Friday, October 29, 2010

Dear October

Dear October,
You have literally flown by for me....could you please slow down?
It can't already be Halloween weekend....FOR REAL?
I do have candy & costumes ready...but I am not ready for November.

We have had so much fun & did so many fabulous things together...
A break...camping...cookouts...hay rides...& of course....

It's all good stuff no complaining...except for the fact that you zoomed by!

Said Goodbye to my fun lovin cousin Lori this month...a moment I will cherish forever.

You are my favorite month of the year. I love your weather, your decorations, how the leaves changed color & everything that comes with it! If I could pause the calendar...I would pick you.

I agreed to do a maternity leave for a kindergarten teacher back in April...You seemed so far away back then and I've been procrastinating...thinking you wouldn't be here so quick & let November begin.

In a few days I will begin teaching full time for 6 you will be only a sweet memory. But I just wanted to say...thanks for being my favorite...until next year.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Date Night

Over Fall Break Matt & the girls were gone so Jaden & I got to spend
some time alone...which doesn't happen often!!

Friday night I told him that he was taking me on a date!
I let him pick anywhere in our town and to my surprise...
He picked Olive Garden...he's gonna make a great catch
for some sweet girl some day!

As a family we don't eat out much so when we's a real treat!

Why did he pick Olive Garden...Simple...
Who really cares about the fettucini in that bowl of his...

We had a great time. Went to Old Navy to buy the poor boy some jeans....Target for some new undies & I had a Pumpkin Spice Frap from Starbucks & I bought him a 1/2 gallon cookie dough ice cream. We ate our treats & watched "How to Train a Dragon". That is such a great movie!! Thumbs up from this mom!
Getting to spend time alone with Jaden was priceless. He is a talker when you get him going so you learn so much about what he likes. When you have 3 kids it can get tricky to have one on one time so any time I can...I enjoy it! I want my boy to be a gentleman & know how to treat a lady. I know God already has a particular lady picked out for him...I have been praying since the day he was born for her! Now of course he has no interest in girls yet...but the day will come soon enough for this mom. 

Do you get to take your kiddos out on a special date one on one? 
If so...what is something special you get to do? 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why I Count It All JOY Wednesday!!

Oh How I missed this last week when my internet was down!
It's Wednesday & you know what that means??
Count Your JOY people!
Join my friend Angel in Spreading JOY today!!
And You should know this week is gonna be long since 
I wasn't able to share my JOYS from last week!
It's full of pictures...Let's get this JOY party Started!
Why am I filled with JOY?

I ran my 3rd 5k & beat my time. I ran it in 31:32! WOO HOO!

Matt was on a camping trip with the girls over Fall Break so 
Jaden & I went on a date. This is how we ended the night...
me with a Pumpkin Frap & him with a bowl of Cookie Dough Ice cream.
We watched "How To Train A Dragon"

On Sunday night we went to Grandma & Grandpa Thomason's in Stillwater. 
They have around 700 acres to fish...shoot guns & explore nature. 
We roasted hot dogs, made smores & had hot chocolate over the fire. 
Spending time as a family away from TVs, computers & phones was spectacular!
I will do a full blog about this soon!

Grandma Z. also took the girls to lunch at Eskimo Joes! 

That I have internet..ahh the simple things!

I was able to meet with 3 of my virtual roundtable PWs
 last week for the first time! YAH!!

The cooler temps...refreshing.

My girls have sold 3 dozen fresh eggs!!

This picture of my girls packed up to go to HighPoint.
A campout with our Jr. Highers at church.
So glad they are plugged into a Youth Group.

And finally this butterfly...

tons of them on my Zinnas while I was doing 
my bible study on my back deck. 
Of course I had to stop & take some pictures of them. 
Butterflies are amazingly detailed. 
A simple delicate creation by God. 
Once an ugly a masterpiece.
Kinda reminds me of myself.

What brings you JOY this week? 

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Influence of a Coach

A Player on the other team was injured &
 had to go out on a stretcher by Ambulance.  
One of a mom's worst nightmares.
Seeing your child on a stretcher.

As the player exited the field...
Our coaches grabbed the other team's coach
& asked if we could pray for their player together.

This picture says so much to me as a parent.

It reminds me...that it's just a game.
That I really don't care if we win
if another player is hurt...who cares what the score is?
I am so blessed to be on a team that our coaches
Coach our boys well...
not only in the game of football...
but especially in the game of life.
Life as a follower of Christ.

Our coaches...they do not belittle our boys 
or cuss at them to get the point across.
They act appropriately.
They kneel & pray after every single game. 
I still get tears in my eyes every single time. 

We have been on this team for 4 years now.
As far as their ability...they haven't lost a 
regular season game in 3 years!
Do I like to win? Yea it's fun...but
really...that is just the icing on the cake.

If we won every game & the coaches
were mean & hateful to my boy...
I wouldn't stay on the team. 
Winning isn't what is important to me.
It's the Godly influence that these men have on my boy.
Playing with integrity.
As Matt says..."talk with your shoulder pads"
Not with your mouth.
Kinda like..."actions speak louder than words"

Now I know...boys will be boys 
& smack talkin happens.
It's just part of it & it keeps the competition real!

Who knows how far we will get in the playoffs this year?
We are undefeated.
We haven't been scored on yet this year &
that seems to be a big deal to some teams. 
And everyone is dying to be the first to score on us. 
But it's gonna happen soon...we know that!
It's 4th grade people...not the NFL.

Jaden isn't some rock star athlete...
it's the team he enjoys more than the sport itself I think. 

Today...I'm remembering the words that our Missionary on Campus
said yesterday..."Coach Christ is calling you to the game."
A much bigger game than football...
Too be honest...I would be more proud if Jaden
plays on the mission field someday for Jesus 
than in the NFL. 
Matt 28: 18-20
 Go & Make disciples of all nations. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Like Nailing Jello to a Tree

Yes..that's what I felt like as we tried to
explain to AT&T that our internet still didn't work!

No Internet for a

I wasn't dying without it...
though I was getting close to crying. 

But I am one of those people that if 
I am paying for a service.
I want it to work.

This morning...I almost had a break down
on the phone with the AT&T lady. 
(Seriously Steph...get a hold of yourself!)

She graciously agreed to fit me in
by today! 3rd times the charm I guess!
(I was nice...I promise!)

Will they take those 5 days off my bill.
Probably not...and that my friend is what
Annoys me. 

I must just let it go.
(said as I roll my eyes)

I have missed you all so much.
Didn't realize I would miss you that much...
Golly Gee Wiz.

Looks like I'm gonna have to get to clicking
And catch up on your lives. 

I have to say...I did get a lot done this week without it. 
But I'm not telling you anyone that. 

Anyone else ever lose their internet & feel like you were trying to
 nail Jello to a tree just to get someone to understand what the problem is??

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

No Internet...Pathetic

I'm sitting at Matt's office borrowing his internet.

Yes...I have no internet at home. 

Pathetic huh?

Why do I not have internet?

Because a car hit an electric pole by our house
and knocked out our electricity for 3 hours...

Don't look at me in that tone of voice...
(i've always thought that was a weird saying) 
I did pray for that person in the car! 

 I think they must have hit the internet box also.

Matt was on the phone with AT&T for an hour last night
trying to get them to understand that it wasn't something in our was the box up the street. 

AT&T...I could teach them a couple of things about 
customer service...can I get an AMEN?

Any Who...not sure when we will have service again.

Repair man is suppose to come in the morning...
to repair what? I am not sure. 

I must laugh at such reason to get upset.
Just wanted to say Hi & if I miss any big event in
your lives the next few days...sorry. :)

I'm pathetic to even write about this huh? 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Long Awaited PW Meeting...

For months I have longed to hug these girls necks

And a couple of weeks ago at finally happened!!

This is Lori Wilhite from Leading & Loving It. YEAH!!
Lori & her husband Jud minister in Las Vegas

 Brandi Wilson & I...she & her Husband Pete minister in Nashville
Jessica Cornelius...she & Bill minister in Corpus Christie, TX
These ladies put together a luncheon along with Mercy Ministries
 for all the Pastors Wives at Catalyst. We had about 120 ladies there,
 but honestly I just wanted to meet these gals along with a few others!
 They made me feel so welcomed & loved from our first hug. 
God has truly blessed methru these ladies & their leadership. 
My sweet friend from Panama City, FL was there also!!
Joy Henderson...she & Cory minister there.
Cory & Joy with Matt & I
 And this is Beth Webb, Joy & I...Beth is in our
Virtual Roundtable group! Great to meet her in person!
So..this was a fantastic day for me to say the least. Our time was
way way way to short together for the lunch. I could
have stayed there all day chatting it up with them!
Thanks to Leading & Loving It & Mercy Ministries 
for making this lunch possible!! 
Can't wait until MAY for the Retreat!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thank You

I just wanted to take a minute & tell of you thank you 
so much for everything you did last week. 

Thank you for the....
words of encouragement
facebook messages

Some of us in our families are the strong ones...
the one that people look to for leadership,
support & to hold onto to for strength 
when a crisis hits. 

Thank you for lifting me up so I can
pour into the life of my family. 

Thank you for praying for Lori & her kids.
Please continue to pray for Lacy, Jacob & Austin.
They are doing so remarkably well...which is a testiment
to what an amazing mom Lori was. She prepared her kids
for this day & they are dealing with this the best they can.
Pray for my cousin Amy who will now take on the role
of mothering Lori's children. Pray for my sister Christy, 
Lori was not only her cousin....she was her best friend.

Once again...thank you for being who Jesus called each one of you
to be. Thank you for being my friend...even though I have never 
even meet some of you in real life! I am abundantly blessed to 
have so many people that God has placed around me. 

We celebrated Lori's life on Friday. 
It was a beautiful service full of laughter.

Lori was the queen of one liners...she always made us laugh..
at her celebration they shared some of her one liners & I thought 
I would share a few with you...
"that went over like a fart in church"

"take your time, hurry up"

"I'm on the right side of the grass"

"And we know that in all things God works 
for the good of those who love Him" 
Romans 8:28

Love to all of you!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Count it All JOY Wednesday!!

It's Wednesday & You know what that's time to
 Celebrate Your JOYs!!! 
Join my friend Angel as we share our JOYS!

What brings me JOY this week?

Last week I was able to attend the Catalyst conference with Matt & 15 other 
staff members from FCC. It's hard for me to put into words how much it
filled my heart with JOY to worship with other Pastors & Leaders. 
Matt & I with our 3D glasses they used for announcements. 

I was able to have lunch with 120 other PWs last week...I will
post my pics later. It was one of the best parts of my week!

I love this weather...the windows open & fresh air...ahhh.

The first baby on the Stout side since my son 9 years ago! 
Don't you just want to kiss Jaxx's cheeks? 
My cousin Cory & his sweet wife Lacey had their first baby last week!

My MIL came & brought some cookies but they had pecans in them...
and since I'm a no pecan brat...she brought me a 
Starbucks card instead. Can you say Pumpkin Spice Latte?
And she also brought me these handmade pot holders. 
I don't know if you have any of these...but they are the best Pot holders EVER!!

Getting to spend a few precious moments with Lori this weekend before
she went before the throne of God! She was still making 
us laugh even in all her pain. I told her I loved her & to tell Jesus hi for me 
& she just looked at me & smiled. This will probably sound so 
weird to some of you...but I was a little bit envious she was going 
to see our Lord so soon. I wish I could walk her to the Gates of Heaven 
& get a Glimpse of Him...but I know I wouldn't want to come back. 
I am so curious about Heaven & how Glorious it will really be!
I can't wait to see Jesus face to face. What JOY that will be! 

To put it plainly...I am just feeling so loved & blessed this week thru
all of you. You are all a JOY!

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth
 comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 
Romans 8: 18
Have a blessed week!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Laughter & Lori

There are some people in this world that just make people laugh...
Lori was one of those people.

Lori was ushered into God's presence @ 12:00 today. She always joked that she would pull up a chair on a beach in Heaven & live out eternity there. Today she found out exactly what Heaven looked like, what it feels like to see Jesus face to face...touch Him...& worship Him forever. 

The last few days have been so precious. Watching everyone tell her goodbye & thru it true Lori style...she was still making us all laugh. Lori was the type that had fun no matter where she was & made life interesting. She traveled the world & went on multiple cruises & never let anything hold her back from taking off on an adventure. 

Please pray for her children...Lacy, Jacob & Austin. They have a rough journey ahead of them, but I know they will honor their mother thru it all. I can't express how much your comments & prayers have meant to me this week for our family. I have felt them tremendously in my heart. 

I would like to share this picture of Lori & I. This was taken at my grandparents house before she was sick. She is squeezing my cheeks & saying "squeeze me" with her giddy laugh that would make anyone crack up! What we all wouldn't give for one more Christmas with everyone.
This is Saturday at the hospital. All five of us older cousins haven't been together in a
really long time due to some circumstances...but we managed to come together one last time.'s a horrible disease & death. I know each of you have watched someone in your life slowly die from it. God did not choose to heal Lori here on earth like we wanted...instead He healed her for can you argue with that? That is all of our goals & desire to be with Jesus one day. Lori is healed...the cancer did not win..Jesus won on the cross & defeated sin so we could have eternal life. I pray each of you know our Lord & Savior today. 

Love & hugs to you all.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Urgent Prayer for Lori

I'm asking all my followers to pray for my cousin Lori Harmon. I have told her story several times &'s very urgent that we pray. Just to catch a few of you up here are the basics...
Lori was diagnosed with melanoma cancer last October & given 4 to 6 months.
She has taken 12 rounds of chemo & a year later she is still here with us! PTL!!
Lori's husband passed away 2 years ago from Cancer
Lori has 3 children...Austin 16, Jacob 18 & Lacy 21. 
Last Wednesday Lori started Radiation for her bone cancer & was taken to the hospital for dehydration & has not been able to go home since because she can not walk due to the extreme pain in her legs. 

Today...the doctors came in & told her that the cancer has spread all over her body. It's doubling in size each day. could be a week or less at this point. She is able to talk & is in good spirits...but her body will begin shutting down. If you have ever watched someone die from this awful know this road is not an easy one. I have to tell you....I have had several conversations with God about this & how I do not think it is fair...AT ALL that these kids will lose both their mom & dad to cancer at such a young age. My flesh is wrestling with this to put it plainly. Then I hear Him telling me that He is in control of this situation & I need to just lay it at His feet. Trust in Him...Our God & King...Healer...Ruler of Heaven & Earth...Redeemer...Master...Savior. I know Lori is ready to see Jesus. I know she loves Him & is covered in with the blood of Jesus & that gives us all a peace that passes all understanding in His Name!

Pray for Healing...Lori needs a miracle. Pray for her children...that no matter what happens they will continue to Glorify God in their lives. I know each of you will pray for her.

Also...if you have any verses or words of encouragement that I can pass on to her children or to Lori I would love that. Thank you precious friends in Christ. I love you all!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chick-fil-a Head Quarters Tour!

We arrived in Atlanta last night...oh how I love 14 hour trips in a van...especially when this happens..
Yes...It's a flat tire...but as you all know...Matt's a pro at it especially w/ James & Josh to assist him.

Today we had the pleasure of touring the Chick-fil-a head can I tell you that it is 
The building is located on 80 wooded acres. Breath taking to say the least.
Truett Cathy is the CEO & founder of CFA. He started a small restaurant back in 1946 & it has grown into a 3 billion $ corporation. Truett is a Godly man & gives God all the glory for his accomplishments. 
He is 87 years old & still helps run the day to day operations. Truett is a huge believer in helping others & giving away just about as much as he makes. I learned so many interesting facts about CFA while there. The tour guide quoted scripture the entire time...WOW! 
How many CEOs would allow tours thru his office? NOT many. 
Truett's office is located amongst the it could be his tree house. 
This is his desk & a neat Coca Cola wagon in front of it. And for some reason he has a wax figure of Willie Nelson...not sure of the story behind that one!
He also has a collection of antique Ford vehicles & there is a replica of the original restaurant inside of the building also. Truett & I had our picture taken together...:) 
Across the building are these beautiful status. One in particular that caught my eye was Jesus washing Peter's feet. The Dwarf was stolen from him & 20 years later a lady confessed that her brother had stolen it & she returned it back to Mr. Cathy. Dwarf House is original name of the he has a collection of was called that because the building was so tiny. HA!
I have to tell you...after hearing all about Mr. Cathy...I want to own a Chick-fil-a. 
Probably won't happen, but you never know..wink wink!

They gave us coupons for a free Chicken Sandwich at the end of our tour. 
Since we were so close to the original restaurant we headed straight over there for lunch!
Our waitress reminded me of Flo from Alice...she was stinkin Hilarious!!
She thought I looked familiar so I told her I was on TV...Survivor. I had her going for a little bit!
I KNOW right?
Do you like the Dwarf Door there Bobby is coming in? 
What a great experience for us all!! 
I could seriously eat CFA all the time so this was incredible to learn so much about the owner & to know that his desire is to Glorify God thru his daily life just makes me even happier!!

So there ya have it! If you are ever in Atlanta...ya Gotta do this & it was all free!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Catalyst:They Get Me.

On Tuesday, Matt & I will load up in our church vans with several of our staff members & head to Atlanta, Georgia to the Catalyst Conference. I. Can't. Wait.

For almost a year now I have followed Lori over at Leading & Loving it...and next week...I get to hug her neck. Along with many other PWs that I have come to Brandi Wilson...Joy Henderson...Beth Webb (who is in my virtual roundtable)...and many many more of them. Infact if you are reading this & you are going please let me know asap!!

I know I have said this like a baazillion times...but the impact the PWs friendships have made in my life this year is difficult articulate to you. I was grieving a friendship that had ended...a ministry position change that had pretty much left me empty & just felt worthless & unworthy to be called a minister's wife. And that is not a good place to be...AT ALL.

I needed to take responsibility & make some changes...before I shut down.

On Thursday I will have lunch with all the PWs. I want to cry with joy each time I say that. There is an instant bond between PWs that you will never get unless you are one. Never. They get me. They get my passion for ministry. I feel safe with them. They share my hurts. But mostly they cheer me on...encourage me up & show me to keep serving our King! I could go on & on & on...but I won't.

I feel like I'm an empty vase...ready to be filled up so I can pour into the lives of others.