Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Poor Fourth Kid

At this point, our poor fourth child is fortunate that we even remembered that she turned one year old in June. There are times that you would think she gets the raw end of the deal and I have felt guilty about it at times. But honestly, there is only so much you can do. I did manage to get some one year photographs taken only 2 days after her birthday back in June. I am just now getting them out. She did have a party with two of her little friends (pictures another time, please) and she definitely does not go without. String Bean is such a sweet little snuggle bug. I just want to scoop her up all the time. Her little personality is really showing now. She now loves her Daddy - which he will tell you has not always been the case - and she can throw a real fit. She is just wonderful. Here are a few of her pictures that helped us capture these precious times.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Extended Family

Before our recent trip to visit cousins (Nathan's sister's family), we had some family pics taken of the big bunch. Nathan shared some of them here. These are some more that I wanted to add..........

The seven one or more did not fall off the wall, we do not know.

String Bean (13 months)

Grandpa and Samoosa (2.5 years)

Girly Girl with a bug in her hand (4.5 years)

My two guys (Toads 6 years)

13 people all looking at the camera in Texas summer heat!

The Six Linos

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Rules Are Different Here

We've spent the week with the cousins in Frisco and the rules are different here. You can do flips off the diving board, little guys can jump to a parent off the diving board, you don't have to wait for the person to be out of the water before you jump. My kids didn't know what to do with themselves with all of the freedom. Two year old, Samoosa has been begging to jump off the diving board back home and she is not allowed. Well today was the day. She climbed right up, put her toes on the edge and jumped off to her Aunt Kerith and me. She loved it! I'm not sure how I will manage with her when we get back home to a diving board she can't touch. Toads practiced a front flip and had a blast. All of the cousins have so enjoyed our time together. Other than a meltdown here or there, it has been a fabulous visit. I am so glad that we all live close enough for the little cousins to play and grow up together.

Monday, July 19, 2010

One of the Best Memories

Hands down, I've made one of the best memories I will ever have of my children growing up.......taking Girly Girl on her first 'big girl' mission trip. It is something I will never forget and hopefully the impact on her heart and mind will also last a lifetime. She and I were able to spend just over 48 hours together - just me and her - working alongside our teenagers on one of their summer mission trips to Tulsa, Oklahoma. She didn't have to compete with anyone for my attention. We broke all the normal routine and rules (who cares if you have M&Ms for late night snack AND breakfast or stay up until midnight) and we just had a blast. We stayed up talking in bed about any and everything, we stopped whenever we wanted to on the 4.5 hour drive and bought snacks and drank sodas. Her adrenaline was pumping the whole time - bouncing off the walls and running down streets.

The time spent together as mom and daughter was amazing, but even more than that, the time spent walking side by side (or running ahead in her case) sharing Jesus with strangers and inviting people to hear God's Word was thrilling. We spent four hours walking the inner-city streets of Tulsa handing out tracts and having spiritual conversations when possible. She had no fear. The people didn't scare her. The surroundings didn't scare her. She handed out a Gospel tract to nearly every person we met. She was oblivious to the fact that the world around her speaks loudly against what she was doing. I was so proud of her.

We also participated in the revival/VBS evening activities. Girly Girl was one of the kids. She made crafts, listened to Bible stories and observed the recreation time (she's not big into losing or games she doesn't know). She had no idea that the kids she was with are so different from her in the world's eyes. She had no idea most of them didn't have a mom and dad at home - most not even one of the two. She had no idea that the hurts in their little hearts were bigger than most of us can even imagine. She had no idea that drug deals, hunger and addictions were commonplace in their lives. To her, they were all the same. To Jesus, they are all the same. I pray that as the world teaches her otherwise, her heart will be inclined to love them and offer them the hope of Jesus Christ.

Our team of teenagers and dedicated adults served as great role models for Girly Girl. They worked hard. The played hard. They love Jesus. I am so thankful for their willingness to include our little four-almost five year old. It is something that she will always remember. Thank you to Lindsey and Grant for having us on your door-to-door team. We loved it!

The memories are spectacular. I will treasure them always. Next up - Samoosa, in about two years! Girly Girl is already asking where Samoosa gets to go. Toads to Arkansas, Girly Girl to Oklahoma, where will Samoosa go?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Good Girl Fun on Mission

So thankful for these girls that have helped show Girly Girl it's cool to be on mission for Christ!
We had a fabulous time in Tulsa together these past few days.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Back and Hopefully More Often

I am back in the land of the blog. So much has happened since my last post. We have worked hard, been to convention, done Disney, travelled some, gotten some good pool time in, had big life happenings and now we are off again. I hope to be blogging more regularly as the summer winds down. Next post.....probably one of the most exciting of the summer. Girly Girl is going on her first 'big girl' mission trip. The kids and I left today to drive to visit the cousins and leave three of the four for a few days. Girly Girl and I will head out in the morning to meet up with our team in Oklahoma. We are so excited to get up there and be a part of what God is doing in and through our team. I can't wait for Campbell to be an active part of it. She is fired up!

Thank you Aunty Kerith and Uncle Brad for making this possible.
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