Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Jam Concert

Every Year Winter Jam comes to our area. If you have never gone, I highly recommend it!!
The tickets are only $10 at the door and the concerts are awesome. We have see Toby Mac, Mercy Me, and many more. The boys really love it. Lauren got to have a lot of fun with Nana and Grandpa who came and watched her. We went with some of our good friends and we all had a blast. This year the place was packed. It was down at Ohio State where the basketball team plays. The stadium was sold out. Apparently this concert was the second biggest ever behind the Eagles so far. It was pretty awesome to have so many people in one building praising the Lord. There is something for everyone at the concert. We had to park about a mile away but we did get a seat and not a bad one. We had to sit a little apart but we were down close so we didn't mind. The place was filled to the top, a little less then 18,000 people. Tony Nolan was the pastor who lead the night and what a amazing testimony he has. Wow!
Jaden and I at Johnny Rockets
All of these guys are the real deal. Completely humble and so kind. Every group was standing around signing CD and taking pictures. Chris Sligh with the boys!
I love David Crowder
Love the afro. They are just so nice!! Unique and such awesome praise songs.

Newsboys!! They were great! The drummer was the coolest. I can see Drew being a drummer. The Mohawk and cool funny personality.
I didn't realize that their new singer was the guy from D.C talk. He did a great job.

Everyone loved the drummer!!
They were suspended on cranes across the audience.
This was pretty neat.

I took this to show you the crazy amount of people there! This isn't showing the top and this thing goes all the way around the stage.
At the end they played Jesus Freak and the drummer went sideways and spun around playing, it was crazy!!

What a great night, it is worth the drive if you live a couple hours away. Make sure you get there early!! I just love what these artists do and they different ways they glorify God through music.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lauren's Adoption Story

Kelly at Kelly's Corner
I thought I would add Lauren's story. I added some of it on this blog over 3 yrs ago so this is a good update.
I always though adoption was a neat thing. I never though it was going to be something that we would do though. I had my two boys and was pretty content with my family. As my relationship grew with Christ I was thinking I would like another child but not through birth but adoption. My husband was not on board at first and though we should just have another of our own. With adoption there are lots of unknowns and at that time he didn't think it was a good time but he didn't say no. I continued to research adoption...Every time I turned around it was in my face, on TV, articles, celebrity new, you name it...I could not escape the fact that this was something that I felt the Lord leading me to. I continued to pray for Rob too and within a couple months he completely changed his heart and wanted to adopt as much as I did. We did all the paperwork and applied through Bethany Christian Services out of Little Rock, AR. It all went to fast. The home study, the paperwork, everything. We made a profile book with pictures about our family for birth moms to look through. Within a couple months we had birth parents inquire about us. Our social worker though it was a iffy placement but they had picked us so we were getting ready for another baby boy!! Meanwhile, we were praying along with our church family for God's will. We did not want to take any ones baby and only wanted this family to pick us if this little guy needed a home. Our intent was never to be selfish about this. We prayed that Gods will would be done. We were waiting for the phone call that weekend and on a Tues I finally heard that the couple decided to parent the little guy but they had a little girl that had been born the week before that they could not tell us about until the first placement fell through. She went into Cradle Care ( a program for babies who will be placed but there is no placement yet) A wonderful Dr. and his wife did this as their ministry. After saying yes with a mix of emotions the social worker said, you need to come right now. We lived a couple hours from Little Rock so we had to leave so we could bring her home. I called Rob and cried that God had blessed us with a little girl that was all ours. So as you can see in the pics I was at home and it was a very hot hot day and I don't think I had any makeup on or anything (: There was so much joy when we met her! She was a perfect healthy chubby little girl. We named her Lauren Grace. She was thirteen days old when we brought her home to her forever family. Our placement from start to finish was only 9mo! With Lauren being a minority there was not a lot of takers for her. This is a tough very dear to my heart issue. At first we were scared to adopt a minority but God really worked on our hearts here too. We decided to be open to any race. God loves her and made her and why would we limit what child he would bring to us. We knew this was going to be unconventional and at first it was scary. We were the only family open to African Americans at the time so Lauren was just sitting there waiting. It breaks my heart that if she was white she would have been gone right away. A perfect healthy baby!! It is humbling and I wondered why would I ever limit this blessing. We have learned so much through having her! We really trusted that God would place us with the child he wanted for our family. He knows better then us what we needed. The people in our small town were wonderful to us and although we don't live there anymore I still believe that she would have had just as great of a life in a area that was not as diverse. I am glad we are able to provide her with a diverse area now and we wanted that for her but that was never our main focus. God will make a way if you are thinking about all of this and He will help you. I have learned not to limit what He wants to do with someones life.
I could go on and on but Lauren has made a huge impact in many peoples lives. She has taught so many of us what love is and how God adopts each one of us. We have had looks, questions and some other things but through it all we have been able to share our faith over and over through this. She is a beautiful little girl and we are so honored to have her as our daughter.
First time I held her.

The boys were very young when we adopted a little younger then I had hoped. Having 3 kids under 5 is hard!! Now I do like it and they are all close.
My 3 blessings!!
Here she is now! A spunky spirited 3 1/2 yr old. She is a lot of fun but has lots of energy and knows what she wants already. She is funny, cute and smart. She has kept me very humble in parenting, lol. She loves her brothers and they love her.
When I look at her I don't see her being any different. It really is a surreal feeling to look at her and not see her being a different color. I see her as being part of us that has always belonged. There is a lot more to the story but I wanted to share in this life changing experience and encourage you to really pray about adoption. I am here for any questions that you may have.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

American Idol

I am so happy with the show so far this year. Last year I was so bored I wasn't even really excited to watch it. This year I though it would be even worse that Simon was gone. Actually now I think it was the best move they could have made. All three judges are likable!! I like that the show seems more positive this season so far. Some of the people are not very good but there doesn't seem to be the exploiting factor as much as previous years. Simon who was the man that spoke what others thought could be pretty mean at times.
I really love Aerosmith's music. I have liked them since I was in high school. When we went to Disney Jaden loved their signature roller coaster.
This man has style. Not many men could pull off his look. Love the hair! His hair color is a lot like mine, lol. He defiantly has a lot of style and personality going on. He is really funny!!
Did anyone cry at that last story last night of the young man who's girlfriend got into the accident? Oh my, tears...

Radical Book

Pause my Music below and press play
I have read several reviews on blogs lately about the book Radical by David Platt. Honestly this was one of the most challenging books I have ever read. It is somewhere between Ouch and Amen if that makes sense. I think this book is defiantly needed. At some point all Christians should read it. I am not sure if it is for a brand new believer or perhaps it is. That is where the book will lead you, deep in thought. As Christians in American we have gotten way to comfortable. This along with our consumer entitled attitude has caused problems. Since we are all humans we struggle with all of this. I think a lot of his points were to make you realize that many of us focus on ourselves way to much and we are idolaters. This is a heart issue and makes you re-exam your motives and what you are willing to to for the Lord. I have also listened to his sermons and this man is nothing but biblical. There is no watered downed Gospel, or feel good message about ourselves but the prize of heaven. Some of the things he says will bring you to your knees and yes some of it is VERY convicting. I think often times people think that conviction means judgement but it doesn't. Conviction is you realizing that you are wrong and sinful. It actually brings you closer to the Lord and your realize you are nothing without Him.
The biggest message expressed in the book is the Great Commission. Teaching and leading others to The Lord. This man has a heart for missions and has traveled the world and has seen what many of us will never see.
The only negatives about the the book in my opinion is that people will feel like they are not good enough for God or what they do merits more who they are. Some of the statements are a little to broad. Not everyone in America struggles with some of what He says. Some of us are doing what is asked not perfectly but our heart is in the right place. We all need a heart check more then we would like to admit though. I don't think this was the message he was trying to push but at times it may appear that way. We will never be good enough for God and we don't earn our salvation through good works it is by faith. He explains that throughout the book. It is evident his passion and calling has been foreign missions. He makes some pretty radical statements about moving to Africa and selling everything etc..If God is making this clear to you. In my heart I believe that at times God is calling you but at other times He has you right where He wants you. Your mission at this time may be different then someone elses. I don't think it means "Well, I don't feel called to do anything." Or maybe you are, and you doubt yourself so you don't pursue what God is laying on your heart. I think we all have done this! This is a heart issue and only God knows your heart and what you are truly doing for Him and Him alone.
I appreciate David Platts heart. He is amazing. Not all of us are going to be just like him though and that is okay. Stay at home moms can make just as huge as a impact in there community to unbelievers. After reading this I feel even more challenged. I do know that it all takes time and each day God changes us to be more like Him. Our pastor last week used an example that you are in Gods waiting room. He is preparing you for what He wants you to do and it might be a short wait or a long wait. I thank God for His Mercy and Grace since we will never get it all right. He is there to guide us and lift us when we fail. I think David Platt succeeded and got us all thinking! Good read!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Be a friend

I have been thinking a lot lately. Some things in the last week have kind of shaken me up. I know I can not save the world but I can do more to reach the hurting. I am going to be very intentional in my walk with Christ. If I am concerned for a friend for any reason I would rather go out of my comfort zone and help then think everything is alright. I am going to put my insecurities aside and love like Christ if that is what He lays on my heart at any given moment. My heart is breaking for hurting people. I am also disappointed in myself for being so selfish sometimes. I am more worried if someone likes me more then I am wanting to please God. I pray that I do everything I do with God working through me. I am thankful for His Mercy and Grace when I get it all wrong or need a do over. Sometimes the most Radical thing we can do as Christian's is to love the lost and be a friend to those in need. God may be asking you to go out of your comfort zone in a big way or small way to show His love. I often think how big our impact could be if we all did something out of the ordinary to show the love of Christ. With little God can do much. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" Corinthians 12:9 What if one more person is in heaven because you were obedient?

Monday, January 24, 2011

House Love!!

I just love looking at houses. I could just drive around neat neighborhoods all day and look at houses and open houses. This house above is so beautiful! This one is actually a real house for sale right now in Ohio. It looks like a movie house. I love this style of house. very classic and welcoming! Looks like a house I could sit on the porch and read and watch the kids play.

Most of these were found in Georgia looking online. I still don't know what style I like the best. There are so many styles I like.
I love this wooded setting.

What kind of style house do you like? So fun to look and dream isn't it?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How He Loves US

Make sure you pause my music at the bottom of my blog to hear these!I wanted to share something that has been on my heart.
I really like both of these songs and I think most of us can relate to them at some level. To often I don't accept God's grace. I had a long discussion with Rob about this. We can never do enough for God and no matter what we do we can't gain more of His love then we already have. That is hard to accept that when we fail He loves us the same as when we think we are doing well. I sometimes think I am not doing enough but then I realize that God loves me Just as I am. I want to make sure everything I do is for Him not for other people or myself. Just out of a heart to Love the Lord. To often we look for others and even God for approval. I am so thankful to have God love me just as I am and I want to savor on that. I am also so thankful to my husband that has shown me this kind of love and at times I have had trouble believing how much he really does love me. I don't have to prove myself or do something that makes me accepted or loved more by him. I love you Rob!!
I think one of the biggest lies from the enemy is that we will never measure up to God and we will never be good enough for his love. We look at others for our approval or we do things saying it is for God but really for others to think we are special. Sadly then Christians start comparing themselves with each other and even become judgmental. We are all messed up!! I pray that we can all share our struggles and that we will uplift each other and encourage one another. That no matter what we do for the Lord big or small whatever Radical step that may be that we are doing it for Him. If He has you right where you are you can be used. There are no perfect people! You don't have to be a missionary in Africa for God to love you more, or live in a shack to show how unselfish you are, or give all your money to a church to prove anything to Him. First know He created you and He loves you, and no matter what you have done in your life that His love is so great! You can't earn salvation or Grace!! I love the David Crowder Band song above and the verse:
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
I pray that God transforms all of us to be more like Him.

Friday, January 21, 2011

painting wood veneer

I wanted to post a little tutorial of how you can paint wood veneer. There is not much information on-line about painting this type of furniture. Most stuff you buy these days is some sort of wood veneer, particle board mix. A great tip is if you are yard sailing and find real wood or antiques that is the best furniture to flip, you have many more possibilities.
When I decided to re-do the playroom I looked online for two shelves and came up with these. When I called the nice younger lady she said they were wood you could sand. I always ask that question, since a lot of stuff is the above and you can't always tell by a picture. Rob was so sweet he went and got them for me. They were only $25 for both so what did I have to lose. I was a little disappointed when they were the dreadful veneer. Before giving up I started some searching and figured out you could paint it with some prep work. Since they are for toys I am not to worried about displaying them even if this finish doesn't hold up for years.
1. First I rearranged the shelves to the highs I wanted and got rid of a little 1980's flair.. Also the flowers had to go or be hidden a bit. I filled them in with some spackling and sanded them.
2. Sand the whole pieces with a hand sander or a block of sand paper. You want to get that shiny finish off. That is what makes it so hard to make paint adhere.
3. Wipe it all down with a damp paper towel.
4. I read online that this primer Bulls Eye 123 is for many kinds of finishes including wood veneer. The big thing to watch is that is says you have to let it cure for 7 days for maximum sticking of paint. I bought mine at Lowe's.
5.Prime then inside and outside it took me 2-3 coats. I used foam roller and foam brushes so I would not have brush strokes. CAUTION This was a a lot work!!
These cabinets were super sturdy or else I may have just put them back on craiglist, the shelves are screwed in the sides and they have nice shape. So I recommend only doing this if the quality of your piece is decent and you have a vision.
6. Primed and sitting for a week in the basement.
7.. I had some cream paint that was really creamy so added some pure white and painted on 3 coats. Between each coat I let it dry about one day. It takes a long time to paint shelving and cubby style furniture. You have to paint every little area in and around top and bottom of each shelf.
8. I added some rubber mats for underneath the baskets. (the stuff to make rugs stick) I initially bought little furniture feet pads but they kept falling off the baskets. With little kids I didn't want all the finish to scratch off with the baskets being moved all the time.
9. I really like how it turned out and although it was work I am happy with the results.
A lot of the baskets I had already the desk was in Drew's room collecting dust, the chalkboard was made a year ago sitting not being used, and the bulletin board was in the garage not being used. I bought some more baskets from Target and that is where most of the expense was. I am an advocate of shopping the house. It is amazing how moving one piece of furniture to one room to another or taking one accessory and moving it can make a huge improvement.
Thanks for stopping by (:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Life is good

The boys wanted the game of Life for Christmas. We really like playing games so I had no problem getting this one. I love spending time as a family. Nothing is better to me then staying home on sat night playing games, eating and watching movies. This is Rob's car above he decided on the family route and had so many kids they feel out.
The game has changed a little over the years. I guess they modernized it a bit. We just laughed at some of the fees, think plastic surgery expenses.
Sat night at our house
That is root beer (;
Drew lost his fist tooth,yeah!! It only hung by a thread for a month.
Isn't this little outfit so cute. My mom got this for Lauren and of course it looks adorable on her. She had her cowboy boots on too. She calls them her horsey boots.

Lauren and I with our leggings on.

I am so thankful for my family. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for what He has done for me. I want my kids to always feel loved and to have good memories. Marriage and parenting is tough work. It takes a lot of trial and error and patience. Some days I am so worn out I just want to lock myself in the bathroom and cry. Sounds like I have done this before, yes. Sometimes the noise alone is unbearable. As I watch them run around the house, dive into the couch and tackle each other it is another example of how blessed I am that they are healthy and happy. Today's times are changing. I have no desire to be a average family by the world's standards. Our ways our not everyone else's ways. We want to be authentic and real and share with our kids that mom and dad are life learners. I thank God for His grace, mercy and for changing our lives forever.
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart
Psalm 37:4

Monday, January 17, 2011

The clean new playroom

Here is our new play area. I really like how it turned out. It was a fun project and came together nice. I didn't have this in mind but after painting the shelves I thought I could do something neater with them. I first had them just against the wall and it didn't look all that neat. So this Pottery Barn look on the cheap came to me. I will post the details of painting pressed wood soon. A little more work but worth it.
It was more work getting all the toys reorganized.
Isn't this shopping cart the cutest thing ever?
Babies sleeping, and a big cat.
Most of this stuff is Lauren's the boys have their stuff on the new shelves. Mostly Lego's in the baskets and army guy stuff.

View when you first walk down. Not bad for a unfinished basement. It looks more like a living/play area. Thanks for looking!!

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