Friday, October 30, 2009

the pumpkin and the light

i have to tell you...i don't really like the whole "halloween" thing. i don't like ghosts and witches and spookiness. i don't like my kids paying any type of homage or awareness to the dark side...and yet, i still love the candy and dressing up side of things. it's hard to be a christian and not be an "overboard" christian.
so when i saw the pumpkin patch parable idea on "impress your kids", i was again reminded that there is a way to bring god's light out even during halloween.here's what we did...of course, we didn't really follow the rules...if we did it wouldn't be us, so we modified! i edited the story i found and we grabbed our pumpkin from the front porch {aldi for $2}, our carving knives, a few big old spoons and the bible.

i read this aloud...and we read some scripture with each step...here's what we did...and i have to say, it was the best pumpkin carving we've ever done...and in 15 minutes too!!

"being a christian is a lot like a pumpkin.
first, god picks us from the pumpkin patch {or grocery store in our case} and brings us in from the field {store}. the bible says he selects us out of the world. we are in the world, but no longer of the world. {we read psalm 51:10...that says, "create in a me a clean heart o god and renew a right spirit within me".}

he then washes all the "dirt" off the outside that we received from being around all the other pumpkins. all the outside influences of our former life must be cleaned up. old things are no longer there and everything becomes new.
we washed the pumpkin in the sink and got all the dirt and grime off.

then, god carefully removes all the "yucky stuff" called "sin" from the inside. he then changes us from the inside out.
{we read ezekial 11:18-21...I've provided you a temporary sanctuary in the countries where you've gone. I will gather you back from those countries and lands where you've been scattered and give you back the land of Israel. You'll come back and clean house, throw out all the rotten images and obscene idols. I'll give you a new heart. I'll put a new spirit in you. I'll cut out your stone heart and replace it with a red-blooded, firm-muscled heart. Then you'll obey my statutes and be careful to obey my commands. You'll be my people! I'll be your God!"}

god carefully removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and fear and he replaces them with the seeds of faith, hope and love. after jesus is invited insi
de your heart, you begin to experience the changing power of god's love in your life.as if on cue, brooke says, 'i'm not touching that gross stuff. it's nasty and it looks bad. i don't want anything to do with that." what a great teaching moment. ryan explained how telling lies and being inconsiderate and hitting and not listening to mommy are just like the inside of the pumpkin...it adds up inside us to make it all icky and stuff...and that's where jesus comes in and removes it all when we ask for his forgiveness. brooke says, "wow. that's good stuff."

then god carves a new smiling face on us. we are changed by the power of god's presence in our life. it even shows on our face!
{note brooke displaying her "happy face" that we should carve on the pumpkin...not sure we did that great of a job, but hey, good example!}
{we read 2 corinthians 3:18..."whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize th
at God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him."}

then we light a candle inside. the pumpkin now reflects the light from the inside out. just like when jesus lives inside of us, he shines through our
lives for all to see. we can let his light reflect through us to show people we have god's love. once we have jesus in our hearts, we christians are a lot like this pumpkin. we will never be the same with Jesus inside of us.
{we read matthew 5:16..."If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."}

so i guess in all of this, i pray that my kiddos will remember jesus in the midst of halloween...and in the midst of this absolutely terrible picture. {seriously now...this is the picture my hubs gets of the girls...what in the world???}
i love what amanda said in her blog...she says, "God knew people would use the pumpkin as something scary. And that his creation would be a symbol for a mostly evil holiday. And I think he put this symbolism together for this very purpose–to redeem it and remind us how He has redeemed us!"

having him in our hearts makes us shine...we are to shine in the dark...we are to shine before all men. so let's go shine! when you carve your pumpkins this year, remember the cleansing and the forgiveness...and the light that god offers each of us for the cost...of nothing but acceptance of him.
PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Thursday, October 29, 2009

numero uno...fam

so it's more colorado pics...bc i know you can not get enough!

my SIL, meg, is awesome. i love her so much...and we only get to see each other a few times a year. we have never lived close by, but we always have a blast together! if there's shopping involved, watch out...we can do some shopping, let me tell you!
and then there are my nephews...in order from lef to right...rowan {in utero}, jack and finn.
precious boys...so cute and well mannered and sweet!

and my paiger loves meg and jon and the boys...it was so much fun for us to travel together and have a bit of alone time with meg too!
and then there's my BIL, jon...ryan's bro. they are two peas in a pod sometimes. makes me laugh...they resemble each other and sound even more alike. so much so that sofia called uncle jon "uncle daddy" during our trip. kinda cute!

uncle daddy even held miss sofia in the "watching the penguins pose" since she missed daddy. they both seemed very happy...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

you might as well...

...jump!
she does a lot of jumping these days...as entertainment, as showing off and as well, just playing.

she just jumps!
and it's so cute! bc of the post jump face...and well, bc she can do it when she wants and succeeds and that is a great thing indeed.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

i heart faces--halloween

it's a throwback to 2005...brooke was 2 and jacked up about being a fairy for halloween. she would run between houses and "fly" like her little fairy-self. i adored her face...i remember it like it was yesterday...
and that's when i was sure that brooke was always going to be just brooke and not anything anyone else wanted her to be...and that was a very good thing!

re-do

we had a re-do...the toy room was getting, well, messy. and with the location being on the main floor right off the dining room and the front door, i made the decision.

i did it.
i moved the toy room to the basement and the adults took over the area. hold on to your seats...we have a real office...that we can work in and the kids can still hang out and play, with out the mess!

i know...right?! shut up!
it's not done, but here's the first step in the process.
one word. IKEA!
we added the desk extension and viola! beauty and storage all in one...and with no toys, it's a little better.
{don't even get me started on the half opened boxes and the messes. it's better people...it's better and i'm still training hubs!}

my fav thing? i can drink coffee and do computer work, aka blogging!!
{we really need a cool chair...and guess what, i have my eye on one at, you guessed it, ikea}
i hated the big sleeper sofa we had in here, but we need the extra bed space, so enter ikea again! love this chartruse/golden lime couch that converts in seconds to a full size bed! cute and small, comfy...and fits the space perfect!
then the cow chair...i love this chair! after we got the sectional, this was misplaced, so it fits perfect in the office. it gives hubs a recliner for espn and it's fun and spunky...and the pb chair that was there...it's in p's room and she couldn't be happier!
so it's a first phase re-do, but i will keep you posted! i love it so far. and the kids love their new space too! pics soon...i promise! here's kid candy for now...he he he!

Monday, October 26, 2009

not me monday

a few things me and the fam DID NOT do this week...

paige, sofia and i DID NOT fly out to colorado for a long weekend visit with JMJF and soon to be rowan. we DID NOT have a blast pretty much just hanging out and doing a little running around.
jack jack DID NOT love having sofia around...
i DID NOT die laughing every time i saw finn and sofia together since they are NOT 10 days apart in age and mountains apart in size!
my little finn is NOT the cutest little blondie toddler boy i have laid eyes on in a long, long time!
i DID NOT have a total blast hanging out with meg and the boys.
hubs DID NOT go to paris, again...and he DID NOT bring me absolutely nothing back as a gift bc i was in colorado.i DID NOT eat terrible in colorado this week...and will NOT have to do double workouts to get my booty back in shape again after eating homemade ice cream, popcorn, french toast and well, lots of other bad stuff.i am NOT excited to meet my newest nephew, rowan...and that will NOT make meg and jon with 3 darling boys.

i DID NOT eat frnch toast for dinner at 8:30 at night..homemade of course...and with no protein at all. i DID NOT feel the fat going directly on my stomach as i ate each very delicious bite!
i DID NOT write this on sunday night before flying home on monday to see hubs and the 3 other girlies...praying that sofia is good on the flight home...and anxious and excited about getting our clan all together again.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

my kinda fall

i'm really not much of a fan of fall...my allergies get really bad. i hate cold weather and well, it means that summer is over and summer is my fav.

the best things about fall is that it makes for great pictures...and every now and then you can still get a warm enough day to do a little outside shot!
{i totally love the placement of her hands in this shot...she's like "i'm number one" and "hey you over there...getting my picture taken"

then there's just super cuteness...and i have a strong affection for this fleece because it was brooke's, then jada's and now it's sofia's...my last baby...and it's soooo cute!
and what would a movie star do without a great poster shot??
ok, so i like the clothes and my kids are stinking cute too! fine. i'll live with fall, but do not bring on the winter...hate that stinking season!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sabotage!

Even though wifey stole this blog after I started it a little over two years ago (search to the right for China if you don't believe it), I still know the password. So I will now steal the blog for a bit.


While D was, and is, in Colorado living it up, I was working hard all week (in Paris).


And while walking around for the few short hours I had to myself, it dawned on me: I've been in lots of places in the world, but pretty much, when you are in a city, it looks like a city. Doesn't really matter whether it's Paris, or Beijing, Seoul, or NY. Especially when you work in these places, you tend to see the inside of an airplane, taxi, office building, and an occasional walk between some concrete and steel buildings.


So what's so great about Paris anyway?









Oh. :-)





Thursday, October 22, 2009

bennett

some shots of a super cute friends of ours...joey and darcy
i love these two...they smile all the time. they are geniune. they love the lord. they show and share their love with everyone around them...and they really love each other.

and mr. joey is a daddy...so why not a few fun shots of daddy and his girl too??
and little miss taylor...giggling while telling me all about the "crush". sooo cute!
super cute!!! thanks guys for letting me do the shoot!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

way!

sofia is just stinking hilarious!
when you tell her something or she sees something that excites her...she does this:
and that, i think, is the sign of a well adjusted and down right silly girl. and i'll take it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

going pink...

october is breast cancer awareness month and i heart faces is flying on board this week with the "PINK" theme...hey, the nfl did it, so we bloggers can too, right!?

in all seriousness, do your self breast exams each month, ladies...and if you are a guy, remind the women you love to, well, do the right thing.

i had a lumpectomy at 26...yep, 26, that i found on my own during a self exam. it quite possibly saved my life...it was precancerous and contained...

do the stinking self breast exams. if you don't know how...go HERE.

Monday, October 19, 2009

not me monday

a few things me and the fam DID NOT do this week...

sofia DID NOT teach herself about spit bubbles and long spit bubbles plus the retract. that's one talented kid...and now i am NOT wondering what she and hubs do in their time outside. hmmm.

i DID NOT relax and straighten jada's hair on sunday night to only see her go from a little girl to a girl in the blink of an eye...time is slipping away from me.
i DID NOT take miss sofia to get her blood work this week...and while staring that little one inch diameter arms, DID NOT thank god for every cell in her body...remembering almost 2 years ago she was in the NICU fighting for every second...and that this was the first time since she'd been out of the NICU that we she had a blood draw.

i DID NOT forget the password to my password keeper and then suddenly forget every single password i had...i DID NOT have a brain fart!

hubs is NOT in paris again this week...and i am NOT still at home. i am NOT still wondering if i will ever make it to france some day.

i DID NOT get a new CPAP mask that i am currently not having a reaction to. i am almost used to having the scuba steve machine thingy on my stinking face...and i am NOT swallowing a ton of air every night which has NOT resulted in some interesting early morning bubbles...gross.
brooke DID NOT get a principal's recognition award for compassion...when one of the kiddos in her room dropped all his crayons brooke DID NOT stop what she was doing, go over and pick them all up and reassure him it owuld be just fine. i DID NOT get a swell in my heart knowing my b has a powerful gift of compassion and it was nice to see her recognized for it. the free kids meal from chik-fila helped her see how good it was too.

Friday, October 16, 2009

fighter

sof and i are battling...she has the "never give up" thing going for her and i have the "you are my 4th kid and i will win" thing going for me.

sofia had to fight in utero...and she certainly had to put up a huge fight once she was born with her little 3lb body in the NICU. that fight has gotten her through soooo much.
that fight, is also, gonna get me sent to he funny farm. she's always been attached to me...but of late, it's been a constant need to be on me. and here's a bulletin...i have 4 kids and husband and my own stuff to get done, so sometimes it just can't happen.

1 hour. 1 hour of making dinner the other night with sofia screaming at the top of her lungs ended in her finally settling down and asking, "hold you" and "pease"...and i guess it's true that all's well that ends well, because she's learning that i'm gonna win...and i'm learning that she's really stinking cute!!!
{red nose courtesy of screaming}
PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Thursday, October 15, 2009

ponder


our poor neighbor had a pipe problem...which meant major destroying of the driveway...
...and free entertainment for my girlies for 2 days!

jackhammers, scoops, cement trucks...all great entertainment, and right in the neighbor's front yard!! sofia loved watching all the movement...she would just sit and stare, then jibber jabber about what they were doing while pointing. soooo cute!
it made me think that sometimes the things that we see in our lives as disruptions or headaches or even bad can sometimes be the things that teach others...like sof had never seen a jackhammer, but bc miss margaret's problem, she was able to see and experience it.

it didn't make margaret's plumbing issue any easier or any less wo
rk, but in the long run, others learned from her inconvenience and problem.

life is full of unexpectedness...ups and downs...and well, we were never promised it would be easy. we were, however, promised that in spite of all things, good and all things difficult, god would be with us...guiding us, if and when we allow.

psalm 139:17-24 is an amazing passage that i just feel with my heart today...i hate all that bad that is going on in this world. i hate that sometimes i look at other people's stuff and just stare. i hate that i "want" and i don't "do" more. i hate it. and then, i read psalm 139 and i remember that i am precious.
i am perfect.
i am a woman who ponders...who learns and who seeks god.
and i live in a terribly broken world that needs god's love more each day.
and i see and hear and feel god more when i take time to ponder...to listen.
from the message version...so i don't get lost int he familiar words, but hear...psalm 139:17-24...it's david, talking, jsut chatting it up with god...and that's something i just need to do more and more each day.

"Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
God, I'll never comprehend them!
I couldn't even begin to count them—
any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!
And you murderers—out of here!—
all the men and women who belittle you, God,
infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
See how I hate those who hate you, God,
see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;
I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.
Your enemies are my enemies!

Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I'm about;
See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

location, location, location

i just find locations of things interesting sometimes...

for instance...my workout club. it's in a plaza...so when you are running on the freaking treadmill, mean and nasty people get handel's homemade ice cream in a waffle cone {chocoholic chunk, too} and sit on the benches and watch you...and laugh.
bad location. and it's mean. altogether bad.

indianapolis opened our new airport a number of months ago, but i had only done drop off and pick ups...on our return from sc a few weeks ago, i found a proximity issue.

when you leave your car at the airport, you have to take a shuttle to get to your car or walk 5 miles...so you wait for the shuttle. and, you wait where it says, "shuttle pick up here".

so we call...and we wait by the sign...
i first notice this sign...and think, well i guess it's good to have a specified area for such things.
but then i realize, real estate really is all about location, location, location...bc i'm telling you when you are tired from traveling and you wanna get home and see your kiddos and there's the aroma of poo in the air, you still sit...and ryan, well, he didn't even notice.

i just think maybe, maybe someone would have thought a little about the poo place placement...but apparently not.

oh well. remind me next time to take my nose plug.