Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy Day!

Today was a beautiful day as a Christian mother. I still remember holding my precious firstborn, overwhelmed at the love in my heart for this child that I thought my heart would burst. Then came the prayer. Lord save THIS child. May this child's lips come to confess you as her Lord and Savior.

The past year and a half Taylor has really wrestled with what she believes. After her asking some questions of the faith she asked to attend our church's Christianity Explored class. There were many late nights during those six weeks. We'd stay up and listen to her ask question after question. She wanted to believe but didn't yet. I felt vulnerable. Up to this point I have never had a child of mine say "I don't believe". But clearly God was at work in her heart so we prayed. Finally the Lord broke through and she believed! Praise the Lord! She asked to get baptized and we thought it best to wait to see fruit from her confession. Indeed we have.

Today it brought Chris and I, and all her family, great joy to witness her baptism.
Here is the gist of her testimony. As a side note, wow this girl has no issues speaking in public. She went off her notes making it more personable, and made consistent eye contact as she spoke.

As I've gotten older, I've realized that I am a sinner and its not just other people who have problems - I do too. I've cared alot about how I've looked to others so that people might think better of me - that's pride. I didn't see my sin in the moment, when I was boasting, or when I had done something wrong. Even though I was going to church, I didn't think of myself as a Christian.

I started having conversations with my mom and dad about the gospel and my dad encouraged me to go to Christianity Explored. It gave me questions to ponder like "what is heaven?" and "is there truly everlasting life?" and "is Jesus a real person who really did what the Bible said? This class let me wrestle with what I believe.
As we got deeper into the course, I believed that Jesus really did die on the cross for my sins and that I am need of mercy from God. I've committed myself to following Christ and to recognize my sins and repent. I've read about people whose conversions seemed much more dramatic, but I do believe and that’s what really matters. Romans says, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

I have felt God's help with being a servant at home and not caring as much about what I look like or what people think of me. Not that I don't sin, but I am able to recognize my sin and repent. I hope that through support from other Christians and reading the Bible, that through everything the Lord will help me in my walk with Him. I am here to get baptized so that I can say to all my family and friends and Grace Church that I am a committed follower of Christ.

There were a couple "amen's" when she said I've read about people whose conversions seemed much more dramatic, but I do believe and that's what really matters. As a mom I'm so grateful that she doesn't have a dramatic conversion :) But really every conversion is dramatic is it not? A dead heart brought to life by the saving power of Jesus Christ!  I pray that as the Lord continues his sanctifying process in her life that her faith would grow stronger and be made more evident with each passing trial!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

It was a tad bit cold she said :)
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

I had always dreamed of this moment.... Chris baptizing one of our kids!
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

So grateful for Chris' family that came today! Grateful after my mom's trying health these past six months that she was able to see her first grandchild get baptized!

Keith & Carrie, so sorry we couldn't find you for the picture! Probably off chasing one of your three boys :)

To God be the Glory!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Alexie

Today Alexie turns 2. Sometimes I wonder if it's a celebration for the child or the mom for surviving two years with an infant turned toddler.

ALexie is into everything these days. I do mean everything. She doesn't have a laid back bone in her petite body. Maybe for a few seconds she will sit still if you give her the beloved blankie. But usually that just gets totted alongside her as she runs around. The other day she climbed up onto the kitchen table and was swinging on the chandelier. If the barstools are pushed back she will be on top of the counter in seconds devouring,spilling,destroying whatever was left up there.

A few weeks ago we were all reviewing our school grammar on the floor in the family room. I gave her a some toys to play with around us and next thing I know I see her whining and pointing at her nose. I take a look and she shoved a teeny tiny bead up her nose as far as it could go. I'm really a pretty calm,collected mom but this made my heart beat a little fast! I wasn't sure where it would go, or if she would choke on it if it went any farther back. Chris had just left town that morning and the kids and I were still in our Pj's for the most part. I threw all the kids in the car and rushed off to our Dr. who said they'd work us in. Off we went into a waiting room with children who should be in school and instead are with their sister who stuck a bead up her nose. And mother of the year goes to...... dang. I lost it again. Anywho. The nurse left and as we waited for the dr. to come in Lexie was getting more and more angry at this bead in her nose. As she screamed at the top of her lungs I had the thought of plugging up her nostril that didn't have a bead in it. Sure enough the pressure made the bead come down just enough to where I could pop it out. Oh happy day. Trevor in his excitement opened up the door and yelled into the nurse/dr's station, "IT'S OUT!!!!!" Wonderful. I snuck out the back door and haven't been back.

Although Lexie has kept us all busy we so enjoy her. She loves music and dances like crazy when we put something on. She adores her siblings and often will yell for them to come upstairs with her and play dress up. Rylee is now her bath buddy. As I say to Lexie, "It's time for bath" she'll start yelling "Rylee! Rylee!!" And drags her in with her. Although Rylee doesn't mind. She wasn't all that excited about transitioning to showers. Lexie loves when Trevor drives her in her car all around the kitchen. A little fast for my liking but she squeals in delight so as long as no one gets hurt I let it be. She loves Taylor. Taylor is one of the few who can take her from me without crying. When I drop Taylor off somewhere and Lexie is with me she cries, "tay-tay, tay-tay". It's so sad!

Happy Birthday Alexie Jane:

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Not Abandon Me

This song has been ministering to my heart as of late. I have it on repeat practically daily. Not only does this song speak to where I feel like I am constantly living, disappointed by earthly things and trying hard to speak truth to my soul, but Rachel's voice and style is something I'd already be drawn to musically.

Chris calls this our "fall" song. I think it's more of our three year song. Oh how comforting it is to rest in God's goodness and know for certain he will not abandon us.

You will not abandon me
I've got your word your guarantee
When I've forgotten whose I am
I fix my eyes on your right hand
To Christ who mediates my sin
All my life is hid in him

Though the world around me fades
your love, it's stays the same
And at times you hide your face
the cross is still the place
where I'm convinced

That you will not abandon me
You sealed my heart your blood the ring
and like a flower opens up
you are teaching me to trust

Though the world around me fades
Oh your love stays the same
and at times you hide your face
the cross is still the place
where I'm convinced

That you are not like humans
That you should bend or falter
and we are at a loss to say how beautiful you are
and the source of all our confidence
rests in solely in your goodness
so yesterday, today, forever praise the Yahweh God.

Rachel Smith EP All Of Me

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Shelter in the Time of Storm

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

I'm not sure there is a book that I have referenced more this past year then Paul Tripp's book, A Shelter in the time of storm. It is just so, so, rich with God's truth.

I feel like this quote sums up so beautifully of what the Lord has been teaching me this past year:

"I have learned and I am learning that the physical delights of the created world were not designed to be the source and hope of my confidence. No, all of those things in their temporary elegance were meant to be signposts that point me to the
always available
always holy
goodness that can only be found in you.
I have learned and I am learning that confident living always rests its foundation on You.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Psalm 27:13

Losing Heart

This weekend we will celebrate Grace Church's third year anniversary. As one can tell my blogging has taken a much slower pace since church planting began. Life has just been full speed fast. Having a baby while church planting will also to that to you :)

This picture hangs on Chris' office to remind us of our humble beginnings. Just a group of 20 something kids off to conquer and change the world. We were and still are on a Gospel mission. This picture was taken before a baby among us friend was born dead. Before we saw a marriage fall apart and others on the brink. Before the group of churches we were apart of would go through, and still, a time of shaking like never before. We had no idea what was before us. Chris joked today that he is like the President who looks all youthful and fancy free in his inauguration picture and then a couple years into the deal is completely grey with bags under his eyes. HA! There really is no preparing for being a Sr. Pastor or I'll even venture to say Sr. Pastor's wife.

I was tremendously fearful to plant this church and I can say sadly that for the first time, as a ministry couple, I have actually wanted to give up at some points in the past three years. It has tried me like nothing else. Which is really kind of sad to say. I do not know suffering. I am blessed beyond belief with a Godly, caring husband and four healthy children. And yet, in my selfish sinful nature I have questioned our ministry's effectiveness, our calling and wanted to throw in the towel.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14.

Oh what a beautiful Psalm chapter 27 is. It has been near to my heart for the past year. I dwell on it often and refer back to Paul Trip's book A Shelter in A Time of Struggle almost daily.

"Your motivation to continue is only as strong as what you have placed your hope in. Perhaps this is why we so easily lose heart in the face of obstacles, opposition, or difficulty. Perhaps what we have unwittingly done is try to build our reason for continuing on the shifting sand of flawed and impermanent things that were never meant ot be the foundation of our meaning and purpose or our inner sense of well-being. No human being is capable of carrying your hope. This side of heaven we are all weak and flawed in some way. No circumstance can carry your hope. Every situation you are in is in some way touched by the brokenness of the fall and isn't under your control. Amassing physical pleasures and possessions won't give you lasting hope. For all of their momentary enjoyment, they fill the senses but do not satisfy the heart. When you look horizontally for your reason to continue you will inevitably end up losing hope.

There is only one place where stable and reliable hope can be found. There is only one place of rest for your heart and surety for your soul. There is only one reliable place to find your reason to get up in the morning and continue. When your hope is in the Lord, when you are getting your inner sense of well-being and security from him, when he is the reason you continue even when things are hard, then you are building your life on something that is reliable and sure.

It has been an exhausting, exhilarating three years and I wouldn't trade any of it in for anything. I LOVE our church. I love the realness of people. There is no pretending at Grace Church for the Gospel has freed us to be the sinners in need of grace that we are.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Road to Oz- Taylor

So a little update on Taylor. Last fall she took voice lessons from a local voice coach. Taylor, as we've always known, has a beautiful voice and great pitch! After a few months we decided to give acting a try. There were some free classes at a local library from a youth theatre offering up camps in the summer. Taylor chose to take a week long acting camp. She had a blast! In the midst of the camp were auditions to Road to OZ. She wanted to try out but was really nervous. Chris and I already had plans for the night so we went back and forth and back and forth and decided to not have her audition. Well our plans ended a little early and I said Taylor let's do this! So with a minute to spare she arrived and signed up to audition. The play was for ages 7-18 and Trevor not wanting to be left out, auditioned as well. I was a little shocked but didn't want to discourage his ambition. So off he went into a room by himself with a handful of other seven year olds! I was so nervous for him. He came out and Taylor went in! Then I was nervous for her. There were quite a few youth auditioning that day. I did the math and prepared their hearts to not get a role. I emphasized how proud I was of them.

A couple days later I received an email from the youth theatre and the headline said, "We're sorry...." So I read it and thought yep like I thought. Then I received another e-mail saying "Congratulations..." I was trying to figure out who got in and who didn't! Well poor Trevor took the news hard that morning. Taylor had gotten a small role. I should've saw that coming but didn't. Thankful Trevor recovered and we have entered the theatre world of rehearsals, tech nights and dress rehearsals! It's been a great experience!

At this point I should add that Taylor's two neighborhood friends have been on this journey together. From the library, to the acting camp, to auditioning together, to having the three of them getting roles as the three adepts. Aujah, Aurah, and some other "A" name. I was so grateful for other moms to carpool and share the load with and it's been so convenient to live only three miles from the theater!

Now just in case your wondering what and Adept is. Technically the webster definition is: a highly skilled or well-trained individual. In the the Road to Oz they are adept in sorcery. EEK. My heart sank when I read that first e-mail. I said to Chris... do we let her do this? Sorcery isn't exactly something we condone or practice in our worldview Ha! But this is just a child's play and Taylor's first break! I was conflicted all morning. What we came to was there is good an evil in every story. Chris had just finished preaching a sermon on Exodus where the magicians replicate every plague that the Lord does except for the last one. Will our daughter never be allowed to play an evil part in the bible either? The question for us came down to is Taylor heart drawn towards evil? Does she show consistent understanding of good and evil and embrace a Christian worldview? After answering these questions we decided that she could indeed participate in the play with this role.

I'm glad we did too. As at first the adepts used their gifts for evil but in the end they made a potion to turn OZ back to love and happiness. The whole tone of the play was upbeat and quite humorous.

So last night was the girls big debut! Taylor did great and quite enjoyed the stage. As a friend said, performing is in the Daukas blood. It's in the Jones and Winter's blood as well. She comes by it naturally :) Trevor throughly enjoyed watching last night and after it was over was convinced that he indeed could've been the "love magnet" if they had given him the chance. I think he will be joining his sister next summer in some acting camps.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy 6th Birthday Rylee

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Happy Birthday my sweet Rylee. You like to tumble and make people laugh. You still love your blankie despite all our efforts to wean you. You love to cuddle and snuggle close. You are so very smart. I could listen to your cute voice read such big words all day long! You are a free sprit. Artistic. Sometimes just flittering and fluttering at your own pace through life! We are blessed to have you in our family Rylee Grace!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Familiar Ground

It really is fun having another toddler in the house. With almost four years between Rylee & Alexie I thought for some time I had left the crazy, cute, toddler days behind. I have found myself on familiar ground lately. Something like, "Oh yes I remember now". It's amazing how easy we can forget. I've been grateful for this blog. It's helped me look back and remember Trevor & Rylee as toddlers 15 months apart.

Not much is different from those days to now. Yes it is unbelievably helpful to have Taylor around. You know when you've discovered poop coming out everywhere it's helpful to be able to say, someone help me, and actually have help and not just give you a blank stare or run around in circles around you and the baby and poop. So basically I just have a bigger house for Alexie to destroy and make messes in, then back in t,t & r's day.

Having a toddler equals *those* days.

You know the days when markers get left out by the older ones in the school room and they fail to put them back in the high spot they are supposed to be. Instead they are on the table screaming out to toddler hands. DRAW EVERYWHERE AND ON EVERYTHING FAST!

So excited to have her picture taken. thanks trevor I think I have a picture of you looking like this too.

She looks super sorry huh?

Here I discovered she just finished eating my brand new chapstick...

Last week I failed to realize that Chris didn't have time to put everything away from dinner as he left for a meeting.

She had taking bites out of every last piece. No leftovers for the rest of us...

Ah but yesterday was super fun. Trevor got the grand idea of making a "cage" for an egg and then drop it from the top of the stairs to see if the cage would protect the egg. It didn't. Raw egg everywhere. He did the best he could to clean it up but I discovered that he used my broom and the thingy that you sweep all the stuff into for dumping. Both were covered with raw egg. I am happy to report that his second attempt at creating a cage for the egg was successful. No cracked egg. Aren't I a great mom for letting him try again?!?! Moments later I find that Lexie had a serious poop explosion. Probably from all the watermelon. She had proceeded to come down the two flights of stairs we have on her bottom, exploding just a little bit more out of her diaper with each step. No picture for that one. You're welcome. Oh and all this after I hired a little cleaning help a day earlier due to some back issues I've been having. Why do I even try. Fun times indeed.

I really can laugh. And I understand better now when mom's say it only gets harder when they get older. I have been feeling the "older" disobedience days lately and it's just not funny. Alexie and her mess I can laugh at. So those with little ones take a picture and laugh :) It will be over before you know it!

Want to know if it compares to my early t & r days? This old post gave me a good laugh.

I really do watch my kids. Really.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

12 Year Trip.

Chris and I celebrated 12 years back in early July. First time in awhile we hit an anniversary where I wasn't pregnant or nursing. I was thrilled to learn that Chris had planned a mini trip for the two of us. I was even more thrilled to learn he was taking me to my favorite vacation spot, Carlsbad. We haven't been back there just the two of us without kids since our honeymoon days. Often times trips can be more of a stress then I deem worth. It's so hard finding babysitters and then I fret can our sitters actually handle our children. Will our children do a number on them and they'll see us for the failing parents I often feel like we are? Chris, knowing this was a temptation, sought to find all the sitters ahead of time for us. He went on to sweetly tell me who was taking our kids and where they would be and I was like babe I really don't care. Drop them off where ever and get me the heck out of here. HA! It's just been that kind of year and I knew he needed a chance to breath in deep if not more then I did. Thanks to my sister-in-law and a friend living with us we were able to sneak in one extra night! So we left Sunday late afternoon and arrived in the beautiful Carlsbad California weather. All photo's taken from our phones..

Getting ready to take off!
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

I can't remember if this was before or after the flight attendant yelled at me. Yep I totally got scolded at the start of my anniversary trip. By this, who I at first thought was cute, Texas lady, strong accent and all. She put me in my place. We sat in the emergency exit row since there were only two seats. Let me mention I do NOT like flying. So I was cracking a few jokes maybe. Well Texas lady came to explain the enormous responsibility we all have sitting in these sets of seats ect. I even pulled out the little card to look at as she was going through. In the middle of the talk about crashing she says something to the effect of, "If any of you feel unsafe sitting in these seats you can asked to be moved." And I laughed. Before I could even take a breath from my laugh she snaps,


Yes I'm paying attention. It's not these seats that are making me feel unsafe it's the fact that we even see the need to HAVE these seats and your explanation on how to unload the plane that make me unsafe. Ha. It's so fun being married to me... she went on her merry way. Thankful it was a very short flight.

Back to happy thoughts. How can you go wrong with this forecast?!?!

Guess what we scored?!? This was not planned but Chris worked the guy at the counter and got us a SWEET deal on this and ended up being just about the same cost as our original rental car plan.

Oh man I loved this car! Chris mostly drove but the one time I did drive it I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It is now a life long dream to get a convertible. Worldly? Yes. But man oh man I don't think it's a stretch to say God made convertibles for man (woman) to enjoy and enjoy we did!

Chris' turn! He drove it well. Which suited my preference of dancing like a crazy 20 year old well.

Ok so honestly it's hard to tell what I like more. Convertibles or beach. Living in Carlsbad has also been a life long dream. So basically this weekend was like all my dreams coming to fruition. I have my dream man, car, place. How does one return to reality after that!? It was hard let me tell ya ;)

We went to this awesome Italian place that we love in Carlsbad, but are always to stressed to enjoy with our four kids while on vacation, for dinner.

Afterwards we picked up our tradition of playing cribbage. Best of three. And guess who won? Guess I can't have it all now can I?

The next day we drove (danced) around town and decided to head to LA to try out a lunch place.

In typical LA fashion we drove into the downtown area with an LAPD helicopter overhead. Nice. Let's just say living in downtown LA... not a dream of mine. It was crazy nuts.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

The restaurant we went to was amazing and worth all the craziness we endured getting there. Be sure to check it out if you are ever out there. Thanks Andrea for the tip!

Check out the dessert display case...heck ya!

Time to head back home.

I don't think we could've asked for a better anniversary trip! Honestly, short of our honeymoon, it's one of our best trips to date. I would've taken a few more days that's for sure but I am grateful to God for how he stretched out the 2 1/2 days we did have. At the end of the day I left my dream car and dream location behind for my cracker infested minivan and hot and lately humid home. But I left with my dream man. That I wouldn't trade for the world. Happy 12 years babe. Here's to many, many, more.

I'll end with a little video I took for the kids to see their mom and dad living it up ;) See kids I can be fun!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Enduring Fatigue

In talking with Chris this week he was mentioning how fatigued he has been as of late. He brought it up to relate to my own recognition a few weeks ago of my growing fatigue. We both had thought that perhaps some levels were off in our bodies or most likely we are just getting old and losing stamina. Then I stopped and said, "Babe let me just remind you of all that has happened since January."

It began with my parents putting their house up for sale and buying one two doors down. If only it was that simple. It was chalked full of drama. Buyer's in. Buyer's out. Buyer's in. I walked down to the house that was to be theirs the final week and prayed and pleaded at the door to God. I'm sure I looked like a crazy lady with all the pacing I did back and forth with tears. I'm surprised the cops didn't show up. I can't think of anything else I have consistently asked God for the past three years since living in Peoria other then this. "Please God make a way for my parents to move!" I missed them. I missed living close and having grown up with my mom always living on the edge with her health, I have an appreciation for how short time is here on earth. I was sick of spending that time driving an hour one way to visit.

Back to my recounting, buyer's in. They Move. We help them pack and unpack while mom gets increasingly sicker. We weren't sure why. Mom goes to the ER two weeks to the date of moving in. Was told she mostly likely had Ovarian Cancer and was in the end stages. Cry for 24 hrs straight. I never knew you could have a constant flow of tears. It's actually possible to fall asleep crying and wake up five hours later to realize you are still crying. Then we are told it's not cancer. PRAISE THE LORD! Full hysterectomy is done to remove a 12cm cyst. Rejoice surgery went well. The next day she begins bleeding internally. Another surgery. More tears and real fears of her dying. Four blood transfusions. 16 long days in the hospital mostly ICU.

One night I returned home around 10pm to find Chris in a growing amount of abdominal pain. We both figured, heck we've been living at a hospital let's just go back.
We left the ER at 2am knowing Chris was in need of gall bladder surgery.

By God's grace only my mom returned back home, two doors down. I was still fearful of her dying but I guess that's just a state of living I've grown accustomed to. Even though she was returning home, as a dr. put it so nicely the day she was leaving, "you are one sick woman." I wanted to beat him up. Of course after 16 days I wanted to beat everyone up there. We were all done with that place. Mostly my mom. But she had a long road ahead of her. She starts to improve. Rejoice. Infection is found. Tears. And the tunnel, although getting shorter, feels oh so long.

Meanwhile we sneak in a much needed family week long trip to Disneyland. We didn't even tell the kids till the moment we were leaving. Pure joy.

We return and Chris goes in for gall bladder surgery. Which was longer and more complicated then anticipated but praise God he gave us the wisdom to take it out before it turned into an even more complicated full abdominal surgery! I was told surgery would take 40 minutes to an hour. 2 1/2 hours later the surgeon comes out to tell me that my husband had one diseased gall bladder. Four times larger then a normal one. That next week was absolutely awful for Chris but he and I survived. I had to do things I never thought I'd have to do for my husband. It helped having my dad two doors down heroically serving and changing bandages left and right for months. I figured I could handle a week.

Somehow in the midst of all of this I had more photography business then I could handle. I was having to turn people away for the first time ever. I was grateful for the income, we were racking up our fair share of eating out. And also grateful for the occasional distraction from my roller coaster life. I don't think I was aware of the toll it was taking on me. When I returned my last clients edited pictures I felt like I could breath for the first time in awhile.

Our sweet Taylor turned 10 and I completely redid her room, blue paint and everything, for her birthday. It was all she wanted for her birthday.

Now Chris and I are finishing up our three weeks stretch of leading worship for blackstone. A privilege we have had for the past eight years. It gives us sweet time together in the mornings But we are up at 5am and back home by 9am.

So yes love, we are tired. It has been THE most insane, emotional, tiring five months I can remember. God has been faithful. He has sustained our every step. He has kept us in love and unified. But it still has it's effects. I have unreturned e-mails. Phone calls. My house is a disorganized mess. I have put on weight. I've said no to a handful of photography requests and my son might have just memorized every word to Tao Cruz's song Dynamite. But it's ok. I live in a state of renewed gratefulness. For today my loved ones don't have cancer, I am not driving back and forth from home to hospitals. My dad and mom still live two doors down. For today we are alive. We live as imperfect sinners being perfected by our loving Savior. If I've learned anything these past couple months it's that there are no guarantees of anything other then God finishing and completing his work in his children. He WIll bring us safely home. All things WILL be made new. And there WILL be a day where every tear will be wiped away.

*keep my mama in your prayers. She is most definitely still in the tunnel straining to see the light at the end. And as we have joked with her not "that" light. We mean the light that let's her play with her grandkids, enjoy swimming in her new pool and shopping with her daughter and daughter in-law.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Taylor!

I haven't posted anything in a long time.... life is just so full. Full of laughter, tears, homeschooling, training four hearts, a toddler who won't sit still. I have to break my silence to recognize that Taylor has been apart of Chris & I's life for ten years today. A whole decade!! Oh how I love this girl. She is my daughter and year by year becoming my friend. I have so much fun with her and am beyond excited to see what God has in store for her these next ten years. Although I admit it is bittersweet to see my baby grow up. I've spent the past month looking at pictures of her and just marveling at how fast the time has gone. So, so fast. Here is a slideshow I put together, quite quickly I should add, of her over the past ten years. Love you Tay.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lunar Eclipse 2011

For school this year the kids & I are studying Astronomy. We ALL are learning a ton of amazing facts about planets and our solar system. I had one of those "you know you're a homeschool mom when..." moments back in December. I learned that there was going to be a total lunar eclipse. Last one until April 2014! Having just finished a study on the moon there was no way I was going to pass this experience up. I set my alarm quite early, like an ungodly hour. Spent the first hour watching the moon, drinking coffee and sitting under the heater in our backyard by myself. Now I don't even get up on school days this early! Here I was on a Saturday morning waking myself up like it was christmas to see the lunar eclipse :) Around 5:45 or so I woke up Taylor and she joined me in the awe watching of the moon getting swallowed up. Trevor joined us shortly there after but didn't hang quite as long outside as Taylor and I did. Eventually the sun began to rise and the moon was setting to the point where we could no longer see it from our house. Tay & I jumped in the car to get a better view of the horizon but I think during that three minute drive the sun came up to much to see it fully eclipsed. Either way it was totally worth missing my opportunity to sleep in on a Saturday morning. We will however hike a mountain or get a little more out of town for the next one...

What an amazing creator God we worship!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fall 2011 Pictures

Some of you lucky few out there received Christmas cards from us. That was before one of my children spilled water all over the remaining "to go out" pile. Bummer. So I apologize to those who felt like they were missing out. I just couldn't bare the thought of buying more cards from Costco to be unsatisfied with. Why oh why do I keep going back? Cost I know. The color is AWFUL!! I must do something different next year...

Anyhow here are some pictures from a little November session in the park with my kids.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

These already feel outdated to me. They grow SO FAST! Oh how I love them... I am one blessed mama.