Thursday, July 29, 2010

Old Navy is destroying the American family...

So this morning I decided to run to town with the kiddos in tow. Crazy, nah we do it all the time BUT I usually don't make so many stops. We went to Bath and Body and bought 7 soaps for $20.00. Then we went to Old Navy and bought 4 camisoles for $2.00 each. On to the Children's Place where we bought 2 pair of jeans for $10 each, 3 fisherman hats for $.99 each and I had $10 free there. Last stop Chik-fil-a. I bought 17 nuggets total and a regular fry for us to split, oh and a lemonade for me;) for about $10.50.
So, everything went fine at Bath and Body, the kids picked out some soaps they liked. They each got to carry their soap to the car. They were excited. Next stop Old Navy... they get us EVERYtime! I'm picking out my $2 camisoles and Piper is lusting after a shiny pink ball, with a light in it. I try to explain to her that $5 is ridiculous for this shiny ball... I mean look Piper at these cute camisole shirts for ONLY 2 bucks and they're trying to sucker you into that BALL.... don't do it girl. Put it down. Then come the screams of our sweet, precious, adorable, Jesus loving 2 year old (or as John Rosemond would call her.. little criminal;)... NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I WANT THE BALL!!!!! Finally I got her to stop crying and we get to the register where Old Navy has placed some more pink, shiny, light up balls and the drama continued. So here's how Old Navy is corrupting our homes. I wasn't ABOUT to pay $5 for that pink ball. Most parents would agree and say no like I did but a LOT of parents would've shut her up by just obliging to get that pink, shiny, light up ball. no, No, NO parents!!! Just like I told Piper, they're trying to sucker you into letting your child have what they want. It's not good. Not good for you, not good for your pocket book and most importantly NOT good for your child! Please be consistent and DO WHAT YOU SAY! If you say no, stick with it. There was NO way I was giving into that little monster scream. Just think about it, you're saying "No, but if you scream really loud and throw a crazy fit then we can get it just so you won't embarrass mommy". It's GREAT for your child to hear NO and hear it often. They need to know that the world does not revolve around them.
Okay... I'm finished... well almost.
Dear Old Navy, please know that parents are smarter than that. You are not a ball distributor. You sell clothes! Don't try to undermine parents by letting our children sucker us into buying junk that's going to get played with for 2 minutes. Oh and thanks for the $2 camisoles. They're great:)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How are you different? Radically different???

My cousin Amy and I were having a conversation today about what exactly does it mean or look like to lay down your life and follow after Him. I've been reading some books lately that cause me to ask the same thing. Honestly, I was probably asking that question before reading the books which is what led me to them. The books are The Hole in Our Gospel and Radical. They are amazing! They pretty much cause you to question your "American" lifestyle in regards to the millions who are in need. Why?? Because if we are HIS and they are HIS then why don't we care? And I don't mean "care" as in get teary eyed when we see some sad video footage but CARE as in giving all we have to change it. I see it FAR too often in "believers" who've gotten on the "keeping up with the Jonses" bandwagon. Constantly concerned about earthly possessions that are going to FADE away instead of meeting the needs of HIS children. We are all guilty! I was reading an article about the author of Crazy Love the other day. They lived in a nice home, he had a nice salary and felt led to sacrificially follow HIM. His wife was NOT on board. She went with it but reluctantly. They looked at trailer homes, and ended up downsizing to a home in a lower socioeconomic area where they could MINISTER to those in NEED. Today they have numerous people living in their home. I believe they have 3 children of their own and they open their home up to widows and people in need. His wife has had a change of heart. She said it's been the best thing for the entire family. Imagine how freeing and joyful it would be to live a life completely sacrificed to His calling.
So, my question is how are you different? It's clear in the Bible we are suppose to be a LIGHT in a dark world, we should appear as aliens to the lost world. What does that mean to us in America? Maybe it looks like downsizing. WHAT? Do you know we barely have enough room now for all of our THINGS? Hmmm.... how important are those THINGS? Cameron and I are hoping and praying we can live frugally over the next 4-5 years and become debt free. One reason we're able to come close to that is because we purchased an $80,000 home. God has blessed us with absolute contentment! That doesn't mean when we walk the neighborhood and see the $150,000 - $250,000 homes we don't admire but we know what comes with that. CHAINS!! We are hoping to be free of debt so we can give in anyway He calls us. I would LOVE to plan family "vacations" to Ethiopia, Rwanda, etc. My prayer is that my children do not grow to lust after the things of this world but are willing to sacrifice their comfort and wants for His purposes.
So how are you RADICALLY different? Is your lifestyle really a testimony to how you've laid down your life, desires and followed after Him? I'm not asking do your neighbors or coworkers know if you go to church and love the baby Jesus? But do they REALLY see a radical difference in the way you give up ALL to follow Him?
My prayer is that He will show me and you where He is leading us to radically sacrifice.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Book Reading List

Last August, I began reading to the boys bigger books. We've always read books from their room or the library but after teaching a year in the elementary schools, I had a huge desire to help them love books and stories. I'm writing this post mainly so we can remember all the books we've read this year. I hope to keep a list of all the books we read together. They love trying to remember them all.

The Narnia Series
1. The Magician's Nephew
2. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
3. The Horse and His Boy
4. Prince Caspian
5. The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader
6. The Silver Chair
7. The Last Battle

We then moved on to some heavier material;0)
The Ralph Mouse Collection
1. The Mouse and The Motorcycle
2. Runaway Ralph
3. Ralph S. Mouse

Little Pilgrim's Progress

Chronicles of Faith Books
Ben Hur (which we're finishing tomorrow night)

We'll either begin David Livingstone or Corrie Ten Boom next:). The boys love to listen to the books. It has been a wonderful, special time with them and I look forward to many more years.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tough week...

I've had the best summer with these 3.

We've played and played and played... well, until this week. Hardly any tv all summer long, well, until this week. Poor Piper Jane has a bad case of the fever virus. To be honest, I don't even remember what day it started b/c I haven't slept in days!! She feels fine except when the fever starts and then she's really whiney, must have mommy and wants to read a million books. Over. And Over. And Over again! We've been up the past three nights for hours watching PBS specials. Last night there was a special about international aid in Kenya and another about a kid with severe autism. You'd think that would put her to sleep but NOPE she was wide awake. Last night I noticed a rash on her arms but today she's got a polka-dotted rash on her little cheeks. The doc thinks it's just part of the fever virus. We are hoping this virus leaves us FAST!!

I did get a couple of cute pics of the boys this morning. SO hard to believe I'll have two little ones in school in a few weeks. Andrew is going into the 1st grade and Parker will begin Kindergarten. I'm sure I'm a little bias but aren't they just the cutest little things? I could just eat them up!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Radical Sacrifice

My heart is so heavy today. A young man named Nate Henn sacrificed all he had to follow after Him. Nate was killed in the bombing in Uganda. He chased after God's calling to care for the orphan and he did it with GUSTO! Dear God, help me live a sacrificial life. Don't let me buy into the "christianity" we've created in America. Thank you for reminding us in Luke that you require complete abandonment. Help us leave certainty for uncertainty. Safety for danger. Self-Preservation for self-denunciation. Thank you for using the words of David Platt, author of Radical, to remind me require me to give up everything to follow after you. Thank you Nate for your example!

God has shown our family another example of sacrificing for His will. A sweet lady, whom I've yet to meet, sent us a check that almost equals ALL we've raised so far in all of our fundraising for our adoption. All our can money, donation money, garage sale money, coffee money, everything! Did she send it because they're overly wealthy and it's not a big deal to them? No. Not at all. Her husband was just laid off from his job. She and her husband sent it because they were obedient to His small voice who urged them to be RADICAL in their walk. To abandon comfort, lay down worries, and totally go against the norm here in America... the norm in American churches. Ouch. But so true. We are RICH! Everyone of you reading this is RICH. You have clean water, a place to call home, and on and on and on. Dear friends, we are chosen but are we obedient?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jesus loves the Little Children...

Here's a little clip of Piper singing over breakfast this morning:) she can sometimes sing rather LOUD!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Kids Eat Free in Conway

I've been wanting to put together a list of all the places in Conway where kids eat free so last night, I did it;0). I called and checked with the following restaurants and here's the info I got. If you know of any other restaurants, let me know BUT do call and check and make sure b/c 1/2 the ones who are advertised on the internet do not have kids eat free nights;/

Larry's Pizza free buffet for kids 4 and under (you have to buy drink so take a juice box;0)
Denny's 4-9 DAILY
Stoby's Monday and Tuesday evening
Shorty Smalls Monday (she said all day)
Fish House Monday after 4
Stromboli's Monday all day
Zaxby's Tuesday 4-8
Fish House Tuesday after 4
Slim Chickens Tuesday all day (summer only)
Stromboli's Wednesday all day
Tropical Smoothie Wednesday 5-9 with purchase of Paradise Combo
Moe's Southwest Grill Thursday after 4
Dixie Cafe Saturday 11-4 (kids meals are 1.99)
Pizza Inn (Oak St) Saturday - kids eat for $.99
Lenny's Sub Shop Sunday 11-6
Market Place (Mon-Thur after 4) during the months of March, June, Sept and Dec

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lebron who?

Honestly I use to be a sports junkie! I remember in high school, even college, I really enjoyed watching sports and was really into the NBA. Okay, so I loved Michael Jordan and dreamed of watching him play someday.. never happened. What a tragedy I thought.... but then I changed. Sports totally fell off the radar. You know what else took a dive off the radar.... materialism. Just to be quite honest, I spent less than $1000 on my wedding, dress and all! I was dead set to not throw money away. Our wedding was beautiful, my dress was gorgeous. Everything was just what I had always dreamed of. So what brought about the change? The summer of 2001, I prayed a prayer that God would forever change me and never allow my heart to forget where He led me. That summer I taught in Rwanda. I went all by myself, carried only by His strength b/c it was not an easy trip. I was the only America but met a dear sister in Christ named Kim. God completely broke my heart for the things that breaks His. I can't pinpoint what moment changed me exactly. I think back... was it the women with their children? Looking at these women with these babies and knowing their hearts longed for a future for their children. You know, like we do. What school should they go to? Will they make friends? How much tv is too much? Only their concerns embarrass me for ours. What will they eat? How will they survive without an education that we can't afford? Will they have a future?

Maybe the change started because of the children I saw. Words can never describe how my heart broke over and over again for the children of this beautiful land. These were HIS children and so many had no parents, no homes, no food. They were breathtakingly beautiful, you know like our American babies. They were created in His image but there was no one there to care or provide for them.

I know one thing that for sure changed me, it was meeting this man..

His name is Emmanuel. His job to lead people through the Rwandan Genocide Memorial. To this day, I cannot think of that place without having a huge lump in my throat and tears well up in my eyes. It was a building intended to be used as a technical college. They were almost finished building it but when the genocide began hundreds of thousands took refuge here and died here. Emmanuel was one of the "lucky" ones. He survived a bullet wound in the head but lost all of his family. There were dozens and dozens of classrooms full of skulls, dozens full of children. Emmanuel wept while sharing the story of where he and his family hid and were murdered. Around 800,000 people were killed in just 100 days.
These next images changed me deep down in my soul. They poured lime over the bodies so they would stay the same way they were when they died, hands clenched. Mothers holding tightly to babies, etc. I remember feeling like I couldn't breath going through each room but they deserved for me to look at them all. They deserved to be remembered. They were HIS children.

I long to go back to Africa! I ask God constantly to break my heart for the things that break His. I desire to be in His work and love His children. So why are we adopting from Africa? Because if our lives can change the outcome for just ONE child, praise the Lord! If our lives inspire someone to change the outcome for one child, Praise the Lord!! My prayer for you my sweet friends is that your heart will be BROKEN for the things that breaks His AND that you will respond. We are RICH!!! The divide between us and the poor is astounding. It is not our fault they are poor, but it is our responsibility to meet their needs. That's why He's blessed us so much. Not to live comfortably, not to buy a nice new car, or a big huge house. Do we realize we are using what He's blessed us with not to meet our needs but to meet our WANTS when HIS children are dying b/c we refuse to meet their NEEDS. Cameron and I were talking the other night and he said, "I hope Ethiopia changes me" I have no doubt that it will.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Axe the cable..

The kids and I have had a great summer thus far:) A little over a year ago we axed cable at the Wallace house. One of the best things we've ever done!! We weren't huge tv watchers but it always seemed to just be on. I hated that. I didn't want the kids to constantly be entertained by the tv. We now have a handy dandy converter box and get about 7 channels and love it! It makes us not near as tempted to turn it on b/c honestly there's never anything on. Best part... it's FREE:). One of our favorite channels is THV2. It's all behind the scenes during the weekly news. We love it! Anytime someone goofs up, they make fun and crack up at themselves during the commercial break. I know, we have no life... but really it is quite entertaining! AND just the other night Craig O'Neal gave ME a shout out on THV2. WHAT? I was turning off the lights in the living room and Cameron said, "Jenny, are you watching THV2? Craig O'Neal was just talking about you" haha! It was a hoot!
So, what do we do? Well, here's what today looked like... wake up @ 8:30 (I know, what a blessing that they sleep in:). Grab a quick breakfast and then head out front to find some bugs. There's always PLENTY of bugs to study in the front yard and we do it everyday! No kidding!! Sometimes we spend a couple of hours out there but this morning it was more like an hour and then we went to the backyard for some pool time and then some backyard fun. We try to go swimming around 9:30-11:00ish so the sun is not directly on us in the pool. Yes, that's why I have the WHITEST legs in Faulkner Co. They NEVER see the sun;0) but hey, that's okay, that's how HE made me.

We then headed in the house for some home cooking. 2 cans of Ravioli;0) with a touch of shredded cheese. The boys then played in the playroom while Piper and I read a couple of books. Right now Piper is sleeping and the boys are drawing and coloring pictures. I'm blogging from the back porch next to the butterfly garden. my FAVORITE place "in" the house:)

This summer has been really pleasant. I can count on one (okay maybe two) hands how many times I've lost my cool with the kids. That's good for me, b/c I kinda have a habit of losing my patience. I've written character traits and posted them above our door that I want to affirm in my kids. I'm really trying to get out of the habit of getting onto them and getting in the habit of teaching them. I want to teach them how to be and not just tell them how not to be. I've gathered some names of some elderly folks in our neighborhood and I'm going to try to start having a weekly/monthly meal time that we have them over, take them food, etc. I have such a desire to teach my kids about empathy, compassion, giving and figure the best way to teach it is to have them involved in it.