Monday, April 27, 2009

Was It The Devil?

Let me down, let me down!! I want to run away again! As much as I chase that boy I should weigh 50 lbs.

So this weekend was full!! But I have a lingering question from Sunday. When my husband's friend who is a pastor (although currently not as a full time pastor) invited us to a Church that is pastored by yet another friend of both men my husband said yes to come. The pastor friend who invited us told my husband that he and his wife had been praying for our family for about a month now. He said he felt God compelling him to invite us to go to this Church so he obeyed and called up hubby. As a coinkidinky hubby has been struggling badly with wanting a relationship with God but having no clue as to how to do it. He says what works for me doesn't work for him. He hates reading & attending Church is a bore. He hates the singing part majorly & doesn't like the hand shaking thing. Okay, I must confess, I am a hater of the shake the neighbor's hand thing too. I am a little shy. So he has been struggling with finding a Church he can stomach with people who are "real". I did not think it a coincidence that Randy would call at the time. His cousin who is also a pastor has been calling at random to pray for him. A God thing? Anyhoo, when the friend finished inviting Mike & us he warned Mike. He told him that the devil would be messing with him all week so that we would not make it to Church. Mike told me about it and I was like "crap, just what we need.". So it was a hellacious week financially. Lots of ca ca. But Sunday morning, oh my.

I woke at 5:30 on Sunday a.m. Lately I have been doing that a lot. I feel compelled to get into the word early so I've learned that it is just God waking me up & getting me prepared for something. So I made my coffee and settled in for some awesome Church preachin on the TV. I watched all black church preaching that morning. I love black southern churches. I have no idea why we are separated sometimes other than that's just the way it used to be or that they just don't want to sit frozen like a lot of the white baptist churches do. But my oh my, I was sitting in my living room shoutin back to the TV, raising my hands and oh doggie those guys were fired up Sunday morning!! It was like on fire preachin! I should have known that God was getting me fired up for a reason..... To make it short I felt sure Satan himself came to visit our house around 8a.m. when everyone else woke up. I mean the Hell of it was just too much and Lord have mercy you don't even want to know. But we all got in the car, all six of us. We were all not speaking to each other & me in my oh so holy state didn't even care a hoot. We got to the Church and the friend was waiting for us. He said he'd been praying for us all morning. He said he just knew the devil was going to try his best to keep us from coming. It was a God thing and what the Lord has anointed the devil wants to destroy. He said the devil does not want Mike in Church.

Well the long of it was that it was awesome, my kids loved it and want to change churches. I loved it & felt like I was at home. AND, can you believe my hubby loved it too? He wants to go back on Wednesday night and go to the men's fellowship breakfast at Ryans next week. HOLY COW!!

But this was the question. People are always saying the devil, the devil. Yes, I know a third of all the angels were cast down and I'm thinking that was a lot. But there are a lot of us people here too. Could it really be that the devil or his cohorts were at my house and messing with us? Was that really it? It is scary to think that something evil was in my house making loving people act like fools. I mean FOOLS y'all. Well, I have to go, screaming baby and all. I guess I'll talk about it tomorrow. I am really confused as to what the heck was going on in my house all week not to mention Sunday morning. Any ideas?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Faith versus Fear

Look at him run!! He saw the camera & couldn't get away fast enough. What a dork!! ha ha

I am still in love with my built in cases. I can't believe I didn't paint these a long time ago. i had a good time on my other work blog talking about painting these guys.

it's been a rough couple of days around here. I have been having to put my faith up in the boxing ring up against it's arch nemesis Fear. I am wanting to worry but I can't let myself. God is supplying & just in the nick of time today. Each time I begin to worry about our finances I remember watching Beth Moore say that where ever your mind spews worry, that is where you do not trust God. I have spent too much time learning to trust Him & how to do it that I can't not put it into application when it really counts, you know? Mike is working so hard. Harder than anyone should have to & lately he is at his breaking point. I am so proud of him. I have been praying so hard that Jesus would just walk along with him throughout the day & hold Mike's hand. Sometimes a man just needs another man.

Money is just a big issue & I think maybe God is showing me that in the biggest area of our lives where we have been totally self sufficient & not relied on God for provision that we now need to do that. Since the layoff 2 years ago (this June) (June 10th actually at 8:15 Eastern Standard Time) money has been HUGE as it either no longer existed or there wasn't enough or it has just barely trickled in just in time! Money keeps being with held from us too, so that makes me think maybe this is a lesson I should be learning. Or learning to truly apply what I have learned at least. The lady who bought (I use that term loosely) my fixtures from my store hasn't paid me anywhere close to being on time yet. She also changed the amount she agreed to pay me monthly to half. She tells me the check is in the mail, then she tells me she mailed it to the wrong address. She has a 1000 different lies. I could respect her if she would just be honest with me. But here I am once again possibly not being able to have food to feed my kids & she owes me thousands & she is rich. Today is the last day's worth of food I have and I was penniless really until a check came in from one of hubby's clients at 1:30. Sigh of relief. She emailed me to say she couldn't pay me once again for April's payment yesterday & I wanted so bad to email her back and tell her that when she went home to her million dollar plus home & her housekeeper in her $50,000 veicle that my kids would be going without food because of her greed. I know for a fact that they are loaded & money is still rolling in for them. Why are people so greedy? She knows I can't afford a lawyer to sue her so she is going to rip me off I am sure. I will be shocked if I ever see half of what she owes me. I wish I was doing fine with money so I could just tell her to keep my fixtures. I would rather not have the money than become her bill collector.

Anyhoo, Faith so far is winning against Fear. Faith has sustained a few upper cuts but it's had Fear on the ropes ever since. Thankfully I have Jesus in my corner cheering me on. It's amazing how close to someone you can get if you actually talk to them regularly. I have to remember that. I am just so tired of money.

After a week of boxing Fear I am just so grateful to say that I am not defeated. I feel blessed. God supplied just enough and just in time. I had 30 minutes to spare to get that check deposited to be credited today!! Who Hoo. It is such a priviledge that He loves me enough to teach me. It is a priviledge to watch Him at work. I feel like a lucky ducky today.

Oh, and boy am I tired & sore. I spent yesterday & the day before doing clean up from one of hubby's remodeling jobs on a daycare. Oh. Good. Lord. cleaning people do NOT get paid enough money to work that hard. I also had to clean a shower that contained things no human should have to touch. I feel certain that I shall be feeling the effects of some horrible disease from that shower. BLAH!!!! Pray for me!! Shivers...... that shower was gross. But it was great to help him. Because it was a daycare I took Braxton & Brandon with me and they played on the playground all day while I worked both days. It was just us so it was perfect.

Well, my homeschooler is slacking (again) so I have to go be Ms. Teacher. I baked cupcakes last night too for my daughter's class party today. Oh, my didn't I feel so special? Miss. Domestic, yes please. I just love being a momma at home.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Butterflies From Heaven

Aren't butterflies pretty?
So colorful, so graceful. What a beautiful creation!

I always forget until I am reminded where butterflies came from. Caterpillars!!!
I have a question for you. How many of you look at a butterfly and say to yourselves "Look at that caterpillar that turned into a butterfly!" or do you say "Oh, look at the pretty butterfly!" Do you even remember that the butterfly used to be a caterpillar? I don't.

The caterpillar goes into it's cocoon and comes out a "new creation". Old things are passed away. All things become new. Sound familiar? Butterfly, the word does not even hint as to the fact that it was once a caterpillar. Once it is transformed it's former self is forgotten, it is a "new creature".

I was reading (again) the book Grace Walk which is about resting in Christ. The author first conveys that it is so important to first know who you are in Christ. He gives the analogy of the butterfly and the caterpillar. Each time I have gone back to this book and I see this it is just as powerful as the first time I read it. As humans why can't we accept this concept about ourselves? If you say you believe in the Bible then you must believe and grasp ahold of this truth. Once you have received Jesus into your heart, once you are born again, you become a new creature in Christ. Your old man is dead. Your sins are forgiven & you are loved. Period. Stop trying to remind God about what you used to be. He knows. He could care less. He's trying to take you to a better place but you have to be willing to go. We are butterflies!!! And we are beautiful, each in our own way.

I know a caterpillar who wants to be a butterfly but they are afraid to go into the cocoon. They don't want to take the time either for the change to begin. They just want to turn into the butterfly. Um, you can't do that I said. It is a process. So the caterpillar gets mad at me and stays a caterpillar. But it wants so badly to flutter with the other butterflies!

We are so silly. We are so busy dwelling on what we used to be or what we have done & feeling guilt and shame. Or we are so busy enjoying our lives and pleasures & lazy Sundays that it just seems like a big pain in the butt to become one of "those Christians". You know, "those Christians" who are always in Church and studying and praying and living blessed & happy lives. I don't want to go to Church!! I don't like reading the Bible!! Oh my, my little caterpillar. I love you so much & I used to be just like you. I wish I could help you. I can only just tell you that you have to come to Him & give him all of who you are. You must go into your cocoon & let Him transform you & who you are now will be dead. You will be a new creature & your former self will pass away. You will want to seek Him & you will find ways to study that don't seem so torturous to you. I think you need to drive to a mountain & cry out. Out loud. Let everything go & give it to Him. That might take awhile or He may do it in an instant. Just let Him do it!!

So I just wanted to remind myself that I am a beautiful butterfly. I have been transformed into a new creature. Christ lives in ME! The same anointing that was given to Moses is available to ME! What I have been, what I have done (even losing my temper with my kids!) does not keep God from being able to love me. The only thing that can keep the love of God from you life is YOU. Are you embracing your new creature? Forget what you once were, forget what mistakes you have made. Even last weeks errors. Repentance also involves forgiveness. Forgive and What??? That's right...... Forget. Because that's what God does. And we should be imitators of Him.

Now go fly!!!!!!!!!

I'm taking part of Melissa at 's beautiful life series. Please visit her for some great posts from other wonderful bloggers.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Blogiversary to me!! 254 posts in one year

I can't believe it has been one year of blogging!! Since it was God Himself who told me to start a blog when I didn't even know what a blog was I thought I would take a look back at my very first post. (Giggles)

Boy was I messed up one year ago! I remember that first post like it was yesterday. Blogging has been very cathartic to me. God sure is a smarty, I am so glad he spoke it to me to start this thing. I thought I would post the link to my first post in case anybody wanted to see how pitiful I was a year ago, I can kinda laugh about it now. . Well, that was the first post. I thought I'd do a review of sorts.

1. I'm still in Church. In a different one though and just today hubby has a friend who is a youth pastor who called him to say he kept feeling compelled to call us to go with him to a new Church he has found. He thinks it is a perfect fit for both of us and he knows when the Holy Spirit is speaking so he called to invite us. We will be visiting the new place this Sunday.

2. The Shame Is Gone!! Satan you stupid liar, I hate you. I never had to be ashamed to begin with. I had only to rejoice with my Father that I was back and no longer gone.

3. My relationship with God is back. When I wrote that I feared it would never be the same I was right. God didn't take me back to the place that I missed with Him. He took me to a better place!!!!!!!!!! I love Him so much I cry typing this because my heart is so tender for His love. It's not the way it was, it's BETTER!!! Take that Satan.

4. Yes, I hear from God again. A lot. More than ever.

5. I thought I was a well learned Christian when I wrote that first post. Ha!! I've learned more since April 19, 2008 to today than in almost a whole lifetime of being a Christian. I say that with complete honesty. I can't believe when I think back all that God has taught me and shown me. Unbelievable. What he has shown me about peace, the importance of peace and how to have it. Wow. Do you know why the Bible talks about peace so much? For God to flow through you and in you there must be peace and unity. Not strife. Keeping you upset inhibits God from flowing in you. Joyce Meyers book Conflict Free Living was a real eye opener on that subject and helped interpret where God had me in the Bible. Walking in Faith, whew!! Boy he must have been glad when he was done with that one in me for awhile. This is a great post on what I learned on that. . Like Beth Moore says, where ever your mind is spewing worry, that is where you do not trust God. Thank you ma'am.

6. I finally learned what God's will is for me. That is posted a couple of posts down from this one. 2 I believe. Hip Hip hooray!!!

7. My business closed and I didn't die. I am filing for bankruptcy though but you know what? I have peace about it. So there to that one.

8. I am a much more positive person and have stopped trying to change who I am. I am sarcastic by nature, so what? (Note the sarcasm) Sarcastic people can love God too. I am funny sarcastic and have learned when to shut my mouth. I am a Joyce Meyers type personality and people love her right? I am what I am. So there to you too Satan on that issue. I'm sticking my tongue out to you old lying dog.

I'm happy today. I still have some major financial hurtles. Hubby's business is an up and down thing. It's all he knows and we either work for ourselves or we starve. God has provided and blessed us. I have total faith in Him. That wasn't easy to learn. I still need to lose weight too, God when am I going to wake up and see you made me skinny overnight? Hellooo? Okay, I'm kidding Lord, don't get mad.

I am also grateful to some beautiful blog ladies who never gave up on a depressed & sometimes hateful lady in Georgia who just needed to be heard and given some love and guidance. Thank heavens I don't have to do that anymore!! I love all y'all. I love God and most importantly I love love love not being depressed anymore!! Amen.

Happy One Year Anniversary my little blog. You are packed full of who I am in 254 posts. You are also highly under read, ahem. Thanks for letting me get to know you lovely ladies of blog world, I never would have made it without you.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bookcase To Showcase Linky Party Post

Southern Charm Home Decor is having a Mr.Linky party today!! Y'all have to go over and see all of the great posts and get you some home decor inspiration all for the cost of about a quart of paint. Want a taste of a makeover?

This is the before.

This is only a snipet of the after. If you haven't guessed it yet Southern Charm Home Decor is my other blog. I love to decorate and decor in general. I also love my Lord. I think it's a little confusing to talk about both on one blog, so I have two!! Please click on the link and if you can join in the Linky Love please do.
Okay, Happy Friday and I hope to see you guys over in home decor land.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Woman Inspired Conference

Julia over at is having her what are you hooked on party today. Please hop on over to see what other great bloggers are hooked on. I am focusing on my post below the last few weeks and it has been life changing!! Yep, I'm hooked on saying YES to God.

This woman is a genius!!

I mean it. Pure genius.

I attended A Woman Inspired Conference because either Lysa Terkeurst or Melissa from the Inspired Room gave me tickets. Long story, but I received my free ticket 2 days into the conference but just in time to listen to Lysa. Her session was on Women Saying YES to God.

Have you ever had a question that was so BIG and so important that you thought you were just gonna die if you didn't find an answer to it?

Well I did and so do lots of Christians. The question? Easy.

Question: I love the Lord and I want Him to use me. I have no idea what my calling in life is or what God wants me to do. I read, I study, I love God, I love Jesus but still I don't know God's will for me. What should I do? How do I know what I should be doing? I pray, I wait, but no answer. Does this mean that God doesn't want to use me? Does the lack of my knowing God's will for me mean that I won't be faithful with what God calls me to do and He knows this so He just doesn't call me to anything?

Oh Satan, you clever clever jerk.

I can't even begin to say how many times I have wondered the above things. Talked to my pastors even about it. Just pray they say. So I did. I have also heard these things from a farkzillion men and women. All the time the answer was so obvious. It was so obvious that I am still embarrassed that I could not figure it out for myself and I laughed like a crazed lunatic cow when Lysa gave me the answer to the questions above.

The answer!! I have the answer people!! Years of waiting, oy vey. This conference gave me the chance to ask Lysa TerKeurst this question and she actually answered it.

This is what she said:

She said it is a rare thing that God just suddenly reveals His big plans for us. He won't just say "Jennifer I want you to start a Bible Study for teens and this is what you should do and it will be wonderful". God reveals his plans for us slowly more often than not. She said to take each day and anticipate Him and say "Yes" to God. She said a wonderful prayer we could pray basically telling God each morning that we love Him and that we are eagerly anticipating Him today and that today I say "YES" to Him. I submit my life to you and I want you to live through me today. Show me your will for me today and I say "YES" to you.

She told me that if I just take each day to anticipate Him and be willing to say yes to whatever it is that I feel the Holy Spirit moving me to do and be obedient then God will reveal His will for me. It is through these small daily acts of obedience and faithfulness that we become more in tune with His will. When God sees you actually stepping out and saying "YES" to Him daily and being obedient with the small things He will use that. Through our daily obedience of saying "YES" to the small things each day God will guide us along to the bigger things. We need to stop worrying about what God has called us to in the big picture of His plans for us. Start small. Listen for what the Holy Spirit guides you to do. She gave an example of helping a lady crying in the Star Bucks, she felt compelled to help and she did. She was obedient. Do you see someone in need in Target? Do you feel a prompting to do something for them? Do it. Be obedient in those daily small things God has asked you to do and He will take you to where He wants you to be and do. She said often when God is going to move you to the next step He will give you these thoughts or visions of something and then the people in your life will then bring these same new things up to you as a confirmation of what God is telling you to do. Often doors will start opening and that is God showing you His will. Start small and be obedient with that. Anticipate Him each day. Tell him those two things each day. Say "YES" to His will each day and then actually go do it.

That's it? Oh sweet pickles, why is this not being preached from every single pulpit in the world? Why is this not plastered all over the walls of Churches? Are you kidding me? All this time I have been waiting on some grand master plan that God has for me. Well, I guess I'm just not called to do anything but be a wife and mother (which is fine, don't get me wrong). God hasn't shown me what I am supposed to be doing with my life. Wah wah wah. This is what I was thinking. All this time God has been waiting for me to just get off my duff and say "YES LORD. Where are we going and what are we doing today?". I posted that phrase sometime last year after reading Grace Walk when I was learning more about resting in Christ. Now the words "Where are we going and what are we doing today Lord." have so much more meaning. I really get that more now. The person who first said this wasn't focused on the big picture of his calling from God. He just daily said "Good morning Lord. What are we going to do today?" Then he stayed tuned in to God, tuned in to the Holy Spirit and when he felt moved to do something I'll bet he did it.

You know, I am a much better speaker than a writer. I hope this is getting across correctly. So I have waited a little bit to post about this because I actually wanted to see how easy/hard this would be and give it a go. I have told God each morning that I am anticipating seeing Him today. Today I just want to say "YES" to your will for me today Lord. Please guide me and live through me today. God has been faithful to my words. We have started small. Sometimes it was the kids that needed a kind word. Sometimes it was the hubby, which God gave me a rare privilege involving God with the man. Thanks Lord. I will say though that it is easy to tune him out and just go about my day. Do you know what happened the first 3 days I said "YES" to Him? People were ministering to me. Yep. I think God was showing me how meaningful little things are. Twice in long lines a new cashier opened up in both places and all of the people told me to go first even though in both cases I was the last person in line. I told them, no please you were ahead of me. They all & I mean all of the people in the long lines said for me to go first. Okay y'all, you know that was God! My teen ministered much kindness to me too. For 3 days I had sheer pure kindness from my family and total strangers poured out on me. So I say "Yes" Lord, come and live in me each day. Each day I just want to be and do whatever you need me to do.

That is my calling. Period. And if he chooses to take my obedience and faithfulness to a new and higher level then he does.

Saying "YES" to God is the only thing I need to be focused on daily. Listening to him so I don't miss out. It's pretty easy to get caught up in our lives and tune God out. He will build on my yeses and take me to new heights through that daily obedience.

Why do we always assume that God's will for us is something big. It's a "calling". What if our calling is to just say "YES" to him on a daily basis and do on that day whatever he asks us to. What if we were all told that is what God's will is for you. Now go do it. How many more people would be tuning in to see what God is desiring for them every single day instead of waiting on some big task God has for us to do. How much more would we all be talking to God, focusing on Jesus each day? Why haven't I ever heard this before? Has anybody ever heard this before? I've been in Church my whole life and never heard this. And it was so simple. Yep, I laughed like a mad crazed cow. Huge huge huge for me.

Was this helpful to anyone? If it was please let me know. No I'm not tryin to get comments. I'm just truly interested and hoping that Lysa's words were helpful to someone else.

Love y'all!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Talking About Sex With Your Kids

Okay, sex keeps coming up with all of the moms at my kids class. Then I saw Oprah had a show on talking to your teens about sex. Now I gave up watching Oprah a long time ago with the exception of the occasional Dr. Oz and such. I saw she had Dr. Berman on and it made me nervous.... Dr. Berman seems to be a big advocate of porn and masturbation for all age groups. I'm a porn hater....... as for the other thing well, I really don't have a clear interpretation of what God thinks about that. I know it was a sin to spill your seed for men during the law giving chapters but at that time women on their periods also weren't allowed in Church either so....... who knows.

Anyhoo, it has been so disturbing to me lately about my "sex talk" with my kid's friends moms that I thought I'd discuss it. BTW, my hubby came home early Friday and flicked on the TV. He yelled at me to come look and they were doing a snipet from the sex talk show and Dr. Berman was encouraging us to tell our teens to masturbate and talk to them about vibrators. YIKES!!! Uh, thanks but no Dr. Berman.

My friends are nervous about their 5th grade kids going to middle school and since I have a 17 year old girl in high school they are seeking advice about what to tell their kids about sex and want to know what the middle schoolers are doing. I have a couple of middle school moms wanting to know about what the high schoolers are doing. My teen is beautiful and pretty popular and a Varsity Cheerleader so I'm guessing they assume lots of boys are trying to get her to sleep with them so I'd know. And they are correct!!
The odd thing to me when we are in these groups discussing kids and sex is that these ladies don't talk to their kids about sex. They only have discussed what sex is and how babies are made. I want to be very very clear about my position of talking sex. You have to talk about sex with your kids because the TV, the radio, and all of their peers are talking sex with them. If you are not, then you are just about the only thing in their lives that is capable of speech that is not talking about sex to them. Okay?
Talking about sex with your kids is not just the mechanics. It is actually talking about sex. I openly discuss everything with Lexi and now Brandon too since he is 11 has been included. Just telling them not to do it is not enough. Just telling them to save themselves is not enough. Showing them pictures of sexual diseased body parts like the schools do is not enough. You've got to discuss it. Lexi still laughs about the time when I told her it's not even worth it to have sex so young when a lot of her ninth and tenth grade friends were doing it like rabbits because I told her the guys don't even know what they are even doing and they are going to go in and take care of themselves and it will all be over in less than 10 minutes and you'll be laying there sore and saying "that's it?". BTW, she asked her friends and they confirmed that fact. Duh, I said. Being honest early gave me major creditability with her. Now we can discuss anything. And we do. Her friends discuss their sex habits sometimes too. I tell her how I feel about teen sex and we also discuss how our Christian beliefs come into play on this. I also tell her that I don't want to raise another baby, I have four kids and the last one is 2 and I am 39 and I am tired. I told her that if she wanted to have sex then she needed condoms and birth control and to tell me so I could get her on the pill. Lots of pregnant teens around here, middle schoolers too. Not my kid. I'll give her the pill myself every morning. As for now, she is not ready to do the deed, thankfully. But she is made fun of big time for it and the guys call her "the waste". Why, 'cause she's so hot and all that hotness is wasted they say. Is that a compliment in a weird way?
Anyway, the middle schoolers are having lots and lots of oral sex. It's no big thang to them. Really, you wouldn't believe how nonchalant oral sex is for our children. Sex, well, a great deal of them are already doing it before they leave middle school. And if you think you are safe because you home school...... wrong. Your Church is filled with those same kids. They are hearing it in Sunday School and children's church too. So you'd better be talking to them about it because their friends are not to mention TV. You can't keep your children away from our heavily prevalent "sex society" so equipping them with good moral life skills is really the way to go. I start at a young age because it's easier that way. You can't just come up to your 13 year old and try to start talking about sex. You have no credibility on that subject, you are a dork parent telling them to just say no (even my eyes are rolling!), and they already have their own opinions about sex because their friends, the TV, and the radio have already been talking to them about the subject for years now. Of course it's never too late but the later you wait to be open about sex the more honest you have to be so you're not a dork to them but so they know they can believe you. Being open and honest means you can't have a freak out reaction when they do share. When Lexi is talking about how a boy kisses or that she made out with a guy my stomach is rolling....... but she is honest and I know what she is up to and isn't that more important? So I say start young and be honest!! Be very very honest because they know if you are lying and they will remember when they are older what you have said in the past and if they can realize you lied then you have lost your credibility. We don't discuss how to do "it". I'm not goin there. But we talk about it, we talk about God, we talk about our faith. The lines of communication are open and we both know where each other stands. My friends? They have only ever discussed what sex is and told their kids to wait. Oh boy, they have some surprises waiting for them because their kids may never open up to them now.
I know several parents that think their kids don't do pot or have sex. They say, I'm so glad my kids don't do that and so and so is still a virgin thank goodness. Um, I want to say..... your kid hasn't been a virgin for 3 years now and she smokes pot too. The other thing is to not be one of those "not my sweet baby" parents. You know the kind of parent who would not welcome someone telling you about something your kids was doing and would instead get mad at the person telling them about it. That's how these parents are so I don't tell them and they go on blissfully thinking they are safe. I tell all my friends I want to know what they hear about my kids and that I would never get mad at them for telling me. We only know a couple of other couples who reciprocate that and we do share. I told one single dad about 4 years ago about his daughter sleeping around (in a nice and delicate way of course) and he got mad at me!! Well, all I have to say is that he is now a proud grandpa of a 3 year old.

So talk sex while they are young. When a racy commercial comes on discuss it. It's as easy as that. Tell them why you dislike those Victoria Secret commercials if you are like me and hate them. Love the undies, hate the commercials. So that is how I always start with my kids. We see something and we discuss it. I don't just walk up and say "Let's talk about sex.". Ugh, yuk. They don't want to have that conversation with me. But after years of being open and honest and proving myself honest ('cause she's checked with her friends) I have gained the respect of my teen and my almost 12 year old son and they both ask me questions and tell me what they are up to and thinking and what their friends are up to. If their friends parents were more open I would share what their kids were up to..... so I highly recommend talking about sex and being open. It's better than wondering what they are up to.

BTW, I spent years in a Southern Baptist Church School and most of those kids were doing it like crazy also. Being told not to do something doesn't stop kids from doing anything, much less sex. Putting them in a Christian environment also doesn't stop them from having sex. You gotta talk to them, just like everything else or somebody else will. Brandon's friends are Christian kids too and a good majority of them look at porn on the family computers. So I highly recommend parental programs for computers too. We had the cyber centennial and that was great. If any nude pictures come up it locks it up and diverts the computer away from the page. If any "naughty" words come up it prevents the page from being viewed. Plus, it captures the images, pages and words for you to see if the computer has captured anything. You log in with your password and the Cyber Centennial shows you what someone was trying to view or type. NICE. Great for keeping tabs on those hubbies too. Men. Eyes rolling. But that's another subject. I would like to encourage you to be open and honest. Being silent isn't going to keep them from learning about anything, they'll just get the world's point of view instead of yours. Start young discussing something you see or hear. It's really easy to begin and the rewards are great when they come to you about things most kids normally wouldn't.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Lexi

My sweet lamb Lexi turned 17 on Tuesday!! This isn't Lexi picutured above. I had a great idea. Being little Miss. Frugal... I decided to bake a cake instead of spending $23 at Publix to buy one. I had all my decorating stuff out and then it hit me as Lexi was asking what in the world she and the few friends she had coming over for a sleepover were going to do. I decided I would icing the cake and let them decorate it. Good idea huh? This is Whitney. She likes to decorate. What you can't see are the other teens gathered at the bar giving her ideas and such. I took some pics of them but apparantly Lexi didn't like how she looked in them and deleted them. Argh.

This is Lexi, Braxton and Brandon all blowing out the candles with our finished cake. Oops it's a little lopsided in the back. Didn't see that before. You know what though, I don't care. We made it together and it was fun and inexpensive and that's what counts. Braxton wanted in on the action and doesn't he look excited?
Yesterday I attended the online conference A Woman Inspired. I really enjoyed listening to Mrs. Fussypants and Melissa from The Inspired Room talk about themselves, their faith, and their blogs. I really really enjoyed it. I highly recommend this conference. Today is the last day to attend. At 11am Eastern Standard Time Lysa TerKeurst is speaking and I can't wait to hear her. I love Proverbs 31 ministries and their daily devotionals. Real lifesavers for me. Hubby and I were laughing over yesterday's devotional. It was a hoot because it was the opposite of our life together.... which was a good thing if you didn't read it. Anyhoo, it's Spring Break here so I have all 4 kids with me all week. So far so good. Nobody is dead. The two middle ones are chasing Braxton around as I type. I was just in my bedroom and I saw a diaper I had recently changed laying on my bedside table. Oh, I thought.... I'm 39 and I am still in diapers. Well, I'm not in the diapers but Braxton is. He holds no interest in the potty either. He's going to be a tough one to get on the potty. We have a book called "Everyone Poops" (We also have "Everyone Farts") and the book series is hysterical. He loves Everyone Poops and he understands you are supposed to poop on the potty and tinkle in it or as I like to say "tinky winky" in the potty. But no way Jose is he getting on it. He likes to throw his toys in it. Oh well. So I think after Spring Break I will have some good stuff to post about. Is anybody else home with their kids going koo koo?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Late Night for Jenn

It's midnight. I should be sleeping, but I can't. Just gave up on a Majong puzzle... I'll beat it another night. Big decisions to make......

We've had a guest for about 8 days now. Hubby's cousin. He is a painter and so very thankfully hubby got a call to do 3 jobs around Atlanta for insurance damages. All 3 involved paint. Work has dried up in where they live and paying the bills is no longer an option. It just can't be done anymore..... their family is in BIG trouble. But not really. Painter guy is also a leader in his church and he does mission trips all over the world. Last June he preached to over ten thousand people in Haiti. He is way big on God and loves to tell people all about it. He is calm as a cucumber about his circumstances. Man.... that's some big faith. It took me almost two years to learn how to do that. Now that is some walking by faith. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But really the work there is all gone. There are thousands of foreclosures around them and even the rich people aren't painting anymore. So he was talking to hubby and hubby says...... come stay with me for a week and do these 3 jobs. He would make enough to pay a mortgage payment. Plus he's painting my garage for me for free. Can I say how happy it makes me for my hubby to be able to do that for somebody? Because every single time I prayed for the last year for hubby's remodeling business to grow I prayed that the Lord would bless him to be a blessing to others. At first I always prayed for provision for our family but then I realized my error. Why should I pray for just us to be provided for? I prayed for God to bless him so that he couldn't do all the work himself anymore and he had to hire people. We now employ 4 men. Starting in October he had to start hiring!!! Thank you Father!! It means so much to us both. So many people in this job field are hurting so bad...... the fact that the Lord has provided for us and then gave us the additional blessing of being able to employ people and give them a paycheck to provide for their families is really just too good to be true. So now he gets to do it for family, a double blessing.

The decision? Cousin goes back on Thursday but has no work to go back to. The men have been talking and they think it would be best to have them just go ahead and move up and live with us until their house sells. The money he earns here would be used to pay for his home in Fl. I am sure they would help out with expenses here but..... they have four kids too. A two year old and three teenagers. So it would be four adults and eight kids up here not to mention my parents in the basement apartment. Where would we put them? Where would all the kids go? Would all of the noise stress out my mom and hamper her recovery? Oh Lord my Dad would go ballistic. What if we don't get along? I have never met the wife and kids. Who decides what's on the TV? What if the teen girls fight? How do you cook for twelve people on a four burner stove? How do you buy groceries? Do I cook a meal first for my family and then she for hers? Or visa versa. I am on a strict budget..... I can't afford to meal share I think. Who cleans what? What if they don't clean? What if they clean everything and I feel like a guilty bum? Where would we park all of our cars? Four in the driveway already, homeowner association has a new president that is a real donkey's booty. Can't park in the grass, neighbors would not tolerate it and report me to the association. We already play musical cars every morning!!! What if this turns out to be a wonderful experience and we cry like babies when they leave? What if this is God providing for a fine man of the Lord and his family and He is using us to do it and I am being dumb? Hubby wants my permission to say yes. I'm like..... shouldn't we discuss this first? All of us. So I am up contemplating and in typing this I just realized what a dummy I am..... Duh, Jen, why don't you just pray about it and ask for guidance and clarity. Duh duh duh. Okay, I'm off to pray now. Silly me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It Snowed This Morning!!!!!!!!!!!!

I about fell over at 6:30 this morning when I walked by my front door and saw this!!


My pool cover has it's own little pool going on top of it now.....

The kids are snowball fighting as I type.. Lots more snow on the side of the house. We were told to expect flurries so this was a real surprise!
Fun fun fun. Is it snowing at any of your houses today?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring Cleaning Day

Mrs. H at is having a Spring Cleaning party of sorts. I have been telling myself lately that I need to do something with this monstrocity. I haven't cleaned it out since Braxy was born in Nov of 07. Pretty bad........ So she asked her readers to join her in some Spring Cleaning and I thought I'd join in.
Who could find anything in this mess? This closet backs up to an angled wall and we built this house our very selves to I guess you can tell by the unfinsihed wood panels that we were tired at the end of building & just nailed those bad boys in, ha ha.

Ahhh, much better!! I am embarrassed to admit that it only took 15 minutes to clean it out. Why didn't I do that before??? I pulled the games and junk out of the bottom and placed this tub of videos in there. Now Braxton has a place to come and find new videos to watch and they aren't scattered all over my house. I pulled the extra bed spreads out and placed them on the top shelves of the bedroom closets for the bedrooms they would be placed in. That immediately freed up a ton of space and gave me an extra shelf to use. I have been wanting a shelf in there for my crafty stuff. Now I have it. Thank you Mrs. H. I kept the extra sheets and pillow cases on the bottom shelf. Towels and hand towels are up above. I got a load of towels going in the washer right now. That puppy will be full in about an hour. The shelves are very deep so I can go double stacks back to back. The shelf above that is for table cloths, table runners, fabric, etc.

I'm no Martha Stewart...... I just can't fold sheets with precision. Life's too short. I like the tub in here. It was in Brandon's closet before and he didn't want it in there anymore so it has been sitting in limbo for a week in my sunroom. How much of a mess can Braxy make in this little spot?

Ah, my very own shelf. I feel like I just won a prize. :)