Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

So, I finally have a second to post pictures of the VERY few Christmas decorations I put up. I am not putting myself on any blog tour or such as I am pretty embarrassed with my skills compared to all of the other crafty ladies out there. I considered not decorating this year because we leave this coming Saturday for a 15 day road trip, but I'm glad I went ahead and decorated some...Ella loved helping me decorate the tree (only one ornament down) and when I finished the stairs, she said "so pwetty!!". I didn't think she would really notice that much, but I was mistaken.

Our household has been plagued with one sick baby after the other and right now ALL three at the same time, so I decorated a little here and there over the past two weeks. I know from reading other blogs that so many other families are experiencing the same thing and all I have to say is it REALLY stinks! Oh well, I guess it just comes with the territory! I guess I'm telling you this so you won't make fun of my efforts!

The Christmas Tree - I don't really have a theme, the ornaments are from our childhood, a few others I've purchased through the years, and now ornaments for the girls. I guess the only thing I could say regarding themes is that I always use red ribbon or beads on the tree every year...the same ribbon, just used differently each year.
Wreath hanging on the mirror in the Entry - same thing goes here - I've had this wreath for many years, I add other ornaments and ribbon each year to do something different.

Mini Christmas Tree and Ella's first picture with Santa from last year
Nativity from Wes's godmother, given to him when he was a child
Garland on the stairs - I've had these decorations for many years, this year I decided to do a candy cane - red/white garland on the stairs. In past years, I've used them over the fireplace or on the Buffet.

Wreath over the window in the kitchen

This is the garland over the fireplace in our Dining Room - I usually decorate this with ornaments and such, it's also where I hang the stockings, but this year we will be taking them with us on our trip.

This will probably be my last post until 2010, we'll see (I may have to post a few pics from Ella's school play on Thursday). Either way, we want to wish your family a VERY Merry Christmas!! Our friends and family will be receiving this Christmas card. We are SO "JOY-ful" of all God has blessed us with this year. It has been an eventful year in our house and we want to thank everyone for their much needed prayers and helping hands - the Lord knows we've needed every single kind gesture you have extended to us. We are FOREVER grateful!

Merry Christmas, Ya'll!

Keep the Faith,

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving and Ruby's Surgery

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'm a little behind (surprised?) in posting pics from our trip to Texas. Ruby had surgery on her foot the day after we returned. I will share a little bit about that experience below. We took a road trip to Tenaha, Texas where my Dad's parents live, my Bobo and Pop, and the girls great-grandparents. We had a wonderful time!

This is a picture of "The Farm". That is what the grand-kids have called it since my Bobo and Pop moved there. This house has many additions that were added over the years. All of the work was done by my grandfather, dad, uncle, cousins, and brothers.

This is my Bobo and Ella playing with Ella's house. This time, Ella took right to her Bobo and Pop. On our last visit, she was a little bashful.

This is Lisa, my brother's fiance (7 months to go). She is kind of learning her way around the kitchen. She made the pecan pies and they were SOOO good! I am so glad my brother is marrying Lisa. She is so much fun and so down-to-earth...she really fits perfectly in the mix.

Soooo, my project was the turkey for Thanksgiving, 2 of them. I've never prepared a raw turkey. I've always ordered one from Honey Baked Ham or last year I ordered a fried turkey from a local Cajun restaurant. I'd just watched a Barefoot Contessa episode a few days before, and modified her technique (if I had used truffle butter like hers I might have had an uprising). Anyway, I rubbed TONS of butter under the skin and on the outside and salted and peppered liberally, cooked at 325 for 2 1/2 hours. It was SOOOO good! No bragging, just really proud it didn't turn out like Christmas Vacation...you know the scene..."If this tastes as good as it looks, we're in for a REAL treat!!" and then the turkey burst open dry to the bone.

Ella all ready for some outside time. If she could stay outside ALL day, she would be a happy girl!

Just a swing-in'

4-wheel-in it

Uncle Jim and Ella at the pond

Uncle Jim and Ella on the tractor

Papa and Ella sitting by the fire, looking at the stars
Ever tried to transport 3 babies?? Well, it's not easy. We encountered a dilemma as the twins are getting too heavy in their carseats to lift them in and out of the car. However, I have Schwarzenegger shoulder muscles, now. So, I did some searching on Craigslist and found this triple jogger and another front-to-back 3 seater and I think we might be set for a while. They are used, but I don't care!! In fact, I don't think I will EVER buy brand new baby gear EVER again! My parents ended up springing for this stroller and my in-laws gifted the other...what a BLESSING!
Molly and Ruby sitting up like big girls. They are doing pretty good sitting up, but still fall over from time to time. The Boppy pillows seem to give them the support they need.

Nana and Aunt Susan feeding Molly and Ruby
Where you find Papa, you also find Ella...all-the-time!
Papa and Ruby
Uncle Jim and Molly
Uncle Grant and Molly
Our Thanksgiving past-time, puzzles!!
more puzzles...

So, clearly we had a good time and I got a little bit of hands free time...which was much needed and appreciated!!! I also got to take a 3 HOUR NAP one day. Holy Cow was that amazing!! I NEVER get to take a nap. I thought I had died and gone to heaven!


When we returned, Ruby had surgery at 6:30 the next morning. She was born with an extra digit (toe) on her left foot (bone and all). So, to ensure she would be able to wear cute flip-flops and sandals one day and prevent trouble walking we had the extra toe removed. She has the CUTEST itty-bitty cast on her foot right now. You can see the before picture. I had to take one so that we could show her someday. I will show you the after picture once it heals. She did really well. I could tell she was in pain the first few days, but she seems to be doing just fine now.

Quick story about that day. I was a little nervous about the surgery to say the least. They had to put her under and the procedure was quite invasive because they had to remove bone. I was praying on the way to the hospital that God would surround her with protection. When we checked in, we were shown to our waiting area within 5 minutes and a Chaplain was waiting for us with a teddy bear. He asked if he could have a word of prayer with me. My eyes welled up with tears. He covered her with prayer. We waited about an hour and then they took us to pre-op where we met with the Doctor. After we finished meeting, he asked if he could pray with me before they took Ruby back for the surgery. Ok, can you say answered prayer!! It was like God was standing next to me. Why do I EVER doubt if hears me?? Anyway, what I thought would be a nerve racking few hours, turned out to be yet another moment where God clearly revealed His love to me. God is good ALL the time!!

Happy Friday, Ya'll!!

Keep the Faith,

Friday, November 20, 2009

The car is in the driveway bursting at the seams (literally). We will soon be embarking on our 7-8 hour drive to Tenaha, Texas to visit my grandparents (Bobo and Pop). The rest of my family will trickle in as the week progresses. I am SUPER excited to hit the road, and more than anything looking forward to spending some quality time with those dear to me. I can honestly say that nothing makes me happier than spending time with my family. Our days will involve grocery shopping tomorrow (prayers, please!), cooking (non-stop), eating (non-stop), puzzles, dominoes, college football (Gig'em Aggies!!), and LOTS of laughing!!

I wanted to leave you with some pictures of what I am MOST thankful for...now and forever! My three punkin heads, Ella, Molly, and Ruby...AND of course, I can't forget Daddy...I didn't catch a pic when he came home from lunch.

Ella, in her 'punkin' pie onesie, a la Nana
Molly in turkey tee - a la Nana
Ruby in pumpkin tee, a la Nana

Now that you've seen first hand the joy of my life, what are you most thankful for?? You don't have tell me (however, I'd love to hear)...but, please take the time to tell them this holiday, whoever it may be. It's unfortunate that many times we don't tell those we cherish that we love them until they move away, or worse. It just takes a second, and can last a lifetime.


Keep the Faith,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stop and Listen

Ok, so I guess my Monday Marquee posts have become Tuesday Marquee posts lately. It's been crazy in our house lately, come to think of it, I can't recall when it hasn't been crazy in the last 7+ months (thanks to 2 precious adorable twins and their BUSY sister). Anyway, here you go....

I have to say, it was like this was meant for me...like the picture of Uncle Sam pointing his finger at me...but, with God replacing Uncle Sam. How often am I able to give without first thinking about myself? I wish I could say all the time, but I'm ashamed to say I can't. Lord, please give me the heart to give unselfishly.

Something else on my heart....

On Monday, I dropped the girls off at Mother's Day Out and hit the ground running...to Wal-Mart, the gym, ran errands, made phone calls, did laundry, cleaned the bathroom (needed it REALLY bad!)....and stopped at the Christian bookstore on my way to pick up the girls to buy a cd I've been wanting for a few months. One of my favorite singer/songwriter artist, Bethany Dillon, came out with a new album in September. I found her music 5 years ago and have LOVED her ever since. Well, her new album is WONDERFUL! Before I started the car, I peeled into the plastic wrapper and opened the cd, and started listening. Ohhhh, how God wanted me to hear all of these songs...but, especially Stop and Listen. As I was driving and listening...I had to pull over. I've attached an imovie with the song and lyrics listed below.

I wake up
Start the rush and pour some coffee
Things to do pile up
Oh so quickly
Too many days I feel like
I run on empty
Does anyone else out there feel like me

But I’d be a fool to forfeit
The chance to take a moment
For You to rise like the dawn
Over my cold, tired heart
What I thought I had lost
Finds me when I stop
Stop and listen

It’s the same slowing down lesson we all learn
But I don’t pay much attention
Till I crash and burn
So all together
Let’s stop and sit at His feet
My sisters and brothers

It's an upbeat song...not sad at all. But, I must admit that lately I get so caught up in the events of my day and caring for 3 babies and a household that I haven't taken the time to stop and listen to God (at all!). Does your mind ever race with everything you have to do (much like a computer with 15 screens open at the same time)? It hurts to think that I could ever let my heart become cold and tired, but oh how I can relate to that statement sometimes. Satan manifests himself in ANY and EVERY weakness. I've said to myself, "Nothing could be more important than getting this or that done today"...WRONG! NOTHING is more important than a moment with God. NOTE TO SELF! Learn from my mistakes and take that moment with God. Whatever and whenever it may be.

Happy Tuesday, Ya'll!
Keep the Faith,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Marquee Tuesday...sorry!!

Ok, so I didn't get to posting the marquees for Monday (crrraaazzzyyy days in our house lately).So, here you go...the other church hadn't updated their sign yet.

You know, this couldn't be a more perfect segue way to the upcoming holiday season. As I put together a list of the Christmas shopping I need to do, none of the items on the list are actual needs (food, water, toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, underwear, etc.). My list consists of "wants"...you know, stuff that makes life fun and special, but NOT anything that you MUST have to sustain life. Well, my friend Kelly at Kelly's Corner is currently on a week long mission trip in El Salvador with Compassion International. I know most if not all people reading my blog know Kelly or frequent her blog. BUT, if you don't know about Kelly, please go and read about her trip which started yesterday. Compassion International is an amazing organization that seeks help (child sponsors) from all over the world to offer care for countless poverty stricken children. However, not only does Compassion seek to fill the daily physical needs of these children, they also commit to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with each child and encourage that child to develop a personal relationship with Christ. Something that I personally feel is the most important need of any person. I know you will be as touched as I was by Kelly's blog post.

Couple other things...

Thank you to those that prayed for Ella's surgery last Friday. She is doing beautifully! I was second guessing myself on whether to subject her to this procedure all week long. When Wes brought her home from the hospital, he commented that the Dr said her adenoids were a size 4 on a scale of 1 to 4 and that he found fluid in one of her ears from her last ear infection (3 wks ago!). I immediately felt peace about our decision to have the surgery. Sometimes you just need confirmation, you know?

Also, say a quick prayer for my younger brother, Grant. Nothing life threatening....he is about to graduate from college next month. As many of you can relate (I know I can), he is anxious to be done with school...and anxious of what the future holds. Do you remember that?? The world sends a message that we are supposed to have everything figured out, have the perfect job lined up with awesome pay, know what you want to do for the rest of your life, etc, etc. That couldn't be farther from the truth...or at least in my experience. I know the last 8+ years of my life have been about growing up, trial and error, and more importantly what I DON'T want to do for the rest of my life...but I certainly don't have anything figured out, EXCEPT that God has a plan....

I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11-13

What do you know now, that you didn't know then?? As the saying goes...hindsight is 20/20.

Happy Tuesday, Ya'll!
Keep the Faith,

Monday, November 2, 2009

Marquee Monday

Ok, so here are the marquees for Monday.

Yikes! I never make excuses, ever! Do you hear the sarcasm in my voice??

I know this one really hit home with me. We haven't been in church for the last month for numerous reasons or "excuses". However, we made it yesterday. Refocusing my attention on the Lord has certainly helped me get through a particularly rough day today, and helped give me some peace about the disarray in my household.

I'm pretty sure Ella and Molly have croup (yuk!) and I went to three clinics today when we couldn't get in to see our Ped. I won't elaborate on my frustration with being turned away or told there was a 4 hour wait. I really want Ella to be well so she can have her surgery on Friday. Not to mention my house is a MESS!!! Do you ever feel so unorganized that you can't breathe?? Well, I'm there. Oh well, it's not a life or death situation...I just NEED to breathe, right?

Ok, enough venting...Happy Monday, ya'll (ha ha!)

Keep the Faith,