His grace is sufficient for me, for power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

John 4:23

"The hour is coming and is now here when true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and Truth!" John 4:23

Spirit and Truth is a young adult ministry near and dear to my heart. For starters...I met my hubby through this ministry in 2004! Secondly, I met many of my best friends in college through this ministry and through the Catholic Student Organization at Auburn! One of my very best friends, Mandi, also attended Auburn and God placed the desire on her heart to start Spirit and Truth in Auburn...and she asked me to help. I was beyond honored and the next two years we lead this ministry together, and when she graduated I took the reigns with help from others. This is still happening in Auburn and I am so blessed and humbled that I was able to take part of this!

The program was designed by young adults for young adults to get them in front of the Blessed Sacrament...Jesus present in the Eucharist...a beautiful thing! And the reason John 4:23 was chosen? Allow me to explain....

What does John 4:23 mean?
At the beginning of every S&T this BIble verse is stated because it is the foundation on which the program was built. In order to understand the meaning of John 4:23 we must go back, as the verse comes in the middle of a story. I'm not going to write down the entire story word for word as that would take me a lot of time. But here's the gist... (if you want to read it all...start at the beginning of John Chapter 4)

So there is this Samaritan women at the well and our main man Jesus approaches her. The woman looks at him and is basically like "hello...what are you doing here?" Jesus speaks to her and asks her for a drink. The woman is in super shock mode and looks at Jesus and asks Him why He wants a drink from her, a Samaritan woman.

Analogy Time Out - What' the big deal that this lady is talking to Jesus? Let me paint you a picture. It would like the Auburn-Alabama tailgate if an obnoxious (sorry Bama fans...it happens) rival fan came up to a huge Auburn tailgate and was asking for a beer or some food. People don't do that...it's not common...at all! So basically it's absolutely crazy that Jesus is asking this woman for a drink. The person Jesus is speaking to is not only a Samaritan, but a woman and it was totally not proper that a man like Jesus would go up and start a little convo with her...society no-no of the biblical times!

But Jesus continues to speak with her. He asks her to go and get her hubby...and she responds that she does not have one...that's right she doesn't have one because she is currently sleeping around with 5 different men..uh-oh. Even more embarrassing she didn't tell Jesus...he knew...that whole God knows everything about you will get you every time! Not knowing what else to do, the woman just stares at Jesus...and is like "okay...I get it, your a prophet of some kind (somewhat of an understatement since He is God on Earth) but my family and I have been worshipping on this mountain forever and not in Jerusalem where we should be."

Silly woman - here's what Jesus says back - he tells her that it does not matter where she worships because the hour is coming when she will not worship on a mountain or in Jerusalem...everyone will worship God in Heaven. And then it goes on...John 4:23:
THE HOUR IS COMING AND IS NOW HERE WHEN TRUE WORSHIPPERS WILL WORSHIP THE FATHER IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH! The hour is now and Jesus is here now (in the Blessed Sacrament, at Mass, in Adoration, in our day to day lives!)

The woman in the story goes on to share this with her neighbors and other Samaritans that the Messiah, the Anointed One had spoken with her. Time passes and other Samaritans tell the woman that they no longer believe that the Savior of the world has come because of what she told them but because they have heard it from Jesus themselves. They know that what the woman was sharing with them was truth!

So how does this wonderful story apply to Spirit and Truth, the ministry?
First and foremost, it's about community - each S&T is started with introducing ourselves, sharing in a silly question and ends with fellowship of some kind. In Auburn, it was followed by snacks and scatterball (scatterball is complicated and truly deserves a post of its own :) ) Jesus saw no difference in the Samaritan woman than any other person he spoke to in the New Testament. Sometimes it's hard for young adults to meet others who share our beliefs, morals, values, etc. That is why this program was started...to help young adults meet their social and spiritual needs by having time after Adoration to discuss what they got out of Adoration and share in fellowship and have fun with one another!

The pinnacle of the Catholic faith is also included in S&T. As Catholics, we believe that Jesus is present in the Eucharist body, blood, soul, and divinity. Basically these are fancy words for believing that Jesus is as present and as real as he was when he walked this Earth 2000 years ago...the host in the monstrance is not a symbol, but truly the body of Christ. The hour is NOW here...each S&T contained time in front of Jesus where we worshipped the Father!

Jesus is here with us now and we are called by Him to worship!! And as I end all my talks...I leave you with a challenge: the next time you are in His presence, be it Adoration or Mass...I challenge you (and myself) to worship the Father...to praise and offer prayers of thanksgiving before asking! :-)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oh I love the firsts!

There is just something about watching you kids experience things for the first time! I love all of these moments and I know I will treasure their excitement in doing new things for as long as I live! :-)
Maria in the Exersaucer for the first time!
Figuring things out!

She LOVES this things!! She just plays and puts all the toys in her mouth over and over. She has gotten quite good at spinning herself to explore the different toys around her!

Greg's first corn on the cob!
Perhaps he will play the flute someday?? HAHA! He was so much fun to watch!

Good Stuff!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Here we go again...

...back to Grad School! (BIG sigh!)

Only four more classes left until I have my Master's Degree! :-) However, getting back to school this time around with two little ones is something I am dreading. Classes start today, and already I am finding ways to procrastinate!

Maria and Greg both nap for about two hours at the same time everyday! During this time I usually get things done that I can't always do with them around...cleaning, balancing the checkbook, laundry....and most importantly a nap for me! I am going to miss this time over the next 16 weeks. Trading in nap time for research and paper writing is not exactly something I am looking forward to...at all!

In the evening both kids are in bed, sleeping soundly by 8:30. From 8:30-10 is ME time...sometimes I take a bath...other times I read, watch TV, make phone calls to friends, drink some wine....you get my drift? RELAXATION! This, too, will be replaced with reading textbooks, journal articles, and whatever else my professor assigns...perhaps I won't even make it 10 if I am boring myself to sleep! :-)

And so it begins....16 weeks with limited ME time...which is funny because I already had limited me time...hahaha...oh well! Here's to 16 weeks of school that I'm hoping will fly by...good thing hubby Greg is super awesome at helping me keep my sanity when I need it most!!

I guess should stop blogging, checking emails, and facebooking...and get back to class before the kiddos wake up! YUCK!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Random Pics!!

Just a few photos I thought were cute from when the fam from Colorado came to play in GA!
Pap and little Maria!
GUE and Greg!

Maria and Eryn!
Great-Great-Grandma and Greg!
Great-Great Grandma and Maria!
Greg and Great-Great-Grandma talking with one another!
He makes everyone laugh!

GAR, Eryn, and Maria just hanging out!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Late with the pictures...as usual! A couple months ago we took the kiddos to the aquarium! Greg loved it!
These are the fish at the entrance. When we started walking away Greg cried...not realizing that this is what his future held for the next two hours...tank after tank of fish!!
Maria just hanging out with Mommy
This is GAR (Great Aunt Ronda) with the actual fish, Gar! HAHA! For real...we call her GAR...she loves it!
Daddy and Greg in the tube watching the fish!
Greg got up close and personal with the fish...thanks to Daddy!
Touching the sea anemone...cool stuff!
HOLY COW! This is just awesome.
Eryn, Maria, and me!
The lovely Hall Family!
Hubby had to practically dunk the little guys whole upper body in the pool of water for him to touch the sharks and sting rays!
Maria was a little bored!
This picture we took approximately 20 times...this is the best we got! :-)
At the gift shop collecting stuffed animals...Grammy bought all that her little Boo wanted though!
Lunch at the Varsity...he was not a fan of the hat!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Watch Me Grow...4 months!

Seriously...time is FLYING!
(Not the best pic...we tried!)
Maria is 4 months old!! Here is what our sweet angel is doing these days:
*Maria is 15 pounds 7 ounces (83rd percentile) and 25 inches (74th percentile)...she is quite the chunker...she has super chunky legs and I LOVE them!! :-)
*Had a great check up...the doctor couldn't get over her cheeks and how she was always smiling!
*Maria is in size 2 diapers
*She wears some 3 month clothes still...but mainly wears 3-6 months!
*Maria eats about every 3 hours during the day.
*She takes about 2 good naps per day (1-3 hours) and 1 or 2 catnaps!
*She sleeps through the night! :-) We had some issues the last week with her waking up 2-3 times...but we are back on track now!
(What's up!!)

*Maria is teething...she is super drooly all of the time!
*Maria coos and talks all the time! She smiles whenever she catches anyone's eyes. She also shows excitement by laughing and moving her legs real fast!
*Maria holds her weight on her legs for short periods of time.
*She prefers rolling from back to tummy!
*She has a super sweet personality. She is such an easy, good baby. She doesn't have a fuss time and only cries when she is hungry or when Greg attacks her!
Pretty girl!

*She refuses to use her boopie (pacifier)...she's a thumbsucker!!!!!
*She does not like being held or rocked to sleep! I have mixed feelings about this...
*She plays well by herself!
*She has tried rice and oatmeal in her nighttime bottle...she likes the oatmeal better! She is still getting used to the bottle...it's hard for her at times!
*Maria LOVES Greg...she is always watching him and trying to talk with him.
*Maria loves her swing for her afternoon nap!
Naptime with Papa!

*Maria travels in the car very well!
*Maria is super strong on her belly....she has scooted at times...and another mobile baby scares me! HAHA!
*She has had some irritation with her nose! I feel like all I do is clean it out!
*She loves her nighttime Violet toy that soothes her to sleep!
*When she wears dresses she likes to grab them from the bottom and pull them up to her mouth...weird!
MMMM....this toy is good!!

*She loves to stare and talk to people, the couch, toys, anything that will give her attention! :-)
*She loves music and her toys that light up!
*She has gotten really good at holding her toys...anything you hand her goes straight to the mouth!
*She sits up with support VERY well...she is getting close to sitting up without support!
Just hanging out in Greg's chair...he was not thrilled with sharing!
Nothing like a good nap on Mommy's bed! Seriously, check out those thighs...
Sporting her Marine outfit from Jonathan!
Mommy and Maria
I call this...Adorable!
Chilling in the Bebe Pod!
AHHHH...my thumbsucker!
She's my cutie!!
Daddy and Maria!

I am just so blessed by this little angel!! She brings so much joy to my life! It's not always easy with two under two...but her and Greg make every day a blessing and bring tons of smiles to my face each day!! I can hardly believe she is already 4 months old...time flies!

Monday, May 9, 2011


In a world of so many hardships it is sometimes hard to see the good in everything! Sometimes I let myself get stressed about silly, insignificant things, and lose sight of the wonders God has placed in my life. With the tragedies of the tornadoes that ripped through the southeast, the floods hitting those along the Mississippi, and an economy that is still not so stable...I realized I have everything and so much more. Some of the things I am praising God for...
*my husband - he works so hard for this family, not just at his job, but around the house...he helps me when I need and has been super busy building a fence and deck for our family
*my children - they bring the joys and smiles to my life every day!
*my family - they are my support...they pray for me, they help me when I need it, and they love me!
*friends - new and old. I know the old ones are always there for me. I know I can count on them for their support, love, laughs, and tears. I am loving the new friends I have made since graduating from Auburn. These women of God have shaped me in new ways, and I am so thrilled to be sharing mommy experiences with them!
*our home - our plan was to move out this year...clearly not happening any time soon...but so thankful for a roof over our head, a bed for all, and ability to pay for utilities without a struggle
*Greg's job - the fact that we can live off of his paychecks is an amazing blessing so I can be a stay at home mom
*our health - we are all healthy! :-)
*St. John Neumann - we love our church and are beyond blessed to have this amazing Catholic community
*our neighbors - we all look out for each other...being home by myself at times it is nice knowing people are looking out for my house and any suspicious activity
*wine - it's necessary some days! ;-)

Let's just call that my top ten! :-) There are so many more blessings in my life and I am trying to remember to be grateful for each of them each day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My gifts from God!

Here they are....GREG AND MARIA!! I still can't believe how lucky I am that God chose me to be their Mom!
Our Easter Sunday picture!
Helping her with her toy...and maybe flinging it at her face!
Let me help you with that, Maria!

It's not always easy catching the two of them together on my camera...so these are the best we have! :-)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oh, Greg!

This little boy has stolen my heart!
He really likes to say cheese for the camera now! It melts my heart!
This is his new fake smile when we pull out the camera...strange boy!
Greg is super curious and into everything. He took Papa's toothbrush and decided to use it himself. He also rubbed it on the floor, shower door, and carpet. Sorry Dad!
His latest trick..jumping from the coffee table to the couch. Awe.some.
Just hanging out at the park...this boy LOVES it outside!!
Mommy and her little man!
Still working on the brotherly love
When outside he enjoys collecting rocks and sticks!
He loves the bath!

He makes me smile!

It is so hard to believe that Greg is 19 months! This time is just flying! He is one active little boy!! Some updates on Greg...
*Size 4 diapers, size almost 7 shoe (we will be getting new ones before summer), size 18 months clothes...he still has no bottom...so shorts and pants are always a little saggy!
*He's pretty much got all of his teeth!
*He sleeps from 8pm-730am most days!
*he takes one nap for about two hours!
*Greg loves it outside. We spend a lot of time outside. Our deck and fence are almost done and we are so excited for this! (pics to come later!)
*Greg is still adjusting to big brother role. He does very well with her and gives her kisses, but also will bite her, pull her hair, or pinch her. Lovely. Overall he is very sweet with her. He helps me change her diaper by throwing the diaper away and putting the wipes back where they belong!
*he likes to construct elaborate things to climb on out of toys to unlock the deadbolts to get outside or on top of the wall unit, or to get in the pack n play
* he has done great with his toddler bed!
*we will be working on playing together with others. He does okay, but will pull hair and take toys at times...I suppose this is semi-normal...but something we need to work on!

I am just so honored that God gave me this precious gift. He truly brings so much joy to my life. He cuddles with me and gives me kisses and although his cuddle time is short it is the highlight of my day! He is into everything and non stop, but I LOVE it! He is one curious little guy! He amazes me at how smart he is! I am truly impressed with how much he can do and how fast he learns!