Thursday, December 16, 2010

Taking a step back from Technology and deeping your intimate relationship with your heavenly father~

After a lot of prayer and thought, I have decided that I'm going to take a little bit of a "media" fast till after Christmas. I'm not going to fully give up everything ( though I probably should). I'm not going to get on Facebook. I will blog very little, if any at all. I will check regular email some ( If I don't I will get way overloaded and overwhelmed) but not very often. I will limit the amount of secular music I listen too,  I will still listen to some country ( I love my country music, it's  part of who I am :) but not as much as I normally do.You have to be careful, I admit, but not all country is bad ;o). I'm not a huge TV fan so that's not normally a issue for me to begin with.

Though I will probably think I am dying and yes, my family has doubts on me actually carrying through with this, I'm pretty determined. I have been feeling God tugging on my heart for a while that I needed to take a step back from this addicting technology and spend more personal time with Him. I am not where I want to be spiritually nor as strong as I want/need to be. I do not have that intimate relationship with Him that I so desire to have.  My prayer is that this will draw me closer to Him, and get a deeper, more personal relationship with Him.

He wants us to make Him number one in our lives and rely solely on Him for everything.  We shouldn't put any worldly things before Him, no matter what it may be. Nothing should be more important then our personal walk with Him, our personal, intimate relationship with Him.  My Prayer is that this fast will help me to grow closer to Him,and help me to realize that though yes, facebook is a fun way to keep up with your friends and family and something fun to do during your free time, it is something I can live without. I don't need to check it every minute I have free. I don't have to update my status every little bit. I don't have to read  the latest "gossip". I don't have to post a ton of pictures every time I get some new ones. Though it is harmless fun and can be used for good, if your careful, it can also become something not so good, if you let it become more important then personal time with your heavenly Prince. As much as I hate to admit it, and am ashamed to admit it, I am about to that point. It's something I've known deep down for a while but wasn't about to actually admit it.  I want nothing more to lay my life completely down for Him and let Him be in full control in every aspect of my life. I want every thought, every word I speak, every decision I make, etc be holy  and pleasing to Him in every way possible.

Worldly things may seem important now but we can't take any of that with us.  The only thing that should matter is getting to heaven and living both our heavenly  life and earthly life with the most amazing, most loving, most romantic God we can ever imagine.

Luke 9:23- Then he said to them all; if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

To me that verse is saying, that in order to fully follow Christ, to fully be a true follower of our heavenly Lover, we have to first "die of self" and completely become consumed of Him. He needs to be our ONLY focus, He should be the only one we worry about impressing and stealing the heart of.

Another Good one that goes along with this is:


Luke 14:33- In the same way, any of you who does not give up  everything he has cannot  be my disciple.

OUCH! if you ask me. Does he really want us to give up EVERYTHING? Really? How does He expect us to live without our ipods, our cell phones, our lap-tops, our money, our friends, and anything else we seem to think we HAVE to have in order to survive? Well....He's not asking us to literally get rid of it ( unless its something really bad that shouldn't be in our lives, as a daughter/son of the King in the first place) He's just simply asking us to NOT put any of that before Him, and to realize that we could live without it. We don't really need any of this earthly-worldly stuff, all we need is Him!! We cannot  find true happiness and true peace until we rid ourselves of earthly things and consume ourselves with things that are pleasing to Him, spending our every waking moment with Him and deepening our intimate relationship with Him. That should be our number one goal in life. Not worrying about the latest fashion trend, or the latest music on itunes, etc. None of that is gonna matter 20, 30, or 50 years down the road.  I feel like I've been a little all over the place but I hope and pray you are getting and understanding what I'm trying to say, even if I'm failing miserably at it ;o)

With that said, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!! I will see you all after Christmas. I'm gonna go enjoy my Family and some much needed time with my heavenly Prince.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holidays and Grief

This coming weekend, we are going to be going up to Los Alamo ,  New Mexico, to have a VERY early Thanksgiving with moms side of the family. It was really the only weekend that worked for everyone. This year seems to hold a lot of first.  Due to different things that have happened over the years, this is the first time we'll get to spend Thanksgiving with my Uncle Dewayne ( moms brother) and my aunt Debbie and their nine beautiful DC in almost 8 years. This is also the first Thanksgiving ( or any major holiday for that matter) that we'll be celebrating since the tragic death of my Grandpa. Due to that, we decided to all meet at Dewayne and Debbie's this year. We had talked about all meeting out at the farm, like we have always done and having a thanksgiving out there,however, I don't think any of us are ready for that yet. There are still too many reminders, and memories out there, and the "wounds" still to fresh. So we decided that we would just meet somewhere else this year. I don't think the full reality of all this has fully set in yet. Yes, we miss him deeply, and yes, the pain is still there, but we have not had to  celebrate a holiday without him...yet!! That is quickly coming and I am having very mixed feelings on it. I am both really excited to spend thanksgiving with all my cousins, but at the same time really dreading it. It will in NO way  be the same without him there. He has always been the one to be in charge of things, so to speak, when it comes to Thanksgiving, Christmas...ect. He has always made it really special in his own way. Like every family, we have our favorite family traditions with each holiday and somehow it just seems wrong to go on with them like nothing ever happened.  For most of us, I don't think the reality of it has fully hit yet. I have a feeling that a lot of it will this weekend though. Though I'm not sure that it will EVER fully sink in. You would think after almost 4 months it would have by now,but I don't think it has.I know with each passing month, and holiday it will get easier and the pain will get less and less, but I know for a fact that it will never be the same and there will always be a empty chair at the table, an extra piece of pumpkin pie, that should of been his ( that was his favorite), and just a empty feeling all around. Part of me wishes we could just skip thanksgiving this year and not even go there, but I know that we have to get this first Holiday behind us. I'm looking forward to spending a weekend with my Aunts and Uncles, and Cousins and all the fun and laughter that seems to happen when were all together. Though it will in no way seem the same. Yes, it will still be Thanksgiving, and it will becomes what I like to refer to as our new "normal".
Yes we will miss Grandpa beyond what words can express, and I have a feeling we'll all shed a tear or two over the next couple months during this bitter-sweet holiday season. But I know with Gods amazing love and comfort, and the amazing love, comfort, and support from our many wonderful family members and friends that might as well be family, we'll somehow get through it and maybe even enjoy it. As hard as it is, we have to come to grips with the fact life does go on.  We will see Grandpa again someday soon in the far future. I know without a doubt that he is looking down on us each and everyday and hopefully with a smile on his face. As hard as it may be at times, I'm determined to stay positive and have a good, up beat attitude about it all. Being depressed all weekend isn't going to change anything so I might as well have fun and enjoy being with my wonderful extended family that I don't get to see very often. So with that said, I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!! Gods blessing on all of you.

I love and miss you Grandpa! You will never be forgotten!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

~Llife~

These last few months have been a complete blur. I'm ready for life to get back into a somewhat "normal" routine but as most of us know there really is no such thing as "normal" these days. It seems like everyone and everybody is always in a hurry or rush at one time or another. I got home from camp the end of July and literally two days later on August 2 we got the call that my grandpa  ( moms dad) was killed in a farming accident. You can read about that here. We spent a crazy  2 weeks in Colorado dealing with everything there. After being gone for a week at camp and then turning around and being gone for another two weeks in Colorado and loosing Grandpa I was beyond ready to get home and have a sense of normalcy again. I came back a day before mom and the younger kids did and enjoyed some much needed time with friends. The month of August is pretty much a blur.
Grandma came back with us and stayed with us for about a week to a week and a half. She then went and saw her sister in Texas for about a week and is now staying with my Aunt and Uncle in New Mexico, the longest she's ever stayed somewhere so far. We are finally adjusting to the " new normal" I think. It's been a challenge to say the least.

I can't believe we're  in the middle of  September already. I'm not sure where this summer, or year for that matter, went.  Most of it is a blur. We're finally getting into a good school schedule after a late start with everything that happened with and following Grandpa's death.

I just got back from getting to spend a week with my "other family" for a week. It was good to just get away for a while and enjoy some much needed time with those amazing 6 kiddo's.   We really didn't do a whole lot, just enjoyed each others company. We celebrated 2 birthdays while I was there. Lora turned 8 on the 13th. and Betty had one on the 16th. We celebrated Lora's actual birthday at the State fair(  dollar day). We all enjoyed that. It was a little bit of a LONG, HOT day but a really good day none the less.  One of the things we did, that was probably all of ours favorite, was spend some time at the Kansas National Guard Booth. The kids got to mess around on the different tanks and stuff they had set up and do a rock climbing thing, and we just enjoyed  visiting with the soldiers. The two we visited with  the most had both served 2 different tours in Iraq. Yes, I am the proud daughter of a solider who has served 1 tour over there so getting to talk to other soldiers that have served ( possibly with dad) was a real honor. When they found it was Lora's birthday they gave her a replica of the National Guard NASCAR that Dale Earnhart Jr. Drove. It was pretty neat and something Lora will get to treasure for a long time. We probably spent a good 2 hours there and there was no other place we would have rather spent it.


I enjoyed my week there a whole lot and like always, it went WAY to fast and it was another tearful goodbye. Already looking forward to when I get to go again, whenever that may be.

Though it was good to be gone, I was also glad to be home. I'm still catching up on sleep and trying to get back into our "normal" routine. When someone figures out what "normal" is, let me know. We don't have anything else too  major planned for a while, except my cousin Jacia's wedding the first weekend in October. We're all looking forward to that and getting to see and spend some time with some extended family we haven't gotten to see in a while. Then I may possibly get to to go to Minnesota with some really good friends and also to  a Vikings game. I'm excited and hoping it all works out. We shall see. 

That's pretty much all that's been going on here lately. Seems like there's never a dull moment here and always something going on. I wouldn't want it any other way though.
                                 Here are some pictures from my trip. 


                                                     Isaiah stole my sunglasses LOL
                                                    Noah on a big tractor
                                                 The kids on a tank of somesort with one of the soldiers.
                                            Philip rock climbing
                                            Lora giving it a shot
                             Isaiah, myself, Hannah and Lora with two of the soldiers.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In loving memory of My grandpa!

One thing I've learned in the last 2 and a half weeks is that no matter how tightly you cling to someone or something, it doesn't make it yours.


On August 2, 2010. We got the nightmare call around 12:45 AM that my Grandpa ( who I'm really close too) was killed in a farming accident. It came as a total shock. None of us were prepared for it. We don't really know what happened, just that he was out working on equipment ( something he's done for years) and when we went to start up the tractor, it was in 3rd gear ( something he's never done before) He somehow got pinned between the tractor and the pickup ( were assuming that he must of tried to get to the pickup and didn't make it). He was gone before anyone knew something was wrong.

I had just drifted off to sleep and was maybe asleep an hour before I heard moms phone ring. My heart instantly went to my throat, the phone doesn't just ring at 1245 AM for no reason. I knew before mom got off the phone that something wasn't right. I couldn't tell at first who she was on the phone with but I knew one thing, she was UPSET!!! I at this point was in tears my self...though I didn't know why yet. I had to know but couldn't make my self get up to ask.. I knew I had to know but was scared to know. I didn't have to ask. I heard mom say that we'd be on our way as soon as she got everyone up and around, I was in full panic at this point. I didn't know what was going but I knew it wasn't good if she was going to wake the entire household up.  I heard mom attempt to tell dad what was going on through the tears. I completely lost it at first, then I went numb with shock. Finally around 3 or so we had managed to get packed and ready to go. we didn't know how long we'd be gone at this point, or what we would find when we got there. We just knew we needed to Grandma QUICK!.

My other Grandparents had already heard. My aunt asked them to go stay with my Grandma till one of us could get there. They left shortly after we got to my Grandma's around 5 ( Kansas time). They had been there since 1 ( Colorado time) and was utterly exhausted.  We didn't know what to do at first. None of us had any sleep ( unless you include that 1 hour). Mom kept trying to get me to go lay down but I knew there was NO way I going to be able to sleep. I was too upset and my stomach was in knots. Finally around 6:30, 7:00 ( Kansas time) I decided to go ahead and at least lay down for a little bit and ended up falling into a restless sleep for about an hour or so.

Everything from here on out is a complete blur. Family started to arrive later that afternoon. My moms sister and her DC were the first to show up. Then her Brother and one of their DC got there around 2 or so (Colorado time). My Aunt and the rest of there DC showed up sometime that evening. It was a very emotional greeting and reunion to say the least. None of us knew quite what to say, I don't think.

More family showed up throughout the week and we finally had everyone together Friday morning.

We were all at a loss on where to start at first. The Food, Friends, Phone calls, and everything else started to pour in. We had a houseful of Friends from the morning after it happened till we came back home. That is one AMAZING community. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE loved my Grandpa.

Michael was finally able to fly into Colorado springs on Wednesday! My Dads parents, Dad and my self went and got him.

Because some of Grandpa's family lives in Canada we didn't want to have the funeral too early to give them time to get here. My Mom, Uncle Dewayne, Aunt Kimila, and my Grandma went and talked to the funeral director to start making funeral arrangements.They decided to have the funeral on Friday in Kim Colorado, which is about 30 miles from my Grandma's house. We were new to the whole funeral planning process ( not exactly something you want to be good at) so it was a learning process for all of us, and a stressful one at that. Friends were more then willing to step up and take care of whatever we needed so they were a HUGE help in the whole thing. We couldn't of done it without them. It was pretty much on my Mom, Aunt and, Uncle because ( as expected) my Grandma was still in huge shock and not at all thinking clearly enough to help out much. They got her input as much as they could.

I was still in complete shocked and still hadn't processed this whole thing. I wanted desperately to talk to one of my really good friends but the signal out there is horrible. I had to end up texting her the news ( something I didn't want to do) but luckily we did  get enough signal to text back and fourth and finally picked up enough signal to talk on the phone some. Just being able to hear her voice helped a lot!, to have a reassuring voice and just someone to talk to and cry to and someone to tell me that everything will be OK eventually!.

The few days before the funeral, like I said before, was a complete blur with funeral arrangements, family coming in. spending time with friends and family and just trying to survive and get through each and everyday.

Having a houseful of friends and family helped keep me distracted and my mind off of it. I also welcomed some alone time  in there too.  I didn't really feel like being with anyone or talking to anyone, but it was for the better. Wed evening I got the pleasant surprise from a friend saying that they were coming to the funeral. I was in utter shock.  I didn't know what to say. I realized over the course of these past 3 weeks just how amazing my friends are. Having her there meant a lot to me. Just having someone you can lean on and know they're there for you no matter what, really helps. Helps make a very difficult time a whole lot easier. I know there were several more close friends that wanted to be there but couldn't due to certain reasons.,..just knowing they wanted to be there meant a LOT!. The funeral is somewhat of a blur....don't really remember a whole lot about it. My uncle made this really really neat video of all of us 17 Grand-Kids telling about our favorite memory and what we loved most about our grandpa....that was really hard to record when we were doing it, but totally worth it in the end. I'm hoping to attach it to this post! We're hoping to eventually put together a slide show as well, we ran out of time and wasn't able to get it done.


Loosing someone you love is never easy. The only thing that gets you through is knowing that it isn't goodbye...its more like a see ya later. We're all on this journey and they just got to go a little sooner. I had 17 wonderful years with my Grandpa and I will cherish those precious times and cling to those wonderful memories for ever. It's one of the only things getting me through. That and the amazing friends and family that have surrounded me with love and support though the whole thing and have continued to do so.

One thing I was told in the early beginning was that I would experience every emotion possible and boy is that true. I've felt everything from the horrible extreme sadness, to feeling really angry and confused, to feeling at peace and OK with things and then you just become numb, you almost get to the point you don't want to feel any emotion anymore, and then  back to being overwhelmed with sadness and everything in between. I've cried to the point of literally not having any more tears in me.   Everybody handles grief differently, no two people handle it the same way. That's one thing I've really noticed through this whole thing.
Another thing I was warned about was that it'd get harder, not easier as time went on. I've found that to be somewhat true. Yes its been hard since the beginning but I had the distraction of family and friends being around and surrounding you and you never really having time to think about it or give it much thought. Your busy with getting funeral arrangements done. letting everyone know whats going on and so on. It's when you get home and your not completely surrounded by someone at all times that it tends to really hit you hard...least that's what I'm finding!! And I know that I am NO where near through the worst...I think the worst is yet to come. I'm not sure its completely sunk in yet, I'm still in denial and shock I think.

It is by Gods grace and comfort and the wonderful prayers we've been lifted up in that's given us the strength to go on and get through each and everyday. Grief is a horrible thing but it's a very important step. God made us to grieve for a reason. If someone you know is grieving, let them. It's important. 

I came home the following Thursday after the funeral, Mom brought Grandma and the younger 2 kids home that Friday. It felt really good to be home and away from everything!  It was all I could do to be out at the farm for those two weeks that we were there...way to many reminders and memories everywhere. Though I know that yeah, the memories are painful now, but I'm going to be very thankful for all those wonderful memories I have and am going to have them to cling to when things get hard.

Grandma stayed with us about a week and a half or so then decided she wanted to go visit her sister in Texas. So mom and her left Monday and went to the farm first then on to Texas. It was a stressful couple days having Mom gone but we survived! She got back Wednesday and it's been great having her back home. We're all trying to adjust to our new "normal" . We're asking God to show us what our next step needs to be, in the way of what grandma needs to do. We know she cant live by her self right now but we're lost on where and what she's supposed to do. But God  has a plan and will show it to us in his timing.

Things have been a complete blur since the accident and am sorry if this is not all making since. I'm doing my best to get it all out but words just aren't coming. 

On Friday August 6, 2010. We buried my Grandpa in Kim, Colorado. Right next to his parents (my great grandparents) and I will never be the same.

~ Leroy~

           Sadness surrounds us as our loss settles in,
       memories made through the years with our neighbors and
      friends.No one knows what may happen,we are here day by day,
      we'll all be called on at some point, that's what the good 
      book does say.
   
             Leroy understood this and lived his life just that 
          way,his Lord, and his family came first everyday.
         a king man,a generous man, with compassion for all.
        quiet  and unassuming he stood very tall. 
         helping others seemed to help him so,
        doing the hard work that some might let go. 



       Farming was his business and each one could see, 
       the long hours put in and nothing comes free. 
       Sometimes a good crop and sometimes not so,
       but knowing what must be done he stayed on the go.  
       A good crop brought a smile, but hard times did too. 
       He understood life and lived it right through.


       Leroy's gone upward where a crop is always made,
       perhaps now he has time to rest in the shade.
       The hurting we feel can be eased with a peace of mind,
       this good man is being rewarded for being so kind.

         Can't you just see it, St Peter will say
         "come on in Leroy, you're a good who"s never been 
         rowdy" 
         Leroy will step up, and smile and say "howdy, Howdy"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Home School conference~ Day 2!!!

We woke up bright and early Saturday morning and got ready while Brad went and got us breakfast from a nearby McDonald's. After breakfast we finished getting ready, got bags packed, and Brad and the 2 older kids took it down to the van. Betty and I checked out of the hotel and we all met back up in the lobby area. Brad and I dropped Lora off at AIC. Philip was not enjoying it and really wanted to listen to some of the speakers, so Brad decided to pull him out of AIC and let Philip hang with him all day. We did some looking around downstairs for a while before Betty headed upstairs for her first session. I went ahead and messed around for a little bit downstairs before heading back upstairs. I let Hannah run around for a while upstairs, we walked, and did stairs and played with toys and ran around in circles for quite a while. She was feeling much better and it showed..:)

 A little bit later we all headed downstairs to mess around, do some more shopping, and visited with some good friends from Stafford for a while.

Betty, Brad, and Philip, along with our good friends from Stafford headed back upstairs for more sessions. I entertained Hannah and myself  and was back and fourth between upstairs and downstairs most of the morning.

Before we knew it, it was lunch time. I went with Brad to go get Lora from AIC. I had a couple good friends helping with AIC so I went and said hi every chance I got. We met back up with Betty, along with her friend Amy and daughter Megan  for lunch, only this time our good friends from Stafford joined us as well. We ate Papa Johns again since it was closest to the convention center and pretty cheap.

We had to have Lora back to AIC by 12:30  and sessions started at 1. So again, it was a kind of  rushed, but good lunch. It was HOT Saturday so it felt good to be back in AC after walking to Papa Johns and back.

Lora and Philip found water outside the restaurant and you know what happens when  a 10 yo and a 7 yo finds water??.. They end up in it!!!! We couldn't help but laugh! As hot as it was outside, they were pretty much dry by the time we got back to the convention center.

We get back to the convention center and dropped Lora back off at AIC . Betty headed back up for more sessions, while I stayed down with Hannah and changed her and back packed her, while I looked around for a little bit. She fell asleep in the Mai Tie so I just left her in fear of not wanting to wake her. I walked around the exhibit hall for quite a while. Due to the loudness of the exhibit hall though she didn't sleep for a long time. After she woke up I went  upstairs to let her run around for a while. Her and another 15 mo ends up having an absolute ball together and they played for quite a while.

I bounce between exhibit hall and upstairs all afternoon.A little bit later, Betty had a break between sessions and headed downstairs for some shopping and decided to take Hannah for a little while. So I stole the laptop and checked face book for a minute and caught my breath.

I head back downstairs to relieve "Mom". We end up all messing around downstairs for a while. Hannah decides it's time to eat right before another session starts so I go into one of the last sessions with "Mom" while Hannah eats....Hannah decided she wasn't going to be quiet after she got done so I didn't get to listen to that one very long LOL. That was OK though, as it was more important Betty listen then I..:)

Next thing I know, It's 5 and time to go watch the kids AIC program they put on for parents at the very end.
We went downstairs and all met back up outside the area where AIC is held. It's an organized chaos mess if that's even possible LOL. We finally were allowed inside and ended up standing in the back, due to Hannah falling asleep in my arms and the stroller being too full to lay her down. Plus this sister didn't want to lay her down...shes our cuddle bug :). Not to mention we're all beyond tired of sitting anyway and we have an hour and a half drive ahead of us so we choose to stand.

The program went really well and it was really neat to see what all the kids have learned over the last few days, and to see them put into practice, so to speak. After it's over, Betty and I decided we're going to go ahead and head outside to the van and start getting the stroller unloaded and the van cooled down. After getting a little lost,  we found our way to van. Not long after Brad and the kids show up. We got everybody loaded and the van cooled down and we head to find somewhere to eat. We decided that since nobody is really hungry yet we're going to head onto Yoder and eat at Carriage Crossing. We get there and find out that its going to be an hour and a half wait minimum..WHAT?? So we head on into Hutch and eat at Sirlion Stockade...it was delicious!!!

After getting our tummies full we headed on home. We got home around 9:30 or so. We unloaded the van and got everybody somewhat settled  while Brad went and got the other 3 kids from grandma's. They came home tired and very excited to see us.

After talking about the days events and getting baths and showers we fall into bed exhausted.Betty and I woke  up Sunday morning and decided that we're too tired to try to entertain and chase 6 kids around, so since we're all up anyway we decided we're going to go to church and Sunday school. Brad was bailing. Kids were really good for the most part and it gave us something to do.

It was another successful home school conference with many wonderful speakers and tons of great info. Along with tons of laughs and many memories made. We're all looking forward to next year and cant wait to see who the speakers will be and whatever else it holds.
 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

~ Home School Convention~ Day 1.

This past weekend, we went to the area home school convention in Wichita. I went with " my other family". This is my 3rd or 4th year getting to go with them. I also go and spend a week with them either before the convention or after. This time it ended up being about 2 days before and about 3 days after.

With 6 kids, leaving the house for a weekend is not an easy task.  A lot of planning has to go into it.  " My"  baby sister Hannah had been sick for most of that week and let's just say we had been going through outfit changes like nothing else, so just to be safe we took about every nice outfit she owned with us, along with 2 extra outfits for everyone else just in case. We did manage to get it all into one huge duffel bag, diapers in all.


We only took 3 kids with us this year, Philip 10, Lora 7, and Hannah 16 months. Other 3, Heidi 5, Noah 4, and Isaiah 2 went to Grandma's to make things a little easier on us. Unlike last year, Betty's DH was able to go with us which also took a lot of stress off.

Thursday night, after supper and baths, we delivered the 3 kids that were going to grandma's house, to help make things easier for in the morning. The house felt EMPTY that night. We got up around   7 or so and got things around, ate breakfast, got kids dressed, finished any last minute packing and loaded the van. We left the house around 9:15 or so. It was a pretty peaceful, and uneventful drive for the most part.

We got to Wichita around 10:30 or so. We normally park in the hotel parking garage because its normally free for hotel guest...not this year. We get there and find out that its 8 dollars a day..WHAT???.....So we go and attempt to find somewhere to park that was free. We find a parking lot that has other 15 passenger vans parked there and it was right across the street from the hotel which we decided we could handle. We get the stroller out and packed and kids unloaded and head into the convention center to get our name tags and things of sort. At this point it's about 10:45 somewhere in there. There's nothing in the morning except walking through the exhibit hall and "shopping" So we split up and Brad takes the 2 older kids off to look at whatever they want to look at. While me and Betty look at whatever we want to look at. We decide to all meet back up about 30 minutes later, when we were going to head over the closest papa johns for pizza. Betty's friend Amy and her oldest daughter Megan joins us for lunch. It was fun to catch up and visit for a while.

The kid's AIC ( adventures in Character) started at 12:30, and the keynotes and regular sessions started at 1. so we kinda rush through lunch so we can get back over to the convention center on time.

We get over there in plenty of time. Brad and I drop kids off at AIC and Betty heads to her first sessions. I walk around with Hannah for a while and do some more looking.Then I headed upstairs to let Hannah run around for a while in a little sitting area they had up there outside the rooms where all the sessions are held. It's not long before Hannah crashes, so why she takes her nap I go ahead and head back down stairs and do some more looking, mainly because I was beyond tired of sitting at this point. Hannah took a pretty good nap. After she wakes up, I change her and Betty feeds her, and we both do some looking and shopping downstairs for a while. Not long before Betty heads back upstairs for more sessions. Hannah at this point is pretty stressed out from the crowds and kinda fussy, so I put her in the mei tie, with the feeling of security being strapped to her big sister she settles down and is in a pretty good mood. We go back and fourth between walking around downstairs and going up stairs and letting her run around and play.

Before long its' time go get kids from AIC and grab some quick supper before they have to be back at 7. We go get wendys which isn't to terribly far from the hotel. We get back to the convention center and drop kids off at AIC and I take Hannah up to our room to run around and get her away from crowds ( she had just about had enough at this point) Betty and Brad go and listen to more speakers. It winded down for the night around 8:30, 8:45. They come up the room and we finish getting unpacked and settled in. At this point Hannah is very unsettled and very fussy. We're trying to figure out what might possibly be the matter when it  dawns on "Mom" and I that ever since she got sick earlier that week, she had pretty much went back to full nursing and wasn't really eating solids or drinking water like she had been. It was HOT that day, with the high being in the upper 90's. She hadn't hardly drank anything all day, and she'd been away from mom enough that she didn't get to nurse like she was used to. Due to complications at birth, she doesn't handle getting hot, or cold well like the rest of us can. This baby was dehydrated. She nurses for a good 45 minutes and I give her a quick warm, yet cool bath and she is in a MUCH Happier mood and acting more her self. We get the rest of us bathed and ready for bed. We are all exhausted at this point and we had another long day ahead of us so we go to bed kinda early.I don't think any of us had any trouble sleeping. It had been a very good, yet exhausting first day. We were all looking forward to the next day.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

~ Family Camping trip~

I recently did a post about our annual track meet that we had this last Friday. We also had our first camping trip of the year with all of dads family, so they could see him before he headed to New York for about 18 to 22 months.  We decided to try a "new" camp ground in Burlington Colorado. It was pretty much about the same distance for all of us ( about 3 hours or so). We didn't get away from the house tell around 4:30..5ish so we got to the lake around 9:00 or so Kansas time. My grandparents were already there, and my Aunt Donna, and Uncle Mike and 2 cousins got there around midnight or so. My other Aunt and 4 cousins didn't come in tell morning. Since it's a little early in the year for camping, it was a little chilly. Due to that, we didn't get to do any of your normal camping stuff ( fishing. swimming, boating, tubing etc) but we still had a lot of fun and just enjoyed being together. We did some hiking, but mostly just visited and ate...ate some more, did I mention we ate? Hee Hee. It's the first time we've all got to be together since Christmas and will be the last time tell at least this next Christmas...if we're lucky. So it was somewhat of a bitter/sweet weekend. Bright side to camping this early in the year..NO BUGS!!! LOL It did end up getting pretty warm Saturday afternoon and Sunday, which was very nice. My 2 aunts, my mom and my youngest cousin Jennifer, and my self all decided to go on a walk. No big deal right?....WRONG!! My cousin ( who had already taken a walk with the other cousins) talked us into going going across this field type thing.....it was at one point part of the lake...there are every 2 different boat ramps at either ends to prove it....wont get you very far now..anyway...it was fulll of stickers and tons of probably snake holes and who knows what else....not my kind of fun. We finally made it across and all told Jennifer she was no longer in charge LOL. We decide to take another way and figure it has to be eventually wind back to the camp site...it did....about 2 miles or so later we were finally back. As Jennifer put it...I've had my exercise for the year! LOL. It gave us something to do though.

For the most part it was a very enjoyable weekend. Anytime I get to be with Family is a lot of fun....most of the time..;o) We're all looking forward to hopefully camping several more times before the summer is over.

However this will be the last time Michael gets to join us for at least a year, more then likely close to 2 years.

We all left the campground Sunday afternoon around 2:30 or so. Long story short, the Suburban had been in St John since the Sunday before, getting painted by a friend. Me and mom were planning on going to get it yesterday ( Monday) but Michael decided about 30 minutes before we left Burlington, that he wanted to go get it Sunday night so he would have all day Monday to work on it, OK..understandable....except we were all exhausted and none of us felt like driving another 2 hours on top of the already 3-4 we had ahead of us. Dad and Michael decided that Him and I should go get it. We got home around 7:00. Long enough to go the restroom..get a drink and whatever else we needed to do real quick, then we jumped in his pickup and headed for St John. We got to St John around 10, picked up the suburban and headed right back. Michael didn't want to stay the night, and dad wouldn't let me drive back on my own the next day. So we made the quickest trip I think I've ever done and got home around 1 or so. I was exhausted. Luckily we had the day off so I was able to sleep in!

These last few days...weeks have just been a total whirlwind! Trying to get everything done, and spend time with Michael before he leaves. We're all dreading this coming goodbye and if I could stop time..believe me I would. He is really looking forward to it, and cant wait to see what the future holds. 

Here are a few pictures of our Camping trip!



HPHE annual Track Meet!

This last Friday we had our annual track meet. It's something I usually always look forward too and enjoy every minute of it.I'm a very active person and enjoy the competitiveness of it. We practiced for about a month, then we had actual track meet.  We had everything weather wise from, bright and sunny to, sunny and WINDY to, cool to, cool and windy to, rainy, cold and windy! It seem when track is in the picture there is NO happy medium. This was no exception. We practiced Thursday before the track meet and it was pretty gorgeous weather, yes it was HOT but there was no wind and when you consider what it could of been, it wasn't bad. I even got a little sunburned on my face. You know the saying that goes, if you don't like the weather in Kansas wait 5 minutes it'll change...we'll it came true, only it was in about a 12 to 24 hour period instead of 5 minutes. 

We woke up Friday morning to a VERY windy VERY cold Friday morning. It was about 30 degree's outside when we got to the track. We all were ice cubes after about 30 minutes of being out there. I was wearing a sweat shirt and a heavy fleece coat./jacket type thing and I was COLD!!!!!!! Both Jamie and Jami, along with Grandpa ( Jami's dad) was able to come watch most, if not all of her events before heading to work. Ryann was done by 11 with all 4 of her events and so Grandpa took her home after her last one was done. She did the 100 meter dash, the 50 meter dash, long jump and, soccer kick. She placed 4th in the hundred meter dash. We're not sure if she placed in anything else yet. They didn't do the best job announcing things over the loud speaker like they normally do.She did really good on all her events and it was a blast to get to watch her. 

I only did 3 events this year. I did the Long Jump, the relay and then the medley relay.  My Long Jump was right before lunch, then I had nothing tell around 1:30 or so. I was running right into the wind for my long jump so I didn't place in my long jump. The wind really interfered with a lot of the events and nobody did that great, considering what they normally do. Our relay went pretty good.Not sure if we placed or not, but it was fun. Then we did our medley. For those of you that don't know what that is, it's a 4 person relay. The first 2 people each run a 200 meter. the 3rd person runs a 4 hundred mete, then the 4th person runs a 800 meter. I did ran the 2nd 200 meter. We didn't place, but we were the only girl team and that was the last race of the day, and a lot of us had already ran several races. We had fun, and in my opinion that's what counts. There was about 250 kids registered, and I'd say pretty much everybody showed up. 

Hopefully next year will be MUCH warmer. Like I said, seems like there is NEVER a happy medium, however, I'll take hot over cold any day. 
 Everyone had fun, considering the weather and I'd call it another successful year. 

We're all looking forward to next year. 

Here are a few pictures of this years track meet. 
                                              

Monday, May 3, 2010

This past weekend-- From Bible Bowl to a quick trip to St John/Stafford.

This last weekend was one of the most craziest, busiest, tiring, stressful and greatest weekends in a while.
We had our monthly Bible Bowl tournaments for this year. We left Friday afternoon around 3 and got to Denver about 10. So not horrible, but bad enough. Me, Hannah, Heidi, Tillie, and Melody ended up getting to stay at the same host home which was fun. It was our coach's daughters house which was really cool. I played B team this month in Division 1. It was Hannah, Tillie, Eric and my self. This was the first month we got Eric on our team and there is never a dull moment with him on your team. He is the most amazing kid ever!. We placed 4th, which I didn't think was too bad. I was pretty pleased. Considering its the whole years material worth, so about 5 books worth. I hadn't studied like I should, so we only got 5th in top brain average, but I was just happy we placed. We were all pretty pleased. Helped us to see what we needed to work on for Nationals and college tournaments, for those who are going. Since it was the senior month, they do all sorts of fun things throughout the day, like a seniors verses sponsors game. That is always very entertaining to watch and of course the seniors won..;o). They also do seniors questions, which is where 2 of the rounds are not timed and all of the lead in questions are about the seniors. That is always a lot of fun, and very entertaining. It's especially hilarious when your playing the seniors that the Q happens to be about ;o) LOL. Then during awards they have all the seniors come up front and the coach of the sponsor reads them a blessing, lets just say there isn't a dry eye in the room by the time they're done. It's neat to see how close the coach is to "their kids" and just give them that few minutes to say thanks and good luck or whatever.
This is probably the hardest, yet best tournament out of all of them. We left the church around 5 Kansas time. We stopped in Limon and ate supper, we did pizza hut this time, which is always a favorite for all of us. We got back to Garden around midnight or so. By the time we got the trailer unloaded, coolers unpacked and all that  fun stuff done, it was probably about 1 when we finally got home, closer to 1:30 by the time I got to bed. It had been an extremely long weekend already and I was exhausted. I had to be up by 5:30 at the very latest that next morning, or in this case that morning LOL.

Michael was to speak at both St John and Stafford Sunday morning. He was speaking in Stafford in the morning, and we ate lunch with them real quick and enjoyed fellowship with them before we had to rush over the St John and give the same speech. I do admit my stress level for St John was pretty high but not as bad I expected it to be. Though I dreaded seeing everyone, it wasn't as bad I thought it would be. We got to see Ami afterward. It was great to see her again and only made it harder to leave.  I must admit though that it was complete torture to be right there in Stafford and not get to see my " other" family :( it about killed me.
We got home around 6 or so. I was literally beyond the exhaustion mark. I haven't been that tired in a really long time LOL. 4 hours of sleep was just not cutting it LOL.

It was a very long weekend but it was also a very fun, great weekend.   What did you do this weekend??

Monday, April 19, 2010

Having a True God Written Love Story!!!

One thing I have really been struggling with lately is putting things in Gods hands and letting Him take control. One of the big things is relationships, and yes, I'm talking about boy/girl relationships. I will be 18 in November and have never, at this point anyway,  been in a relationship of any kind. I've had several crushes and have even  *gasp* been asked out, but really didn't have an interest. That is until recently.  Several of my friends now have boyfriends and several went to prom. In the day and age we live in it's hard not to want one. Everybody has one, and in a way you're looked down on if you don't have one. Not so much me,  since I'm home schooled, but I know that if I was in the public school system it'd be much harder.  In today's society it's much harder to be single as you get older and not be looked down on, then it might of been 10, 20, even 30 years ago. Teen pregnancy is through the roof and not just in the High School, but the middle schools as well.  I am reading this book called "When God Writes Your Love Story" that I borrowed from a friend. I'm not very far into it and it's already changed my life in a way. I've read another book from these same authors called "When dreams come true" and that one was just as good! It's talking about how we need to give God  the "pen" to our story and let him be the author and let him have full control over it. We don't normally think of God as the romantic type but He is very much so!! He wants to be in control and if we let Him, He'll write us a beautiful love story. It's amazing to think that He has someone already picked out for us, that is our perfect match. In this book it talks about how we should be faithful NOW to whoever he or she might be, long before we even meet that perfect someone. That we should act like our future spouse is watching our every move and would he/she be proud of how we act towards other girls/guys or would he/she be ashamed and upset that we haven't been faithful to them, even though we have NO idea who they are. It really makes you think...most of us don't give much thought of how we act towards other girls/guys. We need to take into consideration that they have a perfect someone out there waiting for them and would they be proud and cheering you and her on for how your both acting towards each other. It really makes you think. Most of us think that as long as were not having sex before marriage we're  good. Right? We'll yes and no! Most of us like to push the limit on how far can we go without getting too far! How close we can get to the line without actually crossing  it, and that's just the society we live in. They have made it where it's OK...when in reality it's not! Not in God's eye, which is the One we should be striving to please with our every move.  Even though I don't have a boy friend right now, nor do I plan to anytime soon,  I want to start being faithful to him now, and hand God the "pen" to my love story and let him write me a beautiful story. I can  start by praying for him, and my hope and prayer is that he ( whoever he might be) is doing the same about me. The authors of this amazing book are great examples on this. They both had many relationships before they met each other, and before they fully handed God the "pen" to their story, they had to learn hard lessons. Leslie ( one of the authors and the wife to an amazing guy) thought that just as long as she wasn't sleeping around and going too far physically she was fine, when in reality she wasn't! She got so obsessed with having a boyfriend and got so attached both physically and emotionally and she would literally pour her heart and mind out to each and every guy she dated whether the "relationship" lasted 3 months or 3 days.  Then when it would come to an end ( and as she puts it-- it always did) she about couldn't handle the emotional trauma she'd go though.  To avoid feeling that way, she would jump right into the next relationship as soon as possible and then turn around and do it all over again. She got tired of feeling that way after each break up and realized that this was ridiculous.  Why not put it in God's hand and let him take control! Right after she let God take control over the "pen" she started to have doubts and worries...does God really care about something as little as this, does He really want to be the one to pick your future mate...and can we trust God enough to let Him have control over something as precious as this area of our life? Certainly, and not only does God care, but He wants to be the one in control and he wants you to trust him, with EVERY area of our life, not just this area! After all He created you and knows you better then you know yourself, and He already has the perfect mate picked out for us. Not only  that, but He is already shaping and molding that special someone we are to marry someday, to be the perfect spouse that will one day be our husband or wife. I get goose bumps every time I think about it. I mean how cool is it to think  that He has everything under control and we can just sit back and enjoy the ride, so to speak. He already has a  beautiful love story written for us and all He needs is the go ahead to "publish" it and truly make it ours. One thing that I know a lot of us are thinking is that "is there such a guy out there"? Is there a guy that truly cares about the fact we've been faithful to him long before we knew him and is he doing the same for us? I mean lets face it girls, guys don't think the way we do. They can be in a relationship and not get emotionally attached like we do to every single relationship were in! They are visual people and the way we dress and act around them can make them have less than pure thoughts. In today's society they have made it OK to show off as much skin as possible and let everything hang out and not give it a second thought, where as guys, the first thing on their minds is what's underneath. Sad but true.

I read another book here while back called "Boy Meets Girl". Same author to" I Kissed Dating Goodbye".
There both really good books and they bring out a lot of great points! It has a lot of the same stuff that, "When God Writes Your Love Story" does. The only thing I don't agree with in "Boy Meets Girl" or "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" is that it's pretty much saying that you should court not date. I'm not sure I agree with that. The actual term dating isn't wrong, it's what happens during the relationship that makes it bad! You can date and have a pure, God- centered relationship. Just as you can court and leave God out of the entire thing and do anything you want both physically and emotionally! So, to me, it's not what you call it, it's what you do during the relationship that counts. I'm not saying you shouldn't court.  If you feel that's what you should do, then that's great I'm all for it. Just don't turn around and tell me I'm doing something wrong because I'm dating and not courting! In my opinion, as long as your doing everything God has called you to, that's all that matters. Some people may disagree! That's their right and I'm not here to say they're wrong.   I'm just asking that you don't tell me I'm wrong for my thinking on this.


One of the chapters in the book I'm reading now, "When God Writes Your Love Story"  is about singleness, can the sweeter song be a solo? It's just talking about how some people think that your not a whole person until you have a husband or wife. Which isn't the case! You're very much a whole person, and we need to enjoy singleness as much as possible before we're married and devoted to one person for life. Once you're married your whole life revolves around one person and you can't just go out with friends and have time for your self like you could when you were single. Not to mention there may be a ministry that God is calling you to while your single that you may not be able to do for some reason after you're married. Leslie starts off this chapter with a story about how she was able to minister to young girls that have been in a hurtful relationship and she was able to really spend time with them and counsel them, since she had been in a few similar relationships her self.  Had she not been single or had she been so focused on finding someone and settle down, she wouldn't of gotten that great chance to minister to younger girls and she is very thankful she didn't miss out on that. Though God has designed us to want to settle down and get married, we should still enjoy our season of singleness and not be so miserable and set on finding someone that we miss out on an opportunity that God may be calling us too.

Is there such a thing as Prince Charming? Is there really a guy out there, in this day and age, that truly cares whether or not I keep my self pure and remain faithful to him long before I even know him? I believe the answer to this is yes! I believe that there really is a guy out there waiting for you, keeping him self pure as well, and has given God the "pen" to his love story as well. It may not seem like it in this day and age. There are so many  guys out there and seems like all they care about is going too far physically and no longer have feelings for us. They're ready to move on and find someone else! While meanwhile your left sitting there feeling hurt/used and deserted. You gave him your whole heart and all he really cared about was "using" you. Believe it or not, not all guys are "jerks" as it may seem!! Their really are godly guys out there that want to save them selves purely for marriage and want to remain faithful to their future wives. In one of the chapters, they ask a number of Godly guys what their opinion is of  easy girls, Their reply was:
It's disgusting
A total turn off
Totally unattractive
so on and so on.

They were then asked what they thought of girls who are careful about guarding her heart and emotions? Their responses were:
I have the utmost respect for a girl like that
That's the kind of girl I want to marry
If I'm interested in  a girl, it may be frustrating if she doesn't fall for me right away, but deep down I am all the more intrigued  by the challenge of winning her heart.
 These are real responses from real men. Believe it  or not girls, there truly are guys out there that care and truly value a women that will completely save herself  for marriage and not try to cross the line.

I'm not saying that the first guy I date will be the one I marry, If that happens great but I'm not going to go into the relationship thinking that because chances are that's not going to happen. I don't want to put him ( whoever he is) not to mention myself under that kind of pressure. To me that's setting your self up for failure. If your so set on the fact that this will be the only guy I date and he will one day be my husband, that's in a way just asking for trouble because he may not be the guy that God has in mind for you! If you get so focused on one guy you can start to loose focus on whats really important, and that is keeping God not only the center of your relationship but letting him have control over every area during the relationship and if meant to be during your marriage together.  I once heard someone say that it doesn't just take 2 in marriage, it takes 3. What they're meaning is that, if you don't let God have total control over every aspect of your relationship then your not going to have a healthy relationship!!  Gods not going to bless you and your future spouse if you don't invite him in and say, Your in control, what you says goes.

Another thing that Eric/Leslie ( author's of  "When God writes your love story" mentions in their book is that, you need to have your whole family involved in your " love life". I agree completely with this statement. I have seen it first hand, when they didn't have the parents approval from day one and let's just say that needless to say that marriage didn't last. Not only did it not last but it was a miserable marriage.  Their not saying that you need to have them involved in  every single part of it, however the more the better. Our parents know us better then anybody else (except God) and if they're having any kind of doubts or concerns about whoever we're dating, then we need to at least listen to what they have to say, and what their concerns may be. In one of the chapters in this book, Leslie talks about how her and Eric were best friends before they had any kind of romantic relationship. Eric felt like they were spending too much time together and that it was possibly hurting the future of each others spouses. Without really thinking about what he saying, he blurted out that he needed to talk to Leslie's dad, she responded, yeah you do. That talk between Eric and his future's wife's  dad changed his life.  Eric was planning on telling him that he felt like he needed to step back from the relationship and quite spending quite so much time together. His response was far from what Eric expected. His response was, if you feel you need to do that we understand, however just know that if you ever feel you want to pursue a relationship with our daughter you have our full blessing. You can imagine the shock there. A few months later, he did indeed start a relationship with Leslie and within a few weeks after that, he started feeling like that God was telling him that this was his future wife. He couldn't imagine life with anybody else. He had yet another talk with her Dad, told him what he thought God was telling him. His response was again shocking. He said, Eric God has been telling me for some time that you were to someday be Leslie's husband and we can't imagine her marrying anybody else. WOW! What a response! Read this and then tell me that this wasn't a match made in heaven. It excites me to think that God has such a plan in place for me one day.

He wants us to have "team mates" involved in our relationship with our future mate, Someone to just help give us a different view, What we need to work on, if we're going "too far" in one area, someone that can give us Godly insight during the relationship. Guess what? We have built in team mates that know us better then anyone else..Our parents!!! They want to be involved and  God wants them to be involved.

I admit that reading this book ( and I'm not finished) has made me get more excited and and anxious over the thought of getting married someday, however, I'm not in any hurry  and am enjoying each and everyday that I get to be single.

The most awesome "wedding ceremony"  has yet to take place! No type of wedding ceremony, no matter how big or gorgeous or perfect it may be, will be able to compare to the one that's yet to take place, and that is the one that will happen when we get to Heaven. We are the Bride of Christ and we get to experience  a beautiful, gorgeous "wedding" so to speak when we get there, and finally get to spend eternity with the one who loves us more then anyone  else could possibly comprehend or imagine. WOW! Does that not just make you get all giddy and super duper excited and anxious to spend eternity with this amazing Father of ours?

When you entrust the "pen" of your life to the Great Author of romance and learn how to love with extravagance, you wont just be humming the praises of God for a life time, but you will be singing the "sweeter song" for all of eternity.

 God is longing to write your love story- a love story far beyond the most incredible fairy tale ever written. Will you give him the pen today?

If you want to do some further reading, here are a few books that I highly recommend.

*When God Writes Your Love Story* by- Eric & Leslie Ludy
*When Dreams Come True* by- Eric & Leslie Ludy
*I Kiss Dating Goodbye* By- Josh Harrison
*Boy Meets Girl*  By- Josh Harrison

Another one that I've heard is really good is * authentic Beauty* by   Leslie Ludy.
I haven't actually read it my self but have heard that it's an amazing book! Hoping to get the chance to read it my-self very very soon!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

~ Bible Bowl~

Not this coming weekend, but the weekend following that, we'll have our last monthly Bible Bowl tournament for this year. It's definitely a mixed feeling.  Sad and in a way depressed that it's already almost over for this year, yet happy relieved and can't wait for it to be over. Over all it's been a pretty good year. We've had our ups and downs but mostly ups. At the end of this year, I'll have been in for not quite 2 years. It's been some of the best 2 years of my life. Though it's a lot of work and you have to really be devoted, it's totally worth it when your able to show up at the tournaments and take first in your division and make it in to the top 20. However, that is not what it's completely about, though that's something awesome to work for and it's an amazing family  when you go and excel, but, if your not applying it to your everyday life, then no amount of studying is really worth it, if it's going in one ear and out the other. We need to not only memorize the material, we need to apply it to everyday life. That is something our coach will drill into you for hours. She doesn't care the amount of ribbons we bring home, or how we did on the top brain, I mean yes she cares, but not like she does when were applying it or not applying it to everyday life.  Most people think that since I'm home schooled I have endless amounts of time to study, um.. not exactly.  Yes I may have more time then your average high schooler that is involved in every single sport out there and make them selves busy every min of every day, but, if they really wanted to study and do well, they'd make the time. I don't have the amount of time that they may think I do.  I still have my school to get done everyday, and I have kids all day. Which leaves the evenings, and that really doesn't leave much time unless I don't spend any time with my family, or I get to bed really really late, neither one is good. it's not easy trying to juggle all that but so far it hasn't been too bad I guess. Though I am sad it's getting ready to end, I'm also kinda relived and looking forward to a little bit of a break. I wont have anything tell the end of June/first part of July, which will be really nice.

The last tournament of the year is what we call "Senior Month". All the lead ins to the questions are about the seniors, and we have the seniors verses sponsors game which is always a ton of fun and hilarious to watch.  During awards at the end, they have all the seniors stand up there and they say what their future plans are, and what is their favorite bible bowl memory is. Then the coach to each seniors awards them with a "blessing" and just gives them last words of encouragement and things like that. It's really neat, and there wasn't a dry eye in the room last year. I'm really looking forward to this tournament and can't wait to hear what some of the questions are.

The way Mrs Z does it, not all teams are set, but the first 3 or 4 normally are pretty set. I play B team with 2 other girls, sometimes she'll add a 4th player just depending on the month. For the most part it's been an amazing team to play with and we've really connected and work well together. We quote amazingly well together and that's one thing that really helps us out, due to that were able to get most of our bonus points, which is were a lot of the points are.

Last month was a little rough,but not bad! Tillie ( our main, strong player out of us 3) wasn't able to make it, due to other things. It had been a crazy month for several of us and neither Hannah or I had really studied like we should of. Since Tillie wasn't able to make it, Mrs Z put Carrie and Rebekah on our team. Carrie was our life savior! She had studied more then us and knew her stuff pretty well, however, this was her first time in division 1 so it was a little over whelming for her. We only won 2 games during the whole day! We should of moved down, but due to a miracle we were able to stay up. It was a hard, exhausting  day both physically and emotionally but we made the most of it and tried to just have fun! I was able to buzz in more then I have in the past which was fun. I also placed 18th in the top 20, which was super exciting! We also got most Christ like,which according to Mrs Z, the highest award we could ever receive so we were excited and that helped lift our spirits a little.  though it was a rough weekend, it was also a pretty good weekend over all. Had a lot of laughs and made a lot of memories.

We're planning on making up for it this next tournament. We'll have Tillie back and it's review which is bad, but it also will be nice to not have to learn anything new this month.  

Bible bowl in a way has changed my life. I have met some amazing people and grew closer to the ones I already knew. I have been able to have some great experience through it and see places and do things I wouldn't of gotten to do, had I not been in Bible bowl.It's been amazing. God has really blessed me in these last 2 years.   
                                            

Please feel free to comment or Facebook me if you have any questions concerning this post.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Heidi Elizabeth!!! I love you!!

Today,  "my" Sister Heidi turns 5!!! I'm not sure where those 5 years have gone! I'll tell you one thing though, these 5 years have been some of the best years of my life!! I can't describe what kind of joy having her in my life brings! She always has a smile and a huge bear hug waiting for you! We call her our Heidi Bear, which fits quite well, she is either a cuddly teddy bear or a grouchy don't mess with me or you might get "bit" kind of bear. I can't help but feel happy and sad at the same time! Happy that she has made it this far and has grown into a beautiful young girl striving to please God each and everyday, but sad that she is no longer our adorable blond curly  headed toddler that it seems like just yesterday she was! We have had more then our share of scares with her, she got extremely sick when she was about 14 or so months old ( can't remember for sure) her fever spiked to 104 and 105 and was very lethargic, needless to say they ended up in the ER that evening, at which point her fever had spiked to a 106, after a ice bath and IV's they finally got it back down. That was the scariest night ever! She had lost a lot of weight which she never really gained back! We have pictures of her swaddled in the bouncy seat at 13 to 14 months old! She wasn't much bigger then her brand new baby brother ( who's birth weight was right around 10 pounds) It didn't take long before Noah had "outgrown" his older sister period. I remember being asked more then once when they just a little bit older, if they were twins, Which we would then reply NO, and believe it or not Heidi is older! I few of them you could tell didn't believe us at first! They are not quite 13 months months apart. After Noah was born, I got close, I mean REALLY close to this family! I spent just about every waking moment out there and even spent the night more then once! 




Heidi has always been that one that when she gets sick, she gets SICk!!! so we try to keep her in and away from anything, during sick season!  We have ended up in the ER more then once in her 5 years of age. She is also our accident prone one. At the age of 3, we had our first broken bone. She jumped off the table and broke her wrist! She was so proud of that cast too, it cracked us up how much she loved that cast. We also had a scare with an horrible allergic reaction, I got the phone call that evening after everything was some what back to normal. We think she was bit by something but were not entirely sure, what exactly set her off. Whatever it was was BAD!!! She was very lethargic by the time they got to the ER. Because of such a several reaction and all the medication they had to give her she had to be seen by her
 pediatrician the following day, So Betty and I with all 5 kids head to Great Bend, the following morning! What was supposed to be a quick trip the pediatrician turned into a crazy hectic, very comical "road trip" so to to speak.  We get there and find out that she has to be seen by the allergist in Hutch and not only that we have to be there before 3 or 4. It's a good 2 to 3 hours from Great bend to Hutch, By now its pushing 11:00, 11:30, none of us had eaten and we needed gas because that last thing we wanted to run out. I call mom to feel her in that umm..we wouldn't be home for a while and we weren't sure what was going to exactly! We get to the Gas Station and Betty gets out to fill up and I all the sudden hear, meow, meow, meow...I was like OK..there is NO WAY I'm hearing what I think I'm hearing! At this point Betty is done filling up and think she hears the same thing so we get out and look under the van,don't see anything and decide that we must be hearing things! She calls Brad to try to figure out if there is a different rout to Hutch, without having to drive clear back to Stafford and take that rout. There is so we figure that out, still not entirely sure where were going, and we have kids complaining they're hungry! We all were, but were on such a time crunch, were just trying to survive! We finally get out of Great, not entirely sure that were on the right road. We see a sign for Hutch and can finally relax that were at least on the right road! We go through like 6 different counties and I lost count on the amount of towns! We find one that has a wendys and we decide to stop for lunch real quick! Just for the record, going into a restaurant with 5 kids is never quick! However considering the amount of the time they've been in a van at this point, they were all really really good and things went pretty smoothly!! We finally get to Hutch and to the Allergist in time..barley but in time! Everything goes pretty smoothly at the allergist, we get in and out pretty quickly, they run some test to try to figure out what set her off. Come to find she is allergic to tree nuts, and possibly bee stings! They can't do a whole lot today, but they're were going to run more test later! 

Ha ha, we come out of the office, and find that our van was surrounded by people and we hear, MEOW, MEOW, MEOW really really loud! Me and Betty look at each other and just about die laughing! Betty's like ..please tell me that my van is not meowing, does it fly too? I just about die of laughter again! We get over to it and I put kids in the van why Betty tries to figure out where the mysterious meowing is coming from.I get kids in buckled in car seats and go to help Betty try to figure out where the kittens are, if there are any! We finally figure out that it's coming from under the hood, we pop the hood and there sitting under the hood were two, only about 3 or 4 week old kittens! They were drenched in radiator fluid, we get them and wash them off with some water and put them in a swans ice cream bucket. Were at the point it's either laugh or cry. We call Brad and tell him what we found, he dies of laughter and thinks were crazy at first! We convince him that we really did find 2 kittens! LOL, We still need to run to Wal-mart. It's well over 80 degree's out and we know we can't leave them in the van, but at the same time we can't leave me and kids in the van in the heat! So we decide that it's better to risk leaving kittens with windows down then to leave all of us with the kittens. It turned out OK. I don't think I'll ever forget this day! I still laugh when I think about it!! This is one of the things I love most about this family is that there is NEVER a dull moment!! 


That is just one of the many adventures I've been able to experience with this amazing family! 


We are now super careful with what Heidi eats. Absolutely NO tree nuts. Were even a little weary of letting her play outside during the summer, just because of fear of her getting bit by a bee or wasp, we always have an epi-pen with us and ready  to use. We all know how to use it and never go anywhere without one! We have a little tag that ties to her shoe string, alerting others to her allergy, and we always leave an epi-pen with whoever is in charge, if were not there!


Heidi is the most easy going, full of life and energy 4 ( now 5) year old I know. Her smile will bright up the entire room. 


You may hear us call her "cookie pickle". That was her form of "Name calling" when she was about 3 or 4 and mad at her Daddy! We couldn't help but laugh, and it just kinda stuck!! 
She is and always will be our cookie pickle!  She will do anything to  keep up with her older brother and sisters and don't you dare tell her she can't do something, because she will find a way! 
 I  hate the fact that I'm missing out on so much of her growing up.  I miss them all terribly and am anxiously counting down the days till June, when I get to spend almost if not a week!!! I am her Sarah as she puts it. I love hearing her call me that!!

She is the sweetest, most adorable 5 year old I know, and they all mean the world to me. I miss getting my hugs and kisses from her and the rest of  them.

Happy Birthday, Heidi!!! Today your 5, may your day be filled with many wonderful blessings. Looking forward to getting to watch you change and grow from a adorable, loving 5 year old, to a beautiful young lady, striving to please God each and every day!! I love and miss you and can't wait to see you in June, if not before!! You are such a beautiful young girl. Your parents are SOOO lucky to have you as their daughter!!!  looking forward to many more wonderful Birthdays! 
                      Fun at the State Fair!!!
                  

Monday, April 5, 2010

Active and loving it!

 I've always been pretty active! I enjoy most sports, Soccer, track, Volley ball, etc.
When we lived in St John I really didn't get much chance to do any sports and I missed it!

  In November of 08, we moved back to Garden! It was an adjustment being back after being gone for not quite 4 years!  We jumped right back into the big home school group and they all welcomed us back with open arms!

I was excited about being back in the big group that did sports! They had the track meet and soccer tournament once a year! We also did PE once a week at Coop!  We had the best PE coach ever!!!! She was fun, out going, and a blast to be around! She turned something that most people dread into something that we ALL looked forward to every week! I also became good friends with her daughter and we started doing sport related things together, along with other things! ;o) I had always thought that Volly Ball looked fun but had never really gotten the chance to play, that is until several months ago when my best friend asked me to play with her and her mom, dad, and several other people! I was hesitant at first! I really didn't know what I was doing and didn't want to make a fool of my self!  Finally after lots of convincing, she talked me into it! That was the best 6 or 8 ( cant remember for sure)weeks of my life!! I learned a lot and had a blast doing it!!! 
 I miss playing and hope to get the chance to again SOON!!  Thanks to this same friend, I also got the chance to play tennis!! I had always thought it looked like fun but never got the chance!!!! that is some of the most fun I've ever had!!! Can't wait to play again, now that it's getting warmer out and staying light longer.
 We also here recently started track! I about didn't do it due to some things that happend but decided to go ahead and try! I am very glad I did!! It has been a great way to get in shape and have a pretty good time doing it!  It has also motivated me to start running on my own! I have felt a lot better since I've started running! Though it still kills me to run more then once around the track, I'm getting there and It's becoming easier!! I love running and just about can't get enough of it! Me and a good friend hope to start getting the chance to run together some this spring/summer!!! It makes it much more enjoyable when your running with somebody, especially your best friend! ;o)  It always is a great way to vent anger or just think and clear your head! Even spend some personal one on one time with your heavenly father!  I can't describe the feeling I get during and after I run! It's a like a release from anything and everything that might have happend that day! 
We had track practice today, and though I  am definitely feeling it tonight and will for a few days! It was great!! I got the chance to catch up with a friend and get some great exercise at the same time! Yes I am tired, and yes I am sore but I also feel the best after I run! 

 We're  going to Colorado this weekend to see dads side of the family, and I'm hoping to get the chance to run in the open country! I love running in town but there's  nothing like getting to run in the middle of no where once in a while. 



I'm also looking forward to getting to swim this summer and get some exercise that way! That allows me to get a great workout and also spend some great time with the kiddo's!  


You don't just have to run to get in shape either!! Walking is just as much effective and you can talk easier when you walk, rather then run if your with a friend! 

 Even playing tag or soccer or anything like that with your kiddo's outside,  or maybe go the the Zoo or park. There's many ways to be and stay active and have a blast doing it!! If  your doing something with your kid's that helps me to be and stay active as well! I know from first hand what a couch potato can be like and It's not good! My 5 yo that I watch would much rather watch Tv, play her DS, or play on the computer then go do something active outside! I've had to make her several times and though me she might through a fit, once she gets outside she has an absolute blast, whether It's riding her bike, me swinging her, playing a game of tag, or soccer. Either way we always have a ton of fun and I just about can't make her come inside when It's time to come inside!!  Her baby sister on the other hand is a different story! She can't get enough time outside and will throw an absolute fit when It's time to come inside, and don't you dare try to bring her inside before everybody else! I have a feeling we will be spending 80 to 90% of the summer outside!  


Though I my self am not much of an outside person, I'm getting better and getting to the point where I prefer to be outside when it's nice out, rather then be inside!   


I'm sure I will have tons more to write as the summer goes on! But for know this is it!
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!!
If you have any idea's you'd like to share! please leave a comment or facebook me :) 
                                             200 meter dash!
Long Jump
                                               
                                     Just after playing soccer with the older kiddo's!!
I don't have any of actually playing or I would of posted those!!