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Thursday, December 24, 2009

christmas traditions

tonight as i sit here in the quietness of the night, i am trying to be thankful for memories that i have. a normal christmas eve in the past would have included 8 kids running around, eating pizza together, practicing our "christmas lights" quartet, and lots of noiseeeee...wonderful noise!! tonight, for the first time in my 33 years, i spent christmas eve with my family and my parents. it was quieter. it was different. but i am thankful that God has given me sisters and a brother. they are still alive, they are healthy, they are saved, and they are just in different parts of the country. it's ok. we have great memories to think back on, and we all still love each other so much. going along with differences... a normal christmas since i've been married (10 years) would include going to adam's parents or sister's house and spending christmas afternoon with them. this year there are no other chase's in nh. it's different. it's hard for adam. but again...they are still alive and healthy, and we love each other. i am trying to just enjoy where God has everyone right now. i know that God is in complete control of our lives, and i will embrace that. i will trust HIM. challenging, but so worth it.

i still miss you erika, ronnie and melanie!!! you are the best brother and sisters a girl could EVER ask for! thank you so much for all the amazing christmases we've spent together! i love you!



as a kid, we always got to open one gift on christmas eve (pj's) so we've kept it up with our boys too. so much fun! the boys loved opening the gifts, and were thrilled with their wii pants, and celtics robes.







ps. i am still enjoying my new video camera!!
video


church family

what do people do when they don't have a church family? i honestly don't know. God has blessed us so much with such amazing family at our church. they are so thoughtful and generous and we are so thankful. here's a little video of our boys opening gifts from our sweet friends from church.
videohere they are holding their gifts...
video

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

my little man

i am so blessed. honstly. i feel so incredibly grateful. i have an amazing husband whose goal is to please God. i have 2 healthy boys who are trying to be just like their daddy. tonight, i was so proud to watch my little man lead his basketball team to a VICTORY! he scored 15 of the 25 points, and most importantly...had a humble, God-honoring attitude the whole time. here's a little tiny bit of the game. (my incredible husband bought me an awesome video camera! i love it.)
video

Saturday, December 19, 2009

James 4:6

my thought for the day.

"God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." James 4:6

interestingly, only by pride comes contention. hmmm...when i choose to argue i am being prideful. when i am being prideful, GOD IS RESISTING ME! do i want to be there? i don't think so, and neither do you. come on now, be honest. you don't.
so the next time you are tempted to answer with a smart remark, or let yourself be easily annoyed...ask yourself. "is this worth having God resist me? or do i want his grace". easy answer.

and that's one to grow on. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

too cute for words

fun in the snow

sometimes i pretend i am an amazingly-fun-creative-hip-homeschool-mom.
this is me pretending...
i filled water bottles with water and put different color food coloring in them. then had the boys try to make designs in the snow with it. the pictures make it look cooler than it was.
maybe someday i will be as cool as erika and jackie. until then, enjoy my pictures :)





picture of the day

riley loves having crazy hair after he gets out of the shower. he is a little ham!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

monkey in my bed

i came into my room the other day to find this.



if that isn't a wide open invitation to snuggle buggle, i don't know what is!

baby it's cooolllld outside

so we had our first snow! and since this picture we have had more. i gotta say. i don't LOVE snow. but i do love it around christmas time! i love that my boys can have the best of both worlds with the beach in the summer and the snow in the winter! they were so excited to go out and play in it!
*little side-note here. we have a thrift store nearby that we love going to and we snagged aj's columbia winter coat for 2.00 and ry's lands end one for 1.00! i gotta tell ya...it's been tough for me to even think about paying more than 5 bucks for anything lately!! :)






then they came in and wanted to warm up with some hot cocoa. is this just like a hallmark movie or what?




then they started helping nanny decorate the little christmas tree that they had picked out. i am NOT making this up people :)




and all this while nat king cole sang "the christmas song" in the background. ok. i don't know if that last part was true.

i just had to end with a picture of the very nativity set that i grew up playing with. and that is what it's all about.


ps. it is killing me to post pictures without being able to edit them! my laptop is still not working, and that is where my beloved photoshop is!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

thank you Charles M. Schulz


i was just praying and thanking God that his Holy Word could be read all over homes in America tonight. i loved watching charlie brown christmas with my family tonight. it was amazing to see that in spite of all the efforts to get RID OF JESUS during the season of his birth, we were able to sit down in front of the tv and watch something that was not having me look at my kids thinking...oooh, i hope that they didn't catch that joke :/
God's Word won't return void. don't you forget it. so thank you charles schulz, and Bill Melendez and everyone else involved with charlie brown's christmas.
and while i'm rambling on here, as i so often do. can i please remind everyone tonight that obedience to God = FREEDOM. ok. i just had to say that. i know it is so tempting to think otherwise, and it is so dangerous. if i was the type to have a verse for the day. this would be it.

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."

sin is deceitful. it has you thinking all kinds of crazy garbage. i have been convicted of that and reminded through my Esther study how mean i can be. and that meanness is NOT ENJOYABLE - but somehow i am deceived into thinking that it is. ugh. as peter would say, Lord, depart from me, i am a sinful man!! how true. dang it...i do not want to be hardened by sin's deceitfulness...not me!! so PLEASE - encourage me!! remind me when i am saying things i shouldn't be saying. if i start a sentence out "i probably shouldn't say this but..." STOP ME!!! for the love of peter! i don't want any part of it!!
so thankful tonight for the reminder that God's Word is truth and that obeying it is my only way to freedom.

that's it. i'm done...for now :)

Monday, December 07, 2009

comfortable is not in the Bible

i find it interesting that we try to make ourselves "comfortable" in life as if that is something to be attained. it is not! the word comfortable is never mentioned in the Bible...ever. sometimes i think that i am at fault here. i just think that i have maybe focused too much on being comfortable. i am not referring to literal comfort as in, sweat pants and a sweatshirt, which i LOVE! but just living a comfortable life. i think Jesus calls us to something totally different, which could be why the world pushes it so much! we start to think of that as normal, and like it's something we desire. i don't want to desire it. i want to sacrifice, i want to take risks, i want to take a step of faith to a place i don't feel comfortable! do you?? what are you doing right now to be sure that you are following Jesus 100% regardless of your comfort level? is it possible that maybe i am supposed to be uncomfortable? or that maybe the place that i imagine would be the most uncomfortable would in fact be the most comfortable i have ever been? i want to do things for God that go beyond my comfort zone. and what does comfort zone even mean?? is there a literal line drawn that i am unwilling to go over? i am going to change that. i challange you to do the same. take time to think of things besides your next vacation, or your next bonus check and think about a way that you can take a risk for Jesus. don't you think it would be worth it? and i don't want to miss what Jesus is holding out for me to take if i would just take one step farther! take that step!!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

pizza pizza

i got to spend a little time with my niece last night, and we had a great time making pizza together!







guilty?




Friday, December 04, 2009

birthday

here is the cake that my amazing mother bought me. don't worry she also MADE me a chocolate cake, she also made me dinner, she also took me out for breakfast (my dad too) and she also bought me presents (my dad too). she is one amazing mom!


so another year has come and gone. somehow- without me realizing it, i have turned 33-years old. i remember playing house when i was little. me and my sister and our friends (kellie and katy) would always pick how old we "were". we were never more than 19! even in our very young minds, 19 was the oldest we wanted to be! i can hardly remember how i even got here. i think that turning 30 was pretty difficult for me. we had just moved into my parents house with the plans to move into our brand-new, beautiful, everything i've ever dreamed of- house. only to find out it wasn't going to happen. here i was. 30-years-old, 2 kids, living with my parents!! what would i ever say if i bumped into someone from high school and they asked the dreaded "what have you been up to" question?!?! oh man. it's weird how people's opinons seem to matter so much sometimes. i think i have learned a lot, even in these last 3 years.
see...the main thing is confidence in Jesus. for real. this verse is amazing. For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.Psalm 71:5 that sums up my life. God has been my confidence since my youth! and guess what? he still is!! i will say one thing. if i do not have my time first thing in the morning, my hot cup of coffee in one hand, my Bible in the other...my day is HORRIBLE! every single time! i am not exaggerating (yes i googled "exaggerate" to make sure i spelled it right! it still looks weird to me!)
i HAVE to have my hope in him! sometimes i just wonder about what i am doing. in life. ya know? but for me, it's just one step at a time.

riley wants me to stop what i am doing and play a game with him? ok. i will. aj wants to show me what he just drew? i will drop everything and show him that i think it is the most amazing thing ever. adam wants me to go and get him and english muffin? ok. i'll do it right now, because i know that i would want him to do the same for me.
it's all about keeping things in perspective. my age doesn't matter. it's what i am doing for Christ. i believe that with all my heart. time is so short, and i have one goal. i make it my goal to please HIM. i have to keep that in front of me at all times.
and besides...everyone says i look young for my age anyways! :)

christmas tree

when me and adam first got married we had to decide what kind of tree we were getting. he grew up with an artificial one, and we always went and cut our own down! quite a difference! so we started out the first few years cutting them down. now we just go and pick out an already cut, fresh tree. i love it. it smells so good and is so beautiful! this year we decided to get a small tree. we have a really small living space, so i wanted something that wouldn't take up a ton of space. we picked out a perfect one and it makes our room look so cozy and festive!
the boys were so excited to hang all the ornaments and i loved watching them. adam put up the ones that had his name on them, and i put up my favorites!


this is one of my favorites. my aunt linda made it for me when i was little, and it is very special to me. (i tend to be a bit on the sentimental side!!)

this is another one of my favorites. my parents got it for me when i was little, and i have always loved it. i don't know why, i just do :)


christmas has always been special to me. obviously because of the reminder of my Savior. but also because my 2 sisters and my brother and our parents have always been very close. growing up, we didn't have a lot of money, but i don't remember even knowing that! i love that about my parents. what a great gift to give your kids. we knew that we were loved and taken care of. we always got sentimental, special gifts and i always loved christmas. this year will be different. my older sister will be in virginia, my brother will be in pennsylvania and my younger sister will be in florida. it will be the first year EVER that NONE of my siblings - will be home for christmas. i already said i was sentimental!! i have a little bit of a stomach ache just thinking about it!! i know it's not about that. it's about the birth of Christ. it's still hard to think about a christmas without them. this is where trusting God comes in. i am grateful that i am with my parents, and that i have an incredible husband and 2 amazing boys. i have a lot to be thankful for. that's for sure. but i'm just saying...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

advent calendar

check out the online advent calendar our church is doing for kids.
calendar

Monday, November 30, 2009

i am a total visual learner. when i can see something, or hear an illustration where i can picture it, i learn a lot better. this passage in romans 6 has always been so interesting to me because it is something i can picture.
v16"Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?"
the kjv says servants instead of slaves, but either way it is the same idea.

this is the deal. i have issues. (hopefully i am not alone?) i take something that has happened to me, against me, or against someone i love. then what i do is i think about it...a lot. i analyze it, like...what was the person thinking when she said that? what did we ever do that would make them say or do that? then i start feeling a little bit upset. not too much. like, it doesn't affect everything...yet. but then i think about it a little more. i start to have imaginary conversations in my head. like, i picture myself talking to this person and saying exactly how i feel. you know, exhorting...to make it sound spiritual :) then i realize that it IS affecting me. i am starting to get a little snappy with my kids, or my husband. i start to feel a little more annoyed, and i have to say...PRIDEFUL. as if I would never do anything like what this person has done! sometimes it goes one step further, although i have to be pretty blatantly in the flesh to let it get here, but i open my mouth and talk about it to someone else. usually only my sisters. i mean, that's not as sinful right?? wrong!!
this is where the verse comes in. i am literally becoming a slave to this sin. this sin of not thinking of others as better than myself. it's crazy because when i picture this, it changes things. this feeling that is making me so upset, i am taking a pair of handcuffs and putting one end on my wrist, and the other on the "wrist" of the sin. why? why would i ever want to do that? if i was in my right mind, and knowing how NOT GOOD it feels to be upset i would want to run as far away from it as i could!! satan has a way of tricking us, huh? this is where the next verse comes into play.
"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." this is wild. this is how i described it to my 6-year-old. this is a bad guy (show him his little pirate dude)


he is NOT allowed inside your head (show him a hat) but SOMEHOW he got past the traps and got inside the hat!! what are we going to do?!?!? capture that bad guy! (argument and pretension) we put him in the dungeon and say that he HAS to obey. he has no choice!! we bring him to the King of the castle. and then we put a good guy in the hat instead of him.
is this making sense? we need to set up a trench full of hungry crocs and guards. but if somehow, someway a bad thought gets past. we then just capture him, and give him to the KING.


amazingly, we FEEL better! crazy how that works.
let's do that today. every time a bad guy comes in and wants to handcuff himself to you, don't let him! capture that dude, and make him obey Christ.

Friday, November 27, 2009

new life

my very good friend natalya had a baby boy!! i got to have her little girl kahlen with us for the day, which was so fun! here's the beautiful family.

Monday, November 23, 2009

christmas

i was in target the other day, and i literally felt sick to my stomach. i looked down each aisle...one stacked to the top with pink dolls. another jam packed with every lego imaginable. then i rememberd one day, when we brought a few balls and bats with us to the bateyes in the dominican and kids came running at us from everywhere so that they could play with a ball. ONE ball!


i remembered the feeling i had when i got home to my little tiny living room after a week of seeing this


and suddenly the fact that my living room was small meant nothing. it has a carpet. and electricity. and a couch.

i remember coming back from haiti and thinking...wow. i have way too much.




what has christmas become in america? what has america become? forget christmas, that's just become one more excuse to buy your kids way more than they need. parents hardly need an excuse anymore! isn't it all about comfort? OUR comfort??? that is the world we are living in!! is that how we're supposed to live? paul didn't think so. "though i am free and belong to no man, i make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible" (1 cor. 9:19) i make myself a SLAVE in case you didn't read it the first time! my goal in life is to please God. that's it!! i have to make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. doesn't that put a different perspective on things? it's not all about me and my comfortable life. it's about obedience to the voice of God. and don't forget, if you truly love the God who saved you, his commands are NOT BURDENSOME!! (1 John5:3)
it's the least i can do. Christ is my life. i need to make sure that i am not letting myself get so caught up in a comfortable life that i miss out on what God has planned for me.
i am so excited to see what God is going to be doing in my life. in my husband's life. in the life of my boys. i am praying that i will hear God's voice louder than the voice of the world. i always pray that for my boys. the world's voice is so loud! stop for a second. put down your christmas list. LISTEN to God's voice. make it your GOAL to please him. it is so beyond worth it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

quote of the day...


aj: "thanks for letting me read my Bible mom. some parents don't let their kids read the Bible"

world turners

Jesus is coming soon. he has to be, right?? i know that for many years people have been saying this, but in reality...there was no way He could have been coming. there were too many things that needed to happen to fulfill prophecy. like israel becoming a nation to name one!
so here's my thought for the day.
if this is the last generation, WHY did God choose to have ME here? and why did He choose to have YOU here?
maybe He wanted people with a passion and love for himself to be here so we could, i don't know...turn the world upside down? i love in acts where it says "These men who have turned the world upside down..." what a reputation!!

i want people to say that about me, but is it possible?? i mean really! what can i do? what can we do? i want to turn this world upside down, do you?? God has me here for a reason, and you too!! i hope it's because he knew we would be CRAZY for him! just crazy. a nut. that's what i want to be.
i recently had coffee with a girl that i had just met. i started sharing my testimony, and surprisingly i didn't feel nervous at all. i thought i would be, but i felt so much compassion for her, that it's all i could think about. i just wanted her to know the truth. i hope i am like that with every sincle person i come in contact with.
so think about it. are you going to be one of those who turns the world upside down in possibly the last generation? i am. let's do this.

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