For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A fun filled weekend

Mia's how these beautiful princesses have changed... Hugs...

Video games.... Fun in the Sun...

Mandy seemed quite taken with this little princess... (she stole my heart too)

We made a trip to see friends this weekend. We had such a good time just hanging out and watching the kids play. Our friends (China travel buddies '06) have just recently moved to a wonderful house in the country. We had plenty of space to wander and enjoy. The kids had a terrific time fishing at the pond and going for canoe rides...even if the did get stuck in the middle of the pond occassionally. The kids also found great joy in video games... I think all of them would have turned into "junkies" if we hadn't insisted they enjoy the great outdoors too. The grownups had fun visiting and did I mention eating... Ms.T fixed some wonderful food while we were there. It seemed as if we just ate and ate and ate. Perhaps the "funnest" part of the weekend was staying up and watching a storm blow past... taking out the electrical power with it. We had fun making rounds and checking on sleeping kids and acting silly with flashlights. We watched in their front yard as a raccoon approached(in the terrible storm) to steal the dog food. Brad had fun picking on the poor critter... It didn't act very much afraid of anything(even the full brunt of a flashlight bulb shining in it's eyes). So, Brad started barking like a dog... it flew over kids toys and scampered away( but only for a short while). All the grownups started laughing so hard ... it is a good thing we didn't wake the kids. It was just a very nice,peaceful weekend, and we all enjoyed sharing it with our friends.

Friday, May 23, 2008

In Lights

Dress Rehersal... What?

Me Dance....? You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You never know dear. How much you love "me"....

Our beautiful ballerina....
On Broadway....Mandy's tap routine...she said tap was the hardest, but she did terrific!

Daddy surprised his princesses with roses... you would have thought he gave them a million dollars.

We spent the last few days with a variety of activities most of which were related to dance (and of course, a little baseball). Brad and I spent most of the week running in opposite directions. It all began on Monday with dance recital pictures, a tball game, and buying a house. Our week has just been crazy busy and so full of LIFE. God has truly blessed us this week, in spite of our sad beginning (see previous post).
Last night was a night for our beautiful princesses to shine, and shine they did....
The past two days have been full of hair dressing, makeup, costumes, antsy little girls, pictures, and a few tantrums thrown in for good measure. Can I tell you how hard it is to fix hair and makeup on a squirmy 3 yr old?! Princess Mia likes to shine, but if it requires hours to be beautiful...she wants nothing to do with it! Maybe it was mom's lack of skill? Let's just say, after beginning with 3 boys, I wasn't in my element. It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but after 3 chances to practice, their stage makeup and hair turned out fairly well. Mandy was thrilled with it all. She was in her element and you could sense that she loved "the dance". She shined like a princess... you would never guess that she hadn't been made for that role. It had this momma in tears to think just how far she has come in the last few months. She was just beautiful, and she warmed our hearts as she waved at her momma and daddy leaving the stage. Mia was unsure of it all. She didn't take well to sitting in the dressing room until her debute on stage. I got to hear.."Could Mia's mom please come to the dressing room?"... not just on rehearsal but recital night as well... the only mom called back there .... :)! I missed Mandy's ballet the first night and almost the second. I finally had to put my foot down. Mia either had to stay backstage by herself or miss her dance ... I needed to see Mandy's dance ( she would be sure to check).
Mia decided to stop crying... because ... she loves being on stage! She had the audience roaring with laughter(she was making funny faces, wouldn't stay in line, being "very expressive",and missing her mark)... and her dad and I a bit embarrassed. Shall we say... 3 is very hard for us... , but she is a princess through and through as well. She was fun to watch, and I think she will finally get the hang of following directions. I told her daddy... "Watch out ...she is going to be our "actress". She definitely soaks in all the attention and hams it up. I love to dance and watch dancing... I always have since I was a little girl. I am thrilled that my daughters share my passion for it. I am forever grateful to God for orchestrating my life and blessing me with these two beautiful princesses. ....
"And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance.
I hope you dance."
Leann Womack

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Retraction(of sorts)

Well, today I have to make a retraction of sorts on my post yesterday. We talked with our realtor and found out that an official offer had not been made on the house. He knew we had been looking at the home with great interest and wanted us to have a chance at making the offer. So, Brad and I had already been praying about it and about what to do next. So after a look at our budget, much discussion, and many prayers, we decided that we could make an offer... now mind you it is going to be "beans,rice and lots of peanut butter" but we can make it work until we get this house sold. We decided to make a fair offer that we could live with, but we also knew that the list price was a lot more and the other buyer could make a better deal. We prayed that God would "save us from ourselves" if this was not part of the plan. Our agent called this morning and ....We Have a New House. The seller accepted our offer!
Would you please continue to pray that our current house will now sell quickly? We know that God has the big picture and that we choose to follow His lead.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Reminder to....myself

Not to let Satan steal my joy. It has been a hard past few days. We found out Saturday that another family is interested in the latest house we have been looking at and considering. We have to sell our house before we can make any offers, and it looks as if the other family will make an offer. So, if you need your house sold, we are apparently good at selling other people's homes for them; however, we still wait on ours. This is the 2nd home that we felt fit our families needs, and the second one that sold in 2 wks of our viewing it. In our small town there isn't much out their for a larger family....especially one that accomodates Brad's (at home) office and homeschooling (not to mention that can fit in our budget).The market around here is good enough to sell homes in only a few weeks, but 100 yr old homes aren't the "going" thing. We aren't sure what is next. We may have our answer that we should remain in this home at least for a little, we have to make a decision and then determine whether to pull our house off the market (that is if we can...the realtor contract is for 6mths.). Brad still wants to ride it out ... I am trying to be positive and realistic at the same time. Of course, this is where "trust" and "don't doubt" come in. I often wish that God would just write me a letter specifically outlining what the next plan is for our lives and exactly what he wants us to do. It would be nice, but I have learned too, that some of the "good and joy" come from waiting for His perfect timing and plan.
We were also faced with a very difficult decision. Our "puppy" has hip displacia. It is common in large breed dogs, and it is genetic and hereditary. He found us last year before we went to get Mandy, and so we had no way of knowing of his parents and genetics. The vet said that it might not show up until they grow and add weight, hence we didn't find it before. About a month ago, the vet told us we had 2 choices: 1) hip replacement to the tune of $5000 or 2) eventually put him down. We just didn't have $5000, and we really weren't sure we could justify that cost for an animal( I know ...not winning many points with animal lovers... but we have 5 kids and I can think of a lot of things $5000 could do provide help to the Earthquake victims in China). It is still very hard and very sad! Our dog was just terrific and we love him so... we had hoped that the medicine would help and that he could survive pain free for a few more years... but each week he seemed to get worse until this weekend he was unable to stand up for more than a minute. So, we agonized and prayed, but had to put him down. We certainly did not want him to hurt and suffer. Brad took him this morning, and we are all very sad with hurt hearts as we approach our day.
Wow, this turned into a negative post... I just have to remind myself that we do have joy! God is so good to us. We have our family, our health, a place to live, and food in our bellies. He provides our every need, and He is there to lift us up when we are sad or hurt.
... can I not be a grown up today???

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I am hoping that God has blessed all of you with a terrific day filled with hugs and kisses and lots of love. My day has been filled with family and fun, and I have even had a little alone time thrown in. My kids are taking me to dinner tonight. I love being "mommy" to my five chili peppers!

Mandy's Day

It still amazes me at how quickly a week can go by! We spent a very busy week preparing for Mandy's Big Birthday Party. She has been so excited about this day for so very long, and the day finally arrived. It all began Friday evening as family began to arrive from Texas and Oklahoma. We had a make-up baseball game to attend that night, and after watching the "big boys" play, we returned to the house for a late dinner and had lots of family over to visit. Friday night Mandy began to prepare, and grandma rolled her hair for her.

We finished up on some of the goodies we were making for the Tea Party. The kids went to bed and were asleep fairly quickly. Mandy knew that the faster she went to sleep the faster that her "day" would arrive. Upon waking, Saturday we were off and running(so to speak). Dad was sent on errands, while Mom was busy making the tea party snacks. Grandma and Grandpa helped with the kids and getting things decorated, and Nana,Aunt Ce, and Aunt Mary helped get the trays set and ready to serve the tea. Can you picture the chaos? It was ordered chaos at its very best! The girls were all excited because they got to dress in their "princess" best clothes(Daddy even joined in and got dressed in his suit...sorry no picture because he was also the cameraman...but he sure looked handsome!). As the first guest began arriving, we had everything set and ready to go. The girls enjoyed a tea party and made "fashionable" hats to wear. The boys(and daddy) pitched in and helped too! They were the waiters, and some mighty "fine" waiters they were too! We had daddy and the boys helping serve. Nana, Grandma, and Aunt Ce were running the kitchen. We had Aunt Mary and volunteers running the crafts, and momma was the hostess. I was so thankful for all the help, and what an amazing time was had by all. After the tea, we had a fashion show. Everyone had to show off their beautiful clothes and the hats they made. Some were a little shyer than others about displaying their beauty, but with a little coercion and a helping escort from friends, everyone participated. Next we opened presents,and Mandy was so surprised and thrilled at all the gifts for her(even if there wasn't a Barbie house from mom and dad). We ate cake and icecream, and finished the day with a Pinata(well sort of... the rains came and we had to do an indoor version). It was soooo much fun to plan and give this party. I loved hosting this "very girlie" party, and celebrating this special day with our girl. I know that Mandy loved it all...even if she did get a little overwhelmed at times. A big Thank You to Everyone who helped make this a Special (1st ever) Birthday celebration for our Princess Mandy!!

Tea Time....

Tea Anyone?...Maybe a Scone or a finger sandwhich?...I prefer the hot tea... do you like the iced tea punch?...Don't you just love this darling???Hat making ...So many presentsHappy Birthday to Mandy!!!All the beautiful girls!!!On a side note... areas around and near our town were hit by high winds and some tornadoes early yesterday evening. We had several members of our church affected by these storms. Would you please join us in praying for the recovery efforts?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mandy!

Today is our sweet Mandy's "official" birthday. She has been so excited for months, anxiously waiting for her birthday turn. She was awake before mom this morning and was so patient. She did all of her morning chores, dressed, helped her sister, and then she sat quietly on the couch waiting. Her daddy and I had to smother her with birthday hugs and kisses...she just grinned and giggled! She asked if May 2nd would always remain the same(her birthday) every year. We assured her that her birthday would always remain the same. It is so much fun to celebrate this "new" event with her. She has no recollection of ever celebrating the day of her birth. We missed sharing her day for the past seven years, and we look forward to lavishing her with a little "special" attention on her day. We will take her to her "favorite" place to eat... for Chinese food, and maybe take her to do something "girlie"(much to her brothers disapproval).

Mandy's big party celebration will be next weekend. She wanted her cousin/best friend to be able to make it to her party, so she wanted to wait a little longer for the fun activities. Never fear, she is counting down the remaining days until the fun begins! In the meantime, we will treat her to a "princess" day today and shower her with love. She is a "princess" of our King Jesus, and we love watching the work God is doing in her.

Happy Birthday sweet Mandy!!