Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Maddie's Growing Up!

A few people have asked me lately what Madison is doing that is "new". Well, she's recently been catching on to sign language! I've been teaching it to her for a while, and we have started watching a Baby Einstein movie called"My First Signs". I love it! She has the signs down for these words:

thank you
all done
blows kisses

She is also saying a few words:

gish (fish)

Besides that, we are working hard on learning "stop" and "come to Mama". These can be very important at church or in the parking lot for instance. She thinks everything I'm teaching her is a game! What a fun age.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CSUN Retreat

Here's most of the crew that came to the CSUN Retreat in Camarillo this past weekend.
Some of our lovely ladies in the conference room.
We had four teaching times all on the means of grace (blessings of...the church, baptism, singing, and fellowship).
Great music by Cooper and Tyler.
Each night was a game night- so much laughter!
Saturday we spent at the beach. We had Chick-fil-A (some people are Chick-fil-A fanatics :)
Maddie became one of them (we ordered the tasty little bite size sandwiches, too).
Maddie's retreat buddies- Shepherd and Mercy.
Hello ladies!
Take a look at this picture- one year ago exactly!
And now! Maddie ran for the water and got her clothes all wet before I could get a bathing suit on her (hence the diaper picture). She has grown so much this past year- this beach experience was tremendously different than last years!
Too cute!
The dirtier, the better.
Are you kidding me?!
Mama's movie star.
Jesse tried skim boarding.
Brooke and the Madster.
Brooke was so sweet- she played and played with the kids!
Dinner at Soup Plantation.

More games...
We are so thankful for this group- CSUN is a blessing to be a part of. The students are so teachable and fun to be with!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Maddie is starting early on Becoming a Woman of Simplicity! "Simplicity" - what does this word make you think of? Sometimes we all wish for simpler days amongst the running and doing, but in the accomplishing of things and serving the Lord we can attain simplicity. Lately I've been convicted by this book- how often we hurry from one thing to the next (all being good things, of course :), and don't acknowledge our need for God's strength. Cynthia Heald defines a woman of simplicity as, "one who lives a God-paced life." We are to wait on God's leading, and in order to know God's direction, there must be some waiting on Him in prayer and being in the Word. It has been good for me to think through this grid this week. It has shaped some of the decisions I have made, and I'm thankful for it. I've been meditating on Psalm 23 and John 15:5 "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This is the Day the LORD Has Made....

This weekend was filled! Friday night was the annual CSUN Ladies Event kick-off, Saturday morning was the annual Women Walking Wisely Tea, Saturday afternoon was the beach, and Sunday was a wonderful day at church
(in there were several soccer games Jesse reffed, too).
Here are some of the girls who were able to come. We are delighted to have another year at CSUN Bible Study! The Lord has been so gracious- we are blessed to be a part of it. It sure is growing- 60 or 70 attend regularly. It's neat to see who God brings every week. We are thrilled to see God saving some of the students on that campus through this ministry! We have retreat next weekend...
At girls night we just hung out, had snacks, painted nails, and I gave my testimony. I love sharing how God has saved me from my sin. It's good to remind myself that I was dead, BUT because of Christ's grace I'm alive to righteousness! (Ephesians 2:1-10). It was good to remember how God has led in my life. A huge lesson I have learned repetitively is contentment. I love the definition from one of my favorite books The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, "Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious from of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in EVERY condition." After thinking through God's goodness in teaching me to be satisfied in Him, our pastor, John MacArthur, preached on contentment Sunday night! You can listen to it here later this week.
Some more of our sweet gals.
Women Walking Wisely is the ministry that my mom leads out of Faith Builders (my dad's Sunday class). She has been leading this ministry for 20 years! I have learned so much from my mom's faithful service to the ladies. Saturday morning was the annual tea, and the theme was "Beauty in the Ashes". These four women shared how God has used different trials to make them more like Christ. One had her house burn down, one has had emotional struggles, one had a battle of loneliness, and one is currently undergoing radiation because she has breast cancer. All these ladies testified to how they trust in Christ, and are being refined in their walk with Him. It was a precious time of hearing God's faithfulness.
My cute parents- Dad stopped by the tea to see Mom.
This weekend was filled- how thankful I am to see God at work in so many lives, and receive such excellent teaching. "This is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice, and be glad in it!"
Psalm 118:24

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fun Places

I am so thankful we in live in a place with so many fun places to go! Here are a few we visited this week...
The other day a friend gave us free passes to the Huntington Library. We loved it- even though it felt like 120 degrees outside.
Playing in the kids area.
On Saturday we got up and out early. We were at the beach by 8am. Jesse and I rode our bikes about 10 miles along the beach. What a gorgeous day!
So, I love this picture for a few reasons. 1. Maddie is chewing on my bike tire. 2. Her outfit. Jesse dressed her this morning, and said, "Babes, it's pink and brown. That goes, right?" Hmmm...maybe stripes and polka dots will be the new fad! I had to keep her in it- too funny!
A little picnic on the beach.

She loves chasing birds.
If you're at the beach, you got to get wet, even if you don't have your suit.
And Papa and Mimi's house is one of our very favorite places to go! Papa played blocks on the floor for a while- so adorable!