Thursday, December 29, 2011

Noah's 4th Birthday

For the first time, we were in North Carolina on Noah's birthday. We decided to throw him a party inviting our church family and some of his friends from the YMCA. I am sure it will only take you one guess to know the theme of his party: CARS, of course, not just any cars though, he was very specific about which cars he wanted on his cake. Instead of being my creative self this year, I decided to just decorate his cake and put some cars on top.

Along with the CARS, Noah wanted a 4 candle. He was very adamant about it.

We had his party at the park down the road, and it was a little chilly. The kids and adults seemed to have a good time, especially when Justin pulled out some games for them to play.

Noah eating his cake, wearing his CARS shirt!

It is hard to believe that my baby boy is four. He has such a sweet spirit, still loves to sit with Mommy, and talks, talk, talks. (I don't know where he gets that from, probably from his daddy!!!) His smile lightens up the room, and his laughter is so contagious. He spouts off scenes from the Cars movies and likes being any number of superheroes: Spiderman, Captain America, Green Lantern, and Iron Man. I cannot wait to see all God has in store for him and for us as he grows up. He is a precious gift!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

November Rewind

November went by way too fast. A few weeks after my parents came for a visit, Grammy and Pop Pop came. It was a wonderful weekend with them, doing all sorts of shopping, eating at Olive Garden, going to the Whirlgig Festival, watching some of the kids favorite movies, and having lunch after church with our church family.
The kids loved having them all to themselves, showing off their toys and playing with them. Thanks so much for coming! We had a great time!

Noah, Pop Pop, Karis, and Grammy

We did our third annual Thanksgiving tree this year. It always makes me smile to hear what the kids are thankful for, and it encourages us to be truly access our hearts to see if we are thankful for all things.

We spent Thanksgiving with one of our dear church families, the Reigels. It was so inspiring to see a family sit at a HUGE table spread with way too much good food, smiling and talking to each other. It was an experience, one our family will never forget! Thank you Reigel family for making us feel like family and so loved.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

And the Journey Begins...

I am so excited to announce that we are now in the first stages of the adoption process with America World Adoption. We have been accepted into the Ethiopia Adoption Program and are right now filling out tons of paperwork to bring our new addition home in the "distant" future! The adoption process is long when doing it internationally, but we know that God's timing is best. Please be in prayer for us as we embark on this wonderful journey of unknowns, patience, and mounds of paperwork.
To say I am excited is an understatement. Justin and I have talked about adopting since before we were even married. You can follow along with us as we go through this journey with our family blog: .

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fall Soccer 2011

Soccer this fall was a new experience for our family, we ushered in a new player and a first time coach!

Justin coached Noah's four year coed team, (yes, Noah is only 3, but we moved him up because we thought he would be overly aggressive like he is at home with us). This proved not to be the case, he spent most of the time chasing after the crowd of kids around the ball, only kicking or going after the ball when no one else was around. Justin did a great job coaching, and I loved hearing Noah call him "Coach Daddy!"

Karis played again for her last time in the 5-6 league. She will move up to 7-8 in the spring, which will be an adjustment, no coach on the field! Karis learned the art of assisting her teammates, by passing for them to score. She scored a few goals and continued to play unstoppable defense. Her team spirit was easily seen as she cheered on her team and got excited when her teammates scored.

Here are our two soccer players posing for the camera:

Karis 7 years old
Team: Pizazz

Noah 3 years old
Team: Giants

Here are a few pictures of them in action:

Noah scoring his first goal!

This is Karis' determined face, she does this a lot when she is playing!

Karis facing off with her friend Hannah.

Watching Karis and Hannah play was so funny. They fought hard against each other, even knocking each other down a few times, only to run and hug each other after the game ended. It is good to see competitive spirits in them both, yet when the game is over, good friends.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Fun Friday

A few weeks ago, on the first day of fall, the kids had a "fall" themed school day. We did all things fall: counted pumpkins, ate candy corn, painted fall trees, read poetry about leaves, sand silly songs about pumpkins and scarecrows, etc. I always enjoy this day immensely, fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Recently, my family has also embraced all things pumpkin: I made pumpkin butter, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin banana bread. I still have a few more recipes to try, but so far all of them have been a hit!

I catalogued our day with some fun pictures. After doing school, we made fall cutout cookies together, and then the kids decorated some on their own to take to our neighbors (and to eat of course!).

This was not the same day, but I think Karis' expression sums up our "Fall Fun Friday!"

Sunday, October 02, 2011

12 Amazing Years

12 years! I remember our wedding day as if it were yesterday, and it is hard to remember life before I was your wife! It is an honor to be your wife, to grow together in Christ, to serve together in our church, to raise our children, only by His grace. You daily encourage me, spur me on, lead me when I am struggling to see God's purpose in all things, make me laugh, and give our home a sense of peace. Thank you for 12 years Justin, may God grant us 50 more! I love you!

"Glorify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together." -Psalm 34:3

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Amma!

Happy Birthday Amma! We love you and can't wait to see you in a few weeks! We hope your day is as special as you are!

Mom, the kids did sing you Happy Birthday and we recorded it, but I couldn't get it to work for the post. Sorry! At least they are still shouting to you with their signs, right? I love you more than I can say and am truly blessed beyond measure to be your daughter. I didn't mail you a card either, so here's to you MOM! May your special day be filled to overflowing, and I can't wait to celebrate with you very, very soon!

Dad, give Mom a GREAT BIG HUG from me and tell her all day how blessed you are to have her as are all of us!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Saturday Silliness

I was busy cleaning the kitchen and fixing breakfast one Saturday and this is how I what I found the kids doing...

I have no idea what Karis was "teaching" Noah with her pad and pencil, or where the idea of an eye patch, sunglasses, and hats came from, but at least imaginations are free...

Monday, September 05, 2011


I am waiting.
Why is this thing so hard: waiting for our turn, standing in line at the grocery store, staring at the phone waiting, hoping it will ring.
Even if the news is bad, it is still news. Whatever words are spoken will at least stop the waiting.

It is in these times that I find myself clinging to my Savior, to the one who patiently waits on his children to save them, grow them, mature them.
There is no where else to turn, no one else who holds the world that He created, in His hand. He is the only One who can bring rain and wash away my waiting.

The phone is still silent, but my heart is grasping for my Savior and crying out to Him to stop these fires that are burning and demolishing woods, homes, and towns. The fires that could have already engulfed my parents house, my sister-in-laws parents and sister's houses, and so many families I grew up with. As my heart cries out for them, the Lord reminds me:

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in His word I hope:
My soul waits for the Lord
more than the "watchmen for the morning,
more than the watchmen for the morning."
Psalm 130:5-6

God will free us from our waiting when He is ready. Whatever the outcome, I (we) must hope in Him and His Word. He will not forsake us, He will renew us, He will give us the strength we need, He is love, He is patient, and He waits for us to come to Him and lay it all down.

May I find peace and thankfulness in waiting, knowing that only His grace can see me through.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just to say THANK YOU!

A little late in coming, but THANK YOU, none the less for our gifts Amma and Papa John!

Noah's face is priceless in both pictures, but Karis still has a hard time not being silly taking pictures.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Swim Lessons Take Two

Karis has always been a fish in the water. She has never been afraid to jump in and go under or swim. We decided to have her and Noah take swimming lessons, mostly because I wanted her to finally try for her "swim necklace" so she could be in the deep end. (She could have gotten it last summer and maybe even the summer before that, but she wouldn't even try.)
Noah wouldn't jump in by himself so we were hoping swim lessons would help him like to go under the water.

Noah's first swim lesson went great. He loved it; however, Justin and I experienced deja vu with Noah when he freaked out and started crying after hitting the water in his second swimming lesson. He never returned to the water or to another swimming lesson this summer. When Karis was three, she did the same thing at the second lesson. I don't know what scared my kids but something did. I am happy to report that now Noah is jumping in by himself and trying to "swim!" (It is strange when your children do the same thing at the same age especially when neither one could tell us why they were scared.)

Karis did fantastic and showed much improvement in her swimming. She took her swim test after the first lesson and passed easily.

Waiting patiently for her teacher, Miss Sarah

I liked seeing that BIG smile on her face, since last time she attempted swim lessons it was not there. Her teacher, Sarah, did a fantastic job and Karis learned many new swim strokes and how to dive, which her mommy can't do!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Beach Trip 2001

The last week of June, our family took our annual summer beach vacation. We spent four glorious days at Emerald Isle: basking in the sun, playing at the beach, eating way too much, and enjoying each others uninterrupted company! It is a blessing to experience God's vast creation, especially seeing His vast ocean and powerful waves. What a Savior!

Our first night we always walk on the beach, resulting in two very wet children!

We spent two wonderful days on the beach. I love seeing Noah finally enjoying the waves as much as his sister does. The kids get a kick out of playing with Daddy and having his full attention.

We let the kids sleep together, which wasn't the smartest idea, but hey, vacations are when memories are made, right? Look at those faces, see what I mean?

It rained one day so we went to the Aquarium. It was Noah's first time, and the kids seemed taken with all the sea creatures. My two little crabs!

The kids and Justin are standing in front of the BIG shark tank, that is why they look like they are screaming in the left picture and holding their breath in the right one.

We also took the kids to see Cars 2. Of course, Noah couldn't stop talking about it and is still talking about it. We really enjoyed it. I am so blessed and thankful for my family.

Friday, July 22, 2011

For Brooklynn

Six years ago
God rocked our world,
Cancer invaded
A dear baby girl.

We felt her pain
And together hoped,
In the Only One
Who could help us cope.

Our days are numbered
He holds us in His hands,
How could we question
His sovereign plan?

She belonged to God
And He loved her most,
When He spared her life
Only in Him could we boast.

He has given you
Five healthy years, my precious niece
A gift from God
And His wonderful peace.

Brooklynn, I thank God for you. On your five year anniversary of being cancer free, my hair is only a small token of my love for you and the One who is in control of ALL things. I love you sweet Brook.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Monday!

The kids and Reno! Hope their smiles make you smile like they do me!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Summer in Texas

After we got back from the Rehms reunion, the kids and I packed and headed to Beaumont and Orange to visit Aunt Courtney and Uncle Orrin, Pop Pop and Grammy, and Mamou. We spent the mornings hanging out with Aunt Courtney and Uncle Orrin and playing with their three dogs! To say my kids love dogs is an understatement, and I know that Tig, Gypsy, and Lucy were ready for my kids to leave them alone!
We enjoyed a yummy lunch, a trip to HEB, and playing with new toys at Courtney's house. I really cherished this time with her. The kids also found out that they are going to have a new cousin around Christmas time! Yeah! Courtney and Orrin are expecting their first child: a BOY! Noah is very excited about having a BOY cousin since he is the only boy now!

Pop Pop and Grammy got a new dog, Reno, and yet again, the kids were all over her. This time though, with tiny sharp teeth, Noah gave her a little space sometimes! We visited Mamou several times and loved seeing her. She is a blessing to all of us! The kids got to pick their own potatoes for dinner, which only Karis ended up eating. They thought this was fantastic, helping Grammy pick potatoes! (Since our lettuce garden didn't make it, I was glad they got to experience some gardening with Grammy, who by the way is an excellent gardener).

After that, Grammy pulled out the BIG sprinkler ball and the kids and Grammy had a blast! They ran from one side of the yard to the other many times, with Grammy right alongside them.

This is how we found Noah after I bathed them and they were watching a movie waiting for dinner.

It can't be very comfortable!

Reno, Pop Pop, Grammy, Karis and Noah

We traveled back to my parents house for a few more days before we came home. The kids got to play a lot with their cousins, Madi and Brooklynn. We went swimming one afternoon, threw rocks in the pond, rode the four wheeler, shopped at the outlets, of course, and my parents took the kids to Chuch E. Cheese, while I went to dinner with my long time friend, Mandy!

The kids faces are priceless!

My kids are so very blessed to have such loving grandparents, great-grandparent, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Our visits to Texas never seem long enough, and they are always filled with fun and laughter. God is good, and we are blessed. Thank you to all of you, we love you very much.

I was also thankful for the few hours we got to spend with my brother. He has been working so many hours this last year. I love you Shawn, and I'm glad you got to see ME!