Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our Latest Adventures on the Journey

I cannot believe this is the last day of October! This month has gone by so fast! Many of you know that I was involved in a blog challenge to write on my blog everyday for October....I think I wrote everyday but about 3 or 4...it was tough, but I really enjoyed it.

The past week seems to have been especially hectic....here is a re-cap of our journey.....

Heads up! I have included a lot of pictures on this post....

HOMESCHOOL
I don't feel like I am getting everything accomplished that I would like to. But nevertheless, we have persevered  Savannah is learning more and more. She is just like a sponge it seems....which is great. This last week she worked on number recognition. We had a fun game, that had a Christmas theme, but she really enjoyed it. I drew a fireplace on the whiteboard, showed her numbers on the flashcards and if she got it right, she could hang a "stocking" on the mantel....


(my drawing of the fireplace)

(Savannah with two stockings)


She also began working on simple addition. We did this by using picture problems of course. Here she is drawing the problem...

 and answering it...


Hank has been listening to "Mr. President" which are past recordings of radio plays about the President talking about life inside the White House. He found out that one of the past Presidents' sons put ponies in the elevator.....He has really enjoyed listening to them. We found these at Homeschool Freebie of the Day dot com. You have to be a member of the site to get the freebie, but signing up is free.

FIELD TRIP
This past Friday we went to the Historic Arkansas Museum....it was a very cold and rainy day, but we had a great time. The kids got to see a play about "Digging Up Arkansas" that talked about the history of Arkansas from the 1700's through 1936. There were songs, skits, and humor....it was very good! We then got to experience some hands on things....like different furs that were traded back then, how to make corn meal, and Indian pottery.

 examining the furs

 making corn meal
 (sorry for the sideways picture)

looking at pottery and trying to piece it back together


We then went outside where we found a "servant" doing laundry. Savannah decided to help her out....



We also visited the blacksmith shop, where they got to see them make a nail right there on the spot, and the schoolhouse where we got to play with toys from long ago. It was an awesome day! 






There was also a Barbie display and Savannah and I went to see it. She was enthralled with it. 







 FAMILY LIFE
We had a soccer tournament on Saturday and Sunday. Our team played hard, but unfortunately didn't make it to the championship round. 

We finished out Sunday at home relaxing and watching movies. "Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" was a favorite. We also watched the new Madea movie but didn't find it as funny as some of the previous movies Tyler Perry has done. 

Monday my dryer died. I knew it was on it's last legs, but had hoped it would make it through this laundry cycle. So we spent yesterday at the laundromat, then home putting away clothes. 

WHAT I'M COOKING
I found an awesome recipe for fried potatoes with bacon and green beans. All you do is cook the bacon really crispy and set aside, then saute onions in the bacon grease, set aside, fry the potatoes in that same grease ( you have to add more oil at this point) until fork tender, discard all but a tablespoon of the oil, return all ingreients to the pan including a can of drained green beans, heat through and serve....my family thought it was phenomenal. I served this with a side of mac m cheese, and brown beans....voila! Awesome meal!

HALLOWEEN
Today my little one is very excited! She is going to be a ballerina for Halloween, so you know I will pictures to post tomorrow (or next week). We are taking her to a business community this afternoon where all the business owners sit outside and give out candy to the kids. She is then going to a Trunk or Treat, then here in the neighborhood. It's going to be so much fun! 

How about you? What are your plans for Halloween with your kids? And feel free to upload pics of your little ones or yourself in your costumes to the comments below...

Safe Trick or Treating!
Regina












Thursday, October 25, 2012

Give Us This Day

I've been thinking lately about the part in the Lord's prayer that says, "Give us this day our daily bread..." and what that really means. It says in a nutshell that God will provide....it just may not look like what we think it should look like.

I realize that there are many people struggling financially right now. Times are hard, I've been there and still there at times. But I know that when we stop and seek Him for our "daily bread" He is faithful...

How do I know you ask? Just recently we had some unexpected things happen with my husbands' job. At this time he is the sole provider for us. Things began to look really bad, I wasn't sure how or if we would have gas money, grocery money or bill money. At first, I felt overwhelmed. I mean, things had been going so well for so long, that it sort of caught me off guard I guess. Then I started to pray....no don't think I am a saint, I didn't pray right off, a few days went by before I thought about the praying....but I simply went to God, I said to Him, that He knew our needs and that I believed Him to be faithful. I felt like I should have a yard sale, so the kids and I began gathering things for the sale. I just knew that God would provide for me this way....On the day of the sale, it was pouring down rain, so hard you couldn't see anything in front of you.  I was crushed, I felt abandoned, I didn't know what we would do. Then, I felt God remind me of craigslist. I thought to myself, I never have any luck with craigslist, but if that is what I need to do God, I will just trust you. I took a shower and re-grouped. My kids asked me what we were going to do. I said God will make a way, He always does. Then I started listing the items on craigslist....you know what, nothing happened! I refused to believe that we were doomed.....I knew what God had said. I just had to keep believing. After my items being on craigslist for about an hour, people began to email me about them. I sat at the computer for about two hours working deals and making arrangements for items to be picked up. All together I made about $400...it was enough. It carried us through until things straightened out at his job. I kept thinking that this money would run out, that it wouldn't be enough, but that wasn't true at all! I had exactly the amount I needed for each day and it lasted for about two and a half weeks like that.

In 1 Kings 17 is the story of Elijah and how God had sent him to Zarephath. There was a famine in the land, but when Elijah did as he was told, God provided for Him. He sent ravens to him to feed him. God will use whatever is necessary to get the job done. We have to quit looking at the outside of things, look deeper and realize that God is providing for you. If there is no other way He will send the ravens by with food for you or he will send buyers from craigslist......He is faithful!

Be encouraged today!
Regina

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting Until Things are Perfect

Occasionally, in those rare moments of free time, I read some blog posts from "Raising Sticky Hands to Heaven." As I thought about that title, it made me think of my own life. What kind of hands do I raise to Heaven and why do I raise hands to Heaven?

Let's start with the second part of that question...when I was little I could not understand why people would lift their hands while singing or praying at church. My mom explained to me one day that what they were doing was simply surrendering, whatever it was in their life, to God. It was an outward sign that they were giving all they had to Him. At that time in my life it was easy then to raise a hand Heavenward, it really didn't require much effort on my part at all.

Then life got complicated....that's where the first part of the question comes in "What kinds of hands do I lift to Heaven?" I would wonder sometimes if I was worthy to approach God in this fashion, hands outstretched seeking Him once again for answers, giving all I had to Him, the only one that I knew could really understand. I would look at my life and think, I've got all this "stuff" how can I possibly praise, how can I possibly enter in to intimate worship with the King?

But you know what, God is not waiting on me to have all my "stuff" fixed...He simply wants me, warts and all....to simply come to Him. It says in scripture to make our request known. When you see me with eyes closed and hands raised, just know that I am surrendering myself to the one that knows me better than I know myself. He's not waiting for me to have everything done, to have everything perfect... some days the hands I raise are busy cleaning....they don't look that pretty, sometimes, I have scratches, sometimes it's marker and glue from craft time with my little one, some days it's in the midst of making lesson plans, or fixing meals, planning menus, driving to sports events....it's just me in my life doing the things that are required of me at this season of the journey. But that's what He wants....You....right in the midst of where you are, with whatever you are doing. That's good news....you don't have to have your life in perfect order, with the best house, or the most prestigious job,with the kids in balance and everything running smooth.

Will you do that with me today? Will you just surrender yourself and your circumstances, no matter how bad they may seem or how "sticky" the situation? He cares for you and I promise you that if you reach out to Him from where you are right now, He will meet you there.

Walking this journey with you,
Regina

Monday, October 22, 2012

Whats for Dinner? and Other Questions of the Day

I have to brag on myself tonight.....I threw together some ingredients for dinner and it came out fabulous!!
I have been so tired as of late, that I just couldn't seem to wrap my mind around a menu this week. Then about 3:00 pm, I came up with this.....I call it cornbread and hamburger BBQ casserole.

I browned my ground beef in the skillet with some garlic, salt and pepper. Then mixed in some BBQ sauce (everything's better with a little BBQ, right?), I put that in the bottom of my casserole dish, then poured cornbread mix over the top of it, sprinkled cheddar cheese on top and voila! Dinner!....I topped it off with some sides of mashed potatoes and green beans. Everyone loved it.

What I loved? That all of us after several weeks of non-stop running was able to sit around the table together, eat, and talk about our day. My little one topped it off for me by saying, "Momma, this is just like the Waltons."

Sometimes I think we are so busy being busy that we forget why we serve our families, why we do what we do....sometimes we need a new perspective on life. We need to remember what is really important.....it's those people that share those four walls with you day in and day out. I think sometimes we need to look at our priorities and see if they are still right for us. Are our priorities still lining up with the Word of God, are they honoring to Him? That's what matters at the end of the day, Did my life bring glory and honor to the Most High God? Am I serving my family in my role as the wife and mother because of my devotion to God, or is it to look good to everyone else, to show them what a super-woman I am? Why do we take on so many roles, when it causes missed time and opportunity with our own family? Your kids and your husband will not remember how many committees you served on, or how many projects you accomplished, they will remember those moments that you spent with them, giving them your undivided attention.

Let's make a challenge this week, that before we say Yes to more things in our lives, we stop and evaluate how that decision is going to affect our time with our families. If your projects and goals are taking you away from your home, if your family life is suffering because of decisions and agendas that you have, then it is time to stop and make some choices.

Our first place to serve in our own homes. That's the bottom line. I see women, good women, helping others, serving (even in church), meeting the needs of people, but it is at the expense of their own family. Our priorities should be....God, our spouse, our children, our homes, then everything else. I know that there are some that will not agree with this, but that's OK, we each have to look at lives honestly, prayerfully and have God's insight into how we prioritize our days.

All I am saying is, don't let your own marriage, kids, or home suffer while you are busy being busy.

Be Blessed
Regina
my crew at New Orleans this summer

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More Fall Ideas

After putting my little bit of Fall decorations on Monday, it put me in the mood to find some other creative fall or Halloween ideas....I have put together some I found around the internet...hope you enjoy them!

(this is from Better Homes and Gardens)
Halloween Paper Pumpkins
Orange pumpkins are greate but these multi-hued paper pumkpins mix and match with yourdecor. This easy halloween craft can be put together in minutes starting with strips of scrapbook paper. Cut 1-inch strips of patterned paper, form the strips into a circle as shown, and attach using a brad at both the top and the bottom. Paint a wine cork the same coloras the pumpkin and hot-glue the cork to the top for the pumpkin's stem. Embellish with ribbon and jewels for some stylish pumpkin decoration. This looks like a lot of fun to make and your little ones can be involved as well

here is a really nest idea for a hurricane lamp, simple candle, and candy corn...very self explanatory, just sit the candle in the middle of the hurricane, then add the candy around the edges....now for me this would be hard because I love candy corn!

Here is one I see every year at Halloween. It always looks so cute, but I have never taken the time to try it. With as much milk as we go through it would not be hard for me to gather the supplies. Here is what you will need: Milk jugs, permanent markes, white lights, craft knife. What to do: draw the outline of the face on the sides of the jugs, then let your little ones color them in, after they are done, you cut a hole in the bottom with the craft knife, stuff in the lights, line up the jugs and you have a lighted pathway for all the little ghosts and goblins to follow up to your door!

If you would like more, here is a neat site I found on Pinterest...http://pinterest.com/pin/1548181091413020/  where there are a ton more.

let me know what you try and how it turn out!
Regina


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

I saw yesterday through one of my friends that October 15 was the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It was very somber thoughts that I had. I did participate in the Wave of Light where people around the globe lit a candle at 7:00 pm in their time zone, causing a continuous wave of light everywhere around the world in honor of those lost. While I cannot speak to the issue of losing a child after it is born, I can talk to you about how it feels to deal with the loss of a pregnancy. 

As I lit my candle I thought of the child I lost in 2005 due to some circumstances beyond my control. I thought of what he (I always believed that I carried a boy, just a feeling I had from the beginning of the pregnancy), might be like today at 7 years old. What adventures we might have shared together, the times we may have snuggled together on the couch, the sports events that will never be....and I allowed myself to grieve. 

It seems that when we lose a child during pregnancy that once the initial loss is dealt with, that people either think we are moved past the event or people want us to move past the event for their comfort so it is not discussed many times.  I do want to say that I had a great support network of friends and family that made the situation somewhat easier to bear. They listened to me cry for what seemed like hours sometimes, they comforted me, they allowed me to be angry, to be sad, to just be myself.....that was best. 

It seems the subject is still taboo for some, but I really wish that was not the case. There are so many women, and men too, that have dealt with this type of loss and many suffer and grieve alone. Can I just say, that we need our friends to not just listen but to acknowledge this loss? We need for our loved ones to not just refer to it as "the one you lost" but instead if we have given this child a name, to refer to him or her by the name. We are reaching for closure when we name them, even if the pregnancy was only in the first trimester, we need that closure. 

One would think that as the years pass and you have another child, that your feelings reside, but that is not the case. The feelings you had and have are still with you and travel with you for the remainder of your life. You always feel as if something is missing, that your life is not complete. 

Its the little acts really that give closure to me and serve as a memorial for him. I named him Conner. Every year at Christmas I hang a little white ribbon cross on my tree for him. Often when I hear a little boy with bubbly laughter I think of him. 

I grieved a long, long time and thought I would absolutely lose my mind over it. But eventually peace came, and I realized that my son is tended to by angels....that he now visits with his Grandpa. God showed me a picture one time, and I keep it close to my heart, but I will share it with you now.....it is a picture of my son, with this dark hair blowing in the breeze, a huge smile on his face, and he is running to greet me as I enter that city......

The journey is worth it to me to finish
Regina       

Monday, October 15, 2012

Some Fall Decorating

In keeping with my plan from last week, we used our Monday as a catch up, easy sort of a day. 

I have been wanting to get my fall things out and do some decorating, but it seemed something always got in the way of that idea. So today was the day... I have an upright antique Kimball piano in my living room, which I would like to get rid of, by the way...and I have some Fall garland. I had just the idea....take a look and tell me what you think

the votive cups are holding little pinecones and dried walnuts, all of which are scented....

here's another view...


My little one helped of course and we had an awesome day...

Funny how the smallest things can make you happy
Regina

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Have it Your Way Blogger Opp

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Stay on the Horse

When I was a little girl, my Daddy bought me a horse. Her name was Nell. She was a beautiful horse, sort of chestnut brown with 4 white stockings and a white 7 on her forehead. I was too small to lift the saddle so Daddy would always have to saddle her. One day, he had come in from work in the afternoon and I wanted to ride. He got everything ready and I climbed up. Well, apparently Nell didn't get the memo that day that I was in the mood for a ride. She started shaking her head, and acting like she was going to rear up, stepping real hard, I got scared. I started to cry...I wanted off the horse. Daddy came along and handed me this little  switch and said, "sister, don't let that horse fool you, stay on the horse, you are not getting down, you are going to ride." I was so afraid. I begged Daddy to let me get off, help me down, but he wouldn't. He told me actually to quit crying, and talk like I meant it to Nell... Then something happened. Nell realized that I wasn't going to quit, that I had the little switch and that we were going to ride that day. After that, I never had anymore problems when I rode. (I never had to use the switch, just hold it for her to see).

That was a life lesson for me and hopefully for you too. When we are in the struggles and trials of life, it is not time to quit. Our enemy wants to fool us into thinking that we can't make it. That this is too scary or too hard. What we need to do, and what I have learned to do, is pick up my switch, the Word, and continue on through the fight. I also learned through that I am not a quitter...still not today. Once you set your mind to something, be determined to see it through. It don't matter how many times you have to start over, or how many times you have to stop and re-group, but keep getting up, keep on keepin' on!

You see, when you are on a journey, that means you have not arrived yet....so keep walking, hold your switch close and don't ever give up!

Walking along with you,
Regina

Friday, October 12, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up

Homeschool This Week

This week we didn't actually get a whole lot of schooling done it seems. Monday, my son was still recovering from illness, and the rest of us were just tired....it's always that way on Mondays for us. A lot of my friends take off  early from schooling on Fridays, but I think I decided this week that Mondays would be our easy day this year. Savannah worked on her numbers some more, she is getting very good at "math." Hank did start on his "Real Men" study about Godliness, family, courtship and marriage. So far he seems to enjoy it. This month we are reading "The Christian Family" and discussing it. He also learned this week about how to treat girls as more than just crushes....that they are our sisters in the Lord, and that he should treat them as he treats his sisters at home. I think it was eye-opening for him....I am excited, that along with his Dad, that I get to guide him on this journey of discovery.

Something Fun This Week

My Mom came for a visit on Wednesday. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to see her. I talk to her on the phone quiet a bit, but to set with her face to face was amazing! I fixed a lunch of spaghetti, then Savannah convinced her that we should go out to a little store in our neck of the woods, called "Savers." Vanna loves to go there because she usually gets to chose something from the bagged up toys that only cost $0.99...and you would think that she had found a great treasure! My Mom and Savannah made some pictures together, and then in the afternoon my oldest daughter came home and she too got to visit with Grandma. It was a great day.

Last Saturday, Savannah's football game was rained out, she was disappointed to say the least. So, we had Mommy- n- Vanna day. We started at the nail salon, then out to lunch at the deli, then over to the movies, and ended our afternoon with a trip to the ice cream shop. After I got back home, my husband was there and we had made plans to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening together....this does not happen often for us, so we really enjoyed our time together. He took me to dinner at a place called "Gaucho's Grill." This is a Brazilian Grill and the food is fabulous. It was the place of our second date.


What Did I Cook This Week

This week for me was all about simplicity....I used my crock pot a lot...On Monday was beef stroganoff over egg noodles with steamed broccoli on the side. My family loves this one, and it is super simple when you use the crock pot! Tuesday, cabbage rolls and creamed potatoes....again they LOVED this one! Wednesday, spaghetti...Thursday, meatloaf, buttered corn, and Sister Schubert's rolls...Friday, hot deli ham sandwiches and chips. If you would like a recipe for any of these let me know in the comments which one and your email and I will send it your way!

This Weekend

This weekend is loaded up once again....I just know that eventually the soccer and football has to end...lol. My son has a soccer tournament both days. One game on Saturday and three games on Sunday. My little girl has cheer pictures and a game to cheer at on Saturday. Hoping we can be back from the tournament in time to hear some great preaching at our church on Sunday night.

What I am Thankful for This Week

My family and the times we share together...good or bad, stressed or relaxed....I wouldn't trade anything for those times on the journey....

Be Blessed!
Regina



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Can We Just Go Back??

Thanks to all my readers for your kind words yesterday after I posted about my Daddy. It helped me a lot whether you commented on here, sent it to me privately or commented on the fan page on facebook. You guys are the best!

Today I have been thinking that I wish I could go back to a much simpler time. Now, don't get me wrong, I do enjoy all the technology that we have, but there are just days that I would like for life to slow down. You know what I mean? Today was a day like that for me. I wish I could sit on a huge wrap around porch, in one of those big rockers and watch kids play in the yard. I wish that every night that the family all sat around the table together talking about their day, their hopes, dreams and struggles. Sometime I even wish for a huge garden, even though I am so not the gardener.....

Of course it's not helping me that I have been watching "The Walton's" series...lol. It makes me think I was born in the wrong era, that I belong to a different time, of long ago. I like how that back then people really were neighbors in the truest sense, they took time to care about one another and to help one another. Back then they didn't have the selection of one church for every mile on the road, they had one church in the community and almost everyone attended. The congregation was strong, the faith was strong.......

I look at my children and realize that they will never know times like that. Their lives are busy, not just with the things we do, but it feels like life for everyone is so jam-packed, that it leaves no time to really know your friends and family....

Standing and looking back at where we came from on the journey so far,
Regina

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Flood of Memories

Today my Mom came to visit me...it was so great to see her and talk with her. We had a really good day! She brought some things to me of my Dad's......talk about memories flooding your mind. I became a basket case for a bit, then pulled it together and decided to share it with all of you....

One of the treasures that she brought was his drum set. Him playing these drums in church is probably one of my earliest memories.Looking at them, I can still him sitting up there on the platform leading the singing, and playing those drums.I remember how he looked when he would sing "I Feel Like Traveling On" or "I'll Fly Away" or "There Is Coming a Day"....I can hear that voice, strong and sure. I can see those hands as one kept time with the music and at times the other be raised in worship to God. Now, these same drums set in my house. My husband is a drummer as well, and our intent is that he will play these at church too. But right now, I just don't know....every time I touch them to move them I am instantly taken to visions of him and how it used to be. Music and singing, that is such a great part of who he was. I have sang with him since I was about in the 8th grade or so....I am so proud she asked me if I wanted the drums, I feel reconnected to him seeing them here. When I picked up the drum sticks to move them, it was strange, touching something he had touched. It was like I could see him, smiling at me once again. Then at the same time that I am typing this, I realize that a blog post just does not do the memories that I have justice. I wish I could convey through my words what an awesome, faith-filled, inspiring, great Daddy that he was.....there are just no words that can paint that picture......

My hope for you today is this....if your parents are still with you, treasure the moments that you get to spend with them....they are gone all too soon....Regina



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Out of the Prison

I was so blessed today to get to spend time with my dear friend, Nancy. We spent the day catching up of course, but then began talking about how God has delivered each of us from the very pits of despair. I realize, and maybe this applies to you, that there are people sitting in our churches every Sunday, so tied up in spiritual and emotional bondages. Things that they hold onto, regrets of decisions and choices that have been made and now continue to haunt us so many years later. We know we have been forgiven, but it's like we can't let go of the guilt and the shame. Then little by little we being blaming ourselves,  punishing ourselves from something from our past, that God has forgiven us of, when we asked Him to.

You may wonder what that may look like.....often times we don't realize that we are doing this behavior. It may take on the form of addictions to escape the pain our emotions are causing us.  Not just addiction to alcohol or drugs....I realize in our churches a lot of times those are the ones that are preached on. But there are others....online gambling, pornography, prescription drugs, cycles of abuse (whether verbally or physically)....the list could go on and on. We go from relationship to relationship, looking for acceptance, lashing out at others with a very harsh critical spirit all because we don't even like ourselves, therefore it is difficult for us to like or even love others. The list could go on and on.....

But I came by to tell you today that God is the ultimate healer! When we are in bondages like these, it's like we placed ourselves in a prison cell.....never to be free again. But the God I serve brings freedom. Not only can  He bring healing, but with it He bring restoration. You don't have to live on the island of regrets and hurt any longer....You can be Free!

When God stepped in to my regrets and took those things away I was able not just to like myself and others but I was free to experience love in my life and to extend that love to others. I felt as if the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders. No more did I have to walk around feeling defeated, Jesus paid the price for my sins, all my sins, on the cross. I was no longer in bondage to my past, nor to anyone who tried to continue to remind me of my past. I learned to walk a different path, it was not easy at first, it was a process....

God can do the same for you! What are you waiting for.....

Regina


Monday, October 8, 2012

Oh How He Loves Us!!

Today while running errands with my little 5 year old I had the radio on in the car. This song comes on by the David Crowder Band, "Oh How He Loves Us." She exclaims, "Turn it up mommy!" She starts singing along in her voice so full of confidence, and even though she is only 5 you could tell that she was singing this from her heart back to God. She knows without doubt that she is loved by the Most High God, she believes there is nothing that is impossible for God to do for her.....what faith! 



The love of the Father.....AMAZING!!! He loves you and I more than anything. We are of great value to Him. He created us, then he sent His son to the cross to redeem us....What Love!! And my little girl, just basking in the adoration of the Father....it moved me. I felt myself getting teary-eyed. At her yes, but also at the realization that she made me see that I am important to the King of Kings! That out of everything that is going on in the world right now and other people's lives, that my life is important to Him. That He sees me, that He loves me with an unfailing love, that I am treasured.....

Toward the end of the song there is a line that says, "Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss, and my heart turns violently inside of my chest, I don't have time to maintain these regrets, when I think about....the way, He loves us."  All of a sudden a truth took hold for me in my heart, that yes, I have regrets, I have past failures, I have faults, I've made horrible decisions....but all of those things, cannot stand in the light of the Father's love for us and the work that was done on the cross. My regrets just don't measure up to or take precedence over what He done  to provide salvation and healing for me. When I repented of all those regrets....they left. They are with me no more, I don't have the time nor the energy to spend on maintaining them. What freedom!

Oh How He Loves Us

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, 
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy. 
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, 
And I realize just how beautiful You are, 
And how great Your affections are for me. 

And oh, how He loves us so 
Oh how He loves us, 
How He loves us all 

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, 
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy. 
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, 
And I realize just how beautiful You are, 
And how great Your affections are for me. 

He loves us, 
Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how He loves 

We are His portion and He is our prize 
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes 
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking 
So Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss 
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest 
I don't have time to maintain these regrets 
When I think about the way 

And oh, how He loves us 
Oh how He loves us, 
How He loves us so 
how he loves 

Yeah, He loves us, 
Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how he loves 
Yeah, He loves us, 
Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how He loves.



What about you? Are you ready to move past your regrets and embrace the Father's love for you? 



Be Blessed!
Regina

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Night Wrap Up

Today is Sunday and for our house that means we go to church. It was a great day. The pastor preached on enduring until the end....I needed to hear that this morning. Sometimes we want to just stop where we are, but God has a purpose and plan, we have a destiny, and we need to see it through all the way to the end. 

One of my cousin's from home came up today and went to church with us. He lost his wife earlier this year. It was good to see him. We all got to go to lunch together and visit. It was so nice.

In between services, Big Lots  had their friends and family sale. They took 20% off of everything. So I finally bought a single serve coffee maker....I am excited! I've already tried it out and it makes great coffee!!

Tonight back at church, pastor preached on the fact that we are headed somewhere.....Heaven.  I left there tonight feeling very encouraged in my spirit. I think this may be the best I have felt in my heart since my Daddy died....

I hope all of you had a great Sunday as well!

Be Blessed
Regina

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Our Journey This Week....

What's Happening this past week.....


One very sick friend and one sick son....... My pastor's wife,which is also my cousin, has become very ill this week. She is in the hospital trying to recover. She has a tick borne illness called Erlichiosis. Most people just have a mild case that feels like flu, but there are some cases where the disease is severe and that is what she has, the severe case. Please pray for her when you can, I know she would appreciate it. It seemed my son had a flare up of what we thought were allergies, but then later in the week began to run a temp, so he went to the doctor yesterday and he has pneumonia. He is one sick boy, not up to his regular activity level, and missing soccer today....which upsets him. But I am sure he will be ready to play next weekend in the tournament.

In Homeschool this Week.....

My 5 year old demonstrated that she could now count to 100! Who knew...I had thought we were just counting to 49 when she informed me that no she could count all the way she said....she also was able to sound out more words this week, started learning the value of a nickel, how to count the correct number of pennies for an item, and more handwriting. We also started on a lapbook for Noah's Ark.

My middle son, before he had pneumonia, worked on grammar. We made an adjective acrostic with each family members name, he also went on a noun safari. He completed a project on Vermont and placed it in his journal. It was part of the "Nifty Fifty" project where he will learn important details, and just amazing facts about all 50 states. So far he is enjoying this lesson. I think what he really likes is making the foldables to show the facts he has learned.

Advice I Would Share about Homeschool....

Be sure you are familiar with the learning style of your child and plan projects and activities accordingly. A great tool to asses the learning style that I got from the local college, is this....Learning Style Inventory. Let me say that about 90% of all children start out at kinesthetic learners, but by second grade they begin to learn differently. By 5th grade they have differentiated into their own learning style. My son struggled so long before I found this site and put into practice the things I discovered there....

A Fun Thing This Week...

We attended our monthly 4H meeting on Thursday and both got signed up for their small group projects. They will be involved in Homesteading and Outdoor Activities. Our first homestead meeting is this coming Friday....I think I am as excited as they are!

Another great thing this week was that my sister came by after work for dinner. She is not from my area of the state, but was within 30 minutes of my house with a specialty clinic. It was great to get to visit with her and catch up on everything from back home.

What I'm Cooking.....

For my sister's visit, I made Tortellini soup that I served with garlic toast and a vegetable salad. This has to be one of the easiest soups I have ever made. all you do is boil your choice of meat (I usually use chicken, but this time made with pork loin), after it is done, remove, add chicken broth, bring to a boil, then add tortellini pasta, a fozen green veggie (I used broccoli),a can of diced or crushed tomatoes, add the meat back that you have cut up, season and let simmer...amazing!

On Friday night, we had a simple meal of polish sausage that I cooked with red onions and bell peppers, served on a hoagie bun with provolone cheese...They were so good! We had chips and dip on the side.

This Weekend....

Here is what's happening for us this weekend....today Savannah has a football game to cheer at this morning, we were supposed to be at soccer, but the pneumonia took care of that, I am working on laundry and ironing, cleaning out some cabinets, taking care of my sick one, and then later having the oldest watch the other two while my sweetie and I go out to dinner for some quiet time.



What I am Grateful For Right Now....

Well that one is easy....God's Mercy and Grace!




Just Breathe

Sounds easy enough.....breathing....but it seems sometimes when we are the middle of the biggest mess, the strongest trial, the hardest battles, we forget and we try to forge through all alone, with our teeth gritted, and our jaw set...determined to come out on the other side. While it does take determination to make through difficult circumstances, there is something to be said for taking a step back, taking a minute to recompose, and most importantly taking that time to hear God in your situation.....I saw this little picture on my friend of mine's profile.....


Be Blessed!
Regina

Thursday, October 4, 2012

No Fear

What could you accomplish if you lived without fear or anxieties? God has given each of us unique abilities and talents. What is holding you back right now from flourishing in what you see in your mind actually fulfilling? Let's start today and take steps of faith to move forward in all that God has for us. This is your journey....make the very most of it! 

For GOD did not give use a spirit of fear....but of POWER, and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND.  II Timothy 1:7



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Favorite Quote



This has to be without a doubt my most favorite quote....it can apply to many situations in life. It tells me that no matter what I face, the God can always reach me. His hand is not too short to pull out of any pit, regardless the depth of my despair. God is Able!!

Corrie Ten Boom and her family helped to shelter Jews until they were arrested by the Gestapo. She and her family were sent to various concentration camps and many died. She most likely would have also perished if it had not been for a clerical error in 1945. If you have not read her book "The Hiding Place" I encourage to find a copy and read it.....it is remarkable. Her life has touched so many.

There was a woman in my church in Kansas who was a little girl at the time this war took place. She lived in Germany, she was a Jew. Her father worked for the police, and attempted to get his family out of the country before they were found out. But, sadly that did not happen. Her family was arrested, her father was beaten to death in front of her her family, her brothers were apparently sold. She and her mother were taken to the concentrations camps. While there, the Germans ran multiple experiments on them. She was just a little girl of about 7 when they decided to see what it would do to her to cut the ends of fingers off. Every time the guards passed her then would hit in the ankles with the butts of their guns. Today her ankles are huge and swell all time due to that. They removed bones from her mothers body just to see what would happen. They were starved. One day two women were placed in the camp with them. It was Corrie Ten Boom and her sister, Betsie. When the food rations were given out, Betsie Boom would give this woman from my church her bread. My friend tried to tell Betsie no to keep it for herself, but Betsie Boom would say, "no you are growing girl and you need strength." These two sisters made quiet an impact on my friend and her mother. My friend in Kansas accepted Christ as her Savior while there in the camp. Now she too has touched many lives with her story and her compassion. 

All this to tell you that God sees you where you are at. You are not hidden from Him, your circumstances are not hidden. I realize that perhaps there are many of you that seem to be facing difficult situations, know that God has not forgotten you and if He has to come into your "prison" to rescue you. Don't lose faith....

Regina

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ministry....It's for ALL of us





What do you think of when you hear the word ministry? Most of us think of our pastors or licensed ministers. Are pastors and preachers the only called on to minister? We are all called to minister... Ministering is simply a term we use for meeting the needs of others, bringing hope to a situation, letting the life of Christ flow out of us and touch another life. We get so caught up and make it sound so formal, but really it's just day to day living, meeting people where they are at on this journey, taking time to invest in their life. 

 Ministry opportunities exist all around us, everyday. Seeing people in need and helping to meet those needs, that is ministry. When we take the time to call a sick friend, visit someone in the hospital, that too is ministry. Working in a soup kitchen.....ministry. Helping to clothe children who are going without, with no one to care for them.....ministry. Listening when someone has a problem or is so stressed they just feel they can't make it another day....ministry. 

Ministry takes on different forms.  One morning I had to drive my husband to work. Now it was early, like before the sun came up...who know that 4:30 could come twice in one day?? Anyway, he worked about 20 minutes from the house. While driving back home, the car is quiet, it's just me so I took that time to just pray for my family and friends. As I was praying, God brought something to my mind and gave me this whole like, paragraph. I said God why are you telling me this, He answered and said, post that on Facebook ....I was like, What?? People will think I am crazy, but God if you say do it, I will. It was like I couldn't make it home soon enough. I went straight to the laptop and just typed out exactly what I heard in my spirit. I hit post....nothing happened. Then later in the morning a man that I had gone to school with messaged me. He said, "you are probably going to think I am crazy, but I have been going through so much stress lately that I decided that my life was not worth living anymore and today I was going to end it all. I opened my computer to tell people good-by, and when I did I saw your post....it made me realize I still have a reason to live. I have decided to keep living, I actually feel inspired now....."

I can't remember all he said, I can't even remember what I wrote, but I know this when God lays something on your heart to-do, just do it! You don't know whose heart you are going to touch, who you are going to help....if you have an inkling about doing something good, just take it and run with it. God will use it.....

I want to challenge you this rest of this week to look for opportunities to touch someone's life and make a positive impact.....will you take that challenge?

Traveling on with you,
Regina

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sharing Myself and My Story

It has been a long journey arriving here, where I am now...not just my physical address, but my mental and spiritual state as well. I have been down some long roads, some because of decisions I made, and some at the hands of others. 

I've been divorced, twice, and remarried. Getting divorced is easy, Being divorced...not so much. The first time I divorced was simply because my husband decided he didn't have to work and help take care of us, and to be truthful, I had the personality of the spoiled princess that felt I didn't deserve such horrible conditions....no one had explained to me yet that when you marry, you both lay down your so-called rights. The second time I divorced was strange really. I had a good friend that helped me out a lot after my first marriage ended, then one evening he fixed dinner for me and my kids, and the next thing you know we were engaged. We had a great marriage really, but he decided he couldn't handle having little kids....I don't guess it ever crossed his mind that they would grow up someday.....I was single a long time, very cautious about getting married again. In the time in between God began to show me the areas in my life that needed some work. I don't think I every "left" God, but I will say that my relationship with Him deepened. One night while I was praying I said to God that if He wanted me to have another spouse or date another person that He would just have to plant them right in the path in front of me.....the next day at my job, He did just that! I met what would be my husband, that day. We started dating and 6 months later we married. We have had some rough patches, you always do when you come into a marriage with past baggage. God by His spirit really worked in my heart and life. It seems He transformed all that was the old Regina, and gave me a renewed mind, a refreshed spirit, sometimes it seems my personality is not even the same. My husband and I have grown in God in the time we have been together (6 years just this past September). We feel we have both repented of the mistakes we have made and I know in my heart that God was just to forgive us, to cleanse us, and to make us new. No longer do I have a life filled with bitterness and hardness, but feel I have a tender spirit, a heart of grace and mercy. My goals in life changed....I want my life to please God first, then my husband....I remember those early years when I was married, I will tell you that was certainly not my heart. I want my children to learn from my example what it means to be a Godly wife and mother, the keeper of the home, the help mate, how to love your husband. I have done so many things, a lot I am not proud of, but the God I serve is a restorer....He can take a broken life, marred by what you think is the deepest of sins, and He can wash is it clean and make it brand new. He can heal where life has left deep wounds and scars, places in your life that you would never reveal to another soul, He cares about those places, I know because I experienced His tender loving care as He healed wound after wound in my spirit and in my life.

Through all of this i I would hear the voice of God directing my steps, and sometimes, I ran.....but through it all His love remained, He never left my side, He carried me when I couldn't carry myself. This journey has had a lot of twists and turns, but I wouldn't change it....the journey is what made me who I am today. The trials shaped me, the paths brought out character flaws that needed to be dealt with. I am a better woman because of this journey. I love where I am today! God gave me gift to speak to the hearts of people and I love it! It flows perfectly with the other things He has blessed me with....It was His idea laid on my heart to begin to blog....I am so glad you are on this journey with me....let's keep moving forward, enjoying every minute of our travels...

Be Blessed!
Regina

A Slow Monday and a Trip to Baskin Robbins

Mondays are slow days at our house....how about yours?? I don't do a lot on Mondays, even though I home-school.....oops did I just confess to that! LOL....but I take is slow and easy that day school wise because I know my kids are tired from all the running around on weekends..

This weekend we had team pictures for the soccer team that my middle one is involved with, I picked up two car loads of clothing donations for my church, my little one was coughing a somewhat feverish all day on Saturday, so we skipped her ballgame, but then that evening went to a girl scout event. Sundays of course we go to church and this weekend was our fifth Sunday singing. It was so nice to sit back and enjoy everyone's talent all the while bringing glory to God. Afterwards we had a fellowship time and refreshments.
After I got home from church I was so keyed up with everything I didn't go to bed until after 1 AM.....

So today, nobody wanted to get up around our house! We did manage to do a few school lessons. In the afternoon though I saw that my troops' energy was waning....it just so happened that I received a coupon for B1G1 at Baskin Robbins for their new flavor of the month "Trick OREO Treat." The kids loved it! It has orange filled oreos, butterfinger candy and babe ruth candy all in the ice cream....so that was a little pick me up for them.

Trick OREO® Treat Ice Cream

What about you? What do you do on days when you have little energy, or sick ones in your family?

A little slower on the journey today, but still traveling on.....
Regina