Friday, April 24, 2009

Just checking In

Well this week has been CRAZY so this is only a post to say that, pretty much! AND to say the next posting will be from somewhere in EUROPE!! Doei (Dutch) & Bonjour (French) for now!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter and Mary's Birthday Weekend 'O Fun

We had such an awesomely fun weekend full of family and friends! What more could a girl ask for?! I have never had so many people to entertain at my house before. Saturday night was crazy but so fun. We threw my sister a birthday party, as her birthday was on Easter. We wanted her to have a day that was all hers! I think she had a wonderful time as did everyone else!
The Girls! Me, Mary, Kathryn, and Shae (please excuse the kitchen....I had just fed 20 people)Granny with 2 of her GrandaughtersHolly sent Mary some Pumpkin Butter and Mary was very excited. This is the calmest of the 12 pictures I took of her! She was really cute and excited!All the kids opening their Easter baskets on Sunday morningDaniel, Me, and Mom all gussied up for churchMy brother Thomas, Jennifer, Jakson, Landon & Shae (I could not get them to smile normal)Ethan & Shae. Couldn't you just spread them on toast and eat them?! SOoooo cuteLittle Miss Priss, Kathryn and Emily

Hunting Easter Eggs
If you recall, it wasn't very warm on Easter....and now Landon has strep throat. I'm not kidding

Rocking way hard Sunday night!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

40 Days

For the last 40 days I have been doing the "Love Dare" challenge to Daniel. It has been an incredible 40 days. I was certain that he had figured it out a while back, but he says he was completely surprised when I told him about it.

When I started the book, I was just hoping to do some nice things for Daniel and maybe get some nice things in return. Boy did I get more than I signed up for! It started out by doing nice things, which I expected. Then the dares slowly developed into personal dares to change your heart and your thinking. Then again, it stretched even further to challenge you to develop a deeper relationship with God. I did not see that coming. Needless to say, the last 40 days have challenged me beyond where I thought I would go. They have taught me that I am selfish, judgemental and harsh (don't let this get you down, it gets better). It also taught me that Jesus came to save me from all of those things! It taught me that I need give more to others and think less about myself, that I need to leave the judging to the Almighty, and that I, as a Christian wife, am called to do all things with love. Not the kind of love that feels good, but the kind of love that serves and forgives when it doesn't want to. The kind of love that Christ shows us EVERY DAY! To be honest, I didn't think I was capable of doing this. It was calling me to make changes is almost every aspect of who I am. I have always been stubborn and I LOVE to get my way. For 40 days I've had to say no to these things on a regular basis. And guess what?! It hasn't been hard! It has actually made things greater within mine and Daniel's marriage and also with my everyday attitude to people in general! I have learned to stop and say a quick prayer for patience and understanding when I'm in an irritating situation, which in turn makes everyone happier!

Most importantly the 40 days has taught me what it mean to love unconditionally. While I still may not grasp the whole concept fully (I'm still pretty young and have ALOT to learn), I do think that I have found the right track in letting the one's I love know that I will love them without conditions or agendas. Christ has shown us this kind of love and I believe we are called to pass that on to others. And let's be honest, don't we all want to be loved that way? It's got to start somewhere!!

Last night as I gave Daniel the book with all of my thoughts and prayers from the 40 days, I had that feeling like you get after Church Camp. You know, the feeling that you have experienced something life changing and part of you is sad that it's over. I assured Daniel that what I learned and practiced isn't over, but I put so much emotion into this book, that it was almost hard to let go of.

So, if you have debated on whether or not to try this dare, I say DO IT! You will get much more than you bargain a GREAT way!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Today's Big News Story

So this morning I'm watching the news as I get ready for work ( yes we have to work on Good Friday....grrr....). Anyway, the following story caught my attention...

Recession News:
Men's Underwear Sales down 2%
Donut Sales UP!

Does anyone else think it's weird to put these 2 things together. It's like saying "Oh yeah America, you're a bunch of lardos that don't wear clean underwear, or underwear at all for that matter"

Whatever, I just thought it was weird!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ode to Grant!

You are practically a man now! 11?!?! WOW! Uncle Daniel and I love you so much! You are such a sweet blessing to this family and you have created some very special memories! We loved getting to come visit you in Ireland last year and having you show us around! Another special memory is when you got to stay up with us for New Year's Eve this year.....that was fun huh?! ;)
You have such a sweet spirit and a tender heart, much like your pee-paw! He would be as proud of the sweet boy you are, as we are! We hope you have a wonderful birthday and we love you so much!!!
Uncle Daniel & Aunt Tiff Grant playing on the beach in Ireland
Grant and Avery in front of the Mona Lisa
(Avery is really Frenching it up! Don't you wish these kids could do something cool for once?!)

Grant being very brave and kissing the Blarney Stone

Getting ready for a big day of sightseeing in Ireland

What. A. Ladiesman.

What a sweetie!

Grant, soon you will want to kill me for putting pictures like this up, but you look so sweet and are being such a good big brother!

So excited to get Christmas presents!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thomas turns 40!

Like I said last week, I went to Abilene last weekend to celebrate my brothers 40th birthday. The big challenge of the weekend was fighting the wind for almost 3 hours. Yikes it was bad! But I got there safe and sound to surprise Thomas! I love surprising people so I probably enjoyed it more than anyone! It was so nice to just spend the day enjoying the company of my family and helping Jennifer get ready for the party! The Birthday Boy resting up for his big party!Granny was making sure everyone did everything correctly!Mom & JenniferMr. CoolLandon! I love his energy! Most of the time!Wow! That is ALOT of candlesAnd even more smoke!Mom's amazing Mocha Raspberry Cake.....mmmmmmmmmmmmFor his birthday, all of our family gave a memory or something they respected or admired about him to add up to 40 of them. This was him opening it. It was a really sweet moment! Sometimes Shae likes to pretend she is a puppy. This is her version of a puppy eating cereal.
It really was such a wonderful weekend with family and a great time celebrating the birth of my very old brother! jk
Hope everyone has a happy Friday! I'm so glad it's finally here!!!!!!