but a little bit crazy.

Here’s the Message: Jesus wants us to be a little bit crazy with Him. He wants us to radically love others in a way that allows them to undeniably recognize the power of His death and resurrection.

Challenge: Think of one person in your life who doesn’t deserve your love. Do one thing for that person that shows him Christ’s love.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Crazy Week!

Okay . . . I'm either going to be posting a lot or not at all this week. I have to finish my newsletter, write my sermon, put together the youth worship service, practice for the sponsorship dinner talent show with the kids, cooridinate the sponsorship dinner, and who knows what else! I'm pretty overwhelmed right now wondering how I'm going to get all that done, teach classes, do laundry, and keep the house clean! Ahhhh! I can't believe I had the bright idea to do the youth service and sponsorship dinner on the same day.

So, yesterday, Richard and I went to Camp Presmont and helped clean (a little, I'm not very helpful with the girls) and then we went to Rachel and Joe's for a cook-out. We turned our cell phones off most of the day and it was awesome! Yay for family time! The girls had so much fun playing with Susanna and Sarah and our Melanie's little girl, Iris. The guys lit a big fire and did their man thing while the ladies chatted. I wish I was better at taking my camera places so I could post pictures for you all. Melanie had her camera there, so I'll try to get the pics from her.