Monday, June 22, 2009

Officially On Vacation!!!

Yesterday was Father's Day! I knew that it would be a busy one with church and traveling over the mountain but I was excited to spend Father's Day with my Dad! Ever since we moved away from them we have not been able to share our special Father's Day / Birthday weekend together.

Unfortunately, I fell sick after church yesterday and was in bed for the rest of the day. This totally changed our plans to start our vacation on Sunday and see my dad on Father's Day. This also kept Michael pretty busy on his special day. He got a lot of time with the kids while I was in bed the WHOLE day.

This morning, I am up early, feeling much better and ready to head out on our vacation. We will be traveling over to Silver Falls this morning and spending the day hiking and taking in the beautiful scenery. Tonight, we will be staying in a cute, little cabin that sleeps four and pitching a tent for the other two kids that we have. We are keeping it simple, by roasting hot dogs on a stick and of course having some s'mores. The goal of this short trip was to spend some good quality time with the kids before we leave for Hawaii. We just want to relax with them away from the business of home and enjoy their company. I am praying that it will be a sweet time and NO sibling fighting!!! That can stress me out more than anything.

My mom and dad will join us this evening to celebrate my birthday and Father's day! I think there will be cake. I hope there will be cake, because I didn't get any on my birthday. Since I am watching the waist line I decided to save the cake for the family celebration in the valley.

Then on Tuesday, we will head south to Grants Pass to drop off the kids at Michael's parents house. That night Michael and I head to Medford to a hotel close to the airport to get some good sleep before flying out very early on Wednesday to HAWAII!!!

We will spend 5 nights in Hawaii, fly into Seattle Monday night, stay the night in Seattle, spend the day in Seattle, before we catch our flight back to Medford. Tuesday night we will be back in G.P to spend a couple nights with family before heading home!!

I am looking forward to taking a vacation from the computer as well. We have chosen to leave the laptop at home and not let work or blog consume us while we are gone. i know that if I had the laptop, I would be tempted to show you all the great pictures that I was taking in Hawaii!! But, you will all have to wait until July.

So, I leave you with this little short piece of one of my favorite songs in the musical "Sound of Music".

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye

I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye -- Goodbye!

I'm glad to go, I cannot tell a lie

I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly (to HAWAII)


This is where we are headed- The Ko Olina Marriott Resort in Oahu, Hawaii

Friday, June 19, 2009

Still Alive @ 35!!!

Yes- On this day, June 19th 1974, Kristin Leigh Martin was born!!

I have had a wonderful 35 years and look forward to another great 35, unless Christ comes back before then. Then, of course, I will be in Heaven and that would be PERFECT!!!!

I really want to thank the people that God has put into my life. It might sound a bit like the Academy awards, but hey, this is my day, my moment and I am going to seize it!

Carpe Diem!!

First, I want to thank God for creating me, saving me and loving me. With out Him I would be nothing.

But because of Him-

I am: chosen, holy, and blameless before God. I am loved, accepted, a child of God, a friend of Jesus, the apple of His eye, a new creation, God's workmanship, and a fellow heir with Christ.

I have been: chosen, set free, justified, redeemed and forgiven. I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, blessed with every spiritual blessing and have been made complete and alive in Christ.

I would like to thank my dad and mom, Dennis and Susan for being the most wonderful parents in the whole world. You have been such loving, giving and supportive parents.!!

You have always been there for me through thick and thin and taught me about the most important thing in life, God. Oh yeah, I also think that you have been a great example to me in your marriage. Thanks for loving each other for almost 40 years.

I also have wonderful in-laws. From day one Nettie and Cliff have been so wonderful to me and have loved me as their daughter. I count it a blessing to have two sets of parents that give me so much love, and support!

Thanks also to my sister Kimmie. I have been so blessed to have a wonderful, loyal, sweet, loving sis who is also my closest friend. When I am having a bad day, I know I can always call and you will be there!! I like to talk when I am having a good day too!!!

I also want to thank the grandparents that God has put into my life. I had a wonderful Great Grandma Skien, who loved me dearly and always took an interest in what I was doing while growing up. She lived to be almost 101 years old. I knew her for almost 20 years!

My Grandpa and Grandma Bradshaw have always lived near me growing up and I know that they are instrumental in how I turned out. They have prayed and prayed for me. They have been married over 60 years and are a tremendous example of how God takes two completely different people and make them one. They have a beautiful testimony that I would love to blog about sometime.

I really want to thank my wonderful, loving husband who has loved me so completely and deeply for over half of my life.

He has seen me at my best and at my worst, and still chooses me and loves me every day. I am more in love with you today than I was 15 years ago. I am so thankful that I get to spend the rest of this life with you, my very best friend! I can't wait to spend 24/7 with you in Hawaii!!

Thanks to my beautiful, lively four children who show much love to me every day. You all make me want to be the best mommy I can be and you make me get on my knees daily to ask God for wisdom in raising you the way He wants me to. I love you all so much!!

I don't want to forget my friends who are always there for me to lean on. You're there when I need a shoulder to cry on, or to have a great big laugh with. You encourage me in the Lord, give me great advise, and have great listening ears. I know my husband thanks God for you too, because sometimes he just doesn't know what to do with all these emotions that I have.

I must say- I have a wonderful support system in my life and I am so thankful for each and every person that God has placed in my life.

I am blessed, so blessed to be 35 and VERY alive!!!

All my love to all,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Emma and Josh's Comic Strip

A fellow blogger and good friend is challenging parents and kids to stay mind active this summer. She is calling it the "Climbing Mind". Take a look at the Thousand Words Blog to read more about it.

The challenge this week was to create a comic strip. All my children seemed very interested but Emma surprised me by getting it done within a day. She worked a good portion of the day yesterday on it; working on the text and pictures. Last night, she finished her final copy when she was suppose to be asleep! 10:00 pm!! I am sure if I would have known she was up this late I would have put a stop to it, but I didn't and she finished it! First thing this morning she showed me and asked me to post it.

Here is her masterpiece!!

After Josh saw Emma's comic he wanted to do one too. So, Emma and Josh have spent the last hour working together to create Josh's masterpiece. The pictures were drawn by Josh and the words are his, but Emma helped write them. The title is Joshy's own handwriting.

Let me tell you... it has been so nice watching the kids work on this together and not be fighting. I haven't heard the "bored" word once this morning.

Here is Joshua's masterpiece!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rachel Barkely's unique perspective on suffering and God's goodness

This morning I was reading today's "Revive Our Hearts" by Nancy Leigh Demoss. I am in awe and inspired by what I read and want to pass it on to all who read my blog.

The speaker is a young woman, named Rachel Barley, who went through Breast Cancer at the young age of 32. She has two young kids and has been married for 10 years. Four months ago Rachel was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given anywhere from 6 weeks to a few months to live. Her testimony is very touching and so encouraging.

Yesterday at church our pastor preached out of James on having Joy in the midst of trials. I loved this message and I desire to walk through life's trials with complete JOY. As I read Rachel's testimony I also was encouraged by the Joy that she possesses while walking through the trial of knowing that she was going to die and leave behind two beautiful children and a husband. I can't imagine.

I encourage you to check out her website,"Death is not Dying",and read her story. You will be blessed! Also, read today's "Revive Our Hearts". She has a powerful message that won't leave you with dry eyes but will leave you desiring your Heavenly Father and having a right relationship with Him above all.

You can also listen to Curtis Tucker's messages from the book of James on the Redmond Community Church website. Both last week and yesterday's message are very powerful!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

There's Freedom in Loving the Skin I'm In!!

Oh how busy life gets! I can't believe that I have neglected my blog for one whole week. I think this is a new record for me. Actually, I kind of like it that I have found other ways to spend my time, and being in front of the computer doesn't happen to be one of them. It isn't that I don't have anything to say or lots of fun pictures to post, but I am finding a lot of enjoyment in doing the many other things I have been doing.

I have been keeping busy attending year end events; school is out today and I am sure my life will get even busier as I try and keep four active kids occupied this summer. I have also been getting ready for our vacation to Hawaii. This trip has been planned for almost 2 1/2 years and is coming up faster than I can think! The official count is 14 days. Two weeks to try and lose a few more pounds before I put on that swimsuit that really I should never be seen in.

So... I have been trying hard to lose some weight for this "once in a lifetime" trip. Back when I was young (20) and much better looking, we decided to forgo that honeymoon trip that we didn't have money for and went to the Oregon Coast. I think our honeymoon lasted just a few days there before we were ready to head home and set up house. We always said that we would do that fabulous "honeymoon" trip on our 10th Anniversary. That was a great plan, but our surprise number four child was born. So, the next logical choice would be the big 15. So, here we are getting ready to celebrate 15 wonderful, adventuresome, and even challenging years of marriage, and finally heading to a warm, tropical place.

I find it ironic that people say that a trip like this is more enjoyable after several years of marriage than on the honeymoon. I mean really, there is so much more to think about when you have to get four kids ready for grandma's, 2 animals situated, and loose ends tied up at work. Then once you get there, all those things that you left behind end up occupying your mind. Then, there is the whole issue of getting into a bathing suit. I am telling you, it wouldn't have been an issue 15 years ago, but now...I really would rather wear an ugly orange jumsuit than show off my rather larg, thunder thighs.

So, this whole bathing suit thing-

I have been 30-40 pounds heavier than I would like since my third baby was born. Yes, I choose to still blame all of this so called baby fat on this child!! I have tried more diets than I can possible count and I still remain at this weight. I have maintained this for nine years. Do you think my body feels right at home at this weight? I don't really know. All I know is that I have been working hard since January and am not down to where I envisioned myself being for Hawaii. In fact, I am still far from it. This comic strip depicts just how I feel about this whole weight loss stuff. I have decided to not step on that awful scale. It has a tendancy to rule my life. When it's down, I'm down. When it's up, I'm up!! Do any of you know what I mean?

I must say though, that I feel much healthier and have developed a wonderful exercise routine that has eased much of my pain and given me lots more energy. I am eating a lot more fruits and veggies and over all feel a lot better than I have in many years. Honestly, I have stopped striving for that perfect beach body, because I really don't think that I will ever have it, but rather, I am striving for that healthier lifestyle. I keep telling myself that it is OK to get into that swimsuit in Hawaii, that my husband wants a healthy minded wife who is fully enjoying her time there and not worrying about what others are thinking. Why should I care anyway? I don't know anyone there except my hubby who happens to think I look great just the way I am! I pray daily that God will give me a healthy mindset and give me freedom in this way.

Freedom! I don't fully know yet what that looks like in this area yet, but I know God wants me to experience it. I have spend my life striving to look a certain way. It's hard to be accepting of myself when I know that I use to look so different. I have wonderful friends who have encouraged me to NOT let this area of my life affect my time in Hawaii. This is great advise, and I am taking it because this may be my one and only chance to go somewhere tropical and warm, and by golly, I am going to enjoy every minute soaking up the sun, snorkeling, drinking some Mai Thai's and romancing my wonderful man of 15 years!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Girls (Sisters) Getaway

I had the opportunity to hang out with my sister and a couple of her friends from Aumsville. They came over from the valley to relax at Eagle Crest. It was nice that I didn't have to travel far to get away.

My sister, Kimmie, is 16 months younger than me and is a stay at home mommy. She has two little girls 10 1/2 months apart that keep her very busy. They are pure joy, but a couple nights away was so good for her.

We stayed up late talking, went shopping, ate great food, and enjoyed each others presence. I miss having those times with her and think we will try to plan yearly getaways.

Friday, late afternoon, I met up with the girls in Sisters. We shopped until the stores closed and then had a nice dinner on the patio of a nice restaurant in Sisters. After dinner we headed to Eagle Crest to settle in and play a few rounds of Cribbage. I love this game! It was my first time playing and enjoyed learning how to play. I hope I can remember enough to teach Michael how to play. I think he would like this one!

Saturday, we headed into Bend to shop. I did more window shopping than I would like, but hey, I was without the kids and any kind of shopping is great when you are with a bunch of fun girls! We ate lunch at the Pine Tavern and sat on the patio. I had their Fish and chips. Yummy!!!

Then I went to the Beach store downtown to find myself a bathing suit for Hawaii. Let me tell you how nice it was to have Kimmie with me to help me decide on a suit. There is nothing like the help of a sister on such a hard purchase. I found what I was looking for and am very happy with it.

Then, we went to the Bend Goodwill store. Can you believe that we spent four hours there! I found several sarongs for very little money to go with my swim suit and a couple other things that will work well for Hawaii. I enjoyed being in the presence of other women who appreciate Goodwill like I do! Lots of treasure were found there that day!!

That night, we went back to Eagle crest and had Salmon burgers and sweet potato fries. We stayed up late chatting went to bed way too late, but got to sleep in until 9:30 in the morning.

All in all it was a very nice weekend getaway. I really could have used one more night and whole other day to do all the stuff we wanted to do but didn't have time for, but believe me, I will take what I get!!

The highlight though of this getaway was the wonderful time spent with my sweet sister. She is the best sister and best friend in the whole world and gets me more than anyone. Of course, we are as different as night and day, but I absolutely love that I can be completely myself with her; for I think she knows me better than anyone!

Here is a story of two very different sisters that I found in a cardat Sisters.

The Story of Two Very Different Sister

One is here; one lives there. One is a little taller than the other. They have two different colors of hair, two different outlooks on life, two very different views from their windows. Both have different tomorrows ahead, Each is unique in so many ways. Each has her own story, with all the busy things going on in the present. Each has different work to do, and different demands on the day. Each has a separate destination and a distinctly different path to get there.


For all the things that might be different and unique about them... these two sisters will always share so much. They will always be the best of family and friends, entwined together, through all the days of their lives. Their love will always be very special; gentle and joyful when it can be, strong and giving when it needs to be, reminding them, no matter how different their stories turn out...

They share the incredibly precious gift of being "sisers". And when you think of some of the best things this world has to offer, a blessing like that is really...what it's all about.

- Laurel Atherton

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