Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jesse's room

So I love to read blogs and I found Kelly's site about 3 months ago and I love to read it. Every Friday she does "Show us where you live"! It's basically a tour of different rooms in your home. Well this Friday was nurseries or kid's rooms. I wanted to do this one because I love my son Jesse's room. He is my fourth...and last...sniff, sniff... and I really wanted to do a fun room. My other nurseries always had a theme, but I never actually painted their walls. We have always kinda been in transition so I wasn't comfortable painting. Well, I know we are not going anywhere for a while so I jumped on the chance to pick up a paintbrush. With the help of Ric, my best buddy Steph, and mother-in-law(have I mentioned she is a fabulous artist)...we tackled the project about a month before my little man came home....and I love the result! Enjoy the tour:)

This is a view from the door...his room was supposed to be a storage room...the reason there is no closet...but we made it his room after we found out we were pregnant. We do have a double bed in here for guests to sleep in and it will soon be Jesse's big boy bed!

Future big boy bed with pictures hanging above it that I made!! The quilt is from Pottery Barn Kids(love that store) but I don't put it on his bed because it is a pain to have to wash!!

This is his bed with his name above it...I painted wood letters and stuck them to the wall...the bedding is Pottery Barn Kids...and the bed...just plain old. All four of my babies slept in it and needless to say it is falling apart. It is broken in two places...thank goodness he only has a few more months in it!!

I love the writing on his walls. My husband helped paint the yellow border then my friend Stephanie and I hand painted the wording...with a little help from an overhead projector! It was a long process...but we had fun doing it.

Pull toy my mom bought about 14 years ago in hopes that one of her grand kids would have a George room! Thanks Mom!!!

Shelf above his dresser that holds some old shoes, his bible from my mom and his dedication, and that is my hand print from when I was a baby!

His mom made the sweet little blue bear..she is so crafty!

George flying mother-in-law painted this for me! I love it and spent many a hour sitting in the rocking chair(that has been in all four nurseries) looking at it. Jesse loves it!!

This was the inspiration for the room...a music "box" that my mom also bought about 14 years ago...she really wanted grand kids and now she has 9!!!

One of the pictures I made. I bought cheap wal mart frames and spray painted them...I hand painted the mats in the frame and then framed a picture from an old book. Super easy and super cheap and I love the way they all look!

Why do I love this room so much you ask??? Because of this little buddy right here. Even when he cries!!!

Because I know there will also be smiles!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Playground Preacher

As I wrote yesterday's post it brought a great memory to my mind. One day about a month or so ago, Charlie got in the car after school and he was so excited. He proceeded to tell me that he had preached to his friends at recess and that he had "gotten a bunch of 'em saved". He said that he and his little friend AJ had sat down their class and preached to them. I smiled and told him that I was so proud of him for sharing with his friends. He started rattling off names of the kids that had gotten saved that afternoon....I am not sure I had ever seen him more excited about something before. His eyes had a fire and light in that had never been there. He felt the excitement and joy that comes along with sharing Christ and seeing people respond.

The next morning Ric had dropped the kids off at school and had walked them in that morning. One of the ladies that works in the office told Ric that her daughter had come home and told her that "Charlie Blazi had saved her yesterday and that she needed to get baptized". Ric found out that not only had he shared the gospel with them, but he had told his friends that they needed to get baptized....that he "would have done it on the playground...but I didn't have any water". That seriously made me laugh. Charlie had tried to baptize himself in the bathtub one night after church several years ago...he told me that "if you and Daddy aren't gonna let me do it at church, then I will do it myself"....and yes he said this very matter of factly. Obviously my lesson on baptism being one of the ordinances of the church didn't stick with him that day:)!!

We heard from lots of kids parents over the next few weeks talk about how their son or daughter had come home and told them that they had been saved on the playground that day. Were any of them??? I don't know, but what I do know is that Charlie was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. That he understood that his friends needed Jesus just as much as he did. That it didn't matter where he was, that he had the right to share. That if they did get saved that they needed to be baptized. That some people will reject you when you of his sweet little friends sweetly told him that she "just didn't know about all of that"...and that is ok. He had been obedient and that was all that mattered.

What did I learn that day and the weeks that followed??? That I seriously need to have faith like my kids. A faith that is not afraid, ashamed, or limited because I know that God is with me...all the time. Just like my kids are not afraid when Mommy or Daddy are around....I shouldn't be scared because I know HE is with me. I want to be bold...just like Charlie was that day. A 7 year old little boy, gathered his friends up on the playground...had them all sit down...and then shared the most important message of all. That Jesus saves. I pray that I would have courage like him to tell people about Jesus wherever, whenever, and however I could. I thank God that He first and foremost saved Charlie and that he also gave him a burden to see people saved. May that never be quenched by this crazy world. God is good all the time. All the time God is good!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

School's out for SUMMER

We had a great weekend!! Friday was the last day of school for the kids and boy were they excited. I think I was just as excited as they were. I love for my kids to be at home with me...even though the noise level is out of the's usually a good noise. A noise that says we are here...we are alive...we are having fun...and God is good!

Addie graduated from Kindergarten and was just the cutest little graduate ever. Her class sang songs and there was a slide show and then she received her diploma. It was in grand style and I relished in every second of it. No thanks to my crummy camera, but I did capture a few photos from the big day. I stayed up until about 1:30 making her a cake...I loved making it. It was a lot of fun to do it...almost therapeutic. She loved it and wanted to take it to school to share with all of her buddies. It was the first cake I made by myself like this so I was pretty stoked with the results. She has learned so much this year and has just taken everything in stride. She is a bright girl with a flair for anything artistic or crafty. She is a great artist and I believe one day she may have paintings being sold for bunches of money:) or teaching kids how to paint. Either one would be ok with me.

Charlie finished first grade and at his awards ceremony received one of the the awards for most improved reader. He went from let's just say struggling to reading at a 3rd grade level. He scored a perfect score of 920 on his CRCT ( a standardized test that kids here in Georgia have to take) and I about fell out in the floor the day I read that. He has learned so much this year and had an awesome teacher that I just adore. I am so proud of how far he has come! Not only is he a good student but a caring, sweet boy that looks out for his friends and stands for things that are right. I love that about him.

We got to spend time with family in Griffin on Saturday and had a blast down there. Charlie loved hanging with his cousin Jonathan and doing all things boy. The girls loved hanging with the other girls who are so cute and sweet. Addie loved her cousin Katie who is 11...going on 20. Very mature little young lady. SO sweet and good with the kids. Jesse just liked to swing on the swing with Nana and Punky Sue. Punky Sue made a strawberry salad that was to die for and I will definitely be getting that recipe.

My mom was here the whole time and we just had a great time with her. She is truly a blessing...I wish we lived closer to them. We enjoyed Nana being here and the kids hated for her to leave and go home. I think that every time she visits it gets harder when she leaves. I want my kids to be around my family all the time. The fact that we see them on a limited basis just plum stinks. In my perfect world we would live about 10 minutes from them and eat Sunday lunch together and I would be able to invite my mom over for coffee in the mornings and my dad could play catch with Charlie in the front yard in the evenings with the sun going down. Perfection!!

Another year has come and gone...way too fast. I realize that my kids won't be little forever and that they grow up faster than I would like. I am excited about the process of this, yet sad at the same time. I know that in a few years Charlie will be totally embarrassed if I try to kiss him when he gets out of the car at car rider line. That he would rather eat dirt than hear me yell "I love you" out of the window as he walks into school. I know that Addie will one day not care about pig tails and purple and reading Junie B. Jones books with me. As sad as those things are...I have lots to look forward to and I will try to hang onto the child in them as long as I can!!

God has truly been good to us this year at school. Not only did our kids learn, but we formed some life long relationships with people along the way. I can not say enough about their teachers. They were just wonderful, Godly ladies that I just adore. I praise Him for giving our little school, people who are not ashamed of their faith and allow my children to share their faith.
Charlie went with Ric to the Georgia Baptist Convention last fall and got an EvangeCube .
He wanted to take it to school the next day to share with his friends. Most teachers would not allow a student to stand up and give a complete gospel presentation....but Charlie's did. Praise God for teachers who don't stifle a child's passion.

Whew...that was a lot of info. Hopefully we will be headed to the pool this afternoon. Come on Summer!!!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Passion for their purity!!!!

Wow…this morning I took the kids to school and to get a cup of coffee and as I was driving home this song came on. I don't get to listen to music in my car a whole lot because I am either talking to the kids or Nemo is playing. I know I have "heard" this song but I never truly listened to the words. It seriously brought chills to my arms and tears to my eyes. Anyone who knows me…knows that I have a huge heart and passion for purity in the youth of today. I love to teach teenagers and their parents what God's plan truly is for them in the area of their purity. So many teach "don't have sex" but forget the other areas that encompass purity. This song covers so many of these areas.

I want today's youth to see that they are beautiful, just the way they are. That our daughters…sisters…nieces…grandchildren don't have to live up to a certain standard that our society has set. They don't have to be tall, thin, blonde, etc. to be considered beautiful. That they don't have to starve themselves for someone to like them or even love them. God looks at the heart, as so should we.

1Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For [the LORD] does not [see] as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

We place way too much emphasis on outer beauty and forget that who we are in Christ should be first and foremost. Young girls today are so much more likely to "give in" to immorality when they aren't confident in who they are in Christ. When they don't see themselves as a precious jewel. We need them to understand that they are beautiful….because of whose they are.

I want today's youth to see that they don't have to give their body's away to anyone. Even more importantly than that….I want them to realize that they shouldn't give their hearts away either. You see, I was the girl that gave my heart away over and over again. The memories are there….even though some have faded they are still there. Brought on by a song, a place I go, a smell….you name it. I read a book a few years before I met my husband that changed my dating life. I had just been dumped by the guy that I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with….I was so broken and beaten down and knew that God had a better plan than mine…and a better way for me to lead my dating life then the way I had been doing it. In the book the writer talked about guarding your heart and keeping it for your mate…he said to imagine on your wedding day that everyone you had ever given your heart too was standing behind you at the ceremony. They held pieces of your heart that could never be given back. I remember sitting in my room and praying more earnestly than I ever had that God would do that. That He would guard and keep my heart until I met my husband. And guess what….He did!

I want today's youth to know that God can still use them…even if they have already messed up. That God, and only God, can take those things away and wipe their slate clean. That even though there will be consequences for those sins, that God can still bring them to a better place. That He can bless their lives and use them in an unreal way for His Glory.

I want today's youth to see that God has a plan for them…a purpose for them…a path for them. I pray that purity is important to the youth that I teach…that they take what God's Word says about purity and apply it to their lives. I hope that my daughter's will learn this from me and that I would be able to not only say it with my mouth, but that I would live out loud for them!

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don’t buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Tighten our Church"

When our oldest child was born, Ric and I decided that we wanted to try to pray as a family every night. I can honestly say that we have done a decent job with that. It is important to us and also to our kids. As they grew older we began doing a family devotion with them or reading scripture. Recently we have started to go through a new book with the kids that great friends of ours, Jarrod and Courtney Everson, recommended. It is called Big Truths for Little Kids. It is stories and catechisms, which are basically questions that teach basic truths of the Christian faith to your children. Questions about God…the Bible…the Trinity….Jesus…well you see where I am going. Needless to say they are awesome and our kids are not only learning the answers, which have to be said word for word, but they are getting an unreal understanding for God. I am right there with them learning the answers and yes, they beat me to punch more times than not. It is amazing the things that little ones can not only learn but retain!

After we go through the catechisms and story, we then pray as a family. Each kid prays (except Jesse), followed by me and then Ric. It is such a great time for us and I am absolutely loving it. I love to hear the prayers of my children. Sometimes they have more insight on things than me(yes I know that is hard to believe with me being so smart and all….not)! They love to pray for our family, friends, protection over their sleep and dreams(which Charlie always prays because he gets scared at night), teachers, and really whatever else comes to their minds that night.

About 3 or 4 nights ago Shelby had started us off and she was praying for all of her usual things...Nana, Popa, Jesse, Nemaw, Pops, Addie, Charlie, Sadie(our dog), Georgia(the cat that is seriously on it's last leg with me) and then she prayed this "God….would you tighten our church". God immediately brought a lump to my throat at those words. How does a three year old know that our church needs to be tightened? How does she know that all churches, including ours, need unity and that it should be prayed for? I don't know, but God used her to show me that I need to be praying that faithfully, even more now. He showed me that right now, we need to be tightened. I began to think of the word tighten and so many things came to my mind.

I have recently been working to get the rest of this baby weight off (yes, I know you all don't care about my weight loss…just bare with me) and I noticed I had to tighten my belt the other day. Why did I have to do that? Well, first and foremost so my pants don't fall off…and well, just so that I felt secure and cinched in! Just like I have to tighten my belt so I don't lose my pants….we as a church have to tighten things up too so we don't lose anyone…so that no one falls to the wayside…so that we are focused on one purpose...unified. I think we need to feel secure in our churches…that we need to be cinched in. I also thought about the many times as a kid that my brother would tie my sled to the back of the three wheeler so that he could drag me through the snow. One thing we always did was make sure that rope was super tight! Why did we do that? So that I wouldn't go flying across the field out of control(which I did on several occasions). Sometimes the rope that is pulling us starts to come undone and we find ourselves getting out of control. When we are cinched in…tightened….we are closer to each other, thus making it harder to fall down, to the wayside, or just simply out of control. We are one body…serving one purpose…and that is plainly to Glorify our God in ALL things! We know what all means….all means all 'cause that's all that all can mean!!!

I am so grateful to God that He uses my kids to teach me things, to humble me, and to strengthen my prayer life. That He shows me things that make me want to walk closer with Him. I most of all am grateful that our children pray and that they have been developing a prayer life, that now at 3, 6 and 7, is consistent.

I pray today that our church " would be tightened" so snugly that we can't help but to grow and increase, individually and corporately!

Last night my husband had the honor of being dunked into a big tank of nasty jello and water for our Awana kids. Each kid got to throw a ball for every five sections that they had said since January. Needless to say the kids were stoked to be able to finally get Bro. Ric! I think some of the adults were pretty stoked too!

The evening air was cold, the jello/water mess was freezing, and the kids were accurate. I had some mercy on my poor husband because he was, to say the least....miserable! Jesse didn't like it one bit...he cried the first time Ric went under. I don't know if it was because the kids all screamed or what, but he just fell apart. Shelby had been dying to throw a ball at her Daddy and to get him in. When she hit the target and he went in....she didn't like it too much either. She must be like her Momma and just have mercy oozing out of her:) Charlie and Addie loved it and thought it was so cool to not only hit the target but the outcome of hitting that target!!!

We stood and watched for a long time. Shelby was so quiet about it all and I wasn't sure what she was thinking. I found out this morning though! We were talking at breakfast about it with all the kids and how fun it was. Shelby just sat there and then she said...." Those teenagers cheated Mommy....they knocked Daddy in with their hands. They didn't throw the ball....they cheated!" You see, the seniors in our youth group were standing behind the tank and any time Ric wasn't looking they would run by and hit the button from the backside to dunk him. They thought it was hilarious! Shelby....not so much. She was really bothered that they were "cheating"! Even though it was all done in good fun, and my husband didn't mind the seniors doing it.....Shelby wasn't happy about the rules being broken.

I realized a couple of things this morning from her...that first, little eyes are watching. Yes, our children watch us and so do our peers. They see how we react when things are going great and when things are falling apart around us. They see how we treat one another and how we speak. They hear the words that come out of our mouths....but more importantly than hearing the words, they see our actions. They watch where we go, what we listen to, what we watch on TV, and yes...they watch to see if we break the rules. Because of that, I should strive to live so Godly that my children and those around me would see that God is real in my life. That I do the things I do, not for an outward show, but that I want to honor God. I should do those things more importantly, because God sees everything. He knows my heart, my thoughts, and my motives.

The second thing I learned from Little Miss Thing this morning is that if we have to break the rules to get the same outcome as someone else....than it's cheating. Just like those seniors...the outcome was Ric falling in nasty water...but what they did to get that outcome was different than the ones who worked hard to hit the target with the ball. The same thing should apply to my life. Nothing in life comes without hard work...nothing I do for Christ comes without putting in some effort. I hope I don't take the shortcuts in life that are offered to me, and I know that they will be. I pray that I would do things the right, God honoring way...even if it takes a little more effort.

Deuteronomy 11:18-20 "Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Be careful little eyes what you see

It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings

Be careful little feet where you go

For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

Be careful little ears what you hear

When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near

Be careful little lips what you say

For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

Oh be careful little eyes what see

For the Father up above is looking down in love

Oh be careful little eyes what you see

(words are from Slow Fade by Casting Crowns)