"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

December 26, 2009

Christmas Photos

Here are some random Christmas pictures in no particular order (because that would take too long)
We are about to go to a New Year's Eve party.
Here's my wonderful hubby after all the presents were opened:

One of my favorite parts about Christmas day is the Christmas MESS:

One of the many batches of chocolate covered pretzels that we all made. I got a kick out of Andrew asking Zach if he "could do something to fix the white chocolate." Big brothers can do anything. (He told Andrew he can "drum" but didn't know anything about fixing melting chocolate or chocolate that wouldn't melt to be specific)
I liked these pretzels WAY too much....
as you can see from this picture! (I can't believe I'm posting it) There I am, clueless that I have chocolate on my face from all the sampling I did! LOL!!!Joy and Andrew made this and I found out that girls want perfection in their gingerbread houses which doesn't set well with little brothers who just want to have fun. (next year they each need their own) ; )
It was Andrew's turn to be the Christmas elf and pass out the gifts this year:
(you can see the paneling that we ALL white washed and put on our ceiling last New Year's Day in this photo)

My hubby led us in a devotional from Isaiah 9 before all the unwrapping commenced:
This is Joy and I on Christmas Eve. (I made this my Face book photo)

Our tree, which is now at the curb and has left needles all the way to the laundry room! Not sure how that happened! : )

I made a big Christmas dinner and our dear friend Carlos came over to celebrate with us. My sweet hubby did the dishes. I enjoyed talking to my sister, parents and aunt on the phone as they were celebrating in San Diego. We ended the day by heading to the movies! We've decided that would be a fun thing to make into a tradition!
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! And may God bless your new year!

Christmas Eve

We went to the candle light service at our church on Christmas Eve. It was wonderful. We absolutely loved it and last year we decided to make it apart of our family traditions. It is so much fun to lift up Jesus with our church family.
Then we headed to our friends, the 'V' family, for their annual Puerto Rican feast that causes us to eat WAY too much every year and gives us a chance to catch up on life with some old and dear friends.
I have a namesake! (that still blesses and boggles my mind!) She had her first birthday on the 20th and we celebrated it that night too. It was fun watching her ooze her little hands in the frosting of her own little cake and spread it everywhere. : )

A friend sent us some pictures of that night on FB.

Our three handsome boys!

This is Joy, our beautiful friend 'E' and I.

(I don't really have cute highlights, its just the flash of the camera! Maybe I should get some. LOL)

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

December 22, 2009

Christmas fun

Our dear friends the 'A' family blessed us with Disney tickets again this year. The company he works for has a deal of some kind with Disney that is expiring, so this is the last year that they will receive free tickets and we were amazed that they shared their tickets with us again! They are so sweet!

We chose Epcot this time.
But don't ask us which country we ate in because you will be disappointed! : )
I got a kick out of hearing Joy tell her friend on the phone, "Well, we ate in America but it was REALLY good AMERICAN food, not like you eat every day." lol
I guess eating in America is what you do when you have at least one picky eater in the family and a wife who doesn't like Chinese. My hubby knew all along we'd end up in America....
Here are some pictures:
Real (and WONDERFUL) men carry pink backpacks! : )

It was SO cold. (for us that means in the high 50's to low 60's in the middle of the day.) BURRR!!!
We lost Nathan in Germany or he lost us. (don't ask him about it)

We loved the ride Soarin' (hang gliding over California!) and Test Track was a fun ride.
Nathan rode Mission Space alone. Joy and I chickened out at the very last second. (something about spinning in dark, enclosed spaces with G forces made us change our minds)

Carlos came with us and made everything twice the fun. : )

A certain somebody was 'texting' his way through Epcot.... lol

It was a really fun day!!!


December 19, 2009

While shopping

Lots and lots of errands to do this time of year. I told someone yesterday that I need a Christmas NAP! : )

In Target the other day they had HUGE display of bathing suits...
(bikinis actually)in December...
and they weren't even on sale! How weird is that?!

Then I saw what I considered to be a sad sight in Borders. The children's section had been taken over by TOYS. Not the cute stuffed animals that are characters from books either. -Just random toys. There were SO many less books that I was sad. (probably a sure sign that I should be a librarian when my kids are grown) : )


December 12, 2009

Wondering if this should make my day

The lady who cut my hair today asked me if I go to the university near by.
And that made me very happy,
until I got to thinking, maybe she starts all her conversations that way! LOL

It probably insures good tips if you ask a middle aged mom of several teenagers that....I'm just saying. ; )


December 11, 2009

A special guy and a special day

Happy Birthday to Nathan!
He is 15 now! (and can't wait to say that he's 'going on 16')

We love you Nate. You keep us all laughing. : )
We are very proud of you.
Happy Birthday!

December 9, 2009

More quotes I like

from Oswald Chambers:

"Prayer does not fit us for greater works, prayer is the greater work."

"The passion of Christianity is that I deliberately sign away my own rights and become a bond slave of Jesus Christ."

"Self pity is of the devil, if I go off on that line I cannot be used by God for His purposes in the world."

"Never allow a truth of God that is brought home to your soul to pass without acting on it, not necessarily physically, but in will. Record it, with ink or with blood." (whoa!)

"He (God) can crumple me or exalt me. He can do anything He chooses. He simply asks me to have implicit faith in Himself and in His goodness."

"The Lord does not give me rules, He makes His standard very clear, and if my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without any hesitation. If I hesitate, it is because I love someone else in competition with Him, i.e. MYSELF." (ouch!)

"If you are going through a time of discouragement, there is a big personal enlargement ahead."

"Never allow this thought 'I am of no use where I am' because you certainly can be of no use where you are not." : )

"Wherever God has dumped you down in circumstances, pray to Him all the time. You labor at prayer and results happen all the time from His standpoint." Amen!


December 7, 2009

In which I ramble on about the fun, crazy-busy, holiday season which is upon us

My hubby took me out for hot chocolate (since I don't like coffee) and we went and bought our Christmas tree on the morning after Thanksgiving. We didn't get in on the black Friday sales really, except that we bought lots of real poinsettias at Home Depot for 99 cents a piece and that was fun. They aren't looking so great now, because they have been through two storms that looked like hurricanes but weren't.

On Monday night Zach had drama for 3 hours, so I hung out with Joy that night and we did a little shopping while we waited for him.
Tuesday, I babysat for a 6 month old and tried to home school my four at the same time. It was busy but fun. I forgot how exhausting it is to home school with little ones around.
Wednesday, we had the most awesome youth service and God changed some teens lives in a BIG way. Hallelujah!
Thursday, I hosted a Christmas party for the teens in our home school group at a pizza place. Lots of fun. Did some fun games at the table and a gift exchange. For one game, I filled a stocking with 13 items and tied it shut with ribbon then the kids had to feel the outside of the stocking and try to write down all the items. If I ever do that game again, I'll remember that a time limit is needed. Only the girls guessed the cookie cutter. : ) And no one guessed the tea light.
Friday, I took my hubby out to breakfast. The MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers ministry) needed some kids to help run the games at their Christmas party for the preschoolers, so Andrew and Joy volunteered to do that. I was running a cute game (pin the star on the Christmas tree) when I was asked to go and help do the face painting. Oh My Stars! I've never face painted before. (and preschoolers have small cheeks!) LOL
They had their choice of a Christmas tree with decorations and presents under it, (good grief) or a candy cane, or a snowman... Let's just say, they almost all wanted the tree. And I was sweating bullets, while cute moms stood over me watching. (while I was praying "Help me Jesus! Make this look like a Christmas tree! LOL) It was tons of fun though and no surprise that little girls can sit perfectly still for next to forever and the boys -not so much. ; )
Then Joy had a dance practice and a slumber party to go to.
Saturday, I picked her up from the party and then balanced our checkbook and bought 'football food' for the Gators game. (sad loss though) While my hubby, Carlos and our boys hung out watching the game, Joy and I went to babysit for some friends who have 4 children. We had fun but it was a really late night.
Sunday was the scheduled week that Joy and I take care of the infants in the nursery at church. Last month when it was our turn Joy sweet talked her dad into taking her place because she didn't want to miss her class. Well, he'll never do that again. : ) Well, we had 6 infants that day! He gave the boys an account of what nursery work is like that is so funny, I should have him post it on the blog. He's a crack up. Anyway, we thankfully only had 4 today.
After church I took a HUGE nap that was heaven on earth!

This week has more drama practice, 4 Christmas parties, church, and 4 members of our family have birthdays! We are also hoping to use our free tickets to Epcot this weekend if the rain stays away. AhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHH! ~Which reminds me of Amy Grant's song "I Need a Silent Night." ; ) LOL! Great lyrics!
Hope you are having a blessed holiday season!

December 6, 2009

Sweet Encouragement

This blessed me!

Andrew said "Mom, when I am 23, I am going to call you and dad and ask you how you raised us because you guys did a great job and I'm going to need some guidance for my family."
How sweet is that?! (pinch me!) : )
I love 10 year olds!