Thursday, April 29, 2010


Lately, I’ve been really contemplating and seeking to understand what it means when we say God is love. It almost seems idiotic to think about such things because the logical and easy answer is rooted in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one an only son.” And that would not be an incorrect response. God did give his son because of his love for us.

Here’s the thing though. I’m coming to understanding that when we say God is love, we often think of love as a verb. God is always in the action of loving us. Again another true and valid statement, but what happens when we begin to look at the word “love” as a noun. God IS love. The simple words become something entirely different. Something that offers more hope than ever imagined. God IS love. Love is God. The two are inseparable. God’s very being is love. Love does not exist without God and God does not exist without love. Love is not just a quality God possesses, it is his very being!

Every moment of his being, every movement, every thought, every piece of God is at its core an expression of love because God IS love. At every turn he’s reaching out for us. He is looking for us. He will go anywhere to find us. He loves us, he wants us home, he cannot rest unless he has us with him.

What I love about the Church of the Nazarene is that we have a belief that the love of God can so thoroughly penetrate and fill our hearts, souls and minds; that it cannot help but, like a gushing waterfall, overflow from our being to others. This belief is the doctrine of holiness – becoming conformed to the image of Christ and not just for ourselves, but for the sake of others. God/Love can pour himself into us, conforming us and molding us to the very image of himself and the natural expression becomes our becoming love.

When this happens, when we are so filled with God/Love, condemnation is gone. We aren’t able to dispense something that wasn’t given to us. And I’m left wondering, when we find ourselves in those moments that we can judge and condemn, have we found a piece of our heart that we haven’t given to God? If we had given it over to him, would it not be filled with Love? In Christ there is no condemnation. In Christ there is love and that love is meant not so we can become trophies on God’s shelf of “won souls,” but so we can freely and openly give that love to others. That is holiness – becoming conformed to the image of Christ, becoming Love, becoming whole and all for the sake of others!

We are meant to love the Lord with all our hearts, souls and minds! We are meant to love others! These are the two greatest commands and flow directly from God’s very being. God IS love!

Finishing up...

This is a week of finishing up! Jourdyn is finishing up her track experience this year and I am finishing up the course I am in right now. 

We spent yesterday afternoon and this afternoon at track meets.  Jourdyn ran the 400 m and the 200 m yesterday. Today she ran the 200 m only.  She did very well. We are so proud of  her. 

I was able to snap this picture yesterday at that the meet! Nadine and Rowan love being with their big sister so much! I just wish she would reciprocate that more often!

Aunt Julie came out to watch Jourdyn run as well.  One of my complaints about track is that that take so long.  We were only able to see Jourdyn run the 400 yesterday because it was a triple meet (3 schools were there) and it took forever! There were so many kids, the events just seemed to drag on. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stars On Ice

Back at the beginning of the school year, Nadine sold Entertainment books for school as a fundraiser. She was the top seller in the school and won a trip to Smucker's Stars on Ice. Which wasn't until last night!

Her and I headed for the evening to the new arena.  She had ice cream and nachos.  We watched the first 40 minutes and she was ready to fall asleep and wanted to come home.  It was great to see the skaters, but the music was putting her to sleep! :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

I scream....You scream...

we all scream for ice cream!!!!!!

Well, it's hard to believe our Daisy year is coming to an end.  We have only our May meeting left.  This evening we learned about using our resources wisely and making the world a better place! We topped the night off with a trip to the ice cream shop! The girls had a ball!
There are a lot of changes in the works around here and Daisies is one of them.  While we have loved this kindergarten experience, next year Nadine will start Bible Quizzing, which has everyday study.  We are also looking at getting her into Irish Dancing lessons.  She is a dancer! And if we are going to let her take it up, we thought her also learning about our heritage would be good!
I have started back to school full-time, Air Force stuff and for ordination I will soon have to carry a full-time staff position.  These things will make it very hard for me to continue to be the troop leader.  So I am going to resign as leader and hope that another mom steps up to take on this energetic bunch of princesses! They are such a treasure!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lost Tooth (365-4-23)

Nadine has been anxiously awaiting the event of this evening! About a week ago, she proudly exclaimed that her tooth was loose! Just before heading to bed tonight, it finally came out! She is so excited to have the tooth fairy come and give her money! We've told her the tooth fairy only comes for little girls who stay in their beds ALL night long. 

Oh, and I must tell you that yesterday I received a call from Chaplain Command. I have officially been accepted as a Chaplain Candidate in the United States Air Force Reserves! I was so excited. I emailed my recruiter, who proceeded to call me because he was so amazed and excited about it.  He said he has never seen the accession go so quickly and also has not seen Chaplain Command personally call someone and tell them only an hour after the decision was made. 

It all seems quite surreal right now.  The next couple of years will definitely be a journey. I'm excited to see what God is going to do!

Nature's Mishaps...

I reported about 10 days ago that a robin had nested on our front porch. Rob came home last night at midnight and the nest was gone.  Something got it. We found the nest on the ground about 5 ft. away.  It wasn't windy and besides that she had it pretty securely rested in its location. Wind wouldn't have moved it.   For the past week she has been religiously sitting on the nest. Even sitting in a nearby try screaming at us when we are on the porch too long for her to return.  So we know she laid eggs, we think it was last Friday that she laid them.  However, there were no eggs to be found last night or this morning. 
We suspect that either a cat or an owl or a hawk took the nest down.  We're hoping that it wasn't some idiot messing around because the nest was very visible from the street.  But since the eggs are gone, we think it was something that was hungry!
This morning as we were waiting to Nadine on the bus, momma bird came to the tree and went to fly up to where the nest was but abruptly turned and flew away once she realized we were there.  Following her was papa bird.  It's amazing that they have returned to find their nest. I'm sure they will go through mourning just as we would in losing our children.  I'm sad because this means that there chance for new life has been squashed this year.
The irony is that yesterday was Earth Day. We were reminded that nature has a course, an order that as much as we try to aid, nature prevails. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

200 Meter Dash (365-4-21)

For the past couple of track meets, Jourdyn has only had one event - the 200 meter dash! Yesterday, out at Findlay Glenwood, she won her heat! She ran the dash in 34.97 seconds. 
I spoke with her track coach yesterday and they are going to get her into three events for sure from here out - hopefully it will be high jump and 100 meter hurdles.  We'll find out today.  We will also find out today if she made it to the Relays tomorrow evening! She had to be in the top three from her school to go to that one. 

These pictures aren't of the finish line.  This is the point that the girl from Glenwood realized that someone had caught her, and she would soon realize that someone BEAT her! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Time at the park...(365-4-20)

The kids and I went for a 3 mile walk today at the park.  Well, Jourdyn and I walked with our friends, Tina and Jenni, while Rowan and Nadine rode in the wagon.  Of course, the wagon was pulled by mostly Tina and I.  Boy, did we get a butt-workout!

After walking, the kids spent some time playing on the playground.  It's amazing how as little children we are so open to meeting new people and making new friends.  Rowan found a little boy there to play with almost immediately.  They spent time chasing each other and dropping his toy car down the spiral slide and then jumping on the slide himself to try to beat it down. 

As I looked at this picture, I couldn't help but see how quickly Jourdyn is growing up! She has changed so much in the past year.  This second picture was taken last year at the same time! Do you see what I mean? All of them really are growing way to fast! But Jourdyn in particular is really becoming a young lady! (sobbing)

Monday, April 19, 2010

America's Funniest Home Videos?????????

Jourdyn captured this video in the backyard the other day.  I apologize for the sideways view of it, but I don't know how to correct that. Jourdyn was holding the camera sideways. Also there is no sound.  I'm not sure why either. 

Keeping busy...(365-4-19)

I realized today that I haven't posted all weekend. I apologize! It has been awfully busy lately! Thursday night I had a Lia Sophia party. Only two of my friends showed up! (Thank you to them! so I didn't look like a complete idiot!) However, I only had it because my friend Tammy has started her own business and I wanted to support her as best as I could.  If you want any Lia Sophia let me know, I can add it to my "not-so-much-a-party" party.

We had a garage sale on Friday and Saturday. Friday went well even though it rained all day. Saturday we closed after two hours and only one customer!

Jourdyn participated in the 30 Hr. Famine Friday night into Saturday.  On Saturday evening, our family served the Break the Fast meal to 50 teens from our church and two other neighboring Nazarene churches.  We didn't do it alone. We organized it, but we had several other parents and friends there to help us serve! It was such a blessing. We served hot dogs, desserts, chips, beans, pasta salads, and cookies! After not eating for 30 hours those kids tore up the food!

Sunday was spent like a normal Sunday. Church, discipleship group and just hanging out together.  Jourdyn went to Katie's though and hung out over there for the day. 

So we come to today...Monday. A definite hectic Monday! The pictures above are from Jourdyn's second track meet.  She ran the 200 meter dash and did it in 34 seconds.  We were so proud of her.  She has a total of 3 track meets this week, which will make for a crazy week for our family. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Track Meet (365-4-14)

Jourdyn's first track meet was today.  We had to venture over to West Toledo because the meet was at Whitmer High School.  I haven't been at the school in years.  The biggest difference check out the turf in the background! WOW! It's a great field and track. 

Jourdyn ran the 200 m today.  I unfortunately missed it because I had to head out for Bible study (since I'm the leader) and they were running behind because one of our hurdlers was injured. She was taken to the hospital.  Jourdyn tells me that she doesn't know her time or place, but she wasn't first and she wasn't last.  We are so proud of her. She's been running the park with Rob when she is home and he goes running. 

This was her running the warm-up lap.  This was the first time she was able to use her new track shoes, since her school practice track is gravel and the shoes can only be used on real tracks.  So I, of course, had to give her "the don't walk in the bleechers or the concrete with your shoes - in fact, just don't put them on until you are on that track or in the field."

The bottom picture is of Jourdyn and her friend Madeline. Madeline is such a sweetie.  She was one of my cabin girls last year for 6th grade camp.  Both of them only had one event this meet.  They are hoping to get their shot at pole vaulting very soon!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

HCG Update (365-4-13)

I have been off the HCG diet now for several weeks.  I quit the week before I went to MEPS and I am still loosing weight. 

Many people were very skeptical of the diet. I even was a little bit. But it worked. I lost 22 lbs in a month and I have kept it off.  The best part is - they say at day 23 of the diet your metabolism is reset. And I believe it has been.  I have never been able to just lose weight like I am.  I've lost an additional 2 lbs since I've stopped the diet. 
Rob is also continuing to lose and he has been off the diet a lot longer. 
I felt wonder on it and I still feel good! 
Here's a picture that Jourdyn took last night.  I'm not sure that I like the angle.  But I thought I'd share it with you anyways.  There is still 20 more pounds to go.  I'm working on it.  In fact, in a couple of weeks I think I will probably go back on the diet for a month again to see if I drop some more that quickly. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Returning Visitor (365-4-12)

Last year we had robin try to next on our front porch. She built a beautiful next, even laid three eggs in it. However, because of the foot traffic she abandoned the next. Well, this year we've had a robin build another beautiful next.  In fact, it's bigger this year.  We don't think there are eggs yet. There might be though. We aren't getting close enough to see.  We are hoping that she will be able to use this thing that took her all weekend to build!
Rob told me that he contemplated knocking it down this weekend, but he didn't because he knew that Nadine and Rowan would tell on him and mommy would be mad. 
He was right! If it was the stinkin' black birds I wouldn't have been, but she is a robin. So she can stay!
I was very excited to play softball this year.  We got the schedule and found out that our team plays majoratively 9 pm games through the season. I can't do that with the kids, so I'm not playing or I will be playing on Crystie's team.  Last year she played with us. This year are league was able to squeeze the Alliance chapel into the schedule, so she will have her own team.  


So I didn't really tell you anything about our trip in detail.  We stayed about 1 mile from the new conference center in Sevierville at a Quality Inn and Suites. We had a 3 double bed room. It was very nice! They had an indoor pool that we didn't know about until we got there. We went to Kmart and bought Jourdyn a swimsuit so she could swim on Thursday night. 

Sevierville used to be nothing...not it is just like Pigeon Forge. It's all the tourist stuff and it's not stopping. It's actually quite nuts. Traffic was horrible.  We survived though.  We spent Thursday evening in Sevierville Area, and all day friday in Sevierville/Pigeon Forge area.  On Saturday afternoon we went to Gatlinburg and were reminded that when we go down there, we want to stay right in Gatlinburg.  It is such a neat place! We didn't do any of the stuff like the overlook or obergatliburg. We just hung out for the day, in sunny weather and with good friends. 

The conference was amazing! But next year I think we are going to go to the Louisville one, instead of this one. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Women of Joy Pictures

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It was a great weekend! Charles Billingsley lead worship. There was a concert by Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman.  Anita Renfroe, Karen Kingsbury, Lori Salierno, and Kay Arthur all spoke wonderful messages!

Home (365-4-11)

Well, we have arrived home! Absolutely loved kissin' my younger kids and my hubby after the long weekend! Thankful to be out of the car! Construction and traffick was bad in Gatlinburg area. It took long periods of time to get anywhere, not to mention the 8 hour drive each way there and back! But it was definitely worth it! We had so much fun.
I have pictures for you, however, I am going to do them later in a smilebox. For now, this is my weeping cherry. When I arrived home this is how it greeted full spring bloom!!!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Women of Joy - Sevierville, TN

On Thursday morning 10 women and I left for Sevierville, TN/Gatlinburg for the Women of Joy Conference.  This is the third year for Crystie, Sharon, Jody and I. This year we brought Jourdyn with us.  We are having a great time.  I have tons of pictures but I can't upload any of them from here. So when I get home I will post a whole bunch of them. 

Really? I thought there was only one Messiah named Jesus Christ! something we saw in Gatlinburg in a magnet store.

charles billingsley - worship at women of joy

Friday, April 9, 2010

Jourdyn Crystie and me in Gatlinburg! Conference starts tonight! Dinner right now.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The weather is beautiful! We went out to Maumee Bay to walk today and made a stop at the beach!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Pictures

Rob worked Easter Sunday morning, so the kids and I got up and went to church.  After church we came home and hung out for the day. Rob slept. Then in the evening we went to his mom's for Easter dinner.  These are some pictures from our day.  Nadine and Rowan made Resurrection Eggs during Sunday School. They are having so much fun playing with them and talking about Jesus.Jourdyn and Rob have been running together! She is doing so well. I've been walking with my friends and taking bike rides as well.  In fact, today our family rode for 5 miles over to the park and around it and then back.   

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Community centered...

Saturday...a day that the disciples spent in darkness...the Light of the World lay dead in a tomb...all hope had been lost...darkness had spread over them...

Praise God that we have the end of the story! We know Sunday is a-comin'!!!!

As we wait in anticipation for celebration of the resurrection, our day was spent once again living in community - the broader community! This morning our church hosted a prayer breakfast for all of the Oregon Area churches.  We had about 100 people there, sharing a meal and praying for our community.  It was a wonderful time of fellowship and communion. 

I took Nadine today for a hair cut.  We officially went pixie! It is so cute on her. We left a little over her ears, but it is adorable.  She wasn't too sure of it though, until we told her it's a Tinkerbell haircut. Then she seemed to love it! I think for the summer she is going to do so much better with it this way. 
Rowan was buzzed for the time being as well.

This evening my sister and I headed over to the April Lifeline Community Dinner at the North's house in the Old West End.  This was Julie's first experience there!

It was a good night.  One of the older gentlemen brought his banjo and played for awhile.  For the first time every, an artist came and just sat in the corner painting.  The first ever "Jefferson" Award was given out to our friend, Ken Leslie tonight.  Gary got up and made a big deal about the Jefferson Award for Public Service, and the group wanting to nominate someone from within who is making a huge difference in our community. However, they missed the deadline. So they decided to give it out anyways.  They made the "George Jefferson Award." One of the Lifeline attending is a sculpture for George Caruth.  She hand carved George Jefferson's bust. They painted it and put it on a plaque. They made a big deal about it. It was very funny! You'd have to know Ken to know that he absolutely loved it! It was a great moment!

Gary was supposed to read some poetry and more musicians were supposed to come, but we had to get going and leave the party by 9:45.  Next month they are going to have a band playing at Food For Thought and then at the Lifeline Dinner.  I'm excited!
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Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt...

I know we were just at the zoo on Wednesday, but our family returned today! We love having a zoo family pass! It's a fantastic place to take the kids! It was packed today though.  Every year the Zoo has an Easter Egg Hunt for the animals.  My friend Traci planned an excursion for our families to the zoo.  Her family went, my family, Bethany & Brandon w/their 2 boys, Holly w/her 2 girls, Erin w/her 2 girls, Brandy w/her 2 kids and Mandi w/her 2 kids.  (I think that was everyone!)

We weren't able to all stay together because it would have been just impossible.  We saw the gorillas, orangs, some monkeys, the hippos, the elephants and had lunch together. We also made a craft and saw the frogs, and the bugs and spiders.

Nadine was a little hesitant to enter the bug room. Becca is a tom-boy so she dragged Nadine in.  Nadine made it through the cockroaches, completely disgusted but she made it.  Then she came to the bird eating spider and she was done.  She high-tailed it out to the wagon and never went back in.  The boys loved it though. 

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It was a beautiful day to go. I even got a little bit of color. After the zoo, Tina and I went for a walk at Maumee Bay and then Tina and her kids came over to have dinner with our family. We grilled out in the backyard. The kids played football and just hung out. 

Today is Good Friday. This is the day that we remember what Christ came to our broken world for.  He came to mend broken relationships, first between us and God, but ultimately even the relationships between us and others here in our world.  There is no better way to remember what Christ did on the cross than to build others up, to live life together, to recognize that we were created for each other. 

Thank you Lord for loving me! Thank you for all you did that day and for all that you continue to do.  Thank you for seeing me at my lowest point and still loving me.  Thank you for carrying me!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Break has begun...

Spring break has finally arrived!!!! Nadine's first day off was today.  We started our day with heading out to Barnes & Noble to try and find some good chapter books for her to read.  While we were there, we were able to catch the first story at story time. 

The sales associate did such a fantastic job at telling the story.  Rowan didn't want to sit and watch her at first so he walked away. He eventually ended up hiding behind me, but listening attentively to her story. 

We found some great series for Nadine with the help of the associate.  The first series is Ivy & Bean by Annie Barrows. She got a boxed set that contains the first three books.  Ivy & Bean are two very different little girls that learn to become the best of friends.  The second series that we are going to begin is Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo.  This just seemed like a fun series. Mercy is a pet pig that gets to all kinds of fun stuff.  Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Tale of Despereaux. 
After our excursion to the book store, we headed out to Maumee Bay to go for a walk with our friends.  Nadine took her bike to ride.  We walk 3 miles though usually, so we knew today would be a short walk since she wouldn't be able to ride that long.  We went about half of that distance.  It was 75 degrees. The lake is completely thawed and so we took a couple of shots near the water.

Rowan had an exciting day too! We learned that we are going to have to buy him a bike.  Nadine's bike is just a bit big for him.  He felt like such a big kid.  Although he has learned the art of letting us push him through the park! After we turned around and headed back, the kids played for a few minutes on Tina's trampoline! She says I should get them one for our backyard! LOL!
I'm going to upload a video to here from my phone. I'm not sure if you will be able to see it well, but it is Rowan kicking the soccer ball around the front yard! This is something else we discovered today. He LOVES to kick the ball around!

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