Halloween 2015

We have a few things we love to do each year around Halloween. Trunk or Treat with our little friends is one of the things at the top of our list! These kids love spending time together...who am I kidding...so do their mama's. ;) They had so much fun!

We were in Target a few days before Halloween and Sis said "Mommy, I REALLY NEED this shirt. It has bones on it and Daddy adjusts bones. He will love if if I get this shirt." Needless to say she got the shirt...

Halloween Night

Kelley and Tyler always have a fun Halloween bash. This year was no different! We went around to a few houses in our neighborhood before heading over to the fun...the kids had so much fun and SO DID WE!!!

Pumpkin Carving

A few days before Halloween we carved pumpkins together as a family. We created a "fall bucket" list together and that was on it. ;) Wyatt loves doing this as well as loves baking the seeds. It's so cute to see them get so excited.

We have a little store near our house that sells pumpkins and mums during the fall so it was the perfect place and close to home. The rule is, "You can only get a pumpkin that you can carry." They always try to push their limit. What kid doesn't right!?!!?

It was a perfect Sunday afternoon project. We all enjoyed ourselves...as you can see! ;)

Boo at the Zoo 2015

We go to Boo at the Zoo every year! We always have fun but doing it with family make it even more fun. It had been kinda the same stuff the past few years but this year they had changed things up.

We had a great time and then headed back to our house for dessert. Perfect fall evening...

School Parties

Wyatt and Sloane both had their Halloween parties at school last week! It's always so fun to see them in their "school element." I am so glad I get to be a part of the parties at school! The teachers always participate as well...so fun!

Thanks to my mama I had some awesome accessories to wear to the party as well! Wyatt thought it was so fun that I had these earrings on. ;) Rock it while you can right!??!!? (before it starts to embarrass them ;)

Trials and struggles

I know yesterday I shared an e-mail my mom sent me. I also found this one from July and couldn't not share...

For a type-A person like me I needed this so much. The holidays are coming up and I feel like the calendar is already about to explode! It makes my skin crawl just looking at it. There. Is. So. Much. I say every year we aren't going to do it all but that doesn't seem to happen. We aren't those people...we have decided quality over quantity this year. We have to...time is precious. Family is important. We are raising children, like we are right in the middle of it or well- I guess some would say right at the beginning but either way I want our children to look back at the "holiday season" and not just remember going non-stop but remember fun times with family and friends. I want them to remember traditions. I want them to love this season as much as I do. I want them to remember more than just our "little family" because that's what Christ wants. He wants us to spread the cheer. I want my children to see that in Mark and I through this season of JOY! I want to be JOYFUL!!!! 
Take a second and read: 

"It doesn’t matter how much we may try to plan our lives and destinies to run along a perfectly straight path ... life happens! Trials and struggles simply will come our way. When we choose to endure rather than throw in the towel when times get tough, we will certainly be on our way to fulfilling our God-given destinies. So where does endurance begin?
It begins with our words.
Our words have a significant impact on our lives.
Proverbs 18:21 says, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit (NKJV).
Our words contain great power, and when an unexpected storm rises up to confront us, how well we endure it is often determined by the words we speak. Instead of giving power to our fears, let’s speak life over our situations, our finances, our families, our marriages and our relationships. Our words are a creative force, and through words of faith, we CAN speak life into every circumstance!" -Christine Caine

"Called to belong, not just believe"

I am blessed to have a mom who sends me e-mail/messages with words of encouragement or pieces of Bible study, verses, and even words of wisdom she stumbles on. It never fails that it's perfect timing. Mom's are funny like that!?!? ;) I was cleaning my inbox the other day and I came across this...(it's short, don't worry) 

“In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5)

You are called to belong, not just believe.
We are created for community, fashioned for fellowship, and formed for a family, and none of us can fulfill God’s purposes by ourselves. The Bible knows nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits isolated from other believers and deprived of fellowship.
The Bible says we are put together, joined together, built together, members together, heirs together, fitted together, and held together, and we will be caught up together (1 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 2:21-22, 3:6, 4:16; Colossians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:17).
You’re not on your own anymore!
While your relationship to Christ is personal, God never intended for it to be private. In God’s family you are connected to every other believer, and we will belong to each other for eternity. The Bible says, “In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5).
C. S. Lewis noted that the word “membership” is of Christian origin, but the world has emptied it of its original meaning. Stores offer discounts to members, and advertisers use member names to create mailing lists. In churches, membership is often reduced to simply adding your name to a roll, with no requirements or expectations.
To Paul, being a “member” of the Church meant being a vital organ of a living body, an indispensable, interconnected part of the Body of Christ. We need to recover and practice the biblical meaning of membership. The Church is a body, not a building; an organism, not an organization (Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 6:15, 12:12-27).
God’s purposes for his Church are identical to his five purposes for you. Worship helps you focus on God;fellowship helps you face life’s problems; discipleship helps fortify your faith; ministry helps find your talents; power helps fulfill your mission. -Rick Warren 

Wow! The words are so true. It's so important we, as Christians, are staying "plugged in." That is sometimes tossed around and thrown excuses to though. We don't have time, we don't feel we fit in, there isn't a place for you...blah blah blah. Church family is so important (believe me I am speaking to myself). If you don't have a church home be sure you are accountable and spend time with Christian friends. It's so important to dwell with others who have the same passion for Christ. We a young (30 isn't too old right?!?!? ;) moms tend to put all our time into other areas of our lives without taking time for ourselves. It doesn't make you better person to keep giving from an empty bucket...Christ calls us to give with a thankful heart, a full heart. 

I am so thankful to have a close group of friends that are honest, loving, and most importantly CHRIST following Mamas. They love their husband and children but they LOVE me and I LOVE them!!! #canIgetanamenforthat Accountability sometimes stinks a little but it keeps us moving forward as well! 

I encourage you to make sure you are making time for those people, even those ones that aren't your "usual comfort zone." After all...we don't want to be caught standing still! 

Raw Emotions- Loss

A little over a week ago very close friends (the husband is Mark's very best friend from childhood) of ours lost their baby at 22 weeks. We knew the baby would come early and we were praying for a miracle. Mark and I were on vacation when we got the news the baby was in Heaven. It made me physically sick...plus emotionally and mentally my body and brain take me to a place I know all too well. A place I hate, I hate that not only I know how it feels to be there but a place others know too. It just plain stinks. Now we have dear friends that know this awful pain as well.

You feel there is nothing left. You feel there is no hope...there is no longer any small bit to hang onto. The baby is gone...gone from Earth. You begin to wish you would have done things different. You begin to wish you would have had just one more moment. You begin replaying scenes from the hospital in your hear wishing it was all different. You wish you could have left with a baby in your arms. You wish...

On Sunday our pastor talked about how as Christians we sometimes pray for miracles, we pray for complete healing, etc but when that doesn't happen we have 2 choices. We can either get mad and turn AWAY from the Lord or we can turn TO him. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4

A little more than 5 years ago Mark and I started on this journey...the journey of "being parent's who have lost a child." I have said it before and I will say it again..."it" doesn't get easier you just learn how to deal/cope with the pain you feel. There will always be a void..."Many are the plans in a man's heart but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21

Now, as Christians we stand firm in believing we are living God's plan. When tragedy strikes people watch, they talk, they even critique your every move. I made a choice 5 years ago I was not going to turn AWAY I was going to turn TO God. This is my story, he wrote it and it's perfect in his eyes. There are still days that are terrible. There are days I hurt physically when I think about Ryder. It hurts my heart to know the same thoughts will be shared about baby Gabriel. I do smile when I think about those 2 boys in Heaven with Jesus together...probably playing just like their Daddy's did when they were young.

But at the end of the day...I choose to let others watch, let others talk, and let others critique my every move as I remain to be steadfast in my Lord because he will never leave me. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world give. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27