Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Catch up on December

The Kids got to give some gifts to our favorite neighbor...Mr. Powell....even Karis comes and gets us calling his name when he comes to the door.
Fun times with Sarah and Savannah who have lived with us since September!
Sally is always the life of fun in our home!!
Pa and Gammy came to visit with the coolest gifts!!
Smore's and more smore's! can't count how many outings in our backyard for these we have had and are still having!
The Superheros!
Hanging out with moms in the city of Austin! I belive 15 children just between us pictured!!
Cutest Karis! In her Christmas PJ's eating her favorite thing...cereal!
Wesleygrant's love language comes through gift giving...he picked out a special necklace for sally this year all on his own...it was the sweetest ever to see them give each other gifts!
Famous Zilker Trail of Lights with friends, funnel cakes, Kettle Pop Corn and coldness!
This was one of the best Christmas's we have had with the kids and all of our traditions!

We had a staff Christmas party at our home for Stew's staff....it was so much fun!
Wesleygrant had a preschool program...he goes 4 days a week and is loving it!
We had a send off for our dearest friend, Jackie! It was so hard to say goodbye, but we are so proud of her and all she is headed to do in DC!! Love you so much, Jaclyn!!

Christmas has a lot of cooking and the girls did it all with me! it was so fun! and funny!!
So, despite the disaster last christmas at the tree farm, we tried it again and it was so fun!! Our tree fit, so we didnt have to cut half of it off! Elgin Tree Farms is a keeper!!
Celebrated 6 Year anniversary!! And i got a new camera!!! SO much has been given and happened in the last 6 yrs!! looking forward to another year!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

WesleyGrant's 5th Birthday!




We celebrated Wesley Grant's 5th birthday this past Tuesday. He got to invite just a few of his friends and we celebrated with a Star Wars theme! It was a blast! Stew knighted (if you even do that to a jedi) the boys and gave them a special light saber. Each friend represented a character that a jedi must have and that we saw in them and their friendship with Wesley Grant. His friends were:

Cayden-Wisdom
Deacon-Servant
Caleb-Protection
Tyler-Truth
Sammy-Joy
Christian-Humility

I am so thankful for his friends and their families. We always pray for WesleyGrant and his friends. I know that they may come and go...or wonderfully stay the same, but we are thankful for this season and for all these little boys. We pray that God will surround him with friends who will point him to Jesus.

We love you wesleygrant...one little step further into manhood! we are so proud of you!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Celebrating birthdays!



We have had a birthday to celebrate almost every other day! This was Deacon Ivey's birthday (deacon not in picture) and these are karis and sally's little friends. We celebrated at the farmer's market field in the triangle! i think it was the best fun i have ever had in austin! wesleygrant and about 4 other birthdays are to come! love these pics! Love you Ivey's and Bush's!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Long Road behind, Long Road ahead


I can so see myself in my daughters here in this photo as I think about life as a mother right now. I've had so many moments with the face on sally's where I just stopped in my path of mothering...in the middle of the day, princess self and all and thought..WHAT IS THIS?! Or found myself like Karis standing bent over...stopped...ready to quit the journey altogether!

But truly, don't we moms find ourselves in these moments? I sure have not lived out many seasons of motherhood, but over and over I hear older moms tell me that by far, the preschool years where their hardest years. And I find that I just nod with a smile and testify to what they are "remembering" and I am living.

So what do you do? How do you continue on and get to the other side of the preschool years, without falling flat on your face? I look around and so many have done it...just like child birth...you are waiting for your first labor and birth with your first child and you think...surely i can do this...so many women have done it! And so surely i can get through these preschool years like so many other women...

All three of my children continue to need me at the same time. It would be nice if they simply needed the same thing...like a glass of milk...but it isn't that simple...they need me for different things that take all my attention. I've started saying in my house. "sally or wg or karis, you are not the only child in this family...mommy has to finish with ___ and then I will be glad to help you. We are a family and have to work together." I don't know if that is what you should say or not...my children have started saying, "mommy, we have a lot of kids in our family..." or mommy, we can't adopt a sister or brother b/c they would have to wait so long on you!"

BUT...these are the moments where refining seems to be happening to me more than my children...and that is good. Perhaps they are learning to work together while I am learning a thousand things. I think my seasons go like that...but hopefully we are both learning a thousand things.

My prayer has been Proverbs 31:26 "She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."

I continue to look ahead...and Jesus is the only thing that keeps me going. And in the end, I hope that my children will do even greater than I in this long road behind and ahead.

Monday, September 28, 2009

We will cling to His every word

Luke 19:47b-48
The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.

This summer has been full of wonderful things...and as life goes, with hard things as well. We just said good bye to 4 families that we have spent life with and some for over the last 2 years here in the St.John Neighborhood of Austin.

One couple, were believers whom we did life with and considered family...they left for sudan, africa. Another family we have known since we moved in here...they have had many stuggles, but we would pray and watch God provide for them even when they did not believe. Another family consisted of a single mom and 2 girls who became one of our life joys as we watched God provide for them after their apartment burned down. God brought salvation to them and a joy to our home that we feel we will never experience with any others. They were our blessed interruption and changed our lives forever. And then another family we have known for a little over a year. Their children were a part of our home as well. Over the last few months, we have had to work with police, Narcotics, Housing authorities and CPS as we watch their family be split a part and broken even more over the selling of drugs.

We are learning to say good bye...and that what we think God is doing is usually only 10% of what He is truly doing. Our lives are not the same since we first arrived here in St. John. A few months ago...even 2 days ago, we imagined doing life with these families forever...BUT GOD, is what we are learning to look to. Our children are not the same as when we first moved in. WesleyGrant has learned things about life as he cries and says good bye to his friends....or as he prays to God and describes the "bad guys" that he needs God to get....or as he waves to those he knows as the kind neighbors....Sally and Karis are learning to be princesses in the midst of a broken castle...and that only Jesus loves them the most.

Stew and I are learning everything. But most of all, we are learning to cling to God's every word...even when man, circumstances and evil seek to destroy us. We cling...we do life here...and we find great joy, all of us...in our King Jesus. To Him are all things given and we trust that He is still making all things new ahead.



Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hilary's Wedding


We have had the privilege of Hilary Pepper living with us this summer. It has been such a joy. She got married on labor day and me and sally had so much fun with all the festivities. She had the coolest bachlorette party. Rented out a dance studio and we all dressed in 80's (even sally) and learned dances we could do at the wedding! It was a beautiful wedding! We already miss her so much!
Life has just not been the same since we got back from sabbatical. And my camera broke...so the blog entries have been very few. But as things settle out and new things settle in...i hope to start writing again. So stay tuned, if you are still there. =)

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Ramirez's and their call to the Didinga People

Join us for a night to raise awareness for the country of Sudan and to support God's call to mission in the lives of Jonathan and Lauren Ramirez

Friday, September 11, 2009
7pm - 11pm
DOMINICAN JOE COFFEE SHOP
Music performed by Aaron Ivey and Aaron Peace
Music will start at 8:30pm. Photography, T-shirts and hand-made goods will be avialable to purchase using check or cash. All proceeds will go directly to the Ramirez's and Africa Inland Mission.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Getting back to life...

video

I feel like we have still been on "vacation" even though stew is back to work. We have had a real chill summer...but we are slowly getting back to life here in Austin. This video just shows you a typical scene in our home with the kiddos. Alessia's girls and my kiddos have been reunited and they love each other so much...this is so usual, wesleygrant leads the girls to do something...he made them line all the chairs up and became their bus driver...it went on all day...but i caught a glimpse of what i hear from the kitchen...minus the "don't take my picture!".. =)

But isn't it true, when you get a real dose of rest after so much running, you almost don't want to get back up again...this is kind of how i have been feeling...but yet, i hear the chant of all the saints of Jesus over all this life...and so we are coming to a place of jogging again. Rest has been good to look more clearer ahead...so, ahead...we go...

We are learning :
1. that believing God loves us truly changes our lives, even to the smallest detail
2. that God is in control amidst the evil that continues...that it does have an end
3. that it is good to ask for help
4. that God is provider always
5. that seeing God so bright can often come in the harder times

will write more as we head into fall.....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The last 4 weeks for us

Pa and Gammy visit us to give all us girls gifts!! Thank you! We love you!
Theresa and Ryan King's Wedding!! It was both a celebration and a reunion of old friends!


We got lots of cuddle times with kids while away...stew also set up his own office in the closet!








We got back early and got to have a small bday party for Sally! She is 3!





Our traditional birthday morning fun! Special place, gifts and poster! and of course, happy face pancakes!


We got to visit our dear friends, the Crawfords in Kansas City...they are amazing and it was an amazing time! They are a part of redeemer fellowship church....we love you crawfords!!



Resting in Idaho!


The girls got twin babydolls for their birthdays!



Old Faithful in Yellowstone national park!







Kids got to ride horses for the first time in Yellowstone! It was so fun!!










Karis's first birthday! We introduced her to our family tradition of "happy face pancakes"! She actually didn't like the whipped cream! crazy! and we painted karis' toes for the first time...she loved it...such a girl! that was sally's idea of course! =)






We have had an amazing time the last 4 weeks as we have travelled over 11 states. There are many stories and many lessons...but all in all in hind-sight, we have found places in our hearts that believe more that "Jesus Loves us, always, no matter what" And b/c He loves us, we can be who he has made us to be! We are so greatful to our friends and their family that let us use their cabin and all along the way across america who opened their home! We are refreshed and ready to keep going ahead as we continue here in Austin.