Thursday, September 30, 2010

31 Days of Prayer for Our Children

About a month ago I was picking up things in my bedroom when I found a piece of paper on the floor. I picked it up and it was titled "Parents Prayer Program" Written by Bob Hostetler. I'm not really sure where I got this, I think maybe a Women's retreat that I was at in the past. I'm also not really sure how it ended up in the middle of my bedroom floor. I put it on the bottom shelf of our night stand and continued to keep cleaning.

A couple weeks later, I once again found it lying in the middle of my bedroom floor. I picked it up again and thought to myself, "I think God wants me to use this."

This time I brought it downstairs in the kitchen, to file with all my other papers. You know, the big pile that accumulates. You all have one, don't you? I must admit, I have about 6 of them. As I looked over it, I thought, "Wow, wouldn't this be a great thing for me to share on my blog and we can all be praying for our children together!"

For the month of October, each day I will be posting a small prayer from this guide to help you pray specifically and purposely for your children. So please come back each day and pray with me. If you don't have children, then pray for the children in your church, nieces, nephews, or any children God calls to your mind.

I look forward to praying for our children with you all.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Someone I Want You to Meet.......

I want to share with you someone that I have grown closer to in the last couple years. She is a cousin, a friend, and a sister in Christ. My cousin Carrie is quite a bit younger than me and for that reason, growing up we were never all that close. She was someone I would babysit from time to time and someone I saw at family functions. I remember going to her house a lot for lunch when I worked at a place close to my aunt and uncle's house. Since her mom likes to talk, her sisters like to talk, and I like to talk.....Carrie didn't get too many words in. Now that I know Carrie better, it's because she is more of a listener. Something I wish I was better at and that I love about her.

A couple years ago, I had the privilege of participating in a Bible study with some women from my church. One of those women was Carrie. If you want to get to know a woman better, get involved in a small group Bible Study with them. You often learn their weaknesses, their strengths, and you generally trust these women with your deepest thoughts, desires and pains. They tend to do the same. This is how I really got to know what a beautiful person my cousin is.

During this time she went through a very great trial in her life and the rest of us were there to listen, encourage her through God's word and pray with her. To make a long story short, it was a trial with her job. She didn't know what she was going to do and she truly sought God's will through it all. She stepped out of her box in an amazing way and followed where God led her.

Carrie is now a Missionary in the Dominican Republic. She moved there last January to teach English in a school there. The plan is to be there 18 months but she has now taken on new responsibilities that could keep her there longer. When she was home for a month this summer, I had the pleasure of being able to see her a few times and spend time with her. Can I just say, she is amazing! She truly has a heart for the Lord!

When she went back, she had made the decision to move into the poor section of town to live by the people she taught. This is just amazing to me, because she made the choice to give up hot water! Yes, that's right, cold showers! I would have a really hard time giving that up. Not that she didn't have a hard time, but she DID give it up.

Also, when she got back she shared her testimony on her blog about her first 6 months. It was beautiful and had me in tears. I ask that you pray for her and if you feel led, send her an email and let her know. She is far away from home and her family and would love the encouragement.

May you be as blessed by her story as I have been by knowing her.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Multitude Monday

It has been a long time since I posted my gratitude list. I looked back and noticed my last post was on June 21! Part of the reason is I got busy, then we were spending a lot of time just relaxing as a family by the pool this summer, and lastly my gratitude journal got buried on my desk. I pulled it out today and found 8 items that I had written back in June so I will share those along with things I can think of that I have been grateful for this summer and through today. Although my pen wasn't writing these items down this summer, my heart and my mind have been grateful the past few months to the God who has blessed myself and my family tremendously.

400~ Clematis

401~ kids giggling as we run through the rain

402~ clerk at Walgreens Pharmacy drive-thru that was very helpful.

403~ 6 years for my triplets

404~ 37 years for my husband

405~ corn on the cob

406~ birthday cake

407~ grilled burgers (especially if they have bacon on them!)

408~ lazy days by the pool

409~ my raft

410~ hot sun

411~ sun-kissed skin

412~ my lounge chair

413~ my back patio

414~ 5 years for Isaac

415~ friends.....old and new

416~ school days

417~ our camper

418~ campfires

419~ smores

420~ great conversations with friends and family that are had by a campfire and lots of laughter!

421~ family hike

422~ day at the beach

423~ beautiful views at the beach

424~ and beautiful views while hiking

425~ seeing the first trees change color

426~ Mums

Our family had a great summer and great beginning to the fall season, my list could continue even further but God knows the thankfulness in my heart for the items not listed.

Do you want to have a thankful heart? Join the Gratitude Community and start your own list.

holy experience

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Girls Weekend

This past weekend I was able to spend a night away with 13 other women from my church. We got a hotel, went out for dinner, played games, laughed til it hurt, got a little sleep and then woke up to attend a Living Proof Event with Beth Moore and Travis Cottrell. It was a weekend of fun and a weekend of growing together in Christ and worshipping our Lord.

The music was unbelievable! I don't really know how to describe it. When you are in a building with that many women, singing praises to our King......there is no other way to describe it!

Beth Moore spoke on The Law of Kindness. "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31:26

She gave us 8 tastes of kindness.
1 ~ Kindness is not a weakness.
2 ~ Kindness is not an action, it's a disposition.
3 ~ Kindness wears down when we do.
4 ~ Kindness looks pain in the face.
5 ~ Kindness is a Savior.
6 ~ Kindness has a good memory.
7 ~ Kindness craves an outlet.
8 ~ Kindness leaves a legacy.

There were a few things that she spoke about that really hit me.

First was that Kindness is not the same as being Nice. Kindness reflects the heart and is empowered by the Spirit. We can't fake kindness, it comes from the Holy Spirit.

Kindness can speak a strong word. Psalm 141:5 says kindness rebukes.

Point number 5 - Kindness is a Savior. In Ephesians 2:4-10 it speaks of that kindness. He shows "immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." Is this something you think about daily? We don't deserve His kindness, yet He gave it to us in the form of His Son! Yet how do I treat others, many times I only treat them with kindness when I think they deserve it. That's not what God did, but many times that's what I do. Something I need to be reminded of daily!

Lastly, I want to leave a legacy of kindness. I want others to see that in me because I want them to know that I know Christ!

If you want to see more of what went on that day, you can check out a short video on Beth Moore's website.

I also want to share with you something that she had each of us say to the woman next to us at the end of the day and today I say it to you, my sisters in Christ. I found this on her blog.

My Dear Sister,

Your God has called you
To use that mouth of yours
For His great glory.
Don’t just add to the noise.
Become a real woman
Who opens her mouth with wisdom.
God wants the Law of Kindness
On your tongue
And the love of Christ
In your heart.
Never forget:
Kindness is not a weakness!
When you’re wearing down
Head to Christ and His people
And let them build you back up.
Always remember:
His yoke is KIND.
Make sure
It’s the only yoke you wear.
It’s time to go our separate ways
But we’ll all meet up again
At the glorious epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Until then,
Let the One who led you here
Lead you on with cords of kindness.
Now, get out there
And build a welcoming fire
In a cold world.
Live by the Law of Kindness!

Love you all!!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

All My Free Time

Lately people have been asking me, "So, what do you do with yourself now that you have free time?"

My answer, "I'm still waiting on that free time."

Between going away a couple weekends and having to pack for that, my days have been jam packed! I barely have time to keep up with the housework and the laundry!

Every single day in the month of September has something on it.

The boys are both on different soccer teams this year so we have 2 different practice days and then games on Saturdays.

We have AWANA on Wednesday night. The older three are in Sparks this year and Isaac is still a Cubbie. What does this mean? Different verses to memorize. But they love it and they are actually learning double the verses because they end up learning the other kid's verses too and I'm also memorizing lots of scripture myself. I'm also helping lead a Sparks group.

I've also been really busy selling insurance, which I'm very thankful for all the calls lately and all the sales!

I have my last 2 days of grand jury next week. I was done with my 18 month term last May, but they extended us for 4 months to finish up a couple cases. Next week I go to finish up those cases. I will be glad to see all my jury duty friends, but am also glad I will officially be done.

We've had eye appointments, MOPS is starting up again, once a month I volunteer at the thrift store that benefits our school, I have carpool, dentist and hair appointments coming up, and I'm Room Parent for Isaac's class.

And the list goes on........

As you can see, I am filling my free time just fine and could probably use a little more. October's calendar is looking a little better but I'm sure it will fill up fast. Although, I will be another year older in October so I might need to start taking naps!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

I am finally getting to posting about our Labor Day camping trip. It's been crazy around here this month and my next post will probably be about all that's been going on. Just a million things added on top of each other.

Labor Day weekend we went on a camping trip to Indiana Dunes with some friends of ours, my cousin, and my aunt and uncle. This group goes together every year and this is the second year that we have joined them. We have a lot of fun with them and there are kids everywhere. All the kids play so well together, you hardly see them at all.

It was a nice cool weekend but got warmer during the day so we could spend time at the beach at least one day.

We took a family hike, which led us too the beach and running down a big sand dune.

 Our hike back led us up a lot of stairs and down a lot of stairs.

But when we got to the top there was this beautiful view! If you look closely you can see the city of Chicago. No one really thought all the stairs was worth the view but me.

All the kids love craft time!

And my aunt has started the annual tradition of donut making which the kids really look forward too! I have to admit, I look forward to it too!

My favorite part of camping though is a cool night around the campfire with a lot of laughs and great conversations! Camping is a lot of work and you are filthy but a great campfire makes it all worthwhile! And it's always great to see your kids having tons of fun!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Weekend Away

A couple weekends ago Brad and I were fortunate enough to get away and celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary!
We spent 2 nights in Chicago while Brad's parents took the kids for 2 fun filled nights! At least the kids have fun, not so sure how much fun it is for Grandpa and Grandma :)

Friday night we walked around for awhile and then settled on eating some delicious pizza.

On Saturday, I was treated to a facial (thanks to Groupon) and then we did some shopping on Michigan Ave. If there is one thing I learned: if your husband says,"Let's go shopping."  You go shopping! This is one time you NEVER argue! We hit Banana Republic, Brad's favorite store. It has now become my favorite store since he doesn't argue about me buying stuff there. Normally we hit the outlet store, but we treated ourselves to the real thing! Of course, we shopped clearance racks. You know me, I just can't get away from the clearance racks! We also had a coupon for 30% off and then a portion was given to charity or something, so we had to shop. It was for charity!

Saturday night we went to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Our first time there and it was delicious! And after we paid an arm and a leg for steak and wine, they treated us to this complimentary dessert. Wasn't that nice of them.

After dinner we walked to Millennium Park. A lot of walking was done this weekend which hopefully balanced out all the food we ate.

Here our some views from our room. Also, I must mention that I love Priceline which got us this room at a fraction of the price we would have normally paid.

And there you have it, our fun-filled weekend of frugality, shopping, walking, eating, pampering, and did I mention NO KIDS! (for those of you think that sounds bad, we really do love our children very much but this is the first time we've done this since they were born!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jewel Deals

Sometimes I get such great deals on grocery store purchases I just want to share it with everyone. Today was one of those days! Unfortunately Jewel's sales on most of these items ends today. So if you are reading this today, hurry up and you can go get some free food for yourself.

First Transaction:

This one was all the healthy items! (note sarcasm)

5 Capri Sun
2 Cocoa Krispies (had coupon for $1 off)
2 Rice Krispie Treats (had coupon for $1 off)
4 Pop Tarts (had coupon for $1 off)
2 Fruit Snacks (had coupon for $1 off)

Total $29.65
Received $10 Catalina for Keebler and Kelloggs Products (this deal is good until the 15th)
Received $5 Catalina on Capri Sun

Second Transaction:

3 Diet Pepsi ($1.88 each when you buy 4 Pepsi products)
1 Lipton Raspberry Iced Tea
3 Sweet Baby Rays ($.88 each)
5 Kraft Cheese (had $5 off coupon)

Used my $15 Catalina's from first purchase
Grand total $.69

Received $5 Catalina back on cheese

Third Transaction:

5 Cool Whips ($1 each)
Used $5 Catalina from previous purchase
Grand Total $.00

I also received $5 Catalina back on this

So there you have it, for all this food I paid $30.34 and I have $5 to go spend at Jewel yet!

If you want some more information on these deals and where I got some of my coupons you can go to Jill Cataldo's website, she helps me out a lot!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Kids Think I'm Ancient

Hi.....I'm Melissa and I've been a lazy blogger and a mom that has been too busy to put much thought into blogging. So, I'm sorry about that. Besides the kids starting school, we've had Brad take on a second job and we've gone away the last couple weekends. Eventually I will get to downloading the pictures from my camera and sharing all the fun things we've been doing. I'm sure you just can't wait to read all about it  don't care.

I thought I would share this funny little conversation that has been going on with my kids over the past few weeks.

My kids think I'm old.

This makes me very sad that I am the "old lady", but they don't only think I'm old, they think I'm ancient! They often ask me if I watched a certain show that they like, when I was a kid. I proceed to tell them that show wasn't ON TV when I was a kid. They often ask me if I did such and such or if I had a certain toy, to which I tell them, "No, we didn't have that when I was a kid."

Today, Alex asks me if I liked Backyardigans when I was a kid.

I explained to her that this show wasn't on when I was little and in fact, I didn't even have cable when I was a kid.

Joshua says, "Boy mom, they didn't have very much when you were a kid."

That made me feel like I was from the stone age!

To drive home the point of how old they think I am, a couple weeks ago one of them asked me if I met Jesus when he was still alive.

Really? Do I look that old. Better start using more wrinkle cream!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First Day for Isaac

Today Isaac had his first day of Pre-k.

He was so excited and talked about this for days in advance! He did opt to have me bring him to school instead of riding the bus with the other kids.

He had a lot of fun and can't wait to go back tomorrow. It sure did tire him out though, he came home and ate lunch, watched a little TV and then told me he was going to take a nap. He didn't wake up until the other kids got home from school.