Monday, July 26, 2010

Elijah's 2nd Birthday Celebration

Hard to believe that my last child just turned 2! No more babies in this house!
We invited all his closest friends and ours too for a CELEBRATION!

 Complete with Balloons, a dino cake and a pinata!
 Elijah tried his best but it was our strong daddy who was the hero!
Elijah favorite animal is a DINO, so what better way to celebrate than with a dino cake!
I am very happy to have our little boy in our family. He adds much needed testosterone to a house filled with girls! He is rough and tumble and LOVES his daddy- especially wrestling with daddy!
He is talking up a storm and needs his mommy to get on with it and get him potty trained- he is ready!
I could never imagine our family with out our Lij! 
Happy Birthday Buddy! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Sniffles

I am not into being sick in the summer- AT ALL! I woke up from a nap with Ella today and my nose has not stopped running and my eyes hurt. I think a cold is on its way. 

On another note, I need contacts SO BADLY. I wear disposables and I am supposed to throw them away every 2 weeks. The pair I have in my eyes now are about 6 months old! I do take them out at night, but needless to say, they are old! I just need to make an appointment and go get new ones- easier said then done:) Pretty soon, all  I will be able to wear are glasses, and though they are cute, it is no fun to wear glasses in the summer. Mark and I have contemplated getting me laser eye surgery. I would LOVE it! I am blind as a bat without glasses. It really is bad. They told me I am very close to blindness- not that I am loosing my sight but my vision with out help is that bad! So laser surgery is something we are seriously considering- it would save money in the long run too. 

I feel like rambling tonight so if you dont want to read you can click on someone elses blog now:)
Mark has one week left in his summer before he heads back to school meetings and a retreat. It has been the best summer of our families lives, I think. This is the first summer that mark has had time off- like a month! It was WONDERFUL! He is such a HUGE help around the house and with the kids- I really am so blessed. We were able to go on an amazing vacation, swim almost every day, lounge around the house, finish some projects that needed finishing, sell lots of stuff on Craigs List ( I LOVE getting organized) It really has been the best! 
He has been working on websites which has given us a lot of extra income this summer which was another amazing blessing!

Another huge blessing in our lives has been our church plant. It has been GREAT! Through study of what the church really is Biblically, my eyes have been opened and my heart challenged to live life missionally. EVERYTHING I do, all the conversations I have, am I trying to reach others with the Gospel? Building relationships to see them reached with the Gospel, to see God change them. I have been blessed with the gift of the Gospel- am I sharing that gift with others? It has challenged us as a couple to really reach out to others and be in the world. To not live life in our safe little "bubble" but to embrace a life of hospitality and service.  We have so far to go, and we will never get there, but we are embracing the Spirits help on this amazing journey!  We have met some true friends that share our desires and encourage us daily with CHRIST! Our marriage has been strengthened as each of us has been drawn closer to Christ. I think my new goal in marriage is to serve. If I truly serve Mark and put his needs, wants, desires before mine, it truly fulfills me and strengthens us. And I notice that when I try to do that, he serves me in return because he is so happy that I was serving him- its great!
Another goal we have recently implemented is daily time in the Word with our children. After dinner, we read from an excellent new book with the kids- The Jesus Storybook Bible- it is fantastic. Through every story, the emphasis is brought back to CHRIST and his plan- the Gospel! I have been inspired to look at the Old Testament differently and see it in its big picture! I LOVE it!I think my next post I will qoute the beginning chapter of the book- its right on track. I think every parent should own it. okay, enough about that:)

The twins start school on August 16th- it seems SO very early to me but I am excited to get back in a routine and schedule. They will be in 1st grade this year at Mark Hopkins Elementary. I am very nervous for them, I think because they are nervous:) Sophia keeps asking me if its big and if the kids are nice. We did talk with them that it is a public school and they probably wont talk about God and some may not believe in God and they both seem very worried about this. I told them it is a GREAT opportunity for them to go into that school and share Jesus with the people who dont know Him. That made them excited. But I still sense apprehension when we talk about school and I would appreciate your prayers for them and us as parents to stay involved and make sure our children are not being drawn away from the Gospel and their faith, but instead being strengthened and encouraged in reaching others with Christ. 
 On a side note, we need to go get school supplies. I LOVE shopping for school supplies- it is SO much fun:) 

Wow, I think I've written enough and rambled enough. 
So I am signing off. 
Thanks to those who stuck it out to the end. 
Thanks for reading...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sweet at Six

Hard to believe that six years ago, I was a brand new mommy to precious twin girls.
Hard to believe that six years have gone by in the blink of an eye.
Arianna Grace
Sophia Hope

Happy 6th Birthday, my beautiful girls!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ear Piercing #2!!!!

My sweet little Arianna decided that now that she is turning 6, she would like her ears pierced. Of course, Sophia tried to talk her out of it saying, "How will everyone tell us apart?" 
This is a legit question, but we couldnt let that stop her from getting it done!
So, we headed over to Claries after a day of swimming. She bravely climbed in the chair and got all ready.
now, here is where mom messed up. The lady told me she was the only person here so we would do one ear at a time. I thought Arianna would be okay, especially once she saw how pretty it looked. I was wrong.

they marked her ears

love this pic! She squeezed her eyes shut while she did it
Then came the tears- TONS of them! She was so upset...
I tried to show her how pretty it looked 
(she chose green ones for the month of August when she was going to 1st grade- isnt that cute!)
She did not think it was pretty and screamed bloody murder. Well, we had to do the next ear, but she was not moving her hand off her ear and cried, no, no!
We tried getting off the chair and walking around, looking at all the pretty earring she would be able to wear, but she kept crying.. We finally got her back up in the chair and I asked the lady if we could come back and get the other ear done later. She said we could, but we would have to pay the full price today and then when we came back! Are you kidding me!!! There was NO WAY we were paying $80 for ear piercing...
So, Mark held her on his lap, held her hands down and I grabbed her head  and held it still (not an easy task) and the lady got it done! Oh my goodness- quite traumatic! 
But later today, Arianna is so happy she has 2 pierced ears! 
Now everyone is going to have to find some other way to tell them apart:)

They do look SO much alike now:) (This is Sophia)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Days 3 and 4- the best yet!! (Warning: lots of pics:)

After a good nights sleep in Cody, we ate breakfast with Joel and Steph and enjoyed catching up with them and their lives. Thanks guys!
We then took a quick dip in the pool and I got my cowboy boots:)
I LOVE them (although later that day, Arianna spilled Sprite on them...maybe a mother of four should not get expensive Justins cowboy boots:) nah!

We stopped along the way to take in some gorgeous mountain views- Wyoming is SO pretty!
Then, we entered Yellowstone- its basically a HUGE forest with so much pine and woldlife! We saw countless moose, elk,deer and buffalo.

In Yellowstone they have this super cool Geyser spot where you can walk right along these hot pools. The water in them is actually boiling and SO clear and blue. Steam comes off of them (and this was a 75 degree day) and they are breathtaking! I included a LOT of pics- it was one of my favorite "sights"

This one was actually in the lake!Boiling away!

After this, we drove another long stretch thru Yellowstone till we came to Old Faithful!
We got there right as it was erupting- perfect timing since it erupts every 1-2 hours! 

and just like that it is over- pretty neat though!
Then we continued driving past beautiful waterfalls and TONS more wildlife 

until we came to The Grand Tetons! It was the most beautiful mountain range I have ever seen! These pictures do not even come close to describing their beauty! You have to see it with your own eyes!

We arrived at our hotel exhausted, but did take time for a quick dip. I drove all around town trying to find a good cup of coffee. Couldnt find one- I finally stopped at an ice cream shoppe and they had a coffee menu. I ordered a latte and the girl looked at me like I had 2 heads and said, "Whats that?" Needless to say, it was the worst latte I have ever drank.

Then it was time for bed- Mark and I slept up top since it was SO high and I was afraid the kids would fall out. Bunk beds sounded cool over the internet but not so much in person!
Day4- DRIVE ALL DAY until we reached home!!!

Overall, we had a VERY nice time as a family. No major meltdowns. Very tired kids who were happy to be home! and a very tired mommy and daddy, who are grateful to be able to create memories with our little family! 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Continued.. Day 2

Well, here we are on our way to Cody, WY- Mark followed google maps on his trusty new EVO phone and it navigated us through a VERY LARGE mountain range. I am talking STEEP with small guard rails, and at one point dirt roads. I was practically in tears thinking we would never be seen again, eaten by some huge mountain bear. But modern technology did not let us down and brought us over the top and back down again. We were not disappointed with the scenery - these pics do not do it justice- it was BEAUTIFUL! and we even saw about 20 deer and 2 MOOSE! Amazing!
We arrived in Cody at another winner of a hotel:) Its is brandnew and SO pretty and rustic looking!
We quickly changed and headed out the door to meet our friends, Joel and Steph Proffit for dinner. (they live in Cody) We took our 4 kids and their 2 kids (all 5 and under) out to eat, so needless to say, I didnt get a pic of that- it was crazy enough. We are seeing them tomorrow for breakfast, so I'll be sure to snap one then!
After dinner, we did a bit of sight seeing and shopping.
 Oh, the cowboy boots- they are ALL over and they smell so yummy! 
I LOVE the smell of fresh leather-aahh!
Can you guess how much a pair of these boots above costs?
I bet you wont even come close to guessing the right price...
No joking!
Think I'll NOT be buying these anytime soon-
I did find some in another shop that were a bit more in my price range. 
I left them to think about the purchase- I've never spent much on a pair of shoes, but these will last me a lifetime and they are SO cute and look good with jeans and dresses...
We'll see if I break down and get them tomorrow!
Gonna sleep on it...
The girls and boy had fun trying on various items and even found some small trinkets and treasures to take home!

Then, it was off to the RODEO- I have never been to a rodeo and it was cool!
I must admit, I do have a thing for cowboys- they look so handsome and manly in their jeans, boots and cowboy hats:) Think I need to get Mark a cowboy hat:) 
The kids loved the first 20 minutes of it and then started getting bored.. until the 
THE COWGIRLS started showing up!

Then, they let the kids come out and actually chase a calf who had a pink ribbon tied to its tail- if they caught it, they won! The twins tried valiantly, and even got knocked to the ground a few times:) 
We stayed for a little over an hour and then decided to leave- it was after 9pm! 
But we did have to grab a photo with a bull before we left!
I must say, I was not really liking the way they treated those poor bulls, horses and calves- I felt sorry for them- being roped, rided and tied down so much. Poor animals. 
I think my hubby and I are much more suited for city life:)
So, after another full day, we called it a night...
but not before a cup of hot cocoa in the hotel lobby...
Goodnight, ya'all and see you tomorrow from YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK and Old Faithful!
oh, and dont forget to look at my feet to see if I caved in and bought me some boots:)