Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hiding Out

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1

Toshiba, my trusty laptop, looked at me the other day. Dusty and forlorn, he stared, feeling the lack of attention he has been recieving lately. He knows other things have occupied my thoughts and time. I have taken a long term sub opportunity until the end of the school year. Birthdays and dance recitals abound. Our docile two year old has morphed into a VERY busy almost three year old and the terrible twos are gliding dangerously close to the traumatic threes. Lately, it feels as though we have been hiding a bit, dwelling in the secret place until the waters calm a bit.

One thing we all know for sure is that the only certain thing about each day is uncertainty. I think that is half the fun of life, never being quite sure of what is going to pop up next. When those uncertainties hit, how do others get through it? Amidst uncertainty, we can always be sure, I mean 100 percent sure of the love of God. He is our secret place, a place to dwell when it is hectic, unknown, when we are unsure...because He is certain. He is solid, stable, our firm foundation.

This has been a strange year. One frought with uncertainty in every area of our lives. Rob's work is always tentative, the struggling economy, layoffs and depleted overtime reduce others' ability to make renovations in their homes. The trickle down effect means that we have experienced many workless weeks this year. When I review those stressful times for us though, I see how the Lord provided work for me even when there was no work for him.

Emily has struggled with four stomach viruses this school year, two of which rendered her limp and lifeless in the hospital. This weekend we had the unexpected midnight trek to the ER. Emily came home from the hospital Monday. She is not feeling well and not eating yet, but even in the midst of her being ill, I see the good in humanity...friends and family who show support, people who pray, nurses and doctors who truly exhibit the love Jesus intended as they care for our child. At this point we are considering this was yet another virus, however the doctors are exploring some other less desirable outcomes. But even as undesirable as they may be, they are not horrible. So we are thankful.

For many, this year has been freckled with similar issues or concerns but I daily see the goodness that is God hard at work and I am thankful for the miracles we get to witness each and everyday when we are willing to be open to them. In the shadow of the Almighty, I see so clearly the light.

For those of you who have sent messages and checked in, thank you! Our blog will remain just where it is. I am hopeful the summer will bring some time to post all of the posts I have missed along this busy way. For those of you I daily check in on, I will be back and I miss seeing what you have been up to.

As I return to my duties of fingerpainting with the small fry and pedialtye nazi with our big ladybug, I will post some of our joyful moments over the past few weeks. I am ever reminded of His mercy amidst the craziness of daily life.

Our dear friend, Gabrielle's 7th Birthday party

Our weekends have been on overdrive since April, Rob working, parties, we scheduled Em's birthday party for the day after her birthday. On her actual birthday, we had a celebration as soon as she woke up.

Emily's face the morning of her birthday, she just caught a glimpse of her new California Chariot

Kit, one of her American Girl dolls got a scooter too!

The next day, her party was such fun.

Kyle tickled the ivories for us :)

Emily had a few gifts to open, this year she has chosen to collect gently used toys to donate to the Center for the Blind in hopes of raising money for Seeing Eye Dogs. If we choose to do a children's party over the summer, she will continue to collect.

The kids clowned around!

A friend will always help you put your candles on the cake!

Emily, Joshua and Gabrielle rode their chariots

Hannah hung out with Amanda, little buddies!

Amanda was next celebrating her 13th birthday!!

More clowning kids!!

A quiet moment for Hannah and Kipper

Marshmellows by the fire pit, mmmmm

Next up to blow out three little candles, Miss Hannah!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

To Our Emily

Happy 7th Birthday Sweet Girl!

I marvel that seven years have gone by since you burst into this world. I loved being pregnant with you. It was such a joy and answered prayer for Mommy and Daddy. You were such a good baby. You smiled endlessly. I fear I may have taken some of that time for is true, I would love to turn back the hands of time and have you that tiny just once more, but I must put that to rest. You need to know, I love you just the way you are and look forward to each new stage we encounter.

I watched you today, when you thought I was not looking, and I was so thankful for the big sister you are. You spoon fed your little sister so that she would not dribble water ice down the front of herself. You graciously allowed her to borrow your things and you looked the other way when she was way too loud and interrupting your train of thought.

I love it when you dance like no one is watching. You sing like an angel. Just the sound of your voice makes me smile. And that smile of brings such joy wherever you go.

I totally dig your silly side!! You make us laugh. Your laugh...oh that belly laugh. I so love your laugh. Thank you Emily for all the smiles these seven years. At first I thought it was that flaming red hair and sweet freckled face that made you so unique, but now, I know it is simply who you are, the very essence of Emily that makes me smile so.

Your loyal heart is so amazing at such a tender age; Such genuine compassion and friendship, you offer to all those who are around you.

This year you have begun to say you'd like to be a missionary. Before this you always wanted to be a vet. Whatever you are, Emily, we will love you and support you. Dream big dreams and believe in them.

You are thoughtful and contemplative at times. You always want to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord. I appreciate that so much about you. You will pray without hesitation. You are kind to animals. You are kind to people and every now and again, you are shy. :) Today, when you were Star of the Week, you read your own story to the class. It made Mommy's heart so happy. Though, it brings about the reality that you are growing and forging your own way. We are so thankful to see you emerge and decide who you will be.

We love you Emily and wish you a very happy birthday!

(Emily chose the music for her post today:)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Urban Renewal

"You've got to continue to grow or you are just like last night's cornbread, stale and dry." ~ Loretta Lynn

Back when I started this craze called blogging, I began following the photography genius of Pixel Fairy Princess. If you have not seen her site, please by all means, visit! PFP is now offering some online courses. Check them out, perhaps one of them would be a great match to your desire to learn.

Now, I do not possess one one hundredth of the vision or prowess that make the PFP so incredibly special, not to mention I do not have a camera bag filled with accessories and tricky little extras. However, when I learned that she would be close by, I wanted in on the action!

Two weeks ago, I was blessed to participate in one of her seminars. It was a weekend session in the city...and it was fabulous!! I learned so much. I was very apprehensive because I am very inexperienced behind the lens and use a pretty standard "point and shoot" (Sony DSC H50). My greatest goal in taking pictures is merely "catching" the moment. My goals now are much bigger, a little more layered and a little more lofty than they were ;) I was in the company of some uber talented women, and I must point out that establishing some new friendships was just as refreshing as the session itself. The weekend proved to be so worthwhile...despite my fears about not being equipped (in every sense), I was more equipped than I thought. This weekend was a much needed pick-me-up after a long winter, it was my very own urban renewal!

Ivy, Jen, Kate, Lisa, Sheryl and Bobbie, what a pleasure to be in your company. You are super women and it was an honor to spend those hours with you. Jen, Kate and Lisa, I look forward to the time when we can see each other, girls in tow!(Nick too, though I fear we have frightened him off:) PFP, what can I say? You are teaching perfection. Debbie's ability to convey critical information, while meeting the needs of all of her participants is unbelieveable. Her talent is unmatched and her gift for sharing simply beautiful. Thank you for everything.

Did I mention how much I learned??? I walked away with such a new sense of light, depth, perception and all things photog-friendly. I have posted a few pics straight from the camera (I never post anything straight from the camera! They always need a lot of help!). In addition to learning how to take a better picture, my next goal is to master developing and editing pictures. The combination of these goals will most certainly take some time:)

Lisa was kind enough to bring two of the sweetest kids in the world. Lisa's dear friend's daughter, Alicia and Lisa's son, Nick rocked it all day long posing and working the camera with such professionalism. Not only did they handle the whole event in stride, but they were helpful and composed the entire time. Just watching them inspired me. Ivy also brought a friend for modeling and Danielle was super cooperative. Alicia, Nick and Danielle, you were so much fun! Thank you for being such great sports!

I have been so busy since the seminar that I have not had much time to test out some of my new skills;) When I do, you will be the first to see!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

"Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." Proverbs 31:28

Today...I am thankful. I am thankful for the moment the ultrasound proved that my pregnancy with Emily was not lost. Her twin did move on to Heaven sooner than I desired. The doctor scheduled a procedure but asked that I have an ultrasound first. Praise God we went for that ultrasound...a small beating heart prevented that very procedure. I am so thankful to be Emily's mommy.

I am thankful. I am thankful for our losses, for in those losses we were guided back to the heart of the matter, that I might be a mother once again. And again, the desires of my heart were granted. A beautiful baby girl with almond shaped eyes and an amazingly strong will. I am thankful to be Hannah's mommy.

I am thankful. I am thankful for the example my mother set for me. Her unconditional love, which she still demonstrates each and every day reminds me of the tenderness and longevity of motherhood. I love you.

I am thankful. I am thankful that my husband supports me in mothering our children. We agree that our steps are beautifully numbered as we parent our children. We see the miracle that is the gift of our girls and prayerfully consider all things where Emily and Hannah are concerned.

I am thankful. I am thankful the Lord trusted me with these precious children.

Wishing all of you mommies, mommy-to-bes, grandmommies, aunts, friends and all women who love on a special child in their life a very Happy Mother's Day.


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