Sunday, March 21, 2010

Boxes, Boxes, Everywhere!!!

As moving day approaches I am getting much more ambitious about packing. There is so much stuff in this house! I have already made three trips to Goodwill and I see many more in my future. The funny thing is- we had a pretty big garage sale last summer and got rid of lots of stuff that way. Where in the world does it all come from?

We are playing the waiting game now. Wednesday was suppose to be our closing date but things got hung up on the FDA loan and we had to get an extension. Now our hope is for the house to close on Monday and get the keys a few days after that so we can move over spring break.

We are getting very excited over here. The kids are pulling their weight in the packing process. It is very nice to have them older and very capable to help. Yesterday Jeff taped many boxes for me. He ran them up to me when I needed them and carried them when they were done. What a strong, strapping young man!! Emma's room (of course) was the first to be packed! Her natural organization skills must help her pack fast. My room on the other hand... well let's just say that I need Emma to help me! At least now I can see my floor. We are still waiting to see Mandi's floor. The first thing she packed up was her bed. I guess that was so she could clean out the stuff under it better.

There is much to do still but I know that it WILL get done eventually! For now, I am taking a rest and going to church. I would rather do that than pack anyway!

Have a wondeful Sunday!

This will be us in a few days!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Life of Praise!!

Some of you may remember the day my niece, Natalie was born. She has such a hard start in life. To read her story, follow this link, Natalie's Miracle Story, you will read an incredible miracle story.

Today Natalie is 3 years old (HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATALIE!) and we are rejoicing that we have her in our life. God has given her and continues to give her a stronger heart. You would never know by looking at her and watching her that she had such a rough start. She is so lovable, funny, and very active.

I am also rejoicing in a fellow blogger, whom I have never met except through her blog, Confessions of a Chosen One. Just recently her son, who was born at 28 weeks and who also had a rough start in life like Natalie is home with her and her husband and little girl. He was in the hospital for over 90 days. These are miracle stories, yet I also know that there are stories that don't end this way. How do you have gratitude in that? I have never lost a child, but I have definitely been through tough times. Cancer, Three job losses at churches and now chronic pain. In each one of these troubled times I have grown a little bit more in cultivating of heart of gratitude.

I have been reading a book by Nancy Leigh Demoss on Gratitude. It is called "Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy".
I have several books throughout my life that have made a huge impact in my life and this is one of them! This is also the theme of our Women's Conference this year which is coming up in April. I have been surrendering my negative, life is so tough, attitude for an attitude of gratitude. We do have so much to be thankful for. Even if all seems bad, we can have a thankful and praiseworthy heart that God loved us so much that he sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. Believing this to be true and the awesome free gift of salvation makes me forever grateful. Committing to praise and thank God for the things in life that do not change, like His unfailing love and compassion are the best places to start. Before you know it your life will become one of PRAISE. A LIFE of PRAISE- That's what I want!

Isn't it wonderful that we have a helper in this? The Holy Spirit who was sent by the risen Lord to indwell in us and empower us. I am always teaching and reminding my children that no sirree can they live life on their own, but how wonderful that we don't have too. We have the Holy Spirit to help us. Through him we have all we need for a life of holiness. We have everything we need through him. He is our comforter, overwhelming hope, our strength and our power to love and serve. He will set our hearts to be thankful and to give praise. I don't have to beg him to take control of my life, he is just waiting for me to let him take control. I really wished I would have understood the role of the Holy Spirit earlier in my life, but I rejoice in the fact that I know this now.

Hebrews 13:15 says:

"By him (Jesus) let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name."

Ephesians 5:18-20 says:

"Be fulled with the Spirit...singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Psalm 34 The words of David say:

"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth."

Psalm 71 states:

"My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long... I will praise you more and more."

I am finding myself to be more thankful for both big and little things all day long. It's amazing how this has taken my Eeyore type attitude to one of Tigger. Ok... maybe not that much but I have been waking up much more content and thankful in the morning instead of worrying and complaining about my different situations. It is a daily journey that I will not be able to do on my own but with the Holy Spirit's power.

Below I have two songs that are my favorites on this Praise/Gratitude theme. You will have to pause my playlist at the top of the blog!

Gratitude by Nichole Nordeman

Life of Praise by Casting Crowns

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Here are all the characters that the kids posed with!!

Disneyland Vacation 2010

We had the wonderful opportunity to have a once in a lifetime Disneyland vacation thanks to Mom and Dad Kuhlman. This was a dream of my mother-in-laws to take the kids to Disneyland before they were all grown up. I know that this vacation could have not been possible without them.

We spendt five wonderful and exciting days exploring Disneyland and California Adventure Land. There is so much to see and do. I think in five days we pretty much did all we could do there!

A huge goal for the kids was to get as many autographs of the Disney characters as they could. I think last time Emma counted she got 26 signatures. We have just as many pictures of these characters posing with the four kids.

Josh was the perfect age and height for this trip. He was tall enough to go on all the rides but one. He loves fast, exciting rides. He also still loved the fantasy part of Disneyland and really enjoyed Fantasy Land. Emma on the other hand thought those rides were too slow and a little boring. She wanted Space Mountain and California Screamin. She also was a bit old to enjoy the princesses. I guess she is out of that stage. However, she has two young cousins that love the Disney Princess' and stood in long lines to get their autograph and picture for them.

Jeff and Amanda loved it all!! Jeff always seemed to be 20 feet ahead of us ready to take on the next ride or attraction. He loved the water rides best, especially when he got soaked!! Mandi went to Disney World when she was one so it was so much fun to take her again at 14. I can't believe my baby is that old. I am so glad we had a chance to do this trip while she was still living with us. I know that it will be not long before she is out of the house and away at college.

I didn't get to experience the long trip down to Disneyland. Because of the many hours in the car and my neck problems the best choice for me was to fly. In two hours I was down there. I never heard any bickering or those famous words "are we there yet." I didn't have to remind the kids to do their homework, or be cramped in a car with seven people. Thanks to Michael, Nana and Papa all that was taken care of for me. All I had to do was show up to the airport on time. I did miss all of that though. I love road trips and I was a bit sad that I was away from the family.

All in all it was a wonderful trip where we made so many memories and I am so thankful that our family had the opportunity to experience Disneyland!! Thanks Mom and Dad for taking us!! We had so much fun!

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