Saturday, October 31, 2009

Carving Pumpkins

Ok...lots of post need to happen so lets start with pumpkin carving! Last Friday night my niece Kenzie was here and her and Jaden carved some pumpkins. They were so cute! Lauren had a friend over and Brooke was gone so they had to wait to do theirs.
Jaden's:

Kenzie's:


Ok...now this is what happens when you carve a pumpkin a week before...and well...the pumpkin was already a little rotten:
Bahaha!! His pumpkin was a moldy mess by Thursday! Poor Guy! Soo...we had to make another!


Here is round #2 for Jaden: Peace sign


Brooke: A rainbow


Lauren: Fun face


We always roast pumpkin seeds after we gut them...yum!


This is our dog watching us...it's a "ruff" life...


So that's one of many things this week...I love pumpkins and Halloween time. So much fun to have! Be safe everyone!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lori's prognosis

Well...to say the least...it isn't at all the news we wanted to hear. The Dr. told Lori that she is in stage 4 melanoma liver cancer. There is no cure and as of now they will not be dong radiation. They are doing more test on her and a PET scan to determine where to go from here. Please pray for her kids...Lacy...Jacob...Austin and her sister Amy. This is just devastating news for them. But the one thing we all know is...God can still do miracles and we hold onto the hope of that! Her name is Lori Harman...please add her to your churches prayer list! Thank you all so much for praying! I will update when I know more.

I will never understand cancer. As my friend Loren said the other day...I hate Cancer...Pray for Loren's dad Doug also, he is battling cancer also.

Let me know if you have a testimony regarding someone who has/had cancer.

Blessings and love to you all!

What's Next?

What's next? That's the big Question right now @ FCC? And after chatting with several of you at Fight Night I have learned that some of you are reading my blog thinking I might give you a hint of what is going to be announced on Sunday...you little stinkers! Do you think I would tell you? Maybe if you begged...I might..NO! Ok, I am the type that has trouble keeping surprises...I can keep a secret...but surprises...that's hard on me! Like when I buy a gift for someone, I can't wait to give it to them!! But I can say..I have kept my trap shut on this! So you will have to wait until Sunday Morning to hear the big changes that are coming to FCC. It is amazing news and God has been working on this for a long time! Matt and I...along with the staff are so so excited! It will change up some things around FCC!! SO be there so you can rejoice in the Blessings God has brought to our church! Don't be left out!! I will blog about it after Sunday!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My cousin Lori

I would like for you to pray for my cousin Lori..talk about someone who has been thru so much...let me just run a list for you...there is so much more in between...but you will understand how much prayer is needed now: She has 3 children...15, 17 and soon to be 21.
  • 2004 her mom passed away
  • 2007 my grandma...which she was close to passed away
  • 2008 my grandpa passed away
  • 7 months later in August 2008 her husband passed away after fighting esophagus cancer for 3 years...
  • June 2009 her dad passed away....he had been living with her and had a stroke and died at her house...
  • July 2009 she finds out she has cancer in her eyelid...has it removed
  • August/Sept she has more cancer in her eye and has to go to Philadelphia for a special Sergent to look at...gets test results 2 weeks ago telling her she is cancer free in her eye after treatment.
Sunday night she has a pain in her side. Her son takes her to the hospital and they immediately admit her. They have found a spot on her lung and on her liver. They did a biopsy today on her liver to test it for cancer. They have called in the oncologist and moved her to the 14th floor...which is the cancer floor...which is the floor her husband died on. So this is a very difficult place for her. Now let me tell you about my cousin Lori...she laughs her way thru live and is full of life! She is so fun to be with! Even in the tough times she has keep her charm. I am asking you to pray for her and pray for her children. This is a scary time for all of them. I know they are being held in God's might arms. They are waiting on test results. I will let you know.
This is a pic to show you how silly she is! She is on the right!

Thanks for your prayers!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What fills you...will come out: BSF today

Ok..I'm just to excited and just need to blog right now about this mornings BSF. The Holy Spirit was moving as usual while there. We are in John 4, the Woman at the Well. You know I have read that chapter probably 100 times in my life, but I have never really let understood it like I am getting it now.

She always gives an outline and Principles to go with each one. The Principles just kinda wrap it all up to one sentence. So it might seem random, but these are some things Karen spoke of and I truly believe this woman is anointed by God.

I. Divine Appointment:
Jesus went thru Samaria, which is not the normal path you would have taken to get to Galilee. A Jew would not even step in the place. But Jesus diliberately went thru Samaria. Out of His Way....How will you be inconvenienced for doing God's will? He made an effort to talk to her...in those days she would have never talked to him. But he started the conversation.
Principle #1: Jesus uses everything to break through to our hearts.

II. Divine Fulfillment:
1. We need to know who Jesus is...a gift we can receive or reject
2. You have to ask for His gift
3. When you ask..you know he will give it!

Jesus opens her wounds where he knew this cleansing water he offered her would heal her. Before she could known the truth about who he was, she had to face the truth about who she was. He asked about her husband, which really wasn't her husband.
He knew her worst, but proved he loved her for her.
Principle #2: Nothing will satisfy but Jesus Christ. Amen!!

Worship comes from the Greek word Showing worth. Worship is telling God how wonderful He is Praise is telling others how wonderful God is. I have never thought of them like that!
YOU BECOME THE ONE YOU WORSHIP!!

III. Different LIfestyle:

1. Sometimes we forget where He found us..express your gratitude for him not leaving you where he found you!
Psalms 63...good for when you feel weak.
2, She is so excited...she leaves her pot at the well to go tell others and bring them back. She is no longer interested in her needs, but the needs of others and for others to know Him.
Principle #3: What fills you, will come out. ( I love this one)

Here are a few thoughts to leave you with.
1. Who do you know that tells you what they are learning from God? I am thankful for people and especially a husband that I learn so much from everyday.
2. Jesus tenderly and lovingly peeled away the hurt and prejudice that was in her live so she could receive His love. He was deliberate about it.
3. Nothing will fulfill you like Jesus, if you are unfulfilled, He is seeking you and His purpose for your life.

Ok...these are not my words! I did not come up with this. But I just felt like it convicts me...makes me want to seek those who are hurting and feeling unloved and show them how to receive the Living Water that I have flowing in my life. It's eternal and free. I am thankful he sees more in me than I ever thought possible. I forget sometimes what a great life I have been given...forgive me Lord. I pray that these words remind you of how loved you are and how He wants to fill you. I have days that I am so weak and I pray He fills me up...

This verse spoke to me this week:
2 Kings 17:41 Even while these people were worshipping the Lord, they were serving their idols.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Stupid Monkey

Yesterday Rod Pennington preached. It just blesses my heart to see young men and women who grew up in our church go out and serve in His Kingdom. Rod and Amanda grew up in Owasso and then got married! They have been missionaries in Thailand for about 3 years and plan on going back next year. Listening to their stories just amazes me!! One of the stories he shared with us on Sunday was "How to trap a Monkey in the Jungle". Which I guess is something he learned to do over there.
Here is how you do it:
Dig a hole
Put a piece of Fruit in the hole
Cover the hole with a board and weigh it down with rocks or something.
Make a hole in the board just big enough for the Monkey's hand to fit in

What happens?
The the monkey comes along and reaches in the whole and grabs the fruit
You come running loudly out of the jungle and the monkey will not let go of the fruit
He will sacrifice himself while holding on to the fruit. He will not let go!
Sad Huh? For all you monkey lovers...sorry

What do we learn from this?
What sin are you holding onto? Is it worth it?
Let it go...
Don't you just want to yell...Stupid Monkey!!! I guess that's me sometimes...a monkey holding on to that fruit!
Thanks so much Rod and Amanda for the example you have set for all of us. We are so proud of you and what you are doing for the kingdom. You are a true blessing.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Matt's Appendix Comment

So just incase you didn't understand Matt's appendix comment last week...this is where he got it...from Francis Chan author of Crazy Love...which that book...changed my life! And now he has a new book Called Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. I need to get it asap!! But this video clip will help you understand Matt's comment last week. It's short.

Are you an appendix in the church? Listen and see...

Friends: For or With you

Lori Wilhite had this to say on her blog the other day...it really has me thinking about some things..

A little quote from someone to chew on:

“There are friends that are for you, and friends that are with you. We usually get hurt when we confuse ‘for’ friends and ‘with’ friends.”

The point is …. “For” friends are those that care about you and are for you as long as you are walking in the same direction and as long as their thinking aligns with yours. “With” friends are those through the good and the bad, no matter what similarities or differences they are WITH you.


I have some in both categories... but thank you to those very few that are "with" me.
I couldn't walk this journey without your support.
I love you!
Steph

Friday, October 23, 2009

Conference for PW's with Beth Moore

Did you know Beth Moore did a conference exclusively for PW's? I didn't until I read about it on my friend Cindi's blog!! WOW! You can download it here. I think I might do this and check it out. If you have seen this please let me know. How cool would it be to attend one of these!!! Are you serious??? All of us coming together? What a party that would be?

Anyway...just wanted to share this with my fellow PW's and if you know anything about it...please let me know!!
Blessings!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Daddy's gone...but Aunt Christy is here!

Matt left for San Diego today...bum! I felt like throwing a fit and stomping my feet because I didn't get to go...I mean..California without me???? Really! The nerve! LOL!! Really..it's been a hard week for us and letting him go was harder than usual. He is at a church there...can't remember the name...for an intense conference with just 5 churches there. It should be a great time of refreshing and learning for him. We miss him so much when he is gone!!

But My sister is here! Yeah! My kids love when Aunt Christy and her daughter Kenzie come. We need a distraction this weekend and they are great at it! So we are going to hang out and go out to dinner tomorrow night. Probably go get some pumpkins and carve them. Fun!

And here is what we do when Kenzie is here...she always has the best items to play with! This is her new hat...or cat I guess...So I put it on and they took my pic acting like a cat. Ok..these are the things you only do with family...but I am posting it so just laugh...it's funny!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Saying Goodbye

I haven't felt much like blogging this week...I have just been to sad to chat...

We said Good bye to our sweet Maggie tonight. She has just went downhill all week. I prayed that God would show me a sign if putting her to sleep was the right thing...and I said...if she doesn't eat anything today again...we will know. Well, she didn't eat a drop...she would barely get off the couch. Even when she saw the kids...she just laid there. Matt and I haven't agonized over something in so long. Our hearts were completely broken to think of having to do this. But we knew as the day went on...it was the right choice. She was in so much pain, her little bones where getting weak.

So let me just tell you why we loved this dog so much...she had a personality that everyone loved. She was so sweet and gentle. When you would go outside she would run from where ever she was...and stop right at your feet. We called her the cat dog...because she would rub up against your legs like a cat does. We all swear that she smiled. She would look up at you and it looked like she was smiling at you! Maggie was a smart dog. My daughter Lauren trained her to walk on beams, walk over a ladder and many other tricks. Lauren adored this dog and Maggie loved Lauren. Wherever Lauren was...Maggie was. They were really best friends. She loved water, she would jump in her little pool and swim all around. She was protective...anytime someone was around...she would let us know. She had a way of just making you feel loved in her 2 short years.

When we told our kids...my son Jaden took it the hardest. I don't think I have ever seen him cry so hard...he was weeping out loud. It broke my heart. I was shocked he took it the hardest, but being younger, I don't think he quite understood how sick she was and it took him by surprise. After we told them...I heard him out with Maggie's puppies telling them "We need to have a family meeting" with all the puppies jumping at him...and he told the puppies Maggie was sick...I didn't hear the whole conversation...but what a good heart that boy has! Lauren knew Maggie didn't feel good and she knew it was coming. Brooke is so sad also...I think she is trying to be brave. I have to tell you...it has been a hard week. Very emotional...I have begged and pleaded with God to save her, but it was just not part of his plan. I have heard the sweetest prayers from my kids this week as they laid their hands on her and prayed for healing. And that is what he did...he healed her...she is running around Heaven playing. We will see that sweet dog again someday. I don't know how you feel about dogs and heaven...but for this family...we believe they will be there waiting to play with us!

One thing that has been on my mind thru all of this is...some where in a hospital sits a mom...by the bedside of a sick child. She is praying for healing...praying for peace. I can't imagine being in that position. I know Maggie was just a dog and we loved her. But thank you Jesus for healthy kids. God is so good to us. We have plans to get a new puppy already. I will post about that sometime later. It's a blessing from someone!

Thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement during this time of sorrow for my family. YOu are all a blessing in my life. Please pray my kids hearts can heal soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

We are Family...

On Sunday Matt continued our sermon series on Our Core Values. This week was about Family...how the church is a family. And how we need to work together, love each other and spur one another on in our relationships with Christ. The best part of the sermon...Ok...so I'm a little bias...was when my sons Football team got to come on stage. They played the NFL theme song to bring them in. He used it as an illustration about how we are to work together and all parts of the Body of Christ are important, just like a football team needs all the players to make a touchdown. We all have different gifts and talents God has given us.
I videoed them coming in and their interviews...now you might want to take some Dramamine because to be honest..video taping is not one of my talents! I should have brought my tripod really! I didn't want to wait for the video from our cameras at church, so here is my version. My son is Jaden, #66. He is the cute one up there...heehee! It's about 6 minutes long...but it is just so cute! They are an amazing little team! And yes, that is my hot man up there asking them the questions...ok...I know that's not all spiritual to say that...but I'm just sayin!!! It was a great day @ FCC. To end it he talked about our trip to Yellowstone and how our truck broke down and how we as a family "broke down" also. But we made it thru and became stronger. Yes NICOLE..your picture was on the big screen yesterday too (she is my BFF that we went on vacation with)!! LOL!!

Enjoy! YOu might want to go down and pause my playlist at the bottom of my blog so you can hear the video...
video

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Test Results

We received the test results on Maggie's liver, it's not what we wanted to hear. She has cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis. We really don't have a solid answer on how this all started. Our vet said it could be the stress from her pregnancy or copper poisoning. We don't know how she would have gotten copper poisoning, so that is weird! One of our friends gave us a supplement called Ambrotose. It is suppose to get the organs going again. It's about our only hope of helping her. The only problem is we can't get her to eat anymore. So we have had to feed her with a syringe and melt the medicine in there. It's just a sad situation right now. We will probably have to make the decision when to put her down in the next few days. We have heard the sweetest prayers from our children praying over her the last few days. I appreciate you all for keeping us in your prayers. I will let you know when we have more news.
Blessings,
Steph T.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Maggie Update

Well...not good news again. Maggie has started to fill up with fluid. We have her at home with in IV. That is going to be fun! Anyway...we must sit and wait until the liver results come back on Monday or Tuesday. It sounds like her liver is not functioning right therefore making her blood not absorb her fluid. She is only 2 years old. Please pray for my kids, they are having a really hard time. I am praying the test comes back and it is something that can be fixed with medicine or PRAY HER LIVER STARTS WORKING!! I know God can do it and I believe He can!!! AMEN SISTERS!!!!

Where the Wild Things Are...review

Of course this is my opinion so take it or leave it...



Doesn't that picture make you think...what a sweet movie that is...umm....not!!

We just took the kids to watch the new movie "Where the Wild Things Are" and it was awful!! Most of the time I look up the movie and see what people are saying about it and make sure there are no cuss words in it, but this is one of those times I assumed since it was a children's book I didn't check into it. My kids loved this book and we read it all the time when Jaden was little so he was so excited to see this movie.

Well...it was very hard to follow. It started off ok and just went down hill. The kids had a hard time following it. If you have a little one...I wouldn't take them...there are scary parts that will probably give them nightmares about monsters!! I was sooo mad when they cussed in the movie...I mean seriously...WHY do you need to put that in there? It's a kids movie! PEOPLE!!! I actually saw people with little ones leaving the theater!!

My kids came out of there going...What? That wasn't what we thought it would be! Anyway...you do what you want...but if someone would have told me before I spent a fortune to go see it...I wouldn't have went!! So if I save you a buck or two...this was worth it!!

Anyway...:)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Maggie is HOME!!

Thank you thank you so much for your prayers! I couldn't believe it when Kristina our vet called and said...come get Maggie, we think she will rest better at home!!

So here is the scoop...they sent a biopsy off of her liver to test it to see what is the problem. She had a major infection in her body and they don't know what caused it or why her liver stopped working. But Kristina seems to think getting all the fluid...1 gallon to be exact...WOW...will make her feel better. They are going to pump her full of antibiotics to get rid of the infection. We just need to pray her stomach doesn't fill up with fluid again. So we are watching her to make sure that doesn't happen and that her liver will begin working just fine. I will keep you updated, but right now...we are out of the woods for now. The good news is the fluid tested negative for Bacteria...so that is great!

I wish you could see her...all curled up on our rug next to my bed. What a blessing all of you are for praying for our family today. God is so good and we give HIm all the Glory and know she is in His hands!!
Here she is..resting...PRaise the Lord!!



Blessings,
Step

Pray for Maggie

Here is Maggie...


I would like to ask you to please pray for our sweet little yellow lab Maggie. If you have a pet or like animals you know how they can become part of your family. My kids love our dogs! My oldest wants to be a vet and would love to breed and raise dogs. She loves and cares for our dogs and it amazes me her love for them. Our dogs are my kids best friends!

6 weeks ago Maggie had 8 sweet little pups. I have put pics of them on here. She has not ate very well since. On Sunday we noticed her belly finally getting bigger...we thought she was eating better, but by Tuesday night her belly was huge and swollen!! Our vet goes to our church and she is actually the one we got Maggie from so she loves Maggie. We took her there and found out her uterus was infected and they she would need to be spayed. Which long story...we had Maggie's grandma, Grace. It was Matt and I's first dog and we loved her so much. She died last year at 13. Maggie is her great grand daughter and we got her in hopes that we could carry on the lineage of Grace. So my kids were sad to find out we wouldn't be having any more pups. We didn't plan on having this liter we have now, a dog got in our yard and it was a yellow lab, without papers.

Anyway...Our vet...Kristina, opened Maggie up and she had fluid all over her belly. It wasn't her uterus like we first thought. Her liver is not functioning correctly and her Gall bladder is 2xs the size it should be. They had to take a sample of her liver and they are sending it off to be tested. Kristina had to just close her back up and now we have to wait. Wait and see if it is just an infection or something more. She is in critical condition right now. Ok...and I know some might be thinking...good grief...it's just a dog...get over it! But as a mom...seeing the look in your sweet babies eyes when you tell them their precious dog is not doing good..well I am in tears. I hate seeing them so sad. I know there are bigger things to be praying about, but today...this is big to our family. So please pray for Maggie to come thru and be ok. She is such a sweet dog. Every one who comes over loves this dog. She has a personality like no other dog I have ever seen. When she looks at you, I swear she smiles and she just wants you to love on her.

If there is anyone that can take of her I know God can...and I fully trust our Vet Kristina. She loves animals and would move heaven and earth to take care of Maggie. One more thing...financially we can't afford to pay $1,000s of dollars to take care of her, so pray we dont' have to make a decision based on how much it all will cost.
So just pray for our family and I know what ever happens God is going to take care of us.
Blessings
Steph

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I have survived a week...

Ok..so I must admit...I LOVE DR. PEPPER people! I can't go a day without a can of it! That's all I need is one can a day...I like it at lunch or after school! There is nothing like Dr. Pepper and chocolate in the middle of the day for me!!! It's a little bit of heaven going on...can I get an AMEN PEOPLE??? But recently I have decided to eat and try to live a healthier life style! So last week I quit COLD TURKEY!!!! I didn't want to say anything because honestly...I was afraid I would fail at it and girls...my pride didn't want to admit failure to you. Ok ok...I know it is just pop, but it is seriously something that I have never been able to shake!!! So I bought some Snapple diet peach tea and have been drinking it in place of my Dr. Pepper time. It is actually half way good for you. It is made from Black and green tea...no calories, no fat and no sugar. So I thought...ok!

I have to say, I have been really good so far, but sweet things...it is calling my name today!!!!!! I have had a crazy day and nothing sounds better than a Sonic Dr. Pepper with extra ice right now! And from 2 to 4 they are 1/2 price!! Can you feel my pain??? Does anyone else have something that is so hard for them to quit?

So I know this is so ridiculous to pray about, but I am asking for God to take this addiction away from me! It's actually all about me being able to hand things over to him and not let them have a strong hold on my life. I am praying for victory!!

Here was my Facebook post today...thought it was funny, but there is a lot of seriousness to this also!!
Dear Dr. Pepper...I really miss you...I need you today...why did I decide to break up with you...stupid me...help...It's been a week since our lips last touched...I'm weak...will I turn to you in my desperate time of need??...yes I have lost it people!!! One week..Dr. Pepper free!!! I'm going crazy!! HELP!!! I must not give in!!!

So what's your one thing you can't do without?
I promise I think I need an Dr. Pepper anonymous...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

BSF Update!

Ok...some things are just too good to keep to yourself!! I have to share with you some of the points that our leader shared with us today at BSF and I hope they encourage you and make you grow stronger in your relationship with Christ!! I am so Convicted!

They might seem a little random...we are in John 2...where Jesus goes to the Wedding and turns water into wine, his first miracle....and then clears the temple.

1. Just as Mary had to start letting go of Jesus...as our children are born we start releasing them back to where and what God has planned for them.
2. Vs. 5 some of the best advice Mary gave...Do whatever he tells you to do...simple advice about Jesus.
3. Obedience always let you in on the action...disobedience we lose out on what God can do!
4. When will you trust His timing and method to do His will in your life?
5. Jesus will not tolerate sin in His own (people) ie...cleansing the temple.
6. Whatever corrupts will eventually be purged!
7. Jesus reveals Himself to those who listen and commit to follow him.
8. Bow to His authority and or He will break you...he wants to break you...to fill you.

Just a few points to share with you...I felt like she was totally speaking to me and I felt the Holy Spirit convicting me on all of this as I was sitting them.
Question...as you are decorating and doing your fall cleaning....does your life need a fall cleaning and redecorated??
Blessings,
Steph

Monday, October 12, 2009

Short and Sassy Again!

Each summer I grow out my hair because I love to have a pony tail at the pool. But come October I am soo ready to have my hair short again!!! Because I love to wear hoodies and sweaters and so it just sits better. So I thought I would share the before and after today:

This is me this morning:


And Ta Da...The Short cut! It is actually a little darker than this picture makes it look, the flash on my MAC makes it lighter:


It always takes me a little bit to recognize myself in the mirror! :)

Student of the Month

Just gotta brag on my little man! He was student of the month @ his school today. I am just so proud of him! The teacher picks a child in the classroom each month that exhibits certain virtues of the month. I need to get a list from his teacher. He is a great kid! I am so blessed to be his mom.

Here he is in front of the school supporting OSU on his Hoodie! GO POKES!!




Blessings,
Steph

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Core Values/Grace

We started a new sermon series last week at FCC called Core Values. Charlie kicked it off with what we believe as a church... and that is WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS!! Wow...does that sound so hard or what? NOT! You wouldn't believe the churches out there that do not preach out of the bible anymore. It is mind boggling to me that there are preachers who do not use scripture on Sunday mornings! FCC has always been a church that uses the bible as their Core teaching. I am thankful for that.

Today my sweet man preached. I always look forward to him preaching. I really think he has the gift of preaching. He is so passionate about it and really seeks what God wants him to say on Sunday mornings. Today his topic was Are we a Grace filled church? WOW! First of all for those of you who don't know...we have an outstanding worship leader...Tim...he just got back from a Catalyst conference so he was extra pumped this morning...yes...he got to see Kari Jobe perform live with an orchestra...Me=jealous. I would love to have been there!!! So worship rocked this morning and if it didn't make you want to raise your hand and lift praise to God...well you need a heart transplant!

Nathan...a young man who recently joined the worship team...and our worship team performed one of my favorite Casting Crown Songs (and yes...I love CC and we actually got to meet them after their concert in Tulsa...LOVE THEM) ...this song has always tugged at my heart and humbles me. The song has been out for several years, but still has such a huge impact on me. It's Does Anybody hear her? Mark, the leader of CC gives his testimony about the song in this video. Go down to my playlist and pause it at the bottom of my blog so you can hear the video better if you want.


He tells us we have lists...if you do this sin...oh I'll forgive you...but if you do this sin...sorry I can't forgive you. Which is not GOD's grace at all! I have to admit I am so guilty of this at times, I kinda have a check list, and when you upset me or make me mad or annoy me...well, sorry you are not on my "talk to" list anymore. I am a sinner, I have no reason to judge or not love someone.

2 simple points Matt used today: We need Grace and we need to give Grace. Thank you so much Lord for the Grace that you shed on me daily. Forgive me when I do not show YOUR Grace to others.

He used the passage from John 8, the woman caught in Adultery. Someone who needed God's grace, just like you and me.

If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. John 8:7


Someone needs you to show them God's Grace and love. Who is it?

p.s. My Friend Loren reminded me you can listen to these sermons on the internet!! Thanks Loren! You can go to fccowasso.com and check them out!
Blessings,
Steph

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pastor Appreciation Month

Do you know that October is Pastor Appreciation Month? Well I completely forgot about it until my sweet new PW Kate reminded me in her blog.

Of course...my favorite Pastor is my husband...duh! I blogged about him on his bday here and said mushy things about him in it...he is one of the most Godly, caring, hard working, patient, loving men I know. I am so blessed to be his wife...his best friend...his love and his partner in ministry and his girl! He is the Associate Pastor at our church.

But in this blog...I want to appreciate Charlie Curran. He is our Pastor...big dog...the boss! :) Charlie is an incredible preacher. He has always been so supportive of Matt and I. We were in the Youth ministry at our church for about 12 years and I have had heard horror stories from some of our friends in the youth ministry about their Sr. pastors and how they didn't respect them. We NEVER EVER have felt that from Charlie. He has always loved and supported us. We had all 4 of his children in the youth group at some point and they are simply outstanding kids. So this is where Pam...his wife must come into the conversation...I adore Pam. She is so wise and always takes the time to love me and listen to me and I never feel like she judges me. They are phenomenal parents. They have set such a great example of how to raise Godly kids in the ministry and teach them how to love God and serve Him. Pam and I have road together on Youth Quake trips...which for those of you who don't know...that is a trip to CO about 15 hours in a van filled with youth kids! And when we get there we sleep in a tent together for a week and at the end of the week..we still love each other!! LOL! I feel so blessed to have her in my life. I encourage all Pastor's wives to reach out to the ones younger than you and mentor them thru these times of raising kids in the ministry. We need you!!
Ok...back to Pastor Charlie...I appreciate that he allows my husband to grow and be who God made him to be. He is open to change and he doesn't try to control what Matt does. He puts his trust in Matt and shows his support and always has his back when he needs him. He has a heart for God and wants to see people come to know...love...serve and share Him...and how do we do that??...we move it from our head to our heart to our hands to feet...that's our churches purpose statement and he reminds us often of it from the pulpit. He is compassionate, wise and takes the time to get to know each of us. I appreciate that he and Pam come to my kids games and sit in the stands and cheers them on. They are so much fun and we always laugh when we are together. So to end this love fest...LOL...I just want to tell Charlie...I truly love you and Pam and your whole family really...we are blessed to be in the ministry with you.
We look forward to the future @ FCC and how God is going to use us. Thanks for all you do!

Here is the only Pic I have of them together...Seriously...I need an updated one!!! This was a couple of years ago right before we were going White Water Rafting In Colorado.



WAIT!!! I just remember I have this picture from our Young Couples Luau!!! This is how great they are...they let me put all of this on them and take a picture! LOL!!


And he loves Chocolate Chip Cookies so this month Charlie...I will bring you some!!!

And I want to Encourage all of you to write a letter, send an email...bake some cookies...or just simply give your Pastor a hug and tell them you appreciate them. Trust me..they need it. They carry a huge burden for each of you. You have no idea how much they live and breath their "jobs" and they love what they do...serving the Lord.
Blessings,
Steph

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Ok...it's fall..time for Pumpkin dump cake! Every fall we can't wait to make this...it's SO easy!! We made it tonight...it's a rainy cold night here in Oklahoma. If you like pumpkin...you will love this!

Pumpkin Dump Cake
1 big can of Pumpkin Pie Mix (make sure and get the mix)
1 box of Yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter

Dump the pumpkin pie mix into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Dump the dry cake mix on top of that...cut the butter into pats and place them all over top of the cake mix. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until it is brown on top. You can put pecans on it if you like before you bake it. Serve warm with ice cream or whip cream.

ENJOY!!!! Happy Fall!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Determined Not To Be Desperate

I'm so excited that my sister in laws bible study comes out this month! Yeah for Krista! I have blogged about her here. God is so good! Here is a link to a video about her book and the conference she is speaking at Northpoint Christian Church in Harbor, IL in November. The church made this video for her.
This is her book


Anyway...just wanted to give her a little SHOUT out! And tell her how proud I am of her!!
Blessings,
Steph

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Charmed!

One of the girls we used to have in the youth group...Kristin Corbin... is all grown up with her family now and she has started a little business. She is making these really cute charms! I thought I would show you a few of them she is making and if you are interested...let me know and I will pass on her information. You can have one thing on one side and a totally another thing on the other side. I am having one made with our teams mascot...a Ram and my sons #66...on the other side she is putting a cross that is black with a tan background. I will show you the end result when I get it.

Here are a few examples:



Anyway...just a cute little idea!
Steph

Monday, October 5, 2009

Zinnias



I love Zinnias...I have them all over my flower beds. They are the easiest, cheapest flowers to grow! One hint I would like to share with you is ( my mom taught me this)...start pinching off the heads off your zinnias as they are dying right now! I actually do it throughout the session, but if you have some still live go ahead and do it! Take the heads and put them in a brown grocery sack and save them all winter. Then next spring...take them and crumble up the heads...and sprinkle them in the dirt. Just cover them barely up. Honestly...you really could just crumble them up and toss them on the ground and they will pretty much grow. So just a little helpful hint I felt I need to share with you...I am always sad to see them die in the fall, but I know I will have plenty to plant next spring. If you need any in the spring...let me know...I have a grocery sack full now! YOu can do this with most flowers that turn to seed when they die.

I love to plant flowers and garden. Both my grandparents had green thumbs and so does my mom. When I plant things I feel like I am carrying on their legacy somewhat. They have all taught me so much about growing things and I am so thankful for their advice and love passing it on to my kiddos!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A week of Birthdays!!

WIthin a week we have 5 significant bdays in our family! First was my sister's on the 25th and I have already blogged about her here

Next came my nephew Josiah. This is a picture of him...on the left, my son Jaden in the middle and then Matt's cousin's son Hunter on the right.


Josiah turned 10 on the 29th. Josiah is a great kid. I am so glad that he is part of our family. I don't know what my son Jaden would do without him at family gatherings! Seriously! With 4 girls he needs Josiah around at family things. Matt's brother Brian has 2 girls and one boy also. He is a quiet boy...atleast around us...but he one of those kids you can just see it in his eyes he is taking it all in and watching all the details flow. He is a smart kid and he is a great football player too. They live in a small town in KS about 2 1/2 hours away. We don't get to see them as much as we would like with our busy schedules. So Happy Birthday Josiah! You are an amazing kid! Only the girls got to go up for his bday this year with Grandpa and Grandma Z. Sorry big guy we couldn't go!! We love you!!

Next on the 30th is Matt's dad...Gary. Here is a picture of Matt and his dad.


Gary is a farmer. He raises cattle and sells them. He is married to Marilyn...Matt's stepmom. My kids love going to their house and playing on all the farm equipment. They love the hay barn and the cows and running all over. They built a house several years ago that would accommodate all of us when we come down and we are so grateful for that! He is an elder at Sunnybrook CC in Stillwater, OK. He likes to talk and visit with you and let you know how things are going around Stillwater and such. Just a good Ol Guy people might say! So Happy Birthday Gary!!!

Next on the Oct. 2nd is my niece McKenzie...aka as spaginzie or skenzie...she and I just have a lot of fun together. She is the one who broke the mold when she was born!! LOL!! She likes fun crazy things and if you ever need anything that girl has it in her purse! She is the junk queen! She really makes me laugh and we always seem to come up with stupid stuff to do when we are together. I wasn't married when my sister's kids were born...I was still young, so I feel like I have grown up with these girls.

Here is a pic of her: Notice the headband she just bought in New Orleans...the hair color and such...she is so fun!


Kenzie is 17 now. She drives a convert able mustang...but would rather have my Windstar so she can take a million people around in it! She is a social queen! But here is her dream "car".

I just love this girl!

And finally on the 5th is my niece Danielle....she and Kenzie are sister's. They are my sister's girls. This is she and I in New Orleans last week:

Danielle, what a little story she is. My sister found out she was pregnant as a senior in HS. I blogged about it on her bday. My sister had her at 19, I was 16 years old. Danielle lived at our house until she was 2, when my sister married Greg they moved to Joplin. I loved that little girl, but I was very jealous of the time and attention everyone was giving her...I was the baby of the family...now there was a new baby that everyone was showering their affection onto her. Needless to say...I was a brat about it for awhile. What is amazing is...God lead me to Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO....where my sister just moved too! Crazy! So I got to continue to spend time with Danielle and Christy. She spent so much time with me and I feel like I helped raise her for some part of that time. I have always felt a connection with these girls because of all the time I spent with them.

Ok...fast forward...Danielle is quite the young lady. She is very smart! She is at the University of Ark. majoring in Architectural design. She is engaged to a great guy named Lonnie who I love. He is from Louisiana so he has manners..yes mam...no mam..opens doors and all of that! I have so much fun with her also. We get along great and my kids love her Kenzie so much! I love our time together.

So that is enough bdays for awhile in our family! Geez!! What's up with so many being born so close?? I know there are alot of families that are like that...lots of bday all crammed into a week or so.
I have decided to blog about them when it's a family members bday...so I thought with all 5 it would be easier to get it all done on one!! yeah!

Happy Birthday...Christy...Josiah...Gary...Kenzie...and Danielle!!
We love you!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Blog Award

So have been given an award by my sweet new friend Kate! She is also a pastor's wife and she seems like F U N!!
Here is the award she was given me: Creative Blogger Award



So here are the rules:
1-Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2-Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4-Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5-Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6-Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7-Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they've been nominated.

Let's see...hmmm 7 things you might not know about me:
1. I love bubble baths, would take one ever day if I could!!
2. My dad called me Fred growing up...have you ever watched Smoky and the Bandit? The dog is named Fred..
3. I love hostess cup cakes and anything from Little Debbie...seriously...LOVE them!
4. I want to be a professional photographer...I am planning on taking a class soon!
5. I have been in love with my husband since the day I saw him @ Youthquake as a Freshman in HS.
6. I wish I could sing and be on stage...instead I just sing in my car for Jesus!
7. I have marched in the Rose and the Macy's Thanksgiving parade.

Ok..so I am suppose to tag some friends to give this too, Nicole and Loren have already gotten this award from someone and I am not sure if you can give it to someone if they have already got it so I guess I need to give it to new people, but I would definately give it to them gals...but I have some incredible creative bloggy girls out there to give it too also!!

1. Ashley
2. Amber
3. Kristy
4. Jennifer She is a youth minister's wife!
5. Cari
6. Kim
7. Hannah She will be a MW soon!!

Hope you girls enjoy!
Love ya!
Steph

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Virtual Round Table

I have mentioned many times that I love Lori Wilhite's blog. She is a pastors wife in Las Vegas. I love her blog because it specifically deals with issues Minister's families and the things we encounter. It give me great encouragement for me and she is an amazing example for me as a minister's wife. She is so supportive of her husbands ministry...which I haven't been so great at since we have transitioned in the Adult world. I really want to try to reach out to other minister's wives. That is one of the reasons I started blogging...but I never have quite go there yet. So you will see my blog change a little in that I really feel God is using me to do that and to support Matt in his ministry by talking about things we are doing in our ministry.

But Lori has started a virtual blog for minister's wives! How exciting! I love technology! I could really use the encouragement from the other ladies and just see what they are doing and how they deal with issues that come up in a MF as a family, a wife, friends, raising kids and dealing with the people in their church.

I know several of you that read my blog are MW also. I want you to go to Lori's website and tell her you would also like to be a part of this if it is something you want to do. Or maybe we could start one ourselves. They use Tokbox. Matt and I have used it when he is out of town to talk on the computer. It is fun!! You can get to her blog from here

Here is the picture she posted that she took of the other ladies while they were talking. From all over the US! I just think it is so cool!

SO email me if you are interesting in doing this with me and we could start our own tokbox or let Lori know on her website and we could join in on theirs. I think it is a great idea! I have so many girlfriends I went to college with that are in the ministry and we need to try to catch up with this great tool!!
Blessings,
Steph

stephtmomof3@sbcglobal.net

An Opportunity I almost missed...

I have to admit...I haven't been @ church on Wednesday night yet this fall...until last night. I debated on whether to go or not, but Matt had a meeting so I had to go pick up the kids anyway...so I decided I might as well go and see where the Lord will use me..maybe Aaron would have a teacher not show...maybe Joe would have a small group leader not come, I really didn't know what I would be doing. I took my BSF study with me so I could work on it. But that is not what God had planned for me.

See this is my first year not to be a youth small group leader. On the way to church I felt tears whelp up in my eyes thinking about how much I miss my girls from my small group. They have all graduated and left for college. Transitioning from a youth minister's wife to an associate minister's wife...well...it has just rocked my world. I have felt lost and alone...useless for awhile. But I feel like I am coming out of it and seeing where God is taking me. So I put my big girl pants on and went last night and prayed...just use me where you need me.

I sat in the youth worship for awhile...then as they were dismissed for small group I wandered out in the Gathering Area. And that is where I found why I was there...a young mom of 4 kids. Precious little kids! They recently up and left their life in Florida to raise their kids in a more Godly environment. Their families are all back in Florida. They had to go back for a little over a month to work on some house issues and now they are finally back. I met them on their first day to visit FCC back in August. So sweet...so easy to talk with. She looks so young, but I found out last night she is 31. OK...that is not old I know...but I thought she was like 25 or something!!

She began to share her life with me. Telling me how they felt God lead them to Owasso to raise their family. She home schools her kids...which I totally admire. WOW! She also shared with me how she has lost 2 children. One she was pregnant with and at 7 months found out it had a brain tumor and lost it and the other died in his sleep at 2 1/2 years old. As a mom...that is one of your nightmares that you hope and pray never ever comes true. They have been thru a lot in there little lives. We shared about our marriages and that it is hard somedays, but you push your way thru it you work on it and you love them for who God created them to be.

I know I keep looking at her hair...Why? Because she had a beanie on and I was so worried she was going thru chemo or something and I wanted soo bad to ask her about it. She must have noticed me starring at her because she finally said she had her husband shave her head because all the stress they have been thru she just wanted something easy! Wowser! What a brave girl! She looked beautiful to me. I was relieved to know she wasn't sick. Amen!

It came time to pick up our children and she thanked me for our talk. After we picked up our kids...she gave me a hug and asked if we could go get coffee sometime. I have to say...I really enjoyed our talk. I have a passion for young couples and I know without a doubt that is where I was suppose to be last night. What if I would have just stayed home? I would have missed out an opportunity to encourage this young mom and to be used by God. They have no family here...they need people in their lives to be there for them. There are so many young families without "family" living close to them that need couples to reach out to them.

I just want to encourage anyone out there that might read this...don't stay "home" when God can use you to minister to someone. Open yourselves up and let God show you how blessed you will be by sharing your life with someone else. I am so glad I didn't stay home by myself last night. I would have just watched TV or something ridiculous like that! Thank you Jesus for leading me to her. She blessed my life!
Blessings,
Steph