Sunday, April 6, 2014

Family Feud and A Bunch of Other Stuff--An Update

Hi, Ladies!!!

Once again, my famous words: it's been too long since I've written in this space!!!! I can't believe my last post was in February. I've been keeping up with my pregnancy journal and posting on my Facebook page, but I miss my No Idle Bread home!!

So mid-February through the 1st week of April has been one big whirlwind!!! Here's what's been going on!

We've celebrated 4 birthdays:
TM turned 9 in February.

SJ turned 11 in March.

Baby J turned 1 in March.

I turned older in March, too. ;)

We had a couple of field trips to our local nature center and an area farm to learn about eggs:
SJ gathering info about snakes.

TM making friends with a terrapin.

JR comparing his "wingspan" to that of an eagle.

Sitting in a "club house" full of frog stuff.

The kids had to match the animal to its egg. . .

Interesting looking eggs, huh?
The kids and I have had tons of doctor's appointments between us, so we take our school work with us while we wait:

More home improvements--have you all been praying for me in this area?! I still need prayers to surrender and to have patience:
New tile in one of our bathrooms. . .

Tile in progress in another bathroom.

We've introduced flag football (oldest son) and soccer (daughters) to our schedule, as well as free instrumental music lessons for 8 weeks at a local university:
TM prepping for her 1st game.

Playing in her purple gloves. :)

Getting a bit of help with her jersey as she switches to goalie.

We had a last minute trip to South Carolina because our family was selected for a try-out for Family Feud!! Can you believe that!? We won't know for a few weeks if we made it or not, but we had a blast! *Double bonus: my mom came (she lives over 500 miles away!) to join us on our trip*:
On the road with my Mom!!
Rest break; time to eat!
Kids in the hotel room, it's hard getting a pic of them all at once!

Family Feud try-outs on my birthday!

Our happy team of 5:
me, Husband, mom, sis-in-law (Husband's sis), and her hubby
We had SO much fun and lots of laughs!
Shots with "Steve". . . .

One of my daughters got braces, in turquoise and pink, thank you very much:
And the braces match her Hello Kitty jewelry! My girly girl.

And lastly, sadly, my husband's grandmother passed, and her home-going (funeral) service was last week. Know that her life was celebrated, as she was blessed to live 93 1/2 long years upon this earth. And, as my granny would've said, she was "clothed in her right mind," even near the end. She was blessed to raise 5 children, and lived to see grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. And most of all, she was a believer in Jesus Christ as her Savior, and lived her life accordingly. When I met her 16 years ago, I was in awe of the way she would speak about "going to Glory one day" and the peace she had about it. Now I realize it was because she was 100% sure about Whom she had put her trust, her faith secured--a great lesson she taught me. She'll be missed:

An old pic, but special to us because this was when my girls
began forming memories of her. They were 2 and 4 at the time . . .

She never looked up at the camera;
her full attention was on my oldest son,
who was about 2 or 3 months old then.
So through out the ups and downs, the hills and valleys, the celebrations and the tears, the busyness, God has been the calm, the faithful One, and I bless His holy name.

I hope to do an update soon more specifically about the learning in our homeschool, our challenges and triumphs, for the month of March--and idea I got from my friend LaTonya who blogs at A Little This...A Little That. Check out her March homeschooling update HERE.

Take care, Ladies and know that you are in my prayers!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What is True Friendship?

I've been thinking a lot about friendships lately, especially during Bible study this past week. The focus was on friendships.

The question I asked myself is:
Who are my friends, my true friends?

What about all of the good folks who accept friend requests on Facebook? I've seen some people with over 600 Facebook friends! 600?!?! When I look through the number of people who are my "friends" on my personal Facebook account, I think: they are great acquaintances, people I worship with, childhood friends, classmates, strong women of faith. But just a few of them would I say are personal, close-knit, tried and true, through thick and thin, pick me up when I'm low, friends.

Why is that? I think there are so many people we come in contact with in our lives, but very few are true friends. This verse shed light for me:

 Jesus was more than willing to lay His life down for his disciples because they were His friends, His closest companions. And, even beyond that, He was willing to lay His life down for you and me, those who did not know him in the flesh. He was a giver, a sacrificial type of friend. He was not afraid of the giving of Himself.
And so, I reflecting on friendship, I wonder which one of our "friends" is willing to yield, give of themselves, lay down a bit of life for another? Am I willing to do that for people that I call friend? Am I willing to put their needs ahead of my own and really give to them, pour my life into theirs?
The reality is that not many of us are willing to do this, myself included. We sometimes look at relationships and friendships from a "what can you do for me?" perspective. And here in the Scriptures, there isn't much any of us could "do" for Jesus, I mean after all, He is King and Lord of all. Yet, knowing that all we had to offer Him was our filthy sins, He still gave all He had for us and called us His friends. Wow.
So, I walk away from this week's Bible study asking a different set of questions:
What type of friend am I? Am I willing to give, even when I might not get much in return? Am I willing to lay a bit of my life down and pour into someone else's?
It is my prayer that I do better at cultivating the friendships God has blessed me with; more giving and less taking, a sacrificing of myself.
"A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
-Proverbs 18:24

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Family Fun!

Hello, No Idle Bread family! We've had a touch a fun this week and it all started with. . .

Wednesday night into Thursday morning, it snowed and snowed and we got about 10 inches of snow altogether. My favorite part: Husband didn't have to work Thursday or Friday and is off Monday because of the holiday. I love spending time with him!

The kids and I tried a new recipe. . .snow ice cream!

Adventures in Unsell Land: Snow Ice Cream!
Use more or less sugar to taste!
My daughters collected a big bowl of snow for me, and they let me know that it was "picnic table" snow only!! (We have 2 dogs, if you know what I mean!) The kids went out to play in snow and the 2 year old quickly decided that 5 inches of snow was a bit too much for him to handle. So, he was my ice cream helper.

We had a blast as a family.
Early morning conversation with Husband without the "I've-got-to-get-to-work" rush.
The kids dressed in pink and red so I could take a Valentine's photo of them. Look at how they've grown.
Valentine's 2014

Valentine's 2013
School consisted of a devotion from John 15:9-17: Love and Joy Perfected in Jesus, and some fun games using conversation hearts.
Family Fun Night. 4 great games using conversation hearts.
Fun game ideas here that could certainly be played at any time!

This was fun, not only because it was Valentine's Day, but also because we were able to get out of the house, considering the snowfall. We helped Husband shovel the snow after we played our games. Then we went out to lunch.
Oldest daughter and Husband. . .
Aren't they twins?

Me :)
My son's tooth has been loose for weeks. He finally lost it right before bedtime, and was he excited!
And ice cream on the cake: it was my daughter's 9th birthday, the day after Valentine's day. I remember Valentine's Day of 2005 vividly, because that is when I went into labor with her. But, she wanted her own day so she came on the 15th instead. ;)
We had birthday cake for breakfast!

Birthday socks

TM with a new bunny from her brother.
This week was great and my heart is full and I am grateful and blessed by God's goodness.
Baby J, crawling around with a Santa hat on. LOL

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Truth About Valentine's in My House {Valentine Marriage Challenge--Week 4}

How does Valentine's week unfold in your household? Are your expectations high, hoping your husband will amaze you with precious jewels and gorgeous flowers? You know, just like the commercials? I can hear them in my mind, "Every kiss begins with K!" Well, I will share with you what Valentine's Day is like in my home.
But first, let's start with what the challenge is for this week: reclaim the "passion" that is meant specifically for a husband and his wife. As I mentioned last week, it is a sweet gift from our Heavenly Father, meant to be enjoyed under the covering of marriage, by husband and wife.
At any time, any of us can get stuck in the daily norms and routines of life . . . and the passion begins to fade. Let's make some sparks fly, on purpose! Light a little love fire in your marriage! Plan to be available to your husband this week. Make him feel special, regardless of what he may or may not do for you, especially on Valentine's Day.
Now, here we go. . .confession time!!
Early on in my marriage, for several years, I was always disappointed on Valentine's Day. I expected flowers or jewelry or balloons and candy or sweet smelling perfume, coupled with a nice dinner out (yes, all of these things). These were the automatic, ingrained expectations I brought to our marriage. Any time my husband didn't deliver to the extent I felt he should, you know--something worthy of bragging about to my friends--I would pout and be unappreciative. What a slap in the face to a good man, a very good man!
Fast forward some years of being a wife and learning my husband, I realized my error. What I learned about my husband is that he'd rather not sum up our love for each other on one day out of the year, which just has to be represented by things, certain things. Instead, his perspective was that we should love each other deeply and intentionally and be appreciative all year long. Talk about a lesson learned!
Understanding his point of view has helped me keep my expectations realistic. That doesn't mean that my husband is a cold, loveless, or thoughtless man. He's quite the opposite. But I understand how falling victim to the commercialism that surrounds this holiday (and many others) can prompt me to make him feel unappreciated. So, I started to intentionally look for the little things he does to declare his love for me on a daily basis, rather than waiting for a few days out of the year. And guess what my friends? He declares it often and sincerely.
No, I don't receive flowers every day and I don't have a jewelry box full of diamonds. What I do have is a husband, a man of God, who loves me deeply and is never ashamed of that.
So, what about Valentine's Day? Well, it's more like a regular day for us, with just a few extras. We do something small for each other: a card that says EXACTLY what we mean, not just a card in order to "check the box"; a surprise of something that's our absolute favorite: strawberries, a favorite meal, a sweet love song. I've come to treasure these moments so much! Now, if he ever wanted to throw in a night out on the town or some pretty jewelry, I'm sure I would accept. However, I'm no longer holding him to an expectation that is not realistic for my marriage. Instead I am embracing the gift I already have. . . the gift that is my husband.
Happy Valentine's Day!
{{Repost from 2/12/13, Valentine's Challenge}} 
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