Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Light and heavy...


Have you ever had a time in your life when one minute your heart is light and the very next minute your heart is so heavy that it slumps you over and makes your shoulders ache?

I am having a moment like that right now...

As I am typing this, my love just turned on the dishwasher that he loaded earlier while I was at the salon.  Sigh...now that's music to any woman's ears.  PURE SWEETNESS!

Its seems as though life is a little tough right now, it's only a season though.  I have come to realize that even though things aren't going well, or it seems one disaster follows the next, I can still look to God and thank Him for my circumstances because I know when this season is over, it will be smooth sailing again.  Every storm has a beginning and an end.  Many times it ends in a rainbow.  In living, I learn.

God's timing is perfect and there is a lesson in all that is going on.  A lesson that I may not be meant to understand but it's always there.

We are still battling the lice issue.  OH. MY. GOODNESS.  It is SO frustrating and SO exhausting.  Washing everyone's bedding and drying everyone's pillows.  I am so paranoid that someone else is going to get it.  One day, Chan's head is all clear, the next, they are sneaking back on her.  Bless her heart, I know her head is tired of being picked at.  We did a second treatment, only to find a bug in her hair AGAIN when she came home from school.  I asked her teacher if she would have the whole class checked, 1. for my peace of mind and 2. to make sure no other kids in her class have it.  So this has been going on for TWO WEEKS!  I have done everything I know to do, even home remedies to take a break from the chemical stuff!

Our fan on our refrigerator broke, causing the compressor to over-heat and basically shut down the fridge completely.  Melted ice turned to water and leaked out our door all over the kitchen floor, food ruined...this is what I came home to on a Friday after work.  Thankfully my sweet father-in-law was able to fix it!

Our sink had a leak underneath the cabinet and water was pouring out onto the floor.  Again, my wonderful father-in-law saved the day!

My sweet baby boy is having anger issues right now and I'm not quite sure how to approach it.
When he gets mad, he will express it with his voice, "I am mad at you!"  This, I am ok with...I tell him that it's ok for him to be mad, because truly it is and I am thankful that he can verbally express it.  Then it seems at times that he takes it a bit further...hitting the couch, stomping his feet, kicking his bed while he's lying down.  I got angry with him the first few times but then realized that it was not the right way to handle the situation.

Yesterday I sat down with him and explained what acceptable behavior is and what is not acceptable.  He seemed to understand and for this I was thankful because it's always a breath of fresh air when you feel like you reach your child.

Guess what, today was a new day but the old fit-throwing Camden was back.  I am praying this is just a phase and I hope that it passes quickly.  This makes my heart heavy.  One minute he is the sweetest and most gentle little boy and then in an instant he is transformed into this angry, unreasonable creature.  It is a cycle that has to be broken because he has to learn that this is not the way we handle our anger.

In this, the lesson I am getting is that I also have to take a step back and look at the situation with love and patience.  With me, patience has never come to me easily and so I have to set an example while trying to work through this with Camden.  What I do, he will do.  What I allow, he will think is acceptable.

I am praying.  Wisdom and patience for myself, to turn this negative into a positive.  For Camden to be open and receptive...in all his 4 3/4 years.  I know, sounds funny right?

I am believing that things will get better because I have faith in these hard times.

      http://www.needtobreathe.net/music/these-hard-times/

 
            

Monday, November 29, 2010

I can see you all around me

Dear Lord,

When I see amazing things like this, I always think of you.
  

The setting sun at dusk in my neighborhood






You light up the sky to show me that You are with me ~ The Afters



Thank you,

Allyssa

Giving thanks and bugs...


My brother Brandon's beautiful bird stuffed with onions, carrots and rosemary

Well, last week started off super stressful for me.  I was trying to get over a terrible sinus infection and get the energy up to get some things done around the house.  I offered to have Thanksgiving at my house this year which meant a whole lot of cleaning and some cooking as well.  Luckily and thankfully, James took a week of vacation because although I was off from mother's day out, people still want their hair done so I was at the salon Monday, Tuesday and most of Wednesday.  I had only planned on working half a day on Wednesday but one of my clients called on Tuesday wanting to get in Wednesday afternoon.

I am ever-so-thankful for my husband and children.  They all went above and beyond for me, cleaning the house, getting things set up, doing dishes and laundry.  It was truly a blessing to come home from the salon and walk in the door to a clean house and I mean "to my standards clean."  The little ones were beaming with pride when I came home and made such a big deal of how great everything looked.  James even rewarded them by letting them pick something out from the dollar store.  Bless their hearts, they truly earned it.

My brother Brandon volunteered to do a turkey, but since I am a worrier I decided to pick up a turkey breast just to make sure we have enough turkey to go around.  Everyone brought two or three dishes and a dessert.  Everything was perfect, as always.  Amazing food...I don't know if I have mentioned it but we have some pretty amazing cooks in our family.  We truly love to eat and also enjoy the art of preparing the food.  There is so much love involved when cooking, you can just taste it.



My first turkey, breast that is...


Family...I have an amazing, loving and silly family.  It's always a good time when we all get together, lots of love and laughter, talks of old times and past memories, oh and picture taking too!  My aunts have ALWAYS been big picture takers so you know there is always a camera around when our family gets together.



The girls on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was wonderful!

The week wouldn't be complete without some kind of craziness though, it just always seems to work out that way.  I got home Saturday night from work and Channing was itching her head like crazy.  The first thing I thought of was lice.  EEK!  I checked her head but didn't find anything so I gave her some allergy medicine and put her in the bath.  Her hair was so tangled that after I put conditioner in her hair I decided to comb through it and with that loose hair came out in the brush along with BUGS!!!!!!!!

My suspicions were right.  I was totally freaked out and so was Channing.  Chayce has never had lice and this was Channing's first experience.  She was scared and crying and I immediately sent James to the store to get treatment...enough for all of us.  All of the chaos surrounding the lice fiasco began around 7:00 pm.  I literally started combing through Channing's hair getting out what I could until James got back from the store.  When he got back I started shampooing us all one by one while James went through the house stripping all the bedding and spraying down all the couches and pillows in the living room.  I had to comb through Channing's hair looking for leftovers.  Camden and Chayce had no sign of it which was wonderful news.  Chayce ended up helping me with one last inspection of Channing's hair and we finally finished up with her and she was able to get in bed at midnight.  James, Chayce and I still were washing and drying our sheets and blankets.  This went on until 2:00 IN THE MORNING.  Bless James' heart, he fell asleep on our bed before we ever even got it made, I had to wake him up so we could get our bed made.

I checked Channing's hair every hour on the hour on Sunday and I am proud to say that every last bug and it's future offspring are GONE!  THANK YOU JESUS!!

Needless to say, it was an eventful week and a half.  Major sinus infection, dr. appt for antibiotics, shopping for our Thanksgiving feast, my family cleaning the house for me, I made my first turkey (breast), had a fabulous time hanging out with my family and our household being totally disinfected due to poor little Chan getting lice.

                                                                  I love my crazy life!


The birth of my love...



My sweet husband had another birthday last weekend.  We didn't do much, poor guy...he always gets the short end of the stick with his birthday being so close to Christmas. 

I cooked him chicken spaghetti and Camden and I made him an oreo trifle rather than a birthday cake.


Camden helping daddy blow the candles out
Camden insisted we have candles for daddy

James, you are a wonderful, caring and loving husband.  It has been an eventful 10 1/2 years with you...you took Chayce and I in and loved us both in a way that we had never been loved before.  You gave me two more beautiful kids to complete our family.  You have always worked so hard for our family, providing for us, going to work sick and rarely ever taking a day off so that you can work overtime to do all you can for our family.  You love me unconditionally, you see the real me and love me anyway.  You make me feel beautiful, you are so respectful of me and I admire that most about you.  Thank you for being so affectionate with our kids and for always being at Chayce's activities.  I see that you have grown spiritually, mainly in small ways but the effort you put forth has given me hope and made me so proud of you.  Thank you for laughing at me when I am goofy, you make me feel like you are my biggest fan.  Thank you for never giving up on me even though I probably have given you reason to.  Thank you for stepping up your game when mine is lacking...together we make an amazing team.  You seem to pick up right where I leave off and I am so thankful that you know when I need you most.

James, I love you so much and I love that you love me in the way that you do...I am forever greatful that God brought you into my life.  Thank you could never be enough.

Happy birthday my love!!!         

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A lesson about being humble

Chan is in blue

With children, there is a fine line between positive self-esteem and being humble.  I experienced this first hand on Saturday.

Channing's last soccer game of the season started at 12:00 sharp.  Approximately 30 seconds into the game, our little girl made her first goal of the entire season.  We were joyful and she was on cloud nine!  You should have seen the look on her face and the instant force of confidence that burst into her body.  She beamed with pride the rest of the game.  As a matter of fact, it was her best game all season, she was hustling and getting in on all the action she possibly could.  So much so that she came a few centimenters away from scoring her second goal of the season.  It was amazing, what finally scoring a goal did for her confidence that day.  She was proud and we were too.

Once the game was over she came walking over to us to grab her water bottle and loudly and proudly proclaimed, "ME AND KALEY WERE THE ONLY ONES WHO SCORED A GOAL!!!"

My 'proud moment' kind of fizzled shortly thereafter.  I walked up to her and quietly whispered in her ear that you don't say things like that out loud.  She said "Ok", that's how I KNOW she heard me...then she proceeded to walk over to her cluster of teammates (and their parents) and SHOUT IT AGAIN! 

"ME AND KALEY WERE THE ONLY ONES WHO SCORED A GOAL!!!"

TOTAL HUMILIATION...I just got finished letting her know that was she was saying was not to be said again.

In her defense, I know she was completely stoked about having just scored her first goal, she should have been proud.  But what she didn't understand was that everyone was already proud of her and she didn't need to bring it to everyone's attention.

Channing's soccer team is AMAZING, there are some super talented girls on the team, girls who score 3 and 4 goals a game, girls who are proud of themselves, girls who do not shout about the multiple goals they make from the rooftops.

In steps mom with an opportunity to teach a life lesson. 

"Channing, do you know what humble means?" 

"No."    

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

I talked to Channing about being humble, that God calls us to be that way.  That if we do something good, it is not our job to announce it to the world or to brag about ourselves.  When you do something good, others will notice simply because it is good, not because we bring it to their attention.  I also shared with her that many girls on the team make goals at every game but we do not hear them bragging about themselves.  And for those girls who haven't made a goal, she may have hurt their feelings by pointing out her success.  In short, I told her that it's okay to be proud of yourself but that stays inside your heart.  In order for others to be proud with you, you keep doing a great job it will not go unnoticed.

So, if you walk up to our 7 year old Channing today and ask her what humble means, she will be able to give you the exact definition.

I thank you Lord for the opportunity to minister to my child, to show her that it's not about us.  Our successes all come from you and we are to be proud in our accomplishments but not boastful so that we may honor You.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.      

Monday, October 25, 2010

With a heavy heart, I write tonight...


The 8th grade volleyball team at Chayce's school 'adopts' a 'little sis' from the 7th grade team.  Chayce's little sis is an adorable girl named Alex.  Each of the girls had to fill out a little sheet of paper with things they like, small things like their favorite drink or snack.  So on a weekly basis, Chayce and Alex have exchanged goodies before the game.

I found out this morning that Alex's mother passed away yesterday from breast cancer.  My heart breaks for her and her family...I don't know the details but I know that a 12 year old girl should not have to be without her mother.  She has two younger siblings as well as a father who lives with them.  For this I am thankful, to know that she still has at least one parent. 

I don't know Alex's family, I've seen her play volleyball once and I've passed along a gift to her once.  Not much contact I have had with her but either way I feel the need to reach out to the family.  I told Chayce she should probably write Alex a letter, not that words can take the place of her mother but sometimes words can be comforting.  Chayce saw me lose a very close friend to breast cancer 3 years ago, my mother had breast cancer 15 years ago.  

In this month of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness month, remember to get a mammogram.  Breast cancer does not discriminate against race, age or social status.  

God bless you...      

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I am speechless, I cry each time I watch this...



Kudos to David Crowder Band...I loved you guys before, but this is truly amazing.

God bless you.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Celebrity Hair Stylist



What?!  I was...well, for about an hour or so.  On Monday, it was a slow day for me so I signed in to take walk-in clients that day.  I was sitting in my chair visiting with another stylist when our manager came into my room and asked if I could take a walk-in.  I told her "Of course!"

I walk around the corner to introduce myself to my client and I immediately recognized his face.  

Back in the day, (my high school days) I listened to country music religiously...country dancing at clubs and all, not to mention I am a HUGE music fan anyway.  I respect all genres of music although these days my heart sings to praise and worship mostly.

The gentleman held out his hand to shake mine and introduced himself as 'Collin'.  As soon as he said his name, I knew it was him: Collin Raye.  I got a huge grin on my face and had him come in and sit in my chair.  After the client consultation I asked him if he lived nearby.  He said he just moved to a place in town and then I asked "Didn't you used to sing?"  He was tickled that I recognized him and from there on, we just talked about family, fame and music.  He was the sweetest, most personable person.  So down to earth, friendly and just genuinely happy.  He made my day!  It would be nice if he came back but if not, it was such a neat experience to have.

When I got home, I googled him.  I forgot about many of the great songs he sang...positive and uplifting songs.  A great Christian man, he still sings, still puts out an album a year he said.  He has a beautiful voice and a heart of gold...if you haven't heard of him here are some songs that might be of interest:          

A Soldier's Prayer
She's With Me
Love Me
One Boy, One Girl
Little Rock

www.collinraye.com

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Seriously?!?!?

I am tired.  I am sick and tired of many, many things.  This is my grouchy/venting/get things off my chest post.  Warning: This may put you in a bad mood, read if you dare.

I am getting fluffy.  I am eating, over-eating, indulging in sweets and candy and all things bad for me.  I need this madness to stop...for instance, last night after eating about 2 handfuls of Reese's Pieces, I made s'mores and I made the whole family sit on a blanket out in the backyard for a s'mores picnic...I know, EVIL!  BIGGEST LOSER MDO, WHERE ARE YOU?!?  If we wait until January, I will weigh another 50 lbs., I PROMISE!   

I wish parents would discipline their children!  Why don't some parents love their children enough to discipline them?  You are doing a disservice to your child and the rest of society if you do not teach them right from wrong or to fear authority!  That is what is wrong with our world today.  As parents, we are too afraid of hurting out children's feelings or inconveniencing ourselves...children need structure and boundaries and expectations...not to mention morals, values and rules.  Our society is steadily spiraling out of control, WE ARE TO BLAME.  Discipline your children, teach them to have respect for their peers and those who are in authority.  UGH!

Teenagers, what the heck is your problem?  Why all the doom and gloom?  Is life really THAT BAD?  Must you whine and complain about everything?  Must your whole day be ruined because you didn't get 45 minutes to apply your makeup?  Must you throw a temper tantrum, the way a three year old does because it's not cute and you certainly aren't portraying yourself in a positive light.  What goes through your mind that you are comfortable with doing inappropriate things at school?  Where is your fear, where is your faith?  What would you do if you got caught?  How would that make you feel?  How would your parents feel?  Where is your respect for yourself, for your body, for adults around you?  Why must you stand in the middle of the road when a car is driving down the street?  What would cause you to bring drugs to school and share them with your classmates?  WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO????

Dear 5 year old bully across the street,

I am so sorry that your parents are never home for you.  I am so sorry that you are home hours on end with your older siblings.  I am so sorry for the lack of attention you get because I know with that adorable face of yours, you would probably be a sweet kid if someone in your family gave you the time of day.  It makes me sad that you have to try to run over my kid with your bicycle or flip off the neighborhood kids because I'm sure if someone loved on you every now and then you might be a happier child.  I hate that you can't get along with any kids on our street and that your brother wrestles with you until he makes you cry.  I hate that I cannot let my children be outside when you are...we are prisoners in our own home at times because I don't want you influencing my kids.  I pray that someone would be an example to you so that you can have a chance at being a good and happy kid.  I have seen you do some kind things so I know that love is in your heart somewhere.  I wish things could be different for you because I fear for your future.  I will continue to pray for you in hopes of seeing a change in you.

Maybe a happier post in days to come?  For today, I am overwhelmed.
             

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A sleepwalker in our midst


Our sweet and beautiful Chan


Ok this is SO blog-worthy.  We have a sleepwalking child, her name is Channing.  Thank God, seriously Lord, THANK YOU that she hasn't hurt herself or anyone else for that matter.

She woke us up in the middle of the night two times since school has started.  The first time, she came in our room, to James' side of the bed and woke him up to tell him that she couldn't sleep.  When he asked her why she couldn't give him a good answer.  We sent her on her way but before she left our room, I called her over to my side of the bed and asked her what woke her up in the first place.  She then tells me it was a 'bulldog brag.'  I thought this was quite amusing, you might find it amusing as well.  A bulldog brag is an honor at Channing's school.  If you are seen doing a good deed, following rules or directions or eating something healthy at lunch, you just might be handed a bulldog brag from a teacher or administrator.  This is quite an honor because when you receive one, you write your name on it and it then goes into a box for several drawings throughout the year for special prizes.  My goodness, you could get like, a million bulldog brags and it would be the greatest thing in the world to a 2nd grader.  No, not Channing, for some reason this 'bulldog brag' is haunting her in her sleep!  We asked her about it the next morning and she had no recollection of getting out of her bed so we teased her (and still do) about that crazy bulldog brag that woke her up in the middle of the night.

Last night, James and I were lying in bed watching t.v., it was about 11:00.  Here she comes again, waltzing over to daddy's side of the bed, steadily rubbing her hands in her hair and looking at us.  I heard her keep saying 'come here', but James said she was just doing alot of mumbling.  Either way, she was asleep, eyes wide open (same as the last time) and communicating with us.  I began hysterically laughing, I mean out-of-breath and crying because I was laughing so hard that she was sleepwalking again, though she never looked at me or acknowledged my laughing.  James took her by the hand, and walked her back into her room, tucked her back into her bed.  Once again, this morning she had no recollection of ever leaving her bed or coming to our room.

James said we always need to double check our locks on our doors since this seems to be the norm now.  I hope to have some more funny stories to share with you in the future.  I told James that next time she walks into our room sleepwalking that he needs to video her so we can show her how funny she is, it's truly something to see. 

     

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Thursday night








Last night was an amazing night.  Warm Texas sun followed by a cool breeze blowing ever so slightly...all you fellow Texans know what I'm talking about, fall is sneaking in on us.

James got home early last night so we took a walk around the neighborhood and Camden sped up in front of us on his bike (with training wheels).  Bless his heart, he got a bike for his 3rd birthday, it's two short years later and he's just WAY to big for it now.

I decided that we should take his training wheels off and give it a try so Camden went in and got his helmet and knee pads.  What a trooper he was, although since he's too big for the bike, he wasn't that far off from the ground in case he fell which I'm sure was very reassuring to him.

I started out running along side him first.  I KID YOU NOT, on the third try, he was gone.  Like a pro I tell ya!  He was giggling with excitement, I was laughing and holding back the tears that were trying to escape from the corners of my eyes.  He's growing up...a rite of passage, the bike with no training wheels.  We went up and down the sidewalk several times all the while he's saying "I'M DOING IT!  I'M DOING IT!"  Yes! He! Was!  He was riding that bike with Momma and Daddy right there to see every bit of it.

Once I was out of breath and realized that this was a Kodak moment, I ran in to get my camera and got some shots of Daddy and Camden.  Camden did so great, never got discouraged or hurt, even though he did fall a couple of times.  He even learned to put both his feet on the ground to help him to stand instead of fall when he was losing his balance.  It was so much fun to watch and it brought back memories from when Chayce and Channing both conquered training wheels.

Bless his little heart, I am so proud of him and I can't wait to get back out there with him...enjoying the gorgeous weather and watching my sweet boy grow and beam with pride.

I love you Monkey!  You bring me such joy with all the love and affection you shower me with.  I am so thankful that God chose me to be your mom.  You are truly a blessing and I look so forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for you.                        

Thursday, September 30, 2010

You know you've got a pretty good kid when...





My Chayce is your typical 13 year old.  Dirty bedroom, laundry everywhere, make-up all over the  bathroom cabinet, drama queen, forgetful, volleyball player, emotional, boy crazy, sassy-mouthed, girly girl...need I go on?


You wonder your whole season of motherhood whether what you say to them hurts them, what you say to them helps them, if they use their manners out in public.  You wonder if the discipline you give to them out of love is really paying off.  You wonder whether the morals and values you pound into their little brains somehow sticks.  You wonder if you show them enough compassion that when faced with a situation, they could show the same compassion to another human being.


I am not perfect, I am a sinner saved by grace through faith.  My children are not perfect...but every now and again I am shown God's love through my children's hearts.


I received a message from my daughter's volleyball coach last week.  She wanted me to tell Chayce that she was really proud of how well she played at the game and she was even more proud of the compassion she had shown to another player.  I also got another message the following day from the girl's mother, more encouraging words about my daughter:

    
I just wanted to share with you how Chayce reached out and gave my Ashley a huge hug & such calming words of inspiration at last nights game! It brought tears to my eyes & I just wanted you to know (as if you already didn't) that you have an amazing child.... I also sent Chayce a message too thanking her for her kind words. I just wanted to tell the woman behind the creation how touching it was to witness.

This made my heart so happy...to hear from not one, but two people that one of my kids was a blessing to someone.  I tell all three of my kids on a daily basis to be a leader and to be a light for God.    

This is my reward, this is was motherhood is all about.  This says "Hey Mom, you're doing an OK job!"

Thank you Heavenly Father that you live in my children's hearts and that they honor you by following your example when they are out of my sight.  In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thrifting and Dessertapalooza


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Mimi and Camden with all of our sweets
 Today was a GREAT day!  For one, it was my day off.  Something I haven't had in over two weeks, a full day of just doing whatever I want, with whomever I want.

Today I chose to spend my day with my mom and my baby boy.  Mom and I decided on thrifting, lunch and dessert!  We hit a couple of thrift stores and I found a few treasures...a sweater, a bright and fun tablecloth that said BEACH to me, so I bought it to turn into some sort of window treatment for the kids playroom.  (The playroom that will be beach themed once I get started on it.)  I also got a pair of super cute cargo pants, an even CUTER denim dress in a SIZE 4!  Ladies, I am SO NOT a size 4 but I tried it on anyway and it's a tiny bit snug but I loved it so it came home with me!  My husband was gracious enough to snap a pic of me in my new dress, it only cost me $3.59!

Mom, Camden and I had lunch at one of our fav places, Chiloso.  I had tortilla soup because I knew we were going to be filling up on yummy sweets afterwards.  My mom and I LOVE a good dessert and I just recently heard about a new place that opened up in a city near where we live.  We trucked on over and each bought several things so we could sample a little bit of everything.  IT WAS FABULOUS!!  

At Dessertapalooza, you can pick your flavor of cupcake THEN you can pick your flavor of icing and/or toppings!  OH MY GRACIOUS, the combinations are a-plenty!  Today's cupcake flavor of the day was raspberry...can you say heavenly goodness?  I chose a raspberry cupcake with cream cheese frosting, mom got a raspberry cupcake with raspberry frosting.  We also bough chocolate mousse, carrot cake, italian cream cake, chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and cheesecake balls.  The decor was cute, and there is a GIANT beanbag chair that you can lay on and watch a flatscreen that hangs overhead.  They serve drinks and coffee and many more yummy deliciousness that we will have to sample on another day.  All I can say is WOW, everything was amazing.  I highly recommend you pay them a visit.  Camden had a great time on the bean bag chair, so did my mom, the pictures say it all.

There's just something about spending time with people you love.  We had a great day shopping and hanging out and the sweets, well they were the icing on our day.  But really it was about being with my mom and sharing our hearts.  Watching my son and seeing him share special moments with his Mimi...laughing as he digs in to a cupcake in his own sweet 4 year old way...laying on a giant bean bag chair with my son in a store with no one else around.  Mom, thanks for hanging out with me and my boy; just being with you makes for a special day.       
Thrifted tablecloth







Dessertapalooza    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/13/1544613/restaurant/Dessertapalooza-Garland

My thrifted dress, I can't wait to dress it up with accessories!

Camden getting some Mimi love  


Saturday, September 11, 2010

A whirlwind of a week

My babies, my beauties...

Folks, I get on these kicks where I will blog like crazy and then life catches up with me and I get overwhelmed and knocked on my fanny.  If it's a while between entries, just know that I am probably dealing with something and can't bring myself to blog.  Sometimes I just need a breather and to have some down time.

I am a busy person.  I have a teenager, a 7 year old and a 4 year old.  I have two part time jobs, two of my children are active in sports this season.  I have a needy, high maintenance (but oh-so-lovable) dog, a husband who has been freaking UH-MAAAAAZING lately.  I'm talking laundry caught up, dishes done, cooked his first meal EVER since we've been married (uh-huh, it's taken 9 years...better late than never right?) and as I type this he is at the grocery store doing our grocery shopping, with coupons and all!  God bless him!
First day of preschool

This week, mother's day out started up, I have 13 kids in my class.  It's a bit overwhelming at first, new kids at a new place.  For some, it's their first time in a program, I'm new to them, they are new to me.    Camden started pre-k!  I had a slow week at the salon, but a busy weekend.  Chayce had volleyball, they lost but put up a good fight.  Channing won her soccer game today and we decided to go to Sonic and eat there (outside in the humid, sticky nastiness) as a special treat to the kids.  AND we had ice cream too, they LOVED it!  We followed that up with an evening swim in our neighborhood pool with a beautiful evening sky that God painted shades of pink and blue-gray and cream, just for us.

BONUS:  We got a check in the mail from the electric company today.  Yes, you read right, WE got a check FROM the electric company.  We are part of a co-op and so every year we get a little bit of money back (capital credits).  God is good my friends...money in our pocket that we were not expecting.  That is a BLESSING!               

I made BBQ brisket in the crockpot, my first attempt.  Let me tell you ladies, it was dreamy.  I searched recipes on the internet and found one that I already had the majority of the ingredients to.  It cooked all day Thursday and we were able to eat on it for two days.  I may just have to share the recipe sometime soon!    


I started journaling this week.  I am journaling to pray, to share my thoughts, to work through issues.  I find myself not seeking God enough, not waiting on Him, not taking my requests and concerns to Him and certainly not thanking Him enough.  In a way, this is holding myself accountable, by dating my entries I will realize how often or not often enough I am spending time with the Lord.  I was inspired to start journaling due to a book I am reading called Rachel's Tears.  It's about one of the teens who died in the Columbine tragedy.  Such a young girl who truly had a passion for the Lord, she died a martyr.  It's an amazing story, but hard to read.  I had to put it down many times and walk away because she reminded me so much of Chayce and I couldn't imagine losing a child.
       
I have come to realize that my mom is truly my best friend.  I mean, I've known this for years but it really came to light in a big way this week.  If I have something on my heart that I can't say to anyone else, I always know I can call my mom and tell her.  She's right there with me, feeling my pain, sharing in my joy, letting me cry.  I couldn't imagine where I'd be right now if I had lost her 15 years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I honestly believe that God has a plan for all of us and though cancer was a fork in the road, it happened for a reason.  I am just thankful that God healed her and allowed her more time on this earth.  She's my biggest fan, my most honest critic, my shopping buddy, my sweet tooth sister and most of all, my rock.  Words alone could never be enough thanks Mom.     

Blessings to you all, I hope that when life gets overwhelming that you can turn to God.  The bible tells us to cast all our cares upon Him.  When I remember to do that, He's right there for me.  Breathing for me, surrounding me with His mercy and grace, giving me peace, telling me that it's all going to be alright.  God is SO good!  
Check out the form, the tongue has to be juuuust right!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

For you Dad


Last Sunday, my dad left church.  He left alone because my mom was out of town visiting her mother.

He walked to his truck and planned on going to his favorite buffet for lunch. 

He found a letter sitting on his truck.  After he read the letter, he decided not to go for lunch.

He opened it to find the most mean, evil and hurtful things being said to him.  Of course it wasn't signed.  If you were going to be so hateful, surely you wouldn't be scared to pen your name at the end.

My mom called me and read the letter to me last night.  It hurt my heart and brought me to tears.

The letter told my dad that he can't play bass, that he must be deaf, how could he possibly stand up on the alter and punish people by thinking he could play the guitar and that he should be ashamed of himself and he needed to go take some lessons.

Oh wait, it was signed...it was signed "A bass player."

My parents attend a tiny little church in a small town near our home.  They have become very active in their church, my mom has lead vacation bible school, my dad plays in the church band.  The have taken many friends from their church on their boat for group fishing trips.  They have also grown very close to the pastor and his wife.  They love their little church, it is a home to them.

After thinking over all this, I wrote a letter to the 'man' that left the letter for my dad.  I was really hoping the pastor of my parent's church would let me read it to the congregation.  Not sure if that will happen though.

Dear Bass Player,

Who are you and why did you not sign your letter?  If you are such a wonderful bass player, surely you would want to share your talents with everyone else, which would be impossible to do unless we knew who you were.  Your words spew HATE; how can you sit in God's house with such anger and evilness in your heart?  God's word says 'make a joyful noise', that's what my dad is doing.  He's not on tour with a world famous band, he's not trying out for America's Got Talent and he's not trying to impress you.  He is doing what God has put on his heart to do.  That is to show up each Sunday and play his guitar to the best of his ability in order to honor the Lord with praise and worship.

Did it make you feel good to write such a hateful letter?  Do you think God was smiling down on you when you snuck over to my dad's truck like a coward?  Are you a thief out to steal other people's joy?

Do you know my dad?  Do you know of his love of music he's had his whole life?  Do you know that many of my childhood memories joyfully flash before my eyes because I will hear an old song that my dad used to play on his record player?  Do you know that he's a wonderful man who gives encouraging words, quotes scripture from the bible in times of need and writes heartfelt love notes to my mother in the cards he gives her?  Do you know that when he practices with his guitar at home that ALL his grandchildren gather around because they are fascinated and want to learn to play because they want to be just like their Pops?  Do you know that each of his grandchildren have a guitar or have interest in one because he has inspired them all with his love of music?

My dad is not a professional, he never claimed to be perfect nor has he ever stated that he was better than anyone.  It's people like you that give Christians a bad name.  If you were a true follower of Christ, you could've walked up to my dad and played beside him.  Knowing my dad, he would've admired your talent or ability and might have even asked for a lesson from you or asked to play with you sometime in the future...because that's the kind of MAN HE IS.

Not boastful or proud, not a goody-goody, not rude or jealous or hateful.

My dad is humble, peaceful, and funny.  He is a gentle giant, eager to learn from others, loving, giving and kind.  My dad displays many qualities that Jesus himself displayed.

So, "Bass Player"...since you are so disgusted with my dad playing guitar at the church, you should probably take your own advice and go ahead and find another church to attend.  I wouldn't want you being upset every Sunday in God's house, I don't think God would like it too much either.  God's house is a place of refuge, joy and peace, things it seems you care nothing about.

In his Grace,

Allyssa

P.S.  I'd gladly put this on your car if I knew who you were.      

P.S.S.  Daddy, you have so much heart and talent.  Thank you for nuturing our love for music and for never being afraid to try.  Your guitar playing is music to my ears!  God knows your heart and He is proud of you!  
I LOVE YOU!!           

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in an ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. - Mother Teresa

Monday, August 23, 2010

A new school year

My 8th grader, 2nd grader and Pre-schooler


The day started out early, I got up at 6:00 am.  I had been up late both nights prior to this so boy, this really seemed early.  I made pancakes for my kids and to my surprise I didn't even have to wake Chayce up this morning.  I went to get Chan up and she shot up like a rocket...just sat straight up in her bed, hair all over her face, her big grin was all I could see.



Sisters...I know they'll be best friends someday.  
 
Chan heading into class

We all walked Channing into her class then headed to take the big kids to their schools. Everything went incredibly smooth and no one was rushed or stressed which always makes for a great start to a school day. Next year, my last baby will be starting kindergarten. Let me tell you, the tears are going to FLOW.



With the brother and the backpack





Parker and Chayce...I picked him up before school this morning so he could come hang out with Chayce before they headed off for the first day.  It was bitter-sweet, Parker moved up to high school this year so after we dropped him off my big girl's eyes welled up with tears.  I had a lump in my throat for her.  They will still get to see each other just not passing one another in the halls this year. 
      
One last goodbye...


Words of the day:
Camden:  "I am so excited for school to start!"
Mom:  "Why, do you miss Anna?"
Camden: "Yes, I look at the clouds and think about her." 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Two fer Thursday...




(On a lighter note)

"Mom, I touched a lady's tee-tee."

This is what I am told by my four year old when we were leaving Chick-fil-a today.  

What would you do? 

I stopped dead in my tracks and asked him to please repeat himself.

"I just touched a lady's tee-tee."

Still in shock: "Ummmmmm, ok...did you tell her you were sorry?"

"No, she opened the door (to the play area) and I ran into her and hit her tee-tee."

Ok, well that calmed me down, sorta.  I'm thinking that my son deliberately walked up to some random woman and put his hand on her "tee-tee".  THANK YOU JESUS that this was purely an accident because if not, we were going to have to bust out the Bible and have a long heart to heart when we got home.  



Don't worry, I had a talk with him and let him know that next time he runs into someone, that polite thing to do is to say you're sorry, regardless of where you happen to 'hit' them.

And that was our outing for the day.  

Psalms 73:28; 139




Lord, there are times when I feel distant from you.  I fall away from you, it's never a run, it's just a gradual descent.  Many times it is when I have guilt or shame or I feel independent just because things are going 'right.'  I never mean to let distance come between us, it's not something that I purposely seek out to do.

Now...in these tough times, although I feel distant from you, you feel near to me.  Your presence, I can feel it surrounding me, in scripture today, reading through verse after verse in Psalms.  You hear me, you know what I need and you put it right in front of me.  To encourage, to give hope, to cast out fear.  Your grasp is firm and comforting and I thank you for never letting go of me.  For whispering in my ear that you have gone before me and that you are walking with me constantly.

Thank you Lord, for taking me back after falling away from you.  For drawing me back in with your unconditional love and un-ending forgiveness.  For sending words that are meant just for me, for comforting me in times of need.  You know what my needs are, my concerns, my fears. 

Be near Lord.  For me.  Today.  I lift up my family to you Lord, let us be surrounded by you, let us feel your presence in our time of need.

In Jesus' Name, Amen.



Be Near by Shane and Shane

You are all


big and small

beautiful

and wonderful

to trust in grace through faith

but i'm asking to taste...



for dark is light to You

depths are height to You

far is near

but Lord, i need to hear from You



be near, oh God

be near, oh God of us

Your nearness is to us our good

be near, oh God

be near, oh God of us

Your nearness is to us our good, our good



Your fullness is mine

revelation divine

but, o, to taste

to know much more than a page

to feel Your embrace...



for dark is light to You

the depths are height to You

far is near, but Lord

i need to hear from You



be near, oh God

be near, oh God of us

Your nearness is to us our good

be near, oh God

be near, oh God of us

Your nearness is to us our good, our good



(psalms 73:28; 139)

Monday, August 16, 2010

I met an amazing kid today

His name was Blake, he was a walk-in at the salon, probably 18 years old.  He walked in and I shook his hand and introduced myself and he did the same.

He was young and super cute...like one of those Abercrombie models.  Piercing blue eyes, tall, dirty blonde hair with a slight curl on the ends (which he asked that I cut off).  He had the most amazing manners.  "Yes Ma'am" this "No Ma'am" that.  I mean after EVERY question I asked him. 

Naturally, I struck up a conversation with him, I was cutting his hair and it makes the time pass faster.

He's headed to college in three days, a music school out of state.  Guitar.  I was living vicariously through him because he is cool and I would LOVE to learn to play guitar!  After his undergrad studies, he is planning on going into music law.  Even cooler!!  His parents are paying for his college, but he worked all summer at a Christian youth camp to save up some money to take with him.  (Responsible, even!)

We talked about music and it came to be that we both had the same favorite band:  Needtobreathe and the same favorite song by them: Garden

If you haven't heard of them, I HIGHLY recommend you looking them up, amazingly talented song-writing, beautiful lyrics and music that makes your heart sing.  Seriously:  http://www.needtobreathe.net/

Anyway, Blake was telling me how he got a banjo for Christmas (Needtobreathe actually inspired that because he said they play the banjo in alot of their songs) and he just came back from vacation with his girlfriend's family.  His girlfriend is a year older than him, she went to Pepperdine last year but is transferring to his school this semester.

He also told me that he ended up in my chair because his usual guy is closed on Mondays but his whole family goes to this guy because he is a family friend, he has cancer and they try to help him out.

My mom was in the salon when Blake was getting his haircut and when he left we both had a discussion about what a great kid he was.  Not too many of those walking around but it was so refreshing and such a blessing to see someone like him heading off to start his new life.  I can guarantee that God has something special in store for that young man.

To Blake's parents, you should be so proud of your son and how well you raised him!!  He was such a joy to talk to and be around! 

To Blake, I hope you have an amazing life and that you have an amazing impact on the world!!  I know that God will keep you and bless you in all that you do!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Momma Love


So I was dropping Chayce off at her school Thursday night for strength and conditioning.  I was in a silly mood so I planted three big, fat, I mean HUGE smooches on her left cheek.  Not caring who was looking, I was just giving my big girl some love.

Chayce happened to notice a girl getting out of the car in front of us who was laughing.  Laughing because she had seen the giant smooch I planted on my girl.  Chayce got out of the car and headed into the school, along with the girl who was laughing at her.

The girl was making fun of Chayce (not in an ugly way) and said "Your mom still kisses you!?!?"

Chayce then tells her "Yeah, your mom doesn't kiss you?"

PRICELESS. MOMMA. LOVE.
      

Friday, August 13, 2010

Inspiration Friday

I feel God's overwhelming presence when I listen to this song...the tears just flow.  I hope it blesses you!!

Oh, make sure to pause my playlist at the bottom and then TURN IT UP!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

BEHOLD!!


Out with the old Channing and in with the new...

Long hair


A little shorter


Losing teeth
Lost more teeth

This girl keeps growing up by the minute!