Monday, July 28, 2008

Odds and Ins

Kade loves corn!!!
This is just the norm for Kade - His hard hat and someone's shoes!!!
Kade with Justin Bennett's company hat on!!! Hey Justin- I know where you could get some free advertising!!!
Drew's first puzzle!!!
Drew working on his Dora puzzle!!!
More corn - have you ever seen anyone eat corn with such zeal!!! I love my Kaders!

It has been a busy I thought I'd let you in on the craziness:
1. All week the boys and I have been walking and going to the playground across the street - so, Friday we load up (snack, babies, Kade's hard hat, drinks, etc) and I realize the tires are low. So I figured out how to work the air compressor (I even switched the ends around) and started airing up the tires. I was successful on the back two, but as I started to fill up the front tire I saw a huge bubble come out the side. When I touched it the tire popped! I was so bummed and so were the boys!

2. The boys have been swimming and playing in the sprinklers all week. I think last Tuesday, They played for over 2 hours in the water together. They were filling up their little cups and watering the yard. It was so cute!

3. Drew is drawing people now, putting big boy puzzles together, and he told me last week, "Mom, you are my best forever friend."

4. Friday, Ronnie went on a over night fishin' trip with his dad and Mr. Sweatt (an old friend of the family). He said they didn't catch anything, but enjoyed the visit!

5. I previewed my talk Saturday in Seminole for our Emmaus Team. Friday was an awful day, I guess it was spiritual warfare. But I had tons of trouble with the house that morning, I popped my stroller tire, got the wrong book in the mail that I'd been waiting to get, etc. Well I laid down for a nap with the boys because I hadn't finished my talk and I was just not in the mood to work on it. I prayed as I was rubbing Drew's back and fell asleep. When I woke-up it was if God had given me the complete manuscript for my talk in my dreams. Royce, our neighbor took the boys swimming- I LOVE THAT MAN!!!, and I finished my talk. Saturday was AMAZING. The Spirit of God was so thick in that place...I can't describe it. The music was awesome, the talks were awesome, the prayer was awesome and I was just in awe of how good God is! So, I got home and went to bed and woke-up Sunday morning completely fired up. I taught my 2nd graders about Creation, and that Jesus was there on the first day with the Father and Spirit. We talked about how cool it is that God made plants before he made the Sun because HE lit the World. It was just anointed...then I went to Church and saw our friend Dustin rockin' out on the drums, and was praising God for how good He is to answer prayer. Then I started thanking him for opening the door to let our other friend Ryan speak about Kairos in church that morning. I was just in a zone - full of the Spirit. Well we started singing the song "Here I am to Worship" and I just stood up. I was just singing and praising God (with my eyes closed b/c I get distracted when they are open). Well half way through the song I realized no one else in the entire church was standing. Yea, our church doesn't stand very much when we sing. So needless to say I wanted to sit down, but I just couldn't...I could fill the Spirit of the Lord so strongly in that place. So as Ronnie and I drove home we just laughed and laughed. It was hilarious...he said, "You know next time you feel that full of the Spirit and think you'll want to stand up, maybe we should sit in the back instead of on the second row!" He He!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thoughts on Love

The Shack, Book Review Part Two
This book really opened my eyes up to how God loves us:
Thoughts to ponder
1. "You...were created to be loved. So for you to live as if you were unloved is a limitation, not the other way around."
2. "We (the Trinity) created be in face-to-face relationship with us, to join our circle of love."
3. Being saved is about, "the simplicity and purity of enjoying a growing friendship."
4. "Remember, the people who know me (Jesus) are the ones who are free to live and love without an agenda."
- all quotes by William Young.
This book is truly life changing - you can get it for like $8 on!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Shack by William Young

This book is a MUST READ. It revealed God's love for me like the Purpose Driven Life revealed my purpose. I am going to break this review into a couple of days because this book deserves it.

The book is fiction - a story about a dad, Mack, dealing with the death of his daughter, Missy. He goes back to the shack where the tragedy happened to find God. But not just God, he finds the Trinity. They explain the trinity by comparing it to an earthly father - who is fully a son, also fully a husband, and fully a father. Mack is able to deal with the grief and anger of his loss through his experiences at the shack.

One topic the book discusses is the fact that God is not the cause for any of the evil things people do in this world. Young says, "just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies...Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."

One thought to ponder on today: "All evil flows from independence, and independence is your choice...If I take away the consequences of people's choices, I destroy the possibility of love. Love that is forced is no love at all."
Leave a comment and tell me what you think!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fun in the Mud

The boys found a mud hole in the back alley!
Drew really enjoyed himself...he is more adventurous! It's rained over 2 inches and is 70 degrees in the middle of July! Crazy!
Kade had more fun sitting in the mud and throwing rocks!
Boys and mud - they had so much fun. Ronnie and I watched them play in it for over an hour! Thank you Lord, for the rain!
Kade slipped and fell..poor little guy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Carly

My good, good friend Carly is having a birthday today! Here goes...
"Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday dear Car-r-r-r-leeeeeeee
Happy Birthday to you!"

Please feel free to go to Carly's website and wish her a happy bithday!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


The outside angels with our pink shirts and brown aprons!!!
Staci, Diane, and Mama JuJu taking care of the "important" things!
Holly, Kelsey, Melonie and Joy coloring place mats to go into the prison!
Terri, DeAnna, Kelsey, Penny, Greta, and Megan decorating their aprons with bling-bling!!! There is something about rhinestones and the color pink that just helps you work harder in the kitchen!
Jim, Ronnie and Ryan after they got back Thursday night...they were happy - I promise! Jim gave his testimony to the men-in-white Saturday...all I can say is that it was anointed. I am so proud of him. Ryan said he was touched by an inmate praying over his son, Cash. We made place mats with the kids hand prints and a scripture for the meals. Ryan saw an offender placing his hand over his son's hand print. He went up to tell him that was his son and the man-in-white said, "I just got done praying for this boy!" Cool, huh?
Each morning after the men left for the prison - the ladies would sing.
This pic and the pic above are of them singing "Pharaoh, Pharaoh" All I have to say is these ladies are crazy fun!
I think this was one of my favorite parts- we would all sit around and chop veggies and visit. The fellowship was amazing!
Sisters-in-Christ loving on one another.
John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." Amanda making roast and lovin' every minute of it!!!
The ladies cooking bacon - we fried, and fried, and fried bacon- I couldn't even tell you how many pounds.

A close-up picture of the prayer chain - thanks to all my friends who gave their time to pray for the men this past weekend. Also thanks to my in-laws for watching the boys for 4 days so Ronnie and I could participate! We love ya!
The prayer chain - it went all the way around the room. The men-in-white were allowed to read each and every name as the chain was drug along their lap! During closing on Sunday several of the offenders said they couldn't believe so many strangers cared enough to pray for them.
All the girls before we went to church Sunday (Amanda, Holly, Penny, Staci, Debbie, Joy, Sarah, and Rene) I visited Calvary Baptist in Brownfield and loved it!!!
Outside Angel Poster - we all used our hand prints and favorite verse as a form of agape to send in for the men-in-white. The cool part was they wrote notes back to us!!!

Brandon working on Sunday's roast...He even let us put the rhinestone apron on him. What a good sport!!!

What an awesome weekend. Our typical days went like this:
Breakfast at 6:30, the men left at 7, the women would then sing till 8ish, lunch preparation till 10, supper preparation until 3 and then we'd clean and visit until the men would return at 8 to tell us about the day. I LOVED the fellowship with the women...ages ranged from 16-late seventies all with a common goal - to win souls for God's Kingdom. Sunday afternoon's closing was surreal. The men-in-white gave account after account of how God had transformed their lives. Comments like, "I didn't know there was so much love. The outside world thinks we are throw-aways, but we saw agape love through this Kairos" and "I am taking this outside (to the other inmates)." The prison's praise team lead us in two songs...I have never seen grown men worship God so unashamedly. It is ironic, but there was more freedom to worship inside those walls than any church I've ever attended. The Spirit of God was so thick in that room...I could feel it, breath it, touch it! I knew that there were God's angels all around us. It is indescribable. I think the two parts that I enjoyed the most Sunday were watching their praise band sing a song about being happy and "dancing a mile in God's grace" and when the outside angels sang acappella to the men-in-white. I made eye contact with a young boy (no more than 20) who looked just like Drew. While we were singing to them about the gift of salvation and that "everything was done so you would come" we locked eyes. In that moment he knew the love I had for him just because he was my brother-in-Christ. Tears were rolling down his face...and I just wanted to hug him. I don't know why he is in there, and I don't care because there is no sin that my Savior's sacrifice can't wipe clean. All these men were young innocent babies once; they just made bad decision. Romans 8 says God can use all things for good. He is using their time inside to bring them to Him. Someone told me that last month they baptized ten in that unit. How amazing is our God!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Hair

I did it!!! I chopped off my hair! I've wanted this cut (shorter in the back than in the front) for a couple of months, but finally took the plunge today. I LOVE IT!!! I can still pull it back, but it's so much cooler- I think we cut off over 5 inches in the back! I haven't had my hair this short since third/fourth grade! Kristie did a great job...and here is a shout out to my friend, Jenni, for watching my boys for 2 1/2 hours so I could enjoy the morning!!!
***I know the top picture is a little cheesy, but hey, being the photographer and the subject isn't an easy task!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July

Kade's latest outfit...hard hat and Drew's car shoes!!!

Friday we went to the Blackshear's (our neighbors) for the third annual 4th celebration. The neighbors across the street, Debbie's oldest daughter, Kelli, and her hubby, Justin were there. Justin and Kelli will be having a little girl the first of November. We ate burgers, sausage, potato salad, Jo's oriental coleslaw, cupcakes, etc. The kids swam and then we popped fireworks.

Kade pinching his nose. How cute is he?
Drew wanted Ronnie to go get more fireworks. Boys and fire...what else can I say? Ronnie and Justin were blowing up ant hills, putting fireworks in fence posts, etc. I think they had more fun than the little boys!!!
Drew and Kade waiting to do sparklers! Ronnie is such a patient Daddy!
Kade, Royce, Emily, and Christian - Kade can say Royce "Boyce"... he purses his lips together and says, "Boy"
Drew went to go get his "sunglasses" a.k.a. John Deere safety glasses!

I've taught Kade a new "trick". When you ask him who the boss is, he says, "Mama!"
The family
Debbie and Kade.

Kade was lovin' the sparklers!
Ronnie was shooting off a Roman candle...when it was over, Drew told him to go get more at "Wal-Mart"!

We live on the edge of town. To the north of us is a cotton field and the city limits. We sit in our backyard every year with the Blackshear's and watch the fireworks. Drew and Kade had a blast watching the fireworks and chasing frogs!!!
Saturday we went to Lake Allen Henry, near Post, with our friends Rodger and Diane from Plains. Rodger let Drew "drive" the boat to the lake! At first he didn't want to go on the water because it was too "windy", but once we got out to the swimming spot, he did great.

Justin, Rodger's son, pulled the girls (Megan, Madison and me) first tubing. They couldn't throw us. We even cleared 4 feet off the water when they took us over some waves. I loved it! Then it was the boys turn...let's just say Rodger wasn't very kind to them. Ronnie fell off first, and then Justin fell off the second time. Girls rule!!!
When we first pulled up at the lake we anchored up with Travis and Steph (Rodger's other son). It was like that country song "Redneck Yacht Club"- except they have VERY nice boats!!! Everyone got out and swam. Kade went first. Look at him...he looks like a little Ninja turtle with that jacket. After swimming he got tired...I pulled the zipper down on his life jacket and he ducked his head in the "shell" and slept!!!
Drew finally went in the water. He loved it, but does not like getting his head wet. He told me, "The water's perfect!" Then when anyone would tube/ski, he'd ask them, "You guys alright?" When we finally went back to Rodger's lake house, he told everyone, "We made it. We made it together." It was hilarious. He is already noticing/appreciating "teamwork"!
Kade and Drew had matching swimsuits...I love it!
We got to the lake around 10 and went back to the lake house around 3:30. The boys played the rest of the afternoon. They didn't cry one time...Praise God! It was such an enjoyable day. When we left around 8:30, we had two tired little boys. Drew went right to sleep, and Kade went into "I am so tired I am going spastic-hyper mode"!!! He did this singing/yelling thing from Slaton to Lubbock. He woke Drew up, and Drew was telling me to "spank" him, and yelling at Kade to be quiet. Ronnie and I just laughed...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Book Review - Part 2

I just finished Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, and I have to say it made me think. The book talks about "nonreligious thoughts on Christian spirituality." The following points in his book hit home with me:
1. He discussed a girl named Penny who was led to the Lord by her friend Nadine. She said in the process Nadine "never tried to sell Christianity" like an infomerical, "talked about God as if she knew Him, as if she talked to Him on the phone", "she was never ashamed", "she believed God liked her."
2. As Christians we should love people just because they exist. We are living among God's prized possessions. Sometimes we withhold our love from people to change them; instead, we should lavish our love on them. God has never (not even one day) withheld love from us to teach us a lesson. Can you imagine if he did?
3. Instead of serving ourselves in the church, the church needs to start serving the lost and lonely...even if they aren't coming in pretty packages.
4. We are representatives of grace and love, so our communication should be seasoned with love and compassion. Listen, don't judge, and accept people for who they are!
5. He went to school at Reed. Every year they had a party called Ren Fayre (drugs, alcohol, etc.). Christians were a minority on this campus and discussed how to win souls on campus. One year they built a confession booth during Ren Fayre (like a concession stand) and instead of the "party goers" confessing, the Christians would confess their sins to them. They apologized for the Crusades, getting involved in politics, not helping the poor enough, not acting like Jesus, etc. Four different Bible Studies started on campus after Ren Fayre. Powerful, huh?
6. Being a Christian isn't about religion or doctrine, but about falling in love with Jesus. Donald Miller says, "I never really liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself..."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Book Review-Part 1

I have just finished two great books...thought I'd share a few thoughts with you on one tonight and one tomorrow!
1. Love and Respect - Our Bible Study group is watching the Marriage on the Rock DVD series and loving it. (I highly recommend it!) I just finished the book, Love and Respect, we are reading at the same time. The book is really good. In fact, the first sentence grabbed my attention, "How can I get my husband to love me as much as I love him?" Don't all girls ask that question from time to time! Well, sisters I've got the answer! Drum roll, please....UNCONDITIONAL RESPECT! We need hugs, kisses, and communication and MEN NEED HONOR. Eph 5:33 Paul writes, "Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and a wife, Dawn, must respect her husband." Notice God doesn't say respect your husband only when he's accomplished your honey-do list, been romantic, and earned the title of Super Dad. It means all the time...even when he doesn't deserve it. Well you might be saying, "You don't know my husband, Dawn, or why should I?" The answers are (a.) because God tells you to, (b.) because it's the key to your hubby's heart (the key to getting him to love you more) and (c.) because God loved us when we were still sinners-Romans 5:8. Unconditional respect is a new concept and a hard one to get my mind around, but I need unconditional love from Ronnie. Don't most girls? I can't imagine what I'd feel if Ronnie came home and said, "Oh, you didn't put on any make-up today, the house is a mess, and the kids are dirty...I am not going to love you tonight. You don't deserve it!" I would be devastated. Well, men need respect; when we put conditions on them receiving our respect, aren't we doing the same exact thing? I stepping on any toes? Well, this book stepped on mine. I recommend it as a must read for every nearly, newly, or old married couple. The more you respect him, the more he'll love you- it is that simple. One more thing to motivate you if you are still not convinced --- I am trying it, and IT WORKS!!! Glory to God!!!

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