Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Whirly Twirly Wednesday

We didn't have "Momma's special camera" (which is completely off limits to the girls) at dance class today, so when Avery wanted to take charge of my point-and-shoot, I gladly let her. One thing you can say for her is she shoots from an interesting perspective. (My family may recognize the guy yawning?? in the background)

There were several other humorous ones, but I decided to only include the ones with Amanda in them.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


For Thanksgiving this past year, Shaun and I felt one way we could express our thanks to God for the way He has blessed us would be to give. We chose Compassion International after doing some research. I like this particular organization for a couple reasons, the main one is the resources they receive get put into places and people who are already established in the villages.

The reason we chose this little girl is because she is just months older than Avery and I wanted it to be a real experience for the girls...someone they could relate to. Its very important to me to foster a burden for others in my children. I want them to grow up very aware that 'its not about them'.

This week five bloggers traveled to India to see the work that Compassion International is doing. Two of the bloggers I read regularly and all of them are posting everyday about their experiences. You can go here to check it out.

I was touched by what Melissa wrote specifically to sponsors:

I may have gotten to witness it, but those kids weren’t clapping, singing, and celebrating that ten random and goofy looking Americans came to visit them. They identified with us because we represented to them their individual sponsors. Let me tell you, no let me assure you- your sponsor child knows your name. Not just your first name. Your last name, too. They lined up with drums to usher you into the place you’ve financially provided for them. A place of hope. A place where that abstract verb “to dream” becomes something that just might be tangible. A place where they hear for the first time that they have dignity and worth before the Most High God.

It is both humbling and exciting to read the stories and see the pictures that this group is sharing this week. If you get a couple minutes to check it out, you'll be blessed.

"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.' Matthew 25:37

A Visit to the Zoo

We declared a family day on Sunday so we skipped out on church and headed for the zoo about an hour away. It is really sweet that both girls make a special note whenever the four of us are doing something together. Avery will say, "We're like a family!" and then Amanda will say, "Daddy and Amanda and A-ree and Momma...and Daddy!

At each exhibit, Amanda asked if she could go in with whatever animal it was and then it turned into asking if she could go in the water of each exhibit. It was an out-of-the-blue 90 degree day, so we were happy to find this water.

All's well that ends well, as they say.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nathan's Rehearsal Dinner

We were honored to be asked to host the wedding rehearsal dinner on Saturday for Shaun's brother Nathan. It was a beautiful day and the rehearsal itself was done in about half an hour, so we had plenty of time for eating afterwards. Laryssa is using red, yellow and orange as her wedding colors, so I tried to tie them all in.

We had thirty for dinner and it turned out to be a really nice evening.

I was concentrating more on my hostessing skills than my photography skills, so I only got postable pictures from two of the four tables. It was a good lesson that candids don't work well during a meal. But I have them stored in case I ever need to use them (insert devious laugh here). I'll give you one guess who the live entertainment at this table was. Hint: she's two feet tall and her name begins with a "A".

Isn't this a sweet picture of Auntie Sarah and Avery? Auntie loves her huggy-buggy-wuggies.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Project 365, Week 17

April 19
I hadn't taken any pictures of the day, so we did a bedtime photoshoot.

April 20
The girls wore their leotards for most of the day and they were practicing First-position jumps in the kitchen.And bows.April 21
This IS a different day, although the outfit is the same. It was just Avery and I for dinner and she asked if I would sit right next to her.

April 22
Shaun painted the kitchen. Its the same color, just without all the scuff marks.

The girls are such good cleaners and enjoy doing it with me.

April 23
One of my best moments of everyday. When Avery comes downstairs from her nap, almost without fail, she finds me working in the office. She climbs up in my lap and likes to snuggle until she has woken up a bit. Oh, those little moments!

April 24
It was such a nice day so the girls and I walked down to the ball field where Daddy was playing in a scrimmage.
April 25
Two new windows in the kitchen! The old ones had lead paint, much of it on the glass and one had a cracked pane. They were very drafty and noisy to open and close.

Shaun put the new ones in within just a few hours, including staining them. It was so nice to have my handsome repair man around this week. He also wore many other hats this week, trying to lighten the load of his overwhelmed wife. Thanks, Buddy!

I'm so grateful to Sara for hosting this each week. I've thoroughly enjoyed participating in this project.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ragga-muffin Girl

In anticipation of the the warm/hot weather that is coming our way this weekend, I took the girls outside for frozen, colored sugar water (technically popsicles). Amanda's got post-nap hair, her dress is inside out, her pants are on backwards and she has Avery's church sandals on the wrong feet (she always has a fifty-fifty shot). BUT, she did it herself so its good enough for me. That, and we didn't go out in public.

Although now that I think about it, what, exactly is the difference between taking her to the grocery store like this or posting her picture on my blog for anyone in the world wide web to see. Hmmm....hopefully you all won't tsk-tsk me as quickly as the eighty-year old lady in the store who would never have let her kids out of the house like that back in her day. Or maybe worse still the twenty-year-old who swears to herself that is she ever has kids they will always look like they just got done with a Baby Gap photo shoot and not like my ragga-muffin kid.

Anyway...Daddy brought them to softball practice, giving me a much needed break. When they got home I asked Amanda about her time. I asked her if she had played with a ball.

She got very serious and said, "No, 'cause Daddy said I can't pay with da ball."

Oh, so what did you play with then?

She shrugged both shoulders, looked at me like she couldn't believe I would ask such a dumb question and said, "Da dirt."

Naturally. What was I thinking?? Outfit # 5? 6? of the day. I have to say her matching skills are greatly improving. She's getting super anxious to wear her "Florida clothes", too.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Setting My Sights on Boston

In case you were not aware, the Boston Marathon is today. We caught some of it during lunch today and even in my seventh-month-of-pregnancy state, it was very inspiring. My friend Amy and I have agreed to run it together next year. An ambitious goal that is many, many, many miles away but I think I am up for it.

This will be me next year (hopefully the one standing). Oh...and maybe, just maybe the clock will not read a "2" as the front digit. photo

Anyone else want to join us? C'mon, Boston is a beautiful city and what better way to tour it??

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Project 365, Week 16

April 12
Easter Sunday April 13
Cousin Allison slept over and the girls played princesses all morning.

Breaking open the special candy stash
April 14
Working hard wrapping Daddy's present
I can explain...actually, I can't. Not sure how/why her clothes got stripped off but her hair is crazy because I had taken out her braids getting her ready for bed. Shaun took this picture and when he brought it upstairs to show me, I nearly fell off the bed laughing.

April 15
Shaun's birthday dinner

April 16
Shaun left with six other guys on a three-day bachelor trip for his brother Nathan, who is getting married in less than two weeks. I can't wait til Shaun gets home so I can hear about all their adventures white water rafting.
Nathan is in the white, his brothers Micah and Shaun are the Sox fans on the end

April 17
My mom took Amanda for the morning so I could get some work done and Avery slept at Allison's house with four of her cousins.

April 18
A neighboring town held a Fun Night and everything was free! Sienna and I took the girls and her nephew and the kids all had fun. There was a section for 5 and under to safely play, including a couple bouncy houses, but Amanda preferred the other section with the slide and the bouncy house with the big, crazy kids.

She gave Blue high-fives every time she saw him. Her?

After nearly two hours Avery thought she might want to give him a high-five but once we tracked him down she chickened out. She did enjoy going down the slide head first though.

Sara is hosting hers and other great projects.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Are You Ready?

This morning we got word that one of our tenants was killed on his motorcycle last night. He was in his twenties.

The first thought that struck me was to wonder how our lives impacted him over the last six years or so that he's been renting from us. Our dealings with him and his girlfriend were always fair and amicable, but did we ever stop and ask him where he would spend eternity?

I don't know for sure if he had put his faith in God. I wish I'd taken the time to at least be clear with him that he had a choice of Heaven or Hell.

God gave us all a free will and every person makes their own choices. You have a choice.

The benefits of living life for God are sweet, daily blessings of peace and joy and fulfillment and so much more, but to be honest, the bottom line for me is that those I love and come into contact with go to Heaven...that none would perish, but have eternal life.

What am I here for? Why are you here? Where will you go when you are 100 and you die in your sleep? Where will you go when you are 30 and a drunk driver hits you out of nowhere? It is very presumptuous and prideful for me to think I will be around to see tomorrow...its just not guaranteed.

God's simple plan of salvation is: You are a sinner. Therefore, unless you believe on Jesus who died in your place, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you believe on him as your crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, you receive forgiveness for all of your sins and his gift of eternal salvation by faith.

It is a gift. Not something you can earn. It is free and waiting for you to accept.

Please do it today. You may not have tomorrow.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Amanda being Amanda

Oh, Amanda. Where do I begin with this girl?? This picture was from this morning. This is her new "funny face", accompanied with, "Mom, watch me!" Would it be a total mom thing to tell her not to do it or one day her eyes will get stuck like that? :)

Also, when she went to bed she had warm, fuzzy jammies on and no watch, so I can only imagine what transpired between bedtime and this morning when she came down in her dress and with Avery's watch on.

A new phrase of hers is "don't worry" and every time she says it, I do.

Yesterday she was putting on her hand-me-down from Avery sneakers that are worn out. She says to me, "Mom, dees are my bestial (special) pincess shoes and I have to wear dem. Dats what the bible says." I couldn't get a reference out of her though, so take it for what its worth. You can't believe everything you hear (or read).

Tonight we were at the grocery store. She was sitting in the cart and I was distracted with paying so it only registered what was going on after she'd asked for the third time in her two-year-old-NOT-inside-voice, "Mom, is that Mary?" Huh? Who? Where? Then I noticed some customers laughing and saw the nun fully dressed in her habit. Thankfully, we were just leaving.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Shaun

Yesterday we celebrated Shaun's 30-something birthday. It used to be much more fun to celebrate before he became a tax preparer, since its a given April 15th is going to be a busy tax day, but we are learning to adjust.

I made breakfast and he and the girls opened his present, then we met up again for lunch then we picked him up from work and went out to eat at 9:00 pm, celebrating his birthday and the end of tax season for another year.

I'm so thankful for the gift this man is to our family. One of the things I admire most about him is his character. Often, I think, the deeper you dig into a person, the more faults and flaws you find. The opposite is true with Shaun. It takes time, but the more you know about him, the more treasure you find. He strives for excellence in all that he does and lives his life for his God and for his family, not for show.

He is a patient, devoted husband and a loving, tender daddy. He is a man's man, but we know him best as the one who likes lots of hugs and is willing to have barrettes put in his hair. The one who the girls always cry out for when they are hurt, the one who cannot say no to Avery when she climbs on his lap with a story, or to Amanda when she takes off his sandals and drags him into the ocean to jump the waves with her.

We love you Shaun, Daddy. You mean the world to us.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Scripture Memory #7

Since before time began no one has ever imagined, no ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you who works for those who wait for him.
Isaiah 64:4

Whirly Twirly Wednesday

We've had better dance classes than today was. On the short ride home, Amanda almost fell asleep, so that may have been part of it. Do you love her outfit today? Daddy took charge of getting her ready so I could work and this is how her leotard ended up. Let's assume Shaun let Amanda put it on all by herself and that he was not a part of it being inside-out.

I could tell from these faces that we were going downhill fast. After two warning that if she didn't listen to her teacher, or if she didn't want to dance but instead wanted to sit next to me that we would go home, we went home. I had to leave once in the middle of class with Avery back when she first started and I never had a problem with her again...we'll see if leaving early sunk in with Amanda today.