Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
1. Cut down on the "little" luxuries you may take for granted. Better to grab a Starbucks or Jamba Juice half as often, but be able to bless someone else with one when we do.
2. Remember...money is not the only way to bless. What would you ask for if someone said they wanted to bless you? Would it be money? OK maybe, but not always. If you are in the same boat as me, it might be something like free childcare, a clean car or house, Christmas decorations put up outside, a cooked meal, an encouraging word to keep going even when aliens have invaded your kids, a compliment (for example, "You look great...even though you have spit up on your shoulder, toilet paper hanging from your boot, and roots as black as Cuban coffee. Tell me, Holly, how do you do it all?")
Here's an example: On Thanksgiving, one of our friends held Annie for us and his kids entertained our boys while Chris and I ate, and I really think it was the first meal in a very long time that I have (1) eaten without a kid on my lap (2) actually tasted. It was a huge blessing. To bless someone does not have to include money.
3. Cheat and skip a few things this year so you can be a part of this Revolution.
Here are a few of the things that Chris and I have been able to do so far (nothing to creative...yet):
(We always leave TGR card so hopefully they will check out the website there we know they will be pointed to Jesus.)
- left extra tips for waitresses
- paid for a haircut and tip for someone
- bought someone's coffee
- helped a friend in need who needed childcare
- helped a church member pay the difference she was short on her bills this month
- ran in 2 races on TGR team and had the boys pass out candy canes and say "Merry Christmas" to those at the race.
- gave breakfast to the early birds on Black Friday as they were waiting in line at Target and Best Buy (we were up at 3am...I cannot believe people get up that early to shop!!) We had so much fun. Everyone was shocked that we were feeding them for free. To top it all off, one of the guys in our group had the idea that once the store opened we should go back and clean up the trash everyone left behind as they stood in line waiting for hours. The managers were so thankful and surprised...It was great. Except, for the fact that I stuck my hand in someone's half eaten bowl of soup..I'm not just talking about my fingers either...it was a full covering of the entire hand. Disgusting. Every time I think about it, I wash my hands again or grab some sanitizer. I have gone through 2 bottles of hand sanitizer since then and still feel gross. :)
Tomorrow (hopefully), I am going to post a few suggestions for those of you who feel like money is too tight to join us or who are stressing because you want to be a part, but feel like you have nothing to give.
Until then, remember what Paul said and be encouraged:
1And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace (the favor and spiritual blessing) that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own.
2 Corinthians 8:1-3
Friday, November 28, 2008
I really think she must look at me all the time and think, "Good try, Holly, but not quite." :) Keep posting tips, Heather....I'm a good pupil...I'll get better.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
If you read this after 5:00 today, check out thegiftrevolution.com for a glimpse of what's being launched at here in South Florida and at many other churches around the world!!
Friday, November 21, 2008
2ND look: Dressy casual. I Prefer blue jeans with something, but will take it up a notch or two for church or date nights with Chris.
Pink graphic tee....$19.50
knee length cream sweater...$49.00
This one is nothing to brag about, but it is super comfy and great for running a few errands in before I head to the gym.
What do you think of my finds? Did I do OK without my sisters? Tell me now...because I still have the tags on everything...I can take it back if I need to! I am excited about them..I practically doubled the amount of clothes I have that fit (not quite, but close!)
One day soon I will share my frugal shopping tips with you, but here's one for now: If you like the legging look, it's great because it is super comfy, in style, and cheaper (you don't have to buy the bottom half :). Oh, and don't buy your leggings at the mall. You can get those at Target for $6.99.
Last thing: If you are trying something new and not quite sure about it: The best thing to do is act confident!! Don't act like you're not sure...Be confident about it and usually (I can't promise for sure!) you can pull it off.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Sorry for the prolonged absence...I will spare you my excuses, but know that I have plenty :)
- It is cold in South Florida this week!! I am not kidding we have been wearing hoodies all week...Right before I moved here, I gave away every piece of winter clothes I owned except one maternity hoodie.....I know....call me stupid, but I figured it's MIAMI, surely I won't need winter clothes. If you see me regularly and have been wondering, NO I AM NOT PREGNANT...I'm just cold!
- I am nervous for Max tonight. He has a thanksgiving program at school tomorrow and he's Squanto. I don't know what he has to do for the program, but the last time he got on stage he looked so miserable it just about broke my heart (I really thought he was going to vomit right there in front of everyone). I hope he does well...he wants so bad to be on stage...but it makes him very nervous. I keep telling him to look for me and just talk like he is talking to me. Chris keeps telling him, "Max, you have to feel the fear and do it anyways." :) Isn't that hard? To let go and watch while you allow your child to wrestle through their fear because you know it will make him stronger?... Makes me want to puke with him.
Here he is at his last program: Doesn't he look pathetic? And trust me, this is the best picture, I deleted the others...it killed me just to look at them.
- I stink at shopping alone. Since moving down here, I have learned this the hard way. I regret that I have spent many hours trying on hundreds of things in malls only to return home empty handed. It is so frustrating. Well, tonight, I could not take putting on one of my 5 shirts that actually fit again. So, I ran to the mall while Chris stayed home with the kids. This time I was on a mission. I had only one hour and a small budget. I went right to an associate in Express and said, "OK, here's the deal...I have this coupon, this much money, and I usually shop with one of my 3 sisters or mom, but they aren't here....and I need help. Desperate help....and honest feedback." She looked at me like I was crazy, but she obliged and help me put a few cute things together.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
What a comfort it is to know that even when we've "blown it" our God is not giving up on us. He will finish in us what He started....a good work! Just some days are worse than others aren't they? Some days I feel like that "good work in me" is under so much construction that I should wear a sign on my back that states: WARNING: Hard Hats Required. :)
Be encouraged today that God never gives up on you....and you shouldn't give up on you either...you are a good work in progress.
Monday, November 10, 2008
- Did you know both my boys can pee in the same toilet at the same time? The first time I discovered this in action, Max said "Look, Mom, isn't this cool--we're sharing." What do I say to this? Sometimes I have no idea how to mother boys. "Um yeah, Max that is cool. You are being good boys sharing the toilet." I know...lame, but they are pretty proud of this self taught (maybe daddy taught--I'm not sure yet) accomplishment.
- A few days ago Max broke something trivial and says to me, "I'm sorry I broke this mom, but we can call Mr. Allldo and ask him to fix it."
Me (feeling a little defensive that he said Mr. Aldo and not Chris): "We'll just ask daddy to fix it when he gets home from work.
Max: "I think we should call Mr. Allldo because Bianca says her daddy can fix anything."
Me: (Feeling really defensive by this point): "Well, Max, your daddy can fix anything too. And next time someone tells you that their dad can fix anything, you're supposed to say, "My daddy can fix anything your daddy can fix.""
I know....I'm not in kindergarten anymore.
- Yesterday while playing with a play pizza set and talking to himself, I overheard Jack occasionally yell, "God" (like he was calling for him). After doing this for a few minutes he storms into my bathroom exasperated and explains to me: "Mom, I keep calling God cuz...cuz He's pizza is weddy and He not comin. He needs a spankin. Go get Him and spank Him.
You tell me: How do you explain that one to a 2 year old?
- Did you know that when mad at each other little boys can just smack each other and be done with it? No prolonged emotional agony....just smack each other and continue on playing together. Why can't girls be a little more like that?
- Final thing....See this pic:
My boys are supposed to be in bed. When I went to check on them, I found this bench moved into their doorway. When I questioned what they were doing, Max says, "Mom you can't walk in our gate. You need your sticker to pick us up." (He's referring to the security sticker you have to have at church to pick the kids up...I hate to admit we have learned this lesson the hard way!) :).
Oh, my boys, they make me laugh time and time again.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Another thing I found myself thanking God for during my time in Nebraska was time alone with my mom (that is, if you consider me, my mom, and my 3 kids alone...I do!) And no, Mom, in case you are thinking that I am just trying to keep you from feeling left out after my last post...you're wrong:). If you happened to grow up in a large family then I know you would agree that time alone with one parent is a rare occasion. I had so much fun just being with my mom. Normally, when I am with my mom we (my mom and her 4 daughters) take care of all our "girly things". We get our hair done, get pedicures, go to coffee, shop-- and maybe a few other things I won't post :). I didn't know if we would know what to do with ourselves on a farm a ways away from anything "prissy". But man, we had a blast! We talked, we baked, we cooked (OK, well, she cooked and I talked :), we shopped, we carved pumpkins, we ate (Boy did we eat!! I had 3 home cooked meals every day....The last time that happened had to be during my high school years when I was still at home...my poor husband and kids!)
My mom is such a woman of God and she definitely has the gift of wisdom, so it was such blessing to have her ear and insights for an entire week. AND we actually got a little shopping in too!
Thanks Mom, for a great week. I am very grateful for all energy and time you put into cooking and caring for us, cleaning up after us, and arranging for the kids to have each day jam-packed with new experiences. You would be proud of me too--I felt so guilty with every bite of those 3 home cooked meals each day, that I have stepped up my game in the kitchen at home. I have limited protein bars to only one meal a day (I know, it is horrible..my boys are hooked on high school musical protein bars)! I actually made eggs the other night (yes, night...breakfast remains the one protein bar meal) and Max, says, "Mom, this is the best supper you've cooked"....and the worst part...Chris says, "I agree"! EGGS, Mom...the best thing I've ever cooked. How pathetic. You will see a new me by Christmas. That's right. You can take me off the ice, dinner rolls, and paper product list...I am going to blow you away with the new kitchen- friendly me :).
P.S. I know I have posted a gazillion pics on my last few entries...but I can't figure out how to do a slide show...I'm going to keep working on it though!!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Gene, I know you will never read this, but just in case you decide to turn on your computer.....I want to say thank you. Thank you for jumping in and receiving my kids just as if they were your own grand kids.
I hate death. I hate that you and mom both lost the person in this world most precious to you. I hate that I lost my dad and my kids lost their grandfather....I hate that your family lost their mother and grandma....I hate that there is a little heartache in each of us at all times because of the loss of my dad and your Martha. But this past week I was reminded of God's goodness through you.
God is so good to us. This week I found myself overwhelmed with emotion time and time again: when I would see my children's face as they were in your arms, when I would see my mom's face in your company, when I would feel the peace in your home...God has used you to fill many of those voids that death so fiercely left us with when dad died. Thank you for embracing all of us. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with mom once when you two first started talking. She said she was going to wait to tell you how big our family was. I didn't get it. I said, "Why would you do that? He would probably love to know that you have you 5 kids, 4 son-in laws, and 6 awesome grandchildren....I think most people would consider that a huge blessing." She said, "Holly, I think most people would consider that a lot of baggage!" :) Thank you for not treating us like baggage :). Thank you for loving and serving us in multiple ways: By teaching my boys so many new things, by allowing them to tag along and "help" even when I know it made things much harder and slower for you, by holding Annie until she fell asleep in your arms time and time again, by letting me tell you things about my dad, by praying for us by name everyday, by introducing us as family to your church, by fixing fresh coffee every hour :).
I am reminded of this verse: Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Thank you for being Jesus' hands to us.....for gathering our kids in your arms, carrying them close to your heart, and gently leading our family. We love you.
Friday, October 31, 2008
JACK AS CURIOUS GEORGE:
AND ANNIE making her Halloween debut as....well, we like to call this....J. LO ON SOUTH BEACH :)
I recently had a friend tell me, "You may have two southern boys, but you can be sure Annie is going to be a Miami girl." :) I'm not exactly sure what she meant by that, but she does look like a little Miami girl here, doesn't she?