Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Little Amara

(Click on photos to view in a different window & for best quality throughout my entire blog.)

As we headed out to church on Sunday, I realized that I did not have any pictures of Amara in this adorable dress Mom-mom got her for Christmas. :-) I love the polka dots & Makenzie's pink headband did the trick! I always have time for a few quick pics...and we made it to church on time!!! :-) (Sorry about the Staci Landis Photographic Art on the pics...I just used the same pics from my other site.) :-)
 

 

 

 
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Brittney & Mark

My cousin Brittney is getting married this May! I'm so excited for her & Mark. Below is the link to the blog of the photographer they are having capture their special day! He is awesome & insanely talented. Check out a few pics of Brittney & Mark. (they are the couple with the sweet wheelchair photos...)

http://www.jeremylawsonphoto.blogspot.com/

Friday, February 22, 2008

Amara's First Time in the Snow

Amara LOVED the snow! She was smiling & laughing at the snow & kept stomping her feet. She dipped her "mitten" down into the snow & took a taste..."mmmmmm"...she said with a smile. So of course she kept dipping her mitten into the snow for more! Because I hadn't bought Amara boots (because we usually get so much snow! sarcasm seeping...) she was wearing Madden's...and poor Madden was crying to get outside himself! So, Amara got her preview and loved it. Once her mitten fell off, she realized how cold the snow was & needed to go in for a nap anyway. Needless to say, someone had to take her in for her nap & I had some work to do anyway...so I volunteered to go inside (darn!!) & Tim played out in the snow with Madden & Makenzie. They had a great time, too!
 

 

Yummy, snow!
 

 
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Notice, the gigantic boots! :-)
 
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Makenzie loves her brother & sister! It is so fun to watch them grow up together! Makenzie is getting older so she's trying to be more of a mother hen to Amara...picking her up & carrying her around, putting little movies on for her if Amara wants one on, getting out toy bins that are too high for Amara to reach, etc. But, besides being just the big sister, Makenzie always says Amara is her friend.
 

 
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Brrr...yes, Amara...the snow is cold!
 

 

 

Okay, this white stuff was wonderful until I'm holding it without a mitten on!!!
 
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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eclipse...

I love to look at the stars & the moon...so I was very excited to check out the eclipse last evening. The picture below was my mere attempt to portray the beginning of the eclipse as during the time the moon looked that beautiful golden color...I wasn't able to get anything worth posting in a picture. But, it was beautiful to look at! It was FREEZING out, though!!! Brrrrr....
 
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Monday, February 18, 2008

Blessings!!!

In light of everything that we've been going through lately...we received a very special blessing as a gift for a YMCA membership for a few months. It was a very nice blessing as winter is long & this is a good way for us to get out of the house a bit. Tim has been taking Makenzie & Madden occassionally to open swim which they have LOVED! Makenize is such a fish! She loves swimming! With our blessing/gift, we were also able to put Makenzie in an 8 week swim class. We started her out in the class that her age & what she could do in the water...however, after 3 weeks while I was waiting for her class to start...Makenzie was just in the pool swimming around. The aquatics director at the YMCA was watching her & asked me what class she was in. I told her & she said...I saw her last week & I remembered her. She then said that she wants to move Makenzie up a level into the next ability level class. So, up she went & Makenzie was very proud of herself & the fact that she got to move up!! She did amazing & this class challenged her much more than the other & the instructors are absolutely awesome! When we were driving home, I told Makenzie that I was very proud of her for working so hard in her swimming class. I was then able to tell her to notice what happens when we work hard. We don't have to "tell" everyone all of the things we are good at and we don't have to push her to be in a group because we feel she should be in a "upper" level. People notice when you work hard, just like God does & even if we think no one is noticing or watching, they are & promotions can be more rewarding by giving whatever you are doing your all! I reminded her that "that" is why it is so important to live the best you can, have the best attitude you can & to work hard at whatever you put your hands to do! It actually was one of the BEST learning examples to have happened being that the same week at school, she brought home her bible verse for February which is: "Whatever you find your hands to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:20. She smiled and said...is that persevering?? (that is their character trait for February that they are working on at school) I said, Yes, Makenzie...EXACTLY. Always working hard no matter what. :-)


 

Learning how to breath correctly under water with the correct breathing patterns.
 

Back float & kick! Makenzie does awesome with this skill!
 

Not the best picture, but here is her instructor showing her how to correctly position her arms while doing her arm strokes. They are learning freestyle, flutterkicks, breathing patterns, back floating & kicking.
 
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Learning time...

I'm not nearly as organized as I used to be (or as creative) however, I still love having "learning" times with the kids. I love just sitting down at the table & working on activities. They love it too! The other morning, when Makenzie was at school, we did some fun activities with shapes. Madden LOVES shapes...so I figured he'd love the shape activities. Plus, he got to trace the shapes...which he did very good on! Here are a few pics of one of the activities...

Madden showing me his tracings!
 

 

Amara really likes to color, too!!
 

Madden admiring his work & shapes...
 
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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Faith & Hypocrisy in the Family

I read this article today while visiting one of my favorite family websites (Family Life). It just reminded me of what I want my life to portray to others. None of us are perfect & myself...not even close. However, the world wants a realness that cannot be shaken. A realness that in good times & bad remains the same or steadfast. Hypocrisy is a very dangerous trait to carry and a very difficult trait to get away from. But with God's help, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Phillipians 4:13) I pray I will be mindful of what I say & do...or what I say and "don't" do.

Author: Dave Boehi

How often have you heard a story like this?

“I work with a man who says he is a Christian, and he teaches Sunday school at his church. But he is probably the most negative and critical person in the office. He often gets into conflict with people and draws other people into his little battles. He drags the whole office down. He’s such a hypocrite.”

It’s an old story, isn’t it? The hypocrite who claims to be a Christian, but doesn’t back his words with actions. His life embodies the words of James 2:14, which tells us, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works?”

Webster’s Online dictionary provides a pretty good definition of a hypocrite: It is “a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion,” or a “person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.” Our modern culture likes to link the word with Christianity—according to a survey of “unchurched” adults released last week by LifeWay Research (part of the Southern Baptist Convention), 72 percent said the church is “full of hypocrites.”

Let me state something very clearly at this point: I believe that hypocrisy is a human condition—it’s not confined to Christians. Anyone who holds strong convictions—whether in Christianity, or Communism, or in saving the environment—will be a hypocrite at times. His actions and choices will sometimes betray his words.

It does seem sadder to me, however, when I see hypocrisy in a follower of Christ … or in myself. I read in John 13:35 that others will know we are disciples of Christ “if you have love for one another,” and I know that we can show this love in the power of the Spirit. When we do not, our proclamations of truth become empty. As James 2 goes on to say:

If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

Of all the places where we should show our faith by our actions, the home is foremost. But the home is also where we relax and take off the “masks” we wear each day to impress other people; that may make it the most difficult place to show the love and compassion of Christ on a regular basis. Applying the theme of James 2 to the home, “What use is it to say you follow Christ when you don’t show your faith in the way you love and serve your family?”

And so we hear about the man who helps people every day through his encouragement and his wise, biblical counsel … and returns home to emotionally abuse his wife with his relentless criticism.

We hear about the wife who says she is “saved” and grateful for God’s forgiveness, and yet cannot forgive her husband when he manages his money poorly and takes the family into debt.

We hear about the father who, in his anger and bitterness, causes his children to lose all interest in the Christian faith. Or the mother who thinks she is being a good model to her children because she attends a weekly Bible study, but doesn’t recognize the damage caused by her preoccupation with materialism and worldly success.

The home may be the place where it’s most difficult to live out our faith—and also the most important. What would happen in your marriage and your family if you were to ask God to reveal any hypocrisy in your own life, and then were willing to repent of that hypocrisy and begin walking in the power of God’s love and forgiveness?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

We had such a great day together! Makenzie had her little Valentine's party at school & had a blast...however, I was not a good mom in preparation for the party!!! For some reason, I thought I had another day & last night at 12:00 a.m....I thought...OH MY! Tomorrow is Valentine's Day! Makenzie needs to bring in Valentines!!! Fortunately, the internet is FULL of free printables so I printed her off some adorable Holly Hobbie cards for the girls and some fun Hulk & Incredibles ones for the boys. In the morning, we cut them out & stuck them to cardstock scrapbooking paper that I had & she signed them all up & YES!!! Valentines!! :-) It was actually a fun, yet speedy morning project!

We all relaxed in the afternoon & then I started making my special Valentine's meal for the family. It was very simple, yet very delicious. I made us stir fry with chicken & vegetables & some fried rice. It was a big hit & turned out very good. Simple...with very few ingredients. YES!!! For dessert, my mom had sent the kids some special valentine candies so they enjoyed candy hearts, gummi bears & licorice! Tim's mom brought them each a cookie home...YUM, YUM...sugar high for the kids!!! But, it's 8:30 pm and everyone is in bed...fast asleep. Tim & I are just going to settle down & watch a movie or something that we have in the archives. :-) Very relaxing, very fun & very special...Valentine's Day. Hope yours was fun & special, too!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Valentine's Day Party with the Kids...

My friend Becca held a little Valentine's Party for the children last week. She had the kids make cookies, they made a little picture frame for daddy & played a fun game. There were yummy snacks & the children got to decorate & eat their cookies. Madden had a lot of fun...Amara did, too...but she just wandered around as it was a little difficult to help both of them with the activities. Thanks, Becca. It was fun!

Amara playing with the fridge magnets while Madden decorated his cookies!


Becca getting the cookies onto the cookie sheet for baking!

The little "valentines" playing with some toys. It was cute...everyone wore some sort of red. They all looked cute. :-)
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Madden enjoying his circle cookie he took such care in making! Yummy!!



Madden, Amara & I on our fun day!

Amara just finished her yummy, cookie! She then went straight back to playing.


This picture is so cute of Paige. Just thought I'd add it. :-)
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