Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall Party with Homeschooling Friends!

Our co-op group has 17 kids (if you count
Jada (2) and Luke (2)), so we have a full
class! This past week we had our Fall
Party. In the past we did crafts like
making wreaths for Christmas or making
Pilgrim hats for Thanksgiving, but this
year the kids LOVED the crafts because
we had SWEETS and SLIME!!!

Making Candy Bracelets

The Girls

Hard Work is Worth IT!

The Best Part of All!

I love Candy Crafts!!!

I have 2 Bracelets! Yummy!

The "Slime" Station

Making Slime

Our relay race involved Skeeters, Hopping,
Riding Razors, popping a balloon and
reading a Bible verse

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Message at Northwest Community Church

I spoke at Northwest Community Church in
Tucson, Az on October 11. If you want to
check it out go to Northwest Community
(click on this) and then hit posts.
You will find my name on this page along
with the message: Set Apart for the Lord.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thoughts on Prayer

I sent these thoughts on prayer to somebody who
asked me to share something with his students
in his youth group at church. I thought I'd
share them here too.

About praying: I have learned that we live busy
lifestyles that do not afford us much time to sit
before the Lord, but that is the very thing
we NEED to do. Satan loves the fact that we don't
take that time because it is so crucial. If it was
so very important for Jesus to get away and pray to
His Father after ministering to the people,
it is even more important for us! We need to learn
to go beyond superficial prayers and really come clean
before the Lord- ask forgiveness for specific sins
we've committed. We need to praise God and thank Him.
We need to see our positions as intercessors: we stand
in the gap in prayer and it is a huge position
for us all! There is power in prayer. We need to
believe God will answer, even if He answers "no" or
"not now". I look at the fact that God uses the prayer
of one person and does unbelievable miracles from the
Bible. We have that same power that the prophets
had, that Moses had, that David had and yet we don't
think God can use us that way. God is the same yesterday,
today and forever. We have the Holy Spirit inside of us,
and we need to pray for God's will in and around us!
Pray and then trust!!

"Then the people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed
to the LORD, the fire was quenched." Numbers 11:2

"Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD
delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel,
and he said in the sight of Israel: "Sun, stand still
over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon." So
the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the
people had revenge Upon their enemies. [Is] this not
written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still
in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go [down]
for about a whole day." Joshua 10:13-14

Luke gets new front teeth!!!

After getting his two damaged front teeth pulled
(from falling and hitting the rim of a trampoline),
Luke FINALLY got a new set! It took 2 trips and
2 different impressions and many hands to hold
him down, but finally they were put in! This is
one 2-yr-old with a VERY STRONG will!!! For
hours afterward he was throwing tantrums saying,
"I don't like it" and wanting them out! But they
are there to stay!!!

His smile without teeth (and with sprinkles
from a donut)

"Oh no, I have to get my teeth"

My new smile

Monday, October 26, 2009

God is Personal

Jeremiah 33:3: "'Call to Me, and I will
answer you, and show you great and mighty
things, which you do not know.'

I am thankful that the God of the Bible,
the Creator of the Universe, the One who
gives us our very breath and knows the
number of our days, is a PERSONAL God!
He is not a God that we can only wonder
about, He is a God who reveals Himself
to us in many different ways. Study
God's Word if you feel like you don't know
who God is and what He is like. If you
are truly seeking God, He will make Himself
known through the Holy Spirit.

What I wanted to highlight about this verse
is the fact that He tells ALL of us (that
means YOU too) to CALL to Him. His promise
is that He will show YOU, yep- YOU, great
and mighty things. He doesn't say, "I'll
show your pastor, I'll show that Professor,
I'll show somebody who is much more godly
than you." God says, "I (the Living God)
will show YOU, but you need to CALL to Me."

How do we know He is personal, well, when
He shows us those great and mighty things
(when a verse pops us over and over in
Bible study, then in church, then on the
radio, we realize- God is giving me that
verse for a reason)(or when somebody is on
your heart and you just can't shake it, and
you reach out to them and realize they really
needed to talk)(or when God teaches you a
lesson and you finally GET IT, you want to
jump for joy and say, "OK God, you TAUGHT
ME, I get it now!!!), just to name a few
examples, you know God is working. He is
speaking to you directly and specifically.

Have you ever been excited and shared what God
was showing you and not gotten back the response
you would have liked? Have you ever thought,
don't they get how big this is? Before I
might have been bummed out that somebody wasn't
as excited about the lesson God taught me, until
I realized that the message was for ME! Not
for them, but for ME!!! Now I rejoice that it
wasn't received in the same intensity or excitement,
because My Father in Heaven was speaking to
ME personally. He reveals Himself in unique
ways to us, always lining up with the Bible
and always in truth, It is always amazing
to realize how much God cares for us individually,
and yet He created the entire world and every single
person in it!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Missing Markie

One year ago, Markie was in a car
accident and passed away. I gave hitting
lessons for a few years to Markie, starting
when she was 9 yrs old. I pray all the time
for Markie's family (her parents and her
younger sister). I pray that God
will comfort them and be their strength. I
am thankful I will see Markie again in heaven-
not because she was a good person, but because
she trusted in Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
She believed that Jesus was the way to heaven
and now she is in the presence of the Lord!

This is what I wrote on my website last year
about Markie, so I thought I would share it

"Saying Goodbye"

Yesterday I attended a Memorial Service for
Markie (17 years old) who was a former
hitting student of mine. I worked with Markie
for a number of years and what I loved about
her was although she didn't have a lot of meat
on her bones, she worked as hard as any other
athlete I worked with. She always listened,
never had an attitude and always gave her best.
I know that is why she had so much success as a
softball player through the years and even more
success as a runner (a sport she picked up the
past few years and had a natural gift for).
Markie always had a smile on her face and her
younger sister was always right by
her side. Jake would play with these girls
when he was two and three years old and they
were so patient with him. Mark, Markie's
dad, was a coach for travel ball teams and everyone
who played for him loved their entire family.
They moved to Tennessee a couple years ago and
found their true home, but never forgot their
family and friends here in Southern California.
Markie was so loved! Markie made a difference!
Markie stood up for what was right and followed
the path that God desires, even if it wasn't
"popular". I am thankful to know that Markie
is in God's presence. She put her trust in
Jesus Christ and the Bible promises that she
will now spend eternity with the God who created
her. We will miss Markie, her smile, her humility,
her talents as a softball player and runner, but
if we trust in the Lord Jesus, we will see her
again one day. I am reminded to make a difference
today- for eternity! Do what is right, always,
even if it isn't popular! Stand apart for what
is right! God will bless that! God called her
home and her family will be comforted by our
prayers until they meet again in heaven, but
they know heaven is their eternal home! I am
blessed by the faith of this family. I am thankful
for the connection we have in Jesus. There is no
stronger bond on this earth! Please pray for the
Markie's family! Markie made a difference & we all can
strive for that excellence also!
In Christ, Leah Amico

Friday, October 23, 2009

Talents Come From God

My boys LOVE to CLIMB. We talk about how our talents
come from God, and Jake tells me that one of his
talents is climbing! So, does that mean I should not
punish him when he's climbing on my beds, couches
and the outside built-in bbq??? At least we found a
place where Jake could show off his talent from
God (I think Drew just might have this talent too!).

I can climb and not get yelled at!!! YAY!

Trying to have fun and mom always has to get
a picture of us!!!

By the end, Drew wanted to pose like he was taking
class pictures or something!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our God HEALS!

Brielle with her sisters and mom

Please check out this blog about Brielle
(click on her name) from Southern
California. I have been following her blog
for a year and a half now and pray for her
regularly, although I have never met her.
The faith of her family increases my faith!
I love the Lord with all my heart and I love
to hear His name praised- in the good times
and the hard times! But this is a time to rejoice
for the Healing God has done in the life of
young Brielle!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Field Trip to Oak Glen

Our co-op group took a field trip to Oak
Glen (Apple Country) a couple weeks ago.
We didn't call in advance, so we didn't
end up getting a tour. We let the kids
explore in the woods and took a hike down
a trail. This kids had fun climbing,
jumping, running and playing.

Our trip was about apples, and when I
got home I found this Apple Website
and Jake learned all about apples
after all!

They even practiced "balancing"!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkin Analogy

Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin.
God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes
all the dirt off of you.

He opens you up, touches you deep inside
and scoops out all the yucky stuff--
including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed,
etc. Then He carves you a new smiling face
and puts His light inside you to shine for
all the world to see.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

2009 Pumpkin Patch

It has become a family tradition to head to the
Pumpkin Patch at Cal Poly Pomona. We started when
Justin was 3 yrs. old and now he's 14 yrs. old and
6 feet tall! It always seems to be super hot on
the days we go and today was no different! Good
thing we get there at 8am when it opens!

My kids love the open area to run and act like it's
an obstacle course. I like to go for the pictures
(which is very annoying to my kids!). I tell them
we will all enjoy looking back at the "memories"
of our family tradition! They cooperate with some
begging and bribing! Tommy likes to go to feel like
he's done his family duty (although he does enjoy
this family tradition) and gets back in time for
football! All our needs get met and we end up with
some pumpkins as well. I really enjoy these moments
with my family!



All the cousins!

Bribing for pictures at this point: candy always works!

My Brother, Keith, Sister-in-law (and good friend), Jessica,
Taylor and Micah

Heading home with pumpkins in tow!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Head Knowledge vs. Heart Action

I was talking to Jake about what he has
been learning. We cover the subjects of
language arts, math, history, & science.
We do art, P.E., reading and writing.
We also do a devotional each day with a
few Bible verses and a story that explains
those verses being lived out. We read
other Bible stories and draw pictures of
them and write a few sentences to tell
about what we read.

I told Jake, "There are things we learn
for our heads, and things we learn for
our hearts. Some things we learn for our
heads are grammar, math, history and science.
Some things we learn for our hearts are how
to be kind and loving to others, memorizing
God's Word and "hiding it our hearts" like
the Bible tells us to, working hard, and
being generous." I asked Jake and Drew,
"What is more important: learning for our
heads or for our hearts?" and they
answered, "Our hearts." It's more
important and also harder because it's
not just knowledge to understand, it's
a way we need to live.

No matter what age we are, we need to
make sure we continue to learn in our
hearts, and not just in our heads.

Proverbs 4:23
"Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it [spring] the issues of life."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Feet Upon a Rock

Psalm 40:1-3
"I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined
to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up
out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay,
And set my FEET upon a rock, [And] established
my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth--
Praise to our God; Many will see [it] and fear,
And will trust in the LORD."

Have you ever been in hard time or a "horrible
pit"? David was when he was being sought
after and his enemies (including King Saul)
were trying to kill him. I want to learn from
David, "a man after God's own heart"! He
waited "patiently"- that is soooo hard to do!!!
I pray in hard times, "God, get me out of this
mess, and FAST!" I am thankful that God hears
our cries and He will bring us out of the pit.
God will establish our steps, if we turn to Him.
Praise God, and your testimony will be powerful
as you persevere in God's strength. He will
set your FEET upon a Rock. God is our Rock!

Thank YOU, GOD!

God, Thank YOU for wild little boys who are
healthy enough to run around the house for
hours at a time.

God, Thank YOU for dirty little hands that
leave their prints on my windows and walls
all the time.

God, Thank YOU for dirty clothes with stains
because that means we have clothes to stain.

God, Thank YOU for kids who are picky eaters
because that means they have different food
to choose from.

God, Thank YOU for loud boys because they can
sing praises with those LOUD voices.

God, Thank YOU for boys who jump and climb
on everything (including furniture) because
they want to take risks.

God, Thank YOU for toys all over my floor
because YOU have blessed us with more than
we need.

God, Thank YOU for a dirty house, because that
means we have a house that keeps us safe and

God, Thank YOU for little boys that get out
of bed running at 6am (when I am NOT anywhere
near ready to get up yet) because that means
they are excited for a new day of adventure.

God, Thank YOU for little boys who pray to
you at night, who cuddle and say I love you
at the end of the day when they've used all
their energy, who look like perfect angels
when they sleep, and who bring more laughter
and joy (and everything else mentioned
above) to a house that would be boring
without them!!!!

God, Help me to always Thank YOU for the
things that can seem hard, overwhelming
and frustrating in the moment, but matter
little in the big picture!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Back to My Old Stomping Grounds

This past weekend I went to Tucson, AZ (where I went
to college at the University of Arizona). It was so
great to be back there. I went there to speak at
a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Coaches
I flew in Friday night and was able to
go to dinner with Coach Candrea and his wife, Tina.
It was so good to sit and talk for a couple hours and
just catch up. Coach has been like a second dad to
me and I am so thankful for God putting him in my life!
Saturday I spoke to the coaches, along with Legendary
Coach, Jerry Kindall, and current U of A Baseball Coach,
Andy Lopez. It was great to see Coaches coming to
a conference that focuses on the impact they have for
Christ, and not just for their success. I had a great
time speaking and also listening to the others.

I stayed with Jon and Teresa (Tree) Demeter (click
on her name to see her new blog). They are
my friends who I met when I was finishing up at U of A
and Tree was a freshman softball player. They are on
staff at the U of A for Athletes in Action, which is
so dear to me. That is where I began to grow in my
walk with God! They have 3 little ones (pictured below).
It is always fun to catch up with them! Tree and I also
went to a U of A Softball game and can so vividly remember
being on that field ourselves! So many memories at
that place! On Sunday morning, I spoke at Northwest
Community Church (Jon and Tree's church). Everybody
was so encouraging and kind! I love meeting others
who love God! It was an uplifting weekend and I'm
once again humbled by the doors that God has opened
for me. I will keep walking in His plan for me, one
day at a time!

Brian Beltramo (FCA Arizona- Coaches Ministry Director)

Jerry Kindall (Former Arizona Baseball Coach and Legend)

Andy Lopez (U of A Baseball Head Coach) speaking to the

Andy Lopez, me, & Mike Sanfratello (AZ FCA State Director)

At church: Jon, Coach Candrea, Me, Tina Candrea and Tree

Jon and Tree's adorable kids: Logan, Ryan and Carson

Visiting with friends: Tree, Adam, Me and Chrissy Gil

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Drew!

Drew turned 4 years old today! He's getting
so big. He still loves Star Wars, so that's
all he wanted for his birthday (Lego Star
Wars and figures). I love this little guy!

Make A Wish!