Friday, November 21, 2014

It's the Weekend...

This is how I felt after I got home from work tonight...

Fairly certain my laundry pile could've rivaled this pile of clothes I found the internet...

And the dishes weren't too far behind this.
I can proudly say all the dishes in this house are clean after hand washing those that wouldn't fit into the dishwasher!  I was determined to have all the dishes clean which meant all the counters would be clean as well.
Wait, oh crud, I hear a child in the kitchen.
May the endless cycle of dirty dishes continue!

It's been a doozy these last few days.
The girl child came down with strep.
This is her 6th bought with it in last year.
She continues to amaze doctors with her golf ball, no tennis ball size tonsils.
Pretty sure she's getting a visit with an ENT and then a tonsillectomy for Christmas
 (or in the next year anyway).

Thursday night after work I found myself trying to figure out how to be in three places at one time.
PTA meeting, boy child's basketball game, and walk in clinic with Streppy.
So thankful for great people: the PTA presentation was made, the boy child was cheered on by a friend, and the girl child got three prescriptions for meds.
My night may have ended with the words, 
"You look tore up!"
and I felt it too.

Sidenote: I was not left on my own because the husband was not gonna help.  
Most definitely not the case.  Thursday night is worship rehearsal.  
Unfortunately this is also the beginning of a super busy season for him.
Right now as I type this he is at a late rehearsal for the Serve Moses Lake Worship benefit concert that is tomorrow night.
So honored to be his wife!  

Tomorrow is the boy child's last basketball game for the season.  I've loved watching him get more involved in the games and to hear him encourage his teammates.
Tonight he and daddy enjoyed some time watching basketball.
He was so into it.  Makes a momma's heart happy to see him happy.

Well, it's late.  I'm tired.  I need to get to bed so I can thoroughly enjoy sleeping in and not waking up to an alarm clock tomorrow.  Or at least not to one set for 6:30am.

Finding the blessings, 

PS: You could greatly help me in keeping my house clean by calling texting me and letting me know you're coming to visit!!  
(If you know me, you know I have a talking on the phone phobia!)

Here's a throwback to a post from almost three years ago:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Where Have I Been?!

Well, I decided tonight to look up the blog and see if it was still floating out there on the world wide web.  And what do you know, it was there.  Last post dated: April 20, 2012.  Oh. My. Word.  I started something and then dropped the ball and have been sitting on it for two and a half years.  Two and a half years that have seen us criss cross the country with a move to Tennessee and then a move to Washington (in one single year I might add).  God has been doing mighty things in our lives.  In these last two years we have learned quite a bit about ourselves and about our heart for ministry.  It hasn't always been roses as we walked this path.  Many times it's been icky as we've been stretched and refined.  In all the times though: Finding the Blessings.

Here's a brief timeline of what's been going on since April, 2012 (I'll elaborate in future blog posts):

Summer, 2012-
Decide last minute to take a vacation to visit our friends in Spring Hill, Tennessee.  Spend two and half weeks on the road.  Loved Tennessee.

Fall-Winter, 2012-
Feel a stirring in our hearts.  An unsettling feeling that we were supposed to 
do something different.  Like Indiana Jones stepping out on the beam of faith, we 
let our employers know that we felt called to try something new.  We would be leaving Visalia and be moving to Spring Hill, Tennessee (much to the chagrin
of our family and friends).

Spring, 2013-  
Everything was falling into place.  We had an apartment to move into and the finances ready to start over and begin this new adventure.

Summer, 2013-  
Goodbye Visalia, CA and Hello Spring Hill, TN.  I was able to get a job at Hunters Bend Elementary in Franklin, TN teaching 4th grade, where I was blessed to work alongside some great people!  Jason hit the ground running learning about the songwriting industry.

Fall, 2013-  
Things are getting rough.  The well is running dry.  Jason attends a song writing
conference where he has an encounter with God.  He feels that call to get back into 
ministry.  I start praying that someone would pursue him and that we wouldn't be fishing
to make it happen.

Winter, 2013-  
It's slim pickens for the Crabtrees.  We are learning to have extreme faith and trust.  
We're going month to month now.  We started doing the Jesus Call family devotional
with the kids at dinner every night.  We start to see God working on their hearts and have awesome family discussions. 

Early, 2014-  
Jason gets a phone call from a friend back in the First Baptist Days.  Kent calls and is
asking questions about Jason's time at Gateway.  Then he asks if Jason might consider
looking into a Worship Pastor position at the church in Moses Lake.  Wow!  That's back
across the country.  But remember, someone had called Jason (it's what I had been praying for).  We start praying.  Jason heads to CA for the NAMM show.  After his return back to TN, another phone call.  This time Jody calls and has a conversation with Jason.  Now allow me to share a glimpse of God's hand in this:  Kent and his wife, Staci, were the college leaders when we were in the college group at First Baptist (GateWay).  Jody was my  youth pastor from jr.  high through high school.  We hadn't talked to either of these guys in well over 10 years.  God, you have our attention.

Spring, 2014-  
After many Skype calls, the Crabtrees take a candidating trip out to Moses Lake, WA
for the position of Worship Pastor at Moses Lake Alliance Church.  We spend 5 days
getting to know the area and the people.  We fly back to TN and continue praying that 
we are falling into God's will and not our own ambitions.  Late March, we accept the 
call to begin ministry at the Alliance Church.  Sidenote:  Family and friends in Visalia
are thrilled that we will be back on the west side again and now only a day's drive away and not three.  A whirlwind begins of prepping for another cross country move.
And as only God would have it, the details all fall into place.

Summer, 2014-  
Jason and I pack up our stuff again, close the semi truck door, jump in the car, and 
drive to California.  A three day drive done in two days.  I couldn't wait to see my 
friends and family.  It had been a year!  After a whirlwind visit in Visalia we head
to Moses Lake.  We hit the ground running.  Our first Saturday in town we were 
blessed to be involved with a church Loving Moses Lake event.  Then I volunteered
to help at VBS.  On the Monday evening of the first day of VBS, I submitted my
application to the school district.  Tuesday morning I had calls for two separate 
interviews for Thursday.  By Thursday afternoon I had a position as a 5th grade 
teacher at Lakeview Elementary, which I am so blessed by.  I love the folks I work
with and my kiddos are fantastic.  We were feeling God's hand on this each and 
every step.  The rest of the summer was spent with Jason jumping head first
into the worship ministry and myself getting another classroom ready.  Oh and the kids you ask, well they were loving the trips to the water park and the adventures of learning a new place.  A visit from Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) were a highlight too.

Fall, 2014-  
School is in session.  Kids seem to be really liking it here.  Nana and Papa (Jason's parents) spent several days with us which was nice to have a piece of home and family here.  Janell was one of the 7th grade students of the month.  I love that one thing she was recognized for was for caring.  They both are making friends.  Nathaniel is super excited for his birthday party tomorrow with new friends from school.  The cold weather has blown in and I'm pretty sure the folks here failed to mention just how cold it gets!  I am still trying to find my place in this new adventure.  I feel a stirring in my heart but not quite sure what God is speaking to me.  Not gonna lie, it's hard breaking into a small town.  Everyone knows everyone and I don't.  Friendships, groups, and programs are set.  I am meeting many new people, which comes with the territory.  Please don't quiz me on names!  I am longing to make new connections with people.  Cue my aching heart missing my chicas back home (see previous post titled: Chicas  It feels even harder to do when you're in an introvert like me and always wonder what people think of you. I may seem outgoing, confident, etc. but it really is a fa├žade.  It’s difficult for me to get to know people, especially being a working mom.  Ugh, I'll save that for another post someday.  I do believe it's something many women struggle with.  

Well, that was the last two and a half years in a nutshell. You can read between the lines and see that we have had awesome times and we have had dark times.  Wouldn't it be great to say, "Everything is Awesome!"  Big picture: it is!!  Little picture: God is showing me areas that I need to work on and areas where I need to listen.  I'm excited to share more with you and hope you'll join me on this renewed adventure.  

Finding the blessings,


Friday, April 20, 2012

My Week in Pictures

I'm adopting this idea of sharing my week through the use of pictures taken only with my phone.
Jeannett started this sharing of pics over at 
Most of my pics are instagram.

life rearranged

So here's my week:
Forgoing the sink full of dishes to watch a movie with the family.
We watched, "We Bought a Zoo."
I think Nathaniel wants to buy a zoo now.

Breakfast for dinner, yes please!
I love when a little bit of the syrup mixes with the scrambled eggs.

Last food one, I promise.
A Target date the boy child.
We love pretzels with cheese.
You have to go the Target out on 63 to get a bigger side of cheese.
It's the little things :)

Out on our date.
I'm pretty sure I dragged him along thrifting.
I may have made him believe it was his idea.
I'm not sure.

Madelynn's roses are blooming.
Nathaniel suggested we take some to her.
My heart is always happy when I see the beautiful roses blooming.

A project worked on.
Shiny white IKEA cabinet turned into distressed red something.
I think it's going to become a special wedding piece.

A Hobby Lobby item that sparked some interest.
A total, "I can make that," moment.
Got some ideas for some frames sitting in my garage right now.

Janell and Jason watched War Horse.
Janell wants to read the book.
I brought two copies home from school.
The kids and I are reading it together.
Taking turns reading it out loud.
So much fun.

There are certain times that it becomes quite necessary to have a stash of sweets in the desk drawer.
I don't usually have candy in my desk at work.
This week just called for a little extra TLC.
Those Reese's minis are super yummy.
The Werther's are caramel filled.
Oh. My. Goodness.  They are every caramel lover's dream.
(Overkill alert!)
Twizzlers nibs are my Kryptonite.
Then they went and made super long nibs.
It's all downhill from here.

This is Nathaniel and Billie.
She loves Nathaniel.
She is the sweetest little five year old you could ever meet.
Such precious hands.
Finger nails painted so pretty.
She brings joy and happiness to those around her.

Nathaniel doing his hair for church, making it look like Daddy's.
He's getting so big.
He's seven already.
Where has the time gone?
He is sweet and caring.
I see a boy with a heart for those suffering.
He brings us a lot of laughs.
I mean a lot of laughs!!

But no matter how big he gets, he will always be my baby here on Earth.
His blankie was his dedication gift from church.
It is worn and tattered and in some spots barely hanging on.
He loves the "stringies."
The one in the picture is his special one.
He holds it by his nose and puts his thumb in his mouth.
I promise he only puts his thumb in his mouth when he is extremely tired.
Such a sweet moment.
He was laying next to me in bed because he felt like there was a really big spider in his closet.
He was scared.
Or just wanted to be with me.
I'll take the latter.

Today I heard great news.
The group that I am a part of, A Legacy of Love, was granted non-profit status.
We will be able to do more with this designation (including receiving donations).
There are so many plans that we are working on.
Currently we meet once a month at GateWay church for a support meeting.
This group is meeting a need in our community, reaching out to those families who have suffered a loss in pregnancy or the first year of life.
We are also working on developing and acquiring resources that can be given to families in the hospital or doctor's offices.
So many opportunities!

How was your week?
What were your blessings?

Always finding the blessings,

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Housekeeping! You want me fluff pillow!

Hello, My name is Denise and it has been way too long since I cleaned a toilet, sink, tub, or shower!
I admit, I am a terrible house cleaner.
I have always been bad at it.
My dad used to take pictures of my messy bedroom to show my children one day.
I used to tell my mom that it would be different when I was an adult.
I would want to keep my very own house clean.
Yeah right!

I don't spend a lot of time in the bathroom so this picture is somewhat true.
Don't look for too long and you won't see that thing growing in the corner of the shower.

Awe yes, that's why I don't clean like I should.
I'm out living my life, changing the world!
Uh huh!

photos from Pinterest

Come on, you know this one is a little bit true.
I'm guilty of thinking it.
Justifying my disgusting habits of non-cleaning.

I am good at putting things away.
Things stack up and then I find a home for them.
I can make my downstairs looks clean.
But please don't swipe a white glove across anything or
God forbid pull back the downstairs shower curtain that's kept closed when friends come over.
For this would expose my faults.

Tonight I couldn't take it any longer.
I kept hoping that things would miraculously clean up.
Mary Poppins would snap her finger and little soldiers would clean up.
Ummm, not so much.
Tonight I went for it.
Gloves on.
Master bathroom full assault.
The whole time sweat is dripping and I'm angry at myself for not staying on top of it.
If I would just clean up every day/week.
Just like I tell Janell to do with her clothes.
But, yeah, not so much.
I started scrubbing.  
Every part needs to get cleaned.
I can't stop.
I become obsessed.
I'm frustrated because the shower is out of control.
It's gonna need the big guns for a complete clean.
Why do I let it get like this?

Cleaning is not the only area I do this in my life.
I'm like this with my relationship with God.
I know what I should be doing and how I should be living.
I know what is right and I do these things.
My life looks cleaned and organized.
I've thriving in stepping out of my comfort zone to develop relationships with other people.
But in some areas I keep the lights off.
The curtain is closed hiding what it is going on.
However, I keep plugging away until finally I can't take it anymore.
Things are all out of whack.

I know what I need to do to fix this.
I need to clean my heart daily with His word.
Study it so it is a part of me.
Pray daily.
Do this before the ick has a chance to settle in.

To be honest, in my life right now the ick is creeping in.
Anxiety is rearing it's ugly head.
 (Hello state testing and a misguided education system)
Doubt wedges itself into my thoughts.
(Am I where God wants me to be?  Can I do something with these new passions I have?)
I've been relying on myself to get passed it.
Well, we all know that at some point that just ain't gonna cut it.
I'm in that place right now.
It's time to started scrubbing and polishing myself.
Allow God to do what He is so patiently waiting for me to let Him do.

I really hope that I'm not alone in this.
Do you feel the ick creep in when you haven't been spending time with the Lord?
What are some special things you do to spend time with God?

Finding the Blessings,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What I'm Wearing These Days...

Hip, Hip, Hooray!
It's another what I wore day!
Or something like that.

I'll be honest.
I'm having one of those weeks months where nothing is feeling good.
Some might say that I am in a funk.
There are just certain times with nothing works.
I know all you ladies reading this are giving me an "Amen, sister!"

I've been using my new phone to take the pics.
It makes it much easier.
Maybe some day I'll get a tripod so I can go all catwalk on you for some fashion pics :)
Oh, I'll need a remote too.

Well, here's what I have to entertain you with for this week:
 Church day! 
I grabbed this top off the floor and gave it a quick once over with the iron.
The shirt was a Lane Bryant find.
Jeans are from Fashion.
Side note:  Did you know you can use your Lane Bryant card at Fashion Bug?

Awe, accessories.
A girl in a funk's best friends.
Here's I'm wearing a cross necklace from I don't now where.
The hair bow was a scrapbook embellishment clearanced at Target.
I just hot glued it to a large bobby pin and walaa, Hair Beauty.

And outfit number 2: Which I am currently wearing!
 Sorry for the blurro-vision!
The weather is warming up so it's time to get out the short sleeves.
I love the color of this shirt and the cool shoulder thingies!
I think I got the shirt at Kohl's along with the pants.
 Here's a closer shot.
I know you wanted to feel a little closer to me.
The necklace has a bunch of gold leaves on it.
A red sticker find from my favorite place, Target!
The angle of this shot is making me laugh.
Umm, let's see, I do believe my lady friends look a bit exaggerated.
Or I'm in complete denial and need to get a nip/tuck ASAP!
(no need to inform me if I'm in denial, let me soak in it)
Shoes, shoes, shoes.
The Lord blessed me with size 11 feet.
Can you believe that?
Not sure what he was thinking on that one!
So I snag up the clearanced flats at Target all the time.
These lovely leopard print flats were one of those gems.
I wore those today with the turquoise shirt.

So there you have it.
Two outfits from this week.
Here's some insider information for you (in case you were wondering):

1- is very user friendly and I have been editing my photos there.
2- I use the airbrush feature to hide my hideous skin.
I call it late onset puberty. 
I had clear skin growing up when it was supposed to be funky.
But no, now it's all funky!
I'm trying to figure out what it takes to clear it up.
Hence number 3.
3- I am on a makeup hiatus, trying to see if my skin will clear up. 
Or maybe I'm really trying to start a revolution! 
Come women and join me! 
Say no to makeup! 
Let's love the skin God gave us!!
4-  I need to prayer to get out of this funk and off my butt!  Time to get moving!!
5- my computer is running really slow and is making this already irritable woman want to throw it against the wall.
A bit aggressive I know!
It's a few minutes away from an ole heave ho!
Must say ta ta for now!
To save the computer!

Finding the blessings,

I've linked up over with these great gals to peek into the fashion lives of others:

pleated poppy

Momma Go Round

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"We're Getting Married!"

Yes, you saw that right, 
We're getting married!
Aren't you super excited?
We're thrilled.
We all can't wait.

Wait, there might be some confusion here.
Yes, Jason and I are married.
August 14, 1999 to be exact.
A beautifully fun day, almost 13 years ago!  Wow!

So what does this mean, "We're getting married!?"
Jason and I have been so fortunate to have found a community of friends we call family.
A group of people that God has so intricately woven together.
Some might even say an unlikely assortment of people :)
A community where we are truly ourselves all the time.
Each appointment divinely set for us to get to know each other and become a part of each other's lives.
Dinners at each others houses.
Kids getting along with each other.
Praying for each other.
Opening up to each other.
True community where we are building each other up, investing in each other.

Well, two of the people in this group are getting married.
Wahoo!!  Married, and in one month!
Before you whince and wonder why the rush...
This couple has been flourishing in a new relationship with God. 
 Attending church and small groups.  
Healing family relationships.  
Seeing that they needed to make they're relationship pure in the eyes of God.
So, why wait longer than necessary.

The excitement is in the air.
A proud mama who will watch her first born get married.
Married before a family of believers.
A marriage that will begin with God at the head.

We are all thrilled.
We all want to be a part of making this day special for them.
We're throwing in our skills, our talents, and our time.
In conversations while making plans we say, "We're getting married."
Or, "our wedding starts at..."
How about, "the theme of our wedding is..."
We all get a kick out of it, how we have all jumped right in.
Everyone one of us wants this to be such a perfect day for these two.
A beautiful day celebrating marriage and God's blessings on new beginnings.

So, I must be off to Pinterest as I continue my research for centerpiece ideas.
I'm part of the table decorating team :)
This is going to be so much fun and beautiful!
You know why, because it is God centered.
He is the focus and the reason we are in community with each other.

His blessing have been found here,

Friday, April 13, 2012

Indescribable Joy!

Have you ever felt so much joy that you even had the goosebumps?
or chickees and Nathaniel calls them :)
The overwhelming feeling of just pure happiness.
Tearing up because the joy has just filled you completely.
I mean joy was just oozing out of your pores!!

This evening I experienced that indescribable joy.
There just aren't words for it.

Here is the source of this joy:
A true miracle, a blessing straight from God.

You see this little boy was born today to a family that went to great lengths to bring him here.
His mommy and daddy had to say goodbye to four of his older siblings.
Carried into Heaven in the first trimester of their existence.
They weren't even sure they wanted to attempt the road to bring him here.
The losses had taken a great toll.
The pain of another loss to great to bear.

But a sweet (and sassy) six year old girl deserves a sibling.
They wanted that for her.
It was scary.

Would God even grant them this blessing?

They made a decision.
They would step down this path.
Many trips to doctors would be necessary.
Mommy had to endure painful procedures.
Daddy held her hand and hoped for answers.

Answers came and prayers were answered.
Mommy and Daddy were on the path.
Scared to be happy and excited.
Fears and anxiety sometimes too much to handle.
As weeks and months pass, a little bit of relief could be felt.  (only a little bit)
Always the thought, would this baby stay here on earth with us?

Well today, a big sigh of relief.
That surreal moment.
The perfection that can only come from God.
This baby boy is here.

Beautiful, loved, perfect, a little brother five times over.
Love fills the room as Grandma holds her miracle.

I hold him.
Gazing at his perfect skin.
Watching the sweet faces he makes.
Looking over at his relieved mommy.
A sense of peace and awe all around her.
This miracle from God.
An indescribable joy!!

Finding the blessings,