September 17th!!!

I wanted to let you guys know that I will be speaking at the Awana Ministry Conference in Cordova, Tn on September 17th!! I will be doing two breakout sessions in the morning and in the afternoon.

The two breakout sessions I will be speaking on are:

1) Have Fun Teaching Spiritual Truths
Come learn how to start a Family Time in your home that will excite your kids about God’s Word. Activity is the language of children so use it to communicate biblical truth. This session will energize you about Family Time and explain how to make the scriptures relevant and exciting for your kids.

2) How to Teach Children to Follow Instructions
All parents want cooperation but many find it difficult to teach. Most parents give instructions over a hundred times a day. In this session you will examine the Instruction Routine in your home. Replace whining, arguing, and yelling routines with a five-step approach that teaches cooperation and responsibility to children for the long-term. Giving instruction will never be the same.

I will be doing the same breakout sessions both in the morning and afternoon!

Here is some more detail on the conference itself. And be sure to check out the video link above!!

"Don’t miss this one-day Awana Ministry conference where you will experience the inspiration of One More through a powerful keynote message, explore practical workshops relevant to your Awana ministry, and engage and share ideas with other Awana leaders in your area. Whether you’re a Puggles leader, a T&T director, a Journey volunteer or a pastor, you will learn valuable principles and “how-to” ideas for your particular ministry as you share the hope of the gospel with One More. "

To register for the conference, click HERE!

Can't wait to see you there!

A Wednesday funny....

I don't really talk about politics on my blog very much, if at all, and I am really not getting into anything right now. However, given the much debate over raising the "debt ceiling" got Greg and I talking the other night.

I don't know anyone who hasn't been impacted in some way during this recession...some even call it a depression. If you watch the news at all, it will leave you even more depressed about the economy than you were before.

I can't exactly remember now what we had been watching, but it had a gloom and doom know the type. There aren't really any facts behind what they are saying, just making a lot of presumptions, but they want you to believe that what they are saying is true. It had a lot to do with people losing jobs, the economy tanking even more and the Dow going to pot. And if this happens, then this will happen...blah, blah, blah.

I remember looking at Greg, half joking, saying this, "you know, we should just go live out in the middle of nowhere and live off the land. Then we wouldn't have to worry about all this stuff".

Greg replied, "so, you want to become Amish, live off the land and ride in a buggy?"

Me: "Yeah, well, except for not living without electricity. And I would want air conditioning. I would still want to wear make-up and be able to style my hair. Hmmm...I don't guess I want to be Amish, huh?" (LOL)

I don't guess we will be making THAT move anytime soon......oh, well.

I'm sure those closest to me are having a hard time imagining me as a pioneer woman, anyway....ME, TOO!!!!!

Taking the time to be thankful.....

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:13-16

So most of you know I am a mom to two boys. One is five and one is two. I have one starting Kindergarten, and the other is in the midst of those wonderful, terrible, terrific twos....and me, well, I'm exhausted most of the time. LOL.

To say that I am incredibly blessed is an understatement. Yeah, it took a lot to get both of them here, but it was worth all the tears, fears and anxieties of getting pregnant again, wondering if it was going to stick, and then, after realizing it was, was everything going to be okay?? I was of "advanced maternal age" you know...LOL. Gotta love that term.

But in the end I have two, healthy, beautiful boys. They are both unique in their own ways. Their personalities couldn't be more different. But seeing them together, even when they are fighting, makes every tear, anxiety and fear well worth it.

I don't have all the answers for all the pain we have to go through when it's difficult conceiving and carrying children. Some of you can't even identify with that because you had an easy time having your baby. But, I am sure if we didn't experience it ourselves, we have friends and loved ones who have gone through heartbreak at attempting to make a family. Some of you may never have been able to have children. You may have adopted or found other ways to meet that maternal need.

For those of us with children it doesn't take us long after the baby arrives at how much work goes into raising children. Oh, my. We actually have to raise them. And we find out to do it well, means really hard work. Sacrifice. Selflessness. And sometimes, continued heartbreak.

Maybe some of you have special needs children. A diagnosis that you didn't want to hear. A disease that will most likely take your child's life. Or maybe a test that states because of their disability, they will never be able to function on their own in society. What do you do with that? What do you do when you deliver a baby only to find out that there were too many chromosomes and the dreams and wishes you had for that baby are shattered?

Where ever you are today, in whatever circumstance, you can know that God knew exactly what he was doing when he made you a mom. Whether you birthed the children, adopted, or are mentoring other kids. God placed you in that specific role for a specific purpose. No matter how bad you think you are at it. No matter how overwhelmed you feel. No matter how exhausted you are at this moment. You can know that God is carrying you and your children.

Look at the above verses in Psalm 139. If God spent that much time and thought into creating your children, do you think he would give them to someone he knows can't handle it? God doesn't make mistakes. You are the one that is supposed to be raising these children. He didn't mess up. You are going to learn so much. You are going to surrender so much. And hopefully, you will grow to see that apart from Christ, you can't do it. But through Him you can do all things!

That's the beauty. He gives you what is on your plate, all you can handle, no more or no less, and uses it for his glory. And he is using whatever difficulties you may be going through to draw you closer to HIM. He also uses the successes. The small victories to keep you going. Pushing forward when all you want to do is give up. He is saying, "push on. Lean on me. I am enough".

Like I said, I am very blessed. And I very convicted at how much I complain about being a parent, about my kids, and how "over it" I am some days when I am blessed so much. My children are healthy. They have met their developmental milestones. I think it is safe to say we have passed the time to where they would be diagnosed with autism. Neither one of them are in school, so I don't know if they will have a difficult time or what they are going to be good at, but I know, at this point, we can most likely handle what ever comes our way.

It's so easy to be selfish. To put myself above my kids needs and need for attention. It occurred to me the other night as I was rocking Griffin back to sleep after he, very unusually, awoke in the middle of the night, how much I am really going to miss these times. The times where he sits on my lap, he starts humming the song I sing to him when we rock. His sweet, chubby fingers. How tiny they still are.

Then there is Carter, my big boy. He's so smart. He amazes me with his questions. And those big, beautiful hazel eyes that he got from me. The way that he tests the limits to make sure that I am going to follow through. The way that he tells us to stop tickling him.....then says, "do it again".

I just wanted to stop today and treasure my children. I am so not the perfect parent. I can be reactive. I can yell. I can let things go by that I probably need to address.

But I hope, in the end, what my kids know above anything else is how much I love them and how thankful I am to be their mommy.

Crafty momma, I am not!

I am not one to really get into arts and crafts. And with my first son, he could have cared LESS about doing anything artsy or crafty. I guess I figured he was a boy and would be so into that kind of stuff.

Well, then Griffin came along. The boy loves arts and crafts. I mean, Carter and Griffin could not be more different, in so many ways, and this is one of them. Griffin actually asks me to "dwaw". He wants to color (Carter HATED to color), Griffin colors with markers, he scribbles with a pen. I can actually keep him occupied with a piece of paper and a pen, whereas Carter would have still been running around the room. Anyway, I digress.

My friend, Blakely sent me a link to a blog that had this BLOG listed with a very cool activity kit for the summer. I got to looking more closely at this blog and noticed that this was one, very creative woman. I am amazed at the creativity of some people and the ideas they come up with, especially when it involves children. She has some really easy, fun and unique ideas.

I didn't seem too overwhelmed by her ideas (I'm really interested now in attempting to get me and the boys to make our own butter...I'll let you know how it goes) and I wanted to be sure and pass this activity kit onto you guys!!! Be sure and check her out!!!!!!! If I can do it, anyone can do it!

CLICK HERE to download activity kit

Let the fun begin!!!!