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Friday, November 30, 2012

Someone Worth Dying For

I love the song, "Someone Worth Dying For" by Mikeschair.  My dad e-mailed it to me yesterday and I thought it was worth blogging about.  Here is the video:


It is so easy for us to feel defeated, hopeless or worthless in our broken world.  I have blogged before about how we rely so much on others to help us feel worthy.  When we get a raise at work we feel worthy.  When our husbands compliment the dinner we made without one single criticism we feel worthy.  When our girlfriends compliment us on an outfit or a new hairstyle we feel worthy.

I think it is just human nature to find our worth through others.  But we have to remember that our worth is in Him and Him alone.  Two of my favorite lines from this song are:

You can't earn it.
We can't do anything to earn His love or prove to Him that we were worth dying for because we already have His love and He already died for us. So stop trying so hard to prove yourself to Him and others and just accept that you are so incredibly precious to God.  Accept that He loves you more than you could ever comprehend.

Your life has purpose.
Every single life has purpose...every single one.  The man in jail who raped and murdered that woman has a purpose.  The little boy Garrison and I saw at the park the other day who couldn't talk but instead communicated by making loud noises has a purpose.  The baby you rock every night has a purpose.  Every unborn baby has a purpose.  I have a purpose.  You have a purpose. 

God doesn't want us to feel worthless.  He doesn't want us to feel alone.  He doesn't want us to feel unworthy.  You have to stop trying to find approval from everyone around you.  No matter how perfect you try to be you will never get everyone's approval.  Jesus meets us where we are and He has proven that we are all worth dying for.  Every single one of us.  Accept it, believe it and believe that you are worth dying for, because you are!

Jewels*

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Oops!

I was trying to update my blog and somehow accidentally deleted over 30 posts.  Oops!  I can't for the life of me figure out how to recover them either.  So if you are in need of a recipe or anything from a prior post just give me a shout!

Jewels*

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Do I Have To?

As outgoing as I am sometimes I really hate being around people.  Sometimes if I see someone I know in a store I will literally walk right past them and pretend I didn't see them.  Y'all know what I'm talking about so don't pretend like you haven't done it too!  :) 

And then there are people that I always want to avoid.  You know the kind... those that never have anything positive to say.  Those that can turn anything positive into something negative.  Those that I just can't seem to get along with no matter how hard I try.  Here's the thing I have realized about people like that ~ they probably need love more than the people that are always happy and positive.  I have been thinking a lot about this lately and then I got an email from a friend with this verse in it:

'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Matthew 22:36-39

God calls us to love everyone like we love Him, not just the people we get along with.  I don't think this means I have to surround myself with negative people that do nothing but bring me down.  But it does mean I shouldn't go out of my way to avoid them.  And it means that maybe I need to show them love instead of brushing them off.

I think it's especially hard to do this with people we feel like we should be close to, like those in our families.  Do you ever think that maybe God made you completely different from your sibling for a reason?  Do you ever think that maybe He gave you that aunt, uncle or in-law that grates on your nerves like nails on a chalkboard for a reason?  God created families for several reasons and I am convinced that one of those reasons is to allow us to respect each other's differences and learn to work with them and look past them.  I'm not saying you have to condone behavior that you don't find acceptable.  I'm not saying you should be fake with someone and pretend you like them when you don't.  I'm just saying that I know I need to try and have more patience with and show more love toward those that I may not "click" with.  This is what He clearly asks of us in the second commandment.

I absolutely love this sign I saw on Facebook the other day and I think it goes along with this post:



Jewels* 

Monday, November 26, 2012

All About the Music!

Music has always been a huge part of my life.  There seems to be a song for every mood and I absolutely love that!  Music helps me to relieve stress, get pumped up, worship, chillax!  My mom, sister and I tend to randomly bust out in song when we are having a conversation.  I think my brother-in-law used to think we were crazy for doing this and now he doesn't even look twice. Haha!

Garrison and I were in the car the other day and "Pontoon" was on.  I had no idea he knew the words to that song until he busted out with, "Out here in the open, mmmmm, motor boatin'"!  I died laughing.  I'm so proud to pass on my love of music to him.



We went out with some friends Saturday night and music was most definitely involved.    Ridiculous singing and dancing in the car and of course karaoke, which is ALWAYS a blast!!! Here is a picture of me and two of my friends.  These crazy gals have been in my life for almost 20 years!!!



 I'm just glad my friend didn't post all the videos I know she was taking. :)  Garrett made fun of me for always singing my same go to karaoke songs so I tried something new and busted out a little Miranda - one of my favs!


I also really really love The Band Perry.  I thought this newer song of theirs was kind of weird the first time I heard it on the CMA's but now I love it!


Random post but you can't be surprised with the title of my blog.  Well, now I'm off to finish up working...while listening to my favorite station on AOL Radio - Top Country of course! 


Jewels*

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Isla Mujeres, Here We Come!

Six weeks from tomorrow my husband and I will be departing for our trip to Isla Mujeres for 7 amazing days of rest and relaxation!

We decided to take this trip to celebrate a combination of things: his 30th in October, our 10 year anniversary in February and my 30th in May.  We have been out of the country twice (honeymooned in Puerto Vallarta and went to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic a couple of years ago) but we have never been on a trip this long before.  I am nervous and sad about about leaving both of my boys for that long, particularly Ethan since we have never left him more than a night.  But I am also very excited to be on such an amazing get-a-way with my hubby!  We will be staying at the Privilege Aluxes and you can check it out here if you want. 

I was consistently doing the 30 Day Shred after we got home in the afternoons but then I got off track after becoming so busy with after school stuff.  I have committed to picking this back up and I am promising myself I will do this dvd 5 days a week until we leave for vacation.  That is a BIG commitment but I know I can do it.  I know I should be confident in this pasty white body with my oh so adorable muffin top and then some, but the confidence level is not so high when I think of squeezing myself into a swimsuit.  I don't expect to lose 3 sizes or a bunch of weight before the vacation but I do want to feel good and be slightly more confident than I am now.  It's also slightly helpful that my stomach shrank quite a bit from my bout with food poisoning the other night.  Here's to hoping all that turkey doesn't stretch it back out tomorrow!  :)

I wanted to leave you with some pictures from our past vacations - the ones I could find at least!


Puerto Vallarta (Honeymoon in 2003)



 
 
Trip to Arkansas - Eureka Springs and then Hot Springs (Jeeping)

Thorncrown Chapel (beautiful!)

Our beautiful house we rented, so relaxing! 


 
 
Wimberley (8th Anniversary Trip)


Loved our cabin!
 

 Lots of deer
 
 
Little trip to Gruene
 
 
 
Domincan Republic
 
Sigh.....
 





Jewels*



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Raising a Husband?

I bet you thought this was going to be about raising my child-like husband but it's not. 

I have been thinking a lot lately about what kind of men my boys will become.  Garrison is seven now and I realize that is still young, but he is getting to that stage where:
  • I am not always the coolest person in the room (shocker, I know).
  • He will still hug me goodbye and say I love you but sometimes it's a sideways hug and sometimes it's a mumbled I love you.
  • He argues with EVERYTHING I say, no matter what.  (I am convinced he gets this from his dad.)
  • He is really into girls... Lord, help me!

This is why I treasure the out of nowhere "I love you's", the really tight hugs, the freshly picked weeds (I mean flowers) and the rare kisses.

Bear with me for a minute while I talk through this.  I think us moms often try so hard to raise boys that meet our needs.  We try to raise boys that will cuddle with us.  We try to raise boys that are extra sweet and helpful.  What I have realized is that as my boys get older my focus needs to shift from raising a boy to raising a man.  I need to raise a man who will one day make an incredible husband and father.  Affection and love are extremely important things to show our sons.  I'm just saying there is so much more I need to teach them to prepare them for life.

Here are some examples of the things I want to teach Ethan and Garrison.  I should post these on my mirror as a reminder every day.

  1. I will him about Jesus.  He will only get so far in life without Jesus.  He will always be searching for happiness if he doesn't know Jesus.
  2. I will teach him trust.  I want him to understand what giving your word means and I want him to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
  3. I will teach him tolerance.  I want him to love everyone, even if he doesn't agree with them.
  4. I will teach him commitment.  I want him to understand how very important it is to be committed to his wife and children.
  5. I will teach him honesty.  I want him to always be honest in everything he does and with everyone he comes in contact with.
  6. I will teach him confidence.  I want him to have confidence in himself and his ability to make a difference in this world.
  7. I will teach him humor.  I want him to be able to laugh at himself and life in general.
  8. I will teach him respect.  I want him to be respectful to everyone in this world, especially women and most importantly his wife.  I also want him to understand how important it is that his wife respects him.
  9. I will teach him generosity.  I want him to be generous with his heart, his time and his finances.
  10. I will teach him unconditional love, hopefully by example.  I want him to unconditionally love his family, friends and strangers.

The point is that I only have the privilege of being the most important woman in these boys lives for somewhere around 18 years.  I want to use it wisely.  I want to prepare them to be the best husbands and fathers they can be.  After all, it is their wives, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren that will benefit the most from the wonderful men I know they will turn out to be.


Jewels*


Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Mother's Love

I understand a mother's love in two ways.  I was incredibly blessed to have an amazing mom who showered me with affection and unconditional love for as far back as I can remember...and still to this day.  I also came to understand that love from her perspective the moment I found out I was pregnant with Garrison.  I was blessed enough to be able to experience it in a totally different way, but still just as powerfully, when I first laid eyes on Ethan.

I hope I can put this into words.  I was having dinner with a friend tonight.  I have known this woman for a long, long time but we just recently became close.  She is an incredible soul with an unshakeable faith and a very strong heart for Jesus.  She has two beautiful daughters... I mean, take your breath away beautiful!  Every time I watch her with her daughters I feel her love for them.  I know that every mom loves their kids but her love is almost tangible, if that makes sense.  She loves them so fiercely and passionately you can see it in her eyes.  It's just an amazing thing to witness.

I still want my mom when I'm sick and I crave the comfort of her rubbing my back or just sitting with me until I fall asleep.  I know that when I am in pain my mom is in pain.  I can hear it in her voice, see it in her eyes, feel it in the air.  A mother's love never ends.  I hope that my love for my boys is tangible like that.  I hope they can literally feel the love I have for them.  And I hope that one day when they are older they continue to feel that love, because I know it will never end.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of me and my mom.



I found this poem and I think it is so fitting for this post.


A Mother's Love

A Mother's love is something
that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.

~Helen Steiner Rice


Jewels*

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pushy Christians and Chicken & Biscuit Casserole

I totally get that Christians want to share everything they know about Jesus.  They are so passionate about Him and things He has done in their life that they want the whole world to know.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  The problem is that sometimes that passion can turn into pushiness.  It can cause Christians to become judgmental and take on a holier than thou attitude.  Trust me when I say this is the worst way to share Jesus with others.  I have known so many non-believers who think Christians are nothing but judgmental hypocrites.  And let's be honest... do you blame them?

The best way to show Jesus to others is by showing love.  This doesn't mean you have to agree with their lifestyle or their choices.  It just means that you love them no matter what.  You do not judge them.  God doesn't call us to judge others.  He calls us to love them like we love Him.

I think it is in our human nature to want to "fix" someone or just to make sure that those closest to us are happy.  This is especially hard for those of us who have family members or close friends who aren't believers.  I want everyone I know to experience and understand His love.  But you can't talk someone into loving Jesus.  You can share your experiences and you can give them Godly advice when they ask for it.  The best thing you can do for them is love them.  Show them the love that Christ shows us.  If you let Him, God will use you in His way in His time to bring others to Him. 

This is one of my favorite songs from Jimmy Needham called "Come Around".



"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."  ~1 John 4:7-8

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~John 13:34-35


Chicken & Biscuit Casserole

I found this recipe on Pinterest and made it last night.  I have to say it was pretty tasty even though I had to make a slight modification.  We ate too late for Garrison to eat with us but I saved some for him tonight and I know he's going to love it!  

Ingredients
1 can of pilsbury biscuits
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup of Sour Cream
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1 can of sweet peas
2 cups cooked chicken (Approximately 2 large chicken breasts)
1 cup mild cheddar cheese
3 TBS milk
 
 
What to do now:Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix soup and 1/2 cup sour cream in 8-inch square baking dish. Stir in chicken, and peas, milk, and melted butter: flatten out, and put the cheese sprinkled evenly on top.  I added salt and pepper into the mixture.
 
This is where the original recipe says to add buiscuits on top and cook for a straight 35 minutes but I found that the biscuits quickly browned on top and the mixture was not hot enough so this is what I would recommend.
 
Put the dish in the oven without the biscuits and cook for about 10-15 minutes. 
Take the dish out and layer the biscuits on top.  Bake until the tops of the biscuits are a golden brown. 
Flip the biscuits.  (If you do not flip you will have biscuits that are cooked on top and doughy on bottom.)
Bake for another 10 minutes or so until the biscuits are a golden brown.
 
I served without sides because it is a complete meal with the chicken and greens (peas).
 
 
Here is a picture of what mine looked like.  There is some cheese on top of the biscuit that ended up being baked in since I flipped the biscuits halfway through.  I thought this made it even yummier (if that's a word)!
 

And Garrett said he liked it "okay" but he's not a fan of peas.  Funny, I don't see any peas, or any food at all for that matter, left on his plate!  :)

 
Enjoy!!!


Jewels*

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Who I Am

I have always loved the song "Who I Am" by Jason Gray so I went to You Tube to find a clip so I could share it with y'all.  And I fell even more in love with the song after watching the video.  You have to watch this... not just listen to it!



So many people live with guilt and regret.  They could label themselves a cheater, a liar, a betrayer, an addict, a murderer, a failure.  And there are others who have had to endure a painful life and they might label themselves as hopeless, empty, rejected, betrayed, a victim. 

If you would have asked me 9 years ago who I was I would have labeled myself "wife".  If you would have asked me a few years ago who I was I would have labeled myself "mom".  I have always felt like I had a surface understanding of who I was but it wasn't until I started living for Jesus that I felt like I really knew who I was - who He created me to be.  If you were to ask me today who I am I would label myself "His". 

Instead of living for myself I feel like I can finally say I live for Him.  Instead of doing what feels right in the moment I seek His will.  I do what He calls me to do even when I don't want to.  When I want to be selfish I think of how selfless He is.  When I find myself becoming impatient I remember that His timing has never failed me in the past.  Does that mean I'm perfect?  Definitely not.  It just means that I do my best to live for Him every day.  And by doing so I have become a better "wife", a better "mom", a better "daughter", a better "sister", a better "friend".

Who are you?  You are His beloved!  You are His child!  You are everything to Him!  Just ask him and He will show you.


Jewels*



Friday, November 9, 2012

Conviction

Thank you once again Jenny for being my muse for this post.  :)

My friend Jenny posted this yesterday on Facebook:

Stop trying to take God out of everything. I know it's uncomfortable and maybe hurts a little, but that pain you feel is called conviction. It only lasts a little while and turns into peace, which blossoms into love and compassion. That is a good thing. The hurt leads to healing.

You don't hear people talk about conviction often.  I took the liberty of looking up a definition of conviction as it relates to Christianity and this is some good stuff:

Conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit where a person is able to see himself as God sees him: guilty, defiled and totally unable to save himself.  Conviction functions differently for the Christian and non-Christian.  For the non-Christian, conviction reveals sinfulness, guilt and brings fear of God's righteous judgement.  Whereas, conviction in the believer brings an awareness of sin and results in repentance, confession and cleansing.

I remember being confused growing up why Christians always called themselves sinners and said they were unworthy.  That seemed like they were just downing themselves to me.  But I totally get it now.  We ARE sinners.  God does not expect us to be perfect but He does expect us to ask forgiveness and He uses the Holy Spirit to convict us. 

I have spoken before about how I gave myself away before getting married.  I can sit here and justify it all day long by saying I have only been with one person and that we are married now so it doesn't really matter... but it does matter.  And that is why literally every single time I gave myself away before marriage I had this overwhelming sense of guilt that followed.  I felt this stab of pain deep in my soul and I just knew it was wrong.  The most severe punishment to me as a teenager (and even as an adult) is to know that I have disappointed someone.  Not only did I disappoint my earthly father (and mom) by giving away my innocence but I dissapointed my heavenly Father.  That was hard to get past.  The funny thing is I would ask for forgiveness on and off throughout my dating years but it felt insincere because I knew I would do it again.  Does that mean God didn't forgive me?  No.  But it means I wasn't coming to Him with a truly repentant heart.  Although we had been intimate for several years before we got married our wedding night was the first time that it truly felt right.  I no longer have feelings of guilt because I have since truly repented and God has washed away that guilt from my heart.

Our modern society tries to convince us that we should do whatever feels good.  They teach us to dismiss any feelings of guilt or accountability.  They say our world is changing so we should change with it.  The power of the Holy Spirit is so much stronger than that.  Man did not give us what we refer to as intuition, instinct or a sixth sense... God did.  And I would rather trust what is deep within my soul than anything or anyone in this broken world.

God doesn't want us to feel guilty.  He wants us to feel free and be clean.  When we are weighed down with guilt it hinders us from growing closer to Him.  When we let all of that go there are no barriers, no lies and no pain.  Just forgiveness and freedom.  How great is our God?  He is great enough that He not only forgives us, but gives us a push in that direction with that little word - conviction.  Don't ignore it.  Use it to heal and grow closer to Him.


"In that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them." ~Romans 2:15

"And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment." ~John 16:18


Jewels*


Thursday, November 8, 2012

I wish I was a kid because...

I have had some heavier posts lately so I thought I would lighten the mood a little.  And yes, I realize this is my second post today.


I wish I was a kid because...

I could wear superhero underwear without being judged.
Garrison has some of the coolest underwear.  Yes, I realize I'm not a boy but they are still cool.

I could fart in public and not think twice about it.
As opposed to praying Garrison doesn't ask me (and not quietly) what that smell was.

I would have a ridiculous amount of energy.
 


I would be skinny, even if I ate donuts for breakfast, a pizza buffet for lunch and candy for dessert.  Check out this mom and tell me that's not funny.


I could have a new husband every week and not be judged for it (just kidding!).


Caffeine would actually have an effect on me.


I could blame my sister for everything again. 
Okay, Kristin... I finally admit it.

I could say what I wanted when I wanted and not care what people thought about me.
Oh wait, I already do that!

I wouldn't have to clean up after anyone, ever...ever!








If snot came out of my nose while laughing I wouldn't be embarassed.  I would just laugh harder.
Garrison did this last night!

I would have an excuse to go see the girly Disney movies.
So far I have bought Tangled and Beauty and the Beast for Garrison.  He has quickly learned those are really just for Mommy!

I would whole heartedly believe in Santa Claus!









I wouldn't be concerned with politics at all.
Garrison has been asking us lots of question about the election so I felt like he would want to know the results after Tuesday night.  Wednesday morning I woke up him and told him that Obama won the election so he would still be our president.  His response?  "Mommy, I'm seven years old.  I don't need to be worried about things like that."  HA!  I wish I didn't have to be worried either!


Jewels*

Church and Great I Am

 I was raised in an anglican church and I am now in a non denominational church. I feel so blessed to have known both. From the anglican church I learned sacraments, tradition, reverance and respect for God. Kneeling, standing, sitting, repeat is quite common in the anglican church as you may know. At times it may have seemed repetitive but it was there that I felt like I learned how holy and sacred God is. In the non denominational church I feel like I have a deeper understanding of my personal relationship with Jesus. I feel like I am closer to him through worship and I have grown spiritually by leaps and bounds. I learn so much each Sunday and Garrison is learning so much from Sunday school. Every single message seems to apply to our lives and encourages us to deepen our walk with Christ.

My point in giving you that background is to first say that I don't think there is a perfect church. Finding a church home has been a focus of ours over the last several years. We have tried many, many churches and I am fully confident that God has put us in certain churches at specific times of our life for different reasons. I am certain we were at our last church to be able to connect with the people who eventually led us to Ethan.   I am certain we are at our current church because it is 100% marriage and family focused and it is what we need at this point in our lives. If you are searching for the right church I encourage you to just pray about it.  Trust that God will lead you where he wants you in His time.

I am so in love with this song I keep hearing by Phillips, Craig and Dean called "Great I Am".  You can listen to/watch it below.


I feel like sometimes we forget how powerful and holy our God is.  I agree that we should be able to talk to Him like we talk to anyone else.  We should have that personal relationship with Him.  But we also have to remember how mighty, sacred, powerful and holy He is.  When you truly allow yourself to be immersed in the Holy Spirit there is something so incredibly powerful there.  I don't even know how to describe it and I don't know if I ever will be able to.  I know that the times I am able to worship Him with my whole being are when I am singing praises to Him.

Let us not forget how awesome our God is.  Let us not forget how much it pleases Him when we spend time in worship.  Let your worries go and let yourself get lost in His presence today. 


Jewels*

 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Stand For Something

It is so incredibly frustrating to see people not caring about this election.  I understand that neither candidate is perfect.  I understand that the political commercials are exhausting.  But men and women have fought for our right to vote and it does matter.

I got on Facebook this morning and the updates I hated seeing the most were the ones where people were bashing others for being passionate about the results of this election (one way or another).  I completely understand and agree that we should not be spewing hatred or racial remarks but for someone to be saddened or overjoyed by the results is a good thing.  It means they care and they are passionate about something.  It is so much worse to not care or not have an opinion than to be passionate. 

Stand for something or you will fall for anything

And now for my opinion on the results.  ***WARNING*** to all of you who don't want to hear an opinion from someone who is passionate about what happens to this country, stop reading now.  Don't say I didn't warn you!

First and foremost, my hope and trust is in the Lord and He alone!  I know that the world will not end because of this election.  I know that we will all survive.  I will continue praying for our country and that those in office make good decisions to make this nation strong again.

Today my heart is heaviest for our military and their families.  The United States military is the backbone of this country, period.  Obama has made tremendous cuts to our military and will continue to do so.  With our already weakened economy this is not good.  A weak nation is a prime target for international attacks.  That is not a "world is ending" prediction.  It is truth.  I fear for our military and their families more than I fear for the civilians of this country.  I pray the men and women of our armed forces stand united and stay strong.


Confused

Facts are bolded.

93% of African Americans voted for Obama.
African Americans hold the highest percentage of the unemployment rate at 14.3%.

These facts have nothing to do with race so don't even go there.  My question is how can 93% of a group of people that hold the highest unemployment rate in this country vote for Obama when the unemployment rate has risen over the last 4 years?


60% of young voters voted for Obama.
The number of doctors turning away Medicare patients has dramatically increased due to Obamacare.

Here is a little news for the 60% of young voters who are likely voting for more "modern" views... maybe those who saw Obama on The View or read about him in US Weekly.  Those college loans might be great right now but when you are working in the real world, if you are even lucky enough to get a job after college, you will realize how bad off our economy is.  When you have kids and start worrying about their future you will care.  You may not care about the elderly getting turned away from the doctors they have been seeing for the last 20 years but when you turn 65 you will care.  When there is no decent or affordable healthcare left for the elderly you will care.


The federal budget sent to Congress last month by Mr. Obama, projects the National Debt will continue to rise as far as the eye can see. The budget shows the Debt hitting $16.3 trillion in 2012, $17.5 trillion in 2013 and $25.9 trillion in 2022.

How can anyone in this country vote for someone who has increased, and is projected to almost triple, the debt he "inherited"?


Again, these are just some things I am confused about.  Putting aside moral issues like gay marriage and abortion (which are very important issues no matter where you stand) how can anyone in their right mind think that re-electing this president is a good idea?


I'm off my soap box.  I just figured this was a better forum to get those things off my chest than Facebook, where the majority of people seem to just not care about the results of this election.


Jewels*







Tuesday, November 6, 2012

People I Recommend

I hope everyone goes out to vote today if you haven't already! 

I had a previous post on products I recommend so I thought I should also have one on people I recommend.  After all, the best advertising is word of mouth!


Hair

I have been going to an awesome hair dresser for about 4 years now and she is amazing!  I was in desperate need of a cut so I went to see her yesterday.  I kept the long bob but got some long layers and bangs.  (By the way, every time I say, "I got bangs" I think of the girl in Legally Blonde who calls her friend Elle to tell her that.  Please tell me you know what I'm talking about!)  Anyways, I hate taking pictures of myself with my camera phone because it makes me feel like one of "those girls" but I wanted to share the results with you.  This is from yesterday.  Forgive the lack of makeup as this was at the end of the day.


And this one is from this morning with my boys.  (I felt silly doing a shot of myself two days in a row.)  I decided to flip it up today for a different look.  Notice Garrison's fohawk? :)


Anyways, her name is Linda Evans and she works at a salon in Sachse.  It is one of those salons where you can rent out space so she works for herself.  She has a 30% off special for new clients.  You can call or text her at 469.254.8608.


Holiday Decor

My in-laws have started making these wooden block letter signs.  These are not cheap if you purchase them on some other websites or in stores.  They do a really great job and are starting to do some fall ones now.  Here is a picture of their "Give Thanks" one.


How cute would that be on your mantle for the fall season?!  I believe they will be doing some for Christmas as well.  And I think they will also venture into the name signs like you would put in your kids' rooms.  A sign this size (7") costs $30 and if you get the smaller one (6") the cost is $27.  The signs will be delivered 3 days after you place your order.  You can order by e-mailing my mother-in-law, Donna, directly at dgtunnell@gmail.com


Electric Company

I have mentioned this on Facebook but we recently switched electric providers and are now with Champion Energy.  Our rate is ridiculously good compared to other companies.  You can save almost $100 per month by switching from a high cost provider to a smaller one like Champion.  So far, the service has been great!  If you look into using them be sure and use my referral ID and I will get a $50 credit.  The best part?  You will also get a $25 credit just for being referred.  Pretty sweet!

  Click here to learn more!


House Cleaning

I love, love, love the lady who cleans my house.  My mother-in-law referred her to me and I have referred several people to her.  She recently quit her job to clean houses full time so I am trying to help find her more clients.  Her prices are extremely reasonable and she will come to your house to give you a free estimate.  She lives in McKinney but cleans houses throughout most of the metroplex, including Wylie and even east of there.  Facebook message me if you want her info or you can comment on this post.


Little Bit of Everything

The name of her shop says it all.  I have bragged about my sister's creativity before but she is just so great I want to brag on her again!  She lives in the Houston area but can ship products for an extra fee.  If you're like me and see lots of cool ideas on Pinterest but know you will never make them she's your gal!  She can make pretty much anything you ask for.  Click here to see her Facebook page!  Here are some examples of her recent work.

She does these frames for kids (great baby shower gift) and spells out their name along with a scripture for each letter.  These are REALLY popular gifts! 



This one is an awesome frame she did for our dad... love it!  (The picture inside is compliments of her oldest until we can get a permanent one in there.)


China Cabinet Decor


Basket of cookies for a sorority party




I am most definitely feeling like the least creative person ever after telling you about all of these awesome creative people!  Haha!  I'm pretty sure I should get commission for recommending all these folks!  :)


Jewels*


Monday, November 5, 2012

Wisdom

My dad forwarded me an e-mail this morning talking about wisdom.  This e-mail had a lot of great points and these were my favorite:

Wisdom is about understanding -- understanding in the context of meaning and purpose in life, the value and sacredness of relationships with others, with creation, and with God.

For the head may contain knowledge and the hands produce hard work, but it is the heart where wisdom resides. 
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23


After reading these words I immediately thought of my grandma.  She is by far the wisest woman I know.  She got married young, had nine children whom she practically raised on her own and had very little money to live on.  For everything she may have lacked in resources she made up for in faith, love and joy.  She had and still has a deep understanding of God and his purpose for her life.  She is is kind, patient, gentle, tolerant, forgiving, full of grace, loving and full of the Spirit. 

The verse the writer quotes is Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life".  My grandma had to go through the pain of losing two sons.  I truly don't know how I could live if I lost either of my boys.  But she has not let the loss of her children harden her heart.  She does not blame God.  Instead she continues to grow spiritually and share God's love with others.  She has a heart for God and she guards that heart with all of her being.  I used to sit next to her in church and watch her pray or sing.  This is hard to explain but you can actually see and feel the Holy Spirit come over her when she is in worship.  I feel so blessed to even be in her presence in times like that.  I know those moments will be ingrained in my heart and mind forever.

The writer of this e-mail asks "Have you ever wanted to just sit in that person's presence and absorb his or her understanding?".  Yes, yes, yes!!!  Any time I am in her presence I feel like a humbled sponge that has this strong desire to soak up her wisdom.  I know God has revealed many things to her in her lifetime and I am so grateful that she chooses to share her wisdom with others.  If I could ask one thing of God it would be the gift of wisdom.  I want to be able to share that with my kids, grandkids and great grandkids one day.  I want to have an even deeper understanding of Him than I do now and I want to be able to share that with others. 


Here is a picture of her and Ethan the day he got baptized.


And this is her trying to sit in a tiny rocking chair on Christmas Eve.  She.is.hilarious!!!

 
 
And this is my favorite picture of her.  Even the birds love her! :)  I am SO blessed to have this woman in my life!  Thank you Jesus!
 



Jewels*

Friday, November 2, 2012

Good Times

I have been learning lately that there is nothing like living in the moment.  I have to stop worrying about tomorrow and just enjoy the present, always.

My parents have dressed up every Halloween since Garrison has been one and they come over to trick or treat with us.  Their costumes are always a surprise and I can never get even the smallest hint out of them as to what they will be that year.  I joke about this but I'm pretty sure my mom starts planning the next year's costumes in November.  And my dad?  Well, he's just a really.good.sport as you can see from the pictures.

I wish I had pictures from every Halloween but here are the ones I could find.  I think I am missing all except one year (2007).


2008 - Tacky Tourists and Spidey



2009 - Batman, Batwoman and Hulk




2010 - Shrek and Fiona

And this one is blurry but I wanted to make sure I got Raphael in one.



2011 - Zorro and his Seniorita, along with Luigi



2012 - Mary Poppins and Bert, the chimney sweeper accompanied by the Ninja
My dad's face cracks me up in this one!



Although I am ridiculously sleep deprived today I was so excited to be able to catch up with two of my amazing long time friends last night.  It's funny how years and years can go by and you can just pick right back up where you left off.  They both came over to the house and after wine, dinner, catch up talk, a little more wine, some candy (these two are seriously professional Halloween candy checkers) and a little more wine we finally wrapped up the night around 1:30...yes, AM.  This almost 30 year old mama can't handle those late nights like I used to.  5:30 came way too early this morning!  Anyways, it just made me realize what a blessed girl I am to have developed such deep friendships at such a young age.  Even though life has taken us all down different paths I am so thankful that our paths have crossed again later in life.  And I know these girls (along with MANY others) will always be there for me. 

Today I encourage you to...
~Laugh
~Be thankful for your friends and family
~Live in the moment
~Tell someone you love them
~Squeeze your kids (or your animals) extra tight
~Give Him thanks because He gave us this crazy, awesome, beautiful thing we call life!


Jewels*

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Planned Parenthood

I know there has been a lot of controversy over Planned Parenthood in recent years.  There has also probably been a lot of truths mixed with some untruths.  I saw this picture on Facebook today and I love it for two reasons: (1) The fact is accurate and (2)  I love Dwight!


It is true that no Planned Parenthood in the country has a mammogram machine.  Mr. President might want to check his facts before publicly promoting Planned Parenthood.

I was shocked at a couple of abortion related statistics I found for Planned Parenthood.  This is public information that has been published and trust me, I checked several sources before posting this.

Abortion made up 3 percent, with 324,008 abortion procedures in 2008.
Abortion made up 3 percent, with 329,445 abortion procedures in 2010.

Some may look at that and say, "Okay, that's only 3%.  What's the big deal?  They provide a lot of good services to women as well".  You know what I see when I look at those statistics?  In just two years that is 653,453 babies that were killed.  That is 653,453 babies that did not even get a chance at life.  That is 653,453 human lives that could have made a huge impact on this world.

Please do your research and really understand who you are voting for in this election.  Understand what their beliefs are and what they support.  I know abortion is not the only issue in this election but it is an issue that Obama and Romney have completely different opinions on.

If Ethan's birth mother had chosen the easy way out we would not have our precious little miracle with us today!  I am grateful and appreciative that she chose life for Ethan.  I have an incredible amount of respect for all of the women out there who choose life for their babies, even if they do not have a lifestyle that allows them to raise those babies themselves.  Adoption is ALWAYS an option!




Jewels*