The Great Adventure

~ just one blink and its changed ~

Friday, December 21, 2007

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Thought you might like to see our Olivia singing at the Kindergarten Musical Concert. It was fun to hear her class singing those classics... and they did such a cute job of this one. Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas

My son was with me today on what we called an Adventure for Daddy. We had a lot of shopping to do for a brunch to be held in honor of the staff that he works with... I had a bad attitude... Simeon was there cheering me on (mostly after we had a "come to Jesus meeting...") and so our adventure concluded on an up note... He's my super hero today. He greeted most people that were either in line ahead or behind us with this line, "Hi, I'm Simeon, this is my sister Sophie, and my mommy. What's your name?... Merry Christmas." Atta boy Sim...

In my grand way of thinking...

When Sophie came to live in our home, I had all the Christmas shopping completed... or so I thought and would like to remember being all prepped for Christmas that year. I make these grand statements and then begin to remember or have someone gently remind me that this was how I envision the past and not the actual event of the past.

This year is no different from those in years past. I have been busy with friends - praying for them in new ways this month.

~A baby - with eye defects - her Mommy and Daddy love her dearly and are trying to get thier arms wrapped around how this will effect them for the rest of their lives.
~A neice who also has some new eye issues - again both love her dearly and are trying to hope for the best and know that either way God's will will be accomplished.
~A friend in SC who has had great results from chemo treatment on lungs diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in them that have never held a cigarette to their lips.
~Another friend that has a baby trying to be born too early - 29 weeks tomorrow who is on complete hospital bed rest praying that this little girl will wait to be born as long as she can... and yet she (the momma - the friend) wants to be at home with her husband and nearly 2 year old daughter to celebrate Christmas...

What have I been doing? Praying - hopeing - anticipating many new things that haven't been included in this list of personal dear friends crisis... trying to capture the delight of the season all the while waiting for God to come through and show up the way I want HIM too... like he doesn't know best.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

PS - it's snowing here...

Some thoughts along the way...

Today we celebrated a life well lived in a lady that had attended our church for years. Nadia was older than 80, and passed on to her eternal home after battling many illnesses and congestive heart failure. She trusted Jesus, and served her King with compassion and a zealous spirit that many can't imagine. One of the things that struck me today (there were many!) was that we will never understand the impact our lives have on a person until we reach Heaven. This lady was instrumental in so many things. She learned how to fly during one of the wars in the earlier part of the 1900's. She chose to never marry because of a surgical procedure that she had done... she would not be able to have children, and she didn't want to disappoint her would be husband. Wow... She made a phone call for a friend of ours in her earlier years that allowed him to study and become one of a few very specialized dentists in the US. He just returned from a trip to a 3rd world country where he helped take care of over 600 orphan children's teeth... it would never have been able to happen if this dear lady hadn't made a phone call to a friend to get him in to med school... the power and opportunities we have to affect the lives of people that we don't even know is tremendous when the King of the Universe is residing on the throne in our hearts. Does He (Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords) live there in you?

She was a very beautiful lady who had a feisty side... if you were out of order. She was the "auntie" to many children through the years, but even as we (her church family) helped her to clean up her home and get her ready for a nursing home, she wanted to serve and pray for people... My children have asked in the last few weeks when we were going to Nadia's to pick up her mail, or take in her trash cans from the street. They understand that Nadia lives with Jesus now... I just hope that I can impart the kind of life she lived when she was younger - so they can learn from her servant's heart.

Good night -

Sophie turns 2!

Where in the world has time gone? If you find her, let her know that she usually moves just at the right pace, until she shows up in time for a birthday. Then, I'm just sure that she is going way too fast and needs to be reminded that she ought to slow down. Actually, Sophie was delighted to find her birthday finally here... she even helped me (quite nicely - I might add) to cut her cake... She ate daintily and was even using her fork (not always a part of eating at our table...).

We celebrated with our great friends, and even took the kids on a train ride to the north pole - thanks to a local mall. It wasn't quite the day we had planned, but I think they enjoyed the mall train ride more than they would have the Detroit Institute of Arts - grand reopening even that had been planned. So we got our budding artist a waterless fingerpainting easel... she's had to shoo Simeon off of it several times!

Turkey's around the table

While Daddy was in class last weekend... BTW only 2 more classes left until we celebrate! Wakadooo!

We made Thanksgiving turkeys. They ranged (ha ha) from the cute, to the sedate, to the wild kinds... and all were displayed proudly in our home until Turkey day came to an end.

My adorables

I thought that I would capture a peaceful moment before church a few Sunday's ago... Sophie was at home... but look at these beauties. Notice in the 3rd pic that Olivia has control of the situation! :-)

A few weeks ago I posted that we were sick...

I don't know if any other mom feels this way or not... but I have discovered that when one (or more) of your children are sick... you tend to loose days... that is you can't account for the time that slips past when you are busy tending to runny noses and coughs etc. We are on the mend, in fact we are starting on our next round of stuffy noses and coughs... just par for the course this year - apparently.

To pass the time Daddy has been spending time with the kids coloring and working on the sight words that Livvie has been learning in school.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Kids, Coughing, Croup...

It can't be that I posted last in October... where did I loose a week! Well we've been a little busy these past 11 days. Simeon has been sick. Since, you can't give a little guy cough medicine anymore... I talked with another mom friend that uses homeopathic "stuff"... I think that it has shortened the cough and cold. But, now Sophie has croup. I remember watching an Anne of Green Gable's episode where a little girl had croup and Anne helped her along with some ipecac syrup... either way it's no fun.

So, Tamara, I understand what you're working with in sick girls... we're praying for you along with ours. Hang in there... I'm hoping for a few more hours of sleep than just 3 1/2 tonight!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Adorable Sophronia

She was busy playing and keeping her bears in line... usually it's a baby doll... but today with the construction hat and her bears - it was too cute a pose to pass up. She'll be 2 next month... oh where has the time gone?

I love fall... it's a little nippy outside today

No one ever mentions that when a child goes to school the other's need to make adjustments to their day too. I caught the kids playing outside by the empty pear tree a few days ago... they love being together so much. There has been some debate (between them) as to whether or not they can continue to be each other's "Bus Gus" but for the moment it is settled that they are! I love my kids.

The Pink Bunk's

OK - The long awaited unveiling of the girls bunk beds is happening today... I seized the moment... so without further ado... the bunks!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More finishing touches...

3 weeks ago... with Steve in class (BTW he finishes up in May!) and me with 3 kids for the weekend there was a lot of time and space to fill. Olivia has outgrown the hand-me-downs for a little while... so we were in need of some clothes. Joann's was having an incredible clearance sale... so we invested. My mom taught me how to sew and I have her old "worn out" Viking Sewing machine.

Her machine and sewing talents have put together almost countless beautiful gowns for various occassions - not excluding wedding dresses and prom dresses as well as Easter dresses! So, I figured there might be enough get up and go in the machine for a few more dresses for my girls. To date we have made 3 jumpers (one for me too) a skirt and a fleece (for me!) Pictures will be posted soon .... umm... just like the one of the bunk beds that are still holding up beautifully!

It's been fun to create and do the mom kinds of things that my mom used to do for us. Thanks Mom!

Finishing touches required...

This is the place where questions like the ones that I posted a few minutes ago can be answered. Talking Points Cafe' is a great little room in the middle of Livonia where a person can stop and think and reflect... maybe you should spend a few minutes or hours here. Join me?

Cider Mill '07

We went to the Cider Mill after a day of touring the west side of the state. It was a great time to get another 1/2 bushel of apples and some of their great apple cheese! The kids got to see (1st time) how the apples were sorted for cider or for sale. If you look close, they are eating the gala apples that were too small for bagging ... the lady "Granny Smith" told us that they would become cider... so she would share with their little fingers! What she didn't know was that my kids often can polish off an apple or 2 in a day... "keeps the doctor away!"
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What have you been doing lately?

Our church is just finishing a study of the Purpose Driven Life... it's been a great experience for me... one that has been very life changing... as it's intended to be. One that I didn't think would be as life changing or challenging as it has been. Good - but challenging. The last 2 weeks have been great. I have been able to do a lot of thinking.

Here are some of the questions I am stewing on now:
  • What has God taught me from failure?
  • What has God taught me from a lack of money?
  • What has God taught me from pain or sorrow or depression?
  • What has God taught me through waiting?
  • What has God taught me through disappointments?

Phewie... not easy ones to sit and think through - but as I wrote the questions in my journal... all of them have an answer. How about you?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

This is the funniest Mom thing I've seen in a while...

A friend of mine sent this video of Anita Renfroe (Women of Faith Speaker and writer) doing a version of the William Tell Overature. Pretty funny! Enjoy! And be encouraged that you aren't the only mom who says these things!

Monday, October 1, 2007


wiring the church for new sound, projector, av stuff that i can't even name - cuz I don't know!
The Blue Zone in Kidz Own - good thing these picts don't register the time they were taken...
The finishing touches to the cafe' - stay tuned for the most recent changes...
Pastor Joe doin' blinds in the Blue Zone... yes he's got the color right!
Evelyn, my fearless, un-ending amounts of energy to share with God for His Glory, kind of Friend - who also happens to be Pastor Joe's wife!
"Sarah, did you remember those puppet cabinet keys?! ...." Thanks Evelyn, my friend, and keeper of Girl Twanda! Read the book by Joanna Weaver, called Having a Mary Spirit, and you'll learn all about Twanda!

A few weeks ago my sister in law blogged me and asked if there were more updates... since I hadn't posted since the first day of school... I have been trying to post for weeks... I'm not sure if that is an adequate response, but it will have to work... OK, T?

So, what have I been doing? Well... We launched the "new" education wing at church... that's a cafe' and 2 classsrooms re-decorated for Kidz Own... plus the programming to go with these new ministries and re-arranging the rooms to coinside with the kick-off (oh, yes of which I was a major part of being the planner of...) for the 40 Days of Purpose. I didn't do it alone, and hopefully these pictures do justice to the major amounts of time and energy and ... did I mention time that lots of other people gave to make this work. So far in the past 3 weeks our numbers have grown by one in Kidz Own... and the Cafe' has had in-numerable cups of coffee and great conversations shared in it already. "Look what God is doing, all across the Land... " and I'm sure that if someone were to ask you what God is doing in your life, you'd be able to list numerous things too. If not, just ask Him to show you!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Confident wink... the coy wait... Ah, Kindergarten here I come!

She winks...
She waits...
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Olivia's First Day of School...

Our first one is off and on her way into the halls of academia. I can't believe that she is old enough to be in kindergarten already... In many ways yesterday was a day of introspection for me. I think that I mentioned that in my last post. But it really was.

Have I done all that I could to help prepare her sufficiently for the next big adventure of 12 years... stop there chick... one year/ one day at a time is all that I have been asked to take care of. So, here is my first one off and on her way with a confident wink and a few funny faces... we're off.

She made sure that she knew what was packed for her snack and what was for lunch. Did she have her special kindergarten blankie... and did she have her summer scrapbook? We had our morning routine down pat this morning... the only glitch in the plan was her brother who wasn't too sure that he wanted to go along with this plan. She did great in the classroom - just a little nervous, but then again so were half the others in her class.

We made it! I can't wait to hear the stories of her first day of school. :-)

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Blue Gable

In what has become almost a family tradition... yikes... we gathered again this year at Marble Lake in Michigan for time to close the summer! It was fun to see family (we missed Texas Duo) but kept tabs with them via the cell phones that worked this year around the lake!

My tribe camped out in a tent borrowed and initiated for the maiden voyage of tentage from some dear friends. We had a blast setting up and playing Canasta Caliente! late into the night trying to help dad stay awake until the clock struck 11! Pretty late for a "Mathew Niner!"

Though something kicked us all in the patuties - and the puick fest began, we still managed to get the cottage and tent back into running order ... It was amazing to watch the majority of 16 family members get sick... not a recommended for viewing pleasure movie though. At last count 13 have "gotten the whatever it is" crud...

Here are some shots of the cousins playing in the sand and then a few shots of the kids in the tent that we borrowed.

Happy end of summer tradition! We love Blue Gable!

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Girlfriends in life are necessary!

OK - so for the past 5 years of my life most every Wednesday morning I have had a cup of coffee in my hand and spent my mornings with these wonderful friends and all of our children. We have cried together, been frustrated together and shared many thoughts, dreams and secrets together all in the name of friendship. Last week we gathered for the last time... April's house for Mom's group has been a highlight of my adventure in being a Mom. Here are some fun snapshots... if I looked further back in the electronic archives that have now become my photo album... I would find many snapshots of my kids as they have come and of other children as they have been added in. All in all this group of ladies represents about 10 families and about 20 children. What a blessing to have girlfriends - Thanks April.

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The Toledo Zoo!

So, tonight, I'm looking at the summer, wondering where in the world it has gone to?! Can anyone please tell me... or does this feeling continue for the rest of my life?

This is the collage of a zoo trip this past summer...
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm not 'fraid of anything!

This summer has been an amazing time to watch my number 3 daughter grow. While she's not quite talking in sentences, she manages to communicate some pretty interesting things!

We visited the Toledo Zoo with some friends of ours... and Sophie saw this frog... can't remember what it was - but it wasn't a real frog - looked likd one - but... NO. She has had a lot of fun exploring her world and seeing her trust in most things that Mommy says, "It's OK" to makes me think of God and wonder why we don't so easily put our trust in Him. After all - He made us!

Go Sophie!
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Friday, August 24, 2007

Now we can jump!

When do Mom's and Dad's become SO old that they can't remember how much fun it is to jump on the bed? I think that it's when they recall the song, How Many Monkey's Jumpin' on the Bed. And begin to worry about bumping heads or hands or other necessary body parts!

We built bunk beds for the girls last weekend when my best friend from college came to visit with her little girl. Ava was a trooper... sleeping in at least 2 different rooms while she was here... and my kids were troopers too while Daddy measured, and cut and sanded away to make the beds turn out beautifully. I'll get a picture of the finished product

The bed turned out pretty nearly as planned... except that the board to put the mattresses on weren't
cut exactly to perfection at the Home Store...
for a project that we did on our own, it's gonna look beautiful when the paint
jumps on just before our trip to Blue Gable for the summer end reunion with family.
I'm really proud of Steve for his ability to make something come together.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

TUFW Friends

You know you've been friends a long time when you can't remember where it was that you last saw each other... but you've kept in contact long past the expiration of the green dot screen that used to be the method of communication on email! (you know what I'm talkin about!)

You know you've been friends a long time when you can tell your children that they SHOULD NOT believe ANY of the stories that are told about you... from college days or that these friends knew you before Daddy did... and they still love you anyway!

You know you've been friends a long time if when you can pick up friendships from where they parted and still enjoy each others idiosyncrisies from more than 10 years ago - laugh, love, and live - bon apetite!

Thank you my TUFW leadership friends for all of the wonder of friendships shared when Christ is at the helm! You are such a blessing to me!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

VA friends

Some very dear friends from the "burg" treated us to brunch - southern style... it was delicious! But as delicious as it was the conversation was even better. Ya'll are a blessing to our lives.

We SO enjoyed our time with you on the Cabana, one of the best kept hideaway's in Williamsburg. While there, we spent time chatting, laughing, blowing bubbles out of the open windows, cathching up on what God has been doing in so many of our friends lives. This room is SO beautiful, and the mistress of the cabana is a dear friend too. Thanks for having all of us (a family of 5 in a 1 bdrm flat) and sharing the smiles and time with us too!