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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What 2 movies in one day?

I know, you're shocked right??!!  Yesterday everyone left and we were trying to distract ourselves.  Levi was going "shooting" with friends.  Lori called to see if we wanted to go catch a movie with them. Yes, we did:)  We saw "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs."  Later that night,  the adults went to see "Couples Retreat." It was a fantastic day. I am so so so thankful for good friends!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lowry Family Pic


This is the Lowry crew. Levi's parents, Scott & Terry. Levi's grandmother, Marie, and our crew!
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wowser Catalyst is rockin' my face off......

We've had an AWESOME weekend at Catalyst.  Saturday started with family fun day. We took the kids to see Princess & The Frog. It was cute...there was some scary voodoo stuff but both kids (and parents) survived and it was cute. 

Saturday night we had our Christmas concert at Catalyst. It was a lot of fun...very laid back and great music if I do say so myself!  I think you can check it out at www.catrow.tv

Then today another awesome day. Levi did a great job sharing about Mary's role in the birth of Jesus (ha that sounds funny since she birthed Jesus-you know what I mean).  I love when Levi is transparent and just him. I love love love that!!!  Ooh la la I hope he reads this:)

Music was awesome today.  Our band is awesome. I realize that could come off arrogant since I am in the band but I mean the people in the band.  They're incredible and I am so lucky to be up there with them.  They seriously rock my socks off:) 

Meagan was definitely the show stopper today...she busted out some rock opera and KILLED it!!! I love when people are shocked by talent and today they were just that. If you missed it, you really missed it.
 
BUT....you can go back and watch at www.catrow.tv 

SO excited for Christmas...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And Another One Bites & Another One Bites, Another One Bites the dust.....

seriously another week with no blogging....what am I thinking? I have the best intentions.  Let me recap this week because the previous one is just a blur......

Okay so Levi went out of town on his "retreat" Monday and didn't get back until Wed. evening.  The weekend before we went to a Saint Karla show in Deep Ellum, Sprang was opening for them. And another band, Surprise! Surprise! played too. It was a night of Christmas songs. It was a lot of fun.  We were sitting in a club celebrating Christ's birth....crazy & fun all at the same time!  We get home and as we're walking in the door, we hear yelling & 2 gunshots. It was kind of crazy.  Apparently we have some neighbors that had a family disturbance so one of them decided to shoot 2 shots in the ground at midnight....not typical!!!  I do have to admit it kind of freaked me out.  Sometime during this evening, Levi lost his car keys.  So that is a story in itself, I'm actually trying to forget it.

The last 2 Sundays I've been in The Lab with the elementary kids. I enjoy that but I miss hearing Levi.  We're praying that God would bring someone who lives & breathes kid's to help out in The Lab.  It's great don't get me wrong we're just praying!

Random I know so just hang with me.....I'm trying to catch you up.

This has been the most fun Christmas.  Both kids are in awe of EVERYTHING Christmas and I absolutely love it.  We've been watching Christmas movies like they are going out of style.  We are really trying to teach the kids the true meaning of Christmas as well (I knew I should throw that in before you start thinking it's all about Santa):) 

A few weeks ago, Levi preached about giving and doing and sacrificing for others (I'm paraphrasing, that's what I heard).  I've been praying that God would make my heart tender to needs around me and be open to those things.  I want to instill that into our kids. I want them to be tender-hearted to God's calling and loving to His people.  I never want to focus on me and my wants. I want to focus on other people's needs.  That's hard sometimes, especially during this time of year.  We adopted an angel tree child this year and I talked alot with Addy about that. I want her to know that people have needs and we can help. I think sometimes I think I can't help because we don't have an abundance of cash. HELLO....I can help. There are others with no clothes (I wrote clues and had to re-type that is funny-sorry side note there), no food, no jackets....I can help.  I want to help!

I'm loving our C Group. I am amazed at their kindness and willingness to serve and love others.  We went to Rockwall's Helping Hands Wednesday night and sorted toys.  It was amazing how fast they worked and how much fun we all had.  I'm so thankful for them.  Truly!!!

Addy & K Man were in their first Christmas performance at their school this week.  I'm going to upload the videos in a bit so you can watch.  Addy even had a line to say.  They're awesome. I'm so thankful for them. Last night we went with Xuan and her kids to Richardson's Santa Village.  It was fun.  When we got home, I read them Max Lucado's book, In Case You Ever Wonder. I got teary as I read.  I don't ever want my kids to wonder if and how much i love them or if I'll always be there for them. I want them to know how much God loves them too.  I'm thankful!!!

Random but I think you're caught up on the Lowry Life!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

schnickeys

i haven't posted in a week.....I am so behind.  We've had a busy and fun week.  I'll post more later.  Looking forward to a great day tomorrow at Catalyst.  We'd love to have you...you can always watch online.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Good Day

Today was a busy but good day!  The kids (& I) slept a little later this morning.  We had to get ready and had Brenda cut our hair.  BTW, she did an AWESOME job on all 3 of us (she cut Levi's Friday).  She trimmed The Adsters.  She did awesome, especially on K Man (he can be a challenge).  We hung out there for a while.  She also waxed my eyebrows which I needed desperately.  We got home and decided to change the Christmas pic time from 4:50 to 1:30.  So, I got the kiddos ready and rushed out the door.  They did SUPER at the pics, they turned out so stinkin' cute!! We blew some time at Target while they were getting our pics ready.  We stopped by to get new toll tag stickers.  We met Levi for dinner (gift cards rock!!) then headed to Sam's.  Levi took K home and the girls went to Target & Michaels.  It was a long but good day.  At dinner, A picked up a kid's menu and totally sounded out the word, milk. I mean she told me all the letters and then went back and sounded out their sounds and said, "That's milk."  I got teary...truly I did.   What a big girl thing to do! I'm so proud of that little chica!!!  Then K Man just does crazy stuff. He is saying so much and is turning into quite the trickster.  He was using the potty tonight and had gas and he said, "My bottom say (insert sound noise)."  And just laughed and laughed.  They are so awesome!!!

Looking forward to an equally busy & wonderful Tuesday!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Reflection

It is late and I so should be in bed but I'm not.  I'm finishing some things and caught up on Glee and just enjoying the quiet.  I reflect a lot in the quiet.  I think about the day, my kids, my to do's, my regrets of the day, my plan for tomorrow, lots of thoughts.  Tonight I'm reflecting on the birth of my kids.  We have friends that had their first baby this morning.  As I read their thoughts, it took me back to when we first held our baby girl for the first time and thoughts about holding our baby boy for the first time.  I always thought how those thoughts would be so prevalent and strong forever but thinking back, it feels like forever ago.  Man I love my kids.  I would give my own life for them.  I am so in love with them it hurts sometimes.  I can remember when we held Ad for the first time and the emotion was so deep and strong and intense.  I remember thinking, "If what I'm feeling is this powerful and I'm human, how much more does God love us?"  I had a glimpse of what it must have felt like for God to send Jesus into the world.  If I let myself, I kind of question how He could have done that to His son.  I don't think I could give my kids up for someone else's life.  Just being honest here.  Then I think, wow, how much does He love us then?  His sacrifice of His son was ultimate, there is nothing greater to give than your child's life.  He loves us that much, what an overwhelming thought.  I'm thankful for that tonight.  I'm thankful for God's people that show Levi and I so much love on a daily basis.  I don't mean to be cheesey or weird but we are amazed by the people that are in our lives (CatRow peeps, friends, neighbors, other pastors). It's awesome.  As I sat in my living room tonight surrounded by our small group, I lit up inside.  I felt a real sense of joy at sharing life in such a casual and freeing way. It was awesome.  I love that I can be me. I love that my house can be dusty and that my dishes don't all match and I don't feel judged or stressed about any of if.  I love that our small group walks in our door without knocking....I love that!  I love that our friends are willing to share vulnerably.  I love that my husband teaches & preaches in a way that is inviting and relational and is vulnerable.  I love that God is using Him.

Another random blog from me!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dang Gina

Dang I need to blog. I totally blogged (in my head-ha) while I was folding & putting away about 10 loads of laundry.  It was good too.   Too bad I don't have a talk to type feature that does it for me.  I'm kind of pooped and have got to go prepare my secret Santa gift for tomorrow. I need/want to write more....gotta catch you up on me!!  That sounds so egotistical.  It's really not that exciting, I'm just missing it!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu Monday

Monday- grilled chicken, salad, veggies
Tuesday- kielbasa with green peppers & onions, french fries, broccoli  shish-ka-bobs, baked potato, & salad
Wednesday- small group over (potluck)
Thursday- Memaw's spaghetti, salad, garlic bread & cookies
Friday- Pastor Dinner (chicken nuggets for the kiddos)
Saturday- pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beans
Sunday- lunch-out dinner-youth over

I do need to go to the grocery store to get lunch stuff, fruit, milk, & juice but other than that...I'm good. That is a GREAT feeling!!

Repost from Perry Noble : Pray for Your Pastor

I'm sending you to Perry Noble's blog today.  It's a great post about praying for your pastor.  I'm not sure people understand what it's like to be a pastor and to lead in that way.  There's a lot of pressure and stress even when things are going great.  We have been so fortunate at Catalyst. I would still ask you to pray for Levi in each area that Perry points out. 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

This week has been crazy. I had a wonderful time with my Yo Yo's (college girlfriends).  It was incredible.  Truly, I am blessed with wonderful friends.  I got to stay an extra day and  a half to spend with Andrea & Wes and the boys.  I had so much fun. It was nice to relax and recharge.  We all need that.  I came home and told Levi he needed to go away for a weekend with no agenda, just to be.  Hopefully he'll do that. Neither of us has done that enough. 

This week has flown by.  I found out I'm changing classes at school.  I'm sad to leave my little ones but excited at the thought of teaching the pre-K class.  I did a midnight run to Kroger and did GREAT. However, they charged me $9.79 for Charmin that was on sale for $5.99. I didn't realize it until I got home.  I took it to another Kroger and they gave me the difference. BUT, my friend from school told me if Kroger charges you wrong, you get the product free.  I emailed corporate so we'll see.

Aunt Connie & Uncle Everett flew in yesterday so we've been with them.  It is so good to be with family and we have a lot of fun with them. Looking forward to a great weekend!  I'll write more later. Have a fantastic Friday!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm BACK!

I am back home. I had a wonderful time in Birmingham with such wonderful friends.  I am truly blessed with GREAT friends!!  I'll write more later. I'm pretty pooped & tomorrow is a long day!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

21 Meals

Okay so I lied....I'm going to start my 21 meal list...it will be a work in progress.

pizza casserole                        taco pie                                chicken pot pie                       crockpot roast
pizza bread                              broccoli bread                     taco salad                               fajitas  
grilled chicken, rice, veggies     steak, baked potato, salad    spaghetti                               chili
white chili                                sloppy joes                           pork chops                           

okay so that's 15....good start       

Last post.....

for the night and the week!! Tomorrow I'm leaving for Birmingham, Alabama. I am meeting 5 of my closest friends and can't tell you how super pumped I am. We are the Yo Yo Mamas...long story but we named ourselves 12 or so years ago while in college. These girls are the kind of friends that you can go weeks, months at a time without seeing and when you're back together, you feel like you didn't miss a beat. I can talk about ANYTHING with them and know they love me for me. I love that!! We are all in different situations, relationships, phases, etc of life. I cannot wait to laugh, cry, eat, sleep, laugh, talk, talk, talk, laugh, talk with them. Man do I miss them!! So, I am out of commission for the next few days. Say a prayer for the hubby (and the kiddos). They'll have a great time!! See you next week!!

SERVE & Date Night

were tonight. Our C Group (small group) decided to do one of our SERVES at the Rowlett community soccer field. We were going to serve coffee & hot chocolate to spectators. It's been hot here so we changed our plans and said we'd do water instead. Well...we ended up bringing water & hot chocolate tonight b/c it's kind of chilly tonight. We all felt a little awkward lugging our coolers full of hot water, bottles of water, and boxes of hot chocolate up between the two fields. People did give us some weird looks. We began walking to the different groups of people offering them water or hot chocolate. Okay now the looks really began. They asked how much we were charging. When we said they were free and there was no catch, they had to think about it. You could tell people were hesitant, the kids were not:) It's funny how adults and children differ so much as far as inhibitions go. We didn't mention God or Catalyst....we got lots of comments about how kind it was, lots of polite and genuine thanks. One guy looked and said, "You're just doing this to be nice?" When we answered, "Yes," he really looked confused. It was very cool. We're trying to be out in the community and love on people with no agenda. Love that!!

After dinner, we headed to Cheddars for our C Group's first ever date night. It was a lot of fun. We've got some wack-a-doodles in our group (funny how they're all men!). We had a great time and stayed out way too late (sorry Doug-5am comes SOOOO early). Thanks Brent & Corey for watching the kiddos!! It was nice to be out and enjoy adult convo...kind of:) We are loving our C Group and so thankful for them all!!!

Today's Deals

were kind of frustrating. I think if most of my coupon adventures were like today, there would be one less coupon-er. I started at Walgreens...got my deal. The girl checking me out was really nice and tried to break up my deal so I could get more stuff but the cash register wouldn't let her so I put all my diapers together. I should have been able to get 4 packs of Huggies diapers for $8.99 each. I should have been able to use 4 $2 off manufacturer coupons (found in the paper or printables). I should have been able to use the $1 off Huggies from the WALGREEN's coloring book. This should automatically become as many packs of diapers that I bought. None of the shoulds happened and I left with nothing (except frustration). The manager told me that I couldn't stack the manufacturer coupon with their Walgreen coloring book coupon. I didn't argue...I just left. Later today, i stopped by another Walgreen's and did the deal...it went perfectly. I did spend $2-$3 more because I got juice that I needed instead of a $0.45 filler item.

Next I headed to Toys R Us to try to find Hullabaloo. The store was dirty. The signs were wrong. I was standing under a HUGE sign that said GAMES. I asked an employee were the games were, he walked me back to the complete opposite side of the store. He said they clearanced the game (whatever the heck that means). I stood in line at customer service to ask how I could find the game. Another lady "butted" line with a question (HELLO, that's what I was there for). They told her to get in line, she refused so they helped her. SO FRUSTRATING!! I left my cart with my 2 $4 games and left the store. Headed to the other walgreens and got the diaper deal. I think I paid $21 for 4 packs of diapers. I should probably do the caregivers rebate and get $3 back.

Then I headed for Target to do the Up & Monster's Inc movie deal. They were out of Monster's Inc. BUT I scored 3 tubs of wipes, 2 packs of GE lightbulbs, & 2 things of juice for $6...not bad:)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Menu Monday

I was recently challenged to come up with a 21 day menu planner. I seriously can't think of 21 meals I cook. I'm thinking. I am going to try to do a menu for each week. So here goes for week 1:)

Monday- pigs in blankets, french fries, broccoli
Tuesday- polish sausage with green peppers & onions, salad, dirty rice
Wednesday- SERVE & Date Night with our small group (frozen pizza for the kids @ home)
Thursday- Monday I am out of town BUT I'm leaving food for hubby & kids
Thursday- Steamfresh meal in a bag, veggies
Friday- mini tacos, rice, & beans
Saturday-grilled chicken, rice, veggies
Sunday- OUT

Pretty good for the first one. So, I have 5 meals there...I only need 16 more for my 21 day plan....still thinking:)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Appreciation

Today our church celebrated pastor appreciation. We had a lunch after church. They went over and above with a generous love offering and some GREAT gift cards...woohoo!! As I walked away from that, I truly thought, "We are the lucky ones." We don't go to a traditional church. They don't know about pastor appreciation. I don't mean that in a bad way. If you don't shop at the Christian bookstore or Mardel's you don't get bombarded with those messages. So, for them to celebrate us means so much to me. I'm so thankful for our Catalyst people. I'm consistently amazed & blown away hearing their stories and living life with them. Thanks for loving us!!

Okay so my comment about Mardel's & Christian Bookstore...I just meant that most people who did not grow up in church or that do not shop at Mardel's wouldn't know that October is pastor appreciation month. You know how Mardel has the big sign that says it & it has the pastor appreciation cards everywhere?? That's what I meant:) Thanks Erik!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Target Halloween Clearance & Wii


Okay so today I went to Target. Wendi & I went yesterday and did GREAT with coupons. We wanted to get some Wii games but they didn't have the $15 ones so we went again last night and then I went again this morning.

Last night we got the 6 Wii game deal and split it. I had coupons for the Leapster Tag and Tag Jr. So I got each child one for Christmas. $20 came right off the top and they were on sale. I also got an easy back oven and a couple other small things & a game I knew I neighbors wanted....all with coupons...Yes!!!

So today I went back and got lightbulbs, 6 more Wii Games & hit up the Halloween clearance.

I got:
1 box of wipes
1 outfit for a baby shower
3 random things from halloween clearance (pail, candy bowl, and carving kit)
5 Halloween costumes (snow princess, boy & girl pirates, 2 Star Wars boy costumes)
2 4 packs of GE energy saving lightbulbs
1 deoderant
1 body spray
6 $15 Wii Games (Christmas)

Okay...here we go. I paid $55.37 and saved $179.28. WOWSER!!!

Kroger Visit- BAM!!!


Okay so I went to Kroger this morning for my weekly groceries. It was a lot easier this time because I already knew the deals. It did take me a while because I had both kids in tow. It is totally worth it...they actually did great!! Here's what I got:
2 Betty Crocker Potato Pouches
1 bag of Fresh Express Salad
1 Green Pepper
4 bags of Oreda Stuff (fries, tater tots, Waffle fries, curly fries)
1 2L of Diet Coke
1 Flinstones Vitamins
4 Boxes of Uncle Ben's Whole Grain Brown Rice
7 cans of Campbell's cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soups
3 boxes of Kleenex
1 Wishbone Salad Dressing
2 Boxes of Quaker granola bars
6 Glade 4 oz candles
8 cans of Carnation Evaporated Milk
2 bags of Chex mix
4 Adolphis (sp?) latin rice packets
3 bags of nestle morsels
2 bottles of Ken's dressings (they're in the deal and had $1 off Q's attached)
3 Danimal Yogurt Smoothies
1 Trix Yoplait Yogurt 6 pack
1 Jose Ole' mini tacos
4 Kotex or Stayfree pads
3 Pillsbury PB cookies
1 Steamfresh Meal for 2
3 All Detergents
2 Snuggle Fabric Softeners
1 Welch's Grapce Juice
4 lbs of Pork Chops
3 lbs ribs
1 gallon of Milk
3 Gatorades
1 pack of M & M's (free coupon)

Okay so that was 78 items. I paid...........................

$68.67 and saved $150.55

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

MIA

Where have I been??? BUSY!!! I've got lots to blog about...gonna try to come back this afternoon and fill you in. BTW, the new Kroger ad is out, the Mega Event continues. I'm going to get my coupons organized and my scenarios today (hopefully, knock on wood). Got lots to do today, trying to be very efficient with time so I need to hope off...see you soon!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

 
We had a great time trick or treating last night. We have all the candy to prove it and I am hoping I don't consume too much of it:) Have a great Sunday and hope you enjoyed your extra hour of sleep....someone forgot to tell K Man he had another hour to sleep....
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kroger Trip #2

Okay so the Kroger I went to last night was out of a couple of the deals I needed (chili for teens & small group this week). So I hit up the other Kroger. A lot of you have asked about my trip last night. I'm going to list what I bought with the Mega Event deal and then I'll list the non deals items. If I don't have a coupon for something, I'll note that too. There's a lady that blogs, www.couponing101.com who put together a scenario for those of you who don't clip coupons. You can find the printable coupons online and still benefit from this Mega Event at Kroger. The prices are after the mega event $10 off but NOT including coupons. Okay here goes:

The price listed is the price after the mega purchase 10 deal. It basically takes 50 cents off of every item that is included in that deal.

Trip #1

2 Pillsbury Pie Crust(rolled 2 crusts in box) $1.99
2 Franks RedHot Sauce $1.49
2 Betty Crocker Fruit Roll Ups $1.49
2 Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks $1.49
2 Quaker Chewy Granola Bars $1.49
2 Quaker Instant Oatmeal $2.19
1 Apple Jacks Cereal $2.19
1 Tombstone Pizza $1.99
3 Bumble Bee Tuna 2.5 oz Pouches All FREE $0.50
3 Hormel Chili w/Beans $0.79
1 Betty Crocker Pouch Potatoes $0.50
6 Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk ALL FREE $0.50
1 Cheezits $0.99
2 Keebler Fudge Shop Cookies $0.99
1 Heinz Ketchup $1.49
3 Uncle Ben's Ready Rice $0.99
1 Welch's White Grape Juice $2.49
2 Chex Mix $1.49
2 Activa Yogurt 4 packs $1.49
2 Gogurt Yogurts Box $1.49
1 YoPlus Yogurt 4 pack $1.49
1 I Can't Believe it's Not Butter Spray $0.99
1 Smart Balance Butter $1.49
1 Hormel Natural Choice Turkey $2.49
4 Aussie Hair Spray, Gel, Mousse, etc. $2.49
1 St. Ives Face Scrub $2.49
1 Surf 40 load Laundry Detergent $5.19
3 All Laundry Detergent $2.99
1 Snuggle Fabric Softener FREE $2.99
1 Dial Bar Soap 3 pk $1.39
4 Glade Candles $1.99
1 Kleenex Tissues $0.99
5 Box of Stayfree/Carefree/Kotex (pads/pantiliners) $1.99
1 Flintstones Vitamines $3.99
1 Aquafresh Toothpaste $1.99
1 Aquafresh Toothbrush $1.99


Mega Deal BUT NO COUPON
2 2Liters of Diet Coke $0.75
2 Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce $0.99

NO MEGA Deal BUT COUPON
2 Flavored Creamers $1.89

NO MEGA DEAL & NO COUPON
2 Chuck Roasts $1.99/lb
2 Pounds Ground Beef $1.78/lb
1 bag yellow onions
5 Kroger Chili Seasoning Packets
1 Gallon Milk
1 1/2 Gallon OJ
5 Cans of Kidney Beans

Okay so for all of that the total started at $262, then went down when he scanned my Kroger Card and stopped at $89 when he scanned all of my coupons. I bought 93 items total. 73 items qualified for the buy 10, get $5 off. I miscalculated and bought 3 more items than I needed. However, they were out of some of the stuff I wanted. So I made a second trip to the Rockwall Kroger this morning and here's what I did there. OOOOHHH-after my trip last night, a bunch of catalinas printed out. They look like receipts but they're coupons. I got a $2.50 off my next purchase at Kroger (FREE MONEY) and a bunch of coupons.

Trip #2
1 Pillsbury Simply Refrigerated Cookie Dough $1.99
2 Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough $1.99
5 Cans of Delmonte Tomatoes $0.50
2 Skinny Cow Ice Cream Cones $2.49
1 Smart Balance Butter $1.49
2 Steamfresh Meals $5.49 (I had a BOGO coupon so I got BOTH for $3.40-CRAZY)
3 Steamfresh Lightly sauced vegetables $1.49
1 Land o'Lakes Light Butter Spread $0.99
2 Stayfree Pantiliners $1.99
1 Kotex Tampons $1.99

NON MEGA DEAL BUT COUPON
1 Box of Crunch & Munch $2.49 (had a 35 cents coupon that tripled so took $1 off)

NON MEGA NON COUPONS
1 Shoulder Roast $1.99/lb
1 Package of Reese's Peanut Butter Sticks-closeout $1.25 (coupon that tripled)
1 container of homemade peanut butter (can you tell Levi & the kids went with me)

24 items total was $22.18 (started at $89)

So...Levi's comment was, "You did better than the Dollar Tree." If I can help at all please let me know. This is my goal...to spend $35-40 per week at the grocery store. I know that's a little lofty. My friend told me that at the beginning of couponing, you spend the same amount but you get A LOT more groceries...which I did! Then, you stock pile and you get a lot of things free or have overages which help pay for the things you don't have coupons for (produce, meats, etc.). We'll see and don't worry, I will keep you posted:)

H

Kroger Shop WOW!!!

 
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So I'm getting back into couponing. I spent a lot of time this week organizing my binder, getting my scenarios ready and grabbing my coupons. Kroger is having a MEGA event. If you buy 10 participating items, you get $5 off your bill. Okay well I did this deal 7 times (almost 8-which is frustrating b/c I kind of got panicky at the cash register). Whatever, it was my first time, I'll learn! Anyway, my bill before my Kroger card, the $5's off, and coupons was $262. I had 93 items including meat. My after total was $89. Wowser!! The cool thing is that everything I got, I need. I will be stocked for a while with this stuff. I can live with that!! I am so pumped and ready to go again...woo hoo!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Today

I have been a bad blogger as of late. I apologize. Honestly, I've kind of struggled in a lot of areas in the past few weeks...feel like I've been in a funk!! There is a lot going on and I've just been overwhelmed. I've kind of wanted to just shut down. So there's my excuse now to the business at hand....blogging about today.

It's been a good week. The kids are looking forward to Halloween. Woohoo!! I am not looking forward to the time change (and that it's the night of Halloween...HELLO!!). I'm finished with the book of Job. I'm glad. I'm not sure what to make of it and my reaction to it. It definitely challenged my thinking. If you haven't read it in a while, do and let me know what you think.

So last week, we're sitting in small group sharing prayer requests and Wendi shares that she has a visit to Baylor coming up. She goes every 6 months and since she's had chemo I think she goes every 3 maybe. She also shared that her hubby couldn't go because he had a work class. In my head I was thinking that I wanted to go with her but didn't say anything (didn't want to look like the goody two shoes pastor's wife---they know I'm not). Everybody left except Wendi & Erik because Levi roped him into moving our antennae into the attic (after bedtime BTW). Side note, moving it into the attic has helped us get MORE channels and it's free...woohoo!! Anyway, before I could tell her about going with her I get a text from Lori asking if I thought it would be okay for her to offer to go with Wendi. I kind of had a light bulb go off or something. I realized that this was "community." Wendi doesn't have family here and as a small group we are sharing life with each other. I love that. I love that Lori was open to another person's needs and willing to put that person above her. How cool.

So, today was the day that we went with Wendi to Baylor. It's pretty sobering to walk into a cancer center and know that every person there has been impacted by cancer in some way. I was glad we went with Wendi. It could be overwhelming. She teases and says this is old hat. Wendi got great reports and the chemo worked. She goes back in December for CTs. Wendi amazes me. She inspires me. She gives God credit and even on the way in today she said, "This is a win win for me. I have hope. If God heals me great but if not I have eternal life, it's a win win." Her outlook is incredible. We had a lot of good conversation today, some happy some sad. It was good for my soul. I need people and I need people that love me and are not only willing to share life with me but with others.

As we sat at lunch today and just kept talking (we did so much of that today, it was so nice), I sat listening to Lori and Wendi share. They are very similar and it was almost weird hearing how their stories lined up. It's also weird to me to think that 2 months ago they didn't know each other and yet today we all shared life together in a pretty intimate way. I love that.

If you go to Catalyst (or if you don't) I challenge you to join a small group (wherever you go). It will pay off...I saw that in action today. I know there are lots of excuses not to (too busy, another night away, scared, got my own group of friends, etc). It's amazing how quickly you grow to love it and miss it when you're not there. I find myself talking about our small group in NC alot and I definitely saw the importance and value of being vulnerable and again here, I love these people and so look forward to it!!

Any questions?? ASK!! Have a great Thursday!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

sick

of being sick!!! It seems like everybody has been sick in the last 2 or 3 weeks. Thankfully it has NOT been the flu (knock on wood). I'm hoping we're finally over it. It's draining to take care of or be sick and still have to function. I remember when I didn't have kids, if Levi or I were sick, we canceled work and slept. Now, if I'm sick, we have to tough it out and suck it up and keep going. Wowser, I hope we're done with sickness around here.

On a more serious note, I've got a couple of friends that have children with serious illnesses or that have a serious illness themselves. It's sobering to see someone you love hurt. I truly cannot imagine what that must feel like as a parent to know that you are helpless. I think for me that is where my relationship with God would be tested, I'm just being honest. I don't know how I would get through that. I know people do and I guess you do it because you have to but man it makes my heart hurt to think about my friends who deal with it on an everyday basis. I am really trying to remember to pray for them daily and keep them fresh on my mind.

I'm reading through the book of Job and I've really struggled with the fact that God let Satan have at Job. I know that God knew that Job would be faithful. I just feel bad for Job for having to go through that. I know that God has a purpose and a plan for everyone, including Job. He just had no one when he was hurting so much and even his friends turned on him. He was so honest with God about his pain and his feeling that God was coming after him. It wasn't God, I know that, it was Satan. I don't know. I think I'm going to read some commentary on it. I know there are some who think the book of Job wasn't about a real man named "Job" but a fictional character. I'd like to read more on that. We have one more week to finish out Job so I'll write more later.

Another long & random thoughts blog....have a great Monday!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday

It seems like is has rained ALOT here lately. I shouldn't complain I know we need it. I am ready for it to get chilly and stay chilly for a while. Maybe it will kill all these germs and we can all get better. We had a blast at the U2 concert. We had great seats for our $15 tickets...crazy I know. I guess Levi is majorly rubbing off on me. My favorite concert has been Garth Brooks and I've always talked about what an entertainer he was. U2 was equally as awesome but in a different way. They are such humanitarians. Their message of love and hope is incredible. I love that!! Anyway, we came home to discover Keegan was sick so he's now on antibiotics. The doctor doesn't think it's the flu so we're grateful for that. I'm just hoping Addy and I can stay well. That's about for an update so far. Hope you're having a great week.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday

So it's Monday and I'm good. Levi is off to the doctor, hopefully he'll get a steroid shot and be fine!! I'm praying. The kids and I are just chilling at home. I do have to go to the grocery store. I finished laundry now to fold, I hate that part. I'm trying to be productive today. Tonight we're going to see U2 and I am getting excited. We got cheap tickets on ebay and I love that. We're in the cheap seats but who cares! Anyway, I probably won't post again but will definitely tell you how U2 is. Have a great Monday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'm a Loser Baby....

So, it's been a week and no posts...so sorry. I have so wanted to and it's not because I haven't spent time on the computer. Ashamedly I've spent WAY TOO much time on the computer the past few days. Levi has now gotten ill...and it's cold. So, the kids and I have been hanging out in the living room and leaving him in our bedroom. I've had the television on and movies rolling while I pass the time playing bejeweled and checking email. We've all just hunkered down and enjoyed being home...except Levi, he doesn't have a choice. He's stuck b/c he feels like crap. I did take the kids to lunch today after church and let them play on an indoor playground. Just an update on us...

Levi did make it to church today to preach...he seriously came in right before church started and left RIGHT after he preached, didn't stay for communion or the last song. Just tells you how bad he feels. He did an awesome job. Other than dripping sweat the whole time, you wouldn't have known he was sick. He started a series today on "Losers." Today was Jonah and how Jonah ran from God. Tonight, as I was replaying the day, I tried to apply that to me. Have I ran from God in my life? This might be a stretch but follow me. This weekend was one where I felt pretty resentful about being here in Texas. I got mad that I couldn't just call my mom and drop the kids off with her while I got some rest since Levi has been in bed for 3 days straight. I couldn't call my sister to see if we could just go hang out at the mall with our kids to get out of the house. I don't usually have moments of resentment but I did today. Please don't misunderstand me, I have wonderful friends here and they are priceless. But you know how sometimes you just want your mom? I can just be really honest with my parents and just be me. I can be mad over stupid stuff and complain and they just love me without trying to fix me because they know that my moments of irrationality will pass and that I just need to vent. That's just where I've been this weekend. If you've never been away from your parents be so grateful. And if you don't have kids you might not understand that. Okay so go back to running from God. I feel like at times (like this weekend) I kind of get mad at God for bringing us here away from our families (farther away than we've ever been). I don't think I run from God but I think I detach from Him when I feel that way. I have to remember that we are here for a reason and I do feel "called" to be here. I have to remember the past and the way the doors just opened for us. I have to remember the people that are in our lives and how God has blessed us with great friends. I have to focus on the positive. I'm reading Job and Job had it bad. In one of his responses he basically said that he could be honest with God and be real with God about where he was in life and his feelings about it. I'm glad we can be honest with God and when we're upset or questioning just voice it. He made us, He knows us. I'm not sure if any of this made any sense but it's what's rattling through my brain tonight (granted my brain is not functioning as well as it used to) :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wowser---it's been a week

Okay I am so sorry it's been so long but I've been sick. Last Sunday I had no voice and then I got sick (yeah, you know what I'm talking about). I thought I was fine but as the week progressed, I felt better then Thursday got worse. I felt nauseated all day. I had sinus issues and drainage and it was no fun at all. Anyway, I feel much better now and am anticipating a wonderful week. We've just chilled over the weekend which was wonderful. I've just felt so out of it here lately.

This week will be a good one. This week Levi and I celebrate 9 years of marriage. That seems so crazy to me. I mean that in the best way...I just can't believe it's been 9 years. Wowser..I can't be an old married woman:) I still feel like that twenty two year old silly girl!!

Today it has been rainy and cold. I've got a chili in the crockpot awaiting our teens from church. We're doing 2 C groups at our house. C groups are our Catalyst Church small groups. We do the teen one here right now. We also do an adult small group in the middle of the week. I really enjoy them. I love having people here and being connected. It also makes me keep my house somewhat clean (or at least picked up). Anyway, just wanted to update. I'm alive and well here :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

No Voice

So I woke up this morning with no voice...yeah funny right:) So, I called Jonathan to tell him I'm a no show this morning. It will be cool to be in the CatRow seats instead of on stage this morning. The kids are still sleeping and now I have over an hour to relax and enjoy. I am going to read my Bible and do some journaling until the kiddos wake up. That will be nice!! So, just thought I would catch you up on my no voice self today:)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sneak Attack

Sneak Attack
Today was a sneak attack....it started off and I thought "Uh-oh...today might not be a great one." I was pleasantly surprised. K man woke up with a BAD diaper rash. I mean the kind that makes him scream and I can do nothing to help. We thought we got that under control and decided to ride our bikes up to the donut shop for breakfast. We ended up driving because we were going to go to a downtown uptown festival. We weren't sure what to expect but it was great. There was all kinds of food, giveaways, and great music. We had a great time. Levi had to ref a couple of soccer games so I put the kids to bed for a nap only to discover neither would in fact be taking naps. My friend called and invited us to go on the boat with them. They've been so generous with their boat and "sharing" their time with their friends. It actually made us want a boat and want to be that way. To just be able to hang out and enjoy that time. It was so relaxing. We had an absolutely fabulous time with them. I love my friends and I truly am blessed with wonderful friends. I'm thankful that we're here. I'm thankful that today was a sneak attack wonderful day!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wacky Wednesday

Having a great week around here. Today Sprang & I sang at "See You at the Pole" at a local elementary school. It was a lot of fun. I love being around kiddos...it made me miss teaching. I'm glad I miss it because sometimes the thought of going back to work full time while being a mom and wife is daunting. Anyway, it was a great morning. Levi kept the kiddos at home. I know that's a sacrifice for him because he likes to get crackalackin' on his days and does his best work EARLY. I do appreciate it:) Chris & Shari took Sprang & I to breakfast at Chiloso...it's my favorite breakfast taco place...YUMOLICIOUS!! And I love Chris & Shari. They are awesome, so thankful for them. I'm trying to play catch up on laundry and cleaning the house. We have C Group tonight. Anyway, kind of a boring blog post but it's where I am today:)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Love

I love a lot of things, let me list a few that are on my brain right now:

1. I love Catalyst. I love that I am a part of a church for nonchurchy people. I love that I can be who I am. I love that people are shocked when I tell them Levi is the Lead Pastor. I love that our people may not know that I'm the pastor's wife. I'm fine to go incognito on that fact.

2. I love www.catrow.tv. I love that when I'm back in The Lab, I can still get the teaching for the day and not feel like I've missed out....how cool is that. Okay, I'm just being me and this is my blog so don't be offended by my next comment. I love to watch myself singing on the web. I know narcissistic, whatever. I do...I like to critique myself. Lots of times, I find the negatives but I watched today from the service yesterday and I loved the song. It's like Ground Hog's Day (the movie) you can relive it over and over. I'm not being vain but I think it's cool.

3. I love that we're hosting a C Group at our house (actually 2-kind of). We've had the youth C Group here the last couple of weeks (we may rotate). I love having people in our home. I've come to terms that my house is my house, it's imperfect, it's not huge but it's our house and we love to have people fill it. We are who we are and I love that people accept us just for that.

4. I love the people at Catalyst. They consistently and constantly amaze me. Yesterday, we spent our ENTIRE day with CatRow FRIENDS, I loved every second of it. My morning started @ 9am at church and ended yesterday around 8:45 pm. I got to be around teens, kids, babies, and adults at some point yesterday and it was awesome. I love our people. I love that their hearts are accepting and they are mission minded and aren't just concerned for "their" church but their community and their world.

5. And just when you thought I was going all spiritual on you.... I love Dr. Pepper. Enough said:)

6. BTW, these aren't in order of importance...I love my kids. I love to hear them laugh and play together. I love it when they help each other. I love that they are kids and I want to be okay with letting them be kids. I fight the urge to feel like people are judging me because we're a pastor's family. We will not live in a glass house, we are normal and my kids are kids. I'm so okay with that.

7. I love Levi. He is a HUGE goober and drives me nuts some days but I love him and am in love with him. My life without him would be drab and lonely. I am thankful for his passion for God and the passion that he has to bring people to Christ (whether that be at Catalyst or not). I love that he is bold. I love that he teachers our kids to scare me, to laugh, to try new things. I love him.

8. I love God...I love that I serve a God who is bigger than what my brain can comprehend. That He loves me more than I can fathom. That he accepts me right where I am and that He seeks me out. I love that!

9. I love my family. I'm so thankful for my parents and sister. I'm so thankful that they instilled strong family values in me. I'm thankful that we were a priority. I'm thankful that my mom is super silly and bright all the time. I'm thankful that my Dad is accepting of people where they are without judgment and believes in always learning. I'm thankful for my sister, she will always be my BFF:)

10. I love my friends. God has always blessed me with good friends. I'm so thankful for all of them. I have learned so much from all of them and am glad for those relationships.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Learning Things About Me

Okay so I'm pondering two qualities about myself tonight.

The first is that I get distracted by negatives pretty easily and I rehash and rehash and rehash in my brain. I stay focused on what happened, why it happened, whose fault it was that it happened. I replay the scenario and what I wish I would have said, etc. Do you get my drift?? This is not a positive trait to have. It keeps me frustrated and focused on the small stuff instead of moving on.

The second is this...hold on I seriously just forgot, give me a second. Oh yeah got it...I've always heard people use the term "God talk" and in my experience it was used in a negative way. I never really thought about it but here lately, I totally get it and am totally sure that it is negative. What I mean is when someone basically takes a situation and then makes it have a spiritual or religious tone. Kind of like instead of working out something in a healthy confrontation, using God language instead. I think sometimes, people don't want to confront so they hide behind words like, "Well, I'll pray that God will change you." or "You need to go pray and let God fix you."....is this making sense? It's like, just talk about it and work through it...if need be pray together that God would bring reconciliation but don't hide behind a God that encourages you to live at peace and confront in brotherly love. Anyway, just pondering those two things tonight.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Psalms

Okay so in my accountability group, we're reading through Psalms which I have really enjoyed. It's been easy to read and keep up with. Last week I didn't glean as much wisdom but this week's reading is really good. I'm reading out of The Message version of the Bible and I love it. It is so plain and I love the imagery. Anyway, it was neat to read and have so many "aha" moments. This is Psalms 51:16-17. Psalms 51 was written by David after Nathan confronted him about his affair with Bathsheba. This is from The Message.

Going through the motions doesn't please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don't for a moment escape God's notice.

How cool is that?? I love the last line, heart shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice. That is so cool & true. I love that it's relevant to me. I can definitely relate to going through the motions at different times in my life. I will tell you right now I am trying to be authentic and genuine about my walk. I don't have all the answers. Life isn't always easy. It sucks sometimes. I want to be true to that because I think that's what God wants. He wants us to be real with Him too. He knows us, He made us. I want to live constantly in a state of God worship no matter what state I am in. I never want to forget or take Him for granted. And the last line...dang that's awesome. We don't for a moment go unnoticed by God...how cool. Be encouraged!! Love when scripture smacks me in the face:)

I Triumph over the Bearded Dragon

video

His Mean Plot & My Reaction

Okay so we got this bearded dragon and the kids always want to hold it but they're always scared. Levi wants me to hold it but no thanks. He has told me that he's going to put it on me in the middle of the night and video it. Well, he did it while I was laying down with A for naptime today. It was not funny but alas I prevailed. video

My Mean Husband

Not sure how to blog all of these videos in 1 so I'm doing 3. This will show you my mean husband's brain works. I'm just kidding, he warned me. I should have known.
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video

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Singing

So, for the past two days at the gym I've been listening to Rob Bell & his worship pastor teach on "Why We Sing." It was awesome. Some things stuck out to me....one was this. I didn't catch the reference, but the quote was something like this, "I don't love God, I don't want to love God but I want to want to love God." They changed God to singing. They said singing in a group at church is weird and they talked about how people vary on how they feel about corporate singing. I thought that was interesting. I love to sing and I love to hear people singing but I've also grown up singing. It was just what we did and I was okay at it so it just seemed the norm. It opened my eyes to people that haven't and that come to church and are asked to sing. It made me more understanding of those that aren't big singers.

One of the other things that stood out to me was that the worship pastor said that when the band gets together to practice on Thursday nights there is ALWAYS something missing. And then he said, "It's you." We are not complete until they play on Sundays and they have the audience singing and filling the hole. He said otherwise, we're just a good band and we're playing a good show. It's not worship until the worshippers get there to add their part. I thought that was really cool. It's easy to get full of yourself and into "your" talent.

There were a couple of other great points that I wanted to remember. I'm going to have to listen to it again. If you're in a rut with your singing, check it out here, it's "Why We Sing" from 7/26/09. It's a great reminder and encouragement.

I hope this makes sense. I sat down twice to finish it. I did it while I was thinking about it which is sometimes dangerous. Things are going really well right now. We started the first youth C Group this week and we're also hosting an adult C group at our house. It was tonight and we had one other couple. We know of at least 3 more peeps that couldn't come tonight. It was really good to be able to sit down and talk with this couple one on one. I love getting to know people....it's like cocaine or something....okay I am tired, good night:)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Restaurant.com

Just wanted to let everybody know about Restaurant.com. It is an awesome site. Right now they have 90% off of their gift certificates with the code NINETY. Check it out for some great deals. There are usually some stipulations. We went to a restaurant and used a coupon a couple of weeks ago, we paid $2 for the certificate. You had to buy $35 worth of food (doesn't include drinks). They usually add 18% gratuity to it. Still, you can get a great deal for around $17 (including tip) if you use it right;) I just bought some more for some new and different restaurants. Right now you can get a $25 gift certificate for $1 (they are regularly $10 but with 90% off, they are $1). You cannot beat that. It's a great way to try new restaurants. Just thought I'd share. ENJOY!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Week in Review

So this has been a good week. It's good getting back into a routine. I am working 2 days a week now and that is actually really good. The challenge is getting everybody up and out of the house but we're doing well. I think I'm going to enjoy it. The challenge will be learning personalities and I'm going to have to be more assertive. That's a good life lesson though. Anyway, the kids are doing wonderful. I love watching them do so well with change and transition. They're so awesome.

Yesterday, we met our playgroup preschool friends and just played. I miss those mommas, it was so good to be together with the. Almost all of our kids are in MDOs now so we're not meeting weekly like we did. We're going to have to get creative so we keep up with each other. I love those girls!!

Today we just took it easy and I got caught up on laundry and cleaning. I actually mopped (usually I let the scooba do it). I need to finish bathrooms and dusting but everything else is DONE....that is such a wonderful feeling. We got to keep the Bloomettes for a couple of hours today and we had so much fun. They are so stinkin' cute. We are blessed to have wonderful friends!!

Levi and I are doing awesome. We're both trying to put the other before ourselves...it's amazing how when you do that, you really get along better. I'm trying to be more thoughtful and patient with him & the kids too.


I've been reading my Bible more consistently. We're reading Psalms and I like it. I realize that I enjoy more narrative books, like Esther, Ruth, Job etc. However, Psalms has been great. It is encouraging. There is a lot of wisdom to be gleaned from Psalms so I'm trying to glean away:) I also like that I can read 2 chapters here and there and it's easy to digest.

Tonight we're doing Movies on Main with CatRow & the city. I'm excited. It should be fun!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Family Night


So we try to do family night once a week. Sometimes it's cheesy and a last minute plan and other times it's well thought out. Tonight was off the fly. We had a gift certificate to a restaurant. It was on the lake and we sat outside on the patio. It was the perfect evening. We had a great time at dinner & decided to tour the Bass Pro Shop too. The kids had so much fun there. They loved all of it. In fact, A didn't want to leave, which totally shocked me. She said, "This is wonderful, it is so much fun please don't make us leave." We'll definitely be heading back there. We didn't buy one thing but had a lot of fun looking at all the animals, boats, etc. I even had fun with The Bear!!

Youdata.com

Okay so a friend told me about this company today. They are a new, small company but they pay you for clicking on the ad banner. It's not a lot but they deposit into your paypal account every Friday. I spent about 3 minutes and earned about $1.20. Okay so that's not a lot but for 3 minutes...it could be my sbux money every week...that'd be nice! Just wanted to share. If you're intersted, click my link Heather's You Data

Shewww!!

Okay so this week has been good. It's been good to get back into a routine. I really think I'm going to like the MDO. It will be a good experience for me. Learning different personalities and dealing with them is a challenge but good. Being the newbie is a challenge too. I really like the ladies there and the kids both have awesome teachers. I'm really excited about that part too. They're both going to do awesome. My mom called K's class the chain gang b/c they walk down the hallway all holding a link to this big rope with plastic rings. It is so cute!!! I love seeing him with his backpack and walking in a line. It's so cute. A is doing awesome too. She has already made friends and talks about having a "job" at school. So cute!! Levi & I are doing good. We're trying to make sure we protect our marriage and our time together. That's really hard for me. I want it but calling and asking for babysitters (volunteer babysitters) is hard for me. We're trying to budget well and save well. It's just hard. All in all life is good and I'm excited about the future.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Day of Schol- Kind of

 
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So we had our first day of school...kind of. It was a teacher work day but the kids got to go and meet friends who will be in their classes. It's going to be fun and I'm glad the kids and I get the opportunity.

We're doing well. This week I've been really tired. It's different to get up and out. Just a different kind of tired. Catalyst rocked it Sunday. It was so exciting. Check out catrow.org and click on the live tv link to watch. It was fun!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Long Time

Okay so it's been a week or so....I do think about blogging more than I actually do. It's been a good week. Highlight personally is that I've been reading my Bible a little more consistently this week. We're reading Psalms so it's easier reading for me. I've also been running more. I've gotten 3 times in this week which is a victory for me. I'd really like to do 4 times a week, I'll get there. I start working next week and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Okay so it's only 2 days a week so I don't want to overexaggerate. It's been so nice NOT to have to be anywhere so the thought of having to be somewhere at a certain time is kind of scary. I'm excited about the opportunity and I know it will be great, it's just getting back into a routine. And then to counter that, I'm really excited about getting back into a routine. This summer has been wonderful but I find myself forgetting what day it is. That could be a sign of getting old too.

I'm consistently amazed at what God's doing at Catalyst and the people. They are awesome. I am so thankful for this opportunity. There are times when I feel overwhelmed. I just have to realize as we grow, I have to pace myself. I think of all of our wonderful people so often but don't call or email or visit as much as I'd like.

I'm trying to be a grace giver and see people through God's eyes. Man, that's hard sometimes. I try to stay far away from legalism and judgment. My personality is rulesy and I want justice. So to be a grace giver and receiver sometimes is hard for me. I truly love people so it's kind of a struggle for me at times. I hope I'm constantly growing and drawing closer to God, that's my desire.

We're having our Back to School Bash and I'm excited for more fun at church. I love that I have fun at church and look forward to it. I pray that God would bring more people to Him through our church:) I love it!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Update

It's been about a week since I blogged so I need to update....except there's not too much to update. I feel like I'm finally adjusting to being back home. This last weekend was good. I had my orientation for the preschool. I'm excited about being there. It will be fun. We had dinner with some friends at their house and it was really good (the food & fellowship). It makes me feel good with people without kids have us over to their house. Sunday was great, Levi did a really good job. I really feel like he shared from his heart and it moved me. This week has been fine. I've tried to stay home and get caught up on laundry. I'm still not caught up. I know that's not so exciting for an update but that's all I've got:)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fear

So, I've been thinking about fear today and how it paralyzes people. It's interesting to me that at times we are controlled by fear of what people think instead of being controlled by Christ. It's like we live up to people's expectations or wants instead of checking that with what God would have us do. Another thought I've been pondering today is living two lives, being one way with certain friends and completely different with others. I remember hearing a lot about that as a teenager and honestly even then, I couldn't handle living two lives. I would have slipped up. I am a pretty transparent person, which has it's faults too. I want to be one person. I think it's dangerous to play both sides of the fence and think that's okay. I've learned over the past couple of years that I have to live with the convictions that God has put in my heart and I can't worry about what others think.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Trip

We had a fabulous trip to North Carolina over the weekend. It was nice to get away. It's been a while since we've done that, in fact, I guess Christmas. Our family needs to do that more often, it's so nice just to enjoy each other. We had a wonderful time at the wedding. Levi did an awesome job and it was perfect. It truly was a fairy tale wedding with all the stops, GORGEOUS!! So glad we got to be a part of it. I sang with a friend of the couple and it was good to make that connection. I have really gotten accustomed to singing with Sprang and feel like we just gel. It was a good experience for me. It was WONDERFUL seeing all of our old friends. It was really good for me to have so much fun with them. I really miss them. It felt so natural and just like old times. I'm so thankful for all of the relationships that we had there. There are so many wonderful people that love our family. I'm thankful for that. I even got to go to the Amish store. It was an awesome trip. We are truly blessed!! It was good to get back home. BTW, I think K only had a wet diaper maybe 3 times the WHOLE trip, he did awesome. I'm going to try to potty train him now that he's potty training himself. I feel like I have more to share but need to run. More later!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday

Tuesdays are really productive days for me, thankfully I have one. I get up early and go to Sbux and then to work out. I get home while the kiddos are still sleeping so I can catch up on me time (email, laundry, straightening, whatever). When I was jogging today I listened to a podcast from Mosaic Church in LA. Erwin McManus rocks. I love listening to him. Today it was on creativity and he taught about David & Goliath but from a total different perspective. He said how all of the soldiers could have done what David did but they didn't. He was creative with his slingshot (noone before had killed a giant that way). They all had the power but noone tapped into. He said that it was like that for them planting their church, they had to get creative. It was so good. He talked about how they met (and still meet) in a club. And how from the outside that appeared glamorous. What outsiders didn't know is that his team met early Sun. and cleaned that bar from all the grossness of the previous night (vomit, urine, and worse). And how they did it because they loved God and they wanted others to feel that love. How cool is that!! I pray that we're doing that at Catalyst.

I think too often we get hung up on doctrine and legalism that we forget we're all just here to love God and then love others. I hate hearing that people dog other churches because of differences that aren't Biblical at all. They're just manmade interpretations. I hope that makes sense. I don't ever want to turn my nose up or be negative about another church, we're all on the same team.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Still

Still a little cranky these days, not sure what my funk is but ready to be out of it. We're taking today easy. The kids naps have been weird or missing and it's good just to rest at home and get some stuff done around here. It's going to be really hot again this week, last week was a nice teaser. We had a nice weekend. We met the Bloomers Sat. night at Braum's for dinner. They're so great and I love the babies. Yesterday was a great day at Catalyst. I was back with the elementary kids and had a lot of fun. I do love kids, I think they keep you young (as long as they're not your own). We had a birthday party at a good friend's house. She is so creative and inspiring. And then the Booth Family came over last night for dinner. I love being with people. I love connecting and hearing their "story." I love Catalyst and what we're about. It truly is just loving people where they're at and living life with people. I love that. Please know that I'm not tooting my own horn (or Levi's for that matter-although he is rocking it). It's Catalyst, the people, who are so incredible. They are a diverse, loving, and accepting group (that's growing-yee haw). I just love going to church and seeing what God's going to do. Love it!! This week is a short week. We're excited about seeing old friends this week. I guess that's it for my update...as random as it may be.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

CRANKY Pants!!!

Oh my word, yes I am!! Not sure what is going on with me but I am not in a good mood. I'm just feeling overwhelmed and kind of stressed. I feel like I haven't gotten the house back in order from being gone last week. That always bugs me. I want to stay on top of that. I should have stayed home this week but seemed to have something everyday so far. I'm going to chill at home tomorrow. I took the kids to get haircuts today. Addy was great. Keegan started out great and then decided he didn't want his hair cut. It's shorter but still needs some shaping on the sides. It just frustrated me. My phone that I dropped in the toilet worked for a week and then died last night. I don't to spend a lot of money on a new phone. If anybody has a Verizon phone they can part with, let me know. I just need it to have a dial tone. I went to the Verizon store to see if it was a battery issue (I can get one of those cheap on ebay). Of course, they don't have any of those phones or batteries to test it. The kids are restless and I'm again frustrated b/c they can't fix or tell me what the issue is with my phone. We disconnected our home phone b/c we're going to get a SKYPE phone. We can't get the adapter to sync with our computer or something...Levi hasn't had time to fix it. I emailed and they sent me a solution but it's not working (probably user error on my end). I'm frustrated at that. I'm just frustrated. I was supposed to go to a playdate tomorrow but I canceled. I'm feeling like we need to spend time as a family and just chill. We leave to go out of town next week for a wedding and I want to get caught up on everything and in a better mood before then:)

Do you ever have days/weeks like this?

On a positive note, we're going with the Chatham Family to the Circus tonight. It's one of A's favorite things to do....I've got to improve my mood by then.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Catalyst Rocks

So today I led worship since Sprang was teaching. I always told Levi & Sprang that I would NOT lead. I didn't like it, I didn't feel comfortable, Don't ask me, I won't do it. Well, God has definitely changed my heart and attitude. I am okay with it, I actually like it. Isn't that crazy!!! It definitely stretches me and I get nervous but it's good. One of the songs really resonated with me this week. I've got a family member that is making some crazy decisions and my heart is breaking. We sang "Beautiful Jesus" today and during rehearsal it just kind of hit me. There are a couple of lines that I love. I'll just type the whole first verse because they're both in there. "Your love oh God, displayed for us as crimson covered over sinless hands. Your Majesty, for all to see, in raging storms & quiet cloudless days." Isn't that powerful?? I can see the imagery of crimson running over Jesus' hands for my sins. I love the line that talks about His majesty is displayed in raging storms & quiet days. That's who He is. He's there in both extremes & everything in between. I love that. Anyway, church was awesome today. The worship was flawed but so good. I almost had a top 5 most embarrassing moment. Somehow, Meagan's keyboard changed keys and the first song started WAY TOO high. I so tried to sing but my brain was churning. I realized I could sing the first part but by the end of the song would be singing in my opera voice (which I don't have). I noticed B-rad wasn't playing & Jonathan's face on the front row looked very concerned. I ended up looking at Meagan and she said, "I'll fix it." I just stopped and we restarted. She did it very nonchalantly so it almost seemed like the first chorus & verse were planned...maybe not:) Anyway, if you want a laugh, you can watch it here. You have to go to on demand and click on week 4 Baptism.

Another SUPER cool thing about today, we had 116 in worship. We had a Baptism & pool party at the Callahan's tonight. It was awesome. We had around 60 people there. It is so good to get to fellowship with our CatRow family. I love this church!!!!

Recap

Wow...it's been a while. Let me catch you up to speed....yes this may take 2 posts:) So first off, I spent the week at camp with Fusion Worship Band leading worship at a teen camp. We had a great time. Honestly, I feel like a rock star there (maybe that's a little bit of an over exaggeration). It is a very different environment for me. I like loud, rockin' music but let's face it, I'm older. It's good for me because it stretches me. I love making the connections with the kids. It makes me miss working with teenagers and being a youth pastor's wife. Camp was (and is) so much fun!! I also like connecting with other adults. It was great to be with the guys & gal from the band and just "hang" more. We had late night fun chats with JM and it was just cool!!

The bad part, I really missed Levi & the kids. Levi did GREAT with them. They all survived and had fun. They did come up and stay a night at camp so I got to see them, which was very nice. The kids got to go to Dollar Store and shop for Mommy! I love that. I feel like they both grew up during the week. I promise K is a foot taller and Addy all of a sudden started speaking in a British accent.

I'm glad to be home. It was good to have that time to myself but couldn't stand being away from my family!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Keegan's First Prayer

So we pray with the kids every night and tonight when I started to ask Keegan what he was thankful for, he said, "Becker, Mae Mae, Addy, JJ." I said, "What about Mommy?" He was teasing me but it was so cool to hear who he's thankful for. Sounds like a good list to me:) So thankful for friends who love our kiddos!!

Thoughts

Just wanted to update on my thoughts.I think about blogging alot more than I actually do. So, I am actually sitting down waiting on my non-permanent hair color to take. My roots are killing me after that Clairol Party. I don't want to do anything permanent...I am so low maintenance. So, it's the wash out but I had to go darker because my hair is..well...get darker. I hate to write that, I wish I was still that blonde. Oh well, such is life. Today has been pretty productive so far, accountability, gym, & walmart. Levi's parents come in tomorrow night and his ordination is Thursday. I'm trying to get the house clean and stay caught up on laundry, ha that is funny!

Last week, we read Song of Solomon. It's quite interesting but brings up a lot of questions for me. Why is that included in the Bible? It is pretty sexual. I wonder if it's to demonstrate the importance of the relationship between husband and wife. Maybe it's to illustrate or show the love that God has for his people. I don't know. I'm going to try to read some commentary this week. We'll see. I've also been listening to Erwin McManus. I listened to a sermon about "Blessed are the Meek" and what that means. You know what I've never thought about? When the soldiers came for Jesus in the Garden while he was praying and Peter cut off the ear, Jesus put it back on right there. They witnessed a miracle and yet still were unchanged. Why? How could you see a man replace an ear and still believe that he was a fake? And maybe it wasn't that they thought he was a fake maybe they knew the power He truly had and thought the grave could hold him. I don't know, something to think about. The point of the message was to live life by empowering instead of overpowering. It was really good.

Hope you're having a good week. Not sure how much I'll be able to blog this week so we'll probably just catch back up over the weekend.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fusion CD release

So we had our CD release party last night. It was awesome. It was so great to see people from all over the area. It was really cool. I really am blessed to be able to play with talented musicians. They are great. I am humbled at what God does through us...it's kind of crazy. It's good to hear affirmation and be thankful for the gifts God has given. I don't want to ever lose sight of that.

We have a couple of busy weeks coming up. Levi is being ordained next week, that's a big deal in the Nazarene church. You have to jump through a lot of hoops (experience, education, etc). His parents are flying in and are going to spend a few days here. I am excited about that. We hate not being near our family so it will be good to see them.

I've started cleaning today. I'm going to try to pace myself. I need to really clean. I try to keep the house neat but now it needs a good cleaning. It'll be good to do that.

The week after is teen camp. Fusion is playing that week. I'm excited, it's always fun and makes me miss being in youth ministry. Levi is going to keep the kids and come up for a couple of days in the middle of the week. So, any of you in the area....please make sure they all survive:)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fusion Worship Band CD Release Party

Hey everyone!

we'd love for you to join us for our CD release party on July 10 at Church in the City in Rowlett, TX.

Just click here and you'll be taken to the facebook event where you can see who else is coming and RSVP yourself.

You can also check out our new website with helpful links at www.fusionworshipband.com

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Women of Faith Giveaway

Mommy Snacks at http://mommysnacks.net/2009/07/giveaway-women-of-faith-tickets/#comment-14223 is giving away 4 tickets. What an awesome giveaway. I love the Women of Faith conferences but would like it even more to go free:) Woohoo!!! Go ahead and enter for your chance to win!

Time is Flying

It's a new week. Tuesdays are great days, I think they are pretty productive for me. I'm up early and get going. I try to get my workout, shopping, & accountability done before 8am. I got 2 out of 3 today. I kind of hate learning pitfalls about myself but I noticed one today. We scooted our time back this morning to 6:30 instead of 6. Well, I remembered but the other girls didn't. My plan was to do my jog/walk from 6-6:30 and then do sbux from 6:30-7:30, hit Walmart and be back home a little after 8 (I had a short list today). Well, my friend texted me to tell me they were at Sbux at 6:05....it totally threw me off. I like to think I'm flexible but when I have a plan and it gets off....I have a hard time recovering. I realize that is really silly. I found myself being quiet for the first bit of our accountability time and really had to consciously get back on track. It was kind of crazy...one more character flaw to work on. We had a good time of meeting and the girls were ready to stop and I kept talking. I feel like there are parts of my life that are kind of chaotic right now, maybe chaos is too strong but kind of out of order. That drives me nuts. I like order and routine, even if it's busy. I'm trying to be okay with things being out of order (to an extent). I feel like I've got a lot to keep track of right now and I'm trying to balance a lot (more emotions than tasks).

We read Ecclesiastes last week and it's kind of random thoughts, they do tie together. One theme is to enjoy life and live where you are and be content with whatever is going on. I so want to do that. I want my kids to see me doing that and I'm not sure they do. I want to be okay with the interruptions and "pitfalls" of life. Another phrase that stuck out for me from the Word was "we work to feed our appetites but our souls go hungry." I have got to do a better job at being in the Word and letting it soak in my mind. It is a discipline that I really want to improve. I find myself thinking about it and pondering it when I do it, I just want to do it more often.

On another note, we had to take our van to the shop yesterday. Addy's door is literally about to fall off. I'm hoping it won't be too much and it will be a simple fix. I'm trying to trust and not worry...that is so hard for me. God has provided and taken care of us thus far.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Catch Up

wow, it has been a long time. Where to begin?? We got back from Florida and we had a great trip. We went to Orlando one day. We went to Sea World and then met my aunt and grandma for dinner. It was so good to see my Grandma. The kids had so much fun at Mom & Dad's. They swam every day (at least twice a day actually), they got to ride the horses whenever they wanted. They loved it and so did I. It was so nice to have Mom home. She let me sleep in and she did so much with the kids. It was so nice. She and I got to spend an afternoon together shopping & eating out. It was nice! I love and appreciate my parents so much. They are the most easy going, open people I know. I hate (I know that's strong) but I hate being so far from them. I wish I could merge my two worlds of Rowlett, TX and Newberry, FL or at least bring them closer together...16 hours in a car is TOOO far!! We had a great time with my sister and brother-in-law and niece too. The kids had a blast and so did I. The car ride there and back wasn't too bad either. Xuan and I split it up so we stopped in New Orleans on the way there and Mobile on the way back. The kids actually did great in the car.

It was great to be back with Levi, I felt complete again. We miss him when he can't go with us to Florida but it's always sweet to be back together as a family.

We got back to real life last week and it's been good. I missed my friends and so I've been trying to catch up with everybody. We had the Oakes family over last week and had a great time. I love having new people in my house and really getting to talk to them and hear their story. I think that's so important. This week we're having the Bloomers over (they're "old" friends but we haven't had them over since the Bloomettes were born). I'm excited about that:) We went shopping with them yesterday and they are so dadgum cute!! Addy was their babysitter, she did a good job:)

Yesterday was a heavy day for me, I caught up with a few different friends. They were all going through different issues but it was all sad and frustrating. I wish I could help more or know the magic words to say but I think listening and being there is what they need. I'm trying to be quiet and be a better listener, that's hard for me. I listened to a sermon this morning while I was on the treadmill about the Beattitudes. Is that how you spell that? It talked about blessed are those that mourn and how when we're called to the Christian life it will not be easy. I need to finish it because I feel like a lot of my friends are in "mourning" or hard times. Life is not easy and it is not fun and sometimes we don't feel hope and joy. I hate that. I feel like I'm in a pretty good place right now. And that's good, maybe I can offer more hope and joy.

I've gotten more serious about Weight Watchers. I go weigh in tonight so I will hopefully re-lose the 2 lbs I gained in Florida. We'll see.

This is random because I'm totally changing the subject again....I'm thankful for all my friends here. I have a few different networks and I'm thankful for every one of them. We have our Catalyst friends, I have my mommy group friends, and I have our other pastor friends. Each of those groups are so valuable to me. I am so so so thankful for them.

Okay, that's enough for now...thanks for reading, I think we're caught up:)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

We're back.....

but I am so pooped. We had a great evening as a family just hanging out and doing some shopping. I will fill you in on the Florida fun later this week. Just wanted to let you know we're back;)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

ShoooShaa

Yeah, I don't know either but I've run out of cute titles. We've had a good and busy week since Wednesday. I took the kids to Wetzone on Thursday and they had fun and slept a long time at nap time. Levi went for a bike ride with Blain & some other friends so he got home late. That was okay b/c that night, I went to Fridays with some girlfriends. We had a great time. I've truly been blessed with wonderful mommy friends. Levi took Friday off so we went garage saling and got some wonderful finds. Then we headed to the wetzone and the kids again had a blast. Levi had to ref last night so I ran some errands. I got a Bath & Body giftcard for my birthday (thanks Gram Lowry). They're having their semi-annual sale and Wallflowers were only $4 so I stocked up. Then I headed to Janessa's to grab some scarves and hats for Wendi (she has some cute cute stuff to wear). Wendi let me borrow a couple of the hats for vacation...I know I kind of felt bad but they are sOO cute. I'll return them when we get back :) Thanks Wendi!! Then, I swung into Bed, Bath, & Beyond to grab an all weather picnic blanket for the sprinkler park, etc. It was marked $19.99 but was on sale for $14.99 and I had a 20% off coupon....score!! Arbys for supper and over to Wendi's to drop off hats. Then home with my laundry date. It was a long day but very productive. I did all the laundry so there are seriously very very few dirty clothes in our house. That feels good. I also packed for our Florida trip. I feel bad that Levi can't go. If you're in the area, check in on him for me. I know he'll keep busy....disc golf and mountain biking as much as he'd like...not having to be home for dinner or help with the kids....it's a rough life. I know he'll miss us and we'll miss him. I'm so excited to see my family:)

Anyway, today's been busy too...birthday party for Kelton this morning(thanks Matt & Rach). We had a great time. And Hunter's graduation party tonight...woohoo!! We're going to party hard;) I probably won't get a lot of blog time when I'm in Florida but I'll be tweeting:)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Today

So today we went with Erik & Wendi to the Sammons Center for Wendi's appointment. They are awesome by the way. When they've talked about the appointments it always intrigued me so I'm glad we got to go today. I was really excited, probably built up a little too much anticipation. Levi and I were kidless and I always enjoy that time too. (Thanks Emily, Heather, & Ansley!!) We got to the appointment and they called them back pretty quickly. Levi and I were in the waiting room and were sitting next to an older couple, in their 70's. We started talking to them. They were so nice and the man started telling us about his cancer. He was fine until he hit 70 and had lung cancer and then a couple of small tumors in his brain. He is cancer free now and was telling us about the state of the art technology that Baylor has and how awesome Baylor is. Then he looked at us and said, "You can have all the money in the world and be wealthy but if you don't have your health, you don't got nothing." And then he said, "The Good Lord has been good to us." And she smiled as if to say, "Amen!" They were called back shortly. I told Levi how sobering the place was. As I looked around the room and as people passed, I thought that each one has a story about cancer and how they are fighting this horrible disease. I almost got choked up a number of times and had the urge to go up and ask them to tell me their story. I've never known someone to have cancer in my adult life. Since we've moved here, I've encountered it in such a real way, it's scary. I'm so glad I got to go with them today because it opened my eyes and my heart in a different way and a new perspective. When Erik and Wendi came out, they were encouraged. She is going to start chemo soon but found out there might be some new developments with the research and maybe one of these will apply to her type of cancer. Again, sobering to look at my friend who looks healthy and vibrant and beautiful and know that she has cancer. Please pray for her in the next few weeks as she begins chemo. I know God can give her strength and a peace during this time. Honestly, I don't know how but I know He can. The weird part to this (not really weird) is that as we were leaving, we ran into my friend Janessa, from my playgroup. I blogged about her yesterday and how we talked a lot about her battle with cancer. She and Wendi hit it off and they had an instant bond, I almost got teary again. Janessa's going to pass on her scarves and hats. It was no coincidence that we ran into her. I had just finished telling Wendi about Janessa earlier. Thank you God for all these strong women in my life and let me learn from them and from you as we journey together.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Word Up

Okay I'm just kind of feeling silly, no significance in the post title. I'm tutoring (kind of). Tuesdays are crazy days for me but I LOVE them. I get up really early, go to the gym, meet the girls at Starbucks, usually grocery shop, and then head home. I get ready and then when the kids get up I am ready to go. I like that. I really should get up early more than once a week. I think I'd be more productive. We went to the sprinkler park today with our playgroup. There were only a few of us b/c it stormed this morning so most of the girls stayed home. It was good. I got to talk to Janessa who I haven't talked to a lot. She is a cancer survivor and she is awesome. I am truly inspired by her and her outlook. It was really cool. My friend Wendi goes back to the oncologist tomorrow. Please say a prayer for her and her family. Levi and I are going to go with them and I'm really excited about it (I know weird right?). We love them and just feel like they've taken us in and vice versa (I hope). I just want to be there for them and just walk through life with them, bad and good. Emily and Ansley are going to watch my kiddos again. They watched them last week so Levi & I could go out for my birthday. It's good to connect with people.

We talked last week after dinner and she's awesome. I'm just so so so thankful for all the wonderful Catalyst people. Truly, they're awesome and I feel so blessed to be apart of them:)

Monday, June 1, 2009

VOTE VOTE VOTE

Hey guys....we're down to our last 2 hours of voting. Please vote for my friend Sheila. If she wins, all 7 of us get a trip to LA...please vote:)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Proud

Okay so I have to do a quick blog to brag on Addy. We were at a friend's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese yesterday. Addy, Keegan, and one of our friends were riding the mini-carousel...over and over and over and yes....over again. I was kind of getting dizzy just watching. An older boy walked up, probably 7 or 8 and said he wanted to ride. I told him that as soon as they got off he could. I was actually thinking in my head he was way too big and these 3 little ones were having a ball. He went to the Chuck E. Cheese picture car and put his token in and I thought it was done. When that turn stopped, our other friend who was on with us quickly put another coin in, she was seriously loving the carousel. Before I knew it, Addy got off the carousel and ran over to the little boy and told him he could have her spot. He was in the middle of his ride and Addy missed her turn. I was so proud of her. She is very thoughtful and I love that about her. She truly cares for people and looks out for them. I need/want to be more like that, forgoing my own wants and looking out for someone else's. Proud momma moment...thanks for letting me brag!