Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Weekend to Remember...

Justin and I attended FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember the first weekend of May.  We LOVED it and want EVERY couple we know to go to it!  We were so excited to share the news, that JB and I made the following announcement at our church the Sunday after we got back (Mother's Day).  Thought I'd share it with y'all too:

Sally:  This is SO appropriate to share on Mother’s Day!  Pope Paul the Sixth once said, “Every mother is like Moses.  She does not enter the Promised Land.  She prepares a world she will not see.”  Ten years ago on August 9, 2003 we had a wedding.  It was a beautiful affair!  The planning was perfect down to the very last detail.  Every element of the perfect wedding was there.  A peaceful sanctuary, beautiful music (a violinist that played Ave Maria and a very moving song from CD that was sung by a Venetian boys choir), colorful flowers, the bride dressed in white led down the aisle by her teary eyed father, the groom (in tears when his bride walks up shakily saying “You are SO beautiful.”), many family and friends as witnesses and a reception with fantastic food and entertainment.  To this day, I still have friends and family remark about what a wonderful wedding it was!  It was truly a Weekend to Remember.

JB: In anticipation of our upcoming 10 year anniversary, Sally asked if we could attend another memorable weekend, the Weekend to Remember marriage conference.  She made a compelling argument which appealed to my frugal side.  She said that the conference and my willful participation is all she wanted for her birthday and Mother’s Day.  I agreed to it and registered.  We had no idea what to expect.  We discussed the number of people that would attend, I jokingly set the over/under at 10 people.  I pictured us spending three days in a hotel suite with about six other people holding hands, talking about feelings and sharing things with a group of people that I didn’t know before the weekend.  Sally took the over and turned out to be right when we walked into a large ballroom with about 500 people in attendance.  The speakers were funny and inspiring, I never felt uncomfortable and I didn’t have to share anything with anyone but Sally.

Sally:  In the conference we learned more about what the Bible shows us in God’s design for our marriage, we realized that 10 years ago we had a wedding ceremony, but not a marriage ceremony.  We have been together for 10 years and God has not been our primary focus.  On the night of our wedding, and for many nights after, we certainly were not praying together.  This past Sunday afternoon, after several prayers together, we renewed our marriage promise.  This ceremony was very different.  I was in blue jeans…Justin was in shorts and tennis shoes.  There was no music, no flowers, no cake...No family or friends were present.  Actually, we were surrounded by complete strangers.  We turned to each other on May 5, 2013 and GOD was our witness.  We said our vows with conviction and tears and, although there were no components of a “wedding” we married each other.

JB:  They gave us this very nice certificate which Sally was thrilled was nice enough to be displayed in our home.  (Sally does a beautiful job decorating our home and she is VERY particular about what goes on the walls.)  When we got home we told our children about the promise we had made to one another and we told them that adults can get it wrong, but it is never too late to fix things.  We told them that we loved them SO much, but we have been getting things backwards.  We have been putting them first, us second and God third.  We told them that we wanted to read our vows again to them and have them sign as witnesses that we want to put God first in our home, our marriage second and them last.  They were proud to do so and what a blessing, at 5 and 6 years old, to hear your parents say, “We want God to be in control of our family.  We want Daddy to lead in a way pleasing to God and Mommy to be his helper in a way that is pleasing to God.”

Sally:  The day after the conference, I had so many thoughts and questions about the timing of this.  These conferences have been held for 30 years.  A part of me was frustrated that we didn’t go to this prior to getting married, or newly married, or one year in, or five years in.  As I fretted about this I clearly heard God tell me, “You weren’t ready.  You have to be lost before you can be found.  You have to know that men and women living together, especially with three children, is HARD before you can realize that you need to turn to me for HELP.  The timing IS just right.  I am your medicine.  Share me with others who are sick.”  Here’s an analogy:  Imagine you are attending a conference about the cure for a life threatening disease…you do not have the disease, and no one you know has the disease.  How hard would you listen?  How much would you pay attention?  You probably would think, “It won’t affect me.  I’ll keep the conference materials and these things in mind, and if by some chance I get sick with this, THEN I’ll pay attention.  Now, imagine you are in the same conference and YOU HAVE the disease.  You have ALL the “symptoms” they are talking about.  You have seen what it has done to yourself, your spouse, your children, and you want the CURE.  You would be furiously taking notes and absorbing EVERYTHING that is said and if there is medicine that will save your life, you would take it.

JB:  That is this conference.  Weddings happen, and they are beautiful, but days, weeks, months, or years later MARRIAGES get sick.  This weekend we realized that our marriage had a life threatening disease and we found the medicine!  We want to share it with you.  It doesn’t matter if you have been married 1 year, or 50, your marriage can be cured through Jesus Christ.

Sally:  Like Moses, we will not “see the Promised Land”, we will not get to meet the generations of great-great grandbabies behind us that are affected by the legacy we leave by our marriage, but we DO know that when we get to Heaven we will be asked for an account of what WE did to prepare for those future generations, and we will want to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

JB:  If you want more information about the Weekend to Remember, just ask us.  We can give you a group number to sign up under that will give you a big discount.  We don’t receive any perks or kickbacks for sharing this with you, other than knowing that we did our part to help you in your marriages.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Our little slice of Earth...

The girls and I are headed to my parents house this weekend.  Their yard should be at "peak" and I'm looking forward to the visit.  My parents have taken their little slice of this Earth and made it truly beautiful.

"Then God said, "Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.  And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry on the ground-everything that has life."  And that is what happened.

Then God looked over all He had made and He saw that it was very good."
-Genesis 1:29-31
Happy Earth Day!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Oh, say can you see!

My grandfather grew up in Boston and we have been up visiting in and around Boston MANY times through the years.

I've traveled all over America and there is NO more patriotic city.  I LOVE it! 

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday and my friends know that at our "Fourth" party we do it up right, complete with decorations, flags, head to toe red/white/blue, parades and the singing of The Star Spangled Banner.

Boston is like my party, on steriods, throughout a whole city, and nearby towns.  It's a beautiful thing.

Had to share this with y'all...Can you imagine this LIVE?!  It is the first NHL game since the Boston Marathon bombings.

May we all sing out like this during our National Anthem, encourage our kids to do the same and be PROUD of this great nation that we live in!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Turn around...

Had to pass this post from Power of Moms along...I really needed it today.

Excerpt:  Now, I find myself thinking (but not saying) those very same things when I see young, harried mothers with little ones tagging behind them. I want to say:

“Turn. Turn around and look into the eyes of your children. Tell them something that makes them feel special. Make a memory. Slow down. Give a hug. And if you can’t ‘enjoy it while it lasts’ today, at least endure it well. They do grow up way too fast.”

Do you spend your time looking forward, back, or right in front of you?

I Survived Spring Break 2013...

Forget tees that say this for teens "surviving" Panama City.  Let's print up some for moms...where the words really mean something.

I made it.  I did it. 10 days of Spring Break.  I didn't "lose it" either, not once.  It's a dang miracle.  (At least I don't think I did.  Who knows, the whole week is a blur.) 

The house is a WRECK, I know that much...
How do you eat an elephant?...One bite at a time!  I'm taking some of my own advise (That I haven't used since I became a mother of 3) and setting the timer every day this week!  Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it.

I have a bunch of nothings floating around in my head right now, so I'll just go for it.

-JB and I cleaned out our closets Easter Sunday.  Random, but much needed.  We got rid of two large black garbage bags full of clothes and it felt really good.  In the process I found a pair of Gap overalls that somehow make it through every closet clean out.  I just can't bear to part.  We had so many good times...

Me:  Do you think overalls will ever come back "in"?
JB:  No, I'd get rid of them.
Me:  I think I should keep them for some reason.
JB:  I guess they'd work for a quick Halloween costume.
Me:  I could keep them to paint in.
JB:  Are you planning on starting your own paint company or moving business?
Me:  Maybe!  -busting out laughing-

It's conversations like these that get us through hours of closet clean-up, and 10 years of marriage.

-The kids use the word "human" a LOT.  This is a word that has never really been in my vocabulary and I'm surprised how many times a day I hear the word "human" in my house.  It's a really interesting word.

-This is for you Missy...Jay had a Fun Run fundraiser a couple weeks ago.  I love the music they play and I was already dancing a little...Then, over the speakers they say "Okay parents!  Let's see your best dance move!"  Miss, you know my just came so natural.  Needless to say, I got props from the announcer.  JB was one proud hubby (I know in his head he was praying they didn't play WyClef because then it would have been a full on dance off).  My poor kids.  I'm already breaking out my best moves for 1st grade...Who knows what will be coming in the Middle School years?!  Be VERY afraid!

-JB and I gave the front porch a face-lift yesterday.  I loved this line from SGE "I think all that could change (divorce rate) if one of the requirements for getting a marriage license is that the couple must first complete some sort of home renovation project together...those are the tests of true love."  I 100% agree with Melanie, JB and I have had some of our best (and worst, ie Heartwood fence with a two "man" auger) moments in the middle of a home improvement project.  But ultimately, they bring us closer...working toward a common goal then standing back to admire what WE did together.  There is nothing like it.  Before and Afters coming soon.  Y'all are going to love it!

After the face lift I feel the need to name our house.  I know she's not human, but we are going to come up with something...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A green drink recipe...

Soon I will have MINT growing out my ears!  My two favorite summer beverages are Sweet Tea and these mint daiquiris...

One 6 oz. frozen limeade
9 oz. rum (I'm partial to Appleton)
1/2 cup-ish of fresh mint
Blender full of ice

Mmm!  Summer, get here already!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Going Green...

This week will have a wee bit of a GREEN theme!

Let's start out with this family picture wall that I just LOVE!  Simple BRIGHT frames (I'm not sure if they are IKEA, but they have some similar.) and a painted floor runner.

So simple, but WOW!