Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Equality, is a word that carries a lot of history, emotions, and baggage with it.  When one thinks of equality they may think of America's history, the Civil Rights Movement, Women's Rights, Freedom of Religion.  Equality in the modern day is now a question concerning the homosexual community, and every one seems to have an opinion.  I generally am not one to speak out on political issues, because quite honestly I am generally oblivious. However, this is an issue near and dear to my heart, and one in which I would like to voice my opinion.  I am not writing this blog today to sway anyone's way of thinking, debate, or call anyone out.  Instead, I am writing for my own personal memory.  I want to be able to look back at this post 50 years from now, and remember my view point and the person I was in 2013.  I want the passion I have concerning this topic to forever be a part of my history. So, with that being said, please do not comment in the form of debate, I am not one to debate, nor will I.  We are all entitled to our own opinions and I respect that right.

If you would have asked me 10 years ago whether or not I supported gay marriage I would have answered with a very quick and honest "No".  You see 10 years ago I was a senior in high school, who lived in a small town surrounded by mountains and sheltered from the world beyond them.  I knew very little of the homosexual community, and where I am from, especially at that time, there were very few citizens who were openly gay.  I was very close minded to the topic and I too used to think "The Bible says homosexuality is a sin, so therefore they should not be able to get married".  I did not understand people who were gay.  I didn't understand why they would "Choose" to go against God and indulge in such a "big" sin.  Quite frankly...I didn't get it.

10 years later I am a much different person.  I am still the God fearing and loving Christian that I was 10 years ago, and I am not downing the person I used to be.  I feel as though I was taught so much about Christianity throughout my young life, and God helped to build my character into a person who was on fire for him.  I am grateful for the teachers and mentors that taught me the ways of God throughout my young life, but I also feel as though there is a time when each Christian has to evaluate who and what they believe.  These beliefs do not need to be based upon anyone's opinion other than your own, and what God has personally taught you.  So, that is what this post is about. My struggle/study of the homosexual community, God, and what I feel as though I have been convicted to stand up for.

3 years into college I moved into an apartment with 2 girls from high school and a boy from my hometown who is gay.  This experience is when my eyes were really opened to re-evaluate my views on homosexuality.  Living with C really allowed me to understand the inner struggle of a person who has recently come out to family and friends.  C's  personal story tore at my heart strings, and caused me to ache in a way that I had never experienced before.  He grew up as a preachers kid, was saved and followed God daily, and upon coming out was basically told "God did not love him", and he felt as though his own family did not love him.  That broke my heart.  To me the answer was so simple.  God is love.  God loves all.  Why in the world would God love a homosexual any less?  I inwardly struggled with this question for a long period of time.  Throughout my experience living with C we had many discussions.  One in particular I remember was very emotional.  He broke down telling me how he had always been gay, even when he didn't know what gay meant.  He remembered being attracted to Aladdin as a young child, and thinking that Ken (the Barbie doll) was hot.  Of course, as many people who are gay do, he suppressed these feelings and tried to forget about them for years.  He had relationships with girls, he tried to force himself to not be gay, he prayed for God to make him straight, but you know what he was still gay.  Many people say that a homosexual chooses to be gay, and that they should just ignore it.  However, I feel that to be completely and utterly false.  I believe that "God created our inmost being".  I also understand that in the Bible it says homosexuality is a sin.  Insert my inward struggle.  If God creates everyone with a certain personality, and plan, then if homosexuality is a sin, why are they created this way?  That is an question that I have lamented and prayed over for years reaching out for an answer.  I have not received the answer yet, but I have received the conviction to love and accept, and sometimes fight for the respect of members of the homosexual community.  I have prayed multiple times "God if I am suppose to oppose gay marriage convict me" and time and time again I have not felt convicted.  I feel like since I have been so exposed to the members who make up that community, and felt compassion for their stories that it is utterly impossible for me to feel convicted about equality for them.

With that being said, that is my personal opinion, and every Christian is entitled to their opinion and convictions.  We all have a place in God's grand plan.  Yours may be to fight against it, while my place may be to stand back, and show love to my friends who the decision effects. I do not judge either way.  However, I do feel as though the question of equality is not one that we need to fight against.  I understand that America was founded under God, and I pray that God will always be in control of our country.  However, I feel as though the fight against homosexual marriage is not a religious issue.  I understand the points Christians are making, I honestly do, and like I said 10 years ago I would have said the same thing. However, now that my eyes are opened and I have so much love for the members of the homosexual community I do not see them being wed as an abomination to God, or taking God out of America.  What I see is the beauty and emotion of people crying out to be accepted for feelings that they can not change.  They are harming no one, but yet are being cursed at, ridiculed, and told they are sinners.  Phrases like "love the sinner hate the sin" are said to does that phrase express Love?  People say God Loves Everyone........oh yea accept the homosexuals.  I honestly do not understand how it is any of our business to judge them.  Sure you think it is a sin, and you are just trying to let them know, but you know what, maybe God is already working on them.  Maybe they are like my old roommate and "love Jesus, pray every night, but cry because everyone tells them Jesus doesn't love them back".  Oh how quick we are to place the plank in another persons eye.  Personally I feel as though God will handle each and everyone of us when we get to heaven.  Our job on Earth is to love God, show Gods love to others, and pray for one another.  God handles the rest.  He made these humans, he loves them, and I feel as though all the Christian community is doing right now is pushing humans crying our to be loved away from God.

Marriage to me is a beautiful thing.  If two people, regardless of sexual orientation, want to commit their life to one another forever, that is beautiful!! Everyone sins and falls short of the glory of God.  I lie, I complain, I doubt God, I am not always kind, I gossip, I am sometimes rude, I anger easily, I hate.......I am so filthy in terms of the Christian I should be.  However, that is the beautiful part about grace.  I fall short, I will never be perfect, there will always be sins/issues I struggle with. There will never be one day that I do not fall short of the glory of God. However, I am accepted because I am straight?  Because I do not commit the "horrible sin of homosexuality".  I will enter the gates of God because I am not gay, but too bad for that other guy.  I am sorry but how ignorant.  A sin is a sin is a sin.  We answer to God in the end for what we stood for, what sins we committed and the life we chose. Do I believe homosexuals can be Christians even if they never turn from their homosexual lifestyle? Yes! Do I believe they will be accepted into heaven? Yes! I feel as though our job as Christians is to love, accept, and worry eternally about ourselves.  I personally feel as though there are much bigger "religions/political" issues to fight for.  Issues in which people are actually being harmed.  Equality for people to make their own choices and love who they want, in my opinion is not our business as Christians.  My personal conviction and belief, but I do not feel as though equality for the gay community will bring America any further from God than it already is.  Love however, that can move mountains. That can make the difference.  That can be the Christ in this fallen nation.  Love is what it is all about.  


Monday, March 25, 2013

Learning the Value of a Dollar

As I stated in a previous post, it is very important to me that I start instilling the value of a dollar in my children early.  It breaks my heart in two to see that they are never satisfied, and are always wanting more at such a young age.  They have so much, yet feel as though they have so little at times....don't we all.  I want them to grow up understanding that it is okay to have wants, and it is okay to strive for more, but it is not okay to let those wants consume you.

I saw this pin a long time ago, and recently came across it again. It got me thinking.  We had been struggling with Caleb whining and complaining a lot, and I knew that was a habit I wanted to nip in the butt as fast as possible. One it was annoying, and two I come from a long line of complainers. I always joke and say "if my family doesn't have something to complain about, then we have nothing to talk about".  I personally have been trying to work on this character flaw in myself, and it is a hard habit to break.  However, I thought if I started early enough with Caleb...maybe just maybe, I could minimize it.  It was also a great pin about teaching the value of a dollar.

So I took the idea and ran with it.


  1. 2 clear cups...or any cups or jars you have laying around.
  2. Bible Verse "Do everything without complaining or arguing" Phil. 2:14
  3. Tape
  4. Quarters-Caleb gets 3 dollars in quarters placed in his cup weekly (3 years=3 dollars)
  5. 3 Labeled Ziploc bags (God, Bank, Child's name)
  1. Tape the Bible verse on one cup, and fill the cup with a weeks worth of quarters.
  2. Explain the Bible verse to your child, and let them know that if Mama hears them arguing or complaining that they will loose a quarter. (I always give one warning) 
  3. Move quarters lost during the week into the empty cup. 
  4. At the end of the week count the money left in your first cup with your child. (Great way to practice counting/learn how many quarters make a dollar)  
  5. Divide it into 3 bags with child 
    1. 10% of what is left goes to God. (I tell Caleb that we give money to God so he can help people who do not have money).  Your child can take his God bag to church to place in the offering, or use for a worthy cause.
    2. 50 cents-1.00 is placed in the Bank bag.  I generally decide how much I place in his savings by how many quarters he has left each week.  Caleb knows that we put money in the bank so he will have money when he is older.  He loves to take the money to the bank to place in his bank account, even if it is a 1.00 :)
    3. The remaining amount is placed into his Caleb bag.  This bag is used to save up for a toy, game, or something special that your child wants.  It may take a few months to save for a special toy, but it teaches your child to work, wait, and save. 
  6. Refill the cup with quarters for the next week.

So, we have been doing this for about 3 months now.  When we first started this process I asked Caleb what he wanted to save his Caleb money for.  He immediately said "The red ninja turtle". So we went to the store, and wrote down the price of the turtle, and I told him that we would have to save until he had that many quarters and then we would go buy it.  Each week after we counted his money I would tell him how many dollars we were away from getting the turtle.  Well, yesterday was the day that he finally had enough money.  

Nick and I were shopping for Easter baskets when we realized that the turtle was 3 dollars off the original price. There was only one red one left, so we went a head and bought it for Caleb.  I wanted him to be able to go to the store with me to buy it, but I was afraid they would sell out.  So, when we arrived home we explained to him that the turtle was on sale so he had enough quarters to buy it.  

He and daddy counted his money

He put the turtle toy in his cart

He checked out and paid for it

He loves it

I love this picture even though it is blurry.  Kinlee did not understand the concept of "Be gentle", and got brother.  He is yelling "GENTLE!!!!!" :)

This is such a great activity, and one that has become a part of our every day life.  It has really cut back on the complaining and the arguing, and also on the "I want this".  If Caleb sees something when we are out that he wants I simply tell him that "You will have to save your quarters for it".  He says okay and leaves it at that.  Win Win for us all.  


Saturday, March 23, 2013

We Are not in the Clear Yet

Just when I started to think that sickness might be behind us....just when I said "We are all healthy".....just when I began to breath a sigh of relief...sickness hit again!! This time, Pink Eye.

I hate pink eye. I used to get it all the time when I was little.  Yesterday, Caleb woke up with a crusted eye. I had noticed the night before that it looked red, and I was half expecting him to wake up with it crusted shut.  I called the doctor, informed them what was going on, and they said that I needed to bring him in, in case it wasn't pink eye.  So, to the doctor we went.  Our doctor is not in on Friday's so we saw another doctor in the practice (my least favorite one).  He was checked, and his cough/runny nose was checked as well. The doctor decided that he did not think it was pink eye but just a viral or allergy reaction, and I was informed to call if I started to notice green gunk in his eye.  So, I went about my day yesterday believing that....bad mistake.

Caleb barely slept last night.  Nick was out of town, and I let him sleep with me, and he tossed, and cried all night. He once again woke up to not one crusted eye, but 2, and Mckinlee woke up with one as well.  I immediately called the doctor, and let them know what was going on and they called me in a prescription for each of them.

So, here we are administering medicine 3 times a day to each eye. Caleb handled the drops pretty well, but Kinlee is another story.  I really wish their was oral medication for pink eye for infants/young toddlers.  I am crossing my fingers that after this we will be done with sickness.

 Some happy pictures from the 3 days of non sickness.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013


This past weekend Hudson had his 4th birthday party.  Caleb had been excited about Hudson's party for weeks now.  His party was a Superhero theme, and Caleb wanted to be Spiderman.  I had to order a Spiderman costume last minute, and then it looked like it would not be in on time, so we picked one up at Party City. I planned to return the 2nd one, but Mckinlee fell in love with it, so she got to be Spiderman as well.

I was so worried that Caleb would catch the flu, and would not be able to attend the party.  Praise the Lord he remained healthy, and he and Kinlee had a wonderful time.  The party was at Jumpzone, so the kids were all over the place.  Nick came with me, so I actually got to sit and chit chat with friends while he ran all over with the kids.  My mother in law girly'd Kinlee's outfit up by adding ruffles to the back.  I do not have a great pic of it, but it was adorable.


Monday, March 18, 2013

REAL Life.....

First of all, I saw this sweet thing on Facebook the other day, and I loved it. I had to share so I can always remember it.

For all Mothers 
(including soon to be Mothers) 

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family." "We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her.

That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mum!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moments hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her
baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming
children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself.

That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks.

I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child.

I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.

I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time.

I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.

Please share this with a Mum that you know or all of your girlfriends who may someday be Mums. May you always have in your arms the one who is in your heart.

By Dale Hanson Bourke
'Chicken soup for the woman's soul'!

Isn't it great?  Any who, today's post is not going to be filled with lots of cute pics of the kids (because I have not taken any good ones in over a week), and it will not be filled with great kid activities that I have found (because we have not participated in activities in over a week).  However, I am just going to be real today.  Often times on this blog I monitor or don't write about things pressing on me because I want to appear to have it all together I guess, you know for all the people reading.  However, the truth is, I don't, nor will I ever, and life right now is just a little slumpy....(is that a word?).  So, once again I am going to vent today, write down my feelings, and if you do not want to read into a personal pity party/soul searching post....stop reading now (you have been warned).

Life right now is really heavy.  I feel as though every day I awake to a new "issue" that seems we will never get through.  Finances have been hard, like super hard lately.  Our entire goal in moving into my in laws was to pay off some debt quick, and move into our dream house. However, here we are almost 6 months later, and we have only scratched the surface of paying off our debt, and we are no where close to finding our dream home.  It seems as though every time we take a step a head financially we take 6 steps back due to "issues" that arise.  Seriously the craziest things have happened financially, and it just makes me want to cry.  Debt is so annoying.  I hate being punished 10 years later for stupid mistakes that I made when I was fresh out of high school.  My husband is also self employed so that brings a lot of obstacles in and of itself.  Needless to say I am over it.  I am over debt, I am over inconsistency, and I am over basically everything that goes with it!!!! I vow that my children will fully understand money before they leave the house! There is no robbing Peter to pay Paul, and credit cards that will be a part of their future if I can help it!!

With the financial strain I find myself at a crossroads as well.  I feel as though my event planning company needs to be pushed to the back burner because it is new, and not making much of an income as of yet.  It is too stressful for me right now to put the time and the effort into growing it when I have stress from other situations weighing on me.  I have really been struggling with where to go with it lately.  I feel as though maybe I rushed into it....maybe now is not the right time...maybe I need to just focus on my kids.  I just feel pulled in various directions right now, and I do not know what to do.  So right now my plan with it is to "let go and let God".  I did bridal shows, my information is out there, and I feel as though God will open the doors if they are meant to be opened.  If not, then I will take it as the answer and will move on from there.

In terms of working right now I am going back to serving.  We need some extra income, and it is simple money.  I can still be with my kids during the day which is super important to me, and then I can work 3 nights a week to pull in some income.  My goal is 700 dollars a month, but I am sure I can make more than that.  That will cover mine and the kids expenses, groceries and gas, which in turn will free up some money to pay off debt faster.  Do I want to start working again? No? However, I understand that it is a good decision.  I am actually training 3 nights this week, and then I should move onto serving hopefully by next week.

I also just got over a touch of the flu this past week, which really made my stress so much better.....

I am trying to rest on these promises throughout all the hard days right now..

"I know that God works all things together for the good for those that love him and that are called according to his purpose" Romans 8:28

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans of hope and a future" Jer. 29:11

"Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you" 1 Peter 5:7

Prayers right now are for direction, new doors to be opened, and patience in the valley.

"God's silence offers us the choice- faith or sight. We can either abandon our faith or learn to trust in the dark. God leaves that choice up t us. And all the while he's more interested in our faith in Him than our ability to decipher in the silence."


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Caleb 3 1/2 Years


My sweet boy. Let me begin this letter by telling you how absolutely perfect you are.  You bring me so much joy daily, and I love your sweet, shy, kind personality.  You have such a heart, and I am so thankful for that. You are now 3 1/2 years old.  That seems so old.  You are getting so big, and time feels as though it is slipping through my fingers.

You are going to school 2 days a week now, and you love it.  You are really coming out of your shell, and learning so much.  You amaze me daily with what you know and remember. In addition to preschool you go to "Big School" aka Awana one night a week.  You are still very shy there but seem to enjoy it.  You are also playing in your very first sports league right now, basketball.  It started out a little rough, but you have pretty much taken to it now. You have your moments where you are uninterested, but it is cute to watch you participate.  You are also in speech one day a week.  We have a lady who comes to our home to work with you, and you seem to be making improvements.  You talk our ears off, and your words are becoming more and more clear every day.

You are all boy right now. Cars, super heroes, tools, guns.  You are constantly wanting me to play Spiderman with you, or help you build a house etc.  You are so cute.  You also have a sweet side of dramatic play that is really starting to come out.  You practical life skills of playing with babies, cooking, and going to grocery are some of your favorite activities as well.  In our dramatic play area we have a basket set up with a diaper, fake powder, lotion, books, and a bottle.  You like to diaper your baby, put lotion on it, and snuggle it in the rocking chair while feeding it and reading a bedtime story. So sweet.

You love you sister, and you already look out for her. According to you she is not allowed to date and any boy who tries to date her you will fight.  You look out for her all the time, but also fight with her like crazy.  You two definitely have a love hate relationship.  One day I came out of my room and I didn't see Kinlee. I asked if you knew where she was and you said "Mommy I have her". I came into the living room to find you and her snuggled under a blanket in the chair together. You had your arm around her and were rubbing her head.  So cute! You are so funny when she has her outbursts of tantrums. You just look at me with a little side smirk and shake your head. I will ask you "What are we going to do with her" and you'll say  "pshh I don't know, she's crazy" haha.

I really need to start writing down all your quotes because you crack me up daily.  However, as I sit here to write this post I can not think of any specific quote to write about.....

Yesterday a seat broke off one of your cars.  You were trying to fix it, but couldn't. You ran into the play area and came back with a flashlight and a tool.....(so your father's child).

You are so wonderful and sweet and perfect and wild and loving and calm and crazy all rolled into one.  You have me wrapped around your finger, and you know it. You are obsessed with getting big right now. You always tell me that you are growing up and pretty soon your hands will match daddy's.  :)

You have "quiet time" now during nap time. Some days you nap some days you do not. We bought a kindle for you and added a bunch of educational and fun apps and you generally play that throughout nap. Some days you will pick different toys to take in your room with you instead.  You are getting better at staying in your room unless you have to go potty.  You know to watch for the 3 on the kindle and then you can get up.  You have learned so much from this time of learning and playing on your own.

You are so perfect my sweet boy. I love you so much!


Saturday, March 9, 2013


So despite our best efforts the flu has hit our family.  Daily one after another members of our household are dropping like flies.  My Mother-In-Law, Hubby, Mckinlee, my Father-in-law........I feel like it is a ticking time bomb, and I will inevitably get sick.  I keep saying if I catch it we will all fall apart.

Mckinlee was diagnosed yesterday. Poor girl can never just have one illness at a time. She was diagnosed with a double ear infection this past Monday, and by Friday we were at the doctor again with the flu.  I swear every member of our doctor's office knows everything about my children.  We have been there that many times this winter.  I'm OVER IT!

The flu was a bad enough diagnosis, considering both my kids had their flu shots....(is there even a point?).  The pharmacy was another piece of bad news when I realized that Tamiflu was not covered by my insurance and it was crazy expensive.  They first quoted me at 80 dollars but due to Kinlee's tiny size it ended up being 55.  Still ridiculous. The other piece of bad news is that it tastes terrible, and she can't keep it down.  That was 55 dollars wasted....does Walgreens refund? :).  I read up on it and Tamiflu really only shortens the length of the flu by a day or so, and does not help the it's basically pointless. I wish I would have read that before I purchased it.

Nick, my mother-in-law and father-in-law were super sick today.  I left Kinlee with them this morning and took Caleb to his basketball pictures and game.  We tried to stay clear of the house for a while by going to lunch and the grocery store.  While we were at the store Caleb pretended the car cart was a police car, and he was the police man of the grocery.  Randomly he would jump out and say "I have to get that bad guy".  He also had to pick out food that police guys like.  He loved the organic section and picked some healthy cereal.  He also turned down Captain Crunch Oops All Berries for Mini Wheats with no frosting....Good Boy.  I had a few surprise items at checkout that he had stashed in his police car, but nothing too off the wall.

We returned home to house full of miserable people.  I snuggled Kinlee for nap, and afterward cooked a huge pot of chicken and rice soup for all the sickies.  I figured if I get sick in a couple of days we will have food back stocked to survive on.  Please oh Please oh Please do not let me get sick.

Say a prayer for our household.  Windows were opened today to get some of the germs out, and I have lysoled and Cloroxed everything......fingers crossed.

I'm adding a few cute pics of the kids from our snow day on Wednesday, before the sickness struck. This post needs a ray of sunshine.