Friday, January 30, 2009

Family Fun Day

Family Fun Day was a big day long birthday party for Brent. Today is his 30th birthday!!! And we packed in the activities =)

He got his coffee on the couch with the Today Show. I think he might have even got to finish a full cup of HOT coffee and never had to microwave a cup to keep it hot all morning. That in itself is a great birthday present! (if you don't know what I'm talking about, imagine trying to drink a full cup of coffee with a 3 yr. old and a 1 yr. old running around. We microwave a lot of cups of coffee around here!)

We gave him his birthday present right away b/c I'm horrible at keeping things secret when I'm excited about them =)

Here's Avery saying, "its a picture of your girls daddy!"

I made a big breakfast and then we took off for the stock show. You'll notice a theme throughout the day!

The petting zoo was a big hit.So were the pony rides! Elliana got a little nervous halfway through though. Can you tell by her death grip on my arm??They also got educated about where milk comes from. Avery may have been a little disgusted =)After naps, we spent the afternoon at Cabelas looking at a gun for the baby boy. Yes, I know what you're thinking. I thought the same thing, but it was Brent's birthday so I just went with the flow. I'm working on the whole raising up a hunter idea =)

And of course, we had to eat dinner at Babes. You can't end a stockshow-Cabelas day without eating at a greasy fried chicken place!
The night was complete with a little birthday cake.

Happy 30th babe! Hope you had a great month of birthday celebrations and had a great day! I love you!!!

(if you want to see the rest of the pictures from his birthday, click here or go to the family pictures on the side of the page)

Thursday, January 29, 2009


During devotions last night:
  • Avery discovered her middle finger was the perfect finger to use for "This Little Light of Mine"
  • My personal favorite was watching Elliana attempt to do "Father Abraham" with her arms and legs. Imagine a short little munchkin waving both arms, trying to kick both legs, and spinning in circles. This is my new favorite song.
Conversation this morning:

Me: "What are you doing Els?"

Elliana: "ummmm, moving da box"

Me: "With your head?"

Elliana: "yah," with a look in her eyes that clearly stated, "how else would you move a box?"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Texas Snow

As close as the girls may get this year to experiencing snow!
Avery recorded the whole event with her cameraAnd you can't play outside in the cold without drinking some hot chocolate when you get inside!'s 9:45am and we've already played outside and drank our hot chocolate. What to do with the rest of this icy day =)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Spiritual Journey...

Surviving with Joy. This has been the key phrase running through my mind this week. See, this pregnancy had been relatively easy so far. I didn't have the continual throwing up of the first 2 babies. I didn't have the bed rest scare or the sciatic nerve problems of Avery or the leg numbness of Elliana. In fact, I've been able to almost forget I was pregnant through most of this pregnancy. That is until a few weeks ago.

It started with some back discomfort, then moved into tremendous back pain and continual contractions. So much so that I rarely sleep at night b/c of the pain. In fact, I have slept 3 nights out of the last 7. (and they were all drug induced sleep which I hate doing in pregnancy!) So Friday, I talked to the doctor about the pain and through the conversation, am told that I should go to physical therapy. I immediately start seeing dollar signs and refuse. (Have I ever mentioned how much I hate spending money!) =) On the way home, God spoke to me so clearly it made me jump. It was like He whispered right in my ear, "If you're not going to spend the money on a solution, than you need to find joy in your situation. This situation is your choice so rejoice."

So surviving with joy is what I'm working on. What does it look like to rejoice in the midst of pain and exhaustion? I don't want to just let life pass by and patiently wait for the next phase when this pain will subside, I want to rejoice and find joy in what God has given me today. These thoughts reminded me of a great passage in the book "The Hiding Place".

Betsie and Corrie were in a concentration camp and suffering when they discovered their barracks were covered in fleas.
  • "That's it Corrie! That's His answer. 'Give thanks in all circumstances!' That's what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!...."Thank You," Betsie went on serenely, "for the fleas and for---" The fleas! This was too much. "Betsie, there's no way even God can make me grateful for a flea" (pg 198).
  • "You know we've never understood why we had so much freedom in the big room", she said, "Well-I've found out." That afternoon, she said, there'd been confusion in her knitting group about sock sizes and they'd asked the supervisor to come and settle it. "But she wouldn't. She wouldn't step through the door and neither would the guards. And you know why?" Betsie could not keep the triumph from her voice: "Because of the fleas!"...My mind rushed back to our first hour in this place. I remembered Betsie's bowed head, remembered her thanks to God for creatures I could see no use for" (pg 209).
The fleas enabled them to lean on Christ, tell others about Christ, and experience a freedom even in the midst of a terrible situation. It wasn't pleasant to sleep with the fleas and have them crawling on them and biting them, but God used that unpleasantness to bless them.

Though we can't always see the hand of God in the midst of pain, exhaustion, or frustration, He is always at work. Our job is to "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:16-18.

So for the next 8 weeks, I will continue to learn how to survive with joy and give thanks knowing that my God will supply all my needs according to His glory and praise.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I married a Redneck

The countdown to Brent's 30th birthday continues. I've been attempting to do something special for him every day for the 30 days leading up to his 30th. Saturday night was his big present, tickets to the PBR. If you don't know, PBR stands for Professional Bull Riding...I learned this after I married Brent and discovered that Sunday afternoons were reserved for watching PBR on TV.

As I said, I married a redneck and I love him to pieces!

Family Fun Day

Family Fun Day got a little overlooked this Friday. OB appointments in the morning, my mom here for the morning, my dad flying in that night, and Brent's upcoming birthday celebrations occupied most of our Friday. However, my favorite purchase of the year was made on Friday!
For well over 6 months, my digital camera has been begging me to retire it. I've tried replacing the battery, talking nice to it, and just not giving up on it, but all to no avail. The camera was determined to retire. So Friday evening, I took all my Christmas money and purchased a new camera! We spent the entire weekend playing with our new toy. So now, 216 pictures later, here are a couple fun ones from the weekend =)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sisters are the Best

Just when you start to think, "how many times can I rotate between these 3 shirts that still fit me before anyone notices?" a bin of maternity clothes arrives from your sister. Thanks Jana!! I feel like a new woman =)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Over the last 6 months or so, I have been attempting to practice some of the spiritual disciplines I've been implementing in my life with my kiddos. Prayer and worship are the two disciplines we've decided to just focus on for now. Here's what we've come up with =)

After dinner every night, we sing songs and read one story out of a children's Bible. We dance and sing fast and fun kids songs and then sit and sing slower songs as well. All while talking about worshiping Christ. We try to ask lots of questions about the Bible story because the girls are very literal at this point! For example, last night, after some probing questions, Avery truly believed that if she lied, God would send her away from her family like He did to Cain! oops...need to remember to think literally about all the stories we read to avoid instilling fear in our kids =)

Every morning after breakfast, I get two candles out and give the girls a word to think about. (obey, truthfulness, self-control, etc...) Its usually a characteristic we have been working on. The word stays the same for the whole week. I then ask them to close their eyes, be really still, and pray in their hearts and ask Jesus to help them practice that characteristic throughout the day. Whenever they think they are done praying, they blow out their candle. They decide how long this lasts, and its usually a 30 sec to a minute thing. And the candle means nothing, except its fun for them to blow out the candle, and they tend to sit in stillness and silence longer when they have something to blow out when they are finished.

Not that they get what spiritual disciplines are and not that I expect them to, but we just want them to understand how to sit in silence with God or how to be still and just know He's God. One day we pray that these disciplines will be a channel for them to eventually discover not just salvation but the abundant life and relationship that Christ offers.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Spiritual Journey...

"Do not forget Him! Think of Him often; adore Him ceaselessly; live and die with Him. That is the real business of a Christian; in a word, it is our profession. If we do not know it, we must learn it." -brother Lawrence

This quote sums up my focus this week. I've written it on my mirror, on sticky notes, and anywhere else that I might glance throughout the day. Its my reminder to remain in the presence of God throughout the day.

Its funny how God impresses on your heart to memorize things at the same time he's teaching you lessons. As I've been memorizing Matthew 5, the difference between "blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs IS the Kingdom of heaven..." and "blessed are the.... for they SHALL BE..." has accompanied my mind. I know the verbs have been pointed out to me in the past, but I've truly been contemplating the fact that the poor in spirit live in the Kingdom on a daily basis. The others are all a future action that will one day take place, but the poor in spirit is present tense.

All that to say, as I focus on the presence of God throughout the day, I'm also meditating on what it means to live IN the Kingdom of heaven on a daily basis. Interesting thoughts for my little brain to ponder =)

Goals from last week:
  • I'm still memorizing. I'm through Matthew 5:1-6.
  • I'm up every morning, well, except Saturday =)
  • I finished the book "The Practice of the Presence of God" by brother Lawrence
Goals for this next week:
  • Keep getting up! I'm in the last couple months of pregnancy which means good sleep is rare and hard to come by. Even though I'm not sleeping well or at all anymore, I want no excuse to keep me from getting out of that bed in the morning.
  • Pick a new book to start reading
  • Continue memorizing Matthew 5

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You Gotta Love Cowtown

Saturday morning was the Fort Worth Stockshow and Rodeo parade. This was a true Western parade. Miles and miles of horses, horse drawn buggies, and more horses. No candy, no dancers...just horses.

They especially loved the cotton candy we bought for them =)
45 minutes of uninterrupted horses. Where else in the world could you get such entertainment?!

Family Fun Day

Family Fun Day consisted of:

All things that had to do with playing baby. I think Brent is now extremely ready to have another boy in the house!
Some good food
And a great movie night complete with M&Ms and popcorn.
Can't ask for a better day =)

Friday, January 16, 2009

The honesty

Said while driving down the road. Avery was telling me about all her friends from church when she stopped and asked

Avery: "Mommy, who are your friends?"
Me: I responded by naming some of my friends that she would know. She got really quiet and just looked at me for a minute with a very concerned expression.
Avery: "That's not very many friends mommy. You might need to make some more. But I'll share some of mine with you so you can have fun with friends too."

There's nothing like a 3 year old telling you that you must live a boring life =)

Said during family devotions one night

Brent (reading from their children's Bible): "God said, You can eat the fruit of any tree in the garden. But you must not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil..."
Avery: "Wait, does that mean I'm NOT supposed to have the fruit of the Spirit?"

Brent tried explaining and then just switched to talking about how God has rules for us to follow.

Brent: "What is a rule that God has for you to follow?
Avery: "To obey mommy and daddy"
Elliana: "To love Connor"
(Connor is Avery's best friend. Whether Elliana feels she needs to love him b/c she wants to be around him or b/c she's a little bit jealous of how much she gets left out when Connor comes over to play, we'll never know! =) )

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Its calling to me

Its calling to me. No matter where I am in the house, its whispering to me about how comfy, how peaceful, how wonderful it would be to crawl back in and for one selfish day, pretend I'm not a mommy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Spiritual Journey

Practicing the Presence of God. The phrase that encompasses my current frame of mind. The more I learn about prayer, the more I practice mediation, the more I memorize scripture, the more I realize that everything points to practicing the presence of God.

My two quotes for the week are both from Adele Calhoun
  • "We cannot open ourselves to someone we don't even notice"
  • "We can get so busy doing urgent things and so preoccupied with what comes next that we don't experience NOW...the present moment becomes a crack between what we did and what we have yet to do."
The disciplines I'm working to establish in my life have led me to a point of silence. A point where I don't just focus on the future and what I want to accomplish but a point of enjoying the presence of God in each and every moment of the day. Its a ton more difficult than I thought it would be! I mean how do you enjoy the presence of God while cleaning up your kids' throw up? But I know God is leading me on this journey and so I willingly submit to it and allow Him to teach me this not so easy lesson.

Goals from last week:
  • I have Matthew 5:1-3 memorized.
  • I've been up most mornings by 5:45am...still working on getting out of bed on the first beep!
  • I've answered questions # 1 & #5...still working on 15, 19, & 20
  • I have confirmed our family service project and we will start serving together next week!

Goals for this next week:
  • Continue to memorize the Sermon on the Mount
  • Get out of bed on the first beep!
  • Finish the vision casting questions
  • Finish the book "The Practice of the Presence of God" by brother Lawrence
I love the journey the Lord has me on! I love even more that no matter how much I learn and no matter how close I grow to the Lord, there will always be more room to grow and so much more to learn. Can't wait to see what He does in me this year =)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Grandparents might be the only ones interested =)

Last week I didn't get any of Aves in her actual dance outfit. So, for the benefit of daddy and the grandparents, here's our cute little dancer =)
And for the record, this week went much smoother!

Aiken Drum

I made dinner in honor of the girls' favorite song, "Aiken Drum".

...His hair was made of spaghetti, spaghetti, spaghetti...
...His eyes were made of meatballs, meatballs, meatballs...
...His nose was made of cheese, cheese, cheese...
...His mouth was made of pizza, pizza, pizza...

And they called him Aiken Drum
They laugh hysterically every time they listen to the song, so thought it was pretty fun to have a plate that looked like Aiken Drum.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Family Fun Day

Family Fun Day was all about teaching the girls how to fish. Well, the girls and mommy because I've never fished either! Brent calls me his city girl =) We all had a blast though.
We mad a quick stop at Wal Mart to pick out the perfect fishing pole. It was a toss up between Dora and Barbie...Dora won =)Avery learning to fish. She had a blast and decided she now wants to go fishing every day.
Elliana even had a turn with the fishing pole
She mainly just used a net and put whatever she could find in itincluding water
When the fishing got old, we went to a park to play. Look what I discovered Elliana can do! "Anything Avery does, I can do better" is her motto in life =)
Another fun day with the family =)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Attention Future Construction Workers of America

My 20 month old would like to be included in your association. Her expertise consists of unscrewing the screws in bunk beds. She is so talented that she does not need a screw driver or a drill to accomplish this task. All on her own, she has figured out how to apply pressure to one side of the screw and then unscrew all the screws while mommy thinks she is sleeping. Whether she has swallowed the latest screw or has hidden it somewhere safe still remains to be seen. All in all, I'm pretty sure this is a talent that could be used and taught to construction workers everywhere.


A mommy who is tired of checking all the screws in the bunk beds after every nap.