Flashback Friday

I am not quite sure what everyone else has been up to during this quarantine for fun. I have recently been going over old photos and old writings. I had the notion that since some of you I have never met before, these old pictures from when my family was younger might give a peek into our past.

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Oh my word is this picture old. We were just babies. I was in my early twenties not having any clue what direction the Lord had planned for me. I was so slender!!

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My fierce warrior son!!  This is maybe 10 years ago with his friend Austin. Love the crazy armor they created to battle evil together.

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Love this picture!! Here is my  great grandma’s namesake, my oldest daughter just looking cute.  She was maybe 14 and is probably mad as heck at me right now for posting this!! LOL!!

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Here are my two youngest beauties 10 years ago just silly little giggle monsters!! I swear they are still the same!! Always having fun together, these two sisters make me happy to just hear them teasing and bubbling with joy.

Don’t you love going through memories, happy memories with your loved ones? It is one of my favorite things to do with my kiddos.  We grab the old photo albums and cuddle up on the couch, fireplace roaring and cocoa steaming in our mugs. The silly stories start spilling out. Loud belly laughing begins echoing off the living room walls. Before you know it we have snacks out, our sides are sore and mascara is smeared from happy tears of laughter. It is always a good heartwarming adventure.

I know sometimes its fun to see pictures from our past, to see a glimpse of how much we have grown.  I am floored to see how much we all have changed, how the Lord has refined our walk. We have walked through fire, alone and as a family, yet He has been there with us through it all. I know in the next ten years, He is going to shape and mold us even more. I pray we will continue to grow closer to Him as we choose to seek Him in our battles. Our victory is in Him.

 

Mini Service Project

I believe that sometimes the simplest gifts can mean the most.

One of my friends, with the most beautiful soul is going on a mission trip to Zimbabwe this week.  I am so filled with joy for her! She has been wanting to do something for quite a while now. The Lord finally spoke to her and let her know where He needed her most…Africa.

I am embarrassed to admit, I do not know much about Africa. I do know that since we homeschool, we are about to know quite a bit!! Ha ha ha!!! It is a country that my friend’s church has been actively helping. I know they sent a mission team to Uganda last year. The stories I have heard about that trip were fabulous!

From what we have read about Zimbabwe, Christianity is there. A good percentage of the people claim to be Christians or follow islam. Ancestor worship is the most common form of worship. Because the people of Zimbabwe are a mix of European and African culture they tend to mix religious beliefs of the old with the new. That being said, there is need of missionary work even among the Christians there. My friend and her team will be traveling out in search of those in the less affluent areas, more toward the isolated villages that have not heard the name of our Lord and Savior. What an exciting journey!!

We did discover she can wear her regular clothes there without disrespecting the people there. Yay!! We also know that the people there love jewelry. Awesome!! So a few of us got together for a service project…099 We made salvation bracelets for passing out to the people my friend and her team will be talking too!

The beads all have meanings. I am sure you have seen these before, but here is a quick reference as to what each color symbolizes.

Black- represents our sin

Red- represents the blood of Jesus

White- represents the forgiveness and cleansing of our sins

Clear Blue- represents the water of the baptism

Purple- represents the royalty we are now a part of

Yellow- represents knowing that we will receive heaven because of Jesus

Green- represents the new life we have been given

Gold-represents heaven

It was a blessing for my girls and I to get to be a part of making these little remembrances for the people our friend will meet. It was such an honor to be able to pray over them and for the souls who will be receiving them! Little trinkets, that could mean so much to someone who is just getting to know Jesus!! May her trip be blessed and filled with opportunities to share the Word of the Lord!!

I am so excited for my sweet missionary friend to be making her trip to Zimbabwe!! I know that she is going to make such a difference to someone!!

 

Better Than A Brand Rep

Here is the picture I posted of Belle wearing her  Little Sunshine Shades.

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I am not the photographer that my daughter is but I thought it was cute :)

Then because we are the all American family, we bought the “Freedom” Shades she sells for Belle and her besties :)

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So cute aren’t they?

I  really love her children’s glasses and I had to post some more styling pictures of Belle in them. (I had my talented daughter take them)

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067 068The first picture she is wearing the Freedom shades. In the second picture she is wearing the Simona Shades.

We were so blessed to find out that Little Sunshine Shades then named their newest eyewear after Belle!!

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You can find them here for $7!!

They are called Belle!! What an honor!!

So you know that means we will be doing more photo ops soon…wearing Belle Shades!!

Thank you Little Sunshine Shades!!

PS the Jesus is my rock and that’s how I roll dress and the Jesus never fails shirt are from tt&twins. You can find them here.

We Went “Egging” …just before Resurrection day

I am that momma.

I am giving out the truth of what I taught my kiddos to do.

I have taught them that at Easter time, our family  goes out and eggs friends houses.

You read that right.

I am a firm believer in egging your friends houses,

especially those with little kiddos.

So while my friends were supposed to be out and about, we egged them.

We prepped the night before…

088cute right?

Ever so quietly, we hid eggs in their yards.

103 104 105 107We left a basket for them at their front door to start the hunt,

gave them a call to let them know “we thought we saw a bunny in their yard?”

Then let the joy begin!!

Here is what the paper says:

You’ve been egged!

We hid 12 eggs in your yard. Enjoy the hunt, but don’t be discouraged when you find the empty egg. Just remember that Christ died for us and that He lived again. Just like the Egg.

We started this tradition a few years back.

It keeps Christ in the fun and it is good to bless others with joy.

Feel free to copy us and “egg” your favorite families too!!

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Precious Tea Get Together

My younger girls and I were invited to the most wonderful tea.

This beautiful young lady whom we love dearly hosted this event.

She was so excited to have gotten her own set of china!!

056She made us a wonderful array of sandwiches, chicken, pb&j, egg salad and more!!

058She even made us salads! Here is the fruit salad she made us.

059She then had us adjourn into the living room where we had a little game of “how well do you know your mother/daughter.”

It was really fun!! She had questions like: What is your mom’s favorite essential oil? What is your mom’s favorite television show? What is your daughter’s favorite movie?

 

Then we had a dance off!! Plugged in the connect and away we danced!!

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We had dessert after. Look at her display for us!!

057 This is the age of Instagram!! So photo session was next on the list!!

Our girls are so funny!!

080071082It was such a lovely afternoon!!

All planned by an amazing 14 year old girl!!

We are so blessed to have such lovely friends!!

 

 

She is Another Year Older

Processed with RookieMy little girl is growing up!

Just a few years ago,

Becca spring 2008 001Look how cute my little girl was!!

037So happy and cheerful to have around…

Becca's 7th Birthday 006Such a joy she has been to us!!

020Growing into a more Godly young woman every single day.

021You surround yourself with good Godly friends too.

019You are wise beyond your years.

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 presetYour a princess of the most High God!

Processed with VSCOcam with m2 presetIt was a pleasure to get to surprise you with some happiness on the anniversary of the day you took your first breath and I got to hold you for the first time in my arms though you have always been in my heart sweet girl.

011 010 016 012Love you BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER!!

You are so special to me!!

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Christmas Stuff

December phone photos 059I was so busy I did not have a chance to post anything from CHRISTmas!!

Can you believe how quick time went? Wow.

Here is a picture of my girl in her new shirt from TT& Twins :)

She loves it!! She wears it often!!

Then she and her sister also got these…

December phone photos 062 December phone photos 061Yes, they were spoiled :)

The boy got a training and new uniform (pictures of that later)

and the oldest got new jammies and a new purse.

She will not allow pictures in the jammies on the internet, LOL!!!

Belle also got another one of her favorites…

December phone photos 069Legos!!

This is a horse stable set with a food court.

It is so cute!!

December phone photos 075The Lego girls can even do tricks on the Lego horses!!

Whoo hoo!!

We took the kiddos to see the lights up the hill. Some of the houses are amazing!

December phone photos 048 December phone photos 050 December phone photos 052 December phone photos 053 December phone photos 055Cool right?

We made little houses, as our family tradition dictates.

December phone photos 027 December phone photos 032 December phone photos 033 December phone photos 037Yes, that is a ton of sugar!!

They had fun making (& eating) them though!!

December phone photos 063Most important, we celebrated Jesus birthday :)

He is the reason for everything!

Hope  your CHRISTmas  was blessed and filled with much joy!!

Lights 4 Laiken

This beautiful little girl’s name was Laiken

laikenThis is how we celebrated her today.019It was the 7th Annual “Lights 4 Laiken”. My friend Stacie’s daughter passed away a few years ago, her name was Laiken. They have this amazing celebration to remember her every Christmas. The Police and Fire Departments come down, block off the street and honor her memory as well. We were so blessed to get to enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies as they lit  the Christmas lights on Laiken’s  home for the first time this year. This was the 7th Christmas without Laiken . They are such an amazing family that they bless others as a way to remember her. They do this all as a gift for their friends and family.

041 028The cookie and cocoa bar!! That made Belle happy!!

Then the photo booth with her buddie!!

025 027Time for the house lighting :)

 

030Look!

They have tattoos!!

038 039 040To add to the magic of the night,

Santa showed up to take pictures with the kids and hear their holiday wishes!!

034Stacie made an ornament for every single family that came by.

Here is ours on our tree.

046So touched that we got to be a part of this :)

Have a blessed day my friend!!

Husband Took Me Away

Glad you came back to visit me!!

I got the best surprise ever last week!!

 

borrego springs 8-23-14 012My husband took me on a surprise adventure to celebrate our anniversary.

Long drive to and through the desert.

Out the window, I saw what I thought had to be a mirage but it was real. The Salton Sea was right there!! Crazy!!

About an hour later we drove up in front of this

borrego springs 8-23-14 096A beautiful resort!

An oasis in the middle of a small little town,

randomly out in the middle of the desert.

borrego springs 8-23-14 042 borrego springs 8-23-14 045 borrego springs 8-23-14 046 borrego springs 8-23-14 049 borrego springs 8-23-14 050 borrego springs 8-23-14 069 borrego springs 8-23-14 070 borrego springs 8-23-14 015 borrego springs 8-23-14 027Why in the middle of the desert right?

My husband knows how much I love looking at the stars at night.

He knows I love to spend that time under the twinkling lights just getting closer to The Lord.

He was so sweet to plan something where we could go spend time together and enjoy the splendor of creation.

 

The best place to see stars is in the middle of nowhere.

That way there is no light from the city blocking out the light from above.

This place was perfect and apparently world famous for the amazing things you could see in the sky out there.

 

My pictures of the night sky were…pretty much just black.

So sad considering the sky was filled with glittering lights…and falling stars!!!

Tons of falling stars!!

AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL!!

The best part was the telescopes and the binoculars that brought out even more stars for my eyes to witness.

 

How could anyone ever deny that God created such beauty?

All you have to do is just sit there, in the dark, in the quiet and be.

Your heart just knows the truth.

The memories are inscribed on my heart forever!!

 

Okay but what did we do during the day?

This resort has the best staff ever!!

They were so attentive and pleasant to be around.

It is really relaxing!

It is retro and I loved it!!

Kids said it is “old but cool” style.

borrego springs 8-23-14 056 borrego springs 8-23-14 057 borrego springs 8-23-14 058 borrego springs 8-23-14 059 borrego springs 8-23-14 060 borrego springs 8-23-14 061Loved all the hiking around we did!

Loved the 26 pools they had there!!

Loved the shuffleboard, ping pong, bocce ball, huge chess game, the Karaoke by the pool and so much more!!

This place was awesome and kid and pet friendly!!

Also it was a great way to celebrate our anniversary!!

We are so going to save and go back!! I will serve rice and beans 4 times a week just to save enough to get back there with the family!

 

Have you ever been on a surprise vacation?

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

I have not been to very many places so I am curious if there is another hidden wonder that we should save to visit.

 

Have a blessed day everyone!!

Start the School Year with a Field Trip!!

Have you ever had the chance to take a tour of a real Navy ship?

We did!

It was so impressive!!

It was Navy Days and we took advantage of all the Navy ships stationed in LA Harbor.

I know this picture is hard to see, but it was so beautiful to watch. Every Navy person, retired or active, stopped what they were doing to salute the flag as she was being raised. I admit it. I choked up. I loved seeing this elderly vet in front of me turn and raise his hand to honor our precious flag.

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As the sun broke through the clouds a little bit later I got a picture of the USS Iowa. She is quite a ship! We did not check her out though. That will have to be a field trip for a different day!

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Here was the tour we went on. The USS Anchorage.

She is HUGE!!!

 

Aug 10, 2014 055 - CopyHere are some of our moments when we were most impressed by the massiveness!

The view from the back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 10, 2014 068 - CopyHere is the view from the front looking down.

Aug 10, 2014 059 - CopyThen I turned around…impressive!

Aug 10, 2014 058 - CopyOk, so then we got to see a bit of the inside.

When/if Jr joins he will have a lovely sleeping area like this.

Aug 10, 2014 062 - CopyAug 10, 2014 061No room for an Xbox.

Hopefully he will never have to see this, the hospital area. They do have more room though…

Aug 10, 2014 065 - CopyJr and Dad both loved the weapons guys that were there.

Since you could check them out, they did!

Aug 10, 2014 077 - Copy Aug 10, 2014 078 - Copy Aug 10, 2014 079 - Copy Aug 10, 2014 072 - CopyI was impressed that Jr went ahead and talked with the guys on his own about what they do and how to get to that position. He is growing up!

They let the boys check out their rides too.

Aug 10, 2014 071 - Copy Aug 10, 2014 075 - Copy Aug 10, 2014 074 - CopyHere are a few more random shots from our day.

Aug 10, 2014 076 - Copy Aug 10, 2014 080 - Copy Aug 10, 2014 081 - Copy Aug 10, 2014 082 - Copy Aug 10, 2014 083 - CopyAug 10, 2014 084 - Copy Aug 10, 2014 085This was a great tour and day.

I don’t think we will ever forget this experience!

Here are a few more pictures of the USS Anchorage.

Aug 10, 2014 086 Aug 10, 2014 091Thank you to all the soldiers past and present for your service to this country.

Our family appreciates you and all your sacrifices you make  to keep us free.

May your lives be blessed!

 

Thank you for sharing our little adventure with us!

Have a blessed day my friend!