Our Journey Home

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Wal-Mart Adventure

I haven't been to Wal-Mart in over a month. After JJ was born, we didn't go many places other than the pediatrician's office for the necessary visits. Now I'm getting braver about taking all three children places- it's still quite an adventure when I am without David! We've been to the library, church, Target, and the other day... Wal-Mart.

The Wal-Mart where we live is undergoing a change. I was so lost when we walked in! They have moved around aisles of merchandise and they've added some clearance racks out in the middle of the walkway by the checkout lanes. After I successfully navigated my way through the new layout of the store, we patiently stood in line to purchase our items. Normally I use the U-Scan lanes but those are currently out of order due to the renovation process. However, if I had scanned my items myself, I wouldn't have had the time to do a little 'people watching' while waiting in line.

And I would have missed out on the most bizarre incident I believe I've ever seen at Wal-Mart! wink.

I watched a young woman, maybe about 25 years old, walk over to a clearance rack filled with undergarments. She paused at the colorful assortment of bras, and after thoughtfully considering which one she liked best, she proceeded to TRY IT ON. She was wearing a tank top, so she simply put the bra on over her shirt. She clasped it in the back, smoothed the bra from all angles to be sure it fit snugly and admired it in the small mirror on the rack. I was looking around for someone else who was possibly watching this c-r-a-z-y episode, but people were just walking by. How could you just walk by and not do a double take when a woman is trying on a bra in the middle of Wal-Mart?? Does this not strike anyone else as a little odd?? wink.

So this got me thinking... have you ever seen anything unusual take place at Wal-Mart? I would love to hear about it for a good giggle! Happy Monday!

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope."- Psalm 130:5

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Vacation Bible School

This week we enjoyed the Big Apple Adventure at our church! Once again, God blessed our week of vacation Bible school, bringing nearly 600 children to learn about Jesus. It was wonderful meeting new friends and learning about God's Word! Here is a little glimpse of our week:All week long, we ate dinner in the Kidztown gym. It was lots of fun to share a meal with our church family. Our girls LOVED the choices offered for dinner and of course, they opted to eat pizza every night! Emma Grace liked being a 'big girl' this year, as she was no longer considered a preschooler but a grade school student! She got to go to large group in the Worship Center and participate in recreation time on the big fields. On one night, a local gourmet popcorn shop came and served the 'big kids' their newest menu item- shaved ice. That was quite a treat on a hot night!Bella and her best friend, Gracie. These two girls love eachother and they enjoyed being in the same class for VBS! (Gracie made me laugh... she was just conviced that if I'd only put JJ down on the ground, he could try to walk! ha ha! She is a sweetheart.) Wubs, doing her Statue of Liberty impersonation. Such a cutie! Bella and Gracie, two peas in a pod!
One night was dress up like your favorite VBS character night and David joined in the fun! His sense of humor is just one of the MANY reasons why I love him so much! It was a great week filled with blessings and sweet memories!
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness."-2 Corinthians 12:9

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Father's Day Interview

We love our daddy so very much! Our girls are experts when it comes to knowing all about their daddy... just keep reading! wink!
What does daddy like to do?
-He likes to give mama sugars, wrestle me and Bella, and play with us. (Wubs)
-Ummm...mow the grass. (Bella)
Where does daddy work?
-The YMCA. Wait! No, no, no! He works at church! (Wubs)
-Church, in his office. (Bella)
What does daddy do when he gets home from work?
-He eats dinner and gives us a snug and a sugar. (Wubs)
-Puts his bag on his bed. (Bella)
What is daddy good at?
-He's good at writing words, giving hugs, and he's so so so soooo good at wrestling. (Wubs)
-He can fix things a lot. (Bella)
What does daddy like to eat?
-Salad, Chicken, Burgers, and water. (Wubs)
-Sandwiches with soda. (Bella)
What do you like to do with daddy?
-Slide on the big slide at Great Wolf Lodge and I looooove playing all kinds of games with daddy. (Wubs)
-Wrestle. (Bella)
What does daddy always say?
-When he sees me he says, 'Hey baby girl!' (wubs)
-No trinkets. (Bella)
What does daddy like to wear?
-Jeans. (Wubs)
-Jeans and blue shirts. (Bella)
Who does daddy love?
-Bella, JJ, me, Mama and Jesus! (Wubs)
-JJ and Bella and that's all! (Bella with a smile and a mischevious twinkle in her eye)
Happy Father's Day, Sweetheart! We love you and we thank God for you every day! xoxoxo!
"Your statutes are wonderful, therefore I obey them. "-Psalm 119:129

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A lesson from our 3 week old son

If you are a parent, it's likely that someone has asked you (in regards to your children), "What age is your favorite?" I once heard a woman respond to this question with love by simply saying, "The age that they are at- that is always my favorite." I would have to agree! I love the sweet joys of parenting our five year old, the excitement of our three year old, and the treasures of our newborn! Every stage is an adventure and filled with blessings.

In the wee hours of the night, as I was feeding JJ, he taught me a lesson that I pray I won't soon forget. You see, I had almost forgotten how a newborn studies people. JJ stares at me with those beautiful blue eyes, as if he's memorizing every detail of his mommy's face. And it's not just my face that he is intent on learning... it's my voice, too. He knows the sound of my voice and he kicks his feet when I talk and sing to him! Oh, how that blesses my heart. Without a doubt, our baby knows his mommy. Of course, he still has lots to learn in this big world, but one thing is for sure- he knows I love him!

JJ reminded me that when I am not deeply intent on studying the Lord, I can't be certain of His voice in my life. If I'm not seeking an even more intimate personal relationship with Jesus, I might just miss it when He reveals Himself to me. God can use all things for His glory, even a late night feeding! Thank you, Lord, for using my children to continually remind me how much you love me!

ps- And because all blog posts are more fun with pictures, I've added some snapshots from this weekend. We took the girls to get their very first Blizzard treat!
Jesus said," Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."- Matthew 19:14

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Tooth Fairy!

Emma Grace had been wiggling a very loose tooth for days, and last night it suddenly popped right out. It was a very exciting time at our house! We celebrated, took pictures, and called grandparents! David and I were shocked because we honestly didn't think Wubs would pull out her own little tooth, but she was determined. And although Emma Grace doesn't believe in the tooth fairy, she did ask me if we could pretend. She said, "Mommy, when I lose a tooth, will you sneak into my room and put a surprise under my pillow?" So after the girls went to sleep, Daddy and JJ spent some quality guy time together while I slipped out to the Dollar Store. I got Wubs some little animal toys and I got Bella a package of her favorite treat, Skittles.(I figured that if I get to be the tooth fairy, I get to make the 'rules'. And this tooth fairy brings little sisters a surprise, too! wink.) I have to admit, it was lots of fun writing Emma Grace a letter from the Tooth Fairy and sneaking into their room to put the treats beneath their pillows! The girls were awake at 6am and they came running out from their bedroom with the biggest sleepy smiles! Here are some pictures of the fun!
"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." - 2 Thessalonions 2:16-17

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Three little cuties

Late yesterday afternoon, while daddy was outside cutting the grass, our three little cuties allowed me to take a few pictures! Sometimes I think my heart will burst, I love my family so much! This last picture cracks me up! I had prompted the girls to close their eyes for a sweet picture of them resting with their brother. This is Bella's attempt to appear like she is sleeping for the camera! ha ha!"For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."- Romans 8:29-30

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

One Year Ago

This week in June, one year ago, we lost our baby. I had been experiencing morning sickness, I had a little baby bump, and our family was so excited about the little life inside my womb. It wasn't until we went for our ultrasound that we found out that our baby hadn't been growing for a few weeks. David and I clung to the Lord and to one another as we healed from this loss. Today I looked back at the pages in our prayer journal from last year, and I read my prayer requests and my praises. Although I don't remember every detail from that painful trial, I do vividly remember how close I felt to God. He carried me through a time where even getting dressed in the morning was a challenge. I had to choose to serve my family. I had to choose to worship God in the midst of a storm I couldn't understand. I had to choose to trust the Lord's plan and His promises.

Today, I can look back and see how God used our miscarriage to bring Him glory. I'm not claiming to understand God's ways... but I can see how He used even the most painful times to teach us, bless us, grow us, and reveal Himself to our family. I am reminded today to praise God in all circumstances- for He alone is worthy.
"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."- Colossians 2:2-3

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Count me in

Today was our first day back to church as a family. We missed church the weekend that JJ was born, and last Sunday only David and Wubs attended. But today, we all loaded up and made it to the 8am service. (Okay, okay... so we made it at about 8:20am but we gave it our best effort! wink!) Bella went right into her class without any tears. She doesn't usually cry when she goes into her classroom, but we've been spending a lot of time at home and I didn't know how drop off would go. She did super! I think she was ready to play with her friends. JJ was a sweetheart and he graciously allowed many people to hold him and love on him! Wubs was a proud big sister and she eagerly answered questions about her baby brother.

Our new children's pastor, Ryan, preached the sermon today. He had a really good illustration about two children and their two very different prayers. One child prayed, "Dear God- I have kept my end of the deal but you still haven't given me my puppy." The other child prayed, "Dear God- Count me in." It was a cute example, and we all giggled, but wow- I was convicted. There is nothing wrong with asking God for His help, provision, wisdom, etc... but there are times when I second guess why God hasn't 'answered' my prayers, just because I haven't gotten my way. (Whew, I am r.o.t.t.e.n!) I need to remember the Truth, that God's ways are not my ways. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, " declares the Lord. -Isaiah 55:8 It is my prayer that our family would have a 'count me in' attitude. I pray that we wouldn't just include God in our lives, but instead, we would treasure the gift of being a part of God's family and His kindgom purposes. I pray that our children wouldn't just hear us reading Bible stories, attending church, or reciting scripture, but they would see us living out our faith and worshipping God in tangible ways. As always, we are praying for the salvation of our children. Have a great week!

"Oh Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you."- Psalm 84:12

Friday, June 3, 2011

Our first field trip as a family of 5!

Today was a beautiful sunny day- the perfect day for a field trip! David suggested that we take little drive down to the farmer's market and do some exploring. We had so much fun together! Emma Grace LOVED sampling the peaches, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. (Bella only likes apples, so she wasn't as interested in the samples until we came upon a table offering cookies to the children. wink!) We purchased some tomatoes, peaches, and onions. We also purchased some glass bottles of cream soda to share and some homemade ice-cream! It was a wonderful time for our family and the girls are already asking when we are going to the market again! Here are some pictures of the fun: Wubs loved trying the fresh fruit! She gladly ate up Bella's rejected samples!Yummy! Homemade ice cream from a vendor named Lumpy's. Bella had chocolate chip and Wubs had mint chocolate chip!Drinking this soda required concentration! The girls aren't used to drinking out of glass bottles so they were being extra careful. I am one blessed mommy! I wish we had asked someone to snap of photo of all five of us so daddy could have been in this picture- bummer! Next time...

"Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements and his paths beyond tracing out!"- Romans 11:33

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Photo shoot sneak peek

My dear friend, Pam, is a very talented photographer. Pam came over to our house last night and took some pictures of JJ. He was a little fussy but Pam was really understanding and we improvised when needed. For some of the shots, JJ is actually balancing on my knees so he'd stay happy, but Pam is going to edit me out! wink! This morning, she emailed me a little sneak peek! (Thank you, friend! I love you lots!) Just look at our handsome little man! Yesterday was our first day without daddy at home. We sure did miss him! But the day flew by... it's amazing how busy life becomes with a newborn! The girls have been wonderful- both of them have really been super helpers. Wubs has been helping me with a happy heart while I'm doing housework, and Bella is eager to 'babysit' JJ for me. Both girls have been understanding when I'm feeding or changing JJ; they wait patiently if they need me or they have worked together as a team to accomplish a task. We don't have it all figured out, but God is really blessing our efforts. I am so very thankful He is in control!

"As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you..."- Isaiah 66:13a