This and that.

🎡 Sing with me! 🎢
If you're happy and you know it, say Amen! A-MEN!
If you're happy and you know it, say Amen! A-MEN!
If you're happy and you know it then your face will surely show it.
If you're happy and you know it, say Amen! A-MEN! 🎢🎡

Today was a great day! Early wake-up call, school lessons completed, house cleaned, chores finished, dinner pre-made, Dennis came home from work early, the littles played creatively, the big boys said they love me, and to top it all off, I get to spend the evening being lovingly raked over the spiritual coals of discipleship by an older woman who loves the Lord. Yay for today!

Last week, my birthday week, was also wonderful.
Dennis and my children made the day special, and cards in the mail, surprise gifts, e-mails, and text messages added to the joy!
I am thankful the Lord chose to bring me into the world 46 years ago, and I cannot wait to see what He has planned for the next four decades of life!
It is true - the older you get the more precious life becomes. ❤
I pray I will use the next year WELL!

One of the highlights of the weekend was the start of a new tradition with my teenaged sons.
Birthday DATES!
As much as I enjoy gifts, I would much prefer making a memory with my boys. When they asked what I wanted this year, I answered, "A date with each of you!" And they obliged.

- Caleb planned our date and because he knows I love Mexican food, he chose to have lunch at Rubio's. (Their grilled tacos are delicious!)
We talked about his walk with the Lord, the need to read the Word daily, his enthusiasm for youth group, and his friends. We also had a short but important discussion about how to initiate conversations with people that are purposeful and encouraging. His junior high ears were eager to take this in, and by the end of our lunch date he was zinging questions at me right and left. YES!
He also planned dessert for us - Yogurtland - and was quite pleased that he had discovered a 2-for-1 coupon because it allowed us to get as MUCH as we wanted without worrying about the price. A 13-year-old boy without a job is on a budget after all!
Thank you, Caleb, for my birthday lunch/dessert date! I LOVED spending time with you!

- Micah said, "We can do whatever YOU want to do!" I didn't tell him what I had planned, however, because I knew he would quickly change his mind. It was not until we were a good few miles down the freeway that I announced, "Okay! We are going SHOPPING! For two things - a necklace and a purse. And then we can go to dinner." Complete silence, but a look of horror covered his face.
When we approached the door of the store, I said, "Take a deep breath!"
"Whatever for?"
"Trust me. Take a deep breath." He did. Aaaand then we stepped into Charming Charlie's, at which time my son stopped dead in his tracks, dropped his head to his chest, and groaned, "You hate me, don't you?"
The Mission: Choose three necklaces you think I would like.
And thus began a thorough lesson in observation, attentiveness, how to select jewelry for a woman, and how to be a thoughtful gift-giver. An eye-rolling emoji and a face with laughing tears would sum up our time in the heavily-laden-with-estrogen store!
He took me to dinner and we engaged in a serious discussion about his future, staying far away from the line that separates the believer from the world, and where He wants to grow in his spiritual life.
Micah, you were a thoughtful, entertaining, and gracious date. Thank you!

- Luke took me out to lunch after church on Sunday. Being that he and I are twins in mind and spirit (though definitely not body!), we enjoyed a deep, introspective conversation about the body of Christ, the Lord, sin, and where we need to improve in relationships with others. We also took a short trip down memory lane. My favorite part of that trip was when I asked him, "Did you EVER think we would be where we are now as mother and son? All of our battles, the rebellion, the frustration and anger ... did you think we would end up here, close and mutually respecting one another, or did you plan to pack your bags at 18 and get as far away as possible?" Without missing A BEAT he stopped his fork full of food in midair and declared, "The last one! Bags packed - and outta there!"
And then we shared how thankful we are that the Lord has drawn us together in a unique and precious way this past year. Not just mother and son - but friends.
Thank you for an encouraging and mutually enjoyed birthday lunch, Luke. I loved it!

We jumped into the world of Ancient Egypt this week, so it seemed fitting to engage in a "Let's make each other into mummies!' activity.
Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie mummified Caleb first (a team-building event in which they fought with each other as much as they cooperated), and then they took turns wrapping each other.
They ended up having a BLAST, and laughing - a lot! How thankful I am for excellent curriculums that include FUN in the learning!

~~ Dennis, Micah, Luke, and Caleb have the privilege of attending our Men's Conference this weekend, and I am excited for them! An excellent speaker, a timely topic, worship and prayer with their brothers in Christ, and time spent together as father and sons. A winning combination!

~~ On Monday night we get a special treat! Mom Eastman and Denise (Dennis' sister) are coming to town for two days! We have not seen them in the last year, so we are eager to spend time with them, catch up on life, thoroughly enjoy one another, and make some new memories! We have great visits when they come down south, so we are thankful it is happening SOON!

~~ I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead of you! Whatever you do, make sure to spend time in the Word, in prayer, and serving someone else. Sometimes the best remedy for a worn and weary heart is doing something for someone else - just because you can! Your troubles are forgotten for a time as you focus on the other person, and they are encouraged by your kindness. A win-win!
ENJOY your weekend, friends!

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