Friday, December 31, 2010

The Van

Here is an exterior picture of our new "BUS." We are LOVING the van. Our previous suburban had benches in the back, so it was hard to get everyone situated especially in the rear bench. There was no middle or side aisle for accessing the back row. The van, on the other hand, has a side row, and I can get to the back if I need to.

Today we took a family outing to the local garden centers. Daddy hitched up the trailor, and we loaded the family and took off. As we neared our destination we explained to the children how our family needs to reflect Christ by operating as a well functioning family. We explained that we would need to walk as a family unit and with cooperation through the garden center. We would be careful to not all be talking at once, and we would try to honor our Lord by our behavior. Lauren was given the task of pushing Abbie Joy, in the umbrella stroller, and I carried Lilly Faith in the sling.
We were blessed to get our purchases at eighty percent off; what a savings! The kids did super well. The lady at the check out complimented them by telling them that, "They were the best behaved children to ever come through there." We affirmed their valiant effort to be obedient and glorify the Lord.
We then went to Whataburger for lunch. We got LOTS of stares as we parked our big "BUS" which was carrying a trailer of plants, filed five kids into the Whataburger and took them all to the bathroom. We felt like EVERY EYE was upon us. We could feel the stares. :) I think we were really an unusual sight, but we had a blast. We told the children we think we might be nearing the time that we could consider a long family road trip. I think it just might be doable with the new van.

I love this sweet picture of Lauren with the plants. She LOVES nature and the great outdoors. We bought her her own Crepe Mirtle tree as she is going to have her own flower garden towards the back of our property. She is super excited, and I am looking forward to seeing her creativity.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Another Sacrifice

Well, the journey of parenting is a road of many sacrifices. God is constantly doing a sanctifying work in my life through the challenges and struggles of being a mother. This journey is full of joy and blessing, but it demands a dying to self in many areas of life. Before I had children I had NO IDEA how hard it can be sometimes. I could not fathom the depth of sacrifice and strain that parenting requires. Sometimes the level of chaos and intensity of one day is just unbelievable. I think no matter how hard you try you really cannot describe how hard parenting can sometimes be. The only way to find out is to become a parent yourself. I must say, however, that all the stretching, growing, sacrificing, etc. is soooo worth it. Nothing has ever been so hard as being a mother and yet the joy and fulfillment are beyond measure. I am thankful for the high calling of motherhood, and that the Lord has entrusted me with this beautiful privilege. I am also thankful that He is using all the fatigue, chaos, and weightiness of the responsibility to prune my character and draw me close to Himself. I KNOW I am not adequate in my own strength and am forced to run to Him for guidance and strength.
Well, all of that to share with you that Matt and I recently made another sacrifice in our parenting journey. I can say we were giddy with joy in knowing this is best for our family. You see we traded in our black leather, big rimmed tires, dvd player and remote suburban in for a white, twelve passenger plain jane van. :) The people at the dealership were laughing at us, and I can say we were really happy. We know the Lord has led us on this journey, and we embrace it with all of our hearts. We know we do not look cool, lots of people think we are crazy............, but we are too busy to care. We have a joy in wholeheartedly working with all our might to raise up our five children in the ways of the Lord. We are doing kingdom work; this is our life and our ministry. It is exhausting and yet wonderfully rewarding. One day we will not need the big, ugly, white van. One day maybe I will go back to plush leather interior, and I have a feeling I will look back on these days and miss carting around my van full of blessings. Yes, I will take ugly if it is the best functioning thing for our not so little family. :) By the way, I am LOVING the plain vanilla van. It is so roomy and so much easier to get kiddos in and out. God is so good providing just what we need.

Christmas Eve 2010

It is hard to believe that another Christmas has come and gone. Somehow the years seem to be rolling by faster and faster. It makes me want to heed the prayer in Psalm 90:12, "Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."

We enjoyed a simple yet beautiful Christmas Eve service at our church. Matt was asked to read a passage of Scripture during the service. The children enjoyed seeing their daddy reading from the pulpit.

After church we came home and opened a few packages. We put secret codes on the children's packages instead of names. The codes were their birth dates. They had to find the hidden packages (a yearly tradition we have on Christmas Eve) and then decipher whose was whose by the birth date. The kids always get new jammies. I try to act like I do not know what they are getting, but they laugh and remind me that of course they are getting jammies. :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Five Months

Here is Lilly Faith at five months. I have to say I am humbled by her SWEETNESS! She has the most docile, sweet personality. We are enjoying her sooo much. She is rolling over, laughing, squeeling, pushing up on front arms, playing with toys, and has two front teeth on lower gums. During her fifth month our family upsized to a twelve passenger van instead of our suburban. Matt and I finally caved in and decided it is time for the big homeschool van. :) It is very roomy, and I think it is going to function really well. We are looking forward to spending Christmas with our sweet baby girl!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lilly Faith's Christmas Present

We decided to give Lilly Faith an early Christmas present. She is getting so big!