Friday, December 30, 2011

Supposed to be There not Here

Pin It Now! The kids and I were supposed to be driving up to Winslow, Arizona with Daddy today for a family mission trip to an orphanage.  But, both my boys have been sick all week, and though on the mend, they haven't completely recovered.  So, I am being nurse-mom for the weekend instead of mission-trip-worker.

 It would have been my very first real mission trip. 

As my hubby pulled out of the driveway this morning, I, still in my pajamas, stood in the kitchen juicing tangelos listening to my daughter blow her daddy kisses through the window.  I couldn't help but rehash my thoughts of the past couple of days, "Why, Lord? Why would You keep us from going?  Isn't true religion helping widows and orphans?  Am I not worthy enough?  Have I complained too much about the work You have me doing already?  Why would You let my kids get sick at a time like this?  Why didn't You miraculously heal them?"

A verse came to mind to get me back on track--"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."  I remembered that I wasn't going to waste time and energy on questions like that.  I was going to rest in God's sovereign will and accept His plan and purpose even though I didn't understand and still don't and may never.

I can remember the first time my pastor mentioned this particular opportunity and my heart quickened.  I couldn't wait to see if Mark thought it would be a good idea for us to go.  I figured it was an answer to a prayer I'd been praying for our family--that God would bring about ways for us to serve others together.  Ways that pushed us beyond our comfort zone, especially me.  So, it is still kind of hard to understand why we couldn't be together serving this weekend, but I am accepting it.  And maybe that's what I am supposed to get out of this--to continue to grow and learn to accept God's way and have peace about it even when I don't like it or get it.  (Two of my favorite verses come to mind here--Proverbs 3:5-6)

Thanks to technology, Mark texted me a picture of the sweet orphan we bought presents for.  One of the gifts was a necklace in the shape of the first letter of her name.  Shiloh has one just like it in the shape of an "S" of course.  Wish I could have been there in person to give her a hug, but a picture will have to do.

Like my pastor's wife said, "There will be many more opportunities . . . "  I am so thankful for such a wonderful church family and can't wait to serve with them in the future!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Web Greeting Will Have to Do

Pin It Now! This was the year I finally got my train track pictures, and I was beyond excited about my Christmas cards.  Unfortunately, my cards turned out abnormally dark, so my hubby and I decided not to spend even more money on stamps sending out cards with which we were not happy. :( 

I am very pleased to report that I did get a full refund. :) 

I am still a little sad and disappointed as this will be the first year in a super long time that I haven't mailed Christmas cards.  But I keep reminding myself that Christmas isn't about ME, and I am sure most people throw the cards away anyway, right? ;)

Wishing all of our friends and families a very Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 09, 2011

The 2011 Ornaments

Pin It Now! It's tradition. 

The kids get a new ornament right before they decorate the Memory Tree with all of their gazillions of ornaments they've collected over the years from grandparents, us, home school ornament exchanges, church, etc.

This year I chose keepsake Disneyland ornaments in memory of our first, real, "just us" family vacation. 
~Happy faces~

Mullin, Lincoln, and Shiloh, I hope you never forget our super fun vacation. I hope you still have these ornaments when you are old and gray, and every year when you hang them, I hope a flood of memories takes you back to October 2011.  (Oh wow, didn't expect my eyes to fill up with tears while writing that!)  Anyway, I had the BEST time with you guys. :)  Love, Mom

She Just Couldn't Wait

Pin It Now! I think it was a day shy of December when Daddy finally took Shiloh Christmas shopping for her brothers.  I couldn't have been happier because she'd been bugging asking me to take her all month!

Her enthusiasm was just precious.  She'd saved up all her coins from Grandpa and from $.50 money chores I gave her every now and then when I had some change to spare.

The boys, especially Lincoln, love nutcrackers, (the classic-looking kind) and Shiloh had spotted the perfect ones at Fry's.  She came home with the biggest smile and asked for bags to wrap them in so she could give them to the boys that night.  I nonchalantly suggested, "Why don't you wait until closer to Christmas?" 

No reply.

When I turned to look at her face . . . BIG, FAT tears were slipping down her cheeks.  Broke my heart.

"Oh honey, did Daddy say you could give them to the boys tonight?"

With the most genuine, pitiful look, she shook her head "yes."

We got some bags right away and . . .

just look at how happy she is! 

She wanted pictures of herself with each brother and their nutcracker.  Too sweet.  :)

The nutcrackers are proudly displayed on shelves in the boys' room.  They even named them.


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