>> December 3, 2008

First of all - yes the flu has left our house. Praise God!!!

We went to visit my family for Thanksgiving this year and one thing my sister asked of me while we were there was to take some pictures of my mom with our kids.
The three girls all had dresses that my mom purchased for them that matched, so the goal was to get pictures of the three girls in their dresses and then also pictures of all 5 grandkids with my mom.
On Thanksgiving the girls all took naps at different times of the day, so no picture taking on that day.
We came back to my sisters house on Friday with the goal of getting the pictures.
Let me just say that that is NO EASY TASK with 3 little girls under the age of 3.
We never did get the boys in a picture, because by the time we got pictures of the girls in their dresses they were DONE. Oh well.
Mom, eventually (when the girls are older), you WILL get a picture of all of them together.

So here are some of my favorites...
And just for you Erin, I am posting LOTS of them.

This one is my FAVORITE of the day...
And I took this on Thanksgiving of the girls having a shared moment eating cookies and watching baby Einstein. Not part of our photo shoot, but I love it nonetheless...
I leave for Louisiana early in the morning. Hopefully I'll have some fun pictures to post when I get back.


Sick of being sick

>> November 26, 2008

It appears that we are all finally healthy again.
This one was a doozy. Poor Mason had a fever over 100 degrees for over 3 days straight. Molly got an awful rash, but no throwing up for her. Merritt however managed to stay well through it all. Maybe that flu shot was helpful?

This is what our home has looked like since last Friday...


A gift for Jesus on his birthday...

>> November 14, 2008

We have been having a conversation around here about Christmas.
It is going to be here before we know it.
Every year Bruce and I make efforts to keep Christmas focused on Christ, but kids will be kids and mine still love Christmas because of presents.
They are already working on Christmas music at Epic, and when the leaders asked the kids what Christmas was about, Mason was quick to announce that it was PRESENTS.
Don't get me wrong, my kids understand that Christmas is celebrated because Jesus was born. They love making a birthday cake for him every year, but presents are still their priority.
So this year our conversation is about what present Jesus will get.
About how upside down it is that we are the ones who get all the presents for someone else's birthday.
(They didn't like the idea of doing that for their birthday.)
We are reading in the Bible and talking about what kind of gifts Jesus wants (and what a gift for Jesus even could be on tangible terms.)
We have talked about the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46).
That when we do things for others that have needs, we are doing things for God.

This is something that God has been doing in MY heart.
I have been challenged with what loving God really looks like.
He is showing me how to love him in tangible ways.
Showing me that loving him is bigger than having a quiet time with him and trying to obey his commands, by not ____ (there’s a huge list of nots. You can fill in the blank.)
I am trying to teach this to my kids too – in small bits that they can grasp.
It is my constant prayer that my children will love God with all their heart, soul and mind. I am doing my best to model that for them and include them in the tangibles whenever I can.

So as for a birthday gift for Jesus, Merritt suggested we make muffins and coffee and take it to the homeless people in Hanford on Christmas morning.
And we even talked about doing it before the gifts under our tree get opened, so that Jesus gets the first gift.
We are still having the discussion. I want it to be their ideas not mine so that they never feel like this takes away from their Christmas. I want them to be excited about it and look forward to it.

Check out this video (that I found on Scott’s blog) about Christmas...


Another Advent Conspiracy video


The video from my previous post was made by Advent Conspiracy Indy.
This is what their mission statement says:
Advent Conspiracy is an international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by worshipping Jesus through compassion, not consumption.

Here is another video they made:

On their website, their challenge to Christians is to give $200 of your Christmas budget for the sake of worshipping God through compassion.
Something to think about.



>> November 10, 2008

I love Dhalias.
I think they are absolutely beautiful.
This one particularly is a reminder to me of the gift of God's beauty.
(It came from my grandmother's funeral)

God's beauty is all around us.
Where did you see it today?
I saw it in my children's eyes as they told me they loved me.
I saw it in the beautiful clouds that were displayed across the sky.
I saw it in my friends as we laughed together.
I saw it in my husband as he cuddled with my daughter.

I often encounter God's beauty in a certain smell, or refrain of music, or a smile.
I have had such a season of sadness in my spirit (not sadness for my grandma getting to be with Jesus though. That is beauty!), but even in sadness God's beauty is there.
It is never far from us. It resides within us and surrounds us everyday.
And I've learned that my experience of God's beauty is directly related to my perspective.
Today I choose to place my eyes on God (off of me), and let God's beauty prevail.


Halloween fun

>> November 2, 2008

I can't believe it's November already!

We almost missed going to the pumpkin patch this year. But we promised Merritt, so we squeezed in an hour on Wednesday.

This was the whole reason he wanted to go...

He did a pretty good job, with only a little help from dad.

We had a rather uneventful Halloween (compared to last year). Bruce and Molly stayed home and passed out candy, while the boys and I joined the Parsons and the Gillums for some trick-or-treating. I love it when Halloween falls on a Friday, because the late night doesn't affect the next school day.

Here are some pictures....

Mason started out the morning wearing a Mr. Incredible costume, which he decided was too itchy before he left for school.
So after some hard decisions for him, he went to school as Batman (the costume he actually asked for this year).
When he got home, he changed into Peter Pevensie (from the Chronicles of Narnia) for the evening trick-or-treating. (He got this costume last year some time and it still fits.)
At one point he asked me if he could just not dress up and be absent for the day.
I am including this picture so you can see Mason's evening costume...

Here is our whole trick-or-treating group
Thanks Parsons and Gillums. We had a lot of fun!
And here are the cupcakes I made on Thursday night and Friday morning, for Merritt's class party...

On to November...


Portrait contest

>> October 30, 2008

Apparantly voting ended the same time as the deadline to submit an entry, so voting is over.
The rules say that there will be a judging panel and it seems like the popular vote isn't very important. We'll see. Thanks to those who tried. You can still see the image in a larger version by clicking on the link below.

Bruce took this picture and we entered it in a portrait contest.
Please vote for us!
This is the link given to us by Photrade (the site holding the contest).
I haven't tried the link yet so I'm not completely sure it works.
You may have to sign up for a free Photrade account in order to vote.
Let me know if it works.

Vote for my photo!vote


Dancing showdown...

>> October 24, 2008

I got this picture in an email yesterday and wanted to share it with you.
I usually keep away from political posting, but this is funny.
(AND is some GREAT photoshop work.)

I did my research to give credit. The picture was created by a Tampa Bay graphic designer named Martin Rice. I read about it at



>> October 20, 2008

Just to catch you up on what we have been up to the past few weeks (and why my presence has been sparce in blogland)...
Sunday (the 19th) was Mason's birthday. I can't believe my little guy is 5. He woke up around 6am to tell me he is soooo glad he is 5 now.
He had a pretty good day, even though it was really busy for mom and dad.

If you had shown up at our house on Sunday evening during Mason's birthday dinner with our family (and not known it was Mason's birthday), you would probably have thought the celebration was for the princess in the house... (She LOVES this tiara my mom got her.)

As soon as he could get to it, Mason turned on the Wii to play the only gift he asked for, Lego Batman.
See the smirk? At first glance he thought this was a princess card.
Sunday was also the Calico Art Festival that Epic had a booth at. We sold handmade items made from mostly recycled materials for the purpose of raising money to send a team to Uganda to help out with AIDS relief and an orphanage. Our booth was the best looking booth there (if I do say so myself), and we had really nice items to sell. I am going to open an Etsy shop in the next couple of weeks to sell everything we didn't sell at Calico and maybe even items that didn't get finished in time for Calico. I'll let you know when it is up and running. All week last week was spent getting ready for that (I didn't even sleep Saturday night - but I got everything done that I could.)

The previous weekend was the Huell Howser tour of Hanford. The Epic worship team played downtown that afternoon for the event. We didn't get much traffic at our venue, but we had fun!
The boys had fun too. While I was singing, they were at the firehouse playing.

And the weekend before that - the weekend of the 4th - Bruce's brother Brent got married. Bruce and Mason were in the wedding. Although during the rehearsal Mason got a bit overwhelmed, he was like a pro on wedding day, in typical Mason style. And Bruce was right there to keep him in line when he started doing a jig. Molly on the other hand wasn't too keen on sitting quietly during the ceremony. She added a little art to the hymnal too, which she must have done while I was taking pictures because I only know she did it from the evidence found at the scene. Congratulations Brent and Gina!

Molly was attracted to the metal bars at the church...
At the reception, the kids got their food almost right after we got there. That place knew how to keep happy kids!

Molly played with this glass for over an hour...
We attempted to get a family picture since we were all dressed up. (Thank you Kerry!)
Here is an example of what that attempt was like with 3 kids.
(We did manage to get a few great shots!)
This weekend we have company coming that I'm pretty excited about. We can't wait to see you all!
AND Mason started playing soccer this month. I will try to get some pictures posted later this week.
I hope you are having a great week so far!!!!


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