Titus 2 Tea and Testimony

This morning, some ladies in my church held a tea for the women in the church and their daughters. The theme was Titus 2:3-5 "Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." 

As part of the Titus theme, a few women gave their testimonies on what Titus 2 means to them personally, and I had the great opportunity of giving my testimony with my mom and grandma.
It was difficult to find an angle to go after; I kept thinking: what does Titus 2 mean to me? It was hard because I was going to be speaking to many women who are older than I am and who I respect.

So I was a little bit nervous about doing this: I prayed that I would be able to do as well as my mom and grandma were sure to do.

We all did fine. My grandma was amazing, my mom was amazing, and I actually did okay and was told by several people afterwards that I did a great job. Even though it was very cool to be able to do that with Mom and Mimi, I am glad it's over!
But it was very cool and exciting to be included in the testimonies, to be able to really share what was on my heart with the women and girls in my church.

Here is my testimony below. I didn't follow this exactly, just used it as a guideline. Please don't be too critical! :)

 One of the things I think that God wants us to do, like this passage says, is to teach those younger than we. And I think that by nature, we do that.  We do learn from godly woman around us who have lived longer than we have, who have walked through more things spiritually. We have conversations with them. We tell them about we might be going through, about what we are thinking, we ask for advice because we know that these women are wiser than we are. God designed us to look to those whom we respect and who have more knowledge than we do and to learn from them. God also uses these people in our lives to help shape our character.

For example, I have two younger sisters who look up to and what to be just like me. So when I handle a situation in a wrong way, they see that and learn from that. Same goes when I handle a situation in the right way. I constantly have little eyes watching me, seeing what I do, how I do it, and how I handle certain things. So even I, who am more in the learning stage of my life than the teaching stage, have a responsibility to show, mostly in my actions, that God is the center of my life to my sisters, cousins, or anyone who is watching, because they will pick up on how I do these things; with a sarcastic, angry, and selfish heart, or with a heart that truly wants to honor God.

God has blessed me greatly with several women that I love and respect that I have been able to learn from throughout my life. My mother, grandmother, and aunts, to name a few. It is interesting to talk to these women about many different things and ask them questions about their walk with Christ.
As a specific example, often, my mom and I will have a conversation about God or just about anything while we’re cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry. It means a lot to me that my mom is willing to stay home, even when the budget is tight and she has to wait or say no to certain extra fun things, so that she can be at home with me and my siblings because that is what she believes is right.  I have learned from my mom, mostly by watching her live this out day-by-day, how to be content. And that sometimes you will have to sacrifice for something that is worth having. And I know that in eternity, it will mean a lot more to God that my mom invested in the years of my childhood and taught me these things, than if we had had a little more money to make our lives a little bit easier.

This is just my attempt to put what Titus 2 means to me into some kind of words. I know I still have much to learn, and that I will continue to learn until the day I leave this earth. And I am looking forward to someday being able to teach those around me, and share with them some of my personal experiences. And I want to never stop learning myself.


Pictures of Megan's birthday fun

Yesterday evening, we had a little family birthday party for Megan. My great aunt was able to be there (who is visiting from Albuquerque) as well as my second cousin, and my grandparents. It was a fun time of visiting and just celebrating Megan's life and the blessing that she is to all of us.

opening presents...

She looks so grown up to me in this one! *sniff, sniff*
pretty dress from Mimi and Grandpa
Every four year old girl needs a pair of plastic high heels! :)
Introducing Megan's new baby doll, Ginger Hope. Isn't she cute?!

Megan LOVES Ginger.

Even I love Ginger! She is so cute!
The awesome birthday cake!

Megan and Mommy.


Megan is Four!

Megan, on her first birthday...I miss those chubby little cheeks
Megan is four years old today!
I really can't believe that it has been four years since Liam, Dresden, and I were all at the hospital, anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new sibling, four years since we first held and met sweet little Megan....the years have just flown!

 Megan has always been very happy (at least most of the time!) and loves to smile! I love her smile because it brings her sweet little dimples out! :)

Megan loves to sing, play house with Dresden or anyone else that is willing to play with her, play with Legos, put on little shows, and keep up with her big siblings; she has never realized that she is just a little bit younger than we are and that she really can't do everything we can. No, she just keeps trying, which brings out another personality trait of Megan: she is stubborn. She's got an iron will. I'm not kidding. She also eats. All.the.time. I'm not kidding about that, either. I mean, she's as bad as my brother! And he's ten! She will literally eat popcorn, an apple, a sandwich, and a bowl of Animal Crackers and still say that she's "hungee!"

She also loves to be a mommy to her baby dolls. And she is a very good mommy. She carries them around, puts them in their little beds, feeds them, bathes them, and even croons to them as she takes care of them. She always wants another baby whenever we go to the store, even though she already has like five-thousand of them....yes, Megan will be a very good mommy when she grows up. :)


Megan is very independent and fearless, and has a smile that can light up a room. She is also probably the most photogenic of all of us. (I'm jealous! :) ) She is a sweet little girl and I have so enjoyed being her big sister these four years, and pray that I will be able to celebrate many more birthdays with her! I am looking forward to watching her grow and change as the years pass, and I just can't imagine my life without Megan, making it exciting!
I will be so sad when she stops being cute, if you know what I mean. Stops saying tomorrlow for tomorrow, stops saying peas for please, stops saying hungee for hungry, stops just randomly giving me hugs, stops being so adorable when she talks with her hands and rolls her eyes (yes, that is pretty cute, even though it probably shouldn't be), stops playing with baby dolls, stops bringing me little drawings of people with no necks and huge eyes, stops...*sighs* I just need to enjoy these days with her when she does still do all of that, and enjoy each new stage of her life as it comes. It still feels like just a few days ago that she was so tiny and just ate and slept, slept and ate, and we didn't even know who Megan was going to be. Well now we know at least a little of who she is going to be, and we love her so much!

Thank you, God for Megan and the blessing that she is to all of us! Thank you for putting her in our family. And thank you for her four little years of life. 

Happy Birthday, Megan Hope! We love you!


Another picture post! Surprise! :)

We have been keeping busy around here. Playing outside until it's too dark to see, filling the watering can and splashing cold water over each other, finishing memorizing a few challenging things from the CC material, attending book clubs, going on field trips, using our receipt from receipt day at Chick-Fil-A to get a free meal, eating lots of birthday cake (one of the reasons we love birthdays!), playing Skip-Bo with my grandparents at their new apartment, the list goes on. :)

Lovin' the swing.

How has your week been so far?


Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my lovely mother's birthday.
I have always loved birthdays. Mainly because they are a great time to really show the birthday boy or girl how much you love and appreciate them. And I appreciate my mom very much.

My mom has been and still continues to be a great example of a godly woman to me. We have had many talks about many different things over the years. I so enjoy these talks and hope that we have many more in the years to come.
 She is always there for me. She is supportive of my acting. She is a very devoted wife and mother. She is happy to be at home with me and my siblings and has homeschooled us diligently. She makes do with what she has, and doesn't complain about the things that she doesn't have. She is a godly woman and a great mom!

An excellent wife who can find? 
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
and prepares food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it; 
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong. 
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hands to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women have done excellently, 
but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, 
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 
Give her of the fruit of her hands, a
and let her works praise her in the gates. 

~Proverbs 31:10-31 (ESV)

Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!


Friday Ponderings: Strength in times of hardship.

 We all know the verse, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13)

Several weeks ago, my pastor was talking about this verse in his sermon. He made the point that almost everyone has seen a movie, TV show, or perhaps even in their own life, where somebody has used this verse to make the point that God will give them the strength to do anything.

For example, I was cleaning up the kitchen one afternoon while watching some TV. The channel was on a Christian station, and the woman in the show was exercising while talking to her friend. And I remember hearing the woman say, "Even though this is hard work, I know that God will give me the strength I need to continue. Like Philippians 4:13 says, 'I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."' Hearing those words made me think about what my pastor had said: sometimes people use that verse in a wrong way. 

Meaning, that yes, God can and does give us the strength to run that extra mile, to not cheat on our new diet, to say no to those Krispy Kreme doughnuts sitting in the kitchen, etc, etc, but that verse in Philippians doesn't just mean those things.

Another example: I recently have had some very challenging things to memorize. I was feeling very stressed, and whenever I looked at or thought about just how much I had to do in the next week, I thought, I can't do this! I just can't! It's too much!

I prayed a lot that week, asking God to please, please help me to persevere, to not be stressed, to give me strength. And I will admit that Philippians 4:13 came to my mind often when I prayed. In fact, that is the verse that sort of encouraged me to keep going, to never give up, to push myself as hard as I possibly could; I knew that God would give me the strength to do what seemed nearly impossible to me.

And you know what? He did! He kept giving me the strength I needed to succeed. So God does help us in those ways, but the point my pastor was trying to make was that God will strengthen you in times of trials.

I have some friends that are my age whose mothers died fairly recently, one from cancer, one from a car accident. I can only imagine what those girls are feeling right now. But I know that if I were to interview them and ask them what has made them get out of bed every morning, what has kept them from completely dying themselves from the great pain they have experienced in losing their mothers, they would say that the strength that only God can give has kept them from completely falling apart, and that day by day, God is giving them the strength they need to make it from one day to the next.

I thought that that point was an interesting one, as I had never thought of it exactly in that way before. But it is so true; God can and will give you the strength to face trials, strength to stand up for what you believe in, even when it is very hard to do so. The point is that God can give you strength in many different forms (do you know what I mean?).

This post is just my attempt to put what I am thinking about today into words...I hope I have made at least a little bit of sense!


Happy Pi Day!

 You know you're a homeschooling family when....you celebrate "Pi Day".

 And, because we are so nerdy, we even made cookies and pizza to celebrate this sacred day! :)

My mom decorated the one that says "Pi Day", and I decorated the one that says "3.14". I think that this is obvious proof that I am not very talented in the art of cookie decorating. :(
I desperately wish I could say that I have pictures of our Pi-neapple pizza as well, but sadly, I took the pictures when the memory card was not in the camera. *slaps head*
To put it lightly, I was not happy when I realized that the pictures were just gone from the camera! Rats!

Anyway, we made a pizza with rings of pineapple on it to represent "Pi".

 To sort of make up for the fact that I have zero pictures of the pizza, here are some pictures of our Pi Day festivities from last year...

Our Pi cookies.

The pizza...

-On another note, how about this bizarre weather we've been having? I mean, you never know what to expect in Kansas! One day it's snowing, and the next, it is 75 degrees!

Speaking of which, I was very surprised when I heard the words "can we please turn on the air conditioner?" coming from my mouth last night!

I do enjoy the treat of running around barefoot, in March, though.

 That just gave me a thought! If it is this hot in March, what is it going to be like in June? And July? And August? Alley, calm down.

 Let's think about something else...ahh, I know! Pictures of "The Three". :)

Dresden, working in her "office".


 Keep cool and have a happy week filled with smiles, giggles, and pleasant surprises!


Our weekend, in pictures.

Hi again! :)

This post is, as the title may imply, our weekend in pictures. Another good name for this post would be, "Pictures Galore!"

-On Saturday, my grandparents moved to an apartment complex that is literally about two minutes from our house! I have been waiting so long for my grandparents to live very close to me, and now it has finally happened! 

There is a good sized court yard right outside the apartment door, and because Saturday was a gorgeous day, we headed outside to get all of our pent up energy out by running around and playing. And I was able to get several good pictures of my active siblings, which was a plus!


silly Dresden!

I love this coach light; it looks so...elegant!

I love how Dresden looks so serious and angry in this one...and she wasn't even posing! On a side note, it has been about four months since I was last able to wear flip-flops! Oh how I have missed you, dear flip-flops!

"I will attack you with my sharp, pointy sticks!"

I love his pensive face in this one.

I love these kids. :)

-After hanging out at the apartment for a little while, we headed to McDonald's for cheeseburgers and ice cream!

I (finally!) figured out how to use my my mom's camera! No more iPod pictures! Yay! :)

He did not want me to take his picture, so he determined to make it a bad picture...I like it, though. :)

I took this picture and thought that it looked cool....

Playing with Legos.

Oh no! The evil ninjas have snatched the unsuspecting Lego girls from their tree house! This is what happens when you play Legos with your big brother....

Are you comfortable, Phoebe?

Because of the red eye situation in this picture, I look like a blood-thirsty maniac about to eat her brother!

Again with the Red Eye of Doom! Does anybody know how to fix red eyes in pictures? I have tried fixing it on the camera, but the thing is... I don't exactly know how to, since I have just started using this camera... it's a Nikon. Grrr! So frustrating!

This is a picture of a picture of me and Liam about ten and a half years ago. I was three, and Liam was just a few weeks old at the time. We were so little back then....

My lovely friend, Rachel.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Aren't you...ummm...about ten years too young?!

 A little flower, just beginning to bloom. :)

I hope you all are enjoying this wonderful Spring weather we've been having! I sure know that I am!

I hope to be back soon, sharing more stories and pictures of my crazy life, so stay tuned... :)