Monday, December 05, 2016

Holly Jolly Christmas


It's December.  When there is ALWAYS something going on.  Hollis went on a field trip last week to see a play.  She had so much fun.  


And then on Friday, her class was in charge of the week assembly.  She had a line and said it in the microphone.  I was SO proud.  She's so shy - this is such a huge deal for her! She practiced so hard! 


Friday night we had our Sunday school Christmas party.  It's always a lot of fun! 


Saturday morning we had practice for our Christmas program at church.  It lasted forever but it was so worth it.  I love our Christmas program and seeing the kids sing! 


The girls BEGGED to make a gingerbread house so we got a kit and they had the best time decorating.  


Sunday morning before we left for church.  



Nothing makes my heart more happy than these sweet kids singing in church! 


The preschoolers always just make me laugh! You never know what they might do! 


These two.  They are just as tight as ever even if they don't see each other every day any more.  


This was two years ago.  



Last night we had the Getty's and an Irish Christmas at church.  Keith Getty wrote the amazing song "In Christ Alone" as well as many other modern hymns.  It was WONDERFUL.  The kids loved it.  It didn't start until 7:30 so it was late.  Hollis fell asleep but Harper kept saying "Thank you so much for bringing me here".  ha! Will Holden had a sitter while he slept! 

Friday, December 02, 2016

Friday Fellowship - Renee Crosse


I'm SO excited about today's Friday Fellowship guest! Her name is Renee Crosse! 



Back in the mid 90's one of my VERY favorite Christian artists was Clay Crosse.  He sang so many great songs.  I have several of his CD's at my house as we speak.  Fast Forward a few years ago, when he came to be our worship leader at our church.  When he first came I was so star struck.  I couldn't believe CLAY CROSSE was coming to our church in Bentonville, Arkansas!!!! 

But then I got to know his family and they are just such amazing people.  They are so down to earth and sweet and genuine and love the Lord so much.  Renee is such a neat person.  She has led Bible studies that I have been in and I have learned so much from her.  And their two oldest daughters are our favorite baby sitters.  (Actually they are most of the church's favorite baby sitters so they are in HIGH demand).  And I laugh sometimes when I have to remind myself that Clay is a dove award winning artist.  We just love their family and are so thankful they were sent to our church! 


(My girls and Savannah - we are grieving that she got married and moved away a few weeks ago!)


Clay and Renee have four children, two of whom they adopted from China.  They travel and speak on marriage - they have a ministry called "Holy Homes".  And Renee has written a few books as well.  (see below) and Clay is also working on a new album.   

Okay - I'm going to let her answer my questions!!

1.  What is your favorite Food?  Anything Mexican. I could eat it everyday. Especially guacamole.

2.  What is your very favorite piece of clothing right now? (FASHION) Long, ‘flowy,’ tops. I thought I would stick with your “F” theme. 

3.  Tell us about your Family? Family is huge for me. If things aren’t right at home...the pause button gets smacked. Outside tasks and activities can wait. God has given us this family. It’s a gift from Him and He expects us to love and lead well within the walls of this home. 

I’ve been married to my husband Clay for 26 years and I love him more today than I did in 1990. He points us to Jesus and loves and leads us so well. We have been through some stuff in twenty six years and I stand thankful that through all of it, we are closer to Him and closer to each other than we’ve ever been. 

We have four children. Again with the “F” theme. Shelby is twenty-two and is pursuing a degree in English/Creative Writing. Y’all, Shelby is such a sweet and patient human being. She loves Jesus and has such a quiet and gentle spirit. She’s also a baby magnet and nannies for several families and babysits quite often. There is even one family who have coined the phrase “Shelby Standard” when it comes to sitters for their children. Makes this momma’s heart so proud. She has a boyfriend. “He’s a suitor.” Clay and I both love him and his family and are thankful to God for him.

Savannah in nineteen and is studying Physical Therapy and will be getting married November 11, 2016 and moving with her new husband to the Savannah, Georgia area where her husband serves as a Combat Medic with the U.S. Army. Insert tears, here. Happy tears, though. From the moment she was born, she’s been a ray of sunshine bursting through any room. She has served here in our church leading worship with her dad and with our student ministry. Her soon to be husband is a strong man of God with a faith and knowledge of the Bible that challenges me! His parents are missionaries in Equador where they run an after school program for kids in need. Real hands and feet of Jesus work! We will miss Savannah when she leaves but we know they both love Jesus to the fullest and we can’t wait to see how God will use them in their new hometown.


Our next two children joined our family through adoption. Garrett was eight years old when we adopted him in 2008 from Tianjin, China. He is now a seventeen year old  junior at Bentonville High school. He loves AP Physics and AP Calculus and I taught him everything he knows. KIDDING! He wants to attend college and work with Astrophysics. While I’m not even sure if I spelled any of that correctly.

Closing out the Crosse crew is Sophie. We adopted her in 2005 as a ten month old baby. She’s eleven now and in the sixth grade. She has the most compassionate heart we’ve ever seen and is a true peacemaker in our home.  






4.   What is the most important quality in your Friends? OR tell us something that a Friend has done for you that you can't forget.  I want friends who have fire in their bellies for Jesus. The kind of faith that makes me say “I want that!” Friends who live lives that fan the fire of faith in me! I love this passage of scripture I read recently. 2 Timothy 1:6 “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,” 


5.  What's something you have learned recently in your Faith journey?  And/or share your favorite scripture right now and why or your favorite Bible Study or book you have read recently.  God’s hitting me hard with the word “Legacy” right now. It’s screaming out in my heart and my soul. I’m sure it’s due to the fact that we have been in the process of dealing with the death of Clay’s father, the move of his mother to a retirement apartment and all that goes into getting their family home which was previously owned by Clay’s Great Uncle and Great Aunt, ready to sell. We’ve been combing through boxes of memories from two families that lived in that home and deciding what to keep and what to donate but the word “Legacy” keeps ringing out. Many tears were shed in the attic and closets of that house. Were we crying because we missed them? Of course. It’s deeper though, we cried because we were filled with thanksgiving for the lives they lived before us. They left behind a godly legacy to us. We have memories of these people praying around the table, standing in the family room, holding hands, calling out to our great God. There were times of singing around the piano. Hymns sung out in perfect, family harmony. Their faith was real. They lived it out in front of us and passed it down to us. 

    Favorite scripture that goes along with where my heart is on Legacy right now.
 3 John 4 “ I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

6.  What is your biggest Fear? What my legacy will be? On the flip side of dealing with what I mentioned above, we are in the process of planning a wedding. We are sending one of our children out to start her new life with her husband. Did we do enough to instill in her the faith that our families poured into us? Did I do enough? Did I waste days and moments thinking I would have more time with her? Yep, it’s so true, y’all. Time goes by so fast. 

7.  What are some of your Favorite things right now? Favorite things...I like collecting quirky salt and pepper shakers. Don’t even ask how many I have! AND dishes! I love old dishes. Clay says its a disorder! Did I mention guacamole already? Oh, and I love our kitchen table full of people. We recently had Savannah’s fiance in town for a few days and Shelby’s boyfriend, too was at our dinner table. I went to bed one happy momma. All our kids at our table and our “bigs” with their “loves.” At this stage of the game, you savor that, sweet mommas! 



8.  What has been your biggest Failure?  I gave my life to Christ as an eight year old little girl but it took me twenty years to get the relationship part of it right. I consider that failure. I missed good years of my life just coasting on my salvation but not growing in my relationship with God. I rarely read my Bible, prayed only when I got in trouble...get the picture? I missed it. HE was always there, waiting for me to grab on to it. I missed it, twenty years! This makes me want to reiterate my point on legacy. It’s all circling around the word “Legacy.” May we all make as much noise about Jesus as we can before it’s too late.   

9.  What do you do for Fun? For fun, I love a date day with Clay where we get the kids to school, head out for breakfast at some old, greasy diner and then hit the road  for a day of junkin!

10.  Tell me about what animals you have? (Furry things) I have the sweetest standard poodle in the world. His name is Prince Caspian. He sleeps in a tiny ball at the foot on my side of the bed. Yes, he’s a horse of a dog! He is such a love and I have a phrase that I only say to him. “I kiss and love you, kiss and love!” Clay’s not quite sure what to do with that. 



11.  What is your favorite FILM? (movie) Do I lose my woman card if I tell you that I really like war films and documentaries? Give me a couch, a blanket and a PBS documentary on the Civil War, World War 1 & 11, and I’m glued to the t.v. for hours. 
  1. What is one Fact we might not know about you? One fact that you might not know about me is that my husband and I have a speaking ministry to families called HolyHomes. Some people may be familiar with my husband’s singing career back in the ’90’s, but God brought us through a complete recommitment to him in the year 1998 that allowed us to begin sharing on stages  what He was doing in our marriage and home. HolyHomes challenges Christian families to be more than just Christians who attend church. God wants all areas of our lives and we challenge families to grow deeper with Him through daily Bible study, prayer and areas of service. I have written or co-authored, several books. “I Surrender All, Rebuilding a Marriage Broken by Pornography” by Clay & Renee Crosse. “Reclaiming Stolen Intimacy” (When Your Marriage is Invaded by Pornography) by Renee Crosse and “Rare Girl” by Renee Crosse.
I also enjoy social media. You can follow me on facebook and instagram at Renee Crosse. We also have a website for ministry information at claycrosse.com




(The Crosse family with their newest addition of a son-in-law at their wedding.  Picture by Jared Fincher)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Just some stuff


I want to blog but it's just a life full of normal and busy right now.  And not a lot to share! 


Our leaves finally all fell and the girls had so much fun after school yesterday raking them up and jumping in them.  


This little elf just keeps me on my constant toes.  He's as fast as lightening.  Every time a door in our house opens - he is out it quicker than you can blink and running down the street like an Olympic sprinter.  I do a lot of chasing.  I've been surprised that he has really left our Christmas trees alone.  I figured he would be throwing down ornaments and climbing the tree but surprisingly he hasn't touched anything! It's a Christmas miracle! 


This boy has just brought a lot of life and laughter to our house.  


We are full of things like field trips, speech therapy, gymnastics, homework, and all things Christmas these days.  I had a PTO officer luncheon on Monday and we did a favorite things exchange which is always so much fun.  We have our Sunday School party this weekend and the girls are singing in church in our Christmas program Sunday so always a lot going on!!! 

And I wanted to share our Christmas card with you! I mailed most of them out yesterday.  I'm still working on another stack but I will share anyway! 


This was completely not a Will Holden photo fail! I'm so in love with this picture.  It will go in a big frame in our house eventually! Look at his sweet hands on both of his sisters! And that blond hair.  And my big beautiful girls! GAH.  I'm a thankful mom.  (Of course we took no less than 257 pictures to get this one.) 


Love how our card turned out from Minted.  (I grabbed a copy off a print screen so it's not the clearest but it's BEAUTIFUL in person - with gold lettering!).  They are running deals daily so check back often to order your cards!!!