Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tomorrow's my Birthday!!! 41 Things I love.....

 So here we go I thought I would share with you 41 things I Love..... since tomorrow is my 41st Birthday! 

1)  I love little surprises my husband comes up with for us to do.  It doesn't have to cost money even, but just the thought and time he takes to put something together for us to do makes me smile and fall in love with him again!
 2)  I LOVE MY JOB!!!!!!!!!  I love working with adoptive families walking them through the process of adoption!  Answering questions, talking on the phone with them, encouraging them, and praying with and for them.  I love working with birth mothers when I get the chance.  I love doing home studies for families preparing to do an adoption.  I LOVE IT ALL!!!!  I am one Blessed Person!!

3)  I Love meeting our clients!!!  Some are local and I get to see them more often- even better!  Since our clients are all over the United States we don't always get the pleasure, but when we do- I LOVE IT!!!!  :) 
 4)  I love our job even more because Jason and I get to work together from home!!!  What a great bonus!!!  To be married to someone who shares your passion!  He is amazing at doing profiles and paperwork for our clients.  He also does a lot of web based work as well for adoption. 
 5)  I really love babies....children really of all ages.  I think this may be why we have 9 ;).  He he he he....but who can resist this????  NOT ME!!!
6)  I love the people we get to work with!!!!  We have amazing leaders and co workers that treat us with respect and are very gracious with us!!!  Makes it even more of a pleasure to do what we do! 
 7)  I love CAMP!!!!!  As in I love being a counselor, working with students of all ages.  Currently I am very involved  in jr/sr high youth ministry and I love it!!!  Even though it isn't easy....I still love it.  I love witnessing, praying, being with youth!!!!
 8)  I love HOME!  We have had quite a few changes in the past few years....but now when I come HOME- this is it!!!  I love the feeling of knowing that unless God calls us elsewhere- this is it!  This is our home.  It is nice knowing that you are settled and you love where you live! 
 9)  I love special memories with our children!  Taking them on "dates" and getting to know them better.  Treating them to something special.  Love it!
 10)  I love coming home to this!  Squeezes.... everyone yelling MOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!  :)

11)  I love the great outdoors!  Which is another reason to live on 3 acres!  Space, trees, grass, gardens- I love being close to what God created! 
 12)  I love watching miracles happen.....  I may be tearing up right now, but just the thought of this little man makes me cry with joy!  Just knowing that I serve a God who creates miracles daily-----  whew....  I just can't help myself!!!

13)  I love TEACHING!  Now for those who don't know Music Education is what my degree is in.  I love teaching!  It is a passion of mine.  I was a band teacher, then I taught about Jesus at camp, and now I get to teach families about adoption.   I was always and always will be a teacher of Jesus in our home as well as math, English, science, history, geography, reading, writing, and much more at home! 
 14)  I love watching my children play.  I love playing with them just as much!!!

15)  I love Mountain Dew ;)
 16)  I LOVE THIS MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  After 17 years he hasn't left me in the dust.  He hasn't written me off.  He hasn't said forget it.  Instead we have kept working through things bit by bit.  Little by little God has given us grace for the moment to get through some really crazy tough things!!!  AND WE ARE STILL IN LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I don't know what I did to deserve my handsome man, but I am thankful daily that God sent him to me!!! 
 17)  I love music!  Music is a love language of mine.  It is where I find deep worship and God speaking to me.  It is something I have loved since I was young.  It is something I enjoy!!

18)  I love our friends and family who have supported us through the years.  Some have come and gone due to distance and time.  Some have stayed.  I love that people have reached out to us and supported us even through the craziest of times! 
 19)  I love helping and serving others.  I loved doing missions week.  I love seeing a need and being able to fill it.  When I used to teach in a small town I was also a volunteer EMT and that was an awesome way to serve. 

20)  I love prayer time.  I have so much to be thankful for, so much to seek God's face over.... and so thankful that God loved me so much as to send His one and only son to die for me.  My prayer time is a time I take seriously because it is how I get to know my Jesus.  It is a way I can really truly accept His grace and love for me.  Only then can I pass it on.  
 21)  I love blogging!!  Even though I don't get nearly as much time as I would like to do it- it is definitely a love.  I enjoy encouraging, being real, sharing, and just being me.

22)  I love FB, Instagram, Pinterest, and other fun internet things that keep me connected and places where I can learn more about so many things.  I can keep in constant contact with clients, read great articles on connection with my children, find great sensory activities to do, and see crazy fun pictures of my friends. 
 23)  I love pizza, angel food cake, fried pickles, watermelon, honey dew, and meat on the grill.  Oh yes, and ICE CREAM!!!  YUMMY!!!

24)  I love swimming!!!  I love going to a pool, the beach, water parks, water balloons, splash parks, anything with water!!!!
 25)  I love dancing.  Not as in serious moves or anything like that, but just dancing.  Secret time...  sometimes during prayer time I put in my headphones and just dance before the Lord.  I also like just being silly as well.  Sometimes your joy just needs to explode.

26)  I love reading scripture and books that help me learn more about scripture.  There was a definite time in my life this wasn't true, but the more I grow the more it is definitely true.  I used to think that I knew enough about the Bible, but I have learned that isn't possible.  Now when I read the Bible I find sooo much more.  Believe me this is a God thing.  Thankful..... 
 27)  I love going out on little adventures.  Whether it is to the park, out to eat ice cream, to a National Park, vacation, to see something new, museum, zoo, beach, whatever- I love going out and about.  :)

28)  I love my church!  Not just the building...but the people, the worship, the uneasiness I get when the pastor is preaching and I know I need to change my attitude and heart about a few things.  Life group and sharing together as a Body of Christ! 
29)  I love a challenge!  As in one thing I have always loved is when someone challenges me and says it can't be done.  Ummmmm.....those are fighting words!  ;)

30)  I love making lists and checking things off my list.  :)  Yes, I am a list person and I am not afraid to admit it! 
31)  I love theme parks!!!  Busch Gardens, Universal, Sea World, Disney parks, any of them!!!! 

32)  I love rides!!!  The faster, higher, scarier- I'm in!!!!
33)  I love playing games.  Boggle specifically.  As in I am very competitive on this particular game....  I love Wii bowling and boxing.  I love card games, board games, and outdoor games. 

34)  I love cheering on people.  Especially my husband and children, but others as well.  I know this may shock you, but I was a cheerleader back in the day.  I definitely have the mouth for it ;).  But I love cheering people on in a game, or in life, or in whatever they are doing.  I enjoy seeing people try hard and do their best! 
35)  I love matching shirts/outfits.  I know it may be a sickness, but I can't help it. 

36)  I love my quiet time......  many afternoons in our home we have a "quiet time rotation".  Where the kids have stations of doing a educational computer game, reading, writing, quiet play, homework, etc.  That is the time of the day I do a lot of work, but that is also the time when I get to pray, focus on my goals, read my Bible, dream, and just chill! 
37)  I love being crazy!!!!  Yes, hard to believe really I am sure ;).  I just think you only live once and sometimes you just have to do something silly.  I blame this on my mom since she was always ready to embarrass me or be crazy herself. 
38)  I love seeing my children grow in their faith!!!  NOTHING is more rewarding that seeing God move in the hearts of your children.  PRAISE GOD!

39)  I love racing!!!  OK it isn't like I go to the indoor race track often.  I have done it a few times, but I do love racing.  I know I shouldn't race on your way to church.  You have to be safe, but sometimes......  I can't help it.  It is just a part of me.  Like get out of my way!!!  I am coming through!!!!!  :)  Don't be scared- I am a very safe driver promise!!!
40)  I love my children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Nothing keeps me on my toes, on my knees, and pushing towards God than my children.  They give me the greatest joys and yes push me to the edge often in the same minute.  I am thankful daily for each and every one of them and their personalities.  They challenge me to be a better person and to keep growing! 
41)  I love being who God made me to be.  This may sound obvious, but I am happy with what God gave me.  I know my life is far from perfect.  I am just happy to have what I have.  I feel content with my life.  :)  I may not have a perfect body, lots of things that others do, or whatever, but I love what I have. 
Whew!!!  If you read all that- wow!!!  That is a lot.  Of course you may have found out more than you wanted to know!  :)
One thing I always share every year on my birthday is about the miracle God did in my life now 33 years ago!!!!  33 years ago (in 2 days) I found out I had cancer.  We were on vacation and my "stomach" started to hurt.  When my parents took me to the hospital they ran tests.  The tests showed that I had cancer. 

That cancer proved to weigh over 5 lbs. in a little 8 year old girl's body.  When they went to do surgery they found out it was malignant.  It took many doctors several hours of surgery- scraping everything in my abdominal area, taking out anything not absolutely necessary to live, and putting me back together again.  I thank God daily that HE HEALED ME!!!!!  There is NO other explanation. 
I am 33 years cancer free and thankful to be alive.  What do I want for my birthday?  More Jesus and my family.  Because after God heals you like that- that is all you need.  :)

To read my full testimony- GO HERE!!!  :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Whew- the month of July ;)

 Let's see.....the month of July....has sped by!!!!  ;)  In this great month we have done a lot, and yet my blog is empty. 
 I came up with a list of some things I wanted to do this summer, and we have done quite a few.  One was to go to a "big pool"/splash pad which we did!!  Hey, $2 a person can't beat that and our kiddos loved going off the diving board and slides. 
 We have done lots of slip and slide, water balloon games, mini golf at Disney (half price for those who have passes). 
 We have had a lot of outdoor time, cleaning up our yard which is a non stop party or never ending project depending on which way you look at it.  We have 3 acres of many many many trees!
 We have worked on our garden which has carrots, onions, watermelon, cucumbers, sunflowers, and tomatoes. 
 We have planted raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry bush things.  ;) I know you value my crazy! 
 We went to the 4th of July parade with some foster adoptive church family!!! 
 It is HOT, but also fun!!!
 Michael has come a long way in "holding things" I love that he has new skills all the time!!!
 Spider Man posed for us!
 I took the girls shoe shopping.....
 We have also done swimming in other people's pools!!!!  Hey, when you don't have one you use other people's because - IT'S HOT HERE IN FLORIDA ;).
 We have gone to the beach a few times too! 
 Abigail and Andrew left a few days after church camp to go with Joe & Lisa (former summer staff members from the camp we used to direct) to serve with their church. 
 They came back on July 3rd and then that following Sunday we had our church's serve week with the youth! 
 I was sooo excited to be a part of it.  I typically serve with the jr/sr high youth at our church. 
 Here we are!!!  We made PB&J, along with all kinds of soaps, shampoos, socks, deoderants, etc to give to the homeless.  We also served alongside another ministry- a hot meal. 
 We did much more than that though as we reached out to them in love.  Shook hands, talked with them, looked them in the eye, and shared Jesus.  I tell you there is nothing better than sharing your faith- with anyone at anytime!!!! 
 Of course we had some fun time at a park too.  :)
 Boys all playing football. 
 The next day we went to our local pregnancy crisis center. 
 We cleaned it inside and out.....
 Helped them do a huge project of getting rid of some landscaping, raking leaves, picking up trash, and organizing the many donations they receive to give to expectant mothers.  :) 
 They decorated huge boxes of thank yous, supplies, and fun giveaways for our local firemen and police officers.  They went on to read and play with elementary students, talk and hang out with the elderly, and other serving opportunities.  Of course that is when I got sick.... UGH!!!  Talking HUGE TONSILS :(.  As I was just getting better- it hit Jason!! 

Jason ended up taking me to the doctor on his birthday- :/ sorry....  UGH!  Now he is still recovering. 
 This was my 17th Anniversary Surprise.  We went to Pinot's Palette.  Drank OJ, laughed, and painted!
 Aren't we cute? 
 Not professional, but so fun!!!!
 There is a huge classroom of people doing the painting together.  They have a fun instructor that gives you step by step instructions.  Even for those of us who can't draw stick people- THAT would be ME!!!  For real!
 Oh, and our latest project..... 
 Building a trampoline!!!!  :) 
 The boys, Jason and I all worked on it for a couple of hours......
 And- here it is!!!! 
It has already provided several hours of fun!!!!  AND YES this mommy has rules ;).  So don't worry, but man is it fun!!!! 

***More babies being born soon so get ready for some cute pics!!!  Oh and coming soon as well we will be sharing in a live interview about adoption!  Should be fun!!  :)