Monday, December 7, 2009

The Countdown Has Begun

It is so hard to believe that we are already in December!!! When we first found out we were pregnant, I thought the next few months would go by so slowly - but here we are in December anxiously counting down the days until my due date and getting so excited to meet the precious little girl God's given to us! We have been keeping busy, though . . . .
The church where Frank and I attend (and are members) threw me a baby shower this past week. It was very nice and I was touched by everyone's kindness. The cake was really cute!! I will post pictures of it, but probably not until later. Unfortunately, I was not able to take my camera to the shower, but Carrie took hers for me. I just haven't been able to get the pictures from her yet. :) When I do, I will definitely post the pictures! :)
The nursery is finally decorated and pretty well finished. We are probably going to add just a few more little touches to the nursery, but for the most part it is all finished. And boy does it feel good to be done! :) Frank worked so hard on getting the nursery furniture put together and he was such a big part of helping to decorate as well. I don't know what I'd do without him! He is and continues to be such a blessing to me! I'm so anxious to see him become a dad! He's going to be great! :)
I want to give a great big THANK YOU to our friend, Heather Hicks, who painted the canvas for us. She did an awesome job and we are so thankful for all of her hard work and kindness in making this for us. It will definitely go with us wherever we go! :)
Now we are just in the countdown phase and enjoying the Christmas season. I know these next few weeks will go by quickly as I've got much to do at school (Ah, the joy of Christmas parties, crafts and programs), so I am trying my best to appreciate it all. My parents are coming down towards the middle to end of the month to be with us for Christmas and for the birth of Reese, and that will give me motivation to clean the house again. :) It's going to be a wonderful Christmas season!!:) Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just An Ordinary Update

It has been a busy last couple of weeks! I've had a 31 party (For those of you who don't know, I became a consultant for a company called 31 this past spring. It's been a lot of fun and more of a hobby than a business. Check out my website if you get a chance - 31), participated in our church's Judgement House ministry (This is something our church does every year around Halloween time. It's a walk through drama. Wonderful ministry!! It runs for 5 days and is tiring, but worth it!!) and had a baby shower!! In between all of this, Frank and I are in the midst of updating our home study for the adoption process (Believe it or not, we've been on the waiting list for a year already! I can't believe it, either!!) plus trying to get the nursery organized (which we've got everything out of it that doesn't belong and I even managed to wash some of the baby clothes and hang them up! Yea!!) and spending time with some friends (Not at our house, though - it hasn't been cleaned in weeks! Seriously. I'm so embarrassed!). So it's been a crazy, hectic couple of last weeks, but it's been a lot of fun and definitely worth it all!! :) Oh and somewhere in there I hit the 33 week mark (yes, I know 32 weeks is the big week, but I don't have a picture of me at 32 weeks. As always, I'm a week late.)! :)


It's hard to believe that I only have 3 more weeks (on Monday) to go until I technically reach the "full term" mark. I keep getting asked if I'm ready and I always ask them to clarify their question. Am I ready to meet this precious little gift from the Lord? Yes. Am I ready to go through the process? Never. :) I am definitely ready to meet our little girl, though. I'm still amazed that we are being given this wonderful gift!! I can't, can't, CAN'T wait to meet her!! :)

This past weekend was my first baby shower! The wonderful ladies of PCDC (Providence Child Development Center - my place of employment) threw this shower for me. And I have to tell you - I was so overwhelmed!! God is so good and He's given me some wonderful co-workers, who I truly count more as family than anything else. I was given blankets, books, clothing, wipes, diapers, a bouncy chair, washcloths, etc. Amazing!! God has definitely provided for us! We have just about everything that we need! Combined with the things that were given to us by some wonderful friends and family, we are well taken care of! Don't you love how God meets our needs - even those we don't know we have? Again, I'm overwhelmed! :) Please enjoy the pictures below! I apologize for the amount! I couldn't decide which ones to leave out! :) Oh and the cake from the shower was perfect for me! It said, Hello, Mommy. Goodbye Tummy! :) Do my friends know me or what? :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Visit, An Ultrasound and The Flu

I apologize for not updating our blog recently. It has been quite the eventful last few weeks!! It all started with a nice visit from my parents. They flew in specifically for our Sept. 28th ultrasound and it was great to have them here for the weekend! We were able to go out for breakfast the Saturday after they arrived, then we headed back to our house for some painting fun!=) While Frank and my dad went to get the paint, Mom, Marcail and I emptied the nursery room. Then when they got back I stayed out in the living room going through some clothes that a great friend is allowing me to borrow. It is so much fun to go through such cute clothes and think about our little girl actually wearing them at some point in the not so distant future. =) (We have been truly blessed with how much our friends and family have donated clothing to us. We will be set for quite a while!=) ) Anyway, Frank and my dad did much of the painting (they did a great job, too!), but my mom pitched in towards the end and Marcail of course wanted to paint as well. So she was able to paint a little bit of the baby's room, too. After the first coat was put on we decided to start grilling our dinner. Carrie, Jonathan and Gabe came over around 4 and stayed for the rest of the evening. It was a nice night out and it was great to be able to grill. After dinner the guys finished up the second coat in the nursery and then it was time to call it a night. It is so nice to have the nursery painted! We're not finished, of course, but it's nice to have the head start. And I'm so thankful for my parents being willing to help. Poor Frank would've had to do it all by himself, so I'm glad he didn't have to.=) The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful . . . oh except for the fact that Frank came down with the flu. Yep, the flu. Saturday he had started not feeling so good and by the time Sunday morning came he was miserable. He did go to the doctor on Monday and found out it was indeed the flu. Unfortunately, I could not come near him and risk the chance of catching the flu so I moved out of our room and into the guest room/bathroom for the next 7 days. It was such a long week begin apart. I don't think Frank left our bedroom at all until the following Thursday. And when he did leave the room he wore a mask that was given to him by the doctor. He also carried around our disinfectant spray and sprayed down everything he touched.=) We were both being very careful, but I do have to admit that it was kinda funny. He is now thankfully all healed up and we just finished disinfecting our bedroom/bathroom. It has been nice to have contact once again.=)
As I was saying beforehand, my parents came into town specifically for my Sept. 28th ultrasound. This ultrasound was scheduled so that the doctor could check on the cyst that they had found in our previous ultrasound. Sad to say, though, Frank was not able to go with me since he had the flu. But I did take a dvd with me so we were able to watch the ultrasound together once I got back from the appointment. My mom and dad went with me, which was nice. God definitely provided so I wouldn't have to go alone on this day. He is so good to us. We had a great ultrasound and learned that the cyst had shrunk in size (which is what they expected and were hoping for - they said sometime in my third trimester it should go completely away), she was developing great, was measuring five days ahead of my estimated due date and weighed a little over 2 lbs. So this was our last ultrasound for the length of the pregnancy.=) Now we just continue to pray for our little girl, go to our regular OB appointments and wait until it's time for her to come! Okay, so we have a nursery to finish, a closet to clean out, nursery furniture to order . . .=) Needless to say we do have several things to do before she gets here, but it will be fun to get them done!=) I will definitely post pictures once we get the nursery completely finished. I can't wait!=)
So that is what's been going on in our lives lately. We are truly blessed with all that the Lord has done and continues to do! We continue to look to Him as we amazingly get closer to the end of the pregnancy journey! I know He's got great things planned!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

21 Week Picture

This is about a week late (I know, I know - I'm so lazy!), but here is my 21 week picture! Keep praying for us! It's nice to know September's coming, but Sept. 28 still feels a LONG way away!=) Hope everyone's doing well!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Our Little Girl

This past Monday (August 3rd) we had our anatomy ultrasound. It was a very neat appointment. The nurse showed us just about every little part of our baby! We saw the feet, the hands, the bones, the heart, the spine, the blood flow. . . .and we heard the baby's heartbeat again. I love that sound!=) Every time we go to an ultrasound it makes me more and more excited about meeting this new little life!=) How incredible is God? To give us a gift like this and then allow us to watch the beauty of her life unfold before our very eyes. . . it's very humbling.
I have a problem, though. I tend to hold on to her a little too tightly. Sounds strange, doesn't it? But see, the thing is, she's not really mine and Frank's. This precious little gift is just that. A gift. From the One who loves us the most. So you see, the problem isn't in being thankful for her or enjoying all of these wonderful moments with her. The problem lies in me forgetting that she doesn't belong to us. I think instead that I'm entitled to her and that it's my right to have her. It seems as though it's a constant battle to remember that the only thing I'm "entitled" to is eternal damnation. And even that's covered by the blood of Christ (If we but only ask)! How much God loves us!!!
Now, you might be thinking, well, that's not that bad of a problem and why is she going off on such a tangent now? I'll answer the question first. During our appointment on Monday, the doctor noticed something that he told us we didn't really have to worry about, but he wanted to let us know about anyway (Don't you love it when they say that?). There seems to be a Choroid Plexus Cyst in our little girl's brain. According to the doctor, our little girl looks great - she's developing well and there are no other indicators of abnormalities in her body. So the doctor told us that this cyst will more than likely go away by my 3rd trimester. The concern with the cyst is that it could be an indicator of a chromosomal abnormality. However, since our tests for this came back so well and I'm not in the high risk range and because our baby girl is developing normally, the doctor doesn't see much to be concerned about. But most of you know me. What do you think I did as soon a I got home? Yep, I googled it.=) I probably read a good 3 or 4 articles. Now they all said the same thing and it all matched pretty well with what the doctor said. But here comes the problem and the answer to the first statement. . . .I tend to worry. And then I tend to become afraid. And then I hold on too tightly. Because you see, if I have the right frame of my mind, I wouldn't worry. She's not mine to begin with - she's the Lord's. And I wouldn't be afraid - He loves her much more than I do and He loves Frank and I so much that He ALWAYS has our best in mind. And, finally, I would learn to let go of this beautiful gift - For if she's not mine and if He truly loves her, then He has her best in mind as well. So I can rest assured in the presence of my Savior that He has her in the palm of His hand and that His will be done. Please join us in praying that we would learn to give our precious baby girl back to Him and the she would learn to mightily serve the One who gave her life!!=) For that is our truest prayer for our daughter. More than anything, that she would live her days in service to the greatest love of all - Jesus Christ.
"Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Tiny little feet
Her Tiny Little Feet
The Proof
It's a Girl!
19 Weeks
19 Weeks Old

Monday, July 27, 2009

Vacation Time!!

Yes, folks, last week was vacation time! And not just any vacation time - it was Lake Norman vacation time! This vacation is becoming something of a tradition for my family. You see, every 2 years my parents rent a house along the lake and my WHOLE family (yes, everyone - I believe we are up to 19 total - counting spouses and children) comes up (or down) for the week. It is a time I look forward to every 2 years. No matter what's going on in our lives, it seems as though everyone puts aside this one week to be together. I absolutely love this time!!
We had such beautiful weather this year! Only one morning of drizzle and that was it. No matter how cloudy the day would start, by mid morning the sun would break through and it would turn into a gorgeous day!! Most of our days were spent relaxing by the lake, swimming in the lake, riding a pontoon boat, riding jet skis (This I was unfortunately not allowed to do this time since I'm pregnant. I was a little bummed. I LOVE riding the jet skis!! It was fun watching the boys take turns riding a raft and getting pulled by the jet skis. They didn't last very long!), going miniature golfing, visiting a nearby safari, reading on the porch, watching beautiful sunsets and just enjoying being with one another. It was a wonderful week!
One big surprise for us was a surprise baby shower! Saturday evening we were surprised with a cake, decorations and gifts! It was very sweet of my family and they gave us some really cute things!! We also held our annual fantasy football draft during this week and celebrated my mom's retirement.
This week was truly a wonderful time of refreshment and fun!! I hope you enjoy the pictures below!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Belly Pics

Alright, so I know I'm a little late in posting these, but better late than never, right?=) These are my (almost) 16 week pictures. I can't believe that on Tuesday I'll be 4 months pregnant. Amazing how fast these first few months went (It did help that I didn't know anything about it until 8 weeks, though.)!!=) Thanks for sharing this experience with us!!



Sunday, June 28, 2009


I know it has taken me a while to post some pictures of the baby, but they are finally here!=)  I had an ultrasound appointment about 2 weeks ago where they measured the  baby and allowed us to hear the heartbeat.  I don't think it will ever get old to see our baby!  And I KNOW it will never get old to hear the heartbeat!=)  Everything looked good and we got good results from our Down Syndrome and Chromosomal Abnormality tests.  Oh and the day we went they just so happened to be demoing a new ultrasound machine.  So along with regular pictures, we also received a couple of 3D ultrasound pictures for free!=)  I have to admit that at first the 3D sonogram picture kinda scared me, but you kinda get used to it after awhile.  And it's amazing how clear the picture is!  Anyway, they ended up placing me around 13 weeks during that appointment which makes me hit the 15 week mark this coming Tuesday.  Can't believe I'm almost to the four month mark already!!  I go back on August 3rd for my anatomy ultrasound and we're really hoping that the baby will cooperate and we will discover the gender of the baby!  Keep your fingers crossed!=)  Other than that, we are doing well.  This weekend Frank worked very hard in getting the things out of the office and transforming it into our new guest room.  The old guest room (soon to be nursery) is a mess right now, but that's okay.  At some point it will get worked out.  =)  I hope you enjoy the pictures!!



Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Story

Okay, so about a month and a half ago my husband bought me my dream car, a Jetta, for my birthday (most of you already know this.).  On the day that we went to pick it up I had a blast driving it around town.  However, when we arrived home that evening I began to feel a little nauseous.  Immediately I thought, oh man, I finally got my dream car and the smell of it makes me sick!  I am an optimist, though, and decided that it was just because it was so new and that eventually the smell would go away and I'd feel better.  Well, a week and half into driving it, I was still getting sick to my stomach!  My husband was even sweet enough to switch cars with me for a little bit, but it still didn't seem to help!  I was starting to get a little frustrated about it.  But then the Swine flu was going around and so I obviously thought well maybe I had the flu or something (I do work in a preschool after all - it wouldn't be that much of a stretch.).  This continued for another week or so.  Then my dad had his surgery, so the thought of going to the doctor to figure out what was going on kinda got pushed out of mind.  But while we were in PA, I was still getting sick, so Frank finally said, "Why don't you go to the doctor?"  I, like a good wife, obeyed my husband and the day after we got back from PA went to my primary care doctor.  This is how the appointment went:
Doctor walks into the room.  "So, you've been feeling nauseous, huh?  Has it been primarily in the morning?"
Me: "No, it's really been all day long."
Doctor: "Well, you came up positive for pregnancy."
Me: "WHAT?!!" (as I turn red in the face.)
Doctor: "You're pregnant."
Me: "Could there be any way it's a false positive?" (Don't get me wrong, it's not that I didn't want to be pregnant - it's just that this was the last thought in my mind of what could be causing my nausea.)
Doctor: "Well, when the nurse did the test, it came up pretty fast."
The rest of the appointment was pretty normal, except that since Frank and I hadn't really planned this pregnancy, I couldn't tell exactly how far along I was.  The doctor did a pretty good estimate, though and determined I was about 8 weeks along.  So, to say the least, I was pretty surprised, shocked, excited, happy. . .pretty much every emotion you could think of!=)  After the appointment I went straight to the car to call Frank.  Unfortunately he didn't answer so I left him a message to call me back as soon as he could.  Frank calls and our conversation goes something like this:
Frank: "Hey, what's going on?"
Me: "Well, you know that thing that we thought was impossible?  Well, it's not.  I'm pregnant."
Frank: "That's impossible!"
Me: "Apparently not." =)
Frank: "I'm going to stop at the store and get another pregnancy test.  Just to make sure."
Me: "Okay."
I know, pretty funny, right?  So Frank did actually stop at the store and I did end up taking another pregnancy test (which showed I was pregnant in less than a minute!).=)  It was a very surreal day for us.=)
Obviously, by now you know the point of this story.  
And we really couldn't be happier about it!  I am now right around 12 weeks pregnant, but am going in for another ultrasound this coming Wednesday where they will actually measure the baby and tell us more accurately how far along I am.  We had our first ultrasound done last Thursday and were able to see our baby move around and got to see his/her little heart beating.  It was amazing!!  We feel very blessed by the Lord for this pregnancy and want to give Him the glory for it all!  This pregnancy is definitely from Him and we are thankful!!!  Thank you so much for sharing in our joy with us!  We covet your prayers for a safe and healthy baby/pregnancy!
*Short side note:  My wonderful assistant (who knew I was feeling sick) did ask me once or twice if I thought I could be pregnant, but I stubbornly said, "No.  There's no way."=)  She was much smarter than I was and I should've listened!=)  Sorry, Chris!=)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Home Visit

This past Wednesday (May 13th), Frank and I flew up to visit my parents in PA. For those of you who don't know, my dad had quadruple bypass surgery last Monday (May 11th). He came through the surgery just fine and I have to say that this whole situation was definitely God's timing and His way (I know it always is, but this time it was clearly seen!). Let me explain:
A little while ago, my dad was scheduled to have cataract surgery. Now before you actually have the cataract surgery they require a physical and an EKG (to make sure that everything's okay). So, about 3 weeks ago my dad went in for his EKG. Amazingly enough, it showed an abnormality. My dad was then requested to take a stress test. The stress test took place about 2 weeks ago. During the stress test, my dad had to quit, which again spoke of something being out of place. This same week, they scheduled a heart catharization for my dad. During the catharization they discovered 4 blocked arteries with the possibility of one more! My dad then, after some normal hospital confusion and mularkey, was released to go home for the weekend and came back that following Monday for the bypass surgery. So when I say God's hand was definitely in this situation, I mean HIS hand was definitely in this situation.=) Two of dad's arteries were 100% blocked, another one 80% blocked and the 4th one 70% blocked. I'm telling you guys, God is good. This may not have been the ideal situation, but the Lord still took care of my dad. Now back to the original purpose for this post.=)
So after the surgery, Frank and I flew in to help be there when Dad was released from the hospital. Before his release time, though, we spent time with him in the hospital. And he really did very well. My sister was also there for the week, plus my aunt. And on the actual day of surgery, my older brother was there with my mom, aunt and sister. This visit also gave Frank and I the chance to spend a little extra time with my sister and her husband (who we do not see often enough!!), which was very nice. My dad was released from the hospital last Saturday and when we left to come home on Monday, he was doing really well. He was sitting up, walking, doing his breathing treatment, etc. It was so nice to get to spend that time with he and mom. I know that Frank and I are where we need to be for this time, but it's so hard living so far away. I am really praying that we are able to move closer at some point in our future.
At any rate, I want to say thank you to all of you who have been and are still praying for my dad! He's got a great start on the recovery, but it's still a long road ahead. My dad is not allowed to drive for 6 weeks and I truly think this is going to be one of the hardest things for him!=)
Thanks again for all of the prayers! I will post again soon!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Moment by Moment

This past weekend one of Frank's oldest and closest friends flew into town along with his wife. They are getting ready to make a move (Yea for them!!) and were coming into town, last minute, to visit their family before they moved. We lucked out and were able to pick them up from the airport and have them stay the night at our house with us. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, interesting conversation and fun. We ended up playing some Wii Friday night and Saturday morning. And I don't know about them, but for me, I was sore the next day (You can tell that I hadn't played in a while!)!!=) It was very nice to have them visit with us and we were sad to drop them off at their family's house Saturday afternoon. We are very thankful, though, for the time we were given with them!!

Frank and I also spent this weekend with Carrie and Jonathan's children again. We were able to watch the kids so that Jonathan could take Carrie out for her birthday. As always, we had a great time with the kids! After Gabe got up from his nap, we walked down to the little playground in their subdivision. Marcail was a trooper and pulled Gabe in the wagon the whole way down the street!! She did great!=) Once we got to the playground both kids were able to swing a little bit, then Gabe just kinda walked around while Marcail did some more swinging and then poor Uncle Frankie had to go down the hot slide twice for both kids!!=) Isn't he a great uncle?=) After playground time we walked back to the house (with Uncle Frankie pulling the wagon this time and taking the kids through the sprinklers.) and had a great time playing inside until Carrie and Jonathan got back. It was a nice time with both Marcail and Gabe. They are just growing up too fast!!=)

Below are a few pictures from the weekend! I hope you enjoy them!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

23 Hours with Marcail

1:00 p.m.: Pick up time.  We arrive at Carrie and Jonathan's front door, knock and hear from the inside a loud voice saying, "It's Aunt Teen and Uncle Frankie!  Let's go crazy, let's go crazy!"  We open the door and see Marcail, dressed in her Ariel bathing suit, turn around, spin and continue with the "Let's go crazy, let's go crazy!".  
1:20 p.m.: Leave for the River City.  Stopped at PetSmart to do a little shopping - Marcail and I looked at the birds, guinea pigs, cats and dogs while Uncle Frankie picked up some fake plants for our turtles.  Marcail really enjoyed seeing "Flower", the puppy that was there in hopes of being adopted.  She also said that she wanted a bird, but we tried to tell her that getting her a fish had been pushing it and that we didn't think Mommy and Daddy would appreciate a bird, too.=)  (You're welcome, Carrie and Jonathan) We then headed over to Old Navy for just a moment so that I could exchange a couple of shirts.  Marcail mentioned that she remembered going to "This Place" with Aunt Betty the other weekend.=)
3:00 p.m.:  Arrive at Fernandina Beach.  Walked down to the beach, picked a nice spot to sit and proceeded to watch Marcail dig in the sand and dump it in the bucket.  Then she decided that she wanted to go down into the water (She kept telling us that she was going swimming, but we kept trying to tell her that it would be a little too hard to do that in the ocean.  We told her that sticking her feet in would be just fine.).  Uncle Frankie, myself and Marcail all walked to the edge of the water. . .where Marcail refused to go any further.  It took a little encouraging to get her to come near enough to actually allow the water to flow over her feet.  And when it did. . .well, let's just say that the water is NOT Marcail's favorite thing about the beach.=)  After this encounter with the water (which was cold, to be fair) Marcail would only go back down if Uncle Frankie held her.  HE was allowed to go as far in as he liked (all while holding her), but she was not going to dip her feet in again.=)  After a couple trips down to the water, Marcail went to work on building a sandcastle (which did not turn out, sad to say).  Uncle Frankie helped by getting water from the ocean and together we all attempted to make a small sandcastle (still didn't work.).  We also dug up some nice seashells, which Marcail got to keep.  She did ask if there were crabs in them.  I told her that these shells wouldn't fit the crabs, so it was okay that we took them.=)  A little more time spent digging in the sand, one last trip down to the ocean (in Uncle Frankie's arms) and then we decided to clean up and head over to the nice little playground near the beach.   We spent a few minutes playing on the playground and then decided to head off for pizza.
4:30 p.m.:  The Pizza Place (aka OPS).  There is a neat little pizza place that just opened up in Fernandina called OPS.  This is where we stopped for pizza (It's very good! And I love supporting local businesses).  While we waited for our pizza to come Marcail and I played together with her Princess Sticker book.  We had so much fun dressing up the different princesses (but she is always quick to tell you that Sleeping Beauty is her favorite)!=)  Then the pizza arrived and we ate it all up (okay, not all of it, but at least most of it.)!=)  We also got an order of zeppoli's (thanks to a GREAT coupon in the Mint Magazine - gotta love that!) and as Marcail was in the middle of her first one (if you don't know what zeppolis are, you definitely need to try them.  They are fried pieces of dough covered in powdered sugar.  Yummy!!), she looked at me and said, "I am going to eat another one." =)  Now normally I would indulge her, but we were also going to stop for ice cream, so I kindly refused her a second one.=)  
5:30 p.m.: Chick-Fil-A Ice Cream.  Need I say more?  Yummy!!=)
6:00 p.m.:  Home.  Marcail took a bath (due to the sand that was in her hair) then we painted her toe nails (pink, of course) and she settled in to watch The Little Mermaid.  Now if you've never heard Marcail sing, you need to.  She is just the cutest when she sings!  And one of her favorite things to sing is when Ariel goes, 'Ah ah ah. . ' - you know, when she gives up her voice to Ursula.  Well, this is what she did during the movie.  And then she joined in singing Part of This World with Ariel.  It is just too cute!  
7:30 p.m.:  Skyped with Mom and Dad (aka Grandma and Pappy).  We spent a half hour talking with Grandma and Pappy, sharing our exciting day with them.  Marcail did have somewhat of a hard time focusing on the conversation, though, due to the fact that The Little Mermaid was on in the background.=)  They still enjoyed hearing about her day, though.=)
8:00 p.m.: Bedtime.  We prayed, read a story, tucked her in and off to sleep she went.  It had been a busy day!=)

This morning she went to Sunday School/Church with us and then we took her back home.  It is always so much fun to spend time with Marcail!  We are very thankful to be close by to Marcail and Gabe and are looking forward to the time when Gabe can start spending the night with us as well!  These 2 are very special to us and we are very glad to have them nearby!=)  Below are just a few pictures of our time with Marcail!  Enjoy!!

*Oh, we did discover that Marcail thought alligators lived in the ocean.  Could this be why the ocean scared her?  Who knows!  It did give us a great opportunity to talk with her about how God is always with her and takes care of her no matter what, though.  Neat moments!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nothing Much

This has been the theme of our lives lately.  Nothing much.  Nothing much going on, nothing much happening.  Just us enjoying this thing called life.  It's been great getting out and about in this beautiful spring weather!  Frank's been outside taking care of the yard and we've been able to take some nice walks around our neighborhood.  As most of you know, I am not a big fan of FL, but one thing I really do enjoy about it is the spring.  It's just so pretty outside and the weather is just perfect!!  I always love seeing the new life around us start to bloom!  Plus spring time always brings about the best holiday - Easter. =)  What a wonderful time to stop and truly reflect on what Christ has done for us!  This Easter was pretty neat for me.  On Thursday, April 9th my class of 4/5 year olds (most of them are 5 now, so it's hard to call it my PreK4 class), along with 2 other classes, were able to visit an assisted living home here in Jacksonville as part of a field trip.  Our classes sang 4 songs and shared a poem about Easter with the residents of the home.  It was a wonderful time of sharing Christ's message with the residents and it was so neat to have the opportunity to have the children participate in something like this!  After singing at the home, the children went to a park where we shared in pizza, cupcakes and a short Easter egg hunt.  It was another beautiful spring day and the kids seemed to have a great time!! It was a great way to end the week before Easter!! (And nothing is more precious then hearing a child tell you that the true meaning of Easter is that Jesus rose from the dead!)=)
We also received a short visit from our aunt this past weekend.  She came into town Thursday evening and stayed until Saturday afternoon.  It was nice to spend some time with her!  We were able to spend a nice day out and about on Friday, color some eggs Friday evening and then attend our church's Easter Egg Hunt Saturday morning.  It was a nice weekend.  
Sunday Frank and I traveled down to St. Augustine to visit with his family after church.  We had a nice time eating the yummy food that his mom and sister had prepared for us!  We also got to feed some horses down the road from where his sister lives.  That was really neat!  Frank's brother-in-law, 2 nephews, myself and Frank all rode the golf cart down to the horses and we fed them some carrots.  Beautiful horses!  After this excitement we drove back up to the house and played the boys on the Wii.  Frank's oldest nephew was determined to beat him in Wii tennis and. .. he did. =)  I got to try it myself and was able to deal his nephew his first loss. =)  It was all done in fun, though.  After this, the boys went swimming and we spent some time with his parents.  It was a great day!!
Now we are back to normal life and looking forward to the days ahead.  We are hoping to go see Wicked sometime at the end of April or early May and this summer is our family's vacation to Lake Norman!  I am counting down the days until the end of the school year and can't wait to get the summer started!!=)  I hope that you all had a most blessed Easter weekend!!  

Friday, March 6, 2009

4 Things

Okay, Melody, since you're the one that tagged me, I guess I'll complete it.=)  Here goes:

4 Jobs I've had:

1. Summer Activities Employee (Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Somerset, PA)
2. Financial Assistant (Light Ministries, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA)
3. English as a Second Language Teacher (Beijing, China)
4. PreK4 Teacher (Providence Schools, Jacksonville, FL)

4 Movies I watch over and over:

1.  Transformers
2.  Batman Begins
3.  Pirates of the Caribbean
4.  August Rush

4 Places I've lived:

1.  Indian Head, PA
2.  Lynchburg, VA
3.  Beijing, China
4.  Indianapolis, IN

4 Shows I watch:

1.  One Tree Hill
2.  The Mentalist
3.  Bones
4.  The Office

4 Places I've been:

1.  Hong Kong
2.  India
3.  El Salvador
4.  Hawaii

4 People who email me regularly:

1.  Frank
2.  Chris
3.  Deanna
4.  Jess

4 Favorite things to eat:

1.  Mexican Food
2.  BBQ
3.  Pretty much anything with chicken or fish

4 Places I'd rather be:

1.  Visiting my parents in PA
2.  Serving in China with my husband
3.  Traveling to Taiwan to receive the child God has planned for us
4.  Right next to my husband . . .oh, already there.=)

4 Things I look forward to this year:

1.  Lord willing, receiving the child God has planned for us.
2.  Change
3.  Growth
4.  Family vacation at Lake Norman

4 People to tag:

1. Jen

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentine's Day and Other Random Things

I think the last time I blogged was right before the Steelers won the Super Bowl (Umm. . 6x Champions, anyone?). It's been a while, hasn't it?=) To be honest with you, there hasn't been much to tell. We have been working hard and keeping busy on the weekends. One of our newest traditions has been to go out on weekly dates. Sometimes we have to be creative as to how we do this and some times we are so tired that we debate doing it, but it has always been worth it.=) It does help to have a movie theater near us that offers $5 tickets Monday through Thursday. And they also offer $5 small popcorn and drink combo (free refills). Great deal, right? We think so, too. So most of our dates have been to the movies - which has been nice. We saw 2 good movies - Taken and Slumdog Millionaire. This week, though, we're mixing it up a little bit and going bowling. I have to admit that the only bowling I've been doing lately is Wii Bowling. I know that my real bowling skills will not be as impressive!=)
Moving along. . . so Valentine's Day was last Saturday. Frank and I agreed to spend the day without using any type of electronic device. That's right, folks, no iPhones, no iPods, no email, no texting, no nothing. I have to tell you - it was great! We had no distractions that day. We were able to spend the day truly with just each other. It was a lot of fun - Frank surprised me with roses in the morning (along with some Reese's peanut butter cups - yumm!), then off we went to breakfast, then a pit-stop to the eye doctor for Frank's ten minute check up, then a walk around the Town Center (our outdoor mall) and then back home (well, with a quick stop to Chick-Fil-A for ice cream) so that I could prepare dinner and dessert for Frank. It was a great day of being together!
Recently, we have been enjoying time with friends, visits to Frank's family in St. Augustine and rearranging the rooms in our house.=) I must admit that I love change, so every once in a while I get the itch to move things around a little bit. I'm thankful for a husband who doesn't mind and who even helps out!=)
Okay, I know this is a sudden change in conversation, but I really would like to share something. The Lord has been teaching me many things lately, but one of the most important things He is teaching me is to truly appreciate everything and everyone around me. An incident occurred today at school that reminded me once again how fleeting our time is here on earth. There's a song by Chris Rice that goes 'Teach me to count the days/Teach me to make the days count". I pray that I am making my days count - not for myself, but for the Lord. Because we honestly are not guaranteed tomorrow. I love you all!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Here We Go, Steelers!!

One of my friends from PA sent this song to me just this morning.  And in honor of the Superbowl tomorrow, I have to post it (One of her friends is the one who's singing the song!).  
Let's Go, Pittsburgh!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Since We're Being Honest

The rules of the award:
1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.
The honest things about me:

1.  Sarcasm is my second language.
2. I'm not as quiet as I seem.
3. Missions is my heartbeat.
4. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, sometimes to my own detriment.
5.  I like to eat my chips with ketchup (Don't knock it until you try it!).
6.  I have a purse fetish (Ask Frank).
7. I am very competitive.
8. Desserts are my weakness.
9. I struggle with patience.
10. I can't wait to be a mother.

Here are the 7 people I give this "award" to (I tried to pick those that hadn't "won" yet):

1. Cristy 
3. Jen

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

As One

A few months ago, Frank and I were coerced. . I mean, invited, to attend our youth's Winter Rush trip.=) This is a trip the middle schoolers and high schoolers take ever year around the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The word around church was that it was a very enjoyable weekend. So Frank and I said, "Sure, we'll go!".

But what they didn't tell us was. . .
There would be no warm, sunny beach days (only cold 30 degree weather for us!).
There would be hungry teenagers in our midst who expected to have dinner!!!
There would be no 8 hours of sleep per night.
There would be a great chance for hearing loss.
There would be beach dashes at midnight!!!

But what we discovered was. . .
Hungry teenagers are wonderful helpers after the meal is over (Yes, the kids - well, at least the girls in my room - helped clean up afterwards.).
8 hours of sleep is overrated when it's compared to spending time talking, laughing and growing in the Lord.
Losing one's hearing isn't so bad when it's to the sweet, rockin' music of praising Jesus!=)
Beach dashes are crazy no matter the time of night - especially when the temperature is 30 degress outside and you know the ocean water isn't much warmer!!! (Sorry, girls, I just don't see the fun in this one!)=)

These are just some of the things we discovered on our time this past weekend to Myrtle Beach, SC. There are many, many more things in which I could talk about. Such as the day I found out we had a rock star in our midst (see picture below). Or the evening we had a boat making contest (again, see pictures below). Or the night that 2 teenagers made the awesome decision of accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. There are also many things I won't ever be able to put into words. Like how much fun it is to hang out and spend time with teenagers (yes, you read that right). Or how much I learned (I know Frank can say the same) about unity and following Christ as one body. Or how much growing I have yet to do (I mean, I knew there was some, I just wasn't aware there was SO much!).

This past weekend was a great trip, not only for the teenagers, but also for Frank and I.
Not a single one of us is perfect, but thank goodness we serve a God who is and who understands us (every part). I am thankful to the One who doesn't allow us to stay stagnate and whose mercy and grace is unending. Blessed be His name.

"I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all
lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is
one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all,
and through all, and in you all."
Ephesians 4:1 - 6
(These were our core verses for the weekend and the ones on which our theme was based.)

The Rock Stars

First attempts at Boat Making

"B's" Attempt

"S's" Attempt

The Watchers

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year's Fun

This holiday season, Frank and I travelled to PA to spend New Year's with my parents.  This was nice because we not only haven't done it in a long time, but I was able to actually be there for my Dad's birthday this year (He is a New Year's day baby.).  My parents also had a VERY full house this time around.  Thankfully, Frank and I arrived a couple days before everyone else and were able to soak up some quiet, one on one time with my parents before the craziness started (And when I say craziness, I mean craziness! - all good, of course.)!=)  We spent much of that time playing the Wii (We actually held a Wii Bowling tournament with everyone involved.  Frank won, so watch out my Wii Bowling League cohorts!!  He's on a roll!!) and playing card games (I actually beat Frank at the Lake Norman game - shocker, I know!).  It was fun.  We also got to spend a little extra time with my older brother and the best part, of course - sleep in!!=)  Then one day during our trip it all changed. . .we no longer had quiet in the house.  It was replaced by. . . are you ready for this?. . . . 16 people (5 of which were children aged 5 and younger) and 3 dogs!!  What a house hold!!=)  It was a lot of fun, though,  to be all together again.  You have to understand that this rarely occurs anymore, so anytime we all can get together, it's worth it.  We again spent much of our time playing the Wii (my niece, Arlington, is GREAT at bowling!!!), playing cards, playing board games and eating up all of the yummy food my Mom had made (She goes all out for us.  My favorite holiday food of all time, though, is her mom's persimmon pudding!  Yummmmmmm!!!).  It was a wonderful time and it snowed while we were there!!  It started snowing on New Year's Eve Day and by New Year's we had a nice mound of white out in our yard.  It was great!!  
I posted a lot of pictures, so please be patient (I just couldn't decide which ones to leave out!)!  I hope you enjoy them!  
Happy New Year!!