My beautiful Family

My beautiful Family

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's been a while...quick update

Wow, it has been a while since I posted on here, things have been a bit crazy, we have had so much going on.  It might be a while between posts until after Christmas and things settle down in my house.  I guess it is time to catch everyone up on what has been going on.

Our ladies in our ministry have really been stepping up and helping me with everything I have had going on, they have sorted clothes for our homeless outreach (some not so appealing, long story and I was sworn to secrecy), and had a lot of fun in the process.  We sorted through so many clothes that it started to turn some people (who shall remain nameless) a little crazy

video

  


Just me and my girls, having some serious fun.


That was before our canned food and toy drive.  The ladies of our ministry stepped up and combined with a few teenagers (and some of my kids) and spent two days in the cold collecting canned food, unwrapped toys and any donations for our Angel Tree party that people wanted to give.  All in all we did great!  We raised $300 in cash, two tables full of canned food and about 20 toys for our kids that we adopt.  If anyone would like to donate or learn more about Angel Tree check it out.







We had such a great time collecting things and I am so proud of what we were able to accomplish!  While at Walmart we had a guy walk by that we stopped and told him what we were doing, and he went into Walmart and when he came back out, he stopped by us and unloaded 6 bags, 3 of name brand toys (Disney Barbies and Hot Wheels) and 3 of name brand canned food items (Del Monte green beans, corn, Ocean Spray cranberry sauce) and put the cart away, he didn't have anything for himself.  That was the greatest experience out there.

This weekend we did a homeless outreach at Unity Park in Ft. Worth, this was our second time out there in a month.  We combined with Shilo Cowboy Church, Victory Family Church and Venus Key Club.  We went for the first time and had such a great experience that we had to come back again.  There are so many pics that it would take forever to post them all on here.  They are all on our ministry page www.facebook.com/noturningbackministry

Like I said so much has been going on and so much is getting ready to take place with our Angel Tree party, Christmas on the Square and all of our other Christmas things that are going on that I will try to post as often as I can.  Just thought I would pop in for a quick post!  Thanks everyone for getting me to 427 reads!!  You guys know you can follow me too right?  Can sign up using facebook to make it easier, I like having followers :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My friend Dan Dugan

We just got a call today about a good friend of ours who had suddenly passed away.  We are still in shock, not quite sure about anything because all we know is that he passed away on Monday at his daughters house.  I am just glad he was at his daughters house, he loved his daughter so much.  I have never met her, but I feel like I know her.  My girls are going to miss him, they called him Uncle Dan, he always chewed on Ella's neck (she loved him so much), he brought suckers and tootsie rolls for Sierra, (she looks for him every week, she even likes to pretend that she doesn't like him just so he will chase her down and love on her).

Dan had such a gentle spirit about him, anytime you would ask him what was going on, he would always without fail say "Jesus!  Jesus is what is going on, do you know Jesus?"  There is no doubt in my mind that Dan is in glory with Jesus laughing and singing one of his many songs that he wrote for Him.  It just isn't going to be the same without him, it never is.  He was always the first to pray with or for someone, was never ashamed to lay hands on someone wherever he was at at the time.  I never heard him say anything negative about anyone ever.  He always had a smile and was one of the most postive persons I have ever known in my life.  He loved everyone, and he loved Jesus like none other. 

We met Dan about a year ago or so, we were doing a commercial on a local radio station and he heard it and came to check us out...and never left.  He became a permanent fixture at our support group and signed up for just about everything we had.  He had his own ministry, he published books with his amazing testimony in it, he had a couple of CDs out, and was huge on personal healing. 

I remember the last conversation I had with Dan.  I was telling him about my grandpa, that I was sad because he wasn't doing very well when I left him in San Antonio.  I told him that I know that he was ready to go, but I was selfish and I wanted to keep him for myself.  Dan told me that if he is ready to go, let him go.  I will see him again, and when God is ready to take him, or me or anyone, He is going to take them.  He gave me a big ol' Dan hug and said he would see me next week.  I sure will miss that old man.  I know that he is in a much better place, but I am selfish, I wasn't ready for him to go, I still had more of his stories to hear (even though he told the same ones quite often, mostly about his daughter and how much Ella looked and acted like her), more of his songs to listen to and learn, more ministry work to do with him, but I guess God decided he was ready for him, and so he did.


Dan, I sure will miss you and your great big smile.  I'm making mince meat pies for you next week, was already going to make them for Tuesday, but now I am dedicating them to you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christ For the Nations

Tonight we took our youth group to Christ For the Nations.  It was awesome!!  For those of you who don't know, Christ For the Nations is a bible college in Dallas.  They offer something called Tuesday Night Experience, they open the college for anyone who wants to come and listen to amazing worship music (a lot of the music graduates end up with awesome music careers in the Christian music industry), and awesome guest speakers who always give such a new look on things.

Tonight the guest speaker was from San Antonio, his name was Warren Beamer.  He had long hair, was originally from Lousiana, and was cracking jokes.  It was so nice to hear him talk about Jesus like he was his best friend. He was telling us about Luke 14:11, the story of the 10 lepers. Anyone who doesn't know this story, here is my paraphrase of the story.  Jesus is on the road and comes upon 10 men with leperacy.  They see Jesus and ask him to heal their leperacy, and He does, when He heals them He tells them to go tell the priest that they have been healed, so they run off to tell the priest, and one turns back and goes to Jesus and drops to the ground and hugs Jesus' feet and thanks him for healing him.  Jesus asks him "weren't there 10 of you?  Where did the other 9 go? Your faith has healed you."  And the man with leperacy goes and is completely healed.

Pastor Warren was explaining what the process of looking for leperacy was, how the doctors were more concerned with a small spot than someone who had a large spot becuase the large spot was the effect of your body fighting off the infection, and the person with the large spot knew that they were infected, they were very concerned with the person with the smallest spot because on the inside it was huge.  The same way that sin is in our lives, the person with the small sin doesn't think that they really need any help because it is something small, and they don't realize that there is anything festering inside their soul, and the person who is the addict, the prostitute, the alcoholic who sees that they have a problem that is huge realizes that they need the help.  It really hit home with a lot of the kids in our group who have come from homes with people who have the huge sin and realize they need the help.  He went on to explain that Jesus stopped what he was doing to heal 10 lepers.  If he would stop what he is doing to heal 10 people who have leperacy, why wouldn't he stop to help you?

I wish I could remember everything that was said, and if I can find the video online I will post it because it was an awesome message that hit home with a lot of our youth, and with some of the adults that went with us as well.  Hopefully some people took some of this home with them and will really put some thought into what was being said and how it effects their lives in a major way.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What a beautiful day!!!

Today was just an absolutely beautiful day!  It was georgeous outside, the sun was shining, the pancakes were flowing and the bees were buzzing.  Let me back up and explain. 

This morning, we took the family to Spiral Diner in Ft. Worth. 

For those of you who don't know, it is a vegan restaurant, the food is pricy, but it is worth it because it is GOOD.  Everything they serve is organic, most is local grown and everything is vegan.  We don't go there often because it is like an hour drive from us, and like I said it is kinda pricy when you are a family of our size.  But today we decided to splurge, every Sunday they do all you can eat pancakes for $5.95, so we hopped in the car this morning and headed to Ft. Worth.  When we got there the line took forever, but after about 45 minutes of waiting, we finally got to sit down (same table we always seem to get...hmmm.  Seeing as we went to have pancakes, that would be what you would think we would order right?  Nope, Sierra and Ella got the pancakes, Tae got broccoli and tofu, Jimmy got a nut burger, Haley got a portabello patty melt burget and I got a portabello burger.  So good!!!  Just not enough of it, but it wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be.  So since we were already it Ft. Worth we decided that since it was such a beautiful day, that we would go to the Botanical Gardens, after all they were only like 5 minutes away, and it is much better than being cooped up in the house.

So we piled into the car and headed to the Botanical Gardens.  It was a great choice.  The fall colors were absolutely breathtaking.


Breathtakingly beautiful


Have you ever seen an evergreen tree not be green???


Sierra had to pose for this one, she picked which flower she wanted to smell in the picture

 

Ella wanted to smell the purple one because it was my favorite color.


Trying to get some good pics of the girls


I snuck this one when Haly wasn't looking


Sierra took a family picture, not bad for a 4 year old

After the Botanical Gardens we went to Coldstone Creamery and got some ice cream and then came home.  All in all today was a great day, no one took any phone calls (our phones were dead most of the day thanks to the newest iPhone update, and I am curerntly downloading what is supposed to fix it, hopefully it will because my battery is dying like crazy and I know I am not using it THAT much), and we just had a great family day.  Sometimes that is so needed, we get so busy in our day to day lives with work, ministry, school, housework that we forget how important it is to work on our family life.  Without our family life, nothing else matters.  It needs attention too, and I am so glad that we did that, it was needed.  So now the kids are in bed, Jimmy is on the computer in the office, I am finishing this up and then, I just might watch a scary movie (since all of my tv shows were reruns last week :( so I don't need to catch up on them) all by myself and pig out on some veggie straws (sooo good get them if you can find them).  Night all, see you soon!

Monday, November 7, 2011

When I grow up I wanna be...

This question has haunted me my whole life.  What do I want to be when I grow up?  I am 30 years old and I still haven't figured it out yet. 

Since I was old enough to talk I said I wanted to be a singer.  I still do, but I am to afraid to really go anywhere with it because I desperatly want to be good and I am horribly afraid that someone is going to tell me that I am not very good at it (yes I have been told my whole life that I am good at it and I still get told, but some of those people on American Idol were told they were good their whole lives too.  And no I am not fishing for compliments, just being honest).  I think if anyone were to tell me that I sucked at singing, I would curl up into a ball and die...seriously, I am overly sensitive to this issue, ask anyone that really really knows me, I really am.

When I was about 7 or so I learned how to crochet, nothing fancy, just chains and a blanket (nothing big enough to use because, come on, I was 7 and had no attention span), but within the last few years I picked it back up again.  Nothing to big or fancy, my attention span hasn't gotten much better over the years, but enough that I can make hats (with a very detailed pattern), blankets, scarfs, and that is about it so far, there are a lot of things I would love to make, but haven't had the time, or the right colors to make them, and if I make them in the wrong color it ruins the entire thing.  I love crocheting things, I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to that though, I will start something and undo it about a million times, no matter how far into it I am if I look and realize that I have done 75 rows and in the 3rd row, I added a stitch and it doesn't look right anymore, I will undo all 72 rows to redo that 3rd row just to make it perfect.  So that being said,  full length blanket can take me quite a while to make, so I tend to stick to small things.  I would love to be able to sell them and make a little play money, and I sold a few, but all it really covered was the cost of the yarn and the shipping, but I am not discouraged.

I love to write, I have always written things, when I was about 12 I started writing poetry.  I love reading, so for me writing was a natural thing, I love trying different writing styles, but none of them are me.  I have "written" many books that were a whole 7 pages of the same thing and way more detail than any book could ever need (I mean seriously, come on, now many ways can you say she was wearing a blue dress?), and no matter what kind of "book" I was writing, they all started, "It was a dark and stormy night..." yes I know worst opening ever.  The characters were always the same and the same thing always happened.  By the time I got a few pages into it, I was drawing a blank, and the whole creative writing process started.  As for my poetry, I wrote about 12 or 15 and that was about it, it helped me through a lot of heartbreak during middle and high school, and I had one published in a book that you could only read if you bought it through this one website, but it was published and I felt I had accomplished something when I was 14.

Drawing would be so cool!  I would love to draw some beautiful pictures, but I totally lack that skill.  I took ceramics in high school...we will just say that ceramics and art are not my strong points.  My stick figures laugh at me and even another blog I read would laugh so hard at my pics and she prides herself on her crappy pictures.

Being a massage therapist would be really cool too.  You get to make your own hours, make good money and you are helping people de-stress.  It would also be cool to be a CSI!  That would rock! 

I know that some of my ideas are out there, and some are pretty realistic, luckily I still have a lot of time to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friendships

Today's blog started out being about what we did today, but I think I am going to post about that tomorrow when I have all the pics uploaded, because it just won't be the same without all the awesome pics.  Instead this post is going to be about friendships.  The reason I changed it last minute is because something just came to me (one of those moments I talked about yesterday that usually comes during the day when I am away from my computer, or when I am falling asleep).

I have a lot of friends, some are close, some are not, some are best friends and some are more like family.  When I moved from Texas to California when I was 11 it was really hard on me.  I was leaving my entire life behind, all my lifelong friends.  Everyone told me I would make new ones, but it would never be the same as the ones I was leaving behind.  Everyone told me I could keep in touch with my old ones, but with time came the new friends, still not as good as the old ones, but they kept me busy enough that the letters and phone calls to the old ones (one in particular) became further and further between and to this day I don't remember who was the last one to call or write to one another.  It is a little easier now with Facebook and email and texting and things like that, but things will never be the way they were when we were 11 (and thanks to Facebook we are talking again, and we even see each other in person on occasion).  I don't expect things to be the same, almost 20 years of growing up has happened since then, but it is still great to catch up, look at old (really old) pictures of us when we were 2 playing in the snow, and old dance pictures and watching our kids play now who are the age we were is just to cool (to bad we never went to University of Texas in Austin together and became dorm buddies while I majored in music, but I think our lives turned out great anyway, God had a better plan for us, I just regret all the years we missed out on).

Once I moved to California, I found it really hard to make friends, I had this "stigma" attached to me, it was called "I'm from Texas, and apparently I talk different than all of ya'll so let's make fun of me" anyone else have this one or one like it that followed you?  Well I did and I didn't like it.  I made a few friends and soon by high school I had the biggest and best group of best friends anyone could ever have.  Still to this day I love each and every one of them, they became family, my mom was their mom, their mom was my mom, we did EVERYTHING together, we were inseperable.  I hope that when all of my kids grow up that they will have a group like mine, even though they will never be as cool as we were, but they can sure try. 

Then, it happened again, my senior year.  Time to move again.  Military life really stinks when you are 17.  I once again had to leave all of my friends, my best friends, my family of friends.  My world came crashing down around me once again.  My saving grace...one of my best friends had moved to the same place the year before me.  I had one, just one friend, and that was all I needed.  By then we had email and AOL, but it was dial-up and it just sucked.  Nothing like what we have now, if we had then what we have now, our friendships would have never changed.  We could have facetimed all the time and had sleepovers online and all kinds of stuff (the ideas are endless!!!), but we couldn't.  And by the time all of this stuff came about, 8 years had passed, we had gotten married, had kids, gotten divorced (some of us), gotten remarried.  A lot of actual growing up had happened.  And a lot of growing apart had happened too.  The closeness that was there before, just wasn't there anymore, try as we might, it just wasn't.  I still to this day love them all dearly and wish things could be back the way they used to be, back when we all lived in the same area, went to the same school, but we can't.

I now have new friends again, some are close, some are new, and some are like family that I don't know what I would do without. My friendships with my new friends are different than my old friendships were.  I wish I could combine the two, but that isn't going to happen and I know this.  Sometimes moving on from friendships is really hard, sometimes you feel like your heart is going to rip out of your chest because leaving your old friends behind hurts so bad, even though you know that there are going to be new friends just around the corner, it doesn't make it any easier, if anything it makes it harder because you know that eventually, you are going to love them dearly, and they are going to go and you have to do it all over again.

So here is the question I give to you.  What do you do?  Continue forward, push on and hope that these new friends never leave you, stop making friends all together?  Break all ties with friends when you notice that things are starting to frey between you because of work, family, ministry, or life is just getting in the way? Or just keep moving forward, acting like nothing is wrong and hope they find their way back, technology is an awesome thing after all.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Creative process...or not

I don't know what the deal is, all day long I can come up with the most amazing things that I want to write about when I get home, I finally get everything at home done and sit down at the computer, and immediately draw the biggest blank.  Sometimes I just stare at the blinking curser and imagine it is laughing at me and slowly sucking the imagination, interestingness (is that even a word?  Well it is now) and intelligence (previous word is the perfect example of this one) from my mind.  I sit, I stare, I start typing, I stop, I eat a Veggie Straw (OMG SO YUMMY!!!! They are these chip things made from veggies and they are so flipping good I have almost eaten the entire bag myself and it is a costco bag, I know I am so going to be sick and gain a good 50lbs off of them but they are good and they are veggies so they can't be bad for me...right???), I start typing again, stop, eat another handfull of Veggie Straws, drink some water, check the time on my phone, type some more.  Contimplate quitting blogging, remind myself that I now have 260 page views (oh yeah I rock!), draw another blank because of the pressure I am putting on myself, remind myself that 260 is not that many but still pat myself on the back for it.  Type some more, try to think of what it is I really want to write for the night and end up not coming up with what I thought of earlier in the day.

Eventually I will get the whole blogging process down to an art, I will keep a notepad and pen with me at all times so that I can quickly write down my ideas (because typing it into my iphone won't work that well, I am way more creative on pen and paper than a phone or keyboard), and I will be all organized and type an interestingly put together blog that will blow everyone away, it will happen...one day.  But for now, this is me, this is how my mind works, I have 6 kids, 2 businesses, a ministry, 4 dogs and a husband, my mind is frazzled and doesn't come together the way I would like, but it comes together the way it is supposed to, and I guess I will take it the way it is, I don't really have any other choice.  For now, my writing will be choppy, it will be unorganized, written the way my mind is, someday I plan to be organized, just not today.  So welcome to my mind, and my creative process...or not

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sister wives???



So for a while I have heard people talk about this show online on their facebook pages and things like that, but I don't have cable and TLC doesn't do full episodes online, besides I am to busy catching up on the good shows like Modern Family, Hoarders, Body of Proof and when it is on Beyond Scared Straight on abc.com and a&e.com so I hadn't had a chance to watch it.  Lo and behold, turn on Netflix today, and there it is, I don't know how many episodes are up, usually it is just the first )season of something like that, but I will figure it out as we go along.  So the girls and I watched the first episode totally disgusted.  What is wrong with these people??  Why would they want to allow thier husband to marry another woman, and sleep with her?!  Have children with her, watch them kiss each other?!  Quickly our opinions have been made, and our comments fly out of our mouths.  Nothing can change our minds, we sit there and watch this guy who has 3 wives decide to bring a fourth wife into his home!!  He already has 12 children and 3 wives, what the heck does he need with a fourth one?!  He has been married to the first three for 20 years, 17 years and 16 years.  And now he decides he needs to get with a 30 year old with 3 children of her own?!  I am beside myself as these women sit and talk about how this is the lifestyle they have chosen, they love their lives and wouldn't have it any other way, but then a couple of episodes later (yes we watched 4, don't judge us) the 3 wives are in tears about bringing another wife into their house.  I sat and watched these 3 ladies be heartbroken because they felt that they weren't enough for their husband of 16+ years.  How sad is it that these poor ladies have given everything for him and this lifestyle to just have him decide on a whim that he wants to take another wife on and they just have to accept it. 

I just don't understand how anyone can watch this and think that this lifestyle is ok and not harmful to anyone involved.  The newest wife was talking to one of the older girls and she asked her "so when you get older, will you life a polygamist lifestyle?"  To which the daughter replied "um...no.  I am sorry I love my life and wouldn't have it any other way, I love my dad and my 3 moms, but my husband will be for me and me alone."  The new wife chuckled uncomfortably and said "but then you don't get great new moms like me" and the daughter just laughed.  What is it doing to these kids? Teaching them that there is one person for a girl, but multiple for a guy?  That it is ok for a guy to basically cheat on his wife as long as he marries her too?  That the girl must be faithful to him and him alone, but that doesn't count for him?  Since when is that ok? 

This show has become my car wreck, you can't believe you are sitting there watching it, but you can't not look at it.  You are drawn to it in some sick twisted way, you want to know more about it, but not admit that you are curious about how they live, what in their minds makes it ok that they are like this.  Don't get me wrong, he seems to truly love all of his wives, and he is great to everyone (kids and wives that I can tell in 4 episodes), and for some people this is the lifestyle they have chosen, but that is so not for me in any way shape or form.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I have arrived...

Ok at least in my opinion I have.  Today when I logged into my blog for the first time since I posted last week I think it was (sorry guys I went to San Antonio for a week to spend some quality time with my family, my grandpa who is on hospice, my grandma who isn't doing very well, my mom who does way to much and my brother who is developing himself into someone I am quickly becoming so very proud of, yes Jesse I mean you) and when I logged in I had...252 page views!!!!!  I about jumped out of my seat...and would have if it wasn't 11:30 at night and the whole house was asleep, and I even had my very first comment!!  (thanks MB <3)  It took me a minute to come back to earth with my big head, but I have calmed down some...not a lot but some, enough to post on here.

So on to the topic at hand...a lot has happened since I last posted, I went to San Antonio for 5 days, just me and the babies.  The first time Jimmy and I have been apart for more than 2 days since we got together 7 years ago.  It was almost like he was there with me seeing as we talked a lot and send videos of the girls and texted, but everyone survived (he was left with Haley and Taylor since they had school).  I came home expecting my house to be a disaster (since I am the one that does the cleaning around here), and unrecognizable but instead I came home to dinner (turkey roast, biscuits, gravy, and french fries) and a clean house (most of it and I won't complain).  I think I might just have to go out of town by myself more often!  Jimmy says this was a test run, but has since changed his mind, he won't leave my side for more than 10 minutes, tells me he loves me quite often, I think I am going to enjoy this bit of pampering while it lasts, I have since gone back to being the only one who cleans, but I think I will find a way around that here very soon...*tee hee hee*

Last night we went trick or treating with the girls (Haley went with Key Club trick or treating for Unicef) around his mom's neighborhood, and

  Sierra wanted to be a princess, so she was Princess and the Frog

 Ella was a cheerleader

And Buffy was a puppy princess


Taylor and I were 50's girls with poodle skirts (nope, no pics) and we had a blast.  Sierra was going to houses saying "trick my tree!!!" but wouldn't say thank you to them because she didn't know them so she couldn't talk to them (great thinking for a 4 year old, totally made since to her)

So now that Halloween is over, it is time to start working on our Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff, Thanksgiving baskets for our support group and Angel Tree party (we are adopting 100 kids in our county and providing Christmas presents from their incarcerated parent, also we provide Christmas dinner for the family as well).  We have canned good drives, bake sales, fundraisers, Christmas plays...talk about overwhelming, so glad I got my mini-vacation out of the way.  I have so much more I would like to post, but Tuesdays are pretty draining, so I will try to post all that is on my mind tomorrow, just wanted to check in, let ya'll know I am still alive and kickin' and that I have arrived!!!