Session 2 of the Chazown Experience: Learning from Past Experiences

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

For our activities this week, you will need numerous small sticky notes in 4 different colors (preferably yellow, pink, blue, and purple). Even if you don't have sticky notes yet, begin by watching the videos below.

Get out your Chazown Participant Guide ( and follow along as you watch the video below.

After checking out Pastor Craig's video, check out this video for a little encouragement.

Homework to do before session 3 next week:
1. Complete your personal timeline
2. Share your timeline with someone.
3. Read pages 26-51 (aka chapters 6-14) in your Chazown book. Need a copy? Click here
4. Complete your Spiritual Gifts test @

Give them the Best Days....

Monday, May 30, 2011

When I first started my journey as a work-from-home-mom, I had no idea how hard it would be. It was something I dreamed about for a long time. I wanted to be there for everything...for every smile, every tear, every bruised knee, and every day full of fairy princess tea parties.

And I have loved every minute of it. But there have been challenges balancing work, my babies, house work, and my marriage. One thing I have found to be true over and over again is that you can never give your kids too much quality time, and by quality time, I mean time with just phone, no work...just you.

This song, The Best Day, has been a constant reminder for me of the kind of days I want to have with my kids. I want them to remember painting and hay rides and movie days with popcorn and candy.

I have a post it note on my desk that says "Give them the best days." It's a reminder that helps me to stay focused, so that my time working is efficient and effective so that we can have the best days together.

Take a moment to listen to this song. My it be an inspiration to you and the days that you want to have with your babies.

May all your days be the best days.

Let the Summer Roll in!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

It doesn't matter how hard I try, summer always gets the best of me in the best kind of way. I think summer is God's way of giving us a great excuse to lie in a hammock and read a book or lie on a pool mat and nap.

 The official arrive of summer makes me want to throw my planner out the window (and you, of all people, know how much I love my planner)! Even though I just said that, I have my planner sitting next to me, and I'm making notes in it as we speak. So I guess summer doesn't really make me want to go planner less.

This summer comes with quite a few changes for our family, and although I would like it to, I don't believe it's going to be as hammock filled as I'd like it to be. We've got just a few things planned.  My sister moved in tonight (just for a couple weeks) which means more clothes for me! I love it!

We are leaving in the middle of the week to head to Tennessee for a wedding. Luke is the ring bearer and Brian is a groomsman. We've rented a 3 bedroom house on the lake to stay in. I'm hoping the kids and I get a couple lazy days playing in the yard and enjoying each other.

The next weekend, we're helping with the national NKH conference that is being held in Oklahoma City. I am so excited about serving at this event! Here is my favorite NKH baby, Ms. Ellie Kate McLaughlin. To read more about NKH, go to

Then that same weekend, we'll head to Orlando and Disney World on a FREE trip (yes, you read that right), a free trip that I earned through Scentsy! I don't think I would take my kids if I had to pay for the trip since they're only 2 and 4, but of course I'm taking them for FREE! I am crazy excited! And so is Addison.

To top all of that off, we're going to plan all our lake trips this week. We bought a boat last year, and I will say it has been on of the best investments we've ever made for our family. When we're on the lake, we're on the lake. And there is no work and no TV and nothing except us. The kids love it; we love it; and I can't wait to get on the water!

Addy and her daddy driving the boat...she does have a life jacket...I swear....she always wears it too. I have no idea what happened here. 

Luke and uncle Tommy going for a ride. (He also has a life jacket. That he always wore! I have no idea why they are life jacket less in these pics. It makes me nervous just looking at them.) 
He's a great uncle!

Oh course Luke had to drive too. (And I'm still baffled by the no life jacket issue. Who knows?! I also don't know why he's naked.)

LOL! You know what's great about this picture?! We put our golden retriever (who can swim!) in a life jacket, but not our child. Still baffled. Going to look for pics of him in a life jacket right now.
Nope. Still no life jacket. 
So those are our plans for the next 3 months. I really do love the summer. It makes the "planner" in me cringe, but it os so good for my soul. It makes me set things aside and go with the flow every once in a while. 

Bring on the sun. Bring on the fun. Let the summer roll in! 

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! 

The desires of your heart...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Do you ever feel like you're just waiting for God to give you the desires of your heart? You've delighted yourself in him for years, maybe even decades, and still no fulfillment of that promise?

Take delight in the Lord,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 

I don't know about you, but I often times find myself dreaming of all the things I'd love to do and have. In my 27 years on this Earth, I've been beyond blessed to have and do more than a lot of people. Our business has taken us places that people only dream about and given us the freedom to do many things. 

And there are so many times that I felt guilty for the way we live and the things we have. We give generously and serve as best we can, but I often don't understand why we've been blessed financially the way we have when others haven't. The scriptures that refer to wealth that bring me comfort are:

The blessing of the lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.

Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.

And as a great reminder as to what we should do with wealth:
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?

Unfortunately with all that being said, sometimes I get caught up wanting more. Part of that problem comes from the world, I know. There are studies that have shown that as Americans, we are bombarded with more 3,000 marketing images a day! And all of them are driven at making us spend more money to buy things we may or may not need. 

Now let me make a note here: I think it is perfectly fine to dream and set goals. I believe that is what creates hard work, but I also think we should check ourselves and make sure that the things we want are things we can afford (or will one day be able to afford once we reach our goals), and that they will create long term happiness, not just the momentary satisfaction you get from online shopping. 

It's so easy to never be content, to always want more. Maybe that's part of what drives us. And if you look at so many of the things we have and the things we do, you could easily argue that most of them are things that we don't need. So where do you draw the line?

Here is what I'm dreaming about in the inner most part of my soul lately:

A backyard oasis...we want to add on more covered patio and eventually do a pool.

Luke (my 2 year old) actually said "I want that" as I was looking at this picture online. 

A bigger kitchen (and expanded upstairs). We have talked about expanding our kitchen and our upstairs by adding on. Maybe something like this...

and I'm not done heart is aching for a reason to paint a room like this....

Oh and to top off my list of "desires of my heart," let's add Italy to the list. Yes, I am itching to go to Italy and learn about my heritage. 

And lastly, I have a heart filled with the desire (and passion) to start a women's ministry....I might have already done it without meaning to, but I know it's what God has called me to do, and I'm crazy excited about it. But sometimes I want it all to just happen today. I also wonder if maybe I have to get over my never ending "next thing." It just seems like there is always something next or something that I want next.

The one thing I do know is that I have to keep seeking God. I know that none of the things of the world that I think I want will ever bring me peace or happiness. Those things only come from Christ. My plan now is to follow Him, and to do what He asks me to do. Oh, and I plan to take delight in Him. In other words I plan to admire Him, adore Him, cherish Him, exclaim Him, feast on Him, rejoice in Him, love Him, savor Him, triumph in Him. May you delight in Him as well. 

Take delight in the Lord,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 

An after thought: I have numerous "desires" in my lifetime. And there are too many to name that I am so glad were never given to me. We have to know and trust that God always knows what's best for us when it's best for us.

Make Up Your Mind

Friday, May 27, 2011

So there are things that I have been thinking I need to and should do for a while now, but I keep putting them off.

One of them is going to bed earlier and waking up earlier. Last night I watched an hour of a real estate show on TV, and I was really mad at myself and extremely irritated that I had gained nothing from the past hour except a bad attitude. I'm to the point where I really don't think we need cable. All we need around here is sports channels, and we'll be good. When I watch TV, I don't feel relaxed or calm, I feel wasteful. The funny thing is, I really don't watch much TV at all, but the fact that I knew I was wasting time last night just drove me crazy.

And let's not even get started on the morning. I want to be a morning person, really, I do. But I am so far from it (part of the problem is that I stay up too late). I know in my soul (it's like my soul yearns for it) that I should be getting up every morning before the house begins to move with the sounds of children, and reading scripture and running. I want to do it. Really. I just haven't yet.

In the past 3 weeks, I have completely fallen out of the habit of running (and I miss it like crazy!), but I have no motivation. That's probably because exercising regularly is not an easy thing to do, but anything easy really isn't worth doing anyway. It's the hard things that pay off.

I realized the biggest problem with all these things that I "want to do" is that I just haven't made my mind up to do them. I know that I have self-discipline, I just have to choose to embrace it and use it.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

So today, I am finally making up my mind to do the things that I want to do. That means:

  • I'm going to bed by 11:00 pm on weeknights.
  • I'm waking up no later than 7:00 am on week days.

  • I'm going to run 3 mornings a week (I cringe even writing it, but I'm making up my mind).
  • I'm going to read scripture and seek God every morning while the house is still quiet. 

So there you have it. I've made up my mind, and I wrote it for all of you to see. Now, the question is...

What do you need to make up your mind about? 

Stop saying you're going to do it or that you want to do it, and just do. Make up your mind today!

What Will I Do?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My 3 month challenge to myself is quickly coming to a close. "A Post a Day in March, April, and May" is almost complete, and I find myself wondering what I'll do come June 1st.

I have definitely created a habit by writing everyday. Some days it's been a burden. Some days I have had no idea what to write about. But more than anything, it's been a journey.

I've learned a lot about myself, and I've changed quite a bit. I believe writing has made me stronger, given me focus, and moved me to be more than I thought I was.

I've had to stand strong on a few topics and mourn over others. As I the end of the month approaches, I still don't know what I'm going to do. Will I continue to write everyday? It's not easy. Will I miss it if I don't write everyday? Do I want a break?

I still don't know. I guess we'll have to see. What do you think?

Beginning again....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Today, for the first time ever, I pondered what it would be like to not have deodorant. I know that's completely random, but I think it's something that I thought I would just always have. Until today...

Living in Oklahoma means dealing with tornados, and all the furry they can leave behind. Unfortunately many times they leave nothing behind. Literally nothing. My sister, Jacquelyn, has a friend who lost her house last night. She and her baby were safe in a shelter, but there was nothing left of the place she once called home.

Where Natasha's house once stood

Jacquelyn and her friend Katy rallied the troops and got busy this morning, doing everything they could to help Tasha and baby Wyatt begin to start over. They went up to Mercy hospital, where Tasha is a nurse and received over $3,000 in donations in a little less than 10 hours. Donations began to flood in from everywhere. Jacquelyn and Katy went to purchase items for Tasha like shampoo and conditioner, a hair dryer, razors, soap, make-up, etc. Since Jacquleyn and Katy don't have babies yet, I volunteered to pick up all the items baby Wyatt would need to function over the next couple of weeks (sippie cups, snacks, blankets, a stroller, diapers, wipes, a high chair, toys, baby soap and lotion, a car seat etc).

Today I walked into Wal-Mart overwhelmed. How do you even begin to help someone start from nothing? It seems impossible and daunting. To attempt to replace a lifetime's worth of just seems like it can't be done.

In the midst of my shopping frenzy, I found myself standing in front of the deodorant isle in tears thinking to myself, "she doesn't even have deodorant." It seems like such a small thing, but when a tornado takes everything but the foundation of your house, it means you have nothing.

I just had never thought about what it would entail to start again from nothing. To have nothing. As I write this in my home full of the comforts of modern America, I find myself thinking about how all the "things" we have really don't matter.

I know I often become wrapped up in the things we have and the place we call "home." But I know in  my heart, that it's just a building with walls filled with things. I can't take any of it with me when I go to the place that God has prepared for us, our true home in heaven.

And although yesterday was a very scary day for much of Oklahoma, I had a peace that I've never had before, and I really think it was due to my continuously growing relationship with Jesus. I stood on this promise last night and will continue to:

Never will I leave you; 

 never will I forsake you
Hebrews 13:5

May you be blessed tonight amongst your things while knowing that it's all simply castles in the sand and that no matter what leaves you in this life, He never will.

Session 1 of The Chazown Experience: Finding Your Chazown

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

So it's finally here! Week 1 of our Chazown experience! Just a quick note from the book,

"He (Jesus) did not die for us so that we could stumble around ignorant of our reason for existence."
~ Craig Groeschel

 Check out the video below to get started.

To download The Chazown Experience Participant Guide, go to You'll want to download the participant guide and print it off to use over the next 6 weeks. (Do this before you watch the video below from Craig.)

To buy Chazown online from amazon, click here.

Once you have your Participant Guide ready to go, check out the video below from's senior pastor, Craig Groeschel as he gets us started on our Chazown journey.

Homework: Read pages 3-24 and 52-59 before session 2 next week when we'll look at our Past Experiences.

Reply below: What do you expect or hope to gain from the Chazown experience?

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas! (For my preggo sister!)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Well I am very excited about tomorrow because we're starting Session 1 of our online Chazown experience! It's going to be so much fun! If you're going to join us, in preparation you can go to and download and print the Chazown Experience Participant Guide.

But today, it's all about enchiladas! Jacquelyn has been asking me for this recipe since I made it for a get together recently. It's a delicious recipe that I know you'll LOVE!

I apologize for not having any good pictures. All I have is a picture of a half eaten casserole dish of it. Enjoy!

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas:


  • 1 (16 oz) package cream cheese
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups chicken (cooked) (I use canned chicken that I toss in a skillet with salt & pepper)
  • 1 small can green chilies
  • 1 small onion (chopped...optional)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can Ro-tel
  • 1 package flour or corn tortillas
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack shredded cheese
  • 1 small can black olives (optional)
  • chicken broth 

  1. In large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, green chilies, and onion...mix well
  2. Stir in chicken and 1 cup shredded cheese
  3. Grease a casserole dish
  4. Heat chicken broth in a skillet and dip tortillas in it to soften them (keeps them from cracking in the oven)
  5. Put a large spoonful of chicken mixture on tortilla, roll, and place in dish. 
  6. Mix cream of chicken soup and Ro-tel together. 
  7. Pour above mixture over enchiladas
  8. Sprinkle cheese and olives on top and bake
350 for about 45 minutes 


Even I hate planning sometimes...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Believe it or not, even I hate planning sometimes. I know I have been driving some of you crazy with all my planning. If you're the fly by the seat of your pants, hate lists with a passion kind of person, then I definitely need to apologize for all my planning and organizing. I hope you still love me. It's a personality trait that I can't get under control. I have a need to plan, organize, and think ahead. I can't help it.

But even I get tired of being all planned out. Today I was not feeling my Sunday 7. Not feeling like I wanted to plan it all out. (Please note that after thinking all that, I spent 45 minutes updating my online google calendar to sync it with my husbands.)

My moments of being annoyed by planning are few and far between. So here I go....planning away. Please join me in being intentional about the 7 most important areas of your life. Here are the Sunday 7.

Here are mine for the week:
1. Faith: reading my bible every day...working on creating a new's going good so far!
2. Family: date night with the hubby; kidtivites with Addy & Luke
3. Relationships: after today's message at church, I need to do some reconciling. To check it out click here. It was week 3 (should be up tomorrow). And it was awesome as usual.
4. Work: communication with directors and team
5. Health & Fitness: 4 home cooked meals planned and 3 runs for the week
6. Finances: weekly balancing of both accounts (business and personal)
7. Me time:, I just want to sit in a coffee shop for like 2 hours and read this week.....I'm gonna fit that in too.

May you have a peace filled and intentional week! And look for the 1st week of our Chazown experience on Tuesday....I'm excited and I hope you are too!

Frogs, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails...That's What Little Boys Are Made of

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Today was my sister-in-law's baby shower. Since she's having my 1st nephew, we wanted to give him the best baby boy shower ever. So went went with everything that little boys are made of for our theme...frogs, snails, and puppy dog tails!

I found some great ideas online, and ended up buying the template for the paper goods on etsy. Check out the cute blog where I found the original idea for our shower by clicking here.

So here we go....get ready for the pics.

My hubby made this super cute stand for our "dirt" cupcakes made by my fabulous sister. They were delicious and ridiculously cute.

I borrowed these tin tiered stands from my sister, and they looked perfect with cupcakes on them! 

For height and even more of an outdoor "pond" type look, I took 3 glass jars of various sizes and filled them with different stems. I placed them on a bamboo platter that I use for fruit and filled that with green moss. It's still on my table I love it so much! 

We found these cute metal napkin and utensil holders at target. The inside was hot pink, so we covered it with the fabric we used for the party favors and added some twine. 

Fresh flowers and a metal bucket full of sister-in-law, Kristi, picked up some burlap to put under the punch and cute rubber ducks to float on top.  

Guests were welcomed with this fun, pond looking arrangement and clothespins to attach a card to the gifts they brought. We had everyone bring unwrapped gifts and a card instead of a book. 

And the diaper cake! It turned out really cute. I used bigger diapers (sizes 2 and 3) so she can keep it around for a little while. I wrapped 2 of the layers in left over fabric from the party favors; the 2nd layer was a boppy cover, and the top layer was a receiving blanket. Add a couple daisies, wooden puppy dogs, and Ribbert on the top, and that is one cute diaper cake. Oh, and I can't forget the initials! I wish I could take credit for those, but my husband actually worked on covering the letters last night in that cute giraffe paper to make the cake personalized for baby Jaxson Roy. 

A few gifts before we even got started. She was definitely spoiled today. Jacquelyn is well loved.

Party favors....cute and delicious. 

There is a picture with the ducks actually floating on top. They didn't really want to float. 

There's the beautiful mom to be. 

A glimpse of the frog, snails, and puppy dog cookies. They were cute and yummy! A huge hit!

 The party picking up speed. 

 Soon to be aunts, Kristi and Kathleen.

More diaper cake pictures just because it's cute and because my pictures are not great. Hopefully with various shots, you get the idea. 

 Custom art made by my sister to match Jaxson's bedding.She's very talented. 

More  gifts on the display table. 

The cookies! I should have gotten a closer shot. Maybe all this blogging with help me take better pictures. We'll see. 

 Just remember...all little boys are made of frogs, snails, and puppy dog tails.

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