Thursday, December 27, 2012

From a House to a Home

The control freak in me didn't want to blog about the house until things were absolutely perfect and finished.  However, I must be could be awhile.  So, I have decided to show you what we have finished.  There are so so so many people that helped make this possible.  Our family is filled with gratitude to those that volunteered time and labor, and those that contributed financially to make the TBA House a home for our family.

Okay, without further ado, here are the before and after pictures!

This was the outside of the house before...

Here is the the snow.  We still have a few places of trim to paint and the garage door as well.  The beautiful deck was built by some wonderful men from our church (Park Hill Baptist).  We (by we, I mean my Granny) also cleared out all the vines that were taking over the front of the house.  My 94-year-old Granny is a rock star.  I have another blog planned to talk about the week she stayed with us.

This was the entry way before...


This was Deacon's room before...


Our living room before


 Here is another angle of the Living Room before


 Hayden's room before.  Lovely pink shag carpet from decades ago.

After, Hayden wanted a different color for each wall so we did pink, green, blue, and purple. It very much fits her personality.  



 Here is the master bedroom before.  (Again, beautiful blue/green shag carpet.)




We still have work to do in the bathrooms, kitchen, pantry, laundry, and the fourth bedroom before I show you the after results.  I promise to blog about those rooms once we finish them.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas First

For the first time--ever--I had to miss Christmas at my Granny's house.  With the looming winter storm we made the decision this morning to stay home.  After all, our highway is dangerous enough when the weather is nice.  So being cautious was the obvious choice for us.

I was a little bummed, but spending the day with just my husband and children was a nice little blessing.

Some how I managed to get up before the kids woke up.  Maybe because my mama called and woke me up. I came downstairs fixed a glass of orange juice and I planted myself on the couch with my camera, video camera, and phone camera.  I tend to be a bit excessive.  I was ready for them.  

Hayden woke up first which happens almost never.  She peeked in the living room and I instructed her to get her brother before she came down to check out her loot from Santa.  Hayden ran back to her room and exclaimed that Santa had came and left gifts.  Deacon then shot out of bed and hurried while rubbing his eyes to join his sister in the living room.  

A few weeks prior Deacon was so eager to see Santa at Bass Pro.  He had waited weeks to see his beloved Santa Claus only to find out that you didn't actually get your present from Santa right then, but had to wait until Christmas morning.  He was a tad distraught.  It took much convincing him that Santa would bring it to his house.
Hayden digging through her stocking while Deacon rubs his eyes to see the Bucky pirate ship he has had his eye on for months.
One tradition we have started is the wearing of our Christmas jammies.  I love my kiddos in their jammies, especially Christmas ones.  I hope they are still willing when they are teenagers.  Since we were staying home today they actually wore them all day, and I loved every second of it.
I can't believe how big they are getting...

Daddy and Deacon playing with pirates
I read an article awhile back about how mom's never get in the photos.  Us moms are always worried with our appearances, etc.  Since then I've tried to make more of an effort to be in a few of the photos.  I want my kids to have pictures with their mama, good or bad.  So, just focus on the cute kids and not the gal who just rolled out of bed.
We had a very simple lunch, beans and cornbread.  I was supposed to bring a pot of beans to my Granny's house as a side to turkey and dressing.  Since we had to stay home we had beans and cornbread instead.  While it was good, I really missed having a slice of my mom's coconut pie for dessert...that was probably the biggest travesty of the day for me.  Honorable mention goes to my brother-in-law's turkey and my sister's hospital salad--horrible name, it's actually an inside joke, but it's soooo good.

Anyhow, we had beans, cornbread, and Christmas cookies.  Afterwards Deacon and I both took naps.  It was an awesome day to take a nap.

Deacon insisted on taking a nap with his new pirate ship

After a nice nap we played with some toys.  Kerry had no idea that Barrel of Monkeys was actually created as a pick up game.  I don't know how he missed out on that as a child.  Hayden and I also built several things out of Legos while Kerry and Deacon played hide and seek and wrestled all over the house.
Some time after noon it began sleeting and eventually switched over to snowing.  I normally don't like the cold or snow, but I've been looking forward to it this year.  Our new home makes the snow so much more appealing. 
White Christmas

Lastly, we ended the night by reading the story of Jesus' birth to our kiddos.  Kerry read to us from Luke chapter 2.  When he finished reading I asked Deacon, "Who was the baby that was born?"  He said, with thumb in his mouth, "Jee-suhs, it's Jee-suhs birthday."  I smiled and said "that's right."  We prayed and I kissed them both good night.

While it wasn't the Christmas I was expecting or used to, it was simply wonderful.

God, thank-you for Jesus.  Thank-you for a chance to slow down this year and reflect on your gift of salvation.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Party for Mama

I was upstairs in my bedroom when I heard, "Mama, mama, mama...where are you?"  They had gifts in hand and party hats on.  Their brown eyes lit up as they said, "Surprise!"  Deacon could hardly contain himself.  "We got you a cake and party haths!" (hats)

My kids love birthday parties.  They actually find it a tragedy if you have a birthday minus the birthday party.  Also, there must always be party hats.

Deacon picked out my balloon, cake and card.  I think he was most excited about the card.  He told me what it was before I could open it. "Mama I got you Disney Cars (he thinks he's saying Pixar) Brave...look!"  He also got me flowers--tulips--my favorite. Your welcome future daughter-in-law, Deacon loves to buy his main girl--me for now--flowers.
Also, candy.  My family knows I am a child when it comes to candy.  I can't resist it and it always makes me happy.

My kids are beautiful and wonderful.  I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to celebrate birthdays and each and every other day with them.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Big Fat Chicken

It's so hard to get my words out.  I find myself holding them hostage until I feel safe.  Problem is, I never feel safe.  It's always a risk, it's always terrifying, it's never easy to speak what's on my heart.  It has actually become more and more difficult each time.

When I began this journey of blogging my walk with Christ a year ago.  I was excited, a little nervous, but not scared.  I couldn't wait to pour out the words I seemed to have spilling out of me.

Now, more often than not, I convince myself to keep any and all words to myself.  

My heart...

my words...


being on display is so uncomfortable.

What will they think? 

What will they say?  

What if they don't agree?  

What if I stumble completely over each and every word?  

My sucks

This fear, this's not from God.

So why do I keep focusing on the fear?  Why do I let the fear control me?

This last week, I was staying with my Granny a few days.  When I stay with her, it's always a more ways than one.  Time slows down a bit, the busyness of everyday life seems to fade.  It's usually quiet, and I have extra time for prayer and reflection.

One night after Granny went to bed I got out my bible and prayer journal.  As I began writing out my prayer, words of confession came flooding out.  God was opening my eyes to this fear in my heart...along with a whole other mess of things (another blog entry perhaps.)

I had settled down deep into a place where I placed a vast emphasis on what people thought of me.  In the process, I neglected to care about what God has called me to do in the first place.

I wasn't okay with that.

God loves me more than any one person could.  Why do I place so much thought into how people see me, and such minimal thought into serving Him?  I'm always asking Him for opportunities to serve Him, yet he's given me this one and I'm hiding in a hole.

Enough with the stupid fear.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

I can't control how people will receive me or the words I write.  I just hope you can see God at work in my life, and that gives  you a desire to know Him more.

No more being chicken.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Don't Give Up on Me!

I'm still here! I also have plenty to talk about.  I've just been a "tad" busy.

Most of you know we have been working since last spring on the TBA house.  For those that didn't know, the church camp my husband is working for owns a house.  The house wasn't exactly in livable condition. So, for the last several months we have been gutting and fixing it up.

Working on the house and packing has consumed the majority of my time these last few months.  After a tremendous amount of hard work done by so many WONDERFUL people, we were able to move in this past week.  We still have several things left to do, but we are officially moved in!

What a blessing this house is.  I'm still in awe of how beautiful it turned out.  Such a pretty location and we are on the campground which is so much more convenient for Kerry.

I know you all are expecting pictures, and I promise I will get them on here soon.  Just give me a little more time to get all of our boxes unpacked and items neatly put away.  I want the "after" pictures to be really good.

Friday, October 12, 2012


I'm getting my ladies' retreat blog entry out a little later than I had hoped to.  My horrid annual sinus infection made it's debut a few months early this year. So I remained in bed a few days after the retreat...yes, I am a huge baby.  However, I am very grateful that I wasn't sick the actual day of the retreat.  

Now that my justification is out of the way, here is the recap!

First off, I could not pull off this retreat without this lady featured in the photo below.  Shawna Rogers is my go-to gal for ideas, support, and amazing decorating skills.  She helped me plan the event last year, and she was the first person I called to plan this years event. Her sweet husband Randy came up with her the day before to help get everything ready.  He and I moved a lot of chairs...and we were awesome at it.  Meanwhile, here are a few shots of her work...oh, and remember, Randy I and put the chairs around the table.  

I have a new obsession with birds, so I loved all the little bird details

This years theme was Clean based on the verse "First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too" (Matthew 23:26).  So the tea cups were perfect and beautiful.

The next picture is of my lovely friend Danielle McGavock rocking the hostess responsibilities.  She hosted the event last year as well and did a perfect job although, she was a little diva-ish, requesting theme music for her part. Just kidding...Danielle is awesome and I love her.

I think this is the part where she explained where all the restrooms were located. Well done Danielle ;)
The next picture is the very talented Kristen Slocum.  I love this girl.  Kristen is actually a former youth student from when my husband was a youth pastor. Now she is a college grad and all grown up.  I'm really proud of the lady she has become, but also sad because it makes me old!  Kristen has a beautiful voice and I love to hear her sing.

The next several pictures are from some of the smaller sessions we had that day.  These ladies all did a wonderful job.  I'm so appreciative of each of them for taking a Saturday to spend sharing their stories and testimonies with other ladies.  

And here are some photos from lunch...

The worship team from EBC in Collinsville.  I love them.  

Our keynote speaker this year was Shelly Watkins.  I met Shelly back in the spring at a ladies' retreat at Falls Creek.  I attended a session for ministry wives and she was on the panel of pastors' wives that sat on stage and answered questions.  As I listened to her answer questions that day I knew I liked her, and wanted her to speak at our event.  I also found out that day that her in-laws were new friends of ours that we attend church with, and that her husband was going to be one of our camp pastors for the summer at our campground.  So it was just meant to be.

Shelly did a wonderful job speaking to us about what's inside each of us: maggots or things of God?  Yes, she said maggots, and it was awesome.

Shelly also spent some time educating us ladies about the horrible reality of human trafficking. Shelly is involved with the fight to stop human trafficking.  It happens so much more than any of us realize and it is very prevalent right here in the state of Oklahoma.    

At the end of our event we have a question and answer panel we call Roundtable.  We have all the speakers from the day and our worship leader up on stage to answer questions the ladies have written down throughout the day.  This is one of my favorite parts of the day.

My mama and my niece Deana both drove up for the event.  It was so awesome to have them both there.  My mom was very helpful to have the morning of the event.  She was there to help with registration and direct ladies to breakfast.  Thanks mama, I love you.  Deana, thanks for making such a long drive to be there!
Spoiler alert:  look out for that niece of mine next year ;)

Lastly, I wanted to put a couple of links up of organizations that are fighting to rescue individuals and to eradicate human trafficking.  You can check them out to educate yourself and to see what you can do to help.

Abolition International & A21 Campaign