Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, My Love!

Today is my husband's birthday. I am SO extremely grateful for him, I don't think I can even express it. Words don't do enough.  He is not perfect. But, he is mine.  :)   I have found that with my soul satisfied in Christ, I am even more grateful for the gift of my husband. Today I celebrate the life God has given him, and that I get to share that with him. I'm so glad I get to "do life" most closely with him. He is a man of God, desiring His glory before anything else, and is so real in the struggle. He is gentle, kind, patient (Oh, so VERY patient!), hard working, many things that I appreciate. Happy Birthday, my sweet man! I love you!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bethany's 1st Birthday Party Pics

Here are some of Bethany's "1st Summer Garden Party" pics:

Her sweet happy face!

Sitting pretty

I think she was laughing at our crazy attempts to get her to smile.

The Birthday girls- Bethany's 1st, Tiffany's 19th- fun sharing a birthday with your aunt!

The Birthday girl with her Mopa

What's a Summer Garden party without a bug hunt? So cute- the kids decorated their bug catchers with stickers and then went and "caught bugs" that we'd hid in the yard. Max had fun!

Sydney isn't so sure about those bugs...

Once Belle figured out what we were doing, she caught on and was pretty excited about her bugs!

Playing pin the butterfly on the flower

Bekah requested that Tia and JaJa play too...and they didn't seem to mind joining in the fun!

Bethany enjoying her first piece of birthday cake!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Bethany Hope!

Our baby girl is 1 today. It has flown by so fast. She is now officially mobile, walking more than she is crawling. It has been a fast year of her growing, learning, and accomplishing all those "firsts" that are so memorable.

Bethany Hope- Bethany is a city mentioned in the Bible numerous times that is a place where many experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit. Lots of supernatural things happened there, and that's why we named you Bethany. We want you to be a place of God's dwelling, where His Spirit works and moves and is evident. Hope is what flowed from Grace and Joy, your sisters middle names- when we receive God's Grace, there is much Joy, and that gives us Hope. We want your hope to stem from our only source of true Hope, Jesus.

You definitely look a lot like your Daddy. It's like seeing him if he was a girl.  :)   And you love your Daddy tons, too. You prefer to be held by him and your eyes light up when you see him. We love your facial expressions, especially when you scrunch your face up and pucker up your lips. It's the cutest. And Daddy taught you this "growl".  You will chase people and roar at them when you're getting them. It cracks us up.

You share your birthday with your Aunt Tiffany, which is so fun. So today we'll celebrate together with family, and friends who are like family, those who have shared in your first year, and we pray, your next years. Daddy and Mommy have lots of accountability to grow you in the Lord, and for that we are grateful. 

We love you, little Princess. Happy Birthday!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Call Us Rednecks...

But we took our first official family vacation this past Sunday through Tuesday to...BRANSON. Yes, people, Branson, home of the most stage shows and cheesy things you may ever see in your life. However- it was SO FUN. 
Here's the deal: We've got so much going on (to be revealed in detail at a later time) that we knew we had to get away as a family before things started being put into place. Once the ball gets rolling on these things, there will be no time for a family getaway. Plus, baby #4 comes in late October/early November, then the holidays- there will be no vacations then.

So, we left on Sunday morning to Springfield to visit with our wonderful friends, Todd and Heather and their crew. We were able to go to their church service where Todd just recently took a position as youth minister/music leader, then went out to eat and hung out at their house for the afternoon. As we pulled out of the driveway, Gary said- well, I'm refreshed, ready to go back home. That's how we usually feel after spending time with them. It's like a breathe of fresh air. God definitely uses them to encourage us. 

We headed to Branson and checked out the Branson Landing, watched the fire/water show and ate dinner. Monday and Tuesday we went to Silver Dollar City. My husband, this prego, three girls, in 102 degree weather, walking the hills and pavement of SDC. Normally, I'd call this cruel. However, thanks to 1 1/2 cases of water and the sprinklers and misters the park had set up everywhere, and the best $1 I've ever spent on 2 little dorky hand held fans- it wasn't that bad. Really! I think God was being gracious. We found out when we got back that the news was there on Monday doing a little blurb on how hot it was at SDC and the numbers being down, etc. Funny. Anyway, so since it was Kids Fest, we got to cool off while seeing shows- VeggieTales (so cute!), Circus on Ice (way amazing!) and a Magic Show (baffling!). Bekah loved them all. We also road the train, which Belle was so excited about, she must've yelled "CHOO CHOO" a dozen times. We got to watch a man make a blown glass bowl, which at the end he actually dropped and Bekah was so sad; a women making pottery; and a women at Becca's house doing loom work. It was so fun. I also got to shop at the Branson Landing and at the Tanger Outlet a bit. That's always a good trip for me.  

I must say, though it was short, it was a wonderful time together. We'd never gone away somewhere new by ourselves. All our "vacations" have been to visit people or combined with a business trip. It was fun to all bunk in a hotel room and be together. Nothing like family worship time all on a bed in a hotel room. I hope there will be many more times like these for our family. I remember my own family vacations with my family and all the happy memories of them. I want our kids to have the every day moments of us being together and growing together, but that being what fosters times of actually wanting to get away as a family to spend time with "just us." 

Here are some pictures of the trip:

The Wallace/Hirsch crew- we can open our own daycare.  :)

The water/fire show at Branson Landing- Belle kept saying "WaWa!"

One of the many cute little houses when you first enter Silver Dollar City- they really wanted to play in it!


Okay, so Gary thinks this picture is so wrong- can you see Bekah on the elephant? No. It looks like he's riding it all by himself, having a great 'ole time. I think it's hilarious.

All of us in front of "Becca's House"- Bekah thought that was pretty cool.

Playing at "the Wharf" at Branson Landing

Mommy & the girls on the REAL CHOO CHOO!!!

The huge rocking chair in the Lumberjack area- too cute!

Bekah, still all smiles at the end of two fun filled, HOT, long days at SDC- though not without a few little reminders of our need for Jesus!  :)

The two little ones had enough! It was time to head home! What a great time!