My heart, my love, my life

My heart, my love, my life

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Blessed Day

      Today was one of those days.  The kind of days where making it out of my bedroom is a major chore.  Normally I hate days like today but not today.  My back hurts and I am tired.  I am a week out from my Remicade treatment.  This is my hard time but the good news is that it is better then it was last month.  Praise the Lord!  We were able to go to 2 movies yesterday at the dollar theater with the kids and it was fun.  We finally saw Courageous and Dolphin Tales.  Great movies!  My back hurt yesterday and I took my meds and off we went.  There was none of that today but it was still a good day.  I felt sort of sad when I woke up because I knew it was going to be a rough day and it was so pretty outside and I don't like being stuck.  I got a text from a friend and she asked if she could come visit.  She brought her daughter Tigist, who is Muluken and Gifte's biological sister.  So the kids got to play and visit and Elaine and I sat on my bed and talked.  We prayed for a sweet lady in our church who lost her husband today and marveled at how neat it is that in the last few months he had started coming to church.  He was just there this last Sunday morning.  I hope when I see Miss Leona that she will tell me that she is confident that he gave his heart to Jesus.  How faithful she has been to pray for him.  Such a testimony of a prayer warrior and an amazing love for Jesus!  My mom was so sweet and brought my meals to me in bed, loved on my kids, did laundry and let me rest.  The kids ran in and out to update me on their new books for their kindles and to get a hug now and then.  My man worked on our barn.  I am so excited to see the finished result of all the hard work he and my brother and our boys have put into it.  My sister-in-law came over with my nieces and that was so nice.  All in all, while I may have been in bed all day, Jesus didn't leave me here alone.  I know there have been so many other days that I haven't been grateful for the love he has surrounded me with and I am so sorry for that.  I remember the story in the Bible of the 9 who never said thank you and the 1 who did.  I desire to be one who says thank you. Thank you Lord for knowing what I need before I could ever think to ask.  Thank you for the blessing of a sweet day for my entire family!

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! " 1 John 3:1

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas

       In my last post I wrote about our Christmas Eve devotion for Advent and one of the things we talked about was the history of the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas."  I said I would re-write the information because I thought it was so good and it led to some great discussion time around the table.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not allowed to practice their faith.  In fact, being Catholic was a crime!  So to preserve their teaching and doctrine, someone wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.  It has a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.  Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality, which the children could remember. 
*A partridge in a pear tree represented Jesus Christ.
*Two turtle doves were the Old and the New Testaments.
*Three French hens stood for faith, hope, and love.
*Four calling birds were the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
*Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
*Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
*Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: prophesy, serving, teaching, exhortation, contribution, leadership, and mercy; it also represents the seven sacraments; baptism, Eucharist (Communion), reconciliation, confirmation, marriage, holy orders, and anointing of the sick.
*Eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
*Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
*The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
*Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
*Twelve drummers drumming were symbolic of the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
From "A Family Advent" published by Thomas Nelson

      Whether or not there is truth to the historical evidence of the song, the lyrics and what some people tied to them to remind them of the truths of the Bible are fantastic.  We talked about the Apostles' Creed some and about why there were only 11 faithful disciples.  As I read the words to the song, I asked the kids and my family to guess what each of the lyrics might be representing.  It was a sweet time around the table and a catchy way to remember some very important truths through a seemingly silly song. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

New Pictures

I love my gorgeous man!

Beautiful Children!
My beautiful girls!

Handsome boys!

The amazing men in my life :-)

Tristyn and Brityn

Bub and MJ

Gifte and KK

Merry Christmas!!!

        I love Christmas!  I have loved it since I was a little girl. The joy this season brings to my heart sings loudly within my heart.  This has been an extra special Christmas because my mom was able to fly down from Seattle to stay with us for a little over 2 weeks.  I haven't had Christmas with my mom since KK was a baby.  She has been so full of joy being here with us and getting to enjoy her 8 grandchildren.  My brother and his wife and my two nieces live right up the road so we have been able to spend lots of  time together. 
        Christmas Eve was a sweet time.  I made 2 different types of enchiladas and while we ate we read the final devotion in our advent book.  I have learned so many interesting things through the devotions we have done as we celebrated advent.  The most memorable was definitely that night.  We sang "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and then we talked about the reason that song was created.  We opened our Bible and went through what each of the twelve days represented.  It was so cool!  Then we opened our traditional gift of pajamas and watched the movie "Christmas Snow."  I highly recommend the movie because it was so so good.  The movie ended with Brityn in tears (I think we all cried) and Grammie and I had an opportunity to talk to her about heaven.  We talked about my step-grandpa (Grandpop) who passed away Friday night and how he is in heaven dancing with my Nana and praising Jesus.  While the death in the movie and the death of Grandpop is so sad, the reality is that they are so much better off.  What a day that will be when we get to look into the face of Jesus!  Brityn is slowly coming to really understand what Jesus did for us and how huge it really is.  She is so sensitive and full of so many questions.  We talked for a long time and prayed several times.  My mom (Grammie) read the Christmas story out of the book of Luke to all of us.  Precious memories!                                 
         Christmas morning began with sour cream twists and orange julius.  Yummy!  My mom was successful in her attempt to make gluten-free sour cream twists for me.  I definitely need to post a picture they were delicious.  We opened gifts and spent time laughing.  There was a lot of duct tape involved in the wrapping of some of the presents this year, which brought a lot of laughs with it.  Philip and Rachel and the girls came over and we opened more gifts and ate even more.  I think holidays are just a huge excuse to eat and believe me, we ate!  After getting everything picked up, we began preparations for our dinner.  The kids played with their toys and worked on setting up their Kindles.  We are truly blessed because our children love to read.  Grammie got each of the older four Kindles and they are so excited!  The younger girls played with their DS and sang in the new Karaoke machine.  I can't wait to get photos of them singing,  It makes me laugh just thinking about it.                   
          There were 24 for dinner tonight.  My mom is so fantastic and made the best turkey and ham.  Dinner was great and so fun!  We laughed and talked and enjoyed everyone's company.   It was a great day!  I am so grateful to have such an amazing family and group of friends.
         I think the best gifts that Jared and I received were the handmade cards that our children made for us.  I am going to post pictures of those also.  It isn't enough to re-write the words, you have to see them.  My sweet man got me a camera for Christmas so hopefully I can post lots of pictures.  That will be tomorrow though because it is much to late now.   More tomorrow.



Saturday, December 3, 2011


I have been trying to post off and on for several weeks now and I haven't been able to get into my blog.  There is something about computers and technology that is so incredibly irritating to me.  Register your IP?  What is that???? Anyway, to make a long story short, I still don't know what is wrong.  I pulled it up on Google Chrome (again I have no idea) and it works.  Maybe.  We will see if it actually posts.  I need to find a faster way to put pictures up or connect it to my phone or something.  I am very slow at all of this.  I wish it was all as easy as just typing.  I am sure that if I let my kids at the computer, they could probably figure it out so much faster.  But needless to say, I finally got the screen that allows you to post. YAY!!!
     Life has been so sweet the past few weeks.  I had my Remicade on the 18th.  While I am so grateful for the medicine, I have such a hard time before and after my infusion.  A very dear friend drove me and sat with me for the two hours I was hooked up to my IV.  That is one thing that I cherish about those times every 6 weeks, is the time with my husband, my brother or a sweet friend who is kind enough to drive me to and from the appointment.  The medicine makes me to tired and sick to my stomach to drive.  It is two hours of uninterrupted time which is precious in the world today!  I came home and went to bed and another sweet friend brought dinner and sat with me for awhile.  Dealing with my disease has taught me a lot about humility and allowing others in, it has also shown me how very prideful I can be.  The Lord is definitely working on my heart and on my mind.  "So that I may be mature and complete, lacking nothing."  I can't say that I am always happy about it, but I choose to be grateful for it.  The next day my kids played in a 3 v 3 tournament in Conway.  I was able to ride in the truck and sit in the heated seats to watch some of the games.  I love watching my kids play ball.  They are ferocious on the field and it makes me laugh to watch them.  Not laugh in a bad way, but I love their passion.  Between my four older ones, they display their tenacity differently, but it is all precious.  My amazing husband was able to coach Austin and Muluken's team while Gifte's coach was coaching she and Kailyn's team.  The boys got first place in their age group and the girls got second place in theirs.  It was awesome to see Jared get so excited.  He always picks on me because I get emotionally involved in whatever game we might be playing. Lots of encouragement and some "UHHHHHHHSSSSSSS"  You know the kind of UUUHHHH that slides out of your mouth when you are frustrated with a mistake or a bad call or any number of other things that might not go your way???  Well, I am pretty sure that my calm, laid back husband said a lot of UUUHHHHSSSS and pulled his hair a few times in the middle of the games, but he also was a tremendous encouragement to the 4 boys and 2 girls that made up the winning team.   That day it wasn't just the kids that I was proud of,  I was and am incredibly proud of my man.  He stepped way out of his comfort zone and I watched him figure out that he could do it.  He has what it takes to encourage and lead even when he was so unsure of himself or what he was doing.  He was able to stand up to some attitudes and fussing between the kids and encourage them to keep their focus.  I love him and love to see him find new things that he is good at.  He was giddy when he got home with my smelly kids that night.  Such sweet memories!  I will post some pictures as soon as I figure out how.        We went to a memorial service on Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  What an amazing legacy this man left.  He was an older man who knew and loved the Lord.  Every story told, every song they sang characterized how he loved his Savior.  I am sad for his family as they are grieving his loss but I know he is with his heavenly father.  What a legacy he left!  It made me wonder what kind of legacy I would leave?  What kind Jared would?  What kind of legacy will our children leave?  I realized that it is something that I don't think we think enough about these days because we live like we are guaranteed tomorrow.  It has given me a lot to ponder on.
        Thanksgiving was wonderful.  We had Jared's family at our house and we laughed like we haven't laughed in a long time.  Dinner was delicious and there was a lot of it.  Everyone pitched in by bringing something and Austin made beautiful pies. It was a sweet time!  I am so grateful for family and for friends.  I am thankful for so much and yet in reality I realize that I am not thankful enough.  The Community Thanksgiving Service pointed that fact out to me.  Pastor Anthony talked about the 10 lepers who were healed.  Completely healed and able to return to their homes and their lives and of those 10 only one returned to say Thank You!  Only 1!  I am ashamed to say that more often then not I live as one of those 9.  I fail to see the blessings that God has surrounded me with in the good times and in the bad.  How can I only say thank you for the good and not for the bad?  I realized listening to him preach that sometimes I will pray and pray and pray for things that aren't answered immediately, and when they are finally answered I don't even see it, remember it or acknowledge it as an answer to pray.  I long for a grateful heart in all circumstances good or bad. I desire for our hearts to be a reflection of the heart of Christ.