I love my family on our FIRST Hay Valentine’s Day

First, I made Tatum some X and O pancakes.

She gobbled them up. They were made with love of course. She had to finish her homework during breakfast since she spent the night before with Daddy for Daddy/Daughter Date night. They had a glorious time at the park as usual.

I love when they spend time together. Heart bursts all over!

Tatum’s school had Grandparents Day so she had a chance to seranade Mama.

MOM LOVED IT and said Tot was the most animated up there. No shocker there!
Anyway, I also surprised Doug with a little goodie in his lunch with a love card. He loved it, and he then outdid himself with a few surprises for me when he got home. Actually, he had goodies for all of us!
He knows how to spoil his girls.

Tatum had spent the day also getting the table ready. She cut out all kinds of hearts for the table.

I loved getting the table ready for my honey too!

It definitely became more beautiful with his flowers (added later). We had a great time playing games and laughing. Of course, we had to play some TobyMac as well.

I loved my cards and flowers.

Tot LOVED her goodies as well. What’s inside???

Oh WOW! Robbie the Robot is a new joy to our home.

And notice that gorgeous bouquet in the background.

He even spoiled my mom with some love!

I married a good man who knows how to make the women in his life feel special.

God winks

I love to look in the day for God’s presence. There are so many times that God winks at us and we miss it. Why is that? Because we get so caught up in our daily grind that we can forget to be grateful. Also, the circumstances of our lives should not determine our feelings about God! We should have gratitude daily and ALSO in the midst of challenges, we can truly find God winks (moments where He shines His light on us and says, “I see you and care about every little thing about you” ).

Case in point: I could use a few more classes! I love teaching, and contracts don’t come in on my timeline but God’s timeline. It means it is just a bit inconsistent. Thursday, I get a phone call that they needed me to step in to a class running already for 4 weeks. I have to go in and “fix” all the ungraded assignments and clean up the mess. Then, finish it out for 2 more weeks. I get paid for the whole 6 weeks which was quite nice! What a blessing! He gave me 2 weeks of work with 6 weeks of pay, so this doubled what I had in mind. Here we ask for something, and He blesses us beyond what we can imagine.

The next day, we were to go to TobyMac. I’ll be writing this blog next because it was mind-blowing amazing. Welllllll, the God wink blew my mind as well. I bought seats right on the floor thinking that this was right near the stage. They were near the end of the “T” of the long stage, but we were 3 rows behind and Tatum couldn’t see. If we were elevated a bit, it would have been perfect. Well, I came out into the aisle a bit to let her see and the security guard said we’d have to move in a bit. Still…. she couldn’t see. THEN, this lady in the FRONT row of the end of the stage said to come over by her. There were 2 seats, and we just moved over there for a moment. I had Doug come over too, and we expected to be ejected as soon as the people showed. Nobody ever showed!!! Come on..the front!? We were RIGHT THERE. I can’t even……wowza.

I have a million of God wink stories and answers to prayers that I’m seeing lately. Ways I wouldn’t have imagined them being answered because He is a bazillion times more creative than I am.

Thank you, Dear Father, Abby, Daddy, for your love for me. Your grace, your intervention, your caring of each and every single little detail of my life. I am in awe of you.

We saw Toby Mac live!!

October, 2019, I am working and listening to my favorite Christian artist, Toby Mac. I hear that he’s coming into concert in February and I INSTANTLY got online to buy tix for all of us to go.

Tatum would be most excited since we listen to him and know most of his songs. (by heart may I add!)

Now, the anticipation begins. Tatum is often found singing and praising Jesus. Did I say often? I meant ALL THE TIME. It’s very fun to be her audience. Cooper is too, by the way.

The day arrives. OH goodness, the excitement. I think I am the most excited!
Now, about Toby Mac. This 55 year old veteran of music is the real deal. By that I mean he walks the talk. His music/lyrics are filled with his heart cry for a deeper relationship with Christ, but also about the pain of the “Elements” of life. We all have “Scars,” but we must fight the demons. We also must keep our eyes on “Only You” and remember in “Everything” we see HIm. It’s a choice. “I Just Need U.” Sadly, his oldest son (he has six kids) just passed. He was his “prodigal.” The album, Elements, was dedicated to his son who didn’t return his phone calls. He missed him. Then he died. Bad choices, and it literally broke TM. His song “21” is dedicated to his passing. With that, I’ll share about the concert. I had been praying for him.

Well, now, we arrive at the concert venue. Tix on our phones, ready to rock and roll!

I wrote about our seats in “God Winks” that our seats were divinely chosen right up front.

The opening acts were all so exciting. Jordan Feliz was especially good with Glorify your Name!

Ryan Stephenson with “The Gospel.” We were right there!

OK, now we wait for TM!

He began at the end of the T!!! We were right there! He began with “ELEMENTS”. Goose bumps.

He later sang “21 years” about his son. There was complete awe and silence. Prayers.

Are you singing with the angels; are you happy where you are? God has you in heaven, but I have you in my heart.

More amazing songs….I just need U!

He came up often and you can see I was a bit excited! They are singing about uniting.

Thank you, Toby Mac. Thank you all who made the concert possible. Attending, there were babies, teens, elderly, all colors. Truly a “DIVERSE” crowd, as he put it, and that is what made it so special. If even just ONE came to a right relationship with Jesus after tonight, it would have been all worth it.

Speak Life

These simple two words become our new mantra. Let’s speak Love, Life, Hope into others’ lives.

Toby Mac and Ryan Stephenson wrote this song. We just saw them in concert and OH MY. Stay tuned for that blog.

May I do this and live this.

3.3 in AR and Chapter Books!

3.3 means 3rd grade, 3rd month. This is where she is right now in Februrary of 1st grade. The next highest AR reader in the class, Sebastian, is a 3.2. The rest are in the 2’s or mostly 1’s still. I love watching her embrace this new chapter, literally. We have been reading Magic Treehouse books, and they are so fun.

They are like non-fiction with many historical facts, but they are magical as well. She reads about 3 chapters a day so then she can take an AR test after 3 days. I don’t want her to get burned out on reading; therefore, we do about this much at this point in her reading journey. I still like to read to her. Our latest fav is DogMan comics. So funny and ridiculous actually. But nice levity to balance the other readings. We need ALL genres to show her reading is not just READ>take test. READ>take test…and so on. It should be a joyful experience.

So, we make it fun. Chocolate can be involved with doesn’t hurt.

I’m so proud of how far you are coming in reading, honey. XXOO

We are all on a Learning Curve with our Faith

Tatum and I read a DEVOTION and Bible Verse daily.

The beginning of February reminded me that it’s a true learning curve that I find myself going on with her. Nobody is immune to growth. We all need it and we all need to be humbled by our puffed up knowledge at times.

Anyway, we spend time discussing the Bible verse and what it means for our lives. The devotion is an extra dose of fodder for discussion and application for our lives.

Just the other day, I thought it was especially good.

This verse in James can be completely misunderstood, but put in the context of beauty coming from ashes, makes it truly welcoming. Not that we welcome pain and suffering: NO! However, as Tatum grows, she will experience challenges. WE ALL DO. It’s how you handle it that separates you from the world. HOW can you embrace your hardships and turn them into good? God will, and knowing that with your whole heart will allow you to trust that this too shall pass, and it will grow my relationship with HIM. It will also sanctify me into becoming more like Christ. Now that I’ll welcome. I continue to teach this to Tatum, and seeing it in the devotion gave Tatum more realization of how she need not fear.

I love praying with her in the morning. Today, she read to me and wanted to do the praying. OK! I’ll take it my sweet girl. I love being on the Learning Curve with you.

You are a delight to my soul.