Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

(Did anybody notice the WR Chieftan in the picture?)

Our evening was filled with a trip to Nana's and Papa's for soup and yummy goodies. Then we headed to our friend's house for a haunted house and a hayride through their neighborhood for trick or treating. What a fun night!!!

A rag doll, a monkey, Sleeping Beauty, a disco queen, a basketball star, and a cheerleader; on no other night than Halloween can you find all these characters in one family. (boo on those that didn't dress up) We love Halloween, and I noticed J sniffing the candy bowl once we got home, and emptied all the candy into one big bowl. I have decided Halloween is when the Holiday diet issues begin, I cannot resist the yummy Halloween candy in all its glory. Thanks kids for doing a good job so mom can partake of your earnings!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So the saga begins!!

Welcome to cold and flu season. Can you imagine a cold running its course through a family of 13? We can. It has hit us and is here to stay for a while. 2 have had it, and 6 currently have it and only 5 to go. It's just late October. We still have many months of cold and flu season to go. So. . . I must pull up my bootstraps and be ready for all the sickness that lies ahead of us.

Speaking of health issues, we are praising God over here at our house. A nasty lump on my chest surfaced several weeks ago. Of course my mind immediately imagined myself at an oncologist's office. (why do we do that to ourselves?) After a long, lengthy doctor's appt, it's just a cyst. It has to be removed next week, but is just an in-office procedure. God must be laughing at me and my hysterics I can get myself into. All the time, he must be shaking His head and saying, "just trust me", "I have got it all under control". Thank you Lord for forever teaching me that you guide my steps, order my days, and protect me. But most importantly you are the GREAT HEALER. So. . . Dear Lord, we pray you will heal some runny noses that are running around this house!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fall Break-Part Three

After our trip to Disney, we headed north to meet up with approximately 70 family members and extended "kinfolk" for my brother's airshow with the Air Force Thunderbirds. Each Thunderbird member is allowed to have a FARKLE (Friends and Relatives, Kinfolk, Loved ones, and Everyone else)We all gathered Friday, then attended the show on Saturday. It was thrilling!!! I highly reccommend a visit with your family to an airshow if you ever get the chance, it was great to watch.

When J and I were in Vegas last February, my brother took us for a private rehearsal in the desert about 50 miles north of Vegas. Even though we were the only people viewing the practice, it was incredible to watch these pilots manuveur and fly these planes. The kids loved getting to see family and watching the show.

Congratulations to my great brother, his dream has come true and he is truly our TOP GUN!!!!

More pictures from Disney

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fall Break-Part Two

Well, after a restful break, we headed over to Disney World. We were welcomed at the Disney World Fort Wilderness resort where we stayed in two cabins. (I reccommend this resort if you have a large group or lots of kids only). Once we were settled in, we headed to Magic Kingdom for the evening. We enjoyed several rides and the SpectroMagic Parade that night.

The next morning we were up bright and early for a day at MGM Studios. We had a great time, and the little girls even got to run out and be in the High School Musical Pep Rally. For lunch we dined with The Little Einsteins and Jojo and Goliath from Playhouse Disney. Too cute!!! The highlight of the day was seeing the little girls face their fears and ride Tower of Terror. Little T just screamed, hid her head in my lap, and yelled "I'm dying, this is what it feels it like to die". To which I just laughed even louder, I love rides like that. I was proud of them!!
The older kids enjoyed a day of fun on the "roller coasters" and "big rides" as the little ones called it.

On Wednesday, we spent the morning at Epcot and the afternoon at Animal Kingdom. We also dined with the Princesses at lunch, which the girls loved. Our highlight this day was getting the entire family (minus Johnny) on Test Track at Epcot. We all loved this high speed thrill ride. By the time we got to Animal Kingdom on this afternoon, it was 90 degrees. We all hit our moment of real exhaustion on this day. Thankfully, Animal Kingdom was open late for resort guests and the crowd thinned out after 6 or so. We loved the Safari and got a really good show of the lions as it was late in the day.

Thursday was our big day at Magic Kingdom. We arrived early for an extra magic hour and headed straight to FantasyLand. By 10:00 we were done with all the "kiddie" rides, including Small World twice which little J sang over and over and over. Very cute. We even ran into some great friends from home. How nice to see a familiar face when you have looked at strangers for a week. We headed to Mickey's Toontown Fair where we ALL met Mickey. He got a little overwhelmed when he saw the size of our group and even backed himself into a corner. The cutest was when the entire family took up an entire train on Goofy's roller coaster, even little J rode it. J faced backwards and videoed the family on this ride. It turned out well. For lunch we dined with Pooh and friends, (the big kids left us). We all loved Pooh, who doesn't? Our day there ended with a show in front of Cinderella's castle, it was a great end to a great trip.

J and I decided that since everyone has now been to Disney we WILL NOT return for at least 5 years, so please hold me accountable everyone. I usually get the itch around 2-3 years later. Why and how is it you forget the heat, lines, whining, and crowds once you return home? I guess it's the kid in all of us that loves Disney, the magic is just contagious. What great memories!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall Break-Part One

After a busy start up to a new school year, it was time for a break. We loaded up two vans and 10 kids and headed to New Smyrna Beach. Our generous benefactor owns several properties down there and is kind enough to let us go each year. This year we broke our trip into two visits and enjoyed a long weekend at the beach before heading over to Disney.

We did absolutely nothing, but rest, swim, eat, and relax. It was wonderful. The kids were very good and stayed busy. We also took the time to have "beach school" and finish up all work we missed during our trip. We had glorious weather; blues skies and highs of 85 degrees.

We didn't even go anywhere other than one trip to Baskin Robbins. My sweet hubby paid for a visit to the spa for myself, which was divine. Thanks sweetie.

After 4 days and lots of rest we headed over to Disney for part two of our trip.

We're BACK!!!!

We have arrived home and I can't wait to blog about our awesome trip. But first, duty calls and I have a million things to do to settle back in to our routine and schedule. I hope to update everyone in the next few days. We had a great time, but are thrilled to be home.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Today is the big day. We are heading out around lunch time to FLORIDA!!! S was eating her breakfast this morning and she said, "today we are going to the beach, I can't wait!!" Little does she know we will arrive about 10:00 tonight and hit the beds as soon as we get there!!!

We have a few specific prayer requests while we are away, could someone out there pray for us?
-safety driving- we are taking two vans and it just adds a little more stress
-great naps in the car!!!
-fun and relaxation at the beach
-good family time and bonding
-no rain while at Disney? ( I don't want to purchase 13 ponchos!!)
-no one gets lost
-traveling mercies for all family coming in for airshow next Saturday

Thanks for the prayers and we will back soon!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

OH Happy Day!!!

J loves to take pictures when we blow out our candles!!! (lovely)
We love preschool with our sweet friends!!!

It wouldn't be a birthday without some Barbies!!!

Off to Chuck E. Cheese with sweet friends

Today is ME's 5th birthday. I honestly cannot believe my youngest daughter is already five. For those of you that remember us five years ago, so gave us all quite a scare when she was born. She was five weeks early, five pounds and quit breathing about 2 hours after birth. Whew!! She was rushed to the NICU where she stayed for 5 days, the miracle was she didn't stay longer. We took her home with that horrible apniea monitor, which so many of you have also used as well. I have to say I was very worried about her and bringing that contraption home. Well, all's well that end's well, because those of you that know her are aware of her spark and spunk for life, her independence, and most of all her opinionated views of life. She will tell you exactly what she thinks. (trust me, we are working on this)

You see above we posted several fun things we did to commemorate the age 5 for her, something about her and the number 5? Anyway, she had a fun weekend. She is currently at Toys R Us with her MeMom spending all that birthday cash. The last call I got was a request to buy Barbie roller skates, I explained not without the pads of course. We'll see what she could afford.

Happy Birthday sweet ME!!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Headed to Florida!!!

Well, the clock is ticking and we are now one week away from departure for our trip. The kids have been counting down on the dry erase board right next to my computer, so I have a daily reminder. We have 7 days left!!! Woo-hoo. We are leaving as soon as the kids dismiss from school and driving 9 hours to the beach for a long weekend, then over to Orlando for a week at Disney.

The weather should still be pretty nice at the beach and we are looking forward to just relaxing. Even the kids are ready for a break from their busy schedules. School has only been in session for 6 weeks, but already I can tell it is making them weary. Unfortunately we will miss a few days of school and will have a lot of work to do while we are at the Beach. (beach school!!)

After four days of relaxing we are headed off to WORK. Disneyworld is always fun, but lots of work with this many kids in tow. We are so blessed by having an incredible lady that works with us and she is flying down to help us out. She will be great to help with little J for his naps, etc. She is known as B- c - y MOM. She is like another mom to my kids and they are thrilled she will be there. She does not have grandkids yet, but I told her she will be super grandmom because she has helped up so much and gone on several trips to Disney with other families as well.

The last day of our trip will be a stop at an Air Force Base to watch an airshow in which my oldest brother will participate. All of our family is coming to the show and even his precious family from Vegas will be flying in. We are super excited for our kids to see the show, as we got on our private viewing in Vegas last year.

So . . . once we return I will have lots and lots of fun blogging to do.
This has been a great way for me to journal all those moments in our life. Thanks to those who read for listening and caring about us so much.

Please be praying for safety and lots of resting up at the beach!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Asking Jesus into your Heart

Several nights ago at the dinner table, ME asked me what does it mean to ask Jesus in your heart. She has heard us discuss this topic with our older children on numerous occasions. I knew at some point, she would want to know for herself. Keep in mind she is days away from turning 5, and is in my opinion one of the smartest 4 year olds I have every been around. She is very critical and intentional in her thought processes and very quick.

I immediately began to tell her when we do something wrong like lie or take things from others that is called "sin". I quickly thought back to the time we saw Narnia, I remember debating rather or not to let her watch it due to the graphic nature of the "fight" scenes. We let her and I am so thankful because she got it. I explained if she remembered when Edmund had disobeyed the rules and he had to be punished? She did. I also reminded her that Aslan who had done no wrong or had broken no rules stepped out to take the punishment for Edmund and even be put to death? She did. (thank you C. S. Lewis, who we know was a very intentional Christian author)

I quickly explained that's what Jesus did for you and me. And that our sin separates us from God. Except it's not a story or fantasy. It is real and it really happened. Jesus died for you so you will never have to. You just have to believe Him and tell Him. She said, what do I pray?

So she repeated after me, "Dear Jesus, please forgive me for doing wrong things, please come into my heart forever." And that's it!!!! With small tears of joy it was a precious moment I wont' forget. And at 4 years old to recognize, I need Jesus and want Him to be in my heart is so tender. (she also truly understands very well about disobeying and consequences from her own experiences)

Then I told her once everyone left the table, the most important part is that Jesus is your best friend your entire life. I told her nothing can ever separate you from His love, nothing!!! Then she ran off to play. Little does she know her life has been changed forever. The Holy Spirit will forever nudge her and be with her.

Thank you God for letting me experience a tender moment and see your grace and mercy fulfilled in my child's life.

And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Will you choose to be a Blessing?

This past Labor Day on my trip to the beach with college friends, I had a discussion with my friend Jenni. We were talking about how God has blessed us and provided so much for us. She enlightened me on a definition, a different definition of blessing I had never thought of, and that is that we are a blessing for God. In other words, we choose rather or not we will bless God by serving Him. Just think about that for a minute.

I came across a new singer that is on tour with Casting Crowns this fall. His name is John Waller, and as a teenager he actually attended the Camp that is a part of the organization we work for. I have his song on my ipod, and yesterday as I was working out listening to it, it hit me that's what Jenni was talking about. I got it. Here are the words, and (you can find it at itunes!!)

This song sums up what I want my ministry for God to be!!!
The Blessing!!
Let it be said of us, while we walked among the living, let it be said of us, by the ones we leave behind, let it be said of us, that we lived to be a blessing for LIFE.

Let it be said of us, that we gave to reach the dying, let it be said of us, by the fruit we leave behind, let it be said of us, that our legacy is blessing for LIFE.

This day. . . you set life, you set death right before us
This day. . . every blessing and curse is a choice now
And we will choose to be a blessing for LIFE.

Let it be said of us, that our hearts belong to Jesus, let it be said of us, that we spoke the words of LIFE, let it be said of us, that our heritage is blessing for LIFE.

This day. . . you set life , you set death right before us
This day. . . every blessing and curse is a choice now
And we will choose to be blessing for LIFE.

Blessings and curses are choices. Will we build up or tear down? The moment of truth is now.

This day. . . you set life, you set death right before us
This day. . every blessing and curse is a choice now
And we will choose to be a blessing for LIFE

For your kingdom, for our children, for the sake of every nation
We will choose to be a blessing for LIFE.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Romans 12:14

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19

Today. . . each day. . . what will we choose Life or Death, blessings or curses?