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Monday, September 21, 2009

Wake Up!! Your Joy is HERE!!

For those who know me well, you know that "Trading My Sorrows" is probably my least favorite worship song. I don't know why. It's nice and all, but if I never heard it again that would be fine with me. That was until I was looking for some new songs to put on the iPod to workout to. I really like Isreal Houghton and I saw he had an arrangement of TMS so I was curious. I loved the groove...kinda of Janet Jackson "What have you done for me lately". But it was what Isreal said in the middle that smacked me upside my head.

Pre-chorus: "So the sorrow may last for a night, His joy comes in the morning"

Isreal said (and I'm paraphrasing)...Joy comes in the morning. Morning doesn't necessarily have an AM behind it. Morning is when you 'wake up' and realize your joy is here. It's when you 'wake up' and realize what God's done for you and what He's given to you. So WAKE UP! YOUR JOY IS HERE!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Family, Friends, & Festivities....Oh, my!

Like surprises? I don't really...too nosey, I think. But I do like planning them. So for Tony's 40th birthday (Sept 7) I wanted to plan something really special. About 6 mos ago, I'd emailed Tony's parents & best friends from Ohio to come surprise him. Since we moved to Vegas, I invited our LA friends too. Everyone was able to make it!!! And Tony...well, he was kind of surprised. He says he knew something was up. Surprised or not, we had a great time. We were able to hang out with our LA buddies. Next his parents flew in; followed by his long-time best friends from Ohio. And finally, my dad rearranged some meetings so he could be there too! It was an awesome week!

We spent 3 days on the Strip, pretending we don't live here. Eatting our way through LV, seeing the sites, shopping, shopping, seeing "O" by Cirque du Soleil, did I mention shopping☺!

Along the way we had to have a 1st birthday party for our little princess! Tony actually let her have a cupcake! (Normally, he won't let her have anything "good" to eat. He says she doesn't need the added sugar, salt, grease, etc. He's right, but man, I feel bad for her sometimes.) Lucky for him, she didn't even like the cupcake. So Logan brought her a piece of watermelon with a candle! She gobbled it up!! I can't believe she's one already. Time really does fly! How precious these 2 angels are! Truely gifts from heaven.

Needless to say, after almost 2 weeks of entertaining & playing tour guide (which was a blast & I'd be happy to do again, anytime☺) I was exhausted! But the day after everyone went home, Logan stated school.

It was so great to see our parents & close friends. We can't wait to see you all again ASAP! Love you all♥♥! And next time you all come, you can crash at our house.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Going to the house of God

Sunday was the first day we visited a new church here in LV. And Logan and I really like it. The name of the church is The Crossing. They had a wonderful children's ministy department. The helpers were so kind and welcoming to me & the kids. The lady who helped me get the kids to their correct rooms was so helpful! She reminded me of Pastor Virgil at RHCC. On our first day there, he walked us to the nursery to help us get Logan signed in. I'm not sure why, but that has always suck with Tony & me. Well, this lady did the same. (I'll have to get her name this Sunday ;) After she helped me register the kids & walk me to each of their classrooms, she told me that next week they would both be in their computer sign in system. I don't know much about it yet, but it scans your thumb print to get your kids in & out of class!!!

You know when you just have a gut feeling about something. That's how I felt about this church. It was like God, for various reasons, just eliminated all the others I was considering. When we pulled in, I got even more confirmation that this is where we're supposed to be...I locked my keys in the car! Good news, my mom came to the same service & we could go back to the apartement & get the spare key. Well, my first thought was to do this during the service. But I'm so glad I didn't. That's just what Satan would have wanted. So I stayed and worried about the keys later.

The service was AWESOME! The music was so alive. The worship director, Jason Deese, has pure excitment & joy oozing from him. It's contagious! The pastor had a great message. He spoke about how God has given each of us a story that is just ours. He's also placed us just where we are right now to influence those around us for His sake, using the story He's given to us. And just like a stone in a pond, He wants us to have a "ripple effect" for Him & His kingdom.

I was so excited after church. I called Tony on the way home to tell him all about it. His new job requires that he work 4 Sundays in a row, then he has 2 off. So I wasn't thrilled about us not attending church as a family (especailly because The Crossing doesn't have a Sat evening service. This was the one reason I kept putting it at the end of the list. But God kept bringing it to the top!) And just like God does, He answered a prayer I hadn't even prayed yet. At the end of the service, the pastor reminded everyone about the new Sunday Evening service beginning in Oct! Wow! God opened a way for us to worship as a family!! Also, there are small groups, women's ministries & various kid stuff for us to get involved with.

I'm so happy to have a new church home. Even after only one week, when God's in just know! Can wait for Sunday! Even Logan (who's at an age where he's not outwardly excited about anything except video games & Legos said "it's not too lame. We're going again this Sunday so I can play with the kids I met, right."

Here is the link to a video of Sunday's service.
Enjoy & be blessed.

Monday, August 17, 2009

"One of those days"

Today I was reading an online devotional. Well, I think it was more of a Christian blog, but it spoke like a devotional to me. It's been "one of those days". Actually, it's been "one of those days" for awhile now. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being a full-time, stay-at-home mom. It's what I always desired (and still do). However, there are times that the breaks my husband gives me just don't seem to be enough to renew my strength. And it's during these times of tired frustrated weakness that the Devil has a field day with me. And today was "one of those days".

It started with a renewed disappointment in myself. I know you've all had those days. You don't like any of your clothes, your sick of your current hairstyle, and even your "new" makeup just doesn't seem to hide enough imperfections. Then I saw a recent picture of myself which just echoed all of my insecurities. I thought I would drown my woe-is-me in the mountain of laundry I had to do. It helped for awhile. Then the master of insecurities mothering. I adore my kids, they are my world along with my wonderful husband. But I never felt like I was a good mom. It's something I've worked very hard at for the past several years & thought I had overcome. But ever once in a while Satan throws it back in my face and old feelings resurface. For several months now, we've been working with Logan on the way he talks to adults, his back talking, smart remarks, and general attitude. One minute he can be so sweet, caring & kind...and the next he's totally disrespectful. Not sure if it's his age, the move, still adjusting to sharing us with Leah or all of the above (I think it's all of the above). No matter what we take away or method of discipline we try it hasn't worked. As soon as the punishment is over, he's right back to his current status. Needless to say, this plays right into my insecurity of being a mom. It didn't at first, but as times gone on it's taken a toll.
After an especially rough dinner, I came to the computer and began to read a blog that was up on the screen. It said, "insecurity is the Devil’s playground. Or maybe the Devil’s battleground is a better word. His weapons attack from every side, and usually leave a wound. It’s a constant war to not let the 'what kind of mother am I?' questions run away with my emotions–and my peace." WOW! Isn't God amazing. He knew just what I needed in that moment. It was then that I realized that Logan's attitude is probably nothing more than the enemy's way of attacking our family. That was just the ammunition I needed to go on the offensive in this spiritual battle.
Here are some verses that were listed on that blog. I pray you find them as encouraging as I did.

“You will be secure, because there is hope . . . ” Job 11:18a, NIV

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.” Romans 12:2, NLT

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16, NIV

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2, NASB

“We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5, MSG

Thursday, August 13, 2009

...because the Father loves me!

Lately, Logan has wanted to listen to his cd in the car. It's a collection of songs that were used at this summer's day camp at church. I volunteered this year, so the songs are familiar to me too. You know the drill...10 catchy songs about Jesus and various Bible stories. But for some reason this cd is different. Or maybe I'm different.
Logan's favorite song says, "God forgives us when we do wrong, Oh, we'll forgive each other too." His other favorite is about how Jesus was tempted in the desert, how he remembered what the Bible said & how we can use God's word to "chase that devil away" when we're tempted too. Wow! How awesome!
I have a couple favorites too:
"Pray, God's people. Nothings too small to say. Pray, God's people. Spend time with God today. He'll listen to you." Prayer was the theme for the week. And my #1 favorite...
"I want to clap my hands, stomp my feet, pound on a drum, swing from a tree...I am so free 'cause the Father loves me." I LOVE this song. I loved watching the kids do the motions (especially 'swing from a tree-act like monkeys). It reminded me daily (during camp week) of how excited I should be that I am free through Jesus. Don't get me wrong. I am so excited that I have eternal freedom through my Savior. BUT how often do I show it? Is the joy, peace & happiness only God can it written on my face? Then I got to thinking, "when was the last time I got overly excited about anything?" Tony would say I'm an emotional person. But come on, what girl isn't from time to time :) I get pretty excited about cupcakes (but that's another story for another time).
Well, camp week came & went. And like most camp weeks, it was a great time. But also, like most camp weeks, the excitement took over again...and so it goes. Then Logan asked to play "his cd" this week while we were running errands. Boy, I'm so glad he did!
As I listen to the words of this little cd, I am not only reminded of God's promises, or of how much He loves me, or even to lift all things up to Him in daily prayer. I am most reminded to come to Him as a child-pure in heart, with wild abandon, unbridled excitement-ready to jump into my Father's lap.
This cd is staying the car for a long time!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Poor Babies

Well, it's official...Logan is really sick! I took him & Leah (who seems to have the beginning symptoms too) to their new pediatrician on Thursday. One listen to Logan's lungs and she was asking me who has asthma in our family because he was wheezing so badly. I told her that I didn't know of anyone. She checked him all out & gave him a breathing treatment in the office. It helped, but not enough. So she ordered one to be delivered to our apartment later that day, wrote the various RX for both kids, and walked me through how to use the machine. The official diagnosis...borderline bronchitis/phenomena. Leah has a bad cough, but it hasn't settled in her lungs so just some cough syrup for her.
The neubulizer was delivered late Thursday evening & I gave Logan his first at-home treatment. We all left a lot better (the kids weren't coughing & slept more peacefully). I give him 3 treatments a day. We have a follow up appointment on Friday to see how he's doing. I'm so thankful I kept the appointment. I was only trying to get his shot records so we could register him for school!
Some may wonder if all of these hurdles meant that we weren't supposed to move here. But I for sure that this is where God wants us. I have such a peace about that. Satan has definitely tried to make us frustrated, tired and sick (to say the least). But we know that God's works out all things for good & for His purpose. This too shall pass...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary!!! Today Tony & I celebrate 9 yrs of marriage! God has blessed us so much. He has truely given us the desires of our hearts (especially with the new house coming. That has been a desire of Tony's for several years. And although he's gotten discouraged during the wait, he remained faithful in prayer & patience & wisdom.) We are both so thankful that we didn't step out of God's will a few years ago and buy something we couldn't really afford just to have what we wanted now. I'm sure this new life God has designed for us in LV will be worth the wait.

All marriages have their ups & downs. I'm overwhelmed when I think about how good God has been in all things. He has shaped us, changed us, transformed us. We love each other more today than we did 9 yrs ago. We have been blessed with 2 amazing gifts from heaven, Logan & Leah. The older I get, the more I see that waiting on God's will & His perfect timing is crucial!! I want God's best for me, my family & my friends...not just God's good. That means I have to submit, get out of the way & let God be Lord of all. Finding it's a lot less stressful on His shoulders than carrying the weight of the world on mine.

Mom offered to babysit so we could have an evening out, just the two of us. Always take Grandma up on those offers!! A hot meal we both got to eat at the same time, YEAH!! We went to McCormick & Schmidts for some steak & seafood. Next we stopped at Planet Hollywood Casino and pretended we didn't live here for an hour :). OK, he played and I went shopping. As I was walking around I realized, "this is our anniversary and we're not even together...I'm shopping, he's in the casino!" But the really wierd part-neither of us minded. We had a great evening, together & each enjoying some alone time.

Out & About

So today (Tuesday) I finally ventured out of the house with the kids. (It's better than leaving them behind ;) ) We drove around trying to find the dr. office. It took us almost an hour just to find I had passed it at the very beginning. With all the contruction here streets can get confusing. They start & stop, dead-end, and pick up again later. Oh well, it was a nice drive. Ran a couple of errands...found a Mega Wal-mart (could it be? could I love this more than Target??? Time will tell). It was good to get out of the house for awhile. But Logy gets tired quickly since he's been sick. So it's dinner, baths & bed.

Movin on up - Part 2

And the saga continues...
So I'll give everyone the daily breakdown of what happened the rest of the week. Each day it was something.

TUESDAY: We had a pretty mild day. We had boxes everywhere, so we managed to put some necessities away (we're living with the bear minimums until the house is done). Oh, for those that don't know, we have an apartment until the house is complete in Sept. That was a totaly God thing-as this whole thing has been. My mom's friend, who already lived here, had her apartment. The lease ends at the end of Sept! So she & my mom moved into their home & we took over her lease! It's working out perfect. Plus, they accept dogs; so Ariel got to come too.
Anyways, the rest of the day was spent looking for a storage unit and taking Logan to FAO Swartz.
WEDNESDAY: The movers came to move mom's stuff to her place & our stuff to the storage unit. They did a super job!! Yes, we got their names so we can request them when we get to do this all over again in September.
The whole day we noticed that Logan wasn't feeling well. He rested a lot and watched TV. But then I noticed that he was asleep while the movers were doing in and out. We started pumping him with fluids & cold meds.
THURSDAY: DMV DAY. Ok, so my tags expire in 2 days. So I didn't really have a choice but to go get my car registered & license done. Good thing I started first thing in the morning. After find out what documentation they required, I made a trip to the storage unit to retrieve the box that had all of our birth certificates, SS cards, passports, etc-you know, everything I could possibly need at the DMV. Now mind you, I have no idea where the box is at the storage unit because I stayed with the kids while everything was being unloaded there. I did know what the box looked like. So I started digging. God knew it was going to be a long day and let me find the box within about 30 minutes! Now off for my smog check (because of course, CA smog test isn't good enough for NV). Again, God let me get in and out in about 20 mins. Now off to the DMV.
I knew it was a bad sign when I walked in and immediately to my left was a snack area. I don't mean a couple vending machines with "SNACK" above them. I mean a full on concession area. I knew then I better make myself comfy. I finally get the first counter where I give the man my passport, SS card and all other goodies. He then informs me that my car insurance can't be out of state & that I need to change it to a NV policy before my car can be registered! Oh, and I need to take the plates off the car & turn them in. (Ok, that one I should have known...but the insurance thing, come on!) Oh, and one more thing. I have to have the VIN# confirmed at the inspection center, located in the parking lot. All this had to be done by the time my # was called. Good news-there are 70 people ahead of me! So back to the car. Talk about multi-tasking, I get the plates off (using a penny because I couldn't find a screw driver until I got to the back plates) while on the phone with the insurance co. Then, while still on the phone, I drive to do the VIN stuff, losing my nice parking spot in the shade. The whole time I just keep thinking, "It's 110 out here, I'm sweating like crazy, my afro is out of control and NOW they're going to take my picture!" Well, everything gets done in time. I get up to the window & find out that I was the last person they will be able to help because the SS # verification went down! Man, I had my angles busy today. Three hours later, I finally made it home, plates in hand & questionable picture in the mail. Thank God Tony had the kids all day. Thanks honey!
FRIDAY: Logan is still sick & getting worse. He's had a fever of 103-104 since Wed & his cold meds aren't helping. We call our dr. friend in LA, Bill. He perscribes an RX for Logy. Cool! So Tony & I head off to the design center for our flooring appointment. We spent 3 hrs and went with the tile/carpet they had out when we got there! But, when we went to sign the paperwork, their was a hook up with deposits & contacts. So we left, nothing signed or done. AAAHHHHH!! By this time, I'm just so done. I cried all the way back.
We stop at Walgreens to pick up Logan's RX on the way home. Should have known it wouldn't be that easy. Walgreens has trouble verifying our insurance. We get the RX and Logan can't keep it down. So I start looking for an urgent care to take him to. But, they are CLOSED!! Aparently, you can only get sick in LV M-F during regular business hours! At 6pm we finally find one. He's seen & we have to get another RX.

Thank God for the strength He gives us daily. I definately needed it during these 7 days. Like Logan said, "This sure is a Satan thing this week." Out of the mouthes of babes!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Movin on up

I've never done this blog thing before, but I thought I'd give it a shot as a way to document this new adventure in our lives...and so our Oh & LA families can know what's going on with us. In mid-June Tony got word that he was being transfer ed to Las Vegas. We've been in LA for 6yrs now and love it there. But the cost of living is out of control. It's been the desire of Tony's heart to have our own living space again and own our home. But in LA that was definitely going to take an act of God since the average home price is 500,000 (for a condo). Well, God did act and He answered Tony's prayers above and beyond our imagination! So off to Vegas Baby!

Tony scheduled the movers to be at the house on Monday, June 27. They were supposed to be there around 8-8:30am. They finally arrived at 10 (which is when we were hoping to be on the road to LV). Little did I know that this would be a preface to how the rest of the week would go. By 3pm, they were just putting the last things in the truck...that is the last things that would FIT! THE TRUCK WAS TOO SMALL!!! And still sitting in the driveway-Leah's highchair, my mom's new chair, fans, Tony's shop vac & dolly, Logan's wagon-just to name a few. The movers tried to strap the fans, dolly, vacuum and chair to the top of my SUV! We looked like the Beverly Hillbillies! I can laugh about it now, but at the time a just sat and cried. After the movers started off, Tony & I unstrapped everything from the car and piled as much in our cars as we could. Thank God for our friends, Aimee & Brent. They agreed to come rescue our things and put them in their garage until we can get them (or it's an excuse to come visit us :) ). Anyway, all things packed we started off at 4:30pm!
On the way, we had to pull over because I couldn't see and almost hit someone, Leah cried to hard she made herself throw up, the wind was blowing like crazy, and cops were everywhere. In fact, one pulled up behind us to see if we were ok while we were trying to sooth Leah. Just imagine if we'd left all that crap on the top of the car!
We finally made it Vegas at 10:30pm. We pulled in right behind the movers (who had left 1 hr before us). They unloaded the truck (I'm sure the neighbors at the apartment just loved us). They finished at 2:15am!!!
Finally some least until 6am when Leah thinks she need to say "hi" to the world.
To be continued...

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