Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hodgepodge Dinner Night and a Soapbox.

Yesterday I picked up the kids and we got home at about 1:30. It was a beautiful day and I was looking forward to doing some organizing. (Why? We have a realtor coming next week to check out our house as we THINK we are ready to put it on the market....maybe.) I was getting Cohen ready for his nap and it hit...A MIGRAINE!! ICK. It starts with impaired vision...let me rephrase that, I GO BLIND! Then I lose feeling in my face and arms. Next comes blinding pain that lasts a few hours. During this entire attack, I find it very difficult to make complete sentences which is pretty scary to me. I was told last week that it isn't all that common for that to happen, but wasn't entirely impossible...I think I am going to get a second opinion on that one! Then the whipped cream and cherry on top...the hangover. Yes, for about 24 hours after, I have a migraine hangover. A dull headache that just lingers. Of course I went to Walgreens last night to pick up the new prescription for these headaches only to find that it had not been called in. Oh well, the damage was done. I didn't really want to cook and we had ordered pizza the night before so I decided to let everyone pick stuff out of the fridge for dinner. Here's what we picked.

The kids picked salad with ranch, leftover pasta, mandarin orange salad, fresh pineapple and strawberries and deviled eggs. (made from our Easter eggs!)
Easter eggs...pre deviled. huh, that sounds weird.
I had a salad with strawberries, pineapple, pine nuts and strawberry vinaigrette dressing.
Big Daddy had leftover pizza.
I have thought a lot lately about how truly blessed we are. Not only do we have enough for a meal one night, but we have enough left over to feed us the next night too! I am able to go to the store once a week and buy a BOUNTY of fresh fruit and veggies. There are people that may never have that experience. It's humbling to say the least. I dig through piles of leftovers for lunch while there are people who wait all day for scraps. My children do not know what it is like to go hungry and I PRAISE GOD that I have never had to tell them that I can't fill their little bellies. When Claire starts kindergarten in the fall, she will be wearing new clean clothes. She will have eaten something for breakfast when she is dropped off (lunch or lunch money in tow) and she will have a snack waiting after school. She will then have a nutritious dinner and then have her bath. To me, this is how it is supposed to's the way I was raised. However, SO many kids RIGHT HERE in my own town will show up to school in dirty clothes or clothes that don't fit. They may not have a coat or have been bathed in days. School is often the only place these children eat lunch. Can you imagine trying to blend in...let alone concentrate and LEARN? I am a firm believer in helping our neighbors. I have never been on a mission to another country...and as long as I have children who depend on me, I never will. Not when there are so many children here who need my help. I have found a few ways that I can help. The first is Care to Learn which I just recently learned about. The commercial caught my eye because one of the teens that speaks on it is Cohen's FAVORITE Lady Chief, Miss Maddi. Another familiar face is Doug Pitt, Brad's brother. I listened and then went to their website.
Their mission statement: Care To Learn provides immediate funding and action to meet any emergent health - hunger - hygiene issue a child might have; addressing a physical need, restoring respect, and getting that child back in the classroom.
Uh HECK YEAH!!! Where do I sign??
Another one of my favorites that I have done in the past and plan to do again this year is the United Way Backpack Program. For less than $25.00 a month, I can send a backpack home with a child every weekend filled with non-perishable and easy to open foods. It's really the least I can do. Just thought I'd throw those sites out for you in case you feel led! For some people it's AIDS in Africa and others it's the rain forests. For me, it's children in my own community who are hungry. It hurts my heart.

WHew! That was heavy!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009

This year Nanny and Papa hosted an Easter egg hunt at their house followed by a delicious dinner that I am going to be working off for a few days at least. We showed up at 3 pm, Easter baskets in tow, ready to hunt some eggs! Papa had already hidden them and we were ready to go...but not before we got a picture of our gang!
We ate dinner (thanks to uncle for sharing his Honeybaked ham and sides that he WON!) and headed outside for some 4-wheelin' fun! It was a beautiful day and we loved just being together! On Sunday after the kids checked out their loot from the big bunny, we headed to church for an AMAZING service. Cohen was so excited to see his favorite nursery worker there. He and his wife have been with Cohen's group since he was a baby. We have tried recently to attend a different service and Coco was NOT having it! After the service, we RAN back to our car in the pouring rain and headed to Aunt Liz's house for lunch and another egg hunt. We had a great time there and really enjoyed watching the kids play. My favorite part was finally getting my hands on this little guy!

Baby Brett is just a month old and I couldn't get enough of him!!! After we stuffed ourselves silly, we headed home. The kids conked out in the car so we took a nice leisurely Sunday drive and then got ice cream when the kids woke up! It was a busy weekend.
As I fell into bed last night, I couldn't help but be completely overwhelmed. What did I do to deserve this? I am no where near as good as I think I should be in order to deserve ALL of this. That's the beauty of it friends...I'm not. I never will be. I am a sinner. Without Jesus Christ, my life would be a mess. I am forgiven because of HIM! Wow.

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How Great is Our God!

Here is a letter from the lead pastors of our church. It is a blessing to watch God work in our community.

Dear James River Family,The last two weeks at James River have been absolutely amazing! We want to share just a few of the things that we have seen God do:

At the JamesRiverWomen’s Rally, another 174 children from Haiti were sponsored bringing the total children sponsored in Haiti to over 700 children.

Through Cherish Kids, over 100 families have indicated interest in becoming involved in foster care or adoption.

The Good Friday service was a powerful time to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

Over 2,000 children ages 0-2nd grade attended the Easter Express. Many families who had never been to JRA toured the building and were able to pre-register their children for Easter Sunday.

On Easter Sunday, we had 4 services with a record attendance of 15,211. The services were so powerful…106 people came forward to receive Christ in the auditorium, and in the JamesRiverKids Elementary services, 154 kids (grades 2-5) made decisions to receive Christ.

Between 75-100 bags of groceries and family essentials were given out on Sunday to help families.It almost takes your breath away when you read that list! We are so in awe of what God is doing!

With the Psalmist we find ourselves saying, “How awesome are your deeds! Come see what God has done; he is awesome in his deeds!” (Psalm 66:3,5). God is using each of you in an incredible way; your love for the Lord, your love for people and your willingness to serve exalts the Lord and makes His name great!

We want to thank you for all you did to roll out the Red Carpet for our guests, help free up seats by attending a different service, bringing groceries for the One Heart ministry, helping make the 4th service a reality by serving, and for all your prayers—God answered them in a big way!This Sunday, we’ll be sharing plans for the launch of a new James River Campus in southwest Springfield. It is going to be an exciting day for the church that you won’t want to miss!With all that we have seen God do, it is amazing to consider that “the best is yet to come!” for the church and for your life.We love you!

John and Debbie
Lead Pastors