Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nick's Homecoming

We arrived home from a wonderful Thanksgiving with family (which I will talk more about in coming days) but we quickly learned of some very sad news.

My dear friend Tammy (one of my "Front Porch" ministry sisters) has lost her son Nick in his battle against cancer. Months ago I asked for your prayers for Nick and his amazing family and today I beg for your prayers.
We rejoice in knowing that Nick is finally pain free and with the Lord but our hearts are broken to be left behind.

Please visit Tammy's blog and remember her family in your prayers.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know it still seems a bit early, but we are travelling to see family for Thanksgiving and I expect that my posts will be pretty scattered for the next week.

If I can, I'll try to post some pics of our adventures but I'm heading into the land of "dial up" (GASP!!!) so I can't promise anything:)!

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy the blessing of family. I know I am planning on soaking up every last minute of our precious family moments (even the moments during the car ride)!


Friday, November 21, 2008

My poor birthday boy...

Well, this is it...the kickoff to a birthday week that I fear may last far too long.

You see, my little Ayden is turning 7 on Sunday (gulp)...For those of you who are quickly doing addition and long division in your heads to figure out how old that makes me; SHAME ON YOU!

We're all in this together ya'll!

Now back to my story....

Well, let's just say that Ayden was not going to be doing much for his birthday this year.

We don't do big friend parties every year. I'm just not that good.

However, this year, we were going to wait until Thanksgiving to celebrate Ayden's big day (while we're with all the family).

The problem is that I began feeling a little bad.

Poor little party on his big celebration until almost a week later...that's torture to a 7 year old.

So, I planned a little dinner for Sunday. Just a few close friends out to lunch. Sure, that will be nice!

Oh yea, and there's that fundraiser for a local ministry at the kids playplace tonight!!

Ooohh...I wonder if we could go to that and label it part of the Ayden Birthday festivities!

And wouldn't you just know it; a good friend called yesterday to ask me to babysit her 7 year old son on Saturday afternoon.

How convenient!

"Wow Ayden! Mommy's invited a little friend over to play for your birthday!"

And I thought this poor child would sit home sad on his birthday weekend.

I guess it just goes to show that sometimes planning nothing at all is the best gift!:) (Sort of).

Happy Birthday my sweet Ayden! Mommy loves you forever!

Also: Happy Birthday to Ayden's ya-ya (whose official birthday was yesterday)! I love you Mom!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All because...

Most of the world would have greatly underestimated her abilities.

To many people she would just be looked at as the little girl who lived next door.

“She’s too young to really do anything significant…"

"Give her a few years and maybe then she’ll make an impact.”

Oh, how wrong we can be.

Her name alone should have clued us in…. ‘HOPE’.

She would, in fact, be just that….Hope.

Just a few years ago, Hope was just another little girl.

A girl with beautiful sunset red hair and a personality that could light up a room.

A cheerleader, a sister, a daughter.

But then one day Hope found out that she had an illness… An illness that, despite all medical advances, was unbeatable.

Hope’s days were numbered.

I wonder what many of us would have done in the same situation.

I wonder if I would crawl under the covers and drown myself in a sea of self-pity….

I wonder.

But Hope didn’t do that.

Hope found her purpose.

When asked by the Make-A-Wish Foundation what one wish she wanted before she died, Hope took the world by surprise.

She didn’t want to swim with dolphins.

She didn’t want to see Disney World.

She didn’t want anything for herself.

What did she want?

She wanted others’ dreams to come true.

Hope Stout made a wish that the other 155 kids whose names were on the Make-A-Wish waiting-list would have their wishes granted.

A wish that had a price tag of over 1 million dollars.

But Hope would not be deferred.

Such self-sacrifice is not often seen in our world.

So often we are too busy thinking about our lives to take the time to look at those around us.

Hope was not too busy to look around.

In her last days Hope Stout changed countless lives.

She changed the lives of the children whose wishes were granted.

She changed the lives of the families who gave up Christmas presents to donate to this cause.

She changed the lives of each one of us that knew her.

And I am not even one of those.

I never had the opportunity to meet Hope, but I personally will never forget the selfless act that she gave to our community when she raised over a million dollars for others.

Hope has changed my life and she continues to change lives years after her earthly death.

And again I say;

Most of the world would have greatly underestimated her abilities.

To many people she would just be looked at as the little girl who lived next door.

But HOPE would not be deferred.

What HOPE can you give today?

If a 12 year old girl can change the world in just a few weeks…what can God do through you?

Sidenote: We never got to know Hope personally, but Hope’s parents have been a blessed addition to our familiy over the last few months. If you look at the pictures in the slideshow from yesterday, it is Hope’s Mom and Dad that you will see with Ayden and Brekyn.

In honor of Hope, her parents have started the MARCH FORTH WITH HOPE FOUNDATION

'March Forth With Hope' donates money to families who are experiencing terminal illnesses. Please click here to learn how you can become involved in this ministry.

Hope’s story has already been published (it is the book you’ve seen in my sidebar for months now).

Currently a movie is also being filmed of this incredible story. It is set to be released in December of 2009.

All because Hope would not be deferred.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Weekend Adventures

Well, we're home and getting back into life again.

The weekend was incredible and the Lord was very present. I pray that the teens hold firm to the lessons they learned this weekend.

While we were away the kids were taken care of by some amazing friends.

Elle was with our incredible neighbor, Maryann (who is truly like family to us). Apparently Elle spent the weekend with a stomach bug yet Maryann was still smiling when I got home (now that's love)!

Meanwhile, the boys were our other friends, Stuart and Shelby, and I can't tell you how many stories I've heard about their weekend adventures.

In Ayden's words; "Mom! They are the coolest people ever! Can I stay longer?"

We can't thank these amazing friends enough! We are so blessed to have you in our lives.

The slideshow below is of the boys' adventures over the weekend. Sorry I don't have any pictures of Elle...surprisingly enough it's not too fun to take pictures of a sick little girl!:)

Monday, November 17, 2008


Home safe and sound...Amazing weekend!

Can't wait to tell you about it.

Unfortunately, internet is down AGAIN...

Hopefully we'll be up and running in the next few days.:(

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just another quiet weekend....

Yup, it's gonna be another quiet weekend around here.

Nothing much going on.

Maybe I'll sleep in a little late on Saturday, enjoy a big quiet breakfast and catch up on my reading...

Oh wait...

Maybe not.

Maybe I'll go on a youth retreat with 297 teens instead.

Hmm...sleep in late.

Kinda doubt it.

Last year we ran out of beds in my cabin.

I got nominated to sleep on the floor.

What ever happened to respect your elders ya'll!

Yea, whatever!

You know the weirdest thing...I'm actually excited!

I know most of you think I'm insane (okay, I know I am) but I look forward to this weekend all year.

I remember the days when our youth retreats were a few kids at a beach house.

Now the Lord has us in a place where our youth group needs to rent an entire camp to fit us all.


Sure, it's crazy and chaotic and stinks to high heaven at times but I wouldn't have it any other way!

So, if you think of us this weekend, please say a prayer.

Pray for safe travels and safety for the teens and counselors.

Also, pray for the three kiddos that will be hanging out with some amazing friends this weekend (Thank you Shelby and Maryann!! You're amazing!)

I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories to share on Monday!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

And this my friends...


You know it's never good when it begins with Ahhh!!!

Well, let's just say it's one of those days.

One of my children (who shall remain nameless) woke up at 5am to use the potty!

Yippee!! That's good right?

Sure, except that he decided he didn't want to go to the potty alone. Therefore, he went and woke up a particular brother and the two of them trapsed into our bathroom wide awake at 5am.

I don't know about you but in our house this falls into the unforgiveable sin category.

"No, you may not be awake! Close your eyes and go back to sleep!"

"But Mom, I'm on the potty!"

"I don't care...go to sleep there...just don't wake me up at 5am!"

Of course, I then followed up with the wide eyes and serious tone of "AND NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO DON'T WAKE UP YOUR SISTER!"

However, as we can all tell (by my grouchy mood) said child did wake up said sister (by singing the theme song to Barney nonetheless) and before I knew it my day had begun.

As punishment for waking up too early and disturbing his sister, Mommy took away cartoons for the day.

Oh good!

Brilliant Mommy!!

Now we have a grouchy mommy, who's tired beyond belief, and a grouchy kid who I can't even send away to watch cartoons for a few minutes.

And this my friends is why mommys shouldn't be awoken at 5am....

It's never a good thing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Ache...

Have you ever ached so deeply for a lost friend?

Have you ever wondered if they will ever see the Truth?

Have you ever doubted whether or not you’re doing enough?

Have you ever felt your heart drop when you watch someone live in absolute desperation?

Today a dear friend sat at our table and spoke of the “void” that consumes his heart.

Such a precious, dear friend who has walked a terribly dark and lonely road and longs to be at the end BUT won’t turn His heart over to the Lord.

Oh Lord, I pray that you would meet this brother where He’s at.

Be real in His life…Be the air he breathes and the arms that embrace him in his sadness.

Dry his tears with a stroke of your hand and breathe hope into his life.

We cry out to you for our friend.

Monday, November 10, 2008

By Your Side

This song has been out for a few months but I just stopped and listened to the words the other day.

It is my new favorite song and it has given me strength as I pray over the many "stresses" I am feeling in life right now.

I hope you can take the time to soak it in.

By Your Side
By: Tenth Avenue North

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Confession...

My son wears his underwear backwards.

That’s my confession.

In all actuality, my son is brilliant.

You see, this is the same son who took forever to potty train and is just now getting the hang of it.

I went out and bought all the coolest boy undies I could find.

Lightning McQueen, Shrek, Thomas the Tank Engine…you name it – we got it.

But, the undie makers are not so smart.

You see, on every pair of underwear they put the big picture across the bum.

Sure, maybe no one else has ever noticed that before; but to my brilliant 3 year old, that is just dumb.

The more I think about it, the more I agree with my child prodigy.

The first time we put the undies on Brekyn, he looked down and said, “Where’s Shrek?”


I tried to convince him that having Shrek smack dab across his bum is pretty cool, but he wasn’t buying it.

And so I gave up.

This is what I’ve realized when it comes to being a mom.

You pick your battles daily.

In my current situation, it seems pointless to fight this battle.

I’m still basking in the glory of finally having a child who will independently use the potty.

And so…my son wears his underwear backwards…who cares if his butt cheek hangs a little out the side?

You got a problem with it?

Come on; tell me what battles you’ve chosen not to fight!

I dare you!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God is still God...

I don't know many things this morning...

I have many concerns and many doubts...


I know one thing...

I know THE ONE thing.

I know I am a daughter of The King and I know that no matter what the days ahead of us hold, that fact will never change.

I find great comfort in this song today...

It doesn't matter what happens in the world around us...

God is still God.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



Today I ask that you don't spend time reading my blog.

Today I ask that you click over to a bloggy friend of mine (Carisa) and read her last two posts.

I sense God in many ways on this day and I am constantly reminded that He is in control.

Carisa and her husband Frank moved from suburbia to inner city Philadelphia where they serve God in the heart of the drug and gang culture. They are a young family with 2 children and one on the way. Our body needs to come together to pray today.


Monday, November 3, 2008

The Price of Beauty...

In the past two weeks I have come to a realization regarding my beautiful daughter's hair.

White people think it's gorgeous...
"Ahhh!!! Look at her beautiful hair!"
"Ooohh...she's so cute!"

I had decided I was doing a pretty good job of handling the somewhat difficult curls.

Pat myself on the back and convince myself I had this all figured out.

Then I ran into some of my black friends....


"Uhhh....Cyndie...are you serious?"

"You've got to be kidding me..."

Oh, and then there was the all-telling "uuuuhhhhh" that I've now heard twice this week.


And so I gave it my best shot and still struggled with mastering my daughters locks without making her look like a clown.

My neighbor had finally seen enough and yesterday she showed up with brush in hand and determination to train me.

Lord have mercy.

Have you ever seen an African American woman comb an African American child's hair?

All the sympathy I'd been having as my daughter would scream her head off just went right out the window!

There apparently ain't no mercy when it comes to taming these locks!!

An hour later, after screaming like we've never seen before, Elle emerged with beautiful hair and no tangles.

And I'm supposed to have time to do this daily?
Hmm...praise God the other two are boys! :)