Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Week In Pictures

The third and final storm of last week left more snow than the first two. In some places in Flagstaff they're saying that they got up to five feet! We didn't get quite that much, but still enough to blanket our world in two feet plus of white fluffy stuff. It was beautiful; it was deep; and it gave Tom lots of opportunity to work out his arms and core;).

Since school was cancelled all last week, we had our neighbors, Andrew and Morgan, over after the final storm to play with the kids, build a snowman and a snow cave. I love teenagers!

After being cooped up in the house for too long, boys need to wrestle. I made the mistake of laying down on the floor the other day and was immediately tackled by two rough boys. I avoided any injury by telling the little hooligans that Daddy was going to be home soon and that they could beat him up. Yeah! Tom was totally outnumbered. Two on one. Three on one. But thankfully he's big and tough and prevailed.

Monday night was not a good night for my honey. CRUNCH! Our new-to-us Altima was totalled. Tom had pulled forward to make a left hand turn without properly checking around the big snow berm on the side of the road. Big, big bummer! Thankfully, my honey is just fine! A car is replaceable, my honey...not so much.

This afternoon after naps we went sledding with the kids. We found a great hill just North of us. The mountain view was beautiful and the sledding was great. We even had a snowball fight that involved Tai Lung Daddy, Po-Boy Sammy, Po-Girl Livvy and Ben and I, we were townsfolk pigs. Can you tell we like Kung Fu Panda?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quotes From Here and There

Through reading several books, getting e-mails of quotes from others, and watching a movie, I've been challenged and encouraged. Here's some of the ones I thought worth sharing:

Amy Carmichael:

"Remember that there is nothing you are asked to do in your own strength..."

"God, who is all the while supplying the impulse (to obey and overcome), giving you the power of inner resolve (to see it through to victory), is also giving you the strength to perform (under pressure) and to carry out His good pleasure: Phil 2:13."

"How utterly foolish it is to plead weakness when we – even you and I – may move into the stream of that power. If only we will..."

"My Father, I choose Your strength over my weakness! For today, I will step out of the role of Lord and Judge… and I'll strike the word ‘impossible’ from my thought."

A Lamp unto My Feet:
The Bible's Light for Your Daily Walk by Elisabeth Elliot:

"The job has been given to me to do.
Therefore, it is a gift.
Therefore, it is a privilege.
Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God.
Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him.
Therefore, it is the route to sanctity.

Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God's way. In this job, not in someother, God looks for faithfulness. The discipline of this job is, in fact the chisel God has chosen to shape me with -into the image of Christ.

Thank you, Lord, for the work You have assigned me. I take it as your gift; I offer it back to you. With your help I will do it gladly, faithfully. I will trust you to make me holy."

Amy Carmichael
A Chance To Die by Elisabeth Elliot:

"'My precious Mother,' she wrote, 'Have you given your child unreservedly to the Lord for whatever He wills? ...O may He strengthen you to say YES to Him if He asks something which costs.'"

"She quoted the words of Jesus, which cut deeply: 'If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it' ...'To obey is better than sacrafice.'"

"Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them."

"Mrs. Carmichael wrote, 'My own Precious Child,

He who hath led will lead
All through the wilderness,
He who hath fed will surely feed...
He who hath heard thy cry
Will never close His ear,
He who hath marked thy faintest sigh
Will not forget thy tear.
He loveth always, faileth never,
So rest on Him today - forever.'"

Holding Onto Hope

by Nancy Guthrie

"When our lives are pricked with difficulty, what comes out is what's inside."

"What does it mean to 'fear' God?...It is a profound sense of reverential awe toward God... It is displayed in a person's character and conduct. A person who fears God recognizes God's authority over every area of his life... He recognizes his complete dependence upon God for everything he has and everything he is. He approaches every aspect of life with an aim to glorify God. And when life deals him a blow, his fear of God is revealed more completely,"

"Why has God allowed so much suffering in your life? Ultimately, the purpose is not to disfigure you for life but to mold you into a person who thinks and acts and looks like Christ."

"But because I believe God's plans for me are better than what I could plan for myself, rather than run away from the path he has set before me, I want to run toward it. I don't want to change God's mind - his thoughts are perfect. I want to think his thoughts. I don't want to change his timing - his timing is perfect. I want the grace to accept his timing. I don't want to change God's plan - his plan is perfect. I want to embrace his plan and see how he is glorifed thought it. I want to submit."

"...With great boldness and passion and persistence, we cry out to God, begging for physical healing. And in these prayers, there is often a tiny P.S. added at the end where we say, 'If it be your will.'
But shouldn't we switch that around?
Shouldn't we cry out to God with boldness and passion and persistence in a prayer that says, 'God,would you please accomplish your will? Would you give me a willing heart to embrace your plan and your purpose? Would you mold me into a vessel that you can use to accomplish what you have in mind?' And then, perhaps, we could add a tiny P.S. that says, 'If that includes healing, we would be grateful.'"

- I am certainly not "there" with these last quotes from Nancy Guthrie, but I hope this is where I end up.

And on a completely different note, a must see movie!

The Star of Bethlehem
I checked, it is available on Netflix if you subscribe to that.

"For if the Star wasn't magic or a special miracle from outside of the natural order, then it was something even more startling. It was a Clockwork Star. And that is overwhelming. The movement of the heavenly bodies is regular, like a great clock. The Clockwork Star finally means that from the very instant at which God flung the universe into existence, he also knew the moment he would enter human history in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. He marked it in the stars. And from before the beginning of time as we experience it, God knew the very moment when Messiah would breath his last on the cross."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Baby Update

I've been meaning to blog about this for about a week now, so I guess since I have the time I should go ahead and do it. Last Tues we had another OB appointment. I'm somewhere between 17 or 18wks - it all depends on if we go with the due date determined by the first day of my last period, or the due date based on the first u/s that we had when I was around 8+wks (last period dating) which showed baby to be only 7wks (which we now know is somewhat inaccurate because it's based on the overall length of baby). Anyway they're about 1-1/2 weeks different, so in the end, it probably doesn't really matter a whole lot, but anyway...

We had scheduled another u/s to see if this little one is a boy or a girl. With Livvy we went into delivery with two names, a boy name and a girl name. With the next two, we found out what we were having during the 20wk u/s and then went into delivery with a pretty good idea of what we were going to name them. This time around this little one is getting named right away, which we will share - we want to "know" this little one as much as we can in the time that we have...and we want you to know him or her too.

Unfortunately this little one is, well, little. Too little to tell. According to the measurements of the long bones, baby is three weeks behind. We don't know if this poor growth is indicative of not carrying to term or just having a small baby. So many unknowns. We have another u/s scheduled for Feb 16th. Hopefully they'll be able to tell us then what we're having.

Until then, here are some pictures of "Little's" little feet, hand and leg.

Snowed In

Last night the third snow storm of the week, the biggest and baddest of them all, rolled in. The National Weather Service is calling it a Class 5 storm - which means absolutely nothing to it out of 6 or out of 10? Wherever on the scale it is, this storm is shutting down the city, which means, SNOW DAY! We, Livvy, Sammy and I actually did do school this morning, but Tom is home! For the whole day! And probably tomorrow too!!! Yeah!!!!! We haven't had just a day at home with the whole family since before Christmas - Thank you Lord for huge snow storms!!

This morning before the sun was really waking up (I think it was around 7:10am) Livvy and Sammy grabbed some snow gear and headed out to play. Here's a picture of a small slide that the kids were sliding down this morning (oh, and that is Phoebe the cat out there with them - I swear she thinks she's a dog): Here is that same slide at 1:30pm when we went out again to check on the chickens:
Here the kids are showing just how deep the path is that Tom shoveled so that we could go out to the chicken coop:
And here's Ben, all bundled up in his new snow suit. He doesn't really enjoy walking in the snow, falling in the snow or getting snow on him. But, because baby is still pretty small, I was able to put him in my Pikkolo carrier (I love this carrier!) on my hip and carry him out with the family - and, of course, he did like that.

Friday, January 15, 2010

California Fun

Last Friday was my grandma's (my dad's mom) 90th birthday. So we loaded up the family van and drove to Simi Valley, California to wish her a Happy Birthday. It was a very fun trip, even the 8 hour drive went really well.

Here are seven of the eight kids that grandma had - from oldest to youngest, using their childhood names, how fast can you say it: Jimmy, Bobby (my dad), Billy, Polly, Peggy, Tommy, Michael, Timmy (not in the photo).

Friday night when we arrived everybody, except Grandma, who tires easily and is a bit overwhelmed with a crowd, had dinner together and talked the way Baker's talk (you just have to know us to really get that).

Saturday morning we (Tom, me, the kids and Oma) drove to the beach. It was such a fun time to smell the salt air, hear the roar of the waves and literally get swept off your feet by the tide...I kid you not, less than a minute of being on the beach Livvy and Sammy had made their way down to the shore, got knock over by an incoming wave and were soaked from head to foot! Thankfully the honey, oh so smart he is, thought to bring their suitcase - I said surely we wouldn't need it because we were only going to dip our tootsies into the water...boy was I wrong!

After getting toweled off and into some dry clothes, the kids were off playing again. This time they stayed a safe distance from the incoming waves except if Dad was with them.
Before leaving on Sunday we went to see Grandma one more time. On the way to the nursing home where she lives, Ben had a very hard time staying awake (see video).

Here's the family with my grandma. I'm so glad that we made time to go and see her. We made a lot of good memories.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Life Goes On

Life seems to go on, whether you really want it to or not. Some days come easy and others seem to arrive with a thick heavy cloud...or the cloud comes racing in sometime during the day on a cold wind that stops right above my door.

It is such a good thing that I have these three little people around me all day. It's hard to hide away and feel sorry for yourself when you have to do life with little ones...they are not content long with being left alone.

The hardest part so far is trying to rack my feeble brain to come up with some activity or plan for the day, that hopefully would include something fun - kids seem to like that for some reason;). Since we've taken the past couple of weeks off of homeschooling, we haven't even had school to rely on as a necessary distraction.

We start school again tomorrow so hopefully that will give us some good and fun things to do and look forward to...we'll be learning about C for cows.

Over the past couple of week we have managed to come up with some fun family times, including of course Christmas. Here are some pictures from the month of December.

The kids and I spent a couple of days down in Phx with my parents while Tom went hunting.

Tom got his elk!! Now we have lots of meat.
The kids help load up their wagon with all the meat and then pulled it inside to load up the freezer.
A typical morning of school.
Tom took Livvy on a late date for her birthday. A couple of days later, Tom took Sammy on a special "hang-out" time for his birthday (really late).

As a family fun event, we took the kids bowling. It was a great success!

The kids helped me deliver cookies to all of our neighbors.
Why does it feel like pulling teeth to get just one good shot of the kids?
Christmas morning down at Oma and Opa's with the cousins.
Another attempt at a good picture of the kids. Again, not so successful.

The day after Christmas we went with everybody to the zoo.

Sammy and Ben's favorite part was the carousel.
And then, of course, snow is always least for the first couple of minutes.