"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

January 11, 2017

Remembering His Faithfulness

There was a time when my Hubby and I really wanted to move. We REALLY needed a larger house to raise our four kids in.
And then out of the blue, a friend from church had a house that he was flipping. We liked it and we told him what we could afford. Amazingly enough, instead of laughing, he said "Sounds good" and shook my Hubby's hand.

And I thought we were moving!
(silly me!)

Then the Lord directed me to this verse and my heart sank:
 'This persuasion is not from the one who calls you." (whoa!)

The next day, one of our neighbors told us that he was PRAYING to God that we would not move. This was extremely surprising because he was an atheist!

That's when I knew for sure that we weren't moving!
Because God delights in revealing Himself to people!
I remember thinking/whining: "Why did he have to start praying?!"  LOL

It was because our children and his children were the very best of friends and he desperately wanted us to stay in our house so they could keep growing up together. (so sweet!)

So, he prayed and every single thing abovut buying that house fell apart after that.

But here's the rest of the story:

-Our kids did grow up together and we made some wonderful memories. We even vacationed together and spent holidays together!

-We did get to raise our kids in a bigger house but it was still this house. God sent a friend, who voluntarily gave 6 months of his life, to put an addition on our house and would only let us pay in him in home cooked meals!  How crazy is that?!

-The very best part of that story is that the atheist didn't stay an atheist!
He gave his life to Christ six years later!
How good is God?

"A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps."
Prov. 16:9-10


January 3, 2017

Christmas break

I have had the week between Christmas and New Year's off from work and it has been so much fun!
What a gift! It has been such a blessing to be able to spend this week with all of my kids!

And it has been so much like old times! Especially the part where I get to homeschool in my pjs and
cook for the whole gang!
I've also read books, exercised, shopped and had fun hanging out with whichever kid(s) aren't working.

We've loved having Nathan here!

And note to self: Never take "Christmas down" the day after ever again. It made everyone sad
and they haven't let me forget it. LOL

Our final celebration of the season is Zac's birthday! Which we celebrated early, yesterday, because everyone had the day off. 
He will be 24 on Thursday! 

We had a great time together at Disney Springs! If you know Zac, then you know that nothing means more to him than family time. So it was a huge blessing to him that Nate is still here for the fun!

Happy Birthday, Zac!
You mean the world to us!


December 29, 2016

The less crowded Christmas

This year we decided to spread out some of the fun. Instead of cramming it all into two days, we gave ourselves three! And it was just perfect that way!

This year we decided to attend our church's Christmas Eve service on Christmas Eve-Eve. : )
And we loved it. Attending on this night meant that we didn't have to fight the crowds. Not that we fight. LOL ; )

Our church always does a beautiful job with this service. It is always so meaningful. -And Andrew played the bass in the band. So proud of him for serving. It was a huge commitment.
Afterwards we went out to dinner to celebrate.

On the real Christmas Eve we did our traditional dinner, in which the guys in the family make filet mignon for all. I always make wedge salads and fettuccine to go along with those. I'm not sure why I chose the salad over people for a picture. LOL

After Andrew had played his last service that night, and Nathan practically dragged him off the stage and rushed him home, we ate. Then instead of seeing a movie on Christmas Day like we usually do, we decided to see it on Christmas Eve. Again, no crowds!  We rushed to the theater not knowing that we would only share it with one other family. (maybe that was because it was almost ten o'clock by then!)
 We saw La La Land and absolutely loved it! What made it more fun were the scenes shot at Griffith Observatory in LA, which we have all been to on our visits out there. And who doesn't love a musical when you are in the Christmas mood. See it! It is sweet!

When it was over, it was officially Christmas! : )

Since Christmas was on a Sunday, there was no sleeping in for this sleepy crowd. It was the first time I ever had to wake up our youngest on a Christmas morning. Times, they are a changin'!

We had to get a move on so that we could open presents and eat Christmas casserole beforehand.

 Andrew makes the best faces when surprised! Love him!!!

I love this one because our dog looks exhausted from the fun! 

After church, we had our Christmas dinner and then played some "reindeer games."

I can't remember ever having a Christmas nap before but somehow I got one! Yay!

And then we went to Zac's in-laws to share desserts and play more games with their family!


December 22, 2016

The Advent books my kids can't get enough of

Our kids grew up on this series for Advent. 

I'm pretty sure we read Jotham's journey at least twice if not three times. 

So many memories come to mind because of this series...
The year that I decided I just had to have a Yule log to put our Advent candles in and so my sweet hubby made one. But I found out that a log with holes in it, is just NOT the cutest candle holder you've ever seen. And so I got over that fad quick.
We all remember the night it was Joy's turn to blow out the candle and in her excitment she blew SO hard, she accidentally blew hot wax into little Andrew's face. : ( 
And the memory we talked about last night was the fact that Nathan had a dance he did whenever Hubby or I read the name of the antagonist in the story. It was the Decca of Megdo dance and did it ever spice up the story. LOL

 I found out that the author had finally come out with a 4th book and guess what? 

My 23 and 21 year olds said that I HAD to buy it! And that we have to read it!!!
~I would say that is a pretty high endorsement for a kids series. LOL

And so last night, me and my adult (and almost adult) kiddos got cozy on the couches

and started reading this book! 

And it r It really was the sweetest way to spend an evening!~Becky

December 20, 2016

Full heart

My best friend flew in to spend the weekend!
She and her family are spending the week before Christmas on the beach. But first she came to visit us! We did lunch, shopped for gifts, looked at Christmas light displays, went to church and went out for gourmet popsicles. : )
I got her hooked on watching This Is Us, which I think is the best show on TV. We also needed some Elf in our lives. : )
And we'd both been dying to see Ben Hurr, so we rented that. It was such a quick but fun weekend. The rest of her family few in late Sunday night and they headed to the beach where it is in the 80's and the water isn't too cold to swim in. Welcome to Florida in the winter! LOL

Last night, this happened:

And now we are all ready for Christmas.
It was pretty amazing to fall asleep with all my kids under one roof last night.
I know this is a very unique Christmas and I plan to soak it all in! : )

Nathan gets to stay for three weeks. Hurray!
And what he is most looking forward to, are family dinners. I love that he appreciates those now. So much so, that he says they are mandatory for his whole visit! How cute is that!?

I wish I could tell all the moms of teenage sons not to worry. Those grumpy guys grow up and become as sweet as they once were when they were 7!
 I promise!
And they will love and appreciate all you did for them. They will admit that you were right. LOL
They will miss your cooking and count the days til they see you again. :)


December 14, 2016

Wednesdays in the Word

In Matthew 15, a Gentile woman comes to Jesus and cries out to him "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed."

I happen to think he was impressed with her at that very moment.
(she believed he was Lord AND the Son of David when his own people didn't)

Verse 23 says "But he answered her not a word."
I know that feeling.

Then his discipes came and urged him to send her away because she kept crying out.
But he didn't send her away. And he doesn't send us away when we cry out.
Sometimes something more is needed though.
"Then she came and worshipped Him..." 
And that's when things changed.
When crying out isn't working, WORSHIP.

He answered her.
In fact, he praised her.
"O woman, great is your faith!"


December 12, 2016

Scenes from the season so far

It's a pinecone Christmas!

photo bombed by Santa

Dinner with this sweet one, who is one of mine
Victorian Christmas Stroll
sung to by a quartet