Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Busted!

Probably 99% of the time, I have either KLRC on my radio, a VBS or choir cd, or even an Awana CD.  Very rarely do I listen to anything else. 
Today, we were listening to Taylor Swifts-Shake it off.  I like the beat, we were dancing and singing in the car when Kayden said "Momma, you have to turn that off, we can't listen to it!" "Why not?" I asked.  He said, "it is inappropriate for us, it says OH MY GOD!"  "We don't say that & we need to turn it off!"  Presley says "oh man, I really like it!" "Presley, when you are older like mommy you can listen to it, but we are kids and it is inappropriate, because we do not say that!" 

I must be doing something right, when the two times I listen to something other than Christian music, I get busted out by my 6yr old son!  

I choose to listen to music that praises our Lord, Jesus Christ!  It makes me proud when my daughter belts out songs from her VBS CDs in the middle of WalMart or where ever we are & especially when my son catches something before I do and does not want to "make exceptions" just because he likes the beat.  

I'm proud of my little man for standing up for what he felt was wrong!  This may not mean much to some, but for me....it makes me proud!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Do you know, that you know, that you know??

Our pastor is always asking....Do you know, that you know, that you know that you have accepted Jesus in your heart? A personal relationship with him?  If there are any doubts, you need to nail down your salvation by talking to someone, opening your heart to what really is going on with your spiritual journey....if you even have one!!  He also says (in my own words)that the day you truly accept Jesus as your lord and savior and your life is transformed to his glory...you remember where you were, who you talked to, the date it happened!  

You see....before my mom died, I did not walk a path that a Christian person should.  I did a lot of things I shouldnt have done.  I knew it was wrong....I would have conviction, but I wanted to have fun and spend time with people who I thought were my friends. 

After my mom died, I knew I had to turn my life around, especially so I could see her again!  It wasn't until about 3 years ago, I started turning my life around and building a relationship with Jesus, but deep back in my heart I doubted if I truly was saved.  

I would think to myself, of course I am saved!!!  I said the prayer....I was baptized as a child!  But those answers just didn't ease my doubt. :-( 

My thoughts were of shame....how could I go up in front of my HUGE church family and confess that I have been fooling my self?  I thought, I just need to start getting involved in the church...so I did!  Don't get me wrong....I have always loved Jesus and I know he died for our sins, but it didn't mean much till a few years ago and I still doubted my salvation!!    I started volunteering and began working with Mission Friends, I help with our preschool church service (2x2's) once a month, I volunteer with VBS, I'm an Awana's leader.  I am a Good News Club leader at our school.  My doubt was still there and in fact, I made it worse for me to confess my doubt because holy smokes....what would people think?!?

Our church has slowly come alive!  I saw it starting his summer & now FBC Bentonville has come alive and is on FIRE!!!  A revival has started and is spreading!  The weekend before Thanksgiving our church had a hour long invitation because people were just coming down the aisle to either nail down their salvation, rededicated their lives, join our church, praying for whatever was on their hearts!   

This was not heard of at our church till today!  The people who made decisions went from one side of our sanctuary to the other!  

Here is a picture of that day I got off of our churches Facebook page. 
Unfortunately, we did not make it to church that day :-( BUT thankfully it was streamed via Livestream and I was able to watch!  I have watched many people this year (ones you never would have doubted their salvation)come and nail down their salvation in front of everyone! This day was amazing and I cried like a baby! I knew that day what I needed to do after watching this service, but my pride was still standing in the way!  

Last Sunday, I thought today was the day.....but nope, I just didn't have the courage.  

Today, our church had their annual Christmas program.  Presley is in the preschool choir and sang this morning. Our preacher didn't even have a sermon today, but the song and what he said hit me hard!  He extended the invitation 3 times and said the third time was the last....I said to myself okay, this is it!  You gotta go!!  I didn't and I was getting emotional.  I had Kayden and Presley with me (Eric was standing in the back because he doesn't like enclosed places), there were families on both sides of me.....all were just excuses!  I thought, well I will just make an appointment with Bro. Randy and go from there.....OH BUT GOD HAD OTHER PLANS!!! 

Bro. Phillip felt the need to extend it one more time!  I grabbed my stuff, kids, made my way thru a family straight to my husband crying!  He looked worried and asked what was wrong and I just said I need to go down!  He said, well let's go! 

Our church has an awesome pastorial staff!  I am so thankful for their devotion to our church and everyone in it!!  
After speaking to our youth pastor, He knelt down beside me and I nailed my salvation down and opened up my heart and confessed my sins, my doubt & accepted his forgiving grace and love!!! 

I now can say that without a shadow of a doubt, I am a 36 year old follower of Christ, I have a renewed relationship with him!  I see my upcoming baptism as a symbol of washing my past and sins away and coming up with a clean slate, cleansed by the hands of Christ!  

The weight that was lifted off my chest is amazing!  I am so excited and now feel like I can hold my head up high and boldly tell people YES, I am a Christian, a believer of Christ, I am a sinner and I don't claim to be perfect, but I do know that the Bible is our life book that has everything we need to live our lives!  

I am not good at quoting scripture, I have not been the best at reading my Bible.  I do have a fire inside me to start reading and having my quite time before my day starts.  
It may be in the beginning, middle or end of my day....but I will make time!!  I would like to look for a mentor to help me strengthen my relationship even more.  I admire people who know the Bible and can go back and quote stories that relate to another verse in the bible and so forth and so on!  They have studied their bible and I want that!  I want that and I finally have it!!  I seek knowledge for his word!!  :-) 

As a teenager and young adult, I feel like I missed out on what could've been amazing if I wouldn't have followed a road that wasn't pleasing to his plan for me.  Thankfully he never left my side!  

I had a Godly mother that prayed for me everyday!  She knew I was following a path of wrong decisions, but she never gave up!!   I know today, she is jumping up and down, swinging her arms in the air yelling YES YES YES!!!  That's my Brandi Sue!!!  :-) 

It doesn't matter how old you are, who your parents are, what you do around the community, church, school, work...etc.  If you have any doubt about your salvation or have never accepted Christ into your heart....it isn't too late!!  

You need to know, that you know, that you know, that you are the son or daughter of our Lord, Jesus Christ!  

I FINALLY KNOW!!!! 



Thursday, September 11, 2014

A new month - September 2014

So today is 9/11/14.....13 years ago today, I was at my desk at the title company I worked for in Eureka Springs, when my coworker/friend got me and said that something just happened really bad!  What are you talking about?  So we turned on the TV in the lounge and watched the news as they reported about the Twin Tours being hit.  I thought this could not be!  I cried and called my dad, mom and step dad!  What does this mean for us (USA)?  I couldn't take my eyes off of the TV....it was just scarey!  7 years later, something good and bad happened that day.  On 9/11/08, a beautiful baby girl was born to one of my best friends!  Emma Clare Barns was born!  Also on that date, my step dad was convicted by a jury of his peers for murdering my mom.  I am so thankful that sweet Emma Clare was born to help take the sting away from an emotional week we had that ended on this day 6 years ago.  So that is my recap of my 9/11 stories, now on to the present....it's more exciting and blessed with Gods grace and love!!!  (Not that ECs birth wasn't) :-)


It has been a crazy few weeks!  Since Presley started Pre - Kindergarten (it isn't PreK anymore and she will correct you if you say it is!) I have been so busy!!  One would think that being a SAHM would give you some time to yourself and time to relax.....OH I BEG TO DIFFER!! :-)

I think I am busier NOW, than I ever was when I worked full time!

I am able to volunteer at Kayden's school now.  I am officially the "BoxTop Mom" at his school.  Presley and I go around the rooms and collect Box Tops for Education and Campbell Labels for Education from the teachers, we cut them down to the dotted line and bag them in a group of 50 and get them ready for mailing.  We have the help of several moms and 4th grade students!  The money raised will go toward something for our wonderful school.  I also assist my husband with his appt's and invoices.  He is wanting me to help shoot the pictures, but I have not been able to accompany him on any photo shoots as of now.  Maybe when PK starts kindergarten next year.

FYI: IF YOU COLLECT BOX TOPS FOR YOUR KIDS....PLEASE TRIM THEM TO THE DOTTED LINE!!!  THIS SAVES THE "BOXTOP MOM" & HELPERS A LOT OF TIME!  :-)

I am also the leader for our schools Good News Club!  What is GNC?  It is an after school bible club basically that meets once a week at our school.  If you want any information on GNC, go to cefpress.com.  This is a wonderful club and I am so excited!!  Right now, we are needing A LOT of volunteers to help before we can even get started!  In the past, we have had over 50 kids!!  I know God has great plans for our club and has placed it in his hands!!  He will provide the volunteers that we need to make the club happen.

Kayden was been a busy little boy!  He started soccer AND is currently a Tiger Cub Scout!  He has been so excited about started cub scouts!  He also started Awana's and RA's (Royal Ambassadors) last week!  We recently had Kayden evaluated for Dyslexia a couple of weeks ago.  He does have some dyslexic traits BUT we need to wait till he is 7 before she will do any official testing.  The psychologist we saw stated that it would show better results after he turns 7.  So we finally have a game plan and I am happy!  His teacher is amazing this year!  We have been so blessed with two amazing teachers so far, since he started school!  She has supplied Kayden with overlays to help with his reading.  He states this helps A LOT!!  He still struggles, but what ever we can do to make it easier for him the better!  She even gave us some overlays to use at home! 

Brook started back at Tumbling last week.  She is really excited and is practicing so hard!!  Adjusting to a new school and just new life in general has been a little hard for her.  She is making big strides and is doing MUCH better.  We love her so much and want whats best for her. 

Presley has not started back at dance.  :-(  I wanted to give Brook a shot at doing something that she has never gotten to do and do not want to overflow our plate for when the "down season" comes around this winter.   I really hate it for her, but know this is the best decision for us right now.  When she starts kindergarten and we do not have to pay for preschool, she will be able to return to our beloved KDA!!  She misses her friends and teacher, Mrs. Laine.

Eric's business has really picked up since this spring!  It has been 1 year since K&P Media has begun and I am so proud of the hard work my husband has put into this.  When I stopped working, I was scared to death and was so unsure of what to come.  I finally had to hand all my worries to God and say, "I can't take this, please help me!"  There were days when his schedule was blank and we were worried how would we pay bills this week.  We prayed and handed it over to him and within 30min his phone started going off with emails and phone calls for photo shoots!!!

HOW AMAZING IS THAT!!!

K&P Media is a real estate photography company that my husband started September 2013.  He has built it from ground up and has worked so hard.  Did I tell you how proud I am of my husband? :-)  If you need any real estate photography or have any questions, don't hesitate to email us at kpmappt@cox.net!!

Oh, I forgot to add that Kayden is selling POPCORN!!!  If anyone is interested in buying some popcorn to help support Kayden's scout activities and his den, please let me know!!  I am fixing to set up his online acct tomorrow, so I will post the website once it is up and running!

If you are local, NWA area, let me know and I will drive our little scout to your house and you can look at the different types of popcorn you may want to purchase!! :-)

Are you busy?  Tell me about your busy schedule/life!!



With HIS love,
~Brandi~







Wednesday, August 27, 2014

1st day of PreK

Almost 5yrs ago, God blessed our family with a beautiful baby girl!  Presley Kaye has been such a blessing, even through her fits and hard headed ways! :-)

On Tuesday, September 26, 2014, this baby girl started her first day of PreK or Pre Kindergarten as she likes to call it. "Because I'm almost in kindergarten Mom"! 


You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!
~Dr. Seuss - Oh, the Places You Will Go~


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My thoughts....

So yesterday was pretty crazy and just full of a lot of feelings going through mine & Eric's minds!  

As some of you may know & those that don't, Brook our 12yo daughter, moved in with us back in April.  The whys and what nots are not important, but we are so happy she did and have been praying for this day for a long time.  

Let me tell you, having a 12yo is much different than a 6 & 4 year old, but we welcome it with open arms!  

As a parent, we must not sit back and be "friends" to our children!  From the beginning, we need to be disciplinarians, teachers and leaders for them....not there BFF's!!!  

We need to set rules and boundaries in  the beginning and be CONSISTANT in consequences for breaking those set rules and boundaries!!  Now, don't think I am the perfect parent, bc I am NOT!!!  I make mistakes all the time!  

There is no perfect child or perfect parent!  The only person who has lived a perfect life is Jesus Christ, the son of our forgiving and most gracious God!!!   

I love all of our children so much!!  I know God has great things in store for ALL of them, but we, as parents, have to guide them and prepare them mentally, physically and spiritually for the real world, because if we don't prepare them for what is out there we have failed them and satan will get a hold of them!  

Tell them about God's love and that he sent his only son to be born from a virgin girl, he lived a PERFECT life and was sent to die on a cross for ALL of our sins and in 3 days ROSE from the dead!!!  He loves us so much!  We are all born sinners, but thankfully we are saved by his grace and love!!  Show them that the bible is Gods lesson plan on how we should live and treat people!  

We should study it, ask questions and live by it!!  I don't do it as often as I should, but I'm trying!! 

Yesterday, I decided to deactivate my FB account.  
1. I am addicted to FB!!  There I have said it...I AM ADDICTED TO FB!!  
2.  I spent so much time scrolling my feed, stalking my friends and family keeping up with their lives, that I was  putting my family and their lives on the back burner!
3.  Brook is not allowed to have fb!  What am I showing her & the rest of my family, when I am constantly on my phone checking statuses and not involved in their lives?
4.  My family comes first (after my relationship with Jesus Christ) & I need to get rid of any distractions that cause me to ignore them!  I have to teach my children that when something becomes a distraction to what is important, such as God, family, education, we need to get rid of those distractions and focus on what will help us to be obedient with Gods word!  

I would really like to start some sort of devotion or bible study for my little ones. Brook has a Devotional book she got from camp.  Discuss some verses after school or something of that nature.  Getting into the habit of studying Gods word!  

Does anyone have any suggestions?  What are your thoughts?  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Brook's 1st day of Jr. High

I can't believe that a little girl that I could hardly understand and who called me "Bany" started JR HIGH yesterday!!!  
I love this girl so much it hurts!  We have went from this ⬆️ to this ⬇️
I still can't believe how much she has grown!!  

So one my FB page I mentioned the teachers holding signs of encouragement and inspiration....well I finally found a picture of some of them: 
Is this not awesome!?!  Thank you LJHS for all you do!! 
Here are some more pics from her first day of school! 


Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:18, 21 NIV)





Monday, August 11, 2014

PIYO Giveaway

Okay everyone!  I know it's the end of summer, but is there really a time to "start working out?"  Anyone and everyone that knows me, knows that I'm usually late....for everything!  It's a "Simon thing" (inside joke)! 

Well, I have decided to take control of my weight.  I have said this before and yes, diets come and go.  This time, I want it to be a life style change, not just a "diet"!  I was planning on going to the Parks and Rec building on Tues & Thurs for their PIYO workout & then I see where Jenna Buettemeyer is having a #choosingjoyPIYOgiveaway!!!  

This is beyond exciting!!!  I usually don't enter into giveaways, but I truly believe this is my time to take control.  I was going to join another person's team about a month ago, but really didn't have the $$ to get it started.  This is a "God thing".... A chance to get back into shape and with this chance, I can do it!!!!   

I started reading Jenna's blog about 2.5 yrs ago, when her MIL was diagnosed with cancer.  You see, I am a member of FBC-Bentonville, but there are so many people that I don't know or I do know of them!  Their strength and openness of their feelings during this time and after Mrs. Janet received her healing and is now in her eternal home has helped me open up and start my own blog.  I'm not near as good or consistent, but it does help. 

So, with that being said....here is a link to her giveaway!  I'm so excited!  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qlO3U-QtzLE/U-jJzbsGAVI/AAAAAAAAMxU/fTOcFQbc1Fk/s1600/IMG_20140811_084803.jpg

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Gunn Summer 2014


This summer, we just stayed home and did little things around town.  No special vacation trips to the beach (I missed that one!).  We did make memories though & that's what matters!  Here a some pictures highlighting our summer!! 

We went exploring our beautiful trails

We had a garage sale on Kayden's last day of school! 
Yes...he is eating a donut on a play potty!  
There he is fully dressed and on his way to school!  Our sweet friend Michelle took him that day.
Presley and her sweet friend Payton had a play date! 
Brook went to her very first and last children's camp!  She was awarded Girl 6th grade camper of the week!!!  We were so happy for her!!! 


After camp, we had VBS 2014 "Weird Animals" This was a huge success!!!

We were able to bring my friend Tasha's daughter Angelina.  Everyone had a blast!
Presley was able to help one morning by holding up the Christian flag during pledges.  She was excited! 
This was Brooks last year to participate in VBS, so they got all the 6th graders on stage.  Next year, she gets to be a LEADER!!! 
This was Presley's first "official" year to be a part of VBS.  She LOVED Mrs. Fruit Salad and Mrs. Hot Tamale!!!

We visited Eric's family in Missori! This is Brook and her Great Uncle Tommy

We took a train ride from Springdale to Van Buren & back to celebrate a special mans life!!   Kayden missed out bc he was having fun with Nannie & Pops!
Spent time at the lake with Papaw & Meme while the were camping! 
Beautiful view!! 

Loved eating Smores!!

Swimming at the Rogers Aquatic center with friends

Riding bikes

What did you do this summer? 






















Friday, August 8, 2014

Homesick

The song Homesick by Mercy Me, was a song that was played at my mom's funeral.  It has always been a special song to me.  

Listen to the words! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Birthday Post...1month later

Happy Birthday to me....yesterday!  Yes, I turned a year older.  Yay me! 

Since my mom died, it's not near as fun or important to me, celebrating my birthday.  Use to, our family would all grill out and shoot fire works at the end of the night!  

This year, started out......

WOW!!!  I didn't get to finish my birthday post like I wanted to....because today is August 8th!!!  A little over 1 month since my birthday.  

I'm going to be honest, it's been rough, but God has been blessing my family SOO much!!  

I recently started going to a Monday night bible study that my church has.  I've been wanting to go for several years, but my shyness has kept me from going.  

"You shouldn't shy away from Gods word@....well, I did!   Let me say, NO MORE!!!  Since this bible study, I have learned so much and enjoy being around many smart women who can explain and teach Gods word!!  

I am so thankful for my church & pastor, that teaches what GOD has placed on his heart & not something to please the congregation!  I'm so thankful for good Christian friends!    

This week was especially hard for members of our church loosing loved ones and friends.  This reminds me, that this home is temporary and our true home is with our God and Saviour!!!  As Homesick as we may be without our loved ones, what a glorious place they are in!!  Who would truly want to pull them away from that?   I'm praying whole heartily for the families who recently have lost loved ones and for the ones who are still struggling.  Just today, my daughter was talking to me while in the car and said this "Mom, you cry a lot...but it's because you miss Gma Kaye.  I miss her too, but we don't need to be sad, she is in heaven...right?"

She is so correct, but it's so hard not to cry and miss our loved ones, even after 7 years! 😊. 

I'm sure this post is a lot of rambling, but it's what's on my mind at 11:22pm!   

More posts to follow...soon! 


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Graduation, Birthdays & Recitals

This week has been full of so much happiness and emotions! 

Thursday, my first born son graduated Kindergarten!!  How can this be, he just started kindergarten....didn't he? 

Friday was my Momma's 7th birthday in heaven.  What a celebration she is having with our Heavenly Father!!  
My mom, brother & I at his MBA graduation.  
This was taken the day my momma left me at Henderson State University.
My wedding day....taken only 2.5 months before she made her journey to her forever home! 
Happy Birthday Grandma Kaye!! We love you and miss you!!!

Today was Presley's day!  This afternoon was the 2014 Kalidescope Dance Recital day!  Presley and her friends danced from their hearts today and had an amazing performance!!!  We love KDA and Mrs. Laine! 
Kayden was very proud of his sister!  
Our big girl dancers lined up watching the sweet little dancers rehearse. 
Mrs. Laine and her "Cruisen for a Bruisen" dancers

This evening, we met my sweet friend Tasha and her two kiddos at Crystal Bridges and walked the trails and then had a snack picnic at the Bucky Ball. 
We had a blast and took so many pictures!  
We saw this young buck while walking one of the beautiful trails in our awesome town!  The kids were so excited!!
Our precious kiddos! (Presley, Angelina, Kayden & Adrian) 

Tasha took more pictures.  My storage is full on my phone....so I have to clear out some of mine before I can take any more pics.  Once Tasha sends me the ones she took, I will post more.  

This week has been one of the best weeks in a long time!!  Full of love and memories! 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NIV)














 



Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Graduate

I am committing my blog post to my new Kindergarten graduate!  

In true #TBT fashion, I want to go back in time, looking back at what an adventure the past 6yrs has been! 

Kayden just 10 days new!!  Oh, how I miss these days! 

Kayden was 6mo old when we took him to his first trip to the Magic Springs water park in Hot Springs.

Multiple images of my sweet baby....my how time flies!!!

Kayden and his first BFF Daisy!  

My little 1st year Awana Cubby

Kayden was 3 in this picture...he has grown up so much!

My preschool graduate 


Kayden's first day of Kindergarten

A picture of Kayden with Mrs. Marts on his first day of school & tonight after their kindergarten celebration!!!  I have cried off and on all day!!  I'm so happy, but yet miss my mom and wish she was here to see her lil man graduate in person.  

Kayden, 
Happy Graduation Day!!!!  I thank God daily for picking me to be your mommy!  I'm so thankful that he blessed me with such a loving lil boy.  You have brightened my days so much, since the early morning lyou were born, actually from the time I knew you were in my belly!  
I pray that you will continue to work hard and achieve whatever goals that may come your way.  I pray you will continue to love Jesus with all your heart and continue to serve him and walk in his word daily!! 
Always remember that mommy loves you so much (to heaven and back)& that I'm here for you....always & forever!  Congratulations on everything you have accomplished your first year of school, I have no doubt, that God has big plans for you....Oh, the places you will go!

Love you more, 
Mommy