Friday, July 29, 2011

Oh me of little faith...

Full disclosure... life, financially speaking, has been hard for us for a long time. We are so blessed and optimistic of all that God will do with this new company He has given Jason but it has been slow going. Jason works hard - so hard. He and his friend MG have worked so hard at making connections and getting new clients and we have such hope of what PCSOS can be. But starting anything is hard - and we started already behind when it comes to money. So every dollar that comes in is already owed somewhere else. And even when there is work the bill might not be paid for a month. We wish we could have consistent income, We wish w could have a normal budget but it just feels like we are playing catch-up when we'd rather be trying to move ahead and get out of debt and have a little stability.
We trust our heavenly Father. We have been AMAZED at how many times we have had God's people help us financially  - buy us groceries - fix or cars - pay our mortgage - pay for an event we wouldn't have been able to attend- ask Jason to fix their computer and way over pay him. Time and time again we have seen this. How could I ever lose sight of HIM in it all??  We know He has us where He wants us but I must confess - the last three days have been a little hard - and my heart has been sinful and I have lost sight of God's faithfulness. I smile on the outside and say "God is good" and say "He is faithful" but I knew yesterday that I was questioning Him. "Why can't we be out of this struggle? When will You let us prosper in this business? When will Jason be free of this horribly heavy burden? When will we stop being the friends that have no money and can't do anything? When will we be able to go buy our kids shoes just because they need them?"

I had eyes turned in to self and that always ends badly. We are waiting on bills and have had slow days and for the first time we were unable to pay our mortgage this month. Not wanting to ask - yet again - to someone who might be able to help out we just settled in that we would have to take he blow of having the missed payment reported to the credit bureau and we would have to come up with extra money to do a payment and a half the next two months. This is where God wanted us - right? We have talked about me getting a job which may be the best plan. But contemplating it all became a cloud that blocked my view of a loving sovereign God. I even started to question Him in more aggressive ways.  "How does having financially blessed people bail us out bring you great glory? Couldn't that happen to anyone? How are You going to work all of this out in a way that shows it had to be You?"

I didn't completely lose heart. I knew I needed to accept His plan. I need to be ready to go where He wants me and help my family when they need me. I knew He is working all things together for our good - but I've been fearing what that path might be? He doesn't promise lots of money or financial security. He promises blessings to the faithful and He promises HIS faithfulness to us.

I called the mortgage company around 3:00 (they close at 3:30 on Fridays). I told them with great regret that we could not make our payment. The girl on the the phone was sweet. Set us up to pay a payment and a half for he next two months. Reminded me that this would get reported on our credit. I knew that. I gulped. We hung up.

At 4:04 as I was walking in the the library with the chickens. A dear friend calls and says "We'd like to pay your mortgage - and before the end of day so you don't default." I was overwhelmed and gave this person the info to call but I knew they closed business at 3:30 on Fridays and that this was the last business day of the month. And yet, just moments later - while picking our picture books with Pips I get a text saying "Taken care of... now it's not hanging over your head. We love you. Let's not talk about his anymore - pretend it was anonymous. I'm glad and thankful and humbled that God chooses to use flawed people to answer prayer. He gets the glory and the credit. It all belongs to Him and we give out the gifts He gives to us. By His grace and for His glory alone. He is good, my friend."

I wanted to sob right there in the easy reader H-M section. Not only did God send His people to sweep in a the last moment he used a family that is not "financially blessed." They don't have extra money just laying around. I am sure there are many many things they could have done with that money. And they sacrificed for us because of the work the Lord has done in their hearts.

Could God be trying to get my attention any more??? What else does He need to do to prove that He holds us and has us right where He wants us. He is not punishing us, He is not messing with us, He is holding us closely and doing what is best for us. I keep saying.... if living day by day, month by month, year by year (sigh) depending on God desperately for every dollar is what it takes for us to LOVE Him more and NEED him more and WANT Him more - then wouldn't we be fools to want anything else????? The problem is that there is still a lot of foolishness in my heart. And yet... He is faithful.  Not because I earn it or deserve but because I am HIS and He loves me.

.... Oh for grace to trust Him more.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What kind of girl do you want to be??

The boys were attending a super cool Star Wars birthday party on Sunday and so, having the rare occasion of being with just the girls, Jason and I took them to get burgers for lunch. Part of time we spent talking about what kind of girl you want you be. We asked Ally and Madi to tell us 5 words they would like people to use when they describe them. They shared things like patience, Christ-likeness, kindness etc... We then talked about how we could help them be more like the things for which  they wanted to be known.

At one point I looked at Pippa and said "What kind of girl do YOU want to be?" And her response was so funny - I grabbed my camera and asked her to repeat it...

video

When "long hair" was the first thing she said I was totally cracking up. Such a girl - pink and sparkly.

But I had to ask myself... how often do I, when I should be contemplating the inward man, focus on the outward. I don't spend a lot of time wishing my body were more fit but at times it is probably more time than I spend wishing my soul were more fit. How much time do I dream about the type of home I would like to have an what I would like to fill it with instead of how I can be of use to the house of God. How often do we neglect the inner man? Oh Lord, make me LONG for you more. Make me LOVE you more. Open my eyes to the worthlessness of all things temporary and convince me of the great value and significance of all things eternal.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer So Far...

I have to start by pointing out that we have been setting records in Oklahoma for consecutive days over 100 degrees and without rain. It has been nutso hot so we have been inside or at the pool.

Here's a little bit of what we've been up to now that we have stopped all the traveling...

Spelling Bees - my mom did spelling with the kids constantly while she was here

My mom would line them on the couch and pull up each kid's grade appropriate spelling word list and they would take turns. She made all sorts of rules and they just loved it. They used the remote as a microphone.

Here is Pippi after spelling "PIP" correctly...

Who knew spelling bees could occupy my children for so long? I still have horrible memories about getting out in the first round of the all school spelling bee that I had worked so hard to qualify for. Don't ask me about it. I might cry. And the English language is stupid anyways.

Finding baby bunnies in our back yard...

I totally photo shopped those stains on to the carpet so none of you would feel badly about your carpet. Ha. Seriously - if you'd like to feel better about your carpet just come for a visit.
We got the babies back with their momma and I've seen them all over the neighborhood now that they are bigger. Super cute!

4th of July... celebrating with our friends the Beltz and the Wrays...


 Playing a game where they had to race to empty the toilet paper roll without letting any t.p. touch the ground...



Dressing up like cows to get free food at Chick-fil-a...




Making shadows on the back fence...


Getting hand me down rain boots that you want to wear every day...

 Pretending to be a boy scout...
 Lots of playing piano (and yet no one knows how to play - donations to get my kids piano lessons so that I don't gouge my ears out with a fork are being accepted. And anyone who wants to go to my mom's house and play Chopsticks and Heart and Soul on a piano until she wants to jump off a bridge - I think that would be fitting retribution)...

Going to the library...

 ...and getting prizes. I'm telling you - the summer reading program has lit a fire under my kids. They are reading like crazy cakes and that works very well with this hot weather.

And by doing all that reading they earn things like coupons for free bowling...

and coupons for free sundaes...

So - we've had good times trying to beat the heat. Inside the house we've been trying to focus on being thankful and showing honor to one another.
I must admit that I miss the schedule of our school year but am trying to make the most of footloose and fancy free. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fin and Feather

Got home from Atlanta.Did all the laundry.
Slept in my own bed for the first time in 2 weeks.
hugged my husband.
got the laundry out of the dryer.
folded it.
put it back in the suit cases.
loaded up the van.
Left for Fin and Feather in Gore, Oklahoma for my mom's side of the family family reunion.

We were (and by we of course I only mean me) weary from the travel but ready for more time with family.

 above are my amazing grandparents - affectionately called GG and Pa
below are the cousins connecting over breakfast ...

 Pips and Kylee enjoying Papa
 Uncle Todd, Aunt Jill and Terri above
Abby and Jansen below...

I can't ell you how fun it was to be with family. Unlike the Atlanta trip - some of my cousins here had kids! So it was a different kind of fun for everyone. The kids loved being with their cousins and it was awesome to see how little Pippa fit in with all the red haired blue eyed people. My cousins-in-law are amazing godly women and I loved being with them and their families.

Nana organized a talent show. My kids did a lip sync to Press Play's NY2LA. They are so super cool..


 The Pipster was SO shy - she kept her head down and her hands on her face the whole time...
 Cason (not Carson - Cason) and McKenna were A-MAZING doing a Bible speed drill and memory verse recitation. I was SO proud of them!
 Pippa actually did go up and do her ballet talent. She was adorable. He she is after sitting with Uncle Jack and Josh...
 We spent lots of time at the pool (didn't take a single picture). The kids went daily to the arcade (didn't take a single picture). We went to a fun water park (didn't take a single picture). . But we did have plenty of fun with everything we did...
 Tony and Shannon (Wendy - how do I not have a single picture of you or Andy???!!!)....
 The boys at Soda Steve's...
 This reminded me of when my dad would pick me up from school and take me on a lunch date...

Jack and Josh brought their dogs - they we so fun. Jack and Jake actually look alike!

Here are some of the group shots...
 The family that we all came from...
 And the couple that started it all...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

34 hours on the road, 38 relatives and 1 beautiful wedding = a great time.

My cousin John met and snagged one amazing woman. It was our pleasure to be at their wedding. But it was in Atlanta. 17 hours away from us. So we arranged for our private jet to get us there and back in a timely manner. Unfortunately there were some mechanical issues so we ended up having to drive. I hate when my private jet breaks down.
The same day Jeff and Adrienne left we drove 3 hours to Dallas and picked up Uncle Joby. I was so sad that Jason couldn't come with us but Joby was fun company. It was a treat to be with him so much (not sure if he feels the same away about accompanying all 8 of us - but let's just pretend that he loved it). Then we drove 5 more hours to my parents house in Louisiana. (I have learned not to use the state's abbreviation of LA because everyone thinks I'm talking about Los Angeles. Way to not support Louisiana people.) We swam, ate dinner and washed every one's travel clothes so they were ready for the next day - that way I only had to bring in the swimming bag and toiletries bag.

The next day we drove 9 hours - through Atlanta to the northern part of Lake Lanier where we stayed at an amazing 4 story lake house...


that had the steepest driveway I have ever seen. I took pictures to show Jason how redonkulous it was but the pictures reveal nothing!



It looks like a sweet little path from a child's story book!!!  What is up with that? Seriously - a van that dropped off food one night COULD NOT GET BACK UP! You can see its skid marks in the second picture. It was scary. Bu the kids thought it was a like a roller coaster so I tried not to cry when I had to drive down and just yelled with them like I was enjoying the ride.

Being with my Leahy family is really so much crazy fun. They can make anything fun and anything into a competition. Never a dull moment and my heart is always full when I'm with them.

We had bridal party brunch (because little Pippa was the flower girl) and Lindsay gave her cherished sidewalk chalk as a gift ...


Rehearsal - where Madison had to fill in for my cousin, Katie, who was late (you could not find a more perfect and willing fill in)...

Rehearsal dinner - which was loads of fun. I even got to sit with some of my cousins instead of my kids - which was a treat! (I was the only cousin there with kids so while they were all having a blast somewhere I was usually feeding my kids or putting them to bed etc...)


 My beautiful cousins and Aunt Liz above and blow are Katie and Jackie - they make me happy!


And then the wedding - did I mention the adorable ring bearers and flower girl?





and their adorable siblings? Admit it. You'd have 7 kids too if they were this cute. :)


The wedding was truly beautiful...
 Did I mention Christy Nockles sang... THE Christy Nockles. If you don' know her go immediately to youtube or itunes and listen to her A Mighty Fortress. She was amazing - we had church right then and there at the opening of the ceremony.
 Did I mention that Jodie Benson sang? THE Jodie Benson. As in The Little Mermaid and Barbie from Toy Story? She sang with her husband and they were just fantastic.

Lindsay was stunning and the ceremony was so God honoring and moving...

And then the reception where my girls danced and danced and danced...



And my boys dipped everything they could in the chocolate fountain and ate it...


I missed my hubs so much - especially being a wedding and all. But I had fun with my fabs fam...



 the cousins...




It was a jolly good time. Then there was a party at the lake house afterwards. Seriously - the Leahy clan can party. And the Leahy sisters can cook and entertain your pants off. My kids stayed up till midnight every night - playing ping pong and cornhole with my cousins. Wilson kept finding ways to make a dollar off people. It went by way to fast and just made me miss my east coast family so much.

We stayed an extra day in Atlanta with my Aunt Liz and Uncle Marshall and cousin, Katie. Then we drove back to LA (you know what I mean) for yest another night and then on home the following day.

Then I had three days to be ready for the other side of the family reunion! Now you know why I haven' blogged in a while!!

Great Family. Great times.