Hello all! I obviously have been taking a break from blogging lately. I didn't expect the break to be so long, but it was definitely good to just take the opportunity to not be on the computer so much, because as I have said before I can get kind of obsessed with the blogging world, and checking everyone's blogs, and posting, and it has been hard, but very good to be away from that for a time. So, there are so many things that I want to share about since I last posted, but what prompted me to start posting again today was that I went to church this morning and we had a guest speaker there who is a friend of ours, Mike Ackerman. He and his wife, Erin, whoI was in youth group with and was very good friends with in high school, are getting ready to move to Japan in a few weeks to do missions there. If any of you know me very well, you know that missions is something that is so close to my heart. When I was about ten was the first time that God got my attention regarding missions, when my mom went to visit some of my parent's friends who were missionaries in Kenya, Africa. When she came home from that trip she showed me all the pictures and I just cried over them. It was something that I had never felt before then, and I didn't know it then or understand it, but it was just the beginning of what God was doing in my heart and how missions would be a big part of that. Since then I have taken 3 different missions trips to different places, and each one has reaffirmed for me that God has something planned for me related to missions. I am not quite sure what that is yet, but He definitely won't let me forget it. When I first met Rich and he and I were getting to know each other he shared with me that he felt like God had called him to do something with missions before I ever shared with him the same thing about me, and so that was definitely an encouragement to me. Right now he and I serve on the extension ministries team at our church, and we really enjoy keeping up with the missionaries that our church partners with, and just trying to stay open to that global perspective that is so difficult to keep. We get so wrapped up in our own little worlds all the time, especially in this stage of life that it is so difficult to feel connected and remember that our God is SOOOO big, and He is working everywhere, and there are so many people who don't know Him, and have not even heard about Him! Mike did such an awesome job of conveying that message this morning. His message was titled "Gotta Go" and he gave three reasons why we all have to go. Our church usually puts its messages online so you can listen to them if you missed church, and I totally encourage all of you to go to this link and click on the place where it has the messages and listen to this message, because it was something I think that everyone should hear. I am so excited to see what God has in store for me and my family sometime in the future regarding missions and possibly physically going somewhere to serve in missions, but the real challenge continues to be for me to keep praying about how God wants me to be involved right now in His global kingdom and sharing the good news of His mercy and grace with all those who don't know. This was just so on my heart today that I couldn't wait another day to share with you all, so thanks for listening and it is good to be back in the blogging world! Stay tuned for some more changes regarding the layout of my blog, I thought it was definitely time to change it up a bit, what with it being almost a new year and all.......can you believe it is almost 2008??? Another year is almost gone!!! But I love the freshness that a new year brings. I am excited to hear from all of you about your Christmas season, and all that you have been up to lately!
So, sorry to keep you waiting, but we had quite a busy weekend. RICH PASSED THE TEST! It is very exciting, and we are so close to starting the next process, which is the whole applying/interviewing process, which could take as little as three months all the way up to six months. And like with any decision we will really be watching for God's leading and trusting him to show us what job he wants us to take. I know a lot of my friends have made some tough decisions regarding their husband's jobs, but I love that all of them have been great examples of trusting God and submitting to their husband's leadership. Sometimes that is so hard to do, but it is what God calls us to do as wives. Our support and love for our husbands is so important to them.
Well, like everyone else i am sure, this week is pretty crazy. I am really trying to slow down and breath and savor each moment leading up to Christmas, because it used to be that it went so slow in the days and weeks before Christmas, but now it seems to speed by faster and faster, and then it's over, and we are cleaning up and we just have the memories. My friend, Jen, posted some awesome thoughts a couple of days ago about time that I am still thinking about. She talked about how invaluable time is, and what a gift from God each day is. So I am really trying to savor these special days of school Christmas parties, family get-togethers and birthday parties, and all the preparation and shopping for the big day. A word that keeps coming up for me that represents what this season is all about is peace. For my Christmas cards I knew that I wanted to use a certain stamp that had the word peace, because I think that Satan really tries hard to rob us of the peace that God gave us through Jesus, especially in this season. And he may try to do it through the kids being extra crazy because of all the excitement and lugging them around to one hundred different errands, or it may be the financial pressure of trying to keep up with buying presents, or it may be all the extra extended family time with people who you might not choose to be with if they weren't your family. And of course there is the combination of all of these things that all rob us of our peace. I can tell you that for me this year Satan used those darn Christmas cards to do it for me. Even as I am stamping the word peace (like 800 times!) I am feeling like i am going to loose it, because they have been so much work. But in the end it is the work that is put in to them that is the reason that I love to make my own cards, because they mean so much more, at least to me......oh, the irony! I love that in Isaiah one of the names for Jesus is Prince of Peace. He came to bring us peace, even amidst growing chaos around us, and I think it so important to show those around us His peace, even though so far I don't think I have done a very good job of it.
I know that I haven't posted pictures of the kids or any cards lately, but I will really try to do more of that in the next couple of posts. I will post a picture of my Christmas card here in a few days after most people who I am sending it to have gotten it. Hope you are all having a great week!
OK, so I wanted to ask all of you friends and family for a special favor-to pray for my husband, Rich tomorrow. He is taking a test at 8:00am tomorrow morning in Topeka, KS in order to be certified to be an EMT. If you know our situation very well you know that Rich is training to be a fireman, a dream that he has had his whole life, and this is basically the last step that he needs in order to start applying to departments to get a job. He has been in a class all semester at Johnson County Community College three nights a week, and it has been a lot of work, but I am SOOO proud of him. He really is so incredible and I have all the confidence in the world that he has the knowledge that he needs to do awesome on the test, but it is a very HUGE deal in our world. He just puts so much pressure on himself, and he is a big perfectionist when it comes to work and school, so all of that stress and pressure is really taking a toll on him. So we would really covet your prayers on this big important day in our family. Thank you so much!
Here are some pics that my friend, Jen took of my kiddos. Her parents own an ice cream store in Olathe that is AMAZING called Silas & Maddy's and so she took some pics of the kids eating ice cream, of course! So, do i not have talented friends?? I mean these pictures are stinkin' good, and i don't think it is just because they are of my kids! So, Jen, thank you so much for the precious pics and I miss you SOOOO much!!
Today we were at home all day again, this time due to a sick child. Cole was up all night throwing up, and then of course he woke up this morning as healthy as can be and wanting to act as if he wasn't sick. He couldn't go to school so he was upset about that, and i wouldn't let him eat anything except some chicken soup and crackers for lunch, and he was REALLY upset about that. So, it was a great day! I hate trying to keep the girls away from him all day, and trying to keep him still to just rest is nearly impossible. Well, i don't really have much else for today, rich is going to let me get out of the house for a while now that he is home, so i am going to take advantage of that!
OH, the cabin fever! I just cannot stand being cooped up in the house all day! This weather is so bad! So school was canceled today, of course, and it has rained all day long. Poor Rich, I just hate it when he has to work on days like this because I know he is just miserable. It didn't even end up to be as bad as they were predicting it to be, the roads are just fine, it is just stinking cold and rainy and ice is covering all of the trees. I guess there are places all over the midwest where it is really bad, and so many people don't have power, so I am so thankful that we don't have any of that. So since I had a lot of extra time on my hands I thought I would fill out this fun little questionnaire, because I absolutely love reading these when my friends send them to me, because I love getting to know fun things about them that i might not know. But all my friends give me a hard time because I am notorious for being the person who never replies back. So here is a little questionnaire that I received recently that I actually took the time to fill out.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper, it is so much more fun to open that way...and cheaper too! 2. REAL OR FAKE TREE? Fake.....I mean, come on..... the real ones are purely for people who live in really beautiful places that they can go and cut their own tree down. If you live in Kansas it is pretty ridiculous, in my opinion, to go to all the trouble of hauling a live tree home from the nursery or grocery store parking lot and deal with the watering and sweeping up of all the needles. Not to mention the fact that the trees are stinkin expensive and they are serious fire hazards, so Rich would never allow that. 3. When do you put up the tree? I posted a while back that I am definitely an advocate of waiting till after Thanksgiving to put the Christmas decorations up because I think it just takes away from Thanksgiving, and I don't like the idea that businesses try to capitalize on a longer Christmas season. 4. When do you take the tree down? Usually pretty soon because I don't have a really big house at all and it always feels so good to put away all of the decorations and do a really good cleaning and then it always feels like our place has gotten bigger. 5. Do you like egg nog? Yes, but not the non-alcoholic version, give me the good stuff :) 6. Favorite gift received as a child? I got a dog when I was about 7, my sister and I had asked our parents for one for years, and they finally gave in. It was a total surprise, and I will always remember that Christmas. 7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes… I actually have two, one that is the Fisher Price one, and it is actually missing most of the parts, and the other one is a beautiful, but breakable one that my parents bought for Grace on her first Christmas, and I love it but I don't have anywhere to put it where my kids can't reach it. :( 8. Hardest person to buy for? My husband.....I am a total significant gift giver and it is so hard to keep coming up with really significant gifts, and he is totally the kind of guy that significance is lost on him, he is so easily pleased, and it is also hard to surprise him with anything, he always finds out what i am getting him. 9. Easiest person to buy for? My kids, they love everything, and they also want everything, which we are trying to work on.... 10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? i don't think i ever received a gift i didn't like! 11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, definitely, but I also hand deliver quite a few. 12. Favorite Christmas Movie? White Christmas, it is an old movie musical, and i absolutely love to watch it and sing along! 13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually the week before, and most of it we do only days before 14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? no,i don't think so, like i said i always like to give really significant gifts 15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Ham from Honeybaked Ham, and any kind of cookies or sweets, i have a HUGE sweet tooth. 16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear lights 17. Favorite Christmas song? Strange Way to Save the World, or Breath of Heaven 18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? All of my family is here, so I am lucky that I don't have to travel 19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Vixon, on Comet, on Cupid, on Donnor & Blitzen, and of course, Rudolph 20. Angel on the tree top or a star? star 21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Morning, but I do have the kids open one package on Christmas Eve that is pj's that I have them wear that night. 22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? That some people forget the REAL reason for Christmas. :( 23. What I love most about Christmas? The wonder and magic that is found in every aspect of the season, and being with family and treasuring every minute of it all.
So, there you go, and any of you who are feeling ambitious, I would love it if you did this on your posts so I could learn a little about you!!
Well, we are in day 2 of a pretty nasty snow/ice, wintry mix type storm. It snowed on Thursday and it was really beautiful coming down, and the kids just loved it. Then Friday it was just really cold. Then Saturday we woke up and there was a sheet of ice over everything. The roads weren't too bad, but it was bitter cold and i almost broke my leg trying to get to our car because our driveway was so slick! Then today I had to be at church early and it wasn't so bad then, just really really cold, but then during church it started raining ice again. Now I don't usually mind winter, it's not my favorite season, but i usually don't mind it. But this, this sucks! I am pretty much done with this! I am really hoping that it isn't a sign of how this winter is going to be!
In better news, church was really awesome this morning. It was really too bad that the weather was so bad because there was so many people not there. I sang in the choir, which I love doing, and the message was so good, and really got me thinking. So I thought I would share some of these thoughts with you.
First of all, let me just say that one of my favorite things about the Christmas story has always been the mystery and wonder that surround it. The idea that God would become a baby? That a 14-16 year old, poor, simple virgin would be chosen to be the mother of the son of God? That God would have Jesus, the king of all kings, the light of the world, be born in a dirty, smelly stable? That the savior of the world, the messiah that the people of Israel had been waiting for for hundreds of years would be born in a quiet cave in a seemingly worthless city to only an audience of animals??? For a lot of people these questions might be a barrier for them to believe that the story is real. But for me, these questions have always made me all the more drawn to the whole thing, and I actually love the strangeness of it all. Today Brian talked about how God becoming man, and all the seemingly strange details surrounding the story were purposed by God in order for Him to make a very real and relatable picture for us to remember. He talked about how God being born as a baby, growing up in a real home with a father and a mother was maybe partly in order to prove to us that he really can understand everything that we have ever gone through. Obviously being a mom, I am most intrigued by all that Mary went through. Brian mentioned a point this morning that really resonated with me, and I thought of many of my friends too. He talked about how we as women have such high expectations of everything (true??), and especially surrounding the birth of our children. Of course there are so many more things to have expectations about now than there was then, like a vaginal birth vs. a c-section, drugs vs. natural birth, which hospital we will give birth in, all the way down to who we will choose to be in the room for us during the birth. And we are usually pretty demanding about those expectations, and when they aren't met we are pretty dissappointed. But Brian asked the question of how Mary must have felt about the circumstances surrounding Jesus' birth. I mean she may not have had as many things to have expectations about, but she was giving birth to God's son!! I mean she must have had some expectations of what it was going to be like! And I just can't imagine that how it happened was at all what she had pictured. But overall throughout the Bible Mary is always portrayed as a girl of simple, but great faith. I guess I have a lot to learn from her because I don't know that I would have been as OK as I am now with the strangeness of it all if I had been the one giving birth in a barn. I have to imagine though, that when it says she treasured up everything and pondered it, she had to have been having a little heart to heart with God about what He must have been thinking, if you know what I mean!!
Anyways, I just thought I would share some of my thoughts with you today. Hope you have a good week, and I will try to not go so long between posts this time!
So obviously tis the season for busyness! Sorry, my blogger-obsessed friends, that it has been so long since my last post, things have been a little crazy the last couple of days. This morning we had our last meeting of the semester for my MOPS group. It was also the Christmas meeting and we did a "Steering Team's Favorite Things" theme where all of the leadership team picked a favorite thing and then we explained to the moms why it was our favorite thing and then got to give one little one to every mom! We had tons of other giveaways too, and it took SO much work, but it was worth every bit of it because it turned out to be SO fun! All the moms had such a good time and I think they went away feeling pampered, and also, hopefully, a little more aware of what this Christmas season is all about, which is exactly what I wanted. My favorite thing that i brought was.....cheesecake!! I made it using a recipe from the Kraft Food and Family magazine and it was delicious!! I am so thankful for all the other moms on the steering team because without them our MOPS group would not be what it is. One sad thing about this morning was that it was one of my best friend, Emily's, last MOPS meeting. She is going to be moving to Orlando, Florida! It is really hard for me to imagine my life here without her, but I know that God has big plans for her there. And it is actually thanks to her that this blog was even started because her blog inspired me and lots of my other friends to start our blogs. And now that is ironically going to be the best way for all of us to stay in touch after she moves away, so cool how God works!
So, I found the coolest thing the other day! Most of you who know me know that I am sort of a geek when it comes to bible study. I LOVE to really study God's word with things like Greek and Hebrew word studies, cross referencing, and looking at every different translation that I can. So one of my favorite authors and bible study teachers is Beth Moore. Besides having some of the best bible studies that I have ever done, I just basically LOVE Beth. She is truly a fascinating woman of God. She is hilarious and she has the most infectious love for God and His Word that I have yet to find. SO it was so cool for me when my friend, Alli, told me that Living Proof Ministries, the ministry that Beth is a part of, has a blog!!!! And Beth and her two daughters Melissa and are the contributors to this blog!!! For me, this was very exciting. If any one else is a Beth groupie like me Here is the link to the blog.
I am really going to have to watch the time that I am spending online. Sometimes I go for days without spending a lot of time on, and then once I get back on it immediately sucks me back in, and I could literally spend hours blog surfing! So especially at this time of year I really need to make sure that my kids are my first priority, and that I am demonstrating that with my actions, and how much time i spend online. So with that, I must be leaving, we have youth group tonight and I am very excited!
hey all! I have a couple of things to share in my post today. First of all I just have to tell you all about two new songs that I have heard in the last week that have really impacted me. I have always loved music and I really believe that God uses music and lyrics to speak to me regularly. So this week I was listening to Calvary 88.5 and they played two songs which both moved me to tears. The first one is a new Christmas song by this artist named Mandisa. She was actually a contestant on a season of American Idol and is now a Christian artist. The song is a duet with Matthew West, and it is called "Christmas Makes me Cry" I know it sounds like kind of a depressing title, but this song has the most amazing lyrics that just totally put into perspective the amazing blessings that most of us have during this time of year. The other song that has become a new favorite of mine is by the artist that I have talked about before on my blog and I am actually going to see her in concert tonight....Sara Groves. The song is called "How is it Between Us?" This song totally speaks to how we as moms and wives get so busy doing so many things and God so often gets left out of our days, and then we are left feeling empty. It is just a simple song that has such an awesome message. So I just thought i would share those with you so you can hopefully hear them in the next few weeks.
The other thing I wanted to share with you all is about Chick-Fil-A. So if you know me very well you know that I LOVE this place! I am usually there at least once a week. Besides having the best chicken ever, they are just a company built on integrity. The CEO of chick-fil-a is a Christian man who travels around speaking at different events, and most of you know that they are one of only a few businesses left that doesn't open on Sundays. Well, last week my mom and I were eating there and Camryn fell backward in a chair and split her head open. It was pretty bad and there was a lot of blood, but she turned out to be ok, and it has healed up pretty well. But James, the owner of the Olathe branch, was SO awesome that day, helping us however he could and then he invited me and the kids to come in for a free meal just to let us have a more "positive" experience, even though it wasn't their fault at all. So we went today for our free meal and they basically rolled out the red carpet for me and totally served me the whole time! It was so awesome! So I just wanted to send out an extra plug for you all to go to chick-fil-a because i think they are the best!!
So it is officially the Christmas season! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this time of year. But I just really don't like the idea of starting with all the Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving. I think it takes away from Thanksgiving, plus most of what the big business and media is trying to do by starting Christmas music and other things earlier is to get as much money out of the consumer as possible. Because we all know Christmas is all about buying and receiving gifts, right??!! WRONG! SO, that is my little rant for the day. All to say that MY Christmas season has officially begun! And so I decided to change up the blog to reflect the season. I LOVE Christmas music. It is even hard for me to wait till now to pull out the Christmas music to listen to. I am going to a Christmas concert this thursday with two of my favorite artists, Bebo Norman and Sara Groves, so I am really excited about that! Well, we had a great time with our family for Thanksgiving. Saturday we had a Thanksgiving celebration with my family in Wichita. I drove down Saturday morning with my sister and the kids. Rich stayed here because he had worked all night at a hospital as part of his class. It was a really awesome time for me to spend with my sister. It is so hard for us to get together, and lately I have really been missing her, so it was much needed time with her in the car just talking. We drove back that evening, and the kids actually did really good, they slept almost all the way home. So, it is Monday again. Isn't it so much fun to try and get your kids back into the routine after a long break?? Getting Grace to school on time was such a chore this morning. She is just so slow in the mornings. All they want to do is watch cartoons, and meanwhile I am trying to loudly encourage them to get their clothes on and eat their breakfast. Oh, so much fun. And of course I have like 10 loads of laundry to do today, Oh the joy! We have the house pretty much totally decorated, but this is going to be the first year that we put lights on the outside of our house. My friend Allyson and I worked together to come up with a plan to have our husbands help each other put up the lights so that maybe it would actually get done, so we will see. Well, the kids have been asking me to play outside since grace got home from school so i guess i better let them play for awhile and enjoy this great weather while it lasts! See you soon!
Enter his gates with Thanksgiving, And his courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, And his faithfulness to all generations.
Well, Happy Thanksgiving to you all! We had a wonderful night spent at my husband's grandparent's farm last night where 10 adults and 9 children had a slumber party of sorts. All the kids slept in one room on the floor in sleeping bags, and the rest of us stayed up and played cards and then slept throughout the house on air mattresses. We really didn't get much sleep at all, but it was very fun and the kids of course had a blast with all their cousins. Then we had an amazing meal today with close to 50 people. It was so much fun and many memories were made. I hope all of you had an awesome day with your families and remembered to give thanks to the God who pours out blessings on his children. Here are three things among so many that I am thankful for today.
1. The men and women who are serving our country in the armed services so we can have the freedom to celebrate holidays like today.
2. Of course my family-it is so easy to take for granted being able to share a hot, bountiful meal with people you love, while so many in this country are alone and hungry today.
3. Pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, etc, etc, etc......(yummm, I am getting hungry again!)
So it is Thanksgiving week! First of all, what is with the weather?! This is craziness! Saturday and today were sooo beautiful! But, then Gary Lezac the weatherman says that it is probably going to snow on Wednesday night and on Thursday! Well, that is Kansas for you! So, our weekend was busy as usual. The kids played outside for most of the day on Saturday while I went to a Stampin Up Christmas card party at my friend Jenn's house. It was, of course, so fun as all Stampin Up parties are, and we made some really cool stuff. Then on Saturday night I got to go out for a girl's night with all of my best girl friends from high school and college. One of my friends, Jen, moved to Virginia in July, and she was back in town so I got to see her and hang out and it was soooo fun! We went to P.F.Chang's on the plaza (YUUUUMMMMM!) and then one of my friends, Brooke, her parents live on a condo off the plaza which has a room upstairs where we just got to sit and talk and hang out. It was just such a great time with friends who I don't get to see a lot! Yesterday was very relaxing, just hanging out...watching the chiefs lose...again!!Oh well, I did watch the Amazing Race and my favorite couple won, so that helped!
So, today the exciting news is that Camryn has gone potty in her potty 3 times!!!! Once yesterday and two times today!! We are on our way to being diaper free!!!!! I am so proud of her and I took this picture of her sitting on her potty, and i tried to keep it decent. We are so proud of her!
On my friend Jenn's blog she posts three reasons that she is thankful on every post, and it is just the coolest thing to read all the things because it really shows how God does bless us so much each day, even on those days that it is harder to find something. So in honor of Thanksgiving week I will be posting three things every day that i post this week. So here they are:
1. God's amazing heart of mercy (If you were at church yesterday you know)
2. My girl friends from high school who have been with me through so much and whose friendships I treasure more than they know. I love you girls!
3. The gorgeous weather that we have had this weekend!
So, today hasn't been the greatest day. OK, honestly, it's been pretty crappy. Some of the reason why it isn't great have to do with my own choices and stupidity, like the fact that I have not been smart or careful at all about how much i have been spending lately and so we are really suffering the consequences of that. And I have just said some things today to different people that in hindsight I should not have said, and am now worrying over what the consequences of that will be and how to apologize for my own stupidity. But some of it has been just stuff that happens, like Camryn getting bitten on the face by another child today while she was in childcare for my bible study, and since then she has just been super crabby all day long.(not like i don't blame her). It just has been a rough day. So, tonight I really hope to go over to one of my friend's houses to do some scrapbooking to relieve some of the tension. We'll have to see what my husband says. I am glad it is Friday. So I am sorry to be a downer today, it's just been that kind of a day. oh, well, we all have them. Hopefully I will be in better spirits for the next post. See you soon!
This is a baby card that I have had made for about a week now for one of my best friends, Jeanna.(The picture is not that good because I took it with my cell phone instead of my camera, because my camera is not working right now.)She just had her third child today, Lucy Caron Lichtenberger, at 2:11pm today and I hear she is beautiful just like her mom! Jeanna and her husband James have been really awesome mentors and friends to us over the past year. They are also the leaders of our small group, and James is in charge of the student ministry at our church. So we get to see them a lot, which i love. I have really been praying for Jeanna and the delivery of Lucy, so praise God that everything ended up good and now they have a beautiful new addition to their already beautiful family! I can't wait to meet her! Other than that news today has been pretty ordinary. But tonight is going to be really good because I usually work at Old Navy every Tuesday night, but tonight they didn't schedule me and so I am going to instead go to Borders and just spend a much needed extended time doing my bible study. I LOVE just going to Borders and sitting in the coffee shop and reading. I used to do this all the time pre children...ahhhh, how life changes......for the better, of course, just different. so, catch you all later!
OK, so I am not so good at posting over the weekends. This weekend I worked a lot at Old Navy. It is definitely that time of year, because it is getting so busy. I really like working when it is like that though because unlike so many who work in the retail world, my goal is to just spread the Spirit of Jesus to every person who i see while i am working even is that is just through a smile. I just can't stand it when i am out somewhere and people have the worst attitudes,especially during the Christmas season. i know it can get stressful as it is busier, but I am going to try my best to be as positive as I can even on the busiest days.
Saturday night after I got home from work Rich told me that Camryn had thrown up like four times that evening and then she continued to be sick through Sunday morning so I stayed home from church with all the kids just in case they got sick too. Almost all of my friends have had this bug going in their families in the last couple of weeks, and I thought we were going to avoid it ,but no such luck. I am just praying that no one else gets it, especially Rich. I don't know why but I would rather be sick than for him to get sick. I just need him to be well, and he has so much more to be doing right now anyway with school and work.
So I know that most of my friends have posted this on their blogs today, but it is just so heavy on so many of our hearts today and the more people who read about it and say a prayer, the better. A couple at my church had a baby boy, Evan Michael, about a week ago and soon after he was born they discovered he had a heart condition. He has been at Children'g Mercy hospital in the NICU since he was born and he is undergoing open heart surgery to correct the problem this morning. The doctors say that he is a prime candidate for the surgery and that he has a 95% chance of coming through the surgery, but even so, it is going to be a long road to recovery, and their family could use all the prayers they can get. I have felt so connected to all of my friends and church family today because I know that we are all united in prayer today for the Vonmoss family. It is such a powerful thing to know that you are only one of such a huge number of people lifting up something in prayer, but that each prayer is absolutely heard by God and is so significant. Here is a blog that Evan's parents have updating on his condition and how they are doing.
So ending on a lighter note I finally got the CD of all the pictures of our family that my friend allyson took. You can see for yourself how amazing they are, and this is only a few. Thank you so much, allyson, for spending the time to take such amazing pictures of our family!!
This afternoon we went outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and play in the leaves. The kids insisted on wearing their dress-up outfits. I just love the carefreeness (i know i invented that word) of kids when they play in the leaves. Pure joy. I am taking them all to get their flu shots later this evening so this joy is very short lived, i am sure. Cole and Camryn are usually fine with shots, they cry a little, but Grace is just a basket case. She has such a low tolerance for pain, and she usually cries for at least an hour afterward. I told the kids that I would take them to get ice cream and then go to Borders if they were brave. Well, hope all is well with all of you. Don't forget to keep leaving those comments, I just LOVE reading them!
Today was so good. We had MOPS this morning and it was SO fun! My friend Marietta, who is a hair stylist, and her friend, Tracy gave a presentation on fun make-up and hair techniques. It was just so awesome. They did an amazing job! I also got the privilege of being one of the models that they used, so I got to get a make-over. I wish I would have had someone take a picture so i could show you all. She did what was called a "smoky eye" on me, which is a very dramatic look for like a formal, and i honestly don't think i could even begin to try and do this look on myself if I wanted to, but it really was so fun. I think all of the other ladies really liked it and had fun too, I just love MOPS! The other AWESOME thing that happened at mops was that I won the meal! We always give away a meal with a drawing and today i won! So Linda Jensen brought me a meal, and it was FABULOUS! Someone bringing you a home-cooked meal has to be the best thing ever. So I still haven't done the once a month cooking that i was going to do with my mom. I am still trying to gather some recipes, so if anyone has any good ones send them my way please! Then tonight we had youth group and we started a new series on the fruits of the spirit. We had a longer small group time which was really good because I never feel like we have enough time. I could sit and talk to the girls forever. Well, I am off to bed after a very satisfying day!
I know, I know, it has been forever since i last posted. It is actually not because I have been busy or anything, but simply because we haven't really had anything new and exciting going on in the last few days worth posting. We of course had a pretty busy and full weekend, but nothing really happened out of the ordinary in our family, except we did get some more family photographs taken by Allyson, but I haven't actually gotten to see them yet, so I will post as soon as I get all of them. So today Cole and Grace both had school and so Camryn and I hung out and I tried to work on my bible study. We just started this new study on prayer, and our leader Lisa is kind of just putting a lot of different stuff together to create the curriculum, and letting the Holy Spirit be the primary teacher. It was an awesome first week and the stuff that she has us doing this week are so awesome too, but I am finding it much more difficult to do with my kids awake then my other studies. I decided this is definitely the study that is going to test my will to get up in the mornings. Because we are really spending concentrated time in prayer it really has to be at a time when it is really quiet, and obviously that only comes in the early morning here before the kids get up. This is when i always feel like is the best time to have time with God anyway, but I just keep battling my selfish nature that wants to stay in bed until the last possible moment. I was doing pretty good for a while this summer, but I have really fallen out of the habit lately. So, I hope that through this study I can renew my commitment to giving the first part of my day to God. So it really feels like November today, BRRR! I am always so ready for the cold weather to get here, and then I am usually done with it by early January. This is my favorite time of year though, I am already anticipating the Christmas season. Of course, if you look around, people try to start the season so early these days. It kind of irritates me because I know that the media and big businesses try to capitalize on the spirit of the season and begin their ploys to make you buy, buy, buy. I always am in constant battle to try and resist getting sucked up in everything else that comes with the season and just focus on what is most important-Jesus. Well, we are off to the library to find the kids some books, I haven't taken them in a while and they have been asking lately. See you all soon!
This is a music video from one of my favorite Christian artists, Sara Groves. I have told some of my friends about it, and it used to be on my My Space page, but I thought i would post it so everyone could see it. It is a video with footage from a trip to Rwanda that Sara Groves took, and her music and lyrics are always so powerful. I think she totally captures the feelings that you have when you go on any missions trip. This video made me bawl when I first watched it. I have a HUGE heart for the people in Africa, and it is my dream to go there someday. So enjoy the video and let me know what you think! PS- You will have to push pause on my player at the bottom first, and I am not sure why there are 2 of the videos, but it took me forever to get this on here so I didn't want to mess it up by trying to take one off.
So the night of candy mania is over! Seriously, this holiday is not very toddler and preschool age friendly. I know they absolutely love it, and they do look SO cute in their little costumes, but it is just hard. For instance-this year Cole wanted to be Spiderman, of course, because he is obsessed with Spiderman, and so we bit the bullet and bought the Spiderman costume, which of course, is not cheap. But the costume has a face mask with it that just has little holes for eyes, and so you can hardly see out of it. Cole didn't like that, so he didn't want to wear the face mask. SO i had the genius idea to go out and get a pack of face paint to paint his face like Spiderman, and mind you, I never got an E in art back in elementary school, I always got an S, (which really irked me because I thought E stood for effort, which I always gave great effort, the result just wasn't really good) ANYWAY, I am not an artist so I was pretty nervous to try to paint his face, but after about 45min. of painting I got it done, and I thought it actually turned out really great, but as soon as it was done Cole started running around like he does, and it immediately started to rub off! I was so mad, and I kept telling him...sit still! don't move around so much!......yeah right!! Well, it was what it was, and Rich was actually pretty impressed.
SO, Grace was Aurora, or Sleeping Beauty for those of you Disney princess amatuers, and Camryn was an adorable ladybug/butterfly thing. They all looked precious of course but it was pretty late when we got started, and cold, and they just have a pretty short attention span for this kind of stuff. But we went to Rich's parents house and then to my parent's house where they each had special treat bags for the kids, which were so sweet, and my parent's always do sweet things like that, and the kids of course love it so much, and the toys that they put in there are always so fun, and my parents are big on healthy foods, and so they have great snacks without sugar. Thank you so much mom and dad for the fun bags, the kids loved them! And my parents also had yummy vegetable beef soup for us that was a perfect way to warm up after trick-or-treating. So, all in all it was a really fun night, but I think it will get more fun as the kids get a little older. And of course the daily battles over the candy has begun....but I am determined to stay strong! Alright, hope everyone else had a safe and fun Halloween!
Yesterday evening we went to the pumpkin patch....finally! Actually the kids had already been once with dad, but the camera didn't have any batteries so of course we had to go again to get pictures!
So last week as i am driving home from Grace's school in the morning after i had taken her i see on the corner right by my house that they are putting in a STARBUCKS! If you know me you know that this is pretty much a cruel form of temptation because I already have to try and avoid them when I go anywhere because I would spend the better part of our salary on coffee. Now I am seriously considering quitting my little part time job at Old Navy that gives us a wonderful discount on clothes for all of our family to go work at the Starbucks that I could just walk to from our house so I could have all the coffee that I want to drink. Does this seem selfish to you all, or genius?? I would appreciate any feedback that I could get!
I am so excited that so many of my friends have started blogging lately. How could you not love this? It is so fun to express your thoughts and share pictures of your crazy and beautiful kids and venting about the crazy things they do. I am so thankful to my friend Emily for starting this trend with all of us because I just love checking in on all of you and hearing about your days and the crazy things your kids do so that I feel better about my life! There are still my friends out there that I really want to join the bandwagon, and you know who you are if you are reading this. Join in the fun!
It is such a beautiful day! I just love fall! Well, today is another Monday. I just got back from Costco, which is basically one of the most awesome, yet also one of the most dangerous stores ever! They have samples everywhere that you have to stop and taste and the bakery there is a dieter's worst nightmare! Right now they have the most amazing pumpkin pie ever, and it is always freshly made...ummm yummy! I am already looking forward, or let me rephrase, daydreaming about Thanksgiving dinner. Is that a problem? I just love food! Anyway, speaking of food and dieting, I am dreading the whole Halloween candy thing. For days after Halloween I am battling with the kids about the fact that they can only have three pieces a day, and then my husband and I usually gain like 3lbs. each eating it too! I always end up throwing most of it out, what a waste! Oh well, the kids have fun trick or treating, and i definitely don't want to give that up because it is really fun to see them all in their costumes. Well, tonight I think I am going to take the kids to the pumpkin patch to get some pumpkins, and then we will come home and carve them. So I should have some cute pictures to share with you all tomorrow! See you soon!
So it has been a few days since I last posted, obviously. It's funny because if any of my friends misses a day of posting i get so depressed, and I fully intended to post everyday it just hasn't happened the last couple of days. So to my fellow blogger-obsessed friends here is a quick update on life for the Ronnings in the last couple of days.
Friday was a really good day because one of my best friends Allyson, who is an amazing photographer, and i mean amazing, went out and took pictures of my family. I have been looking foward to doing this ever since she first started her little photography business a couple of months ago, and even though I didn't think it was possible, she exceeded my expectations. It was pretty dreary on Friday and Allyson didn't think the lighting was going to be very good, and I actually have only seen a few of the pictures, but they are SO awesome! I love them! If you are interested in seeing them here is the link to Allyson's web site, and if you click on blog you can view them. http://web.mac.com/inthemomentphotos So check them out because they are awesome. Thank you Allyson for being an amazing friend and for spending the time to take these awesome pictures! After we took the family pictures we got to drop off the kids with my mother and father in law and then go out on a LONG awaited date. With the busy schedule that Rich and I both have right now it is so hard to find a night where we don't have anything and get childcare and get out on a date. So when we do get to go out I cherish every minute, and it doesn't even matter what we do, just that I am with my amazing husband and we are just enjoying each other's company, just us. SO, that was so much fun. Saturday we had a day of lawn work. There is not much more exciting to say about this, it just was a lot of work, but now our lawn looks nice and pretty. Today looked pretty much like a typical Sunday for us-we went to church and then watched football and relaxed on the couch for the afternoon, and then we went to our small group this evening.
So tomorrow we start another week, and it is probably going to be a pretty busy one what with Halloween and this year we have Cole's preschool party and Grace's party so it will be a full week. I am really excited though to see the kids in their costumes, they are always so cute! So look forward to all the cute costume pictures this week!
Well, it is another beautiful afternoon and I had to include these pictures that I took earlier today. I am so lucky that Grace and Cole are literally the best friends ever. Sometimes it is funny because they act somewhat helpless when one of them is without the other one. Oh, they have their regular fights everyday, but most of the time they are attached at the hip. They have this just pure and innocent love for one another that I hope and pray that they always keep. They even say that they are going to marry each other (it is so cute when they say it i feel bad bursting their bubble by telling them that isn't going to happen!) They are so into playing dress up too, and not just Grace. Now it is usually Grace telling Cole what to say and what to do and Cole is sweet enough that he usually does it all, but Cole really loves it! (much to my husband's dismay) These pictures just perfectly capture their feelings for one another and if you can believe it the kiss was totally not planned and i didn't tell him to do it, he just did! Oh, one day he is going to hate me for sharing this with you all!
Well, today has been pretty good, pretty uneventful and routine, but usually that is a really good thing in this stage of life. We had another full day yesterday ending with youth group, where I had a really awesome time with my small group of girls. I so cherish the friendships that i am developing with each of the girls. Sometimes i just wish the time that we have to split off into small groups didn't have to end so soon because I feel like I could just sit there all night and talk to the girls and hear about what God is doing with them. What a privilege! Well, i am off to make some cards while my children are still sleeping. See you all soon!
PS-Does anyone do once a month cooking? I am planning a day next week to do it, and I just wanted whatever advice anyone could give me on it. I have never really done it, and I would love anyone's thoughts on the best way to go about it.
Hey all! Today I had a really good morning. Grace and Cole both had school so it was my morning to just have Camryn. Did anyone notice that today is totally beautiful and the picture of a perfect October day?! I went up to the church coffee shop to work on my bible study like I usually do on Tues. mornings and I ran into a friend of mine that was in my sorority at Kansas State. She is one of the sweetest girls and I was so excited to run into her and to see that she has a sweet little boy that is almost one. i am always looking for more cool and fun mommy friends who love Jesus! I also shared with her that I have started this blog and she told me that she also has one and so I visited it of course as soon as I got home and I realized that i forgot something very important about my friend. She not only is cool and fun and loves Jesus, she is also HILARIOUS and her blog absolutely shows that. I am going to have so much fun obsessively visiting her blog! I hope she is ok with me sharing that with you all, because it just made my day today. The kids played outside for awhile this afternoon because as I said earlier it is just the most beautiful day today, and now they are taking a great nap so I can actually work on my bible study since I really spent most of the morning this morning talking and didn't get anything done. Tonight I am working at my part-time job at Old Navy so if any of you need to get out come visit me at the 119th and Blackbob Old Navy anytime after 5:15pm! Well, I better get crackin' on the bible study, see you all soon!
PS-Here is a picture of a card that I made a while back and love because it was made with one of my favorite stamp sets ever-Tall Tales!
Well, my son is four years old!! Cole had his fourth birthday on Friday. He is just getting more and more handsome. He is definitely my most energetic child and he is super athletic (all from his Dad, obviously) , but he can also be the sweetest boy ever when you get him by himself. We didn't have a big party this year, just a bunch of little ones with family. He didn't even know the difference, he just loved getting all the Spiderman presents! So on Friday we just went as a family to dinner and ice cream, and then I left for my night of scrapbooking with my girlfriends. I had so much fun, as always when I am with them all, and I got some scrapbooking done, which is good for me! I stayed up until about 4:45am which is the latest that I have been up since college, I think, but it really was worth it. We scrapbooked until 5pm on Saturday and then I went home and my mother and father-in-law came over for dinner to celebrate Cole's birthday. By the end of the evening I was done! After we put the kids to bed at 8:30pm I crashed! Then Sunday morning we went to church and it was a great service. My brother-in-law, Justin, gave the message and it was so great. I love when he speaks. The message was all about investing our time in the things that really matter, because we have so little time, and time is so precious. So often we just aren't intentional about the time we do spend, because we are just going through the day, rushing, rushing, rushing, and the moments just slip by.
After church there was a baby shower for a couple of my really good friends, Kristy and Jeanna. We ended the day with small group and the weekend was over! Here we are at the beginning of another week. Today is another rainy, and pretty chilly, day, so we are pretty much just staying in today and catching up on all that needs to be done to recover from the weekend. Another good night of TV is ahead! See you all soon!
PS-Just a funny thing, the page that I included is one I did this weekend, and it is of the first hours in the hospital after Cole was born! That is how far behind I am!
Is there anything sweeter than your kids right after they have taken a bath and they get in their jammies? They cannot look any cuter! I just had to take a picture. Of course it was totally chaotic and insane leading up to this, trying to control them all in the bath is a joke! But they are all sleeping soundly now, and I too, am on my way to my bed. Good night!
Hey all! Today is cleaning day for us. I have so much cleaning and laundry to catch up on. We are so busy during the week running to and from school and other activities that the cleaning just doesn't always get done. But I love those days that you just really get down and dirty and catch up on the cleaning, and then your house just feels so much better, for the next couple of hours that is!!! Yesterday was one of those days where we were just running from place to place, which is why I had no time to post. I am so excited because today is Thursday, which means that tomorrow is Friday, and tomorrow happens to be Cole's 4th birthday. I am planning on making breakfast for the kids, and then I have my bible study on Friday mornings. Right now we are doing a study called Attending the Bride of Christ, which is studying the true purpose of the church, and what God wants us to understand about it. I love my bible study. I am such a geek when it comes to bible study. I really soak up every bit of hearing from others about what they learned and how God spoke to them through the study for that week. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with the homework, but it is so worth it when I get there on Friday morning and we share together. After bible study I am planning on taking the kids to the park to play and get all their energy out. Then, when Rich gets home we are taking the kids to the T-Rex restaurant to celebrate Cole's birthday. He will love it! Then comes the most exciting part of all......I am going to an all night and all day crop!!!!!!!!!!!!! A group of my like all my best friends are getting together over at one of their houses and we are going to scrapbook all night Friday and all day Saturday until 5pm!! You just don't even know how exciting this is. Basically I live for these weekends because I get such good girlfriend time plus I might get like two or three whole pages done!!! My friends know that I am usually the one that gets the least amount of scrapbooking done because I am talking so much, but this weekend is going to be different because I am all business. It is going to be shorter than the ones we have had in the past and I will be getting there late on Friday, so I have to just shut my mouth and get some serious work done. Yeah right, since when was I able to do that! Well, I better get back to the mountain of laundry and vacuuming, ugh! Have a good day!
Today I got to go on a field trip with Grace's class to the fire station! It was so much fun! This is the first time that I have been able to help in Grace's class, she has been asking and asking when I can help, but it is just hard right now because I have to find childcare for the other two kiddos in order to do it. She was just in heaven today though, it was so cute that she loved having me there! It was also really cool to tour the station. If some of you don't know my husband, Rich, is in his last class of training to be a fireman. He will start applying to different departments in January and hopefully start working in a station sometime next year! Right now he is in class three nights a week-Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights from 6-9:30pm. So basically he comes home from work, showers, and goes to class, and then he doesn't get home till about 9:30pm. So, I am putting three kids to bed on my own three nights a week. It gets really tiring! I know there are moms out there who do this a lot because their husbands travel or work late or whatever, and I totally admire them. It is just the hardest job ever to bathe and read and sing and get drinks for three kids. So this trip today to the fire station really made me feel better about doing that. His class ends in December so it is really a short time, it just feels really long right now. And my husband was basically born to do this job. As I was watching these firefighters I could just picture him doing it, and he just fits. This is what he was supposed to do. He has dreamed of doing this since he was a little kid and I know it is going to be the most exciting day ever for him when he finally starts working. I am a little nervous about the idea of him being a firefighter, but I have really been praying about it ever since we knew he was going to do it. I know God has everything in control and things will happen in His time so I just have to continue to trust him. Well, that is all for today, thanks for stopping by and hope you like the pictures!
So, this is officially my first post on my newest creative outlet! I can't believe I am really going to have a blog, I always thought people who had blogs...umm, well, let's just say...I thought they had a little too much time on their hands. Well, maybe they do, but I was recently introduced to this blogging world by my friend Emily, who is one of those friends who you totally want to be more like because they are just so cool, and she has a blog, which I obsessively visit now, and then two more of my really good friends started blogs, and so here I am! I hope that this can become a place where I can share news and fun from our family, display some fun creative projects, and give my bloghead friends one more place to obsessively visit ;)! So, it is another Monday, which means that another week of craziness has begun, but it also means that my favorite night of TV is here!! Have any of you guys seen the show Chuck? This show freakin' rocks! I can't get enough! And then of course Heroes, Hello! And this other new show called Journeyman. All on NBC, and all add up to pretty much the only TV I watch, except for Thursday night on NBC of course...oh,and football...and of course PBS cartoons. Well, now that I have taken up two days worth of space, I will leave you with a picture of some cards that I did this week in my spare time. This has been a pretty good week as far as creative flow, so I have tried to take advantage of that and get some stuff done.
26 year old chick. Married to a total hottie, who also happens to be my best friend. Mom to three beautiful blonde children who in my opinion are the smartest best children ever :)
Grace is 6, Cole is 5, and Camryn is 3. I love staying at home, carting these kiddos to school, and watching them grow up-way too fast!