Wow! I just found 5.00$!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 with lots of folks and lots of family!

I love to have folks over to our house, especially during the holidays.  We have never lived in a town with our extended family so our church friends have become family.  When Carl and I were first married we were the recipient of many home cooked meals and holiday celebrations with several church families in the various cities where we have lived.   I have enjoyed, when we are able to, having folks over that are without family especially during the holidays.

This year we planned to be home for Thanksgiving and all my children planned to be here too.  Since I knew we were going to be home I began to look around and invite!!!!  My friend, Don, lost his wife this year and I knew he needed a place to celebrate.  He asked if he could bring a few family members.  I am all about the more the merrier mentality so I was thrilled.  Emily is new to Arkansas and our church.  Her new job gives, her no vacation days and her family is in California.  Her brother flew in to celebrate with her and they both joined us.  Marian is a friend from church who recently moved here.  She is a regular at our table and we always enjoy her.

My children - Andrew, Taylor, Kaitlin, John, Marisa, Atticus, Penny, Robert and Beth were also able to join us.  I was looking forward to Thanksgiving but then I began to wonder if I would have time to visit with all my children.  Andrew and Taylor would only be here from Wednesday evening til Sunday afternoon, I don't see Robert and Beth often enough and I don't have all my children in the same place much at all.

For a few days I had an inward struggle should I be obedient to God and have folks over or follow my heart?  Should I have do what I have said I would do or call everyone and ask them not come? Wouldn't God want me to be with my family????

I got on my knees and prayed.  I knew I needed to have all the folks over for Thanksgiving.

Everyone knew but me the plan for Andrew and Taylor to fly in a day early.  I got a whole day with them.  My children were all together!  We ate out, we relaxed, Andrew read several vehicle books to Atticus, we laughed, we played cards, we had an all around great time.  I thought often about the verse in Ephesians 3 that talks about God and His Exceedingly Abundantly above.  He always blesses obedience and I so often forget that!

Carl is our grill master!

We played the 'made you look' game.  I bet my brother, Charles, looked!
Carl, John and Kaitlin did not look and here is the proof !

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Great thoughts from Relational Wisdom 360

For most people, the holidays are like the French Revolution: they are either the best of times or the worst of times, a time of relational wisdom or a time of relational foolishness (to paraphrase Charles Dickens). Read the rest here!

I plan to book mark this site.  Such good info

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Confetti and boys and family

 This fun group gathered in Birmingham on October 11 to find out if Andrew and Taylor were having a little Carl or a little Ellen aka a boy or a girl.  This party was set to be at JenniferB's house and we were so sad when her health would not allow that to happen. Blessings upon Alicia and William for opening up their home for this party/celebration/family get together at the last minute!
 The reveal was done with a confetti cannon.
 They were loud!!!!
 They were filled with plenty of confetti!
 And I mean lots!!!!  It went everywhere.  When we got home I found some in my suitcase!!!
My nick name for this baby is Mr Precious!  Both sets of his grandparents were there for this celebration. We are looking forward to meeting him in February!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

20 ways to be an encouragement in your church!

Guest Blogger: Jason Helopoulos  great blog!!!
There are few epitaphs I would rather have engraved on my tombstone than Paul’s words of commendation to Philemon, “the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you” (Philemon 1:7). Oh, how I love Philemons and want to consistently be one!
It has been my pleasure to serve in the local church with some individuals that are truly “refreshing” to the saints. When you meet them, you know it! They are like an oasis in the midst of a desert. I walk away feeling encouraged, joyful, and spiritually stimulated. Unfortunately, they are an endangered species and much harder to find than should be the case.
I routinely examine myself by asking, “Do others consider me refreshing?” I wish that I could more routinely answer, “Yes.” I challenge you to ask yourself that same question and answer it honestly. I wonder, what would it be like if even one in ten of us were striving to be a refreshment to others in the local church? If that was part of our ministry aim, what kind of significant impact could that have upon our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ?
How do you refresh the hearts of the saints? It is only possible by one who knows the love and grace of Christ in such a way that it overflows to those around them. It is consistently present and abundantly evident. As I have inquired of those who I find to be such a refreshment to my own soul, they almost always testify that this gift, which they manifest, is something that they have deliberately sought to develop and nurture. Here are twenty practical ways that you can seek to nurture this refreshing gift in the midst of your own local church.
  • Greet people on Sunday mornings with a smile. It is o.k. to let your face say that you are “happy” to be at church. Go out of your way to say, “Hi,” ask questions about the lives of others, and listen attentively.
  • Visit the widows and shut-ins of your church. Take an afternoon and visit three or four. Sit, talk, listen, and be willing to look at their photo albums—all of them (1 Timothy 5:3)!
  • Have a mouth that is overflowing with grace (Ephesians 4:29) and is slow to wander down any other road.
  • Show up each Sunday morning with a mental list of three or four people that you are going to find and minister to (Philippians 2:4). Many of us walk into church with an attitude of, “I wonder who will minister to me today.” Nothing can be as drastically encouraging to a local church’s membership than a people united in the understanding that they are there to serve and love one another.
  • Be a Monday morning encourager instead of a Monday morning critic by sending your pastor an email detailing what you appreciated about his Sunday sermon.
  • Don’t rush out of church on Sunday mornings. Be one of the last to leave because you are taking the time to talk with everyone you can (this will be hard for the introvert—but some of the most engaging and refreshing people I have served with are introverts. They wear themselves out on Sunday morning). The football games and lunch will be there fifteen or thirty minutes later.
  • Often remind others of the benefits of salvation and the graces that flow from union with Christ. Let it season your conversations.
  • Routinely have a crock-pot meal or roast cooking on Sundays and spontaneously invite a visiting family or family-in-need for supper following the service.
  • Seek out those visiting the church, get to know them, and introduce them to others. Find connections and be a networker to the glory of God.
  • Aim to remember peoples’ names and greet them by name each Sunday (I wish I was better at this, because it means so much to people). The Cheers’ theme song had a point, we all feel loved when our name is known (Isaiah 49:16).
  • Refuse to speak ill of others in the congregation (Ephesians 4:31).
  • Get to know the children of the congregation and seek to talk to five different children each Sunday morning (Matthew 19:14).
  • Know the Word and season your conversations with it. This isn’t to impress others, but rather to encourage them in the faith. The Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11).
  • Write and mail anonymous encouragement notes to members of the congregation. Why are we so hesitant to pass out encouragement? We can never encourage others too much (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
  • Always speak the truth with others (Ephesians 4:25). “Let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no.” (James 5:12).
  • Ask the pastor if there is anything you can do to help him during the week and be willing to do it.
  • Refuse to listen to gossip or be a purveyor of it (2 Corinthians 12:20).
  • Willingly bear the burdens of others in the congregation (Galatians 6:2). This means praying for them, serving them, giving financially to help those in need, loving when love is not returned, and being quick to forgive.
  • Write thank you notes to volunteers in the church.
  • Rejoice in the Lord and lead others to do the same by your example (Philippians 4:4). Don’t be an agitator, complainer, or “negative-Nelly.” This doesn’t mean we are seeking to be Pollyannish, but rather simply rejoicing in the many benefits we have as those united with the Living God by the blood of the Son.
Don’t you love spiritually refreshing people? When we find them, we tend not to let them go—and for good reason. If we value this trait so much in others, is it not worth nurturing and encouraging in ourselves? It takes a little effort, a little self-denial, and a little grace, but all those around you will say it was well worth it. Dare to be a Philem

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Manhattan, KS is called The Little Apple

A few months ago Andrew suggested that we plan a trip to see AUBURN play Kansas State in Manhattan, KS.  If you know me you know that I clean during most of AUBURN games because I am a nervous fan.  For the love of a child, we mothers do a lot that is outside of our comfort zones and this was one of those for me! Carl, Kaitlin and I left LR on Wednesday.  Our first stop was here!
My friend, HeatherT recommended this to us a few years ago and we have enjoyed it every time we stopped.  We got there just before noon and sat right down but when we left the line was out the door.  The sandwiches are yummy but The dessert is AMAZING.  Get one for yourself.  Don't share.  My mouth is watering as I write this!!!  It is pound cake with cheese, blue berries, honey and powdered sugar.....

We picked up Andrew and Taylor in Kansas City.  They flew in from Atlanta.  After Andrew ran that morning around the campus we met here for breakfast. He knew the lay of the land after his run and was our event coordinator for the rest of the day.  We saw lots of AUBURN folks because the AUBURN orange and blue stood out against the Kansas State purple. 10,000 AUBURN fans came to the game.
Below is Johnny Kaw.  He is part of the folklore in Kansas.  He gave Paul Bunyun his blue ox, Babe.
The Kansas State campus is made out of Kansas limestone.  It was really pretty.
The area we were in in Kansas is called the Flint Hills because of the outcroppings of Flint.  We enjoyed the Flint Hills Discovery area to learn more about Kansas History.
We waited about 45 minutes for our lunch here in Manhattan.  We saw lots of AUBURN fans.  I loved saying War Eagle to them.  Andrew told me later that he enjoyed my outgoingness and that I said that to everyone we met.  We were always met with a hearty War Eagle in return.
As we were standing outside, Andrew spoke to this man and said "Rod, could my mother have her picture made with you?" He said "Sure!"  As soon as the picture was over, I said to Andrew "Who did I just have my picture made with?"  It was Rod Bramblett the voice of the AUBURN TIGERS.  Since we watch Auburn on the TV, I don't listen to him but I do remember him from the Iron Bowl when they played his call of the last play!
We made it to Tiger Walk!  It was so exciting to be so close.  Andrew and Kaitlin were up in the crowd!
Kansas State stadium.  Interesting facts we learned- no shakers in the stadium, they took Kaitlin's but not ours.  You can have your ticket scanned and go in and out of the stadium, AUBURN has lots more clothing options, different variety of tee shorts and collared shirts.  We asked our friend, Kyle, who is in the tee shirt printing business, and he confirmed that we only saw a few different KState tee shirts but we almost didn't see two alike of AUBURN tee shirts on AUBURN fans.   One of the biggest if not the biggest crowd to see a game here.  50,000.  90% of the KState fans were wonderful.  They would stop us on the street and welcome us to Manhattan, suggest menu items that are good, offered to take our picture, many thanked me for coming to the game and we were all blown away.  I plan to go out of my way the next time we go to a game and thank the other team's fans for being there.
These were our seats.  Notice ALL that purple and the little bit of ORANGE.
I am not going to lie, I had my head down for most of the game because I was so nervous.  I couldn't really leave and wander around because my family wanted me with them- Maybe they thought I might go pour my beer on someone.  I didn't have a beer, can't stand the smell of it- in case you were worried!!  I was pleased with the outcome that I heard from the safety of my car.  We left near the end of the third quarter so I could walk as slow as needed.   Soon I'll share about the rest of our trip!

Monday, September 22, 2014

My favorite GK Chesterton quote

This is my favorite quote by GK Chesterton

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Be Encouraged!

Living in this world tends to make us feel thin. We feel, with Bilbo Baggins, “like butter scraped over too much bread.” Another beheading, another disease epidemic, another leader’s adultery exposed, another day struggling within and without against unrelenting evil. We feel world-weary.

The above is the first paragraph of an article that was a great encouragement to me.  I hope it does the same for you!

Read and be encouraged

Thursday, September 4, 2014

December 26 Part II even more pictures!

More pictures!!!!

Here is a picture of heaven- that velvety skin, those cheeks and the sweet little sleeping noises.
If you need to get an active child a fun toy get a water table.  I ordered this one from  Well worth the money.  He loves it!!!
Mr Wonderful realized he was the only fellow here without a mustache so Marisa gave him one with her eye brow pencil.  Look hard but there is one there.  I asked him if I could take this picture and he said yes and posed for me.
She is so sweet it is hard to put that sleeping baby down.
a fun photo shoot!
Mr W had to change from his tennis shoes to his sandals so he could play on the water table.  He wanted Gpapa to put his new shoes on him.
This was an early morning when we gave his parents the chance to sleep past 6!
Miss Adorable!  I am done.  Til there next visit.  Maybe!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Feels Like December 26

Marisa and Mr Wonderful and Miss Adorable were able to stay two weeks with us while John did some traveling. They left this morning and my house is so empty and I can feel the sadness of the idle toys and books.

Kaitlin was able to take a week off work and Marisa is so easy so I felt like I had a two week staycation with some of my favorite folks.
We got to see more of Miss Adorable's personality- she is very social. She can be on a blanket for quite awhile as long as she has a book or a friendly face. We got to laugh at all the funny things that Mr W says and does.

Below are a few pictures from our two weeks.  I am warming you there may be more soon!


We got to Skype with Penny's twin cousin, Adeline, who lives in Birmingham.

I am blest.  I pray for all those grandmothers who don't get to see their wonderful grands.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Happy Birthday, John!!!

 27 years ago today at 5:30AM Carl and I went to the hospital to have our third baby!  At 7:30AM John Austin joined our family.  He weighed 8'10" and was 20" long.  He is named after my brother, John, and his middle name is his great-grandmother's surname, Austin.

I wanted to call him Austin but when I arrived home from the hospital Carl, Andrew and Kaitlin were referring to the new baby as John????  What the What????  We called him John Austin til he was 4 and asked us to please just call him John.  Oh, Well.  Now I am so thankful we call him John because I have met some 'interesting' folks named Austin.
 John, you are a wonderful friend, boy daddy, brother, husband, son and girl daddy.

I am usually the one with the camera and I need to have someone take a picture of me and John!!!!!  Happy Happy Birthday!!!!  I am so glad the God gave you to our family!


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