"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Thursday, October 28, 2010

This week in review...


I've been a little absent this past week...just dealing with life and the things it brings with it.  
Last week was pretty much a horrible week, 
but it's over
behind us
and hopefully gone forever...

All those years rocking babies and teaching the alphabet I had no thought whatsoever about the fact that one day those little pudgy-faced kids would grow up to be teenagers.  And for some reason {unbeknownst to me} I actually believed I was living through the most difficult years of parenting back then.  Thank goodness I was not able to see into the future!  I wouldn't change this stage of life with my kids for ANYthing...BUT...they are not always easy days.  
And some days I feel my singleness more than others...
Like last week....all seven of them.

"He tends his flock like a shepherd:
 He gathers the lambs in His arms
 and carries them close to His heart;
 He gently leads those that have young."
Isaiah 40:11

That's how I got through last week.  There were days I had no creativity to deal with the issue at hand...but somehow ideas and answers came to me...and we got through.  I knew we would...just prefer to be on the other side this week.

Ok.
Enough said.
It's a new week, it's all good...and this is what we've been up to in the last few days...

Sunday afternoon Emma and I traipsed along with McKenzie, one of the students from church as she had her Senior picture photo shoot with Photographer Amber Jacoby
 It was absolutely beautiful weather...perfect for an outdoor shoot.  

Amber doing what she does best...and my attempt to capture it on my phone..
My snapshots do not do Amber's photography ANY justice at all, you'll have to check out her website to see the good stuff
Amber is one of those special people in our lives.  I grew to love her years ago as she was growing up in our youth group...and now she's loving on Emma as a leader...it's a cool thing to see the cycle.

These pics of Emma are from her camera, not my phone...not that I needed to point that out! 


Emma was her "prop-girl" and got in a couple of shots herself.  We spent hours alongside a bridge on a back road and in the middle of an overgrown field. We had a great day following the girls around. And, even though I'm pretty biased, I think Amber takes some of the best Senior pictures in the County.  You can find her on Facebook too, and if you're in the market for some photos for your Senior, your baby, your family or your wedding give her a shout out.  Tell her you heard about her from me, I think she'll give you a huge discount. 
 {*Not really...sorry, a girl's got to make a living...but it sounded good, didn't it?}

 Tonight was the annual Halloween parade in Strasburg.  When we lived right in town the whole family would come, I'd make a pot of coffee and we'd sit outside for about 12 1/2 minutes to enjoy the parade.  But, because it was no longer outside my door, this is the first parade in about 20 years that I have missed.  The kids decided to drive over and meet some friends there...

It was chicken corn soup night.
Emma's friends joined us, and thought the soup was picture worthy....

 Oh, wait...maybe there was an ulterior motive to my getting the camera out...
I forget sometimes how much teenage girls like to have their pictures taken!


On the other hand, Nick couldn't care a less if I ever take a picture of him...but still, I tried to take just ONE good one to add to all of Emma's on here. 
 Which is why I ended up with THIS...
{Click Image}
Funny kid.

Speaking of funny...those girls up there...I just walked upstairs and found a dish with a lemon in it.  Apparently they wanted to see if they could make their hair blonder by rubbing lemon all over it!  Cheaper than hair-dye, but missing the key ingredient of SUN!

Also..it's Halloween weekend and you might think that we are past the trick or treat stage...sadly, it's about that time, but in my house we stretch it out as long as possible.  Tomorrow night, my kids will be the ones wearing "a skateboard"

 {Nick has decided it's not cool to dress up at 17,
 but riding a skateboard would be kind of like having a costume} 

 Emma will be dressed as a "Hockey player"

lucky for her there happens to be a lot of hockey gear around our house...


{...because I nixed the idea of going as Lady GAG GAG}

I'll end with two messages, just in case my family is reading

#1
ALEX, 
IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, I'D REALLY LIKE TO HEAR YOUR VOICE...
CALL YOUR MOTHER!!!!!! 

#2
Family, I've decided that I'm going to pretend there's not another birthday around the corner.  
BUT, I still want a gooey piece of cake.
And, I can't think of a thing that I need...


so I'll just put this out there for you to think about....

BUT, I'll be happy with dinner with the whole family and a new tube of chapstick!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fire check...

The house happens to be empty right now...pretty unusual for 5pm, so I took advantage of the quiet to blog-hop AND watch the news at the same time.  I'm not a big fan of the news, but if I don't watch occasionally, I can really become out of the loop on what's happening in the world and my community.  So, once in a while I force myself to watch.  The big story of the day was a family who was lost in a fire in Harrisburg this morning.  Four young children and their aunt were consumed by the house fire...and partly because their smoke detectors were not working.  It was a gut-wrenching story...so sad, and so preventable.  

The story ended by encouraging listeners to check their detectors for 1.} a good battery and 2.} the expiration date on the bottom of the product.  Apparently there is actually an expiration date on smoke detectors.  They only last 10 years. That is the first I've ever heard of this...so I assumed you may possibly be surprised to learn this, too.  

But, now you know...and you have no excuse not to get up and check the back of all your detectors to see if they are, in fact, still working.  It's kind of an annoying thing to ask you to do...but there's a mother out there tonight who sure wishes she had done the same yesterday.  Get up...go check them!  

On to more annoying news:  Apparently there is a Starbucks in Washington who will be serving alcohol after the morning latte rush.  Really, Starbucks?  Can't you just give us a place to sit and relax with a cup of coffee?  Does money matter THAT much to you that you have to ruin our coffee break with a little happy hour???  really?

I'm sorry...that's just wrong.  
Enjoying my cup of Grande decaf will NOT be as relaxing if the table next to me is enjoying a couple rounds of Vente Bud Lights.

That's it...I quit the News tonight...I don't want to hear more.

I prefer to enjoy another night of blissful ignorance.
{which I will do AFTER I check my smoke alarms...}


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Things that make me happy...

My friend, Deanna, over at Creekside Cottage posed a question to her readers this morning.  
"What makes you happy?"

So, to follow her line of thinking, I decided to post the things that are making me smile this morning and link over at her blog.  Check her out and link to her too, it'd be fun to see a little glimpse into all of our lives on this chilly Saturday morning!

I'm smiling over this....and sipping it while I type...

and I'm smiling over this, because it means that at 10:30 my household is STILL sleeping
 and these pancakes will probably actually be lunch
 AND, I'm smiling over this, because it means that PBU has Fall break 
and all of my children are HERE under one roof!  Hooray!!!
 And, at the moment...while I snuggle up to this..
I'm smiling because I'm warm
and content
and full of Hope
and feeling Blessed
and anticipating a new day...

 "The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
      His mercies never cease.
  Great is his faithfulness;
      his mercies begin afresh each morning."
Lamentations 3:22-23

Thursday, October 14, 2010

HATErs....


Last evening our youth group did a service project at the GAIN Warehouse.  It is Global aid relief ministry of Campus Crusade.  We had quite a few students show up, which is always heartwarming to see on the nights that we give out instead of being filled up.  {FYI...before I go any further, let me say I LOVE THESE STUDENTS!!!}  

ANYway...let me tie in my title and my picture for you...the HATErs would be the boys of the above group of students that I love.  And the shoes would be the object of their hate.  

I'm a flip-flop kind of girl.  So, when I got an urgent email letting me know at the last minute that we are not allowed to wear open-toe shoes to this Warehouse, I panicked a little.  My range of shoes go from flip flops to boots...and very little that I like in-between.  I didn't think it was a boot kind of place {I secretly wished it was raining so I had an excuse to break out the rain boots again...but alas, clear skies above}..so without a whole lot of thought {who knew you NEEDED a whole lot of thought??} I pulled out my mowing sneakers--reason for the green stains on the soles--and added them to my cropped jeans and sweatshirt.  I DID take a look in the full length mirror on the way out...of course I did, but since I didn't see much other choice, I went on my way.  

...And was promptly greeted by the snickers and sneers coming from the direction of my 
beloved EX-beloved teenage boys.  One of them informed me I'd gone too far and had entered
 into the "old lady zone"!  

I KNOW, right?!?!  
Smarty-pants.  
I spent the rest of the evening dodging comments and catching snide glances at my feet.  
BRATS!

The sneakers have found their rightful place in the back of my closet, and will probably never show themselves again due to intense humiliation.  And I've decided it's time to start hunting for a new, more HIP and TRENDY pair of kicks...preferably on SALE.

Maybe I'll resort to these {Even though they look very SIMILAR to the ones that got boo'd}
 or maybe in this color:
or just for fun, maybe I'll get these:

 or these:
or perhaps these:

I might just do it and follow those boys around all night pretending I'm their mother. 
Now THAT would be FUNNY! 
Who's the hater now, BOYS?!?!


R.I.P 
old sneakers...
you've done me well, 
but they say you must go away...


Monday, October 11, 2010

{To Emma...}

It is beyond me to accept that my youngest child has turned 14 today.  I don't have any way to reconcile the fact that though it seems like just yesterday I bawled like a baby as the Dr. announced, "It's a girl!!!".  I had waited so long for you...and had convinced myself you were just a part of my dreams...the kind that never really come true.  When your brothers were born I loved them each dearly...just as much as I love you.  But I was pretty sure that I wanted to have a daughter FIRST...and then follow up with a couple of boys.  I was sure it was the right thing for our family.  
But, apparently not.  
God had a better plan for you...


He knew you would need to be the third in the birth order...
maybe because He figured I'd have better practice being a mom by the time you came along..and I would need it.  Or maybe because He thought I would need to learn how to understand boys FIRST, because I really only get the "girl stuff".  
Or maybe...

He knew that you would grow up without a consistent man in your life...and so He thought to grow the boys up first. 
 They're pretty consistent...
always there...
in your face...
even when you want them to GO AWAY!

But...no matter what you think about that...you can't help but know that they love you VERY MUCH.  They would climb mountains to save you.  Cross oceans to rescue you.  Fight danger to protect you. 
 Oh...and crush boys who try to chase you.  {DON'T FORGET THAT!}
God knew what He was doing when He created Alex...then Nick...and saved you for last.  He was seeing into your future, setting things up for your best.  
Because He knew before anyone else... and He's had your back all along.  



Emma...this is my prayer for you this year...
That as you grow and continue to discover the young woman Jesus created you to be, you will run hard after His plan for you.  I pray that you will be fully and uniquely YOU...not what others expect of you...just the YOU that Jesus requires you to be....because you're His...and He gets to say.  


 I pray that you will see yourself the way HE does.  That you will let Him transform your heart to beat like His does.  That your eyes would see what His sees.  And your ears would hear His whispers.  
I pray you will feel loved.
Feel secure.
Feel confident.
Feel protected.
Feel free.
Feel understood.
Feel blessed.
Feel you've been allowed to become fully YOU.


I pray you will not ever want anything more than to follow Jesus with all your heart.
And I pray that HE will always be enough...

And, so, sweet girl...
as hard as it is to see you grow up,
I applaud you for the young lady you are becoming.
I am filled with joy because you are in our family.
You bring sparkle and laughter to our home...
You are loved
MORE 
THAN
YOU
KNOW.

Happy Birthday, dear girl!
I LOVE YOU!
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