"I have come that they might have life and have it to the full..." -John 10:10b

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Typical Summer Afternoon

A little fun outside with sidewalk chalk...

Okay, maybe a bit too much fun...
And one good, solid meltdown...
Makes for a typical summer day here in the Life More Abundant house. But seriously, how cute is that sad face?!?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fire Bees

Last night, my sister, the girls and I all sat on our small front porch and watched the rain. I love the cool breeze that comes just before the first few droplets make their way to the ground. I love the smell of rain and the sound it makes when it hits the pavement. I love watching the leaves on the flowers bend as they catch each tiny drop knowing that they're being fed and nourished and that they'll be beautiful tomorrow!

The four of us sat there for a while watching the rain go through it's phases. Beginning with the single drops that make their way onto random spots like the tip of your nose or your elbow or the exact place on your head where your hair is parted. And then it comes on steady and strong, sometimes accompanied by rolling thunder or flashing lightning, and then finally, it begins to subside.

This particular shower went through it's phases in a matter of minutes. And when the sky was clear of drops and the ground was wet, Eva ran out into the yard and did a few twirls, splashed in a few puddles and then turned around to look at me with an intense excited look on her face. She ran as fast as she could until she reached me and screamed..."FIRE BEES!"

Fire Bees are apparently Eva's name for lightning bugs and I must say, I like it! We laughed and sat for a bit longer until the sweet breeze melted into the humidity and then we made our way back inside.


We finally did it! We put a picnic table in our breakfast room! I LOVE it! I have to admit, the height of the table was much shorter than I anticipated, but still I love it. I just think it makes the room seem so comfortable, brighter and more down-to-earth! What do you think?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Crazy Fun Weekend

Okay so this weekend was jam-packed with family, fun and food! Just the way I like it. My mom and little sister flew in on Thursday night and I was so glad to see them. I hadn't seen my mom since March and my little sister since April...of LAST year!

Friday was spent preparing for our "small" family birthday party for the girls on Saturday and Saturday our small party got real big real fast! I had over 30 people all packed in to my 1500 square foot home. My brother and his family drove up as well as most of our family on Paul's side from Virginia, and then we had our neighbors and friends come too. Needless to say, it was loud and active.

So, we quickly fed the kids a finger food meal of pigs-in-a-blanket, pb &j's and fresh fruit and sent them outside in their bathing suits to play on the slip-n-slide and the in the kiddie pool that were set up in the front yard.

Once the slight hue of pink began showing up on their skin and the beginnings of a few meltdowns started to rear their ugly heads, we wrapped everyone in a towel and brought them back in for presents and cupcakes.

Poor Izzy was exhausted by then so poor thing missed the cupcakes and presents, but rest assured that we set all of presents aside so that she was able to open them when she woke up from her impromptu nap.

And those girls made out like bandits! They got so much stuff. And not just the stuff that every mother looks at and says, "what the heck are we supposed to do with that?" NO, they got GOOD stuff! I mean, it looks like the entire Princess section of the Disney store threw up in my house, but I have two very happy girls!

The party was short but perfect and BONUS...Justin, Anna and the kids stuck around through dinner and we got the cutest shots of Eva and Izzy and their cousins in the backyard just before it started to rain!

Sunday, we headed down to Georgetown (sans Jessica as she had gone home with Justin and Anna). I knew my mom would love all of the old houses and the blooming hydrangea and the overall atmosphere of Georgetown! I was right. She had a blast and I'm so happy. We, of course grabbed a few cupcakes from our favorite place in Georgetown and we even got to go in a 1300 sq ft home that was built in 1908 that was on the market for...wait for it...$895,000! Location, location, location! Still, it was a beautiful little home and my mom and I both had such an adventure exploring every nook and cranny of the tiny home and it's adorable garden in the back!

We came home Sunday night and headed over to the RV park to have dinner with Masie and Yosie. A quick walk around the lake to feed the ducks and the events of the weekend began to catch up with us, so we headed home. We were exhausted!

Yesterday was spent watching my mom pack and get ready to leave. It made me sad. We had so much fun this weekend but I wish she could've stayed a bit longer. Hopefully, she'll be able to come back soon.

Anyway, it was a very full weekend but a great one! I now officially have a 1 year old and a 3 year old and I own more Disney Princess stuff than any one household should. But the excitement is dying down and we're all pretty ready to get back to our routine, I think.

Well, at least I know I am.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just for Fun

I just LOVE this video. To me it is the essence of how a marriage should begin...as a CELEBRATION!

I swear you'll be smiling from ear to ear when you're done watching it.

happy birthday éva

Three years ago today, I felt a kind of love that I didn't even know was possible this side of Heaven for the first time. Three years ago today, I held the realization of all of my dreams in my arms and sang her the lullaby I had dreamed of singing her since I was a young girl. Three years ago today, Eva made me a mother.

She has since brought me a kind of joy that I couldn't have ever imagined. She has brought me closer to the Lord. Her life has taught me how precious life is and how joy everlasting can be found in the smallest, most seemingly insignificant places. My life's purpose reverberates with her every smile, her sweet kisses and the sound of her tiny voice saying "amen" at the end of our bed time prayers.

She has truly lived up to her name which means "giver of life." For in her own special way, she has breathed new life into the faith that I claim by giving me a small glimpse of the love our Maker must have for us.

éva my love, you are my every dream come true all rolled up into one ever growing little girl. Every day spent with you is a gift from God and I look forward to many more years full of those blessed days spent watching you grow more and more in love with your Creator.

Happy Birthday my sweet girl.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Worldly Wisdom vs. Godly Discernment

**These are some things I've been reading. Sorry guys, but my Mom is coming in tonight and my day is jam packed with all kinds of stuff to do in preparation! So, this will have to do. Still, I find the following verses to be incredibly humbling and inspirational, I hope you will too! **

"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid
with regard to external things. Don't wish to be thought to know anything; and even if you appear to be somebody important to others, distrust yourself. For, it is difficult to both keep your faculty of choice in a state conformable to nature, and at the same time acquire external things. But while you are careful about the one, you must of necessity neglect the other. "

Seems I've imagined Him all of my life
As the wisest of all of mankind
But if God's Holy wisdom is foolish to men
He must have seemed out of His mind

For even His family said He was mad
And the priests said a demon's to blame
But God in the form of this angry young man
Could not have seemed perfectly sane

When we in our foolishness thought we were wise
He played the fool and He opened our eyes
When we in our weakness believed we were strong
He became helpless to show we were wrong
And so we follow God's own fool
For only the foolish can tell-
Believe the unbelievable
And come be a fool as well

So come lose your life for a carpenter's son
For a madman who died for a dream
And you'll have the faith His first followers had
And you'll feel the weight of the beam
So surrender the hunger to say you must know
Have the courage to say I believe
For the power of paradox opens your eyes
And blinds those who say they can see


So we follow God's own Fool
For only the foolish can tell
Believe the unbelievable,
And come be a fool as well

-Michael Card "God's Own Fool"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Around the Garden

I know it's a bit late in the game, but I've only now gotten around to re-vamping my garden. It's been weeks since we've had rain here and as silly as it may be, I've been afraid to get my garden hose out of the garage due to my fear that I will most certainly be attacked by monstrously large spiders, so needless to say, my garden hasn't faired well in recent weeks.

But, I think I made up for lost time last week. I just about gutted it. I put in 2 new hydrangea bushes, a bunch more vinca and moved around a few of my day lillies (which were my mystery plant) to give it a more "naturally planned" feel. I re-soiled my tomatoes (which are looking pretty sad, sorry Kim) and talked sweetly to my morning glories (which STILL haven't bloomed). And of course, I convinced my hubby to brave the spiders in the garage to get the garden hose, so it is all well watered!

Next year will go better I think. My hydrangeas should come back, as will my day lillies and whatever that sweet purple flower is that Kim gave me. So I should really only have to re-plant the vinca and anything else I want to try.

Practice makes perfect, right?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009



She's next! 5 more days until I have a bonafide 3 year old.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Morning Devotional

Once the girls were fed, changed and happily sitting down to watch a couple of morning cartoons this morning, I sat down in my big comfy chair with my coffee next to me on the end table and my Women's Devotional Bible open to Romans where I'm finishing up the last few chapters. I didn't have any crazy ideas or expectations for this mornings devotional. I thought it would be much like it's been recently, I open my Bible, do the next lesson in the sequence, write down a few thoughts in my journal and call it a day.

The Lord had different plans this morning.

Remember this post? Well, I've been really struggling with whether or not to put my kids in school verses homeschooling so that I can finish school myself and perhaps even go back to work to supplement our enlisted military income. Lots of moms do this, right? And isn't there more to me than just nose wiper extraordinaire? And when I've even mentioned homeschooling to some people, they look at me like I'm nuts. A few people try hard to see where I'm coming from but for the most part, homeschoolers have a stigma of being socially inept and although not fairly earned, most cannot see past it. As much as I believe in homeschooling, I was beginning to doubt my ability and I was beginning to question if I was willing to put my own ambitions on hold in order to pursue that route.

A few dear women who have literally known me since the day I was born have been encouraging me to think about all sides to this matter and one of them actually sent me this sermon to listen to. It got me thinking.

And then, I sat down to this mornings time with my Maker to open my Bible to this:

" We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:

'For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?

But we have the mind of Christ." - 1 Corinthians 2:12-16

And then, I flipped over to my designated lesson for this Monday morning to this:

"Though early morning is not my best time of day, after a couple cups of coffee, I manage to fix breakfast, wash the dishes and usher SIX children out the door to school before heading for the laundry room.
I stopped abruptly at the door and stood gazing in disbelief at the mountains of dirty clothes. Hadn't I just washed three loads yesterday? Sudden tears of frustration stung my eyes. I quickly brushed them away, a bit ashamed of myself , and put the first load in the washer.
Then I continued to tidy up, picking up the mornings newspaper and various cups and glasses left from snacks the night before. Soon, I found myself in my son's bathroom, scrubbing the tub. Once again the tears insisted on imposing themselves against my will. This time they found little resistance. I was frustrated and discouraged and my self-esteem was about as low as it could get.
It was still morning, but I was tired-tired of the same mess day after day-of washing clothes that only yesterday I had folded and returned to their proper places; of doing the dishes, only to get them out a short time later to reset the table. I was sick of spending hours cooking a meal that was consumed in minutes.
Sitting in the middle of the bathroom floor, sponge and cleanser in hand and tears streaming down my face, I found myself fussing, crying and praying all at the same time.
God in his loving-kindness came to meet me: 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:40)
'Lord, even this?' I asked.
'Especially this,' he replied. 'Who else is going to do it for? In all these small ways, you are serving me.'
Lovingly reassured and encouraged, I dried my tears and continued to scrub the tub."

-Gigi Graham Tchividjian

All of these individual lessons, sermons and concerns voiced by those who I know have my best interest at heart have come together to tell me this: My life isn't about me. It's about serving God. At the end of time when I'm standing before Him, He's not going to care if I ever earned a B.S. or a B.A. or a certificate of some sort. He's not going to care what our annual income was. He's going to care about whether or not I left a legacy. Did I train up my children in the way they should go? Was I a loving and devoted wife, did I spend the time to disciple my children in my home in the way of the Lord? Was I a good steward of all that He had blessed me with?

And also, sometimes, when we choose to follow what we know is God's will for us or for our families, some people won't understand it. Even people that love us dearly will be left scratching their heads. And that's okay. Because we are not subject to any man's judgement, but only to the judgement of God.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 18, 2009