Friday, February 29, 2008
We are in the process of getting ready to have a GARAGE SALE!!
Worth it? Yes.
Ever heard the saying, "One person's trash is another person's treasure?" This is SO true!!
In November Mike and I with my Mom cleaned out some storage buildings we had. You wouldn't believe the "stuff" that had. So, we had a garage sale...and between us and my Mom we made a total of $800.00 - which we split. And, as mentioned in previous posts, we are - by the grace of God - living paycheck to paycheck. So that was a huge blessing for us, right before Christmas. And, even after the garage sale was over, we still hade oodles and oodles of stuff left... so we donated the remaining stuff to Habitat for Humanity.
So, this time, we are cleaning out the attic, our bedrooms, the kids' toys, and our outside utility room... and are having yet another garage sale. So far, we have lots of toys, clothes, stuffed animals, decorations for the house, some baby stuff, and girly stuff like lotions and jewelry boxes. Pretty much, the usual garage sale stuff. It will be on April 4th & 5th.
It's crazy what people will buy. I don't mean that in a bad way. We are all different, and everyone has different tastes. You really can find good stuff and excellent prices at garage sales! Plus - LIKE ME - most people love a sale, or a bargain!!!! I pretty much refuse to pay full price for most things.
Anyway, that's what I am working on today. Wish me luck!!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
For a while now we have really, REALLY been in a difficult place - financially. We have been praying long and hard for God to show us the way to make things better. All the while, we have been giving what we could in the offering at church. My WONDERFUL hubby would remind me, "We have to step out in faith." And he is so right. (Just as a side note: Pastor Dino's message on giving in the "Everyone" series was - as usual- right on time.)
I look back over the last couple of months and can see His hand in it. For example, (a very small example) ---- Lane LOVES to play baseball, and is pretty good at it too! We had been wanting to sign him up to play Upward Baseball at HPC this year. But when it came time to register, we just did not have the extra money. Then, at the last minute, we were blessed by someone with a gift allowing him to play!! We are so excited... and so, SO incredibly thankful and VERY aware that God made this happen.
Anyway ... without going into a lot of detail, it appears as though God has shown us the way to ease our financial situation. Actually, He pretty much made the way. We aren't there yet, things are still in the works, but for the first time in a while, we can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank God!!! What a testimony this is becoming!!! Once everything has been finalized and is official... I will blog about the whole story.
Please, please pray with us that things are able to be finalized quickly and without any problems. Yep, you know what I am going to say ... GOD IS SO FAITHFUL!!!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Mike is supposed to be getting a raise at work, Thank God! We've been knowing about it for a couple of months, but it hasn't happened yet. The original plan was once he got the raise, I would be able to stop babysitting at the end of the school year. BUT ... you know how corporate America is ...the raise still hasn't shown up. So, the raise is coming ... we just don't know when.
Back in June of 2007 when I quit my job outside of the home, I prayed and prayed for God to provide a way for me to make money while staying home with my children. And, HE PROVIDED A WAY!! My neighbor and a friend of hers asked me to babysit their kids. Granted I'm not making A LOT of money, but it's enough to make ends meet each month.
YES ... it is an extremely stressful "job" since... well, their kids are a bit of a handful ... to put it mildly. Don't get me wrong, they are sweet, sweet, adorable kids and I love them ... they are just a little on the rambunctous side.
We are in a pretty difficult time financially speaking. So, to stop the extra money coming in would be plain ole' stupid and in all honesty, me not babysitting right now really isn't even an option.
More importantly, when God answers a prayer ... we should never, ever be picky or try to put strings on it. We should just be thankful. He knows what he is doing. I asked for a way to make extra money. Did I really think I would find an envelope in the mail each month containing a check straight from heaven?? Not at all. He provided the way ... I just have to step up to the plate and do it. My hubby and other family members say ..."how do you do it?" I say ... "how could I not? This is what I prayed for."
AND ... the kids I babysit are kids I truly love, and I really do not want to see them go to a "daycare." So, though I don't have a huge amount of patience (and that is an understatement) this is what I am doing. It pretty ends up being a win/win situation for everyone involved. YES, I will be stressed out ... but who isn't stressed at work? That's why a job is called "work," LOL!!
So, I thank God for providing a way for us. I've said it before, and I will continue to say it ... our God is so incredibly faithful. I pray that I will find a way to learn patience. God does have a sense of humor so maybe this is His way of making me learn patience. Life is good!
Monday, February 25, 2008
Here are my boys posing with my dad. My parents divorced when I was 8 years old, I think. And, because of some bad stuff that happened in the past we haven't seen him (or his side of the family) much and he has been in and out of our lives. Well, it's time to change that.
The painful things that happened in the past, are just that - THE PAST. Life is entirely too short to hold on to old garbage, old baggage and old hurts. Forgiveness isn't always easy, but it is the RIGHT THING and it is the choice that I am making. God loves us enough to forgive us EVERY DAY, so who am I to not forgive??
So, with the support of my wonderful hubby, my family and God ... I'm ready to move forward and have a good relationship with him. Not to mention the rest of my HUGE family on my dad's side of the family. He is one of 10 kids!!! Needless to say, other than my dad, that means there are lots of aunts and uncles, and countless numbers of cousins to catch up with!!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Ok, it's taken me a week or so to decide to blog about this. For some reason, I just kept putting it off. Denial? Maybe. Fear? Probably.
Apparently, I have high blood pressure... which really, really stinks. I'm only 37 years old. Ever since I delivered our youngest son, my blood pressure has been on a very slow, gradual rise. I'm not one to go to the doctor often, but the few times I have been in the last 3 years, my blood pressure has been getting a little higher each time. There was an unbelieveable amount of stress and anxiety going on in my life at the time, so they just said the higher than normal pressure was just because of the evil STRESS.
So, a couple of weeks ago I was at WalMart and decided to take my blood pressure on that little machine thingie in the pharmacy area. I put my arm in, pressed the button, and waited. Finally, the dreaded numbers appeared on the screen ... 154/96. I wondered what that meant. Thankfully, there was a little chart on the machine. According to that chart, my reading fell into the "stage 2" category. Not good.
My sister is a nurse so I called her. She agreed, not good. Thankfully she works in the same office building as my doctor, so she helped me to get an appointment set up quickly. Thank you Lauren!!!
So, off to the doctor I go... fun, fun. My doctor is wonderful and incredibly thorough. She of course checked my blood pressure and asked a bunch of questions: 1. Do you get headaches? "Yes, lots and lots of headaches." 2. Do you ever feel flushed? "Yes ... most every day, especially in the evenings." 3. Is there a history of high blood pressure in your family? "Not on my mom's side. I'll have to find out about my dad's." (Come to find out, my dad has had high blood pressure for a long time now. Crazy that I didn't know that, but my dad and I have a "strange" relationship, at best.) There I go rambling ... sorry!
Anyway... she perscribed me a medication to take for my blood pressure. I'm to take this "for now" until we complete a whole battery of tests... uggghhhh!! That day at the doctor, they took some blood - I'm thinking the lady was part vampire - to do a bunch of blood work. They also did an EKG. Praise God, all of those came back fine. My cholesterol is good at 152 and everything else they checked was good!
My doctor has also ordered 2 other tests that will check my kidney function and my renal artery function. Sometimes, your renal arteries can become constricted and that can cause high blood pressure. Who knew??
Soooooooooooo as we speak, I'm doing the prep stuff for one of them right now. One of the restrictions for 48 hours before the test and for the duration of the 24 hour test is .... NO CAFFIENE!!! Are you kidding me?? I've now been without caffiene for about 30 hours and besides being pretty cranky and having a killer headache ... I'm ok! LOL Then on Friday morning, I have to go get a sonogram of my kidneys and my renal arteries done. The fun just keeps on!!
Based on the results of all of these tests, she will probably change my medicine around because so far, on the current medicine, my blood pressure has come down, but not enough. And of course, a low sodium diet, regular exercise, and weight loss can't hurt. Uggghhhhh!!!
My wonderful hubby and I have been talking about this alot. We BOTH think that this is an attack of the enemy and we recognize it and will not let him win. The devil can't stand to see healthy, happy people and families who are raising their children in the way of our Lord. So, like the coward he is, he attacks us. Apparently, the devil didn't realize how head-strong and how full of faith I am!!
We have been praying and worshiping God every day. The healing of my body is in His hands, and I know it will happen. Not on my time clock, but on His. I am standing in faith for that. I claim, in the name of our Father, that my body will be healed!!!!!!
If you wouldn't mind, could you please take a minute and send up a prayer for me? Thank you so much...much love to you!
Monday, February 18, 2008
Yesterday we went down to Metairie to attend Cody's (our grandbaby's) baptism!! Isn't he precious?? I love him to pieces! He is just so cuddly and innocent.
Christina and her husband have decided to raise him in the Catholic church. Little Cody was absolutely perfect ... he slept through the whole thing! He didn't even cry when they poured the water on his head. The priest let us know that the water in the fountain was actually warm, so I'm sure that helped! It is wonderful to see little souls placed in the hands of our Father. What a blessing for the future!
The service was very nice, although we had a hard time convincing Ryan and Lane that we were at church. They are so used to the sounds and activity at HPC, the Catholic church was a big change for them.
I was raised Catholic church too. And, while I can greatly appreciate the ceremony and tradition that is the Catholic religion, and have complete respect for it ... the Catholic church just isn't for me. I remember when I was growing up and we would go to church. It was like I just sat there for an hour or so, going through the motions, but nothing really "touched me." I didn't really get anything out of it. Kind of like an outsider looking in.
About 4 years ago, we found Healing Place Church. Talk about a change from growing up Catholic! Imagine being able to talk, laugh, and celebrate in church and acually getting to know God in a personal way! It was amazing to me and so refreshing! After going to HPC for a few months, I knew I had found my home. At HPC, I feel like I am PART of it... and the passion for our God is amazing. I know that HPC is where I'm meant to be.
I'm pretty open-minded about it though. Every person is different. To me, as long as a person goes to a church where they feel like they belong and are fulfilled after each service, that's when you know you have found the right church for you. God loves us ALL.
Thank you God for blessing our family with Cody and for the opportunity for all of us to come together and present him to You!
Friday, February 15, 2008
I hope everyone had a super special Valentine's Day surrounded by people you love!! We sure did!
A Yummy Dinner!
With a very limited budget and 2 young kids our romantic-out-to-dinner nights just don't happen too often! So, I decided to cook us a special at-home Valentine's dinner! We had steak with sauteed mushrooms, some boiled potatoes with butter, cheese and sour cream and some asparagus! My mom (aka Mimi) was so sweet to let the kids come to her house for supper so Mike and I could have a nice, grown-up dinner for Valentine's Day!! Thank you Mom - you're the best!!!
My dear sweet hubby gave me a beautiful card that brought me to tears! (You know you picked out the right card when it makes the recipient get all teary! lol)
I love you so much Mike! You are the best, most incredible, loving, husband I could ever have hoped for! You are my "rock!"
I thank God every day for you, our kids and for our entire family!!P.S. Pastor Joel Stockstill buried his lovely wife, Amy, yesterday on Valentine's Day. My heart breaks for him, but I know she is with our God and is healed. He is a man of such incredibly strong faith and his love for his wife should be a lesson to all of us. Please continue to keep him and the rest of their families in your prayers.
Ok, here goes nothing! I've felt it in my heart for a long time now to try to join the choir at church. Way back "in the day" I day I had a really decent voice. In high school, I was in a few different choirs and went to several district and state competitions and did quite well. BUT, that was a long, long time ago. Longer ago than I care to admit, lol! Can you say in the 80's?? ugggghhhhhhh Anyway, I still LOVE to sing and hopefully still sound-kinda-sorta- halfway decent.
And ya know what? Even if my voice doesn't sound like it used to, I don't think God cares, so that means I don't mind either. I think what He cares about is that people want to sing for Him and want to worship Him. That is what is important. It's not about ME or my human voice... it's about Him.
Wish me luck and maybe say a prayer or two!!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
And blessed be Your name when I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name
Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in Lord Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
Blessed be Your name when the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s “all as it should be”
Blessed be Your name
And blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
It's amazing to me how God can take the death of someone that I didn't have the pleasure of knowing to continue His work in me.
Pastor Joel Stockstill and his wife Amy have been on my mind, and PRAYERS, a lot the last few days. But after I read this morning of her death I was really having a hard time shaking the incredibly sad feeling I had. To me, it was crazy since I didn't really know her.Then, while I was getting myself ready to run some errands... I swear I had a "God moment." That might sound kind of dramatic or over the top to some people, but that's all I can think of to call it. I was brushing my hair and feeling incredibly sad for Amy's death and for the death of other loved ones in my life that have passed away. Suddenly, all I could hear was a voice saying... "I did not promise you eternal life on earth, but eternal life in heaven with Me. The only way to get to Me is when your body dies. You have to die to have eternal life with ME."
It seems crazy, but I feel like I am just learning this. I mean really learning it and feeling it. When someone we love dies, it is our human flesh that grieves and is so sad for their death. But, our hearts and our spiritual self should also be filled with joy that our loved ones are now in Heaven with our Father.
Wow. I'm still trying to process that somehow through Amy Stockstill's death, a young lady who was so loved by so very many people, yet was a virtual stranger to me... that our ever faithful God is at that moment at work in me.
How VERY, VERY humbling that moment was for me. Thank you God for the CROSS.
From Pastor Joel Stockstill's blog...
"With both sadness and joy I regret to inform all of you that tonight February 11 at 9:40 pm my lovely wife Amy went to be with Jesus. This is a mighty victory and the half will never be known. With great love and appreciation to all who have joined with us. Joel"
Here is a link to his blog if you want to read their incredible journey of FAITH, SERVANTHOOD and LOVE : http://www.joelstockstill.com/
Please, please, please keep this beautiful family in your prayers. Their strength and devotion to our God is humbling. I pray that God wraps Pastor Joel in a blanket of grace, comfort and peace that only HE can provide. God Bless you Amy!!
Monday, February 11, 2008
Last night my brother-in-law came over witha treat! CRAWFISH!! He bought them already boiled from a little store in P'ville.
Ok, so maybe they were small and the people that had boiled them had let them soak for too long so they were kinda soft ... but still, they were crawfish!!
Our 3 year old, Ryan, absolutely loves seafood and was ready to eat until he popped!! But, after one bite his little mouth was on fire! Poor baby!! He really wanted to eat them soooo bad, he tried 3 more times but just couldn't take the kicked-up spice. Lane, our 9 year old, cant even stand the smell of seafood... so he ate a corn-dog and fries, then he ran to his room to hide-out!! LOL!
It's still very early in the crawfish season, so they will just continue to get bigger and better! Shane, my brother-in-law, is the best crawfish boiler that I know... hopefully he will be hooking us up again soon!!
Thank you Shane! You ROCK!!
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Today is a very important day for us as American citizens. We have the privelege of being able to go out and VOTE!! We may not love everything about any one particular candidate, but that isn't an excuse to NOT VOTE!!
Sometimes, perhaps this year in particular, it comes down to voting for the "lesser of two evils" so to speak. BUT it is still SO IMPORTANT TO CAST A VOTE!!
Personally, I plan to vote for Huckabee in the primary - even though I know he really doesn't have a chance of winning the nomination. BUT, if it comes down to McCain vs Clinton in the general election for president in November make no mistake ... I will HAPPILY vote for McCain!!! I can't think of any reason or circumstance in which I would vote for Hillary Clinton. Her policies and personality scare the daylights out of me!!
Anyway, regardless of your political affiliation... remember this: Countless numbers of men and women have made the ultimate sacrafice in order for us to have this freedom to vote!! And how many people in this world DO NOT have that freedom and are living in conditions that we can't even comprehend???? We are BLESSED beyond belief. What a better way to honor their sacrafices of those heroes than to use the voice they gave you!!!
Sooooooooo dont just sit there reading my very cool blog...GO VOTE!!!!
Friday, February 8, 2008
Please pray for Amy Stockstill, the wife of Joel Stockstill. They are a young couple on fire for God and do an amazing job with the youth at Bethany! I don't know them personally, but I've read their story and am somewhat familiar with Bethany. She has been battling cancer for a while and has reached a very critical point in her battle. I'm not sure of the medical details, but that isn't what is important. Amy, Joel and their entire family need our prayers NOW!
Here is a link to their blog: www.joelstockstill.com
"For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them." Matthew 18:20
Thursday, February 7, 2008
So, we are all starting to take that medicine today... all the while praying that we don't catch the flu, especially that my pregnant sister doesn't get it ... AND praying that Spencer will get well SOON, SOON, SOON!!
The flu is so miserable and I hate that he has it :-( I took this picture of him yesterday. I hope hedoesn't get too mad at me for posting his FLU-PIC!! I love you punkin!
If you have a minute and don't mind, please send up a quick prayer for everyone! Thanks!
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Ok, first of all, I'll say that my opinion on this issue is really irrellevant... I don't live in East Baton Rouge Parish, therefore, I don't get to actually vote on the new casino proposal. HOWEVER, I do have an opinion about it and since this is MY blog, I get to write about my opinions!
I've not done a lot of reading or research on this one. Simply because, to me, its a no-brainer... its something I feel in my heart and my "gut"so to speak. I am strongly AGAINST another casino coming into town.
Like so many things in this world, they try to dress it up in a pretty package and make empty promises to people that so desperately need a promise to hold on to...some promise - ANY promise. And as it goes with so many promises made during an election season, these promises probably won't be delivered. Or if they are, it's possible that there will be so many strings attached that it's still not worth it. Kind of like selling your soul to the devil.
I see it as yet another place that promotes corruption and addictions of countless kinds... gambling addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, drug use, violence... the list goes on and on. To me another casino would be a place that brings into town (and surrounding areas) people with a different set of values than I believe in. Not that my values are perfect at all, or that I am in any way better than anyone else... trust me, I know for sure that I am not.
Yes, Louisiana does need for more businesses to come here! We need the jobs that would be created and obviously the economy could surely use a boost. I just don't think that another casino is in any way what this part of Louisiana needs at all. There are so many negative things around here and what we need here is more positive things. More programs and businesses that acually HELP people leave behind the kinds of lives that addiction leads to, more kinds of programs that actually care more about the people of Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas than they do the almighty dollar.
The people of this state matter. Our children matter. Our future and our children's futures matter. The only promise we need is the promise of our Father... the promise of His love for us. His promise of eternal life for those who follow Him. That's it ... that's all we need, plain and simple.
Ok ok ok, I'm sorry! LOL I'll quit preaching now! Have a great day!
Monday, February 4, 2008
Yesterday was one of "those" days! It started off ok ... got up, got everyone ready for church, got a good parking spot and an awesome seat in church! We got home from church and Mike's oldest daughter (Christina) called and said she was on her way to our house from her house in Metairie. I was excited 'cause she just had a baby, in December and they were all coming for a visit!! (Yep, you heard right ... wehave a grandbaby!! Actually, we have two of them ... Tyler is almost 7 and Cody is a month old!! Crazy huh?)
Anway ... they got here and of course I had to snuggle Cody and kiss his sweet little face off!! My sister and a few other people came over to see the Metairie gang so we had an unexpected house full! After a couple of hours, it was time for them to go and they invited Lane to go down to Metairie with them for a couple of days. Soooo... off they went.
Then we ran a few errands then went to our neighbor's house to watch the Super Bowl. At half time, the cell phone rings and it's Christina. Tyler is sick :-( Fever, headache, etc. So she said she would probably bring Lane home Monday morning. I felt so bad for her and didnt' want Lane to get sick so Mike and I got in the car at 7:30 and headed down to Metairie to pick up Lane. Christina didn't have Ibuprophen for Tyler so we went to get some for her while we were there. We got home around 9:30. The boys were asleep in the car and didn't wake up when we brought them in, so that was good.
I'll post pics of the baby later today, but trust me when I tell you he is PRECIOUS!!! Sorry for rambling...lol
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
We basically live paycheck to paycheck, and so often money, or lack of it, is an issue. A lot of times I have to tell my kids no about different things they may want, or that some of their friends may have. Sometimes I get caught up wishing we could give them "things"... even though I know in my heart that "things" are the least important issue in this world.
In that moment at church, I realized how much we DO have. We have a wonderfully BLESSED life. We serve a God who loves us, and we try so hard every day to love like God loves us. This beautiful little girl in India may never have come to know that love, or have a future, without a sponsor. So, we are sponsoring her for a mere $30.00 a month. It may sound crazy to some people, but there are times when an extra $30.00 a month seems impossible. BUT, I know our God will make a way. He would never have put it in our hearts to sponsor her if He didn't have a way for us to make it happen.
Our little girl's name is Manjhi Hembrom and she will be 8 years old in February. I want to give her the same things I give our boys... love from us, and the promise of God's love. I want her to hav e a chance at the future ... just like my boys do. Please keep her in your prayers. As soon as I figure out how to work this scanner thingie, I'll post her picture. She's beautiful.