Life has been crazy as usual, but we found time to snap some photos for this year's Christmas card. While I only included one at the top of the new look of the blog, I wanted to show some we snapped as well...
Enjoy... the kids are growing so fast!
The Girls, notice Ann Claire's Face!
How did these kids get so big! The days seem to go by slowly, but the years so fast!
I wanted to give a quick link to a little blog I am working on.
10 to Albania will be a work in progress coming up this week. I will be traveling with 9 women from my local church body to fly literally around the world to share God's love. We will be working there with local missionaries to visit a girl's group home, which I am thrilled about, hospitals, orphanages, and even leading a women's retreat there at a local evangelical christian church plant. ( A country that was the first to declare it's national atheism, and now the gospel is spreading!) It makes me think of the song by Newboys, God's Not Dead!
Would those of you out there in blog land please be joining us in prayer as we travel this coming Sunday-October 8. We are all moms and wives leaving our families behind to go serve a God we love. Please pray for our families and those God has already ordained special moments with in Albania.
What is it about old friends? They make us laugh until we think we will wet our pants. . they know our history. . they know all of our drama...they know all of our stories...
What's amazing about old friends is we can pick up right where we left off.
It's only that with old friends that I haven't seen in literally a year since the last Labor Day Trip, that within minutes of first sight in an airport parking lot, can we be laughing hysterically because we forgot the cute rental convertible would never hold 4 bags bigger than people. It's only with those friends that through laughter we would decide that the convertible was still worth the rental price and then begin to hold those bags with the top down. (that's the story that brought about laughter so hard I thought I might have an accident)
It was this month 20 years ago I met them all... some a few months later, but 20 years ago, we were freshman in college. What a different place I was in, what a different world it was. These girls were with me in some of the most crucial years of my life. It's when I went through some of my life's biggest decision making processes. They know it all, it doesn't even have to be discussed when we are together (although some stories are rehashed for hilarity's sake)but they KNOW me. OLD FRIENDS!
16 years ago, we began a tradition that has stuck, we've named ourselves "The Labor Day Ladies". There have been years of large groups, small groups, and even years of tragedy, one even met her future husband on this trip. There's no way to know where we will all be in 20 more years, but one's thing for sure. . we will laugh till we cry!
Today in America, something will happen that only happens twice in a century. At 11:11:11 it will be a momentous occasion because it is well. . 11-11-11. Something else happens special today that only will happen once. . R is turning 18. I assume that means he is now a man. He came to us at only age 9, a small, glasses wearing, Harry Potter loving, 3rd grader. He is now a football loving, state wrestling compete, college seeking, SAT studyin man. Wow. Words can't even describe the journey we have had with him. His recent struggles with epilepsy haven't left him burdened. He handles it. . great. I receive more compliments in my community for him that all my children combined. Sorry kids, but it's true. R leaves a mark on people he meets. His character shines through because he carries the cross inside him daily. He truly has a servant's heart because he not only wants to please man, but he wants to please his Lord. What a man and example he is to those twice his age. Thank you R, for being a light to Christ. I thought I would include some recent photos.
Here we are with Richard on his Football Senior night. Today he will play with his team in the playoffs for the state title.
I know, I know, it's been almost two months since I last posted!! I. Am. So. Sorry. What can I say. . I've been busy being a MOM. Our spring has been jammed packed with life. . baseball, spring dance recitals and all the rehearsals, getting ready for prom, spring football training, science fairs, field trips, school auctions, and well, the normal day to day craziness!!
I wanted to just give a big High Five out there to all the moms. Yes, a day late and a dollar short. . BUT still it must be acknowledged that mothering is the world's hardest job.
Mothering takes you out of any box you ever thought your life would look like! Mothering calls you to a different level of dependence on God. (for those of us that look to Him for council) Mothering requires a level of unselfishness that constantly challenges the flesh and self.
Mothering is the most rewarding job I've ever had. Mothering means a life depends on you. Mothering brings joys and emotions I've never felt. Mothering is a gift from the Lord.
This Mother's Day I am able to watch as sweet friends that have longed for babies are able to finally celebrate their first mother's day. I was able to sit at the lunch table with 4 generations of women in my family. I was reminded of the verse that Paul wrote to Timothy. "I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also." 2 Timothy 1:5 And so thankful for the word of God that has been lived out in the lives of my grandmother and mother. And I am praying daily I am living it out in my life as my daughters are learning to as well. What a blessing.
My sweet eldest son stood at Mother's Day lunch and read a letter he had penned himself. Through tears I listened as this sweet man who was once a boy at 9 that came to live with me read... "You are also the biggest fan we have in anything we do". . "you loved me from the very first day you met me". Seriously? I was speechless, crying, and thanking God for this sweet boy. (almost a man) God has given me the greatest, most challenging job in the world. And to all you mothers out there, I hope you had a fabulous, restful day.
Last night was a remarkable event. Over 1400 people in our community descended upon an arena for a first time dance off by "stars" in our our little part of the world. J participated and had a blast!! Although they didn't win. . they were more than gracious to have participated. (I think I was more competitive about it than he was!)
The most amazing and awesome winners of the night were the children of the Open Door Home here in Rome. The grand total for the night was read aloud at the end. . over $112,000. That's an awesome amount of money for our sweet little community. . special thanks to all of you out there that helped give. Children's lives will be changed.
I am a mom of 12 children. (Currently 10 at home) They range in ages 3-21. I love being a mom, but I also love learning about women everywhere and how they learn and grow as moms also. My husband and I are houseparents with a private christian organization in which we have permanent custody of children and raise them as our children. I hope to be of help to other moms while also learning about how other moms make it out there. God is so good to us and has blessed us with a full, busy, wonderful life. To Him be all glory and praise for literally getting us through each and every day.