Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Craft, Anyone?

I know tomorrow is a busy day for most of you, but if you are looking for a fun last minute activity to keep the little people in your life busy, I shared one of our favorites with The Schoolhouse Review Crew!

Some dear friends shared their Thanksgiving Apple Turkeys with us years ago and we always have so much fun doing them.  Supply list is minimal and mess level is low  ;)

Grab a few apples and have some fun!

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!  May it be a blessed one.  And may God open our eyes to see the many things in our lives we should be THANKFUL for!


Monday, November 24, 2014

You Can't Even Make This Stuff Up!

A week ago I was retelling- oh okay, whining to a friend of mine about our past four weeks since my husband has been gone.  When I finished my tale of woe, her words were-

You can't even make this stuff up!

No kidding!  Thankfully I am beginning to be able to laugh about some of it.  Not all, mind you. That may not come.  And as another friend suggested, I am going to start yelling PLOT TWIST and see if that helps me feel better.  At the very least it will entertain the troops here at home.

Let me just give you a taste of things... it may make you feel better! ;)

Week 1-The night of my husband's departure, my 7 year old began running a high temperature.  This is the kiddo who doesn't do sick well and therefore freaks out and asks if he is going to die every few minutes.  Fun times.  The good news is that it is hard to be too emotional in saying good bye when you are sleep deprived and distracted.

Two days later he got better and my daughter and I got sick.  We headed to the doctor to be told she had a virus, me- bronchitis and pneumonia.  Four weeks later, I am still coughing.

Week 2-  Back to doctor! Daughter got better, but oldest son was down for the count and diagnosed with pneumonia.  I was put on a second round of antibiotics because I was not getting better.  Oh, and the mice moved in while mom was in bed for 6 days straight!  YUCK!

Week 3- Back to doctor! Next daughter started feeling badly.  At the very least she is worn out and the allergy thing is still not worked out.  She is not feeling well, not sleeping and generally feels like dirt!  Hmmm, could be from taking care of a sick family, stress of finishing her degree and working a job, plus college/church ministry and on and on!

Plus while we were at the doctor's office the doctor turned on me, I mean turned to me, and said, "I notice you are STILL coughing.  That is not good!"  Add a steroid to my list of medicines.  This is the family who does not like to take medicines, I remind you!  Plus, we came home with more cough medicine with codeine, which my daughter begged him not to give me since it makes me cry. A lot!  Funny how codeine works!  For the sake of the family, I have refrained from taking it.  I am nice like that.

We also went back to the doctor the following day with the youngest because he too has developed a cough and the doctor is either concerned or just likes seeing us frequently.  Medicine for him.  Is it any surprise to you that the gal in the pharmacy actually called me by my first name, pondered out loud why we were back AGAIN and told me how sorry she was for us?!

Then just to add to the fun, while I was out my 13 year old was "fixing" a pen that exploded blue ink on our bedroom carpet.  I am still working on that matter.  And yes, the same day as the doctor visit! Then I had to take the car in to get the oil changed and Farmer Dan's wife (who has had car issues of her own) said she could take me to pick it up.  My chariot arrived, we chatted for a few minutes and then out to her car we went- yep, it was dead!   You would have been proud of us- we just laughed.  We should have yelled PLOT TWIST!  With the help of another sweet friend, we got car picked up and I safely delivered 7 people to church for a few hours.  I drug myself home for a few hours of quiet to only walk through the door to find the dogs had opened a glass bottle of natural supplements intended for the college daughter and had eaten 86 out of 90 of them!  Brand new bottle!  I spent the next hour calling vets and making the dogs throw up.  And just possibly saying not so nice things to the dogs. More fun times.

Then, I tried to put a storage crate away in the garage only to have it about fall on top of my head.  Managed to duck in time, but my back may not be the same for weeks.

Oh, and I fell in a store nights ago.  Yep, embarrassed everyone and bruised my knee.

Week 4- Today you will find us back at the doctor.  Yes, you did count that right- four weeks in a row.  More tests  and various blood work for the oldest who is not getting better.

See,  you can't even make this stuff up.

BUT, before you feel sorry for me, let me share some words of wisdom from a dear friend who has been there done that with this deployment thing recently.  I had shared with her that I was afraid people were going to start to wonder about us and why so many things seem to be crashing around us.  And trust me, I was beginning to wonder the same thing.  Here's what she shared-

Such is the life of a military wife.  Or any other spouse for that matter whose does life alone at times.  Things just happen.  Whether a significant other is around or not.  The difference is we are suddenly doing it alone.  There is no one to rescue us at the end of the day.  No one to pass the baton to.  No one to whine to.  And so our friends see and hear much more than they normally would.  We just air our dirty laundry more (you can thank us later) and therefore you see our lives as an open book.  We probably have no more craziness than any other person reading this, it just can seem like it because it is center stage.

Well, thank goodness.  Not that our mess is center stage, but that our mess is no worse than your mess.  

At least I hope.

I am however looking for the nearest vacation spot!  You are welcome to come with me.


My Joy-Filled Life

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Princess Story- A Courtship Series

We are thrilled about how popular The Princess Story- A Courtship Series has become.  We love this story and we love that you love it as well.  Courtship is exciting!  So is life!  And how fun that we can share both with you, dear friends.

If you missed this past week's excitement, here are all the links on one easy place.  We would love for you to share it with your friends!


My Joy-Filled Life

Friday, November 21, 2014

Keep Your Eyes on God!- 52 weeks of family scripture memorization

Let's face it, some days are just harder than others.  Some weeks are like that!

I feel like I am stuck in one of those seasons.

As I so often say to my close friends- KEEP YOUR EYES ON GOD!  

Yes, I am shouting that to myself.


We need to teach our kids that when things are good we need to keep our eyes on God.  And then when things get hard, we need to continue to keep our eyes on Him as well. How easy it is to take our eyes off God and drown in our own helplessness.

I am a momma.  I love my kids and I want to supply their every need.  Make everything all better.  I want them to come to me with all of their sadness, hurt, and pain.  But before even that, I want to teach them to take all that to God first.  I am human and I can only do so much!

He is God, and He alone will  give us refuge and sustain us!

Teach your kids to keep their eyes on God and make Him their refuge!

Blessings, Michele

What Courting Really Looks Like- Day 5 of The Princess Story

If you want to start this series from the beginning, read A Princess Story, On the Other Side of The Kingdom- Parts 1 and 2, and Want to Hear Some Good News? first!

Are you over the shock of yesterday's post yet?

OK, so remember all those books on courting?  You feel free to read them, but PLEASE do not build your pretty little plan around them.

Trust me on this!  I know!  I tried to, and man, my world got rocked when God had another plan!

First things first.  Courting for us is a purposeful getting to know someone with the intent to marry that person IF you decide you are compatible and love each other!  The key word here is PURPOSEFUL!  No random dating, nothing casual about it.  The reality is we do not really care what you call it, we just desire for it to be centered around God and His desires.

"It doesn't matter what you call it, it's how you do it!"

Are you honoring Christ?
Are you honoring your families?
Are you honoring each other?

Other than that, every situation will look and be different.  There is just no way around it.  So, again, read all the books and blog posts you want, but know that your story will look different from theirs, just like theirs looks different from everything we have seen and read.

So their reality-
  • Our daughter did not know the prince in her life forever.  They did not grow up as childhood friends. (Isn't that, after all, what all the books say?) They DID meet at church.  God is in even the littlest details of our lives and I stand in awe at how He worked this one out!

  • The prince DID ask her father for permission to court her.  As well he should! ;)  The men had a long discussion (and yes, in a library) about what that would and should look like before she ever really knew that he was interested in her.

  • They spend a lot of time together.  A lot.  Most of it in our home, but not all.  My husband and I tease them that they have covered more ground in a few short months than we did in two years of Friday night "dating."

  • They spend a lot of time in discussion and prayer.  With each other and with us.  About God and faith.  About life issues.  About each other.  Remember, they have not known each other long.  They are catching up on a lot of time apart.

  • They get a lot of guidance from us and from his parents.  And some very special people in each of their lives. But in the end, it is their relationship and they must grow together and walk this path as a team.  As parents, we build a foundation in their growing up years, and then pray that they will continue to follow and please God.  

  • A relationship cannot be based on time.  It can only be based on God.  

  • Yes, the reality is that life is not a fairy tale.  We know that.  Relationships take hard work, dedication, time and a devotion to God and each other.   

  • God is in control- and He is able to make something beautiful out of our mess.  Just ask my daughter!

  • No one can guess what God's timing will be.  Again, trust me on this one.  We did not see this coming.

But God did.  And He led an amazing young man to follow his heart straight to our daughter.

Now that, my friends, is a pretty amazing fairy tale!

And so what does courting really look like?

this... thanks to a sister who insists on being called their third wheel

And this...thanks to a brother who tries to photo bomb every picture! (see him on the far right?)

 and another brother who probably rolls his eyes at them a lot...when he is not being attacked by a bear. ;)

Sometimes it is difficult to put aside dreams of the past.  But I remain convinced, and have now seen firsthand, that when we choose to do so and follow God down His perfect path- that a beautiful life awaits us!

Ok, I know you have questions (I would), so ask away.  We will do our best to share as openly and honestly as we can.

And one last thing because I think it is important to state, not one thing about this relationship will ever be posted without their permission.  Just so you don't think I am telling secrets! ;)  I even managed to keep this one for a while! (mostly:)


Michele, Morgan and Ashton!

Two very happy families!

And a bunch of happy kiddos!

For the Display of His Splendor

Missional Call