Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fun with the Collins

My kids love playing at the Collins' house! The back yard is awesome and the friends are fun! I don't typically take pictures of my friends' houses but you have to notice the cement truck in the driveway - I 'll get to that later.
The weather was beautiful! Of course, Ally is pushing another child instead of thinking about herself - what a sweetie. I love that Wilson is pushing his brother - Ty is helpless on a swing!

Madison and Ryan using the bow and arrow. I think they were playing some sort of Narnia game.

Carson spent the entire time shooting arrows. On the way home he asked if he could enter an archery competition. :)

But by far, the coolest part of the day was that they weer having a tornado shelter installed in their garage. The kids got to watch them pour cement to surround the shelter -they thought it was awesome.

Thanks Adrian for such a fun afternoon (it was actually a field trip, right?). Thanks for making feel so "right at home" and for chatting about lies ahead for the both of us. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Don't wake the baby...

I went out with some girlfriends last night. So fun. Love the girl nights. I was so ready to get out of the house. I even left a little early (thanks to Jason's encouragement) and just drove around and talked to Adrienne on the phone.

However, on nights when I'm gone and don't get to tuck the kids in bed, I typically come home and get Piper up because I just miss her so much and miss the snuggle time I would have gotten right before putting her to bed. When I got home last night Jason asked me to not go get her because she had a really difficult time going to sleep (probably because she missed her mommy so much!). I agreed (through my disappointment) that a baby who just finally fell asleep after many tears should be left alone.

However... about an hour later she started crying. Aha! The perfect opportunity. I grabbed my little nugget and brought her out to the couch for some lovey time.

I like to pretend the she really needed that time with me but I know I'm the one who really wants it! She's my baby and she won't be for long.

I love how she holds her ear when she is sleepy. Man, this kid is off the charts precious!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

God's Perfect Timing

Man, I love this girl...Our little Pip has brought so much joy into our lives. I cannot imagine life without her. And that's what always gets me to thinking about God's perfect timing. After moving here, only to have all our plans fall apart followed by trying to get different jobs and having to live with Dan and Kat for 15 months - things felt bleak. We didn't know what God was doing and wondered if we should have done something different. However, if things hadn't been exactly the way they happened, we never would of had Piper.

Thinking that financial security and stability were in our future were in the forefronts of our minds as we thought of a seventh baby. God had different plans - and though there were some rough days in the uncertainty, that has passed and we still have this precious nugget. Financial "security" may never be in our future - and what is that anyway?? Our security is in Christ. Our stability comes from "the Rock that is higher than I."

It's a good thing that He is control and not us. Proverbs 16:9 tells us "the heart of a man plans his way but the LORD establishes his steps." How's that for security?! And even when the steps He has established for us are not what we were wanting we can trust in His great love for us that He is working for our good... to be made more like Christ.
Thank you Father for sweet Piper Elizabeth - she has bean a means of grace to both Jason and me. We see Your loving hand in the giving of her to us and she reminds us that we are being held in your powerful, loving hands.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My super, sweet girls

Both of my girls gave me super sweet letters today.
My little Peach gave me this one...

Here is what she called "Before" - my fav being that my leg is popped up behind me (and Jason's funky club foot!)!

The "after" picture being our awesome wedding - notice how even little girls don't focus on the groom - we get the back shot of Jason.

And finally the "WAY after!!" I guess it does take a while to end up with 7 kiddos. What a funny little sugar. I love my Peach.

Then comes Madison's sweet note...

I love the promise of being treated like royalty and that the men and women get different treatments after the soothing massage. I got excited about being offered the drink of my choice!

She had prepared our bedroom and bathroom as her "spa."
I had to turn the lights on get the picture - but there was candle light coming from all the dressers and night stands.
Our "fancy cups" with chocolates inside. A spa - with chocolate - does this girl know how to please her mama or what?!!

She wrote on the bathroom mirror "Madison's Spa" "I love you Mommy and Daddy."

What a thoughtful girl. Man, I love her so much. We had to push the spa "services" until tomorrow evening - but we can't wait!!
I am so blessed. Sometimes people ask me how I do it with 7 kids... does this start to answer the question?!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


My precious children, who gave up Christmas gifts this past year in exchange for cash so that they could sponsor a child through World Vision, finally picked their special little boy. It took us a little while to get all their money into a bank account (LOTS of coins!) but when everything was added up they had saved (raised) enough money to sponsor a child for 2 years (double their original goal)!! They were so, so excited.
We had started to look online to find the child they would sponsor. They had decided they wanted a boy and didn't know if they wanted him to be the same age as Carson or perhaps a child born on one of their birthdays. They weren't sure if they preferred a particular country but they thought perhaps India, since we have been praying for years for the spread of the gospel in India and we already have a little girl we sponsor there.
We looked through child after child but for some reason, when little Alex from Guatemala came on the screen they all three were immediately in agreement that he was "the one."
After clicking on him to find out more about how to proceed I knew I needed to wait so that I could attach the right bank account to our World Vision account. Jason let me know what I needed to do but when I went back to the WV website I couldn't find Alex anywhere. I called WV and asked for their help but they guessed that someone else had already sponsored him. The kids were crushed. I just couldn't believe that out of the THOUSANDS of children on the web site that someone else would find and choose Alex the same day as us. So I waited. I kept checking... and checking... and checking.
3 days later I found Alex!!! I called back to WV and the guy I talked to said that standard procedure was for the website to pull any child who had been clicked on for a while so that no 2 people were trying to sponsor the same child at the same time. SO - all that to say - we got Alex. The kids were so happy. They love him so much. After sponsoring him officially we also found out that he has 7 brothers and sisters!! He is 4 and a half and has Carson's birthday.
I am so thankful that Lord is working in the hearts of my little guys. To be so young and be willing to sacrifice in order to bless "the least of these" is amazing. I am so proud of them. I am so thankful that Jason is such a wonderful example of selflessness and generosity. I hope to learn from all of them. Thank you Lord for my thoughtful children. Continue to work in them and give them a passion for spreading the gospel throughout the world. May they not waste their lives, but live them in pursuit of advancing Your Kingdom. And God bless little Alex.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Long Valentine's Post

OK - I have a lot of pictures and a lot to say about my Valentines Day so far. I'll try not to bore you if stick with me.

Madison had set the table all fancy with lights and decorations as soon as she got up. She wrote sweet Valentines to every member of the family. I love that she likes to celebrate and to express love to her family.

We had plans to have breakfast at the Castors with them and the Kershes. In the van on the way Jason gave me a love letter. It was beautiful. I was left sobbing. He always knows just what to say. I don't have his gift of eloquence, so all I can say is that I love him so desperately and admire him deeply. I am so blessed, so proud, so delighted, so thankful that he is my Valentine today and forever.
We got to the Castors only to find Rachel flipping pancakes (she was just supposed to supplement what Sunny and I brought with cereal!!). Her mom gave all the girls these BEAUTIFUL tulips as a Valentines gift. Rachel had, once again, set the children's table in Valentine's theme.

She had a white paper table cloth on which she had written Scripture all over - verses that refer to God's love. She also made chocolate lollipops for each of the kids - with their initial on it - placed beautifully in a pot as a centerpiece.

Each child had "Jesus loves_____" with their name inserted in front of the chair they were supposed to sit in and they all had Valentine cups with their names on them. Can I just say "I want to be Rachel when I grow up!!" She amazes me! She is a walking Martha Stewart (but way nicer :)) and not for her own glory, but because she loves to serve her family and others. She does such a wonderful job! I LOVE that I have a friend who thinks it is important to take the time to write Scripture all over paper that children are going to eat and spill on. She told me that when she was figuring out what she could "skip" in all the preparing it was not going to be adding Scripture to the table setting. I am so thankful to know her. Thanks you Rachel for your wonderful hospitality!!

Aww - the daddies with their babies. There's is nothing more attractive than a man who loves his babies - am I right?! These are 3 GREAT daddies.

After our super yummy breakfast the kids played - and wow, these kids play so well together! here is Pip playing with "her Jude" (that what the big kids call him ... "Look Piper, it's your Jude" so sweet). The older kids worked on talent show routines.

Madison and Emma were the "Sparkle Spirit Style Girls" and performed an American Girl song. they were great - choreography and all.

Here's Creed doing a little "hip-hop" dancing to the W's "The Devil Is Bad."

Here is sweet Josie hanging out with her mama.

Later, the kids went out and just played away in the driveway and back yard. I guess this is what boys think of Valentine's Day!

It took us forever to finally leave - and it was not because of the mommies or the kids (the usual suspects). Nope, this time the hang up was with these guys...

Talk, talk ,talk. Bible, Bible, computers, computers.... and I thought Rachel and I were the kindred spirits in the group!

Piper was so sleepy by the time we left. She always holds her ear when she is tired.

However, when we got into the van she had found another ear to rub. Isn't that adorable!
ok- last thing - I had asked each of my boys privately today if they would be my "secret valentine." I told them that our secret signal would be a wink. SO, I've been enjoying winks all day with my little guys. When I asked Wilson if he'd be my secret valentine he added "and you can buy me a secret gift!"
Happy Valentine's Day friends. May your greatest love be the Creator, God -and Jesus Christ, His Son.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Progressive Dinner

For Kid's Night Out this month our FLOCK did a progressive dinner - and we actually had a great turn out (way to go guys!)! It was so fun to hang out with our friends and enjoy each other and good food.

We started out at the Silagyi's for appetizers. I love little Ben's tilted head in this shot!

Yummy! Thanks to everyone who brought delicious food at both stops.

Some of the girls at the dinner stop - thanks Tamara, your house is beautiful!!!

Notice Kat in the corner... she had a baby with her all night. :)

We hogged the table which is why everyone else in the previous picture was eating on the floor around the coffee table!
On to dessert at our house. I love to set up for parties!

Awww- aren't we sweet? Love you girls!

Look at this group of hilarious people. This is my favorite pic of the night (my favorites...Dan and Chuck!). What a fun time. Happy Valentine's Day all.