hope sign

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Friday, December 19, 2014

What Brings Out The Dreaming Child In You?

What reminds you of being a kid?  This time of year always brings out the dreaming child in me.

My Grandsons around my tree

Last night, at our church we had a special Carol sing/Advent hour program.  It was wonderful.  Before everyone arrived, Bo and I went upstairs to my office to make copies for the participants.  Of course, I didn't have my key so we took the scenic route through the nursery, into the apartment and then into my office.  

Our grandson baby Bo...3 months old

When I entered the apartment, which is in the process of becoming the Kingdom Kids room, I paused.  

I told Bo, "I had a lot of great Christmases here."  Pointing to the corner between the tiny kitchen and tiny living room..."right there is where the tree sat when Christian and I knocked it down twice in one night because of carrying on or fighting...Sarah was babysitting us while mom and dad went Christmas shopping."  I felt the memory.  I could smell the home.  

That small 2 1/2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment housed a family of 7 and at times, a family of 12.  We were very cozy to say the least.  

Sadie and my Mom...her great grandmother

This morning, I walked into my dining room, still in my robe, no shoes or slippers (sorry Daddy), looking out the window and I stood on the heat vent as the heat was blowing.  I felt like a little girl, warming my feet and it blowing up my robe.  I stood there and expected my dad to come around the corner and say, "Girl, get some socks on those feet."  He still looks at my feet to make sure they are covered. I love that.

My Mom and Daddy
Love them so much.

Christmas always brings with it so many amazing childhood memories.  Days spent at Mom Mom Alice's and Aunt Hopie's.  Riding bikes through Havre de Grace with Jeannie and Cheryl.  Playing outside in the freezing cold with Jodie and Joy.  The noise, the excitement when my name was called for a present. Waiting for mom and dad to go to bed so Ronald, Christian, Cheryl and I could get up on Christmas Eve and fill our parents stockings with fruit, homemade cards and anything else we could find so they wouldn't be without on Christmas morning...we didn't have money but we had great imaginations.

I love the memories.

Great Papa Estep with Bo and Sadie

I love the feeling.

My Daddy, sister Christian (Ms. Frizzle) and Baby Bo looking
at his crazy great aunt...lol

I love Christmas and family.

A blurry pic of Pop (Bo) with
all his grandsons

I know not everyone has great Christmas memories.  The older I get, the more I see how rare and precious my childhood was.  I am thankful for my parents and everyone who has been a part of my life and Christmases past.  

I look forward to Christmas future, making more memories with my children and grandchildren.  


Friday, December 12, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things...

One of my most beloved traditions is our annual Sisters Shopping Day.  Which over the years has morphed into really a Estep Family Shopping Day...Mom, Dad and Kids.  

This year was no exception.  Yesterday, my mom, dad, sisters, brother, husband and I set out on our special Christmas shopping day...missing our Jack and Patrick.  We laughed and talked from the time we all jammed into our Suburban at the office until we dropped everyone off at the office with all the wonderful purchases.  

Me, mom and Christian

Christian (my older sister) quoted Christmas Vacation and embarrassed Cheryl (my younger sister) with her colorful descriptions in stories.  

Ronald (our brother), who is over six feet and shoved into the third seat of the Suburban with Christian and Cheryl, laughed at everything Christian said and then laughed harder at Cheryl's reactions and quick comebacks.

Kimberly (Ronald's wife), Mom and I were in the middle seat.  Kimberly had the smallest purse with more snacks than a kid packs for summer camp.  I said, "Man, Mary Poppins, how many snacks do you have in there?"  I was amazed that they all fit.  

Our Family a couple of years ago

Bo and Daddy were in the front, listening and laughing with all of us.  

We over-talk one another and pick at each other.  We all have what I call the "spirit of interruptous".  Not a real word but a real thing.  

There isn't anything like family coming together.  Stories of our childhood and of our children and now grandchildren.  To tell you the truth, My Heart Is Full today because of yesterday.  

As some have told me before, my family is overwhelming for some but I wouldn't have it any other way.  We laugh loud, we sing loud, yes, we are loud but we are full of love.  

Things I love about US

*The way Daddy just smiles and shakes his head at us..."Daddy, that is funny but you don't want to read it...look the other way when walking by that shirt"-Kimi to Daddy at Urban Outfitters

*We love to quote movies...all day long Cheryl would say, "Kimi, Kimi, Kimi" quote from My Best Friends Wedding-Bathroom scene.

(L-R)...Cheryl, Me, Bo, Ronald, Kimberly, Christian

*Moms laugh...it's loud, unmistakably hers, it's contagious, it's pure joy, it's comforting, it's HOME and Ronald laughs just like her.  

*I love our own personal quotes, "You eat like a hoover on high"(by Cheryl)..."I want to lose weight but not enough to quit eating"(by Kimi)..."SHEESH"(by Cheryl and now even Henry says it all the time)

(L-R)...Me, Mom, Dad, Cheryl, Kimberly, Christian, Ronald

*When Daddy would start whistling a tune in the car and one of us would start singing and then before you know it, everyone is singing...one of my favorite childhood memories, singing, harmonizing in the car.

Me, Phillip, Ronald, Christian (not sure where Cheryl is)

Yes this is me and Phillip with a fro...not a good look
There are so many other things I love about our family but I just can't list them all.  We are so blessed.  

What are some of your most beloved traditions?  

Here is my favorite purchase of the day...

For Sadie...can't wait to see her in it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It Matters...

Hello there again.  I am finally well enough to write.  I am so excited to be back.  I may not be able to go anywhere, but my fingers work and I can write. 

                                     Whoo Hoo!!!!  

The past few weeks are blurred with coughing and sleeping but my days are looking up.  

My amazing husband and son went out a got me a Christmas Tree.  It took me a full day to decorate it but it's beautiful.  My son also got his first tree for his family and I gave him his ornaments that we have collected over the years.  I cried.  It was like handing him a piece of my heart.  But, I did it!!  Very proud of myself.

I love that I have such a giving family.  I'm not talking about just my immediate family, I mean my whole family.  They have been blessed with the gift of giving.  My Grandmother, Aunts, Cousins, Sisters, Brother, Parents, Nieces, Nephews...I am blessed to be a part of this wonderful bunch.  

This time of year, we are reminded to give.  I have always believed that a giver will never be without something to give.  If you have doubts about giving to someone, give anyway.  You should always err on the side of giving, because, what if you are wrong...?  Now, use wisdom.  But I would rather be taken then to be selfish.  What is more precious than life?  Things will pass, money comes and goes...it's how we treat each other that matters.  

Throughout this sickness I have had several people text me and ask me how I am feeling, telling me that they are praying for me.  I am so grateful for each and every text, phone call and prayer.  It is truly a gift to me from each of these caring people.  It matters!!  It lifted my spirits and made me feel loved. To know that I am missed and in someone's thoughts and prayers almost makes me cry.  Feeling a part of something, matters.  Knowing that I matter...matters.  

If you have an opportunity to give, especially at Christmas, take it!  Make an effort to be a blessing to someone.  Remember, a giver always has something to give and the opposite is true too.  A person who doesn't want to give, will always come up short, they will never have enough money, time, love, attention.

What category do you fall in?  I hope I always err on the side of giving.  One thing I know to be true, 100% true...You cannot out-give God!!!

Have a blessed day. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Be The Iron For Someone

Become wise by walking with the wise;
hang out with fools and 
watch your life fall to pieces.
-Proverbs 13:20 MSG

My Grandmother 
Since the beginning of Summer, our church has had a Women Empowered Bible Study every other Thursday Morning.  It has been a wonderful time of fellowship and learning from each other.  In our efforts to not overwhelm our ladies, we put a starting date and ending date on this particular Bible Study. 
Today is our last one for the year.

Throughout these weeks of study, we have learned about strength...Biblical strength, physical, emotional, professional and etc.  I love getting into the WORD and discovering the heart of God.  But something else happened in these one hour bi-weekly meetings.  We have discovered the wisdom and strength in each other.  

Pastor Lorraine (my Mom) and I took turns leading the Bible Study but we didn't do all the talking.  Each lady has had the opportunity to share (each week) her heart and give nuggets of encouragement and wisdom to the rest of us.  One day last month, our study time went over by almost an hour.  We were ministering to each other and loving on the hurt ones.  It was a God moment for all of us.

I love our ladies at CTK.  We come from all walks of life, different social and economic backgrounds.  Some have pastored, others are pastoring, some from broken homes, pastor kids, farmer kids, kids of the streets...no matter what,

Each of us have value.  Iron sharpening iron.  These ladies have so much wisdom and love.  I am thankful that I get to be a part of this group.  Praying for each other, encouraging with lots of laughter, coffee and muffins.  Very seldom does any lady come in and make her own coffee.  Usually, another lady in the group, gets up, hugs her and pours her a cup of coffee...Servants hearts here.  

It all started with one lady...the first lady of CTK.  By her example, we have learned to serve, study, pray, encourage, share, laugh, love, cry with each other, the power of a touch, a hug, a smile.  She has shared her stories (good and bad), her heart, struggles but most of all, she has and continues to share Jesus with us.  We are very thankful for our Pastor, Lorraine Estep.  Yes, she is my mom.  I want to be more like her than I already am. 

Me and my Mommy

Me, Mom and Daddy

The scripture says, To become wise, you have to walk with the wise...makes sense to me.  That is what the Women Empowered Bible Study Class has been for me.  Gleaning from the fields of these wise women.  Seeing how God has brought them through.  

Let me encourage you today, find someone to fellowship with.  Someone who will encourage you to dig deeper into the WORD.  Someone who ignites the desire to find strength in GOD.  And then be the iron for someone else.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


My baby girl comes home on Saturday and I can't wait!!!  So here is to Kelcie, the baby of the family.

Mommy & Kelcie...I love this picture

Kelcie last thanksgiving (2013)

Mommy & Kelcie catching snowflake
Christmas Eve 2013

Daddy & Kelcie at Emily's Wedding

This just captures my baby girls pure beauty.