Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloweeen Pics



AND ANNIE making her Halloween debut as....well, we like to call this....J. LO ON SOUTH BEACH :)

I recently had a friend tell me, "You may have two southern boys, but you can be sure Annie is going to be a Miami girl." :) I'm not exactly sure what she meant by that, but she does look like a little Miami girl here, doesn't she?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Flower Child

We are home!! The trip home from Nebraska was sooo much better than the trip out there. It had to be: I made my mom do the 6 hour drive part of the trip the day before the flight (instead of doing it all in one day), I bought new carry-on bags that had wheels (and left the ones that didn't), I packed my spanking spoon so that it was readily accessible for me and visible to my kids :) , and I checked in all my car seats and carriers and just carried the kids in my arms. Besides the fact that I am now on a 6 month back-recovery plan with my chiropractor (the result of carrying at least 2 kids at a time through the Atlanta airport :), I am doing great and eager to get back into our routine. I have so many pictures to show you and just as many thoughts to share about our trip, but I will have do that another day because right now I am running around trying to get things ready for Halloween tomorrow. I just wanted to show you Annie's pre-Halloween costume:

Here's our FLOWER CHILD:

I can't wait to show you her "real" costume tomorrow!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Sunscorched and Satisfied" is currently "Frostbitten and Fulfilled"!

Here are some pics of our October - thats right October get away - Can you believe this?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Visiting the Farm

OK, guys, just wanted to say thank you to those of you who prayed for us during our trip. We made it. I am not going to lie though, this was the hardest thing I have ever done. I will spare you all the details, but it was rough. We left our house at 6am in Florida, and did not walk into my mom's house until 10:45pm! What a day--Chris and I forgot to pack the stroller, so I had to lay over in Atlanta, ride trams, board and then unboard (something was wrong with the plane), ride some more trams, go up and down escalators with 3 kids (none of which were strapped into a stroller), an infant carrier, and 2 carry-on bags! But we survived--I just think I am going to have to stay here until the kids grow-up and are a bit easier to travel with :). Chris asked me on the phone last night if I am going to be ready in a week to do it again. I told him if given the choice, I would rather go through labor with twins and with no drugs :). Please start praying for me now about the ride home. We will have a 6hr car ride (yes, they live that far from an airport!) before we get on the plane. I actually had one guy on the plane that said to me, "You really are a courageous woman." I replied, "I think crazy would be a better description." HE then said, "Well, that is what I was thinking, but I didn't want to be rude." Unlike me, he was not kidding. Oh well, my kids did great on the airplanes; I was so proud of them. I felt bad for them that it was such a long day--I just never figured in 2 delays and the extra long car ride. They really were troopers.

They are having the time of their lives now though. Papa Gene (he is my mom's new husband who is a pastor and farmer out here in Nebraska--and a great grandpa to my kids) woke them up early and took them out to feed the calves and chickens. Max got to feed one of the calves a bottle--isn't that sweet? They also found baby kittens in the barn that Jack has been talking about all day. They are having a blast; I am so thankful that they get to experience this farm life for a week--even if it was difficult getting here :). I am also thankful for this time to spend with my mom and to enjoy some down time with the kids myself.

It is snowing outside!! The weather report just said they are expecting anywhere from 8in to a blizzard tonight!! A BLIZZARD, guys! We were swimming on Monday and now we are possibly going to be in our first blizzard tonight. Should be fun--I hope :).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Monday night ramblings

Do any of you have a hard time thinking of titles for your blog entries? This truly has to be the worst part about blogging for me. I love everything else--except trying to think of a stupid title. I always seem to come up with a corny "oh my goodness that is so stupid and if I let people know my mind is this corny they will never read another post" title almost immediately. The problem is, that corny title just keeps floating in my head and blocks me from thinking of another title that will help me save face. Any suggestions?

Anyways, the point of this post before I rabbit trailed was to tell you that I am flying with all 3 kids tomorrow by myself (again--I know.) and to ask for your prayers--I am a little nervous.

Back to my topic on blog titles: I was going to title this post: Oops, I did it again, but decided I would rather save face :).

Which brings me to this conclusion: You know what one of the best things about moving to a new place or starting a new job is? You have complete control over letting people know how weird you are. You know how you feel the first time you screw things up and the real you comes out? All those hopes of being a "new, sophisticated, quiet person" (that's always my dream at least--sophisticated and quiet) are over you just want to kick yourself. Yeah, well--I'm kicking myself a lot lately.

Making Your Vote Count

My Pastor preached the best message (I think I am supposed to call it a "teaching", but that always seems weird to me, because Pastor Troy is an amazing preacher and it just sounds funny to say he preached the best teaching--isn't that an oxymoron? OR am I just a moron for this reasoning? Chris says that is not an oxymoron that teaching and preaching are not close enough to opposites to be an oxymoron...Does that mean he is calling me a moron?:) Regardless, I am going to stick with my reasoning that is seems weird to say he "preached a teaching" and message it is for me--unless Steph, you happen to read this and tell me otherwise :).

Anyways, sorry for the rambling. Pastor Troy just preached an amazing message about politics: What place the government has in our lives as Christians and what we should look for in our leaders as we make our decision about who to vote for. You can check it out here. You really should make time to listen. Let me know what you think.

I am so grateful that I have a pastor who has the courage to approach the controversial topics that are affecting our society and the integrity to put personal agenda aside and point us straight to the Bible and what God says.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rest and Relaxation!

OK, I have to be quick. But I wanted to write while Chris is in the shower because this is so blog-worthy :).

Guess who just took a nap for 3 hours?? Chris and I!! I know. Who gets to do that with 3 preschoolers, especially during the stay-at-home mom's bewitching hours of 3:30 - 6:30 pm? WE DID; thanks to our church family at Hallandale Beach! They put us up in a ocean view suite at the Westin Diplomat hotel right on Hallandale Beach and they arranged childcare for the kids (Please pray for Gloria. She is my dear friend that bravely offered to take all 3 kids with her for the night.) I am going to sleep in tomorrow until my body aches so bad that I just have to get up. I am giddy about getting some time alone with Chris. We had really planned on it being at least 5 years before we would get a chance to do something like this!

I think Chris and I have some major time assessment issues. I just checked in our overnight bag, and do you know that between the two of us we packed 8 books?? In 24 hours we think we are going to read 8 books? I think we are just a little over zealous about catching up on some long awaited reading!

Gotta go. Chris is out of the shower and we are going to grab some dinner and then go for a walk on the beach and spend some time in prayer for this city.

Hallandale team: We love you all to pieces; thank you for this amazing time you blessed Chris and I with to relax and be alone together. This is a beautiful city, guys. Together we are going to raise high the banner of Jesus' name over this city!

P.S. My mom was right when she told me, "Sleep will come."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sleep will come

My mom once told me, "Don't worry about sleep--it will come. Just get some when you can." That's exactly the way it is around here--on top of the kids and their fluctuating schedules, we have so many exciting things going on that Chris and I have decided to quit stressing about sleep--we have learned to "just get some when we can." I think "when we can" is going to be after this life! I've been telling the Lord that I can make it without much sleep throughout this short life if He just promises to leave me in the grave and let me sleep for about 3 days before I join the party in heaven :). I haven't gotten a clear answer from Him on that one yet.
Regardless, Chris and I don't want to miss out on anything --except maybe the evening news, the MLB playoffs, and the drop off line at school--occasionally.

Here are a few pics of Chris, the boys, and Annie attempting to "get some when they can."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Coming Out of the Closet

I learned a great lesson as I came out of the closet yesterday morning. You see, I woke up feeling very anxious and overwhelmed by day to day life. Instead of stopping immediately and giving it all to God, I just kept trying to push through in my own strength. Feelings of anxiety, guilt, and fear began to mount, and to and to top things off, I fell in my closet (I know, it is in dire need of a total makeover). I was reaching for the sewing machine you can see on the top shelf when I slipped and I came crashing down. HARD. Really, really hard. My son, Max, was the only eye witness to this horrible accident, and as I was lying on the floor trying to figure out which body parts were still attached and which ones would be no more, he just watched in horror without saying a word (maybe he said something, but I heard nothing at this point). Seriously, as I lay on the floor, I just wanted to quit. Quit what? I don't know. I guess I just felt like giving up on walking in faith. Faith that God is in control. My fall in the closet was an illustration of what's been going on in my life in the past few weeks. Everything seems to be crashing down. The kids are sick and therefore extremely needy ( I struggle with keeping up when they are all healthy:), one is having major struggles with his behavior at school, our finances just took a nose dive with some investments gone bad, my house is a disaster despite the fact that a huge part of my day-everyday is cleaning. Basically, I have lost control and my faith is really being tested. So as I lie there on the closet floor grasping my left wrist that seems to have taken the brunt of the fall, I begin to tell God that I want to quit. I can't do it anymore. It was in that moment that God spoke to me through my 4 year old son. Observing that I had been clutching my wrist for quite sometime, Max says, "Mom, you want me to put my hands on your wrist and ask Jesus to make it better?" I replied, "Yes, please." As I sat there on the floor while my 4 year old laid his hands on my hurting wrist and prayed believing, that Jesus would make it all better, I realized that it was so simple to Max. I was hurt and Jesus would make it better just as soon as we ask. I felt the Lord say to me, "Keep going, Holly. Trust my Spirit to give you the strength you need. You asked me to increase your faith. Don't quit. Your children's faith will start at the place where your faith stops."
WOW. I realized in that moment that my children will start their journey with God expecting to see the things I am begging Him to see. What takes every ounce of faith for me to believe now, they will already know because they witnessed God doing these things at a young age before fear and doubt could get in the way. You see, they don't know that it is a huge "mountain" for me to trust God to heal my friend from Parkinson's disease, or to trust God to pay the bills, or to trust God to use me in some way to advance His kingdom. They just see us pray and see God answer. It's that simple to them. I am learning that the mountains in our lives that we are crying out in faith for God to move will be but mere anthills to them. It will be without question to them that God heals, and provides, and uses his children to make His Name great. Those will be "normals" to them. Their "mountains" will be so far beyond anything we could ever imagine God doing. We cry out now for miraculous healings from God, they will be crying out for resurrections. We ask in faith for God to supply the just enough money to pay the bills, they will be asking for millions to advance His kingdom. We beg to be a part of a movement of God like we have never seen before, they will beg to be a part of a movement of God that no one in the history of mankind has ever seen before.

Dear Father, increase my faith. Keep pushing me to trust You more and more. I am willing to suffer so that my faith will be made greater. Holy Spirit, give me the strength to keep on going (1)so that I may know who my God is (2) so that what about killed me to trust You with is but "normal" to my children. May their faith just begin where my faith stops. And may they have the faith to move mountains that I never dared to dreamed of!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

From Duckhead to Dolce I know the title is corny, and no, we don't really wear Duckhead (St John's Bay, but not Duckhead :); regardless, we had the coolest thing happen to us after church today. Our sweet friends and D&G associates, Rebecca and Alexandra got word that we were getting our Christmas pictures taken tomorrow and decided that they wanted to dress the entire family from their D&G inventory. Supposedly, at Designer stores they consign their clothes for celebrities....and campus pastors :). As soon as church was over, they took all five of us to their store and dressed us from head to toe for the tomorrows pictures. You should have seen me trying to explain that I am a pretty casual person; that dressy just isn't me. Their reply? "You don't want to look casual; you want to look fabulous." I'm guessing casual cannot be fabulous :). Normally, we take the kids Christmas pics in Christmas pj's that I buy the year prior at an after-Christmas sale for 75% off. So their outfits just went from costing $7.50 (total for 3 pairs of pj's---(check out children's place's after Christmas sale this year)), let's just say that although it didn't cost us anything, I couldn't help the sick feeling that crept into my stomach as I began to calculate the total. I will just die if one of my kids wipes their nose or drools on this stuff. I told Chris to go ahead and mentally prepare for a tough half hour because the kids cannot mess the clothes up; and between the skirt and the shoes they chose for me, I cannot move...I will be of no help to him. In fact, I will be in the same pose for the entire session and they will just have to move everyone around me. Once I'm down, I'm down for the entire session.

Maybe I should bring some extra help...Hmm...I'll decide that later...Actually, I guess Chris should be the one to decide that :).

Anyways, We had so much fun. I felt like Pretty Woman, or Pollyanna (if you want the Disney version). Alex was ready to let me try on every runway dress in the store just to see what it's like to wear something right off the runway. You rock, Alex. I would have taken you up on trying on a few extra things, but with my kids throwing balls and climbing on the mannequins, I was just focusing on taking deep breaths and praying.

I can't wait to post the pics so you can see what they put the boys and Annie in. They are going to be sooo cute! Thank you, Rebecca and Alexandra, for hooking us up...what a blessing you guys were today. Chris thinks we may be in definitely wasn't easy putting our Mossimo jeans back on after a day at your store (if you didn't get that, obviously you're a better dresser than my family.) :)

P.S. Thank you, Stacey, for helping with the kids and being so patient!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Happy Dance

There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need. Acts 4:34-35

I have to brag on God tonight. We just got home from our first GEARS discipleship class at Hallandale. The class was amazing--Pastor Troy's teaching was exactly what we as a campus needed to hear.

But you know what the coolest part was? It was witnessing this verse in action all night. You see, the discipleship class cost $59 for the supplies, and although many people longed to be a part, they were not able to pay the $59. Our leadership team knew there was going to be a large need, but we were praying and trusting God to show up and meet the need for every single person who desired to do this study. Boy, did God show up. All night, Jeralin, our small groups director, kept running up to me, face flushed, breathless, and arms gesturing away with excitement--explaining that just as soon as she would have someone tell her they couldn't afford the class "boom"--right there, while they were still standing in line, God would send someone to pay for them. We didn't have to tell one person that we would have to get back with them to let them know if we could find someone to sponsor them. They were all covered. Actually, Jeralin said that people were standing in line pooling their money together to help cover those in need. I even saw a lady dancing (for real--she was) as she was leaving tonight. Of course, I had to ask her what that was all about and you know what she told me? She said, "I'm doing the happy dance because God just met my financial need to the very penny. I prayed and He answered!" Not only had someone paid for her class, but then another person gave money to help her family avoid a crisis situation."

Don't you just love the body of Christ? I think I am about to do the Happy dance myself!!