Monday, 30 January 2012
Ok, maybe I'm getting the cold shoulder or maybe you didn't see my last entry... or maybe nobody likes me...but I have moved to a new xanga space.... and if you want to still chat it up and stay in touch will you please leave a comment below so I make sure I add everyone that is currently still here on xanga. If you think I am boring and your just glad to be rid of me that is cool 2... No hard feelings.. I know I have been hit and miss lately but I went to Africa last week and brought home my son!!!!
Thursday, 05 January 2012
Yes I am staying here in xanga land...
But I have had this blog 4ever and needed to upgrade.
I thought about going to blogger or word press, but I have such great friends here.
So the easiest way to do this for me is - visit my new site and leave a comment. I will subscribe from there.
A lot of my subs are out dated anyhow - so a great new start.
So come for a visit at Zany & Zeal… and a bit o' random
Wednesday, 04 January 2012
Baby Jade's first Christmas. She was seriously into it and loved ripping the paper off.
Mr. & Mrs. Hubler's first Christmas together (my brother just got married last July)
My niece Shay joined us for Christmas (my brother's lab which is part of our family)
I can be....a rockstar (rocker barbie for Aleigh with a pink guitar) &
Chef Barbie for Avery since she wants to have a restaurant some day.
Ryan got some super hero figures and super hero movies.
White elephant gifts got a little crazy at the Fuller Shindig!!! LOL
Miss Aves loved the box of jewerly and necklaces from Aunt Chan.
My mom got engaged. She is getting married this summer.
Glad she has found someone who makes her happy, she deserves it.
Ryan and Zalen got a Little Tikes tool work bench for their room. Aves and Ryan were hard at work. They had so much fun playing. The drill was great and actually screwed in the bolts/screws that came
with it. My dad made them homemade cedar blocks which they used for wood working.Our Christmas Eve gifts for Jesus pictures were my fav addition to our Jesus Birthday Party celebration. We each drew a picture for Jesus, a gift we would give Him, in the next year. I drew a picture of my home and a commitment to have people over more often. Aleigh drew herself singing at church (she is shy on stage and really wants to try harder to share her music). Avery committed to praying for a church for the people in Micronesia every day. Ryan's statement was that he wanted to keep God in his heart. Then later added, also in his bones (because he drew himself with skeleton type bones when he drew himself) Craig also committed to serve others more.
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Sometimes, a lot of random, combines into a major impact...and you finally "get it"
This time of year, I am always searching my heart, thinking of the New Year...reflecting....
this morning I especially woke up feeling the need to find my verse for the year to come
not knowing how much time I will have in the next few weeks ahead
I think it started last November 15th when we watched "Let Story Guide You" with Donald Miller. It was the breaking point of my "life as it was".
I have always loved stories, told stories, and desired to write stories. A few years back God impressed upon me that He was calling me to write for Him. This scared me so much. I've always secretly wanted to write.... Then I discovered the world of "blogging" and began to read real life "stories" and was instantly addicted. Inspired, as well. It took awhile for me to dive in. I had a lot of self issues to deal with. But I did begin to write...and Dynamic Devotions emerged. I joined an online group called Faith Writers and plugged away writing on a topic each week. It took awhile but I finally got a rating that took me up another level. I started a newsletter at church and started writing about the stories of the women that attended. I wrote the advent devotionals for church one year. It didn't matter that I got published-- just that I wrote. I remember being astounded when I randomly googled my name one day and I found one article that I had posted as "Free to Publish" featured in a MOPS newsletter and on two different online devotional type sites. If your curious you can see my portfolio here..Member Profile: Tessy Fuller
The story... Oh I love the story. But writing is messy, and lonely. You are your own worst critic and if you are not careful you will believe that others can tell the story better. You will wonder if your story even matters, as you view that your heart and soul, typed out with purpose and determination receives the least comments of all your blog entries. You will listen to the whispers of the "you're not good enough" as you strive for weeks to make it a bit higher in the writing challenge, only to fall flat on your face on what you thought was your best work. Eventually you might even turtle back into your shell and let the ember of God's calling to tell your story, others stories, fade into a barrage of excuses of why you can't. While this applies to me and my writing, sadly it correlates as well to how we choose to live out our story.
What I did not even realize is that as I excused myself from writing... I also excused myself from living my story. Maybe not for you, but for me.... writing vs. living my story is directly linked.
I am 31 years old. I will be 32 in March. I have been a Christian since age 13.
I am recently only discovering the importance of my story.
Hacking through a mess of lies, inadequacies and fear to get there.
It hasn't been an easy process.
And the process is just that, a process.
So, today it all just kind of collided... the power of "story"
• Donald Miller's challenge to write/live a better story
• The blogs of Jo (@mymeanderings) and Tiffany (A Moment Cherished) as they shared their hearts on adoption
• Jen Hatmaker's devotional book and blog...
--All weaved into my life...erasing layers of fear, doubts, that had entangled me from answering the whisper in my heart to adopt--a whisper I knew about since our mission trip to Ecuador in 2006 (before twins)
then later throughout the year... I would be impacted by more stories.. and the fan would be flamed
• A Thousand Gifts (where I would be inspired to chase the moon)
• Helene - A Pastor's wife who started an orphanage where my son is - who was compelled to act.
• Julia H. & Catherine R. - two ladies who have inspired me to be a more of a VOICE for the orphans.
• A blog entry by @appalolly on Everyday Heroes
• Radical by David Platt
For so long I dared to only dream a story bigger then me... this year I flung myself forward on faith to stop dreaming and live it. God took my little dreams and GAVE ME MORE. He opened my eyes and heart to "Not Later" but NOW - that my life is but a vapor. That my influence, my story will directly impact my children... will it be enough? What am I teaching them?
And all of this collided today when I read a top ten blog post of the year entry -- and came across the amazing, courageous, STORY of Choosing JOY-- A story of a beautiful woman named Sara Frankl from Iowa (I was born in IA)
An article here...Sara Frankl's story and then I read through some of her blog posts here: Sara's blog but if you read nothing else - PLEASE read this entry... Please don't miss it
Maybe some of you have heard of her, read her story. I had not. Many quotes jumped out to me... but this one the most....
“You gotta just try to do every thing you can, when it’s your time to do it.”
And then I watched a sermon posted from her church where they talked about her life and came across the verses I knew was going to be my verse this year:
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!"
Philippians 2: 3-8
So reflecting on this last year - I have come to realize an important truth that resonated deep within me when I read Sara's story "It is not about me"
I shamefully cringe at my past tense life of making it about me.
My prayer that God will continue to strip away all of the selfishness that makes it so.
To look to the interests of others
To open my home more... (my gift to Jesus I left under the tree)
In a nutshell - "I want a better story"
When my life here ends....which is just a vapor (which means I have not time to waste)....
It is the "Well done, faithful SERVANT" I am after.
Yes SERVANT. something I had seriously missed in my selfishness.
not intentionally I don't think... it was a slow fade
HE MADE HIMSELF NOTHING by taking the very NATURE of a SERVANT.
To me that is coming to a place of obedience where I lay down what I want and pursue what He wants despite the cost.
Isn't that where the fear comes, when we count the cost?
What is your story? Are you tired of the lies that someone else can tell/live it? Ohh how they will drain your JOY and parch your existence into a hopeless existence. Only YOU can tell/live the STORY you were CREATED for..... God has a plan and purpose for YOU, A STORY beyond your DREAMS... if you only let go of what YOU think you need and want to be... Maybe you have heard the whispers, and dared to dream, but still stand frozen on the sidelines, due to fear and doubt... of what you might lose.. but have you even considered what you might gain?
Thursday, 22 December 2011
30% chance of snow...only today....and I know if we do get some snow it will only be flurries. *Pouts*
I love snow. I have always loved snow. Do you recall me digging through our snow wave from the "blizzard" last year late at night? But this week have been praying that we will get a nice coating of snow because we have a friend visiting from Micronesia who has never experienced it. He is in the military and is spending the Christmas break with the Clark family, wonderful friends of ours. We have had the privilege to hang out with Bo a bit while he is here, experiencing our weird American ways. He was super excited to see a cow the other day. Seriously! Today I think he is going to go hang out at the mall. He comes from a tropical beautiful island. Micronesia is an island dear to our heart because of our good friends, the Askew family, who attended our church that are now missionaries there. The Clark family went to Micronesia this past year on a family mission trip and met Bo and his family while they were there. What a neat experience for them, when they found out that Bo was in training three hours away. They attended his graduation from boot camp and now are hosting him for Christmas. God is seriously amazing.. how he just works things out like that. I hope we get some snow while he is here so we can have a big sledding party.
From youth group last night
Today's plan is to make our graham cracker gingerbread houses and watch Happy Feet. I love just chillaxin with the kids. Best part of Christmas indeed. Today so far I have got a homemade bead ring wrapped in ribbon from my Aves as a gift and a calendar that Aleigh made in school. They were too excited to give me the presents, begged forever that I would open them today. Such sweeties. When I asked Ryan what he wanted to do today, he said snuggle all day. Cherish. Ooey Gooey heart. Savor Moment.
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Merry Christmas to all my friends in xangaland --
My heart is full. overflowing. thankful.
My embassy appointment was yesterday and all went well.
Now we wait to hear the words "His VISA has been issued - you can travel"
Hoping, praying, for no delays - minimum wait 3 weeks - could be longer.......
Praying for the minimum.
I miss my boy.
Craig dreamed of him last night. I was jealous.
I have only dreamed of him once. It was before I saw his picture.
It was not a nice dream. He was hurting and lost and I couldn't find him.
I had a wonderful week of baking last week. Lots of goodies were made and I enjoyed my time spent with my sister. My friend Christie also came over one day and baked with her daughter. I love baking but it is even more fun when you have friends to share it with.
Had our first snow of the season earlier this month and we were able to make a baby snowman.
Looking forward to a low key week hanging with the family and celebrating the wonderful birth of my Savior.
Thursday, 15 December 2011
VOTE for KING - READY TO GO!!
This ends tomorrow and it is like 33% to 39% - just behind by a few votes - YOU could make the difference - just click and vote (don't have to sign up for anything) one vote per device (phone, computer, iPad etc so vote on each one) Takes just a few seconds of your time and could make a BIG difference to this adopting family. If they win they will get $2,000 for their adoption. THEN please SHARE. It takes a minute of your time, REALLY.
VOTE for KING - READY to GO
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Dreary rainy day..... + late night..... + stiff neck from sleeping wrong... + bickering among the little ones = a case of morning grumpies.
I despise morning grumps.
So thankful for my devotion this morning talking of the beautiful gift of Immanuel, God with us.
God is with me...
I needed that simple message today.
Not only is He with me.
He is for me.
Now that is a gift.
I just needed to hear that simple message today...
and ponder it in my heart.
I'm lacking the peace I felt last week.
Sunday I was sick and so I had too much down time to think, when I wasn't sleeping.
I needed church.
I felt weak.
Not just physically, but emotionally.
Lately the only thing holding me together is prayer and God's promises.
They kept me steady, sure, JOYFUL...
Sunday, I felt like I broke.
My heart ached deeply and even now I half smile.
Craig thought I was mad over taco bell (don't ask)
I had to hide the emotion some how in something "stupid"
so I didn't have to deal with what was really pricking my heart.
That I missed him deeply....
God is with me, and He knows.
Others may not understand but
He knows....I don't have to hurt alone.
Psalm 55:22, "Turn your burdens over to the LORD, and he will take care of you."
Deeply thankful this morning for the gift of "God with us"
Side note: Baking is going good....pecan clusters, peppermint melt-aways, cookie dough truffles (most requested treat year after year) peanut butter fudge were all made yesterday.. today we move onto the cookies!! Hooray!
Have lots to do... so I'm off... going to turn this day around - it all starts with some good transparent prayer, a bit of writing as an outlet of confession, baking therapy with friends, and some Christmas music going... yes, already feeling my spirits lifting...
Monday, 12 December 2011
Time keeps slipping away from me.... I am a bit of a distracted mess lately - so hard to FOCUS.
Last week was strung out as I awaited the results of the elections in the Congo (DRC) where my son is.
Finally, Friday it was announced that Kabila had won.
Of course, this is being contested and probably rightly so but I won't get into that.
This next week will be even more of a challenge to stay in the "today"
I have my paper drop off on the 15th and embassy appointment on the 19th.
You can read my adoption blog: Divine Moments - where I list details and specific prayer requests.
I promised a few pictures from Thanksgiving if I ever got them downloaded. I finally did.
My team - The Losers from the Fuller Bowl
Part of the winners from the Fuller Bowl - both of my nephews were on this team and my cousin Darren but they all left before we got a group picture. The boys had practice for state so they left early for that.
Turkey Day at my Mom's house. My sister and James did the whole meal. I was impressed. I have never made a whole Turkey Day meal myself so it was amazing. They even had appetizers.
Friday we went to my Dad's to celebrate Turkey Day with him. We had hot turkey sandwiches with gravy on top and later went for a walk, because it was so nice out.
We went and got our tree a few weekends ago....
Last year Avery was crazy about the tree and gave it a name -- "Orangey" (not sure how she came up with that one) and she cried when we took it down. It was a big deal. So this year the tree had to have a name I was informed and Ryan named it snowflake. The kids talk to it and I found a play cookie sitting on the branch the other day. When asked why their was a cookie on the tree, they informed me snowflake needed a snack. *Sigh*
I still need to take a good picture of it all lit up and decorated. I finished up decorating this weekend. Got the nativity up and decorated the dining room with my gingerbread decor. Looks pretty. I love waking up first thing in the morning and plugging in the tree and the lights before everyone else gets up. It is just nice and peaceful.
My Christmas shopping is done. I finally got to go out with one of my besties. Her birthday was end of November and I wanted to treat her. We had dinner and done some shopping-- so was able to finish up what I didn't do online. I am still working on stocking project for Craig, but other then that my shopping is complete.
I have really struggled with shopping this year and the materialism of Christmas. I really enjoyed these thoughts from Jen Hatmaker - The Christmas Conundrum This year I am doing only three gifts for each of the kids + a few small things for their stockings. Even after said and done... I still feel like it was a bit much. I don't want to be a scrooge, but God has opened up my eyes to see things differently. As a mom, I want to make sure I am not diminishing the true meaning of Christmas. My kids are spoiled and have a sense of entitlement that drives me loopy sometimes. But before I get to harsh on them, I have to step back and acknowledge that I have helped create that. Also, that I am spoiled as well.
I just want them to want to GIVE more then they want to receive. I have made a personal goal this year to GIVE as much as I spend on Christmas. I know we "TALK" a lot about teaching our kids but what "ACTIONS" are they doing (are we doing) to match up with all the talk? Are we providing them the opportunity to live it out? I'm not trying to judge anyone on how they do Christmas, just thinking out loud and trying to be transparent on this issue I have been dealing with. Aleigh was able to go help at the local food bank with her dad and it was an awesome experience for her. Avery helped me put together our boxes to send to Micronesia to our missionary friends there, gifts for the children at Christmas. We did this last year and the impact was huge when we later viewed pictures of the kids enjoying their gifts. See, I don't want my kids to think they are missing something by not getting more presents. I want them to be excited that because they get less, we are able to bless others. I want them to get that, and not resent it.
This week we will be doing our baking, another way to teach to give. We bake for several days and then deliver cookies/treats to our neighbors and family. It is a small gift, but a good opportunity to give and feel they are apart of something.
Even at that.. is it enough? I just don't want to miss it.
I am looking forward to our Christmas Eve celebration. We always have a birthday party for Jesus. This year I am adding something to it. I am going to have each one of us to write a "gift" (draw a picture) of what we can give to Jesus and put it in a box under the tree. Christmas morning after we read the Christmas story.. the first gift we will "open" will be our gifts for Jesus. Hopefully, this will help each of us prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christmas.
What are some things you do as a family to keep your celebrations Christ-centered? Do you ever struggle with the "materialism" associated with Christmas? How do you balance that? Just would love to hear your thoughts, if any, on that. I love gaining insight from you and applying any new ideas/traditions that work. One thing I keep missing is doing the advent calendar. I always want to do that and always fail to prepare.... maybe next year. Or maybe I should prepare it this year and pack it away for next year. Between your blogs and pinterest I have some great ideas.
So with this being my baking week... I have to know.. what is you all time favorite Christmas cookie or goodie? Mine has to be peanut butter fudge!!
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
I can hardly believe tomorrow is the last day of November....
This month has flown by..
This entire year has really flown by...
I so looked forward to Thanksgiving holiday weekend and it seemed to come and go so quickly. I guess time really does fly when your having fun... because I did have lots of fun. I spent Wed. baking -- pecan pie, pumpkin pie, pumpkin layered dessert, apple pie, and a 4 layer dessert. Thursday we headed over to the farm to celebrate the first part of the day with Craig's family. We had an amazing dinner and then headed out on a beautiful sunny day to play our annual "FULLER BOWL" We have played football on Thanksgiving for as far back as I can remember - but we actually made it official in 2004. Our team lost this year by one touch down I have misplaced my camera otherwise I would post pictures. The weather was so nice!! It was fun. Last year we froze. Some years we even play in the snow.
After the Fuller Bowl we rested up a bit, had some dessert and then headed to my mom's house where my sister put on a wonderful Thanksgiving feast. So much good food. It was Baby Jade & Kinnly's first Thanksgiving so it was fun to see them tasting just a bit of tators and maybe a dab of cool whip
Feel so blessed to have such a great family!!!
Friday, Chan and Jade and me and the kids went to Dad's for Turkey lunch. He made hot turkey sandwiches and we enjoyed lots of snacks as well. We watched Charlie Brown shows and played monster truck and cars with the kids. It was still really nice out Friday so we took a walk together with Jade strapped on the wagon. It was fun and felt good to exercise off some of those calories I had consumed the past few days. Baby Jade loved riding in the wagon. The girls stayed with Pom-Po for the night and later that evening Craig, Ryan and I went to watch Arthur's Christmas with Tonya and family and Chris. It was super funny and I really enjoyed it.
Saturday morning we woke up early and headed to St. Louis to the DOME. My nephew's high school football team made it to state this year. Trey didn't get to play, but Tyler did. He played defense on special teams but finally they put him in at the end of the game and he got a good tackle. They ended up losing but it was pretty cool to go to the dome where the Rams play. I had never been. Proud of them boys though. Trey was only 2 years old when I started dating Craig and Tyler was itty bitty too. Tyler used to have the cutest crush on me. Now they are all grown-up almost. Tyler will be a senior next year!!! Can hardly believe it. After the game we drove around for awhile trying to find a Chick-Fil-A. I love that restaurant. Yes, I have to drive three hours to eat at one. Wish they would get one in CoMo.
So hopefully when I find my camera I can post a few pictures.... not to busy of a week... but a busy weekend.
I am a SAHM and I have been abundantly blessed with a very imaginative brown-eyed daugher who is six and boy/girl twins who are three. My husband is a youth pastor and I love working with our teen group. I enjoy writing and regularly feature ideas for families to do together, Tasty Tuesday recipes, and reflections on how God is working in my life. I also love to scrapbook (digital and regular) and I enjoy photography. I can not live without my coffee and I love to experience God's divine moments in my life. Always looking for new friends here in xangaland so I hope you stop by and say Hi!