Friday, November 30, 2007

Famous Daves

We ate here while in Sioux City with Deb. Jesse says that it has the best ribs that he has ever tasted. After he had finished his 4 rib lunch portion, the waitress even brought him 4 more for free. The beef brisket isn't so bad either...yum yum!!!! Here is the link to their website so you can see if one is in your area:

Have you read Captivating?

It is a wonderful book by John and Staci Elderedge for women. I get a daily reading sent into my email from their ministry Here is one that particularly struck me recently:

An Irreplaceable Role in a Great Adventure

When I was little girl, I used to love World War II movies. I imagined myself being in them. I dreamed of growing up, keeping my hair long, putting it in braids and then tucking them up under my helmet. I planned to disguise my gender so that I could join in. I sensed that the men in these movies were part of something heroic, valiant and worthy. I longed to be a part of it, too. In the depths of my soul, I longed to be a part of something large and good; something that required all of me; something dangerous and worth dying for.

There is something fierce in the heart of a woman. Simply insult her children, her man, or her best friend and you’ll get a taste of it. A woman is a warrior, too. (You ought to see Stasi at laser tag. It cracks me up. I mean, she gets intense about it.) But she is meant to be a warrior in a uniquely feminine way. Sometime before the sorrows of life did their best to kill it in us, most young women wanted to be a part of something grand, something important. Before doubt and accusation take hold, most little girls sense that they have a vital role to play; they want to believe there is something in them that is needed and needed desperately.

Think of Sarah from Sarah Plain and Tall . She is needed; their world is not right until she becomes a part of it. She brings her courage and her creativity to the West and helps to tame it. We are awed by the nurses in Pearl Harbor, how in the midst of a horrifying assault they bring their courage and strength to rescue the lives of hundreds of men. The women in The Lord of the Rings trilogy are valiant and beautiful – women like Arwen, Galadriel and Eowen bring change the fate of Middle Earth. And what about women like Esther and Mary and Ruth, biblical characters who had irreplaceable roles in a Great Story.

(Captivating, 11)

From The Ransomed Heart, by John Eldredge, reading 333
Ransomed Heart Ministries

Thomas, 17 months

Thomas kept very busy playing with all the toys and watching all of his siblings and cousins. He was a good little boy and did well on the trip.

More Iowa Fun

We spent lots of time in front of Grandma's toast warm fire. Aurora also celebrated her 4th birthday while we were there. Garrett is looking forward to celebrating his in about a month!

My loss

Sadly, I started bleeding while in Iowa and it was the beginnings of another miscarriage. This baby was to be due in June and will be sorely missed. I really had the feeling that this was a little girl and I had named her Susannah Faith. Now she is in the arms of the Lord. God knows best and I am trusting Him for healing and comfort. I turned 38 on November 13th and as I get older the feeling of wanting another child has not lessened its hold on me. Will it ever?

Daddy...king of the chair!

Jesse enjoyed his vacation in Iowa. He got to see all of his siblings..Jamey, Deb, Joe & Lori. They had not all been together since last Christmas.

Poor Alicia!

She was sick practically the whole time we were in Iowa and missed Thanksgiving dinner!

Katie and cousin, Jewel

Katie had a wonderful time playing with her cousins. Besides Jewel (5), the kids also got to see Ariel (8), Aurora (4), Connor (9), Mariah (16), Sarah (18) and Leah (19). The only cousins we didn't get to see were Jake & Matt.

Bakers supreme

The girls did a lot of baking at Grandma's. The smell of freshly baked cookies was often found wafting through the house.

Coat clad kids....20 degrees in Iowa!

It was very cold and took some getting used to! The kids played outside but didn't last too long:)

Picture from Grandma's hill in Iowa

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving in Iowa

The kids were thrilled to be able to go back to Iowa for Thanksgiving and see their Grandma, Aunts, Uncles & cousins. Since our van wouldn't make it the first 200 miles (understatement), we rented one. The trip is 24 hours/1500 miles! Nashville, Tennessee is half-way. It was cold and windy in Iowa but no snow to speak of, just a few flurries. We enjoyed seeing all of Jesse's siblings and most of their kids, too. Grandpa was in Albuquerque, NM visiting his sister, so we didn't see him. We spent most of the time eating, playing games and watching movies in front of a roaring fire. Some of the kids were under the weather (Katie, Alicia especially) so didn't do much. I was able to go visit my good friend, Jodi, and see her new baby, Genna (born Oct 22). She is so sweet! The trip back was harder as we ran into delays in Atlanta putting us way behind schedule. We did have fun getting off of the interstate in the mountains of Tennessee and seeing some beautiful scenery and picturesque towns...Bell Buckle and Wartrace to name a few. It was like being in the twilight zone to come home to 80 degree weather after being in the cold zone. It feels like summer down here and it is hard to get in the spirit of putting up Christmas decorations!!! Gotta love Florida!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bad hair day

Ever have one of those days?

Hiking in the woods..

We had a wonderful time on Sunday picnicking and hiking at Lake Mills Park. They have a gorgeous raised walking trail through a cypress swamp, right beside the lake. The weather was perfect. You cannot beat Florida in November. On another note, Colton is out visiting my mom in Washington state and enduring some cold weather. I think he is having fun though. He will be gone a month!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Thanksgiving and other musings

It is just around the corner!! It has always been my favorite Holiday! I do miss having extended family close to celebrate it with. This year, Jesse is taking the whole week off! We are going to be camping in Ft. Wilderness down at Disney on Monday and Tuesday night. We were given a new tent by one of Jesse's customers and we have used it once, camping at Ft. Mills park, which is nearby. The kids love it! Colton is flying out to Colville, Washington on Saturday to spend a month with my mom and her husband. He will get to have a taste of very cold weather. The only heat they have is wood heat and Colton will be sleeping upstairs, which is really frigid! I am hoping it will broaden his horizons; he loves to travel. He will miss Thanksgiving with us for the first time ever. We plan to have turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, corn, pistachio fluff, pumpkin pie, apple pie for sure. Yum yum!!!

Pointe Shoes

Julia finally turned 12 and was able to buy her long awaited pointe shoes. She has been working for a friend, once a week, helping take care of her two toddlers and do some housework to earn money. She endured a 45 minute long fitting and tried on about 20 pairs of shoes before the right ones were chosen by the dance shoe specialist. Julia has bunyons so it is essential that her shoes fit just right. She got to dance with them on Thurs for the first time, but only at barre. Eventually she will be able to do floor work when she gets more experienced. Julia didn't become interested in dance until she was 10 years old and I am very proud that she has worked so hard to reach this level! I will post a picture of Julia and her shoes as soon as I can.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I'm back...

and will try and do better!!! November is here and we are getting ready for our Homeschool Co-op's Thanksgiving Feast on Monday. We are having a lunch at Red Bug Lake Park, along with some fun games. I am the one facilitating this event, so hopefully all will go well. Plus, cooler weather is here!! YAY! Jesse lit a big bonfire in the backyard (which I think is illegal!). Hopefully we won't wake up to our house burning down in the night. Katie and Garrett have had so much fun playing outside since it has turned cooler. They are having mud fights and building mud castles...resulting in multiple baths in a day. My camera is out now so as soon as I get it going I will post more pictures.