Saturday, March 31

Pictures as promised

First here are pics from last weekend, when the kiddos went to Mis. Tiffany's house so hubby and I could have a date night. We saw Reign Over Me and I really liked it. I think that Adam Sandler did a GREAT job.

Don't forget, if you click on them, you can see them a bit larger. May not work for the first 3..because they are already small.

Then, on Sunday night, our little man was sick with an ear infection...which we didn't know he had until he went to the doctor on Monday. Anyway, he kept us up all night long, because he woke up every 15 minutes. He didn't sleep that night or really at all that day..but Monday night, he did finally fall asleep.

These are from today: This is the miss modeling...


And here's the miss with Tiffany's boy when they were outside playing today. We are watching Tiff's kiddos while she is out celebrating her anniversary...

Friday, March 30

A Little Relieved

So, I was bummed to realize that I had to go part time to school. I am anxious to just be done, web design diploma in hand and making websites. I was just officially placed into my class that starts on Monday and since they know that some of us signed up at the last minute, they are providing us with free trials to the software we will need. This way we have time to purchase them. They are also providing the first week's reading assignment online in an e-book form. Thankfully, my books should be here Wednesday, because reading it on the computer is a bit difficult for me. And I am not about to print it all first week's reading assignment is 196 pages long. I have two books for my class. And I am pretty certain it won't be the most exciting read. So, after seeing what my reading assignment is for the week, I am now happy that I am only taking one class every five weeks, instead of two. I think one is about all I can handle right now. My class is information design. I am not sure yet what I will be learning. But my books are Design for New Media: Interaction Design for Multimedia and the Web and The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web.

Hopefully I enjoy it!

Here's to the beginning of busy weekends

Well, I will be a busy bee this weekend. Tonight I am going to go to my friend's house so that she can help me sew a skirt for the Sewing Seeds project. I am excited. And this will be my first time ever using a sewing machine. I am going to use my daughter for measurements and take her with me to help pick out the fabric. Tomorrow morning, Tiffany and I will be putting flyers up all over the place to advertise the Invisible Children screening that we will be doing on April 9th. I hope people go to it. I am so worried that nobody will show up. There is room for 200 people and I would love to fill it. I have advertised it in all of the area's event calendars and papers. Tiffany called some radio stations to have them advertise it. Invisible Children sent to me 100 postcards with information about the film and a place where I was able to fill out the details of when and where. So, we will leave stacks of those in various places. We also made up some flyers to put up in local coffe shops and stores with bulletin boards. And we are going to put up tons of flyers all over the nearby University. So, we'll see what happens.

And then, it's Miss Tiffany's anniversary this weekend. So, we will be watching her kiddos for her, while she and her hubby go away, overnight, celebrate. So, this weekend is sure to fly.

April starts soon soon soon. My classes begin April 2nd. I will have one class every 5 weeks. I won't be done with my certificate until next summer. If I was able to go full time, 2 classes every 5 weeks, I'd be done by the end of fall semester. But, I am considered a first year student for the certificate although credit wise, I am a junior, I am getting funds from the government as if I were a first year student. So, I can't afford to pay to go full time. My loan barely covers my part time fees. Oh well. A year will go by quickly.

So, next week, when my class starts, if I am not on here often, please understand that I am busy and getting the hang of fitting school in again. The last time I took classes online, I was pregnant with the baby boy. So, things will be different now that I have 2 kiddos.

I'll post a picture tonight or tomorrow of the skirt I make...if it ends up coming out okay.

Thursday, March 29

A Conversation With My Mom

My mom called me today. I saw on caller id who it was and answered the phone, "hey."

My Mom: Can I talk to Erica, please?

Me: This is me, mom.

My Mom: Who is this?

Me: Your daughter.

My Mom: Which daughter? (I'm her only daughter)

Me: You have more than one daughter?

My Mom: No....Erica???

Me: Yes, mom.

My Mom: Hi. How are you? How are the kids?

Me: Good, we're all good.

My Mom: How's Steve.

Me: He's good.

My Mom: You're married, right?

Me: Um, yes mom. We have kids and stuff.

My Mom: Okay, just making sure you're married. That's important you know.

Me: Yes, we are.

My Mom: Well, I am going to go now. I don't have anything to talk about.

Me: Okay.

So, that's pretty much a typical conversation that I have with her. I'm used to it by now. Sometimes it makes me laugh. Other times, it makes me sad. For those who don't know, my mom has Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis is an incurable disease that attacks the myelin.
Myelin protects the nerves and makes their job possible. Myelin is also used in sending messages throughout the brain and central nervous system. So, Multiple Sclerosis affects her memory, her walking, her body's control...lots of stuff.
When I am around my mom, I have to help her do most everything from walking to using the bathroom. It's hard at times...hard to see her like that. It's also hard because growing up, we had our differences and we weren't very close. And now that I'm a mom, there are times when I'd love to be able to call her up and ask her advice on things. I'd like to know what experiences she remembers having with me when I was my daughter's age. I want to know what my mom was like in her 20's. I just want to know my mom, ya know?

I am thankful to have a great mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law who I can go to for those questions I have about my kids and what not, but it does stink that my mom can't be that person for me.

I had registered for the MS walk this spring, but I have scheduling conflicts and won't be able to take part in it. But, a friend of mine, Nicole, will be walking next month. Please consider making a donation to her for her walk. Someday they will find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. Someday children won't know what it's like to watch their parents deteriorate before their eyes because of MS. And it will be funds from donations...from people who care...that will help in the discovery of a cure. Thank you for your help.
My friend's MS Walk Site where you can donate

Wednesday, March 28

Some good military news

So, I feel like this is the millionth post that I have written about the military and where it is brining us next. At one point, we were told he'd have to re-train into another career field which would mean he'd be gone several months for training and then we'd possibly move somewhere. Then, thankfully, he wasn't selected for the re-train. Then we were going to look into having him become a recruiter because that would mean a pay raise and that he'd be guaranteed to stay in our current location for the next three years and not be deployed anywhere. But then we found out he had to be stationed here for a couple of more years before he could apply to become a recruiter...and well..he only has 3.5 years left.

So then he found out he'd just keep his current position and most likely stay here for the remaining three years. And we were happy with that. We love it out here. But, he was going to be gone the whole month of May for training. He would then be gone for the whole month of August again. Our wedding anniversary is in August and he is always away for it. We have only been able to celebrate one anniversary together so far. It will be our fifth this August. We were also preparing for the fact that he would be deployed again in March, 2008. We weren't sure where..or for how long. But we knew it would at least be three months. He was contemplating volunteering to go to Germany, that way he wouldn't have to worry about being sent anywhere dangerous. And we talked about how wonderful it would be if me and the kids could go too, but we knew that we wouldn't be able to afford it.

Well, he found out on Monday, that right now, they are making it possible for Airmen of any his career field..who have been in for more than 6 years and less than 11, to get out if they want to. He has to submit a package for it by April 30th. And then in September, he'd be out of the Air Force. He does computer networking and even some firewall stuff, so honestly, we aren't concerned at all about his ability to find a job. Plus he has top secret clearance. We will have to pay back a $14,000 portion of some of the re-enlistment bonus, but they will give us three years to do so. And honestly, it's pretty certain that whatever job he does find.... will pay him AT LEAST $14,000 more per year than he is currently making.

So, in September, I will no longer be an Air Force wife. Don't get me wrong, I support our military and their families. But a military life is a tough one. And we've been through some tough things due to the military having kept our family apart at times. We paid our dues and it's time to move on. It's time to always be together as a family without having to worry about deployments. I am sooo thrilled!!!!!

More Grease

Sorry, but I am such a fan of Grease. I got to play Sandy in a small community theater about 6 years ago, and really, it was a dream come true. It was the role I always wanted to play. So, I loved watching the Grease reality show. And I love Laura and Max, the winners. Here is the 6 minute finale from the results show...and you get to meet the rest of the Broadway cast. Oh, I'd love to go see it in New York. My favorite city and one of my favorite musicals.....I'll have to find a way to go see it.

Oh, don't forget to pause the song on the right to hear this video.

Tuesday, March 27

In Other Words

"Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before... either into a creature that is in harmony with God, ...or into one that is in a state of war with God. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other."
~ C.S. Lewis ~
Mere Christianity

Doesn't this quote just fit me right now!?!?! I guess it would fit all believers wouldn't it? But I have been struggling lately with this very topic. So, I needed this today.
As a female, I am run by my emotions. And I tell you what, Satan knows which buttons to push in me...which words to whisper to my mind...and which thoughts to fill me with to tear me down. And the annoying thing is, I know when it's happening and I give into it, I do. I know it isn't right, but I focus on Satan's whispers. And before I know it, I am gloomy, easily irritated, and heavy-laden.

I do have days where I don't give in to Satan's plan and I choose instead to ignore it and fill myself with the Spirit. And on those days, the fruit pours out of me. I am filled with love, peace, patience, gentleness....and so forth.

So, one would wonder, if all I have to do is ignore Satan to reap such wonderful rewards, and if giving into him brings about pain, then why do I do it? It's because he's sneaky. He knows me so well and he knows how to get my goat with his sly tactics. But when I see it coming and I still allow it to be, that's when I make a choice and choose poorly.

On March 22nd, there was a snippet in My Utmost For His Highest that really spoke to me and it touched on this topic. It said...."Much of the distress we experience as Christians comes not as the result of sin, but because we are ignorant of the laws of our own nature. For instance, the only test we should use to determine whether or not to allow a particular emotion to run its course in our lives is to examine what the final outcome of that emotion will be. Think it through to its logical conclusion, and if the outcome is something that God would condemn, put a stop to it immediately. But if it is an emotion that has been kindled by the Spirit of God and you don’t allow it to have its way in your life, it will cause a reaction on a lower level than God intended. That is the way unrealistic and overly emotional people are made. And the higher the emotion, the deeper the level of corruption, if it is not exercised on its intended level. If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many of your decisions as possible irrevocable, and let the consequences be what they will."

To me, the choices I make emotionally have a great GREAT impact on me. They impact my mood, my day and my Spirit. And when the emotions I choose to allow to rule me are not of God, all they do is destroy me. This has been such a hard lesson to learn, and even after learning it, I still mess up daily.

But I do know, without a doubt, that I'd rather stay in harmony with God, because Satan's melody is a somber one.

Monday, March 26


I currently love this song by Nichole Nordeman called Sunrise.

If I had the chance
To go back again
Take a different road, bear a lighter load
Tell an easy story

I would walk away
With my yesterdays
And I would not trade what is broken for beauty only

Every valley
Every bitter chill
Made me ready to climb back up the hill
And find that . . .

You are sunrise
You are blue skies
How would I know the morning
If I knew not midnight?

You're my horizon
You're the light of a new dawn
So thank You, thank You
That after the long night, You are sunrise

There's a moment when
Faith caves in
There's a time when every soul is certain God is gone

But every shadow is evidence of sun
And every tomorrow holds out hope for us
For every one of us

You are sunrise
You are blue skies
How would I know the morning
If I knew not midnight?

You're my horizon
You're the light of a new dawn
So thank You, thank You
That after the long night, You are sunrise

You alone will shine
You alone can resurrect this heart of mine

You are sunrise
You are blue skies
How would I know the morning
If I knew not midnight?

You're my horizon
You're the light of a new dawn
So thank You, thank You
That after the long night, You are sunrise

You are sunrise

Sunday, March 25


So, I admit it. I've been hooked on the reality show, Grease:You're The One That I Want. And I am thrilled because the two I had been rooting for the entire time, Laura and Max, won tonight.

I couldn't find any videos from tonight's show...but here are some other clips I found...

Here are Laura(in yellow) and Ashley last week, in the finals, singing Hopelessly Devoted

This is my favorite Max performance

And this was my favorite performance from the show

So Grease opens in New York in July and runs through December...I believe...I could be wrong. And Max and Laura are great. It will be phenomenal...and I really wish I could go see it...I sure do.

Rollercoaster Road

Yesterday I had a scary driving experience. It was CRAZY! I had made arrangements to purchase a table from a couple who lived in a neighboring city about 45 minutes north of us. My friend Tiff, lent me her van, so that I could bring the table and chairs home in one trip...THANK GOODNESS! The hubby stayed home with the kiddos and I headed on my drive. It's funny, I almost wore flip flops to the couple's home, but since it was a bit rainy and I figured perhaps they had a huge home on a dirt lot, I wore boots instead. That was definitely the right choice. As I headed on my drive, I noticed about 15 minutes north of us, there was snow on the ground, from perhaps a recent snow storm. I found this to be crazy, since we had such nice weather where we live all week long...and I had only driven for 15 minutes. Then as I turned onto one of the two lane highways to reach my destination, I was first awed by how beautiful it was. The homes seemed secluded among tons of trees covered in snow, it was breathtaking. I began to think that perhaps if hubby and I stay out here for a long time, it would be nice to live in this city.

It started snowing a tad harder and I soon realized, after the van began to slide, that the road was very icy. So I suddenly switched to focused driver mode and didn't even care anymore how beautiful the tree lined streets were. Then I saw some flashing lights and as I slowly approached, I saw a car that had crashed into the guardrail. The front end looked horrible. The hood was in the windshield. About another mile down the road, I saw more flashing lights and a truck completely flipped over. I was now a tad scared. I turned onto the next stretch of highway, another two lane one, and there were more flashing lights and another accident. I then saw a sign telling me to slow down and that I was approaching roller coaster road. My heart started pounding. I was terrified. And it didn't help that a mile later there was yet another accident.
On the 60 mph highway, I think I was driving 20, if that. I made it to the couple's house. Upon seeing the table, I wasn't even that happy with it. But I risked my life to get it, so I bought it. I was telling the husband about the road conditions, and he proceeded to tell me about a time he witnessed, on a different highway, 5 cars slide off the road and roll over several times. That was not the story to tell terrified little me.

Driving back home, I was scared. I made it safely the first time, but now I had to do it again. And the lanes were so narrow, so I not only had to worry about my driving, but I had to worry about others sliding into me. I had only been at the couple's house for maybe 10 minutes. But when I headed back out onto the stretch of highway, there were two more new accidents, both rollovers. Firemen were out on the streets directing traffic. I couldn't believe how many accidents had taken place on about a 7 mile stretch of road. The snow was coming down, the window was very fogged up and the defroster was taking a while to kick in. I began to cry and I began to pray for God to keep me bring me home safely and to keep all the cars around me safe.

And I made it home. Originally, I was going to get the table and make some other trips before going home to unload the van. But once I hit the road that would lead me home, all I wanted to do was walk into my house and hug my hubby. I pulled into our driveway and as soon as I walked through my front door I told my hubby that I wanted a hug. He didn't understand why I was telling him that the drive was so scary. At our house it was lightly raining.

I let him know that when I first turned onto the highway, I was envisioning our future home there. But that I have now decided that I like where we live.

I am so thankful that God kept me safe on my drive. And I hope to never experience anything like that again.

Psalms Sunday #12

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Psalm 12

For the director of music. According to sheminith . A psalm of David. [a]

1 Help, LORD, for the godly are no more;
the faithful have vanished from among men.
2 Everyone lies to his neighbor;
their flattering lips speak with deception.

3 May the LORD cut off all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue

4 that says, "We will triumph with our tongues;
we own our lips [b] —who is our master?"

5 "Because of the oppression of the weak
and the groaning of the needy,
I will now arise," says the LORD.
"I will protect them from those who malign them."

6 And the words of the LORD are flawless,
like silver refined in a furnace of clay,
purified seven times.

7 O LORD, you will keep us safe
and protect us from such people forever.

8 The wicked freely strut about
when what is vile is honored among men.


Psalm 12:1 Title: Probably a musical term
Psalm 12:4 Or / our lips are our plowshares

When I first started researching this Psalm this morning, I began looking into the refining of silver, because I was drawn to verse 6, "And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times." But as I researched, I came across a devotion on the Psalms written by worship singer, Darlene Zschech. There was a story in Psalm 12's devotion that gave me goosebumps, so I wanted to share it with you this morning. But first I want to talk a little about this Psalm.

We can be hurt so easily by the words of others. What weapons our tongues are. And when we are stung, how easy it is to speak hurtful things back, to harden our hearts. But that isn't what God would have us to do. We need to forgive that person and have the knowledge that God will be in charge of instructing them in the error of their ways. If we do any more than forgive, if we speak of that person during our time of hurt, our words will be slanderous as well, because only God's words are flawless.

Now here is Darlene's story, which I pasted for you. At the end of the Story is a link to her devotion site. I am looking forward to reading her devotion each week as I prepare for my post. I encourage you to do the same. Have a blessed week everyone.

"When I started to study this Psalm, I could not help but dwell on the story of a young woman we met at the “Worship Memorial” Service we were part of in Bali. I noticed her in the crowd during the morning memorial service, as she is brutally disfigured over her face, but she sat quietly and confidently throughout the proceedings, bringing courage to those around her. I just assumed she had been injured during last year’s terrorist attacks.

It was at the night meeting that the pastor told us the real story. In 2000, in a village outside of Bali, in a refuge for women and children, terrorists cruelly savaged the small township, killing many of those that were there… but this woman fled for her life, screaming, “Lord help me, Lord help me”… just like David, and just like you and I have done many times. She ran to a man who looked like he would help… and he looked blankly at her and said “I’ll show you how God will help”, as he proceeded to stick a gun in her mouth and pulled the trigger, blowing her face apart… and yet somehow she lived.

This woman made a powerful decision… that as a Christian, she HAD to forgive, she had to rise above her hell on earth experience, stand on the reality of the word of God… and miraculously, as she chose to forgive these evil men, she took the sting out of the devil’s evil plans, and I watched her on the weekend stand before other victims and their families of the Bali bombing, showing them how forgiveness is not only possible, but necessary for healing of the soul, heart, mind and body. She worshipped… and she shone!!!"

Darlene's Psalms Devotions

Thursday, March 22

Well, I know I've been away from my blog and I am sorry. I have been trying to make a website for my friend, Kate, who is a wedding photographer. And I am a newbie scripter...I wing everything or spend a long time researching how to script. And the frustrating thing is, I'll be on firefox and everything will look fine, but then I'll switch over to IE7, and it's all sorts of messed up.

Okay try to stay with me for a second...k....? :o)
I have learned that tables stink and that IE7 is a pain as far as scripting is concerned. My issue is, I have images that overflow the width designated to certain tables. In other browsers other than IE7, it knows to show the image anyway. But IE7 hides whatever is overlapping the code. And there are some ways to fix it, but I am currently confused and it isn't working.

Are you lost yet? Me too.

It's just hard, because I have no idea what I am doing. But I keep trying and I'll eventually succeed.

Anyway, when I started working on my friend's site and realized how much I enjoyed it, I decided that I am going to do this for a living. I want to design web pages for small businesses.....OH AND Blog templates TOO. So I am starting up classes at The Art Institute next month. In a year, I will have my certification in web design. I will learn all sorts of stuff from basic and advanced scripting, css, dreamweaver, photoshop, flash.....all of that fun stuff. And I am excited. My poor Kate is getting such a newbie site, but soon it will look good. I hope.

I would show it to you, but I am embarrassed. So, you'll have to wait until I'm done....BUT you must see some of her photos. So to check those out, go see one of the Galleries that I made for her. I hope to link to them soon and then someday, after I learn some stuff, actually embed it into her site for her.

So, that's what I've been doing case you were wondering where I went.

Delete It Cancel

Sunday, March 18

Psalms Sunday #11

Psalm 11

For the director of music. Of David.

1 In the LORD I take refuge.
How then can you say to me:
"Flee like a bird to your mountain.
2 For look, the wicked bend their bows;
they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
at the upright in heart.

3 When the foundations are being destroyed,
what can the righteous do [a] ?"

4 The LORD is in his holy temple;
the LORD is on his heavenly throne.
He observes the sons of men;
his eyes examine them.

5 The LORD examines the righteous,
but the wicked [b] and those who love violence
his soul hates.

6 On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulfur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.

7 For the LORD is righteous,
he loves justice;
upright men will see his face.

Where is your mountain? When the going gets tough, where do you go? Do you crawl into bed and try to sleep it away? Do you run to a friend? Do you keep it all inside? Do you vent it all out? Or do you run and take shelter under your Father's wings?

It's so easy to find worldly comforts when the foundations crumble around us. It's so easy to try to fix things on our own.

But we can't look to ourselves and we can't look to others. We can't look behind us and dwell on the past and we can't look too far ahead and worry about the future. What we should do is look upright. Look to God.

So instead of fleeing to your mountain little bird, soar faithfully into God's arms.

Thursday, March 15

Thankful Thursday

Spring is around the corner and this past week it has felt like spring. The weather has been beautiful and the birds have been chirping. I'd like to try to garden this spring, so I am excited. Although I have to wait until May, because where I live, it can be 70 degrees one day and a blizzard the next. But I am so thankful for the little glimpses of spring.

I am thankful for the way God brings a verse to me almost each day. One that He selected for me to read. It's funny how it always work out that way.

I am thankful for sunshine, for green grass, for the early morning sunrises.

I am thankful for the little bunny that is always scampering around our yard.

I am thankful for being able to see the world through children's eyes every day.

Wednesday, March 14

A Few More Pics

So, the mister had a follow up appointment with the dermatologist. The doctor was very pleased with the results and wants to see him again in 3 months. Here is the mister...after getting ready to leave for the appointment.

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Quick..Some Photos

So, my camera was out of batteries, which is why I hadn't posted pictures in awhile. So, I am going to share some pictures from a couple of weeks ago.
And I'll take some new ones today or tomorrow and get those up soon.

I took the kiddos to a huge Christian bookstore / play center for a premiere of one of the new Veggie Tales movies, and they had a Narnia room to play in. The miss was able to walk through a wardrobe and into Narnia. Here she is under a painting of Aslan.
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Here's another shot of her playing around that day.
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Here is the mister last week when he wasn't feeling well. :o(
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And here are his little feeters.
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And finally, the miss loves to wear her tiara while taking a bath. It cracked me of course I took a picture of it.
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My posting will be quite sporadic. I have been BUSY, busy. Next month, my calendar is pretty heavily full. I am jumping back into my Usborne book selling. I am doing a big home show on the 21st of April. I am also going to be working a booth at a local children's festival on April 14th. The booth is free as long as the kids have an activity to partake a craft or story time. So, I'll have a bunch of books displayed and do story time for the kids. And have a drawing to get some parents' information. And then, there is the Invisible Children film screening in April. I just got word that two boxes are on their way to me filled with posters, flyers, stickers, DVDs and all sorts of other promotional items. So, I am excited. And, I am starting some more classes up again this summer and two of them start on April 30th. So, goodness...April is sure to fly by.
But, I have been busy planning for many of the activities next month. So, I apologize for not blogging as much.

Monday, March 12

Two Weeks of Sacrifice for Blood:Water Mission

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Well, the two weeks is up. I am still working on the final tally and will write another post sharing it, as soon as I have it.
The purpose of Two Weeks of Sacrifice, is to forgo purchasing any beverages and to drink water for two weeks. Then to pull together that money that would have normally been spent on other beverages to give to Blood:Water Mission, an organization building wells in Africa.

Just One Dollar will give one African clean water for one year. So a little bit of money, in this situation, goes a long way.

Now, I am ashamed to say this....especially since I headed this particular Two Weeks of Sacrifice, but I did cheat a couple of times. Anyone who knows me, knows that I just don't enjoy drinking water. When I was pregnant, I did my best to drink tons of it, because I knew it was is Blood:Water Mission. But all other times, I am drinking anything BUT water. And I did have Pepsi a couple of times. I know, I know...I am weak. A blogging buddy of mine, Kpjara, wrote a great post about her Two Weeks journey...and she had to take medicine to help her caffeine withdrawals....while I was over here on my end caving. So, I apologize to all of you who participated, that I wasn't able to fully do it. And I feel horrible that so many out there would give anything for just one fresh, clean glass of water, and I couldn't even go two weeks without drinking something other than water.

Now, on top of the money I did save by not purchasing other beverages, I will also put in the money that I spent those couple of times on Pepsi. My total came to $28. I did pass up some packs of Snapple Peach Iced Tea and some 24 packs of Pepsi.... among other things.

I highly recommend that those of you who have not heard about Blood:Water Mission, visit their website. They are currently doing a 1000 wells campaign where they are asking that each person interested in helping out, just contribute $1.00. That's it. But don't forget, $1.00 gives one African clean water for one year. So, pray about helping.

While on their site just a bit ago, I came across this story and wanted to share it with all of you....

In April of 2004, God placed a burden for the children of Africa in our hearts after a group of 4 men from our church made a presentation on their recent trip to Sudan. The faces of the children haunted me and broke my heart. After much prayer and wrestling, God made it clear that He desired us to adopt children from Africa and bring His orphans home. In May of 2004, we sent our paperwork to Sierra Leone, Africa to begin the process to adopt 3 year old twin sisters, Eden and Addy. We were expecting to bring them home around Christmas. However, that was not to be. On July 14, 2004, we received a phone call that forever changed us. Addy had passed away after contracting Cholera due to unsanitary drinking water. I did not know much about Cholera, so I began researching what kind of disease had taken the life of our daughter before we were ever able to hold her in our arms. When I found that Cholera is simply a bacteria that causes severe diarrhea and was contracted from her inability to get clean water, I was even more mortified that this is what had taken Addy’s life. It just seemed so senseless to us. Here in America we take for granted that we can just go to the faucet and turn on the water. We do not think twice about drinking water wherever we go. Sure, some water tastes better than other, but we never have to be concerned that the water we drink will kill us. That is simply not the case in many countries in Africa. They may haul water for miles just to have liquid to sustain life, and there is no guarantee for many of them that the water they walked miles for will not actually destroy them.

In the horrible hours and days following the news that Addy had died, we tried to make sense of such a tragedy. My heart still breaks that Eden will not grow up with her twin sister. All I have of the daughter I never got to comfort is a picture of her several months before she died and a picture of the make shift grave that her grieving family in Africa made for her in their family cemetery. However, Romans 8:28 promises that God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. God created Addy for His glory, and He will be glorified in her death as well (Isaiah 43:7). There are many more “Addys” in Africa, children in need of clean water just to survive. If we join together, we can provide wells for villages and reduce the incidence of death due to unsanitary water. Would you help make stories like Addy’s a thing of the past by helping provide funds for more wells to be drilled in Africa? For many it is a matter of life and death!

John and HollyAnn Petree
Addy’s Hope Adoption Agency

Thank you again to those of you who participated.

Sunday, March 11

Psalms Sunday

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Psalm 10

1 [a]Why, O LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises.

3 He boasts of the cravings of his heart;
he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD.

4 In his pride the wicked does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

5 His ways are always prosperous;
he is haughty and your laws are far from him;
he sneers at all his enemies.

6 He says to himself, "Nothing will shake me;
I'll always be happy and never have trouble."

7 His mouth is full of curses and lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.

8 He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent,
watching in secret for his victims.

9 He lies in wait like a lion in cover;
he lies in wait to catch the helpless;
he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.

10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.

11 He says to himself, "God has forgotten;
he covers his face and never sees."

12 Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.

13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
"He won't call me to account"?

14 But you, O God, do see trouble and grief;
you consider it to take it in hand.
The victim commits himself to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.

15 Break the arm of the wicked and evil man;
call him to account for his wickedness
that would not be found out.

16 The LORD is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.

17 You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,

18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

Such a picture of the world this Psalm paints for us. Those who feel as if they can do everything without God. Those who distance themselves from "such a being." Those who feel that seeking riches or the next new toy will fill the void that of course, only God can fill. Pride and greed are in the hearts of these men, which can only lead to anger, rage, malice, deceit, hardship, murder, vengeance. so many things.

But, I feel convicted through this Psalm as well. Do I sometimes have a prideful heart? Do I sometimes make my own decisions without consulting God? Do I sometimes feel like I can do everything on my own, that I don't need God right now? Do I gossip about others? Do I lie?

If I am feeling a distance from my Father, it is because I allow those things above to distance myself. And I never want to feel like God is far away from me in times of trouble. I want to keep Him by my side as my helper, counselor, friend at all times. I want my heart to stay in tune with His will for me. Why follow my ways, when God's are so much better?

Friday, March 9

New Post, New Look

I know I have been MIA for a day or so. No reason, really. I was just preoccupied with other stuff...that was a tad more important. :o) I just had one of those...I really should stay off my blog...days. So, last night at Bible study, we read the verse that is in my new banner. Of course I have read it many times before, but it just really, REALLY clicked with me yesterday. So, I decided I would design my blog around it. I don't know if I like the color scheme yet. I tried so many different backgrounds and colors. But for now, it works. But don't be surprised if you come back in two days and it's yellow or green. I also need to make myself a new signature for the end of my that doesn't have a white background. Oh if I only had photoshop...then I could make things transparent.

Anyway, sorry to bore you.
I'll try to write more later today or tonight.

Wednesday, March 7

Nothing Like a Three Year Old to Keep Me In Line

So, I woke up grummmpy this morning. I was downright mean. And there is no excuse for it...none at all. It was just too early, it seemed...and I wasn't ready to get up. Maybe if I practiced what I have been preaching lately and got up before everyone else to do devotions, I wouldn't have been so grumpy. I know I went to sleep a little grumpy. My poor hubby is sick...sinus cold junk and he fell asleep about an hour before I did. I went to bed around 10:30 and my hubby was snoring so incredibly loudly. I had compassion on him though, since he was sick, and I tried my best to ignore him. I fell asleep..clenching my jaw and saying over and over to myself..please stop..please stop. So, maybe that mood continued in my sleep.

I think drainage was the cause of my mister's upset tummy yesterday because he didn't have any more vomiting episodes. He went to bed around 8:00 P.M. But he woke up at 4:45 A.M. for some food and lovin'. And it was sooo hard to get out of bed. I was a tad grumpy then, but not too bad. I fed the mister and sat and happily stared at him as he fell asleep in my arms and began mumbling in his sleep. It was darling. I noticed that it was 5:30 A.M. and I could sleep for one more hour. So, I put him in his crib and went back to sleep. THAT was my mistake.

I had already woken up a bit. I should've put him in his crib...had some breakfast and some juice and opened up my Bible. But, no, I went back to sleep. I went to sleep fast and hard. So that an hour came in five minutes and I WAS NOT WANTING TO GET UP! I was so out of it and grumpy. And I had only been up for two minutes, when my little man and little miss decided to be awake too.

Everyone wanted me and I had my own stuff to do. I had to tidy up the kitchen, get ready for the day and get both kids ready.

I hollered to my three year old to do me a favor and bring me the wipes. Of course, like most three year olds, it took her a bit to actually get me the I continued shouting at her...until she brought them to me.

She then looked up at me and with the sweetest voice said...."Mommy, be happy!"

Talk about feeling GUILTY!

I know that if I don't get enough sleep, I wake up grumpy. Once I actually WAKE UP and can handle the many demands placed upon me..I'm fine. But when I am still in zombie mode...all of those demands are equivalent to someone stealing your covers and kicking you while you are in deep sleep.

So, I need to wake up before up my Bible..spend time with God..have some quiet to refreshed and then start my day.

I don't want my little girl asking me to be happy in the morning. Instead, I want to wake her up..with a big smile..say Good Morning Sunshine..rise and shine..I love you. So that she wakes up with a smile on her face.

Tuesday, March 6

Thankfully, I Am Rested

Well, ever since we got the skin cream for our little mister, he has been sleeping through the night. He no longer needs a bottle in the middle of the night. He no longer wakes at 3 or 4 A.M. for another bottle. And he no longer needs me to pat his little bottom to help him to drift off to sleep. Instead, we put him down in his crib at around 8:00 P.M., he puts himself to sleep and he doesn't wake up until 6:30 A.M. It's been wonderful. And I have been getting much needed rest..FINALLY!

Last night, I was falling asleep watching our DVR'ed 24 episode and decided to go to bed. It was 9:30 P.M. I didn't wake up until a little after 6:00 A.M.

Our little guy has seemed under the weather the last few days. I think it started on Sunday with a runny nose. Yesterday he just didn't seem like he felt right. I knew he was sick the second I got him out of bed. It was in his eyes. His appetite seemed to have decreased and he slept a lot.

Today, it has been the same. He has had a constant running nose and hasn't been too interested in eating. Although he has been eating, he had 2 1/2 bottles and 1 jar of food, it isn't as much as he should have had already today.

Just a little bit ago, the little guy was napping in his swing. His big blue eyes opened up, he gave me a half-hearted smile and then threw up everywhere...EVERYWHERE. Poor little guy.

It may be a rough night tonight. And I am sooo thankful and so happy that I got so much sleep last night. God knew I would need it.

In Other Words

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing”
~ Martin Luther ~

On Thursday night, I attended Bible study at my church. I had brought the two little ones with me, and they hung out in the nursery. I love my Bible study nights. The women in the group are just amazing. And each time I am spoken to greatly through almost everyone in the group. Our leader is such a strong woman of God. She is amazing. Anyway, at the end of the study, we were in prayer and our leader began praying for someone in the room. She said she wasn't sure who it was, but that she said that she felt opposition in the room and was being told to pray for the individual who was holding onto something and not giving it to her father. I immediately felt such a conviction in my heart. Could that be me that she was speaking about? I knew there was something in my life that I wasn't giving to Him. I was holding onto it, and it wasn't pretty. I felt as if God was speaking to me right then and there.... "Yes child, she is praying for you. You know what you need to give over to me. I want to take it from you. I want to help you. But you have been stubborn, child."

As I drove home, with the two awake kiddos in the back seat, I began praying out loud to God. Tears streamed down my face as I let go of something I had been holding onto. When I was finished, my little three year old asked me what I was doing. I told her that I was talking to God. I let her know that God is all around us, even though we can't see Him. I told her that we can talk to God anytime about anything. We can tell Him when we are happy. We can talk to Him when we are sad or angry. And I told her that He loves it when we talk to Him. All she said to that was, "Oh."

A few minutes later, she began mumbling and I turned the radio down to hear her. I asked her to repeat what she had said, because I couldn't hear her. What she said in repsonse was soooooo sweet.

"Shhhh..I'm talking to God, Mommy."
I just read a bunch of other contributing posts. How convicted I am this morning as I realize that I have been seriously suffocating lately. All of the posts touched me so much, but there was one that I urge you all to read. Whoever you are...... right now, whether you contribute in these posts or not...whether you are a believer or not...

Sunday, March 4

Psalms Sunday #9

Welcome to Psalms Sunday. Every Sunday we share a little bit about the day's Psalm. You can talk about anything. Was there a verse that spoke to you? Do you have a story to share about the topic of the Psalm? Do you want to tell us what you think the Psalm is saying? Basically, just share what comes to your heart after reading the Psalm. Write your post and then come here to sign Mr. Linky so that we can visit you. It's so wonderful to take this time to share with each other and learn from each other. Plus, it is so enjoyable to venture through the Psalms. We are currently doing the Psalms in order. Today is Psalm 9.

Psalm 9

For the director of music. To the tune of "The Death of the Son." A psalm of David.

1 I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.
2 I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

3 My enemies turn back;
they stumble and perish before you.

4 For you have upheld my right and my cause;
you have sat on your throne, judging righteously.

5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.

6 Endless ruin has overtaken the enemy,
you have uprooted their cities;
even the memory of them has perished.

7 The LORD reigns forever;
he has established his throne for judgment.

8 He will judge the world in righteousness;
he will govern the peoples with justice.

9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.

10 Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

11 Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.

12 For he who avenges blood remembers;
he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted.

13 O LORD, see how my enemies persecute me!
Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,

14 that I may declare your praises
in the gates of the Daughter of Zion
and there rejoice in your salvation.

15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.

16 The LORD is known by his justice;
the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.
Higgaion. [b] Selah

17 The wicked return to the grave, [c]
all the nations that forget God.

18 But the needy will not always be forgotten,
nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.

19 Arise, O LORD, let not man triumph;
let the nations be judged in your presence.

20 Strike them with terror, O LORD;
let the nations know they are but men.

I see a recurring theme in this Psalm.... God, you are good. You do so much. You are my strength. I will always praise you for all that you are. I will share the testimony of what you have done in my life, to all. I praise you, I PRAISE YOU!

And isn't it so easy to have that attitude after God has done something tremendous in our lives? But is it easy to have that attitude at 5:30 A.M. when you know God would like for you to get out of bed and spend some time in His word before you start your day?

That is definitely one way in which I would like to be like David. He knew that He wanted nothing more than to praise God. He knew to rise early and spend that time with Him.

A couple of days ago, my friend, Tiffany, and I talked a little on this very topic. We were discussing how we know that God is always with us, right there next to us always. But because we can't physically see Him, it's easy to get caught up with the distractions of our day. It's so easy to be so very selfish with how we spend our time and how much of it we give to God.

But imagine if He was sitting at your kitchen table at 5:30 A.M. waiting for you to rise out of bed and join Him. Or what if He was knocking repeatedly on your front door? How easy would it be then to throw those covers over your head and go back to sleep?

What if He was standing behind you right now, tapping at your shoulder as you blogged, asking to spend some time with you? Would you tell Him to head on into the other room and leave you be for a moment while you finish up your post?

The thing is, He is always there. The God you want to praise. The God you want to rejoice over. Do you show Him that attitude of praise in your daily life? Or do you tell Him to leave you be while you tend to your day to day activities?

And let me just say that I definitely don't give up enough time to God. When I awake in the morning, my computer is the first thing I turn on. My email is the first thing that I read. But if I saw God as my house guest at my kitchen table as I walked down my stairs in the morning, I know that I would definitely walk right by my computer, sit down next to my house guest and begin yapping. I'd most likely offer Him some breakfast as well. And we'd talk and laugh and sing songs for hours.

Saturday, March 3

My Visual DNA

So, I found this fun little site where there are various categories like....What is your idea of a holiday? What is your vice? What is your ideal bedroom? What is love? Underneath the question, are several pictures. You choose the picture that best fits your answer. You then find out a little about your personality based on your choices.

So below you will find the pictures I chose and some words that describe my personality.

You can go Here to read more about what my answers say about me and my mood, habits and ideas of love and fun. Just click to switch to the notebook view.

Are you here for the party??? Why don't you post your Visual DNA on your blog? Leave a comment if you do, and I'll come visit!

Oh, my hubby did one's his:

Friday, March 2

So, Do You Eavesdrop?

Blog Party post #3

Well, the party has been going on now for almost 15 hours. And there are 6 more days to go. I am glad we have a week for this, because at last check, there were 322 party goers signed up. I have already had the privilege of visiting many parties.
It's been FUN! So, I am a people watcher. I could just sit in a coffee shop or bookstore cafe for hours just watching people. I don't do it to be nosy. I love to observe others. I love to try to figure out what their personalities are like. Are they going through hardships? What are their struggles? What has their day been like so far? And I do listen to conversations too. It just happens when you are observing them.

When I go out to eat with my hubby, I sometimes will catch myself people watching. I will tell my hubby that the people three booths over seem to be having an argument over raising their children. Stuff like that.

So, I have been doing lots of visiting so far and if you are an eavesdropper people watcher like me..and if you had been following me around, you may have heard some of these discussions.

Kristarella and I talked about how we have a habit of driving for awhile when our gas light is on. I am notorious for driving on empty. In fact, a few years ago when I purchased a car, I asked the nice sales gal, who told me she drove the same vehicle, how far I could drive once the gas light came on. She looked a bit shocked that I would ask such a question and informed me that she never lets her car get past a quarter of a tank. Well, I did find out that I could make it almost to work with my gas light on. That's all I needed to know.

Grey's Anatomy and backgammon were the topics of conversation over at Shoshana's We both got hooked on Grey's by watching the DVD sets of the first two seasons. And she loves backgammon. I grew up playing that game with my mom. She has put a desire in me to go out and buy the game and teach it to my hubby.

Dana and I both have similar Disney family vacation traditions. So, that was a fun topic of conversation. She even ripped out some pictures from her most recent visit to The Happiest Place on Earth.

And finally, over at Serendipity Mine the conversation was about blog design and the use of the word, Serendipity. It is one of my favorite words you know.

Well, there are many more parties to visit. And you all are wonderful hosts and hostesses. There have been some tasty treats, some cute videos and some great decorations.

Please come back throughout the week. I promise to do my best to keep it fun.

A Little Mingling

Well, it's Ultimate Blog Party time and I am sure to see some new faces around here. So, I am going to start it off with small talk. To be honest, in actual social settings, I usually don't just start yapping to others about myself. I wait to be approached. I act shy, but I'm really not. So, let's see. Well, I am a wife and mommy. I am a whopping 27 years old. I always told myself that I wouldn't feel old until I reached 28. So, I have one more year to be young, I guess. HA! I have a three year old little girl who can make me crazy and then make me melt in a matter of seconds. And I have an almost eight month old little boy who has the most contagious, delightful smile.

I enjoy scrapbooking, but don't do it nearly enough. I am currently up to my three year old's sixth month of life in her scrapbook. So, I have a ways to go. I haven't even started my boy's yet.

I love, LOVE anything sweet. My absolute favorite dessert is chocolate mousse cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. The nearest Cheesecake Factory is about an hour away. So, I don't get to go much anymore. Before we moved to our current state, there was one pertty darn close to me. But I discovered recently that they sell my favorite Cheesecake from CF at the Target right by my house. So, every now and then I treat myself to it.....It's DIVINE!!

My favorite movie is Roman Holiday. I just adore Audrey Hepburn. I am a huge fan of hers....and especially for the heart she had. She was an incredible woman. And I am sadly hooked on television. Right now my favorite shows are Grey's Anatomy, 24 and The Office. I also watch Heroes and Lost as well. But I wouldn't consider myself a huge fan of either one of those shows.

I currently stay at home and make some money by running a day care out of my house. It tends to be quite stressful most days. Before staying at home, I worked at several Title Companies for a total of seven years. I actually enjoyed that industry although it was very stressful. It was all so fast-paced, and I loved that. I have been going to school for an eternity now to get a degree in Psychology. I think I will be a Junior in college for a very long time. Lately, though, I have been considering changing my major to Elementary Education. I have also realized lately that I have a knack for and enjoy web design very much. So, I am considering possibly going that route as well. I'd like to be working again in about two years or so.

Let's see...what else? I am quite a night owl. I don't seem to get my energy until about 4:00 P.M. I fall asleep most nights after midnight and have a really hard time waking up at 6:00 A.M. I love Pepsi, and drink way too much of it.

I love to sing. I have a guitar, but still don't know how to play it. It sits in my living room in its case just waiting to be loved on. Everyday I think about picking it up and learning some chords, but then I occupy myself with something else, like this here blog for instance.

Well, that's it for tonight's small talk. I will post party type posts all week long, becuse I'd like to milk this party for all it's worth.

Be sure to check out 5 Minutes For Mom for more party posts. And I'll be back here tomorrow with some more party fun.

Good night!

Thursday, March 1

Yep, It's A Party

Well, I am getting all decorated for the festivities. They start tomorrow and go on for a week. It should be a fun time. I will be adding some party music soon, so you may want to turn up..or turn down those speakers. :o)

Ultimate Blog Party