Bug bites? Bed Bugs? Heat rash? I don't know what they were but it was NOT fun! 3 big red bites showed up in a cluster on my back last Sunday. Tuesday 2 on my thigh popped up. Wednesday, 1 on my cheek. Saturday about 5 in a cluster showed up. I don't know where they were coming from but they itched and were really red even when I didn't scratch them! My friend Lauren suggested they might be bed bugs so we washed our sheets in hot water on Saturday night... I'm not convinced that is what they are, since we were in a hotel for a couple of those nights, but so far no more have shown up!! I know I know, you were all really concerned but watch out! If they aren't getting me anymore, who are they getting?!?!
Drew and I were very blessed to go to a youth pastor conference in Birmingham Alabama. The conference is called Refuge and it was just that, a wonderful getaway to worship and find refuge in Christ without all of the responsibilities that come with most conferences!It was a long drive but we enjoyed it by singing, talking about what God was teaching us, studying for my tests, and sleep. :)Kristian Stanfill lead in music on Monday night and Tuesday morning and it was wonderful! He is really talented! We all know Chris Tomlin is talented and we were blessed to have him on Tuesday night! :)
Louie Giglio was supposed to preach but his mom died so we had David Platt two times and Tony Mirida once. They were both definitely used by God to teach us!!We had Tuesday during the day free. We ate lunch at Johnny Rockets where I had a scrumptious Chocolate Peanut Butter (maybe the best EVER!)!! We thought about hiking, shopping, going to a movie, etc but we ended up going to the hotel and relaxing! Hours of reading for me and computer games for Drew, took place and it was MARVELOUS! :)
I am definitely thankful for an amazing time of worship, conviction, rest, and time with my amazing husband!!
This was one of the points from the getaway conference Drew and I went to. I'll tell you more details about it later but I wanted to share my thoughts about it.
It's been my experience that people tend to lean towards one characteristic of God or another. Some are completely in awe of how Holy He is. They don't feel deserving of anything they receive from Him, but instead just marvel at the magnitude of who He is. On the other hand, some people understand more about Jesus and the human relationship of Him. They want to treat Him as a friend, a comforter and Father.
Both sides of God are very real and important to comprehend, but as Drew and I were talking the other night, we realized we are very different in our thinking of who He is. I see Him as my Father. One who I can talk to and who will love me unconditional and always be there for me. Drew sees Him as extremely Holy. He is in awe of the hugeness of God. That is why Drew has a hard time just sitting down and spending time with Him. He is so focused on How BIG He is, where as I tend to belittle God too much. I bring Him down to my level and forget the reverence and awe that I should have that I get to even come into His presence!
Monday night David Platt spoke on the Holiness of God and I was soaking it up! Have you ever heard of Seraphim? They are beautiful angels that spend their time praising God. They sing:
"Holy holy holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!" Isaiah 6:3
David gave us the picture of the Seraphs singing constantly. When we are watching TV, they are praising God's holiness. When we lay our head down at night, they are praising God's holiness. When we praise God in church or in our car, we are actually joining them in praising God.
What an amazing picture and yet humbling. I know God has put us on this earth and we have to sleep, but how much of our time is wasted while we should be praising God?!? Am I taking advantage of the fact God allows me unlimited access to praise and talk and glorify Him??
Just something to think about. I know I need to remember that God isn't just a loving Father who knows my every thought, BUT ALSO a HUGE, POWERFUL, GLORIOUS God who made this universe!!!
My mom is dedicating Mondays to sharing what she is grateful for. I have decided to do it as well. I have realized over the years that the more I am aware of what my blessings the less I complain. Since Drew and I are heading to Alabama for a youth workers conference (Louie Giglio will be there, I'm pretty excited)tomorrow, I figured I would start tonight.
I am grateful for... My best friend who I get to spend my life with! My great grandmother who is 101 and is a great example of a christian A job where I get to teach and love to amazing kids Fall weather. :) Answered prayers... 2 youth workers to help Drew and I/growth in youth group having family close by learning more about the character of my Jesus
Our date night on Thursday including absolutely nothing! It was wonderful! Drew and I have been running crazy, so our desire was to be boring. :) We made dinner, talked, played games, did homework, and well, that is about it!
Friday we decided to go out because it was WAY too pretty to stay inside. We went to Famous Anthony's on Crystal Springs and then had plans to go to Bubblecake. Much to my dismay they were OUT of cupcakes! How does that happen?!?! I was very distraught. We went to see what Steven and Lauren were up to, thought hard about what people did in Roanoke on a Friday night, and decided to have our own scavenger hunt. Girls against Boys. We thought of 20 items the boys had to find and vice versa. It included a couple of embarrassing questions about where things were, lots of laughs, and EXHAUSTION once we were done putting everything back! Leaving the parking lot, Lauren made the comment that we were getting old since we were whining about our legs being tired after a scavenger hunt. It's true, that was pathetic. We then went to McDonald's to get McFlurrys. :) It was a delightful time.
Oh, the picture below describes our relationship well.. Drew being gross with a bodily function (burping) and blowing it in my face. I think I showed my feelings extremely well.
Have I mentioned that I love my job?? It's hard work taking care of kids that aren't yours, but so fun at the same time! I have to take a minute to brag about these two wonderful children! First of all, on Labor Day Teal (the kids momma) brought these pretty flowers to me. She said "Happy Nanniversary, you deserve flowers!" I have been working with the kiddos for a year now which is hard to believe! I started when Kylee was 5 weeks old and Mason was 20 months. I have LOVED getting to watch them grow and be apart of their life! What a huge blessing God has given me!
I take care of them Monday - Friday 8:30-4ish. This summer was full of parks, museums, pools, friends, etc... Mason is now going to preschool 3 days a week for a couple hours so I get Kylee alone for several hours which is very nice!
Kylee turned 1 in July. She is walking everywhere and even starting to say a few words! She is saying 'no' (of course that's one of the first words, thankfully she says it when she doesn't want to give kisses, not when she is disobedient), DaDa, ruff ruff (for dog), and if I swore, I would sware she said her version of thank you today when I handed her a cracker! She loves giving kisses, teases you, has become a snuggle bug, and definitely a strong-willed child. She is a dare devil, and I definitely see how younger kids catch on to things faster because she copies her brother a lot!!
Mason will be 3 in January and it has been crazy how much he has changed!! He is talking a lot now, and has great manners!! Mason has a tender heart and loves giving hugs! He will tell you he loves you and misses you. :) It has been neat to see the changes in his little life, going from someone who didn't like to share and loved to throw mulch at kids, to one that tries really hard to do the right thing. I just love snuggling with this boy and seeing the independent, curious, smart boy he is becoming!
This is Rhodes. My friend Lauren is also a Nanny for three kids and we try to get together often. He is the same age as Audrey and just adores Kylee! He used to scare her to death but now she enjoys laughing with him... but NOT kissing him! :)
This week's date night included us being productive. It was a gorgeous Friday afternoon so Drew and I decided to wash our cars. IT was hard work that definitely paid off in the end. Water + soap + armor all + vacuum + Windex = very happy husband and wife. :)
Afterwards, we enjoyed some homemade Stromboli.
Drew has been asking me to let him get a disc golf bag for months now. Since his love language is gifts, I decided to surprise him with a trip to Dick's to get his bag. EVEN THOUGH, when he first started playing disc golf he told me never to let him get so addicted to playing that he needed his own bag. He now denies ever saying that, but I promise, he did!!
Red Box is our friend. So are ice cream and Slurpee's. I know, I know, you are probably horrified that every date ends with ice cream and a movie, but I'm telling you, it makes us very happy! :) We rented 'Date Night' which was a really funny movie!! I'd say that was a VERY successful Friday night! Especially since Drew has ditched me several Friday nights lately! :)
Drew's pick was this week for date night. So we headed off to a Red Sox game. We get in line to buy tickets and a couple comes up and hands us two from a previous game. We just traded them in for that nights game and wala! $3 admission for both of us! :) We had already had dinner but had to indulge on our favorite snacks.
My favorite snack is of course, ice cream. I think I need it more than water in order to live. :) I know, I have a problem.
Drew on the other hand, loves the fried food. ;) So he bought french fries. Total date cost. $9. Not too shabby!
It was great weather and although it was dollar beer night so the crowd was a little rowdy, we still had a great time. Unfortunately, the Red Sox were getting crushed so we left when they weren't quite in the 7th inning after 2 hours. It's okay, we had a great relaxing time!
Have you ever seen a mom put her hands on the outside of her child's eyes to make sure the child is ONLY looking at her? It is similar to how someone cups their hands like binoculars so they can see something far off. Sometimes that is the only way a child will truly focus on what you are saying. I know I already am in the habit of saying 'Mason look at me' just so he will stop being distracted. Do you have that picture in your head??
That is how I want to be with my Jesus. I have realized that although I am in ministry I can be easily distracted. Whether it is how other people are serving, how other ministries are succeeding, how God is blessing or using or whatever. There are so many things in this world that are good but not best to think about. I want to picture Jesus' hands on my face saying, "Kari focus. Stop looking at what is going on around us and just focus on me. I will show you what you need to do... nothing more or less." My life would be peaceful. There would be no discontentment, doubt, worries, etc. God is the only One I would be focused on, therefore I would be doing His will for my life. It is an intimate picture and also a huge task to keep my eyes from looking around me. It's a new challenge I am praying will stay ingrained in my head and heart.
I know, I know, I need to be more creative. I am just so excited that we are having date nights consistently even though we are slacking on variety! Drew and I had a gift card for the Wildflour Cafe at Towers. My wonderful boss owns it and it is wonderful! You should definitely check it out if you haven't already. Then we headed to Kroger where Drew bought goldfish and Ritz Bits and I bought ice cream and cookies. :) We headed home to snuggle and watch something. Unfortunately, I don't remember what because once again I am talking about a date that happened a week ago. I do know that I have a WONDERFUL husband and I LOVE to spend time with him. Who cares what we do as long as we are happy being together! I'm pretty grateful to God for that!