Saturday, January 30, 2016

Zekaryah Austin Lei Wells Turning 18

I am just in awe of this child most of the time. He has been a rollercoaster from conception. He is full of energy and life. He loves greater than anyone I have ever known. He feels deeply and expresses that.
He brings so much joy and laughter to our days. He has amazing work ethic and serves others unconditionally. He has a love for Christ that impresses me for being so young. I am always amazed at how much time he pours into various ministries at church.
His love for this sweet  young lady is pretty awesome to watch as well. He had the best time for his birthday. Her Sadie Hawkins dance for school fell on the same day. He got to go bowling, went out to eat with her and her friends and then went to the school dance. 
She's pretty smart, she asked him to the dance with a sweet cheesy note and some cheesecake hearts. He loves cheesecake- he didn't even share a bite. They are great for each other. She is serious and kind and caring and he is unexpected, spontaneous and a little crazy at times. They balance each other well. 
Her dance was Hollywood so he went as Captain America- she even bought him an iconic shirt for the part and she went as Agent Carter. I am so thankful his weekend was wonderful.
I could not ask for a better son. I am so thankful to have him in my life. I have loved watching him grow in Christ and just become his own person. He really loves welding this year, he is doing amazing in the class. He won first place in his solo for Choir and advances to state for competition. He starts track season this week and we pray he does well. He serves in the Children's Ministry with their music learning sign language to perform the songs for the youth, serves in the Sunday School classroom, the youth band on Wednesdays and Student Leadership. I would love to Bottle his energy at times. He has also been working hard to save money for camp this summer for church and his Ecuador  Mission Trip this summer. I pray 18 is full of blessings and the Lord's favor. I pray for health and strength and that He direct His path as he finished out his Junior Year at High School. We love you. Happy Birthday~

Friday, January 29, 2016

Choir UIL 2016

Both the younger two have been in choir since 4th grade in school. They really seem to enjoy it. This year they are participants in a combined choir. They went to competition Friday and did well. 
Mekenzei sang a class 2 song and received 1st place, however you have to receive 1st place on a Class 1 song to go to state.
Zekaryah sang a Class 1 song and was able to score a 1. He was very excited. However, he was so uptight about the ensemble song and then combined with the Play, starting Track on Monday, having the dance at his girl friends school Saturday, Talent Show at Church Sunday that I think it was a little much. He collapsed after the ensemble performance in front of judges. It took 3 minutes to bring him around. It was a little scary as he could not feel either leg to walk, so we sat a while until his body came back around.
I am so thankful to all the students who were so supportive. They sure do care a great deal for him and MeKenzei. She had a hard time seeing him like that. He luckily came home, slept well and late and then had no problems at the dance- which also was his 18th birthday. I am excited to see all these kiddos go to State in May.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Journey Points in Life

I saw this on the internet today. I truly love it.
I find this current journey in life interesting.  I am not sure what it is about it that is so different. Why I am in such a different place at this current moment. I often feel overwhelmed and just in this deep thirst for closeness to our Heavenly Father.
 I look forward to my morning bible study every morning, so much so that I might just sit and ponder over something in the bible at night while my daughter does homework and I am there just for moral support. Just last night I read through Ecclesiastes. Still felt a little "off/empty" started into Psalms.
I can't quite put my finger on it. I am not sure if it is just the constant stress that surrounds us, the kids being in their junior year and nearly done with school and the stress of their schedules and homework, along with my son's in college.. the list could truly go on. I just need something. I don't know what. I keep praying for direction.
I miss bible study at church. I never really had a connection of fellowship at church but I miss those small little tid bits that made a difference in my week. I miss getting out of the house and away from things for just a bit. Tuesday nights are rough though, homework is always intense these days and its hard to get away.
As soon as I looked into a bible study at another church for Wednesday mornings, our financial problems hit with vehicles. Full on hit, they haven't stopped. Now I have a ride either from a friend who will do child care or the young girl staying with us but it feels like its asking a lot. I was longing to do the bible study. I thought maybe this is it. I have been praying so much, I feel I could pray for hours sometimes. I don't really have anyone to relate to in my current situation. I don't have a friend that has time to listen, spend time in the word with, great a bond. Does this even happen in the generation we live anymore?
I desire this small community, you know like the Amish books where you have this group of women that quilt and can and support one another. I want to truly dig into my prayer life, into the word of the lord, feel close to him.
I used to share that with my mom. We did bible study together every day and would share with one another what we had read and what we would learn, how we could pray for one another. I had moments like this with my husbands mom as well. I cherish those past moments.
Life sure does pass us by so quickly. There was a time that I could not wait for PTO and busy schedules to be over, it took so much time, yet I had people I went to lunch with, laughed with and volunteered with. Now most days are alone, kids are busy, life is empty but busy and I struggle to feel closer to God while life feels so unbelievably alone.

Unexpected Blessing

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” 
Lately I feel like I am swallowed by an endless vehicle issue pit. We have four vehicles, we need two to run, the other two are older vehicles that we have been waiting for children to drive. We decided recently when my husband's truck started having issues it was time to put some money into our other truck, which we got when our middle child was born so that 1.) we would have another vehicle to help with daily needs of transporting kids and such and then 2.) our son would have a gift for his 18th birthday and would also be inspired to get his license and have a way to get some side work for Ecuador and summer camp. We have been working on my husbands truck since Novemeber. Our neighbor is a mechanic and he helped us with a water pump and some other things on my vehicle this summer. At first it was great. He was trying to troubleshoot an oil leak. In the process the service engine light started having issues, we have been now troubleshooting that since. We get the the truck back, are told what the new "fixes are" pay some money and then find nope its still back on after driving it the required 50+ miles. Its a struggle to get it back because he is super busy, I get that, we are neighbors. We recently went on our trip and he had four days with it where we didn't need it. We came back so hopeful, it took a few more days to get it, it failed inspection, he looked at it again and then I took it yesterday when the guarantee that it would pass, it failed two bays. I am frustrated. I decided we should go ahead and just focus on the son's soon to be new to him truck. I found that the battery needed replacing, we just had to do that to my vehicle, unexpectedly last week, $135 unexpected cost....I wasn't thrilled. I went next door to get the information I needed on the truck to make the purchase. Well I didn't quite have enough. I stood at the counter in a sinus medicine fog. You know what i am talking about. Where it takes so much energy to think and process something. I counted the money. I thought about money I had on paypal and how I might have enough to split the difference from every penny I had in my wallet to what was left of quilting order income. It would wipe me out. As I struggled, the girl that lives with us, all of 19 years old, handed me $60. It covered what I was lacking. We bought the battery and came home. We installed it next door, I took our truck. I was hopeful to call insurance this morning, add it to our already monthly bills as planned and have a vehicle, knowing that my vehicle inspection light is on, my inspection is up this month and I need new stickers and we are still troubleshooting my husbands truck...WHEW~~~ exhausting. Well my husband gets home, praises us for our job, I share my somewhat funny store story. He gives me money to cover the money loaned to us. We chat about our son's soon to be truck, that is supposed to be ready to give to him because his 18th birthday is Saturday..I feel despair, I feel hopeless. I immediately cry out to God with a chest full of pain. It seems the $150 that my son gave him of his own money to work on the truck to fix the final needed items wasn't applied to the truck. My husband upon looking found that while an air filter cover was added under the hood, without installing a new air filter, which I will do today. The spark plug and cable/wire work was not done. The truck door was not fixed how it was supposed to, not at all to be honest. He has had the truck since Christmas Break. We have been talking about the project since summer time. I don't know how you prove they weren't done. My husband is 100% sure. You can see the very old dirt around the plugs, you could see that if you had taken them out that a normal person would have wiped away that filth when putting in the new plug and wires. You could tell they are old. My husband knows this truck, it of course had been his for so many years, its the first truck we had as a married couple. I now reach out in hopes of prayer for my husband, who has a heavy heart at not being treated fairly, at being told something was done and expecting not his money but his child's money. I think the sting in that is severe. We are praying for this man's honesty. That even though his money is probably spent he will do the right thing. We don't want to offend, we don't want to assume, or accuse or be bad neighbors but you don't want to feel "Scammed" either. I reach out to you to join us in prayer. I share this story not to tell the wrong of these actions and situation or gossip as some might say but to be real in this very moment in our struggle to try and provide for our family. We have had to take grocery money, work extra jobs, do so much to try and pay for these repairs. We have struggled to not have two vehicles, which I know so many do every day and I honestly don't know how. We need the Lord's Guidanace and wisdom and favor. I would love for this man to just come to us and be honest, just do the work without my husband having to confront him. I know the Lord has a plan. I know he knew we would discover this and I know he has an answer for us. Part of me feels that he just didn't get around to it and my hasty decision to put a battery in and take the truck back may have caused part of this situation. The real blessing on this whole story that I want to end with is the part of the Store. I stood in that store, just not knowing what to do. God led her to step up and give me all she had in her wallet, the $60. She doesn't have much work with her horses. She has been trying to add business to her plate. She didn't hesitate. I wrote a sweet card yesterday evening and I left it in her room with the $60. The above hand drawn picture and cash was left on my desk this morning. I had been up all night with our daughter helping with an English project and she knew I was going back to bed, it was the perfect timing. She gave it back, the gift in the first place was not a loan it was to help out when she knew we needed it most. It was God blessing us through her. So pray the Lord bless her for this, pray the Lord provide her with 10 fold extra work so that her gift run overflowing to provide for her own needs. She has a horse here on our property that came with her, it costs quite a bit to have a horse. She takes the kids to school every day and picks them up most days because I don't have a vehicle. She doesn't even blink an eye. She takes me to the grocery store if I need it. I am thankful for this unexpected blessing.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World Book Review

Its been a very long time since I had read a parenting book, or a book about families, or teens or anything like that. I wasn't quite sure where this book would fit for our family personally because I have a student in college, and then two juniors in High School. I am so thankful for so much of what was said. The real truth behind so much of what we are seeing in the world today. Sometimes I think we are fortunate to at times have less than some, even in the midst of having so much more than most of the world. My children understand American Struggle. They live without central heat and air, in Texas. They live with the real possibility of having to miss things in life because there truly is no money, not even the $10 needed for choir dues at times. They are also able to learn so much, how to work hard, how to save their own money for things like Mission Trips and Church camp. They learn what is truly important the good lunch in their bag at school or the Mc D's they would love to stop and get. 
One thing in our family that we truly focus on is service. I always want them to see what it takes to run a community. How they can help others, how they can serve at school and church and even in the world. While they may do without a lot of what their friends have they truly see how much they have daily to make life better through their acts of service. It helps them be compassionate, loving, caring, responsible young adults. 

There have been so many times were I am sure I am messing it all up. I feel bad when they get so little at Christmas, or when we can't take a single vacation in the summer because home repairs have taken everything extra. Then I think of what they do have, a parent that works from home quilting and sometimes subbing so that I can be the volunteer at the field trip, so that I can take them to and from school most days instead of them having to ride a bus with kids that make them uncomfortable. How many conversations we have in the car going to so many volunteer days and church events/activities. There isn't much I don't love about our life, despite some hard ships. 

One really important thing that I learned that I am failing my husband in is having a child centered home. I hadn't really thought about that before. I put the kids above nearly everything. My daughters school schedule pretty much trumps my plans with my husband. After reading this book I felt pretty convicted. I realized that the reason that I don't go on anniversary dates or a get away is that I am too worried they won't get what they need done. It really made me evaluate and for once we actually left with school in progress, with my daughters schedule full to the brim. Our son even called after dropping him off at college and said that classes didn't start until Tuesday, he had nothing to do. We were both tempted to go get him but then we stuck to our plan- time for us.
I love this- I think we do a really good job in this area, however I know with friends its hard to always know what they see otherwise. This is probably my second favorite point among all the great real life stories and ideas. For us our kids just have $10 non internet phones, even our child in college. We just decided that its all they truly needed and our phone bill could not be the same amount as our food or utilities bills. We do have the rights to their passwords on any device and I check text messages and such at random. While that may not work for every family it has worked great for us.
I really recommend this book to anyone with children, or even grandchildren. It helps you truly look at the inner makings of your family. There are ideas at the end of each chapter that are age appropriate, to meet you at the stage or stages that you are right now, also potentially to help you be thinking about the next stage. It helps you realize how much we forget and take for granted in America. We have so much and can give back so much. Kristen has a wonderful Blog you can follow at We are that family, she is also on Facebook, right now you can get her book through various online sources such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc. There is a really low preorder price of $10. If you purchase it and read it come back and let me know what you think. I am thankful that it refocused us on looking at the every day parts of life we need to be Grateful for in the midst of chaos that often strikes.

God's Beauty

Beauty comes in so many ways. I am so thankful for so many birds this winter season. I can see that Spring is potentially near. When you live without central heat in your home, there is something so wonderful about the idea of Spring weather, the sunshine and warmth.
I really enjoy these guys during my prayer time mid morning each day. I love to watch them eat from a feeder while quilting as well. Sometimes the simple things truly do brighten my day.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Putnam County Spelling Bee Musical

Zekaryah was in the chorus, played a father and a mother in the Spring Musical this year.
This was the last minute surprise. They needed one more female for the part and they didn't have one so Zekaryah was chosen
People who knew him would laugh and were amazed that he pulled the part off. At this point in the play their is a song that states something about their hair thinning so he would take his wig off, it was funny.
He really enjoyed it. I am really thankful it was not last year because he was having so much more trouble with lights flashing. this year it didn't really seem to bother him much.
All four nights were a little different because they would have random spellers from the audience and have a little bit of ad lib from the characters. 
Over all it was really cute, it was a lot of practice days. He really wanted a main part but it would have required missing band and student leadership on Wednesday nights, he wasn't willing to make that commitment so he chose the chorus as his part so he could do both. 


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Gift from my Daughter

I absolutely love this- it is a gift from my daughter. It represents so much that is unsaid. I love that is beauty is on my wall.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

From Prayer Area to Study Area

I needed a space to do bible study each morning. My daughter also needed a space for homework after school and in the evenings. We discovered just after Christmas that it was good to remove the Television from our bedroom.
Its amazing how my simple idea has turned into a true space for her, more than me. We added a bookshelf my dad made when I was 9-10 years old and a space heater, moved the bed around and took out the couch the dogs lay on and now she has a nice working space that is inviting and organized. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Get A Way

We rarely take time to get away. I really questioned it since we knew our daughter had a mountain of homework. Since we were taking our oldest back to college, we figured out a way to make it all work.
The weather was interesting. It was really nice and full of sunshine, then the next day it snowed some so we drove into Oklahoma to have fun with that and take photos, then by that evening the sun returned again.
It was nice to relax, disconnect from our family obligations, play games and just have some beautiful scenery to enjoy.