Saturday, August 31, 2013

It Never Gets Old

About three to four times a year, our church does baptisms as a part of our Sunday morning service. We never usually let people know that they're coming, so many people do know in advance, but more often then not, it comes as a surprise to many. We do not do sign-ups, so we never know who will make that decision come Sunday morning, or how many (if any) we'll have. We've always left that up to be decided by that person and God, and without fail, God always delivers. Last weekend was no exception as we saw TWENTY-NINE people step into the waters of baptism! All I can say is WOW... there are no other words to describe an experience like that. I was happy to have my sister visiting for the weekend, and she had been looking forward to seeing this for weeks, and it did not disappoint. I looked over and she laughing, crying, and smiling all the way through... so much emotion felt for people she didn't even know... but they are all family as brothers and sisters in Christ. I was going to write up a synopsis on "Why Water Baptisms" to go along with this, but when I read back on my own experience, I realized that I couldn't really give a better explanation than I did in that post, so if you want more background as to why we do water baptisms, you can read that by clicking HERE.

But enough about that... as I said, words don't do it justice, so in case you missed it on Facebook, here is the video of another amazing day in the life of TurningPoint Church:

Friday, August 23, 2013


Hello... is anyone still there?

I recently saw a friend post a picture with the hashtag (#) "PlayAtHomeMom" and was intrigued. It was the cutest picture of her kiddos out on the back porch covered in paint, doing an art project on a large piece of butcher paper, and it looked FUN! When I explored further, all of the pictures with that hashtag were of someone's kids basically doing something fun, whether it be out at the park, something at home, a creative project like my friend's, or snuggles on the couch. When you get down to it, it's really just all about taking that "stay-at-home-mom" title to a whole new level, because believe me, it's REALLY easy to be a disengaged stay-at-home-mom. That might surprise some, as it is the ONLY job that a stay-at-home-mom has, but in today's world, it is honestly very easy and convenient to stick our kids in front of a TV show, a video game, the computer, or a phone, and go about our own business. Likewise, it's quite simple for a mama to check her phone every five minutes and spend more time interacting online with her "friends" than doing any face-to-face interaction with her kids that are in the same room, probably acting out to get her attention. I'm certainly not trying to come down on anyone or say that we're all like this, but I've had my days and moments of this, and can honestly see  how it can easily become a habit. It takes a conscious effort to be a hands-on, engaged mom to my kids everyday, and some days I get it wrong. But when it comes down to it, I certainly try.

So it's been about four months since I was let go from work and adopted the "stay-at-home-mom" title as my own, and forgive me if I haven't blogged during these months, but I took a break to really try to be the "play-at-home-mom" my kids need me to be by...

Volunteering at Jake's field day

Letting them splash in the puddles, even though I knew they'd get their clothes (& my car) dirty

Having pool parties in our backyard 
(Yes, Jake is holding Lilly's doll... he was "teaching her how to swim")

And even braved the real pool a few times... by myself... with two kids! Yikes!

Spending a little longer at the grocery store than normal so he could push his own cart

Going to the park...

A LOT...

And sometimes with friends

Making new friends... and role models

Returning to Small Town, Illinois to visit old friends
(Yes, they remembered each other and it was soooo cute!)

And meeting new ones
(Their brothers have been friends since birth, but these two had never met!) 

That trip also included the world's greatest backyard slip-n-slide, which Jake enjoyed immensely
(even though his mama had several minor heart attacks)

Taking the kids to the fair, where Lilly finally braved a few rides!

(Granted, we carried her onto them before she even realized what was happening!)

Expressing ourselves through fashion

And wearing costumes (or nothing) just because

Snuggling... I'll take it when I can get it!

And taking bubble baths... with extra bubbles... 
even when it wasn't bath time

Riding bikes in the cul-de-sac

Although some prefer pushing instead
(but with her helmet on of course... safety first!)

Visiting local places that we've always wanted to go, but never had time for...
(such as the Explorium)

Where we tried to figure out what we wanted to be when we grow up
(Don't worry, Jake... I still don't know the answer!)

And story time at Joseph-Beth Bookstore...

Where we saw the Ringling Bros. Clowns...

And clowned around ourselves 

Taking road trips...

 To the Zoo!...

Where we pointed out all of the "puppies"...

And ate junk food rather than healthy snacks

We partied 'til we just couldn't party no more

And am pretty sure we took advantage of everything summer has to offer

So in the aftermath of some of the most surprising and potentially devastating news for our family, I have to say, I've never had this much joy or had this much fun. God always knows what He is doing, and knew that I'd never take my focus off of that job long enough to focus ALL of my attention on these sweet, awesome, funny, cute kiddos that He's blessed us with. I can already see what a blessing that lay-off has been, and thankfully I'm experiencing what blessings these two are before I blink and they're all grown up. So forgive me if I blog less in this new chapter of life, but sometimes being a "Play-At-Home-Mom" takes a lot of (really worthwhile) work! There is certainly nothing else I'd rather be doing!