Monday, December 7, 2009

Keep CHRIST in Christmas!!!!

Today I sent this email out to all the leaders and coaches of GBF's Children's Ministry Team! I think all could benefit from this aritcle...........

Just recently my husband and I saw a billboard that said KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS....which sparked us in a conversation on this very subject. I like the idea behind the billboards, however my husband thinks the money on the billboard could be spent somewhere else..... So therefor, I have been thinking alot about WHY I support this advertisement! Here is a article I came across today that I found very interesting and worth reading.

Getting Christ Back into Christmas Your Ministry

There is a danger in ministry that is easy to miss. During the Christmas season, we often hear the phrase, "keeping Christ in Christmas," or reminders that He is the "reason for the season." But these sentiments have as much to do with our ministry all year long as they do with the celebration of Christmas. While it is certainly disappointing how little of Jesus we see in our culture's celebration of Christmas, and frustrating to see our Savior being systematically squeezed out more and more every year, there is something far more gradual and eternally dangerous than seeing Christ steadily removed from Christmas. And it is happening every month of the year. It is the slow and unintentional removal of Christ from ministry – or at least the removal of a vibrant relationship with Jesus in the midst of Christ-centered ministry.

I have no doubt that children's ministry leaders and volunteers will keep "Christ in Christmas" during this season. I am more concerned about whether we will keep a relationship with Jesus at the center of our life and ministry. Christmas serves as a perfect object lesson on this topic because Christ slips away from our ministries the same way He slips out of Christmas. When it comes to the purpose and focus of Christmas, it is true that there are those who are intentionally and strategically trying to remove Christ from Christmas – but they are easy to identify. However, there is a more subtle attack at play. Too often Christ gets lost, not because of overt attacks, but because He just gets drowned out in the midst of many other good things. Shopping for gifts to express love is a good thing. Decorating to make the world a brighter place is a good thing. Cooking up special recipes to make life taste better is a good thing. Playing with children, volunteering to help the poor, giving to the needy, playing music focused on joy, and promoting peace and expressing love are all good things. They aren't "bad," and they even please Christ – but at the same time, they can distract us from the very One who inspired them.

The same is true with our lives and ministries. We do have an Enemy who seeks to remove Christ from the center of our lives, and often his distractions or downright seductions work – and we sin. But more often, it is all the GOOD in our lives and ministry that can cause Jesus to be lost in the shuffle. We are about so many good things! Creatively teaching the Bible is good. Getting kids to come to church is good. Making the environment fun and inviting is good. Preparing fun games, engaging crafts and yummy snacks is good. Providing resources is good and staffing our classes and programs is good. Developing safe policies and creating attractive bulletin boards, brochures and websites is all good – and most of it is inspired by our desire to lead children into a saving relationship with Jesus. But just as Christ slips out of Christmas while we are busy sipping the eggnog, so Jesus can slip out of our ministry while we are restocking the resource room with apple juice.

Here a few warning signs that Jesus may have gotten buried in the busyness of ministry:

* You haven't read the Bible for yourself in awhile. (Lesson prep doesn't count!)
* If you pray, it's at meals, or when you need something for the ministry.
* Your spouse or kids are starting to resent the ministry. (Or perhaps you are.)
* What used to bring you great joy now seems like a burden. (If you are honest.)
* You aren't really as happy as you appear on Sunday. (You thought no one could tell.)
* You can't remember the last time you got to lead someone to Christ (one on one).
* You are feeling stressed and overwhelmed with the ministry. (His burden is light.)
* You are exhausted most of the time.
* You feel unappreciated, undervalued and overworked.
* You don't like who you are becoming privately.
* You have sin in your life that if anyone knew...

How does it happen? How can you be doing so much GOOD and seeing LIVES CHANGED and have so many people impressed and pleased with you… but Jesus seems like a stranger to you?

Friend, Jesus is not only the "Reason for the Season," he is the Reason for your Ministry, too. "Keeping Christ in Christmas" is not the main challenge – keeping your relationship with Him central in your life and ministry is!

Thanks for letting me share this!!!!! Love yall!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Treats for the Inexperienced

Year after year I tell myself I want to learn to make some fun Christmas treats to share with friends, relatives and co-workers. But time and time again, it gets busy I usually end up settling with handing out gift cards instead.

But this year I am a bit more free....which I am thrilled about. So this weekend I want to start playing in my kitchen and making some fun treats.

So for all your bloggers, please share some of your favorites with me! But please NOTE, I am not a homemaker and don't spend alot of time in the kitchen. So easy/simple is best!!! HAHAHA! Plus, I am hoping the kids will help me in there this weekend too!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Room, New Attitude

I know it is not new news about our recent add-on to our home. And, it's not technically an add-on but we closed in our garage!

But I can't explain how this has changed the Turner Household for the better!! It is almost as if we aren't the same family! HAHA!

First of all, my family of 5 sat at a small area in the kitchen. The original kitchen table only had 4 chairs and we usually have to pull up a step stool or an office chair if we all want to sit together. And to be honest, usually I would feed everyone and wait on them or we would have kids in the kitchen and Todd in the living room! It is also a tight area to have the family in. NOW: We have a huge table in the new big room that can sit up to 8, maybe even 10 and we have 6 chairs! We eat together, we do homework or work together and even clean together! NO JOKE!

Secondly, that small kitchen area and table was in constant use, which was tiring and very frustrating... not to mention it caused me to yell more than I wanted to! Mainly out of frustration at the time. Our table schedule was much like this.....
Morning: breakfast and folder signing
Midday: Cleared
After School: full of backpack, lunch boxes, papers and homework
Dinner Time: move school stuff and do dinner or do dinner around the school stuff
Nite: clean food and pull out backpack again and do homework!

NOW: This big new table is big enough to eat at and have homework at. We have plenty of room to have several things out and we have a nice refrigerator that has the cereal stuff and other easy access snacks ready to go! Now the kitchen stays clean and we use it for more of a adult conversation/dinner time! No more kids!! No more homework (unless they need quiet), no constant cleaning it several times a day! LOL!

I have more reasons... so if your with me, I am going to keep on telling ya!!!

Next, I love the space. We have a big U-shaped couch (with a pull out sleeper), this big table, a TV, a frig and a freezer. This takes up a little more than half of the room so the rest of the room is open and is great for playing games, doing puzzle, or for doing cart-wheels (my Addie does that none stop).

And last but not least, I love how we are always together as a family all the time. Tonight, Todd and Zander were watching a baseball game, Addie and Gabe were coloring and helping me match socks, and I was doing laundry, all at the same time and all TOGETHER! On the weekends we let the kids pull out the sleeper and have little slumber parties...and yes, last week the whole family had a slumber party in our new room! HAHA!

It seems that our YELLING has become a minimal now! And we seem to have our family all together majority of the time.

So you ask me what I am doing right now....well I am sitting at the BIG table typing this. Zander and Todd are having an coaching session while watching the baseball game, Addie is cartwheeling and Gabe is reading his book!

The money we have spent on this room as been so worth it. We should have done this years ago!!! But I am so happy we did it period!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Awkward Family Photos

Ok.... I am feeling silly today!!! I have been looking at OLD PHOTOS and I have to say we have found A LOT funny ones! Now, if you're anything like my family, we get a kick out of that website called AWKWARD FAMILY PHOTOS! It is hilarious! They are consistently finding new photos and such that get posted frequently! And yes, we get a kick them each time!! LOL

Well, lucky for you, I am about to post some pictures of my OWN AWKWARD FAMILY PHOTOS! LOL! Yes, I am feeling brave! But I hope you get a good laugh at them like I do each time I see these!

So here goes............

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Thought I would share a couple things that Gabe has said or done in the last week. He is so LITERAL!!! These are just a couple of things, but keep in mind he is always doing and saying things that just make you laugh!

1) As most of you know, recently Todd and I were on a vacation without the kids. My mom and dad watched the kids for us while we were away. But today, while visiting with my mom, she shared this story.....

Gabe apparently wanted a "snack" but it was dinner time. The whole family was at the table and he was trying to negotiate how much more he had to eat from his dinner plate to get his special snack!!! Mom finally got sick of trying to compromise with him so she told him he must "clean his plate". So about 2 minutes go by and mom is not certain what he is doing yet...but he puts away his plate, drinks all his drink and puts it away, and then cleans his area with a wet rag. Everyone is still eating and talking when he finally announces that he is ready. Mom still didn't get it, but he says to hear "but I cleaned my plate, like you said...." LOL

2) Another story..... Todd and I returned from our vacation late Sunday evening. The kids were very excited to have us home and tried really hard to have us let the play hookie on Monday. But I could not stay home with them, as I had a staff meeting to attend to Monday morning and Addie had a few test to take. And Todd would be home but he would be working from home!!!

Anyhow, Gabe understood that I had prior commitments. So Monday morning rolls around and he walks into class. His teacher, Mrs. Price is aware of us being out of town and realizes that we should be back by now. So she says to Gabe, "Gabe, is your mommy and daddy home now?" Gabe replies "My daddy is, but my mommy is not!!!"

LOL! I bet Mrs. Price thought she would hear about this story on 20/20 there for a few minutes!!! SO FUNNY!

I will share more later..... HAHAHA!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pictures from our Cruise

Been Away.....on VACATION!!!!

I know. I know. I have been very quiet on here the last couple of weeks. You know why??? Cos I was out of the country!! YAP!! My dear husband took me away for my first CRUISE and first MEXICO trip ever! It was so awesome! The trip alone was awesome, but being with my man for 10 straight days was even better!

On Sept. 5 we left DFW, flew to Los Angelas....spent almost 24hours with Todd's sister, then boarded our cruise out of Long Beach that would last 8 days! We were at sea for a day and half then had our first stop in Cabo San Lucas!

We had the most amazing time there at Lover's Beach snorkeling. There is something so romantic about being in deep blue waters, hand in hand with your spouse, seeing hundreds and hundreds of tropical fish surrounding us! We spent 3 hours swimming and snorkeling together!!! Then ended our day there with a light lunch and people watching!!! LOL!

Our next day was at Mazatlan. Here we rented a van a took a private tour of parts of this area. We learned lots about the history of Mexico and saw lots of new and old!!! The tour was very informative....not to mention we were told exactly where to go to do our shopping!!! We also took a fairy to STONE island where we ate a great shrimp lunch!!!

Our last stop was in Puerto Vallerta! I have never seen a place more beautiful and unique as here. Being in a real rainforest was so cool. The streets were made of cobble stones and the air was so fresh!!!! HUMID, but fresh!!! Here we took a taxi about 30 miles outside of town...which was an awesome scenic drive. Lots of mountains, beautiful cottages, old villages, winding narrow roads, etc. It was almost movie like! We finally got to our destination....CHICO's. This was an old Mexican restaurant way out in nowhere land. It was in the middle of the mountains with a river and waterfalls that over look from the restaurant balconies. Not only did we enjoy the scenery there but we also ZIPLINED from mountain to mountain and over the rivers there! It was sooo cool!!!!

The last two days were sea days of traveling back. We took lots of naps, worked out, layed out by the pool, and just rested alot! The ship itself had plenty to do.....and plenty of great shows too (Ron, my brother in law performed 2 times while on the boat)!!!!

It was a blast!!! I have made a brief video of some of the pictures! Take a look at the blog posting that will soon to come above!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Wow! What a Week!

Wow! We survived last week!!! YAE! It was a crazy, busy one but a great one! The once-garage is just about to be a completed gameroom...just waiting on AC and some finishings on the new wall. The kids made it through their first week of school and seemed to be happy with their new teachers and classmates. Work for me is finally caught up and volunteers seem to be falling into place where we need them! Things are good.

But boy, has it been tiring!!! LOL! I know my trash man is not going to like us tomorrow when we pull out the trash cans. I think we have 4 trash cans and they are all full not to mention the spill overs!!! Todd and I have cleaned in places that have never been cleaned in the 9 years we have been in this house! Talk about some serious dust mites! LOL! Not to mention Todd is a PACKRAT! I think my husband is now convinced that we shouldn't save everything! to share this too. Not only did Gabe start still this week....but he lost his first tooth!!! My O My! He is getting too big too quick! He actually bit into a nacho from Taco Bell and the tooth snapped (it was already a bit loose). He was a little freaked out thinking he broke his tooth, but then we explained that he was now a big boy and the tooth fairy would soon be arriving. That is all we had to say and by our next stop....ACADEMY, he had that tooth completely out!

So what is on the agenda this week...
1) Meetings, Meetings, and more Meetings from now until Wednesday evening
2) Lesson Plans and prep for while I am out
3) Lots of packing for my trip with my hubby this weekend.
4) Packing and preparing my mom and dad a little list of things to know since they will be watching my three rugrats!
5) Hopefully getting the gameroom complete!!!
6) School-Classroom Meetings
7) Shopping and Lunch with my mom
8) Subbing for a Jr. High Math class
9) Soccer practices
10)A few home cooked meals with the family around the table!

So got one week down but another busy week ahead! But I am looking forward to it all!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Cleanest Garage EVER!!

We have now lived in our house for almost 9 years! We built this house in December of 1999! I can remember moving in thinking WOW, this house is huge!! We had lived in a little 3 bedroom 2 bath house with only 1150 square feet in Frisco, TX. So moving into a 1800 square foot house, we thought we were big time!!! HA!

When we moved in, we only had one baby...but within a few month baby number 2 was on the way (there went our extra room) and then baby 3! Needless to say 9 years later, 3 kids later, 3 dogs later, and 2 cats later, the house was starting to feel a bit cramped!

This week we have begun some house improvements! But the big news is that we have closed in our garage to make it a gameroom!! The floors are finished, the furniture had been bought, and today we build the wall. Tomorrow we will have air conditioning and then this weekend we will be chillin in the new game room!


Here are a few pics. One of the house, one of our new extended back patio and one of the stain on our new gameroom floor! I really wished I took a before and after picture of our garage. If you know us well at all, you would have known that the garage was a mess before we began this project last weekend! HAHA! So enjoy the cleaniness of it...cos it will never ever be this spotless again! Furniture is already moved in awaiting for the new wall and air:-)

Monday, August 24, 2009

All Three Kids Went To School Today

Today was the first day of school for Gunter ISD. This year, I have 3 kids attending Gunter Elementary. And this will be the last year I will have all 3 in elementary school, as well. Addison started 4th grade, Zander started 2nd, and Gabe started Kindergarten.
Now if you have been reading my blog, you would know that this was not the first year that all of my kids have been in school. However,in prior years, I have had the younger ones (ones not school aged) going to preschool at the private school I used to teach for. But that was the catch. I was working for the private school...even last year I worked for Gabe's school part time, helping by running the reading lab!
But this morning, was bitter sweet. We all woke up a the same time and drove just a half a mile away, all to be dropped off at the SAME school. Yes, today I was like most moms.... I actually skipped carline drop off and chose to walk my kids into their classrooms for the first day. We dropped Addie off first, then Zander, and then it was time to walk Gabe to his classroom. He was so excited but I wanted to cry! I was finally sending ALL MY BABIES to school! This was a milestone but yet almost unbelievable! Was it really time yet?? But I didn't cry!!! He was so darn cute....
So what makes this so bitter sweet! Well, after I dropped them off, I came back home and found my life again! LOL!!! Just kidding! But boy it was nice and quiet at home. No rush to get somewhere or be somewhere. I came home to a quiet, peaceful house. I turned on my music and went to work getting a few house chores done. Had some quiet time to read a bit of the Bible, and then headed out to work around 9:30. I worked until about 2:00 and then got home to relax, had a bite to eat (IN PEACE and NOT HAVING TO SHARE) and even had time to make my kids a nice snack to come home to.
This is some good stuff!!! I think I am going to get used to this kind of life!!!! WHEW WHOOO!

Well off to take some kids to soccer practice. Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Time for Changes

Well, it's very late and my mind won't rest! I think it is because it is that time of year. School is about to start, which means it time for lots of changes. Time for football, time for cooler weather, time for earlier bedtimes, time for planning and organizing fall events, etc.

Now, if you were to walk in my house, you would see that I haven't been organizing like I usually do before school starts. WHY? Well, for one, I am no longer a teacher anymore and do not need to get these things done before going back to work. And secondly, all my kids will be in school this year....yes, even my baby boy, Gabe. So I am hoping and planning on doing some organizing around the house during week when I am not working!

If you were to come into my office, you would see paperwork, calendars, curriculum books, and revised schedules scattered about (I know it's driving Todd crazy too). Well, that is because it's that time of year where the children's ministry starts a new year with curriculum and schedules, as well. Kids are moving into new classes and new teachers are being added to our ministry team! WHEW!!!

And to add on top of all this....we are going to be doing a lot of "remodeling and fixing things" in and around our house in the next few months. In matter of fact, in one week I will have a house that is 400 sq. feet bigger! YAEEEEEE!!! We are turning our garage into a playroom. We will also be adding onto our porch, and fixing lots of broken things. I guess this is what happens when your new house is officially old... HA!!!

I am so excited about all the changes but boy I must say, I am also ready for them to be over too!! LOL!

Well, I am off here to see if I might be able to sleep!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Man

You know what makes me really happy??? My man does!!! Yap! I have the best husband in the world, there is no doubt about that! He really is my best friend...and I have to say, I think it is pretty HOT too;-) LOL

Anyhow, I just have to take some time to tell you about how proud I am of him!

Five years ago, Todd sat me down to tell me that he felt that God wanted him to quiet his job. He was a web manager for a small but successful company out of Garland. But the drive was long, the stress was high, the environment was not particularly pleasant, and he just really didn't enjoy his job. He made good money but he was willing to put that all aside to venture out on his own.

Now I must tell you, I was a huge skeptic. God didn't tell me about this plan and aren't we in this thing together? ha! But Todd said..."Let's give it 6months and if working for myself doesn't pay the bills, I will find another job". I think fair enough??? Might as well let the man pursue his dream and we can always find another job later if need be.

Well 2.5 stressful years later! BROKE and unsure of the future..... we had some decisions to make. But let me tell you, those 2.5 years were absolutely crucial years in our marriage! We had learn to trust God and God had proven to be faithful time and time again. We began to rely more on each other and instead of making a bad situation worse, we did our best to support one another and put God first.

Now I have ALOT of gap to fill for this story but will have to do it in brief blogs....otherwise you could fall asleep!! LOL!

Both my husband and I got new jobs back then.... Ironically, both in the forms of ministry. Todd began working for a webteam for Insight for Living, a world-wide ministry. And I began teaching for a Christian private school. God began maturing us both within our jobs. We were both heavily involved with our churches (and still are) and even helped bring up a new church within our small community!

Today, Todd was just promoted to a Vice President for his company!!!!! He has also had several side jobs he had juggled in the last 5 which we have gained some successes. Amazing to see how God has provided for us and even rewarded us with many grand opportunities in the last year!

But all this aside, I must say.... I love seeing how God has worked in my husband in the last 5 years! He is a hard worker, very smart, good looking, and loves God. Can I also say he is good at loving me too! He is an awesome man and my man! I am so blessed!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"It's the Time! It's the Time!!!"

Ok! I have to tell you about the trouble Wendy Enloe and I got into the last day of Camp KIDJAM!

So the last night of camp, we let our 11 girls stay up a bit later (well much later) as long as they were staying in their rooms and causing no trouble and not being too loud. We went and got lots of snacks and goodies for them to share and enjoy! All was going far........

Well the way the dorm rooms were arranged for us were two long wings and two dorm rooms in the middle near the elevators! Our girls were on the one full wing and Wendy and Kayla were in one middle room, while I was in the other room by the elevator. I was closer to the other wing, where there were 5 girls, one NOT HAPPY leader, and 2 teen helpers.

I should have known that the lady was NOT HAPPY to be at camp since the night before Kayla and Wendy were ding-dong-ditching me and I busted them in their tracks, sprayed them with silly string and made Wendy run smack into the wall and bump her head. The lady came around the corner and we were all in the hall floor laughing and crying! It was hilarious but she didn't seem to think so. It was only 10:30pm when this happened!

So, back to the last night. It was getting late! Kayla was asleep but Wendy was over in my room and we were talking about our camp experiences and how God was working in all of the kids and ourselves....

Slowly my room began to grow from us two, to 2 girls, to 4 girls, to 6 girls, etc. Soon my room had all the girls hanging out and we were dancing "quietly", having eating contest, talking, etc. Nothing but pure and clean fun! Well, it was a little after 1am. But suddenly Wendy and I got this idea to put all the girls in the room and tell them we were about to have a talent show. We explained that Wendy and I had a talent we wanted to share but we needed to leave the room to put some final touches to it.

Well, we had no intentions of having a talent show..... We were wanting to attack them with silly string out of a can. So we got two cans per person and on the count of 3 we attacked my room and girls with silly string!!! It was HILARIOUS! And we were laughing and all!!! And yes, we were loud!! LOL!

After 5 or so minutes of sting wars, we had the girls get on the hands and knees with us to start cleaning up our horrible mess (btw: that stuff is messy, don't try that on carpet).

Suddenly we hear a loud knock at the door. My own daughter opens the door and this NO HAPPY lady was there. Wendy and another girl were behind the door while the rest of us were on the floor. She immediately starts yelling "Are you serious? Do you know the Time? Do you know what time it is???" She then is so upset she says "Where is your leader?"

I slowly stood up in the middle of the room and say "I am right here!!!" SILENCE!!!! She was shocked and clearly NOT HAPPY with me! I immediately say I am so sorry to upset her and that this was indeed my room where Wendy and I were having some fun with our girls! No harm intended. But this NOT HAPPY lady was not buying it! She was so upset and then went on to tell me how she thought this was no way to have fun with the girls because of the TIME! The time was a huge issue with her! WHOOPS! I could tell she wanted me to make the girls leave my room but 1) I saw nothing wrong with what we were doing and already apologized for the 5 minutes of laughing too loud and 2) I needed the girls help to clean up the mess. HAHA

She indeed was NOT HAPPY and the next morning there was alot of awkwardness on the elevator as we were packing up to leave. But I think our COOL FACTOR went way up with the girls though....right???

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mini Movie from Camp KIDJAM

What a pleasure it was to make this mini movie! It was so much fun to go back to look and reflect on the time the kids and leaders had together! I know that not a single person came back without learning something new or knowing God a little more personally! I even speak this to be true with the adult leaders and MYSELF!

I have so many memorable moments, some spiritual and some funny, that I hope to share within the next few days! I know I said that a few days ago....but I got addicting to making this movie instead!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Quick Look at KIDJAM photos

This past weekend was an absolute success all the way around! I have so much I can't wait to share on the blog about what we have experienced at Camp this year. God was so good! Tomorrow I plan to share a few highlights of the weekend! Until then, have fun with the slideshow. I will have a short movie clip posted by the end of the week too!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pray for our Campers

The bags are almost packed and mommy is telling the kids how to make their bunks, where to put dirty clothes, how to use a community bathroom, and all the behaviors they are to be expected to put forth! !!!!! Because tomorrow we leave for Camp KIDJAM! WOOO HOO!

Last year my daughter and I went and we had a total of 9 kids and 3 leaders. But this year Zander gets to come along.... along with A LOT OF OTHER GREAT KIDS! We have 25 students going and 5 leaders (30 total)! WOW! Talk about getting excited! As a mom, children's minister, and teacher I can't explain how excited I am!

We leave tomorrow at noon and will return midday Monday! I know I have already begun the praying for this group (for the students, leaders, camp staff, and myself)......but I do ask my blogging friends to pray for us too! Pray that our travels are safe, pray that the message is heard, pray that friends are made, and pray that camp is a blessing to ALL who participate in some way this weekend!

I can't wait to blog about our trip! STAY TUNED!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Zander is EIGHT!

Today is Zander's 8th birthday! He is spending his day with his Grammy and Gramps right now and the next two nights he gets to spend the night out at Nana and Paw's too! We aren't celebrating his birthday until next week.

Zander is my middle child and my oldest son. Over 8 years ago when I found out I was pregnant with him, I was immediately disappointed! In matter of fact, I remember throwing my pregnancy stick at my husband and it bouncing from wall to wall! At the time, I could NOT imagine having another baby yet................

But he has been such a blessing to my life! He was the easiest pregnancy, easiest childbirth, and the easiest child period. He is a huge help, very sincere, very kind-hearted, and just an amazing kid! He seems to make friends easily and keeps them too! He is the peacemaker and rule follower out of the 3 children I have! He LOVES God, sports, and food! HAHA!

I am so excited about what Zander's future holds! I know he is going to be an amazing adult some day!!! I am so blessed to be his mom!

Happy birthday Z!!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Big Week!!! A Big Year!!!

This week was a very big week for me personally! Yes, this was a the week that our Children's Ministry put on our annual SMAK (Summer Music and Activities for Kids) Program, and yes I have been busy busy busy the last few weeks, but that is not what I am really referring to right now.

I am actually referring to the fact that it has been a FULL YEAR since I took on the role as a Children's Minister for our local church at Grace Bible Fellowship. This week I have sat down several times looking and listening to these kids and admit that I have felt teary eyed some. Even though in the last year I have spent several days of preparing and teaching (along with some other very dedicated friends and co-teachers)these same kids, I believe I have actually grown more spiritually this year than the kids!

It's a lot like a teacher's first year of teaching, I believe! But way better!!!!

I am so proud of these kids...not just because of the SMAK week but because of our whole year together! I can't help but to love them ALL! No doubt, they are all different, with different personalities, different family backgrounds, different experiences, etc.... But we all share a very special bond thanks to the good Lord!

It has been a busy week! But it has been a great week to reflect, as well...............

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Swimming in the Dark

Last month we finally purchased one of those pop up pools from Academy. We had one a few years ago and loved it! But we didn't want to purchase another one until Gabe was swimming.

Well if you have been following my blog, you would know that Gabe spent two weeks last month in swim lessons. In matter of fact, he hated swimming so much that we bribed him with telling him we would get this pool if he learned how to swim. Long story short, two weeks later we had ourselves another swimmer!

So now we have a pool! We have spent many hours in the pool so far, but last night we took the kids out to enjoy a NIGHT TIME SWIM! They had not swam in the dark yet! It was so much fun! The night time sky was dark and full of stars. So we swam and looked at stars, located satellites, a few airplanes, and picked out constellations.

I was amazed at how Zander was so fascinated with all the stuff we were telling him about the stars and the sky!

I believe we might spend many more nights out there locating more constellations, satellites, and hopefully some falling stars!

What a great way to finish off a night!!!

A Wednesday Pet!

Wednesday during the summer it seems I spend most of the day at the church along with my kids! We usually get there around 8am and don't leave until 2pm. The first hour is spent doing boot camp (workout) on the church campus, the next couple of hours is set-up and clean-up to prepare for GATHER (our children's summer program),then we have GATHER and last we clean up and chit chat:-)

On Wednesdays we also have a youth student join us to help out with the day's activities! His name is Matthew. Gabe has become Matthew's shadow each Wednesday. Matthew is so good to play with Gabe, but also very good to let Gabe feel as though he is helping Matthew when Matthew has jobs to do!

Well this Wednesday was a bit different. I had seen these two boys doing a search around the church...thinking they were playing some hide and seek game. But about an hour later, Gabe came to me to show me a special new pet he and Matthew had found. Gabe was so proud of his cute habitat he and Matthew had made for his new special friend. They made his pet a home made of a clear plastic cup, grass, paper towels, tape, clear plastic wrap, and water. He has been carrying it around since then!

We now have a new pet name "CROAK"...... He is our newest addition to the Turner household! And he is a CRICKET!!! HAHAHAHA!

Gabe is so proud of him but he also knows that he won't live forever! He keeps telling me, "Mom, Croak is still moving! He is not dead yet..." LOL!

Think the cricket will make it much longer?????

Friday, July 10, 2009

Family Fifth of July

In small towns, the Fourth of July celebration usually starts a day or two early and last beyond the fourth.... Well maybe that is just the way my family has always been! And this year we were still celebrating on the fifth of July!

Growing up in a small town, some of my greatest memories were BLOWING UP things with fireworks! HAHAHA! What is it about those little poppers that you throw and those black cats that you fireoff? Suddenly you feel the need to blow up anything around you! Well, not everything but you do want to get creative.

This year was the first year we have actually let our kids light black cats! It was so much fun watching them have a blast with it too! We blew up soda cans, clumps of rocks, pc pipes, dog poo (I know, gross but good boy fun), and even flat old tires!

Got to love being country! Here are some pictures of our great evening on the fifth (My granddaddy and his wife Paula were in town visiting too).


I have alot to catch up on!!! So much to say but so very little time! I will try hard to pace myself...but first I will start this blog off with some 4th of July pictures from the big G-Town!! We spent our 4th here at the Gunter City Park. I am pretty sure out of the 33 years of my life, I have probably only skipped about 5 of these local celebrations!! HA! But this year's was great! The weather was shockingly pleasant for a Texas July day! The city did a fabulous job with having a band, vendors, food, cow-poo bingo (only in Texas), and waterfun slides for the kids! I also was blessed to have my sister in law and my niece and nephew in town this year! So if you see some kids that somewhat resemble us but yet the count is great than 3 kids, know that they are Reagan and Tex (from California). And to top of the night, we had some great friends join us in the park and it wasn't even planned!

Enjoy the pictures!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kids are BUSTED

Addison has this "thing" with playing with our camcorders and we often find random videos each time we download...but this one it priceless. Check out this one we found recently! You have to watch it TWICE....
Let me give you a little background. I was at Gabe's private school to pick him up. I think the weather was a bit chilly or something so I let the older two stay in the car while I ran in to check Gabe out. To be safe, I locked the car (which means it will sound if someone opens the door). In the meantime, Addie is playing with the recorder and they are planning to play somekind of joke on me. However, things don't go as planned and see what happens. The emotion on Zander's face is so funny...and listen to "Mother Addison" preach in the background....


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Feeling Accomplished

I haven't had time to blog much lately. It has been a busy couple of weeks, but thought I would give a quick update on a few statuses........

First, Gabe (he's the five year old who hated swim lessons) is now a little fish. The boy can swim better than his siblings. Amazing what 2 weeks of lessons can do.

Secondly, Zander made ALL STARS for the 7/8 year old team this past year. It was an amazing and fun year. I can't begin to tell you how much he has grown and matured in the game of baseball this year. His ALL STAR team was made up of primarily first graders, so they were a very young team. We were not expected to win any games in the tournament. Anyhow, last weekend his team lost the first game against a super team (one that will probably win the whole thing). They were sent to the losers bracket where we thought we would just lose and be out. But much to our surprise and after a Saturday full of alot of fun and baseball games....our boys won 3 back to back games on Saturday....which led us back to meeting up with that first team that beat us. We did not win the tournament, but I was very proud to see the hussle, good attitude, and listening skills that Zander showed during his play. All the boys were great and it was a fantastic and great learning year.

Thirdly, I manage to survive my self training of how to make and edit a video into a movie using windows movie maker. Let me just say....I almost gave up because I really had no idea what I was doing. But I managed to train myself in 3 full days (with a few tears, dirty words, and sleepless nights) I finally compiled a video for Father's Day to share last Sunday! And get this, I even look forward to making many more videos! Hopefully it will only take me a few hours instead of a few days the next time around!

Lastly, getting the house back in order. I have begun the summer "To Do" list and have managed to clean the masterbath, the closet, the utility room, and weed the flowerbed. I still have so much to do and only have 2 days until my sister in law and her kids are in town! I still don't understand why it must take having family come in to kick start the cleaning spree.

Well now that I have bored you with a quick catchup.... I will let you check out the video at the GBF Children's BLOGspot. Just click here!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Take a Peek at Our First Family Field Trip Day!!!

Today was so much fun! This was our first FAMILY FIELD TRIP DAY for GBF! It was a small group but a great group to start with! I am copying/pasting what I blogged on the GBF CHILDREN'S BLOG.... then click on the pictures to see us having fun!!!! God is good!

Today we took 12 kids to Frank Buck Zoo. It was an absolute great day all the way around!! Despite the heat, God was good to provide shade and a good breeze which made it very comfortable for all of us! We spent about an hour and a half at the zoo looking at all the animals (big tortoises, feeding giraffes, and listening to a bird say hello) and enjoying each other's company!

The second half of the day we enjoyed at the park.... The kids played hide-n-seek, made up some funny dance routines, and even had a nice train ride!!!! We also had a pleasant picnic under some nice shaded trees!

We ended our day with a swim at the Scales' house......Thanks so much for having us!

We have some great kids and they all acted and treated each other very well!!! What a great and awesome day this was!

I am looking forward to more fun on Family Field Trip Days. Our next outing will be June 29th at Denton Water Works!!!!

Take a look at some of the pictures posted on the GBF CHILDREN'S BLOG!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tyler State Park: Summer O-Nine

Here is a clip from our trip last weekend to Tyler State Park. The friends in the pictures of the Bostiks, which was Todd's roommate in college and in his bachelor adult life! We had a great time!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Things Left Behind

My mom came this past Wednesday to steal the kids away for one evening. That night was the same night that the tornadoes and such came through our area.

Well as you know, when kids sleep over somewhere, they usually leave some of their belongs behind.......or evidence that they have been there.............

Take a look at what my mom just sent me ;-)

Nothing like a manipulative with some jalapenos!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

To Swim or Not Swim is the Question

This week we started Gabe on swimming lessons. Let me say.....DRAMA!!!!! For a dare devil, tough, little guy, I do believe I found his weakness. Now that I think about it, he was afraid to get too deep in the ocean while on vacation in Florida and he also had a fear of SINKING on the waverunners! HA!

Today was day 3 and yes, the crying was much less. But the first and second days were HORRIBLE! I guess it has been a bit hard on me because I know my baby is not a crier and to see him so terrified is just so sad! I feel helpless, but he needs to learn to swim and not rely so heavily on the life jackets.

I really think that in another week, he will be swimming though. You know why??? Well today at swim lessons, his buddy Landon showed up and he is swimming much better than Gabe. Landon and his swim instructor showed Gabe some new tricks, so Gabe was determined that if his friend can swim under water, than so could he! So guess what, my scared little boy got real brave and did indeed swim under the water!!! YAE! He is not a pro yet, but at least I saw the fear subside for a brief moment and he was confident again!!!

He didn't want to leave today either!!!

Wonder if we can have Landon at his lessons again tomorrow??? HUMM!!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pool Wanted!

This is what we have to do to cool off on a hot summer day at the Turner house. Maybe a $200 inflatable pool might be a wise investment!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Occupation Guestimations! Fun Stuff!

Ok, thought this would be a fun blog to start!!! I would love to hear about what you thought you would grow up to be throughout your childhood and adolescent life! Then lets guess what we believe our children will be in their adult lives....

For me, the earliest memory of really wanting to be something when I grew up was in the second grade with Mrs. Ferguson. First of all, that was one my most favorite and memorable years;-) I remember studying the SOLAR SYSTEM that year and how interesting that was! I can recall the "passion" of wanting to know more and really becoming an astronaut. I think I even wrote a paper on it! For years, I thought I would truly be an astronaut!

Later, I thought I would become a family psychologist! This was my plan throughout most of high school and even in the first years of college, until I realized the job demand and pay was not as highly valued as the "education" time! I had no plans of wanting to stay in school any longer than the four to five years I was already committed to! So with the path I had already chosen, the best way out of college was to use those courses to become a special education teacher.

My first adult profession was a special education teacher and coaching. Was I good at it!!! NO, it was one of the most stressful times in my life.....trying to finish school, teach, coach, newly married, and my dad was deathly sick. I was trained to teach MR students and to test and diagnose these students. My job and my training were not a match, so that didn't help!

I decided to quite and become a stay at home mom for the next 5 years.

I went back to teaching at a private school sometime later.... This is where I felt God was finally showing me "where I fit" in the professional world of jobs. I finally felt I was doing an excellent job in the area that God had equipped me and trained me for.

Now I am a children's pastor. I still know I am on the RIGHT PATH, but still have no idea where he will take me from right here! Only time will tell!

1. I think Addison will be veterinarian or zoologist or something to do with animal care. She has a heart and love for animals.
2. I think Zander will be a coach or youth pastor. He is a social yet sensitive kid. He tries hard to be do the right thing most of the time and cares about others. But he is 100% boy and loves all sports and tries to be the best he can be as an athlete!!!
3. Gabe is a bit on the WILD side.....he is a rough and tough dude but seems to be a leader in most situations! He loves to be the center of attention and loves to talk or sing. He also likes to feel needed or wanted. I think he might be fireman or policeman...someone with athority but always needed! Plus he likes wearing uniformed attire! HA!

I can't wait to hear about your Occupation Guestimations!!! Have fun with it!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer is Here

We returned late Friday night from our Florida vacation! Back at home, it is summer. It is quiet warm outside, the sun is staying up later into the evenings, kids are running in and out of the house, and wet swim suits are found on both the front and back porches!

Today is the first Monday of our summer break. Now it is time for me to figure out a new work schedule for the next couple of months. It will probably take a week or two to get in a routine though.

So what do we plan to do this summer????
-Sleep in and stay up late
-Swim at the Roberts ALOT
-Go to the lake
-See friends and family that we don't get to see during the school year
-Have some playdates (waterpark, zoo, and museums)
-Get reorganized for the upcoming school year
-Loss 15more lbs
-Try to sneak in another vacation by fall.....
-Go to a few good movies
-Have a few date nights with the hubby
-Play lots of games
-Work in the flowerbeds
-Teach Gabe to read
-Teach Addie to blog
-Keep Zander busy
-Kids spend the night with grandparents (and maybe Todd and I too)

I love summers even if it is darn hot here!!! Still a great time for everyone!!! What are your plans this summer!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Family Vacation is DONE

So sad that our family vacation is already coming to an end! It has been one of the best weeks we have ever had. My husband of ten years turned 40yrs old this past week. The kids were GREAT all week, and we had great weather despite the forecast! This vacation could not have been any better! I can't wait to get home and give you my top 10 list!!!! LOL!

Highlights of this trip....
1) being with my family with no interruptions
2) wave runners with my family and seeing dolphins
3) the peacefulness of the waves crashing on the white sand shores (awe, I still hear it)
4) snorkeling with my husband:-)
5) listening to the kids giggle as they boogie boarded....
6) cooking out and playing games with the family while listening to Gabe's favorite song ,"How Great is Our God"

I have so many other things to share but will wait and share them once I get home and settled, I hope!?!?!

Here is a pic of my tired kids!!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Florida Family Fun

Had lots of pictures to share during our naptime today!!!! ENJOY! We only have one more beach day left!!!!

Lazy Beach Bumms!

That was one good nap I just had! Todd and the two older kids are still napping!! Talk about some good stuff!!! HA!

This morning we went to another part of the island to see some cool stuff while snorkeling! We got there early enough to beat the touring crowds, which was nice. Saw some fish and such underwater, which was cool!

We have taken a break fromm the sun today. So we ate a cheap mexican lunch, went to FUDPUCKERS to see a Gator Farm......which was way cool! And then back home for some rest! Once everyone wakes up we will head back down to the beach area....hoping to escape some dangerous sun rays for the day!

Our last day is tomorrow:-( We are having so much fun, but we are running out of money and need to get back home to responsibilities!! SO SAD!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What a DAY!!!

Today was AWESOME! Weather couldn't have been better! We started the day off pretty early and were on the wave runners by 9:30am. We had a BLAST on those things! The kids love it and so did Todd and I! We even saw dolphins up close and personnel! Addie was so excited! We saw several actually! Amazing how they seem to not be afraid of us at all!!

There was also a neat place called "CRAB ISLAND" between the Gulf opening and Bay. At CRAB ISLAND you can park in the middle of the area anywhere and get off and hang out in the water and about waist deep water.....clear blue water. We tested out our snorkeling abilities here too! It was awesome!

We had lunch at Dewey Destin's which is a cool shack like place on a pier overlooking the water! The food was great and so was the scenery!

We finished off the rest of the day at the beach.....water and weather was better than it has ever been! Gabe was so cute to watch today!! He ended up playing with some 20 yr olds on the beach. He doesn't know a stranger!!! By the end of the day, he said he was his BIG friend!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

This is How You Crab Hunt....we think!?!?!

We got another beautiful day to play in the sun, sand, and waves!!!! Hoping and praying tomorrow will be the same because we rented waver runners! The blogger was having a hard time loading pics so here is a video of Todd crab fishing!

Day 2 in Florida

We made it to Florida safe and sound! We did arrive to very wet weather and there is a good chance of rain everyday here! But so far we are lucking out! We are staying in a little beach house about 150yards from the beach. It is nothing fancy but is comfortable and houses us all. It is a 2 bedroom with a kitchen, screened in porch, and outside shower area. It is a little out dated style wise!! HA! The kids love our little beach house!!! It is perfect for us! Way better than an overpriced hotel stay!

Yesterday morning it started out with we decided to start our day off with crab fishing. We went into the bay since they said it is easier to crab hunt there. And yes, it was easier! Both Todd and Zander caught several crab!

After about an hour and half of crab fishing the sun was really starting to come out, so we decided to head back for some beach time. The beach was great! Fortunately the beaches we are at have lots of sand bars which does help with keeping the waves down! We aren't adviced to get in very deep because of all the storms tides! But the sandbars help that too!

Today we will continue to pray for no rain!!!! We plan to go crabbing at another area in the bay...then hoping to go to this park so we can try out out our snorkeling abilities!

Tomorrow will be a lot fun as we are planning to rent waver runners for a couple of hours. If the rain cooperates, that should be a blast!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

TeamKID Banquet/ Video

This is what I have been doing this week......doesn't get much better, does it? I love these kids!!!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Countdown is On!

Yes, I am getting excited! Only 6 more days until we are BEACHING! Todd and I will be leaving on Saturday, May 23rd, on his 40th bday:-) We are taking our 3 kids to Destin, Florida for some fun and relaxation! I am so looking forward to it!!! I have never been to Florida and I hear that it is just beautiful where we are going! I am hoping to blog all about too!!!!

Tricky thing, is I have to get through this BUSY, BUSY week! There are only 2 weeks left of school for Gunter and CCA has 4 days left. We are pulling Addie and Zander out of Gunter with prior approval. However, this week is full of field trips, field days, PreK graduation, class parties, and end of the year TeamKID Banquet. So with all this and all the extra work to do to plan for the next two Sundays, and then the packing..... I am pretty sure come sundown on Saturday night I will be saying it was all worth it!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This Video is Getting Me Hyped!

I was making this video to present at church this Sunday to raise scholarships for some children! This was my first official week as a Children's Minister! I can't wait to celebrate summer with the kids again this year. We have over 25 kids going this year! WOW!!!!

In the Motherhood

I am a little late but still wanted to blog about MOTHERHOOD! Having a wonderful mother and being a mom are two blessings that I don't take for granted!

When I think of my mom (Theresa Kay Hudgins Lewis) I think of.........
1) all the many "good" talks my girlfriends and I had everyday after school with her while we raided her kitchen.
2) her yummy good cooking abilities.
3) her need and her availability to always want to help others.
4) when I turned 9 years old she did a funny dance in the middle of the road that I will never forget!!! HA! HA!
5) her youth..... She doesn't seem to age to me, but neither does my Grandmother!
6) her determination to finish anything she starts
7) cleanliness at all cost:-)
8) her labor on her flowerbeds, yardwork, and her garden
9) her singing old country songs while cleaning the house with the windows open
10)endless hours of conversations on the phone with Aunt Patricia or her sisters
11) summer days with her and her sisters and my cousins at my Grandmother's pool.
12) her fear of traffic or crowded streets
13) her ability to whistle so very loud that you could hear her on the GUNTER DRAG;-)
14) her joy of taking care of my own children if I am out of town!
15) when she takes care of me when I am sick!!!

When I think of being a mom.....
1) I think of my kids giggling at each other in a crowded car or shopping buggy
2) I think of the sweetness of their hugs they give out of nowhere
3) I think of how they get excited if I visit their school
4) I think of the messes they make in the bathroom
5) I think of our FAMILY NIGHTS we have when we play games
6) I think of FAMILY SLEEPOVERS we have ever so often in mine and Todd's bedroom!
7) I think of our family camping trips
8) I think of the prayers we say on the way to school each morning
9) I think of our yard that is full of neighborhood kids
10) I think of our many road trips to California
11) I think of time spent riding bikes and swimming together
12) I think of our silly songs we try to make up
13) I think of the quiet times we spent in a room just hanging out
14) I think of all the ball practices I spend watching my boys practice or play ball
15) I think of Jesus....and how much he must love me to let me raise his 3 children for him!

Motherhood is a blessing ;-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

Here are pictures from yesterday! Unfortunately we did not get pictures with Lounan (my mother in law) because she has seizure like spells when there are flashes, so you are getting pics of me and my mom and me with my kids!!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Seeing Results

Ok....made it a full week on the Elimination Diet! The first two days were HORRIBLE! Apparently I was detoxing!!! Yes, detoxing sugar, gluten, caffiene, etc. Good grief I used to eat badly!!!

I knew the real test would be to make it through the weekend! And I did!!! The only two things I did do that MIGHT have been NoNo's were....
1) At Chili's there is not much to eat unless you get guiltless grill items. I actually ate salmon, shrimp, black beans, and steamed veggies. I don't usually eat fish (unless really fried) or steamed veggies but I enjoyed it and even took some home to have the next day!! I am afraid the fish and shrimp might have had butter on it:-(
2) Todd grill some "grass fed" steaks for us. He marinated his and not mine. Then as we were eat....mind you I had eaten over half my steak, he asks "Do you like your steak?". I replied, "Love it!". Then he proceeds to tell me that his was bland. He accidentally served me his steak! WHOOPS;-(

Oh Well! I am trying! RIGHT!?!?!

So far the results are 5.8lbs in 7 days! YAE ME!!! 25 left!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Family!!!

This picture was take at Gabe's Spring Program at Celina Christain Academy!
Addie is going through a phase of doing her own hair (Look, isn't it lovely :-)
She is also going through a phase of not liking taking pictures! URGH!

Blame it on the Rain!!!.....No Blame it on the Swine Flu!

This has been an unusual spring week for us here in the Turner household. We have not had one practice, game, or many extra curricular activities. We started the week with rain....and we are ending it with rain too! I won't complain too much as it is welcomed and usually always needed here in Texas. So due to rain...we had 2 games and 3 practices called off.

But we also had field trips canceled this week, along with 4 other games, 3 other practices, etc. But this wasn't because of rain (even though it is raining). It was because of SWINE FLU!

I am not sure what to think about this illness?? At first I was mad due to all the cancellations and hype of this stuff. I mean, we are closing schools (not Gunter YET), cancelling all after school programs (GUNTER HAS DONE), and such due to the this flu. My immediate reaction is SO WHAT??? We have several thousands die each year due to the "normal" flu, and they say our medicines are what's the big deal?

Well now 3 days later, I am a bit more concerned....wait, no confused! Seems as though this SWINE FLU could be some serious stuff.... I think it is because they just aren't sure of what it is. My issue with this situation is how and why do they suddenly react this way. There has to be "something" that they are not telling us about this illness!

I get that yes, it can spread quickly and they are not sure the medicines will work after all....

I am glad we are taking precautions...I just wish we had more answers!

Next week could be even more interesting! I hear Celina may have a case??? If so, I may have Gabe home all week?!?! Will it get worse, or is it just being cautions. I am not sure. But I will be praying about it!

Kind of scary when you don't really know what you are dealing with.....

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Elimination Diet

Counting Calories, Drinking Tons of Water, Body Cleansing, you name it!!!

I have been dieting pretty seriously since January. I have been running about 3 times a week and doing boot camp 2 times a week. But my weight is NOT CHANGING! I am not too disappointed, as I know I am losing inches but with 30lbs to lose, I should be losing some weight too! GOOD GRIEF!

So my cousin, who is also my trainer, gave me this hard core elimination diet! I am on day one!! It is 30 days long too! YIKES. Get this...........

I have to eliminate all caffeine, all soda, no processed foods, no breads, and no red meat!

This is very hard. I am not even half way through day one!!! I have had two eggs, grapes, and a banana...and lots of water. I have NO IDEA what I will have for lunch, as I need to go the the grocery store! Maybe some lettuce! HA!!!

Wish me luck! I am gonna need it!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Continue to Follow....

Grace Bible Fellowship is our church home! This church is still what I would consider a new church. My family and I have been with GBF since the planning stages, which took place almost 4 years ago. Five families met and planned and prayed over this church. Things began to take off fast! Attendance was strong and things seem to be going great! However, our pastor left and that did not go well at all. Our church was suffering over this lost! Not only did the pastor leave, but our band quite too. We were just one year in, and things were looking not so good for the future of our church.

I know first hand how much prayer, how much counsel, and how much God seeking wisdom was done during these trying times, as my husband was on the leadership team then. But God had his hand on us and he sent a wonderful family to GBF.... THE STINSONs.

With them they brought a breath of fresh air, an I can attitude, and just loved on us like no other could ever do. Our church began to start healing! They invested in our people and lives began to change!!

For myself and my family......words can not tell you how they have made such a huge impact on our lives. They may not know this, but for me, they believed in me more than I did. You see, I am a GUNTERITE!! And with that, everyone knows my baggage and then some! HA! I think that is why I felt "safe and comfortable" at Celina Christian Academy. There I could be who God intended me to be, without the negativity or talk about what I used to be or should be.

But I am now following God's plan and doing what HE wants me to do....right here where he has called me back to (back in home)!!! Thanks Bruce and Gina for helping me make this huge step in my life!!! I will forever be thankful for it! Not only that, but the passion for the people and children of Gunter has been ignited once again.

Now, that is more personal, but I know they have had this same impact on many others in our church and in our community!!! It is hard to let go and say goodbye to the people that believe in you and pray for you daily, and for a family you have become good friends with and love dearly! But I know God has big plans for them! They must obey!

GBF is a stronger and healthier church because of how they shown the love of Jesus during their short time here! I am excited about the church future, but it still saddens my heart that our friends will be moving:-(

We will continue on though......... God's hands are still all over us!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Summer Count Down

It is warm in Texas today! I hear it is in the lower 90s. And yesterday I even welcomed a nice sunburn after being at a baseball game all day! So, today I was talking to a couple of good friends. We all had a confession to make....we all agreed that we were looking forward to the end of the year!

Now the funny thing was....the end of the year is being referred as the end of the "school year". HA! And none of are teachers either!!!

So why do we as adults get excited about the summer? Why as grown adults do summers still excite us so much??? I am sure everyone has their own reasons, but here are a few of mine........

1) Sleeping in and staying up late
2) Being outside with family and friends from 7pm-10pm. It is too hot to be out for too long any other time of the day!
3) Vacation (or this year a staycation) HA
4) Swimming at the Roberts house for a good cool down
5) Spending the day at the lake on the beach and swimming
6) Big Brother reality show
7) Special events at church (SMAK/VBS and group outings)
8) Time with my sister in law and her family
9) Time with friends from friends out of town
10) The good tan and usually a few extra pounds off:-)

Oh, no homework!!! YAE
Only 6 weeks left....who else is counting:-)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A New Approach to Cleaning

This morning we all slept in due to some rained out games! We did have "one" soccer game to attend late morning, but before we left I asked for the kids to clean their rooms and brush their teeth. An hour later, the kids had "attempted" to clean their room but did a horrible job and still did not have their teeth brushed.

This has become very typical lately. I work part-time and have several side jobs to help pay for my youngest private school tuition. So time is not something I have right now! And cleaning just frustrates me. Not because of the actual cleaning but because the rest of my household is not aiding or even helping keep things clean.

So today, I made a list. The list has EVERYTHING on it! And I will NOT clean! Everyone else in my house will be doing that for me this Saturday! HA!!! Call me mean, that's fine, but I am not a maid! Sometimes you got to whip 'em in shape to earn a little respect....right?

So as I blog, I have my husband replace lights bulbs, Addie is sorting dirty laundry, and Zander is cleaning the masterbath room. The list is a long list, but it is getting done!!

HA!!!!! I love these kind of Saturdays!!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Good Always Out Weighs the Bad

This week.........couldn't end soon enough! HA! But even though it was a tough week, I can still recall many great things that happened that kept me going.....

1. My favorite verse was put back on my radar this week. Amazing how a verse can do some many things for you in different situations in your life. JEREMIAH 29:11 The power of prayer and this scripture have created peace in my life!!
2. Zander hit his first homerun this past week!!! He hit a line drive right down the center of the field past all the other kids. Two men were on base, so he racked up 3 runs. What a fun experience to witness and see the look of amazement and excitement on his face!! Todd and I were pretty excited too!!!
3. I was able to sub twice this past week....both assignments were in first grade classrooms. On Wednesday I subbed for Zander's teacher. I have always wondered how he and his little friends acted in class. He is in a class of all the little competitive, athletic boys. And boy are they fun. Very bright, and quick witted!! Too cute!
4. Today I subbed for my cousin's class! This class was ADORABLE!! They were so sweet and more the sensitive type class! I got lots of sweet homemade gifts (several construction paper hearts, a beaded anklet, and nice letters). Those are some of the things I miss most about teaching full time. So it was a nice treat today!!!
5. Ewww, the rain! I love the rain we have had and am hoping for more to come! We have had very little rain here in Texas so the little storms we are getting is always big news and welcomed.
6. Canceled Games....because of the rain we have been blessed with rain out games this weekend! YAE!! I say YAE because we had "many" conflicts in our schedule. Zander was going to have to pick or chose between soccer and baseball and we also had pictures scheduled! Not to mention....sleeping in possibly tomorrow morning!
7. I had a much needed good nap a few hours ago. I have not slept in about 4 days and have been so busy! And at night, I just can't seem to wind down! But this afternoon, after subbing. I forced all the kids inside in front of a TV and we chilled. Gabe and I ended up sleeping from 4:30-7pm!
8. I got a special gift from a sweet little girl on Wednesday evening at TeamKID. It was the sweetest and most thoughtful gesture!! I got two, almost dead, dandelions from a child! Her mom was almost in tears (of laughter) when she saw her daughter give me these....but it was a very generous gift!!
9. Got to love boot camp! I got back on board for boot camp (fitness/workout). I had missed two workouts due to ballgames. I love being with all my friends and working out together. It really is fun! I always look forward to this time with my "girls"!!! And this week we added an additional workout session for in the morning!
10. Friends!!! I am thankful for the friendships God has given me. I have several ladies that have really meant alot to me in the past few months. I am blessed!

This week has been a challenge. But the good always outweighs the bad!!! God is good!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Got to Love Kids.....

This is just a glimpse of the comedy we get from day to day in my house........

Monday, April 6, 2009

It is Here.....

I really had planned on going back to bed after getting the kids to school today. After such a big week and a busy day yesterday, I was looking forward to it....but guess what. It didn't happen! But I am quite alright with it!

Instead, I got a phone call at 7:30am that said my new washer and dryer were arriving around 9am. I have never been so excited about any machinery before (except for my first car). It is beautiful and it purrs so gently at every wash! I think I am in love!! HA!

I gladly welcomed my new LOWE's friend in. They got me completely hooked up in no time and took those nasty, no good old things away!

I got a Maytag 3000 series....both washer and dryer. I have done 6 loads of laundry today which would be 12 loads in my old washing/dryer days. I got it all done in a matter of a half a day too. The older model would have taken me all day, all night, and into the next day! AMAZING!

I hope to share pics soon! It is so awesome! I am so thankful to my dear husband who did this for me:) I love you Todd!!!

Easter Eggstravaganza 09

I haven't blogged this week at all! Why!?!?! Because this past week I spent the week preparing for our FIRST ANNUAL EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA for our little town, and hosted by our church!

Being our first outreach that I have planned for the families of our community, I was really wanting to make it as inviting as possible for any unchurched or for our fellow neighbors and friends. So the city park was my choice, but I did have the old gymnasium for backup (just in case the weather did not corporate). I did not want to have the eggstravaganza on the church grounds because I felt visiting families would feel intimidated or even think they were NOT invited! Therefor, the park was my final decision.

After about 3 weeks of preparing, planning, and shopping, the event was in full motion! We had two bounce houses rented, we had carnival type games for the small children, we had family soccer and kickball games planned, some hot dogs to eat, and eggs to hunt.

Our "youth" group became head leaders in certain areas (carnival games and sporting games) and the adults did great filling in any gaps!

The only down fall was the WIND! With 40mph gusts and 35mph winds, the bounce house crew left as quickly as they arrived. I admit, I was highly discouraged and I was second guessing my decision on whether staying at the park was the right idea.

But, you know our God!!! Anything is possible with him...even in Texas wind!

The day was AWESOME! We had children from all over our small town come out to play and take part in the day. We had several new families and faces, too! It was so awesome to take a look at the park that I once played in as a child and to see my children playing with other children!

And what really made me smile was our teenage kids. These kids were assigned to be leaders of our carnival type games and to lead our sporting events. These teens did an outstanding job....and our little guys LOVED it! The teens even came to me and told me they had a blast serving, which showed and was a big reason why the day was a success! The younger ones loved playing with the BIG KIDS! They loved the attention! And loved being a part of their world for a couple of hours. What a way to bring these two generations together!

So many people lended a hand, some many did countless jobs! Without these people the day would have perhaps been long or even stressful....but it wasn't not one bit!

All in all, the day was great! I have learned alot from it, as well. Somethings that I will duplicate next year, and some things that will change. But the thing that I am glad that won't change is WHY we had the celebrate our Lord, Jesus Christ!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wanted Advice on a New Washer/Dryer

Todd and I are finally at the point that we must get a new washing machine and a dryer! We have had these cheap SAMS set for the last 10 plus years and now with a family of 5, we are doing laundry NONSTOP! Our dryer takes at least two rounds (sometimes more) to dry clothes and my washing machine makes funny sounds, leaves clothes very wet, and doesn't hold much laundry at once. And now, it is leaking water...... HUMMM!!!

I am not sure what size this washer is, but I admit, I do fill it too full of laundry! So I know I am not helping the matters either.

But I have two boys that play two sports at once that need their socks, shin guards, jerseys, under armor, baseball pants, etc., done before the next day!

So, we are now researching to find out what is the best. We would like to stay around $1500 for a set. But there are soo many choices. And what is so special about front end loaders!?!?!

I just want machines that wash well, fast, and lots of laundry at once!!!!

Any advice!?!?!

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Cold Friday Night

It is 10:22pm on Friday night right now! All the kids are in the living room with Todd and I and they are slowly fading into sleep watching the Mavericks game with us.

It has been a strange day to say the least! I managed to talk my husband into staying at home...and even kept Gabe home today from school. No really good reason WHY! Just cos I thought we could use the additional sleep time and family time!

The older two HAD to go to school....Gabe is in PreK at a private school, so technically he can miss!

Todd and I ran a few errands after being lazy until 10am. Gabe was a trooper hanging out with us. We got jeans for Zander, socks for all the kids, a few church errands were ran, and grocery shopping was done.

We made it home in time for the last cold front! WOW! It was seventy degrees yesterday and now it is in the upper 30's. We have our last fire going in the fire place. I even made taco soup to welcome it and celebrate the last of winter! HA!

We have done a little bit of NOTHING and it feels great!

Soccer games have been cancelled we are all looking forward to sleeping in until ten or so!

The only bad news washing machine is leaking water into the garage. I think we are about to splurge and get me a new washer/dryer set! YAE! That will be another blog...until then, looks like I might need to use LOTS of quarters at the fun!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Nite Out with My Husband....Hog Hunting!!!

If you have been keeping up with my blog you would know that it is Spring Break this week. The week before Spring Break we had 4 straight days of rain....much needed rain. But spring break week has had the most beautiful, perfect weather days ever! High in the mid 70's and lows in the 50's. Just awesome!!!

My parents live about 7miles outside of town in the country. We call the place Buck Creek because they live right off a creek that feeds into our local lake a few miles away. The kids have spent a few nights at my parents during the break. But one morning, as they were sitting on the back porch, they thought they heard hogs. The rain must have brought them in...and they are loving the mud and wild onions.

So later, we took the MULE (ATV vehicle) back into the woods and we for sure found evidence of hog. They had torn up a whole section of the land.

My husband, the avid hunter, was so excited because he had permission to hunt these creatures on my parents land but not any other animal!!

That day he called all his friends and could not find anyone to go with him. He asked me a few times but I was a bit scared to say yes because of some horror stories from old friends that hunt hogs. Being the good wife that I am, I finally agreed to go!

So we head out to woods of Buck Creek. I have my camo on and carrying two camo fold up chairs. My brave husband is carried a rifle and hand gun along with a backpack full of necessities! We head to a pop up deer blind my husband has had out on the land for a few months. Once we get there, he unzips the blind to find mice EVERYWHERE! OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I am not afraid of mice but I can't take the thought of one crawling on me or touching me......heeby, geebies is what I call that feeling!!! Yikes!

He runs the mice out, but I am still a bit "cautious" to their presence among our tent! We set up and all, and Todd starts calling in the hog. Not a minute or two after, I get a huge SNEEZING ATTACK! I sneezed for 5-10minutes straight. I couldn't help it but something in that tent or area had gotten to me bad. My hubby was not the most understanding at that point. I tried very hard to make quiet sneezes but when you are sneezing back to back, it gets hard. I even plugged my nose and all. Not the most pleasant or lady like picture at all!!! HA!

Once I got over that, we did indeed start hearing hog! We heard hog and lots of coyotes. Yes, I was spooked. But I held out! Then something falls from the top of the tent.....a wasp. Nothing big, until I looked up to see there was a whole bunch in the top of the tent. So any move of the tent would make these wasp mad! After four or five fell from tent, we saw one was on the window of the tent. Because they were moving so slowly, we killed most that we saw in our way. But one got Todd pretty good when he tried to kill it! What fun!!!

After about 45minutes........Todd realized that between the mice, the sneezing, my fear, and the wasps, that we should call it quits. So we hiked ourselves back to my parents house, hearing hog behind us!

We never saw a hog.....just heard! You may ask if I will try it again? I say ABSOLUTELY but Todd is going to have to be sure everything is ready to go the day of before heading out into mice and wasp next time! HA!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shopping With Addison and the Hogan Ladies....

Addison's birthday was over a month ago.....February 3 actually! In the past couple of years we have coupled up with her best friend and neighbor, Brooke, to have a double duo party. This year, Jessica (Brooke' mom) and I originally thought we would just take the girls to Great Wolf Lodge for an over night stay. But after a few weekends went by and our schedules kept filling up, we realized that we had missed that opportunity!

So yesterday, we finally got the opportunity to make it up to them. We took the girls out for a "full" day of shopping and fun! We left at 10am and returned at 10pm! WOW! It was a blast!

We started the day eating out at Chili's then headed over to the mall for some ice skating. Of course, Jessica and I watched and visited while they skated. Then they took a break so we hit one half of the mall for some little girl shopping! Justice was the place of choice shopping for Addison. But JCPenny also did well for her too!!!

After shopping a bit we could tell the girls were fading, so we went back to ice skating. Unfortunatley for a grown man, who was showboating, was in a horrible accident and he had a nasty fall and his skate went to his head. Horrible blood scene and all..... he probably had ALOT of stitches and is quite sore this morning. But the girls are still talking about the drama of it all! We also ran in to my friend and her son there. So it was nice to sit and chat with her too.

We ended our MALL shopping soon after some Victorias Secrets try ons. HA! Yes, us moms had to do a little shopping for ourselves...... We then headed to LaHacienda where we took in way too many calories!!! HA! But we promised the girls that we would go to a park. So at dark we took our girls to the park to play! We shared the park with one couple who had 3 cute little dogs!

It was about 9 when we loaded back into the car for MORE SHOPPING! Our last purchase was at Marshalls........but we did indeed stop ONE MORE TIME at McDonalds on the way out for McFlurries desserts for the girls.

It was a great day of fun and play for us all!!!