Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gifts that Give

Idea 2: World Vision "Building a better world for children"
"World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice."

World Vision offers many different ways to make an online donation which assists over 100 million people in over 100 countries. Here are a few of the donation options offered on their website:

2 chickens for $25
a goat and 2 chickens for $100
children's clothing for $30

How neat would it be to give a donation in someone's name?

You can view all of the options available for donations on their website,

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gifts that Give- Got Your Back Movement

Throughout the month of December I will be posting gifts that give. These are ones I've participated in in the past or plan to this Christmas. These could be great gifts for those super hard to buy for relatives. I love giving creative and thoughtful gifts that help show love to others.

The first Gift that Gives comes from the organization Got Your Back Movement. Every shirt you buy provides a school uniform for a student in need allowing them to attend school, therefore bettering their circumstances in life. Their mission statement is: "The Got Your Back Movement exists to restore purpose, give hope, and show love through the global distribution of school uniforms to children in need. Our mission is to create sustainable change in communities worldwide through the impact that education creates in all aspects of life." 
These are really cool shirts. I have one picked out I want for myself!

So, head over to Got Your Back and check them out!

"Our vision is to create a world in which children begin to see their hopes & dreams become a reality through the lens of education." -GYB

(all quotations are taken directly from the GYB website, there are not my own)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

leaves craft...

This week Noah and I had some fun crafting while Naomi was napping. We cut out leaves on the cricut and then I let him paint them with fall colors. It was messy, messy and more messy. After they dried over night, I sewed them together.

I liked the way it turned out!

fun at the air show...

Adam and took Noah on a little date to the air show sunday. He loved the "big jets" and said he was very "exciting". He also told us the jets were scaring his ears. =)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

melted crayon canvas

This weekend I was in the mood to make something fun and craft with Noah.  I had been organizing our playroom and wanting to decorate in there. I'm hoping to paint this weekend. It's one of the only rooms in the house that hasn't been painted since we moved in. I got this cute idea off Pinterest which originally comes from Crayon Wishes and Popsicle Dreams. This is so easy and so fun! Honestly, Noah didn't help as much as he would have liked. It takes some time and the blowdryer and crayons obviously get very hot.

It's simple though, just hot glue 59 crayons to your canvas, ours is 16x20, and then hold your blowdryer or heating tool (I also used an embossing heating gun) and melt away. I love how it turned out and can't wait to get it hung in the playroom.

 (I would recommend either doing this outside or on tile floor because the crayons dripped in some places, but it was easy to peel off of the tile.)

Monday, October 31, 2011

fun Halloween crafts...

The last two weeks we made some fun Halloween themed crafts. This was great to do while Naomi was taking a nap, to spend some one on one time with Noah, and keep him quiet!

His friendly bat. Two hand-prints and a footprint all upside down. Small googly eyes and he wanted him to have a red mouth for whatever reason. The little "ears" are his pointer finger prints. He is getting very particular about what colors he wants things.

 The Silly ghost. He had the option of what facial expression he wanted him to have, silly, scary, happy or angry. We have been learning about emotions, and he loves when I pretend to be each different emotion. Especially angry, oddly enough. =)

More ghosts. These are just his footprints again and fingerprint eyes and nose.

Then I felt like we needed a little Jesus in the display so I just traced out the letters, which I am terrible at, and let him paint them. Nothing fancy at all, but I was out of ideas!

{All of my Halloween craft ideas came from the blog eighteen25.}

Sunday, October 30, 2011

fun eating...

I'm so happy to be back into the blogging world! This post is all about food. Lately I have found the need to get more creative with Noah's meals. He would be happy with eating a PB&J with apples or applesauce every day for lunch, and chicken nuggets for dinner. So I'm trying to come up with fun ways to help him venture out. This week we made homemade pizza. It was yum, fun for Noah to help and not too unhealthy. We bought fresh pizza dough from Publix bakery, mozzarella cheese and pepperonies (probably a pretty unhealthy part).

 then for school I tried out a fun lunch. I had to improvise because I didn't have too many supplies. This was supposed to be a clown for circus day. He didn't really care about it, he just called it a silly man. =)

Dinner this week. I made veggie burgers in an attempt to get them to eat some more veggies. Noah ate one bite and Naomi only a few. If you can't tell it's supposed to be a rocket ship with stars and a moon. I guess the botton pieces are astroides. =)

 I have lots of ideas for more fun food, thanks to all my friends creating them also!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

this is why we do what we do...

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

I have been far away from the blogging world for a few months now. Time has been a factor and needing to focus on my family and ministry. But, I had this brewing in me to share so I thought this was the perfect time to start back up.
Fair warning, this is a long rant.

To start, ministry is hard work. If you have worked in ministry this comes at no surprise to you at all. It's messy sometimes, there are sticky situations to work through and it can be emotionally and spiritually draining at points. In some ways, I feel like I sort of jumped into ministry without much thought or really much choice. I married a pastor who was already part time working in the church. I honestly had no idea what I was getting into, and didn't really think my role would be that big anyway. I had planned on graduating college and working full-time. But two babies later, I never finished school and never got a job. =) The first few years of our marriage, I didn't play a huge role in our student ministry. I was pretty much tied down to motherhood and keeping a house in order. But, thankfully my children are at ages where I am able to leave them more often, and this has opened up the opportunity to jump in.

Now, let me explain my attitude towards youth ministry. It wasn't something I ever desired to do, and it's something that has completely intimidated me. But, I got to the point that if our ministry was growing and things were happening, then I wanted to be a part of it as well. I wanted to be front row when lives were being changed, and I wanted to play my role in what God was doing. To be honest, there were times when I started to resent ministry. It was taking my husband out of the house, some nights until late, and I was doing bath and bedtimes alone and I was feeling overwhelmed.

I had no relationship with the students of Grace and no clue what was going on in their lives. It wasn't real to me, therefor didnt feel important to me. So to get involved was going to make this personal for me. Little did I know that getting involved would mean my husband would have me teaching to 75+ students on wednesday nights, leading a small group, facebooking students, meeting them and their parents, etc. Basically everything that terrified me, he was making me do! He "forced" me, in a sense, to jump right in. And I have fallen in love with these students and have absolutely loved getting to know them. They are all amazing. I have never met teenages who just love Jesus and can't wait to get to church to worship him. It's pretty incredible what God is doing with them.

Last month, my husband begged asked me to teach on wednesday night in our Fallout service for our "Stories" series, which entailed leaders sharing their life story of what God had done in their lives. We had been running 70ish students pretty consistently. That's alot of people to me! I was nervous and honestly didn't want to do it. But I knew God had given me a message to share, and I needed to follow in obedience and share that story. So I swallowed my pride of not wanting to appear vulnerable in front of these kids, and shared my story of what I have experienced and how God has changed me. After two failed ungodly relationships, a broken heart and lots of scars, God rescued me and redeemed my life.

It was hard for me to share this because I am a private person. I don't want my dirty laundry aired for the world to know. I want my past in my past and I dont want to talk about it, nor have anyone else talking about it. But I knew that if God had done something so wonderful in my life, it's my obligation to share it and give him the glory for it.

A week passes and I didn't really receive alot of feedback from students. Several of the leaders had messaged me and encouraged me, thanking me for sharing, but I was questioning whether I should have shared or not. I was thinking no one probably wanted to hear a message from me, therefore it was probably pretty pointless for me to share and all that preparation and stress was in vane. I was asking God whether or not I actually heard from Him, questioning if the message was from Him or not. I know this was just the devil trying to discourage me. I had already made up my mind I was NEVER speaking again. It was too much work and I don't like doing it. =)

But a week later on wednesday night a mother and her student approaced me after the service. I won't share all of this girl's story for her privacy, but basically she was in a relaionship, her mother did not want her in it and was deciding how to deal with it. During my message, she heard God speak to her and basically tell her she needed to end the relationship. I think hearing what I went through while in a relationship that was not approved by God, really opened her heart to hear from God regarding her own relationship. Now I fully believe that if God spoke that to her, it was to save her from lots of heartache. He knows what is best for us.

I felt pretty honored to have played a role in this sweet girl's life. I know it wasn't me who spoke to her and told her to end this relationship. I know God could have done it any time and she could have listened. But, for some reason, He allowed it to happen this way. He ordained it that she would be there that night with a softened heart to hear from Him. He allowed me to be a part of this. Just as much as this has changed her life, it also changed my perspective on ministry completely. THIS is why we do it. This is why we sacrifice family time for the sake of ministry. This is why we put time and money into ministry. THIS is why we have stress at times in our home and attacks from Satan on our family. Because we realize what is at stake. Lives. It's all worth it.

I am thankful I finally came to this point. That I can truly say I love ministry and I love being a part of what God is doing at Grace. If you are not involved at a church, you should come check out ours. If you do attend Grace, make sure you are involved in our church wholeheartedly. You too can have moments like I did where you are part of God changing someone's life. He can use every single one of us to impact lives. We cannot successfully run our ministries without volunteers. We have an amazing team in the youth and Adam and I would never be able to do all this work alone. So get involved church. Serve in the nursery, volunteer in the gKidz or come help us out in the youth. Get involved in a gGroup, either on sunday morning or through one of mid-week groups. Start a gGroup of your own. Invest in the church, and God will invest in you. Your life will never be the same. I promise.

So if anyone ever wonders why we chose this profession, why we do ministry the way we do, why we run our church the way we do. Because we see that it's working. That lives are being changed as a result of us hearing from God.  We have realized that sunday mornings do not exist for us and our family of four (and I would say this for the entire staff of our church). We are there to serve. When I enter the church, I am not there with the intentions of what am I going to receive today or what can I gain from this? I am there to serve others and whatever I receive or gain on the way, is just icing on the cake. This doesn't mean that God is not going to speak to me or that I am not going to receive anything that day, or worship Him through the music. It is just not my main focus. I need to make time during the week to spend time with Jesus and receive from Him so that I can focus on pouring into others when I walk into Grace. This is a challenge for me, and I have not perfected this, but it's a work in progress. I pray that God continues to change my heart into a heart for others. I believe with all my heart that is the reason God calls us into ministry. To serve others and see lives changed as a result.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Jo's Bows

Moms of girls, or anyone who buys for littles girls, check out Jo's Bows blog and she is on facebook. You can look her up under the name Jo's Bows. She has really cute custom bows. My favorites are the Disney Princess ones, especially the Jasmine one, (she is my favorite princess, hehe). My niece Halle would love the princess ones!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

addition to Charlotte...

While in Charlotte, we went to a children's museum called Discovery Place. If you are ever in that area you must go here! We spent a few hours letting Noah walk all over this place and play. It's a hands-on science museum with interactive things the kids can play with discover how they work. Loads of fun!!

 this was like a giant Lite Bright!
their tower they were so proud of!


Last week we took a mini vacation to Charlotte, NC. We visited a church that Adam has a man crush on the pastor. =) I am starting to really like his wife as well, so I can't say much. They did 21 easter services, and we attended one on a Friday night.

We decided on this trip (well I decided), it was all the food for me. I wanted to eat the entire time, and eat we did. We looked up several places that were on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Great show if you have never seen it! Comes on Food Network.

Here are some pictures to highlights of our trip!

a beautiful park we played in. It was GORGEOUS!!

our first Diners, Drive-ins and Drives meal. South 21 Curb Service.
 going out to dinner.
 our second DD&D's, BBQ King Drive In.
 our tray of unhealthy deliciousness. I seriously ate my weight in fatty foods!
my favorite, Cherry Coke!

my love and I. Our only picture together the whole trip. =)

the Fashion Files

If you know me well, you know that I enjoy fashion. I always have, mostly because of the family I was raised in. We all love it and enjoy putting together outfits. But, as most of you also know, my family of 4 is on a tight budget. (sometimes I don't like saying this because I don't want it to sound negative or complaining. A budget is good, and God always provides above and beyond. Budget does not=poor.)

So, back to fashion. I recently came across a blog of a pastor's wife that I am enjoying following. I just added her button to my blog. ------>

She occassionally writes a fashion blog, things she has found on sale, staples for your closet, etc. I love finding a good deal. Or finding something on the clearance rack and trying to envision how I could make it a "cuter". I also have too so much fun dressing my children, which can be expensive, but I pride myself in being a good shopper who finds great deals. Occassionally I splurge on something I just love and feel as if I can't live without. =)

So here are my staples for spring for the ladies. ( I do realize spring is almost over, I am just way behind on blog writing)

{all clothes are from The Gap.}

a cardigan
I have one in white. It's thin, 3/4 sleeves and perfect to put over a tank or a dress.

a jean jacket
I have always had a jean jacket in my closet for as long as I can remember. My current one is about 5 years old and its from Gap clearance section, I think about $20.
(t's perfect for over your summery dresses when it's a little too cool to go bare shouldered. I also will put it with a longer top and jeans, even though I don't think you are technically supposed to wear jean on jean. I like to cheat though. =) 

White jeans

I have them in a capri and in a wide leg pant. They are very easy to find shirts to match, thus making them a quick thing to put on in the mornings without having to think too much!

skinny jeans
You can wear skinny jeans in endless ways. With a tank and flipflops, with a loose fitted shirt and flat sandles. Then you can easily dress them up by putting on wedges or round toe pumps. Also, don't let the name "skinny" jeans turn you away. Anyone can rock these! 
Target has great inexpensive jeans, but know that they run small. I had to buy 2 sizes larger than I normally do. Also if you want a nicer pair, Gap is the place to go. Just wait for one of they 40% off sales and you could score a great deal. Go for the skinny stretch jean in dark wash. I love them and wear them all the time. If they are too long, don't hem them, just roll them up. That way you can wear them longer if you want to pair them with heels.

Lastly, for a dressier pair of jeans, go for a straight leg jean, then cuff them and wear with heals. A very cute for going out to dinner, especially for a mom. I find it hard sometimes to wear a dress with constantly bending over to take care of a child. I'm more comfortable in jeans.

What is your favorite staple item in your closet??

Stay tuned for a guide to your perfect summer wardrobe! (according to me at least!)

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Happy SIX months Naomi Hope!

silly girl...

first bites...

more please....

you adore your brother.

your smile melts me everytime.
We love you so much sweet girl!