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

April 30, 2012

You know you are a Floridian if . . .

- Socks are only for bowling.

- It's rained on the front half of your car but not the back.

- A good parking place has nothing to do with distance from the store, but everything to 
do with shade.

- Your winter coat is a hoodie.

- Anything under 70 degrees is chilly.

- You know that no other store can compare to Publix

- You know that anything under a Category 3 just isn't worth waking up for.

- You are on a first-name basis with the Hurricane list

- You know what a snowbird is and when they'll leave.

- You think a six-foot alligator is actually pretty average.

- "Down South" means Key West.

- Flip-flops are everyday wear.

- Shoes are for business meetings and church, but you HAVE worn flip-flops to church 

- You have a drawer full of bathing suits, and one sweatshirt

- A mountain is any hill 100 feet above sea level and chances are it's an old garbage dump 
that's been sodded

- You know the four seasons really are:

Hurricane season

Love bug season

Tourist season


- You've hosted a hurricane party
- You understand why it's better to have a friend with a boat than to have a boat yourself.

- You've worn shorts & turned on the A/C on Christmas and New Years.

Yes, we are Floridians!!!! My favorites: #1, #4, #5, #12 : )


(borrowed from Facebook)

April 27, 2012

Our 4th teenager arrives tomorrow!

Happy Birthday, Andrew! You are my "exceeding joy" and I love you like crazy!
Thanks for making life around here so much fun!
I'm so glad you have the gift of gab like your dad. : ) Whenever you spend the night anywhere, we go through Roo withdrawals because of the silence in the house.Your smile and your jokes light up the place!
Thank you for being SO helpful around here. You seem to always look for ways to make life easier for me and often surprise me with a clean kitchen or living room, then I proclaim that 'You are my favorite child...today" and we laugh. You make some awesome homemade pizza on Wednesday nights, thanks so much!
God's given you many talents, one of which is playing guitar. Remember when you played in our family worship band?-Or actually, you strummed and we kind of hoped you didn't notice that you weren't plugged in. lol  Then Dad taught you everything he knew about guitar and you took off with it. You've been amazing people with how well you play, for your age, for a long time now. (and you give Dad pointers) You've been asked to play in the youth group band recently and we are excited for you.
You have a sweet devotion to your oldest brother that takes many (sometimes dangerous) forms. You used to follow him everywhere and talk his ears off. Now, you try to annoy him like crazy, while he is studying, so that he will chase you around the house and wrestle you to the ground or shoot you with an air soft gun. You both love every minute of it. (you've always liked to live dangerously!)
 You and your sister are still close, at heart but not in size, you passed her up this year. : ) We used to call you guys "Thing One and Thing Two."  You two are the pranksters of the family. (hopefully I am done finding plastic wrap on our toilet seats) lol
I love your heart for Jesus and your passion to be involved in His things. You give us some amazing Bible studies at the dinner table, when it is your turn, and you have an insight way beyond your years.
The way you've cared for you uncle and been his friend these past 5 months of care-giving, has been such a blessing to us. Your heart for people is awesome! The world is blessed that you are in it and we are especially blessed to have you. Happy Birthday!
Love, Mom

April 25, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

"He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, (love that!) 
since He always lives to make intercession for them." 

Guess what intercession's definition is? "To fall in with or meet in order to converse." Awsome! He always lives to 'fall in with us' and give us His wisdom.

Doesn't THAT remind you of the scene on the road to Emmaus that Sunday morning after the crucifixion? Jesus "fell in with" two of his disillusioned disciples who were leaving Jerusalem in Luke 24, and gave them the best Bible study ever, as they walked those 7 miles!
"So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them." 
"And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." "Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him and He vanished from their sight."
"Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?" 

Isn't it a glorious thing that Jesus still "falls in with us" and "draws near,"
"showing us all things concerning Himself,"
"expounding upon the Scriptures to us" and
"opening our eyes" because "He always lives to make intercession for us?" -Aren't we blessed?! : )


April 23, 2012

When too much noise is cancelled

If your son studies all there is to know about noise-cancelling headphones and saves up and buys a pair:

- Then you can expect to spend a lot of your time repeating yourself

- You will also try raising your voice and waving your arms to get his attention with no success

- He will spend a lot of his time saying "What?"

- Then when he tells you that "No one ever tells me what's going on in this family," you will have to remind him about those noise-cancelling headphones ; )

Then your hubby, who is a genius, will give you a great idea on how to get his attention, and you will go and buy these:

                                   and place them here near the computers

and then have the BEST time tossing them at the back of his head

 and you will feel that all is right with the world once again. : )


April 20, 2012

Homeschooling momma faux pas

I handed Nathan The Hiding Place to start reading today. He just finished Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis for Bible and I was glad that he would be reading something easier. (and he may or may not have fallen asleep reading it a couple of times) : )

As we drove to worship band practice, I asked him how he liked it. And he said "Have you read that book?" And I said that I've listened to it on tape and I saw the movie. -Love Corrie Ten Boom!
Then he described the first chapter: and did not say things that sounded remotely familiar about Corrie and her family and their clock repair business and hiding the Jews.
No, it was more like this:
a woman woke up from a comma, found out her husband had divorced her for another woman and her best friend was killed by her spouse who then committed suicide...or something like that...
This is how I found out that there is more than one book called The Hiding Place and I'm pretty sure he didn't fall asleep today. ; )


April 18, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

"Through your name we will trample those who rise up against us. For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; But it was Your right hand, Your arm and the light of Your countenance because YOU favored them."
"For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me. But You have saved us from our enemies....In God we boast all day long, and praise your name forever." Psalms 43

How can I "boast in God" if I take matters into my own hands? I need to remember to take my hands off the situation, give it to God, leave it with him, and THEN I will 'see the salvation of the Lord.'

"Dearly Beloved, avenge not yourselves..." Rom. 12:19

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Ex. 14:14

"Vindicate me, O God...Send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me...

Hope in God....God my exceeding joy..." Psalm 43


April 17, 2012

Scenes from Spring

Who hit a TRIPLE on Saturday? This girl! Yes, Joy gives this fam a fun reason to get up early on Saturday mornings! Go Lady Red Sox! 

Just a few of Joy's fans: Uncle Phil, Dad, Andrew and 
Moriah, who always brings a sign or two.
Movie making fun after the games on Saturdays with Andrew directing and Nate filming and editing and Joy doing everyone's make-up.

Moriah is the star!
Some beach fun!
Uncle Phil enjoying the boardwalk
Buried while standing up! = some big holes!

One of our favorite family traditions
Strawberry picking! -But it is the end of the season and the good ones were hard to find 
and one of my helpers was tired, from playing second base and hitting her TRIPLE!  Whoo-hoo!


April 16, 2012

Beauty and the beast

After church, beautiful Joy caught a butterfly

 and there they were, both looking beautiful together.

Then along came the curious puppy, to enjoy the beauty. Maybe...

except for a snap and swallow! Beautiful moment ended. Poor Joy!

Life with a puppy is never boring!

Bree's got a couple things she likes to do to be helpful around here. lol Or at least appear to be.
 Joy has been trying to teach Bree to do one of her chores for her, which is taking her dirty laundry to the laundry room. Bree loves to carry out Joy's plastic hamper, but stopping at the laundry room doesn't appeal to her.
She is also, always trying to help us bring in groceries. She'll grab the handles of the plastic bags we are carrying and carry or drag them herself, but bringing them in the house doesn't appeal to her either.
So, we have a dog who can take our laundry outside and drops our underwear on the patio and who can grab our groceries and prance around the front yard. Just what we needed. ; )

April 14, 2012

For the love of baseball

Just as we were still reveling in the fact that the Tampa Bay Rays 'swept' the Yankees over the weekend and that they came back in the 9th inning to beat the Tigers, this arrived in the mail for me to review:

Pro Files: Baseball has great bios on 15 famous players. We were glad to see that two of our family's favorites, Evan Longoria and Roy Halladay, were included. Hubby enjoyed these bios because he said they had a Paul Harvey-ish 'rest of the story' feel to them and aren't the stories the sports commentators usually talk about. Andrew, who is 12, got a kick out of reading what the players favorite movies, hobbies, foods, cars, athletes and video games are. I actually haven't seen the book since then, because it disappeared into to the boys' room. : ) The fate of all well-loved books.
-A great read for baseball fans of all ages!


April 12, 2012

The Segway ride

We had a Christmas present for a Segway riding tour for two, and last week hubby and I finally had a chance to go! It took us awhile to find the place because, well, they didn't tell you that they don't actually have a real location. So, after walking up and down the street at the address listed, we started asking random people who pointed to a corner where Segway riding usually happens and a door in which they usually come out of, which happened to be a pub. Suddenly Segways were being lined up on the sidewalk, and we knew it was a go!
It looked like soo much fun, but I was SO nervous! -Especially when our tour guide, Vince said 'there are no brakes' and other comforting things like 'if one of your wheels touches someone else's, you will all fall like dominoes' and 'the segways keeps moving even if you fall off.' Fun!
But since the other people in our group were in their 60's and 70's and since my hubby caught on in about 2 minutes and went zipping around the corner,
I decided I better buck up!

Here is how they work:
You lean forward to go forwards and the further you lean the faster they go. (up to 13 miles per hour) You lean backwards to slow down and if you keep leaning back it will start going backwards... Turning it isn't like turning a set of handlebars even though they look similar.  (which messes with your brain) You have to glide with your feet and your body. The gyroscope, that controls it, is under your feet and it literally seems to sense what you want it to do and it does it... Really amazing technology.
I, unfortunately kept over-thinking how to ride it and it kept me from catching on as fast. I did much better when I kept telling myself that 'it' would 'read my mind' and to just go with the flow. But since I'm not really a 'just go with the flow' type of person, I made it harder than it had to be. In fact, I probably make everything in life a little harder than it has to be. LOL Life lesson #1 learned on a Segway. (don't think I have a #2 though) ; )

After the six of us had a brief lesson, Vince had us heading single file down the sidewalks of St. Pete!
Oh my stars! -As if, after 4 minutes I was qualified to share the sidewalks with REAL people and their REAL dogs and cross REAL streets at crosswalks next to REAL cars! Scary! But we did it! : )

 I had to concentrate for all I was worth and ignore Vince who was telling us the history of all the interesting sights we were passing. I also had my hubby who was weaving in and out of obstacles for fun and whistling at me and being a very cute distraction because he apparently was born to ride a Segway. : )  - I got the hang of it eventually, and had a blast and a half! -If I had $6400.00 laying around, I'd love to OWN one! I'd be the cooling person in my neighborhood going to Publix, that's for sure. ; )

At one point we went on a road, used for racing, that was blocked off from traffic, so we could go as fast as we wanted to. This was Hubby's favorite part. I was just a little ways behind him and I was having trouble remembering how to slow down. -And then we passed 30 middle-schoolers on a balcony who were clapping and cheering for us and thoughts of wiping out and becoming a You Tube sensation, made me nervous. So, I kept trying to slow down but I couldn't tell if it was working, and then suddenly our whole group was stopping and then before I knew it, I'd come to a graceful stop right beside with them, not really knowing how I did it. So, I'm convinced that Segways read your mind! ; )

By the end of the tour, we were all weaving in and around sidewalk cafes that had chairs and tables on the sidewalk with only a few inches for our wheels on each side. Who would've thought!
-And not one of us wiped out and became You Tube sensation!
We had so much fun, I can't wait to go again someday!

Here are some pics! -Ignore the dates, which are terribly wrong.

Here's my guy
  and here's how fast he caught on

 Our group. -Props to my hubby who could ride and take pictures!

 Me, riding through a palm tree 'garden' of a hundred+ species

I took this of my hubby while riding and then I ended up going around in circles, which ended any plans I had of a Segway photography career. ; )


April 11, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

Abigail is my hero! Love her! In 1 Samuel 25, her courage and the speech she gave, changed people's destinies and saved lives.

Cast of characters

Abigail- "a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance" who was married to Nabal

Nabal- a wealthy man whose name meant "fool. " (what kind of mom names her son Fool?!)  He "was harsh and evil in his doings" and "such a scoundrel that one cannot speak to him."

David- the son of Jesse, a former shepherd, who had been anointed by Samuel as the next king of Israel. He was being hunted by it's present king, Saul, and hiding out in the wilderness with a band of men who follow him. (sounds Robin Hood-ish, doesn't it?)

The Wilderness of Paran

Nabal's men were hanging out in the wilderness with his 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats and it was shearing time.  David, always a shepherd at heart, had his men protect them. One of Nabal's servant's said that David and his men: "were a wall to us both day and night...The men were very good to us and we were not hurt, nor did we miss anything as long as we accompanied them." Sweet!

David sent a servant to Nabal to ask if he and his men could be invited to a feast day as thanks for all their service to them. But Nabal, being a 'fool' doesn't have any problem refusing the future king, being ungrateful for his service and insulting David by comparing him to a runaway slave. Not too smart.
David, red hot with anger, goes to attack Nabal and all of his servants for "repaying evil for good."

Enter Abigail.
Once she gets the scoop, she goes into action. She gathers up a feast, take-out style, that David and his men won't soon forget (200 loaves of bread, 2 skins of wine, 5 sheep, roasted grain, 100 raisin clusters, 200 cakes of figs) (because the 'way to a man's heart is through his stomach' right, Ladies?)
 and sends it on ahead of her and follows behind on her donkey. With 401 armed men coming down a hill toward her, she "fell on her face before David" and gave the speech of her life.
She reminded David who he was dealing with, "for as his name is, so is he!" She apologized, asked him to accept the food and forgive them.
THEN, she reminds David of the truth and speaks to him about his destiny!
She tells him that because "no evil was found in him" and because "he fought the battles of the Lord", God would bring to pass His word and make him king one day. (which may have looked like a bleak prospect to a guy hanging out in the wilderness with his band men) In light of those facts, killing Nabal and all the men of their household, would one day be a cause for grief in his life, if he avenged himself. She reminded him that vengeance belongs to the Lord and she even threw in a word picture, for good measure, using something near and dear to him, . -A sling! (remember Goliath) "The lives of your enemies He shall sling out as from the pocket of a sling." Cute!

I'd say what she said, 'hit the mark' because David proclaims "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel who sent you this day to meet me, And blessed is your advice and blessed are you..." (Awesome!)
(Ladies, let's make sure our advice to our men is rooted in the word of God!)
 "You have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and avenging myself with my own hand."

When Abigail got home, her hubby was drunk, so the next day when he's sober she tells him what almost happened and he has a heart attack... or maybe a stroke. "His heart died within him and he became like stone." After about ten days, "the Lord struck Nabal and he died."

Thanks to Abigail "the Lord, (not David) returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head."
(cue romantic music here) "And David sent and proposed to Abigail to take her as his wife."
Yes, that was some speech!

The End. : )


April 9, 2012

Easter weekend

Thursday I had a lovely day with my hubby, which included riding Segways. (more on that to come)
Then we exercised at the softball field and watched Joy practice! -Hubby says he could never coach a girls softball team because 'they throw like girls' and he was in agony. lol -Except for HIS girl, of course.

Friday, we had a family work day. We fixed some patio furniture, were given a nice round fire pit and raked a bunch of leaves. -Who needs a gym when you can do yard work? : ) Then we went to the park for a family BBQ. We passed the torch (or bunny ears) on to Zac and he did the egg hiding. He decided it was more fun to be the one hiding than finding. Then there was the mandatory family whiffle ball game, which was SO much fun. We came home and lit a fire and ended up making the best s'mores EVER. -I was trying to save a couple bucks and bought Andes Mints for the chocolate. OH YUM! The fam thinks we have now taken s'mores to a 'whole new level.' lol

Saturday, hubby worked and the rest of us were headed to softball when my brother-in-law had a fall outside on the cement. Thankfully he did not hit his head! Nathan had to lift him up, thank the Lord for young backs. He couldn't be talked into resting. -He looks forward to Joy's softball games all week, so off we went. I'm happy to say that her hitting slump is over! She got a hit every time and one even went out into right field.The kids made a black and white video with their friends using all those vintage clothes from our family photo. -Some kind of murder mystery. Super cute. We built another fire and had more Andes mint s'mores to finish up the night.

Sunday's worship service was awesome! -So many people came up to give their lives to Christ, it was beyond awesome. I made an Easter dinner full of yummy (but easy) dishes and then we headed to the beach. Brought along my brother-in-law, which presents a big challenge at the beach, but you could tell he had his heart set on coming. It was chilly and windy and the water was still cold. We didn't stay long much to hubby's delight. lol  Then we headed home for a movie and peanut butter pie.

Sure do LOVE my peeps! -And I don't mean the marshmallow variety! : )


April 5, 2012

Christmas in April

This home-educating mom is 'playing hooky' today!!! Yippee!
 Hubby has the day off and this is soon to be us:

because we are going






Whoo-hoo! And I'm more than a little bit excited!!!
This  is was our Christmas present to each other.
(we've just been too busy to use it) So, today is the day!
Merry Christmas to us!!!! LOL
-And I hope it is as easy as it looks!


April 4, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

Matthew 25 really struck me today.
What if the things that Jesus really cares about aren't the things WE think they are?
Imagine at the end of time when you will be judged, and you've pictured it more like a pop-quiz and then find out that you've known the questions all along...
It says that Jesus will be seated on his throne and that He will judge the nations...
On what?

Did you feed the hungry?
Did you give the thirsty a drink?
Did you house the stranger?
Did you visit the sick?
Did you visit those in prison?
Did you clothe the naked/needy?

How would you score on this test?
Just thoughts I'll be pondering and praying about in the days ahead.

"Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
And "Inasmuch as you did it to one of the lease of these My brethren, you did it to Me."


April 3, 2012

Great old movie

Andrew had to watch this movie for school and he and I LOVED it.  It is based on the book by Rudyard Kipling.

Usually he turns his nose up at "black and whites" : )
but he really liked this one and I think it will be a family favorite.

I love movies that bring out the importance of fatherhood.
The boy in this movie is very spoiled and tries to bribe a student and a teacher at school.
When the head master talks to his father about it, he tells him that if he "will only let the boy spend time with you, we will be very likely to have another splendid citizen on our hands." So sweet and true. -How many men in society need to hear that today!
The father humbly receives this advice and decides to spend more time with his son because "apparently boys can't raise themselves." -NO, they couldn't back then and they can't today.
His father doesn't end up being the one to help his son become a young man of character but someone else does and it is fun to watch.
Enjoy! : )


April 1, 2012

A great read

I know I mentioned this book in an earlier post, but I just can't say enough about how moving it is and I just finished it. If you haven't read it, do.
 I told my hubby all about it on a date the other night and he and I were both in tears, which looked rather weird to our server, I'm sure. 
If you'd like to go to Katie Davis' blog, I put a link to her ministry Amazima (which is Truth in the Ugandan language)
on the sidebar to the right.
What I love about her story is what God can do with one willing vessel. -And doesn't it seem like He does (and has always done)  the coolest things with godly TEENS?
God, through Katie, is the reason 14 orphans have a mom, 400 children are being sponsored to get an education and 19 women are earning and income making jewelry instead of selling their bodies, making alcohol or digging for food at the local dump! 
Just to name just a few things from the book. Amazing huh? 

"I remind myself over and over that Christ incarnated in the parent is the only hope of incarnating Christ in the child." ~Katie Davis