*** WELCOME! ***

This is a blog about my life, my family, and photos that I take. It's a place where I can quickly record what's going on in my life and post pictures of the memories we make. You are welcome to read, view, and leave comments. :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Out Back

I took a walk out back yesterday.  Here are some pictures that I took back there. 
Pretty new leaves

These are little wild strawberry blossoms.

I just think they are beautiful!

A trillium

Ahh, pretty blue sky!

Sunshine in the woods

This trillium was bound by this leaf that had somehow gotten stuck on it.  I set it free!  :)

Apple blossom buds

Does anyone know what this is????  I think an insect must have made it.

Honeybees and dandelions

A morel mushroom

I love living in the country!  It's so beautiful here!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Walk to the River

Last weekend the kids and I went to my Mom and Dad's house and walked back to the river with them.  It was a beautiful day!  Dad showed us lots of little "falls" and streams that I hadn't seen before.  Here are a few pictures from the day.  :)

Walking through the pines

Ben and Emily in a tree

A pretty purple wildflower

I thought this curvy root was pretty cool.

A mossy log, it looks a mile long. 

We saw two of these ant clusters.  They weren't on an ant hill or anything.  Dad said they huddle like that to keep warm.

This pine tree is huge and probably really old.  Dad just had to climb it! :)

Allison loves all animals so she could resist picking up this little guy.

Mom, Allison, Clara, Emily, and Ben and the puddingstone.  My Mom has always wanted to take this rock home with her.  We wonder how big the part underground is.

Puddingstones are cool because they have all kinds of little rocks in them.  Weird. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puddingstone_(rock)

Our little Emily is just so adorable!  I can never resist taking pictures of her.

We came upon this Blue Racer and Mom and Dad's friend, Brian, had to pick it up!  It is kind of pretty.

I thought this moss was cool.

This is actually back at Mom and Dad's house.  I forget what kind of flowering tree this is.  Pretty though.  :)

Trip to Kentucky March 2010

For Spring Break, Tim and I took the kids to Kentucky to visit our cousins there again.  Tim has 4 cousins who live there, Roy, Lenny, Mikey, and Billy.  We always have a good time with them and their families.  This time we got to fish for catfish which was a lot of fun.  We had a big fish fry one night.  One day we got to go to Pilot Rock.  It's the highest place in Western Kentucky.  Indians used to be there and so you can find arrowheads there sometimes.  I found one!  I was so excited about that.  We climbed to the top of the rock.  It was kind of a scary climb, but it was very much worth it for the beautiful view from the top!  Here are some photos from the trip.  We had a great time!

Here is Benny with Mimi.  She is so adorable!

Miss Emily with some wildflowers (weeds)

The Moon

We went fishing in a cow pasture!  I have never done that before, but we had a great time and the guys even caught some big catfish!

I call this one Esau because it means red and hairy  :)

Tim and Emily with a big catfish they caught together.

Allison really wanted to pet a cow. 

Tim and Benny with the catfish

Our cousin, Lenny, took us to Pilot Rock.  It was beautiful!

I found an arrowhead all by myself!  Part of it was broken off, but I was still very happy about it!

Me, on top of Pilot Rock.

Our Family on top of Pilot Rock!  It was so cool being up there!  Beautiful!

Friday, April 9, 2010

FrEaKy! fReAkY!

This is a "note" I shared on Facebook recently and I just thought I would post it to my blog as well.

I just heard the song "Jesus Freak"! I know it is a super old song, but I never heard it before. Anyway, I think that I want to be a Jesus Freak! I'm thinking about the way I worship. Thinking about WHO I worship! When I'm in Church or even at home or in the car singing worship songs, am I really worshipping God or just singing along with a nice song? If God loved us so much that he sent his Son to die for us and He is willing to forget our sins and He wants to have an intimate relationship with us, isn't that something to be excited about? We sing that He Is Worthy! But do we give Him what He is worth! Do we honor Him in the way He deserves? If we aren't going to give Him His Worth then let's not even sing to Him that He is Worthy. It's like luke warm water that He spits out and it makes Him sick. Be Hot or Cold He says. Don't say one thing and do another.

I want to be obedient to God because I love Him! I love Him for all that He has done for me and just for How much He loves me! He is infinitely bigger than I am, but He loves me deeply and cares about me even though He doesn't HAVE to! So often during the Worship service, I want to raise my hands to Him, Lift my face to Him, Close my eyes and feel myself in His presence! We ARE IN HIS PRESENCE! Sometimes I want to shout "Woo Hoo!" Or "Yay God!" or "God is Good!" But most of the time I don't do any of that. Most of the time my heart feels as if it could burst at any moment because it is so full of Joy that I am not expressing! I hide the Joy because I'm worried about what other people will think of me! I hide my JOY in CHURCH of all places!!! Hello?!?!? If there is anywhere that we should express our Joy I think that Church is a good place to start. Aren't we there to Worship Him? To Praise Him? To Adore Him? To Honor Him? To give Him all that we are, laying our life down and letting His Spirit fill us with love, joy, and songs that overflow to HIM!

Worrying about what others think is not consistent with obeying God. Worrying is Fear and I think that if we let Fear in Church, we are letting Satan in Church! Sounds pretty rough huh? Sounds harsh? But isn't it True? Satan is real! There is nothing He wants more than distracting us from the TRUTH! He wants us to be afraid. He wants us to worry! He wants us to be concerned with others watching us. GOD IS WATCHING US!!!!! The virtue of the month is HONESTY, so we ought to be honest.

The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. Proverbs 12:22 Do we want God to DETEST us in Church?!?! Let's give Him what we truthfully feel He deserves! Let's be honest with God and ask Him what He wants from us and be obedient to Him. He may not tell everyone to worship in the same way, but he does want us all to worship in some way.

I'm excited about Easter! Jesus was dead and buried for 3 days! He was dead, as dead as anyone who dies! He was dead, wrapped up, still, not breathing, silent, buried for THREE DAYS! Then, on that third day, He came back to Life!!! It wasn't like when we pass away and our souls slip out of our bodies into Heaven while our body stays in the ground decaying, His BODY and ALL That He was came back to Life!!! He walked and talked on the Earth after that. His friends saw Him, Heard Him, Felt Him! He was real and He was really alive! What could be more exciting or worthy of praise than that?

Anyways, something to think about. I'm praying and going to try so hard to be obedient to God from now on, especially in the matter of worship, because He SO Deserves it! Just sharing my heart with Ya'll so you don't freak out if you see me TRULY Worshipping God at Church! He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!!!!!

Love, Shea

Dare 2 Share Weekend Photos I Should Have Taken

I hardly took any pictures during the weekend in Chicago for the Dare 2 Share conference. So, here are the memories captured in my mind that I should have taken pictures of.

* The sunny blue sky ALL DAY Friday

* Betty and I with our hands in the toilet tank at a gas station fixing it for the girls.

* Alanna and Rebecca having a contest to see who could get the most people to wave at them.

* Darin with his orange hunting hat seemingly permanently attached to his head.

* The balding guy with a faux-hawk. (Sorry Pastor Ryan)

* A lady trying to reason a small dog into moving out the door at Subway. ( I didn't see that one, just heard about it)

* All of the confiscated water bottles at the entrance of the Arena.

* The signs at the concession stand announcing $4 bottles of water and $5 pops. (so that's why we couldn't take water bottles in with us)

* Snow covering the ground and cars ALL DAY Saturday.

* Pastor Ryan and I constantly squeegy-ing the windows on the INSIDE of the van to keep them clear. (Yes, with a squeegy)

* My prideful smile when I finally got the windows to stay dry.

* My embarassment when the windows fogged up again. (11 chatterboxes and a walkie talkie addict all putting too much breath in the air) :)

* Matt scanning an arena full of like 5000 kids searching for the ONE with the laser pointer. And He DID find him!

* Rebecca and Alanna having a dance off with some boys. (no photos, but I did get some video of that one) :)

* Thad's blue mouth from a snowcone. (Oh yeah, I did get a picture of that)

* Dan taking representations of the whole groups guilts and laying them at the cross for us.

* Pastor Ryan giving away both of his coats to freezing children. (Clara and Reanna)

* Zane and Greg in their Kung Fu Gospel video.

* Propaganda when he pulled me up on the stage and we rapped together. (Oh yeah, no picture because it didn't really happen) :)

* Starfield leading AWESOME Worship!

* The whole group hugging Zane.

* Clara and some of the other kids telling their waiter about the Gospel!

* Kevin, Thad, and I rapping in the van. (really happened)

* The kids sleeping on the 5 1/2 hour drive home Saturday/Sunday morning.

* The 100 empty Red Bull cans in the van trash can at the end of the weekend. (ok, I'm exaggerating a little bit)

And the last picture I wish I could have taken is

* The feeling we get when we are close to God, close enough to worship Him in the ways He wants us to. :) It was such a great weekend!

Dare 2 Share Chicago March 19th and 20th

On March 19th I got to go on a Youth Group trip to the Dare 2 Share conference in Chicago, Illinois. I was excited to go, but had no idea of how much the weekend would change me, or I should say, how much God would change me!

My daughters Allison and Clara went too along with their best friends Reanna and Sheyanne and and about 15 other kids from our Youth Group.

We left early Friday morning and it was about 7 hours I think to get to Chicago. It was a beautiful day Friday, all day! The sun was shining. The sky was blue and it was so warm! We got to our hotel and the kids had time to swim in the pool for a while. After that, we went to the Sears Arena for the start of the conference.

The conference was great! We got to worship with the band Starfield and they really have some awesome songs! We got to hear from Greg Stier and Zane Black who taught us more about sharing our faith with others. (Dare 2 Share) :) There was another guy there called Propaganda. I don't know what you would call him, a rapper? poet? But he did this thing that I just thought was really cool. I guess it was like a poem, but not read in the usual way. I was really impressed!

The last night there, we all went out for pizza at Uno's. There were probably about 50 of us (we went with another church from our town) so we couldn't all sit together. They just divided us up as they could and we were spread out all over the restaurant. Clara was at a table with some other kids and no adults. I was so proud when I later found out that she and her friends had shared the gospel with their waiter. They were already using what they learned to share their faith!

The conference ended around 9 or 10pm on Saturday night and then we headed home. The ride home was awesome! A couple of the boys and I decided to write a Propaganda style poem/rap for Pastor Ryan. I wrote 1 or 2 lines about Pastor Ryan, but then God started giving me some really great words for HIM. I started writing and couldn't stop! It was so exciting! I felt like God was really doing something to me and I was pouring out my worship on this little notepad. I was in charge of giving Pastor Ryan money to pay the tolls when we came to them. At one point he said we were coming up to a toll booth and I said "I can't pay the toll, I'm writing here!" :) Eventually I stopped writing for the rest of the ride back to church. The rest of the ride was just as cool though. I got to talk to Pastor Ryan about how he was saved as a little child and I got to share with him some of my life story. We sang worship songs on the way home, and I just felt such peace and happiness come over me!

We got back to our church around 2 or 3 am so we spent the night there instead of going home. The kids went to sleep right away and I couldn't wait to wake up in the morning to write some more! As soon as I got up, I went into one of the classrooms and wrote some more! I went home that day and wrote even a little more. I didn't want to do anything else except be with God.

He did something to me that weekend! Since I've been home, so much has changed for the better!

My whole life I have loved food! Our family loves food. Whenever we have an event coming up or a trip all we think about is "What are we going to eat?" I have always been an emotional eater too. I would eat if I was happy, if I was sad, if I was depressed. Well, since I have been home from Dare 2 Share, I haven't been hungry! I haven't had any cravings! I haven't been consumed with what I'm going to it or when I'm going to eat. I don't even care if I eat! This is definitely from God. Only He could fill that emptiness and that hunger. I feel like I only hunger for Him now. I crave Him and my time with Him. He fulfills my longings!

Another thing that has changed is my love for Tim, my sweet husband! I have always loved Tim greatly, but at the same time, I know I can be negative towards him and sometimes put him down even if subtly. Since I have been home from Dare 2 Share I haven't felt those negative feelings toward Tim! I feel more in love with him than ever before! I just want to be sweet to him and treat him the way God wants me to treat him.

I have been more faithful in praying and reading my Bible since I've been home. I've also been trying to share my faith more with others. I feel strongly about being obedient to God and I just want to please Him!

Anyway, I wrote this poem/rap thing and it's really cool. I'm going to be reading it in my Church on April 18th. After that, maybe I will post it on my blog to share it with everyone.