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

January 30, 2008

Wednesdays in the Word

I really love Psalm 128 which is where the title for this blog comes from.

Here's what I love about it:

Verse one tell us that
everyone who fears the Lord and walks in His ways, will be blessed
and then we found out how they are blessed in the verses that follow:
~In getting to enjoy the fruit of their labor.

~In being "happy" and having things go well with you. Gotta love that!

~In having a "fruitful wife" who is "in the very heart of your house." What a wonderful position we wives have, at the heart of our homes. And being fruitful reminds me of the verse that says "A wise woman builds her house but the foolish pulls it down with her hands." Prov.14:1
~ In having children "like olive plants all around your table." I love that, 'all around part!' "Happy is the man who has the quiver full of them." Ps. 127:5
What a precious time in life it is to be raising those "plants" that are all around our table. We are teaching, training them for their future destinies in the kingdom of God. Olive trees are so majestic, full of fruit bearing potential, useful, beautiful and expensive!
We have olive plants around our tables now, but one day, they will go out into to the world as these:

What a privilege we have to raise them!

Psalm 128 concludes with "THUS, shall the the man be blessed who fears the Lord."
And then as if it's icing on the cake,
the very last verse says "Yes, may you see your children's children." Woohoo! Will that ever be fun! Can I get an 'Amen' from the grandparents out there? : )


January 29, 2008

A new pet

There is a new pet that is coming to live with us.

But this isn't it. ; )

We have about a week more to wait until this very little pet is ready to leave the breeder. And I guess somebody thought the duck was better to look at than the empty cage. : )

The new pet is a baby parrotlet!
My hubby has a friend at work who breeds parrotlets and he wants to give us one. Which really is quite a gift since they sell for $300.00 at our local pet store.

It's a male and he is just now getting his feathers. We will have to feed him with a dropper for awhile yet. From what we've heard, they are fragile and small and they need to come out of their cage to be played with everyday.

These little parrots will actually learn to talk!
We all want to teach it to say "Jesus is Lord!" : )
And then the kiddos have plans to teach it quotes from Napoleon Dynamite like "Your mom goes to college" and "Give me some of your tots!"
(goofy, I know!)

Our kids are pretty excited about this.

And I'm working on getting excited.
Because we've owned a parrot before....Or maybe I should say that a parrot owned us before. The fact that we are getting a bird at all, is proof that time heals. ha ha
Besides, how could we turn down such a sweet gift?!
~I'd have to admit that I have parrot issues. ; )

Back then our kiddos were 6, 4 and 2 yrs. ( Andrew hadn't made his appearance yet) and we literally found a Conure parrot on our doorstep! It was really pretty amazing!

I remember the boys coming to tell me that there was a bird on our porch that was not afraid of people. And I found that hard to believe until I finally came out to see for myself.
There it stood on the porch steps just waiting for our kiddos to fall in love with it and ask to keep it. Good strategy.
It worked! We kept him. (groan!)

He was a gorgeous bird with a big ego.

He didn't like me at all but he adored my hubby. (maybe 'he' was a 'she'?! Maybe that would explain things!)
He acted like a different bird when my hubby came home! -All sweet and lovable! (even though he'd been a terror to me all day)

This parrot didn't talk, but it made PLENTY of noise. It used to compete with me to be heard during our morning devotionals. And I think he won, because I was a new home school mom who couldn't even hear herself speaking.
The boys named him Chipper and they loved to carry him around on their shoulders. He'd fly across the living room and perch on our curtain rods. -Which was a lot of fun until we had bird mess on the curtains and big holes in our t-shirts.

Anyway, it wasn't too long before Chipper was taken to a pet store and traded in for a very SILENT set of fish and an aquarium with a rod iron stand. (we made out pretty good since he was worth so much!)

And his future owners had our pity. : )
The breeder was talking to my hubby yesterday and said that this little guy of ours seems like he's got quite a personality. He actually called him a 'bratt.' That wasn't exactly comforting.
I hope I'm not in for another Chipper.

January 28, 2008

The family election

We've been researching presidential candidates around here lately.
And here are the results of the family election:

Mike Huckabee - 2 votes
Alan Keyes - 1 vote (this person didn't know he was no longer running)
Mitt Romney- 3 votes

So, the winner at our house is: Mitt Romney

I'm looking forward to going to the polls tomorrow and seeing how Florida votes!

Edited to update: We were mistaken. Alan Keyes is still running. Thanks, 'Anonymous.' ~That family member was very happy with the news.

January 24, 2008

Because backwards is the best!

Our kiddos have been making the funniest videos lately.

They have one where Andrew is holding a glass
and water from the toilet shoots up from it and goes into his glass.
And he drinks it! Blah! Then he smiles like toilet water is the best thing he's ever tasted! UGH!
(this video makes me squeal in disgust)

They have some clips that show them 'doing the Force' (like in Star*Wars) which causes light sabers to jump off the ground and go right into their hands! Amazing!

And some where they have this amazing ability to jump behind them and up onto the bunk beds or the trampoline. Major super powers here. ; )

As you've probably guessed these are video clips that they've made and played backwards and it's all thanks to the Wii*.
It will play video clips off of the memory card from a digital camera!!! And it gives you the option to play them forwards or backwards. Who knew!?!

When our gang discovered this, they set to work figuring out their 30 second clips. They had to figure out how they wanted the choreography to be (in reverse) and what facial expressions they wanted to make and when and so on....
And they have been having a blast!

Nathan directs, Joy shoots (it's her digital camera) and Andrew does the acting.
I love all the creativity and cooperation!
Not to mention the fact that they think it's "way better than any video game!!!"
Gotta love that!

So, if your kiddos own a Wii* and a digital camera, they've got to try this!

It's the only way I can handle seeing mine drink toilet water, that's for sure! ha ha

January 23, 2008

The 'Olive' gift

I used this cute 'random number generator' this time
because he is a morning person. ; )

And the winner of our Olive Garden Gift card is:

Congratulations, Joyfull!!!

January 17, 2008

It's a celebration and a give-away!

Guess what?

It's the blog's birthday! : )

Or should it be called an anniversary? How about "bloggy-versary."

Blogging has been so much fun! I absolutely love it!
To celebrate this fun occassion, we are going to have a give-away!

And because I love to have a theme,
the gift just had to include olives.
But don't worry, I gave up on the olive plant idea. ; )

So, the give-away is for one $15.00 gift card to

The Olive Garden! Woo-hoo!

My hubby pointed out that this amount may only get you bread sticks and salad... but we hope you'll enjoy it anyway. ; )

To enter our little contest, just leave a comment. If you don't have a blog, just leave an email address so I can reach you. We will pick a winner next Thursday!

I'll get my cute random number generator from the last give-away, to help me again.

I'm sorry to have to limit our contest to the U.S. only, because I really get such a kick out of seeing where all you international folks are from. : )

Thank you to all of you who stop by! You make this so much fun!

I hope that Blessed with Olive Plants will 'declare His loving kindness in the morning and His faithfulness at night' in the coming year.

God bless!


January 16, 2008

Wednesdays in the Word

These verses are a blessing, from Psalm 28 and Psalm 30

"Blessed be the Lord because He has heard the voice of my supplications!
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.
The Lord is their strength,
And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.

"O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me.
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the
remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment,
Weeping may endure for a night , but joy comes in the morning."

January 14, 2008

Two weekends of Bible Quizzing

Congrats to our quizzing kiddos!!!
You guys are amazing and you bless our socks off!

Nathan had his Teen Bible Quiz match last weekend.
He is a lot of fun to watch. It is never boring. He keeps us on the edge of our seat. :)
He is quite a quizzer.
Their team is in 6th place in our state out of 10 teams. He memorized the book of Philippians. (my favorite book but I sure haven't memorized it)

This past Saturday, Joy and Andrew had their Junior Bible Quiz match.
They are together on the team that my hubby coaches. They both blew us away by being in the top ten for their scores. (Out of 11 teams, ours is in 7th.)

And a big thanks to Zach who helped us by being assistant coach with Dad while I was one of the scorekeepers. You rock, Z! : )

I can't say enough good about TBQ and JBQ. If you have a program at your church, check it out.
All of us have made some wonderful friendships with adults and children through it and learned unbelievable amounts of Bible. It is a blessing.

January 11, 2008

Never enough

Proverbs 30: 15 says "There are three things that are never satisfied, four never say,

But I happen to think that there are five.

"The grave,
The barren woman,
The earth that is not satisfied with water-
And the fire never says, "Enough!"

And my addition:

"The dirty laundry baskets at my house." ; )


(who wishes she had laundry baskets this cute!)

January 10, 2008

Partnering with one cute kiddo

We recently had the pleasure of watching a special friend of ours graduate from college. She was 12 yrs. old when we met and she was a member of the youth group that we led for 6 yrs.

And she is like family...

Well, the president of the college asked everyone related to the graduates to please stand.
Sisters, brothers, wives, husbands etc... were to stand and receive applause from the grads to thank them for their support.

And one of our kiddos stood.

I thought it was because she is like family to us and I said "Sit down, Honey. This is for their relatives."

And this cute kiddo said "Mom, she said that partners should stand up." ; )

Too cute!
Then I realized that it makes perfect sense.
They are partners, in the cause of Christ, of course. ; )


January 8, 2008

For the love of tennis

When we were in college, my (future) hubby and I had p.e. together.
We took tennis.

And it was so much fun.

I loved playing with the one I was in love with, even if my score was sometimes 'love.'

After we were married, we decided that we wanted to have our children right away so that we would still be young enough to play tennis when they all grew up and left home, which totally cracks me up now, when I think about it. My hubby has much more spiritual goals for our empty nester years. : )


All is not lost because we have just discovered

tennis on the Wii*.

And we've been playing each other when our kiddos are in bed and its SO much fun! We both had sore arms from all the fun.

The first time we played together I actually won, which I CAN NOT do in real life.
The next night, he said that being beat by me at tennis was probably not good for our love life. ; )

(Have I mentioned that all the males of this family are quite competitive?)

Come to find out, that while I was out that evening, he'd been practicing! And getting pointers from the kids!

This led to a glorious victory and he won every match.

When it was over, I said: "I think it's good for our love life if I let you win." ha ha

(which was not true and he knew it) ; )


(posted with permission from my sweet tennis opponent)

January 7, 2008

Instead of a vote for Pedro

Last weekend when our friends from TX were here, we found these cute
Napoleon*Dynamite t-shirts at the Bible bookstore. And "Gosh! What would you do in a situation like that?!" ; )

(By the way, our family happens to be WAY too into Napoleon!)

Anyway, these cute buddies, warmed our hearts as they went around the house chanting "Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!"

The boys had a chance to wear their shirts together again this weekend, when our friends came back to see us after their cruise ended.
And well... those shirts aren't as white as they were in this photo anymore. ; )

We all had a blast together. Our kids love each other like cousins, which is really sweet.
We will be looking forward to the next time the Lord brings us all together again.

January 4, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy 15th birthday to Zachary, who is one excellent young man! : )


January 3, 2008

How a family room turned into a "Man Cave" in four short days

Here are the three crazy things that happened that changed our family room forever. (it was like a conspiracy or something! ha ha)

First of all, our neighbors bought three plasma TVS for Christmas (one for each bedroom) and gave us a TV that was bigger and nicer than our one and only one. : ) My hubby thought it would be fun to build a shelf for the TV and put it in the family room for playing their other gift. (the Wii*) Carlos jumped on that idea and in a few hours he had that shelf all built. (my favorite painter still has to paint it when all the fun of the holidays are over)

Then Carlos gave the kiddos a Foosball table for Christmas.

And then Uncle Phil surprised the Gator fans of the family with this very large sticker. ; )
And voila! The family room now looks like a game room

or as the guys of this family prefer to call it

The new Man Cave.

I still have my little homeschooling area...
but this room is not looking too academic now. ; )


January 2, 2008

~Happy New Year~ Wednesdays in the Word

"Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new." 2 Cor. 5:17

This verse kept coming to mind yesterday morning as I was reflecting on '07 and praying about '08.

My thankful list for 2007:
-Our special friends, those new and old that God has placed in our lives
-Our extended family, we were blessed to each one of our relatives throughout the year
-Our health, we had a couple sets of stitches ; ) but that was it
-Our wonderful church, and I'm especially thankful for the Rangers, Missionettes, JBQ and TBQ classes for our kiddos and for what they have learned this year
-Our dear friend Carlos, and all that he means to us.
And I'm thankful for the incredible gift of a new kitchen that Carlos gave us even though I wasn't too excited about it in the beginning.
Boy, do I love it now. It was sure worth every minute I spent cooking in our family room and boiling water for 3 months. : )
-The love of my life, my precious husband
-Our 'rewards from the Lord,' Zachary, Nathan, Joy and Andrew
As I thought about '08 these are some of my goals:

Let the 'law of kindness' be on my tongue. (Prov. 31:26)

Spend some time connecting with my children each day. We are always together because of homeschooling but I want to make a special effort to be close at heart with each one of them.

I'd like to get up earlier and spend more time in my Bible each morning. (this will make my hubby laugh because I have such a hard time getting up at 6:15 as it is. I'm not the early bird that he is but I want to try.)

I'd like to abide in the Vine (John 15:4-5) more consistently because "He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."

I want to treat all people that I come in contact with as PRECIOUS in His sight.

I want to honor my hubby in greater measures.

I want to speak encouragement and blessings over my kiddos and remember that criticism is the lingo of the enemy. I need to speak what I want to have remembered for generations to come.

And a list like this especially after the holidays wouldn't be complete without something about exercise. : ) So, I'd like to do better at our 'p.e program' which is jogging at a park a couple days a week.

He is the 'author and the finisher' of each of our '08's. May yours be blessed! : )