Saturday, May 31, 2008

end of the SCHOOL YEAR party!!!

I am one HAPPY mommy!!! NO SCHOOL for TWO WHOLE MONTHS!!! This may sound awful, but I live for summer break! It means that I can relax for two months, I hardly see the children, and I don't have to stay in my house for hours/days on end!! YIPPEE!!!!
Today was our celebration of the beginning of our break. The party was enjoyed by all. Here are some random shots taken during the time together.

We had 35 people in all....8 adults and 27 children. All those children belonged to only 8 families and not all the children from those 8 families were even there! It was such a wonderful day!! I wish that we could do it again tomorrow!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My husband

Today is BRAG on My Husband Day! Watch this short video of one of his MANY talents!!

The recipe for these awesome cinnamon rolls can be found here. Let me know, if you make them sometime!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My week out

I am so excited. I get to drive everyday this week!!!

  • Sunday- took Peggy to her brother's house
  • Monday- got to go to the parade
  • Tuesday- Emily's orthodontist appointment took us all the way to Granger, IN, which is where all the stores are. We went shopping for camp food.
  • Wednesday- Lauren's orthodontist appointment also took us to Granger, where we shopped some more for camp food!!! We also got to watch a deer fly through the air after being hit by a car. We didn't actually see the accident, because a big semi truck was next to us. I can tell you though that out of nowhere this deer just came flying out in front of our van. It landed on the side of the road. I was worried about the driver of the car, but Lauren was only thinking about the deer.
  • Thursday- we head to Granger again to work with the kids at the church.
  • Friday- once again I head to Granger, IN for some hopefully awesome subdivision garage sales!!! I have been looking forward to these all year!
  • Saturday- we are going to Niles for the children's end of the school year party! I will post all about it and share many pictures.

I do not even want to know how much all this fuel is costing us! I am just going to enjoy the necessary time out while I get the chance.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Her ears aren't working?

This is a conversation that Amy and I had recently. She was up in her room and I had called her three times to come downstairs. (I know...I should have just gone upstairs and gotten her the first time, but I didn't.) This is what was said when she finally did make it downstairs!

Me- Amy why didn't you come downstairs when I first called you?
Amy- I didn't hear you Mommy.
Me- You didn't hear me?
Amy- No, Mommy I didn't.
Me- Did you hear me the first time I called?
Amy- No ma'am. (said real slowly and serious)
Me- Did you hear me the second time I called for you?
Amy- No ma'am. (said same way as above)
Me- Did you hear me the third time?
Amy- Yes, I did! (said very excitedly)
Me- Did you hear me the fourth time I called for you?
Amy- Mommy! You only called me three times! (said in a very excited reprimanding way) After the words escaped her mouth, she realized that I had gotten her to admit that she had indeed heard me all three times. You should have seen the look on her face! I regret to say that I was laughing to hard to discipline her. I will be firmer next time...I promise!!

Now that you are done reading this post, please go over to the kids blog and read today's post. I am amazed at Lauren's thinking and her ability to communicate it. God has blessed her greatly!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Parade

Here are some pictures of our crew (22 people) watching today's parade. We took up an entire corner all to our selves. The company was great, but the parade was NOT!

Our parade this year was the shortest parade in history!! It was not very entertaining either. Not all was lost though, thanks to some spectators across the street from us.
Is that not PATHETIC!!!!?
I hope that you had a wonderful Memorial Day!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekend highlights

I am going to spare you a picture of the act, but I am posting a picture of the culprit!
Two words......potty training! This child of "firsts" did it again! Joel has recently become aware of his bodily functions. He has started tinkling on request. Tonight we wanted to show Daddy this new ability. Into the bathroom we go, all excited because of the audience. I place Joel on the potty. Huge grin covering his entire face. We all hear lots of grunting, but no other noises. Jeff and I cheer him on and wait and wait. Nope, must not be happening this time. I get Joel off the toilet and we head for the door. I turn around to talk to Joel and I hear him grunting some more. He knew he had to go and he was determined to do it. Yep....squatting right in front of the toilet he went for us......RIGHT ON COMMAND!? Aren't kids great!
I spent most of my weekend at a reunion for Life Action Alumni. Not being an alumni yet made me feel a little out of place at first, but within a few hours I was having the time of my life! I was able to meet people that I recognized, but never really knew before. It was a very special time for me. I was also able to add on about five of the pounds that I had lost! My body just feels yucky. I can't wait to start eating right again tomorrow morning. (Karen, if I eat ANY sweets tomorrow, I owe you $10.00! Don't you dare give me something chocolate to eat!)
I talked to both of my parents.
I laughed a lot!!!
This was an awesome weekend!! Thank you Lord for friends and family.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Must you?

Our Joel does things NONE of the other four would ever do!

Here he is unbuckling himself from his car seat! Riding in the car has become quite the battle lately. My other children NEVER even tried this and Joel does it often.

Here is Joel's other favorite hobby.....getting himself something to eat! Just about everyday he gets into some type of food. I promise we feed the child plenty! He just likes to snack a lot!!! This WAS a brand new box of Corn Flakes. He made quite the mess with the box pieces. I told him he had to clean it all up. Look where he put some of the trash!

He drove the trash all around the house before he took it to the trash can. That is another thing that the other children never with trucks. Joel LOVES any truck he can push around.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Quick post

Tonight I was teaching at Granger. The night's theme was...I should be proud to be on God's Team. While I was studying for the night, I thought, "What a great lesson for the kids!" God used it in my life instead. (I say instead, because the children were not paying attention most of the night. I am not sure they heard a thing, but I did.)

I love my Lord and Savior. I love to share what God is doing in my life with......people that won't think that I am strange. I hesitate to share Christ, because I just don't know the right words. Tonight we talked about NEVER being ashamed of Christ. We talked about how Paul was not ashamed. From now on, when God lays it on my heart to pray with someone I will DO IT!! I am not sure that this post applies to any of you out there in bloggy land, but I just had to write about what God is teaching me.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I was WRONG....again!

Something very freeing happened to me today! I have compared myself with a certain person for YEARS!!! I have never measured up to what I saw her as. I always felt like a failure as a mom, because she just always seemed to be doing it ALL right! Today was my day of discovery! Let me explain. This friend has traveled with Life Action for the past 13 or more years. She has always had a school teacher to teach her children, a family assistant to watch her children whenever she wanted (well maybe not whenever, but almost whenever), nine months out of the year she didn't have to cook for her family, and her husband had two or three months off a year (he did have meetings during some of those times off, but often he had the time off). In the midst of all these HARDSHIPS she was able to be a SUPER mom. She has NEVER lost her patience once in my midst, she is absolutely beautiful and skinny, her house is always clean and smelling great, and she is so happy. I have seen her love for her children and I have envied it! I knew that she had it a lot easier than me all these years, but I was sure that she would be the perfect mom, if she were in my shoes! I am so excited to tell you all that I was wrong!! God is taking this special friend down a different road now. She and her family are leaving Life Action and ALL the HARDSHIPS that I spoke of. She now has the opportunity to be walking in shoes very similar to mine, but.....she is not sure she wants to!!! Did you catch that? She is not sure she wants to or if she can handle it. She is considering sending her children to a Christian School. The responsibility of teaching her children scares her (just like it scares me every single day of my life!). She is also not sure that she can handle being with her children 24/7! (I was totally SHOCKED when she told me this) She doesn't know how I do it!! Can you believe this? I have struggled SO MANY days with being home with all the children all the time. I kept thinking, if I were just more spiritual I wouldn't struggle so! I am here to say that one of the most Godly women I know is not sure she can handle being home with her children ALL THE TIME!!! Isn't that FREEING? Motherhood is not easy!!! I am feeling better about myself and my mothering every second. I hope that you are too!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

SHORT video of Joel

Thank you to the Maxwell Family for the gift of this video capability! I am having so much fun with it.

FYI..."Nanin" is what Joel calls Lauren

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Make sure that you go to McDonalds today to get your FREE chicken sandwich!!! All you have to do is order a drink and you get the sandwich for FREE!!! I am so excited...I do not have to cook supper tonight. We have some extra coupons from McDonalds for FREE fries and ice cream cones too. So I am going to get each person an entire meal for a grand total $7.00!!! Thank you McDonalds!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

This week has been very busy games, services, grocery shopping, ortho dontist appointment, working on a video to send to possible supporters, CLEANING the house, and visiting with friends. Not much else is going on, which is a good thing, because I really wouldn't have time to tell you about it anyway.

Talk to you again soon.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My heart

Yesterday I told you all about what God is doing in the lives of some of my family members. Today I need to tell you what He is doing in my life. God is working on softening my heart and making my speech sweet!!! Many times I fall short in these two areas.....especially when I am in a hurry!!! I often think that I am so easy to be around. I am kind, I like to smile, I don't want to hurt any one's feelings, and I love to serve people. This is me almost ALL the time...when things are going MY way, but only some of the time when things are not going MY way!!! (Man this sounds A LOT like my children!!) Well, I want God to change me. I want to "shine" even when things are not going my way! I want my sweet attitude to be my first response when I am in a hurry, when the children are disobeying me, when things are just not going the way I planned, and even when I am tired!!! Wow...God has a lot of work to do!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Prayer REALLY works!!!

I know that most of my readers already know that PRAYER works, but I just have to post about it anyway!!!!! God has done TWO major things this week and I am just SO excited to share them with you.

I often read through a chapter of The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent whenever I think of it. The books are AWESOME for guiding you in knowing what and how to pray for your family. Tuesday, the chapter focused husband's relationships, just jumped off the pages at me. I knew that he needed to be prayed for in this area, because honestly, I am Jeff's one and only friend. There was a specific part in the prayer that talked about broken relationships. Jeff has been stuffing some real hurt from someone at work, because he just wouldn't talk about it. I prayed for Jeff and just gave it to the Lord. The VERY NEXT morning, Jeff and I were called into a meeting down at the lodge. I was shaking, so worried that I had done something wrong, but for the life of me couldn't think of what it could be. The meeting started and come to find out we were not in trouble. God had planned this meeting and I feel a true miracle happened. Jeff openned up and actually shared about his hurt to the person that had been hurting him for these past years!! Tears were shed, NOT from Jeff of course, but from me and the other person involved. We talked openly about things and it was wonderful!!! When Jeff and I left the meeting, almost two hours later, we felt like we were floating on air!!! All that hurt and anger was gone. Thank you Jesus!

The next thing was just as major to me!! This one involved one of my children. I will not go into much detail, but I will give you the highlights. This child has been prayed for probably more than any of the others. In a nutshell, very stubborn and hard to get close to. Lastnight before bed, this child lashed out at me for the umpteenth time. Here we go again, they reject me, I don't like to be rejected so I close myself off into my own little world, leave the child alone and let Daddy deal with them. Lastnight, God changed things up a whole LOT. Jeff told me to tuck this child in bed and to pray with the child. I went up and did it and God broke this child's heart. This child was sobbing, because of how they had been. (This is huge for this child, we don't often see much repentance at all for any wrong doings.) God broke my heart too. Actually He softened it. I was able to forgive this child, love on this child and share my heart with this child!!! Truly a miracle. You can pray for us in this process. I so want my children to grow up and be some of my best friends. I need to change A LOT to make this happen. I need to have more fun with my children NOW and I need to touch them SO MUCH more than I do!!!!

We are not "there" yet, but God sure is working in my family's life this week!!!! By the way, just for clarification, I am not the only one that has been praying for these things to happen in my family. My mom has been praying for us probably more faithfully than I have been. Thank you so much Mom!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Thank you Maxwell Family!!

First of all, thank you SO much for coming over tonight and spending some of your last precious hours here in America with us!!!! We are really going to miss you guys!!

Secondly, thank you so much for the wonderful NEW toy that you gave to ME!!! I am going to have SO much fun making videos to share with ALL my friends!!!

Thirdly, thank you for the "spaghetti" memories! Spilling spaghetti three times within a half an hour is definitely a record! We will surely think of you all the next time we eat that meal! (HAHA)

And last but not least, thank you so much for the encouragement that you were to me. I really had a very BLESSED night!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Another funny email....

I received this email a few weeks ago. I sent it to all my email friends and today.....I am sharing it with you!!

How to use your check...As you may have heard, each of us who files a tax return form for 2007 will be getting a tax rebate check to stimulate the economy. If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China. If we spend it on gasoline it will go to the Arabs. If we purchase a computer it will go to India. If we purchase fruits and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. If we purchase a good car it will go to Japan. If we purchase useless stuff it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy. We need to keep that money here in America. The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it at yard sales, since those are the only businesses still in the US!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

2008 Father Daughter Banquet

Lauren, Emily, and Amy get to go to the Father Daughter Banquet here at the camp each year. While they are there they help their daddy with his work. When there isn't anything left for the children to do, they go to their seat and enjoy the food and the program. This night is always fun for the them all.

Amy helping Daddy make the punch.

Emily paying close attention to Daddy showing them how to cut the pies.

SMILE for the camera!!!

Little Miss America cutting her first pie.

A quick picture of them together before Daddy had to run refill something.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

2 things

  1. I am able to get back on other people's blogs!!!! I am so excited about getting caught up!! (Confession....I got on some LATE last night. I couldn't wait any longer!)
  2. I will be very busy the next two days. We have our annual garage sale this weekend!!!