Friday, October 31, 2008

Costume Cutness

In the spirit of our Disney trip the kids all dressed up in their favorite Disney attire for tonight's festivities

Princess Taylor:

Trevor as Buzz Lightyear, To Infinity and Beyond!

The wings light up and everything!

And last but not least- Rylee as Tink

Notice Taylor's smile... number two feel out yesterday :-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Disney Pics- Day One

Well we have returned and rolling slowly back into normal life. Disney World was amazing. Having no memory of being there I finally "get" what makes Disney World so much different than Disney Land. A place I DO remember. I couldn't get over how much land Disney owns and how much there is to experience.

I am overwhelmed by the amount of pictures I have to share and well at this point no creative way to present it. My mind and body are still recovering from the week. So hang with me as I post some pictures over the next couple of days.

We spent our first day a Magic Kingdom. It's the only park you have to take a ferry or monorail to get to. We arrived just in time for the opening ceremony. Mickey and others arrive on the disney train, sing a little song and declare the park open while throwing mickey confetti at you. The kids loved it and yes I cried. I was caught up in the "magic" of it all :-) Walking down main street the castle came into view. Pictures do not do this castle justice!

Taylor's face was priceless and pretty much stayed this way for the remainder of the week.

We were blessed to have gone with Disney experts. Chris' twin Scott and his wife Jessica as well as Chris' parents have these parks down to a science. In a matter of hours we had rode over six rides with the longest line lasting less than 10 minutes. Without them Chris and I would've wondered around aimlessly the first day!

Rylee & Trevor were our "thrill" seekers. Both amazed me all week with their fearless spirit. Taylor, not so much.

Trevor is sitting next to Chris. I assure you Rylee & Trevor take after Chris with their thrill seeking attitude. I had to practice my deep breathing exercises while Dumbo took us higher and higher! All the while yelling "THIS IS FUN" for my two year old's sake sitting next to me :-)

Taylor preferred calmer rides such as It's a small world and Peter Pan. She did get a little crazy with the tea cups though!

We ended our first night with a spectacular firework show over the castle- and yes I cried again :-)

After the first day and all that we did, I couldn't believe we still had seven more days left! My feet weren't to sure they could believe it either!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Disney World


Tomorrow we leave for a much anticipated, nine day trip, to Disney World. This trip has been in the works for over a year and I can hardly believe that it is finally here! We are going with Chris' parents and Chris' brother Scott's family. The kids can't wait to have a whole week with their cousin Addy who is Rylee's age and well they can't wait to meet Mickey!

We also made a last minute call yesterday to put our house up for sale while we were gone. Packing for five and getting my house back into "showing" shape turned out to be quite the job and I'm so thankful for the singles who came and helped us out today!

I know I am asking for a miracle- but if you could pray that the Lord would allow our house to sale this week we would appreciate it! The months our house was up in early spring I began experiencing back pain like I haven't ever before and only a few hours into cleaning and packing yesterday I was saddened to have it come back again. I know God has a plan and I fully trust that if he wants us to move to Peoria he will sale our house in his perfect time and give me grace for my back!

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Meal Planning and Such

A few weeks ago at our moms 2 moms group at our church a few ladies gave their testimonies of how they use meal planning to serve their family. There were so many great ideas and suggestions! But instead of re-typing it all I thought I'd link to two blogs that have already posted about this meeting.

One is my friend Stephanie, she even scanned some of the documents they gave us. So helpful!

Also my sister-in-law and friend Carrie wrote up her thoughts and linked to some of her meals for this month!

Thanks gals!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Trevor's First Sleepover

Trevor was invited to his first sleepover this weekend. For all the people we will be having to say goodbye to in our move to Peoria there are some pretty awesome people already living there for us to join. One being Chris' brother Jeff and his wife Brandy. They have a three year old son named Ethan who Trevor loves. The two of them together are a sight to be seen! They play and laugh and run around like they are best buds. We met up with them at the zoo and they took Trevor home for the afternoon and night. I was a little nervous about how my boy would behave but by God's grace he got a glowing report from Uncle Jeff & Aunt Brandy AND an invite to come back again. Thanks so much guys for taking Trevor- he had so much fun! We look forward to having Ethan spend the night at our house too!

Again I feel like my kids are growing up before my eyes!

Missing Tooth

Last week Taylor lost her first top tooth. It had been loose earlier in the day and she seemed pretty determined to get it out before Chris returned home from his Pastor's retreat. Well while I was taking a shower I hear the door slam open and Taylor screams at the top of her lungs "OH MY GOSH THERE IS BLOOD EVERYWHERE!!!!" Things you don't want to hear while taking a shower. After I freaked out for a split second I remembered her tooth and sure enough as I opened the door she had blood dripping from her tooth and mouth. She thought it was a good idea to twist her tooth sideways which only angered it. Thankfully after giving her a wet rag she calmed down and the tooth fell right out.

Just another reminder that my baby girl is growing up!

On another funny tooth note- Trevor said to Taylor that night- "Taylor if the tooth fairy brings you money you should share with me, cause God's word says to share." I appreciate how he choose just this moment to apply God's truth we've been teaching him :-) But sure enough my sweet girl woke up and shared her money with Trevor.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Trying Of My Faith


My faith has been tried lately. Tried in regards to our future, past, and pretty much everything in between. I have so benefited from reading Octavius Winslow's The Precious Things Of God lately. This section on faith pretty much sums up what I have been experiencing.

"The trial of faith is precious because it attests it's reality. Apart from it's trial, what an uncertainty attaches to faith! Untried faith is uncertain faith, just as unsmelted ore is suspicious ore. A believing man knows not upon what he is really leaning until God brings his dependence to the proof. Has he wealth? has he strength? has he friends? has he influence? has he interest? has he gifts? How far he may be secretly and unsuspectingly leaning upon one or more of these and not upon God, he cannot know until God tries him. But when all these creature-dependencies, these human supports, tremble and fall from beneath him- when the flood-tide of sorrow has swept them away, or the wintry blast of adversity has scattered them, then comes the grand test of his true support,- he stands or falls, raises his head in hope or droops it in despair, just as is the reality and strength of his faith in God."

a little later on in the chapter in talking about having faith tested in tried in a fiery furnace he says,

"Oh to have the dross of carnality, and the alloy of unbelief, which so dims the luster and paralyzes the vigor of faith destroyed! Nothing, after the fiery trial, may be left, of all that looked so divine, so holy, and so spiritual, but one grain of the pure gold of faith- yet that one grain of faith, obscure, infinitesimal as it may seem, outweigh in its real value millions of worlds, and it shall never, never perish. "

I feel more dependent on the Lord now than ever. So many questions, battling fears and doubts, mixed in with excitement and joy. But processing all that I'm truly afraid of has revealed from what I was leaning upon. Oh that my faith would grow more and more and my feet would be placed firmly upon the rock Jesus.

"He that has faith in God has every desire of his heart fulfilled."

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Telling Taylor


A few weeks ago while Chris and I were in a conversation when Taylor comes up to us and says, "Oh I get it we are like planting a church right? I keep wondering what you guys are talking about but I get it now!" Opps. That was a good lesson for Chris and I. We sat down with her and told her that we are praying about planting a church and that it's best to keep that prayer a secret for now. She said ok and almost every night from then on she would pray about planting a church at the dinner table and we prayed to ourselves that she would keep the secret for a few more weeks.

So on monday after the announcement we told her that we were indeed planting a church. She squealed with excitement and asked if she could help pass out bulletins and greet people. We thought we made it through that without tears but an hour later you could see her mind spinning and then came the questions. Is Lauren going? And off she went naming her friends names. With each one we had to say no. Then came the tears for both of us. She sat on my lap and cried for a little while to which Rylee comes over and compassionatly says, "Sorry Tay,tay" Then she said, "Look tay" and made this face:

We laughed all morning over this! What a great sense of humor Rylee has. She knew just the right moment to bring her humor in too!

We have had great talks with Taylor this week. So much grace is upon her life. She is eager to go tell other little boys and girls who don't know Jesus about him and understands that this is why we are moving away. The other night Chris and I came home from a date and returned to some cards the kids had made for us. Here's one of the cards Taylor's made:

I am excited to see how the Lord is going to use this move in her life!

Friday, October 03, 2008

A West Side Story


I'm not a west valley girl. There I've said it. It's out in the open. I've lived in the East Valley for almost 30 years. Everything that I've ever known and loved is East of Phoenix. Once decided we would plant a local church, then came the obvious questions of where. Over the years there have been hundreds of requests from people desiring a Sovereign Grace church to come to the west side. Four more came between May and Sept. So, I think it was pretty much decided in the Pastor's mind, including my husbands from the beginning as to where we'd go but he humored me by having discussions. I hate to say it but I threw out every place possible East of Phoenix and not one place west. They all got shot down and with good reason.

I still remember our very first scouting trip out west in May. He took me to Surprise AZ, which is about as far west as you can go and still be in civilization. My opinion only. I'd say it's over an hour from our current house if not more. I was struggling with leaving behind my family and friends and with each passing mile and minute I felt saddened and numb. It didn't help that Chris wasn't sure how to get there so unknowingly he took the most abandoned road. There were miles and miles of nothing but dirt during a monsoon storm. It felt like something out of an old western movie. I looked at him at one point and said something like, "You've got to be kidding me!" Any resistance I had going west was only increasing.

After leaving Surprise, which once we GOT there I'll admit was really nice, we headed east towards the Cardinals Stadium. A place I immediately fell in love with AND it's apart of the West Valley. We sat down to order and the manager came up and asked us if this was our first time at her restaurant? We told her it was and we were considering moving out to the west valley, did she have any suggestions as to where to live? The gal, I suspect was in her early thirties, unmarried, begins to tell us all that she loves about the West Valley. Where the best places were, among other things. I had reasons to suspect she did not know the Lord. She gave us the best places to drink & party. While she was talking I felt the Lord asking me, "Would you go West so you can share the gospel with her?" "Would you leave your family and friends and preferences behind so someone like her could know my love through the cross?" That was a life changing moment. I literally had to wipe tears away while she was talking to us my heart was that moved. At that moment the west valley was no longer a place to me but rather real people who are lost and need gospel centered, mission minded believers to come into their worlds and tell them about the Savior. Now that's not to say I haven't struggled since then but the "where" to go was settled in my mind. I have come to really enjoy our visits to Peoria. There is a lot to love.

So in repeating my husband's words from the Family Meeting, We are going West because:
1. There are lost people there who are going to hell and our heart beats for evangelism
2. There are believers who are choking on the pollution of legalism and condemnation and need to breathe the gospel of grace
3. The day of glory is fast approaching and God will reward those in Christ and condemn those who are not in Him

So although I may always be an East Valley girl deep down, the Lord has given me a heart for the West Valley and I know that in time it too will feel like home.