Friday, February 26, 2010

Casting Crowns Concert

Last night we were blessed to FINALLY attend the Casting Crowns concert.
We have seen them before and knew that we were in for a great night of praise and worship and just plain darn good music!
And thanks to my bro-in-law, we took front-row center-stage seats.
There were two opening acts. Above is the band "Caleb." These are Steven Curtis Chapman's sons and I really liked their music...kinda folky and acoustic...had a real youthful and honest feel.
(my sister emily, her daughter Natalie and I attempting a self-portrait)
This was Natalie's first concert. She was so cute...a mix of overwhelming excitement all night.
The second act was Kutless. I enjoyed them more than I had anticipated. I'd really like to get their latest CD that just came out a few months ago. It has some "oldie but goodie" songs that they've revved up and made their own.
They do a rockin' version of "It is Well"
One of my all time favorite hymns. Reminds me of my Grandpa. Brings me to tears every time I sing the song...and the story behind the original song is amazing and inspiring.
But, if you haven't heard their version...you must check it out (if you scroll down to the right of this post you can listen to it on my playlist...i think i'm gonna have to make it my new ringtone).
And alas...the main act "Casting Crowns!!!"
I so enjoy and appreciate the personal, transparent, humble, and humorous approach they bring to their shows. (accompanied by fantastic music, of course)
"Mercy" is one of my favorite tracks on their latest album.
This one had me a ridiculous mess.
"You're greater than my yesterdays. You hold me close today. You're the Lord of my tomorrows...my heart will always say. Thank you for Your mercy"
I have felt keenly aware of His mercy on my life lately. Reminded daily of how much I am truly nothing without Him...nothing good at least.
This song echoes the voice of my heart.
Thank you Father for Your mercy.
Mike and beautiful Kelly sat front row with us.
I think half of MCC was there...also ran into an old dear childhood friend of mine, Stacy. We've walked through a lot in life together...for nearly 27 years. Her and her husband Paul are a testimony of the power the Lord has in one's life and marriage. I can't begin to tell you how much my heart swells with joy when I see them, when I witness their raw and bold love for the Lord and the miracle of His restoration in their lives. I don't have adequate words.
the love of my life.
the one that makes my heart throb.
em, nate and natalie
It might have been at about this point in the concert when I was tempted to start a mosh pit :)
No, but seriously, we were so close to the stage it was tempting not to jump up there. And my sister and I had to really restrain ourselves from trying to take a self-portrait of us with the band in the background (like we were jammin with them). And i did feel a bit like paparazzi with my big ol' camera and becky jo's big ol' camera on my lap, and my sister next to me with her camera.
After the concert, we were blessed to meet the members of Kutless.
Barby and I took advantage of a photo op
(please excuse the photographer who cut half the band out of the pic :)
Yeah...thumbs up, I was excited.
It was a great night.
Great music.
All for a great God.
And a beautiful reminder that He indeed is
The Great I Am.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

splish splash



i'm still just a wee lil' thing!


took my first bath in the kitchen sink.


was lovin every minute of it.


life is good...


and oh so yummy!




Sunday, February 21, 2010

We had a really great weekend with family. Saturday we made the trek out to Tecumseh for my niece and nephew's birthday parties. We started at the "10 Pin" bowling alley for Wyatt's Mario Brothers Bowling Bash.
These two had so much fun together.

Brookie chummed up with Grammy Jo to share some fries.
My man and my brothers-in-law
(Matt, Darc and Nate)
Grammy Jo and Yummy
(AKA: "Jack" as in Jack Nicholson and his wiry, wild and maddened hair)
Natalie and Brooke
Brooke had planned on wearing this old flapper girl costume dress to Natalie's party since she first received the invitation weeks ago. I thought she would forget once the date grew closer, but she didn't. She said it would be "just perfect!"
me and my sis
Matt with Blair...a sweet lil' bowler.
I love this little guy!
And right after the bowling birthday party, we went over to my sister's house to celebrate Natalie's "American Girl Doll" birthday party.
All the girls with their American Girl dolls
(including Grandma Jo and her real American Girl: Berlyn)
The parties were fun and after all the guests returned home, we stayed and had a "cousins sleepover."
(there wasn't too much sleep this night...but it was all worth it!)
Sunday morning we woke up and went to church with my sister and her family. Grammy Jo was there too and my Aunt Barb. It was a good Sunday morning. After church we all went out to grab a burger for lunch. My other sister, Sarah, and her family joined us as well.
We had quite a wait. All were hungry and growing more tired by the minute.
We discovered Berlyn loves pickles.
the boys love playing their DS's...
and Brookie loves lovin' on her daddy
Overall...it was a wonderful weekend. I was able to see my family 3 days this week. On the way into church Sunday morning both Darcy and I soaked in the drive, the moment, the peaceful feeling out there that life just slows down a bit. Between that, driving through farm country, and bathing in family...it was the first time in a really long time that I really missed living out there.
I always miss my family...but it was exceptionally hard to part from them Sunday.
My heart felt a mix of heaviness and joy...joy in the weekend, the time we had together, laughing, watching the kids play together, etc...and sadness in having to say goodbye and not knowing the next time we will all be together again...wishing it to be sooner and more frequent.
Love that we are building memories.
The kids had so much fun with their cousins...so much that shortly after we got home late Sunday afternoon, we found Brayden conked out on the floor.
What a blessing this weekend was. What a blessing we have in family.
Feeling very thankful for the lot I've been given.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Step-by-Step BEST EVER Vegetable Soup...

(recipe from 6 year old Brayden)
1.) Cut up all of your vegetables
(Brayden's choice: carrots, celery, lettuce and cucumber)
2.) Pour broth or stock into bowl.
3.) With semi-clean hands, mix up all your vegetables onto a plate before placing them in your broth bowl.
4.) Sprinkle mixed vegetables into soup broth.
5.) Make certain all vegetables are mixed into broth and submerged.
(hands work better than utensils for this)
6.) Admire your beautiful creation.
7.) Place soup in microwave.
8.) Heat to your own desired temperature.
9.) Warm enough? Not quite...gradually keep heating.
10.) Test temperature until heated through (by taking small tastes).
11.) Once heated, crush up crackers into soup.
12.) Sit down and enjoy.
13.) Every last bite!
(well, almost.)

Brayden: "It's good...it's very good. The carrots are just a little hard. But you've got to try this. I'm good at soup-making!"
And with mouth still full, "Mommy, do you want me to cut up stuff for you?"