Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Elf

This IS the most wonderful time of the year! The Elf has been making nightly visits at the Dunn home since the beginning of December. Does the Elf stop by your house? This fun has stemmed from a tradition from when I was a child. When my brother & I were little, during the month of December, we would set our shoes outside our bedroom door & the Elf would leave a treat in it for us to find in the morning. Now, with the Elf on the Shelf & many similar products ( Mom totally should've invented that), it seems as if many families participate. The best part about it is not the treat that is left, but it's the excitement that is built around the idea.

The first things the Elf / Kringle left;
advent calendars
Mini M&Ms
A special note to Jax
Kringle emphasized the importance of being good!

Jax reading his letter

What are these?!

Treat found December 2nd. We LOVE books!

Treat left December 3rd:
a ticket to Disney on Ice!
a shirt with Mickey Mouse on it
Mickey stickers and fun
Jax's favorite part was the ornament/"ball"

Treat left December 4th - another awesome book!
The Elf even found Jax when he spent the night at Gammy's!
What a fun Christmas season we are having!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

I just love the Operation Christmas Child ministry! Dustie and I have always had the best time filling up our shoe boxes. This year Jax got to join in on the fun! (He did last year too, but this year he knows a little more about what is going on.) We chose to fill Jax's box for the youngest boy age - that way we could pick a bunch of items that Jax likes & know the child will enjoy them!

Jax REALLY loved the items in his box! Maybe a little too much. haha

We put in: a toy truck, a pack of crayons, a ball, a sock monkey, a notepad, a toothbrush and a book! Can't wait for it to get to Jax's "overseas friend."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Terrible One-and-a-Half & MDO Thanksgiving

So forget the terrible twos. We're having our "terrible" adventure now! One sign - we avoid eating out at all costs. If we must go out to eat (like we did w/ the revival crew EVERY night of the revival) we bring a "Survival Kit" with books, play dough, toys... I'm quickly learning that Mister Jax has a mind of his own! At his Mother's Day Out Thanksgiving program he was such a rascal! He would not wear his necklace or his feather headband, he would not take a picture, he wanted to be held & once he saw his Daddy on the stage, it was over!

Here he is noticing Dustie.

Here he is making D pick him up (all while D is speaking).


All the classes & teachers

D trying to narrate

Still narrating

Jax taking over the mic

Jax not letting D have it back!

Jax now narrating

Final words

About to say the blessing

Jax protesting the feather headband

The fam

Chowing down!

Trying to get decent pics after lunch

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Get Behind me Satan! & BOOYAH!

A friend & I have been *slowly* :) reading through Beth Moore's newest book about insecurity. When we first picked our newest study it was between two of Beth Moore's books (we kinda like her :)). I mentioned this one only b/c it was her latest & I had been hearing a lot of buzz about it. I thought-I'll read it & enjoy it b/c Beth is a good writer, but the topic won't really relate to me. I thought-an insecure person is one who lacks self-esteem & that's soooo not me! I've always felt pretty confident. I know I don't look like a Sport's Illustrated Swimsuit model, but that's ok with me. I'm not the kind of person who thrive's on the attention of others...I just didn't think I fit the bill. Then I started reading...

Sweet Beth started stepping on my toes a bit when she started describing what insecurity may look like & how it might manifest itself in life. The first paragraph that grabbed me says, "Some of us may never seek healing from God for our insecurities b/c we feel like we don't fit the profile. We think insecurity only looks one way-mousy, maybe even inept, and that's not exactly who we see in the mirror. At least not once the mascara's on. And it certainly is not the woman we present to the public. Insecurity's best cover is perfectionism. That's where it becomes an art form." I just highlighted that paragraph and wrote, "Oh." in the margin. THEN she goes on with a checklist of characteristics-only confirming to me that I was reading the right book. (Some words that slapped me in the face: Do I have a strong desire to make amends whenever I think I've done something wrong? If someone gets angry at me, do I have a hard time not thinking about it? Do I sometimes feel anxious for no apparent reason? Does it hut my feelings when I learn that someone doesn't like me? "I dread the backlash of people far more than the backlash of God at times. He's infinitely more merciful.") Wowwee! Has Beth been following me around?!!

This whole blog post stems from a struggle with my own insecurity today. Perfectionism/people-pleasing at it's finest! I had a quick thought that someone might think something bad towards me & it has been a fight to get it out of my head ever since. What happened you might ask? ALMOST NOTHING! In fact, this person didn't even cross my path today, other than being in the same sanctuary for worship, & here I am making up things in my head that he might be thinking about me! I know that's the Devil trying to use my insecurity and run with it...Sundays are his favorite days to attack me. I have talked to the Lord about it, given it to Him. We're in good standing (bffs to be exact) & so I know that it isn't the Holy Spirit convicting, but instead, it's the Devil condemning. I couldn't even take my Sunday nap, so here I am, in the Father's lap, seeking His word and saying, "Get behind me Satan!" (& I might have said,"BOOYAH!" in there somewhere too.)

I read on to find that a lot of this kind of insecurity can stem from PRIDE. I know myself well enough to know that pride is an issue that I have to be careful to keep it in check. This pride though, that's connected with my type of insecurity is a sneaky little sucker! A while back, my handsome Pastor (& husband lol) preached on sin & the repentance of sin & said that to truly repent isn't just to appologize and stay away from that one sin, but to find the root sin that caused this instance. If you don't get to the root of the issue, you're only eliminating the symptoms and not the cause. Having the perfectionism type of insecurity you can be tricked into thinking that you're just trying to do your best and be your best & you can forget the reasons you're trying to be that way. Is it to be holy? Is it to glorify God? Or, is it to look goooood & live up to the standards you've set for yourself? So I look into my type of insecurity-basically, everyone MUST like me & be proud of everything I do & believe I'm the kind of person I think they should think I am. (that's all!) I can totally see how this comes from pride. If someone goes against any of my expectations I'm really thinking, "How dare they not think of me as greatly as I think they should!"

My whole life I have strived to be the best. I was super hard on myself to "walk the straightest line" in life. I was applauded for it by my parents, teachers, everyone around me. It was what people came to expect from my life. It was my identity. It was what got me noticed. Here's are some life-changing words Beth wrote that speak to that: "...We're...desperate for significance. We live our lives screaming, 'Somebody notice me!' & do you want to hear something interesting? That's exactly how God made us." "That very need is built into our human hard drive to send us on a search for our Creator, who can assign us more significance than we can handle. He not only notices us, He never takes His eyes off us. Every now and then a moment of clarity hits us, and we feel known by something-Someone-of inestimable greatness. These words fell from a psalmist who experienced such a moment:
'O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! ...You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!'
Ps. 139:1-6, 13-17, NLT
In the radiance of His greatness, we are made great. Our search is over and our egos silenced. We no longer need pride to drive us, b/c we've found something infinitely more fulfilling; purpose. He is the reason we are here. And finally our souls are at rest...until once again we forget."

I love that so very much. What peace I get from being reminded that God understands me-even when I don't understand myself. I was made in His image-& there is none better than He! I also like how Beth reminds that this is an ongoing struggle. As we conquer one moment of insecurity...there will be more.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Revive Us Oh God

We're busy, busy right now. We're in the middle of revival this week at our church. It is such a wonderful time for our church family. It has really made me thankful that I was raised in a Christian home where getting saved was such a natural step for me. I've never had to go through one trial on my own. I don't know how people without Christ do it. Pray for our church. Pray for the whole Town of Vivian - that they may be affected by this revival. Pray for those who do not know Christ-that they may come to know Him.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fall Family Fun Fest

Last Saturday night our church had it's annual Fall Family Fun Fest. The whole town comes out to our church to participate. There's food, a TON of games, bouncies & just fun all around. We just let Jax run all over and followed behind. He had SUCH a ball!

Here he is shmoozing it up.

Dinosaur Jax and Clark awesome pair.

Jax's friend Harleigh. She was Minnie Mouse!

You can see that Jax had NO plans to wear his dinosaur head.

Jax with sucker #1.

And here with sucker #2 & his friend Marley.

(While taking a break, he sat sucker #1 on the ground thinking he would just eat it later. Mommy vetoed that idea. Out came sucker #2.)

This is Jax just having a convo with his good friend Conley (Boo).

(Where he sat down sucker #1.)


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Halloween Adventure

This past Saturday was our family's day to celebrate Halloween. We slept til 9 (thanks Jax!) & then went into town to have lots of fun!

We started with lunch at Moe's. We ate outside & were the only ones out on the patio so we could let Jax run all over!

So yummy!

Then we went shopping at Old Navy. Their coats were 50% off & I have had my eye on a green peacoat so I couldn't miss this great deal! I also found this super cute one...might have to add to my Christmas list. Have I mentioned I have a weakness for coats and jackets? We also found some pants for Dustie and Jax and a couple of coats for Jax. We're ready for the cold!

Then we went to Barnes & Noble to have an adventure in the
children's book area. Jax had soooo much fun!

Here are a couple of fun books we "needed." We also got a really neat book
about Santa's reindeer going on strike. Can't wait to read that one!

Finally, we stopped by Krispy Kreme for a little treat!

We got some of these jack-o-lantern donuts for Jax to take to his Sunday School class Sunday.
Too cute!

Another cute scene!

Pooped from our Halloween Adventure!
Time to go home & take a nap & get ready for our church's Fall Carnival!