Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Beach

We had a ball at the beach! My aunt Pam and cousins Jessica and Jenna, and their hubbies Jordan and JJ were there for the week too. The girls LOVED getting to play with them so much! Jess and Jenna, thank you for loving on the girls so much! They are still talking about it:)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Back to the Beach

We're going to our home away from home this week:)  See you next Sunday!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bee Bee

This is Pipey, and these are her bee bees.She was given this one when she was born and quickly got attached to it.
Mommy decided we must have more than one cause the thought of losing it...whoa, traumatic.
So we had two for a while, then we lost the first one and just found it a month ago in a drawer in the guest room.  Go figure.  So I ordered another one, because you must have two at all times.  One gets left, you have to have one while the other one gets washed.... You know how I am about germs.
But she has only ever thought we had one.  I kept the other ones hidden in my drawer.  That is until a month ago when she found the original one.  Then two weeks ago she was "dusting" my dresser and she opened the drawer, and to her amazement there was another BEE BEE!!!!  SO now she has all three!  What's a mom to do?  She loves them so, I just can't bear to rip them from her.  See how worn and cared for they are?
  So she gets to sleep with all three and two of them have to stay in her bed at all times, only one out of the crib:)


Gracie went to VBS this week with Tristen at Grace Covenant.  They has a ball!She is holding up her key ring with all her new chains on it.  Each day they got a new one.  The VBS was called Power Lab.  Fizz (the little characters which are also key chains) taught them that Jesus gives us the power to be thankful, Max taught them that Jesus gives us the power to help others, Sparki taught them that Jesus gives us the power to tell others about God,  Dewd taught them that Jesus gives us the power to be brave, and Electra taught them that Jesus gives us the power to live forever!
Here she is with all of her artwork and goodies from the week.

She can't wait till next year and neither can Piper.  She'll be old enough to go to "Bi School" as she called it next year!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jeremy and his bud

I told you he could dance!!


Jeremy's lovely friend Tim sent this to him!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Self Protection

Hop on over to the Metro Moms Blog if you get a chance.  This is one of my favorite blogs for encouragement in being a wife and mom.  They are doing a series on self-protection.  It would be wise for every woman to read!

Let me know what you learn!  I think they are doing it all week, they started on Friday last week.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Trials of Life

I have a confession to make...I LOVE reading commentaries along with my Bible for my quiet times. Especially the Reformed Expository ones.  I am doing one on James now, and it is really good!  I have been wanting to write this post for a week now, but these take a lot of time to write:)

Anyway, Let's get started.....

 James 1:2-12 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

  James is telling us here that God brings us trials to test our faith and develop maturity in us. That is the goal!  The author says, "When James says believers should rejoice in trials because they test our faith and develop maturity, he addressed more than the hour of crisis or sorrow.  James wants the church to live out its faith in the crucible of life, in all its tests.  This includes tests born of hardship, such as accidents, sickness, poverty, and anxiety.."  Amen!

  I am going to attempt to apply this teaching to the most significant trial of this season in my life- my health, specifically my migraines.  I am called to live out my faith in the midst of these migraines.  God is testing me and developing maturity.  It is hard!  I am still having two migraines a week and this has been going on a year.  But I must rejoice.

  James says that our response to trials reveals our heart condition- and he wants us to respond with pure joy.

  Mr. Doriani, the author, "First of all, we must see the world as a place of constant testing.  Peace is rare, almost abnormal, and trials are common.  Rather than blaming God for this, we should regard it as joy, because trials produce maturity, especially if we seek God's wisdom in them."
    Many times I do question God in this trial.  How much longer?  Why isn't anything working God? What about my poor husband who already has so much on his plate?  Shouldn't my girls have a mom who is able to play with them more? I can't get anything done God cause I'm in bed so much?  BUT I am sinning!  I must speak truth to myself in these moments and KNOW that God is the author of this and He has my BEST in mind.  He is maturing me and growing my character.

  How do we respond to trials? James says to his church...
  1. "Consider," that is, make a judgement, that trials are a cause for joy
  2. They should ask for wisdom
  3. They should not "be deceived" about the origin and nature of temptation
  4. "Know this," James says, and he states principles for speech and self-control
  5. They should "not forget" what they read in the word.

  "Humanly speaking, trials seem like random evils that fall on us.  But our Sovereign oversees the trial itself and oversees us in the trial, so it strengthens and deepens our faith.."  Isn't that comforting?  That's what brings us joy!  For we know that the trials are sent by a merciful God who promises us an inheritance that never fades or perishes!  Even if we don't see it this side of heaven!

  Whew!  There are many times I long for heaven. But it's not time yet.  I know God does oversee me.  He is always so faithful to provide for me-rest in the midst of the migraines, a medicine that works to take it away within a few hours, a Dr who cares a ton about helping me get better, a husband who does a great job picking up where I have to leave off.  Grace abounds.

"Indeed, no significant accomplishment is possible unless we learn to persevere through trials.  Progress toward any great thing inevitably entails obstacles.  We must persevere.  By such we gain the strength to persevere in yet greater diversity."

  Yes, I must persevere.  I will persevere.  God is here with me.

"In the midst of hardship, people sometimes guess what they should learn from it.  They say "The Lord will teach me patience through this," or "I will learn to trust God more completely." The Lord can indeed deepen patience or trust through trial.  But James does not say trials produce one particular virtue.  Rather, James 1:4 says perseverance leads to maturity in general: "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Trials lead to well-rounded virtue.  There is no virtue that trials cannot build.  There is no defect trials cannot remedy, no strength trials cannot impart." 
  Wow!  That builds me up!  To know that God can do anything with trials, that there is no limit to the virtues He can and will bestow through them!  I am guilty of guessing what I should learn through trials.  Instead of guessing, I should be asking God for wisdom to discern what He wants to teach me. Lord, I am open, show me your wisdom!  Bring it on!

  In case you are wondering do we have to rejoice in the particular illness or, you fill in the blank..."James does not command disciples to rejoice in illnesses per se, but we should rejoice in the lessons we learn in them.  At a minimum, trials expose our weaknesses so we know where we must grow.  Trials expose our sin and our inability to reform ourselves.  They reveal our need of a Savior."

  Oh yes! I need Him in a big way.  If there is one thing I have learned, it is this-I cannot do this by myself!  I need His grace and strength, I need my husband's help and prayers, I need my friends prayers.  I cannot heal myself!  Only God can take these nasty things away.

Have we trials and temptations
Is there trouble anywhere
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer

O, what a friend we've found
What a friend we've found
What a friend we've found in You
O, what a friend we've found
What a friend we've found
What a friend we've found in You

So, I will be healed, either here on this earth or in heaven.  But God promises me that it will happen.  In the meantime, I am going to persevere and ask God for wisdom, while he cultivates character in me.  And I will be praying the same for each of you as you endure trials.



Friday, July 11, 2008

Cardboard Testimonies

What's your cardboard testimony?

Mine is- selfish and independent girl
Now a child of God, dependent on Him for daily grace

Check This Out

Did you know you could turn your blog posts into a scrapbook?  Oh yes you can!!!!  I am so excited about this!  Check it out Blurb

  I'm going to do it!  It's so neat to already have my pages done:)  And there is SO much journaling on my blog as opposed to my scrapbooks.

 Let me know what you think....

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Fourth

Here is our 4th!

Oops!  I uploaded them in the wrong order.  Start at the bottom:)
The BIG waterslide is always a hit!
Piper liked to stand at the top and play with the water.  She did go down once...
Gracie and Ellie- such cute little buddies:)
Gracie is quite brave on the slide.  She loves to go forwards, backwards, and any other way!

They all got tattoos
Hard at work on the noise makers
Ellie, Gracie, and Pipes showing us their noise makers for the parade.
The girls and Jeremy are decorating the stroller...
We continued our traditions this year with the Balts.  We make a day of it.  We go to Birkdale in the morning for activities and lunch, and then back to our house to swim in the afternoon.  Then we cookout in the evening and go to the fireworks.  
 This year our evening got rained out, so we all piled inside and just hung out and ate yummy food. The Neeses, Kovacs, and Manninos came to celebrate the evening with us. That was a treat!  We ended up watching the Macy's fireworks on TV.  So sad, it's just not the same.  But they did have some neat fireworks that many of us had never seen before.
  Fun day, great memories:)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Choo Choo

We hopped aboard the potty train this week.  Pray for us!
Day 1- no accidents!!
Day 2- five accidents, mostly mom's fault for forgetting the mission
Day 3- one accident, mercies are new every morning!
Day 4- the 4th- forget it
Day 5- pee pee all over the floor in Lowes... but okay other than that

To be continued....


We had a great time at the beach!  The girls are at a GREAT age!  They played and played.

My favorite pic of the week:)
Gracie was into seashells this time.  She and Tristen spent a good bit of time looking for them.
Their little chairs.
Sweet little beach babes

They played putt-putt....hilarious!  They lasted for 15 holes.
Papaw takes them out in the water:)
Pipes slept in a big girl bed for the first time.  She did great!
Piper, Gracie, Bella, and Tristen

Nanny bought them new goggles.  They are SO cool.  Push button adjustment;)
The girls wanted to fly a kite.  So I bought one at Wal-mart.  Well it turned out to be a stunt kite.  Hmmm, very difficult to fly.  How was I supposed to know, it was the cheapest one???  This kind man had mercy on us and let us use his kite.
They did a great job!