Tuesday, March 3, 2015

some praises....

I've started this blog for days now and keep running around in circles of how or what I want to say.

Bottom line...

God is GOOD.  That's what I keep going back too.  Let's praise Him for a minute....

We have had a great news from our cousins that are battling horrible diseases!  There is still much fight to be had but God is good.

We got great news from a friend this morning....their adoption is a GO!  God is good!

We have seen God work in our kids lives and our church family in huge ways the past few weeks!  God is good!

It's so easy to be in a slump especially with this gloomy weather that we have had.  But God still works.  He works in the small things and even the big things!!!  

After the beauty of last week's snow, I found myself loving the parts that were untouched.  I loved looking at everyone's pictures and the beauty of it.  But would get messed up.  People would walk on it, drive through it, and play in it.  

Sometimes...we get messed up.  We get caught up in the every day and forget that we need to remember that what God has done and is doing.  We need to pull ourselves out of our yucky funk and FOCUS on the beauty of what He is doing.  

I have been refreshed lately and I love seeing what God is doing elsewhere.  

I hope you can be encouraged and then reflect on what He is doing in your life!  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Live Love

Over Valentine's weekend, Kraig and I took a group of our youth along with our friends at First Baptist Lakeview down to Atlanta to the International Village for a mission trip/retreat.

I have to confess....I was beyond stressed out.  I was imagining anything and everything to go wrong. This was the first trip that we completely did ourselves.  Usually, we go along with others and go to some big retreat where we have to plan NOTHING!  But with this, we had to plan EVERYTHING.  So, I was scared of forgetting things, how everything would work out, and what things could go wrong.

Well, GOD IS GOOD...ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD!  We arrived late Friday night and had a great start off to the weekend.  Mitchell and Kraig did a great job all weekend with the main talks.  And the music was wonderful.  But the main part of the days were doing the missions.

Both Saturday and Sunday we went to different apartment complexes and played with kids and shared bible stories with them.  We just loved on the kids.  We braved the freezing temps, stepped outside of our comfort zones and just had a blast.  The kids were all touched in some way or another. The team we worked with ministered to the refugees that come into the area.  Whirlwind Missions help them with jobs, places to live, and other things to help them get settled in America.  But they love them and share Christ with them.  Its so beautiful to hear their hearts and see the work they do day in and day out throughout the year.

I think it is safe to say our kids came home changed by the Lord.  I can say, I did too.  I try to cram so many things into our days but at the end of the day, I need to be able to say... "did I love on someone?"  "Did I help someone?"  "Did I put others first?"  I mean that's the gospel.  I hope going forward, I can take time and live love instead of cramming things together to just get things be accomplished.

I'm sure this is all just ramblings but it's always good to put into words things we see and do that matter to us.  Well, this weekend was amazing in all sorts of ways and God is good.  Although, we had to cut it short because of the "snow,"  I never heard a complaint...all I heard was "when can we go back?"

I challenge you to look up Whirlwind and plan your next youth trip to visit them!

Hope you all had a great Valentine's weekend.  We sure did!!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

what is my WHY?!

So, as many of you all might know....I started an awesome new nutritional product a couple of months ago.

At first, it was to lose weight, which to be honest, I still haven't reached my goal but I am closer than I was.

But it has evolved.  Now, I want to continue to lose weight but we have some more things on the horizon and I want to be able to pay for those things without going further in debt or having to use money that we already have designated for other places.  So, I want to do this business and make some money.

Here are some of those reasons WHY I want to continue on with this program...

          1.  To get out of debt.  Isn't  that always the thing!  We went through the Dave Ramsey plan before Kraig and I got married and have done OK with sticking with the plan but we have had some unforeseen things come up and we were forced to get into some debt to pay for some home repairs.  Because I stay home, and would love to continue to stay at home with Rett, I want to help us get out of DEBT!!!  I want the freedom that comes with being debt free and being able to still be at home with my kid.

          2.  Next, Rett will probably start school in August at OCA!  We are super excited about the opportunity so we have got to start saving for it now.  I want my income to supplement that payment to OCA so it won't be an added expense out of Kraig's check.

          3.  I believe in this product and if it's helping others get healthy or to become debt free, I want to help.  I have read countless stories of success and I look forward to being successful too.  I want to help my family's finances as well as being with Rett.

I am sure these reasons will continue to evolve more over the months but right now, I want to help get our family out of debt and pay for Rett's school next year!  I hope that eventually my reasons will become less selfish and more selfless so we can give more!  That is my ultimate goal!

Let me help you do the same.  Whether its to be healthier or to become debt free!  I can help!  Let me know what I can do for you!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

For Anna!

My cousin, Anna is a dear soul.  She is a beautiful and caring person.  I love being able to spend time with her.  When my sister and I were little, we would go to Atlanta to spend time with her, her brother Brad and her parents.  Then, they moved to Germany and well, life happened.  We all lost touch and would only see each other on those rare occasions they came back to the states.  Now we are all adults, Anna moved back to the states, we get to talk and see each other more often.  A few weeks ago, she posted a comment and tagged me in it.  I have been really trying to come up with an answer to her questions.  So here goes....this is her post...

Please list the top 3 best things that happened for/to you in 2014, whether it be professionally, personally or whatever. You can put down more or less or whatever. 
I would also like to hear the 3 worst things about your 2014. 
Then finally the 3 most significant things that happened to the world in 2014. 

3 best things in 2014 - 
       1.  Baby Case was born August 7th!  My sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  It was quite a struggle throughout           
             the pregnancy but when it was all said and done, Case and Brittany were healthy and alive.  :)
       2.  We had an awesome year with our youth group.  Lots of growth in their hearts, minds and souls.  It was a great 
             year for both Kraig and me in realizing our path with the youth and realizing how much we care for them and want
             to see them grow.  This really isn't a major thing, it was just a great thing to realize that we are doing what we are 
            supposed to be and we are were the Lord wants us.  
       3.  I had a lot of time with family and friends.  I had lost touch with a few friends over the last few years and a couple of
            those relationships were brought back together this year.  I was even in one of those friend's wedding in December.
           And one of those friends moved away and we still talk over the Internet a lot more.  A lot of our family came back 
           home for visits, so we got to visit more with those members when they came for family get togethers, birthday
           parties or just to visit.  It was a nice year to just have be with family and friends.  Along with that, my dad retired this 
           year so after 3 years of living in Nashville, he came home this year.  This has been so much fun!  It has been 
           awesome to have him back in GA!

3 worst things in 2014 -
        1.  I had 2 family members get very sick this year.  It showed me that life happens.  And it happens to anyone.  
             Although, life does happen and sometimes it sucks....I learned that I just got to fight.  Just like our family members 
             are doing.  I admire them and look forward to a healing in 2015.
         2. We were faced with a huge decision in the fall.  It wasn't a bad thing.  We just weren't ready to make a decision.
             We wanted to do what the Lord wanted for us and we were so torn.  We had a few weeks of just stress and 
             wondering what we should do.  Through much prayer, we finally made the decision and felt a huge sense of relief. 
             So, it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, it was just a stressful time of not knowing the future and what to do.  
        3.  I don't have another one....

3 things that happened in the world - 
        1.  Ebola
        2.  ISIS
        3.  Robin Williams died.  

It was a pretty fun year, some tough things happened but all in all....we just praised the Lord it wasn't worse.  We were thankful for times with family, we learned a whole lot, and we look forward to 2015.  Kraig just turned 30, I turn 30 this year. We have an awesome youth group.  We have a great family full of wonderful cousins and aunts and uncles!  We serve a huge God who can heal and can do "abundantly more" (Eph. 3:20) than we ever can imagine.  He is so faithful through everything and I look forward to seeing whatever happens in 2015.  

I love you, Anna!  I'm so thankful for you and your beautiful heart!  I look forward to what you are going to do in 2015 and seeing you grow like never before!  I wish the best for you and Mateo!  

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

what a break

Well, I don't know about you but we need a vacation.  Kraig has one more week off before he returns to normal schedule.  We had Gigi and Papa come for a visit!  We had our youth Christmas party! We have a sickly baby boy (just sinus stuff) and we are pooped for all the craziness of the last two weeks.  Although, we wouldn't trade it for anything...well...the sickness but everything else was great!

Last year, for our youth Christmas party, we just had a dinner and played games at the church.  This year, we wanted to do something special and off of the church campus.  So, we got the idea to go skiing.  Well, it was supposed to rain and it never got cold enough so we had to change our plans.  We racked our brains and came up with a Christmas Scavenger Hunt at the mall.  We split the groups up into 3 teams and let them loose (with a chaperone, of course) in the mall.  They had to talk to strangers, find trash, get an autograph, sing a Christmas carol, and do some other crazy things.  It was super fun.  Well, the girls had a blast.  I think the boys just went a long with it because they got to walk around the mall for a few hours.  They were good sports.

Then, Gigi and Papa arrived for the week of Christmas!!!  Rett had so much much fun showing them around, playing with them and sharing Christmas with them.  We shopped a couple days, cooked, ate too much and just enjoyed each other!  It was a nice time and I am so glad they got to come for Christmas.  We always look forward to seeing our PA family!!!  I just wish we could all be together one year.  Maybe in a couple years!!!  That would be a great Christmas present for Gigi and Papa :)

After they left, we cleaned out the garage, the Christmas decorations came down and Kraig moved our living room around.  :)  We are cleaning out Rett's old toys and clothes to make room for his new stuff and next we plan to clean out our clothes and stuff.  I guess the spring cleaning has started early for me.  I think every year for New Year's, I get this hankerin' to "be more organized, cleaner, etc" And I do ok for a few weeks and then it all goes downhill.  At least I start off good, right?  Maybe 2015 will be different.  :)

How was your Christmas?

What are your goals for 2015?

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and now and awesome 2015!  I look forward to 2015.  I think we have a lot of fun things to look forward too :)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Youthsgiving and thankfulness

 We had a blast yesterday with our first annual Youthsgiving.  We took all the kids to Superfly out by the mall.  Its a new jump park in the area and it was SUPER fun!

Then, we came back to our house for our feast!  I made a turkey and by "I," I mean, Kraig because I couldn't bring myself to touch the bird!  So, Kraig did a great job!!!  It was super tasty.  We made other wonderful treats!  It was such a fun time to just hang out with the kids and relax!  

We had so much fun and are so thankful for these kids.  We always question (really more me than Kraig) if we are doing what we should be doing and after was once again confirmed we are right where the Lord wants us.  We love seeing these kids grow in Christ and in times like yesterday...we love seeing them relax and have fun.  We look forward to the tradition every year and can't wait to make more fun times with these kids.

Now, time for the day to commence and 2 more Thanksgiving meals to go!  Wahoo!!!

One last thing...I am so thankful for my salvation and what Jesus means to me.  I love the life that He has blessed me with.  Being surrounded by the people we love is the best!!!  We are so thankful for each other!

I am beyond thankful for these two guys!  I can't imagine life without them and I am so glad the Lord has given them to me.  :)

Hope you all have a great day and have time to reflect on what you are most thankful for. I would love to hear some of those things!  Comment back and let me know!!  :)  Eat a lot of turkey!  Gobble Gobble!!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

before and in between

For the past year, I have struggled horribly with fatigue, bad self esteem, weight gain and some days just not wanting to get out of bed.

I think I attributed the bulk of that to having a toddler and not being able to lose the "baby bump."

So, I would work out, try to eat better, try to take naps and I was still so exhausted.  I just couldn't catch up.  I would pretty much run an IV of Dr. Pepper through my body most days and still couldn't make it through the day.  I just struggled.

I finally said "I AM SICK OF NO ENERGY, FATIGUE, and THE EXTRA WEIGHT!!!" and so  I started a boot camp.  Well, that worked great as far as the extra energy and gaining muscle and I could tell a difference in my sleep and just my attitude seemed to be better but I still couldn't cut the weight.  I had a friend in my college days that worked at a summer camp with me and I kept seeing her wonderful posts of her post baby health and how great she was feeling and how she was dropping the baby weight.  I was so jealous.

I wanted to feel better.  I wanted to enjoy my 2 year old and not be so groggy.  So, I messaged her.

I am now half way through my nutritional pack and let me tell you, I have never felt better.  I have so much farther to go but I look forward to my workouts, I no longer have to have a nap or a Dr. Pepper fact, I have cut out Dr. Peppers and cokes altogether.  For anyone who knows me...knows this is huge!

I have lost right at 8 pounds and many inches!!  I feel good about myself and look forward to the future.  I have more weight to drop to hit my goal but I am so excited about doing it the healthy way with eating right and working out hard!

This is a before pic which was a few months ago.  It still looks like I am 6 months pregnant.  The pic on the right is from today and it only looks like I'm 4 months pregnant.  HA But I am toned up and few pounds down, tons more energy and ready to conquer the rest of the weight loss journey.

I know they aren't great photos mainly because of the phone quality... and I just hate taking selfies.... But there is progress and I am so excited about that!!!  It's been so long since I have seen the scale drop or energy level high so it is something to be celebrated and shared with others!

Let me help you get started!!!  I can tell you all about what is helping my process!!!

Thanks Charley for all your help and getting me started!!!