Saturday, May 24, 2008

This is what a Rainbow Tea Party looks like

No, we are not celebrating anyone coming out of the closet...just our 6 year old's birthday who REALLY wanted a Rainbow Tea Party, whatever that is! Really, finding stuff like this was impossible, so we made it up ourselves. It definitely stretched our creative thinking, but it worked. 
Birthdays are a big deal in our family. It's the one day that we celebrate God making that individual for His glory by allowing them to pick what to eat, what kind of dessert they want, etc. It's the only day in our family that we allow the kid to "boss." Not that we don't take their ideas into consideration every other day, but just because we're celebrating God making them them, they get to pick everything. (Which is NOT the case any other day!- and also why we don't believe it is going to create a "it's-all-about-me" mentality- cause it's one day, and it's to be looked forward to for EACH member of the family.) So, that is why we worked with the Rainbow Tea Party theme. It definitely wouldn't have been my pick since it's not easy, but it wasn't about me. 
Anyway, here are a few pictures of the party was a good time.

Baby Bethany decked out in Rainbow for the party- she loves all the people.

Belle's cuteness- she enjoyed the food!

Bekah, the birthday girl, all excited!

The Rainbow cake- mmmmmmmm.....

Bekah with Brenna and Taylor

Bekah with Gavin and Aslan

Bethany is so excited about being able to pull up all by herself

Bekah (and prego Mommy) handing out guest's gifts

Belle enjoying her cupcake

Bekah with some of her friends

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Six years ago today...

I gave birth to our firstborn daughter, Rebekah Grace. I cannot believe she is 6 years old! She is such a beautiful little girl, inside and out. (Most of the time!)  :)  She is growing. We pray for her to really grow in the grace of God, that He would use her in service for His name. 

It cracks us up, cause we named her Rebekah after Rebekah in the Bible, with the prayer of her being one who serves those around her and goes beyond what is expected...and Grace because God just blessed us with her, and thinking of graceful- that is so NOT the grace she is! She is known to just fall out of nowhere, off her chair, and then pop right back up saying- I'm okay! Or turn around and knock her head into the wall. She is not graceful in that sense, but instead, we've found her to be gracious. Very sensitive and caring. Motherly. She's an incredible big sister. And she is very aware of people who are hurting around her, and often will ask us about them when we're alone in private. She cries with and for people. That is what we want to nurture in her as well.
So today, our sweet Rebekah Grace- We love you. We thank God for you. We pray you will experience the love of Christ as your Savior, surrender to Him as your Lord, and cherish Him as your greatest Treasure- that your life would reflect those truths of who He is by  living a life of grace and truth, and by graciously serving others, hurting with them, loving them, pointing them to Him. Happy Birthday, our little Princess!
For now, we're going to eat lunch at the park with Gammy, Tia, ChiChi, and us girls. Then, we'll have dinner at her favorite chinese place around here. Friday we're having a "Rainbow Tea Party" with family friends. We'll post pics of it later. 

Monday, May 19, 2008

16 weeks and counting...

Today I am 16 weeks pregnant! We cannot believe how fast this is going. I have an appointment this week, and then next month is our ultrasound. We're excited to find out what we're having...IF the baby cooperates. Neither Belle nor Bethany cooperated the first time, and we had to wait another month. We figure we're having another girl, but a boy would be a nice surprise. We're amazed at how quickly the days are going by- next month we'll be half way already! 

I am very glad to be past the 14 week point, as our miscarriage in 2004 happened 2 days before I turned 14 weeks. I trust God, and know that it would be okay if we had to experience that kind of loss again, but it is always in the back of my mind. Every time we're pregnant, I am acutely aware of God as the Giver, Sustainer, and the One who takes away life. I am so grateful that He is completely in control, is good, and desires the best for His children- Himself. More than a healthy pregnancy, healthy baby, we desire God. Even if something were to happen in the meantime, I pray that my heart would continue to trust in Him. How we so desire for His glory in all things! Today, I'm grateful for this reminder...and for the Sustainer of life who continues to grow all our little ones, this 16 week inside my womb included.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Big sister brags...

Okay, y'all (still a little Texas  in there!)- humor me while I brag as a big sister!

My littlest brother (ha, he's probably the tallest of us all!) Christian is "graduating" from 8th grade this coming week. Weird! He's going to be a high schooler!!!
My little sister Tiffany (she's almost 19 and is still very little!) has been blessed by the Lord in someone from the church my dad works for just "giving" her a car- literally, just gave it to her. This is after much prayer in God to supply her need in that, however He sees fit. Funny how God works sometimes, huh? We were thinking a good deal, inexpensive- can't get better than that!
My little (not so little anymore) brother Jonathan was just a part of a news feature on Houston's channel 13 about the Interactive Theater that he works for. They started going there as part of home school stuff while he was in elementary school, and he ended up working as an intern while still in school, then being hired on as an actor. A shout out for home schoolers! woo hoo!
 Anyway, you can see the little news clip if you go to:
It may take a little while, but he's on there!!!
Thanks for indulging me for a little while!   :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Days...

In a week's time, we have celebrated our anniversary, my birthday, and Mother's we're preparing for Bekah's 6th birthday, and two weeks later, Belle's 2nd birthday! We need to just keep a "Happy" banner and switch it out as appropriate in our house. These days are full of celebrations and things. It's busy...but fun. Unfortunately, in the hustle and bustle, I realized that we didn't take a single picture- no sweet Mother's Day pics with my three girls. Now I completely see how this happens with more than one child. It's so easy to forget,  even for a scrapbooker like myself. I am going to get pictures of the girls, I promise!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sharing in Suffering

Some of our closest friends, the Igos, have experienced a great loss this afternoon. Ronnie, Melissa's dad, went home to be with Jesus around 2 pm this afternoon. He just closed his eyes and went to sleep- to awake to Jesus in no pain, and to see His Savior face to face, experiencing Him fully. I'm a bit jealous.

Though, I'm not jealous of the intensity of hurt this brings to the hearts of their family. But we share in their suffering, in their hurt. They are as of now, still on the road on their way to Houston. They were unable to make it in time to see him. Trusting God's sovereignty, it is still hard. I can't imagine what Melissa's going through now, unable to see her daddy before leaving this earth. But I know and pray she will trust her heavenly Daddy, who works all things out for His glory and her good. For right now-it still sucks.
I can't tell you how we wish we could be there with them through this. They just walked with us- almost exactly a month ago (as of the 8th)- as Gary's sister Jeanni went home to Jesus. But, we will pray. And we'll be there for when they come back.
Please pray with us for them. Especially for their girls who were very close to him. It is a hard thing to process for any of us, let alone children. Little hearts that you try to protect from hurt, bearing great pain. Be near, Lord! Help us to experience you through it!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Gary and I celebrated our 7th anniversary yesterday- Cinco de Mayo! Yes, we went and ate Mexican, which has become the tradition, while sporting our Old Navy Cinco de Mayo t-shirts. A friend, who was one of my bridesmaids, got them for us when we got married. We have worn them every year since. As we were thinking about the different years of marriage, we did talk about how my shirt has stretched with me through all these pregnancies.  :)

Never in my life, seven years ago, would I have believed someone had they told me where we'd be in life now- married 7 years, in my 5th pregnancy, having lost one baby but having our fourth,  living in Gary's hometown in Missouri and not in Houston,TX, in a big house and not in our townhouse, no longer in youth ministry but owning a growing business...
I laugh thinking about what God may have in the next seven years. Bring it on. As long as we're growing together in You, is all so good!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Update on God's Protection/Provision!

Okay, so just after posting my last blog concerning the van wreck and seeing God through it, I called Gary to be sure he remembered to pick up payroll for our employees from our CPA, just in case I needed to go do it instead. Anyway, so he tells me how he got to see God's hand today through the accident specifically. Here's the deal: well, because of the accident happening where it did, and because they CPA saw it and came to help out, and because my mom couldn't remember the girls' info to give to the police and they went up to the CPA office-because of all this, our CPA realized that while doing our taxes, they completely left Bethany off! So, they got all the info together and told Gary we should be getting another refund in the mail! Can you believe that?! God is good, huh? Had the accident not happened where it did, they wouldn't have seen it, had they not been compelled to come help, had my mom remembered the girls' info...we probably wouldn't have realized that Bethany had been left off til NEXT tax season! And we could really use it now, to help pay off some things. (such as this next baby's bills!) Praise the Lord. 

Funny, how after wrestling with God and being okay with the crappy circumstances, He blesses us. After recognizing the real blessing of GOD HIMSELF as our true Treasure, then He also chooses to reveal some other little nuggets of blessing as well. What a gracious God!!!

God's Clear Protection

God 's very clear protection over our family was evident this past Friday. As you can see, our van is a mess. (I don't think this picture even does it justice.) While Gary and I were at the home school convention, my parents had the girls Thursday through Friday evening. On Friday, my mom opened the store for us, then came into town to run some errands. She was turning left at a light, and a guy completely missed the red light, swerved to keep from hitting the guy in front of him who was stopped at the red light, and hit my mom who was driving our van with our three girls in tow. Thankfully, he hit the only place/corner that none of our girls sit- and everyone, including the driver who hit them, is okay. Living in a small town, our CPA saw the accident and saw that it was our van, and came down to help. They helped my mom with information (she was so shaken, she couldn't think of birthdays and such) and with the girls. 

As all the consequences of this have taken place- like no van to drive, dealing with insurance, getting a rental, etc- have occurred, and I've been annoyed at the inconvenience of it all during an already stressful time, I've asked God- Why? Not in like a, you owe me an explanation kind of attitude, but just like- What in the world are you doing here?! I do believe it's like this- a ton of rough circumstances, stressful and hurtful all in one time period, to point us to our absolute need for Christ. We CANNOT survive without Him. We cannot try to go through Gary's sister's death, funeral, new pregnancy, lots of new things with the business, changes with our church family, van a wreck, etc- in our own strength. God is reminding us to run to Him. To rely on Him. To rest in Him. And be thankful for ALL THINGS in Him.

Which, I am so grateful to Him that in His sovereignty, that truck did not hit a second sooner, as it would have hit Belle straight on. As I looked at the van, I was overwhelmed with what "could have been" and just cried in thankfulness. One moment sooner, and we could have been in the hospital with our baby, or planning her funeral. He was gracious to spare us this time. But then- had He not, He would still be worth all the praise. And I'd still want my heart rely on Him. To rest in Him. To be thankful in Him. I want to praise Him from the depths of my soul regardless of the circumstances. Even if He chooses to take away my own children. Or husband. I want to value Him, treasure Him, more than even them, my greatest earthly treasures. God, give us a greater picture of who you are, that we would treasure YOU most!