yesterday's lesson...

yesterday, chelsea and i took anagrace and jordyn to get their haircuts! it was a fun trip. the girls both did a great job. and the hair stylist was wonderful with them. she specializes in cutting curly hair. she gave me a lot of advice and product suggestions for jordyn's curly hair.

as we were getting ready to leave, there was some commotion in the lobby area. a woman had brought into the salon a basket full of little tiny puppies. there were probably 9 or so. almost everyone was holding them. including our girls. different clients and hair stylists were picking out their puppies to take home in a week when the momma weans them. i must say they were the cutest little puppies i have seen. they were really really little and mostly white, some had brown and black on them. they were shitzu, poodle & lhapso mix. they were precious. seeing the kids holding them like little babies and petting them was so sweet. i was getting weak and my emotions were running really really high. i LOVE anything "baby". but chelsea and i remained in control, really she was in control the whole time it was me going "gaga" over these little pups. we gathered our stuff and the crying little girls and jesiah and went to the car. as i was buckling jesiah into his seat. i told jordyn she had done a great job getting her hair cut, she was such a big girl. and i told her i was so proud of her walking out of the shop without a puppy and without throwing a fit on me. she looked at me and said, "mom, God teaches us to do hard things" i started tearing up and thought wow, isn't she on the ball, and she has a stronger faith than her mommy!

but my little 4 year old girl is so right!! God does teach us how to get through the hard times in our lives!


back to reality...

a week ago last night, my sister, julie came into town from pittsburgh! it had been over a year since i had seen here. it was such a great visit. we loved having her here. my grandparents also came from baltimore ("baltimorrow" as jordyn pronounces it) a week ago today. so that last week has been busy and i have been way off my game. not really doing much of anything in the real life. just spending a lot of time with family and friends! my parents live here so my grandparents stayed with them and my sister stayed with us. jamil had off of work and the kids - no school!

we wanted julie to have a fun time here in charlotte, but we also wanted her to relax and enjoy being here. last week, we took her to the south park christmas tree lighting where we met up with the carr family, we did a little shopping, ate way too much food and watched some movies.

yesterday, came at me quickly and i wasn't ready to get back to reality. but jesiah and i faced it head on while the others were at school, and ran a bunch and i mean a bunch of errands, i think we went to 7 different places and that doesn't include dropping off for preschool or picking up or the trip to the bank. and that was also with a pee pee and a poo poo accident (which he hasn 't had either of those in a long time). he was a gem!!! he got 2 lollipops and an icee from target out of the deal! so his motives weren't pure!!

yesterday afternoon we spent visiting with my grandparents before their depature today.
then last night i had "momtourage" and finished our book (the mom walk by sally clarkson). we will meet one more time before the holidays for a night of fellowship which i kept referring to as a "holiday social". we were joking about wearing our christmas sweaters and jewelry to the big gala!! we had such a fun time when we get together. the women in that group are a complete blessing in my life. i love our time together, it is so sweet. i look forward to our next book that we study!! more about that later!

so for today, my house needs a lot of attention especially before bringing our tree in and getting the decorations down. i also have a list of phone calls to make and emails to return. so if you are waiting on a return call or email, i will get to you - i promise! but it will have to be later today.

i am off this morning to take jordyn for a haircut. my good friend, chelsea and i are taking our daughters (both have curly hair!!) for back to back appointments to a girl who cuts curly hair and she has biracial daughters so I am hoping she will do a miracle with jordyn's hair.

i will post some pics of her haircut and other stuff later!!!


time out to be thankful

i am so excited for the holiday season! for me, the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving and continues on through New Years. i love this whole season and i especially love Christmas...love everything about the season! love the reason we celebrate it, love the decorations and festivities, love it!

although, i have to be honest, i have been a little annoyed (ok a lot annoyed!) with all the Christmas stuff out and about for over a month, especially the music that has been playing for over a week. i have seen a lot of houses already decorated and people shuffling around to get shopping done, cards made, photos taken, etc. here is why i am annoyed... what about the season of thanks? it is like it is just skipped over... from halloween straight onto christmas. our society just rushes past thanksgiving and onto Christmas. as a planner, i am guilty too, these things are on my mind, i have begun my lists and i have even bought one gift. but really can we just take a little time out to be thankful ??

after the sermon on sunday, it made me think a lot about being thankful and having gratitude. i am focusing this week on the season of Thanksgiving. i am going to put my lists on hold for a little while longer and i will push ahead to Christmas after this week.


the yummy club...

two saturdays ago, joshua and jordyn were filmed for a television trailer for a new show for pbs. it is called the yummy club ( a kid's cooking show).

it started with a friend of mine who has been begging me to get my kid's in photo and tv shoots and auditions. the morning of the shoot was a very hectic one and i wasn't able to get joshua over there in enough time. that is when my friend called me and said they really needed boys for the afternoon shoot and to bring him. so i packed up the kids and our wonderful babysitter (who had been there that morning for amy and i to go to dream dinners) and headed to monroe.

we were there for a long time that afternoon. joshua was filmed first with a group of kids who were making tomato soup. i didn't get to see him. but i know he had a hard time "acting" like he likes the soup. but i think he had a lot of fun. and i am sure he filmed very well. after his shoot, they wanted to use jordyn too. so she went to make sweet potato pie. she did fantastic. she played the part and said her lines. she loved it. she has come out of her shy shell and is very open to other people!

so, we may have two little actors on our hands!! i will keep you posted as to when it will be on pbs.


front and center...

some of you know that jamil and i lead a high school small group for elevation church. we love it and are honored to be a part of these student's lives. we have an awesome bunch of students, they are a very open and real group. they are a ton of fun. and we believe they will each become something really wonderful as they grow up.

i wanted to take a minute to brag on one of our girls! chelsea was on the front page of the monroe newspaper today! she is a wonderful girl. when you have a chance...check this out,
actually don't wait until then, do it know. it is a neat story of how high school students can really make a difference in our community! they don't have to wait to be grown up, they can do it now!!! amazing!!!!


catching up....

we have been without internet for a week ~ it has been a weird experience to be out of the loop, no email, no vmails from pastor (haha on that last one he sent!!) , no blogging, no craigslist or online christmas shopping....

what is a girl to do for a whole week. well, i spent a lot more time reading, writing on paper, watching a rented dvd.

i think i needed a week to be without for two reasons 1) to get a little more in balance, i spend a lot of time on my laptop, in fact when i am on when my kid's are awake a lot of things go wrong and get messy here 2) to appreciate how much i do on a daily basis on the internet and through email!!!

anyway, all that to say.... i am back online and back to blogging. in fact i owe you several stories that i referred to in a previous post!!


emotional hangover...

Do you have it too?

It is Monday and it has been a long and exhausting weekend, physically, emotionally and even spiritually. By using the word exhausting I don’t mean it in a negative sense. Perhaps there is a better suggestion for that word, but I couldn’t think of it.

Yesterday was the BIGGEST day ever. It was one of the BEST days at Elevation Church. I was amazed by our Dominate Sunday. We had this HUGE tent and both campuses of our church (which combines 5 services) came under one tent to initiate our capital campaign. It was an awesome experience and I was so glad to be a part of it. A few Sunday nights ago, we attended the Leadership Commitment Event and that was so moving. This was just as great, just on a different scale. I woke up yesterday an emotional wreck. Happy, sad, angry… you name it … I felt it. I was on the verge of tears or letting them roll all day long.

I was able to help our friends who are moving tomorrow by keeping their three boys while they packed their Uhaul. When they came to pick up the boys, it was our time to say good bye. It was a really hard time for all of us, both families. I had figured I had cried enough during the day that there would be nothing left – wrong – some how I had some more toxins that needed releasing.

Saturday we had an extremely busy day, I went to Dream Dinners with Amy, then we picked up one of the my kid’s Christmas gifts (from Craig’s List!! – which was a divine appointment in itself that I will write about later). Then the afternoon Joshua and Jordyn did a shoot for a TV trailer (that also requires its own post!)

On Friday night we were blessed by some wonderful friends, Kelly and Larry, who kept our children along with their four children (yes, that is seven children all seven years and under – they are my heroes!!) so that we could go on a date night, which was also a blessing we received to be able to do that.

So, all that to say is that I think I am on an emotional hang over today. I have been exhausted and just not feeling like myself. Anyone have any good recipes to cure this one???


tears and laughter...

the last two nights have been really special. on monday night, i met a friend for a late dinner to celebrate my birthday which was awhile ago and we didn't have the chance to get together until monday. we had such a great time. it was so nice to have a meal together at one of my favorite restaurants (kabuto's). we were able to kick back and relax and talk without interruption. the poor chef cooking our food couldn't even light a fire large enough to take our attention off our conversation. the sad part is that he was only cooking for the two of us, the rest of the place was empty. we shared many laughs and a delicious meal! (chelsea, thanks for dinner and our sweet time together - it is your birthday dinner next!)

last night, i took a friend out for dinner at the same place - (i can't tire easily of japanese food and their buy one get one 1/2 off coupons really help out!) i took stephanie out to spend some time with her before she moves next week. we had a great dinner -- great food and great conversation. a few sad moments thinking about when we would do this again but still a great time. then we headed over to a friend's house for bible study. i have been attending this bible study on and off for a few weeks. i just love the ladies that are in it. most of them are dear friends of mine from our previous church. and it has been amazing to be reconnected with them. two of the women have been mentors in my life and the others good friends. during this time, we honored stephanie with cards, gifts, prayer and we even took communion together. it was such a wonderful time. it was very sweet. it was very sad. i hadn't cried that much in awhile. but after that we spent a lot of time laughing too. i am still recovering from the dry tired eyes today. but like we learned at a conference - crying releases toxins and i am non toxic for awhile!


blessed again!

yesterday, i was telling a friend about the different blessings i have had come about over the last few weeks. it all started with the bless back project that our church did a few weeks ago. pastor unleashed a week's offering ($40,000) to the people of elevation to use to bless someone else. jamil and i combined ours and gave it to a very special young lady in our life. we have known her since she was a young teenager and now she is about to graduate from ASU in december. she will be getting a degree in elem. ed. (a girl after my own heart!) she has babysat for us a lot sometimes for little or no money, she has even taken care of our kiddos for a whole week at a time on two different occasions. she is really special to us!! so anyway, she surprised us by coming to visit the day that we got the money and so we blessed her with what we were blessed with. it was so fun for us.

a few days later we were given a gift card to a restaurant from the mom of the little boy i babysit. that was really exciting and very unexpected. then last week, we were given a gift from a wonderful group of ladies at elevation, in fact a few of them i didn't even know and had just met them minutes before. they used their bless back money to bless us. they gave us a gift card to a restaurant, some cash and a night of babysitting!! wow, we were so humbled by this act of love. we could hardly believe it. we decided to give the first gift away to another couple we know. so we could bless someone else, since we have been blessed twice.

i entered a fellow blogger and new friend's fall bloggy giveaway (have you seen those?) for a baby sling - which she makes! and she chose me to receive the giveaway. here is the best part: she is making 2 of them (no i am not pregnant or having twins!) for me. when i entered her contest i told her i would like to have a sling b/c i have 2 friends with new babies that have been going through some tough stuff and i want to bless them each with a sling.

it has been so fun to give blessings and receive them too. my love language is gifts so i am so in my element! i love to give gifts and receive them. it is how i best express love. it is really hard to do that on a tight one income budget - really hard. but God knows my heart and he has given me gifts and given me ways to give gifts to others. He is in the big and the small things of our life everyday - that is soooo encouraging.


out of balance...

i am feeling really really out of balance lately. i just can't get in the groove of things. and a lot of things are falling by the wayside. i just can't keep up. and it is like the really important things, the "me" things are getting neglected, like consistent quiet times and a consistent exercise regimen (or any at all)

so what i am asking is for you to tell me how you manage your schedules. what does a normal day look like for you? how and when do you do your errands, groceries? do you spend time with friends? when do you have appointments and such?

i know there are a lot of you out there struggling with some of these things and i don't expect anyone to comment with how they have perfected it all. but just give me and others an idea of how you are doing what you are doing. how are you balancing life?? i would love to hear from stay at home moms, working moms, wives with no kiddos, single ladies, whoever... just let me know how you do what you do each day!!

guidelines: this is suppose to be a positive encouraging post, so i really only want those types of comments, i do not want to hear from you if you are going to say something negative about me or one of my reader's comments -- okey dokey?

gotta love it...

i know this is twice in a few days, but on friday after preschool (aka: work for me) we through the chik fil a drive thru to get ice cream. i have always loved their ice cream. but what really rocks is their cookies n cream milkshakes. i absolutely love them, love them. i could eat/drink them every day. they are a fabulous treat.

when i was prego with jesiah as well as after he was born, i craved the breyer's oreo ice cream, i could seriously eat a whole gallon of it in less than a week by myself. jamil often made harris teeter runs for me so i could have my ice cream fix. the milkshakes remind me of that ice cream.

alright, did i make you hungry? oh and such bad timing since chik fil a will be closed tomorrow (sunday) --- sorry!!! i will see you there on monday!!!

please excuse...

the mess while i am reconstructing my blog. i am in the middle of changing up a few things. i was trying to give my blog an "elevation look" with the orange - but it just wasn't the right shade. so i am still in the progress of making some changes with pictures and colors, etc. stay tuned for the final look to be completed as soon as i can get a few uninterrupted hours.


shhh...it's a secret....

last sunday night we attended the leadership commitment event at elevation. it was one of the most amazing and most moving corporate worship events i have ever attended. the presence of God was so there. during our season called dominate, the leaders of elevation have been asked to go first and bring their best to the table for what they will be giving to the campaign. now mind you our campaign isn't at all like what you think. we are "buying" into the vision of the church and having no idea what the money will be used to build or retrofit or whatever. we know that this money will support the vision of our church but we do not know what it will look like.

during this time husbands and wives and families and singles brought their offering to the front of the room. you could clearly tell that these individuals have prayed and been wrestling with God over what to give. i am sure that many of them changed their minds up to the last minute (i know we did!) on what they would give.

i had the awesome privilege to sit on the front row with jamil, pastor and his wife and the hummels, so i go to see and experience amazing things from my view. after some wonderful praise and worship music and pastor sharing from his heart the offering was brought - there wasn't money just amounts we were pledging, paving the way for the rest of elevation on nov. 11.

we were told we would hear first what the total amount the 300 leaders were bringing to the table. after a lot of suspense, we received the email yesterday. for some reason it went into my junk email box so i retrieved it last night after our high schoolers left and jamil and i opened it together. pastor did a video email and held us in suspense until he couldn't contain it anymore.we were shocked with excitement of what the total is - the total is one i guessed but was thinking really big and jamil said no way. and it really is as big as i thought. pastor said we had to keep it a secret and the word couldn't get out. as soon as he said that jamil looked at me like that means you, don't tell anyone.

i am not so good at keeping a secret, but i will for the sake of the cause here at hand. because i know once those of you who don't know the number hear you will be so glad that pastor told you and not me! if you do know the secret, call me or email me so we can be giddy together!!!!

our church is on the verge of a huge domination and i mean huge!!!!

what the princess is up to...

i fly solo on sunday mornings (as most of you reading this do) because of jamil's role at elevation. so i am usually rushing out the door. this past sunday morning was no different. i needed be there earlier than usual b/c i was volunteering at the connections table. jordyn decided as we were getting ready to do her hair that she wanted to wear 2 braids. so i began to spray and comb her wild and crazy curls. i realized as i begin to pull the one side back that it feels a little less curly and a little less thick than the other side. i lift up the side of her hair, under her hairline and above her ear she is missing a lot of curls, and i mean a lot. the hair left there is like boy short, starting at the top of her ear going to the side of her neck. i am appalled at this sight. i had been away most of the weekend for the women of faith conference and immediately assumed daddy allowed her some time with scissors unsupervised. i am basically in tears and ask her when she did this. she cut her hair with scissors at school on friday. this is sunday. thankfully this haircut is underneath her locks of curls. this is not her first haircut. she has cut her hair 3 or 4 times now. i seriously was about to lose it! so much for her hair being long like pocahontas. atleast i can cover it up. so for the next several months she will be wearing a hairband.

on wednesday morning, the busiest day of my week, i realize that jordyn is missing an earring in her right ear. nothing new. she brings me the back of the earring and i ask her where is the actual earring, a small diamond star. she says it is in my ear and i say no it isn't. she said no mommy in the other ear. so i look inside of her left ear (in the ear canal) and there is a shiny earring in there -- no kidding! i literally freak out. calling in the troops. my dad and mom come up with a small hose to put on a vacuum and a turkey baster - we are thinking we need to suck it out. before we try those tricks we place my screaming daughter (she is screaming b/c the tweezers i tried didn't work and she is scared) on the table on her side. i am underneath of her and open her ear a little bit and praise God it fell right out. i was thrilled we didn't have to take her to the e.r.

jordyn continues to be the one who is into everything and i mean everything. she can't just play with toys. i found her pink bear covered in toothpaste this week. she has dumped several bottles of hair spray, conditioner, face wash, make up and whatever else down sinks on floors and in play purses.

she is adorably cute and as sweet as sugar. she is sneaky and always into some kind of mischief. i love to watch her, she doesn't walk, she glides and prances along. her personality is spunky and full of curiosity.

she drives me more and more crazy each day! but i love her more and more each day too!
i spend many minutes during the day praying about how to handle her and her ways!! she keeps me on my knees.


what's been going on around here...

i realized i have posted a lot of posts lately and none of them really have been telling of the stories of what has been going on around our house lately so i am dedicating this post to catching up on life in general!!!

1. last friday, joshua received a character education award at school!!! he was chosen from his class by his teacher to receive the award on initiative. we were so proud of him. he didn't know that he was the recipient of the award until his name was announced and at that time, jamil, jordyn, jesiah, my dad and i came out with him! it was so exciting for all of us.

2. last weekend friday night and all day saturday, i attended women of faith. my most wonderful husband got off of work early to go to josh's assembly and then allowed me the privilege of going to the conference and this is the BEST part... stay overnight at the hilton with some great friends! we had a blast. it was a group of like 10 of us, most of them were some very special old friends and mentors of mine. i also had the opportunity to get to know another gal, who has the same name as me, pretty well! it was a great time! we even managed to sleep in a little bit on saturday before we went to the conference (bonus!!!)

3. on friday october 19, i added a counter to my blog (did you see it? look right) because i was very curious to how many people read or browse my blog. sometimes it feels like no one ever checks it out. because unless you get a comment you really don't know. anyway, i have been absolutely amazed to see that i have had over 400 hits on my blog since then. jamil is in disbelief too. for fun each night we look at the counter and check the total. it's kind of an obsession i guess too! anyway, a big huge thank you to my religious readers, and those of you who stop by occasionally too and also those who post me on your blogroll so others can check it out. (must add...my counter does not include all the times i am on my own blog!!)

4. yesterday, joshua's class had a huge party. they have been studying bugs and reading miss spider's tea party. so yesterday we through a tea party in his class. i am a co-room mom and we planned it together. it was a huge success and we had a lot of parents participate. the kid's were so excited and looked adorable dressed in their insect costumes! (i will post pics later!) i am completely spidered out and never ever want to see another spider or spiderweb for a long time!!! thank you chelsea for coming all the way out here to watch jesiah! and thanks mom for taking jordyn!!!

5. i attended a playgroup this week, that was a ton of fun. it has only been the second one i could make it to. it has been wonderful to get to know some of the other ladies at church!! it was at my friend, kelly's house. she is amazing as a friend and a hostess! there were like 20 moms and like 30 kids (babies thru 4 years) at her home. we had a TON of food and the kid's bounced themselves silly in a bounce house she had. the kiddos were dressed up and all looked adorable. (pics to come!)

6. we went trick or treating last night with our good friends, amy, ken and will! and all of the kids had a great time! we haven't been trick or treating in a couple of years. i think this will have to be a family tradition. it was sooo fun to watch the kids and they looked so cute!! (aren't you in suspense for pics -- again, they will be coming soon!)

i think that gives you a little glimpse of life around here lately. as you can see we have been pretty busy!

gotta love it...

as soon as i made my announcement about my new addition of my favorite things, i completely forgot about what i gotta have! weird, anyway...

this is kind of random but it is something that i gotta have. i got the idea from my friend susan. i love love to have a basket in my mini-van to hold a whole bunches of stuff. a few months ago, i got one of those fabric covered wire bins from wal mart and i can slide it under my console in my van. i toss all kinds of things in it. and then it makes cleaning out the van sooooo much easier. i just take it into the house and unload it. then replace it and load it up again!

ok, so that is what i love to have and can't live without this week!!!

halloween pics...

"Bumblebee" by day
(for Miss Spider's Tea Party @ school)

Venom Spider Man by night!
(too cool to be a bumblebee for trick or treating)

Jesiah as "Buzz" and Will as a dragon

Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!!

A Beautiful Princess!

Getting ready to trick or treat!!!