Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy early Birthday to the best mother-in-law in the whole wide world! Hope you have a great birthday!! Wanted to get this up here before we leave town and won't have access to my picture files!! :)We took some special pictures that we thought you might enjoy! Hope your day is extra special and filled with fun!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Great Movie

Tonight was our family movie night. We watched Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. What a great movie! Eric and I commented on just how it felt so close to home as it was set in the time period of the Great Depression. There were several mentions of foreclosures. It's startling because history seems to be repeating itself a bit with the stumbling stock market, high rates of foreclosures, and unemployment. I was glad that Austin was able to watch this because I think it really helped put a subject that can be so complicated to understand in perspective for a child on their level. It was too much for little Wes to comprehend of course, but he sat through bits and pieces of it. Popcorn, snuggles, and hot cocoa make movie night fun no matter what.

Overall, today has been a really nice day! Eric had the day off! Have I mentioned how awesome his job is! His work schedule is such a huge blessing to us! So we got to spend the day together! He surprised me this morning by making me a pancake with a big letter S on it. It made me nearly tear up because that's a tradition that his uncle used to do for everyone at family get-togethers. And now as the holidays are upon us, it makes me sad because I wish he was still here with us. I just had to look over on the fridge where we have a favorite picture of Uncle Bill with Eric as a toddler sitting on his lap. I put the picture up there ever since we got a copy of it from Aunt Barb, and I just can't take it down. It helps bring back the good memories of a very special uncle who touched us all with his spunky spirit.

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Thoughts to Ponder

Three-year-old Agustin covers his face with a net "against mosquitoes" at the Kituku camp for the displaced in Goma, eastern Congo, Monday, Nov. 10, 2008. Augustin came with over 200 families of park rangers from the Virunga National Park one month ago, fleeing fighting between rebels and government forces that has left tens of thousands of refugees desperate for international aid
(This boy is about Wesley's age!!)

1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with with words or tongue but with actions in truth.

Philippians 2:4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Matthew 25:40 The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

I looked up the word interest just to get a clearer idea of what interest really entails. As a noun the word interest is defined as a sense of concern with and curiosity about someone or something;

As a verb the word interest can mean be of importance or consequence

I came across these verses today...and feel encouraged at being in a position to help in some way!! I can't wait to get our boys involved!!
My thoughts have been preoccupied with the events occuring in the world today.
Funny how Eric and I have been talking about what would be a good family project for the Holiday season, something we have been talking about for a couple of months. Trying to decide what would be the best choice. Then I became aware of this need....and felt drawn to it over and over again. You cannot simply ignore the images that are floating through the media. It's impossible for it not to stir the heart. I'm growing more excited aboout putting together gift boxes for children in need hoping it will bring some measure of joy and comfort. Hoping it will sow seeds of love in the very least.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How Can We Help!?

I feel drawn to this problem in the Congo. I found this great link for a Christian organization that is reaching out to help these refugees!! Please pray for the hurting people and those who are working so hard to bring the much needed help and supplies! Please also consider this holiday season maybe making a one time gift! I realize times are tough here, but we have it no where near this tough! I can't imagine my babies having to live in these type of conditions!! Yet there are someone else's babies and children doing just that!
Here is the link if you want for more information on what's going on and how we can help!
Crisis in Congo

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

I found this picture the other day, Austin made it last Christmas season! I don't remember seeing it before, so when I found it, I just knew it would be a keepsake!! I wanted to share it with everyone! :) Especially the grandparents because I know they get a big kick out of the boys' artwork!!

I know that Thanksgiving is still several days away, but it sure feels like maybe we are just skipping that one and just rolling right to Christmas. The stores already have their decorations and trees up. Some of the radio stations are playing Christmas music. I think Austin wrote his Christmas list way back in September. What's the rush? And what in the world is up with the weather. The weather outside sure makes it feel like we have moved straight on to winter! One of my crazy neighbors already has their Christmas tree up! People, can we just get through Thanksgiving?? Okay, okay, I know, I'm in the Christmas spirit too. I admit it! I have even added some Christmas music to my playlist...:) maybe it's the chilly weather!! I just wish Christmas wasn't so commercialized! I think this holiday season we are going to try very hard to be more involved in some type of charity work....something to really help us all think outside the box and not forget that we really should as Christians show God's love by helping others. Maybe we'll help at a toy drive. I'd really like to do something to help in the Congo area. Things are so bad over there. There are all these refugee children caught in the middle of war activity. Seems awful that we are just thinking about budgeting Christmas gifts and our tanking economy, when here are all these hurthing children, some separated from their parents, homeless, hungry, and most definitely not out of harms way!! If you ask me what I think should be done, I think AIG should have to give back the money they have been wasting at these resort functions and send that money to help aid in places like the Congo. But, I'm not in charge! I hope these goofy business people realize just how selfishly they are living!! What a terrible waste of money when there is such desperate needs of children at stake.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shadow Is Home!

We were so excited to find Shadow this morning. After not finding him for three nights, things were beginning to look grim. We'd checked with the shelter, checked for any microchip activity, and posted various signs. Petey dog started to bark at
5:30 am, so Eric took him out. When he came back in he woke me up and told me he thought he'd heard a cat meowing. I don't know if I've ever shot out of bed with so much energy after hearing those words. Sure enough when we went outside we could hear him meowing. Unfortunately he seemed to be trapped inside our neighbors garage. We don't think he'd been there all along because we would have heard his meows for sure as he was pretty loud! So unfortunately, we had to wait until a more appropriate time of the morning to ring the neighbors doorbell. It was so hard knowing Shadow was there so close, but we still couldn't get to him. But all the while was thanking God because I was sure we'd found our kitty. I only hoped my neighbor wouldn't be angry with us about our cat being in his garage. I don't know how they slept through his meowing to be honest. At about 7ish I heard my neighbor start his car. The weird thing is, my neighbor always runs his car for a few minutes before he leaves. When we moved here, I used to hate that, it bugged me to no end. But man oh man, was I ever so thankful that he warms up his car. Because I never would have been able to catch him before he left for work to ask if I could check his garage for our cat. Sure enough when he opened the door, I could still hear Shadow meowing, but he was still hiding. At first I was worried that maybe he was inside the engine of their other car because I could hear the meowing, but I couldn't see him. Then I just kept calling and he just popped out of a box in the corner. No worse for the wear. I was so excited!! So thankful! I owe my neighbor big time for putting up with our wacky cat! Turns out they did hear his meowing, and they did look around, but didn't quite figure out that it was coming from the garage! Probably because he was hiding so well. I walked in the door and Austin was actually just waking up and I ran to his room with our cat telling him to look who was back. He was just so thrilled! I think we all piled in our bed with kitty who really didn't seem to bad considering he'd been lost out there during two days of some serious rain and thunderstorms! But he has been sleeping a lot!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lost Kitty

Our best kitty in the whole wide world is missing and we are very sad at our house. We have had two rainy days. We think maybe Shadow snuck out late the night before when we let the dog out, and then got scared and ran away. He's not good outdoors. Everything scares him! Once he gets out, he tends to panic. Austin is taking it very hard. I'm trying hard not to get upset in front of him, but if we don't find Shadow soon, I'm afraid my emotions are going to get the best of me. Yesterday we searched the neighborhood and we searched the woods behind our house. Then we also put up posters with his picture and our phone number. We even talked to a few neighbors. No one seems to have seen him. I worry that he may be stuck up a tree somewhere. He did that once a couple of years ago. The hardest thing is that the weather has been so rainy. Shadow has been out there somewhere during two thunderstorms. This morning there was really a bad thunderstorm. I'm glad Austin was still asleep because he would have been beside himself thinking of his cat stuck out there in the middle of it. I'm praying he'll have a good day at school because I know even as he left this morning, it was weighing on his heart. The weird thing is that before I realized Shadow was missing, I'd been reading a Bible devotion with Wes about being afraid. We read (Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you.) I reflected on this verse throughout the day yesterday and reminded Austin of it as well as we prayed before bedtime adding special prayers for Shadow. I believe our God who cares for even for the little birds, cares about our pets as well. I realize fully that pets don't have the value of a human life. That doesn't mean that our pets don't have a special place in our hearts. I'm reminded that in this less than perfect world, that the outcome may be that Shadow doesn't make it home. So that verse is a reminder to put my trust in God that he will get us through it. I just have to remember to teach my boys that when we have sadness and fears that it's God who we can rely on to give us strength and comfort. For now, I'm putting my trust in God and praying that He will help us find our kitty. My heart is a sad with wonder of trying to figure out what happend to our special pet. I'm so used to having Shadow around. He is part of our daily habits. He always begs to lick the ice cream bowl, following me around until I give in. I'm used to him hanging out in the bathroom when I shower. I'm used to waking up at night with him snuggled up on my pillow by my head. Austin is used to Shadow laying in his bed as he falls asleep. And as I write this post tears are starting to well up in my eyes as rain beings to fall and thunder begins to rumble in the distance. Shadow, where are you? Please come home!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cool Book

I just finished a very cool book called The Shack. At times I was thinking where is this book going? At others I couldn't put it down. It confused me, made me sad, made me happy. It overall just really make me think about the things we don't see or comprehend. I wasn't sure I was liking the books at times, but I was compelled to keep reading. I wanted to know what was going to happen. In the end, I'm glad I finished it. Things became clearer after I completed reading the story. It's obvious that it's fiction, but there is realness in the sense that we should desire to have a "Papa"like relationship with God. And there is a realness in the sense that as humans we all experience pains, hurts, sorrows and dysfunctions in this life. But we have Hope and Triumph in a life spent connected in fellowship with God. Why are we so quick to miss out on the fellowship with God? He's always everywhere we are, but yet we still leave him out. So if you like a good book, pick this one up! Hopefully in the near future it will be made into a movie! A movie I will not want to miss for sure!! :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall Fun!

Pumpkin Carving

Halloween has come and gone once again. It's funny how for a child it seems like it takes forever for the fun day to arrive. Then in a blink it's done and over. We managed to have some fall fun from last weekend through tonight. Last Saturday we took the boys to a church trunk or treat. On Wednesday, we carved pumpkins with the kids. Then on Thursday, Wes got to dress up and celebrate at a toddler/parent program they have at one of the local elementary schools. It was crazy how excited the kids were. It was quite the craziness. The kids were all over the place. If you look at the one group pictures all the kids are doing different crazy things. One girl is sticking out her tongue. Another boy dressed as batman appears to either picking a winner or scratching his nose. You decide! :) This one shot the best we could get. The kids didn't even have sugar yet, but you couldn't keep them still for long. I think even Wes was a little overwhelmed with the energy level because before long he was requesting to go home! I think I was happy he was ready to go because I was feeling a bit tired that day too. You see, the night before Petey the amazing border collie, woke us up every hour from about 1:30 till 4:30. At that point I decided to lock him in (doggy jail) his crate for the rest of the night. I don't know what he was barking at, usually it's the wind. He's like child with an over grown imagination. All I know is I was very mad at him for disturbing my sleep. I gave him a good scolding the next night and forewarned him that he would be suffering my wrath if he repeated the same barking routine. He must have understood because he put himself in the crate and I didn't hear a peep the rest of the night. Funny thing is that Austin has been trying to get the dog to sleep in his bed at night. Which Petey starts out there, but for some reason he doesn't stay there. It's like he's on night guard duty as he sleeps in different spots around the house. We have also found a kitten. Eric and I have been against getting another cat. We really have been. But, then of course, as it would only naturally have to happen, about a couple weeks before this cat shows up, Austin starts asking if he can have a kitten because Shadow was already an adult cat when we got him.'s hard sometimes saying no to your kid. Especially when you have a kid as great as Austin. He works really hard at school. His teacher always has great things to say about him. He's patient for the most part with his challenging little brother. So, we really didn't say yes to his request. We just sort of gave him the I don't know and left it at that. Then this kitten shows up at a time when the weather has turned down right chilly. It doesn't help that he is this kitten that is skinny and pitiful. His ears look too big for his head. I mean who can say no to a kitten all alone in the cold world. I guess that would be Eric and I. Then to make saying no even harder, our cat Shadow, who typically hates all other cats, welcomes this one right in. He actually makes these cute little meow noises at the kitten. He gives the kitten baths a few times a day. He acts practically like he is a mama cat. The last time Shadow saw a kitten, he hissed at it. But for some reason, when this one showed up, he instantly accepted him without any hesitance. So that made things a bit harder to say no. So, it looks like we are going weak and opening our doors to this little stray. He is cute. He's still a bit scared of everyone and everything, with the exception of Shadow. So taking his picture has been a big challenge! But he's not afraid of pouncing on our feet when we are sleeping for some reason. That's the one time he isn't afraid of us. Lucky us!
So here are the pictures from our fun. We are going to have a busy weekend with visitors from Thornwell. I really should be doing things around the house to get ready for that, yet here I am, still sitting here blogging. I think I'm going to form a support group for those addicted to blogging! I have to make my decision very soon, as in the next couple of do the post on my blog everyday in November challenge. My only issue is that we will be traveling to FL for Thanksgiving...and I just have a great fear that I would be able to make my posts during that time on the road. Eric has loaned our laptop to a good friend who has to go out of state for three months of training. And since he is going to be all alone in a strange new city, Eric offered to let him borrow it. We rarely use the laptop anyway, but this would have been one instance where it would have been good to have. But, I think Eric's friend will have more need for the laptop then I will. And I found out about this blog challenge well after we'd already promised to lend out the laptop. So the more I think of it, the more I feel like entering the contest isn't something I think I could pull off. If we weren't traveling, then I would most likely give it a go. But who knows, I may still sign up. I'm still undecided.