Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless{ish} Wednesday: Shameless Plug

Today I want to introduce you to my aunt, boss and an amazing photographer, Laura Olson of In His Grace Photography. Our church, Oasis Covenant Fellowship, is currently in the process of purchasing a building right in the center of our town. It has a lot of history and is an ideal location to reach people from all walks of life. Within only a couple of blocks there are people of extreme poverty and extreme wealth... many different cultures and nationalities.... really it is such a unique location for a church! We are so excited for the opportunity to reach in to this community and share the love of Christ!

That being said, Laura has stock photographs available for sale in an effort to raise funds for the costs associated with the purchase of this building. These are finished prints and will be printed without her logo :)

Truly this is an exciting time in the growth of our little church :) I've been a part of watching Oasis go from a couple of families in a living room to the congregation that it is today :) God has brought together a unique set of people and we are truly like a BIG LOVING FAMILY with servants hearts! Seriously love these people and I cannot wait to see all the opportunities that open up with this new location :)

Prints can be purchased HERE in sizes as small as 8x10 and as large as 40x60.

Hope you enjoyed the view :)

Linked up with The Paper Mama

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

We Encourage Tuesday: Marvelous Monday

I actually like Mondays. Well not all Mondays but for the most part I'm as okay with Monday as I am with Tuesday or Wednesday or whatever day. I really don't enjoy having to get up before 8 a.m. any day of the week but I do because, well, I have to. Some times I really wish I was more of a morning person but after 2 years of 5 a.m. shifts at Starbucks and 2 years with my early riser, malakai, it still hasn't happened.

Rather than being the totally morning grouch I once was, I try to be thankful. Thankful for the beautiful children I wake up to. Thankful for coffee. Thankful for breakfast and friends. Thankful for a husband headed off to work to provide for his family. I'm not always great at it but I am trying none-the-less. (I'm actually always thankful for these things, just not great at showing it all the time)

This morning was one that I struggled to really be thankful but then I was reminded by my good 'ole friend, Holy Spirit of this...

"This is the day that the Lord has made;
 let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

I began writing this on Monday morning and was unable to finish it because I was consumed by the overwhelming pain that is a UTI. (If you've ever had one of these, you know exactly what I'm talking about) I made it to the doc and got medicine just in time because any longer and some one else would have had to take me

Today, I am thankful to be feeling much better. Ever so grateful for my husband who was willing to drop everything to come home and take care of our children so I could moan rest in bed. (SUCH a good catch I've got here) It was also a good opportunity to pray for those people that have been on my heart. 

Honestly, the Lord continued to remind me (even through the pain) that his truth is still true. This IS the day that He made. Let us choose to REJOICE. The circumstances of my day were not how I was hoping things would go but God is still the same God of peace and joy and rest. So I am thankful for that as well :)

I'm really not certain where I was going with this post yesterday... looks like God reminding me to be ever thankful. It really isn't hard to do when I sit and think about all He has done for me in His gracious mercy and love. My life is so blessed ♥  

What are YOU thankful for today?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Was it Bob or BOB?!

Second blog post for the day because on her birthday, this girl deserves a post dedicated all to her :) Meet one of my VERY bffs. 12 years ago, this month, I met Lynsay. She was hyper and crazy and talked about her boobs. I had no intention of becoming her friend- much less her BEST friend. Here we are, 12 years later... through a lot of junk and boys and now 600 miles, we still have a special bond. 


 Let me tell you a bit about this girl...
She is beautiful. She doesn't think so but she is.
She is caring, loving, nurturing & hilarious.
She is original. She is interesting.
She is intelligent.

She changes her hair more than most people.
She is a dancer. And a darn good one.
She laughs. A. Lot.

She's a mama to Satchmo and Jazzy.
She is sissy to Jason, Jennifer & David.
She is daughter to Bill and Janie.
She is girlfriend to Michael.
She is friend to too many to name.

She is a friend.
She is fun.
She is woman.
She IS the gun show :)

She is Lynsay.
She is Miss Lynsay.
She is Lynz.
She is Pancake.
She is Lamby.
She is Ni-Ni.

Lynsay is loved. Even when she doesn't feel it or believe it.  She is loved.
She is special. 
She loooves love.

Happy Birthday, girl. Wish I could be there to celebrate... bring you a balloon and flowers. 
I miss you.

Embrace the camera: "Oh Fooey" Edition

Today its all about me and my little monkey Malakai ♥

Today I was reading in Ecclesiastes about seasons- let me tell you how much I am loving this season w/ my son. Its better than any autumn crisp morning or falling leaf or pumpkin spice latte.  

His exclamations crack me up daily... take for instance, "Oh my heck." or how about, "Oh fooey." (Thank you, Donald Duck) or even, "What my heck!?" (Thank goodness this is about as foul as the language gets around here... haha)

He is silly, loves to tease and be goofy. He climbs, jumps & makes messes. He is a helper and a good friend to his sisters. Throughout the week he can be my time to laugh and time to cry. My time to seek and my time to lose. My time to embrace and my time to refrain from embracing. :) My time for war and my time for peace. haha.

Really, I just love this little guy (aaaand the fact that my cell camera didn't think we needed to have noses).

He is growing into such a sweetheart and I pray daily that God would use him in mighty ways to bring forth His message of the Gospel. 

Malachi 2:7 "For the lips of the priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts." (ESV)

So, are you ready to embrace the camera?
here's the nitty gritty:
1.  take a picture with you and your kids/spouse/family member/friend/whatever.
2.  blog about that picture and include a link to our blog, or grab our button.
3.  link your blog post up on the link tool here (@ the anderson crew).
4.  visit the other embracers...give each other lots of compliments about how good we look with our greasy hair andsweatpants velour jogging suits on.  cause yah, we need a little boost when it's been days since our last shower.
5.  have fun!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless{ish} Wednesday: Favorite Things Edition

Some favorite things right now... in no particular order... well actually in the order of the photos but the photos are not in the order of how favorite they are :)

#1 That handsome man: My husband. Michael.

#2 That look: You know the one the groom makes the moment he sees his bride coming down the isle?

#3 That moment: When two become One.

#4 That dance: The one where I danced w/ my son and all he wanted was... #5

#5 That love: Uncle love.

#6&7 That excitement: The way my son gets when he goes to see his cousins.

#8 That photo: (and my husband for taking it) Malakai & his Papaw on a tractor. Two MAJOR favs of his.

#9 That time: When my little baby suddenly became a little girl w/ those adorable piggies.

Linked up with The Paper Mama for Wordless{ish} Wednesday :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We Encourage: Take a Moment

Take a moment.

A moment to remember.

Remember being a child.

Do not forget. 

Forget where we came from.

Forget what life looked like at 3ft. tall.

There was a time when the world was new. 

New to you.

New to me.

Try to remember.

Just try.

With all your might.

Are you too jaded?

Hurt? Afraid? 

Old (and gray)?

The world was big.

Bikes were faster.

Everything towered.


Is it coming back to you?

I hope its coming back.

Life seemed simple.

and complicated.

But good.

Lightening bugs. Puddles.

Falling leaves and snow.

Bruises, scrapes and new friends.

Would I go back?

If I could?

Would you?


So unaware.


Fingers in the dirt.

Feet in mud.

Taking it all in.

I remember.

For now.

Yesterday? Tomorrow? 

Trucks and trains.

Dolls and dresses.

Life was good.

Faith like a child.

What does that mean?

Free. Pure. Vulnerable.

Don't want to?


I get it.


Arms. Wide.


Hugs and Kisses.

X's and O's.

Love. Pure love.

Take a moment.

A moment to remember.

Remember being a child.

This was inspired by my son. Everyday I watch him play and it takes me back. Back to simple days that maybe didn't always seem so simple. Days where my biggest decision was which tree to climb... first :) Come on, you know thats a tough choice ;)  Not that we didn't struggle or have our disfunctions as a family but we had love and fun. I was blessed.  I realize that many people do not have such a fortunate past and the memories are not so dear. I also know a REDEEMER that loves us and redeems what was lost or stolen. He is the perfect father, friend, lover and savior. 

Let me encourage you today to remember. Take an account of the blessings from your redeemer and friend. Remember the faith you had as a little one. The vulnerable trust you had that never let you question your next meal or hug. 

Remember some of your firsts... first tree climb... bike ride... time to the beach... 
Remember some of your favorites... Favorite blanket, toy, home, teacher, friend, swing...
Even if Malakai doesn't remember all of his firsts or even his favorites, I will. Share with me in one of these memories made... 
His first time bowling :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

10... TEN... 10... TEN months!

It is so hard for me to believe that my 5lb twin babies are ten months old! This time last year, they were still so tiny in my belly (although my belly wasn't so tiny). Today they are working on 16lbs and getting around quite well.  This time last year they needed me to help them grow- they were literally connected to me- today they can feed themselves (although they do still need me to breastfeed). So much changes in such a small window of time. They have gone from fetus to baby to little girls in no time flat. (well 10 months to be exact-HA!)

Ava is really showing herself to be the little ham and really loves to pick at people. She has us laughing all the time. Her favorite pass times are pulling her sister's hair, shirt, face... etc- point is, she is always touching her sister. When she isn't pestering Lils, she is probably working on Malakai... much to his dismay much of the time. haha. She likes to yell and smile and eat... oh yeah and stand on her head.

Lilly tends to be a bit quieter than Ava. She knows what she wants and very determined. Lilly (otherwise known as Lils) is sweet as can be and loves to cuddle. She loves to stand holding onto the wine rack in the kitchen. Whenever I walk in the room to get her out of bed, she lights up! Her smiles are contagious and her pigtails are adorable :)

Some firsts this month... Both girls are now crawling on their hands & knees. Lilly had only a couple of days up on Ava :) Ava is now pulling up on EVERYTHING! Having both girls pulling up has made bath time quite the workout :) We all experienced our first hurricane this past month... good 'ole Irene :) First time meeting some family... The girls met their cousins James, Jamie, James Jr & Kayla... They also met some family I hadn't even met before- Uncle Gary, Tina, and shoot I can't remember her daughter's name (but she was completely adorable :)). They attended their 1st wedding- Congrats Uncle Kevin & Aunt Andi and cousin Liam!!! :):):) Ava likes to yell, "aaaaaat." She also is pointing at all kinds of things and just a couple days ago started pointing at noses on command :) (she also enjoys putting her finger up her own nose-haha) Lilly says, "oooooow!" We're pretty sure she even says it in context- maybe a first word :) Both girls are saying, "mammamamamommy" and "heeeey" (imagine high pitched and totally adorable). They like to sign "all done" and clap and can wave. Peek-a-boo is a favorite game. They love to read books. We are also seeing little attitudes emerge and definitely understanding, "no, no" :) If you take something away, they protest. Lots of first outfits as we finally have them (mostly) in 6-9 mo clothes- they are such little munchkins :) (not that I'm complaining!)

This past month has FLOWN by and it is such a joy to be right in the middle of their little lives. This age is so neat because they grow and change so quickly! Their personalities are really coming through, they recognize you and begin to show real affection. Every day (although maybe not every moment) with them makes my heart smile! I just love it! I truly am one blessed mama!!!

This is Ava doing her head stand :) It cracks me up how she looks around while she is upside down :) haha (please ignore the ornery 2 yr old and stern daddy voice at the end-lol)

One last 1st learned on their 10 month birthday :) This is sure to make you smile... if you have a heart... haha

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jesus, heal my computer, please :-)

No, really.

I was in the middle of writing my baby girls 10 mo blog post when the screen went black. It is acting like the battery is dead but it shouldn't be. I will most likely be making a call to my friend and favorite computer dude, Jeff Sanders @ Power Up Computing, to see what can be done... that is, if Jesus doesnt fix it first :-) Believe with me :-)

Obviously this little mishap will only delay my blog posting further but hopefully we will be back to normal here soon :-) I have another computer and a smart phone so one way or another I'll get things rolling again :-)

Missing writing my blog and reading all those wonderful, encouraging blogs I follow :-)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wordless-ish Wednesday: labor day

Had every intention of writing a blo post today but it just didn't happen. Getting 3 children, a husband, and myself ready to go out of town- PLUS cleaning the house, doesn't leave much extra time :-) praying for a safe drive... can't wait to see all our kaaaantucky folk :-)

I'll leave you with a couple of photos from our labor day fun... it wasn't the best beach day but we had a blast :-) The 3rd photo of malakai was at The Fractured Prune... YUMMY DONUTS!!! Not sure why he was pouting... I guess because he's two... :-)

Happy Thursday!

Linked up w/ The Paper Mama

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rest in Him (We Encourage Tuesday v.3)

Contentment. Today I am feeling encouraged by the rain. I am encouraged by the cool air ushering in the coming autumn season. I am encouraged as I look at my children and realize how blessed my life truly is. So many times I have looked in the mirror and thought, "what more could go wrong?" I thought about how I wish I were like this person or I wish I were more like this. In my pride, I imagine how much better of a person, wife, mother, sister, daughter, christian I could be if only...

Psalm 139 was my love letter from Jesus to these inner struggles.  If you've never read it, please read it. If you've read it a thousand times, read it as if you've never read it before. Soak it in. Pray it. Meditate on it. Trust me, this scripture with touch you. The intricate hand of an artistic, perfect, loving creator is the One that made me who I am. Realizing that is humbling and equally encouraging.

Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart 
 Psalm 139
O LORD, you have searched me and know me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or whereshall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night," even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as light to you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My face was not hidden from youm when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them! If I would cound them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain! Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting!

Wonderful, WONDERFUL are your works; my soul knows it very well. He searches out my path and my lying down and is acquainted with all my ways. I have nothing to fear. Not even myself. He created me. He loves me. He goes before me. He KNEW me before I was formed. He is with me always.

Learning to rest in Him and trust the Creator's plan brings peace. It brings joy. I can see that the rain brings life. The cool air is refreshing. My children are a blessing from the Lord. No matter how many times I look in the mirror and see a face that doesn't have time for make-up most days and hair that hasn't been washed for 2 days or stretch marks that are here to stay, I know that I am His and He is mine. May I encourage you to rest and be content with the woman, wife, mama, sister, daughter that He created you to be- I know I am... at least right now at this very moment... I might have to re-read this post tomorrow morning as a reminder ;)

Call Me Blessed: We Encourage Tuesday

Friday, September 2, 2011

Embracing (the camera) Baby as an Accessory :)

Ava Lynn. I love this girl. She's just so stinkin cute!

 The past few days I have been wearing my girls a lot more. Not sure why but perhaps its the realization that they will all too soon be too big to be "worn" or possibly they have been a little more needy. Either way, I am enjoying it and taking full advantage :) Ava is just such a joy in my life. She makes me laugh and smile. She's goofy and cracks herself up all the time :) Peek-a-boo, grabbing glasses, biting, laughing and eating are some of her favorite things right now. She is silly and sneaking. She picks on her sister all. the. time. Her hands are constantly going for her Lilly's hair or clothes or whatever she can reach and she'll look at me with this mischievous adorable grin as if to distract me from what she is doing. Its all too much! Anyway, enjoy looking at my sweet girl ♥

So, are you ready to embrace the camera?
here's the nitty gritty:
1.  take a picture with you and your kids/spouse/family member/friend/whatever.
2.  blog about that picture and include a link to our blog, or grab our button.
3.  link your blog post up on the link tool here (@ the anderson crew).
4.  visit the other embracers...give each other lots of compliments about how good we look with our greasy hair andsweatpants velour jogging suits on.  cause yah, we need a little boost when it's been days since our last shower.
5.  have fun!

Swapin September Sponsors :)

You may (or may not) have noticed the additions of the blog buttons in my sidebar. Basically, as a means of having my blog noticed and helping spread the word about other amazing bloggin chicas, I am doing some blog "sponsoring" or swaping. SO, I wanted to make a mention of the 2 I've added so far :)

First of all is, Mandey over at mama and the dudes. She is a super mama of two A-Dorable twin boys with the sweetest faces and fabulous hair. She is creative and witty and I'm really glad to be swapping with her this month :) Click on over and check out her blog :)


Next up is, Jen over at Jennifer March. Her blog is all about her life and helping people... especially the "less fortunate". She has a sweet heart and I am glad to be partnering up with her this month to help battle malaria through providing mosquito nets for families in Africa. So go check her out!

Hope you are all having a FABULOUS Friday! I know I'm needing to get out of this house... thinking a date night is in order... anyone want to come babysit 3 gorgeous kiddos tonight??? 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

3 Years on Their Way to Forever

Happy 3 year anniversary to my brother and sister in-law, Charles and Whitney!!! I love you both so very much and am so proud of the people and parents you are becoming :) The Lord has blessed your lives in so many ways and I can't wait to see what your future holds! 

Seriously people, these two are such loving parents to 2 of the most adorable boys you'll ever see! They work hard every day to provide for their family. They value their time together as a family- which is really special and many times lost in so many families today. We hate living 600 miles away from them because our kids are very close in age and could be such good buddies! If you live near them and don't know them very well, you should get to know them :)

We miss you all very much and can't wait to see you soon! I pray the Lord will bless you on this day and the many, many more you will have together! Delight in one another. Date one another. LOVE one another.

"Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.."
1 Cor. 13:4-8

Love, love, love you all!