I know it's a little late, but I thought I would share some pictures from Easter. The girls had so much fun! The Easter bunny left them so outside toys, which they enjoyed in the wonderful sunshine. ******UPDATE*************

I just found this post from April, that apparently I never finished. There wasn't even any pictures downloaded to it. I don't know what happened. And of course, I'm at work when I notice it - so I only have one picture to add. But it's a cute one!

So, it looks like I need to add Easter to my list of updates I need to complete! More to come later!

New adventure around here...

I don't guess it's really new, I've been doing it for about 6 months now.
In November, I started selling Thirty-One. If you don't know what it is here's a picture:

And if you know me, you know I LOVE a bag!

So, on the side I've been having fun girl nights while selling bags & making a little extra money.

I'm loving it!

Putting on the armor...

Epehsians 6:11
Put on the full aromor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
It's amazing to me that only 3 days ago I started this whole venture of journaling what I'm finding in my quiet time and already I'm struggling. Hence the reason I started with the verse today instead of ending with it. Why is it when you set out to start new, better habits that will make you a better person, you start hearing all these excuses to not follow through with it. I swear if you were in my head last night you would have heard every excuse in the world not to open my Bible and get into the Word. And you know what, it was a pretty convincing argument.
You see, I am a list person. On a normal day, I will have no less than 3 lists going. And most of the time they are all written down. I have the work list, which I don't know if that counts or not, but one thing is for sure, it wears me out! Then there's the list of stuff I do every night, ie: dinner, baths, homework, lunches, and the list continues. Then there's the list of projects I want to do around the house. Then there's the list...oh you get the point, I have a lot of lists.
But for some reason, when I add quiet time to my life, I come up with every excuse in the book to not do it. I'm tired, I've done a lot already tonight, the girls need to get to bed, I need to catch up on my TV shows that I don't have time to watch so I DVR them....so many thoughts go through my head.
Last night was no different. Every night this week I've been getting done with everything and then before I go to bed I have had my alone time with God. And I have to say it has been wonderful! I've slept so much better and although I've woken up late everyday this week, I've really had a peaceful week. But man alive, my mind just kept telling me I didn't need to do it. I could take one night off and it wouldn't hurt. Besides, who would know if I didn't do it. (even though I know the only One that matters would know)
But I know exactly who was behind all those thoughts - SATAN!!!! He knows I'm building a stronger relationship with my Savior by having my alone time with Him, and the devil is going to do everything possible to stop that. So, he gets in my head and starts whispering all about these other things on my list that are left to do, trying to discourage me from doing my alone time.
But you want to know the awesome thing!?!?!
I put the FULL aromor of God on and told the devil to SHUT IT! I'm going to spend time with my Father and learn more about what He wants me to be!
I don't know about you, but I'm going to put that armor one everyday!


The least of these...

It's pretty amazing what you will learn if you open your heart and ears to what God wants you to hear.
As we have begun getting things prepared for our trip, there has been lots of reflecting on ourselves and how we live our lives. I feel like I have always been a pretty compassionate person. I normally feel for others when something "bad" happens to them or when life has not treated them so fairly.
But then something Mike, our AWESOME Youth Pastor, said on Sunday night really struck me - loving "the least of these" isn't just about loving those who have been hit by hard times. It's also helping those you might have helped with the same thing last month, it's about helping those who don't know how to stop the insanity of bad choices, it's about helping those whose life circumstances don't make them "pretty" to the human eye.
Somehow as I've gotten older, I've become cynical and I don't trust people. It seems I'm looking to find the bad in people.
So #1 on my list of things I'm excited about for this trip - learning to love others. To truly love the least of these. I know I'm going to meet people who I wouldn't normally be around. And half way through the week, when I'm exhausted, sunburnt and tired of dealing with bugs the size of my head, I'm going to have to still love these people.
I'm excited to see how God can open my heart and mind to His kind of love!
I Peter 4:8-9
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality without grumbling.


We interrupt the regularly scheduled program...

So many fun and wonderful things have been happening at Casa de Barrios. And I can't wait to share them, but I'm going to take a break from our regular programming for a little while. About 6 months or so ago, Steve and I were asked by our AWESOME Youth Pastor if we would like to go on a mission trip with our Youth this coming summer. Of course, before he could even get the words out of his mouth, we both said yes! So, here we are less than 60 days away from going to Puerto Rico for 8 days to build a house for someone with World Changers. I can not even begin to describe all the emotions running through me right now. I'M SO EXCITED - how could you not be. I get to go somewhere different than I'm accustomed to being, I get to meet all kinds of new people, I get to spread the word of God to others, plus the first weekend we are doing a few fun things before the work begins. But then there's the side of me that's a little nervous. I have felt like God has been tugging at my heart and trying to reveal to me He wants something different for our lifes. And as human nature does, I've not been acting on those tugs. I know He is going to show me something while we are there, I'm just nervous of exactly what He's going to show me. I'm nervous about what changes in our life are going to come from this trip. Steve and I lead a very comfortable life. It may be crazy and non-stop, but it's comfortable. I feel like there's not much that we HAVE to be completely dependant on God for. Don't get me wrong, I know all of our blessings are from the Lord, but I feel like there's just not much we can only attribute towards God alone. Like our income, I KNOW it's from God, but it's really easy to look at it and say WE work hard for the amount we make. I just really feel God is going to have me on my knees bowing to HIS glory when this week is over. I know we are going to see poverty like we have never seen before. We've travelled and we've seen poverty to a degree, but I just don't think we've ever seen what we are about to witness. I definitely think it is going to be an eye opener for us and how we as "Americans" live our lives. I pray this will bring about change in our day to day lives when we return. I guess I should say I'm excited instead of nervous. Because I think there's a lot of both of those emotions. I'm VERY excited to see what God is going to show us, but a little nervous of what that will mean when we get home. I feel like lately I'm sitting on the side of the spiritual road. And I'm sitting there waiting on something while everyone else is passing by. Yes, I LOVE my Jesus and I know He is the reason I get up everyday and the reason I take a breath. I just feel like my life has become a tornado blowing through town and somewhere along the way I lost that fire in my heart that used to be there. I know there are things in my life I need to change in order to spark that fire again. I know it's all my doing and I'VE been the one getting in the way of HIM! So, I've decided to make some changes to get my mind, heart, and soul ready for this AMAZING experience. Steve told me he was going to fast from something to get ready for the trip, and I decided I am going to do the same thing. I thought, and thought, and thought a little more about what it is that would get me ready and then God really let me have it. All these emotions running around inside of me are there because of one thing - I'm not ready to be uncomfortable! I'm not talking about the bugs, the showers, the sleeping arrangements, the list could go on....I'm talking about I'm not ready to change MY habits. I like the fact if I see something I want, I can go buy it (well, within reason). And I normally do. I might save up for it or try to find a coupon for it, but I end up with it. Not anymore! I'm making that change! So, until we go to Puerto Rico, I will not be shopping. That's right - you heard it here! I will not be buying anything unless it happens to be groceries, and even then, we will be sticking strictly to the list. My whole thinking on this is the fact that we are going to be building a house for someone who doesn't have one, they don't get to go buy an Ipod when they want, they don't get to go buy new clothes when they are feeling down, they don't get to have their hair done every 6 weeks, and the list continues... And one thing I've always wanted to do was memorize scripture. Not just to recite it in a competition. But to tuck it away in my heart so that when I need it, it's there waiting. So, I'm going to take time each day to write a little in my journal of my plans, my feelings, my fears and anything else God brings to my mind. And along with it, I will memorize scripture to go along with those feelings, thoughts, etc. Today's verse is Matthew 28:18-19 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth have been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nation, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Just did that from memory!!! Yay! Please don't leave negative comments. I normally don't really care, but this is a really personal thing and I'm really using this as a way to documents my thoughts and really my prayers. Love you all!