Monday, December 29, 2008

Well Done

Recently a young man, father and friend to many passed away after a valiant fight against colon cancer. I did not know him personally but have learned much from him. I learned of his blog(tarapchak@wordpress.com)thru another blogging friend and have followed ever since. He was laid to rest on Saturday and at his funeral several people accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. How amazing, what a special gift he gave his family, to live a life that prompts others to accept Christ. It makes me think of Nichole Nordeman's song "Legacy" in which she sings about how will people remember you. What a legacy he has left for his children and I know that he is at peace now in the presence of our Lord. May his family and friends be blessed by having known him and may we all be inspired by the leagacy he has left.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Birthday JESUS!!!

I love this song. Abby sang it last year for her Christmas Program and Will got to sing it this year. Will is the shepard, second from your right, next to the angel. Remember to pause the music on my playlist so you can hear it. Both times I got teary eyed, it is so touching to hear your little ones singing happy birthday to Jesus. I am so glad my kids know the true meaning of CHRISTmas. Last night Will told me we should make cookies for Santa in the shapes of Jesus, Mary and Joseph so Santa will know that we celebrate Jesus's birthday, how adorable. Wishing Jesus a very happy birthday and am so thankful he came to save us.
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Smiling is my Favorite



Just finished watching Elf for about the third time this week. I love this movie!!! It is funny enough for the kids and I to watch together and is a movie I have yet to grow tired of. Truly one of Will Ferrell's more "tasteful" movies and I am looking forward to quoting this movie for the next week or so.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hide and Seek Safari




My son got this toy as an early Christmas gift from my husband's aunt and uncle. It is an amazing toy. Hide and seek is fun but after the 10th time I grow a little tired of the game while my kids do not. In this game you hide the tiger, then with the wand you go around looking for the tiger and when you get close the wand lights up and starts beeping. It is like the hot/cold game. My kids played this forever when they first got it and they still enjoy it. Even better after I get them started they can continue to play on their own with out my help. I have heard you can even order extra wands so each child can have one. If you are still looking for a great Christmas gift I would highly recommend this for kids age 3 and up. I've seen it recently on amazon.com for under 25 dollars. Hope you all have great luck in the search for the perfect Christmas gift. Luckily if you know and love my Savior Jesus Christ you have already recieved it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

GOD Rocks!!!

I have posted before on how God has been faithful in answering many prayer requests that I or my kids have presented to him this year. This latest prayer request had an answer that left my church homegroup stunned and in further awe of our great creator. A lovely woman in my small group had told us several weeks ago that her neice's son who is 14 attempted to commit suicide. He was devasted that his girlfriend told him that she no longer loved him and thought that death would be easier than overcoming that rejection. He was in full arrest for over 20 minutes, able to be revived but with a poor prognosis, he would be a vegetable for the rest of his life.
After a few weeks of little progress the boy's father said he heard from God that he would heal his son and he would be healthy again. Our friend struggled with how to take this information, does she believe as well that it will happen or does she try to soften the blow of disappointment and tell him that it might not be in God's plan to heal him. So we prayed that night that our friend might hear from God herself his plan for this boy so she might know the best way to support the father. About a 1/2 hour after our home group ended we got an email from our friend stating that someone had emailed the family who was in a coma for 2 years and had come out of it and is now in full recovery, this gave us HOPE. Then three days letter we got the email that the young boy was now out of the coma and starting to respond to sound, light etc. He is now making small progress with tiny hand movements but how amazing is our God. I pray for this young man's physical and emotional healing as well as that of his family.
How easy it is for us to hear a story about someone's "hearing from God" and think, did they really hear from God, or are they just clinging to hope that God is saying what they really want to hear. I learned a valuable lesson through all this, don't let my doubt at times stiffle the faith of someone else. God allows us to doubt but he wants us to first take it to him in prayer. I am so grateful that our homegroup took the time to pray that night for God's clear response in this matter, that he answered so quickly and so powerfully. May God be given all the glory and praise.

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them" Matthew 18:20

"Dear Friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and recieve from him any thing we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him" 1 John 3:21-22

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

MEET BUDDY!!!!!



With much thanks to Angie over at audreycaroline.blogspot.com we have a new Christmas tradition at our house. This is a scout elf that arrived with the book "The elf on the shelf". Every day Buddy watches the kids to see if they have good or bad behavior and then at night he returns to the North pole to report to Santa. Then he comes back each morning but in a different place then he was the night before. So each morning the kids get super excited to see where Buddy is next and I get to use a little creativity to find a new exciting spot. Then Christmas eve Buddy returns home to the North pole until the next year. It has been fun to have a tradition that just our little family can do. Mike and I have some great traditions passed down to us from our families but it is nice to think that maybe our kids will pass this tradition down to our grandkids.

I know alot of people have varying opinions on celebrating Santa during the Christmas season. We first and foremost have taught our children the true meaning and reason behind Christmas and will always continue to do so. Yet while they are little we find it not a problem to teach that we give and recieve gifts at this time in celebration of Christ's birth and this includes Santa. Both Mike and I grew up this way in strong Christian families and I am glad that we both had similar backgrounds. May everyone enjoy the birth of Jesus Christ this Christmas as well as any treasured family traditions you may have.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Program

Abby had her Thanksgiving program this past Friday and it was simply adorable. They learned 9 songs and 2 poems, pretty impressive for Kindergarten. Abby has been practicing for weeks, I am all for being patriotic but if I had to hear her and her friends scream all the verses of "This Land is Your Land" one more time I might of had a nervous breakdown. All kidding aside I can say she has a true understanding of how Thanksgiving originated and why it is so important to be thankful for all that our Creator has given us. Here are a few pictures and a little video for those of you who couldn't be there in person. May everyone have a blessed Thanksgiving and no matter the stuggles of the year I hope that all find time to thank our Lord Jesus Christ for the blessings they have recieved. Thank you for my family, our health, great friends and being ever present in our lives.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Slow Fade

I added the song "Slow Fade" by Casting Crowns to my playlist last night. This song summarizes alot of my thoughts this past week. I found out a week ago that a high school classmate of mine committed suicide. Tom left behind a wife and a two year old son. The line of the song that says " daddy's never crumble in a day" made me wonder about his slow fade. Was it subtle, how long had it been going on, could it have been stopped? I have a heavy heart tonight knowing that his family will lay him to rest tommorrow. I pray for his family to be comforted, I pray that their faith in God is strengthened rather than defeated. Lord please protect his son and help him know that you always provide a way out no matter what the problem. Thankyou Lord for the blessing of my family and help me to recognize the slow fades that could be happening around me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bible covers

Last week Abby got a hot pink bible cover for her bible at church. When she started the older class they gave her a bible and then said they would get her a bible cover soon. So when she came out of Sunday School last week she had a big smile on her face as she told me she got her bible cover. She said look, it has a fish on it and that means JESUS. She then told me that she could choose from a purple bible cover with princesses or a pink one with the little fish on it. She said "I picked the one with the fish because it means Jesus". I was so proud of her, it is these little moments when you get to see a glimpse of Jesus Christ in your child. You cultivate the seed you've planted, it has a slow and sometimes rocky start but then you see the little buds forming, a little bit of evidence that the seed has taken root. Yippee!! Thankyou God for your presence in my life, thank you for the help you provide in guiding my little ones towards you. Help me to focas more on these wonderful glimpses of you then on their disobedience. Help me to seek out and encourage them each time they demonstrate your likeness. Thank you that we are all works in progress, guided by our loving and forgiving father.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I love Fall

Just wanted to give props to the one who made this beautiful earth, who created everything that brings a smile, everything that brings joy. I love Fall, I love the temperature and I love the changing leaves and of course the start of true Football weather. Thanks be to God for the simple blessing of a sunny, crisp day with red,orange,yellow and green blanketing the earth. In these uncertain times it is comforting to know that fall will always come, that God created the things of this earth not only with precise functions but to give us joy.

So no matter that the sunshine might be ending this weekend for a little bit of rain. I will treasure the last few days of perfect fall weather. I treasure my two kids in these pictures and their smiles, their personalities that only God could create. I am in awe of you Lord and you amazing concern for every aspect of my life. Thank you that your plan is so much greater than I could ever imagine.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Finding the Positive

Finding the positive side of life can sometimes be difficult, especially in our current times. I came to this topic today because of two different things. One is my current study of Moses through BSF(bsfinternational.org) and my attendance at our church's children's ministry training. Today it was mentioned that when teaching our pre-school children some of the Bible stories that lean more towards a negative thought(ie:lying,cheating, etc) to focus on the positive, like encourage telling the truth rather than focus on the lying. That same principle can apply today I believe. I am not suggesting that we are not realistic about the negativity that exists, but if we see things from God's perspective we might be surprised about the positive view he has.

In studying Moses and looking at some of the other greats of the Old Testament we see failures, negativity and lack of faith. God does mention these failures but do you know what his focus is on, what they did well. In Genesis 15 we see God's covenant with Abraham to bring him and his wife an heir. In Genesis 15:6 God says"Abraham believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness". Then just one chapter later we see Abraham become inpatient, lose faith and agree with his wife Sarai to try and have a child through her maidservant Hagar. In Chapter 21 we something really cool, God was faithful to his promise, despite Abraham and Sarah getting in the way(Gen 21:2). Despite his lapse of judgement and faith, God was true to him promise, what a positive thought to focus on. Then in Romans Ch. 4, Galatians 3:9 and James 2:23 we see Abraham praised as a "man of faith" and "friend of God", what an honor. God could have chosen to focus only on the mistrials of Abraham but instead chose him to be the father of all nations and bless future generations because of his faith.

If we look at Moses we see how he was a murderer, weak and not well spoken. We can see his failures and struggles throughout Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, but we see his ultimate legacy in Deuteronomy Ch. 34:10"No prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face" and vs 12" For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel". I find this very encouraging, for those of us who struggle with the guilt of our sin and imperfection, we too can find the positive that God sees in us.

So in this time of uncertainty I am comforted that God takes care of his people, God accomplishes all things despite my attempts to help myself and despite my imperfections. Help me Lord to be a positive light for my children and those around me. Please don't let my small perspective and negative thoughts limit your power. Help me to be realistic about the problems of this world but be drawn ever closer to the only one who can overcome them.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Answered Prayers

Praying comes easily for me. I enjoy having coversations with God throughout the day, some are a quick thankyou and others are a request on my behalf or a loved one. My biggest challenge is trying to instill this value in my children. Mike and I give the kids opportunities to pray throughout the day so they understand the importance of prayer. The hard part is letting them see answered prayer. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not what we were asking for and sometimes it takes God's own timing to recieve the much anticipated answer.

Luckily last week my kids had the wonderful opportunity to pray and see the answer within the hour. My good friend called to ask me if I saw her wearing both earrings when we saw each other that morning. She just noticed that one was missing and these were not only very sentimental but also valuable. As we tried to piece together where the earring might have fallen out she went to look for the earring and was quite upset as we hung up. I sat down with the kids and asked them to pray that our friend would find her special earring. Then we left and ran an errand . About an hour later my friend called and said she found her earring, Praise God. I told the kids the good news and mentioned how good it is that God heard our prayer and answered it so quickly and with such a great outcome. Now my friend and I realize that after all is said and done this was not the most urgent prayer request. However it was important all the same because it taught my kids to seek God's help, to be specific with the request and then trust that he will answer us in his time. Thankfully God answered so quickly as kids seem to have a short attention span. Thankyou God for this teachable moment. Thankyou that my kids are willing to pray to you, thankyou for building the trust they have in you so that when tougher questions are asked of you and the answer doesn't come as quickly as they would like that they will remember this moment of answered prayer.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pictures

Will's First day of school, He was for the picture before he was against it(see previous post titled One of those days)
Abby's first soccer game. She played the whole game with a sprained ankle. She is one tough cookie. Beanie Wells has nothing on her.
Scioto River at Donegal Cliffs Park
See we really do love each other.

You Alone

Well God did it again, I don't know why I am so surprised each time God chooses to make his presence known to me so personally. God is totally working on me through music. Last week he used "Crucified with Christ"(see previous post) and this week he used "You Alone" (David Crowder Band version on my blog). Two Sundays in a row God has blessed me with a worship service of praise that has knocked my socks off. How amazing is a God that chooses to allow us to recieve so much joy from praising him. Standing there praising my father and savior for his goodness I also got to proclaim that "I'm Alive, I'm Alive, I'm Alive".

Each day I need to be grateful for the breath God has given me and the blessings he has bestowed on me. It is so easy to get bogged down with the worries and concerns of life that you forget to be grateful that you were given life in the first place. I remember thinking after singing the words of this song how insignificant the Buckeye Loss was compared to the truths I just proclaimed. Lord help me never to forget that You alone created me, You alone are good, that You alone made a way for me. Help me to take the joy that I feel when I am praising you on Sundays and reflect that in my everyday life. Help me to share the joy I feel with others in a real and pratical way. Help me model that joy for my children. Thank you that I am alive in you forever.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Crucified with Christ

I added this song to my blog about two weeks ago. I had just figured out how to create a playlist and was trying to think of songs I wanted and this one just popped in my head. I hadn't heard it in a while but something prompted me to find it. Then this Sunday at church our worship leader sang a solo of this song. After he sang it I remember thinking this is so cool, I love it when I can truly "sense" God's presence in my life. I know he's always there but sometimes God blesses me with a clear "Hello, are you paying attention to me". Nobody but God could orchestrate the use of this song in the past two weeks.

Our pastor proceeded to elaborate on this topic of being crucified with Christ. He used Luke 9:23-24 "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it" and Galations 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me". From these verses and Pastor Brad's sermon I was able to come away with two key points. First of all, the cross is about surrendering to the executions that advance my spiritual life. Basically I need to find those things, people or thoughts that are hindering my spirit life and remove them from my life. Although this seems a daunting task at times, I can be comforted by the second take home lesson-the need for daily surrender of all I am for all that he is. Christ has not asked me to do anything that he hasn't done and he lives within me to strengthen me as I do it.

Thankyou Lord for dying on the cross, thankyou that you made a way for me to know you and be part of your forever family. Help me to discern those things that need cleared away and help me to deny myself daily. Thankyou for revealing yourself so clearly and so personally to me these past two weeks. Thankyou for breathing the words of "Crucified with Christ" to Phillips,Craig and Dean so I could be reminded not only of your ultimete sacrifice but the sacrifice required in my own life as well.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One of those mornings

Here are a few scriptures I was lucky to come across today to help me with a morning that didn't go as smoothly as I had planned.

Phillipians 4:5- "Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near." Perfect as I had to yell halfway down the street today for my overly excited kids to stop and wait for mommy as we walked/ran to school today.

Ecclesiastes 7:9-"Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools."
Nice reminder when your adorable son doesn't want to pose for pictures on his first day of school.

Nahum 1:7-"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him."
Thanks Lord that you are perfect, your plans are perfect even though mine are not. Thankyou that you are always reliable, always available and always able and willing to forgive.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Kindergarten for Abby


Well it finally came, Abby's first day of kindergarten. She was very excited about attending and was glad that she was able to walk to school the first day. Abby is with a great teacher and has two good friends in her class. She got to wear a new dress and new shoes to her new school. It was so fun the first morning to see her huddled around her friends all excited about what the day would bring. After her big 2 and 1/2 hours of school she got to ride the bus home which she was so excited about. Here are some pictures of her big day.

Abby only got to go to school one day last week so we are looking forward to four days of kindergarten this week. Will starts his preschool on Wednesday which should be fun as well. I will be glad when everything that we have scheduled this fall starts and is on a regular schedule. I am so worried I am going to forget to show up for something.

The same day Abby started kindergarten she had her first soccer practice ever. I went to the sporting good store that day and was like a deer caught in headlights. I have no clue about soccer, I never played it. I found all the right equipment, right sizes and of course the perfect color-PINK!!!! Her are some pictures from that as well. What an exciting time for our family as we get to start school, start sports and start fall. Thankyou Lord for a great first day for Abby and I pray for a great first day for Will as well.

Friday, August 29, 2008

FUN FAMILY WEEKEND

Last weekend my parents, 2 brothers, sister-in-law and nephew joined us up at Lake Erie for a long weekend of family fun. It is the only time of year we all get together for a little mini vacation and it wouldn't be possible if my in-laws didn't allow us to use their cottage. My brother flew in from San Francisco and Mike was such a trooper to spend a whole weekend with my family after just getting back from India. We laid on the beach, swam, fished and even took in a local concert by a 60-70's rock band.



Here are some pictures and video from the fun weekend. It was the first time the kids got to fish with real bait, I was so happy that they each caught a fish and they were safely returned to the water. I remember fishing on a family vacation in High School and catching a fish, returning it to the water and then have it float belly up to the surface. Luckily the fish this day made it out alive minus one hook in the eye for Will's poor little fish. After Will caught his fish and we threw it back in the water he said, why aren't we going to eat it for dinner?



I am so grateful for these special family times that the Lord blesses us with. As much fun as we had I was reminded this morning of how amazing our time with Christ will be. As I listened to the song "Better is One day in your courts, Better is one day in your house, Better is one day in your courts then thousands elsewhere" I tried to explain this concept to the kids. I told them to think about their best day ever and that being in heaven with Christ is thousands of times better. I am not sure it really sank in but I know that teachable moments like this over time will definitely produce fruit in their lives. Thankyou Jesus for showing your love to me through my family and allowing me to be apart of your amazing family.




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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

He's Home!!!

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Well Mike arrived home safely this afternoon and on time. As you can see the kids were very excited to see their daddy. I can't not give enough praise to God for his protection over the past three weeks. The time went by suprisingly fast and we were all healthy and safe while apart. We are looking forward to some great family time this weekend at the lake. I love this time of year with school starting(Abby starts Kindergarten), Ohio State Football, the kids birthdays. I can't believe summer is almost over and fall is right around the corner. As I celebrate and rejoice in Mike's homecoming I can only imagine the joy I will feel at Christ's homecoming- I know it will be out of this world :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Comfort Zones

Tonight I had a chance to do something that was out of my comfort zone. I attended one of our churches get to know each other barbeque's with the kids all by myself. I often rely on Mike to start the conversations and I do not like going places by myself. Since Mike is out of town and this was the only time I could go to one I thought let's take a chance and do something I normally wouldn't do. I was excited about the possibility of meeting some new people from my church. We only know a handful of people and I have been really wanting the opportunity to get to know many others. Unfortunately I left the whole thing feeling defeated, disappointed and generally bummed out. I did not meet one new person and only had one other say hi to me.

I was upset with myself for not making more of an effort while I was there, although it was hard trying to mingle and keep my kids from throwing sand at the same time. I should have been more bold in going up to people and introducing myself. I know that people don't just fall in your lap but I guess I thought more people would be willing to strike up conversation with me. I really do enjoy our church and there are a lot of great people there, I just have to figure out how to meet them.

So as I came home with some tears in my eyes, I almost started a pity party for myself and then I got to thinking. Was the event a failure because the outcome was not what I had desired? Was it a success because I took the first step and attended something I normally would have been too afraid to? Most of all I am thinking what am I supposed to learn from this situation, what is God teaching me. I'm not completely sure, but I do know I should have prayed before we even left for God's guidance and that I would recognize his presence while there. I pray Lord that you will continue to provide me with opportunities that are outside my comfort zone so I can rely on you and await your outcomes instead of relying on myself and my own set of expectations. Thankyou that you are always present and willing to listen, guide, encourage and love me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Gold

I love the Olympics, I am completely sleep deprived but it is so worth it. I not only enjoy the actual event but all the side stories as well. To see all the training these athletes go through and the determination and commitment required is inspiring. I thought about how these athletes spend four long years preparing for a chance to win one single gold medal. It is amazing that one would spend so much of their time pursuing something made of metal. Something that will tarnish with the years and be left behind once life on earth ceases.

I will of course never obtain a gold medal but what is my prize, what am I training for or should I be training for. Paul gives great perspective in Phillipians 3:14 "I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus". What if I prepared for this prize with the same commitment as these olympic athletes, what would my life look like and why am I not doing so. In checking out some commentaries on this verse I found this one by JD Branon "When Life's race gets you down, remember, the greatest incentive you as a christian have is awaiting you at the finish line-seeing Christ face to face and sharing in his eternal glory. Keep that in mind and you'll keep going".

So may the Olympics not inspire me to be more committed towards an earthly prize but towards the ultimate prize that cannot be taken away and will top any record. Meeting my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and seeing him face to face. China has a pretty nice venue for the olympics this year but the venue Jesus Christ has prepared for my award ceremony is sure to be unsurpassed.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Google Analytics

I just started using google analytics about 2 weeks ago. I was curious if anyone was reading my blog. Having people read my blog is not my reason for starting this whole thing, it was really a way for me to sit down and think about all simple blessings I have in my life. It has also become a way to share pictures and funny stories about the kids for my friends/family that we aren't able to see as often as we would like. It has become especially useful now that Mike is in India and we can't get our web cams to work, now he can check the blog for new pictures and videos of the kiddos while he is away.

Well I started checking out the reports to see who if anyone reads my blog and I was shocked because it keeps track of visits. If other people have this program they must think I am a total blog addict and might even think I am a little on the obsessive side. Let be be clear, I do enjoy reading the blogs that I've found or been referred to, but I hope nobody thinks I am crazy. Many of the blogs I read inspire me and so I check them often when I need a little perspective. Sometimes something really exciting,challenging or thought provoking is happening in someones life and I am eager to see the results. No matter what, I hope I haven't made anyone uncomfortable with my blog viewing. Some of the blogs I don't even know the person but they were on a blog of a blog of someone I do know so I checked them out. Especially early on in the process I visited alot of sites for ideas for layout, template etc.

I don't know why this is bothering me but I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable with my visits. This whole blogging world is new to me, it has provided me with appreciation for my own family, encouraged my spiritual journey with Christ and has allowed me to pray for some really neat people. So if the number of my visits on your analytics program keeps increasing then keep up the good work. Its means you're interesting, encouraging and I think your thoughts are worth my "free time"when I get it. It means I respect your family values, your love for Christ and your ability to share a glimpse with others the simple blessings you have been given.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Events of the day

Well today was an ordinary day. The kids attended camp creation in the morning at their preschool. When I picked them up I asked them what they learned and this is how is went. Abby told me they learned about the 6th day of creation and then told me all the details of the book they read. The whole time Will is trying to chime in about what he learned and I told him he needed to wait until Abby was finished. When Abby finished talking about her day I told Will it was his turn and he says " I didn't learn anything today". NICE!! It still made me laugh, but thank goodness for the repetition he will recieve over the next few weeks at camp creation. Abby is so great about letting you know what she learned, what she thinks about things and answers questions really well. Will has great comedic timing and is so funny and most the time he doesn't even know it. I am so grateful for my kids and that God made each of them so very special.

Speaking of special, in talking to my husband today I learned something really cool. A couple of posts ago I mentioned that Phillipians 4:6-7 was going to be my go to verse while Mike is out of town. Mike told me today that the morning he left for India he read that verse to. How cool is that, God provided that perfect verse at the perfect time for both of us and we didn't even know it. I love it when God continues to surpise us like that. Thanks for the peace you are providing my family during this time Lord.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Irish Festival

Well the kids and grandparents and I had a great time at the Irish Festival. We managed to stay there 5 hours which is really far longer than I expected. I think my parents and I were more tired then the kids. They got to spend alot of time in the kids area with all the inflatables and trampolines. The weather was tolerable compared to past years. My dad wins the grandparent of the month award as he stood in line in the hot sun for an hour so the kids could bounce on the trampolines pictured below.


We managed to find a table and chairs to sit down and eat which can be a feat itself with all the people there. Will had a hotdog and fries, Abby a corndog and fries and my mom had a hotdog as well. I had a great burger from a local restaurant called Jason's and my dad had a corned beef sandwich with sauerkraut(sp?). So we had a variety of food, desserts and fun at this year's festival. We of coursed missed having Mike there and hope next year we can all attend again. This was my parents first time coming and they enjoyed it, maybe they can come next year as well.

My mom made an interesting comment there, we were talking about all the people there, over 100,000 usually attend throughout the weekend. We were talking about how many of the people really get into the Irish tradition and are loyal attenders. Then my mom said wouldn't it be cool if all these people were sold out for Christ. Wow, what a statement. That would be way cool if we Christians(I mean CHRIST FOLLOWERS, as my pastor would say) would be that enthusiastic and committed about our Lord and Savior. It just gave me a renewed commitment to make sure that I am not sold out for anything more than my Savior Jesus Christ. Gotta love my mom for always keeping it real and continuing to pass on her motherly wisdom. Hope my kids are inspired by me as much as I am by her. I love you mom.

Friday, August 1, 2008

He's There

Well Mike is finally safe in India. After about 48 hours of travel and wait time he got there safely and not as tired as he thought he might be. He actually ordered a pizza at 130 in the morning, as long as he has pizza I know he will survive. Right before he left there were two bombings in the city he was staying in, making us both a little nervous but allowing us to trust completely in God as we know we do not have control over those things. Dropping Mike off at the airport was very sad, wiping back the tears I was finally able to pull away. Abby asked why I was crying this time because I never cry when daddy goes away on business. I told her it was because daddy has never been gone this long and that I was going to miss him alot. Both Abby and Will answered "me too".

I have had lots of help this week from family who has graciously helped me get some free time. The kids have enjoyed the special activities and I am so grateful to have family that are so willing to help me out. Tommorrow we are going to the Dublin Irish Festival(dublinirishfestival.org) with my parents. It is the second biggest Irish Festival around and we always have a great time. Of course I am sad Mike will miss it as this has been a family tradition for a while, but I plan on taking pictures and video to share with him.

The verse I am using to help calm any worries that arise over the next few weeks while Mike is gone is Phillipians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will gaurd your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus". Thankyou Jesus that you provide for all things.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Safety City; Cincinnati Reds

Well Abby attended Safety City last week with her best friend in our hometown of Dublin Ohio. She had a blast learning about safety in all places from fire and policemen and Officer McGruff. She got to ride on a school bus, sit on a police motorcylce, ride big wheels thru a mock city as well as learn important things like when to call 911 and what to do about strangers. At the graduation on Friday all the kids sang songs that they had learned throughout the week and each had a safety theme. I was amazed at the memory these kids had, they sang alot of songs for just a few hours a day they attended last week. Mike was able to come and that was an added bonus for him and me as well as he could entertain Will as I tried to capture all the special moments.

After the graduation we all piled in the car and headed to Cincinnati for the Reds game. Will has been wearing his Griffey Jr tee shirt like crazy lately and so we thought we should get him to a game. The weather was perfect and so were the seats, we had a great view of Ken Griffey Jr and we think he waved at Will once. Kirk Herbstriet was also there as the honary captain and being that I adore him, this was a great surprise. The new stadium is definitely family friendly and we found lots of ways to entertain the kids. I included a video of the kids running the length of home plate to first place, one of the neat things to do on the outdoor level of the stadium. The Reds lost but we still had a great time. Thanks for the opportunity Lord to attend the game and return home safely. Thankyou for my family and the many great moments you have given us to share.





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Friday, July 25, 2008

PATIENCE

I wonder how I can go 12 hours in a day being as patient as I can be with my two lovely children then all of sudden in the last few minutes of the day lose the patience I tried so hard to maintain. Yesterday we had a normal day, a few little disagreements between the kiddos, repeating requests multiple times, blah blah blah. Yet I managed to keep it all together until we were getting ready for bed, then my patience decided that it only works from 7am to 7pm and my children had one chance to get it right or mommy got upset. After I put them to bed I apologized for getting frustrated to the kids and explained why I got uspet. They both understood why(Abby better than Will) and then we prayed together.

Then as I went for a run to cool off I thought about how lucky I am that God doesn't lose his patience with me and that God forgives me so easily. Also as an added bonus God allow my kids to forgive me easily as well. On multiple occasions I remember thinking before I went to bed, man I really blew it today or I wish I hadn't gotten upset about this or that. Then the next morning one of my kids will get in bed with me and say "Your the best Mommy!!!. I know this won't last forever but I am going to enjoy it as long as I can. Thank you God for the patience you extend to me that allows me to strive to be more patient with others and teach patience to my children. Thankyou that you haven't given up on me as this seems to be a daily struggle.

On a side note I just learned that Dr. Gorden Gee's son-in-law passed away this morning. I don't even know him or his wife but being a huge Buckeye fan and the fact that Dr. Gee was president while I was at OSU makes me grieve for that family. I hope he was a believer in Christ, I hope his family continues to be believers in Christ despite this diffficult time. I pray for comfort, complete healing for his wife and that they draw closer together as a family during this time. Please place people around them that will encourage them and provide them with the strength they will need to get through this. Thankyou for the protection of my family that you have so graciously provided and I pray for that same protection today lord as we travel to cincinnati for the Reds game.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Big Trucks

Well Sunday after church we went to COSI to see the Big Trucks exhibit. They had a variety of construction equipment to touch, sit in and acutually operate. Abby and Will both got to operate a mini bulldozer and had great fun. We took some great pictures and video. After that we went to eat at Applebees because for some reason Will really wanted to go there. We had a nice lunch and got to watch some of the Reds game on TV. Will was very interested and loved telling the servers about his Ken Griffey Jr. T-shirt.

We had a really good pratical message at church that morning about the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector(Luke 18:9-14). Basically the take home point was about not just doing things for God, but to really truly love God in all that we do(even when it is not easy). In this parable we saw the Pharisee as the perfect example of doing and saying all the right things yet exalting himself rather than God. The tax collector, admitting he was a sinner, asked for mercy and humbled himself before the Lord. I always find it interesting how God works and how it is often opposite to the way the world works. In the Pharisees time they were revered and honored by men but not justified by God. The Tax collector was hated and shunned by many of the world but loved and justified by God. Here is a great reminder to me to be confident in the Lord for my righteousness and not in my self. To seek to live by God's standards and not what the world is telling me is right. Help me to teach this lesson to my kids and to keep reminding myself as well.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fourth of July

Well it was another great July 4th up at Lake Erie. The weather was great, the fireworks were entertaining and we celebrated my father in law's 60th birthday. The kids had a blast with the sparklers and watching all the fireworks people were lighting off at the nearby piers. Abby got to stay up late and watch them with all the older teenage girls at lake erie and she was so excited. There is a great group of teenage and college girls up there who really take Abby under their wing and she was overjoyed. Will thought the fireworks were a little too loud and headed in early but he still had a great time.




We spent the following week up at Lake Erie and had such a great time swimming, pretend fishing(real poles but no bait), riding in the boat and of course a visit to Cedar Point. It was fun to see all the cousins together and Abby had much fun entertaining her 4 1/2 month old niece. I feel so blessed to have inlaws who so graciously allow us to invade their cottage for a week in July and other weekends throughout the year. Thankyou for the beauty of your creation, the sky,sun and water were so breathtaking to take in each day. Thankyou for the blessing of protecting my kids this week while we were in and near the water alot. Here are just some of the pictures from that great week.



Sunday, July 13, 2008

No Training Wheels



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Here is video of my daughter Abby riding her bike without training wheels. She has been doing this for about two weeks and I finally got a video of it on my new Flip video(http://www.theflip.com/) I am so excited to have videos of the kiddos doing their thing. Will is riding his tricycle and we hope to get him a bike with training wheels soon. I am very grateful to live in a cul-de-sac where the kids can play tennis, ride bikes and do a variety of other outdoor activities. Hope to post more soon. We just got back from vacation today at lake erie so hopefully I will have time this week to update on all the exciting events of the week. Thank you God for the simple blessing of portable video to capture these milestone moments, I know it seems silly but this technology has brougth me and others some great moments.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hearing God's Voice

I just started a personal summer bible study called "What Happens When Women say Yes to God" by Lysa Terkeurst. In the second chapter on hearing God's voice the author reveals a simple prayer she starts each morning to help her communicate with God and hear his voice. I found the prayer encouraging and helpful so I thought I would post a little summary of it.

Dear God, please give me the desire to want you more than anything else. I ask for the discipline to make my relationship with you top priority. Please give me the discernment to know the difference between my own thoughts and God's voice. I ask for clear direction at each crossroad in my life and that my relationship with you be characterized by sheer joy rather than a sense of duty. Amen

Well that about sums up what I continue to strive my relationship with God to be. Thank you God that I am a work in progress and that you are more than willing and able to shape me into the woman you want me to be.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ten wonderful years

This past weekend my wonderful husband and I celebrated our ten year anniversary. He suprised me by planning a whole weekend of fun events including a suprise destination. We went to Cincinnati for the weekend, which was nice because I really wanted to drive somewhere rather than fly, I just like being able to be close to the kids in case we are needed. Needless to say this was a perfect place to go because this is where Mike and I started our married life together.

We went to an amazing steak house called Jeff Ruby's and then to the show Jersey Boys. The show was awesome, probably one the top one or two I have been to. The music was amazing and the singers sounded just like the original Four Seasons. It was funny because I was too young for their music but was suprised how many songs I actually knew. The next day we drove around Montgomery and Blue Ash and took a look at our old apartment and condo, we had some great memories there and look forward to bringing the kids there some day to visit as well. After that we went and watch the Reds play the Boston Red SOx, it was a great game that went to ten innings, it would have been even better if the Reds had won.

Overall it was a great relaxing weekend, a time to reconnect with out being interrupted by our two lovely children. Thanks to God for sending me a loving husband who truly does cherish me. I am so grateful to have a husband that not only honors God but honors me as well. Thank you for this blessing God.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Great News!!!!!

Today I was so very fortunate to recieve the news that my recent breast biopsy was negative. My husband and I were pretty sure that this would be the case but there is always that element of fear and doubt that creeps around. I felt like we really trusted God and his plan for my health and I did have a peace about it. Of course part of me also wondered if God's plan would be different then what I hoped for and would I really be strong enough to trust him if the outcome was different. Everytime I saw something about breast cancer this week I thought, was I supposed to see this because it is preparing me for having breast cancer. As I look back at the events of this week I see God providing specific answers to my specific prayers. The doctors and staff handled my case just the way I had prayed about and even though the biopsy was a little scary, what a peace of mind it has now provided for me.


I don't want to forget this time I had with God where he provided specifically for my needs and he gave me a peace I know I would not have had without him. I also don't want to forget how easy it was for Satan to creep into my thoughts trying to discourage me from trusting in the one who created me. I tell you that the love I felt for my two children and husband this week was overflowing. The possibility of having cancer made me cling to them more than ever and what a sweet time of hugs,kisses and bonding we had this week. How good is it of God to give me such a special blessing during an uncertain time


I pray today for each person who got the phone call today from their doctor and did not recieve the news they had been hoping and maybe even praying for. May they recieve comfort from the only one who can truly provide it. May they recieve blessings they never would have seen or recognized because of this journey they are about to embark on. Thankyou Father for your words of comfort: "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

Friday, February 29, 2008

I Can't believe it

Well my son is finally potty trained. After many failed attempts over the past few months, he finally got it. It has been about three weeks since he has been in underwear all day and he is doing great. He is actually more comfortable going to the bathroom on his own and not needing to tell me about it then my 5 year old daughter is. My son is very private about his bathroom time which I think is why he had such a hard time with potty training at first.

It is amazing that when I leave the house now or take my son over for a playdate that I do not need to bring diapers, what a huge time saver and relief. I had prayed about potty training my son for a while, and thought how dumb is this that I am praying about such a thing, but over the course of a few weeks I could see God guiding me along on how to best approach it with my son. Thank you that you are never too busy for my prayers Lord and that you even delight in hearing about my son's potty training needs. Everytime my son goes to the bathroom now with out even needing to ask for help I feel so thankful for that simple blessing that God given to me.