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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Paisley's Dedication

We started a tradition with our firstborn.
At his 1st birthday party we also had him dedicated.
We didn't really try to make it happen that way.
We are a large, large family so it was easier to do everything at once while we were gathered together~celebrate & dedicate all in one shot!
Throughout the years this tradition has remained strong.
For Luke.
And now for Paisley.

Our Pastor joined us, (fresh from his daughter's high school graduation party~~oh, circle of life).
He led us in a beautiful time of dedication for Paisley.
A short teaching about the significance of the Rabbi's, (Jesus) blessing over children.

A prayer with and for us as her family, her influence, her covering.
I read a short dedication prayer written by Heather Kopp. And lastly he sang a song of blessing over her~
"the Lord bless you and keep you,
the Lord make His face shine upon you,
the Lord be gracious to you,
and give you peace,
and give you peace."

She ate red licorice the whole time and didn't have a clue as to what was going on.
That didn't matter though because she may not ever realize the significance of that day.
But we did and always will.

We didn't just dedicate her, we dedicated ourselves.

On that perfect Summer evening, if I were to have a banner to post our statement of the night, I would've written, "God, HELP US!!!!" and flown that thing for all to see. However, I think God would have written, "I am Faithful" and let that one flap in the wind instead. Besides, that's the one that's been flying over us since we stood in that exact location, 8 years ago, under pressure treated lumber sprayed white and exchanged our wedding vows to each other.
Baby Girl~we don't know what this life will hold for you,
but we know Who holds your life.
We hope and pray and cry out that you too will know someday.

We hope you know true freedom, from the inside~out.
We pray that you will cry over our grave and not the other way around.
And we believe that the "I am Faithful" banner will fly over your life, high for all to see,
but mostly just to remind you.

"I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance...."
~Lee Ann Womack~

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Paisley's 1st Birthday Party!!!!!!!

Earlier this Summer our little girl turned 1 year old.
i LOVE parties and that's an understatement!
If you've known me for any length at all you'll know this well!!!
I love sending out invitations.
Hostessing, (is that a word).
I love it all.
And my dear husband humors me all along the way.
He's such a good sport!!!
lanterns from the dollar store!
homemade sign.
I found some fun paper and traced a circle on top, (using a CD).
cut out the circles, punched two holes in the top,
and placed some twine through it.
And it can be used year after year.
I did the same thing with the "gift bike."

some tin buckets filled with candy.
notice the paisley tablecloth purchased several years ago at pottery barn outlet.
perfect for the night.
i love me a good tablecloth.

Her birthday "cake"!!!!
cake stands topped on one another
a small orange bowl with a turquoise plate to finish it off.
strawberry shortcake from a box with cream cheese frosting
Fresh strawberries and cherries on top.
Valentines toothpicks & rainbow sprinkles for decor.
Shoo-fly pie and Strawberry pie made by the Grandmas.
Watermelon in a bucket, (the same bucket she had her first bath in)! LOVE!
Paisley plates from Wal-Mart.

With Uncle Mel, my oldest brother who loves to "mush" my children!

A very special gift from Grandma Beiler~this embroidered blanket belonged to her Mother and was passed along to my Mom and now onto her namesake. Beautiful.
Naomi Fisher.
We are so grateful for our family and friends.
We realize the beauty of being surrounded by those who we love and love us!

Paisley-girl, you are SO LOVED!!!!

"We're captive on the carousel of time,
we can't return, we can only look behind from where we came,
and go 'round and 'round in the circle game."
~Joni Mitchell~

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

getting ready....

We're enjoying these sweet, sweaty days of summer.
I found a swimming pool at a garage sale for $1.
it was naaaasty, but we scrubbed and scrubbed, (the boys and I)
and now it's as good as new!!
work hard~play hard, (although most of the time it's me=working hard and them=playing hard)!!! You know what I mean??

I'm out of coffee.
How did this happen?
I will never let it happen again.
It's wrong.
Of course, I have 2 new HUGE bottles of creme brulee creamer,
(of which I made a special trip to wal-mart for). But alas, no coffee.
Are you kidding me??

We're busy getting ready for our annual campout for my nieces and nephews.
it probably won't be as cool as last year, but it will still be loads of FUN!! Maybe I'll put together a "treasure hunt". Remember them? One clue leads to the next~ "I don't have waves like the sea, because they're so tiny you can't even see!!" (microwave).
So you run to the microwave, open it and there's the next clue......

or something like that.

i need coffee.

The boys have been watching a lot of "Curious George" lately. They now "talk" to each other in monkey's hilarious and annoying all in one.
Happy end of Summer........
"C is for cookie, that's good enough for me."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The crockpot of my soul

sometimes things just need time to sit....
and simmer and marinate.

life is like that.

"the crockpot of our soul" as our Pastor put it this morning.
(the following are some notes I took, mixed in with my thoughts & my heart).

This morning we learned about the process of a seed dying....dying so that it can bring forth fruit. And it wasn't a metaphor for our little church either, it had nothing to do with our dwindling congregation or how things look right now. It did, however, have everything to do with our souls.

It was a beautiful reminder, hearing the process a seed goes through.

When placed in the ground, did you know a seed has a protective covering on it?
A membrane that keeps it safe until the temperature is just right for it to come out.
It then sheds this protective "baggie" of sorts and begins to receive moisture into itself.
Thus it begins its journey~down to ROOT and up to SPROUT.

I want to be like that seed.....not just going down into the deep things of God, but at the same time going up and sprouting some signs of fruit and harvest. I think too often it's one or the other, there's a lot of "deep" people out there with little to no fruit in their everyday lives.
I don't want to be fruitless. I don't want to die a "single seed." "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, in remains only a single seed. BUT, if it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:24. There is fruit in spiritual death.

His hand of planting in our life produces this type of death. A beautiful death, there is such a thing you know, but it's not pretty while you're in it by any means. And wouldn't it be nice to choose the way we get to die? I'm not talking about physical death here, I'm talking about a dying to self, a dying to my own desires and ideals and ways. Sometimes we see those around us dying a long & slow death while for others it seems so quick and automatic. I don't get that.

So, if today it feels like you're dying,
don't run from it because you probably are.
And it's not such a bad thing.

If you dare, lets ask God what portion/area of our life needs to die?
Let's ask for the thumb of God to take us, His seed and push us down deep into the soil of His presence. Only there will we find NEW life and FRUITFUL life.

There's freedom in death.

"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips,
be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.

~St. Francis of Assisi~

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sweet, sweet Vacation!!!

This is where we spent our Summer vacation....

not that one, silly.....

this one....the dearest little cottage by the sea.
As one person so profoundly put it, "the cream between two crackers!!"
She's one of the few original cottages left along the boardwalk.
She's a treasure, so full of charm & beauty & character.
One night I overheard someone on the boardwalk say, "I'd rather live in that place and be happy then live in that big house and be sad." I agree.
And she is loved by this lady and her family, (my soon to be sister-in-law and niece)! THANK YOU BECKY for allowing us to spend some time with you and Ashley in a place that is dear to you both. Becky's parents have owned this cottage for many years and have vacationed there even longer.

Her views were spectacular....sights & smells refreshing and reinvigorating.
Sitting on the rocking chair sipping some morning coffee and watching your cares ride by with baskets on the front.

the neighbors yards provided some beautiful sights to behold.


Tyler and Luke bravely played in the waves for hours on end....

Paisley's first time in the sand.....xoxo.
the boys slept so well.....long naps in the afternoon,
gearing them up for evenings on the boardwalk.
What a sweet way to fall asleep....from pure, fun, played out exhaustion.
Naptime=Daddy and Mommy relaxin' time.
Tyler wanted me to get a picture of him in "my cool outfit." I have no idea where he gets this from! ha ha ha!!!Becky & Paisley enjoying the sweet Summer day.
Jake built the kids the coolest "pool" complete with
a trench for water to come in through....
It was quite awesome! He's the coolest Daddy!!
Oh, be still my heart!!!
silly, sun kissed nights on the boardwalk. I took the kids on the ferris wheel. It was a big, tall ferris wheel.
And this is how I felt.
I almost lurched.
I kid you not. It was borderline.
I'm not the same anymore with heights after having babies.
I think it's a built in thing, (*you have offspring to raise, get down from that cliff kinda stuff.*)
The kids loved it and Luke did what his shirt says!!
I took pictures to distract myself.
I need to stop talking about it now 'cause my
belly is starting to do funny stuff.

On Saturday night my friend Angie did a laid back, carefree
photo shoot with us on the beach, (*I'll post more pics throughout these last days of Summer...oh, how can it be??) She has incredible talent and a great eye for detail & capturing the MOMENT!!
The night was perfect and the lollipops were in abundance x 3!!!
It was relatively painless and actually quite fun.
On Sunday morning I woke up early
and took my chair out to the beach to watch the sunrise.
What a special time, just me & a new day.
"And then Summer comes, and with it God's invitation to enter into life, and joy, and wonder. A time for Sabbath. To play, yes, but play that brings deep restoration. (We Americans attack our vacations as we attack the rest of life, and most folks I know need a few weeks to recover from their "vacations"). And so I am trying to find some genuine experience of Sabbath this Summer. Reading books, taking walks, drinking in beauty wherever I can find it."
~John Eldredge~