"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. "
Zephaniah 3:17

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
We hope you had a wonderful Christmas Day celebrating the birth of our Savior!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Festivities Part 2

Here is round 2!

Ainsley "playing"

Austin in his Christmas pj's (thanks jG and Big T!)

Our Christmas Crafts! Reindeer and our Gingerbread house that we made on the 1st ice day. So fun!

Christmas Playdate with friends at our house.

Ains with daddy

Polar Express exhibit when we went to take pictures with Santa.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Festivities Part 1

I am so behind on posting the Christmas activities around our house this season that I am going to have to put them in 3 parts! Here are some pictures of the kids as we are decorating the tree way back during the week Thanksgiving.

Sweet Ainsley

In warm pj's about to watch our favorite christmas movie - The Polar Express.
Austin was very excited about the Christmas tree and all of the fun ornaments.

Miss Audrey

Here are some pics of our kiddos with their cousins Peyton and baby Sophia at Thanksgiving.

Us with Andrew's sis Alisha and her hubby Graham.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ainsley - 6 Months Old

Our precious baby girl turned 6 months old Thursday of this past week! Andrew and I always said before sweet Ainsley was born that if we can make it to Christmas this year we will be doing great. Well, we are here and every day our challenge of 3 under 3 is getting easier and we are continuously amazed at the goodness of our Father placing another beautiful little life into our responsibility to raise and rear. Ainsley is turning into a ball of energy rolling around and kicking wildly with excitement while screaming when she is "playing" with her big brother and sister. She has such a beautiful smile that we are constantly trying to get out of her and her favorite time of day is bath time where she can play some more. She is eating solids and sleeping like a champ which means that mommy and daddy are getting much more sleep these days as well! We went to the doctor yesterday and Ainsley did better than mommy when she was given all of her shots. (Even on the 3rd kiddo - I hate shots!) She weighs 13.7 lbs (10th percentile) and her length is 25 3/4 inches (75th percentile). She is long and lean and I have a feeling that is the way it is going to be most of her life.:) Here are some pictures of our sweet little bundle of JOY.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Lady in Waiting

There have been several times where I can look back and know now that they were pivotal points in my life and in my relationship with the Lord. Some of these being my salvation at age 8, Sondays Camp every summer in high school, deciding reluctantly to go to SFA for college over Baylor, getting engaged and then married to the man of my dreams, having my 1st baby, my hubby becoming a 1st time pastor and so on...

I did this Bible study in high school with a group of my besties that would change my life "forever" called Lady in Waiting. It is a study based on the book of Ruth that encourages young women to take on the character of Ruth when waiting on your future husband. Simple enough. For some reason, this is the particular time in my walk with the Lord where He really captured my heart. I had always been a girl that was a little boy-crazy and for some reason I always felt as though when I had a boy on my arm I was more complete and that couldn't have been further from the truth. I started looking to God to fill in the gaps and He started to become my contentment. I guess you could say that I started "dating" Jesus. It was like that Lord told me during this period that it was time to get serious and more passionate about Him and the future He had for my life. I had already felt a calling into the ministry a year or 2 earlier and I knew I was going to marry a minister of some type. (You might be thinking - ok a little weird, but I remember meeting with my youth pastor and asking him if I was like the weirdest girl on the planet and then him telling me that his wife felt the same calling as a young woman:)

I just had a deep desire to know the Lord and to become all He desired me to be. I wanted to recklessly abandon myself to Him and be a woman of conviction and commitment with patience like this study taught. I also remember going on a "date fast" where I would pray about going out with guys before I said yes. (Seriously, a guy asked me out my first semester of college and I told him I needed to pray about it and could I get back with him and he looked at me like I was super crazy and told me never mind! Obviously, he was not worth wasting my time dating!)It was also during this study that I started writing letters to mu future husband whenever the Lord laid him on my heart. I didn't tell anyone about this (not even my precious sister). I only wrote about 5 letters to Andrew before I met him, but I did make a list of about 30 things I wanted in a guy that I was not settling less for. (And my sweet husband meets ALL of them - it is quite funny to look back over the list:)The amazing thing about this very simple journal was that about 5 minutes before I walked down the aisle to be married to my knight, I got to complete it with a letter to Andrew and then give it to him on our wedding night. Andrew and I also went through Lady in Waiting together during our engagement b/c I wanted to share with him all that the Lord had taught me and how I had waited and prayed for him. Precious memories!

I know that many of you know my testimony, but some of you don't so I thought I would share that I did get engaged at 19 and married at 20 and my own wedding was one of the 1st I ever even went to! I didn't know at the time why I was getting married so young except for the fact that I was in love with Andrew and that he was 5 years older than me and already out of college and we didn't see the need to wait. Well, about 6 months into marriage, I started having problems and issues that didn't seem normal during those "intimate moments". It turned out that I had a softball-size cyst that had completely covered my right ovary and was heading to my left. The doc said I was about 6 months from losing both of my ovaries and that I needed surgery immediately to remove it. That would have meant no kiddos and even though I was in college to be a teacher I knew that all I wanted was to be a mom one day. So, if I wasn't married, I wouldn't have known about the cyst and I truly do believe that is one of the main reasons I married so young. Praise God that I am sitting here 3 kiddos later having the time of my life as a mom! He is so good to us!

So, the Lord has definitely given me a passion for this topic because of my own life experience. I have actually been teaching this Bible study for about 10 years (WOW!) to high school girls. The more I teach it the older I feel and I just praise God that I still feel like I can relate to them and they can relate to me. It is also WAY different teaching high school girls knowing that I have 2 future high school girls (Audrey and Ainsley) living in my house! I just wrapped up possibly my last Lady in Waiting Bible study. I think this was definitely the hardest time in my life (maybe a little too ambitious) to do this study with 3 under 3, but it was a great semester and we (my family) made it. Thanks so much to the sweet FBC Anna girls who put up with me this Fall!

I just wanted to put in an email that I received a couple of months ago as I was praying whether or not to do Lady in Waiting this semester. This is why I do ministry! It truly is because of the Lord's grace that He chooses to use me and Andrew, but this one had me in tears!

First of all your kids are adorable! I am so happy for you, and I can't believe how long ago it was that I was in youth group. I just wanted to let you know that I got married in May and I'm not sure if you remember but I did a Lady in Waiting study with you in like the eighth grade. Well, during that study you encouraged us to write how where we wanted to be spiritually before we got married and spiritual qualities that we wanted in our future husbands. Also I think I am remembering this right.. but you told us that on your wedding night you gave Andrew your purity ring SO I guess like almost ten years later here I am, married to an amazing man of God and I just wanted to thank you. You had a left a huge impression on me, and on our wedding night I gave Stuart (my husb) my purity ring and the list of spiritual qualities that I wrote down during that study. It was just so cool to me that everything I wanted spiritually the Lord completely blessed me with. I was only apart of your life for a short time, and my family didn't even go to Oak Grove, I just came with my brother Nathan on Wednesday nights. I hope all is well! Thanks again for your encouragement. Anna

I am crying again! What an incredible girl! I remember her sweet face and her story is one that I want for my daughters one day.

So sorry that this post is so long! I figured that since I hadn't posted in 2 weeks I could have a longer one! Thanks for reading!

Here are some pics of some of the precious girls who have gone through this study with me and even one of my Bible study group about 12-13 years ago!!

This was my Lady in Waiting Bible study group in high school. Sorry for the WAY bad quality - my scanner is broken so I had to take a pic of a pic with my phone! Good times! Many of these sweet girls are still very dear friends to me today ( and several of them were in my wedding!) Love you, girls!

Back L to R: Meg (Harris) Watwood, Vanessa (Monroe) Riley, Wendy Lucenay, Kylie (Lindsey) Higgins and Amy (Ginsburg) Kalenbach
Fron: Julie (I think that was her name!), me, Dawn Dixon and Lindsay (Maguire) Turner

And this is several of us now! (At Kylie's baby shower for sweet Avery last year)

These are some of our girls from Katy (minus the boys - now Seniors in college!)
More Katy girls!

These are my precious Waco Lady in Waiting girls!

I taught these girls as 7th and 8th graders and at Waco Baptist Academy and then they still wanted for me to lead them in Bible Study in high school. What an incredible bunch that I miss so much!

And these are my sweet FBC Anna girls (most of them)from this semester! What a fun group!

I am truly thankful to the Lord and amazed at how awesome He is! I am WAY behind on my posts, so there will be more coming shortly.:)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Happy Thanksgiving!

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the LORD is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5
Today is a day about family and we celebrate the incredible people the Lord has placed in our lives as parents and brother and sisters. Here is a slide show with pics of our family from the last 6 months. We love you guys!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tagged - My Top 8

My best friend for many years, Kylie, tagged me recently for a "top 8" list. I hope I can think of 8 things for each list! We will see!:)

8 TV Shows I love to watch:
1. Jon and Kate Plus 8
2. Amazing Race
3. Supernanny
4. 17 Kids and Counting
5. Dave Ramsey
6. HDTV - anything!
7. Say Yes to the Dress
8. Cowboys Football

8 Favorite Restaurants:
1. Olive Garden
2. Cheddars
3. On the Border
4. Texas Roadhouse
5. Red Lobster
6. Double Daves
6. Chick-Fil-A
7. Saltgrass
8. McAllisters

8 Things that happened today:
Okay, so today just happened to be a unique day b/c Andrew and I went to downtown Dallas to spend the night in a hotel last night. :)
1. I slept in until 9:45!! I can't remember when I did that last!!
2. Worked out with my hubby.
3. Ate a wonderful buffet at the hotel.
4. Watched the Cowboys play the 49ers and win!
5. Drove back to Anna to kiss my babies!
6. Celebrated with Austin b/c he poo pooed in the potty for the 10th time in a row and he got his new 'rocket' toy we have been aiming for! So fun!
7. Ate dinner with my family and then did our bedtime routine.
8. Ordered 20 Christmas cards for 1 cent each!

8 Things I am looking forward to:
1. Andrew being off all week!
2. Decorating for Christmas for the first time in this house.
3. Andrew's Advent series at Church.
4. Thanksgiving with Andrew's family.
5. Christmas!!
6. Being debt free
7. Losing the extra baby weight
8. The 15 dogs next door moving away this weekend! (Ask me what it has been like to have a kennel next door with 3 babies trying to take naps! It has been crazy! Not sad to see them and the noise going away!)

8 Things on my Wish list:
1. Starting Ainsley's baby step pics (She is 5 months and we were supposed to take her 1st pic at 3 months! Can you say 3rd child?!)
2. I would love a new camera :)
3. To go to Hawaii with my hubby
4. To be able to work out every day and actually like it:)
5. For my neighbors to become Christians.
6. For me to be able to keep up weekly with my friend's lives. ( I wish I had more time to talk on the phone!)
7. A girl Spa Day!
8. For my sister to live next door to me. That would be SO much fun!

8 People I tag:
1. Suzanne
2. Terra
3. Christina
4. Jan
5. Lindsay
6. Darlene
7. Sarah
8. Amber

Come on, girls! You can do it! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ainsley - 5 Months Old

Our sweet little Lady Bug! So cute!

Another month has passed and just like every other month, I am sitting here 1.) wondering where the time goes and 2.) I can't believe how big my baby girl is getting! As many of you know, when you round the corner at 5 to 6 months you are in a feeding and sleeping groove (for the most part) and your precious little one starts to come to life more and more each day. It is so fun! It has been a big month for Ainsley. She has discovered many things and the 2 most important are her big brother and sister. She is in love! She spends a lot of time on her kick and play mat these days and I think she loves it there so much because when she is down there she gets tons of attention from Austin and Audrey. They talk to her and "play" with her and she just has this huge beautiful smile on her face the whole time while she is kicking like a wild woman and "talking" back to them. She loves sitting in her bumbo with us at the table and just yesterday we started her on rice cereal for the 1st time. (She is not a fan yet, but she will get there. :) She is almost rolling over and I think once she starts moving we are going to be chasing her around everywhere like her brother. She loves bath time, her car seat, mommy and daddy's bed and her new trick is grabbing things and putting them in her mouth for discovery. She oohs and ahhs all day long and I tell you that those precious sounds never get old to me!

We are looking forward to the holidays and we are so excited because this is the first year Austin "gets" Christmas. It truly is amazing rediscovering the magic through your child's eyes! This parenting thing is so rewarding! I can hardly stand how good the Lord has been to us! Amazing!

Here is Ainsley sitting on her 1st carousel ride at Chuck E. Cheeses. She "rode" this thing like 3 times and loved it! We love our sweet baby girl!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

One Year Ago Today...

Andrew preached "in view of a call" at First Baptist Anna. We can't believe this day is already here! This has been the fastest year of our lives! Andrew has written and published his 1st book, graduated from Seminary, started shepherding his 1st church, bought a new house, become a daddy to his 3rd child, and he has been an incredible husband and teammate all along the way this past year! Whew! I will never forget the emotions and the excitement and anticipation both of us felt as Andrew preached his 1st sermon at FBC Anna. We wanted to be at this church so badly! I remember that 5 other churches were "looking" at us and every time we prayed we begged the Lord to place us in Anna. I remember the immediate love we felt from the people and some of the quick connections we made with them. The Lord has given us a heart for this community and we have definitely fallen in love with the people here. It has been one of the busiest years of our lives and we have learned a ton about shepherding a church. We have had many ups and downs, but there is absolutely no doubt that we have been called here and that we are right where we are supposed to be serving the Lord. We have grown deeper in relationship with the Lord and with each other for sure! Your prayer life also completely changes when you realize the true spiritual warfare that is out there and the many attacks the enemy puts on your husband and your family. (Seriously, we could write a book on the cRAZY things that happen from Saturday to Sunday each week! You wouldn't believe me if I told you half of them!) I pray daily that the Lord will equip us, use us, strengthen us, give us wisdom beyond ourselves, protect us and give us boldness to speak truth into the lives of people. What an amazing ride it has been! I am kind of sad that our 1st year is already over. We will never have a "1st year" of Andrew pastoring ever again! Thank you, Lord for such a privilege to serve You in this way! It is all about You and Your glory. Words cannot describe the awe, reverence and wonder You are! Thank You for Your faithfulness and Your provision while we are on this incredible journey with You.

Like David I think, 'Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?' (2 Sam. 7:18)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful Thursday (and Friday:) - The Grocery Game

I have to share something that I have been doing recently that is totally helping my family financially - The Grocery Game! I have been playing the Grocery Game for about 6 weeks now and I absolutely love it! I first heard about it from a college friend, Kellye, and I decided to try it out. The more I do it the more I love it! SO, my report from my first six weeks.... I figured out what stores and sales work best for my family and I am finding that she, (Teri the grocery game lady - my new best friend:) is great about helping you understand what you can get things for and when is the best time to shop. So, I'm "stockpiling" or creating my own grocery store when things are on sale- SUCH AS I bought 10, yes 10, boxes of cereal, 10 bags of goldfish, apple juice and diapers buy one get one free, and TONS of meat like steak and chicken at incredible prices just this last week- so instead of buying b/c I need it for a recipe or b/c we are out, I got it at a ridiculous price!! So I've been buying bulk, still getting what I need for our normal cooking and such, and STILL saving 30-60%!! Plus I really haven't felt like I'm running to several stores or anything. I'm quite impressed! Give it a go! (We did go to Waco to get our old refrigerator though which I'm loving having esp as we continue stockpiling things for our family of 5, we needed the space!!)

I'll just post the basics here and you can post further questions and I'll try to answer them. It's easier when you have someone explain as your looking at the website, but hopefully this will help for now!! (I am pretty much using the directions that Kellye used on her blog b/c she did such a great job explaining. :)

1. Go to

2. Click on "join the grocery game" and enter your zip code. You'll get a free or $1 four week trial (after that you pay $5 per store list you receive every 8 weeks)- pick as many stores as you would potentially go to (I had 5 stores during my 4 weeks so I could get a good grasp on who really has the best sales). You most likely will only go to two stores, maybe three at the most but you'll start to see where you save the maximum amount of money.

3. You have to get a Sunday paper each week where you save the following in a file: Redplum Coupon Book, Smartsaver Coupon Book, and PG & E (this one is only 1 time per month). Label them by date and tuck them away. (I don't cut the coupons until she tells me to use one - this saves me a lot of time - just put the date on the outside and pull them out as you need them.)You save these as a whole b/c sales go in 12 week cycles so you might not use a particular coupon until the fourth week b/c it is buy one get one free plus you have a coupon that saves you $2.00 so you're getting the cheapest possible deal by using the coupon during the sale instead of the coupon by itself. Also collect your local stores adds as they often have coupons in them and if you use Walgreens, they have an "Easy saver" book for rebates in the store so you have to pick that up at the beginning of the month.

4. After you sign up, go to the Member Sign In and to your home page. Go to and read the "game rules" for each store you have chosen so you can get a good handle on how the sales work at each place. Then go to print list and choose a store. At first you will want to print the header and footer so you understand all the codes for the coupons. Go through the whole list- Green are items you get free so stockpile as much as possible, blue are best possible deals so stockpile these, black are only if you need it for a recipe etc. You will find during your first four weeks that you don't have a lot of the coupons that you need b/c you haven't been collecting them so it takes a few weeks to really build up your coupon collection. Before you print your list, you can "gray out" items that you won't buy. If you don't want soda, just click on it which will gray it out and then it won't print on your final list. She does everything by the aisle so you will find printing in her order is the same as the natural progression of your specific grocery store.

5. The shopping days are Sunday- Tuesday and you will find she tells you when and where to buy for maximum savings. If you shop on Thursday, you'll end up spending a lot more and can't use your coupons at all and miss all of the great sales. I find myself menu planning on Sunday and shopping on Monday or Tuesday. Also, you have to shop every week. It's all about creating your own pantry when it's on sale so you're spending less when you actually need it. This should start you out, post questions if you have them and I'll try to answer!!!

6. Put me down as your reference so I can get a few free weeks!!:)

This "new" way to shop has been a lot of fun for me and such a blessing at the same time! I get very excited about saving money these days and I like the challenge of finding the best possible deals. I also love that Teri (coupon lady) does most of the work and research for me and I have a definite plan and purpose with each shopping trip. I took Andrew with me a couple of weeks ago and he was sold when we bought $280 worth of groceries for only $120! I call that AMAZING! Try it out and let me know how it goes. :) Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thankful Thursday - I heart FBC Anna!

Werley Family Fall 08

Last night our church put on an incredible fall festival on our church grounds and I just have to say that after walking away from the event I was so proud of our church and all the wonderful people who serve to make a night like that happen. It was amazing! And I have been to many fall festivals at churches - big and small. There were hundreds of people in attendance and it was so well organized and just plain fun! We have almost been at this church a year and the things the Lord is doing here has WAY surpassed our original expectations. We love the staff and their precious families that we serve beside and even on the hard days we feel so blessed to be at such a wonderful place. It is an incredible privilege to watch people begin a relationship with the Lord and fall in love with Him - sometimes all over again. People here have such servant's hearts and we talk to people weekly where they tell us how God is moving in their lives, their marriages, their families, and their jobs. We just want to make much of Jesus and His glory! Thank you FBC Anna for letting us be a part of your lives and for calling Andrew to come and be your pastor! here are some pics from last night:
At the end of the night Andrew stepped on stage to have some fun with our worship band. And Austin too of course. He goes everywhere daddy goes!
This is our sweet children's minister Mrs. Carla. We love her! Great job last night!
Me with my 2 ladybugs. So fun!
Sweet Audrey
Austin in his adorable lion costume. Such a cutie!

I also just wanted to take a minute to publicly tell my amazing hubby how proud I am of him! (Did you know October is pastor appreciation month?!) I wish all of our Waco, Houston and Nac friends could see him "pastor." (Anyone is welcome to come and visit! Or you can download his sermons here.) The Lord has truly gifted him in shepherding and teaching the Word. We have grown so much since we have been here and we are having a blast. Babe, thanks for being my pastor and the spiritual leader of our family. I love worshipping and serving our Savior with you!