Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 31

Day 31 - A Heart for Missions

Lord, please help my children to develop a heart for missions, a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among all people.

Psalm 96:3

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 30

Day 30 - Gratitude

Help my children to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Ephesisans 5:20

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 29

Day 29 - Prayerfulness

Grant, Lord, that my children's lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

Ephesians 6:18

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 28

Day 28 - Self-Discipline

Father, I pray that my children may develop self-discipline, that they may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.

Proverbs 1:3

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wedding Shower!

Today Caroline and I attended a wedding shower for Miss Jessie Carroll.   I kept Jessie on Saturday's during tax Season for her mom Kim.  She and John Wayne were in the same classes through school.  We also spent a lot of time with her extended family.  Her grandfather was my Civics and 7th grade Mathematics teacher.  I worked some for her grandmother during tax season.   Our son Austin Kieff is named after her cousin Austin.  She has wonderful parents and a wonderful extended family that do so much for the Church I grew up in, the local school and community.  Her fiance, Todd, is a very lucky man. 

If you can believe it, I did not get a single good picture of Jessie today!  I did however capture a cute expression on Caroline's face:

Saturday Fellowship and Family Fun Day

This past Saturday our Sunday School class was hosted by George and Vickie Browder at their cabin in Petrey, Alabama.  After more than 8 hours in the office after very few hours of sleep I was definitely ready for a little fellowship, fun and family time.  It was so nice to fish (okay,  I did not fish, but  I did have the most wonderful time capturing everyone else fishing!) and enjoy a fabulous meal.  The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold.  The  mosquitoes were ABSENT.  And, the fish were biting.  The men envied the success of the transformer and Barbie poles!!

Here are a few pictures from our day:

Caroline with her new Barbie pole

It even came with a little tackle box. 
Caroline and Cole enjoyed putting crickets in the box.

L-R:  Tori holding Caroline S., Caroline S.'s dad Kris, Caroline S.'s mom Amy
Austin Kieff, the Cricket Bucket and David

I got one Daddy!!

This is one of the SMALLER fish caught Saturday!!

Bliss?  Joy? 

The kids were all FASCINATED by the Cricket Bucket. 
The Cricket Bucket became an accessory for Caroline, a source of
entertainment...not to mention BAIT!  Look how excited Caroline S. looks!
She really enjoyed playing with the crickets.
L-R: Camden, Caroline S., Amy, Caroline and Tori

More fun with the crickets.  We joked that Caroline was
The Keeper of the Crickets

The Carolines

The Keeper of the Crickets

Notice she STILL has the Cricket Bucket

Cole holding a cricket

Austin Kieff reeling in another one

Caroline and Owen

Dance Off
L-R: Cole, Hudson, Austin Kieff and Caroline

Caroline and Mommy
(taken by Austin Kieff...not too bad)

Day 27

Day 27 - A Passion for God

Lord please instill in my children a soul that followeth hard after thee, a heart that clings passionately to You.

Psalm 63:8

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Yesterday's Scripture that I just happened to go back and check:

In this world you will have tribulation. Jesus promises, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

God has kept no secrets. He has told us that we will experience trouble. But just as the devil shows up and cackles, we needn't panic ...our Master speaks of am accomplished deed...It is finished (John 19:30). The battle is over. Be alert. But don't be alarmed. Satan is loosened for a season, but the season is oh so brief. Just a few more scenes, just a few more turns in the road, and his end will come.

...wish I were that eloquent!! What a great truth...He who has overcome the world is on our side ...
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Mountain of God

Music has been an important part of my life from a very early age. From, singing in the back bedroom at Nanny and Pa’s (we called him D-Dad at this time) to banging on his harp (dulcimer) or strumming his electric guitars or steel guitar. I tried my hand at piano, the flute and various percussion instruments from elementary through high school. I cannot forget youth choir and later adult choir where I served as assistant director before moving churches and participating just as enjoyably from the congregation. Music in all forms has always had a special place in my life. Music is a source of comfort to me. Words to songs minister to my heart at times when nothing else seems to sink in. Music often brings me to a place where my heart is ready to worship…or perhaps open is a better word choice.

Lately there have been a multitude of situations around me that have damaged my spirit in one way or another. A man I respect greatly said it best when surmising one situation that the forces of evil are around us and they are great. I have found comfort in God’s holy Word like never before. Sermons have seemed written just for me, the song choices during service have seemed as if handpicked for me to hear, verses have been placed before me in places I may have overlooked before, radio playlists seem made for me…I am so thankful that knowing the needs of my heart, the needs of my spirit, that my heavenly Father allowed me to hear and prepared me to be receptive to hearing the sermons, scriptures, songs, and even to have conversations with people I haven’t talked to in ages that truly worked to mend my brokenness.

Today on my early drive in to work I experienced yet another of these divine interventions as I have come to call them. I heard the song Mountain of God by Third Day that truly ministered to my very soul. The words are as follows:

Thought that I was all alone/Broken and afraid/But You were there with me/Yes, You were there with me

And I didn't even know/That I had lost my way/But You were there with me/Yes, You were there with me

'Til You opened up my eyes/I never knew/That I couldn't ever make it/Without You

Even though the journey's long/And I know the road is hard/Well, the One who's gone before me/He will help me carry on/After all that I've been through/Now I realize the truth/

That I must go through the valley/To stand upon the mountain of God

As I travel on the road/That You have lead me down/You are here with me/Yes, You are here with me/I have need for nothing more/Oh, now that I have found/That You are here with me/Yes, You are here with me

I confess from time to time/I lose my way/But You are always there/To bring me back again

Even though the journey's long/And I know the road is hard/Well, the One who's gone before me/He will help me carry on/After all that I've been through/Now I realize the truth

That I must go through the valley/To stand upon the mountain of God

Sometimes I think of where it is I've come from/And the things I've left behind/But of all I've had, what I possessed/Nothing can quite compare/With what's in front of me/With what's in front of me

Even though the journey's long/And I know the road is hard/Well, the One who's gone before me/He will help me carry on/After all that I've been through/Now I realize the truth

That I must go through the valley/To stand upon the mountain of God

Yes, I must go through the valley
To stand upon the mountain of God

I must go through the valley
To stand upon the mountain of God

Thought that I was all alone
Broken and afraid
But You were there with me
Yes, You were there with me

Oh how I needed to hear that song at this particular moment…to remind me that even though the journey's long and I know the road is hard, that the One who's gone before me will help me carry on. And as I am going through the various situations at hand, there is great joy found in realizing the truth that even though I must go through the valley, I get to stand upon the mountain of God.

And, to top things off, I found a scripture calendar and today’s Word was:

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man and said, I will. Be healed! (Matthew 8:3)
Oh, the power of a godly touch. Haven’t you known it?...Can’t we offer the same? Many of you already do. Some of you have the master touch of the Physician himself. You use your hands to pray over the sick and minister to the weak. If you aren’t touching them personally, your hands are writing letters, dialing phones, baking pies. You have learned the power of touch.

I can truly say yes, I have known God’s touch. His arms of comfort have wrapped around me so many times of late giving me strength, comfort, easing fears. I pray that God gives me a servant’s heart so that I can truly serve others in times of uncertainty, stress, sickness or any other situation as He allowed others to care for me.

I think about having heard people say all my life about being “too old to run home to Momma…Well, I thank God that we are never too old to run home to Him!

Day 26

Day 26 - The Willingness and Ability to Work Hard

Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work hard at everything they do, as working for the Lord, not men.

Colossians 3:23

Friday, March 25, 2011

Adoption - a Miracle is Needed
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Prayers Needed

A sweet baby boy named Jack is at Children's Hospital in Birmingham with RSV. I got to know his mom when we were both contestants in Peanut. I worked with her sister at a local bank. She and her family are just the sweetest people. Please pray for strength, comfort, rest and healing for this family and their baby boy.
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Day 25

Day 25 - Hope

May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 24

Day 24 - A Servant's Heart

God, please help my children develop servant hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly as to the Lord, and not to men.

Ephesians 6:7

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 23

Day 23 - Faith

I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children's hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them.

Luke 17:5-6
Hebrews 11:1-40

Day 22

Day 22 - Contentment

Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation...through him who gives them strength.

Philippians 4:12-13

Day 21

Day 21 - Responsibility

Grant that my children may learn responsibility for each one should carry his own load.

Galatians 6:5


I LOVE getting a "thumb ups" and a "smack" from my baby girl! She sure knows how to make her Momma smile. Her daddy seems to enjoy it, too!!

We are loving these springtime afternoons, but would not mind a little less pollen in the air. It is the season of baseball, fishing, flower picking, shorts wearing, long sunny days ...and like I mentioned earlier, WE love it!!
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 20

Day 20 - Compassion

Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion.

Colossians 3:12

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 19

Day 19 - Humility

God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all.

Titus 3:2

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 18

Day 18 - Perseverance

Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race marked out for them.

Hebrews 12:1

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Building a Better Family

Thanks to one of our auditors, I had the opportunity to listen to a motivational speaker (on CD) named Matthew Kelly.  The CD was about building a better family.  There are 5 key ingredients to developing a spiritual base which leads to a better family:

  1. Ask the right questions
  2. Pray together as a family
  3. Create a family culture
  4. Simplify
  5. Develop a spirit of service.
Over the next few weeks (or months given my work schedule) I am going to be blogging about these topics and how David and I are going to try to incorporate them into our family.  I hope you will stay tuned and for those of you who do, I pray you receive a blessing from the message being shared as I did from the CD.

Birthday Girl

 This baby girl sure does LOVE her Papa!

 The Birthday Cake
 The Fairy Castle
 More of the food table
 Lily is about to see how well her fairy wings work and
Caroline was quick to follow!

 Austin Kieff had to play a little ball. 
He absolutely loves playing in the Activities Building.

 Three very  happy girls!!
Claire, Lily and Caroline

 Caroline's picture table showing how she has changed
over the past two years!

 Getting ready to blow out the candles!
Yes,  Austin Kieff is the one  with the basketball.

 Birthday presents and favors for the
Fairies and Lost Boys!

 Lost Boy Austin Kieff the Raccoon.

 Lost Boy Jacob

 Okay, so she was supposed to be a Fairy Princess...
I think she had as much fun being a Lost Boy...

 Enjoying the birthday goodies!  The table was full of fairy wonders!
Wings, swords, candy, jewels, treasure eggs, rose petals,
masks, party blow outs...such fun to be had!

 Deciding what to eat?

 Present time!

 Loving on Grandmother

Daddy, the ultimate LOST  BOY!!

Day 17

Day 17 - Joy

May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 1:6

Day 16

Day 16 - Peace, Peaceability

Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace.

Romans 14:19

Day 15

Day 15 - Generosity

Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.

1 Timothy 6: 18-19

Day 14

Day 14 - Kindness

Lord may my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

1 Thessalonians 5:15

Day 13

Day 13 - Purity

Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let their purity of heart be shown in their actions.

Psalm 51:10

Day 12

Day 12 - Courage

May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Monday, March 14, 2011

M4MM: Happy Birthday Caroline!

On March 13, 2009, at 11:07 in the morning, my precious daughter came into this world weighing 7lbs and 5 ozs. She was 19 inches long and a very welcomed addition to our family. After a very long day, night and morning she made her grand appearance just before I was to be prepped for a c-section. She knew the importance of pleasing her momma from an early age, ha! I will never forget my Nurse Anya saying, “we have let you wait long enough, it is time to take can try one more time Laura, but this baby just isn’t coming.” Well, what did she know? I sat up and pushed once and was told not to move. Dr. Logan came in and a few pushes later there was my beautiful baby girl. I am not sure who was more relieved, me or her Daddy…or perhaps my mom who stayed in the waiting room all night long and then stood just outside the delivery curtain while Caroline was being delivered. She was waiting in the background, praying, hearing the things that were being said that I didn’t necessarily understand at the time, worried and alone. But, I knew she was there which calmed me and I think helped David, too. I will always be thankful she stayed the night instead of going home as I asked!! Yes, Miss Caroline took her own sweet time getting here, or perhaps I should say she arrived on her schedule and not mine…which is very much her disposition today. I should note she took her own sweet time after I was induced…I guess she knew she still had several weeks to spare if she so chose, ha!

Caroline is a survivor, rough and tough. From early on in my pregnancy, Caroline had to fight. She was determined to “stick” around when my doctor didn’t think she would make it. Of course I know it was the Lord’s choosing, but I also believe she was a little opinionated about the matter! She has had a problem with a valve in her heart, bacterial meningitis, the flu each year, and like her big brother an array of other health issues in her two short years. I am so thankful that she has been quick to heal and so far nothing too serious has crossed her path. The Lord has truly blessed her and our family.

Caroline is a determined little girl. She is determined to succeed at whatever task is before her…whether it is copying her brother’s karate moves, trampoline trick or climbing feat…she does not give up. I have a love/hate relationship with a certain look she gets. I love the fact that she has some of my personality in her, but I sure hate the fact that I know exactly what I am up against sometimes!!

Caroline is so loving and easily makes friends. I truly believe she inherited this trait from her Daddy. While I am very slow to attach, she makes fast friends with adults and children alike. Where I am reserved she is outgoing. Where I am skeptical she is trusting. Yes, I now she is only two, but I believe these are key parts of her personality and pray nothing happens to change them. She is fiercely loyal to her family, especially her big brother. She is quick to learn, quick to anger and quick to forgive (much like her Daddy). She is clumsy (like her Momma). She adores her big brother.

I have enjoyed watching Caroline grow and change this past year. I love to take her for a drive (down are driveway, over to the horse barn and back to the house x however many times she can get me to do it!) [not on the highway…just through the yard and pasture]. I love to watch her walk around in my shoes, knowing all too soon she may be able to wear them. I love to watch her learn something new. I love to listen to her chatter, talk on the telephone and read. I love to watch her play in the water. I love to watch her run to me with arms outstretched when I come home in the evenings. I love to watch her sleep and to hold her while I rock her to sleep. I love to watch her lay in her bed beside her big brother or in their “tent.” I love to listen to her pray. I love to hear her say “love you too” or “mommy hold Caroline” or my most recent favorite, “I need to potty NOW.” I love watching the miracle that God blessed us with grow in to this beautiful little girl that I am so proud to claim as mine, if only transiently. I am so thankful he entrusted her and her big brother to David and me.

So as we close out Caroline’s second year, I pray for so many things. I pray that I will be a good mother to her; that she will love the Lord; that she will be generous and kind; that she will have a passion for her Heavenly Father; that she will be courageous and humble; that she will be honest and have solid principles founded in her faith in and knowledge of God’s word; that she will be merciful and just, gracious, compassionate and faithful; that she will be content with who she is and becomes according to God’s will in her life; I pray for her future husband, that God will send her a strong and faithful mate who loves the Lord; I pray that she will continue to be blessed by the Lord; I pray for her to be healthy and to become an intelligent and successful woman…my list knows no end…

Party pictures and full post to come...stay tuned...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 11


Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts.

Provers 3:3

Today, I think about God's faithfulness to us...

Great is Thy Faithfulness

"Great is Thy faithfulness," O God my Father,

There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

"Great is Thy faithfulness!" "Great is Thy faithfulness!"
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
"Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Day 10

Strong, biblical Self-esteem

Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:10

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Just Think...

Words from a greeting card, that really resonate with me today:

Just're not here by chance, but by God's choosing.  His hand formed you and made you the person you are.  He compares you to no one else-you are one of a kind.  You lack nothing that His grace cannot give you.  He has allowed you to be here at this time in history to fulfill His special purpose for this generation.  Just are God's servant in God's place at God's perfect time.

He has given us His very great and precious promises, that through them you may participate in the divine nature.  II Peter 1:4

Day 9

Respect for self, others and authority

Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as Your Word commands.

1 Peter 2:17

Day 8


May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful.

Luke 6:36

Day 7


God, help my children to love justice as You do and to act justly in all they do.

Psalm 11:7; Micah 6:8

Day 6

A Love for God's Word

May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than gold, than much pure gold; and sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.

Psalm 19:10

Day 5


Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do.

1 Thessalonians 5:6

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Please Pray

Yesterday a beautiful young lady died and her baby boy died at Children's following a car accident. Please pray for her husband and family. Please also pray for the driver of the other car who also died. We did not know her,but have no doubt that her family is devastated as well.

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Happy Birthday

Austin Kieff was singing happy birthday to me last night before bedtime. He was so sweet...and then he added, "you look like a monkey who lives in the zoo" followed by a "ha ha ha ha ha ha!" He was so proud of himself and so very serious when He said, "I was just kidding Momma, you look like my Momma." There was a time where that would be very far from a compliment. Today, I don't want to look like anything else...I am truly loving my life as a wife and mom!!
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 4

Honesty and Integrity

May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection.

Psalm 25:21
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 3


Grant Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love through the Spirit who dwells in them.

Ephesians 5:2
Galatians 5:22
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Day 2

Growth in Grace

I pray that they may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:18
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 1

I pray for the salvation of my children. Lord let salvation spring up within my children that they may obtain the salvation that is Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

Isaiah 45:8; 2 Timothy 2:10
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Not sure why this did not post...

Caroline will be two next Sunday. I can hardly believe it. What a blessing she has been. I went from being super surprised to scared all in a matter of minutes of finding our I was pregnant. But, she was strong then and proves to be just as strong now. What joy she has brought to our family!!

I pray she will love the Lord with all her heart. I pray she and Austin Kieff will love and protect one another fiercely and only have a limited number of disagreements, ha! I pray for joy in her life, self-discipline, a servant's heart, to become a Proverbs 31 woman. I pray God will bless her life as much as God has blessed my life by placing her in it.
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