Monday, December 7, 2009

God has all authority.

When we were in Arkansas for the Global Impact Conference one of the speakers was Walker Moore with Awe Star Ministries.

Here is the podcast of his message and it was exactly what I needed to hear. God Has All Authority.

When we got to Jonesboro we realized that we had a problem with the power cord on our laptop. I called Dell tech support and they said they would send us a new power cord, too Texas in about a week. That really didn't help us while we were at the conference. We were planning to run powerpoint from our computer for our display. We had been talking about getting a second laptop for the church and decided that this would be a good time to do. Tim went to BestBuy and bought us another laptop and we were able to use the power supply with both computers. While in BestBuy Tim talked with the manager and found out his brother lived in our area of Texas. Isn't that interesting.

When we got back to Texas we had a new family at church that had several children. Last night they came to our Open Door with the pastor event at the house. Super neat family, they homeschool, have great kids (seven of them) and they are from Arkansas. His brother is the manager of BestBuy in Jonesboro, Ar.

Isn't it neat that God has all authority over even computer equipment.

Want to read another episode of Jesus sightings? Check out CPQ's blog post jesus-loves-me and while you are there hang out a little while and browse her other posts, she has some great ones.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jesse Tree Advent ornaments

This is a sneak peek at a few of the ornaments in the Jesse Tree Swap I just completed.

Fiery Furnance


Light "Jesus is the Light of the world"

Wheat "Ruth and Boaz"

Dove and Crown "Prince of Peace"

Monday, November 9, 2009

Jesse Tree Advent Ornaments

I love Christmas and we like to start the celebrating, decorating early in the Fowler household.

One of my favorite traditions with the boys is a the Jesse Tree. Now I had never heard of this until about 5 years ago. It was mentioned on a parenting forum I am on and it has become a favorite around here.

A Jesse Tree represents the family tree of Jesus and tells the story of salvation from Creation in Genesis through the Old Testament until the coming of the baby Jesus. It is a beautiful way for us to focus during the holiday season on the true meaning of Christmas.

We use this book of devotionals The Advent Jesse Tree . I like it because they are written for both adults and children, there are hymn options and scripture readings. It has 25 devotions so we do one every day during December.

After we read the devotional the boys take turns adding an ornament that represents the scripture to the tree. When we first started this someone on the parenting board suggested that we do a swap for the ornaments. We each agreed to do a certain ornament (or two) and then we made 25 of the same ornament. We sent them to one person and they sorted them and then we got back a box of 25 different ornaments. It was lovely to see the different ornaments that everyone made and how creative they were. It makes a lovely addition to our tree every year and there are a few favorites.

So what are your favorite holiday traditions. What do your kids look forward too? Do you do a Jesse Tree or some similar Advent tradition? I am hoping to share some other neat traditions in the days to come.

This week I will upload photos of our Jesse Tree ornaments for a new swap I am hosting. Come back and take a look.

Monday, November 2, 2009

We have a bouncing baby CHURCH!

Yesterday we grand opened Church @ Skyline Valley. I will be posting photos in a few days, when I get some from the missions team that was here. (I will admit I was going crazy and did not even remember to get my camera out.)

We have an unofficial count of 125 in attendance. We had a missions team from Central Baptist Church and In His Steps Church in Arkansas helping this weekend. They passed out flyers on Saturday and then helped us host a block party. Sunday morning they were on the front lines, helping with set up/tear down, greeting, and working with the children. We could not have pulled this off with out this mission team. They were such a blessing. We had 23 in our children's programs yesterday so I have a feeling we are going to be busting at the seams soon next week.

I am amazed that over three years ago we were in Copperas Cove meeting with a group of pastors that had a heart to start a church here. I don't understand God's plan. I am humbled that God allows me to be a part of that plan. I can't wait to see what happens in the days ahead.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, M&Ms and Science?

I enjoy homeschooling. Then there are days when it is just so much fun that I can't imagine doing anything else. We had a small break while family was visiting (and I need to post those pictures too) so this week we really had to get back to "real" schoolwork.

But several months ago I found this fun activity to do using the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle. Since Will loves that book I printed out and laminated the sheets for the activity but we never got around to doing it. This week I bought the M&Ms and gave the boys the sheets and they loved it (chocolate, what's not to love?).

They had one sheet that they laid the M&Ms on by color. Then the older boys had another sheet that they used to tally the number of M&Ms by color. Then the best part...they got to eat them. I think I won a cool mom teacher award to for this little science classification project.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Josiah James

Grief comes in many stages and long after you think you are done grieving you will fill the tears rush to your eyes and the hand constrict your heart as you remember.

I have posted previously about what I gained and lost when we gave birth to Josiah. This week I was reminded that even 11 years after the fact that my soul still grieves.

In the days, weeks and months that passed after we lost Josiah, grief literally flooded my soul much like a tidal wave. It would wash over me until there was nothing left. Even though my faith in God remained there was little to my spiritual life. I had no emotional energy it was like the grief had washed all the excess out to sea and it left me very raw and even barren.

As time passed the grief would still come but it seemed a little less in a way. Then last year as I dealt with some issues in my life it felt like the tidal wave was back again. It left me raw and emotionally barren. This year I have noticed that the grief still comes but it is a little softer. There is less rawness and more longing. Maybe that isn’t exactly right, I am still raw. I still deal with emotions that ride underneath the surface of my life. It seems I am more sensitive to certain things and more callous to others. But the under current isn’t rawness it is longing.

I long for the day when my family will be complete. I long for the day when I will finally after all these years get to hold and rock my baby. I long to see his face and know him. I long to see him perfected and whole not to erase the memories of his imperfection but to know he is finally complete.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Yearly photos

Since we homeschool and don't have school photos taken every year and I found that I couldn't get the boys to a photo place regularly, I started have my mil take pictures of the boys. (She does a professional job and works for cute smiles!)

W, don't let the smile fool you, he is a stinker.

J starting K this year.

E is doing 2nd grade work this year.

G in 4th grade. This will be his fifth year homeschooling.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Grocery Spending Challenge

I found this challenge listed on another blog and decided that this would be a good challenge for me to do. I am planning to keep the amount at $75 a week for everything we would normally buy with cash. This doesn't include gas because we use a refillable gift card for that. But I am including anything else we do groceries, toiletries, eating out, Sonic runs, all the rest.

This week was interesting. I went to Walmart on Monday and bought groceries. I decided to use this month to eat out of our pantry and freezer so my spending is a lot less than normal.

Tuesday Tim needed something from Sam's so we all went and we fed the boys lunch there. On the way he stopped at the Christian bookstore and found a book that he needed for church so that was an extra expense. On the way home we stopped at another Christian bookstore to pick up some things for the church and he also bought the boys a new dvd.

Thursday I had to return some things to Hobby Lobby and I ended up finding a Christmas present for family on sale so I picked it up but it was less than my return.

I sent Tim to Sonic one day for diet dr. pepper and he took the boys so that was an added expense and he also had a meeting one day at Burger King so he bought drinks that day also

Here is the breakdown for the week...

Walmart $26.71
Sam's $15.96
Hobby Lobby $14.51
Lifeway $15.43
Walmart $ 8.56
Family $17.30
Sonic $ 5.00
Burger King $ 2.00

total spent was 105.47 but the return to Hobby Lobby brings it down to 90.33. We were over by 15.33

If we hadn't taken t.he boys with us on the trip to Sam's then we would have been easily under the $75.

At the end of the week, I am out of coffee creamer, we are out of milk for cereal and all snack foods. I still have quite a bit of food in the freezer we can use and our pantry isn't in terrible shape. We still have apples and oranges but I imagine those will be gone by tomorrow. So we have pretty much gone through all the fresh stuff that I bought this week.

I am trying to decide if I can wait until Tuesday to go to the grocery store. I hate to go on a holiday because it will be crowded.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Our first week of school...

completed! We finished our first week of school and it was a good week.

We learned about maps and globes this week. We are using a combination of MFW Kindergarten and Exploring Countries and Cultures and just for fun we are throwing in books from Winterpromise Children Around the World and Animal Worlds.

This was J's first week of school and he was a champ. We spent this week doing assessments and reviewing different skills. The first two weeks of My Father's World K studies the story of Creation so that is what we focused on in our Bible time. We learned what God made on the first four days of Creation.

For language arts, J started using Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. I have used this with both G and E and love the systematic approach to reading and phonics. J learned the first four lines in the "The Five Vowels" this week

A is the first vowel we will say.
/a/ is the short-vowel sound of a.
E is the next vowel, don't you see?
/e/ is the short-vowel sound of e.
I is the third vowel that goes by.
/i/ is the short-vowel sound of i.
O is the fourth vowel that I know.
/o/ is the short-vowel sound of o.

For ECC we all read There's a Map in My Lap, People, Maps and Mapping, Geography A to Z and Maps and Globes. G and E both made vocabulary cards using the map and geography books and they copied different writing styles from the book People. These will go in a lapbook that we are going to make next week about our intro to geography.

Today we did a fun experiment with an orange to see why it is hard to make a flat map of the earth.

Drawing the continents on an orange.

Trying to make the orange peel a "flat" map.

Snack time.

A car wash to end the week.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Our first day of school with school pictures.

We started school today. Here is J hard at work on drawing his Creation picture and writing his name.

E working on phonics/spelling.

G and W playing with the tot book games I made for Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you see?

This is something new I am trying this year. I have found two sites that have lots of fun activities that work with different children's books. W loves Brown Bear, Brown Bear Tot Books has lots of cute ideas on making "tot books" which are a spin off of lapbooks. I modified this so that I made the individual parts of the "tot book" but decided to just keep them stored in library pockets for now. I may change my mind in the future and actually make a "tot book" but it worked better today for me to be able to give W an individual activity rather than all of them at once.

These are the individual games that I made for the books. As you can see, W wasn't the only one that enjoyed these activities.

J was playing with the "head and tail matching game" and came up with making funny animals, like a "cat fish" and a "flying fish". He has a vivid imagination!

Another site I love is Making Learning Fun I downloaded the M&M Sorting mat and also made the "I Spy" bottle for Brown Bear, Brown Bear. W wasn't as impressed with the "I Spy" bottle and we haven't used the M&M mat because I forgot to pick up M&M's at the store.

Overall we had a good first day of school. The boys did great and I figured out I have to do a better job of planning when they will do certain things since I had several incidents of all of them needing my help at the same time. I spent some time this afternoon working on a schedule so hopefully they will be able to rotate working with me and working independently. We will see how that works out tomorrow.

I am hoping to post there "school" pictures Grammy took later this week and also to post pictures of my Craigslist couch score that I am giving a makeover. Lots of fun things going on at our house right now.

A Makeover

We scored a couch and love seat off Craigslist. We needed extra seating in our living area so when I saw these for the right price, we grabbed them.

I didn't care for the pattern on the pillows and starting looking online for covers for them. The cheapest ones I could find were $25/each. I just couldn't see spending more on the covers than I did on the set. As I searched the web for a solution I came across this site.

A Soft Place to Land

I really like the idea of "no sew" since my machine hasn't seen the light of day in over 10 years (except when my parents come and my dad does routine maintenance on it). I stopped at Hobby Lobby and bought material and got it home and realized that I miscalculated the yardage. I didn't have enough to do the pillow with the "fringe". Then I decided OK how hard can it be to sew a square? I finished the first one and worst part was finishing the last seam.

I bought more fabric and then I found this site

Cottage Magpie

I thought this would be a little easier and I like that the cover will be removable. (You never no when or why you will have to wash something around here.)

So I made my second pillow, It actually looks a lot better than the first (which I am not redoing). I also found this dragonfly print and decided to cover the accent pillows with it.

Before photo of the love seat...

And after...

I love the way it looks and I am enjoying the extra seating in our living room now. I have five more cushions to cover and digging through my sewing supplies unearth fabric for a quilt that I bought years ago. I am putting the pieces together for it also. It will look great in our school room on our reading chair in there.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Barnabas Experience - A Wife's Perspective

Ministry can be a lonely experience. There are days, weeks and even months that can fly by when you feel like no one understands (or dare I even say, cares) what you are living through.

This weekend Ron and Teddi Sylvia, Church @ the Springs and their staff proved that we don’t stand alone during this journey. In June, Tim received an email invite to a Barnabas Experience Weekend. We discussed it and decided pretty quickly that this was something we wanted to be involved in.

We arrived in Ocala, Florida on Friday night and were met by our host family and unpacked for the beginning of this weekend. On the trip down we discussed what we thought would happen during this weekend experience. Even though I am a natural extrovert, I told Tim that I didn’t want to have to share/discuss much this weekend. This past year has been difficult and there are lots of emotions that ride close to the surface and sharing those emotions, fears and doubts are hard.

We met together Friday night at Ron and Teddi’s house with twelve couples and staff from Church @ the Springs. We ate and visited with other couples and began to unpack what this weekend would look like and what we would experience.

Saturday morning we got up and met together. Ron started that day by sharing his vision and purpose behind hosting this event. It became clear that he has poured his heart into this event. He shared that there were over 160 applicants for this weekend experience from around the world. As we sat around the table with 11 other couples, my first thought was “Why us?” My second thought was how honored we were to be invited to this weekend. As we went around the table and shared it was apparent that while our stories were all different, the one thing that each couple brought to this weekend was the need for encouragement. We were all in different aspects of ministry. Our churches were at different growth levels. We had been in ministry for different lengths of time and we represented different age demographics. Everyone sitting at the table had faced some type of struggle; personal, ministerial, or spiritual (and some of us had faced all three).

We sat that morning and began to see Ron’s heart and we began to share our hearts. There were hearts that were broken and bruised and tears began to flow as God began to minister in our lives. As our stories came out it was apparent that we had shared stories in many ways. We had all struggled with issues that whether they were related to our ministries or not affected our ministries. As you looked around and the room it was filled with broken people who had a heart for God and the work that He is doing.

As we continued through the weekend it wasn’t about what we were learning (although we did learn a lot), it was about realizing that we don’t stand alone in our lives or our ministry. There are people who care about what we are doing and maybe most importantly “how” we are doing. I heard people speak into our life in a way that will continue to positively impact our ministry for years to come. I walked away knowing that God is moving and that we are privileged to be apart of that movement.

If you want to see a small part of what we got to experience this weekend check out, if you are a church planter and on twitter follow Ron Sylvia, if you are given the opportunity to attend a Barnabas Experience, book your flight, get a baby sitter, make all the necessary arrangements because it will change you. I know that we will never be the same. We will never again be alone on this journey.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

He Still Calls Me Beautiful

A couple of years ago we were at the church and I was working on something and Tim called across the room “Beautiful, I have the boy’s coats.” I turned and answered him and it was later when I realized that I didn’t question who was calling or that he was talking to me. I realized that he calls me Beautiful a lot.

Tim and I have been married nineteen years today. In the past nineteen years we have lived in ten states. We have helped start three churches. We have four boys here and two in heaven. We have been through a lot together. We have both grown and changed. I am different than I was nineteen years ago.

But through all of this the man I love and chose to commit my life to nineteen years ago STILL calls me Beautiful. I am blessed. I can’t wait to see what the next nineteen years hold. I love you, Tibs.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New School Room

This year G and E will be studying My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures. We are all excited about this great program and the year we will have learning about different countries,cultures and missionaries.

J will be doing My Father's World Kindy and we are both excited about this. This is the first time I am using a formal K program. In the past I have put together my own K program and I must say that this looks to be a very fun year.

One of the things that I love about My Father's World is the way they integrate the Bible into every core program they offer. Another thing we love is the mission emphasis. This company truly has a heart for missions. A portion of every direct sale goes to support Bible translation. It is hard to imagine not having a Bible in my own language. I mean really how many Bibles do you have in your house? We have Bibles in several different translations. What would it be like to not have a Bible you could read in your own native language? My Father's World supports God's Word for the nations and you can even directly support certain translation projects. Bible Translation

So you can see we are really excited about our year. I finally decided to convert our guest room into a school room. I have been cleaning and organizing it so that we will be able to start school at the end of August. Here is where we will be doing most of our work.

We moved a table in and we added our world map. I have a couple of things for J that will go up behind the door (calendar, letter chart and number chart).

On the other side of the room, we have our TV and Wii. One bookcase holds DVDs and videos and the other one holds school books for this year.

The closet is our storage area. I am working on having more "centers" available for different things. On the left is a multi drawer cart where I am keeping supplies. In the basket on top of the cart is a writing center. I have mini chalk boards, chalk, aqua doodle, dry erase boards and markers. All of this is mainly for J and W to practice handwriting. I am hoping we can use this during times when I need to be working one on one with the older boys. On the top shelf I am keeping all our markers, colored pencils, color wonder makers and crayons. The next shelf has a box for each boy to keep any of their private stuff in. There are two boxes with various types of card games and then there is our box of construction/colored paper.

The next shelf has math centers. One is our box of MUS blocks. The other box has our clock, flash cards and coin counting books. There is also a file box with different file folder games for all the boys.

The bottom shelf has a science box which is pretty sad right now (has our supplies for planting in it). I want to put together a couple of individual boxes one with magnifying glasses and things to look at. Then a second with measuring tools and things to measure. The red box has our Leap Frog fridge phonics set. The rest is our phonics/handwriting manipulative's. We have textured letters in a little chalkboard box, Handwriting Without Tears wooden pieces, alphabet bingo, flashcards, letter blocks, and a box of games that go with Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching

Beside this is my file box which has each a folder for each of the themes for both K and ECC. This is where I am putting everything that we will be using during the year. I also have a resource box that I hope to be able to use with all of them for fun extra things to do. I especially tried to put together things for J and W to do while I was working with the older boys individually. I have been printing and putting together different file folder games and I think this will make it an especially fun year.

This is quickly becoming my favorite room in the house. I am on the hunt for a comfy chair because I know we are going to do lots of fun reading this year. This was already our international room. We have things from all over the world in it. The batik behind the TV is from West Africa, baskets from Africa and Peru, knights from Poland, boomerang from Australia, turtle from Morocco, and water bottle from Israel. So I am anticipating a fun year exploring the world and learning more about God and His mission as well as missionaries on the journey.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Organized Chaos

I have an online friend Heather is calling her homeschool "School of Order and Chaos" and today I spent the day trying to bring order to some of our homeschool chaos.

We are planning to use My Father's World for both Kindy (J) and Exploring Countries and Cultures (E and G). So today I spent the day organizing my files for MFW K. I have a file for each week and in it I am putting all the things that have to do with that week. I still have some work to do on these but they are coming along nicely. I have gone through most of my files and school resources to find things that fit with the themes for the week. I was amazed at how much we have and at how much fun I think it will be.

I have been looking at the idea of workboxes but I am not so sure that idea is going to work for us. I am still reading and trying to wrap my mind around it. One thing the idea has inspired me to do is actually relocate all our misc homeschooling material into one area. My reasoning is that if it is in one area then I will be able to get to it and it will make planning easier. So I spent a part of today pulling out the various manipulative's that I have for each subject and grouping them together and then trying to figure out the best area to store to them. I am still working on that. We are contemplating turning our guest bedroom (with no bed) into a school room. I am just not sure how that is going to work. So I am still thinking.

I will try to post some photos once I get it all settled in place.

Friday, July 10, 2009

10 on the 10th

10 of my favorite things in my house...

This is the chair in my living room, I love the chair but I really love the quilt which my Grandmother made when we got married. The pillow is from a dear friend in Alabama. I love them both.

This is beside my front door. It is my Granny's sewing machine. It is an old singer and still works great. My Granny was a great seamstress and I still remember her sewing everytime I was around her. On top is a Polish runner with a piece of Polish pottery my sil gave me.

Another heirloom from my Granny, this little rocker was in her house as long as I remember. I loved it when I was a child. It is the perfect size for a ten year old girl to sit and rock. My mom got it for me when my grandparents passed away because she knew how much I loved it. I really need to have it recovered but I am terrified to hand it over to anyone to do the repair work on it.

This is the wall in our breakfast area. The piece in the middle is a mirror we bought in Israel. The little side shelf holds two antique plates members of our church in Washington gave us when we left. There are also two bluebirds of happiness. The smaller one was given to me by a close family friend and I had it in my bouquet when we got married.

The window over my sink holds more Polish pottery. I love looking at it first thing in the morning and it helps me to remember to pray for my family as they are serving in Poland.

This little red rocker was mine when I was a little girl and it is the perfect size to hold my bunnies. The one in the long dress Tim's aunt made. I saw it and fell in love and she gave it too me. The other bunny was given to us as a house warming present while we were in south Florida.

This little dish was handpainted by a lady in our church in Tulsa. I keep my everyday jewlry in it.

Amish Quilt Tim bought me for my birthday one year. I use it during fall and winter on our bed. I love the log cabin and our bedroom is filled with bears so this fits right in.

Another childhood treasure, the dresser not the adorable little boy that is. The dresser was mine when I was little but it was a plain white dresser. When we were expecting G I asked a friend of our if she would paint it for me as a shower gift. I gave her the quilt we were going to use in G's room and she did a marvelous job. (It is a given that the adorable little boy in my treasure. He loves to have his picture made, you can tell he is his mama's.)

The quilt that inspired the dresser and room decour in the little's room. While we were in Washington state my home church made this quilt for us during VBS and sent it to us. It was such a special gift and now my little boys love it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New blog that is a great read.

First I encouraged Tim to get on facebook and then he decided he needed to go one step further and he began to twitter. Well he finally decided to start his own blog and true to form his first post is both thought provoking and heart felt.

So if you haven't visited Tim's blog, you really should.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy 70th Birthday, Daddy!

Today is my Dad’s 70th birthday and I want to send him a very special birthday greeting. I looked for cards last week but I couldn’t find one that said exactly what I wanted it to so I decided to send him this virtual birthday greeting.

There are so many things I could tell you about my Dad , in 70 years you have a lot of things that might define who you are. I could tell you that he is a great man and while that would be true, I know that he would humbly disagree with me. I know that he would shake his head and say “I have made mistakes in my life.”

I could tell you about my Dad and how he has stood by me during the most defining moments in my life. I could tell you how he prayed with me to give my life to Jesus, how he baptized me and how he walked me down the aisle and then helped perform my wedding ceremony. Perhaps the most poignant time was when he stayed in the hospital with me when we delivered Josiah our first son who was stillborn.

I could also tell you how he disciplined me as a child, with both authority and tenderness. I remember in high school that I did something pretty serious. I lied about something and that lie grew into something pretty big. It was ugly. I remember when he found out. The defining moment that stands out most about that situation was my Dad standing in the door to my bedroom with a look of disappointment on his face. I know what the face of the Father looks like because of my Daddy. I also know the forgiveness of the Father because in the 20+ years since that incident my Dad has never brought it up again. He has lived out the word picture in Psalms of “as far as the east is from the west“.

I could tell you that he is a faithful husband. In the age where unfaithfulness in marriage seems the norm my Dad has been faithful for almost 47 years to my Mom. In an age of disposable marriage, I have been able to look to my parents as an example of how to make marriage work.

I could tell you how he has faithfully served the local church for over 45 years as a pastor. He has been on countless youth trips and mission trips. Dad has led more VBS programs than I am sure even he remembers. He has taken every church he has served as full time pastor through at least one building program. The number of weddings, funerals, baptisms, and baby dedications he has overseen are too numerous to even imagine. It would be impossible to count the number of hours he has spent at the hospital visiting with people, or the number of hours he has prayed and counseled people in various life situations. There is no way to measure those things here on earth.

That is the thing , my Dad will not be defined by what has happened in the past 70 years of his life on this earth. Dad will be defined by eternity and the impact he has had there.. I would hesitate to even guess how many people he has influenced for eternity.

You see while I might tell you that my Dad is a great man, he would point you to the greatest man, and say that Jesus makes all the difference. My Dad’s relationship isn’t defined by what he has done or hasn’t done, it is defined by his relationship with God the Father, through Jesus Christ.

Daddy, on this day that you celebrate your 70th birthday, my prayer for you is that as you live out the remaining years of your life you are blessed by happiness, peace, joy and most of all love. I love you, Daddy!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Preview Service Week

We have our first service for the Church @ Skyline Valley on Sunday, so this week has been spent getting ready for it. In a church plant the week before your first service is stressful. You have the ordinary stress of trying to prepare for a worship service and then you have added stress if you are in a portable situation. There is also the emotional stress of wondering if anyone will show up. Of course things have not gone exactly as smoothly as we would have hoped.

Last weekend as I walked through the hall I stepped on wet soggy carpet. I then proceeded to fuss about someone spilling water on the carpet as I cleaned it up. About an hour later I stepped in water again. Because I have a college education I determined that maybe the water was coming from somewhere other than the children. It was very close to our air conditioning unit so I checked and the air conditioner was leaking. The rental company had someone come out Monday and it was a maintenance issue, of course they have to get owner approval before they fix it.

Monday the guy that is going to lead the worship calls and he has had something come up so he can't come on Sunday. OK! Fortunately, we have some great sponsor churches. One of them is a church in Jarrell, TX where Tim's church planting coach is the pastor. Within a few hours we had a new worship leader and a band set up for Sunday.

At the beginning of the week we started having some issues with our van, specifically the traction control/stability system. This would be the same traction control/stability system that we replaced in February. We called the dealer that did the work and they had no real advice since we weren't local for them to look at the problem.

We knew that we needed new tires on the van and made plans to purchase two new tires. Wednesday Tim ran over a screw. Fortunately, the tires were in and we were able to replace them/fix the flat all at one time.

J has impetigo which is very a)contagious and b)hard to get rid of. So this week I have been washing more laundry than usual with extra towels and sheets/bedding.

W has had a little tummy bug which has brought on very nasty diaper changes which also led to more laundry.

Can you guess what happened on Thursday? If you guessed that my washer of 10 years (which I adored) stopped working you would be correct. Of course it stopped working mid-load of clothes without draining the water out of the clothes. Tim and I spent quite a bit of time dipping water out of the washer, then ringing out a load of wet/nasty towels. I researched on the Internet possible problems. We checked all the lines and the pump/filter. Nothing was clogged and the lid latch works so that means the pump died. The good news is that we have a Sam's Club membership. They have a nice washer within my new washer budget (that we just created) and they deliver. The bad news is they will not deliver it until next Thursday. Do you want to guess how much laundry I will have to do in one week?

Moving on to me personally, Tuesday I wasn't feeling very well. I went to a scrapbook workshop which I enjoyed but just felt off. I came home and realized that I was really, really sick. You see I don't EVER run a fever. I suffered through every childhood illness with no fever. I can't tell you the number of times I have heard a doctor say to me or my mom, "Well she doesn't have a fever." Tuesday I started running a fever and then I got chills. I took some medicine and went to bed at 9:00. I really wondered how Tim would take me to the doctor/hospital if I didn't better. What would we do with the children? By the next morning I felt somewhat better. I began using some natural remedies and they kicked in and by Thursday I was doing much better.

Friday rolls around and we plan to go to the mall with the little boys while the big boys finish up VBS. We stopped to get the keys to the Civic Center where we will be having church on Sunday. We ran a couple of errands and went to the mall. We picked the boys up from VBS and Tim finished up the last of his pre service Friday tasks. I worked on cleaning up the house. Tim came home from baseball practice and we did a few things around the house, then he took the boys outside and set the sprinkler up so they could jump on the trampoline and get sprayed. We put the boys to bed and begin to wind down when Tim says "I can't find my keys." No real big deal we still have mine so I wasn't worried. He continues to look for them when I realize he put the keys to the Civic Center on his key chain. We HAVE to find those keys. We look every where (there is now no change or pens or chapstick down in my couch). We look in every box and bag and under every piece of furniture. All the time I am praying "God you know we have to find these keys. PLEASE help us." We look out in the car. We checked the attic (Tim had moved some boxes up there for me). We checked in the garage. Finally Tim goes back outside and he retraces his steps of moving the sprinkler to the back yard and he finds his the grass.

So today is Saturday and I am posting this before anything else happens. Now don't you all want to go out and plant a church? If not then the next time you meet a church planter be sure to hug them hard and tell them you will pray for them (and do it).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Digital Scrapbooking

I have really wanted to get into digital scrapbooking. Not because I need another hobby to pursue but because I have been too economical to print out all the digital photos that I have. Now I have all these photos sitting on my computer and I need to get creative with them.

I was scanning a scrapbook magazine and I found an ad for I decided to take a peak and when I did, I found they were offering free Mother's Day cards, you have to pay the shipping. So I decided to check it out and I created 2 cards one for my mom and one for Tim's mom. It was super easy to figure out and I enjoyed playing around with the cards and personalizing them for each mom.

Plus as you can see below it was easy to upload to my blog and also to my facebook account.

So if you have been wanting to try digital scrapbooking but don't want to fork over alot of money check out Be sure and look around, some of the "themes" are free and some aren't so check it out. Let me know what you think.

Here is the Mother's Day card I made for my mother in law.

I actuallly had it printed and sent to her and here is the one for my mom.

Here is one of the scrapbook pages I made.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

fun little map site

I think this site would be especially fun to do with kids.

Here are my maps.

Countries I have visited.

visited 5 states (2.22%)
Create your own visited map of The World

I made this one of states I have lived in.

visited 10 states (20%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

And finally states I have visited.

visited 30 states (60%)

Monday, June 8, 2009