Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cover Design

Hello Friends!

It seems like it has been forever since I was able to blog! I have been a little busy with life; but I have taken time to be Thankful for the blessings the Lord has given our family. One thing I am thankful to report is that my book is moving right along. Here are two possible cover designs. Which do you like best?

(Side note:  I have begun to read Trim Healthy Mama by Pearl and Serene. I recommend this be required reading for every woman!!!)

Until next time,

Friday, October 25, 2013

Our "New Normal"

It is hard for me to believe too!  Yes, I am not the mother of three children...and one of them is a boy.  While I had about six months to prepare myself for welcoming Raymond DeSean  into our home ( I found out his sex, but kept it a secret for those six months), I didn't know what to expect.  I feel pretty comfortable with rearing girls.  A boy is a whole 'nother ball we say it here in Northeast Arkansas.

Speaking of sayings in Northeast Arkansas... My little Aaliyah has developed a twang and I am not sure if I like it.  She doesn't take a bath, she takes a "bayeth".  It is not that, it is "they'at".  etc. etc.  Even though her father and I correct her every chance we get, I am not sure that she hears the difference.  What is a mother to do!?!

It poses a little problem while I am trying to teach her to read.  I checked out Hooked on Phonics from the library about a month before DeSean was born and we began the program.  She is doing very well with it and has about two lessons left.  Today I believe I will check out level two, as well as Hooked on Math.

Next year I plan to begin the Abeka curriculum for K-5; but for now I think this is working great for us.

Homeschooling mother of three children under the age of five...Life is great; but tiring! 
First attempt at family photo - removed Niki because she was really blurry.

Second attempt  - love Aaliyah's face

Third and final attempt...mainly because DeSean decided to wake up and take care of a little business on Daddy's lap! The diaper caught it all.  Praise the Lord because my husband does not do bodily fluids, and dry cleaning isn't cheap. LOL

Until next time,

Monday, September 16, 2013

Introducing Raymond DeSean

Introducing Raymond DeSean!  Born Labor Day (Monday, September 2, 2013)...and what a Labor Day it was.  I began having contraction at about 2:30 in the morning.  They became stronger and closer together at about 5:30 so I called my midwife, Mrs. Treesia Vondran.  She and her two assistants arrived at about 6:30.  She checked me and I was only dilated to a two and my cervix was posterior which means we had a long way still to go.  Twelve hours - two in the aquabirth tub - eight miles and a lot of pain later Raymond DeSean decided to make his grand entrance (6 lbs. 4 oz. and 19 inches.); but he is so precious.  It was worth it! 

My Aaliyah was really looking forward to having another little sister; but she now loves her little brother.  Cassidy is warming up to the idea of having another baby in the house SLOWLY, but surely; and Daddy is SO proud of his son. 

Aaliyah said, "Mommy, can we have a sister next week?"
Me, "Probably not honey; maybe another time."

one week old

Until next time,

Monday, August 12, 2013

Feeling FAT and LAZY!!!

Today I am 37 weeks and 4 days!  My official due date is September 9th; but I am asking the Lord for Baby to come on August 30th.  (That is the weekend of Labor Day)  Well, as the title of this post states, I am feeling very fat and lazy.  Getting out of bed at night multiple times to go to the restroom is no longer a joy.  I say that very seriously because with my last pregnancy I had to roll out of an air bed and walk downstairs to the restroom about three times a night for about three months.  I am so thankful to have a restroom right next door! 

Feeling fat not necessarily because I have gained more weight than I should have; but because I have been craving AND EATING a whole bunch of junk food...chocolate, ice cream, fried okra, fried zucchini, etc.  Feeling lazy because it has been a while since I exercised!  I remember when I was pregnant with Aaliyah I would walk about twenty miles a week and go bike riding quite often. 
With Cassidy I didn't ride my bike; but I did walk about fifteen to twenty miles a week, in fact the day before I had her I completed a five mile walk.  I think I may have walked about five miles (on purpose) the whole month of July!

Well, I am purposing to walk at least a mile tonight and do my pelvic rocks.  I will try to continue until our little Treasure arrives. 

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hello again'!  It is hard to believe I haven't posted anything here in over a month.  Time does fly when you're trying to prepare your home for another body to move in.  I am VERY happy to report that we have only about six weeks before baby Beckles #3 arrives.  My official due date is September 9th; but I am praying that he/she will come August 30th or 31st. 

So what topic shall we discuss today... Well, I would like to confess something else to you.  This confession may sound like the most wicked of all; but it is the truth.  Here goes...

Not everyone who enters the doors of our church will be the most loveable.  I am confessing to you today that sometimes I (simply stated) just don't like some people, even thought they are among our number in church.  Now, we have a small church body-so avoidance is not an option. 

What did the Lord have to say about my confession?  He reminded me about his "friend" Judas whom he knew would betray Him with a kiss after ministering with him for three years.  We never see in scripture anything about the Lord shunning, avoiding, or showing any type of ill feeling toward Judas.  His reply to me was that I may not like everyone who enters the doors of our church; but I do have to love them. 

Sometimes there may be personality conflicts, or there might even be liars, or gossipers among your number.  As the pastors wife I am to treat them as important and valuable people and pray for them and myself to overcome whatever the issue may be.  Not always an easy task...especially when the issue involves your children.  In every situation I am reminded that the Lord sees everything and He is Faithful, True, and Just.  I can trust Him in every situation to do right on behalf of my family.

He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him."
1 John 2:10

I finally gave up trying to get a "good" smile from Cassidy.

Until next time,

May - June Prayer Letter

Dear Pastor and Praying friends,

“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of everyone of you all toward each other aboundeth;” – 2 Thessalonians 1:3

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  As usual, our numbers have dipped for the summer.  We are still praising God.  This is an opportunity for us to get to know the “faithful few” a little better and for them to get to know us.

We have had two workdays since our last letter in which, among other things, the men have repaired our church sign which was damaged by termites and a severe storm; and the ladies finished some much needed cleaning in the church.

We also enjoyed our Mother’s and Father’s Day services.  I took that opportunity to teach and remind our folks about their roles as Christian parents.  Both holiday services brought visitors which we are always delighted to have.

I am excited about witnessing some spiritual growth in our church. One family who recently moved back to Newport has been visiting our services and even came and helped on our workday.  They display a teachable spirit, and have expressed that they enjoy our services.  Another blessing - a young lady (who has been with us for a while) recently gave a testimony about how the Word of God helped her overcome an obstacle in her life. A young man who was saved here at Lighthouse Baptist Church last summer has recently decided to trust the Lord with a tithe!

On a Personal Note - My wife is expecting our third child in about nine weeks!  Everything thus far looks good.  Also, the girls celebrated their fourth and second birthdays on the 17th and 18th of June.  Aaliyah is really taking the fact that she is four and is now a “big girl” to heart. Thank you all for your prayers and much needed financial support!  God Bless!!!


In His Service,

Pastor Raymond Beckles

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Upcoming Birthdays

Cassidy didn't want Aaliyah's arm around her!
It is so hard to believe my little girls well be four and two next month.  I am enjoying being a Mommy!
Until next time, 

Be Careful What You Pray For...

Some time ago I mentioned that when we moved into our new home we had a HUGE mouse problem.  To date we have caught eleven in traps (two that we know of got away), Nikitta has killed three, and our new guest ( I believe) has beaten us all.

I really, REALLY, REALLY, don't like mice; especially in my home.  (This includes all forms of mice like hamsters and such.)  I am not really afraid of them; but I think they are gross and it would be incredibly embarrassing to me if I had guests and they spotted them (or their evidence) in my home. The first type of trap we bought looks like this -
except in black.  We filled them with peanut butter initially; but that didn't seem to work.  After a bit of research I discovered they like dog or cat food; so we put Nikitta's food in them and we started catching them in multiple numbers per trap.  Unfortunately after about three weeks they figured out how to eat all the dog food then escape.  BUMMER!!!  Next we tried this -
This is an electronic beeper thing that is supposed to keep mice, spiders, and some other pests away.   I can't reccomend them.  We placed the afore mentioned traps full of dog food directly under these things and the next morning the traps were mice and no food.  We thought, well, maybe they need some time.  A week later Nikitta was tired of making donations to the mice with no results, so we quit filling the traps with her food. 

All of this being said, we saw an influx of mice in March when the farmers began to work in the fields around us.  I finally broke down and bought traps with poisin in them.  We found two dead baby mice. I haven't seen any mice (dead or alive) since March.  I did make it a matter of prayer from the beginning and I thought maybe the beeping things were finally working until I saw this in my yard.

The girls and I were coming home from the library and  this guy was relaxing right in front of our front steps in my "flower bed".  No, I did not scream; but I did pick up Cassidy and command Aaliyah to follow me to the back door.  I scared my husband to death pounding on the back door.  He prompty went to see the snake; but he/she was already gone.  I wish I could say say this was our last encounter; but last Sunday I saw it again.  Of course it escaped again before my husband saw it.  After doing a little research I found out that this is called a black or chicken snake.  It is non-venemous and loves to eat rodents!  I really believe this is our answer to prayer for our mouse problem.  I also have seen the carcasses of two squirrels near our house that I believe Mr. Black snake is responsible for.  
Our Lord definately has a sense of humor.  I don't like mice; but I detest and am definately afraid of snakes; but I have put my fear in check (2 Timothy 1:7 -  
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.) and I am learning to be thankful even for this snake; but I am watchful EVERY time I step outside of our house!  Also I learned that the larger ones like to live in trees - we have five pecan trees and two oak trees surrounding our house...I now will be looking up as well as down when I leave the house - keeping in mind that if this is my answer to prayer, I don't think the Lord sent it here to harm us!

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Homemade fabric softener

I do not use traditional/store-bought laundry soap or fabric softener.  I do have a laundry soap recipe that I love and and have been using for years and one that I have recently started using for Raymond's super heavily soiled work clothes.  Normally I just use about 1/2 a cup of white vinegar as fabric softener.  Recently a lady at our church let me sample her homemade fabric softener.  I liked it, make some for our family and have since shared the recipe with a friend.  I would like to share it with you today as well. 
6 Cups of water
3 Cups of white vinegar
2 Cups of  good smelling hair conditioner
Mix together and use about 1/2 cup per load. 
Until next time,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Answer Key!

Remedies                                   Ailment                                               Source

Red Rasbery leaf tea                    Hormonal Swings                                  HERE   (We all drink it !!!)

Almonds                                      Heartburn                                              HERE    (I use this OFTEN!)

Black Tea                                   Diaper Rash                                           HERE  ( I have done this!!!)

Castor Oil                                   Constipation                                          HERE   (Haven't had to yet!)

Yogurt                                        Yeast infections                                      HERE   (Suppliments work
                                                                                                                              well too.  Trust me...
                                                                                                                              I know!)

Ginko                                         Forgetfulness                                         HERE and HERE  (Ask your

                                                                                                     doctor or midwife.  I take it about twice
                                                                                                     a week and I did so with Cassidy and
                                                                                                     did not experience any problems.

Cranberry                                   Bladder Infections                                 HERE   *   

Mint                                           Indigestion                                             HERE

Protein                                       Fatigue                                                  HERE  (My midwife strongly
                                                                                                               recommends 80-100 grams a

Vanilla                                       Nausea                                                   Forgot source - but used this trick
                                                                                                  often when I was expecting Cassidy.

*When I was pregnant with Aaliyah I was plagued often by yeast infections.  My doctor gave me prescription medication; but soon after taking that I contracted a serious bladder (urinary tract infection - UTI).  The next time I saw him I told him about it and he replied, "Oh yea, sometimes that is a side affect of the yeast infection medication."  Then he promptly wrote me a prescription for my bladder infection.  When I arrived home, I threw it directly into the trash and went online to do my own research.  I started taking acidophiles (the culture in yogurt that combats Yeast infections) and cranberry supplements and drinking cranberry juice (As a child I hated yogurt and wasn't willing to try it again.  Now I eat yogurt almost daily...and I love it.  Great source of protein as well...especially Greek yogurt!).  Both cleared up after about two days.

Hope this helps someone!!!
Until next time,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ressurection Sunday

We had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday!  One of our favorite parts of the service was a skit that our children put on.  (Photos coming!!! Unfortunately I was directing the skit and song so I had to delegate my normal job as church photographer.  The one responsible ran out of room on their memory stick; but forgot that I had put an extra in the camera bag.  He's fired!!! - I won't tell you who it is; but his initials are Pastor RDB! LOL)  The children did such a great job with the skit as well as their song.  I do have a few pics of Bro. Beckles and the girls after church though.

Until next time,

Prenancy survival guide

Recently I was invited to speak at a baby shower for one of our faithful ladies.  We had a great time; but one of the things I really enjoyed was this game.  I put together a list of ten things that I consider "must have's"  while I am pregnant.  The mother who could match the most home remedies with the correct symptom won a batch of homemade laundry soap.  Can you match the remedy with the ailment?

Remedies                                                             Ailment
Red Rasbery leaf tea                                           Fatigue
Almonds                                                             Forgetfullnes
Black Tea                                                           Constipation
Castor Oil                                                           Hormonal swings
Yogurt                                                                Yeast infections
Ginko                                                                  Heartburn
Cranberry                                                            Nasea
Mint                                                                    Diaper rash
Protein                                                                 Bladder Infections
Vanilla                                                                 Indigestion

Answer key coming soon!
Until Next Time,



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