Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finding your joy...

When I was young I remember December being the longest month of the year.  It seemed as if Christmas would never make it, and then on Christmas night I would feel a sense of mourning for the season that was now over.  Now, as an adult, I find that the month passes so quickly I struggle finding time to actually enjoy it.  We rush around, trying to fit in all of our various obligations, finish our shopping, bake untold amounts of cookies for parties and before we know it, it's Christmas night and once again I mourn for the season I didn't get to find much joy in.  I love Christmas, always have.  It's not the gifts I love but everything else the holiday encompasses.  I enjoy giving to others but our tight budget and long list of people to buy for have replaced the joy with stress.   I miss the childish anticipation of the day that I felt in my youth.

Last year I instigated a new tradition of watching Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol with the kids.  This year I'm trying to figure out a time in our schedule to fit it in, along with other Christmas activities to do with the kids.  I have my house decorated, I've seen Santa, I've read Zoe the Christmas story, and yet it doesn't feel like Christmas.  How do you get yourself in the spirit?  What brings you joy this holiday season?

The closest I've felt to being in the Christmas spirit this year was last weekend when my parents came to visit.  We went to eat supper and then drove around to look at Christmas lights.  When we returned home we lit a fire in the backyard and roasted marshmallows and drank hot chocolate.  There were a few moments of peace that I was able to just sit back and enjoy.

My mission for the next week is to enjoy this holiday, the season and everything about it, not only for me, but for my children.  I want them to look back to their childhood with fond memories of traditions with their family.  I want them to know the true joy of the Christmas story.  I love Zoe's excitement everytime she sees a nativity scene, "Mom, that's Mary! She's Jesus' mom and Joseph was his dad, well, God is his dad, but Jesus is God, too."   I don't want her to lose that excitement.

Below is a picture of Zoe having a chat with Santa at church last night.  It's a little blurry (our nice camera is broken so I'm having to resort to using our cheap one) but I still love it.

Here's hoping you feel overwhelmingly blessed this season.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blessed by a miracle...

Hello all.  I wanted to devote this blog entry to my wonderful husband, Zach.  Last night, after a delightful night out, just the two of us, I reflected on how very fortunate I am to have Zach in my life.

For those of you who don't know, Zach is fortunate to be alive.  He was born 3 months premature and spent his first weeks in the NICU.  His twin, John David, did not survive.  By some miracle, Zach did, and I am so grateful.  I am grateful for my miracle, my healthy, happy, crazy, funny, smart, wise, and loving miracle.  I can not imagine what my life would be like if I didn't have this man in my life.  I know for sure, I wouldn't be half the woman I am today without him.  Thank you Lord for blessing my life and countless others with this man.

I hope Zach enjoyed his birthday.  It was a low key affair, no presents, no grand celebration.  Last night we had our date night, and even though it wasn't exciting by any means, it was calm and quiet.  Thankful for Wesley kids who are willing to babysit!  Today was a busy day for Zach.  We had church, then Zach had to prepare for a hike up "Aggie" Mountain with Wesley.  Unfortunately, rain kept them from hiking so they chose to worship at the Wesley instead.  Soon after that we hosted the Wesley Leadership Christmas Party at our house with "Methodist" burgers and a cake I baked for Zach.  They are a great group and I hope everyone enjoyed it, I know we did.

I also hope that Zach knows how much he is loved. Loved by me and by his children.  Zoe is certain that the sun sets and rises on her daddy, and what a great daddy he is.  May we never take him for granted.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Bechtold's take on Thanksgiving.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday.  Ours was, as usual, hectic and crazy.  I wonder what it would be like to stay home on Thanksgiving, watching tv, eating, napping...sigh...

We went back to Plainview on Tuesday and arrived in time for supper.  My wonderful mother had made a delicious stew and my sister and her husband came over to enjoy it with us.  Wednesday we stayed in the house and that afternoon my sister came over and we put up my parent's Christmas Tree.  Kelly also helped Zoe write her letter to Santa and together, they made a gluten-free pumpkin pie.

 Doodle Bears are at the top of the list this year.

Because one cup isn't enough...

Thanksgiving day Zach went over to his parents to help his dad cook, just like he does every year.  I stayed and helped Mom cook.  We had a small group at her house and the food was delicious.

The kids play outside before lunch.

Later that afternoon we went across town to Zach's parent's house for the rest of the evening.  About 9:30 that night Mom, Zach and I headed out to Wal-mart.  It was insanity but we knew what we wanted, zoomed through the store and was checked out by 10:30.  I got a Leapfrog Tag Reader for Zach's mother to give to Zoe for Christmas.  It was a bargain.

Mom had gotten the day after Thanksgiving off from work for the first time in years so we decided to venture out on our first Black Friday shopping endeavor with my sister, a veteran Black Friday shopper.  We got up and left town at 6:00 and made it to Amarillo and hit Lowe's at 7:30.  I was shocked at how calm everything was.  I was expecting chaos and didn't see any sign of it any place we went.  We hit all the big places: Home Depot, JC Penneys, Target, etc., but didn't encounter any major lines or crowds.  Penney's was crowded, but it felt more like any Saturday.  I was able to mark some things off my list and we were back in Plainview by 3:30.

We headed back to LC on Saturday morning, driving in a huge wind storm.  At some points visibility didn't extend past the hood of the car.  We even hit a wall of tumbleweeds that completely blocked the road and was taller than our car.  It was not an enjoyable drive.

There's a road there somewhere...

Now, Christmas.  I am not in the spirit yet this year, more stressed than anything.  Hopefully that will change in the coming weeks.  

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their week.  Blessings to you!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Traditions and such

I love family traditions.  My mother loves them too, I guess that's where I get it.  Christmas was always an important time for our family because of all the traditions we had.  It was important to me, when Zach and I started our own family, to incorporate traditions into our holidays.  One thing that I always enjoyed doing, and still do for that matter, is decorating the Christmas tree.  I know so many who see this activity as a chore instead of a treat and that makes me sad for them.  I am so thankful that I married a man who can find the joy in performing this task.

Since we are traveling over the Thanksgiving holidays we have begun putting our tree up before we leave to visit family.  We put on Christmas music and enjoy looking at all the ornaments we have collected over the years.  Zoe loved pulling out an ornament from the box and asking who's it is. Noah kept pointing to the tree and saying "Wow."  Even Zach got into the spirit, singing along and putting his ornaments up.

Zoe helps to string the lights.

Putting up the star.

Noah helps put ornaments on the tree.

This year we instituted another tradition by having a Harry Potter themed family night.  Zoe and I made and decorated cookies and Zach inflated the air mattress in front of the t.v.  After supper we put on a Harry Potter movie and enjoyed homemade Butterbeer and our cookies.  It was, admittedly, a lot of sugar to ingest before bedtime, but it was a good night.

Yummy Butterbeer!

We look forward to repeating this experience next year and seeing how it evolves as the kids get older.

Would love to hear some of your favorite traditions!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Road Trip!

Last weekend the kids and I loaded in the car and hit the road.  We traveled back to Plainview for my grandmother's 90th birthday party.  It's not a trip we could of made had we still been living in New Boston, but since we are closer, those six hours don't seem so bad.  I always worry when we get to see family if Noah will remember them.  In the past it has always taken him about a day to warm up to everyone again.  This trip, however, he went running to my mom with open arms.  Relief!

Usually our trips home are stressful and frantic.  We prefer to only go home when we have plenty of time to stay, just so we can have the time to fit everyone in.  I didn't feel stressed this trip.  Perhaps it was because Zach didn't go with me, I don't know.  I didn't do much.  Mom and I worked on jigsaw puzzles in the evenings, enjoying visiting together.  Thursday we celebrated my sister's birthday with a great meal (gluten free of course).

Saturday was the day of the party.  We weren't sure how many people would brave the wind (West Texas wind, I do no miss you) to come celebrate with us, but I thought we had a great turnout.  I may have consumed a slice or two of delicious cake.  I really enjoyed being able to sit and visit with family that I don't get to see very often.  Zoe remarked to me that she didn't want Grammy to die.  When I asked her why she thought she was going to die, Zoe answered, "Because she's old and Dada was old and he died."  I had a difficult time convincing her that Grammy was planning on being around a while.

Saturday night, after stuffing the kids with sugar, they went to spend the night with Zach's parents.  Then my parents and I went to eat with more family sans kids!  That doesn't happen much and it was so nice.

As I crawled into bed that night, I felt overwhelmingly blessed.  I have such a wonderful family, immediate and extended.  I just cant praise them enough.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

 Grammy gets some help opening presents.

 My mom, grandmother, and aunt.

Dad watches the kids play outside.

We are heading back there in a week for Thanksgiving.  The kids and I are getting to be such travelers!

Happy day to you!

Friday, November 4, 2011

School Daze...

Hey, did you guys know that it's November?? Crazy, isn't it!  This momma better get on her Christmas shopping!

In other news, today was Noah's first day of "school."  He is going every Friday morning (it's the only morning they had available).  There are roughly 8 kids in his class and I'm excited to see how much he learns.   School starts a 9:00 and Zach had agreed to take him this morning.  At 8:25 I was having to wake both of them up so they could get ready.  Noah got dressed in a daze, not really knowing what was going on.  I'm pretty sure he would have slept till nearly 10:00 if left alone. (Zach too, for that matter)  Here's a picture of my little man getting ready to leave the house:

"Why am I awake?"

I got his bag packed and tried to put it on him but the weight took him straight to the ground.  For some reason, he didn't appreciate that.

Can you tell Zach just woke up? 

 My big boy walking to school. (With his high water pants, poor kid)

Daddy tried to get a picture by the sign but Noah wasn't feeling it.

Noah and Daddy! 

"What am I supposed to do here?" 

So unsure...

When Zach left Noah was enjoying his breakfast and looking forward to a morning of play with other kids his age.  Sadly, that's not something he has really experienced before.  What a blessing we are able to at least give him one day a week at school.

We are going to be leaving soon to pick him up but before that we will swing by Hobby Lobby.  I have a new craft to do so be looking for that on my other blog!

Blessings to you!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Worth a 1,000...

I would like to take a moment and give a shout-out to The Hersey Company for making Jolly Rancher chews and packaging them in the "big" bag.  They are my weakness for sure, so addicting.  I have almost gone through an entire bag while watching the Rangers play in game 3 of the World Series.  Not the best game for my Rangers but we wont talk about that.

Last night, on the insistence and planing of my wonderful husband, I enjoyed a night out with no kids and no husband.  There sure aren't many of those nights around here.  It was quite refreshing to come home after seeing a movie and find my kids in bed asleep...and I didn't have to put them there!!

Today after Zach finished his work day at the Wesley we packed the kids in the car and drove up the hill to take some family photos.  We had our pictures taken professionally when Zoe was about 5 months old.  The pictures were cute but the bill was ridiculous.  We decided then that we could take our own pictures and save the money for something more important (like rent and food).  So, that's what we did today.  We grabbed a tripod and the camera and headed out.  Noah had just woken up from a nap so he was not feeling generous with his time or space.  He much preferred to walk around and explore the terrain.  I wasn't able to get a good photo of the kids together but I can save that photo shoot for some day when Zach's at work.

Below I will attach a few of my favorites.

Our crazy family photo

I haven't had an opportunity to work with and edit the pictures yet.  That will be for another day.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Insanity is genetic, right?

Thursdays are typically the only day of the week that I am home alone with both kids.  The rest of the week Zoe goes to work with Zach and then to school in the afternoon.  On Thursdays, as soon as Noah goes down for his nap, I try to do something with Zoe, be it school work or a game.  Today I decided to try for an art project.  For full details of my project feel free to cruise on over to my craft blog :  Otherwise, here's a picture of Zoe painting:

There are moments when my kids do or say something so out there I wonder where they got their cookyness...then I remember....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Let's agree to disagree...

Many of my blog posts take shape in my mind while laying in bed unable to sleep.  I get a thought, think "I should blog about this" and proceed to "write" the blog in my mind, further prolonging sleep.  Isn't it amazing, that even when we realize that what we are doing is stupid, we continue to do it?

Last night I was thinking about a conversation we had with some friends a while back.  We were talking about birthdays for our children and I made the comment, somewhat out of jest, that Zach and I are all about setting the bar very low.  Meaning, if my kids aren't used to ever getting anything nice, they wont ever come to expect it.  Now, even though that comment was made jokingly, it still rings true.  It's no surprise that we don't have a lot of money.  I mean Zach works in ministry and I am a stay-at-home mom.  We love what we do.  I love staying home with my children and having the flexibility to do different things.  The flip side is we live on a very limited budget.  We think it is worth it, others may disagree.

Years working with teenagers have proven to me that so many kids these days are terribly over indulged.  They are given whatever they want and are constantly going and doing.  As a result, many of these kids are impressed by nothing.  We found when planning Youth trips and activities that many of our suggestions were met with disdain because how could an inexpensive weekend trip to the lake compete with tv, xbox, extravagant trips, etc.

Since we do not have the funds to plan expensive trips or meals out we have had to be a little more creative when finding things to do as a family.  We have found it is not too difficult to spend a Saturday enjoying our family and not have to spend much, if any, money.  I hope that this is also teaching my children to appreciate the little things.

I find it somewhat disturbing though to realize that few share my ideas on this topic.  Many parents are under the impression that to be the best parent, they need to provide their children with all the things they missed out on as a child.  Now, let's be clear, I love my children and I want them to be happy.  I want to be able to take my children places and create loving memories with them.  I struggle ever year with what to give my kids for Christmas and their birthdays and would love it if money weren't an issue.  However, I do not honestly think that they are suffering because they will never have a bouncy house at their birthdays.  I hope instead, that they can look back, thumb through the scrapbooks I lovingly keep, and know that they were loved.  Know that their parents made a lot of effort to spend loving time with them.  And to know, that while we never had a lot of money like other families, that they did have their parents there with them.  There is nothing wrong in working hard and providing for your children, but for many, the money and possessions seems to take the place of parenting.  The idea to provide the best in material wealth vs. the idea to spend time together.

I am reminded of a quote I heard on the Today Show interview with reality tv star, Kate Gosselin, when asked about doing something outside the realm of the public eye :

"Well, it's a situation where Jon may be accepting of mediocre for his kids and working a regular job. I want the best for my kids and the best opportunities not unlike every parent," Kate said during a Monday morning appearance on NBC's Today show.  "I think that to be a good parent is to work as hard as you can and give them the best opportunities in life, and this has provided that." 

Let's just leave it at I disagree.

On more Bechtold news, yesterday Zoe had her well-visit with our wonderful new pediatrician.  Zoe is in the 95% in height and 50% in weight.  She's a tall girl!  She also got her shots and was so good and brave, Zach and I were both so proud of her.  Noah starts going to daycare one half-day a week beginning this Wednesday.  I am excited for him.  I believe that there is a definite benefit for a young child to be in daycare around other kids.  They seem to learn so much more.

Work for both of us is going great.  We are coming down off a busy weekend for Zach so he took a mental health day yesterday.  We just relaxed, caught up on some tv that we were weeks behind on, and got take-out chinese.  

I have been watching tons of baseball (just another benefit of being home during the day ;) ).  I am so excited about the World Series.  I like the Cardinals but they don't hold a candle to my Rangers.  

Thank you friends and family for enduring my ramblings... Love to all!

Monday, October 3, 2011


Presently I am sitting in my chair, watching House Hunters, sipping coffee and writing while Noah naps and the dog chews a giant bone outside in the back yard.  Pretty blissful I must say.  I'm still feeling a little groggy from our weekend trip back to Plainview.  We really enjoyed our time with family but sleep was definitely not on the agenda.

Last night marked the beginning of Sunday night youth meetings with my group from Morning Star.  We saw 4 new faces! It was a good night and I am very excited for things to come.  I was also able to make it over to Wesley in time to listen to Zach preach.  He preaches every Sunday night but this is the first time I have attended.  The kids were with Zach while I was at youth.  Those two have those college kids wrapped around their little fingers.

Listening to Zach's sermon and considering other things happening around us, I have found myself dwelling on certain aspects of church leadership.  As Zach put it last night, leading, in any fashion, in the church gives you an incredible amount of responsibility.   We must be careful, in all that we say, to not lead anyone astray.  For so many, especially in youth, those meeting on Wednesdays and Sundays are the only time some kids hear anything about the Lord.   So many places in the bible warn against false prophets (Matthew 7, 1 Timothy 4, Hebrews 13, etc) and you do not have to look far to see false prophets among us today (see Harold Camping).
He so crazy...

Recently, Zach has gotten into the habit of listening to talk radio, specifically, Christian talk radio, and yesterday on our way home we listened to quite a few different stations.  Some stations were good and gave good information.  Others, however, made us just shake our head in amazement.  Amazement that there are people out there that will believe what someone says just because they write a book and claim to use the Bible as a reference.  This got me thinking about my job and other's who do the same thing Zach and I do.  It's a sad fact that so many churches hire people to teach their youth and children without checking first what their beliefs are and following up on what they teach.  It's also sad that so many parents trust the religious upbringing of their children to the church, and the humans the church has hired, without being aware of what is actually being taught.  Even in my own experience, so few parents thought to ask questions pertaining to what I and others I worked with were teaching their children about Christ.  Scary!  Now, I hope and pray that I will never lead a single person astray and I will continue to pray daily for wisdom and discernment.  I do hope that people will not take everything they are told by a supposed "teacher of the Word" at face value.  A true sign of a "cult" or "false prophet" is that asking questions about what you are hearing is discouraged.

So, I guess, through these rantings, I'm beseeching each of you to question, to discern, to search out answers to your questions, and not lean on the teachings of one person.  Also, I know for sure I'm going to be paying close attention to who is teaching my children and what they are being taught.  As a teacher and a leader I pray never to become complacent with my great responsibility.

As a final note on this matter I look to James, Chapter 3.  It reminds us "that we who teach will be judged more strictly." We never stop teaching, even if it's our day off...

Monday, September 26, 2011

I am finding that lately it is hard NOT to be happy.  I used to find trying to be happy as a chore, a task I tried to force my self to do.  The past year has had a lot of challenges.  It was a year ago this weekend that Zach moved to New Boston, leaving the kids and me in Plainview.  I have a difficult time believing it was just one year ago.  In this past year we have moved twice, both times to homes I had never seen, gotten pregnant, then lost a pregnancy and had the task of acclimating to new home, new town, new jobs, new church, and new friends...twice.  Wow, just typing that makes me weary.  Yet, even while reflecting on all the trials we have faced, I know that we have been so blessed.  I know, without even the shadow of a doubt, that we have gone where we were supposed to go, done what we needed to do.  I can also say that I am probably at peace more now than I have ever been before.

On another note, life has been trucking along as usual.  We are trying still to get used to some kind of routine.  With our busy schedule I have to remind myself to have fun too. Saturday, even though there are about a million ongoing projects at the house, we chose to delay them a little longer and enjoy the beautiful day with our children.  We drove up to the Organ Mountains and enjoyed a hike and picnic at Dripping Springs.  Once we got it through to Zoe that the hike wasn't about the destination or about the time it took to get there, we had a nice afternoon, relishing in God's mighty creation.  Zoe even claimed to have seen "Baby Jesus" in a rock formation. :)

Sunday was Wesley Sunday at our new church home.  I was very impressed with the services put on by these students.  I know that Zach was very proud, which he should be, he has some amazing kids in that program.  The Wesley student president gave the message, reminding us to not wear our religion as an accessory.

Catching up on cleaning and laundry today.  We are planning a trip to Plainview on Thursday and it would seem prudent to have clean clothes to wear. ;)

Wishing you all peace and happiness...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Life is....

Lately, as in the past year, I am often reminded as that oft quoted line from Forrest Gump, you know, that one about a box a chocolates.  Just when I think that I have this thing called "life" figured out I am proven wrong.  Not a bad thing mind you, but surprising.  When Zach took this job at Wesley we were excited about not working at a church.  We would finally be able to choose where we wanted to worship and choose what activities we wanted to be a part of.  So, we get here and what do I do? I apply to be the Youth Minister at a church here in town and get the job.  I guess some habits are just hard to break. ;) No, to be honest, Zach and I both have a heart for youth and I am honored to be able to be a part of this new group of young people.

Yesterday we enjoyed a tailgate at the NMSU football game.  It was a great opportunity for members of all the Methodist churches in town to gather together with the Wesley kids and enjoy fellowship and food.  The weather was wonderful and the company outstanding.  I am looking forward to the next time we can all get together.

Zoe is absolutely loving school.  She spends much of the time she is home practicing writing her letters and copying words she sees written on random objects.  This morning while eating breakfast she practiced writing on her "doodle" or Magna Doodle as most people know it.  She wrote Zach, Mom and Zoe.  She has a strong desire to learn and it is serving her well.

Noah is become quite the messer.  He is constantly in to something be it the craft closet or the toilet.  He is also getting two new teeth in and the massive amount of drool has caused a nasty rash to break out on his chin.  He's a good little one, always making us smile.

On a side note, how excited are you about Fall tv??? Don't you just love this time of year?  Okay, must go now and get my dear little girl a cup of juice that her father apparently forgot to get her before he left for work. (The horrors!)  Until next time...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Do you hear that? Silence!

I don't know about everyone else, but life has been crazy around here! Zach has been super busy with work, having many more meetings and other activities than he has had before.  Many nights he is not home when I put the kids to bed.  We are hoping that soon we will get used to some kind of schedule.  Thank goodness for Fridays off!

We have had much difficulty in finding doctors here in Las Cruces.  Zach spent most of his time Thursday calling doctors, clinics, and people we know here to see if they could recommend a doctor for us.  We got a doctor for the kids (the wife of a board member) even though they weren't accepting new patients and got well visits scheduled for October (the soonest they could get in).  No such luck for us.  Thursday afternoon was spent in the ER to see about some stomach pains I had been having.  The diagnosis is a probable ulcer and I have an appointment with a gastroenterologist on Wednesday.  Thankful that we had someone to call that afternoon to come and get the kids so they didn't have to sit there with me (though they are no strangers to an er unfortunately).

Saturday was Zachs and mine anniversary. Six years! Doesn't sound so long but I have a hard time remembering my life before Zach.  We had a Wesley student come sit for the kids while we went to a movie and out to dinner.  It was a great day.  I couldn't love my family more!

Sunday my parents stopped by for a quick visit on their way home from Arizona.  Even though Zach had to work we enjoyed their visit.  Noah was so sad to see his Weazer and Riley leave Monday morning that I didn't think he would ever stop crying.

Monday we had some friends over for a cookout and a friendly game of Mexican Train.  Good times were had by all.

Even among the chaos that is our life, it is so easy to see how much we are blessed.  Sending prayers out to a wonderful family I love as they are anticipating answers tomorrow....

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hey! It's my Birthday!

Now, ordinarily, I would rather my birthday come and go without much fanfare.  Call me a grouch, but once you pass the age of 21, birthdays don't hold the same appeal.  However, thanks to my delightful family, today was a totally awesome birthday.

I was greeted this morning with the best hugs from my two little angels.  Zach actually went and bought a great card and had Zoe and Noah write in them...rather Zoe wrote and Noah, well, he just touched the pen to paper.  Zoe, with Daddy's help was able to write "Happy Birthday, Love Zoe" and "Mom." I also got what every woman with 2 children need - CANDY! Yum!  I'm so blessed.  Zoe (Zach) bought me a book (Harry Potter 3) but Zoe, immediately coming home from buying said book on Tuesday said, "Mom! We bought your book!" So I got that present early. :)

After the gifts and getting dressed we loaded up in the car and headed to the outlet malls in El Paso to do some shopping. I bought these great shoes:
Crocs make my feet happy

 I also was able to buy 2 Christmas gifts and that makes me very happy.  Then we went to Hobby Lobby to buy myself more gifts (how great is that).  Just a few, some bought today and other's a gift from my wonderful sister:
Aren't they pretty?

I was all set to bake myself a cake!  AFTER supper that is.  We ordered Chinese and it was...well, I wont use bad words on this blog.... : (  

Onto baking my cake.  I made my own buttercream icing.  It was yummy.  The cake however, well, it was not the best.  I let it over cook a little so it wasn't as moist as it could of been.  As for the decorating, we'll just call it a learning experience.  Live and learn, right???
A little sad but still yummy!

Zach helped me with the dots.  The pink icing was from a can but the white is the buttercream.  

Thanks everyone who took time out of their day to make my day a little more special.  Love you all!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Late Night Thoughts...

Recently, it seems, there has been a serge of scripture based status updates on Facebook.  Never a bad thing, however, I find myself basing my thoughts on said scripture on my personal feelings of the poster.   I know, I'm a horrible person.  It got me thinking, if I'm so biased and unwilling to "listen" to what others have to say, regardless of content, but based entirely on my own opinions of them, then what kind of witness am I?  In other words, is other people's views on how I am, as a person, hindering the ability of God to use me to reach out to others?  I know I'm not perfect, obviously, so why do I harbor such feelings of doubt and criticism when other people wish to relay their spiritual views via Facebook?  I guess I need to continue to look inward (it's a neverending quest surely) and make sure I'm making myself available to hear the Word of God wherever it may be and also, to make sure my personal behaviors aren't inhibiting my witness.

On less serious matters, we have been enjoying ourselves here in LC.  Last night we went to NMSU and heard the marching band play on the green while eating frozen custard from Caliches.  It was a nice way to spend the evening and the kids had a ball.  Yesterday ended my babysitting job and we are now trying to get ourselves into a good and productive schedule.  Wish us luck.... :D

Remembering how truly blessed I am in every single moment...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Making Decisions...

Happy day to you all.  I just got back from a trek to Lowe's to get paint samples.  I'm actually quite excited to put a little color on the walls and making this house more homey.  We are only painting one wall though.  The owners painted one wall in the living room a pale green color and that has got to go.  I also want to paint the trim because I'm not a fan of trim being the same color as the walls. Too matchy matchy.

Zach has been getting into the swing of things with his new job.  He had his first Wesley event last night, will have a meeting tonight, and a weekend retreat starting tomorrow. Busy is the word right now.

I have been trying to decide whether to try and get a job or to continue to stay home with the kids.  I would rather not have to work of course but we could definitely use the money.  I have said lots of prayers about this situation and will continue to have faith that God will open doors or close doors and put me in the situation I need to be in.

I have also been babysitting a friend's daughter this week.  She is Zoe's age and they can be the best of friends one moment and mortal enemies the next.  It's Yeah, don't really know what word would be appropriate to describe that situation.  One thing is for sure, Mamma is fixin' to drop the hammer, so to speak.  You may want to pause now and say a prayer for the kids. :) (Update: just put both kids in timeout)

It's moments like we have had this week with Zoe that I have to remind myself of the good moments as a parent in order to keep my sanity (and perhaps preventing performing any illegal actions).  Last weekend Zach and I instigated a "family movie night."  We feel finally that Zoe is old enough that we can do things like that.  First we had supper: fried porkchops and parmesan potatoes for us (who needs that silly green stuff on their plates) and a sandwich for Zoe.  Then bath time while Zach went to Caliche's for dessert (frozen custard.. YUM).  Then Zoe, Zach and I piled in our bed with our frozen treats to watch Megamind (poor Noah had to miss out as he was sleeping).  It was a nice evening that we will try to repeat next weekend when Zach is back in town. Many thanks to Red Box for furnishing the movie.

Anyway, I guess it would be prudent for me to get up and go see what is causing the current disaster in Zoe's room...Sigh...

Monday, August 15, 2011

When time flies...

Today Zoe started back at school after nearly a year of just mommy time.  I was a little worried at first as to how she would handle the transition.   I shouldn't have worried at all because she LOVED it and did very well this first day.  She is only going Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons right now but it's better than nothing at all.  Zach came and picked her up at his lunch break and she was very ready to go.

We had to get a picture with Daddy.

I instructed Daddy to get a picture of Zoe in front of the preschool sign, which he lovingly obliged.

Zoe had a great day.  She found three feathers during their outside time, that she kindly shared with her new friends, and, to quote the little darling, "WE HAD SNACKS!" Yes, in all caps, because, my ears are probably still bleeding from the high volume.  Noah and I went and picked up Zach at work and we all went to pick her up then to McDonald's for smoothies as a special treat. Zoe is ready to go back tomorrow!  Hard to believe that next year she will be in Kindergarten. Yikes!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

LOVE is the word of the day...

Hello all! Well, we are getting even more settled in our new home.  Loving being able to hang things on the walls since we weren't able to in our last house.  We are finding things we forgot we had!  Unfortunately, we sold off a lot of furniture before the move and consequently don't have places to put somethings, such as books and toys for the kids.  The kids are enjoying their massive toy room, but, lacking organization, it is a mess pit.  Thankfully, Zach fixed our water heater last night so now we have hot water!  Yay!

We went to an Open House at Zoe's preschool last night.  She didn't want to leave, she loves it there so much.  She officially starts on Monday and will be going in the afternoons on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  I try not to think about how advanced she would be had she stayed in her school in Plainview.

Our new obsession in Las Cruces is trying out all the new cuisine.  We have never lived in a place with so many different food choices and anyone who knows my husband knows he loves a good meal.  One thing is for sure, we are loving the mexican food!  My, how we have missed that after living for a spell in east Texas.  Pizza is also a common thing here with lots of choices.  No more Pizza Hut or Dominoes for us!

We got a sack of potatoes in our "pounding" with the Wesley Foundation so, as Zach so lovingly calls it, we have been living Irish.  Lots and lots of potatoes.  I froze several of them so we should be solid in the carb department for a while. :)

Enjoying the cooler temperatures. It actually gets in the 70s at night here which is a nice change.  It still gets up in the upper 90s during the day but it feels like nothing compared to whats happening in Texas.  We have been spending a lot more time outside, particularly in our lovely backyard.

Ready for our first visitors! Who wants to come??

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Getting Settled

Hello all! Well, we are finally settled in our new home in Las Cruces...well, we are working at getting settled rather.  Our first few days here were spent without electricity then for the past two days we have had no water or gas.  Today marks the first day that we have had the use of all our utilities at the same time.  One thing for sure, I definitely have more of an appreciation for the "little" things.

We are absolutely in LOVE with our new town.  It's amazing to these folks from west Texas to be able to see mountain ranges in every direction.  The other night Zach and I sat out front watching a lightning storm in the distance.  The sky was a turquoise color I have never before seen in the sky.  Breathtaking...

We were very fortunate to have come across our house.  The size and layout are great and we know we are extremely blessed.

Zach started work on Monday and that night experienced his first board meeting.  The board wanted to meet the rest of us so we enjoyed a meal and a "pounding" as well. We received our first batch of green chile among many other useful items.  Can I say again that we are extremely blessed??  :)

There is still loads of unpacking and decorating to go but we are enjoying what we can.  We are working on getting Zoe into preschool and figuring out our daily routine again.

Lots of love sent to everyone!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Almost Home

In one week from today we will be gone from New Boston.  I have to say I am ready.  I much dislike living in limbo.  I need to put my roots down for me and my children.  Zach and I are very optimistic for this move and this new start of ours.

Everywhere we have gone lately people ask us how the packing is going.'s going...  :)  It's so much easier not having the kids here.  Their rooms are completely packed and their furniture disassembled ready to load on the truck when we get it next week.  I have a bad back so I'm glad that I don't have to pick up Noah on top of the stress of packing.

Zach had his last Wednesday night meeting with his youth kids last night. They played spoons and everyone enjoyed some nifty gifties of my own making...basically random gift bags filled with crap we were going to throw away and thought might be amusing to give to some unsuspecting kids.

I probably wont blog again until we set up shop in New Mexico so until then, "Happy Trails!"

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Home Alone!

So, here I am, home completely alone.  I'm okay with that, for a few days at least.  I lived alone for so many years it's rather nice to get a taste of that again.  Of course, I miss my darling little family like crazy.  I am whiling away my evening/night listening to some tunes.  It's been a while since I've had an opportunity to just decompress, without worries of bothering my kids or husband.

When I'm down I search every mistake
I'm looking for new regrets
Sometimes I forget, I forget
That His grace is sufficient for me
That it's deeper and wider than I can conceive
His grace is sufficient for me

These are some lyrics of Jennifer Knapp's (LOVE HER) "His Grace is Sufficient."  Now, I'm not here, at this moment, dwelling on some sad thoughts, but I know that in those moments where I am feeling particularly depressed I search for more things to be depressed about.  I will often find myself doubting everything about who I am, insisting that I am worthless and undeserving of all the many blessings I have.  In the back of my mind, I know this is just not true.  I am just as worthy as everyone else because His Grace is Sufficient.  I can't understand it but I can appreciate it.  Or as another great song can explain:

It’s good to know
That there’s a second chance
Know that it’s all in Your hands
Even if I just don’t understand
’Cause I know that I will be alright
I finally see the other side
It takes the darkness to open up your eyes

Thank You Francesca Battistelli!

On another note, got some packing done even while enjoying my Harry Potter marathon.  I was able to get most of Zoe's toys packed, and believe me when I say that was no small feat! 

Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I guess I'm a natural born pessimist...

I was recently perusing Facebook and came across a note written by a "friend" (in quotes because though I went to high school with this person I wasn't really their friend) and it brought up some feelings that I have been struggling with. Recently I was hit hard by watching and reading news about a man who died in an accident at Ranger stadium. Though his death is tragedy enough, what hit me the hardest was that his young son was with him. I can't imagine what his son is going to struggle with for the rest of his life. It struck me how much tragedy is in the world and how little I have personally experienced. Now, while a naturally optimistic person would simply count their blessings and move on, I am left with the feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Certainly I realize how truly blessed I am and am thankful everyday for those blessings, but I can't shake the feeling that something terrible can happen at any moment. For example, yesterday we met Zach's brother in Witchita Falls to give him the kids to take to Plainview. Even though I was thankful that we didn't have to drive the entire distance to Plainview ourselves I had the thought of "what would happen if he was involved in a car accident with my children on board." My life could come tumbling down around me in an instance, just one bad decision, one second of carelessness...

At the beginning of the year Zach and I found out we were pregnant. I was excited and terrified at the same time. Another baby to love and cherish... I remember talking with my mother over the phone a few weeks into the pregnancy and expressing concern over the health of this baby. In my mind I struggled with the fact that I had had two healthy pregnancies resulting in two healthy problems, no losses... How could I be so lucky? What was it about me that I should be so fortunate when all over the world people are struggling with tremendous loss every moment of every day? Unfortunately my worries were founded as we did loose that pregnancy a few weeks later.

I don't know what answers I am trying to find by blogging about this except for maybe some release of my own inner angst... I will continue to pray for the safety of my loved ones and not dwell on the tragedies that I imagine could happen to me...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Don't you just love that feeling of coming off a great, productive weekend? It's a kinda "high on life" feeling. It seems as most of my weekends leave me feeling "high on life." I am extremely blessed, and even on my darkest of moments, I realize how lucky I am to have a wonderful husband and two lovely children, not to mention a host of great friends and extended family. I have the sense of security enough that even when faced with uncertainty of the future, such as moving to a new state to a new job, I know that I have all I could possibly need, right here, in my arms...

On the news front today was the last Sunday for the kids at Tapp. Zoe got a stuffed kitten from her SS teacher name "Mr. Whiskers" after a character in their curriculum. She loves it. This afternoon she had a friend come over to play and they had the best time. Big goodbye hugs were given at end. I'm so proud of how well Zoe is handling this move, even if she doesn't fully comprehend what is happening. Both kids will be heading to Plainview sometime within the next week. I am so going to miss them but am looking forward to having sometime to myself to devote to cleaning and packing. I get overwhelmed when I go over my mental list of "to-dos" and will need that uninterrupted time to get everything done.

Time to log off now and get the kids down for bed. Blessings to you all...

Friday, July 8, 2011

This is the stuff...

This is a song by Francesca Battestelli (sp) that has been running laps in my head for the past several day. If you haven't heard it I recommend you youtube it, it's wonderful and wraps up most of our lives in a nice little song.

Zach, Zoe and I have been working most of the day in the heat of summer in the garage preparing for a garage sale tomorrow...or rather Zach and I have been working and Zoe has been running around picking things up and asking about a million questions, give or take a few. Who's idea was it to move to another state again?? Our plan is to get rid of enough stuff that everything will fit onto the moving truck and our vehicles and not have to rent another trailer. We shall see...

I woke up this morning with a goal to go the entire day without raising my voice at one or both of my children (although to be honest, Noah rarely incurs my wrath). So far so good though it has been a challenge at moments. Four year olds - can't live with them, and nobody else wants them...

So, that's today in a nutshell, or rather a nut house, as it seems at the moment...anyone want to come over and help me build a fort out of my boxes??

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


It's been a crazy past several days. Noah was in the hospital and this momma was alone for several hours with him. Zach was hours away along with all family. Thankfully some church members were able to come and get Zoe for the night and drive me to meet Zach in Dallas after Noah was airlifted. I know it was hard on my mom to be far away and unable to help. She has some amazing friends that live in the area and they were at the hospital when we got there. It was a source of great comfort to mom that we had someone there with us. I have an amazing son who because of his great personality was able to be released from icu early.

We are also awaiting some news that could potentially be life changing and the not knowing is driving Zach and me batty. Ready to know for sure the path that is meant for us.

I feel ready for a big change. I feel the need to expunge some people from my life. Tired always of people not living up to what they claim to be; not doing what they say they will do. Be honest with yourself about who and what you are and then you can be honest with others. I try to do the same thing but others may not agree. :)

Enjoying a quiet afternoon with my son catching up on much needed rest and Zoe at the church with Zach.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Today is Thursday which means tomorrow my parents come! Yay! We haven't seen them since they were here for Noah's Baptism in February. It will be a whirlwind kind of visit but its something at least.

I am spending the day trying to clean up and get things ready for the weekend. I get discouraged easily while cleaning since my wonderful children walk behind me and undo everything. The other day I was cleaning the glass door that leads to the back porch and immediately upon me finishing Noah walks up and puts his mouth on it...

Something I am thankful for today besides the usual...a nice, dry, warm home...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Feeling the breeze..

Rules without relationships lead to rebellion.

Truth without relationships leads to rejection.

......Chuck Coulson

Those are words that were read to us this Sunday in Sunday School as we discussed the idea of community as laid out for us in the Gospel.  These words really seemed to resonate with  the other members of the class as it did with me.  We are called to be a part of the world around us without letting the world become who we are.  If we don't seek out others, especially those different than us, then we may never have the opportunity to touch another's life.  Just some thoughts.

Blessings today include a working air conditioner! Praise the Lord!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sing a Song of Celebration

It took me several minutes to remember what today is. It's Thursday. Today Zoe and I went to register her for Pre-K. She met with the counselor for some placement evaluation. The counselor said that Zoe was above average for her age. She did so good. Very proud of her. She is just going to love school.

We got our new car yesterday and Zach actually let me drive it this morning after I guilted him into it. It's a nice car.

One week until my parents come! Yay!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

James 1 1:18

Thanks to my Husband for the above scripture. What struck me most about it is that we can ask God for anything and everything but if we don't know Him we wont even realize when he answers our prayers. I have never liked the expression of "Let go and Let God." God wants us to be proactive. We are constantly being pulled in so many directions in this world, evil is at every turn, even when we think we are doing good and where we are supposed to be, evil is there. We have to constantly be on alert if we wish to do God's will for us. We aren't to worry about that which we can not change but if we just "let go" then we can loose the ability to hear what God is telling us. It's very easy to become complacent. Just my two cents.

On another note -

Today I asked Zoe to put some shoes on and go get the paper. She responded with, "I was planning to. It was on my list. It was right after going potty." Hehe...who knew she was so organized ;)

Also, Noah took a step today. Just one and then he sat down. I don't even think he realized he did it. Mom hopes he can hold off walking until they come next week so they can witness it. Crazy that Easter is in 2 weeks!

Thankful for many things today, including Benadryl and coffee....

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Monday, Monday...

It's a beautiful sunny morning after some storms that brought some much needed rain last night. Letting in the sunshine definitely brightens my mood.

Had a good weekend but most of my weekends are good. They are the days I get to spend with my family. Went to Chucke Cheese on Saturday with some friends and Zoe had such a great time. She played until she wore herself out. Sunday of course meant getting up and going to church. After gabbing and missing late service we went and had lunch with a couple from our Sunday School class. It was nice.

I am soooo ready for Easter. I think Easter is right up with Thanksgiving and Christmas as my favorite holidays. I love going to church Easter morning. This Easter is going to be doubly special because my wonderful parents are going to come for the weekend. Soo ready to see them.

Been thinking a lot about forgiveness. Thoughts of what Easter is about coupled with last week's Sunday School reading has reminded me that it is always our job to heal broken relationships. The book we are reading in SS reminds us that we are never to give up on people. To forgive them, what is it, 70 times 7 times? I feel myself pulling away when those thoughts start tugging on my heart. I don't want to forgive some people and I definitely don't want to heal some relationships. I will continue to pray on this.

Blessings today include the rain of course and eBay. I was able to get Zoe some CareBears! (not allll of them but enough that she should be satisfied.)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Zombies, Zombies everywhere...

Sitting at the kitchen table while Zach watches some Left for Dead zombie movie online with Travis. Not my type of movie for sure. We are waiting on a call from the Ford dealership so Zach can take the Vue down there and see what we can get on trade-in for it. That's right! We are getting a new car! And its crazy to me that getting a brand new car is actually the most economical thing we could do right now.

Later we may head on into Texarkana. Zach has a hankering for some Fuzzy's Tacos. I don't know what else we will do.

Zoe is in her room watching Mickey Mouse and working on a puzzle. It's her "work" and she takes puzzle making very seriously. Brother is not allowed in her room at present because he may disturb her process or as she so lovingly put it, "annoy" her.

Many blessings today! Don't think zombies are one of them, not for me anyways.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sprinkles of thought...

Whew, what a day today has been. Noah was fussier than usual today. He has worn me out. Zoe has the listening skills of a...well, I guess a 3 year old...I'm pretty sure I sound like the grown ups on Charlie Brown to her.

I have been working hard lately on being positive and energetic. For so many months now I have had a hard time just physically getting out of bed in the morning. I'm finally feeling something akin to being human again.

Tonight Zach is at a Methodist Men function. He is beginning his busiest time of the year now and I'm not so excited. However, just knowing that I am feeling so much better makes his being gone so much easier to handle.

I'm gearing up for Easter and Zoe's birthday. This will be a different birthday for Zoe and I'm a little concerned about how she will handle things. She has this idealized idea of what birthdays are from friends and tv and she's not going to have anything like that. She has asked for about a million things for her birthday and we have had several discussions that she can not and will not get everything she asks for. She really knows how to lay on the guilt, even at her young age.

Trying everyday to be the best Me that I can be, the best mother, wife, daughter, sister and child of God...a constant struggle.

Praising God today for my loving husband, my beautiful kids, and reliable internet :) amongst other things of course.


It's been ages since I blogged last....So many changes. I realize after reading my old posts how beneficial it is, just for me to remember my children as they were younger. I keep journals for both of my children but this may help too. Also, if anyone cares to read what I have to say, they can. More later...I promise.