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.

img_3776

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!!

img_3797

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

img_3790

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!!

img_3804

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.

 

Morning Friend!

Hello!!

How is your day in quarantine treating you? I have a few moments and thought it has been a while since we sat down and had a chat, got caught up on what is new in our lives, right? So here I sit with coffee in hand ready to chew the fat a little with you this morning!!

img_3371

Today is: Thursday April 9, 2020

Outside is: It is brisk and consistently rainy. Oh I love this weather so much!! I sit wrapped up in a cuddly blanket with my coffee or tea and just watch the rain come down. It smells divine. There is something so peaceful about rain.

I can smell: My son bought me a candle for my birthday that is pineapple scented. I would say that it smells great right now but I just let one of my doggies in from outside and I would say the extremely pungent scent of wet dog is overpowering the pineapple  at the moment. Ewh.

In the oven for dinner: I am excited for dinner tonight!! I am making chicken alfredo pizza!! Homemade pizza trumps store bought every time!! I will probably make a basic turkey pepperoni pizza for the boys too. They are traditionalist when it comes to pizza flavors!! Ha Ha!!

What I have been thinking about: Wow. So much has been going on in my brain lately. While Belle and I have been studying the book of James for our Bible lessons, I have also been reminiscing as to how we would share Jesus as a family during this season for years.  Our family favorite is taking surprise Easter egg hunts to unsuspecting families. We would decorate a basket, sometimes with little gifts inside, then hide all over their front yard plastic eggs filled with little candies except for one, because the tomb was empty.  This is the first year, because of the quarantine, we have not been able to do this. This is so sad. Bringing this back around to my thought process, James was talking to the Christians about facing trials in that period. God called the Christians to share their faith.  It was not always safe to share Jesus at that time yet they found a way.  We need to heed this truth even today.  Just because we are stuck inside we can still find ways to share The Good News. We have been talking about how Jesus chose to be stuck on a cross because He knew it was for our good. We are choosing to be stuck indoors because we know it is for the good of the health of our country. There are still ways we have been brainstorming about together as to how we can still share the joy of Jesus.  The girls took chalk out and covered our sidewalk with bible verses. We sent out Easter cards and uplifting texts to family and friends. We decorated our front window with a sign that says “He is risen” We are wearing our Jesus Never Fails sweatshirts when we are out getting essentials. Even though the enemy might be trying to isolate us and make this the first Easter that gets forgotten, no thoughts about Jesus, bringing in depression and sadness in this containment, our family is choosing to fight back and find ways to share the peace that comes with keeping Jesus at the focus of everything.

img_3615-1

The project I am working on: My favorite project right now, I am going to build a place to plant my mini garden!! I was at Aldi the other day and found a mini greenhouse for under $40! I know, I should only have gone in for the essentials, eggs, fruit, bread and such but while I was waiting in line, 6 feet apart from the other shoppers, I looked at the lowers shelf next to me and there were 2 boxes being ignored. GREENHOUSES!! I am so excited!! It is small but perfect to grow one or two tomato plants, some onions and maybe a pepper plant!! I can’t wait to see the difference from container growing to greenhouse!! Fun!!

Mood today: I am content. It has been a while since I could say that. My world has been…well…unexpected trials and challenges that are meant to shake your faith. Would not wish that on anyone, but it has shone me who I really am and content in this moment is a good thing.

What I am reading: Literally just started this book last night, it is The Ezekiel Generation: The Father’s Heart for Israel and The Church in The Last Days  by Grant Berry. The author is a Jewish believer who wants to help The Church reconnect with Israel, leading Gentiles and Jews to Christ before the end of days. So I am only 35 pages in, but so far it is interesting.

School stuff: Well this quarantine has not really changed our learning over here.  We are still doing the english, math, science, history and bible stuff. I am a little sad that our reading of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is over. That has always been one of my favorites. Historical reads that really help you picture the time period and understand what it was like to live in that era give the past life, at least to me. Belle was not impressed. She thankfully has a hard time connecting with the negative thoughts of the people against the blacks. It makes no sense to her to dislike someone based on the color of their skin. To treat someone as being less than someone else just because of the amount of melanin in their bodies just does not compute in her brain.  I am blessed in that aspect, but trying to explain that this was the norm and that there are still people that still believe and live this way was painful to my heart.

Picture to share:

img_3153

Belle made herself a cute snack box for doing her homework. She is so stinking creative!!

It was great getting to reconnect with you friend. Praying The Lord will bless you and keep you safe from harm and illness. Stay safe and I look forward to hanging out again soon!!

So Cal Harvest 2015

How I forgot to post this I have no idea!!

Yes we went to Harvest again. I loved it as much as I did the first time I went!

This time was special though because we got to bring some friends with us :)

Super sweet girls who are friends of my daughter wanted to go and see what Harvest was all about and have the chance to see Phil Whickham live!

Major bonus to have Citizens and Saints performing there too!!

We got there early. It was hot. Oh my goodness, I really do not enjoy the hot at all. Nope, I do not. I was not going with a joyful heart knowing I was going to have to walk far and stand in the sun to bake to a sunny California crisp. God was so good though. Parking was perfect! Uber close to the Stadium and I could throw a ball (well almost, maybe with a tennis racket) to where we would line up.  Then He was even more good and gave us a spot in line in the shade, at least enough in the shade, that this is the first year I did not turn a delightful shade of crimson in line!! Whoo hoo!!

We were blessed again. Look how amazingly close we are to the stage! Man these girls got shade and great seats!!

076I watched the seats while the girls went out shopping for shirts.

You can’t go to a concert and not get shirts.

The stadium began to slowly but consistantly fill. It was a Friday night so we were not planning on there being a ton of people, but there were quite a few!!

What do you think? Not bad for a steamy Friday night in Anaheim!

I have no problem being wrong. I was elated as to the number of people that turned out that night!

079I love seeing so many people gathered praising God!!

Yes, I got teary eyed.  Especially when the music starts and I hear all the people worshiping the Lord, my cup runneth over.

083Oh my gosh, I forgot THIRD DAY was there too!!

Pastor Laurie was fabulous as usual. I enjoy hearing him speak.

I was hoping the girls we brought did too.

Then came the alter call down to the field for those who wanted to make the public profession of faith.  I was so excited to get to see all the people flood the grass in their new found joy when…”Would you mind if I went down to the field?” came a few seats down from me. ” What sweetie?” I asked. ” Would you mind if I went down to the field?” she asked again. Then another girl “I wanna go to. Is that okay?”

Oh dear sweet Jesus!! I had missed them accepting the Lord into their hearts!! I thought they were just there for the free concert!

“You know it!! Come on, I will go with you!” I cried. We all went down to the field, me trying to contain my emotions. I wanted to cry. I wanted to cheer. I just wanted to hug those girls so hard!! I had to focus on getting them to the field though.

087Here we are at the back of the stage praying with Pastor Greg. In the front again. Perfect for these girls!!

Two of the girls we brought gave their lives to Christ that night. The other girl rededicated herself to the Lord.

I let the tears flow and so did the girls.

Oh we got them their start bibles, we prayed and I hugged them so tight!!

What an unexpected blessing that Friday became in my life! You never know how God will work, but if you heed His calling, He does all the real work. We just planted the seed and He made it grow.

Then to wrap their night up with a bow, we got to meet…

090Citizens and Saints!!

Yes, it was an unforgettable night.

Thank you God for letting me and my family be a part of Your plan.

Rebecca’s Resurrection Gardens

I am so proud of my Rebecca!

She is just amazing and has been blessed with a servants heart!

She has decided that she would like to focus her studies on becoming a Children’s Ministry Leader.

She has been serving for a few years now and really enjoys it!

So since this is her passion, I have had her do interviews with members of our church’s Children’s Ministry and look into how to become one since High School is in a few months and we need to direct her studies.  That being said, this is the second time I have asked Rebecca to make a lesson plan and run a “mini” lesson. Here is the project she came up with, to go along with her teaching,  since Easter is on its way…

Resurrection Gardens!

reserection projectToo cute right?

It was the perfect time to do this fun activity too!!

Really fun way for the kids to wait for Resurrection Day!!

We just found $.89 plant trays, $3.00 dirt and $4.00 grass seed at Home Depot. Then at Dollar Tree we got 12 seed starter cups for $1.00. We already had the Popsicle sticks, so those were free.

As the girls keep watering the grass seed it should sprout by Easter.

I told the mommas that Easter morning they should put a small piece of cloth in the “tomb” to show He has risen!!

I know we did this craft at home originally, but I love that she incorporated it in a lesson for others so that they could remember to focus on the meaning of this time of year daily too.

I am so proud of her!!

Great job Rebecca!

6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:
7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’
Luke 24:6-7

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!!

Processed with Rookie

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!!

New Dress

040Okay, its a little short, but she looks so darn cute!

Someone was having a bit of a grumpy day. The heat was getting to her and she just was uncomfortable.

Then out of the blue a package came for her from her godparents!!

God bless them!!

A cute little dress with a bright pink purse to match arrived in a little brown box all the way from Utah!!

Happiness in a box!!

It brightened Belle’s day by a thousand percent!!

Oh happy day!!

 

Hope  your weekend is blessed friend!!