Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My heart...

Here is a glimpse into my heart lately. I'm struggling. I'm really struggling. I can't come to grips with how I know God's Kingdom is real and thriving, I know He loves me and every other child of his on earth, I know so many don't know him and without those of us who do know Him telling them they will pay an eternal price, I know so many people need him and the people who love Him to stand with them as they fight the injustices that have come their way and I know my family (including me) has so much to offer the world around us - so why am I consumed by this world and my little life? I'm on a mission to learn to live more simply, to quit striving for the things of this world and to enjoy the call to serve God, to live for Him and to give fully all He has put in my hands. Gosh - this will be a long journey but with God's grace and love I know there is hope for even me.

Here is a great post from a friends blog that really touched my heart today and I wanted to share it with you as well! Thanks Gail... your faithfullness to the call is a breathe of fresh air! Not everyone understands all you are giving up but I see it and I so appreciate your willingness to go therefore and make disciples of all nations.

God's Calling vs. Our Desires

"Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever." ~Elisabeth Elliot~

This is a quote from Elisabeth Elliot, the wife of martyred missionary, Jim Elliot. Jim Elliot's famous quote is my favorite, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

As soon to be full-time missionaries we realize that we are giving up a lot, but what we give up is less of a cost than our Savior gave up for us. He gave his very life for us so that we can gain a life that we cannot lose. In following Christ, who gave up everything, how we can anything but give up our desires, our possessions, and our everything in order to follow Him in the calling He has placed on us. Although some may not understand this calling, I choose to give up my plans and purposes, my own desires and hopes, and accept His will for my life, wherever that may lead me. I have found that as I give up my desires for the things this world says are important and follow His calling, then His calling becomes my desire and the things of this world become less important.

Friday, February 20, 2009

We did it!

Well, in our almost 8 years of marriage Kyle and I have managed to get away without kids now three times - once for the honeymoon, once for one night when Avery was about 18 months and once a couple weekends ago. I thought I would post the proof since I know that no one believes I really did it. We left our camera home so my sister could capture what she did with the kids (who all did really well - even better than I did) but when we decided to go to Universal Studios we had to buy a disposable so we could show the kids all the cool stuff we saw.

Here we are on the hotel balcony in Newport Beach

This is some dog from Beverly Hills Chihuahua and The Dog Hotel movie - I knew the kids would think this was cool.
Here is when I volunteered Kyle to be in a demonstration of how they make sound effects... he wasn't too happy with me - but I had so much fun watching him.

And here is our favorite picture of us with Kyle's hero!

I'm so lucky that I'm married to my best friend and even without tons of time for just us we are still in love and still very happy to be married to each other. Thanks Kyle for forcing me to go away with just you... I had fun and look forward to our next getaway! I promise next time I won't cry for the first day and a half (but you kind of asked for it by taking me to a total kid place this time).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Party Time!

If you ever need a reason to have a party - call me! I love to celebrate things and find it a fun way to learn things, enjoy eachother and create wonderful memories for family and friends. So in the last week here are the 3 reasons we partied...

Valentine's Day!
We woke up to snow - how fun is that! I tried to wake up all the kids and get them ready early so I get a group shot in it but of course Adison and Avery were feeling sick and that just didn't happen. Here are a few shots of the snow we had. Adia was the only one who seemed to care.

Kaden and Kenyon had matching shirts on and when I told Kenyon what his said he gave me a big hug and told me he loved me. Then at coop a lady asked him if he knew what his shirt said and reflecting on the morning he responded with "it says mommy's little huggie bug" - I thought that was cute!

I organized a homeschool party for the local homeschoolers and even though in the last 2 days I had about 30 more kiddos RSVP, Avery woke up super sick the day of and I was feeling the begining of a sinus infection that morning it seems the party went okay and everyone had a pretty good time - except Avery who slept on this little Dora couch all morning.

Grandma Jenny's Birthday!
In our family it is a real honor to make someones birthday cake. My mom spent 30 years making every cake for each of her kids and grand kids and just lately has slowed down (due to old age I think - love you mom!) but she didn't slow down until she passed on the gift to someone and my little Adia is the lucky new baker. Grandpa Paul gave her the honor of making G'ma Jenny's cake and in the little time we had I think she did a great job (with a bit of help from mom only due to time).
The big cake says Happy Birthday Grandma and it is surrounded by a cupcake for each grandkid that LOVES HER SO MUCH! The little flags say "Adia loves you" "Trevor loves you" and so on until she had one for each cousin. The tiny cupcakes are for the babies under a year. And Leah - I am so sorry but I left Keira and Baby B.'s cupcakes at home - we did not forget you and Grandma was quick to realize we messed up. Please don't tell them.

Presidents Day!
We were so blessed to have some family over to celebrate President's day with us and Grandma Jenny taught us some wonderful and very catchy tunes to learn "What President is on the Penny" and "What President is on the Dollar". Kenyon impressed her with his knowledge of who the 1st, 16th and current president's are. He is turning out to be pretty smart - kind of!
Then we did some fun crafts... log cabins like Lincoln's made out of pretzel sticks and patriotic penny magnets. So fun and so glad Macy, Aunt Nicole, Aunt Jill, Penny and G'ma Jenny were able to join us! Thanks guys!
You can't have a party celebrating birthdays without a birthday cake so we had a cake and instead of singing Happy Birthday, since Kenyon said "mom you said he died" we decided to be patriotic and sing the star spangled banner instead.
Aunt Jill proved to be an outstanding Wii games girl. She was amazing how she was practically perfect at every game she tried. We were all jealous of yet another one of her skills. Macy seems to have her moms genes and was amazing as well.

Watching the grown ups play with the Wii could only keep the girls attention for so long and Macy, being a true princess, was quick to find the girlie toys that hardly get any use in our home.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Let it Snow (followed by sunshine)

Our family spent a couple days in Tahoe last week thanks to some GOOD FRIENDS sharing a time share with us! We almost didn't take the trip being that we are super busy (so weird for us I know) but when daddy hears about snow followed by sunshine he cannot resist! So off we went to Squaw valley for 2 days. We had a great time!

Getting ready for the day... livin it up!

Adia at the top of the summit... pretty girl - pretty view

I was really worried about the timing due to the fact that I am teaching a science class in my home on Thursdays now and the first class was going to be the day after we returned but thankfully the lodge had a nice kid area and I got my whole 3 hour class planned out while the kids had a good time playing around.

then I got a bit more work done while they took naps.. Kaden is around the corner in a stroller.

The second day there I wasn't up for hanging out in the lodge while my hubby played so we let the kids swim. They had so much fun and daddy taught them how to join the "Polar Bear Club Jr." while Kaden kept busy exploring (and I kept busy not letting him get in the pool). Sometimes it is so hard to keep up the whole tough guy reputation!Adison didn't surprise us by having no interest in joining the club. But she did think it was really cool that she was "moking". The day after we returned I had a wonderful time teaching about animal classification and binomial nomenclature - 2 things I knew nothing about before our little trip. The class is a Zoology class and that was the first chapter. Here is my front room set up for class, my fun students and our nature walk where we looked for all sorts of animals to draw in our field guides. SO FUN!