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Saturday, March 31, 2012


Threepeat: All Urban Prep Graduates College-Bound

For the third consecutive year, 100 percent of the graduating seniors from the Englewood campus of Urban Prep Academies, the nation's first all-boys public charter high school, have accomplished what some thought would be impossible! Every single one of these 85 students has been accepted to a four-year college or university. 

I've written here before about hubby's work as Director of College Counseling and Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men. He works tirelessly all year to ensure that 100% of the young men are admitted to college. Many thought this couldn't be done based on the statistics and backgrounds that many of these young men come from, but for 3 years Urban Prep has proved them wrong. I am so proud of my man and the work he is doing to impact the lives of these boys! To God be the glory!


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Monday, March 26, 2012

Clean Inside

Our family went to the 41st annual Northwestern Community Ensemble (NCE) concert at Northwestern University a few weeks ago. During undergrad, hubby and I were both in NCE. In fact, he actually served as co-director for a few years. We both really enjoyed it!

Each year, the concert features a gospel music artist, and this year's artist was Hezekiah Walker. So, you know we jammed.  My favorite part of the concert was when he sang the song Clean Inside. Hezekiah got so lit up as he testified about how God had made him clean inside. He didn't want to let it go. I loved it.

It is simply amazing how the Lord will take you and make you clean on the inside. Inside your heart. Inside your mind. He comes and purifies your motives. Your will. No one can do this for you. You can't even do it for yourself! He said;

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. - John 15:3

Ain't that alright? The word of God also admonishes to stay clean. Galatians 5:1 reads,

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.  

Hebrews 12:1 reads; 

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. 

It takes a strong desire and some hard work to standfast and to lay aside the way these verses describe because we are in the flesh and there will always be new challenges that arise and try to pollute our hearts and minds. So, we have to be diligent to deal with those things. God is helping me with this more and more. I cannot always control what issues arise in my life, but if I keep my focus on being right with God and clean inside, I will always succeed. 

When you are clean inside you automatically have greater joy, greater peace, greater faith. When your heart is right, you can more easily tap into the presence and the power of God because there is no hindrance and no blockage. I deem being clean inside as my most significant goal and my most valuable asset. 

How do you go about staying clean inside?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fabulous Friday

Hello Peeps!

I am excited about this weekend because it is the 1st of 2 consecutive weekends of weddings! I heart weddings! My friend who is getting married next weekend will be married at Alice Millar Chapel, which is where hubby and I were married in 2004. It will be so sweet to be there celebrating with my friend, while reminiscing on my own wedding!

Here are my Friday Findings:

Web finds...

- Are you a mommy who uses coffee as a way to soothe yourself from the demands of a busy day? If so, you will laugh real hard at this video!

- Writing facts about your child on your favorite photos can be great memorabilia! You can find out how to create your own yearly photos right here.  

- I'm learning some interesting things about work/life balance from a great Design Mom Series

In fact, hears what I'm finding on the topic of work/balance...

- Staying balanced is a continuous process.

- Balance should be based on your own individual priorities and goals.

-What balance looks like will change during different seasons of life.

Have you given much thought to the topic? How do you think you are doing in the work/life balance department?

I hope you enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Pink Converse

I always admire these when I see them at Target!

Photo Credit

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Noah!

Noah turned 3 on Saturday, March 17th!

We celebrated his birthday by taking the kids to the Oak Lawn Children's Museum. They had a blast there! We grabbed something to eat at Smash Burger and made the day complete by doing a little birthday shopping at Target!

It's hard to believe that Noah has been around for 3 years. Remember when I made this video of his first 6 weeks? He was so precious and hubby and I were so ecstatic to finally have a son! Below is a short video of us singing "Happy Birthday" to the birthday boy.

Noah, we love you and are so happy God gave you to us!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fabulous Friday

Photo Credit

Hello there! I've decided to share a hodgepogde of things with you each Friday. I got this bright idea from Rubyellen, who is full of bright ideas!

Here are this week's Friday Finds:

Web finds...

- Do you want to improve your writing skills? I know I do. If you do too, check this out.

-I painted the border of our kitchen bulletin board white, to match our kitchen cabinets. Here are some more ideas on how to "spice up" your bulletin board!

These are some things to remember about getting out of debt.

Book find...

- "The Beauty of Different" by Karen Walrond looks awesome!

What I'm finding about myself...

- I enjoying being alone. Come to think of it, I always have. Now, I find myself in a situation with a house full of people. It doesn't look like this will change anytime soon. Surely, you see the conflict here.

- Pink is truly my favorite color.

- I think I'm getting in touch with my "inner photographer" and getting an itch to learn how to take my own awesome photos!

What I'm finding about my kids...

- They are cute kids. They can be very sweet. But, if you leave them alone too long they turn into gangstas. I layed down for all of about 15 minutes, only to come back and find that one of the dining room chairs was broken! Wood cracked and all. Like I said, gangstas.  

Have a fabulous Friday and enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How to Please God

So, you want to know how to please God? A friend of mine, Ryan C. Coats has a wrote a book that will help you with that!

You can check it out and buy your copy here!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dear God, bless me with an iphone...

Photo Credit

Yes, I recognize the fact that I have four kids, a mortgage, bills, student loan debt, and no job. But, people like me can still dream (and pray), right?

I know you know how I long to enjoy the latest technology and a glittery phone case. I know you know that the last time I had a cell phone, texting wasn't even "in" yet. It wouldn't be such a big deal to me if perhaps my own mother wasn't sitting up having a ball texting people from her cell when I'm around. I see her looking at her phone when we're together, chuckling and enjoying her friends. Really, it is all just too much to bear.

I get excited when I think of enjoying the latest apps by apple. The freedom of having a little gadget all to myself.  I smile within when I think about having something small enough to hide in a drawer or in my purse, where it can be protected from little fingers.

Father, my desire is to be a good steward, that is why I am come to you with this request. Because, you love me and know how to make things happen.

Your (phoneless) daughter,


Friday, March 9, 2012

Seven Steps to Greater Health

My health has not been the best recently. To be completely honest, due to a host of issues, I had to drag myself through 2011

I know this is not the abundant life that Jesus died for me to have, so I am seeking him to help me change and to help me take better care of myself. In fact, this is a major part of my 2012 reinvention.

As a result, I am re-reading a book by Stormie Omartian entitled, Greater Health God's Way.  In it she writes;

The Seven Steps to Greater Health are:

1. Peaceful Living

2. Pure Food

3. Proper Exercise

4. Plenty of Water

5. Prayer and Fasting

6. Fresh Air and Sunshine

7. Perfect Rest

I am slowly trying to tackle each one of these areas. I have been able to keep up a regular strengthening and cardio routine since January. I have also made my business to get more sleep buy putting the kids to sleep earlier, so I can go to sleep earlier. In terms of prayer and fasting, I have been working to make sure I spend time in prayer and in the word before I do anything else, most days of the week. I am also getting back into partial/juice fasting!

I have a ways to go before I reach my goals, but it feels good to be making progress!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Because this might otherwise be forgotten...

In Lee Woodfruff's book, Perfectly Imperfect, her husband (Bob Woodruff) describes his wife's writing in a rather thoughtful way. He explains;

"It (her writing) was her catharsis, the thing she did for herself and a way to chronicle the small moments of family life, the funny and touching anecdotes that might otherwise be forgotten over the years." 

When I read this, I thought, "That is much of why I blog!" At a time when blogging has become "big business" for many, it can become difficult for many of us to remember why we started blogging in the first place.

In efforts to rekindle my passion for chronicling the small moments of family life...that might otherwise be forgotten, I thought I'd capture some of new and sweet developments of my kiddos.

Noah, 2 years old

This guy simply cracks me up.

He is a character and has actually started referring to himself in 3rd person. I think he sees this as him advocating for a third party and not himself. As as result, he seems to think that this liberates him from any obligation to be polite. So I get this often in a very firm and demanding tone;

"Noah wants some water...GET Noah some water!" To which I have to remind him that he is actually advocating for himself and needs to ask nicely.

He has also started tackling Halle, which totally freaks me out. But, she strangely seems to enjoy it. So, I'll let them have each other until this proves harmful.

Noah is learning his colors and letters (without much effort on my part to teach him).

Bella, 4 years old

Bella is always full of energy! She has enough for us both!

Bella is learning to write her name and is quite proud of herself! She tells me that she is looking into to pursing a career as a ballerina. I could completely see her doing that.

She also has an ongoing list of wants that she tweaks/adds to rapidly. Right now it looks something like this (My brain and my pocket book can't keep up):

- a purple acoustic guitar (purple is her favorite color).
- a dollhouse (I want her to have this too! In fact, I might be looking forward to it more than she is).

Her 5th birthday is coming in May, so we may look into seeing what we can make happen in regards to her list. We are accepting donations.

Noelle, 6 years old
Noelle is rapidly losing her teeth!

The photo above is a pre-toothless shot. I'll have to post a new one so you can see how cute she is! She has lost the 2 at the bottom, and the permanent ones are coming in. Recently, she lost one of the 2 front teeth. Its wild to think she is old enough to be losing this many baby teeth!

Noelle is becoming more and more advanced in her reading. In fact, she is starting to have her own book preferences. One of her favs right now is Sheila Walsh's God's Little Princess Devotional Bible.         She keeps a copy of it under her pillow to read during quiet time. 

Noelle has invented a unique expression of love for her and Bella. She kisses her hand, holds it out in front her and says, "I love you" to Bella. Then, Bella kisses her own hand, places it on Noelle's hand and says, "I love you too." This is why I need a camcorder!

Halle, 1 year old

Well...she is always full of new developments. Of course, they include the toilet and some form of stalking me from room to room. But, they deserve their own post and a more recent picture that I need time to find. I'll update that later!

Wordless Wednesday ~ Baby Shower Decor

I thought this decor would be cute for a baby shower, girls room, or a birthday party!