Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Save the Date

One of our dear friends, Jason, is getting married. For those of you who know us, you know Jason and I love to argue like brother and sister. I always tease him that God put me in his life because Jason needed a sister. He's one of 5 boys. (I know you're all blessing his Momma's heart right now.) We fight a lot, but we know we love one another too. He has always been there for us when we've had hard times and is a great Uncle to our children.

So last year when he told us he was interested in a lovely lady he had reconnected with on Facebook, we were excited. I've always know Jason would make a great husband one day. That day will be here soon. October 20th, Miss Allison Rose will find out if I'm right or not. And I must say, He does have great taste in ladies. Allison is wonderful. She's on the quite side, but can hold her own with him :) They are going to make a wonderful couple and I pray they have a fantastic marriage.

They asked if I would take some Save the Date pictures for them. I was thrilled to be asked. Since they meet at Barton College they wanted them taken there.Larry and I packed the kids up for an afternoon photo session and dinner with friends. I owe a huge Thank you to Larry for keeping the boys busy so I could run around campus taking pictures. And I had the most wonderful assistant. Eden followed me, watching and learning. She carried my camera bag with one hand and her baby doll in the other. She acted so grown-up. Taking her responsibility seriously. She is such a great girl :)

Here are a few of my favorites:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Country living and making Butter

This city girl has a long way to go before I fully understand all the nuances that go into county living, but I am one step closer. I made butter!

I have a dear sweet church member who often finds great humor in my desire to learn but having no clue how to do country living.  I get my heart blessed a lot, not the bad way. The kind way. So I was excited when she showed up at my house a few Saturdays back with her sweet daughter ready to teach us how to make butter.

She brought a neat old glass jar that had two turning blades and a crank. We poured in some heavy whipping cream and started to church. You know what? It took a whole lot of churning to make that butter! Everybody got a turn. The kids thought it was neat! As time passed it started to thicken and separate and  Ruth and I had to finish it off.

I know she must have thought I was the silliest woman every as I smiled at our butter. Proud that I could put the smack down on some country crock!

Pouring in the heavy whipping cream.

If you look close, you can see the butter in the corner of the jar.

Do you know what that is? Don't feel bad I didn't either :)
 It's Buttermilk!

My butter ball :)

Now I can't say with the amount of butter my family uses I will be pulling out a churn every time I want some buttered bread. But I can say, I am so excited to know how it's done. I feel connected to women of past generations that really did have to go through all that work just to make nice things for their families. It makes me appreciate some of the modern convinces that we are blessed with in a deeper way. If I had to work that hard every time we needed butter, we would have far less butter in our diets :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

The 12 days of Easter

I found this information on Pinterest. Can I just say I LOVE Pinterest! If you put it together soon, you'll have enough time to start the 12 days of Easter. We will start Wednesday the 28th and finish Easter morning :)

Many of you know Santa is not a fixture in our family's celebration of Christmas. So it should be of no surprise that the Easter Bunny doesn't get invited into our Easter celebrations either. I just can't see how a bunny that lays eggs should get to share in the glorious celebration of our risen Lord and Savior. But that's just me!

 You can also check out this woman's blog where I got this idea. I've never meet her, but I would call Sister in Christ. And a fellow Momma who wants to share Christ with her children :)   This Blog Linked From Here
All of the following information is from her blog:

Start 12 days before Easter. Easter Sunday should leave you with the #1 egg to open. Each of the 12 eggs should hold a small trinket or conversation starter that will kind of fit in the egg. After the kids open the egg for that day, we read the story together in her Children’s Bible then talk a little bit about how the object relates to the story and how the story relates to our lives. My main purpose is to start to get her as excited about my Savior as I am.

Day 12: mini playdoh … “The name of Jesus”

Read the story of the Angel coming to Mary in Luke 1. Talk about what the name of Jesus - Immanuel “God with us” means. Talk about the meaning of our own names. Read Philippians 2:10 together and discuss. Use the playdoh to spell out the name of Jesus.

Day 11: Swedish fish candy (or goldfish) and a cracker … “Jesus feeds the 5000”

See how many times we can break the ‘bread’ and ‘fish’. Read the story in Matthew 14, Luke 9, or John 6. Talk about what it might have looked like and note how everyone got enough to be full and not just tiny pieces.

Day 10: toy boat … “Jesus calms the storm” (I found a tiny boat at the party store this year for a dime… but last year decorated a piece of mulch with a sharpie… no joke)

Read the story in Matthew 8, Mark 4 or Luke 8 and talk about why this is so amazing. Make a storm in a bottle (with a liter bottle oil water and food coloring) with your toy boat or storm in the bathtub and try to calm it instantly, which can’t be done.

Day 9: blindfold … “Jesus heals the blind man”

Lead them in a few activities with the blindfold on. Talk about how hard it would be to live life that way and how you’d feel if you were healed. Read about the healing in John 9. Note how the blind man reacted when Jesus told him who He was. How does God reveal Himself in our lives… how should we react?

Day 8: paper crown and a travel soap … “Jesus washes feet”

Talk about the meaning of royalty and the things that kings, queens, princesses are supposed to do. Explain how Jesus is the King of all Kings and what that means. Then read the story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples in John 13 and how he came to serve and not be served. Is that what you’d expect the King of Kings to do? Take turns putting on the crown and washing each other’s feet talking about how we can serve the way Jesus did.

Day 7: sample perfume or scented lotion … “Mary Magdalene and the perfume”
Read the story of Mary pouring the perfume on Jesus’ feet from John 12. Talk about how expensive this was back then and what a big deal it was for her to do it. Discuss some other things are important to us now and how we can give them as an offering to God.... time, money etc.

Day 6: 4 quarters … “giving/ Rich young ruler”

Talk about what they’d like to do with the 4 quarters. Read the story Jesus tells of the rich young ruler from Matthew 19 or Luke 12 and then Acts 20:35 when Jesus says it is better to give than to receive. Now revisit the quarters and talk about what they’d like to do with the 4 quarters.

Day 5: TWO small treats or candy … “Jesus visits Zacchaeus”

Read the story in Luke 19. Talk about why people didn’t like Zacchaeus back then and how cool it is that Jesus not only saw and acknowledged him, but wanted to spend time with him… and how it changed the man’s life. Lead them to think about some people that they (or the world in general) haven’t been ‘noticing’. Invite them to seek out the person and share the extra treat and play with them.

Day 4: Time Coupon … “Jesus loved the children”

Read the story in Mark 10 . Talk about adults in our lives that obviously love children. How do you know and what do they do to show it? How do we think Jesus showed it? How would you like me to show you that I love you and value spending time with you? Fill out the time coupon together. (Although I’d like to steer her into wanting extra hugs or going on a walk together... I can already tell you that I am going to be in for 20 excruciating minutes of Barbies with this one. )

Day 3: Tearjerker gum … “Jesus wept.”

Read the story of Jesus healing Lazarus in John 11. Talk about how Jesus was a real person with real emotions like us. Note how he was sad, but never lost hope. He knew God was going to use Lazarus’ story for His glory. Talk about times when we feel sad, hurt, scared at times and how awesome it is to have hope like Jesus did in this situation because God is behind us and hears our prayers.

Day 2: Crayon and a slip of paper … “Jesus died for us”

Read the story of the crucifixion in Matthew 27, Luke 23 or John 19 and talk about how must have felt to love Jesus and be there that day... and how it might have felt for those who didn’t love Jesus but saw what happened. Write the word that you feel on the piece of paper and put it inside the egg for the next day. Bury the egg somewhere nearby.

Day 1: the egg is empty … “He is RISEN!”

Go find the egg (which has now been unearthed, broken open and is empty.) Read the story in Matthew 28, Mark 16 or John 20. Talk about how God gave us the most special gift ever when he gave us Jesus: Himself in a body to love us and show us how to live and to ultimately give his own life so that we could have an eternal relationship with him.... not because we deserved it at all... but because He loves us that much.

A commenter to this post also left the following ideas:

1) small piece of soap - read story about how Jesus washed the disciples feet

2) praying hands - we read about how Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane

3) coins - we talk about how Judas betrayed Jesus

4) an army solider - we talk about how the solders came and arrested Jesus

5) purple fabric - we talk about the purple robe they put on Jesus and called him names. I ask them how that would have made Jesus feel and use this as a lesson about how we need to use nice words

6) a piece of leather - we talk about how they whipped Jesus and put a crown of thorns on his head. I usually ask them if they have ever been hit & how that made them feel & ask them how they think it made Jesus feel

7) cross - we talk about how Jesus died on the cross for our sins and how they put nails in his hands & feet

8) dice - we talk about how the solders gambled for Jesus clothes

9) white fabric - we talk about how they wrapped Jesus body in linen after they took him off the cross

10) Rock - talk about how they put a stone in front of the tomb & Jesus was in there for 3 days

11) Empty egg - we talk about how the women came to put perfume on his body but the tomb was empty

12) Cotton ball - this is to represent the clouds when Jesus ascended into heaven

Some other things you could use are

* toy donkey - triumphant entry

* toy cup - last supper

* nail - the nails in Jesus hands & feet

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Boys' sweet smiles :)

Here are two of my favorite pictures of the boys that I took today. They are both growing so fast. I am thankful for all of the happy smiles they give and bring to me each day :)

The Two Tooth Grin :)

The Mischievous Grin :)

Get ready for Church.

Eden has gotten to the age when she can dress herself. I often laugh at her and myself as we leave the house knowing she doesn't match. She is so proud of the fact that she has put her outfit together.  I wonder if people think I dress her this way :)  She puts a lot of thought into getting dressed and can come up with some over accessorized outfits with stealth speed. As long as she is modest, I don't say anything. And quite frankly with the other two to get ready it is a no brainer for me to let her do her own thing.

Last night after dinner, I was pushed for time. I told Eden, " Hurry, go get dressed for church. You can wear something nice." I went to go get myself and the boys cleaned up and dressed. I called for Eden, it was time to go. She ran out of her room in this wonderful outfit and said, " I'm ready!"  I cracked up!

I don't know who she thought she was going into battle with, but evidently she needed a sword and bandanna. I guess she and the Holy Spirit were going to whoop up on someone. The princess crown and blue jacket when it was still 70 degrees outside just completed the ensemble!

If your child came running out saying, "I'm ready!" in this beautiful outfit what would you do?
I did what any good Mommy would would do. I told her we don't take weapons to church, so the sword had to stay at home. Then I said her teacher would need to know who she was so the mask needed to stay home too. I asked her if her hat was really necessary and she said no, so that stayed home as well.
And yes, My princess did go to church looking quite smashing in her "Beauty" pink dress and blue jacket!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

“Fear not, for I am with you!”

“Fear not, for I am with you!”

Did you know that is the most often given command in the Bible? Yeah, me neither, not until Sunday when Beth Moore told my women’s Bible Study Group. I’m leading a study on the book of Ester called, It’s Tough Being a Woman. It is a wonderful study for those interested in doing a Book of the Bible Study. You can learn a lot from Easter. It seems that the Lord has used our Sunday video time to prepare me for what He has in store for our family the following day.

Two weeks ago the theme was: It’s hard being a woman in a mean world. We went over how to have righteous anger and not holding grudges, Allowing God to be the one who seeks vengeance. It was a good lesson that covered the problem of evil and how to handle hurt feeling and bad relationships. Good stuff for those of us sinners who hold onto grudges and struggle with the problem of evil.  Most of all it stressed not being angry, rather allowing God to be the one who sees and seeks vengeance.

So I have this message in my mind Monday morning as we discover the church had been broken into some time late Sunday night or early Monday morning. It was as if God was saying, Hey Angela, I prepared you for this, vengeance is mine.

Well I know vengeance is God’s, but I sure did hold onto my own anger towards the people who would have the audacity to break into and try to steal from a Church. From MY GOD’S CHURCH! Later in the week my anger turned into a deep deep sadness that someone would feel the need to break into a church, My God’s church, Because if they would have asked God’s people we would have tried to help. And still God will have the final say and vengences for breaking into His church will be His.

This past Sunday’s class started with all that God was teaching me still rolling around in my head. The video lesson this week was: It’s hard to be a woman dealing with fear. It was a wonderful lesson and the Truths shared were deeply moving. That’s where I learned of the abundance of the phrase “Fear not, for I am with you.” In the bible. It’s said over and over by Angels and Jesus. I guess they know we all struggle with fear. 

It seems God knew I would need that lesson too. A little after midnight Monday, I was in that peaceful place between sleep and wakefulness. It was interrupted by the sound of Larry pulling out the baseball bat. He had been bathroom ( the window was open) and he heard footsteps and people whispering. Then he heard our children’s bikes and toys being moved. It seemed we had intruders. Larry went into protection mode and I called the police, unfortunately they ran off before being caught.

At 1:30am I was still shaking. I can’t even remember how many times I went in to check on the children during that hour. Larry and I talked for a few minutes and both commented on how God had protected our family, He answered our prayers. Every night I pray a hedge of protection around our family and Angels of protection for my children as they rest. God Answered those prayers. I kept saying that over and over, God answered our prayers. God answered our prayers. God answered our prayers. Why should I be surprised?????

As we went to bed, I kept telling myself over and over again how God had protected us.  It was like I kept needed to her it. God Had indeed protected us. He was serious when He said “Fear Not for I am with you!” Larry laid down and was sleeping within a minute. I guess that’s just how men are, or a least, how my man is :)

I on the other hand needed a lot more time with God. So I prayed many times over thanking him for protecting our family, Thanking him Larry was home when this happened (the night before he was at the hospital with a church member until 2:00am) Thanking Him nothing was taken. Thanking Him our children slept through the whole thing, Thanking him for His words of preparation to Fear Not, Knowing He was with me. I went to sleep with His words on my mind, repeating them Fear Not, For I am with you. Fear Not for I am with you, Fear Not for I am with You. Sweet words to fall asleep to.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Choosing Joy

Today was a better day. We’ve had a nasty stomach bug creeping around our home for a month now. Presently, Larry is taking it on for team Gilbreath. He does well to be sick without complaining. He’s sweet like that.

So I have tried to keep the kids out of the house for the past two days so Larry could stay home and rest. Thankfully, the weather has been nice. So we’ve been at the park, enjoying the outdoors. The fresh air and a new perspective have helped improve a lot, not only in our home, but in my mind.

After a sweet talk and some encouraging words from a friend last night, I realized I was allowing myself to succumb to anger too easily. Somewhere along the past few weeks of illness, I have allowed myself to be the angry mom. And if I’m honest with myself, I’ve been angry a lot longer than these past few weeks.

I’ve always wanted to be a mother like Michelle Duggar, from 19 kids and Counting. She is always calm and seems to be in control of her actions and words. I’m just not like that! And then I realized. I’m not supposed to be. I’m not her, I’m me. But I don’t like being an angry me. That’s no fun either.

Anyways, my friend shared with me how she was choosing Joy. Hmmm….. I thought, choosing joy. I should give that a try. So I did. I woke up this morning telling myself I would be joyful and calm today. And I Was. I got frustrated a couple of times with the kids, but I decided that I wasn’t going to get angry; I was going to choose to be calm, I chose to speak calmly. I chose to give grace and “do overs” to my children. And you know what…..? We didn’t have any fits or tantrums today. Me or the kids :)

You’ve gotta understand that fits and tantrums have been the way of life here for the past few weeks. It’s been a trying time! Do my children have a long way to go in learning how to act and behave? Sure they do. But then SO DO I! This has been a great lesson in accountability to my actions and seeing the reflection of those actions on my children.

And I realize that this was just one day. But I am hoping it is the start to a new attitude in our home. It will start with me and be picked up by the kids. And I pray we will all Choose Joy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Teething :)

Titus cut his two bottom teeth a few weeks ago. He seems to be doing everything at lighting fast speed compared to his big brother and sister. He has been crawling for over a month now and is in to everything he can get his hands on and into his mouth.

The other day I caught him chewing on one of his favorite chew toys, his crib.
If that's not just cute, I don't know what is!