"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, 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!