Daily Verse

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from you commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:9-11

Why do we try to conform God to our will? Live in His word and know true joy.

"Make me to know your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old."
Psalm 25:4-6

God reveals the truth of our time and all time to us through Scripture.

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the tstimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple: the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb."
Psalm 19:7-10

All the laws in all the books in all the libraries of the world are but a footnote to the law of God.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways ackowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

To know and understand God comes not through our intellect, but through the wisdom given to us by the grace of God.

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart."
Proverbs 3:1-3

Don't measure success by society's standards. Use Christ as your measuring stick.

"The the LORD answered Job our of the whirlwind and said: 'Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, Who determined its measurements - surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? Or who laid its cornerstond...?'"
Job 38:1, 4-6

When we measure God by our limited standards, we attempt to measure the elephant by weighing one strand of its hair.

"Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so lon, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father?'"
John 14:8-9

Christ is God made flesh. If you want to know God, you must draw closer to Jesus.








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Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Whirlwind

So, life is crazy.  I, the Pumpkin Patch daycare lady am now a stay at home (sort of) mom.  My hubby who works for our city waste water treatment plant now works for a fish food factory (way more brilliant than it sounds...really!  If I could explain it better I would.....he is doing amazing work for an amazing company with an amazing goal!) across the state.  Sometimes, life throws a curve ball at you and you have no choice but to ride along.

However, that doesn't make it easy to swallow.  With absolutely no warning at all my husband was released from his job in September.  We immediately started Looking Up Handyman Service to help keep funds flowing.  He started putting applications in all over in our area.  BUT, this one company all the way across the state wanted him.  He turned them down, we weren't going to sell our house, loose our amazing dance company, church and friends that we have grown to become a part of over the last 11 years!  I wasn't going to give up my daycare that I worked so hard to make the best I could over the last 9 years!  But this company came back with another offer, we turned down and a third that we couldn't turn down.

So here we with my parents...across the state.  Praying for our home to sell so we can find a place over here.  Kids are starting new schools, we aren't in dance for the first time in 10 years, and I am trying to find my footing.  It was very emotional having to tell friends that I was not going to be able to finish the last 9 months of their childs' care before she goes off to school this coming fall after caring for both of their girls from birth.  To tell other clients whom have also become sweet friends as they are 7 days from their due date with number 2 that they will now need to work at finding an impossible daycare position for their newborn.  :(  Or even another friend that now we won't be available for your sweet little newborn or to help while your husband is deployed like we said we would.  When you care for someone's child you become a part of their life and they yours....even someone who isn't 'connecty' (not a real word..I get it) cannot help but include you in their lives once you care for their children.  I attended so many birthday parties, got to know Grandmas and Grandpas; Aunts and Uncles....learned how the families function and what makes them go.  I kissed booboos, changed diapers, saw first steps, did the bouncy walk, and loved these kids.  And I had to say goodbye.  It just didn't seem fair.

Now I had the privilege to stay with one of these precious families overnight last month.  It was fun to see my little Pumpkin on her home turf and see how she ticks in her comfort zone.  Or getting a phone call from a Mama who's daughter just said "why did Miss Ashley have to move all the way to the other side of the world?" It makes me hurt because I love those kids.  I lost track of home many children were ever enrolled in Pumpkin Patch Daycare...but I guarantee I remember their faces and their names and they will forever be in my heart.

But now when I hear a song by Natalie Grant (King of the World) I remember that it isn't MY life I'm living.  It is HIS.  I had a little fall apart yesterday.  Things here aren't all roses, unicorns and rainbows.  Moving is tough...having special needs kids worlds' turned upside down is pretty much a suicide mission...BUT, for some reason God decided we needed to move to the other (less pretty) side of the we will try to bloom where He has planted us and I will try to just keep watching my Pumpkins grow up on social media!

"King of the World"
by Natalie Grant

I tried to fit you in the walls inside my mind
I try to keep you safely in between the lines
I try to put you in the box that I've designed
I try to pull you down so we are eye to eye

When did I forget that you've always been the king of the world?
I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
How could I make you so small
When you're the one who holds it all
When did I forget that you've always been the king of the world

Just a whisper of your voice can tame the seas
So who am I to try to take the lead
Still I run ahead and think I'm strong enough
When you're the one who made me from the dust

When did I forget that you've always been the king of the world?
I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
How could I make you so small
When you're the one who holds it all
When did I forget that you've always been the king of the world

Oh, you set it all in motion
Every Single moment
You brought it all to me
And you're holding on to me

When did I forget that you've always been the king of the world?
I try to take live back right out of the hand of the kind of the world
How could I make you so small
When you've the one who holds it all
When did I forget you've always been the king of the world
You will always be the king of the world.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Our Love Bug...2015

Where or where do you start with this crazy goof???  She has been hilarious and always keeps us laughing!  She opened up a ton this year!  From holding her ears and crying anytime we were in public to actually enojoying it, interacting with others and getting excited for things like church and Christmas Parties!  Amazing transformation!  She has also grown up the most since last year!  Lost her baby pudge on her face and really shot up height wise as well!

With this girl you are guaranteed two things, a good laugh and a movie script!  Her movie of the moment is know the adorable little creature who spins and says 'my hands are in the air like I just do not care!'  That, amoung many other, is one of the lines she quotes from the movie....when she isn't quoting movies (and trying to get you to be the opposite character) she is either singing or quoting her scripture verses.
This year she memorized:
Genesis 1:1,
Proverbs 3:5&6,
Psalm 119:105,
Psalm 119:11,
John 3:16,
Romans 3:23,
Romans 6:23,
Romans 5:8 (her favorite!)
Romans 10: 9&10
Romans 10:13 and
Romans 5:1

Very impressed with this girl!!!  While her body is what gives her the trouble, it surely seems like her mind does very well!

Some of her favorite songs are We Believe, Down to the River, Flawless, Greater, Hairy Christmas, Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

This year brought some big advances in our Love Bug's care!  She was able to (FINALLY) get her push/wheel chair and she was able to get bigger AFO's (leg braces!)  She also started announcing things that she likes and does not like....this was huge, we were told she would never be able to show preference for anyone or any thing!  The way she loves her Buzz Buzz and Lena is just a tip of the iceburg there!  Her Daddy is pretty quick to allow her to purchase almost anything that she says "I LIKE......"   It started with her new tennis shoes for school!  We were shopping the clearance rack at a local sporting goods store where she found one of the more popular brand of tennis shoes in mint and lilac...I was looking for a better bargain but she very clearly said while tapping me on the shoulder, "I like shoes!"  I tried to show her a few other (less expensive) shoes and she kept pointing to her first choice reclaiming "I LIKE SHOES!"  Daddy said we couldn't very well deny her very first request!!!  ;)  Things have gone down hill from there....mostly in treats and the shoe department!  ;)

She loves water, it doesn't matter if it is the tub, our little blow up pool, a puddle or a hike near the would keep her busy for hours!  Just the other day she turned down pizza because "I stay in tub a little bit!"  Mama ended up bringing grapes, apples and orange slices for her to munch on in there!  She loves her water!

She also seems to really love Christmas.  The lights, the music, the Christmas Tree!  She is such a joy to have in this family...God knew we needed her to keep things light around here!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Our Cupcake in 2015

Strong-willed and always looking for a way to way to describe our Cupcake!  2015 really took her from toddler to big girl!  Crazy to see how much a year allows them to grow! 

One thing that has almost been a daily topic of conversation is our time on the Disney Cruise last December.  To our Cupcake that was almost magic and she has solid, life-long memories from that time!  Meeting her favorite Cinderella would be among the top memories from the trip, but also having that time with her Papa and Gweema and getting to play in the sand on Castaway Cay (Disney's private island!) 

She had her second dance recital this Spring and she made a very adorable penguin!  She enjoyed being up on that stage so much this time and is already looking forward to getting to be a Banana this year.  She thinks it is fun that our Teddy Bear and her are in the same dance class and they will even get to do lyrical with big sister (Princess!) 

For her birthday she had very big ideas about what should happen, things ranging from Papa taking her back on the 'big boat' to having a circus party with real animals...we settled on her and Mama going on a special date to see the release of Disney's live action Cinderella.  We dressed up and went down for supper, went to the movie (and got treats) and went shopping for a new Cinderella dress afterward!  She was in heaven.  We had a family party with the theme of Cinderella, of course!

She has decided that she needs to help anyone and everyone she can.  She likes to help our neighbor, she likes to help with daycare, with the dishes, with laundry, with cooking, with cleaning, with decorating, with Papa's garden....the list goes on and on!  We actually have to tell her she needs to stop working and go play!  ;)

This girl still likes her snuggles, she asks for them daily and she always knows when Monday comes around...she gets to sleep with Mama & Daddy on Monday nights to help get those extra snuggles in!!!  And when she flashes her double dimple smile how can one do anything but melt?  Her Daddy is especially soft when it comes to her dimples!  ;)

(Here she is sleeping ON TOP of me!)

With just the right balance of sweet and sass, she started pre-school this year (at home) and was so excited to do so.  She was begging to start weeks before she actually did!  We had a slow start, she was shy about school, but it didn't take more than a week and she was tackling it like she does everything else!  She often begs to do more than one school a day!!! 

Along with all of this responsibility comes a bit of an attitude, which is where her sass comes from.  But it has also presented a tricky parenting situation, how does one continue to encourage helpfulness and hard work and yet teach the humility that one needs? 

This girl has a passion for everything she does...and she has a deep love for everyone in her life...but the dating scene came a little quicker than this Mama would have appreciated...she sent a proposal to a young man just last week via text message!  ;)  She met this boy at a wedding a couple of years ago and he has been in her heart ever since...ask her about her boyfriend some day, she would be happy to tell you about him!!!  ;)

Some things the Cupcake wants you to know about her:
Favorite color: Pink
Favorite Book:  "Cindy Lou Who"
Favorite Family Activity: Opening presents
Favorite Movie: Cinderella (both old and new!)
Favorite Princess: Cinderella (duh mom!)
Favorite Memory: Meeting Cinderella on the ''big boat"
Favorite Thing about Christmas: Opening gifts and being with Papa and Gweema!
Favorite Thing we Did This Year: visit Papa and Gweema's farm!

Princess 2015

Our Princess turned 9 years old this year and quickly reminded me that she was half way to adult!!!  That makes this Mama feel pretty old, how does one tiny little baby turn into such a big girl so fast? 

She is still a big time dancer!  Her competition group took home many awards and medals this year, but they were the most excited about winning the 'gold ticket' and getting an invitation to preform nationally...unfortunately being a large group there was no way to financially afford to get all those kids/families there...but they were thrilled!  It is always fun to see her come alive on the dance floor!  In her Spring recital she was excited to get to do a Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical and Competition routine!  She also gets to help 'assist' in teaching the babes and preschool dance classes! 

She has also grown up so much.  She now sports a ladies size 11 foot and is getting scary close to my height!  She is finding that in some ways it is fun to grow up, but in many ways it would be nice to not grow so fast!  Next size of shoes she will be special ordering dress shoes and moving into mens tennis shoes!

Summer time brought some relaxation time for her and she was able to spend several weekends at the Grandparents farm.  She is getting pretty good at driving the 4-wheeler!  She enjoyed splashing around in our little pool, going to Bear Country, and going to Hills Alive; but highest on her list was getting the opportunity to be in the town's children's theater they call the Peanut Butter and Jelly players...she was in 'My Son, Pinocchio." She played a teacher and did so very well!  I was so proud seeing my girl up on that stage walking in her Mama's theatrical footsteps!!!  ;)

She is a great helper both to with her siblings and with the daycare.  She is becoming a huge blessing around the house, taking and interest is cooking and still being my baby whisperer!  One thing she will always line up for is her and Cupcake's Saturday morning muffin making for breakfast!  They do enjoy that time and it is one of the only times they are getting along as sisters!!! 

She is currently about half way through her 3rd grade schooling with Bob Jones University curriculum and doing pretty well.  She does not love Math, but she does take interest in Heritage Studies and Science.  I think her favorite thing about homeschooling is the fact that we are able to adjust her schedule so she gets extra time at dance when other girls her age are in school!  ;)

A few things she wants you to know:
Favorite color:  Anything neon!
Favorite book:  the Bible
Favorite family activity: Friday Family Movie Night
Favorite movie:  Love's Christmas Journey
Favorite Princess:  Tiana
Favorite memory:  Our Disney Cruise on the Fantasy
Favorite thing about Christmas:  Jesus' Birthday & a real Christmas Tree
Favorite thing this year:  Hiking by Roughlock Falls