Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Okay, so I'm supposed to be doing dishes... but I wanted to write a short blog.  This is really neat.  I love seeing the Lord so active in my life!

So in our study of Genesis we've been in depth about the whole creation story, and God's purpose for us, life, this planet, and eternity.  It really makes you look at the entire Bible differently when you can start at the beginning and see the POINT of it all.  This is the foundation of everything that happens, the basis for all that is to come throughout the bible and well into our future until Christ comes again.  So many questions have arose.  About 3 weeks ago, Keith and I were on our way home from church and somehow the mention of dinosaurs came up.  I had mentioned to Keith that there was talk of a Levaithan in the bible and that there is theory that these were dinosaurs.  I had glanced in his concordance while we were in the car, but didn't see the word Levaithan listed in there and couldn't remember off hand where it was in the bible.

We had just left an awesome message by Bill Wellons about Creation Day 3, and he had really elaborated how GREAT God is, and just how BIG!  The thought of us leaning on our own understanding is just ridiculous when GOD is all powerful and sovereign!  He had mentioned the conversation that God had with Job when He said "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements? Since you know." (Job 38:4-5) This really stuck with Keith.  The feeling of having that question asked to you by God!  Wow, talk about feeling small... Keith mentioned wanting to study Job.  He has never really read it through.  So I flipped over to Job and started reading a bit through there.  I skimmed a few chapters to the verse where God is questioning Job and started to read... I came upon Job 41 and it's mention of the Leviathan!  How amazing that it was RIGHT there!  Just when we were talking about it!  Irony?  I don't think so. 

So this past week on our way into church, not sure why, but the thought again crossed my mind about the Leviathan.  I pulled Keith's bible out and started to read aloud through verses 40 and 41; all about the Behemoth and Leviathan.  How massive they are, and how our God commands all of them.  It had been a long time since I had read through these, but happy that God had reshown them to me. 

We got to church and Lloyd was teaching about Creation Day 5.  It is amazing how he showed how much Day 5 related to fear.  The culture at that time was terrified by things they did not know about or could not control.  Because they feared these things, they in turn would worship them.  Today I feel we somewhat do the same thing; worship our fear.  The things we fear are what fill our thoughts and a lot of times they are what our days revolve around. Think about if we feared GOD, and filled our thoughts and minds with HIM!  That is where our worship should be, and that is where our days should revolve!  How Moses was not only writing this as a creation account, but also in purpose to demolish the idolistic religion of that culture.  He writes that "God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves..."(Gen. 1:21 NASB) This was something that the culture feared and worshiped, and Moses' God, our GOD, had created them and is all powerful, over all things.  What a true and awesome statement!  God is powerful over ALL fear! 

At the end of the message Lloyd referred to a few places in the bible showing God's power in the description of these creatures that caused so much fear in that day, and how these things were so small in relation to God.  And of course, he told us to take some time to read through Job 41.  And wow, Keith and I had just done that on the way IN to church that morning.  Isn't it neat how God ties things together?

**UPDATE:  Keith just found this online today... CLICK HERE!!**

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I've had two more things come up today that dealt with adoption and families... and I think I finally know what my calling is in all of this.  Both of these things have tied in with my love for creativity and love of photos!  I can't tell you what I'm going to do just yet, but I think it is clear how my love for these things and also my desire to help and be a part of family has come together for this purpose.  I can't wait to blog about it, but you may have to wait till next year!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Wow... I have to tell you, for the past week or so this has been heavy on my mind; babies, children, family. Let me first say, I didn't plan to blog about this. But it has been a recurring theme throughout the past week, and I just feel the need to say something.

I love being a mom... I love raising Jack. I look forward to see where God's will takes my life, and I hope it is a life with more children and more family! Keith has been talking about baby number 2 for some time now, and it has also really been on my heart lately. The question is WHEN? When is the right time for me, for us, for Jack...but more importantly, when is GOD's timing, and have we asked Him? Then at CBS (Community Bible Study) we have been studying our lineage. It is so interesting to see where we come from and how much we are all in God's perfect plan and design. He had our heritage so detailed and organized from the beginning, as well as He has planned it out into our future. My sister and I had conversations about dreams, and children, and adoption. My husband even shared an emotional video with me about a small child this week. It is OVER AND OVER that this theme keeps coming up. Well, tonight it is yet again brought full circle by our sovereign God. Nothing is chance, nothing is coincidence. It is amazing to live each day open to Him and allowing Him to just take it and move it to where it is to be.

So, something had brought me back to Katie Davis' blog this past week. I was so touched by this adoption story. I immediately wanted to share it with Keith. My timing was bad and he didn't have a chance to read it right when I mentioned it. Throughout this week I had read the entry a few times, emailed it to family, even told my sister about it and copy and pasted the text to her in an email since she is unable to open blogs up at work. Again, yesterday, I asked Keith if he had read it. We have been so busy, and he had a lot going on and didn't have a chance. We both decided on just spending some reading/blogging tonight. And about an hour into our own "digital" worlds, it came to me and I asked him again, "Have you read the Amazima blog yet?" He goes "Ok! I'll read it right now." So then, a few minutes later, he goes OH MY GOSH! I know them! That's Mandy's brother! You'll have to read about the Mayernicks or Katie's blog to understand, (and yes, there are links all over this page... *hint hint*) but here the adoption story is about Keith's childhood next door neighbor and his wife! He had known about this story through reconnecting with Mandy, the sister, who is also in the midst of an adoption from India. It's such a small world. We have been so touched and challenged by Katie's message, and even posted it all over our Project Disconnect blog and facebook page. And here, in the midst of it all, it comes full circle as Katie's close friend is married to Keith's childhood neighbor.

It is truly amazing how God intertwines our lives and brings us right to where he wants us to be. Keith contacted Mandy, and now it looks like we will get to meet Mandy and her new little daughter Mia who should be here in TN at Thanksgiving.

So THIS has been on my heart. Children, family, adoption, LOVE. I have that, I long for that, and in some way or another God will provide that. He is sovereign, He is Love.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Finally, A COSTUME!

So, I finally decided what to do for Jack's costume. Since I didn't want to spend the money, I started thinking about what I had here at the house. I found a baby robe that he recieved as a gift, but never used. It's ADORABLE, but I just never knew a good time to wear it, besides for a picture or something. I decided to make some adjustments to it myself, and turn it into his costume!
I already had the blue pants and socks... we have SO MUCH BLUE! I took the robe belt and cut it into 4 peices. It was already attached at the back, so I used that as a starting point and hand sewed the pieces in a star like patern. It makes a cute "rag doll" type tail.
Then I lined up the front by overlapping the "wrap" part of the robe, and sewed right up the seam. I left the top unsewn so I could slip the whole thing right over his head!

I then removed the belt loops, and VOILA! A cute little puppy costume! I tried it on him just to see how it would work, and he happened to be wearing blue pjs. I think I may even dress him in the pjs, like longjohns, under the costume to keep him warm. He loves this lil outfit, and it cost me $0!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


So, it's 1030, and I'm about to write a long, overdue post, and feeling kind of tired to do so. (which can be expected these days) But I will! Because I want to try and update you all on what has been going on these days!!

So where did I leave off? I think I was mentioning Jack's possible tooth coming in, and our ministry being unveiled! Well, it turns out that Jack's "tooth" still has not completely poked it head through his gums. I can still see it under there, and now his two front ones are visable, but still no hard proof! I hope that it isn't causing him too much pain, as it seems that these "teeth" have been "coming" since he was 4 months old! At least that is when the doctor first noticed them and said they were "on the way". Can you believe Jack is 7 MONTHS OLD?? He turned 7 months old yesterday. It is ridiculous to me that it has flown by so fast. He has started to kick , scootch, and pull himself across the floor, so I can see crawling in the near future. We stopped up at Target and bought some outlet covers yesterday as we noticed him reaching for an uncovered outlet in the nursery. Wow... I love it, but I miss the "little" guy. We're getting to "big boy" territory. Ya know, that leaves me with a small predicament. Halloween costume. I'm torn because a) Keith and I don't have any big plans or desire to spend the extra cash on a costume for Jack. but b) he won't be this tiny forever, and by next halloween he will have outgrown the cute infant costme stage... I'm not sure what to do. I'm afraid by the time I decide, all costumes will be sold out anyways.

So our bible studies have been going GREAT! On a whim, I volunteered to fill in for the worship leader the DAY OF at our Community Bible Study. Well, a week later, the DAY OF, I got a call asking to fill in again. It turns out they now have asked if I wanted to do it FULL TIME, and I agreed! So after a year of not playing, or singing, I now have a full time music gig, and with realatively no preparation. It's awesome! God has put the one thing I really thought was missing from my schedule, right into the middle of His plan, and on top of it all, it is WORSHIP! I've never done worship music, and besides a one time duet performance at 4 years old, I have never ever sang at church. Isn't that unreal? I can't hardly believe it, but it's neither here nor there at this point. I can't wait to start writing again!

Our Community Group on Thursday nights has been amazing! There are 6 couples including us; 3 pregnant (well, one has a week old baby now!), one with no children, and one with a 1 and 4 year old. That is amazing because 4 of the 5 children are in 6 month age increments. That means they will grow up with each other, and have birthday parties together! Oh, I'm really looking forward to this! (ok, must be a mother thing... I feel really cheesy... or maybe it's because it's now almost 11) We are pretty like minding in what our passions are, and what we want out of meeting each week. We all are wanting to GO OUT, and DO SOMETHING! It's awesome.

Keith and I started up Project Disconnect. It is our pledge to live IN the world, but not OF the world. We are making a stand to put the money we would otherwise use to pay cable companies to fill our homes with garbage, and use it to GIVE AWAY and glorify HIS kingdom! We are looking at hosting some workshops to show people how to go about "cable-free" life. Where they can help donate, but also how they can use their TVs without the high priced monthly bill attached. This is something that is really on our hearts, and we look forward to seeing and hearing the others that are impacted by this stand.

Keith and I have attending a few charity type events this month. We went to a benefit concert that was put together within a week of the tsunami that hit Samoa. The Katinas (5 brothers, and also a music group) hosted this concert with some of their local friends in order to raise money for a relief effort in their homeland of Samoa. Their "friends" included Michael W. Smith, Natalie Grant, Melinda Doolittle, Calvin Nowell, Jeremy Camp, ColmanBlue, and Michael O'Brien. We are so blessed to live right in town with these artists... Wow, what an amazing concert. I have to say, from an artist point of view, Natalie Grant and Jeremy Camp BLEW ME AWAY! Wow... they were INCREDIBLE!!! We also have been able to serve with our local ministry Grace Works here and there. We helped out with a food drive by handing out need lists and also collecting food at the Kroger up the street. It was great how many people donated! Almost everyone walking out had something to put in our basket, even if it was one item! Every bit helps! We took Jack with us to both of these events, and he has been really loving his time with dad in his baby Bjorn. He is MESMERIZED by music, and never makes a peep. Just stares in awe, or bounces and shakes his arms around. He was also a hit at Kroger hanging off his dad. he's quite the flirt with the ladies!

Well, I'm sure there much more to share, but I must go to bed! Tomorrow is Monday, and a new week begins. I love our busy schedule, but I also enjoy my sleepy nights. I will post some recent pictures below.

The three of us at a wedding in early October.

Jack dressed for the occasion.

Playing outside in the fall breeze.

Sitting like a "big boy" in his stroller!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


but so little time.... A blog update is to come!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Wow! We are JAM PACKED! Fall has begun... Cuddle Season is HERE! And in the Brawner house, well, there are no Brawners! We are out and about with an extreme schedule filled with some amazing teaching, learning, growing, changing, and everything awesome you can imagine! Our schedule is filled with biblestudies, community gatherings, a creative side business I am starting, and also AT LAST, our ministry idea coming to life! Doesn't look like there will be much time for TV around here... *wink wink*

Jack is almost 7 months old! I remember not too long ago blogging about him being 7 weeks old. Wow, time flies. He can sit on his own, and is lining up everything to start crawling. He just needs to work on the coordination, but he's almost there! He has begun laughing, and talking, as MAMAMAMAMA and DADADADADADADA are part of his everyday jargon. He can give kisses (really drooly ones), and even raspberries on our cheeks. He is also getting his first TOOTH! What a big boy. He can hold and drink his bottle alone and basically doesn't need me anymore. If I'm holding him, he reaches for dad... but then again, as soon as dad takes him, he reaches for me. This little boy is ON THE MOVE. We dedicated him to the Lord on September 19, 2009 at church. It was an awesome day. Our verse for him is Colossians 1:9-10:

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worth of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Keep checking back as this fall unfolds a bunch of new things for us. I can't wait to share our ministry with you all, and hope you will participate!

Jack's first tooth, can you see it?

Jack Raymond Brawner - Dedication September, 2009

Jack's first ball cap!

After Keith's surgery (and an unexpected 2 WEEKS on crutches, he found alternative ways to get around with Jack)

Monday, August 31, 2009

So, I'm sure you are all busy and back to the grind this monday (as I should be). But I just wanted to first off tell you what an AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING night it was last night! Todd was great, and it was incredible to see him. You'd truly be surprised, if you didn't already know it, that he has cancer. He has put on some healthy weight, and he has all of his hair! haha. I've played with him numerous times, and listened to his songs in all sorts of settings, but this was the first "concert" that I truly saw him perform. It was great to see him stand behind his guitar, and listen to the stories and biblical messages behind each song. Also, he threw in some great poetry he has written, and quotes from others, and I have to say it was all moving, funny, soothing, inspiring... just everything that I hadn't ever gotten to experience with him before. I hope someday all of you have a chance to see him perform. Nothing is impossible, right? (maybe a concert of his will make it onto youtube! haha)

Second, I wanted to let you know that my amazing writer of a husband has started a new blog. I have high hopes for this one (as the last kinda crashed and burned). He has been talking about trying to get back into writing, and holpefully be able to share this time with a local paper or magazine of some sort. He is wanting to write about charitable opportunities around, and ways of serving. This is on his heart (the serving part) about 150% of each day. It's all he talks about, lives, breathes... it's awesome! He has such a servants heart. I was just typing "please pray that God will lead us" and then I remembered what Lloyd was teaching us on Sunday. It is silly to pray for the inevitable. That is why the Holy Spirit DOES, he LEADS... so instead of praying for that, I pray that we are submitted to follow in that lead, and take the first step to DO what we are called to do. Then the fruits will be produced and the ministry can begin.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! :) Here are some recent pictures of my BEAUTIFUL son!! He is really starting to sit up now, which makes photos so much fun!! LOVE YOU ALL!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How Deep the Father's Love for Us

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Don't let the rhyming carry you through it too fast, reread it and listen to what it says.

Wow... This song really sums it up. I can not boast in anything but Jesus Christ for I am not deserving of the gains from His reward. Keith and I are humbled more and more everyday as blessings continue to pour out. All that consumes our minds is what we can do to further His kingdom. It is amazing how perspective changes when you are completely open to what God has willed for your life (as He has asked). When you turn to Him for all things, "things" just seem to dissapear. The bigger picture, the heavenly life that awaits, is all that becomes relevant to us.

Years ago my family selfishly fought for separation from God in order to honor our own prideful ways. Each of us, in our own way, chose to live our lives for us, ignoring what God has asked of us and in turn hurting ourselves and each other for what would be years. Through prayer and conviction, I have watched the past 10 years miraculously change each of us, and bring some of the relationships between us even closer than they have ever been. Just that alone can bring me to tears, because I remember after the damage was done (on my part) just feeling hopeless to ever getting back the family closeness that was once there. I knew after my mistake, that I couldn't possibly ever "take back" what I had done. Now, here I sit, the wife and mother in a God filled home. I am the sister to a brother and sister who are living Christ-lead lives in Godly homes with each of their spouses and my nephew. I am inspired by my father and his Godly example and motivated by his desires to change. And I am viciously praying for my mother who has come out of a dark and helpless place into the comfort and peace of Jesus' arms as He continues to bless her life.

I grew up in worship and music, and though it was prevelant in our household, I think that sometimes I got caught up in the rhyming or song, and not the words. Because our outward actions were in the music, but our inward emotions fought the truth and life in the words, I can't help but fight back tears with every song I now sing in worship. When I first started attending Fellowship, I thought it was natural to cry during a song because of the memory it brought back. But after 5 years of attending, and 2 of those years I've attended weekly, I still fight back tears each and every single service during each and every single song, no matter what the song is. I can't help it! Each and every prayer, and each and every story told. I used to think that maybe it was Christ working within me to let go of the past, and that working through that the tears would stop. But they haven't! It sometimes frustrates me to struggle with the emotions when I want so badly to just sing, but I finally realized that it's not old memories, but the new words that bring me to tears. I feel each and every one, and truly mean it, and desire to live it, and feel it, and that is something I never want to ever go away.

My mother and I have cried together during songs when memories have arised from them. I wish more than anything that she could be at church with me each and every Sunday and feel these new tears. They are such happy and humbled tears.

Wow, I didn't expect to unload all that, I simply wanted to touch on what I find myself doing every week, and the tear thing... it is non-stop! Thank you Lord, for making it real to me every week. I realize the importance in a church body, and why it is biblical and imparative to be involved. It is true that there is no such thing as an un-churched Christian in the New Testament. It is something God had intended for us, and commands of us, and wants for us. Acts 2:47 tells how "the Lord added to their number(the church) day by day those who were being saved", meaning He lead those who were saved to the church. I pray that He will continue to work in the lives of those saved, and lead them to a community of faith where they can come together in fellowship and be equipped to give their lives away. Keith and I are so blessed that we have been lead to that place that is right for us, and we continue to be excited to go and learn and be equipped. That passage (Acts 2:42-47) really breaks down how we are to live and worship, and what it looks like when we do. Grow. Connect. Serve. Give. We continue to strive for this and glorify God with each step! :)

Monday, August 3, 2009


WE DID IT!! We had a successful first yardsale! We got rid of a TON of stuff, and actually made some CA$H!! (I won't say how much, but I will say it was in the hundreds!!) We feel blessed that God gave us BEAUTIFUL weather, and lots of traffic! I will say that the success of the sale was the least of the day's blessings. God taught me patience, love, and humility. And allowed us to even give some of our things away to help others!

One of the neatest things that happened that Saturday, happened to our neighbor Todd. He is finishing up electrician school, and with 20 days remaining, his old truck (which he has been trying to sell for months) blew the transmission on Friday night. Keith was on his way out to get some change and post a Yard Sale sign, and was able to help Todd tow his truck home. Todd tried to stay optimistic as he knew a girl who lives nearby that could drive him to school for the remaining days, but he was confessing to Keith how broke he was and how he didn't know how much more money he wanted to dump into his truck. Well, Saturday came along, and though he had his eye on a few things in our sale, he failed to get up early to come out for the sale. By the time he came outside, quite a few people had already been through our "junk". He part jokingly made a comment "Man, I should just put a sign up on my truck '$1000.00 cash, today only!'. " Keith and I laughed, and I mentioned I had one piece of posterboard left in the house. (it was pink, but it was at least BRIGHT!) We all agreed he should give it a shot. Soon enough, all of our "shoppers" were over at HIS truck! There were quite a few checking it out, and within the hour HE SOLD IT!! He was a little sad at first, being that it was his father's truck who had passed 9 years ago, but it was such a blessing that he finally sold it and can now buy something more dependable and less gas milage! We are thankful for a great day!

Sunday evening we got together with some friends in Lebanon. My dear friend Roland and some of his co-workers and their kids all cooked out and played some music. Jack LOVED this, and started DANCING! (bouncing)... and this is where it all began...

We got home last night and I put Jack in his saucer and he was JUMPING! Up, down, up, down, just going crazy, and smiling like crazy! He went down at 8:30 and didn't wake up till 8am... and I'll tell you, he's like a different child today! I think he had a growth spurt overnight or something, because he is so new and different today! He has been rolling over onto his belly throughout the night, and this morning, like usual, I found him on his belly, but he actually ROLLED TO HIS BACK to give me a big morning smile! He then proceded to bounce all morning, and talk, and is really really close to sitting! No more baby! He's at least so happy, smiling more than I've ever seen... He grabs for things right out of our hands now. He grabs for daddy's drink, and grabs for fruit from me. No solids yet, but soon enough little man! We have been giving him rice cereal for breakfast and dinner, and he loves it! I can't believe he is growing up... Today he is 5 months old. wow...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wow, a YEAR?!

I can't believe it has been a year since I started this blog. I specifically remember writing my first entry at work, and wanting SO BAD to spill my guts that I was pregnant. Now, "baby B" is here, and I'm at home FULL TIME with him! Life is amazing, and watching God's will in hindsight always blows my mind.

Jack is just growing and growing! I can't believe how blessed I am to be here to witness it. He laughed for the first time the other day... He loves when daddy goes "Phbbbbt" on his belly! haha! He hasn't yet laughed at me, but I got his giggles on camera. TOO CUTE! I can't believe he is almost 5 months old. He is also almost saying "ma-ma" which of course makes my heart melt!! We had our Bradley Class reunion on Saturday. It was so neat to get together with the couples from our birthing class and actually get to meet their little ones! What adorable little babies, and such amazing success stories! It was a fun and positive afternoon.

The new mattress is AMAZING! I haven't felt the pains of sciatica now in a few days, and I've even been going on morning walks (which normally seems to make it worse). Thank you LORD for this! It seriously is going to change my physical life!!!
This Saturday is the big Yard Sale day. I've never had one before, and I'm nervous, but excited. We have so much stuff to sell from furniture, jewelry, electronics, videos, clothing... I hope the rain holds off and it is a success! Pray for us, as we need the extra cash for our travel expenses in August. Pennsylvania and Las Vegas are on the calendar... I'd love to make the extra cash to fund these and not have to take it out of our normal monthly budget.
Couponing has also been going well. I did a quick run to the grocery store last night and saved over 100% at Publix and Walgreens. I got the supplies needed for the yard sale at a whopping $0.87 (and saved $6.00)!! And got some stuff for dinner tonight at Publix for $14 (saved $16!). Things are looking up with that. Well, that's all for now. I have to sweep and mop the floors and continue straightening the house. Tomorrow I will start pricing all the "goods"... Fun, fun fun, WISH ME LUCK!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

BLESSINGS! (and other random thoughts)

Well, Keith and I did it! We FINALLY bought a mattress! Yet to be delivered, on Saturday we purchased a beautiful, Ther-a-pedic mattress! It should be here on Friday, that's only 3 more days of sleeping in pain! We have needed this for YEARS and are so happy that the day has finally come. We also had our David Arms print custom framed and it came in this week. It is stunning! If you haven't heard of David Arms, you need to check him out. He's an amazing artist.

The Greater Story - David Arms

Saturday night was Jack's first time to be in the nursery at church. I kinda chuckled when Keith told me it would be hard, but MAN IT WAS SO HARD! I almost got teary, and had so much trouble concentrating on the service. They matched his name with a code when we checked him in. If this code pops up on the screens during service, it means that there is a problem. Well, let me tell you... I could not keep my eyes off of the screens. I even had trouble during prayers keeping my eyes closed. After the service was over, Keith and I peeked in through the window at Jack before picking him up. He was just smiling and playing... completely content. Hah... It's funny how we were so anxious, yet he didn't even notice the difference!

I also had an interview at church this week to do some part time childcare during the fall and spring months. They have had a lot of people interested in this, but if I have the opportunity I think I'm really going to enjoy it. I will get to meet so many other people and moms, and it will be great just to get out of the house once in a while. I hope they consider me, because I would really love to do it.

Keith and I are also planning on doing CBS this fall.; Community Bible Study. It is a non-denominational bible study. My dad and stepmom do this down in Atlanta, and have just raved at how awesome it is. We also are hoping to get together with a few neighbors we know, to get to know them even better! How awesome to be able to incorporate some sort of bible study with them too! Through I'm extrememly busy being a "mom", I want to use any free times that I have to follow what my true desire is; to know God more and live an obedient life glorifying Him. I want to really dig into the Word and get out into the community and join together with other believers.

My "meal plan" has also been working out. We have had some great meals the last few days. Pork Sirloins, Beef Enchiladas, Tomato and bacon marinated chicken... My husband was right in suggesting that we plan this out and food shop accordingly. We've had enough for what we want, need, and are even going to hopefully share some by having some neighbors over for dinner. We were also able to help out Grace Works who recently had a food drive at a local Kroger. It was so neat because they gave us a list of needs at the door, and we got to go shopping for the full purpose of helping those in our community that are less fortunate. And on top of this, everyone in the store that we saw had those lists, and were activlely using them! You could really tell which things would need restocked after this food drive. It was awesome to see empty shelves, and know that so many people would be blessed with this food.

I love working at home, as I expected, but it has really opened me up to new creative ideas and the ability to expand on the ideas I have. I have completely redesigned and organized our bathroom, entertainment area, part of our garage... and so much more to come. It is awesome what a little time and reorganization can do. I feel like I'm living in a different place! We are continually blessed, and knowing we have made the right decision for our family. Thank you LORD!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Oh Wow!

It is already 4 oclock! Time flies by even faster than I ever thought. My idea of blogging, basking by the pool, and long relaxing days is far from what "staying at home" really seems to be! I have yet to go to the pool, this is only my second blog (and as I type I'm trying to decide how much time I really have to write/edt/post this before I need to be making dinner), and I still get up relatively early and go to bed relatively late. But I do LOVE every minute... seriously... I do.

We had a wonderful weekend in Charlotte and Atlanta. You see, Atlanta is 4 hours from us, and Charlotte is 4 hours from Atlanta, and we are 8 hours from Charlotte. So it works for us to drive 4 hours to my dad's in Atlanta, take a break, and then continue on another 4 to Charlotte before turning around and doing it all over again. This time we left in the evening and arrived in Atlanta just to stay the night, and got up at 4:30 EST (3:30 our time)to head to Charlotte so that we wouldn't miss any of the festivities planned for Saturday. You see, my nephew turned 1 last Wed. and my sister had a bunch of stuff planned on Saturday to celebrate. We went on a safari/wagon ride at the Lazy 5 Ranch... (it turned out pretty well, had its ups and downs, it's a long story, but we got some really great photos! ...somehow we managed to take 600) we grilled out for dinner, watched Dylan care less about the gifts we all brought, THOROUGHLY ENJOYED A NIGHT OF SLEEPING ON A MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS, and enjoyed a Sunday service with the family before heading back to Atlanta. My brother-in-law's mother, sister, nephew, and niece were all there for the weekend, it was fun to see them all. They all loved Jack, and Jack surely loved them. You could just see the gears in his head turning, thinking about the days he can get in just as much mischief as the older children.

When we got back to Atlanta, around 6pm, we enjoyed spending some time with my stepmom for her birthday. Her parents, sister, brother-in-law, and their 4 boys were all there for the party. We had a great pizza dinner, and the best CAKE ever!! There is this special cake that my stepmom's mother has been making for her every year since she was 17. It is awesome... Keith laid down for about an hour before we headed back home, and got in around 1am CST. Long and tiring weekend, but we like to cram in as much as possible on these visits. Family all lives too far away, and we get to see them far to little.

Our next trip is August 7-9 as we head to Pennsylvania to mom's farm for a weekend. It will be great to see everyone, and hopefully Jack will get his first horseback ride! We are super excited for this. Then we'll probably just stay home until Christmas... We promised the Jeep we'd take a break.

Jack had his 4 month checkup on Monday. He weighs 13lbs 6oz and is 25.5 in. long. This was all good news, he is growing nicely. She also commented on his BEAUTIFUL sking and AMAZING head control! Yay, my strong and beautiful little boy. He has been changing so much, even over the last weekend. I see him watch this other kids, and then try to imitate things. He has gotten so strong and is almost sitting now on his own. He had to get a zillion shots along with an oral vaccine, we've never done that many at once before. He is also getting one bottom front tooth in, so he was quite fussy. It isn't a whiney type fuss though, more of a "mom, I'm sore and feel yucky" type whine. I felt bad for him, and gave him lots of cuddles (and tylenol).

Today I went grocery shopping again. And though no one that reads my blog may care, I feel proud and excited to announce what I saved with coupons. Mainly I do this for my own sake, because it takes a lot out of me to do this and if I feel like I can somewhat "report" what I save, it gives me the motivation to do it all again the next week... haha...

I spent $130.00 at Kroger, and saved $70. This was including a $20 box of diapers... So $200 worth of stuff for $130.00, I'll take that! :)
I spent $24.oo at Walgreens and saved $18. That's $42 worth of stuff for $24... I'll take that as well.

I tried something new this week by planning out the next 10 days worth of meals. This way we won't eat all $200 worth of food the first day... We tend to get excited with all the goodies, and we eat them all. Now that I have it planned out, we should be better about knowing what food is for what days, and it will hopefully last a little longer.

Anyways, that's what's been going on with me. Laundry, dishes, cleaning the floor, taking care of the zoo, feeding baby boy Jack, and grocery shopping. All in a days work! :) Love it Love it Love it!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

blog blog blog...

I need to start getting back into this, so I will start small. I had an amazing weekend in Charlotte and Atlanta! Little nephew Dylan turned 1, and my stepmom Robin turned 45! I have so many pictures to add, and so many stories to write. Plus, Jack had his 4 month doctor's appointment today! I need to feed him and get the laundry started, but then I'll spend sometime updating this today.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Not necessarily back to blogging, but back to COUPONING! I saved $67 dollars last night at publix... WOOT WOOT!! and $186 worth of food at that! Our cabinets are FULL AND STOCKED!! Yippie!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

as cliche as it may sound... I HAVE TURNED THE PAGE TO A NEW CHAPTER!

So... it begins. Life as I know it is about to change! Wait, you say, Jack has been here for 3 months! That is true, but I am going to be feeling the full time effect of motherhood in, lets see, 12 days (7 working days). July 1, 2009 I will officially become a STAY-AT-HOME-MOM with a new fulltime job of "house management".

It took Keith and I lots of thought and prayer to come to this decision, and through God's abundant grace and blessings, we will confidently make this step of faith. Already, God has begun to show us how right we are in this decision. That feels good, well, GREAT actually.

Giving it all up to God. I remember trying to make things work for myself for a month or so, and then finally asking God one night to take it all... I knew that His plans for my life would, of course, be much better than mine. I had been broke for a month, going on my second week of eating nothing but oatmeal, and finally getting a call from a "Keith Brawner" to set up an appointment based on 1 in 36 emails I had sent out begging for work. The blessings began with my first time office job, then a surprise "employee of the month" $25 kroger gift card; after only being there for 2 weeks... I would walk past Keith's cube everyday and say "thank you for saving my life..." It's true what they say; it is in hindsight that we learn God's will for us. I was still so oblivious to everything God would have in store for me!

This job, it has brought me a beautiful home, an amazing husband, a son, and now given me the opportunity to leave it to go be with all of them. What an amazing journey... Now, yet again, Keith and I have come together and decided to let God do His will in our lives... I'm SO EXCITED to see where it takes us next!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Updates to come! Lots of exciting news!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Jack's first month, in an EGG shell...

Jack at one month

Well, I figured that being at home 24/7 I'd really be blogging everyday, but I find myself at a loss for words lately and simply watching and soaking up every second as a new mother. As soon as I was cleared to get up and about (and actually a little before then), Keith and I have been taking Jack all around with us and really enjoying the beginnings of spring. (Besides the spring storms... In the past month we've been in and out of the closet at least 5 times, with our menagerie of pets, at all hours of the day/night taking cover from tornados. Luckily the one we believe we saw forming over our house skipped us, but sadly it hit a town nearby. That is one thing about TN that I'd glady live without.)

Jack has had numerous visitors to the house, and a few in house guests that stayed for a while! Gramma Seeber was the first visitor and stayed for an entire week. It was awesome to have her help as it was MUCH needed. Jack loved all the time he got with her, and I loved all the advice and support. That first 2 weeks were really tough and it was amazing to have her support through it.

Aunt Mandy also came and stayed for a few days. She brought her cooking expertise and made us food to last for days, LITTERALLY! We still have some of the amazing chicken soup she made in the freezer, and I just ate some of her fancy waffles this morning! We had a great visit with her and went on our first walk around the block in Jack's stroller, as well as taking him on his first public outing to Beef 'O' Brady's to watch the Kansas Basketball game. (Here we are in crimson and blue. ROCK CHALK!)

We then got to take Jack downtown for his first visit to Nashville. We spent an afternoon lunch at Centennial Park, and then went up to New Horizons to visit with some friends.
We took him for his second trip downtown when we went to the US National Soccer game. It was a night of 3's; Jack being three weeks old, and Jozy Altidore scoring a hat trick making it a 3-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago. We took Bobby as a gift for his 13th birthday. It was an amazing night. Though Jack slept through the game, he did it in style as we made a last minute purchase and tried out our Baby Bjorn that day! We all wore red, white, and blue. GO USA! all decked out in red, white, and blue

Jack has also taken trips to Hendersonville to meet great gramma Kathy and to go to his first Big Bubba's Bash (Make A Wish softball tournament fundraiser).

Daddy and Jack at the ball field

We've taken him on numerous walks around the block, to a few stores, and even the mall. He went to church for the first time on Palm Sunday when Grampa Muretisch was in town.

He was awake during all the worship music, but fell asleep at the start of the sermon. Sorry Bill!! Uncle Jon and Aunt Telcia also came to stay and visit with Jack. We got to see them two weekends in a row when Jack took his first road trip down to Roswell, GA for Easter. Along with his uncle and aunt, he got to visit with Grampa Muretisch, RaRa, Nonna, Don, and the Wright family. Easter Sunday we visited Roswell Community Church, and this time was awake and happy the entire service! It wasn't till AFTER the service during picutres that he decided to scream. All in all he has been one happy baby! At his last Dr. appointment he weighed in at 8 lbs 14 oz, and he's graduated to size 1 diapers. They are still kinda big on him, but the tiny ones don't hold enough, and this boy can eat! He's starting to really enjoy bath time now, and is smiling more and more. He knows our voices and follows us with his eyes. He was actually able to roll to his side at 2 weeks old, and is getting stronger and stronger with each day. We're sure this baby will be up and about in no time! We are still working on naptime during the day, he really only likes to nap when he's in mommy or daddy's arms. At least at night he sleeps good with no fussing at all! I have added some additional pictures to the Brawner Family photoalbum, if you're interested. This boy is just growing up too fast, but we are DEFINITELY savoring every minute!

Monday, April 6, 2009

my beautiful family

photos by Nathan Venegas