Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm dreaming of...

A crop retreat at the beach this summer! I love an entire weekend devoted to scrappin' with my girlfriends. I usually get so much accomplished... and so does everyone else. It has been so long since I have been able to hold or attend a retreat. But this is the summer! Plans now in progress!!! Who wants to come?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


So, as I have mentioned, I am doing this poetry book project for Jacob's class. So far I have 12 preorders from parents for 7x5 softcover StoryBooks, which is very exciting!! Jacob's teacher sent home the poems the children wrote so I could include them. Last week I had taken individual pictures of the kids. So now I am putting together the pages in StoryBook Creator, and will finalize and upload the project for printing tonight. We hope to have the bound books back in time for the poetry celebration at school at the end of next week!

I was excited to see Jacob's poem and couldn't wait to see what he wrote. His poem used "My Family" as an acrostic. The first thing I noticed was that all the other kids did their poems in pencil. Jacob started out that way, then traced his with marker. He had the only colorful poem! My unique and creative boy!!

I kind of wondered how he came up with "swiM" to describe our family, but did notice a lot of "collaboration" among the poets. Many children had some overlapping ideas in their poems. He went on to list "play in Yard", "Funny", "Art", "Me"... so far so good. And then I just had to pause and catch my breath!

His next word to describe his family was "yellIng"! Oh my!!! I had to ask him about it, of course. I asked who yells in our house. He said everybody, even himself. Yes, I have to admit, our home can get a little boisterous and loud at times. I was encouraged when I saw the last two items on his list: "Loving" and "sillY". Overall, a pretty good picture of our family. But we definitely need to watch out for the yelling!

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in
your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
~Ephesians 5:19-20

Jacob's page in the 1st grade class poetry book

Monday, April 19, 2010

Student Ministry Family Day!

Saturday from 4-8pm we had a Family Day for the Student Ministries (middle school and high school) at our church. Pastor Dean and Pastor Jason planned a fun event!

The weather was just perfect! Warm & sunny with a breeze... it was just right. We had been on the soccer fields for Abbie's 2pm game, so we hung around after. Gil and the kids helped with set up. I was the "official" event photographer!

We had a pretty good turnout. It was very nice time of fun, food and fellowship. I really enjoyed watching Zachary play football. I just marvel at how my little boy has turned into such a wonderful young man.

Gil helped out by overseeing a soccer match. I believe it was all the kids against him! He had fun, though.

We ate hamburgers and hot dogs, chips, cookies, and sides. I really enjoyed the time I had to chat with several friends.

The 7th grade boys just won an attendance challenge, so they had the chance to claim their prize: shaving Pastor Dean's head! All of them got in on the action with a crowd looking on.

Dean's wife Kellie wasn't too sure about the process and was a little worried about the end result! She was a good sport, though.

Abbie had found friends to hang out with, so we barely saw her all day! I ended up taking over 270 photos! When I got home, I pulled about 55 of them into a slideshow for the middle school group. These pictures are a few from those. Overall, it was really fun, relaxing afternoon. We left as the sun was going down, tired and happy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Am I famous?

I am collaborating with Jacob's teacher to create a class book of poems written by each child. I used this image at the top of the order form that went home to parents this week. It was so cute... Jacob said that when all the other kids saw the order form and saw his picture on it, they all thought he was famous! He assured them that no, this is just what his mom makes.

I will also be working on soccer books, mother's day books, and graduation announcements, just to name a few upcoming and current projects.

Who can you make feel famous with traditional or digital scrapbooking???!???

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Baby Boy!

I can't believe my baby is now seven years old! Where did the time go?!?! What is so sweet is that whenever I mention to Jacob that I can't believe my baby is getting so big, he says, "I'll always be your baby." He is just such a precious, sweet boy!!!

Just this weekend he was working on an acrostic poem with his sister's help, he came up with a pretty accurate assessment of himself...

Before spring break, we were visiting Jacob's 1st grade class for a writing celebration. Outside the classroom maps the kids had made were on display. Jacob's map of his bedroom included an area marked as his "cuddling corner". That just melted my heart!!! He is such a sweetie.

We love you so much, Jakie! Happy Birthday, sweet boy!!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Moving Story...

"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' ~Acts 17:24-28

Earlier this week, I mentioned that Gil and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary! Our marriage has been characterized by many moves. I have often said that our life turns on a dime. We are currently living in our 10th home since we got married in 1996! We have lived in three different states: California, Colorado, and North Carolina. It has been an adventure, to say the least! Through it all, we have seen the Lord's hand as He has guided us and moved us.

When I met Gil, I was renting a condo just a couple miles from the university at which I worked. That was our first home once we got married. But when Zachary was on the way, we looked for a house to rent. We found an adorable little place with a beautiful yard in a cute community. The house just happened to be next door to house where we attended Bible study... the host couple told us it was for rent. After Zachary came along and we decided that I would leave work to stay home full time, the financial realities of living in Southern California on one income began to set in. We decided that it was the right time to step out in faith and realize our dream of living in Colorado.

When we first got to Colorado, we lived with Gil's sister and her family for almost 5 months. Their home had a newly-finished basement with plenty of room for storing our stuff, a bedroom for Gil and me, a nursery for Zachary, and a separate living area for us. We paid rent, I cooked weekday dinners for both families, and watched my 4-year old nephew during the day. By Christmas, we found a house to rent in a little town about 1/2 an hour from Colorado Springs. It was actually the old parsonage of an unused church. The tiny town was just a few blocks square. I enjoyed my slow strolls with Zachary, a toddler by now, to the post office, little market, and bookmobile. We lived in that house for about a year and a half, and then Abbie was born! When she was just a few days old, a couple from our church asked us to move into their house so they would not have to worry about it while they moved to Denver for a new job. So when Abbie was just a month old, we moved again!

This fourth home was on two acres about 20 minutes outside of Colorado Springs. While the parsonage had been rather old with a basement that flooded during thunderstorms, this house was much newer and nicer. We felt very blessed. But after about a year, we were ready to buy our first house. To my surprise and delight, we ended up with a brand-new home just outside of Colorado Springs in a growing community. We actually lived in that 5th home for three and a half years! Since I grew up moving, it was actually the longest I have ever lived in one house in my entire life!!!

We were happy in the Colorado Springs area and felt that we were settled there. We had an idea of a neighborhood we would next like to live, because when Jacob arrived, our home was feeling rather small. We were thinking of building a house, probably in the fall of 2004. But as the year began, Gil had the opportunity to move up in his career -- which meant we would be moving to Denver. We found a beautiful, brand-new home just northeast of Denver and settled there in April of 2004. We loved our new home and our new community, but also knew that for Gil to continue to move up in his career we would have to move out of state at some point.

To our amazement, that opportunity came less than two years later! His company had an opening in Charlotte, and he got the job. He arrived here in February of 2006 while I stayed behind to sell the house. His company provided him with a furnished apartment. When the kids finished school in May, we were immediately on the road to go visit Gil for a month. That month turned into the whole summer... and then we just decided to stay so that our family could be together. Meanwhile, the Colorado house just sat on the market, with no activity, containing all our belongings and looking like we still lived there.

We lived in the apartment in Charlotte for 9 months total. For 6 of those months, I was commuting our kids to school , spending almost 4 hours a day driving back and forth! We had built a new house near the school they were attending, but with the Colorado house not selling, we let it go. Finally, in March of 2007, we got to the point where we just had to get out of the apartment, so we found a house closer to the kids' school to rent. We found a great place in a quaint and beautiful neighborhood. The 10-minute commute to school was a dream-come-true! And just six weeks after moving in, we headed back to Colorado because our house had finally sold and we needed to pack up and move. We had a substantial loss on that house, but God, through Gil's job, graciously provided the funds we had to take to closing. Life was good and then in June, Gil lost his job. We were grateful that the Lord had given us this place to live with a much lower rent than the mortgage on the house we had hoped to buy. We knew, even with this setback, that the Lord had brought us to Charlotte, and that this is where we wanted to stay and put down roots.

As it got closer to Zachary starting middle school, I was becoming increasingly concerned about the quality of education our kids were getting. Jacob was going to be starting kindergarten and Abbie was going to have to move to the local elementary school. As the 2008 school year started, all my kids would be in new schools... I was feeling burdened that they be in BETTER schools in our district. So I spent the spring and summer exploring options. I really felt that the Lord was leading us to move, but rentals in our price range and desired area were hard to come by. Just days before the new school year began, I gave it completely up to the Lord. I prayed and told Him that I knew He loved my children more than me. He must have a reason for having them at the current schools, and I would trust Him. I asked for a new vision for the current home we were in so that I would be content. That was during my morning quiet time on a Tuesday. At noon that day, I got the mail, and in it was a notice from our landlord that they wanted the house back! God said we were moving! At 4pm that day when I checked Craigslist {for the 1,000th time that summer!}, this house was newly available.

By Friday of that week, we had a signed lease, and my kids started the school year in their awesome new schools! We have loved living here. We are in awe of God's goodness at what He has provided. This house is more than we ever expected. We love living just minutes from our church, close to shopping, and having the great schools for the kids. Our home is at the end of a cul-de-sac. It feels like we live in a park because the setting is just so beautiful. We truly feel so blessed here, in our tenth home since we got married.

Well, life is never dull. This week we received the unexpected news that the homeowners are planning to place this house on the market in just a matter of days.

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4

Our desire is to keep our kids in their current school district... we would love it if we could buy this house... I would love to truly be settled, to be able to plant flowers and see them come up the next year, to stop moving so much. In all of this, whether we stay or move, wherever the Lord intends for us to live, we look to and trust in Him and His perfect plans for us. And we know that whatever happens, it will only be by His hand. Our current situation is such that it would take a miracle for us to buy this house, or any house. Even being able to rent somewhere else is stretch for us right now. So in our own power, we can do nothing. But nothing is impossible for God! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
~Proverbs 3:5-6

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Monday, Gil and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary! From the beginning, our life has been an adventure. We met on New Year's Eve, 1995, at my best friend Chelle's house. I had helped her and her husband plan a New Year's Eve party. I had no idea that the Lord planned for me to meet my future husband!

Our first date was January 5th, 1996. And three weeks later, we were engaged! We knew that the Lord had put us together.

We had planned a June wedding, but almost eloped several times. Once we were within 90 days of our wedding date, we were able to get our marriage license. We had already had our counseling with Gil's friend Fred, who was a pastor. The night before we were going to get our license, Gil called Fred and asked if we could just stop by his office in the morning after we got it and have him marry us then. But Fred insisted that we wait until later that evening, and have our family and friends gather.

So, on the evening of April 5th, 1996, and with just 24 hours to prepare, Gil and I got married in his parents' backyard! In that time, Gil bought a suit, I bought a dress, we got our rings and our license, I had my nails done, ordered flowers, and Gil and his parents prepared the backyard for the ceremony! It was a whirlwind beginning to our dream-come-true life together.

Now, fourteen years later, we have three wonderful children and many amazing memories. Together, we have experienced ups and downs, ten moves, numerous job changes, some hurts, losses and tears... But as I look at this man I married, I have never felt more blessed. I am so thankful that the Lord gave me to him to be his wife. No one on this earth is more important to me than him. This man has my heart. Each day I pray that I will be the wife, help meet, and encourager that he needs.

Thank you, Gil, for fourteen wonderful years. I look forward to many, many more with you. I love you!!!

....when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go...

~Song of Solomon 3:4

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin