Saturday, July 31, 2010


Today is my Amazing Moms Bday!! 

Some of you don't know this...but she lives 2 houses down from's a blessing!!
(the 16 year old in me still says....huh?)

We are taking her to lunch with just the girls while we look for a wedding dress for my niece.

Then tonight I made her dinner and we will celebrate as a family.

My mom loves Jesus, my dad & her family. 
She is a hard worker...will do anything for you. 
She would literally hurt someone who messed with her kids/grandkids.
She didn't have it easy growing me. 
I know she is always there for me.
I love & admire her so much.
I am blessed to call her mom.

I love you mom...thanks for always being there for me thru it all. 
You are the best mom.
Happy Birthday to YOU!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

YQ: Princess Palace & happenings at the Campsite

I could really blog about 2 weeks on YQ and everything so I am going to cram another blog in today about my sleeping arrangements...aka "The Princess Palace." See...I've been to YQ 18 times now...I know what to expect and what to bring. I have an official list that gets passed around every year & I am tellin YA...


This year I tented with these sweet Ladies...Meet:
Jackie, Me, Heather & Rhonda
Here is our Palace...
We have Da Bomb Cots! They are twin sized beds! Love them!!

And the dreaded tub...we pack our socks...etc in bags so they don't get lost all over that tub...but we dig thru that tub about a MILLION times during the week! But when it rains...our stuff stays nice & dry!
Heather is dragging her stuff back from the shower...
And now...the  Porta Potty (aka...Porta Poopy) Because that's what it smelled like!
Oh learn to go at lightening speed & you dare not go...well...#2...and spend that much time in there...Yes..I took a picture from inside...I just looked at it all week so I couldn't resist...
So that's a glimpse into our camp life for the week...I might make it sound dreadful..but I honestly love it!!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

YQ: Climbing A Mountain

On Wednesday we climb Mt.'s just up the path from our campsite. See the red building on the right...that's about where we start and then go to the top.
 It took me about 1 hour & 15 minutes to get up to the top.
The students are paired up with another student...usually someone they don't first it's awkward for them...but as they climb the mountain, they learn how to work together to make it to the top. The ideal pair is someone who can run up the mountain paired with someone who might not make it to the top without help or encouragement. 

The mountain is NOT Easy Peesy Lemon ALL!!
Let's just say...I have been training for a 5k and it almost kicked my tail!!

Meet my sweet partner...Amanda...I love this girl. Amanda came thru the youth group with Matt & I and now that girl is a loving the Lord Missionary for Christ! She has been on 3 missions trips this year and has a desire to make it a permanent place in her life as God opens doors. She just graduated from College and ready for God to use her however He wants!
She helped me up that mountain!
Though I felt like I could die..I didn't...
While on the mountain we have a devo time....
And take time to study his word with the view in front of us..
Take lots of pictures...
And some more...
We made these cute shirts...don't I look like 12 years old or something...LOL!

Climbing this mountain really stretches the kids. There are many of them who barely make it to the they hear 300 + kids start cheering them on...
"You can do it"
"You are almost there"
"You're doing Awesome"

Like in our Christian walk...having someone by you...cheering you on...encouraging you...lifting you up...pushing you to grow in your faith. Finish the Race...climb that mountain.

So many of them come back saying...
I couldn't have done it without my partner
I pray you have a "partner" in life that encourages you to keep going. 
I am blessed to have many who cheer me on...tell me when I need to step it up in my faith...won't let me give up or give in or just plan smack me in the head when I need it, but do it because they love me & mostly they LOVE THE LORD!!

But encourage each other daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 
Hebrews 3:13-14

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

YQ: Youth Group Time

My favorite part of the day is always Youth Group time....
actually that's not true...I have several favorite parts of YQ as you will see

Hearts are broken...changed...healed & revealed during this time...
There is just something about taking kids out of their environment...
away from friends, family, phones, internet, sports or 
whatever is in their way of their relationship with God. 
You see open hearts...unity built...lives changed. 

Listening to them admit addictions to porn, alcohol, sex, gossip, popularity and many other things...breaks my heart...because I have been down that road & I know the hurt that can come from some of those decisions.  I just want to wrap them up in the love of Christ & show them how much God loves them. How they are Precious to Him, His mercies are new every morning & 
His forgiveness is available every day. 

Some were celebrating because @ YQ 09 they had also come clean on some of these issues and were celebrating a year clean
 & set free from the bondage of these sins! 
I can't really describe to you the feeling I had sitting in this circle with these youth kids...overwhelmed with God's Grace...His blessings....& felt my spirit moving & growing inside of me. I love working with the youth. They inspire me...change me...grow me & challenge me draw closer to God. I encourage you...spend time with a youth kid this week & see how blessed you are!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

YQ: White Water Rafting

On Tuesday last week we went White Water Rafting...

In a few words...cold...wet...but what a thrill!!!

We are on the water for about 3 hours or less...this is the first year we had to wear helmets...
I wear it well huh? Bahaha!!
Here are a few shots to share with you...this is my new favorite feature with Pics because I would like to share a million pics with you...:) 
Afterwards the Cook team came to feed all of us...
A Hobo Meal...YUMMY!
If you have never went rafting in Colorado you should....the view is breathtaking!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Run to Breathe 5k

Welp... I did it! I completed my 2nd 5k in 32:52....8 seconds faster than my first one!! It was soo hot compared to my first 5k & there were a few hills this time...I know...excuses...but it was a little bit different. 

The whole reason I did it was for my friend Jennifer & in memory of her daughter Haley. Haley passed away 2 years ago from Cystic Fibrosis & Jennifer is still fighting for a cure for CF!!! I admire her so much for her drive & determination to continue to fight!!! 
There was a huge turnout for the race...close to 300!!
Here are a few of my running partners!! Thanks so much to all of you!
My kids got up early to come cheer me on since Matt was out of town...they got a little reward of doughnuts afterwards!! :)
Hannah & I after the race...exhausted!!
It was a great feeling crossing that line again. I can see now why people are addicted to running. 
I pray they find a cure for CF soon! Too many kids are dying from it!!! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Home Sweet Home...

We made it home on Friday night. I have been sleeping & doing laundry ever since!

It was an incredible week filled with life changing decisions for Jesus!!

I will be back tomorrow blogging full force about our week & everything we experienced.

It was nice to "unplug" for a week & focus on God.

I have missed all of you & will spend some time catching up your week also.

This is just a glimpse of where we were last week....
I did my devo from this spot...yep...I'm gonna miss that  view....

Friday, July 16, 2010

How much can you shove into a 50 Gal. tub?

Yep...that's the big question this week for me. 
This is our luggage truck that we take every year full of our tubs to Youth Quake!

I will be camping with several hundred youth this week in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. 

I attempt to put as much as I can in that tub for a week. Now the temperature gets down to around 45 degrees so you have to pack....coats, hoodies, pants & then shorts for the day. A sleeping bag...tent...cot...I could go on and on because I don't travel light. 
(ain't no stinkin way I get it all in that tub)

And yes...I sit on the lid and duct tape it shut people!! 

SO I have about a million things to get done today...but soon I will be sleeping in a tent...digging my way thru one of these tubs on daily basis.

Watching God mold & change the hearts of the of my favorite things in the world. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dehydration Tip of the Day

I forgot to tell ya'll...I got dehydrated at church camp...

I ran that morning & when I came back I started feeling sick at my stomach & my head hurt sooo bad!!

I eventually threw up...blueberries & bran...yep...that's gross!!
(I still worry about the poor camper who was fixing her hair while I was kissin the porcelain god... I warned her to get out while she could) 

I laid in my bunk all morning & felt worse than I have ever felt in my life. The camp nurse came in and told me to go to the ER. I could barely open my eyes & I couldn't eat or drink because I was nauseated.
(the nurse told me I might have bleeding on my brain...HUH...Um...NICE!!) 

Now...if I go to the ER, it's a $200 copay people!! So I have to be really dying to do that! 
(which I almost did go)

Matt was about to jump in the car & drive 2 hours to get me.
(my knight & shining armor) 

My sweet friend Heather drove me to my sister's house in Joplin. I pretty much passed out in the van seat. I was trying my hardest not to puke in the van. I made it. She said I threw my shoes & blanket on the driveway (which she picked up) and headed straight into the house. 
(funny now...not then)

I was gonna give it 2 more hours before I went to the ER...I seriously have never in my life had a headache like that. I could barely talk...the light was killing me.  I get them pretty much every other day....but none like this. I have never thrown up because of one. 

Just so happens that Heather's brother is an EMT. (God provided) She called him and he told her I was dehydrated and might have heat exhaustion. He said to give me 2 benadryls & 3 Ibuprofens and drink water. I was like WHAT? I will not wake up for days!!! 

I  choked down the pills...

I kid you not people...within ONE hour I was up..eating a PB & J sandwich & felt better. 

So if you are ever dehydrated...or sick at your stomach take Benadryl. I guess your body releases antihistamine & the Benadryl helps!!

Now...I have to tell you...since then I have experienced this again. I am not sure what's going on. I am drinking LOTS of water. 

God always amazes me how he provides for me with help when I need it!
Have you ever been dehydrated???

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why I Count It ALL JOY Wednesday!!

OH HOW I LOVE THIS DAY!!! Thanks so much Angel for creating this Joyful day!!
Join us in celebrating your Joys every Wednesday!!

I count it all Joy because I am heading to Colorado to camp out with our Youthgroup. Watching the lives change & the layers peel away that week always brings me JOY!

I count it all Joy because I have a sister that will take care of my kids while I am gone.

I count it all JOY because we have a pool & we can cool off in this SUPER Hot weather!!

I count it all JOY when I look at my flowers and how pretty my yard looks this time of the year.

I count it all JOY that God is working on me to watch my firecracker tongue and helping me slow down and not get upset so easily. 

I count it all JOY that I have A/C. 

I am filled with JOY because I am getting a hair cut in the morning!! SO NEED IT!

I count it all JOY that I get to be the wedding coordinator at our church & work with these young couples! 

And...I count it all JOY that my cousin Lori was told her cancer is going away & everything looks so much better! She received her test results from her PET scan yesterday and her bones...lungs...liver and everywhere are showing signs of improvement!! 
Our God heals us!!! It is truly a miracle considering she was told in October she wouldn't be alive in 6 months!! 

I hope you are filled with JOY about many things too! Please share!! 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I'm doing it again...Alone...

Many of you have been on this "running a 5k" journey with me. We started training back in January by completing the Couch Potato to 5k Program. 

It. about. killed. me.

In May Matt & I ran our first time 33 min...Matt's 26:44...not bad. 

We are still running and I have to's getting a little easier for me...and I want to tell all of you out there that think you can't do it...YOU CAN...I promise.

I was the epitome of someone who thought she couldn't run down the block much less a 5k. 

But I was bound & determined to do over come my doubts. 

One of my friends from HS...Jenn... lost  her daughter Haley 2 years ago to CF and has continued to fight to raise money for a cure for CF. On Saturday I will run in a 5k she has started called 
"Run to Breathe" A great cause! 

Matt will be in Colorado and so I will be doing this alone...with out him. I am nervous & I can't believe I am doing this without my strong man with me. 

To's more than a's letting God use me and move in ways I didn't think I could. It's peeling away a layer of insecurity that I am no longer that fat little girl no one wanted on her team as a child and throwing it away.
I want to beat my time of 33 min...we will see. 
Do you have something you are letting go of so you can grow in Christ? 

Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses 
so that Christ's power may reside in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Monday, July 12, 2010

I got a new one...ok maybe 3 actually..

So if you are a male & you read this blog...this is your's a female thing today....

(um I only know 3 men who read this blog..ok maybe 4...and one is my husband)

You see...I haven't bought one in about 3 or 4's pitiful...

My old ones have holes in the back...

I am horrible at buying any type of undergarments really.

Just annoys me to spend money on it...but I love the way they make me feel 
when I put them on for the first time...:)
(a little sexy)

It's amazing how much they have advanced in 3 years...

so cushy...

so forming...

so soft...

so pretty...

Yes my sweet friends....I. BOUGHT. A. NEW. BRA.
(i actually bought 3...from Target)

and I bought some new panties (haven't in about 3 years also)

I know...some of you are thinking....she is ridiculous. 
I'm ok with that. 

Why Do I wait so long in between these purchases?? 
I love them & they make me feel so pretty... 

But next week I will be changing clothes in front of a tent full of women...a bathroom full of girls & I need to be presentable for Pete's sake!

So confess...
are you a wait until your bras are falling apart? 
I buy new pretty ones all the time girl?
Thank you for enjoying the little joys in my life with me...:) 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Not Perfect...just perfect for each other...

Every once in awhile a miracle happens around here and all 3 of my kids are gone for the night...

Don't get me wrong...I love them...but...well...ya know...

Which opens the door for Matt & I to go out on a date...ALONE. 

Our 17th Anniversary was June 5th & I am ashamed to tell you...



But on Tuesday...we went...FINALLY! No kids at home...miracle. 

We love Carrabbas Italian Restaurant...Matt's favorite...
Steak Marsala 
Mine...Pasta Weezie..shrimp..
.fettucini...butter garlic sauce with mushrooms..No Calories...NOT!
Just like our choice in food is so is our personalities. 
Good thing...
Then we went for dessert to the Cheesecake Factory to share a piece of 
Dulce de luce...TO. DIE. FOR.
Silly pic time...
Ended the night all cuddled up on the couch watching a movie...ahh. 
You know...being married 17 years...we've had good...bad & down right ugly times. 

Not perfect...just perfect for each other. 

I can honestly tell you...there is NO ONE I would rather be one who makes me one who gets me...& no one who would put up with me like Matt does. 

I'm not easy to live with...who is? 

We give God all the credit...all the glory & all the praise for bringing us thru life together. 
We try to be Real. It's not always easy, but it's worth all the hard work. 

Are you still "dating" your spouse? 
Do you need prayer for your me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I love this picture. We are on the boat in the middle of the lake watching the fireworks and that is Jaden's silhouette. 
I'm a lot like a firecracker...I'm ok until you light me up & then I might explode. 

I'm a sassy red head.
(no excuse)

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for a man's anger doesn't bring about a righteous life that God desires. 
James 1:19

That verse was in my devo this morning. Sometimes I need someone to cover my mouth!! I am working on it...trying to stop it before I feel it coming on. 

I admire you soft spoken people out there. 
love...the firecracker. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why I "Count it all JOY" Wednesday!

Participating in this has became one of my favorite things!! Make sure you join Angel in this!

I am filled with Joy when I pull my hair up in a pony tail & see the blue my niece put in my hair...I feel a little sassy.

I am filled with Joy because Matt & I got to go out on a date last night...:)

I am filled with Joy because I got a chance to have lunch with some friends I graduated with in 1990! We will be going to our 20th reunion in September!! It was a JOY to see them! Each of these women have an amazing testimony of where God has taken them thru life. 

I am filled Joy as I am looking for a tent to sleep in for a week in Colorado soon...more about this later.

I am filled with Joy as I seek His will for my life & have confidence in the path He has chosen for me!

I am filled with Joy that I get to help another Godly couple unite in marriage this weekend...I love my job as the wedding coordinator at church. 

I was filled with Joy yesterday as I watched my little man get on bus to attend church camp...praying he grows in Jesus & becomes a leader for His work.

I am filled with Joy when I see young moms love their babies....knowing I have been there. 

I am filled with Joy that I can actually run 3 miles now. 

I am filled with Joy because my cousin Lori is having a PET scan today & I know GOD is a GOd who heals & He is gonna continue to take away the cancer in her body! AMEN!!! Please join me in praying for her....she won't know the results until next week. 

I could really go on and on...I love to talk about our JOYS...I don't think we do it enough in life. I can be a I praise the LORD with me today! Come on! You will feel sooo much better if you do it!!

Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice; and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigns! 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Yummy Homemade Ice Cream... Made a few changes since I first posted this!!

5 cups of milk
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 pint whipping cream
Dump it all into your canister for your ice cream maker & it will take about 30-45 minutes! I'm assuming all of you know how to use an ice cream maker if you have salt ya know the drill!
I always have strawberries...blueberries or toffee on hand for them to top their ice cream with. This makes about 15 or a little more cups.

This is super yummy and I like that there are no Raw eggs involved!!

Did you ever sit on the porch as a kid & crank the handle with your family...good times right there! Mine actually does the work for me though....:) 

Sitting on the Dock...

We are at my sister's lake house for the weekend...ahh...the good life. 

Me...sitting on the dock...
Took the kids tubing...
This is a redneck swimming pool...yep they blew it up and put it in the lake...LOL!
Caught my hubs relaxing on the's been a hard day...
Jaden loves to fish...he caught this turtle!!!
And to end our night I made homemade ice cream...I have the best recipe.. I will post it. SOOO easy!!
Today it's been raining...and it's 7:00 pm & I am still in my PJs!! 
ahh...the life of the Lakehouse!
So thankful for my sis & brother in law for letting us come relax!

How about you...what's your 4th of July plans? 

Friday, July 2, 2010

A night @ the Drive-In

I can't even tell you when is the last time I have been to the Drive In...probably in High School. 

Last weekend our small group went to the Drive In. I have been dying to take our family there so when I saw that Toy Story 3 was playing there I said... We. R. Going!!

We loaded up the Star with snacks & lawn chairs & headed out!

This is all the kids...we have 5 couples in our small group...each couple has 3 kids...yea...that's a lot of kids...only 3 of the couples could join us though...The Tuckers, The Haynies & The Thomasons...
The Couples...
We took the back seat out of the "Star" so the boys could be comfy...
which made more room for the girls in the back of the "Star"
We had fabulous time hanging out together. Good friends & a Great movie!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Why I "Count it all "JOY" a day late..

After taking a week brain totally forgot about doing this on Wednesday...and I love doing it so please excuse me for the "belated" Joy day!

I am filled with Joy because we are going to the lake for 4th of July. We go every year with my entire family to my sister's lake house. It's so kids love it.

I am filled with Joy because God gave me a Mr. Fix it for a husband...seriously....he can fix about you can't have him!! LOL!

I am filled with Joy when I get to play on my new iphone. heehe!

I am filled with Joy after a week of take a hot shower & sleep in my bed.

I am filled with Joy when I "re"call last week at camp watching my girls worship.

I am filled with Joy that my daughter is such a good babysitter...all the kids love her to baby sit them.

I am filled with Joy to have such great friends that make me laugh.

I am filled with Joy that my sweet Godly friend just found out her daughter is pregnant, not married, but says...we love her....we know God is going to get us thru this with tears in her eyes. Her example as a Godly mom inspires me & shows me that no matter what we can get thru anything with GOD!!

I am filled with Joy when I feel God's spirit come over me & I know He lives in me & the devil can't have a hold on me.

I am filled with Joy because I just found out the dates for the first ever Pastor's wives retreat in Nashville...5-10-11...I seriously can't tell you the JOY I have about that!!!

I am filled with Joy that Angel started this on Wednesdays because sometimes...I am just plain not filled with Joy and this helps me sit down & write all my Joys...I could go on and on.

So what has filled you with JOY this week? Please share....