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Friday, May 31, 2013

settling in, one room at a time ~ before and after

ok. well.
it's not exactly a before before.
i tried so hard to remember to take pictures of all the rooms in our house as soon as we bought it.
however...i just spent the last HOUR looking in every stinking rotten folder on my computer, ipad and phone and could not find a before picture of our bedroom!

anyways. it's pretty overwhelming to think about moving in to the point where i feel like we have actually moved in.
we still have no carpet in the hallways...just plywood.
we still have very. um. rustic flooring in the kitchen. like, please don't take your shoes off! ha!
we still have a washer, but no dryer.
we have a currently non-working dishwasher.
aj's bedroom still doesn't have a door.
but. i am in no way trying to complain!
i am just trying to paint a picture for you of what we're dealing with.

here is the only before picture i have of our bedroom.
this was after it was painted. (it was white before) and it had hardwood floor that was painted.
i am a carpet-in-the-bedrooms kind of girl.

and here are the afters

our engagement photo. ya, i know. we're went profesh. i believe it was my brother with a disposable camera?
but i still love it.

above is a little trinket to remind us of our amazing missions trip to haiti
and below is a little trinket to remind us of our amazing missions trip to the dominican!

so at least one of the rooms in the house is complete!
only 9 more to go!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

when it rains in the kitchen...

that's not a good thing, right? rain in the kitchen?
so one of the boys started taking a shower in the upstairs bathroom, and i walked down to the kitchen and realized it was raining...inside.
oh jeez.
i ran upstairs (which was quite a feat considering my back and all) and turned the shower off.
then we all went downstairs and got our galoshes on.
ok, not really.
but we just put bowls down to catch it all until it stopped.
i mean, what else could we do, right?

so today, was a good day to take a little break.
it was 90 degrees, and after getting some stuff done in the morning (which took much longer than expected) we finally left at about noon time.
we headed up to one of my favorite places in the world alton bay.
ya know, the place i have written about a million times.
here is a post from last summer.

anyways. it was so good for us to be able to just get away for a few hours to a place that fills us with memories and happy thoughts!!

the water was cold.
i mean...freezing cold. so the boys did not expect adam to join them.
they were so super excited when they saw him running in. and i was pretty impressed, myself.
so i went in. half way. to play how-many-hits-of-the-ball-can-we-get.
i love that game. ha. we got 40.
then i sat back on the beach.

this simple little swing set you see below...
no big deal, right?
but it's quite a swing set to me!
see...i remember sitting on this swing as a little girl and squealing with excitement as i yelled
"daddy, give me an underdog!" and he did.

and then i remember sitting on one swing while my boyfriend (adam) sat on the swing next to me
and i imagined myself being married to him some day.

and i also remember sitting on this same swing holding my 3 month old first born who had been up screaming all night and trying to get him to relax. i remember a sweet woman walking up to me and saying...it will get easier! it really will.
and i guess it did.
so when it started raining in the kitchen, we decided that we would enjoy a little family time.
away from everything.
and i'm so glad we did.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

how dare we?

i have been thinking about this phrase a lot lately...

presuming on God's grace

i think about the times i have either thought, or actually said out loud,
i probably shouldn't say this, but...

i think about the times i have known in my mind that i should not do something, but brushed it aside and did it anyways.

it amazes me to think about the way that so many of us do this on a consistent basis.

i have to think of this from the perspective of a mom.
say for example that my boys have been told to make their beds every morning.
they know it's what i ask of them.
but they decide every morning when they wake up not to do it.

then they spend the rest of the day saying what a great mom i am.
how they want to make me happy, and how much they love me.
they are even proud to go around and say that i am their mom.

am i truly happy with them?
do i decide to reward them for the fact that they said they loved me?
of course not!
they are outright disobeying.
they know what i expect and they chose not to do it.

how many times do i do that with God?
i know what he says to do.
and then there are days when i choose to outright disobey.

then i instagram my Bible and coffee.
i might sing about how much i love him.
is that ok? i mean...i know that he is going to forgive and love me anyways, so am i presuming on his grace?
i think maybe i am.
i imagine that he must be...not disgusted with me, but really disappointed in me.
and don't you think that's worse?
i think many of us could say that when we were growing up we would rather our parents yell at us than be sad and disappointed with us!

is God disappointed in me?
is he disappointed in you?

i love the passage in Hebrews when it says...
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

did you get that?? we have sin that so easily entangles us. trips us up. ensnares us. deceives us.
what are we supposed to do with it?
hide it?
brag about it?
keep doing it?


how do we throw it off?
stop hanging out with the people who are the ones encouraging us to do it.
stop allowing our negative thoughts to remain in our minds.
stop pushing your Bible aside, your church attendance aside, your christian relationships aside.
stop pretending that your sin is ok.
don't let it entangle you!

i love when the Bible uses mental pictures.
that's my favorite.
i can just picture myself running a race and holding on to a big rope of sin.
and as i run, it just entangles my feet, and i am tripping and falling forward towards the ground!
i need to get rid of it. and go on.

i love writings from paul. he is so just like...out there.
he says it how it is.
in Romans 6 he says,
What then? shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? God forbid!
some other translations say - by no means! of course not! may it never be! absolutely not!
dude...you gotta be outta your mind!
(that last one was my translation)

the passage goes on to say that we are slaves to whatever we choose to obey.
slaves to sin. or slaves to obedience.
but those of us who have accepted Christ's salvation are FREE from sin.
that means we need to start living out our freedom, not going back to bondage!

God loves us.
promises to forgive us every single time we fail.
every. single. time.
and then what do i do?

sweet! he forgives me! so i guess he won't mind if i just do _______________.

how dare we?
how dare we.

who do i think i am that i can just disobey him and presume on the fact that he will forgive.

my goal this week is to think about everything i do.
my complaining (philippians 2:14)
my conflicts (proverbs 13:10)
my finances (proverbs 3:9-10)
my attitude (philippians 2:5)
my living (john 14:15...if i love him, i will keep his commandments)

and i need to decide if i am presuming on his grace.
believe me, i am so thankful for his grace.
that he forgives me every time i mess up.

but i don't ever want to get so comfortable in what i'm doing that i forget what that forgiveness cost Him.

God forbid.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

maternity and sister photography

so my little sister is pregnant with her 2nd.
it's a girl.
as you may know, i brainwash my nieces and nephews to say i am their favorite auntie.
it seems to be working so far. ha!

anyways, when i went to visit my sister a few weeks ago, we took...5 minutes to do a quick photoshoot.
we didn't get a ton, but i got a few to help remind her what a beautiful pregnant momma she is!
i have 1 picture of my pregnant belly from each of my pregnancies.
that is not enough in my opinion!
i so wish i had hired someone to take pictures!
you so easily and quickly forget that time in your life!!

so here is mel...
in all her gorgeousness!

oh. and not to kill the sweet and touching moment here or anything,
but here is me...bribing cal with marshmellows. i will be his favorite! ha!

Monday, May 27, 2013

if you don't have a church family, you should get one!

today is a great reminder of the freedom that our country has.
as we walked in our parade and handed out pieces of paper that were filled with hope for hurting people, i couldn't help but be thankful for the fact that people have given their lives so we could have the chance to do this!

our church makes a float every year for our parade, and this year it was so cool!

 we prayed for our community before we left, and then marched and handed out candy, tracts, info about the porch, our single mom's oil change and our kids programs.

we have had this tradition for YEARS, where we go to a park nearby and have a cookout, church softball game and home run derby.

i love these 2 people just like they are my own family...
 my dad...i'm pretty sure he had just come over to say that he had gotten 4 of his grandkids out! our family is just a tad competitive.

not to brag or anything. but my hubby won the home run derby this year!
you are looking at a champ, my friends.
and then my dad hit a 3-run homer during the actual game.

we loved having all the currier kids around all weekend!

my dad has been preaching a sermon series on community vs. commodity. 
so many people have no problems skipping from church to church without even realizing they may be hurting the people they are leaving!
today was a day filled with the reminder of the amazing church family i have been blessed with.
people who choose to have a positive outlook.
people who choose to make right, sometimes difficult choices.
people who love you for who you are.
and while for you...you may just look at these photos, and think - oh that's nice.
to me?
every person has a story.
a reminder to me of the way God has brought each person into my life. 
into my kids lives...
to make us stronger. to bless and encourage us.
i could just cry looking at this next picture because this is more than just a guy talking to my son.
this is a family friend whose life is a reminder to me of God's love and favor on us all.
and he is just like family to me as well.
this next one is 2 pictures. one of a guy who is in my youth group now...and one of a guy who was in my youth group years ago. 
i don't tell everyone this, but jesse was one of...if not my very favorite boy that ever was in our youth group. (shh...don't tell anyone)

and that was my day.
my day that was filled with ministering and serving. 
then relaxing and enjoying God's blessings.

i am so thankful.
still in a lot of pain with my back...i mean. a lot of pain.
but i can still choose to look at the things that bring joy.
and i can love every single person i come in contact with.
that is my calling. 
oh and guess what? it's yours too!!

so listen. if you don't have a church family?
you needa go and get you one, yo!
it's pretty amazing!

happy memorial day!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My daily blog posts

So I decided a while ago that I was going to start blogging every day except for Sundays.
I have done so and not missed a single day.
However...I am going to change this just a little.
I will continue to blog every day- except for Saturdays and Sundays.
Monday through Friday is enough.
So this is my last Saturday post and I am writing this while Adam is driving us home from Connecticut!

It was a beautiful, God-centered ceremony.
So amazing to watch. It is so encouraging to see couples who choose to live their lives for Jesus!

And I got to see some of my sweet friends who I love so much!

I hope everyone has a God-honoring weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

oh my aching back...literally.

something you may not know about me.
about 5 years ago i was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease.
it's pretty much a nightmare.

it is severe lower back pain - and sometimes hip pain - that pretty much debilitates you.
but actually...you have to just keep going because life doesn't really slow down just for you! ha!
it comes and goes at seemingly random times.

there is really nothing you can do about it.
ibuprofen is kind of a joke. it takes 6 of those bad boys to just get rid of my headaches.
and besides that, you don't really have an option except to just live with the pain.
you can't really stand, sit, lay or anything.

so last night when i went to bed, i felt it hurting a little bit.
i thought...oh boy. here we go. this could be bad.
i slept ok, and got up and started to get ready for my morning run with my dad.

and then i tried to go down the stairs.
about that.
not even close to happening.
i could barely walk. UGH! so frustrating!
and so that has been the rest of my day.
making meals, doing laundry, getting things done around the house all through the stabbing pain.
it does do my heart good to hear my sweet boys and my husband try and make my work load a little lighter, and to hear them pray for me.

and it's ok.
i can handle it.

i am thinking about what tomorrow looks like.

driving 3 1/2 hours to connecticut to go to my friend alicia's wedding.
not looking forward to the drive.
but so excited to be there on her special day.
and so excited to get to see all my peeps!
i can't even type it loud enough!
ang, tiff, deb, beth and mary.
oh, and they may just be the most talented photographers in the world. at least in the east coast. nbd.

so that is a little bit of what my day has been.
sometimes these little episodes last for a couple of weeks.
makes life exciting.
praying that this time it will only last a few days.
any other prayers from you would be greatly appreciatd!

oh, and if you see my hobbling around...don't make fun!

good night everyone.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

hardcore parenting

i am serious about parenting.
i mean. i don't joke around when it comes to raising my kids.
and that's saying something, because i pretty much joke around about everything.

today was one of those days that i was reminded of how thankful i am that i got up off the couch.
(that will make sense if you click on the link and check out my post from 2 years ago!)

adam and i and the boys were out shopping today and a lady in her 70's came up to me and adam and said...
i can not believe how good your boys are! they get along with each other, they are obedient...how in the world did you get them to act this way?

i said...well? we do everything by the Bible!
it teaches them how to treat others, how to love each other, and we couldn't do it without the Bible!
it was such an encouragement to hear from a random person, that our hard work has paid off!
and it is hard work!

sometimes i take for granted the fact that my boys get along.
because, for so long...i have just expected it!

i just want to encourage all of you moms out there...be a hardcore parent, baby!

don't let yourself slack off.
i mean, obviously you are going to have a bad day here and there.
but there should just be certain things that your kids expect.
certain behavior that they just come to know...if they do that behavior?
there will be a consequence.
it has to be that way!
don't just assume that they are going to grow out of whatever "stage" they are in right now.
they are going to grow.
but they will just grow harder to control.

i remember many years ago. long before i had even thought of marriage or parenting.
i saw a family with a couple of kids.
the mom was stressed out and tired.
she was not being consistent with discipline, and when the husband came home, she virtually threw the kids at them and said - you deal with them.

i remember thinking...that poor husband!
he has just walked in the door and he is already having to discipline his kids when he just wants to enjoy them!

listen to me: consistent discipline of your kids is a way to honor and respect your husband!

what a gift we can give our men when they can walk into the house after a long stressful day at work to a peaceful, fun, loving home!

today was a good reminder for me.
it was a reminder to keep working and keep fighting against my natural tendency of laziness when it comes to my parenting.

i hope it can be an encouragement to you as well to be a hardcore parent!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

preparing for tomorrow

i love this quote by john maxwell

i need to be inspired.
there are people who inspire me in many different areas in my life...
my parenting, my wife-ing (like that word?) my business, my ministry, my physical fitness, my spiritual walk...
and i want to spend my time with people who encourage me to grow
maxwell also said,

those closest to me will determine the level of my success

i am choosing very carefully who i am getting close to.

i want to dream bigger.
i have huge dreams for the porch.
i mean huge.
i am excited for the things that i have already started planning.
they aren't just little insignificant events.
they could be life-changing events for many people.
i have a notebook filled to the brim with ideas, dreams, goals...
and this week?
they are going further than ink in a notebook.
they are being talked out, planned out, worked out, done.

and i can't be more excited!!

one thing we are doing is a free oil change for single moms in our town.
it had been a dream of mine to do this for years.

another thing we are planning is a compassion in action weekend.
we are looking to partner with all kinds of people, organizations and businesses to actively show love to those in need.

there is so much more, but i don't want to give too much away yet.
just keep your eyes on our website.
and our facebook page.
and if you are a dreamer too? let's be friends!

i am not sitting back.
i am moving forward.
always moving forward.

how are you living your life today?
what are you preparing for tomorrow?
huge things, i hope!

don't let anything hold you back!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

a little perspective...

sometimes i can get so busy and consumed with my life.
even if my life involves serving other people...it's still a part of my life.
and sometimes when i do that, i take for granted the fact that i have so much.
i have been working on my yard a lot the last couple of days.
raking, weeding, mowing, mulching.
i really love yard work, but there were times that i was hot and sweaty, and sick of seeing dandelions!

while i had to work through this to make my yard look nice...

some people in oklahoma were looking through this just to find their yard.

and this morning when i had to look in this room to find my son's clothes

some parents were looking through this to try and find their children!

it can just blow your mind when you stop to think about it.
while i am complaining about having to clean the toilet, some people would give anything to have their bathroom back.
while i am complaining about having to load the dishwasher yet again with bowls and plates from my boys, some people would give anything just to have their little boys alive to feed.

life is short.
you have no guarantee of tomorrow.
none of us do.

what are you doing with your today?
don't let yourself even hang around with negative, complaining friends.
spend time with your family.
let the dishes sit in the sink and go hug your kids.
put down the candy crush and go write an email telling someone how much they mean to you.

live every second like it was your last.
and pray for the people who have lost so much in oklahoma.
it helps to have a little perspective.

Monday, May 20, 2013

because writing LOL makes everything ok

you know some people feel that way, right?!?
it's like they will text something totally mean, and then be all...

maybe you're the one who does it!

did you know that the Bible actually talks about that?
well, it doesn't actually say lol...at least in any version that i've read...ha!
but it says 
"just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon
is someone who lies to a friend and then says, "i was only joking" (proverbs 26:18-19)

i love finding more and more how the Bible covers every topic you could ever imagine.
i have to admit, i am a very sarcastic person, and i have found myself kidding around many times and then saying only joking after.
but i have to remember that if i get in the habit of doing that too often, people are going to start wondering if maybe what i'm saying is not a joke at all!

it's just food for thought.
sometimes when you say something mean, or something that is not true...
a simple lol is not going to cut it.

maybe just don't say it at all.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

my super cool vintage ladder

i love when i can use a "prop" that i didn't even mean to use.
my boys were looking in the upstairs of our barn and saw an old ladder up there.
they have been into climbing the trees out back lately, and they begged me to take down the ladder and put it up against the tree.
because i'm such a nice mom (haha) i took it down for them.
turns out, i love it as a prop!
who woulda thought, right?

anyways...here is my sweet little niece.
and my super cool vintage ladder

Friday, May 17, 2013

Meet My Senior Reps!

pretty excited to think about senior sessions for this year!
i LOVE shooting seniors. it's pretty close to my favorite subjects!

i have a few girls who are representing me this year.
all the details are here, and i may still take a few more models.

i had the amazing tina do the girls make up, and then i shot.
i acted crazy.
they looked at me funny.
then they got used to me.
i think. haha!
we had a ton of fun, and i am so excited to get to know them more this year!

meet my gorgeous, sweet and totally hilarious senior reps




contact me to book your senior session now!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

how to stop the bullying

I don't think it is a big secret that our country is in need of some major prayer.

i am no history buff, but it does not take a rocket scientist to put two and two together and see what is going on.
remove God. remove prayer. remove the Bible.
the results are what we see today.

we kick and scream and fight to make sure the Bible stays out of the schools.
then we run and scream in fear when people start
showing disrespect to teachers.

all things that the Bible teaches kids not to do.
it's hard to miss the correlation there.

i recently read an article about a woman who asked several teenagers what they thought the main reason for the increase in youth violence.
she thought their responses would be...the media. video games.

but it was not.

they said parents.
they said they felt so isolated and alone because their parents were either so busy working, or on their computers or iphones. even when they are home...they are not really home.

wow. pretty interesting.

see...the problem is a heart issue.
i see it constantly.
teenagers want attention and love.
what does love from a parent to a child look like?
it looks like quality time. consistent discipline. words of affirmation.
all of those things together!

but they are not getting that at home.
now. do not get me wrong.
james 1 makes it very very clear.
we sin when we are tempted by our own desires.
it is our choice to sin or not to sin.
we can not blame our upbringing or our parents.

all i am saying is this.
we, as parents need a heart change.
our kids need a heart change.

what that heart change looks like, is getting off our high horses and thinking that we know all the answers.
to stop thinking that we are so cool and are keeping up with the times by changing our standards and beliefs based on our...feelings!

the heart change looks like taking a stand on something that has never changed and will never change.
did you know that our laws starting from the mayflower compact all the way to the constitution of the 50 states came from the BIBLE? interesting facts about that here

all this to say.
the way adam and i are trying to stop the bullying in our town?
by praying for each individual teenager that we know.

because the bottom line is this.
punishing a kid for bullying may stop him for a while.
but getting him to change his heart to want to do right will change him forever.

we believe that Jesus is the only one who can change your life.
He is the one who can soften the hearts of these bullying boys (and girls) we see every day.
and that is what we are doing.

i will be starting a monday morning prayer time at the porch very soon.
i would like to specifically pray for the needs of the teenagers in our town.
i want to document what i see now, and the changes that i will start to see.
because i believe the Bible when it says that the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective.
and since i believe that to be true, i believe that if we pray...good things will happen.
i want to see heart changes in all the kids of this town.
i am praying for a revival to start in me.
and for that revival to go all down pleasant street.
right into main street.
and all throughout the town.

so excited to see what God is going to do
and to start seeing this bullying problem slow down!

So how can we stop the bullying?
We can start a little at a time.
Let's start teaching our own kids how to love and show self control when they are being bullied...not to bully back!

Let's start ourselves...when we have someone wrong US - we can love and show self control as well!
It can happen one at a time.
Let's start working together

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

i need you bad.

don't ever assume that your friend is ok.
don't ever assume that your friend is not hurting.
don't ever assume that your friend doesn't need anything.

because you just never know.
you never know what is really going on behind that smile.
you never know the pain they might be feeling even though they don't show it.
you just never know.

we need each other!

i need you.
i need you to build me up.
i need you to tell me it's ok, and i can keep going strong.
i need you to remind me of who i am in Christ.
i need you to let me know when i am doing something that i shouldn't be doing.
i need you to be a faithful, trustworthy friend.
i need you.

and you need me!
you need me to be there for you no matter what.
you need me to pray for you.
you need me to make you laugh.
you need me to talk good about you behind your back.
you need me to be your friend.

and that is what i want to be.
that's the way God designed it...
for us to encourage and build each other up!

take the time today to ask your friends if they need prayer.
take a minute to write an email, send a text, make a phone call...
and just tell your friend what you love about them.

because we all need each other.
and we can all make a difference if we just take a minute...
don't assume we aren't needed.
and make someone feel special.

i'm starting now. when are you starting?

and just because i will never get sick of eyelash shots, i will assume you won't either.
ha! here are my 2 boys and one of my nephews.

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