If you are in search of a really awesome sled, check out this one I picked up from Target. It's called a "Zipfy" (has a "zibby" kinda ring to it!). Super price for a lot of fun! I even had a few great runs on it:) (of course).
6:00 AM dressed as a ballerina in snow boots, "Mommy, can I go play in the snow?"
11:00 AM while driving through our snowy neighborhood she thoughtfully says, "Merry Christmas Mommy!"
12:30 PM after being told to "not move a muscle" while mommy takes the puppy out to potty and hot candy is boiling on the stove, I find her, instead, sitting in the family room, and replies, "Mommy, I had to move a muscle."
There's nothing like a warm bath, cozy P.J's, and a good book. Abigail & Elizabeth had a Cookie Decorating Party with their new friends. The littlest girls especially loved the frosting! We decorated aprons together before getting into the cookie fun! Zibby and her sweet friend SaraGrace. Party favors all lined in a row. We decked the halls! Peace on earth....new clothes for Abby Sue from a wonderful Nana. (Zibby had to try them on too!) We love making pomanders together every year. Ben enjoying the G.I. Joe's that Grampa & Nana sent....they used to be his daddy's.
2 Corinthians 2:14 " Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." I love that He is leading us in triumph...and using us to share His love to those people around us who are in the process of being saved. I think we have neighbors and co-workers who are in the process of being saved. And we are called to live our lives out according to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is our Sudan...this is our Middle East....this is our China. Those who are in desperate need around us are starving and hurting just the same...in their souls. God wants to use a neighborhood Christmas Cookie Party just as much as He wants to use a Billy Graham Crusade to thousands of souls in need. Blessed are the man and woman...and blessed are the children...who can live out the gospel of Jesus Christ in the prosperous suburbs of Massachusettes. Who can look beyond their creature comforts and tables full of plenty, into the windows of a neighbor who has everything but our precious Jesus. Dear Savior, give us eyes to see and hearts willing to be bold for Your gospel. Let them see beyond the many material blessings you have poured out on our lives and into our souls, satisfied in Christ alone. And let them seek and find that, so we can be heavenly neighbors for all of eternity. Amen.
A very special night in celebration of super-great report cards! Sees lollipops & cousins on Thanksgiving day at Nana & Grampa's The kids tables. Such a pretty Thanksgiving meal with family! Hungarian Chicken Paprikash...made with love and lots of time by Nana. The kids with their friends the Pedroza's at our church Christmas program These two were amazing! She did such a good job for being a very shy girl. The easiest homemade donuts on earth! Ready for the play! Sweet Elizabeth Jane Pomegranate Party Abby Sue & Charlotte (a true answer to prayer!) Christmas Tree Daddy & Three
The house is usually cluttered, the beds unmade, there are bowls in the sink and dinner pots still waiting for me on the stove in the morning. There are three busy kids underfoot...creating things out of everything from scraps of material to packing popcorn, making forts in the living room out of every couch pillow in the house, and always in need of something to feed those ever growing bodies. There is an older and very tolerant cat and now a perfectly precocious, very adored, puppy. There are backpacks, lunch boxes, & homework usually covering every bit of counter space in the kitchen and a "mom-mobile" full to the rim with snack wrappers, cracker crumbs, apple cores, juice boxes, and loads of unopened junk mail piled in the passenger seat next to me. There is a whole lot of laughter and (of course) a few battles being fought now & then. There is candle wax from the advent wreath melted all over my Christmas table runner....and a sparkly tree crammed with my favorite little hand crafted ornaments. This is our 10th Christmas as parents and every year we find ourselves clinging to the remains of each short winters day, longing for our kids to stay small just a little while longer...to keep believing in the magic of Santa Claus...and to remind us continuously of a childlike faith. We are far from perfect parents and our house does not usually run like a "tight ship"....but we love Jesus and we love each other....I'm finding that's just enough for me.
There is not a day that our home isn't filled with music. Of course Aaron and I love to sing and play our guitars. We have both often wondered what each of the kids would find as their own musical outlet. So far it looks to us like Abby Sue is our violinist. She started lessons this year and loves it to say the least. She has quickly learned notes, songs, and loves to practice. Ben has loved the piano for a long time and we noticed his ear for notes when he figured out songs on the keyboard. We decided that we needed to get a piano & found a perfect little spinet in a town nearby on craig's list. It is coming to tomorrow! So, Ben and mommy can't wait to get their fingers on it. Ben starts lessons in December. We have noticed that Zibby is more than likely our most naturally gifted child when it comes to all things musical. She sings like a little songbird, dances like an angel, and has a true interest in piano, guitar, and violin. Maybe we can be like the Von Trapp Family one day! I feel so blessed to have all this music in our home. It's what I always dreamed of.
found this photo of Abby Sue...this was when she was almost 2 and we lived in Florida!
Marathons are kinda like giving birth....you forget a lot of the hard parts and then the memory of how you felt when you finished calls you back. At least it does for me. I have always loved and hated agony and victory all wrapped in one moment. I found my outlet....it's the marathon.
When I finished the race last year in Eugene I felt like Jesus wasn't just waiting for me at the finish line...He was with me throughout the course.
While I trained I had to face a lot of mental and even spiritual issues. His loving Spirit healed and strengthened me.
I didn't know if I would ever run one again, I just wanted to finish.
This time around I know that He will use the training and the race in the same way. He will reveal His love to me and speak to my heart in new ways.
Of course He doesn't need a marathon to meet all of us....but I guess for me He does.
So I'll keep running until He says I'm finished.
It's kind of a goal to qualify for Boston this time.
I've cried the most these days over my daughter. Our precious Abigail is so unique and gifted, but with all of the personality she has been given comes a lot of hard lessons too. She is guided mostly by her emotions, she is not self-contious in public places...(she truly dances like no one is watching.) But the problem is that there are people watching and judging, no matter how wrong they may be, they are making assumptions about my darling daughter. I can see it in the other girls faces and the way they whisper. It's hard to watch. And it's also hard to explain to her. There are times when I just want to bring her home and never let her out in to the big, wide, mean, world....but then I remember Who made her, Who she belongs to, and the wonderful plan He has for her life. I just pray that I can always be supportive, wise, and encouraging to her. I don't want her to be like everyone else...but the truth is, we all want our kids to fit in...no matter how wrong that concept is. We want them to be understood, loved, and respected. For the most part she's just a wonder to everyone she meets. And she is wonderful to me.
The Trick or Treat Fairy. Counting candy of course! I love this one. I always let the kids draw the faces then I do the cutting out...I love Zibby's smiley faced one. This one is holding a light saber...guess who's it is? I like how they looked when we lit them up. Zibby is a fairy underneath her coat...it was freezing! Ben's amazing pillowcase, ready to be filled with treats. Abby Sue's awesome pillowcase. She loved getting all gooey. Pumpkin carving. It took forever to glue all this tissue paper on her old wings...but she did great! Karaoke at Lucy's birthday party. Bouncing with friends! Dressed up for Lucy's party...Ben made up his character...Mr. Orange M...which he told us stands or an Orange Musketeer....he is so funny!