Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Hope Baptist - Cary, NC

I decided to participate in Show Us Your Life (SUYL) at Kelly's Korner this week and her topic is Show Us Your Church. I am so proud of our church and what God has done and continues to do in our lives that I couldn't not share. We attend Good Hope Baptist Church in Cary, NC and there is not a doubt in my mind that this is precisely the place God wanted us.

Two years ago (this week actually) my husband had a heart attack and was in ICU for 4 days recovering. I was 6 months pregnant with our third child and my world was spinning out of control. I remember feeling alone and scared; incapable and overwhelmed. It was when my husband was discharged that God grabbed a hold of my heart and would not let go.

I began looking around for a bible study; something for me, something personal. I knew there was a hole in my heart that needed to be filled and I thought I knew what would fill it. What I didn't know is how full it would become. I found Good Hope through their web site and joined a Tuesday evening bible study. The women in the class embraced me from the start. They didn't judge me when I told them I didn't have a church. They prayed with me. They held my hands. They encouraged me. They were wonderful! Once a week bible study turned into Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Two years later I have found an amazing group of women who love the Lord and are raising their children with the same values that I am.

Our pastor, Keith Vaughan, is a Southern Baptist pastor who preaches the bible as the inherent word of God; every word being true. He doesn't sugar coat anything to be more acceptable. His message will step on your toes when necessary but you will walk away wanting to be better. Having a desire to be more Christ like. I love his messages and look forward to Sunday mornings.

Our praise and worship team will get you on your feet praising God. I love this time! I love the music! I love the choir! I just love it!

We have a great childrens program and my boys love, love, love to go. We can drive by the church on our way somewhere else and they will ask if we can go to church. They feel comfortable and are learning so much. But more importantly they are developing their own desires to serve others and show Jesus' love.

I never knew what I was missing all those years that we didn't belong to a church but now that I have found Good Hope, I know I don't ever want to be without again. So if anyone reading this is in the Cary/Apex/Raleigh area and would like to come one Sunday, I would love to meet you in the lobby so you won't have to sit alone. It can be intimidating, but I promise it will be worth it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Recap

We have had a pretty low key weekend. The weather has turned back cold and wet and although at first I was bummed to see that Spring wasn't ready to settle in and stay awhile, I quickly tweaked my attitude to take advantage of another crock pot meal. I tend to put my crock pot away in the Spring and don't break it out again until Fall. It saddens me really because using my crock pot allows me so much freedom and relaxation with my children when I don't have to stand behind the stove in the evening to cook. So if anyone knows of springy/summery meals that can be cooked in a crock pot, spill it, cause I would love to know.

Meanwhile, tonight we had White Chicken Chili. And it was yummy! Recipe to follow. Nothing speaks cold, wet day like a chili.

Chris has gotten into watching HGTV since his deck remodel started and one of his favorite shows is Holmes on Homes. Well, tonight Chris took it a step further. He decided he needed some work clothes.
White tank tops and overalls - really? I *think* he is being funny, but I also wouldn't put it past him.

The boys had childrens choir tonight and they discussed stage fright. Ms. Melissa and Ms. Millie told the children that if they get on stage and get frightened to just stop and look to the side of the stage at the wooden cross and know that this is for Jesus. It doesn't matter if you forget your lines, it doesn't matter if you forget your song, you are hear to praise Jesus. And to hear Ethan telling me this was just precious. He amazes me every day with the depth of his understanding.

Another example of this was yesterday Chris and I were doing a lot of yard work; mulching, mowing, weeding, etc. Ethan was outside with us the entire time and not just *helping* but seriously chipping in and helping. Like, I could ask him to do something and know that he not only did it, but did it better than what I had asked or anticipated. After we were done we all came inside and I told Chris I really wanted to give him some money for all his help. I typically give the boys stars for their chores and they get so much money after accumulating so many stars. But this just felt different. So I gave him some money and he immediately turned right back around and started talking about how he could give the money elsewhere. I was dumbfounded! Here I am just pleased with all the help he had given us yesterday and wanted to reward him and he turns right around and amazes me even more with his generosity. It was definitely one of those "I am doing something right" moments. Go mom!

One other thing we have been working on is a prayer board. This has been on my heart for awhile because I want to start teaching the boys more about intentional praying rather than rehearsed prayers. So when we were at Aunt Jan's house last weekend she gave me an old mirror that was in her shed and the boys and I have been painting it. And here is our final result.
The black is chalkboard paint so we can write and erase as needed. We have added several names to it already and are putting it to good use each evening at dinner. Ethan will even ask about it at dinner or ask if he can add someone else to it. Owen even mentioned that we might need more space if we fill up this one. Maybe so.

So here we are wrapping up a lazy Sunday, looking forward to a lazy Monday and my last week of track out with Ethan. Here's to a good week ahead!

White Chicken Chili

1 lb chicken breast
2 cans great northern beans
15 ounces frozen corn
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 pack taco seasoning
1 can chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
Frank's Red Hot Sauce
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Place chicken in crock pot (I even put it in frozen) and top with beans and corn.

In a separate bowl, mix taco seasoning, condensed soup and chicken broth then pour over chicken, beans and corn.

Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours (or on high for about 4-5 hours).

Before serving, stir gently to break up chicken then stir in sour cream.

Serve topped with shredded cheese, sour cream and Frank's Red Hot Sauce.

Enjoy! It is yummy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gone Fishin'

While we were in Brevard Uncle Alvin said he would really like to take the boys fishing for the first time. So after several phone calls he found a trout farm where we could go and give it a try.
My dad took me fishing a lot as a child and I have several good memories of he and I together laughing over the little brim fish we would catch.
It is kind of a right of passage, I believe. Although, my children were guaranteed a fish since it was a trout farm. I recall sitting for very long periods of time at a lake or by the creek waiting for fish. Not to mention digging for my own worms and baiting my own hook. I would say trout farm and corn kernals is getting off easy.
What's that splashing around?
Why, that would be the fish that Owen caught.
However, he quickly decided fishing was not for him. He was acutely aware of the hook in the fishes mouth and the subsequent passing away of the fish so he and Aunt Jan decided to sit on the dock and just watch.
Ethan, on the other hand, loved learning how to cast, how to watch the bobber and then how to reel the line in.
And he got pretty good at it.
We ended up with four fish that we had cleaned and brought home to eat.
Pretty gross, ey?
Eliza kept an eye on our bucket for us. Yes, the fish were flopping around in the bucket (like a fish out of water, so to speak) and the bucket would tip around. She just kept looking at it like "what in the world???"
Even if he didn't like the fishing part, I think he still had a good time. It was a beautiful day to be outside and a learning experience if nothing else. Thanks Uncle Alvin for making memories with my sweet boys.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail......Early

We had an early spring treat at Aunt Jan's house last weekend. When we jumped out of the car the children were delighted to see that there were Easter eggs all over the yard for them. Yes, this is a bit early, but we like to start the egg hunt training as early as possible. Call it practice for the big day. The boys are master egg hunters by now. They should be, I think there training began when they were about 2 years old.
And her training is going well, too.
She has learned to open the eggs because most likely there will be chocolate inside.
She has learned to stay on her brothers heels because surely they know where all the "good eggs" are hidden.
Who says St. Patrick's Day is too early to start? Certainly, not us.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sally Clarkson Giveaway!

I told you a few weekends ago how much I loved the Mom's Heart Conference and listening to Sally Clarkson speak and ever since I have been faithfully reading her blog posts at and also checking in with her daughter, Sarah at

Today, along with her usual post, Sally is giving away a copy of one of her books and I am shameless in trying to win one. :-) She has several that are on my to read list, but the one that captures my attention most right now is Season's of a Mother's Heart.
Here is an excerpt from the book:

A mother’s life is a whirlwind of seasons, changing from one to another without much warning, and then to another the next day. If your heart is prepared, you can adjust to whatever season comes upon you, weathering the changes with faith and grace; if your heart is not prepared, you will find yourself reeling and twisting in the winds of life, grasping for something or someone to hold onto. But that is the secret to weathering the seasons of life. You need something—God’s word, and someone—Jesus Christ, to hold onto. They are what give you the grace to weather the seasons. Nothing else can…Only the revealed truth of God made alive in your heart through the Holy Spirit can.

I think most days I fall somewhere between the reeling and twisting with an occasional spritz of grace.

So go leave a comment and try to win one of Sally's books. And if you are not interested in winning a book, then start reading her blog posts along with your daily devotionals. I promise you will be blessed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Farm Days 2011

These are the kinds of events that bring out the "I'm thankful I stay home" in me.
Farm Days at NC State.
Ethan was even tracked out so we got to enjoy his company too.
They had several tractors on display that the children could climb in and take a look.
But our favorite exhibits were in the barns with the animals.
Beautiful bunnies
Sweet little chicks
My favorite, the baby goats
and Horses
Ethan tried his hand at lassoing.
The boys were all smiles the whole time we were there.
Owen even saw two of his friends from school which he was so excited about. We loved farm days and will definitely be going back again next year.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Coming Right Along

Our deck progress has been delayed due to rain, but this weekend Chris made up for lost time. By end of day Saturday, this is what we had.And by the end of Sunday it looked like this.
He told me last night we need to get serious about the deck boards now and place an order. We may have a new deck by the end of March. Yay!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


We have been really busy. A happy kind of busy. Like a lot of laughter and friendships kind of busy. The kind of busy that starts to bloom as a mother begins to settle into being at home full time. The kind of busy when all three children are home with me and we are shuffling here and there to parks and picnics and play dates. And it is wonderful.
Ethan can do arm over arm monkey bars now!

I have joined a Ministry of Motherhood class on Wednesday nights at church and it has been so good for my mama spirit. Chris is still going to his class and Eliza is thrilled to be at church on Wednesday nights with us. She thinks that's where the action is. You should see her come running out of her class into the mix of moms and dads, brothers and sisters, teachers and teens. I just know she thinks this is where it is happening and there she is right in the middle. Ethan has soccer on Wednesdays so we leave straight from soccer and go to church for the meal. And I can say hot dogs and taco salad have never tasted so good because this mom doesn't have to cook.

Last weekend Chris blessed me with the opportunity to go to a Mom Heart Conference here in RTP. The main speaker was Sally Clarkson who is the author of the Ministry of Motherhood book that I am studying. I can't even put into words how wonderful this conference was. I met some amazing mothers, made new friendships and even began to consider homeschooling. It truly made me view motherhood as a completely different job. Actually, not even a job, but a ministry. To intentionally show Christ's love in my everyday actions. So that is what I am trying to do; be more Christ-like. As with anything there are great moments and not so great moments but the beauty is it is not about my moments but about God's grace and the grace that I in turn am showing my children. So we are learning; all of us together, and it is wonderful.
It is also pretty wonderful that I have three littles piled up beside me watching the Upside Down Show. The littlest of the littles doing everything she can to hang on because she just knows this is where it is happening. Right here in mama's bed.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011