Monday, September 28, 2009

Calvary Chapel Chino Hills Women's Retreat

So thankful for my friends!

This past weekend I went to my first Women's
Retreat with my church. The theme of the
weekend was "Blossoming in the Desert" and we
learned that we are either in a desert
experience, have been in one or will be
in one. We learned that desert experiences
(spiritually speaking) can be so hard (dry,
harsh, painful) but there is much to be learned
from them. We also were reminded that God is
the Living Water and wants to pour out His love to
all those who are thirsty. The teacher for the
weekend was Debbie Bryson and she was an amazing
Bible teacher. She knew her stuff, but knows her
God even more! I love that in people!!! You
can tell she is walking in the path that God
has chosen for her.

I was so blessed by the teachings and fellowship.
It was fun to hang out and room with friends, meet
new women and talk about God's truths with eachother.
My wonderful husband, Tommy, had my boys for ANOTHER
weekend while I was away! He is so good about that!!!
I am so thankful for his support.

A few points I want to highlight:
1. A desert is a passage: don't get stuck there.
2. When you're in the desert, look UP. Keep our
eyes on Jesus and our problems will be put in
3. Have patience; James 1:2-4 says "Consider it
pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials
of many kinds, because you know that the testing
of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance
must finish its work so that you may be mature
and complete, not lacking anything."
**Remember: Joy is different than happiness.
Happenings are connected to Happiness, but
JOY is disconnected: JOY is much deeper.
4. Trials are called: the testing of your faith.
Faith is what is at stake!
5. Make sure God's Word is ABIDING IN you.
You'll need it.
6. Never forget that you are not the only one
in the desert.
7. Biggest temptation in trials from Satan
will be not to trust in God and to try to take
care of it ourselves.
8. Love is linked to joy. We need love, we
were created to love (God first, then people)
9. It's the pressures of life that PRESS you
into the PROMISES of God.

I could write a ton more, but this is it for
now. God loves us more than we can fathom
and I was so thankful to spend a weekend
learning more about His Word.

God Bless You!

My roomies for the weekend: 6 women in one room!
So much fun!! (Nail our "deserts" to the Cross!)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fun at the Fair (LA Country Fair)

Last week our family went to the LA County Fair.
It was 102 degrees outside, but luckily we were
prepared this year. We brought a lot of ice cold
water and packed a lunch. We saved room for treats
(the best part of the Fair!). The treats for us
this year were Dippin Dots, a churro, and Fried
Snickers. The kids had a good time and we were
able to see quite a bit. They loved the open
area to run and we had to keep reminding them to
stay within eye sight. The funniest part was when
we were eating our fried snickers and getting
ready to leave. Somebody came up to us and asked
if we'd be interested in being on Super Nanny!
I wasn't sure how to take that- my kids were
actually behaving at the moment, but maybe they
saw the potential for craziness in my boys (or
maybe they saw us earlier when the boys were
running out of control) or maybe they saw that
Tommy and I look tired and thought it must have
to do with raising three boys!!! It was pretty
funny either way!

Here are some pictures of our Fun at the Fair:

Hungry ants

Petting animals

Teamwork: Fishing together

One of the few moments they stood still!

Riding Tractors

Scary Dinsaurs

Luke- 1st pictures missing his two front teeth!

Posing with mom


Dippin Dots!!!!

Everybody has to share

FRIED Snickers!!!! (Tommy's treat that I shared
with him)

Crashed out kids!!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pray, Pray, Pray

Please pray for Daisy Love! She is a 5 yr. old
little girl whose father is Britt Merrick. Britt
is the Pastor at Reality Carpenteria. He is an
amazing Bible teacher and adores his family. I
attended Pastor Jack's (Calvary Chapel Chino Hills)
daughter's wedding last Saturday night and Britt
was the Pastor who did the ceremony. Just a
couple days ago his daughter fell and from what
I understand, they found out then that she had
a nerf football size tumor that is cancerous
in her stomach. She had surgery this morning
and we have been praying and this is the latest

9/24 @ 1:25pm
They were able to remove all the tumor in one piece!
Preliminary assessment is that it is Stage 3 cancer.
Final pathology will not come in for at least 48hrs.
Daisy is intubated and will be kept asleep for a while.

Please keep them in your prayers.

Please pray for little Dylan Davis, too. He is a 3 yr.
old boy of a friend who is going through cancer
treatments for tumors in his body as well.

Brielle Murray is another young girl fighting the
battle with cancer. I am amazed when I read what
these parents post as they walk this hard journey.
They cling to the Living God- He is their hope and
strength. They are amazing witnesses for Jesus in
their struggles. We need to continue to lift them
up in prayer! I know they feel it when we pray!!!

Every day and every moment is a gift from the Lord.

Isaiah 41:11
Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them
in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing lambs.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just an Update

The One Year Devotions for Boys
(Great for ages 6-12)

Well, we have now officially been back in school
for a month now! Wow- time flies when you have
a million things to do!!! There is never enough
time in the day to get everything done. As a
homeschooling mom, I've already discovered that
there are going to be many different responsibilities
and emotions happening ALL the time. Being a mom
alone is the busiest job there is! There is always
something to clean, wash, brush, clothe, and change.
Then you add full-time teacher to the job description
and wow, you wonder how to make it all work. Some days,
I don't know how it all works, but it does.

One thing I am thankful for is that I can choose
what curriculum my child uses. I have only been
homeschooling for 3 years now, but have found that
it works best for Jake to pull from different
curriculums for different subjects. We are
doing Math U See for Math, A Beka for Language
and History and Geography, using Science Kits and
different books for Science, Story of the World for
History too, Notebooking for Bible and The One
Year Devotion for Boys, as well. I have the picture
of the One Year Devotion because I love this book.
I've picked up devotional books in the past, but
this one has great stories that my son can relate
to. It has a few verses each day to read that
teach a truth from the Bible and then it gives
a story that shows an example of that truth being
lived out (or not). He looks forward to reading
his devotion every day. Some days we read it
together and others he reads it alone. I've seen
that they also have them for girls (see bottom of
this post).

We have also been reading another Trailblazer Book.
In fact, I bought two big books that each included
5 Trailblazer books in them. As we read these
stories, Jake is learning more about Christian Heros
throughout the world from the past. I am also reminded
through these books that being a Christian means
being a servant and am praying that God will
continue to show us all areas we can serve in. The
book we are reading is:

The Queen's Smuggler: William Tyndale

So it's been busy, but it's been good. It's
been challenging at times, but it's worth it.
I have really been enjoying our co-op every
Tuesday, and Jake is in Friday school every
other Friday.

On a personal note, I'm excited to be starting
another Beth Moore Study (David). We
had our first meeting on Monday and after
doing the first day of our study, I know
I'm going to learn so much about David. This
weekend I'm also attending our Women's Retreat
for Calvary Chapel Chino Hills. It's my
first one and I'm excited for this experience.

The One Year Devotions for Girls
(This is the same, but for girls)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

More Than Conquerors: New Shows

More Than Conquerors:
New Shows featuring. . .
Kurt Warner; Tom Osborne; Amber Neben; Freddie Scott II

5 new shows will be coming soon on More Than
Conquerors, a Sports Show on TBN that I co-host
with A.C. Green (Lakers) and Frank Pastore (KKLA
Radio Host, Cincinatti Reds). The show airs
Monday mornings at 8:30am Pacific every week
nationwide. We feature athletes and coaches
from all different sports. Through their
stories and interviews, we see how to live
a life of faith while competing to be the
very best we can be. From the Director, Randy
Clark, to the camera crew to A.C. and Frank,
everyone is so great to work with! I enjoy
the time on the set and am always encouraged
by the athletes and coaches that we feature.
Check out our page of Facebook, and become
a fan of MTC! You can see extra footage and
up and coming stories that we will be covering.

On Set: Hosts and Crew

Prep Time

Trying to be as tall as A.C.! I'm barely taller than
him on a chair!!! He's 6'9" tall!!!

Frank Pastore (Host for KKLA Radio)

Director, Randy Clark

Me and A.C.- working hard

Tandi (make-up artist and stage manager)

The make-up required to make me look good!!!

Hard working camera crew

Friday School is back in session!

School is back in full swing and I homeschool,
but we are also part of Western Christian ISP,
and every other Friday Jake attends Friday school.
He has friends from church in his class and many
other new friends through this group. We start
the morning out with worship where the kids and
siblings and parents sing praise songs. Then
the kids each go to their own classes for their
different grades. This year, Jake will be learning
about character, science and art. He is excited
to be back in Friday school.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

He made me do it!

These cute kids could never do anything wrong!
It's always somebody else's fault

When I was coaching High School softball a couple
years ago, there was a girl who missed a ball in
the outfield in a game. She came in the dugout
And I heard a teammate say to her, “It’s not your
fault, it took a bad hop.” She responded (not knowing
I was listening), “No, I should have had it. Even if it
took a bad hop, I should have stopped the ball. If I
make an excuse, the same thing will happen the next time.”.

I was so impressed by her “accountability” for her mistake.
The ball probably did take a bad hop, because the field we
were on was pretty bad. But we don’t learn or grow when we
make excuses. We will all make mistakes, and some are
worse than others and have more consequences. Regardless,
we need to accept our responsibility for all our choices
and actions.

I see the tendency we all have to blame instead of admit
and be accountable in my 8-yr-old son these days. Lately,
when I tell him he is in trouble for doing something wrong,
he immediately tells me what somebody else did to him first.
I tell him that we are talking about HIS actions and tell
him the story of Adam and Eve so he can remember to take
responsibility and not make excuses.

Here’s where we all get the desire to blame and make
excuses! When Adam and Eve got caught in the garden
eating fruit from the only tree they weren’t supposed
to eat from, they immediately started pointing fingers.

God said to Adam in the garden, “Have you eaten from
the tree of which I commanded you that you should not
eat?” (Gen 2:11). Look at Adams immediate response:
“The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me
of the tree, and I ate.” (v.12) Adam quickly points
the finger at Eve for giving him the fruit, and also
at God for giving him the woman in the first place!
And when God asks Eve what she has done, she replies,
“The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (v. 13) She is
quick to point out that it was the serpent’s fault for
deceiving her.

I can relate to Adam and Eve. I can tell that they
realized what they did was wrong, but they also wanted
to divert the blame and not receive the consequences.
They still had to pay for their choices and were cast
out of the garden. Just like my 8-yr-old son, I dislike
when I do something wrong and “get caught”, but I am
reminded that when I take responsibility and ask for
forgiveness, I am able to move forward. Just like the
softball player who made the error, I know that if I
make an excuse for wrong actions, I’ll do the same thing
next time. Let’s take responsibility and not make excuses.
The consequences will be much better for us!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Forgotten God by Francis Chan

Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the
Holy Spirit is a new book out by Francis Chan, author
of Crazy Love. I love his books and teachings because
his heart is to go directly to the Word of God and be
convicted and changed and to make a difference by living
out God’s Word and love in our lives. This is what being
a Christian is really all about. This cannot be done
without the power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot receive
the power of the Holy Spirit unless we are willing to ask
God to fill us regularly with His Holy Spirit. When I
spoke at a conference back in March, this was one of my
topics: Living out God’s Power in our lives! I read
about the boldness of the disciples in sharing Christ
with others and the miracles they performed in the Bible
and I want that kind of life. They were constantly
pointing others to their Father in Heaven. They spoke
truth, they had been transformed and they began changing the
world through their words, love and actions. This book by
Francis Chan is a great reminder to those who have
experienced the power of the Holy Spirit and a great
teaching for those who have not experienced this in their
lives. I highly recommend this book and also Chan's
first book, Crazy Love.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Blue Like Play Dough by Tricia Goyer

This book is for all of us moms out there who are not perfect!
Or should I say, this book is for ALL moms!!!

Tommy got me this book for my birthday: Blue Like Play Dough:
the shape of motherhood in the grip of God. It was perfect
timing for me to read it on our trip up north. In this book,
the author, Tricia writes about stories in her life growing up
and now as a mother and wife. She share her own stories
(including having a baby at 17 yrs. old after an abortion)
that any mom would relate to and reminds us that God wants
to invade every part of our lives. He wants to heal us and use us.
She takes God’s truth and shows the many ways that He teaches
us through our own struggles and triumphs. As I read this book,
I could relate to her as a mom and a woman, but mostly as a
child of God who continues to see God work even in the busiest
and most overwhelming situations. I also see a woman who is
writing books because God gave her a gift and a passion. Through
hard work and perseverance and believing God would work things
out in His perfect time, her dreams have become a reality. If
our dreams line up with Gods plans and we walk in His ways, they
will become REALity too! This is what she is doing and it's a
reminder that we all can do it as well!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Star Wars Day

Mom and Dad were out of town, so grandma decided to
have a Star Wars Day with the kids and their cousins.

Star Wars Movies
Star Wars Toys
Star Wars Books
Star Wars Costumes
Star Wars Light Sabers

Cousin Taylor. . .Obi Wan

Drew. . .Anakin Skywalker

Cousin Micah. . .Darth Vader

Yoda the Dog!

Edible Light Sabers

Weekend Getaway!

My husband, Tommy, planned a surprise weekend for my
birthday. We never go away alone, so this was a special
treat. My mom took care of the kids and they had their own
adventure while we were away. They had Book Day where they
went to the Library and got some books. They had Star
Wars Day where their cousins, Taylor and Micah, came over
and the dressed up in their Star Wars costumes, played
with their Star Wars toys and watched their Star Wars
movies. Then they had Disney day where they watched a
bunch of Disney movies!

They had a great time while Tommy and I flew up to Northern
California and spent the 1st afternoon at Pier 39 in San
Francisco. We walked, ate, laughed and people watched.
Then we drove to our destination: Sonoma County.
We were actually in Windsor, CA and were surrounded
by 700 wineries. It really did remind me of when I
visited Italy because it was so beautiful. We spent one
day visiting 6 different wineries. The next day we were
able to get massages (my favorite part!), walked around
a small quaint town and also took a drive to
the coast. It’s amazing how much you can fit into
one day when you’re not changing diapers, feeding
kids all the time, getting kids ready, picking up after
kids, waiting for kids, etc! I had a great weekend
and as much as I loved the alone time that I rarely get
with Tommy, I do have to admit that I am excited to get
back to my crazy life!

Going away with your spouse is good for the soul,
good for your marriage and good for the whole family!

Eph 5:22: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as
To the Lord.”

Eph 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ
also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”

Pier 39 and the Sea Lions!

Dinner without Kids!

Goofing Around!

It’s pretty cool that this week I taught the kids about being
connected to the vine and I didn’t even know I would be
seeing the good fruit that grows when you stay connected.
Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.