Monday, August 20, 2012

Still Here

It has been forever, but I am still around!! Life has been crazy. My sister was staying with us in our guest room which is also home to our computer.  So it's not been super easy to post. But I will be back at it here soon!

Until then bloggies!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Thankful

This weekend I am reminding myself to be thankful.  I need to remember how blessed I truly am.  Sometimes I just need to be reminded over and over and over.  Mainly this weekend I am reminded by the thought of my brother.  A year ago on March 11th I spent a whole day not knowing if my brother, lovingly referred to by me and my kiddos as Zacky Poo, was alive. 

See a year ago my brother lived in Japan.  A year ago there was a 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan, the largest to ever strike Japan.  A year ago a a tsunami was triggered that reached heights estimated to be near 133ft high in one prefecture.  A year ago my phone rang maybe 20 minutes before my alarm was set to go off telling me to get up and pray.  A year ago I stared at an email my brother wrote me just minutes before the earthquake and wondered if it would be the last and felt good that he had been laughing minutes before.

That day was awful.  Not just for me, but for so many people.  I still find myself with a sense of anxiety when I think back to that day.  My family was one of the lucky and blessed families that heard from our loved one. We first heard tale from other survivors that Zack was ok, but in a situation like that you want to hear from your family member  yourself.  The next morning we finally received emails from him directly saying he and his then girlfriend were safe.  You can read the whole story here and here.

Anyways, I am just really reminded of the grief we were spared a year ago and reminded of what this weekend a year later could have been about.  My heart is sad for those who weren't like us.  The families who never heard from their loved one and never will again.  I pray today that God will comfort them and give them peace.  I can't pretend to know why things like this happen.  All I know is that we live in a fallen world where there is pain and suffering and heartache.  And I know God sees a picture that I do not see and never will.  I know that Revelation 21:4 says "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."  I pray that as a somber anniversary happens in Japan and throughout the world that God will wipe away those tears and that God will give them praise instead of weakness and joy instead of sorrow.  That lives would be celebrated and spirits would be lifted up.

Be thankful today and ever day bloggies, because you never know what could happen at any minute.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

KONY 2012

I have for years had an overwhelming heart for Africa and the battles there.  I am not sure why or what to do about it, but I believe God has placed it there.  I pray for the people there and have such a heavy heart over the incredible atrocities that take place in so many of the countries there.  The events and actions so many people there have to go through or have had to go through is beyond my belief.  I wanted to share this video that I saw a couple people share on Facebook today.  The goal of this video KONY 2012 is to make Joseph Kony known.  To make his crimes known.  Joseph Kony is the leader of a group known as the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army).  They abduct young boys and force them to fight and kill and maim.  They abduct young girls and force them into a sexual slavery.  The goal is to bring him to justice and to save this army of invisible children.  The video is about 30 minutes long.  I know it's kind of long, but how long did you scroll through Facebook today?  How much time did you waste watching some crazy reality show that you had never seen before, but got sucked in to?  Please take the time to watch and to learn and to hopefully be moved to action. These are rights we should fight for.  We may live in different continents and countries.  We may have different governments or beliefs or ways of life.  We are all humans.  We all deserve to have the ability to receive an education.  We deserve to feel like we can keep our children save.  Our children should be able to be children.  We should stand up for those who can not stand up for themselves.  The narrator and producer of the film said at one point in reference to atrocities in the past, "We cared but didn't know what to do - too often we did nothing."  We can't afford to do nothing.  There has to be something. 


Check out KONY 2012 to sign a pledge and receive other information.  Be informed about what is happening in our world.  Because it is our world.  We are all creatures of God and we need to show the love and compassion that God has shown us to others.  We need to stand united and make a difference.  It is possible.  We can't know and do nothing.  What happens if one day that same war is at our doorstep? Who will fight for us?  We will want our prayers and our cries to God answered.  We need to be that answer now for those who need us. Pray for these people.  Pray for change.

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Little Cake Boss


Last weekend was Arabelle's big 5th birthday extravaganza.  This year we had a fun "Cake Boss" themed party.  Arabelle loves The Cake Boss show.  She loves watching Buddy design cool cakes and work his pastry magic.  So we thought what better idea than to have her own little bake shop.


We all had a great time.  Decorating for the party was just as fun for me, I think.  Planning parties and getting all decorated is one of my favorite parts.  I used a lot of kitchen stuff to hold all of hte supplies.  I put my measuring cups to use to hold the markers and icing spreaders.  I used little Pampered Chef glass measuring cups to hold the icing tips.  I even put out some cleaned out icing containers to use to hold all of the tubes of icing.  


First the kiddos decorated aprons with fabric markers.  I found child size aprons at Hobby Lobby.  I did see some online when searching around, but price wise these weren't anymore expensive.  Then they sat down and decorated their little boxes to take their cupcakes home in. We just put markers out and stickers so the kids could use those.  Funny thing is, no one actually took a cupcake home.  I think they were all eaten way before anyone realized the box was to take the cupcake home in.  After that we got out the cupcakes and the kids got to decorate them.  We bought different kinds of sprinkles and icing.  We bought tubes of icing pre-made which worked well.  I think it was Wilton brand and then we bought the Wilton icing tips that screwed on to the tubes.  It worked really well.  The most popular topping by far were the little candy eyes.  I think my niece may have eaten about half of the container of eyes.  She was very into them!  


My little Lincoln Man was so serious about his coloring.
My mom made a cool picture frame for the kids to get their picture taken behind with their cupcakes.  This was such a fun birthday party.  This was our first foray into having planned activities during the party.  And I would say it was a huge success.  Normally the parties are a lot of running around and screaming and crazy stuff happening.  There was definitely a good 30-45 minutes of running and screaming and wanting parents to be zombies and eat their feet (I am not sure what that was about), but after that the kids were super into sitting down and getting started.  I would totally recommend this party to someone with a foodie kiddo.  You could do miniature cakes instead of cupcakes or little bunt cakes.  So there it is, happy 5th birthday to my little cake boss. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Five Whole Years

video
Arabelle,

Today you turned five years old.  Five!!!  How is this possible?  Where has the time gone since you had the little baby voice in this video?  I watched you sleeping this morning in disbelief that another year had passed.  In disbelief that you are as big as you are, that you hold conversations, that you are as mature as you are and that you are who you are.  Life you with you is amazing.  This year has been a fun one for you.  You have learned to tell jokes, or your own version of jokes.  You have your first little pop star crush...a little Bieber fever.  (Although I am not sure you know what liking someone is all about since you also want to marry Lincoln.)  You have made us laugh until we cry.  You have taking a strong liking to posing like a model.  You also really like to dance.  You love deeply and are so passionate about everything.  You even are starting to tell your friends about God and how important it is that they know him and know he is our Father.

I am not going to lie, there are times when things are all sunshine and rainbows though.  You can make us work for it.  Sometimes the tears I cry aren't from a silly joke you told or when you walked in and said "Arabelle in da house", but from wondering how strong willed you can possibly be.  Which I am finding is very strong willed.  You know what you want that is for sure.  But in that you have grown so much this year.  You come and say you are sorry for things you do and are starting to understand repentance.  You want to pray about how you maybe yelled at us or didn't listen.  You are growing in such awesome and amazing ways.

I pray today and ever day that God blesses you in unimaginable ways.  I know that God has a purpose and vision for you that is far beyond any idea I have ever had or could imagine for your life.  He loves you and is proud of you, just as mommy and daddy love you and are proud of you.  We can't wait to see what this next year has for you.  Starting school is just one big thing I can think of.  I know you can't wait for that. 

Happy birthday Bo Bo Bear!  We love you!

Mommy

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Love

You can find it here...

 I am not sure if I am the best person to accurately review this book and give it the credit it is due. I mainly would start with if I could give this book more than five stars I would and exceedingly so. Ordinarily if you were to offer a book up to me that was full of historical data and so forth, I probably wouldn't jump at it, but after starting this book all I could think was more please! The detail and information provided in this book was amazing and excruciating and mind boggling and beautiful all wrapped up in 400 or so pages. Following Louis Zamperini through is amazing and harrowing life in the pages of this book was a privilege and honor. Reading this has moved me more to read my grandpa's tale of survival in World War II and as a prisoner of war. (As a side note he, my grandpa, was ever so briefly mentioned in this book, which I thought was very cool.)

So read this book. It has everything great you have been looking for...action, sports, war, death, life, sadness, love, happiness, forgiveness and even peace. I smiled as I read this, felt nervous and shocked as I read and was reduced to actual sobbing tears at one point. I checked this out from the library, but believe I will purchase a copy to be read again and shared in the very near future.