Saturday, June 20, 2015

This Guy....

the BEST gift God ever gave me....
the BEST gift God ever gave our kids....
Amazing in every way possible....
So very, very thankful for this man to walk beside me,
 to lead us,
 to love us,
 to show us by example what it looks like to live our faith outloud. 
So proud to be his wife! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Another Awesome Field Trip!!

U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center
It was AWESOME!! 
We can't wait to go back!
They have a very informative and educational museum to tour and then there is a one mile loop outside with tanks, planes, WWII trenches, military obstacle course and so much more.
Kids loved it and so did mom! :)

Monday, June 1, 2015

I Never Knew....

I really didn't. I've read about it.....heard about it....but I have never, ever experienced it.
Don't get me wrong. I have loved a dog precious Mordecai who passed away at 15 years old, was the MOST amazing dog BUT he wasn't a warm and snuggly doggie. He was a fierce protector and he wanted your attention but it just wasn't what this is.

THIS is a warm, snuggly, sweet-natured puppy. This is the kind of dog we've always dreamed about. The kind of dog that allows your kids to lay on him, pet him, touch him, love him. The kind of dog my special needs kids NEED. 
Thank you Lord for providing this great gift to us!! 
My heart is so full...yes, crazy I know, that my heart is full over a dog, but it is. 

Let me back up just a bit....
When our Mordecai passed away we waited a bit and then decided to get another dog. We researched every possible breed and ended up sticking with the Mini-Schnauzer breed because our Mort was a great dog. So, we brought home Hezekiah. A little puff of gray fur. :) He, too, is a great dog in that he listens well, takes himself out to potty and comes back when he's done, loves me fiercely, always runs with me on my runs, and best of all (according to the kids!) is that we've taught him to do tricks. His repertoire includes sit, sit pretty, high five, shake paw, speak, and hold onto your hats.....he says "I love you". Now Sean does not agree. But I promise, the kids and I hear him say it! :) Anyhow, you can tell he is a great dog except there is just one little problem.....he bites! Alot! He's nipped several kids more than once, my oldest son a couple of times and my dad. So we decided it was time to find him a new home. We contacted a schnauzer rescue center and they had scheduled to take him this past weekend into his new foster home. My heart was breaking because he is my dog and I really didn't want him to go but felt I had no other choice for the safety of my kids. So we had been praying for another dog for the kids because Nolan especially was taking the idea of Hez leaving very hard. Last Thursday I saw an ad in the paper and called about this dog. To make a very long story short, this dog  was very easy going, no biting, very gentle and sounded just like what we were looking for! We went to visit and decided we wanted him but they were to keep him until Hezekiah moved to his new home in a day or so. Well........the foster dog family decided they couldn't get him for several weeks due to vacations. Oh no! Now what?! We began praying because we would seriously need a miracle for this to fly. Hezekiah is mean and goes nuts around other dogs. I know you won't be surprised by this but God did it! He truly has done something remarkable! Can you believe that this new dog has HELPED Hezekiah to relax? This new dog, Judah, has even taught Hezekiah how to play!! It is amazing really and can ONLY be a God thing. To hear the two of them running around playing chase with each other makes my heart full. If one of them goes outside the other is right out the door too. They stick close together. I call them the odd couple. LOL! 
So that's my God story for today. God can take the meanest, hard-hearted, hopeless, growly, cranky, biting dog and transform him before your very eyes! Which makes me so very, very happy to know there is still hope for me too! :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Selfies gone wrong.....

Try as we might we just aren't able to fit all of us in the picture.
First we try this angle, then another but to no avail...

 Partial heads here and there....

 Glazed over looks as we try again and again and again.

 Laughter....boatloads of laughter as we check and try again.
This one will surely be the ticket....but no. LOL!
I need a bigger camera lens!

And least bits and pieces of each of us is in this picture. :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It's a circus around here!

For Mother's Day this year my little's put on a circus for me. They planned it all out all by themselves. They were so excited! Here they are in their "circus attire".

Nolan and Samuel were clowns....who would have guessed?! LOL! They ran around chasing each other, falling down and doing funny stunts. It was a hoot! :)

Gabriella had Hezekiah doing doggy stunts. Way to go you two!

Connor walked his version of a tightrope. He did cartwheels and spins without falling off!

Kyalynn was a trapeze swinger. She used the swing and did stunts. Best picture I could get as  I was on the edge of my seat and saying over and over, "Be careful. Oh! Be careful!" LOL! 

Then it was off to cool off in the pool. And cool off you do as the pool is FREEZING!!! LOL!

Just ask Sam.....brrrrrrrrrr!

We ended the evening with our first campfire of the season. 
Burnt marshmallows are the best! :)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Running against R.A.D. update....

It's been awhile since I've updated about my running adventures. In fact, since my last post about running I've since joined a running community that I love! I glean wisdom, encouragement and much laughter from them. It's such a diverse group.....newbie runners, old, young and everything in between. Some run less than a mile while others run 200+miles at a pop! Mostly all of us are trail runners and the pictures they share are breathtaking!

I am still slogging away against this dreaded disorder that affects my child and ultimately, ALL of us in the home. It is hard. It is frustrating. It is crazy. Some days it is unbearable. Some days are good, some days are not so good. Running gives me an outlet. It's just me and my dog, him happily flitting here and there and me huffing and puffing along. :)

Two weeks ago I was in my first race in 2 1/2 years. It was a 10 mile run. I have NEVER run that far in my life! The furthest I had run up to this point was 6 miles and that was the race 2 1/2 years ago. I stopped running not long after that race and began trying to walk more. Then this December I decided I wanted and needed to give this a go again. So in the dead of winter, snow, ice and freezing cold temperatures, there I was running. I put in 44 miles in January!! So from January until 2 weeks ago my farthest daily distance had been 3 miles. Needless to say, I was quite concerned about this race. There was a cut-off time, meaning I had to be at a certain check point before a certain time or they would disqualify me. My goal was to finish. I didn't care what my times were I just wanted to cross that finish line knowing I did it!

I thought I was in a good place mentally until I got to the venue and saw all the runners with their high tech gear and ultra cool clothes. Then I began to feel nervous BUT when we all started running I settled in and just thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. It was amazingly beautiful! The race weaved up and down 3 mountains and the views from the top were incredible! When I started to doubt myself, I'd just remind myself that here I was enjoying God's great creation and I didn't have to worry about my kids. I didn't have to stop one time to referee siblings or get someone something. LOL! I was able to enjoy time alone which is very rare. :)

The only really sad thing about the day was that Sean and I had figured out how long we thought it would take me and he and the kids planned to be at the finish line cheering me in at that time. However, I was faster than we thought! So, I crossed the line without my family there. :(

There were 344 runners in my race and I came in 254. I am thrilled with that! It was a monumental day for me. I did something I previously thought I'd never be able to do, especially with these extra 60 lbs on me. The coolest thing was my brother was racing there that day too. His race however was a 30 miler. Oye! :) He always does well and ends with a smile on his face but this one was a struggle. He had serious cramping and a huge blood blister on his big toe but he finished strong. So proud of him!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

If Only....

Ah friends, last night was yet another poignant reminder of how good children are for my soul! 
We have a "Conversation Starter" jar on the kitchen table. Each night, whichever child helps with preparing supper and serving it gets to lead the mealtime prayer and also pick a conversation starter question. Originally, I would just think up a question off the top of my head each night, usually based upon events happening in our world. These always lead to some really great conversations! I thought it would also help the children be able to participate in conversations with all ages too. And it did. They were able to give their opinions about world events while talking with family members and others.  But, friends, honestly, by suppertime my poor brain is pretty much fried and I just don't have the ability to pick good "starters" right now. LOL! So, I've printed some off from the internet and we've been using these for a bit. They are ok....I prefer the "dig deep" kind of questions that really make you think but for now these are working just fine. :)

Anyhow, last night the question was "if you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?" Now, immediately, admit it, a million things came to your mind, right? Yeah, mine too. So we went around the table, each taking their turn. Mostly everyone had a hard time thinking of only one! Then it was Nolan's turn. Sweet precious Nolan.....6 years old. His response was..........really something.
 This was his answer, "Nothing. I wouldn't change anything about myself". 
Oh my soul.....
His answer brought tears to my eyes.
 Tears of happiness for him and tears of sadness for me.

If only I felt like that about myself.
If only I was perfectly happy and content with who I am.
If only I could look in the mirror and say, "oh yeah, baby, you're good"! :)

What about you friends? 
If you were presented with that question how would you respond?

Genesis 1:26The Message (MSG)

God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them
        reflecting our nature
    So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,
        the birds in the air, the cattle,
    And, yes, Earth itself,
        and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”
    God created human beings;
        he created them godlike,
    Reflecting God’s nature.
        He created them male and female.
    God blessed them:
        “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
    Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
        for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.