Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Well...Hello Dolly!


We leave for Mexico early Saturday morning. And as most of you know hurricane Dolly is sweeping through the border of Texas and Mexico. It was on track to dump some pretty heavy rain where we will be going which will most likely lead to flooding...there are talks of possible postponement or relocation of the trip to another town but we will know...well, when we know :) I am one of those detail oriented people...I don't do well with not knowing the whos, whats, whens, and wheres, of a situation...not that that is a good thing...just my thing. I am hoping I can become more relaxed about not knowing all the details and just go with it. I am trying to keep the real reason behind the mission in my mind and heart and not let myself work myself up...does that make a lick of sense?? Ahhh...if only I didn't feel the need to be in control...does it have anything to do with taking my 4 kiddos? I don't think I'd feel the same way if we were only responsible for the two of us...think being the key word...

Hope is Smokin' Hot....

Literally...she is smokin' hot...104 fever. We took her to the doctor and she was examined and tested...good news is - it is just a virus....bad news is -it is just a virus...no peppy powerful antibiotic that can speed up the illness....we leave for Mexico on Saturday :0)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jump In...




This is from the other night at my sil and bil house. Hope has really gotten the hang of jumping off the diving board. She is starting to swim some without floaties although she is no where ready to be set completely free. She is learning how to be a good kicker and blow bubbles and she can make it from the steps about 10 feet out to me...but then she sinks...so, we'll keep trying. We are really proud of her though...she tries really hard.

News on Ninnie

Last update: She is home and sleeping, doing well.

Update: My sister is now being required to stay in the hospital...she got up and realized she was bleeding and they are medicating her and observing her...please pray for her and the baby's health.

Today my sister went in for a cervical cerclage. It is where they place stitches in her cervix to prevent her from dilating prematurely. She has a history of incompetent cervix. She ended up getting a spinal instead of an epidural...all that fun and no baby... She is out of surgery and she and the baby are just fine :) Here is to about 24 more weeks in the womb little one!!

Monkey Munch!


Fixing to make the Monkey Munch!

Stirring and Mixing...which was accompanied by her own song with these words :)

Shake it Love

More Shakin'

Yumm!

Well, after watching a rerun of Jon and Kate plus 8...yep, I'm a follower of the show. I love it. Wesley can hardly watch it because of the tone and communication Kate has with her husband...I am able to see past it...she is a busy woman on a mission of raising 8 stinkin' cute kids. Anyhoo, after watching the episode that they make Monkey Munch (it is called all kinds of things...I was always told it was Puppy Chow...but the Monkey Munch is somehow more appealing...?) Hope and I decided we'd make some together. Now we have made two batches...we made a second "healthier" version...if that is possible after the first one disappeared in less than 24 hours. Love had to help too...she was not about to let her sister have all the fun. They got a real kick out of it to say the least...in more ways than one ;) Here's the recipe:


Monkey Munch

Ingredients
9 cups Chex cereal(any variety)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions
1. Put chex in a large bowl and put aside.
2. Place chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter into a quart-sized microwavable bowl.
3. Stir the ingredients together.
4. Microwave the mixture uncovered for a minute on "high." Stir the mix again and continue to zap in thirty second intervals until it mixes smoothly.
5. Add the vanilla and stir.
6. Pour over the cereal while stirring.
7. Put combination into a 2-gallon, Ziploc freezer bag.
8. Add powdered sugar, seal the bag and shake until distributed.
9. Spread Monkey Munch out on wax paper to cool and dry.
10. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for storage.

ENJOY!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Praise You In This Storm....

I have felt led to share this with you all for a while now. I have gotten permission and feel like at this point it is ok and welcomed and the Spirit is pushing me so hard I can hardly walk by the computer without beginning this post...but my flesh wants this post to be perfect and I know it won't be, so I walk by the laptop...fearful I will use my words instead of listening to the One who speaks to me. I have prayed and prayed to step out of the way and to be spoken through. I write to you because I know so many of you are believers in the power of prayer...

Please take a moment and listen to this song...you will have to turn off the music at the bottom.




I have such a heavy heart for my cousin's family...the suffering that her husband, Marcus; is enduring as he battles leukemia (and folks...it is rough and getting rougher) and the pain that she and her children and their family have to go through ~ witness him sometimes succumb to the weight of such a heavy burden. I have prayed for a miracle...that he be healed instantly...and I know He is capable of that miracle. I pray for him to be cured that he walk away from this illness with a different perspective and new found faith. Please pray for his healing. My heart breaks for them all...especially him. For I know he has no one to praise in this storm.

He does not know the One who heals, the One who holds us when we suffer, the One who is unchanging, the One who loves us even though we are seriously flawed and unworthy of such a love as His....the sacrifice of His one and only son on behalf of us all...every single one of us...and none of us are worthy of the most incredible gift that his son bore all of our sins...from the smallest lie to adultery, murder, all of it. He died on that cross for me, and you and Marcus. He rose again 3 days later and defeated death...and He sits at the right hand of the Father...And He is Wondrous...our Saviour is Magnificent...and He is there for me. Y'all I can't imagine not having Him to run to, Him to wipe my tears, Him to never leave me, Him to not be there, not always knowing my pain and suffering. He is my rock...my fortress...my refuge....He is all of that to me....and you know what He is the same for Marcus and he just doesn't know it yet. God is so good that he loves those that choose not to believe every bit as he loves those of us who do.

So while my heart is heavy for Marcus' battle for his life...my heart is broken that he is lost, he has not accepted the Lord...yet....and I pray that he will. I am asking if you will join me and our family in praying for Marcus' salvation...that he would come to know and accept Jesus...that he would find that same comfort in Him....that he would be given that peace of knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that his eternity is going to be spent in heaven and will be incredible and there will be no suffering or pain or tears....only joy and love and peace all in the presence of our Heavenly Father...who loves us each far more than I think we can fully comprehend. I pray that he will have Him as his strength and and know that he is not alone during this battle...that he may have Him to praise in this storm. And Lord, all according to your will....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ooooowwwwww....

Miss Love had to get 4 shots yesterday...poor thing. She is getting caught up and we started over with her immunizations. She knew immediately when the nurse placed her in the "shot giving position" what was coming...bless her heart. She started struggling and screaming and these shots must have been some that they have to give deep in the muscle. For a good part of the day every step she'd take she would say...."Ooooowwwww....ooooowwwww" so if she walked from the kitchen to the living room she'd say about 10 "ooooowwww"s. It was pitiful. She sounded a lot like a kitten...if you can imagine. She had a low grade fever last night and today but is back to her normal self. Shots are so much better than when our older kids got them and ran those ridiculously high fevers. Still makes it no more fun for the little girls though...and Hope is due for some at her 4 year check up...which is soon...and she's been very concerned with the possibility of them. :(

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

4 Months Ago....

We held our precious Love for the first time....our life will never be the same....thankful just doesn't even seem enough.
*Exactly one year ago today we were matched with our little Mei Mei!!

Play Date with Miss "Bella"....oh, and her folks :)

"Bella" Going For It
All 3 trying to catch the rain
Love stood here forever...just catching rain drops :)
Miss "Bella"...isn't she beautiful??
The proof is in the peaches...Bella ate a peach at the girls house ;)
Hey!


Last night we had over my sil and bil and our niece...who is just precious ;)
We thought she'd enjoy coming over and playing in the girls new playhouse and swing set and sandbox. She did like the swing set and the playhouse but when it came to playing in the sandbox....uhhhh, oh no she wouldn't..put her purtee toes in that sand...uh-no thanks! It was funny! She did however have quite the time measuring the peaches and pouring them from bowl to bowl...I have to give her credit she did try one of them before stashing them in Love's bowl...who loved the extras! We love fresh peach slices with sugar that makes a sort of sauce over them...yum!
The girls seems to get along really well and no major, or even minor disagreements that I remember. The rain went from sprinkles to a little more than that...but nothing too exciting. Enough that we stayed mostly on the porch...except for my two little ones..who loved just holding their hands, feet and eventually whole bodies under the roof and letting the rain pour down on them. It was cute...they enjoy the simple things so much. We eventually brought out the glow stick bracelets...which seemed to be a hit...hello...$1 bin at T*rget...can't beat that!! Of course, the adults enjoyed the coffee and conversation...uh, I think ;)
But seriously, I love just watching them all together...I remember when waiting for our youngest girls to come home from China, my sil and I would talk about the days we'd get to share just watching them become close friends and playing and laughing...and those days are here...and sweeter than we could have imagined!! Just feeling really thankful that we are all home and together, answered prayers in motion...gotta love that!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Beth or Bust!


Woo Hoo! I get to go see Beth Moore in San Antonio!! I am so excited!! The last time I saw her in person she totally captivated me...I still think about things that she shared with us. She is a powerful, genuine, honest and wonderful speaker. I have done a lot of her Bible studies, read most of her books, and always come away with more knowledge in the Lord and a closer relationship with Him. She has been gifted beyond measure...and she has been willing to teach and preach and y'all...she is amazing. If you have the opportunity to see her in person...do it! Your time spent together will be life changing. One of the best things about going is I will be along side of my sister-in-law and the ladies that I love from our old church. To be honest, I am just about as excited to be around the ladies once again for some good ole fellowship ;) It will be my sister in law's and my self's (gosh..is that a word??) first night away from our youngest girls...but we both know it will only strengthen our relationship with the Lord and therefore make us better wives and mommys. The best part is our hubbys are totally behind us and encouraging us to go....gotta love a man who leads you in the direction of spiritual growth...even if it means he will be home alone with the kids ;)



Weekend Fun!

We had a great weekend! We went swimming and hung out at the sil and bil on Sat. we swam, ate and ended with coffee...yum! Hope jumps off the diving board all alone now! She doesn't mind going under at all...she will jump off anywhere, anytime :) I forgot my camera (bad mommy)...I am going to hit my sil up for any she might have....I will share if she happens to have them. Friday night we just hung out and the girls rode on their toys while the boys skateboarded...the boys do not like having their photos taken...at all....in fact, they avoided me as much as possible. Wow, boys are different than girls. Then, Sunday after church we did the usual and took MaMa out to eat and then headed to the great toy store and picked up a swing set that MiMi and Grumpy bought the girls for their birthday!! Loving all these fun gifts!! So, Big Daddy spent the whole day putting it together....with a sno cone break and a small nap and it is all together but the slide and teeter totter. The girls were so funny...every time he'd get something up and together they were right in the middle of it!! So, we are going to start charging a fee to come in the back yard now....just kidding but seriously...we have enough entertainment in the yard to keep any "bored" child quite occupied! If only the stinkin' grass would grow...it is just too hot! I made a slide show below this post....if it closes on you, just hit the "x" on the top right.

Weekend Fun!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

SK8TR BOY...

Kick flippin' kickflip up the curb
Ollie with friends
We totally have a sk8tr boy in our family...Hunter has been skating for about a year and a half. He is really good at it. It looks like it would be easy but trust me...Big Daddy and I have both tried it and we can't manage to even balance and go anywhere. Did you know when you skate the big deal is the "tricks" you can pull off? I had no idea...I just thought it probably got started as cheap transportation for the kids who can't drive. Oh, and cheap...yeah, skateboards are definitely not cheap...did you know they have to have trucks(the things that hold the wheels), bearings, grip tape, and the like on top of the actual board and wheels? Plus we have ramps and rails and they will jump over just about anything that will sit still. It is crazy!!

Anyway, this is so not the sport we had imagined for our Hunter...he does well with tennis, soccer, football, basketball...he is plenty capable of playing any one of these in school but he prefers skating....who are we to choose? He has amazing balance and core strength and is always outside skating and therefore not inside playing video games or watching TV...which I love. I had a preconceived notion about skater kids, and I have been proven wrong over and over. Skating opened up Hunter's world...he has more friends than our outgoing gal Faith does. Our house isn't complete without at least two of his friends over at all times...it is crazy...but a good crazy. I am so proud of Hunter and his determination and dedication to a sport that he loves. He still yearns for the approval of his parents just like our girls...always saying "Mom, will you come watch this or Dad, check this out." I love it!!
I feel like sometimes he gets robbed the attention of the family because his sport isn't as organized as the others...there are no set times or places or "games" so to speak. He doesn't get the praise or recognition like the ones who play soccer or baseball or football may but it is getting better. Truth be told...that isn't what motivates him...he motivates himself...he is pushing himself to be better and knows if he stops skating for even a week his skills suffer...he is dedicated. He will watch youtube over and over on how to do a specific trick and work for hours trying to master it...and usually...he does pretty quickly. He is good...but he doesn't think so...there is always another trick, a higher ollie or a more "clean" landing.

Speaking of Hunter, he is an amazing kid. He has been so easy for us. He rarely back talks, is thoughtful, generous, and loving. He is one of the only kids I know that will want a hug every time he leaves...even if it is to go down the street and says "I love you" every single time...even on the phone or in front of his friends...love this kid!!
Here is a kickflip....he makes it look so easy!

video

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sleeping Beauties....



I love to watch my children sleep...they all look so beautiful and peaceful. There is nothing better to chill me out (especially when I have had a stressful day) than to go in and just look at their super sweet faces....it is one of those feelings that just bathes you in love.
Tell me this doesn't make your heart melt... ;0)

Time for a Change....

Well, while visiting at the wedding this past weekend, I asked my fabulous friend Mrs. S what I should do to my hair...she being THE stylist to go to in MW. She suggested I go back dark and cut some cute side bangs....she thought it would bring out my eyes...ha! Well, folks...we did it...It apparently isn't that big of a change...many people have seen me that I thought would be able to tell a difference...nothing, nada, zip....no one notices...I am thinking that is a good thing?


Out with the old.... In with the new.....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Love Found the Light!

There is something so fun about being able to control something when you are little. The kids have all enjoyed flipping on and off the light switches when we leave the room or turning on the vacuum or even turning the water off and on. Maybe it is at this young age that to be able to have power over anything feels good. All of our kids have done this where we flip the light on in the suburban and then they will blow and we will switch it off at the same time. They have all loved it and get a real kick out of it...Love is no exception....and she learned the word light doing it...I apologize for the poor quality...still cute though. Her laugh makes me smile every time I watch it! You'll have to scroll down to the bottom and turn off the music first...sorry.


video

Sno Cones!

Waiting Patiently for the Treat
Sweet Sisters
Yum...nothing better on a warm summer night ;)

We are a family who loves a good sno cone...I know there is not a drop of nutritional value but still...we love 'em. We have found by far the best sno cone stand in town and probably our all time favorite. They are new in town and oh so tasty! But why is that a cup of ice covered in sugar water is so costly these days?

Summer School...IS OVER!!!

Yipee!

Summer school is officially over for Faith and she did really well. Her grade for the class was a B!!! Is that wonderful or what??? We are so proud of her. We knew she could do it. No more early morning classes or homework. She has 6.5 weeks of summer left. She is beyond excited and looking forward to her reward.

We Are Going To Mexico!!!

Mission Trip to Mexico!!!!
I can not tell you how excited we are to be able to have the opportunity to go to Mexico and Eagle Pass to spread some love :) We will be going with our entire family and there is something for all of us to do...well, maybe not Love yet...but she will get to play with the children...and love on them and that is a universal language. The opportunity is absolutely too good to be true. Big Daddy will be helping the men on the trip to sheet rock and drywall (is that the same thing??) about 10-15 of the houses that were destroyed by a tornado. For those of you who know Big Daddy...tape and bed is totally his element...he doesn't feel real helpful in most construction...but this here is his "thang". The ladies and children will be doing a Vacation Bible School for the local children. We will also be working in orphanages and loving on those sweet and precious children too!!! We are so thankful to have been given this chance at making a difference...however small it maybe. All of our kids are excited...with the exception of Love who doesn't have a clue what we are saying. We will be working along side of people we love so much and can't wait to minister with them again :)
You know when God is just giving you a blessing and there is absolutely no denying it - Him just basically handing it to you? Well, this is one of those blessings. We are able to take our entire family (huge blessing), Big Daddy will be contributing a skill that he is good at and will feel useful instead of the "helper" or "coffee king" as he was on our mission trip in Wyoming(who doesn't like to use something they are good at to help someone else?). We will be loving on kiddos during the day with Vacation Bible School (this is so exciting to share with these kiddos) and finally visiting and ministering at the orphanages (orphans...these are my people...I have a heart for adoption and the little ones left behind...I was never the same after visiting Hope's orphanage...those sweet faces and precious children linger in my mind). We are so thankful for the adventure that awaits us!!

Hello Beautiful Girls...Can't wait to love on you!!!

I am not sure if you can tell but....I am overjoyed!!!

Happy Birthday Totsie!!!

My grandmother turned a year older yesterday. I won't give out the exact year because I would like to live to see my kids grow up...just kidding. I am not sure that the actual age is that big of a deal to her. I will say she is on the this side of 80. She is doing really well. She gave us quite a scare the past year or so as she was diagnosed with cancer...She underwent chemo and is in remission!! Recently she is growing in new cool and hip hair. She has silver hair that looks so curly that you think it may be permed but it is just how it grew back...it is sassy...just like her :0)
She has been so good to my kids and to my family. I don't think there is a time that I have been with her that she didn't make me laugh. She is dear to us and we all love her so very much!! Happy Birthday Totsie! We Love You!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Finger Painting



Hope was "bored". How does an almost 4 year old even know what bored is??? Well, she doesn't but she knows it usually means I will direct her into an activity that keeps her busy...and I guess she needed some help on how to spend her time. I remembered buying some $1 craft things and set her up to finger paint. At first, she was very delicate and made sure to wipe off her finger after each stroke...the more and more she got into it as she went and eventually we had a beautiful picture of outside with grass and trees and water and clouds turn into the black hole. But she had an absolute ball!

New House :)

Making sure Big Daddy puts it together right. Hope holding up the walls.
No roof but I can't wait anymore...gotta go in.
Just like her grandma...already on the phone.
Could she be any happier????

Well, not actually our new house but the little girls received the most wonderful early Birthday present from their "Great" grandma!! Yipee!! They got a new playhouse..which Hope refers to as "my house". She was believing they could eat, sleep and play in it. Too funny. They were so excited they gave Big Daddy no space while putting it together...in fact Hope held up the walls and yelled for me to come out and watch her help...they have no idea it is work at this point...Looks like fun!




Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Wedding!

Super Sweet Wedding...

We went to our good friend Kylie and Marc's wedding on Saturday night...it was the most fun I have had at a wedding in a long time. They had a very sweet ceremony and a wonderful reception. It was so relaxed. Love had a blast dancing...in fact, we lost her once for about 3 minutes. I thought Big Daddy had her, he thought I had her....she was out on the dance floor...getting it, from what I was told. A friend brought her to me when he saw the sheer look of terror on my face....y'all I never lost one before we had 4. I still can't begin to understand how she got away so quick. She's got the rhythm in her...she can't help but boogie...ha! We are so happy for Kylie and Marc...Kylie was in our college Sunday school class at our old church and we love her so much and we know how much having a husband means to her....I asked Marc if he could believe that he was married to Kylie and he said, and I quote..."No, not really....she is a real gift" and y'all she really is!! We were able to catch up with our super good friends from our old church...loved every minute of it...gosh I miss those guys...terrific folks those people. Oh....there is a good news a brewing....not for sure yet...but I will share when we know something solid...praying about a wonderful opportunity to minister.... :)

4th of July 2008

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July!

Well, I can't believe it has been almost a week since my last post...nothing too much to post about lately. The kids didn't feel well, the week was busy but I can't really tell you what I accomplished.



On the 4th we began with the parade...a tradition in our family since I was a kid. For some reason, I guess the increase in population of the town that the parade goes on and on and on....trailers full of kids on sports teams, most of the churches and a lot of small businesses...not really what the parade used to be. It used to, in my day, be more festive and decorative and relative to what we were celebrating. Now it seems to serve as more of a walking yellow pages...mostly for advertising. Don't get me wrong the kids love it...there is more candy and horses and the like to satisfy them. They had a blast...Love picked up on the running after the candy fast. She is quick....she sees it thrown and she is gone to get it. Too funny. Hope is more cautious...which I like. We ended up sitting close to Faith's new 'boyfriend' which the two of them never even exchanged words...which, to be honest....totally works for me ;)



We then came home had some lunch and put the girls down for a nap. When we woke we went to my Uncle and Aunt's home for a 4th of July party. It was fun...the kids had a blast swimming and my cousin and her family were in from Virginia. Their kids have grown up so much, they are all so adorable. It is always good talking to her and hearing about how her family is doing. Her sister was there also, I've shared with you before about her husband battling leukemia...y'all if you feel led...please say a prayer for their family...they are in the trenches right now and could use support. I just can not even fathom the life that they must live day to day. She is doing well and seems strong but it can't be easy. God Bless Them. We had a wonderful day, visiting and the kids swimming and ended the night with fireworks! We have a new watching spot and it was perfect! My camera died halfway through the party so I didn't get near the photos I was hoping for :(