Wednesday, July 21, 2010

As soon as Keslee and Kenyon got home from camp we had just a few hours to get ready for another trip. I had to do do some laundry because, as expected, Kenyon once again did not use his "wet clothes" bag and just dropped his wet towels and swimsuit in his suitcase with everything else.
Monty's sister, Latrese, is in the air force and lives in Virginia. She flew in for the 4th of July weekend. His father, Kenneth, lives in Houston and he drove up for the weekend as well. As soon as Monty got home from work, we headed to his mother's house (about an hour away) to spend the weekend with them all.


Aunt Latrese has not been home in 3 years and she definitely made up for missed birthdays and Christmas. She had one entire suitcase full of nothing but new clothes for her very excited nieces and nephew(of course there were a few things for her brother and his wife as well☺).

Once it was all said and done, we had an entire box full of new clothes, shoes, purses, nail polish, head bands, and a few souvenirs from her trip to Brazil.

Of course she could not leave out her only brother! Yes, technically this is a huge dog bed but because it has the cowboys logo she could not resist bringing it home to their biggest fan. It is actually quit comfortable to throw on the floor and watch tv or use to prop up in bed to read a book.

Of course new clothes are always a good thing but Latrese knows that the true desires of a kid's heart is really in the toys and games. You should have seen Kenyon's face when she came back from a quick trip to the store with this X-box!

Knowing that a boy and his new x-box are not easily parted, Latrese was sure to get the girls their own new toy. A Pink Nintendo DS complete with a a game that is all about caring for baby animals until they grow up-that's right up their alley!

Of course, no 4th of July weekend would be complete without a cookout. There were plenty of helpers but Joyce (aka Nana) really did all the work in the kitchen. Homemade potato salad, baked beans, hot dogs, chicken and of course....

RIBS! The girls and I are really not huge rib eaters but Kenyon and Monty were in rib heaven.

Kalysa and Keslee were more excited about the cold watermelon!

The weekend was not all gifts and fun. The guys got together and did a few things around the house that needed done. My mother in law just bought her first house in March and she is still settling in. There were shelves that needed to be hung,
New bar stools to put together, old chairs that needed tightened up and even some yard work.

After some work time, the guys just had to get a little domino play in there

Between the new toys, great food, a little work and a little rest we made time for lots of family time!

I am so glad that Monty's parents are good enough friends that his dad is welcome to stay at his mom's house and truly have family time. Kenneth was not involved in most on Monty's growing up years but has been a great grandpa.
He lives about 8 hours away so we don't get to see him often but he is always the first to call on birthdays and holidays. Monty and his dad pretty much spend the entire football season on the phone with each other. Kenneth is such a great guy and I wish that he had been a much bigger influence in Monty's life before he was grown. Although I can't change the past, I am thankful that he has been a great grandpa to our kids.

It was so good for all of us to have the opportunity to catch up. We don't get that chance nearly enough with Monty's family. With everybody living in different parts of the country and each with our own schedules and commitments, time together is not always easy to arrange.
As you can see, the distance and time between us does not affect the love we have for each other.

Even Kenyon tolerated a few hugs-even outside-where somebody might see it!

We had a great weekend with lots of family time!

None of us really wanted it to come, but the end of the weekend inevitably arrived.

Hugs were given all around

and the goodbyes were drug out as long as possible-until next time!

Monday, July 19, 2010

An only child

This week(actually the last week of June-I'm a little behind as usual) Kalysa has been an only child. Keslee is now old enough to go to church camp. They left on Monday. Kenyon was very excited but Keslee has been pretty nervous about being away from mom for 4 whole days. That is until it was time for them to leave! She just hopped on the bus and picked her a seat.
I had to remind her to GET OFF AND GIVE US A HUG!!
Kalysa has been dreading this week. She and Keslee are best friends and when I asked what she was gonna do while Kes was gone, she busted in to tears and wailed "I DON'T KNOW!!!"
After all the hugs, everyone loaded up the bus and headed off to camp.
This is my favorite picture! See Keslee's little hand on the window? It just shows the love between two sisters as they each embark on their first week away from each other EVER.
With a last wave, they were gone and I was left with only one child to take home. After a few hours I asked Kalysa what she thought about being an only child. She said "there is no fighting and it sure is quiet!" When I asked if she thought she would like to always be the only child I got a definate "NO! I don't like to go sleep alone!"
We made it through the week. Kalysa got lots of extra one on one time and even got to sleep on the couch a few times. It made her nights alot less stressful. We enjoyed each other and the peacefull quiet of a house with only one kid but by Friday we were all ready to have the whole family back together. All of us EXCEPT Keslee. The first thing she told me when they got back was that she was NOT ready to come home. My little girl did not miss me! The same little girl that can't even stay at grandma's house without a tear or two. The one that has to go with me everytime I leave the house. She had so much fun at church camp. The last several weeks have been filled with stories about the dorms and the Bible lessons and the swimming and the food and the carnival and the other kids. Keslee's life is now just a countdown until she can go back to camp next year. She has spent lots of time preparing her baby sister for next year when it will be their first year of church camp TOGETHER! Through all of her excitment and stories, I can't help but be saddened by it all. It really makes me realize that I don't have any more babies! They are all growing up so fast. Wondering if there is any way that I can hang on to Kalysa a little harder and keep her my tiny baby girl just a little longer!? guess not, huh? :(

Saturday, July 3, 2010

God and Country

1 Timothy 2 says 1.I exhort therefore, that first of all,supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men. 2.For kings and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3.For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4.Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
This verse tells us that we need to pray for, intercede for and be thankful for all men-EVEN the kings and others that are in authority. How far could our country go if these same people in authority were to find the saving power of Jesus Christ?!?! How can they know if they aren't told? Since it is our ob to tell them, our preacher planned a God and Country Sunday last week. He sent invitations to all of our local and state government officials and military personal. Our church prepared for months to make everything just perfect.
Every part of our building was decorated. The Lord worked out all the details. Hot dogs, apple pie, baseball and Chevrolet are all associated with "all American" so that was the theme. It was amazing to watch as the Lord provided everything from all the food to all the drinks and even the huge tent and chairs to set up outside.
Everyone in the church had a part in it, including the kids. Before the service the kids waved American flags and waved at the arriving and passing cars.

Monty was on parking lot duty.

Members of the Navy were there to present the colors as we opened with the Pledge to the flag, the Christian flag, and the Bible. We then had a moment of silence to reflect on the all the men that have fought and died for the freedoms that we enjoy today (like being able to assemble in church every week without persecution!)
During the silence, the Navy stepped outside and did a 21 gun salute.

And then played taps. It was very powerful!

Afterwards, they looked for and picked up every shell from the shots they fired. I thought maybe I could keep one shell for Kenyon as a reminder, but they have to collect and keep everyone of them.
Our preacher had invited Brother Chuck Harding to bring the message. Brother Harding has held some very prominent positions that has given him a special incite on government workings and employees. He made sure every person (from a mayor, the D.A., an Oklahoma supreme court justice, veterans, active duty military, and local police and fire department members) got a clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He preached on liberty. What it is and what it is not. (It is not the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want.) He challenged everyone to stand for and protect our God given liberties. He also taught about our country's history that seems to have been forgotten like the fact that Paul Revere was on his way to the Preacher's house when he was warning that the British are coming. He wanted to be sure the preacher's men-not the army but the MEN of the church- were ready and the preacher assured him that HE-not the government but from the pulpit-had been preparing God's people all along and they were ready! How many public schooled children will learn that?! Kinda throws that separation of church and state myth out the window, huh. It was a very powerful and informative message. At least 3 of the attendees, raised their hands for salvation and extra prayer.
After the service, everyone moved outside for food and fun. The Starks family provided Christian music. We had tons of hot dogs and apple pie.

Rowdy the redhawk stopped by.

He is the mascot for Oklahoma's baseball team.
Kenyon even got his autograph.

Their were some brand new Chevy's on display. This pretty green camaro was my absolute favorite!!

Monty really liked this pick up truck but I think he and Kenyon (and every other man in attendance) agreed that the.....

the little red Corvette was the best. Of course, afterwards, everyone needed to hear some real hard preaching on thou shall not covet!
It was really a great day and God was glorified in everything that took place. We now must continue to pray for our civil servants that had the gospel seed planted.
Hope you all have a GREAT 4th of July!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Taking America Back

While mom and I do the paper route, we normally listen to a local talk radio morning show. Well, last week they were giving away tickets to the 10th caller. Now my sister, Chastanie, wins those kinda things off the radio ALL-THE-TIME but I never have any luck. (She even won a casket signed by the the members of KISS one halloween. She made enough money off of that thing on ebay to get new carpet!!☺) Well, I decided to go ahead and give it a try and this time I actually was the 10th caller! I won 2 tickets to Glenn Beck's Taking America Back tour and an autographed copy of his new book The Overton Window. I don't get to listen to Glenn Beck's show very often because we don't have cable and I can not get the local AM radio station on any of my radios except in the car but the times I have heard it, I have enjoyed. I always learn something from him and he causes me to have a desire to learn more. I would have to say-that is a good thing! Since Monty is not as interested in spending 3 hours on a Saturday afternoon listening to some political speech, my mom was more than happy to go with me.
The show was hosted by John Rich from the country music group Big and Rich. He spoke between each of the other speakers. He was very good and spoke a lot to the Christians in the audience. He said that 10 million professing Christians did NOT vote in the last presidential election and reminded us all that evil prevails when good men do nothing. I was also glad to hear him give a challenge to any preachers in the audience. He told them that if they were scared to preach the hard hitting lessons from the Bible for fear of offending someone-they were the problem. Our country and our world needs revival and that needs to start at the pulpit.
Next we heard from Carl Rove. His message was not filled with humor but just the facts. He basically crunched the numbers for us all. He explained how the government counts a savings from one area as savings but still uses that money in another area. They are basically counting the same money twice to make the picture seem a little better than it really is. He broke down the spending from the stimulus and the Obamacare and really showed how NONE OF IT MAKES ANY SENSE. No matter what pretty words you use to describe these things-the numbers never lie and the numbers do not show a pretty picture for our country.
Of course Glenn Beck was the main speaker and he had his trusty chalkboard on stage to go over news of the day. He spent a lot of time trying to get everyone to realize just how much of our true history has been rewritten or deleted from what we are being taught now. He stressed how important it is to learn things and research for yourself instead of just eating everything you are fed by government run schools or the media. He gave several historical examples like a bombing in Manhattan in 1916 that can only be compared to Pearl Harbor or 9/11 but nobody has ever heard of. He reminded us that if you do not learn from history you are doomed to repeat it. He gave lots of examples from history where other countries have gone down similar paths that we are on now and that path never ends well. Glenn also gave a challenge to all Christians. We know that God is the answer but we can never expect our country to get back to the great land that it once was if we continue to let them push the Answer further and further out. We have got to stop letting them remove God from our government, our schools, our country, and eventually our lives.

Lastly, there was a special guest. Joe the Plumber. He was really good and it really meant a lot to hear him challenge us all knowing that he is just an everyday guy. Not a professional public speaker, an ex-government employee, not some rich country music singer but just a regular guy that is a plumber and got thrown into the spot light because he asked a presidential candidate a question that the main stream media was to afraid to ask. He encouraged us all to "look it up!" Look up the voting records and past writings of all our candidates. Research what they believe BEFORE we vote for them. Stop sitting in the side lines and then complaining when things get even worse. He stressed that as Christians our job is to serve the Lord and as Americans our job is to serve our country. We can not do either effectively if we always do or believe what others say but never learn it ourselves. He addressed the fact that many people tell him he should have just kept him mouth shut when he met Obama and he would have been saved the grief of being drug through the mud by the media. He assured us that the little bit of persecution he has or will have to suffer is nothing that he can not handle. He reminded us of some of the things the 12 disciples had to go through which really makes the little inconviences or hurt feelings we may go through when we stand for God and our beliefs seem so petty.
Mom and I had a blast and learned a lot. It really did seem like we were kinda at school and then kinda at church. I feel encouraged that so many Americans eyes seem to be opening about the condition of our country and I have real hope that we could see another great awaking. I know that my God is powerful enough to bring our country back to what it was started on if the people's hearts are willing to listen and then to act.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Well here it is

It seems that most all conservative Christian mom blogs have at least one post all about modesty . I guess it was just a matter of time before this one had one as well. Well, here it is.
For the past few years, the Lord has really been changing my heart where the way we dress is concerned. I have never been one to dress in very revealing clothing so I had always considered myself pretty modest. I have never been much of a girly girl and the only time I wore dresses was for church. Jeans and a t-shirt was pretty much my wardrobe. As I have learned more and more about the distinct and intentional differences that God used when creating men and women, I slowly began finally embracing those differences. I have also learned that modesty is not just about showing skin. It is also about showing the shape and curves that God gave women that incite the desires that God gave men. The Bible says that to lust in your heart is the same as committing adultery. Women should not dress in a way that brings those desires up in every man that passes by.
As I have slowly been changing the way I dress to include mostly skirts, I have experienced benefits that I never even expected. The most shocking to me has been the way I am treated when in a skirt. Many people say that chivalry is dead but I am now convinced it is very much alive in the hearts of men but the appearance of the "lady" is what has died. When I am in a skirt, I am treated like the lady of days passed. Doors open, men call me mam and speak to me in a more mannerly way, someone always wants to lend a hand in things ranging from changing a tire on the side of the road to loading my groceries into my car.
There was a time that I thought the poor women that have to wear dresses all the time were so restricted. Now that I am one of them, I see that I was actually the one that had been in bondage by the jeans I always wore. No matter how great of a pair of jeans I found, they were never as comfortable as a skirt. They had their tight spots, or the gap at the back that showed off your panties every time you bend over or any number of other issues that come with the perfect pair of jeans.
I have learned now that(like most other things) we teach the natural girliness out of our daughters. I have heard many mom's say " my daughter would wear dresses all the time if I let her." For some reason we have started to believe that dressing like a girl is only for times we need to dress up. My own daughters both decided for themselves a few years ago that they wanted to wear skirts or culottes instead of pants. For a long time I held on to many of the jeans they already had just in case. Just in case what-I don't know! I finally got rid of them all and they have never missed them at all. I try to be more aware of the little things that God created my children to be that I unintentionally try to change.
That brings us to my next sewing project. My husband and son are probably the most naturally modest people I have ever met in my life. You will never see either of them without a shirt on-even in the privacy of our home. Kenyon will not wear shorts outside of the house and the ones he will wear in the house must be loose and long. Thanks to the Bible teaching they have had as well as the modest way their father has always lived, my girls understand that we should dress and act modestly. The problem is that they also love to go swimming. They have always had swim suits and just wore a t-shirt over them if they were any where other than our back yard. This summer, when Keslee put on a swim suit to go swimming in my aunt's pool she said "you know mom, I kinda feel naked when I wear a swim suit." I realized right then that I was teaching her convictions out of her. She understands and embraces modesty but I was telling her "be modest every where except when you go swimming." That is the reason Christian children grow up confused and often leave their faith behind. They get mixed messages their whole life from the parents that God gave them to steer them down the straight and narrow path. I started my research then and found the perfect solution. Modest swimwear! It is kind of expensive to buy them but I was not sure if I was skilled enough to make it myself. It just so happened that a lady from our church had the pattern for the ladies swim suit and assured me it was super simple to make. My mom looked it over and decided she could modify it to fit. Another lady from our church works in a fabric store and let me know that they were having a 50% off sale. I got the material, mom cut it all out for me and we got Keslee's suit done before she left for camp!

The material is the same that all swim suit are made of so it will be just as easy to move and swim in. She will not get weighted down like you do with a big t shirt over a suit.

The leggings are a separate piece so it will be a lot easier to go to the bathroom after you are suited up. No more getting totally naked just to use the restroom!

The best part is that I did not teach Keslee to listen to the Lord's convictions "except when....". And she LOVES it!
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