Monday, August 29, 2011

Always makes me think of "home," of Missouri! =)

You know those things that ALWAYS make you think of someone or something you love? Well, Missouri was a BIG LOVE of mine before I officially called it home (and official like-- I now have my MO drivers license! WOOT~)... and there are lots of great memories of those 5 visits to Missouri since May 26th, 2009...

Going to the zoo for Abby's 12th birthday with the Leonards, Thayers, Purdoms and Seth.
Going to the zoo with Ashley, Madison, Hallie, Abby, Omi, Candice, Bob, Dustin, and my MM.
Going to the zoo with my sweethearts and Aunt Chas and her sweethearts...
Such funnnnn times!

FINALLY I have been to this store! Lots of my friends talk about this place and it took 5 visits to MO and 3 months of living here to FINALLY go there! We'll be going back, I'm sure. And it's just fun to say the name...

Walking, running, driving... country roads, good music, even better company... exercising more than just our bodies while walking. Noticing the beauty of what God has put all around us. Talking and teaching one another and being even more focused on living the Christian life!
And new runnig shoes!! Woot, woot, woot! Thank you, Darren! :)

These foods just SAY "MISSSSSSOURI LIFE" to me! :)
Sooooooooo many good memories!!

Washin' dishes with my Stacy... such good times to talk, sing, laugh. Look out at that beautiful Missouri sky... just be happy at home.
Lots of washin' dishes fun goes on with my kiddos, even though we have a dishwasher. They are such good little helpers. Good to be working together on something with our hands and able to have sweet converstaions.
And LOTS of dishes at my house with my Heck siblings! FUN times. Just watch out if you have your laptop on the table playin' music and Facebook pulled up... someone-- JOSH-- might write something as you! =P
First trip I made to MO was almost the first time I'd ever had Dr. Pepper. Makes me think of my Abs every time. Lots of fun times swimmin' and having a Dr. Pepper at the pool. Love my girl time with my sweet sis! <3

One of the things I fell in love with on my very first trip to Missouri was the sky. The hugeness of it is amazing to me. I love how you can just look and look... for so far. Every day, every time of day, is just gorgeous here! I've lived here 3 months and the beauty of the sky had not in the slightest begun to diminish in total amazingness to me. It shows God's extreme power and love to me each day.

Fallin' for You

And this song... happy sigh. It just makes me happy. And makes me think of my HOME. My Missouri...

I love being here. I love GA. I miss my incredible friends and all the memories there... Can't wait to come see you all sometime, and know that you're always welcome to visit out here, too!
~Most of all, I can't wait to go to my REAL home-- HEAVEN!~  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ladies' Day...

My VERY FAVORITE way to spend time is with my Christian family. 

Just hanging out, 
singing, praying,
running around with giggling kiddos...
and studying together.

And I got to do ALL of those things at our amazing Ladies' Day!

Sweet and Precious Promises

Doesn't it look too precious!? 
These ladies can do make any and every place look 
warm, cute, gorgeous, and inviting...

Then add a few smiles from these little ones who are so sweet and good... 

 And this little girl who can make me smile just by walking into a room-- not to mention when she comes running for hugs, talking, talking, and talking. :) This girl and I get along well! =D hee hee 

 I was so pleased and happy with our attendance! 
To God be the Glory!
The very full row where I was sitting with my family, my kiddos, my friends. 
What a blessing Christians are in my life!!!!

 Speaking of blessings in my life: How about my MM? =) She's so cute. And there are many things about her life that I pray one day I'll get to have/ do /be... Wife. Mom. Homemaker. 
Homeschool teacher. Sewing. Decorating. Running. 
Living each day to the glory of our Father. 
Enjoying the little hugs and kisses from her blessings and grandblessings. 
Praying and letting God be in control. Being an incredible friend and encourager... 
and the list goes on....

 Fellowship time! :) LOVE being in a room full of such a happy buzz of 
conversations flying every which way!

 Friends! :) :)

Black and White day, I guess! =) LOVE each one of these ladies sooo much. I've not had most of them in my life all that long, but I cannot imagine life without them all now... they have been so welcoming, so friendly. <3

You can't leave a Ladies' Day without feeling encouraged, built-up, renewed. 
Ready to take on the world again, 
no matter what troubles it tries to throw your way.
Knowing that you have so many people to help and support you. 
Seeing the joy we can have in Christ together. 
It was all perfect. 
Looking forward to Heaven is a goal we should all work towards daily. 
Pray for one another. And live like you were dying!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

PTP Weekend... I wish it could have gone on forever!

Polishing the Pulpit is the most encouraging and uplifting event I've ever been a part of. I know that it's a lot of money and a long drive for many and it's close before Roundhouse, BUT! It is worth every penny and so much more and it benefits everyone who attends.

The lessons come from experienced and dedicated teachers and students of God's Word. They are given in love and guidance, with the hope to strengthen and push us all on to doing what is right and reaching our goal of Heaven. The lesson time flies by. When they give the "10 minute" signal, I'm not ready for them to be done!

It was super fun to be in the Modesty Fashion Show. There were 16 of us girls in it, and it was nice to get to know them all better. They were each beautiful, and while they looked "good" both times they went out, these girls never looked so lovely as when they were showing the world that you can choose to dress modestly, act in the right way, and even say your favorite Bible verses... 

PTP is not only spiritually filled with wonderfulness, but the drive up there from ATL and the views while there are just breathtaking. When you are focused on God, you see His power and might everywhere. Our God is an awesome God, He reigns!

One of the speakers, one of my friends, one of my heroes, and one of the fumiest and most adorable ladies in the whole world, my Kathy Pollard!

 My Wine Sisters from Roundhouse! :)

This pretty girl is sooo awesome. And short. Just have to say, she was on her tip toes here! hee hee Lur looks cute in everything she wears, and especially that smile! :) I love you, sis! 

Some of my wonderful roomies! :) The weekend went by too quickly with too little time with them, but oh, I did love the moments we got together! 

New friends, old friends, all going one place together-- HEAVEN! 

Flying to Atlanta and driving to East Tennessee ended up being the cheapest way to get to PTP. And what a wonderful time I had getting to ride to and from TN with my Quinns!! They are so wonderful, and I miss them heaps! It was nice to be able to catch up, laugh, sing, and just enjoy the beauty of the mountains together. I was also blessed to be able to worship at Duluth Sunday night before leaving to come home. I love walking back into those doors, seeing those faces that I love too much to ever express. I really feel like "how can I ever leave again?" as soon as I walk in... I'm back home when I'm there. We had a singing that night. It was incredible. And my Meg, my Kellen and Aislinn, my Jordan, my Jen... and so many others were there. I hugged every single person there at least once. **Happpppppiness** My baby girl turned 4 that day. That little lady has had such a special place in my life ever since she was born. I miss her every day. I'd not seen my Jordan in way too long. She really shouldn't be that tall compared to me... ha :)

While it was a crazy-short trip and I missed many fun events here at home, PTP did its job. It made me long for Heaven even more. It made me more set to go there and to share the gospel more so that others can know and want to go to Heaven as well. It made me look more into my life and want to get rid of anything that is not good and kind and loving and Christ-like. Are you ready for Heaven right now? If not, why not?

Love you all so much! <3

Just one of those days...

Have you ever had one of those days... where life just is AWESOME?!

You didn't really do anything "incredible" but everything was AMAZING?!
Like playing dress up with the cutest kiddos in the world... maybe even seeing a little boy in a dress?! :)

What about just plopping down on the floor to play with your doggie and cousins and run around the house singing and dancing? Doesn't it just make you feel happy inside?!

 And those times when you don't "just make popcorn"-- you make popcorn and put it in cute movie-lookin' bowls, add some sweets, mattresses on the floor, lots of pillows, blankets, a funny movie, and the volume up a ways... and talk about having some cuties to cuddle with. Life is just better that way...

Try swinging sometime. Back to back with a friend, or even a sibling. Swing high. Sing and laugh a lot while doing it. There is NO way that you can have a bad time, it's such fun. Especially when feeling the coolness of the day because we're getting closer to ROUNDHOUSE WEATHER (Sorry... just had to stick that in!!)!!

Enjoy the little things-- like how crazy-cute your little guy looks when he's all wet and doesn't realize you've made his hair messy... =) Smile a lot. His little adorable voice helps bring on the smiles with ease! If you don't have a little one of your own, find one to spend a heap of time with. It will make your day crazy great!

Swim. Run. Walk. Ride. Play. Just get out there and enjoy! And do it with a friend. It will be a great chance to visit, encourage, and notice all the goodness around us. When you're helping someone else, you WILL help yourself, too. So, do it! 

School with little ones is just awesome. Field trips, time with friends, learning in all things every day. They will blow you away with the things they remember and talk about. Kenna Girl "preached" a great lesson to me while we were going down to Higginsville. LISTEN to your little ones who are being taught the gospel-- they will teach you more than you'd ever expect. They understand more than you know. Take those opportunities to teach them more and more about God as well. You will never look back and say, "I was really too busy to stop and teach them that moment..." Just doesn't work that way! :)

Like my new truck? I needed something bigger so I can take all my kiddos and friends-- it's a good look, don't you think? =D And I won't have to worry about being late.. I'd turn those lights and sirens on... hee hee hee Let your kids try new things and play around, but you need to, too. It is FUN! 

Some days really aren't that great of days, 'cause you don't call the ambulance or the fire station on good days... It reminded us of the hardships that people go through every day. Be thankful for every day that you don't need to call them or that life is good for you, and also, be thankful that they are there if you do need to call them, and remember to pray for the people involved in accedients when you have to pull over to the side of the road and let the trucks pass. 

Yeah, we have a LOT of "those days"-- the ones where you're just happy inside for a million little reasons!!! The ones where you need to stop and thank God over and over for the blessings that He showers upon us. Life as a Christian is so rewarding! Don't let anything get in your way of having ONE OF THOSE DAYS filled with happiness and praise to our FATHER and KING!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy 30th Birthday, Aunt Shauna!

The family came together and wrote messages to Shauna. Then we headed to the garden...
And we let them go... up, up, up...
And they stayed together. It made me think that we, as the family still here, have to stick together and work towards Heaven. We can't let life get in the way of serving God.
Three of the sweetest girlies in the world. I am thankful for their 4 parents who give them the biggest blessings possible: LOVE, GOD, and FAMILY!
Dear Aunt Shauna,
Today was your 30th birthday. You got to have it in Heaven. That is something that we can only dream of. How wonderful to be there with our Father and the angels and the saved. I am thankful every day that you lived a life that gave glory and honor to Him and that you have now reached your reward for the glorious life you lead.
The day dawned cloudy. I missed the sunshine. But, wouldn't you know, just as it was time for us to come outside and let the balloons fly, the sunshine came through, smiling through the green leaves all around your house, making us smile, too. You would have loved seeing the 30 bright, happy balloons in your living room. McKenna really liked them. There were messages on each one for you from your family. McKenna is working towards being able to write her letters. She knows the letters of her name. Pretty soon she'll be writing anything. Your little lady is so smart, so eagar to learn. She wrote you a note. And Carter drew you a blue picture. Both kiddos are sooo into blue!
We went to On the Boarder for you. I'd never been. We ate outside and enjoyed the sunshine and coolerness of the day. It was the nicest day of summer we've had! It was wonderful to be together. All of your sisters are so beautiful. So different. Each so neat in her own way. Carter wore a hat yesterday. It was super cute on his little head. McKenna is very good about brushing her own hair now. She likes to do mine, too. She's got the gentlest fingers. She was so excited that it was your birthday and we were having a party. We made lemonade. She did it almost by herself. She loves to be in the kitchen. She talks of you often while we cook.
Some days I find myself almost waiting for you to come home... you feel so close. Other days it hits me so hard that you're not here. You won't be back. We have to come to you. I know you're doing perfectly wonderful... so I hate to say that I want you back. But, oh, as I'm with your family... I so want you to be here. I feel very blessed to now be here and know your family, but I'd rather have never known this blessing if we could have you still, and have you well. I love the way that you are loved. Thinking of you makes people smile. You gave such happiness to those around-- close by you and far away. I think often of those nights when we chatted. Do you know how dearly I hold those chats with you? The night worshiping with you, the day I came with Stacy and Abs to be with you and the kiddos... If only there'd been so many more, but how glad I am for those times!
I think the kids are doing well, but they miss you. So much. While we were in Colorado, I was carrying Carter down to the pool (he's not afraid to hop right in that water with his lifevest- he loves it!) and we were looking at the mountains surrounding us. I told him that I wished that Mommy were there. I told him how much you would have loved our trip, being with Daddy and the kids, with Lynn's family, hiking, just seeing the incredible beauty around us... He said, "I miss Mommy. She's in Heaven. We are going there, too. I love Mommy." My heart just breaks... But he's right. We love and miss you, you're in Heaven, that's where we're going to one day, then life will be perfect again. McKenna looks so much like you. She kept us laughing on the way home from Colorado... she is a joy!
... And I could go on and on telling you all about what we do through our days, the funny, crazy, amazing, loving times I have with your whole family. How I wish you were here to kiss Darren and your sweethearts again. All the plans we have for school and cooking and just living... Anything and everything. I know there's gonna be a LONG line of people waiting to visit with you once we all get to Heaven, but just sayin', I'm gonna need some time, too! Good thing we won't ever run out of time or have to leave. =)
I can see why you loved life: You had God first, your incredible family, the most amazing congregation, a beautiful home and state to live in, and you were gorgeous inside and out. I wanna be like YOU! Happy Birthday!
Love you~ working towards coming home with you!

Her bangs are just too cute! We kinda happend to match that day...

His little touch is so sweet. Look how light his hair is-- we've been in the sun a lot this summer...

Carter, McKenna, and Darren are such big parts of my world now. I love them more than I could ever say. Counting my blessings every day. Life is Good because we're living in the sunshine of being God's children!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One thought leads to another...

My kiddos and I had a great time going to the zoo with Aunt Chas and her girlies a few weeks ago. While we were there, I was sitting looking at an awesome polar bear swimming through a habitat made just right for him, even though we're in Missouri.
It got me to thinking of how God made this world with so many different climates, so many varied animals and foods, and how every plant lives in just the right place for the type land it grows on... This doesn't just "happen." There is such design and planning in every part of God's creation.
And it almost made me think of how God made our brains smart enough to build things. Anything from cars and planes, to clothes, houses, putting different types of foods together to make tasty recipes. And that we can study enough of the world that God made us so that we can "recreate" it for the animals at the zoo. Is our God not totally amazing!?
After thinking of that, it led me to think of how amazingly Our Father made us. Our bodies are so fragile, yet so tough. Been praying and thinking of how the body heals after a break lately. We are so used to our bodies working well. When they don't, it really hits us how perfectly God made us and how blessed we are when our bodies are well. Thank God for the days when you can carry those laundry baskets upstairs or down, when you can mop the floor on your knees, when you can pick up your little sweethearts. It is a BLESSING!!
The trips I've been on in the past month have been breathtaking. God made everything from the mountains, to the beaches with such skill. It is a blessing to be alive and able to notice and see and enjoy these things. I guess the short message of this blog is:
~Notice what God has so amazing created,
~Do not take it for granted,
~Thank HIM for His wonderfulness,
~And share it with the world.
~Live in the moment,
~Be thankful for everything, while remembering what is the reason for life.
~Take the time to tell those that you love, that you love them.
~Don't come home and take out your tiredness or irritation on your family. Remember that they are the biggest blessings in your life and treat them so.
~Always hug your family goodbye before leaving. One day you'll wish you had one more hug from them...
~Do everything to the glory and praise of God.
~Be ready for Heaven!!
~Hugs to you all, I love you!~

Monday, August 8, 2011

Our walk...

 I love our walks.
 Living in the country is breathtaking.
 Everywhere you look, you see God's beauty.
 Our walk is unpaved... all but 4 steps. :)
 Little details. Big prettiness.
 Wildflowers make me happy.
 Yep. That's our hill. It is an awesome feeling to reach the top. One of these days, I'm going to have run up the whole thing...
 We've always gone in the evenings so far. It is a beautiful time of day.
 The path teaches more than stronger muscles...
 It shows the power of God.
 It hold memories of the past, it reaches before you to the future.
 Always the fellowship, work, and gorgeousness makes it an awesome experience.
 Do you have people in your life who push you on to do better?
 I hope so. It's always good to get those pushes. :) I have many, many people who encourage me. I am thankful for each of you!

 On these walks, and just in daily life, Miss Debbie, Candice, and Ashley build me up. They encourage me. They show me such good, Christ-like examples of how moms, sisters, daughters, grandmas, wives, friends, ladies should act. They help me towards Heaven!
Where we will be with GOD and the beauty of this world will be nothing compared to THERE!

Are you ready to meet God? We don't know when our last day will be, but we can see that He is real when we look at the world He's made for us and how perfectly He cares for us. I am praying for each and every one of you tonight. Don't wait. Do what He says. Follow the Bible completely.

Much love!