Thursday, August 17, 2017

Here's the Thing...

So here's the is hard. Anyone who ever tells you that this whole "homeschooling thing is easy" is lying. LYING. Although, to be honest I have never heard anyone say that homeschooling was easy or for the weak at heart.  Rewarding....YES (well...maybe, ask me at different moments and receive different answers.).  We are finishing up our first week, how? Well because I decided long ago that if I was going to homeschool and I was going to be with my children A.L.L. day I was going to schedule in some perks. So if you send your kids to school a perk is that you have 7 hours. For me, my perk is that I am scheduling Fridays as light days. We will use it to catch up and move on. I need it, they need it, y'all the world needs it. 

But here  are a few things I come away with. I can say all day long that I want to live in a glass house, but I live with 5 other people who don't want, or know yet if they want, to live in a glass house. Their lives are their stories to tell and I can't showcase their struggles to the world. I surely wouldn't want that. So, don't let my insta stories fool you. It is hard, it is raw, there are tears and banging heads and clashing moments. We are figuring it out, we are forging our way through to what feels right and normal for us.

One day at a time. This has to be my motto. I can't think ahead, I can't think about future, I can barely think through to tomorrow. Today. That is all I got and I have to be ok and content in it.

It doesn't look like what I thought. But isn't this true of most things?  What we never what it really will look like. In some ways it is better, they do learn, they do listen, we do have sweet moments...but when we came down on Monday morning and started our day with a huge meltdown .2 seconds in...whoa I was not expecting that.  Its okay though, I am learning to have grace, give grace and receive grace for each moment. It doesn't have to look a certain way...

Its to early for me to say "I love it...or I hate it.." And maybe I will feel differently each and every day, but I will say this, "I am suppose to do this." And my reality that this is exactly what Jesus is asking me to do did not come because of a moment of "wow this is good" or one of my children saying "Wow mom this homeschooling thing is AMAZING.."  in reality we have more "I hate this..." from them then anything. It came because of a true moment with Jesus when It became clear just why I am doing this for each one of my boys. I saw it and Jesus clearly said "This. This is why." 
I told Kevin this morning, I know they will learn, but this isn't about what they learn this next school year, this is about investing in my boys hearts in ways I know will impact their future and our future relationship for years to come.

And lastly the thing is. I am tired. There is not enough coffee in this world. However, my two littles were home with me this week for school, they start next week and I think that will change a lot of things.  Can I also say I might be tired because we got a puppy...ha, a puppy and he has been just as demanding as the kids. Bless it to my tired and weary soul Jesus.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Yeah So This is tomorrow.

Holy Crap, bless it, Jesus be near....Tanner Crew is bringing school home! I can't even. Let us all take a moment to really think about that. Whoa, my stomach just flipped a thousand times. I am not even joking. Close your eyes...wait for it...did you hear it? That really dramatic them song music that lets you know something is about to happen...the atmosphere changed...something is happening? That's coming from this corner of the world.

Some have called me dramatic....some...I have fought this, I am not no...I just feel things very deeply and things are very big and very much a BIG HUGE GIGANTIC thing. Also. My educational status of my brain is very much on a 1st grade level and that is being gracious. How many times I have had to look at my very smart and intellectual (had to spell check that word...) husband to make sure I am explaining something correctly to my children... Yeah...that girl and that brain is bringing home her two (TWO as in at the same time) Boys to teach. Holy crap, Bless it, Be near Jesus.....I can't even.

But, Jesus. always and forever people BUT JESUS. It wasn't an overnight journey. It wasn't a split second conversation. It has been happening since my Sweet Tyler, and then my Sweet Jaden. Things...signs, that stirring in your heart that something was just not ok. And we pray, and we pray, and we talk, and we agonize.  So I invest, and investigate. I become room mom (uh....yeah don't do that.), I make it a priority to be IN the school and IN the classroom and IN the cafeteria. I warm (beat, bang, kick and knock down) my way into the front desk receptions cold heart and receive finally her grace and occasional kindness (Yes...elementary front desk.). I watch, I listen, I have 5 IEP meetings where I cry and bang my hands on the desk and literally FIGHT for my son. I come to the end of two years of that school and feel just as much an outsider looking into my children's education and its not ok.

I watch one kid fall further behind and not because he is not, he is very smart.... and I'm not just a proud mama...but that brick and mortar school is failing him.

And then there is my other kid, the one who is listening and watching EVERYTHING. I could handle the "what does this mean?" As my 1st grader waves his middle finger around, and I could handle the "I learned a new word, what does Shit mean?" But the day my 7 year old bounded into the van and before the sliding door of the mom van could close he says "mom, a learned a new word...Fu**...." Why couldn't of been Fart. I was ready for that word.  I sat there paralyzed, literally, teachers kept waiving me down the line and I couldn't even move. I have always tried to prepare myself so that I didn't react in a way that would make my boys not ask me questions...but I couldn't stop the tears, I couldn't form a word, I just sat there and let the tears fall from eyes. I was witnessing innocents  robbed from my children and it made me angry.  I am not stupid or naive y'all.  I know its coming, but not at 7, not for the ears of my 3 and 4 year old...where they ALL took turns saying it because mom wasn't breathing or speaking or responding she was sitting in the carline crying.

On that day, my heart begin to break. I knew something had to change. I begin asking all my friends their experiences and I couldn't find a similar story...not in 1st grade...not in the little hallway before moving up with the 5th graders...but this was MY reality and OUR story and Jesus was calling me to something beyond myself. 

Then one night in our 1,000 conversations I say to Kevin "Here's the thing, my only job, my only focus right now for the next 11 or more years is these boys. This is my mission field, my job, my reality. I am being asked to do something outside of myself because I know its Jesus. I am weak, and will have gaps as big as the ocean, BUT JESUS..."  We had exhausted every other single thing. We cannot afford another school or a move to be in a different district. This is where we are.  It was like peace once I came to the point that I realized Jesus was asking me to step outside of myself.  I would sacrifice anything for these boys and that is just what Jesus was asking me to do.

I know my limits though people, I am not a teacher. I also know my does not respond to me as a teacher...So I begin researching the online public school. And before I knew it I had a classroom in my home and was registered as a Georgia Cyber Academy learning coach, and had students attending for 2nd grade.

We start Monday. I don't know  beyond today. And I don't know what the future of the next year will look like. I wake in the middle of the night sick to my stomach as I adjust to what's about to happen.  So come along, why? Well, I have said it before and I'll say it again Jesus has always asked me to live my life is a glass box, because I know that when I share what is happening in our lives chances are...someone can relate. I love it, I love being real and honest and inviting people in. I have looked for anyone who has done this and allowed people to experience their experience and I can't find anyone.  So I am that person hopefully for someone else.  I also miss writing and with having the boys home and on a school routine it is allowing me sometime to sit and write.

So here is your invitation- come along. I am also planning on documenting some of this by video on our YouTube channel...uh...don't think this fancy or that I am planning on getting famous for this...that is not my hope or desire. My desire- authentic reality. Can we all stop pretending. That is intended to be a statement not a question. (my editing and spelling probably drives most of you crazy..yeah sorry about that.)

I also love Insta its the best way to document a day in the life of chaos- so find us I believe we are Tanner Crew

Monday, January 9, 2017

"grown up" mom...BLESS IT PLEASE!

Lately. No. Mostly always. Ok. For the WHOLE duration of having children, I have feared the future ...and wept (that is a very accurate word...) over their growth. How many times as a young mama have you found yourself saying..."its going so fast?" "stop growing?" "how can they already be one, two, SIX???"

I find myself in a constant tug-a-war. Please don't grow up...holy crap grow up I AM SO TIRED...AWE you cute little boy never get big...for the freakin love of all that is good PLEASE LEARN TO PUT SHOES ON...Oh this sweet time, where did my baby go?.....IF YOU WAKE ME UP ONE.MORE.TIME.....

I mean. I get on the beloved world of hijacked "life is perfect" facebook and find myself scrolling through articles that have everything to do with embracing where you are, do more, leave the dishes play a game..., to grace for the tired mama..I feel as though we are blasted with every perspective and everything mamas of bigs wish they had done or not wishing they were still little. And I am here screaming. HELP ME WANT THEM TO GROW UP. I mean. COME ON...I seriously think at this point I am going to hate my kids, or at the very least tolerate them when they get bigger... Way to make me want them to grow. We are doomed. "You have 4 boys? oh just wait until they are teens..." Anyone else heard that????

I have worked with youth...God love them they are the most awkward of bunch and I am sure my boys will be just as awkward and smelly...and big...and  GROSS. UGH, Jesus COME NOW. I can't even.

I have the greatest of friends, and one way we survive our endless crazy days it to text about them. it keeps us weirdly sane. To know someone else is doing something, cleaning something, screaming something, or banging their heads on the wall (ok mostly me..) you have a moment of solidarity, "
We are one WE can CONQUER all.." or at the very least, laugh while we die. Catch that? We are dying.  I see us struggling through each day. I see us trying, I see us doing our best. So here is the thing.

Moms of bigs, of teens, of graduates, of tweens, of anything beyond a 10year old- Please for all that is good and right and true encourage us! I know it is awkward and your kids stink to high sky and the challenges you face are difficult and if they roll their eyes at you one more time...but I promise would not want to come back here...stop dwelling in the past and enjoy that moment you have. You would NOT want to come back to sleepless nights, and being covered in poop, and never having one moment to have one thought....As I am, clearly this post has to show that...... I promise. You just can't be that dumb. Don't say to be "The days are long but the years are short..." or "oh raising the littles is physically hard..but nothing compares to the emotionally hard it is as they grow." For real. What is the point? Clearly I need to quit when Jaden blows out 11 candles. I guess I'll just wave my pretty white flag as I walk out the house. WHAT?!?! Please don't tell me this. Don't encourage my FEAR.

One of my dearest friends texted such a truthful statement about how if are kids are growing and doing all the things kids of that age are doing we should be rejoicing. They are healthy, they are growing...THEY SURVIVED YOUR CRAZY HELLISH DAYS AND ARE LIVING PROOF. Holy crap you should SO get a reward for that. I mean. You did it. And they lived through your crazy moments, days, know those crazy moments where you turn into some unknown creature? Yeah you survived. And your kids are living proof. What?1?! I will be celebrating it to no end. Hand me the chocolates, the applause, and the pats on the back. My son just walked across the stage to recieve a diploma. I mean. I can hear it now "mom, they are cheering for me.." "yes yes son, but I also got you here so move your tiny hiny out of the way for this mama..." As I do my best waltz and princess wave across the stage. For real, It just can't be all bad. Please, please, tell me it is not all bad!

I don't want to live in my baby days forever, and I don't want to constantly look back and and think I somehow someway missed it and then think about how much I miss it. Can I get an AMEN?!?  AND I don't want to be reminded that sleepless nights are good and one day will be missed...Are you even kidding me? No one misses the sleepless nights who are actually doing the back to back sleepless nights....because right now as the exhausted mom...they are not good...they are HARD. I don't want to be told to hold them tighter, play more games, do more things...."the house will stay clean one day..." because that is not reality...have you met my boys? I swear they pee going around in circles. If everyday I left it for another day so that I could play another game, so that I DON'T MISS IT.. the Tanner Crew would be swimming in urine. Gross. But real.

I am a young mom, looking at the "grown" up mom have slept solid for a month (more) and NOW you are looking at me saying...oh you will miss these days... I look at you.. as I am living it right now saying NO. Hell NO. Move over lady, I am coming your way and instead of looking in the past and missing your days cheer me on as I come to your arena!

We have to stop looking in the past. Stop living in the past. Its like telling a couple before they have kids "enjoy those days when you can sleep in..." you CAN'T enjoy it until you know a world different from it, you can't appreciate it until you know a world without it.(Babymoon? stupidest thing I have ever heard..don't even get me started. no need it AFTER the baby comes....moon.) but at that point trying to get your kids a sitter to stay more then two nights...good luck.

 So teenage moms, stop making me feel bad about NOT spending more time, or not playing enough games, or being annoyed or tired...because this is MY reality. Sure I get what you are saying, and I am doing my best...but I need you to STOP living in the past and enjoy where you are. I can almost guarantee that if you came back, you would be tired and remember why your grown kids are so AWESOME. Help me want to come into that part of motherhood, and stop making me feel bad about my exhaustion. And please list out some awesome things about your tweens and teens. Like they sleep, and dress themselves, and pee in the toilet...well that one is no guarantee...ok that they can make their own breakfast and laugh with you. You can have conversations and actually play a real game with them.

Facebook, Timehop, Instagram. As awesome as they are they catapult us back to the past. That is not where we are called to live. We are called to live in the present. In the moment, literally as though it is our a last. And as awesome as pictures are, we can't wish to go back, we thank Jesus Himself that after raising the young crazies they didn't take our ability to remember like they took our ability to hold pee for longer then 30min. For real.

I am thankful God has brought me my "grown up" mom into my life. One that says "yeah I miss they are little...but no way Im going back..I love my older kids...its awesome to actually like your kid...oh and don't hate me...I wont get up till 9am tomorrow." Yes, YES!! Thank Jesus for giving me a grown up mom as a best friend!!! Please grown up moms find us and Tell us young moms that! And when you sleep though a night, and sleep past 7am, rejoice...REJOICE, it is a slice of is a SLICE OF HEAVEN. And when your kid makes you laugh, does something amazing, graduates from college, CELEBRATE! You did it mom,, you made it thus far and your kid survived...well done. And maybe, its still scary and hard and dark at times...but came so far, and they came so far...and you both survived the far!

And also, when you have an uninterrupted poop, and while you had that uninterrupted poop you had an uninterrupted thought, BLESS IT!  BLESS IT TO MY BONES JESUS! PRAISE!

So. From a young mom to the "grown up" mom. Speak life, and encouragement, and celebration over us tired moms. We need it. WE NEED IT yesterday.

With Love
The tired, weary, urine covered, butt wiping mom of the Tanner Crew.


Secrets From The Stable

It has been such a long time since I wrote a blog post. I have thought about revamping my blog, giving it a new look and start posting more often. But I have 4 boys, and a crazy life, and I well…Can’t. And if I am to be completely honest, everyone and their mom and their mom’s mom blogs. Have you noticed this trend? My time blogging has come to an end. But that is not why I am posting this. I won’t take down my blog as I know it is still to this day a source of some kind of comfort for girls walking the journey of infertility. I know now why that is a subject that is difficult for me to say anything in anymore. I am no longer climbing that mountain. That was a season for me, and a short one compared to the years and sometimes life some women have to walk it. I have no voice for that journey any more. My voice that went through those hard days is written for anyone who would ever need to read it. I am so thankful, so so very thankful that during that time I did not listen to people who did not agree with my complete and honest approach of living in a glass house and allowing people to see me stumble, fall, question and even be really angry with God. Jesus was glorified in that blog time and time again. AMEN?!? (I can hear you all!)

Okay, the real reason I am posting!!! Secrets From the Stable. ((If you don’t know what I am talking about you can read “Meet Gabe” on the right hand side of my blog or email me and I will tell you all about it!))  I can’t even. Really, I have thought about writing this since the advent season started. This year was by far the absolute best year my family had during the month of December. All the pieces of the puzzle came rushing together. Jesus in His sweetness made my paths cross with a sweet Girl who designed a Shepherd. In all my days y’all I had never thought of a Shepherd to go with my sweet animals, but can you make any more perfect?? I can’t. So this year Gabe and Shep teamed up. I wasn’t too sure my kids would remember Obi, the sweet Owl who helps them piece together the Nativity Scene. But boy did they. When he wasn’t there on the first day they were very concerned. But he came as promised and they were thrilled with his arrival each and every time he flew in and out. And this year we also had Kia the camel join in!! He brought three sweet boxes for the kids to fill up with pictures, drawings, and gifts for Jesus. It was truly incredible. I have 7 animals, with 7 different themes, and 7 different stories. By the time Jaden and Ty are  9 (only two more Christmases, stop it. Stop it now) We will have all of them in my home at once.

It has transformed our Christmas. It has brought it into focus, but not just for the kids….for Kevin and I as well. We have seen the transformation in my kids as they focus on the true meaning and realize that the gifts are all extra. They see now that Christmas Trees and lights, and decorations are all for one of the grandest most exquisite birthday parties you will ever be invited to. One for a King! They speak less and less of Christmas day because all month we are celebrating. In fact, all my boys separately took time to tell me they were sad a bit for Christmas day to come because our Stable friends would leave. I don’t brag, or boast about SFTS to gain anything, I am not trying to sell it….I truly share with you because If you haven’t considered doing this I really wish you would.
I posted on the Facebook page that I was closing the page and the website until next season where I will relaunch it. We have so many things We want to improve so that it is easier to navigate and understand. I still feel people get a bit confused by it and I need to make it more simple. I have prayed over and over and OVER if this should be something more? As in published and copyrighted and sold in a book store. That all sounds so dreamy. I have of course had moments of fear that someone who I have shared my ideas and dreams with would take it and make it their own without me involved in it. I would be lying if I said I never had those thoughts or concerns. But I REFUSE to live in that fear. Jesus has told me time and time again to share without reservation, it has been my whole life. To be transparent and to live in that glass house. There was a season when I tried not to be this way. That I allowed the voices of man to speak louder than the voice of God and I lost my identity of who I was IN Christ. And when I find myself doing that, stepping outside of my wholeness IN Christ…. I get anxious and worried and concerned. BUT JESUS. Oh y’all, Jesus just on repeat says “I got it.” And I breath deep, and step back into my Identity of His daughter who HE will protect and guard. He is not concerned; so why would I be?

I allowed myself to go down the what if path of fear once. And you know what? It isn’t all bad. My focus, my heart, my desire is that Jesus would be brought into homes all across the world. However, He chooses to use me I say yes to even if it wasn’t what I had hoped for. His way will be greater and so much more gift filled. I rest. Yes, I rest in that!

So I am not sure what the future will hold for SFTS but We have plans on stopping or not sharing. In fact next year we plan on sharing more! As you know my girl Jamie is my partner in all of this. I can’t take credit for all of it ever. Jesus knew I needed someone and she has always been that someone. She has inspired, she has invested, she has stood with me in my fear and walked with me back into our identities IN Jesus. She has spent HOURS on the phone with me brainstorming and talking through each animal and what each animal’s theme would be. She has written me a poem in I kid you not, no less than ten minutes. She is my soul sister. As we remain open handed about SFTS Jesus has put even more into those hands. That is the beauty of living our life in openness, there is always room for more. The more closed off, the tighter the space. Try letting go of your squeeze…Jesus never ever disappoints. He has been giving us gifts for new things left and right. We feel overwhelmed with His goodness and trust in us.

We have never felt like we should advertise. Every single time I would post something on FB it would say “Do you want 5,000 people to know more about your page? Pay us $10 and we will make that happen.” Every. Single. Time. And every time I would pause and think…. yeah…. Jesus 5,000??? And he would say “No.” I rest in that answer. We have 174 people who have liked the Facebook Page, Y’all that was all your doing. You shared it on your page and passed the word out to your friends. What a sweet gift it was to see you comment or share on that page. I wish you could have seen my face light up each and every time. So thank you!! I believe that SFTS will be passed along in ways that are way bigger then we can see or even know. And at the moment in time the only reason I would ever want to “sell” anything would be to make it more simple for you guys. I know some of you love the package idea. But for now, Jesus has asked me this “is there anything free in this world?” Very rarely.  Right now, free is the theme until He says otherwise. I have zero desire for profit. That has never been a motivator for us in any of this.

So I ask this, pray. Please pray that we would never allow fear to be a driving force for SFTS and future projects Jesus is releasing in our hearts. Pray that Jamie and I would be open handed in all things, and never tighten our grip with ownership…it is not ours. It has always been HIS. Pray that Jesus would do what He wants with it so that more families can experience Him in their homes next Christmas. And more than anything, pray that everything we do drips with His goodness and praise and that He is Glorified in it all!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I see.

Oh bless. Jesus. You are so captivating in the most astounding ways. You use my fleshly struggles to see my need for more of your breathing, life changing spirit. I see. When my 2.5 year old took a rock to my van, his precious face devastated by his Mamas fierce anger. His innocent help of "washing" the van was a $1,000 worth of damage. It was bad. But it was worst that my flesh flashed into overdrive anger. "Oh Jesus I want to be more like you" it is a daily cry of the deepest parts of my heart. And He is showing me through my 2.5 year old. I want more Jesus. I want so much more of you. I know that daily I come to you with rocks and stones and scratches and dents where I have so innocently tried to make something better only letting my human flesh make more of a mess. Yet never do you see my hearts honest try and respond with Anger. Oh Jesus you see the beauty of me trying, you see my hearts desire to make it better. You step back, you look at the scratched van and your face lights up with joy. You cup my face, I realize I have made a mess I began to weep, you wipe my tears, lift my face up and dance with joy. "Don't you see child, I'll take this mess and make it my beauty..." 
I am pressing in deep into the Fathers heart, may I respond to my child the way My Father responds to me. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Small words for a big story....

When I go to write about this I feel as though I am swimming in a sea of words. There are so many words that could be used to describe our journey, but honestly...they are not, well they feel like they are not adequate or anointed or good enough. I wonder, if the scholars of Scripture often felt the same way. 

We had an opportunity to share our story.  It is such a gift to me, however. I still feel as though we failed at truly describing the sweet journey of our boy Jaden. His life, chosen, wanted, fought for. He is a little boy with BIG life journies ahead of him. How I got chosen to be his mama I will never know. 

Our journey is still not complete and I believe Gods redemptive love will shine through as He unfolds our story. For now. My heart loves these women who feel as though there is one choice. We cannot forget the women as we set out to save the baby. In fact I believe with my whole heart we are called to love the woman to save the baby. This is a life passion for me. But for now, God is calling me to stay focused on the path He has me on, the path of raising these small warriors of Gods Kingdom. 
Check out our video here: 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bring it.

I am almost intimated to open my blog. The blank screen and screaming words inside my heart just leave me overwhelmed. So normally, I walk away. I am up early this morning (surprise!) I was suppose to go on a 80mi bike ride. Its raining...and me already on a bike, on the road,is death defying, I decided not to factor in the rain. So I am going to hop on my trainer for a littler bit before we are in full swing of Saturday morning activities.

If you follow me at all you know my struggle of early mornings, quiet times, being still...finding a balance in the middle of a crazy cyclone that is my life. yeah...I still haven't found it. I have quiet times (surprise!) and they are sweet sweet moments, and they happen everyday from around 12:30-2 when Asa naps and Kars lays down with me and watches a couple of shows. And you know what I do? Well let me tell you what I DON'T do...I do not pull out my Bible, I do not catch up on overwhelming never ending house work, I do not sit in of those things. I catch up on Gilmore girls, or facebook stalk, or look at all the fun creative things of pinterest....that I WILL CLEARLY NEVER DO. Yes....this is it.  I don't know why I am telling you all of this...(again, whoever the you is) I think because I desperately want others to know the struggle is real and you are not alone...because from what I understand this is a normal struggle for most. And I am not saying that it is ok, but I am also not saying it is not ok (confused? yeah me too...why are you still reading?) I think what I am trying to say is that God is in the daily moments, even in giving me the 1.5 hrs to shut my brain off, to not think about the house, or kids, or struggles. I bring Jesus into my every moment. I cry out to Him daily.

Lately the struggle has been real with my Jaden boy. Now here is where writing can be a bit intimidating. My honest-open book-say whatever-leave it on the table- personality wants to share some of my struggles of being an adoptive mom. To be honest I don't think we (adopted mommas) talk enough about what it looks like on the inside. One because we never want our kids to feel different, out of place...or that we love them differently...although...all those things are true...and two...its their lives...their story...their future, past and present that I opening up about...I NEED to be protective. I will say these things though. Jaden is a 110% ours, he was the moment we learned of him, and the love for him was so very easy. Jaden, is 110% adopted, that fact although I do not spend my every waking day with Jaden thinking about that...that is a fact.  He was birthed from Liesl, he has a birth family that we recognize and honor, he has a story unlike any of my other children....So when it comes to loving Jaden...clearly I love him differently. I pray for him differently, I cry out to God for him differently. And although I do this for all my children we cannot pretend that this is not a BIG thing in Jaden's life.

Jaden turned 6 a couple of months ago...and its like his little world became a lot bigger and not so little. And these big thoughts were becoming very real for Jaden...he is trying to figure them out, to put them together...can you even imagine doing this at 6? At any age really....I cannot. As months go by and as the journey continues one thing is clear. God is after this boys heart. I can clearly see it in our everyday interaction with Jaden. You know what else I see? Satan hates it. HATES. IT. Never not once have we ever spoken words of Jaden that sound anything like this: "Jaden, you are not good enough to be a Tanner.." I cringe even typing those words. Yet. My 6 year old son in a moment of anger and frustration will scream similar words. How? How does he know such words to gather up and throw at his parents? We do not watch shows that say those words, or speak those words...Satan. You whispering, sleazy, no good..stealer and liar. We have been countering these words with Gods words and truth. Speaking them over him as often as we can, teaching him the difference between truth and lies...and what a lesson it has been for this mom. Daily. I struggle with the same thing I just do not voice them as loud or as vocal as my innocent child. No...I harbor them down deep and tie them up to the corners of my soul and pretend they do not exist. It is pitiful. I'm over it.

So. Here it is. A fight for my sons heart and soul is on. I know it is on for each of them. Choosing to raise them as warriors is going right up against satan himself. With Jaden I am taking on generational sins, anger, and brokenness and putting an end to it. It ends with JADEN. It will not be carried on.  These endless battles are exhausting but they are needed (so is the glass of wine each day...) And when I adopted Jaden, I as his mom and Kevin as his dad said "this boy...he is Gods." Watch out world. Jaden is coming.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

25 Things you can Do with YOUR Animal for the Stable

This years to do list for sweet Gabe. Now depending on the day this may change. I will probably switch it up and not go in this particular order. One other thing Gabe will be doing is encouraging the kids to do one act of kindness a day. I found a calendar with some great ideas!
1. Gabe arrives, sets out The Greatest Gift book and ornaments to go with it and brings out the star that he will hide each day for them to find.
2. Lines up animals in a fun way- I'll probably do something with Jaden's Starwars and Ty's minions....
3. Hides candy canes all over the house for them to find
4. Builds a snowman out of marshmallows
5. Pulls out their Legos and builds them a Lego set up (Kevin will help with this 😉)
6. Builds their train track and rides the train
7. Leaves things to make a gingerbread house
8. Leaves a ticket to see Christmas lights (I print one off the computer) hot chocolate, and popcorn. Also check out we did this last year and it was so fun!
9. Makes cookie dough and leaves cookie cutters, icing, and sprinkles
10. Leaves them a mission to get some toys for a child who doesn't have any
11. Leaves them a ticket to buy a doughnut at Kings. (A local donut shop...)
12. Paper and craft supply's to make Christmas cards
13. Sets up all the animals to read the Christmas story
14. Colors them a picture and leaves out crayons for them to color one
15. Leaves craft materials to do a Christmas craft
16. Strings more Christmas lights in their room
17. Blows up red and green balloons to play with
18. Leaves their jackets out to go take a walk and look at Christmas lights
19. Leaves them money to buy their brothers Christmas gifts
20. Spells out a message using M&Ms
21. Leaves a new Christmas book to read
22. Leaves popcorn out for movie night
23. Leaves streamers out and construction paper- they get to decorate dad as a tree!
24. Leaves Christmas Pjs, and a Christmas movie
There are so many awesome ideas out there. Please please share your amazing ideas and what you did for your littles this Christmas!!!

Secrets from the Stable.

Y'all, I can't even. There are no words. My heart it explodes, that of all the people in the world God chose me to be the outlet. I will never in a million years understand it.  We are working to get a website up that will be a one stop place with all the information. For now please feel free to ask questions. I know many of you have them so here are a few answers to the questions I am most hearing.

1. Where do I buy this?
This is not a kit or something you buy. (I dream...but that's up to Jesus.) For now, the beauty of this is all you need to buy is a lamb, goat, donkey, owl, camel, duck, horse, or any other animal that could be found in a stable. The other day my sister and I even created a story line for a pig....Coming soon friends!!

2. How do I do this?
What I love most about this is it is catered and designed to fit YOUR family because YOU and Jesus know your family and what your kids will respond to best. Best advice. You CANNOT mess this up. So find freedom in it. The animals come bearing sweet gifts throughout the season, they come with silly games, and fun gestures. They hide things, create things, and come alive while the kids sleep. I have a list of ideas I will add in the next post that you are WELCOME to use.  He can be a simple or as complex as you would like to make him or HER???!!!!??!?

3. Is it to late to start.
NOPE. Get in the game at any point. Your animal might show up one week before Christmas, or maybe Christmas day. FREEDOM is key.

4. How old does my child have to be?
Again, this is catered for you. You know your kids the best. What works for your kids. If you have a baby I would probably wait. If you have a 3 year old I defiantly would start. But again, you know your kids. I will say the first year they wont probably get it. It took my kids 2 years before they finally understand that Gabe comes EVERY Christmas. We are bringing more animals into our mix. This year an owl will join Gabe about two weeks before Christmas. You could do the same animal every year, or a new one every year...what best works for you. My kids are very attached to Gabe so he will always come.

So, come on into the stable. Let the animals come alive with the magic of Christ. Let the Spirit lead and watch your kids fall in love with Jesus.