Monday, January 28, 2013

Cousin Fun, Sister time, A Journey of the Heart

Chuck E Cheese
Cousin FUN!
Good Memories
Sister Time

Hazel and Brielle LOVED this horse at Chuck E Cheese!

The heat went out in Lesha's hotel room. She was upgraded to a suite. The spiral staircase was a HIT with the kids!! These kids energy was something else! Meeting in Bellevue on a rainy weekend was brave of us! But, dinner at Red Robin, lots of time at Chuck E Cheese and a little time at the mall kept us busy.

Willem and Estelle

A Chuck E Cheese Sisters' Sketch :)

These kids! So fun!

My last post was on PATIENCE. This trip required some patience. :)
But what is more important to make note of is the level of patience Natasha is practicing.
Patience and trust in God
She is in the middle of a huge move. She needed to say goodbye to her CA friends, their family is starting a new life in Alaska, Lane will change schools mid-year. They will meet new friends, move into a new home, Reese will start a new part of his job and Natasha will seek new medical care.
Natasha has recently been told she needs a difibrillator.
I think she was okay with this being a medical device she would need in her FUTURE. Maybe 15, 20 years down the road... Learning you need one at 30 has to be a tough thing to wrap your mind around. She is on heart medication and we just all hoped this would be enough. We hoped it would control the issue and that no further damage would be done.
I am so thankful for her positive attitude! I pray for wisdom for the doctors and good medical care. Lesha and Natasha have both had several cardiology appts over the past couple of months. Lesha's heart is showing some signs of weakness, but an official diagnosis is yet to come. Our mom's condition was genetic, but this was not confirmed until recently. Losing our mom when she was so young was really hard and now to have other members of the family face heart issues feels tough. There is a lot of heavy stuff to try to digest. My heart tests came back looking good, I am thankful. All five of us kids have to closely monitor our hearts. Regular testing will be important.
I am praying so much for our HEARTS. Please pray with me.
Also, I am so thankful for my siblings. Amazing support, people I love to laugh with, friends I can totally be myself with. God blessed us with eachother and now we must look to Him as we navigate through this journey of the heart.
So, as we press forward, I am SO grateful for weekends like this last one. I am so tempted to hop in the car and go to Lynden to soak everyone up some more! Natasha and the kids fly to Alaska Friday. Reese is on his way up there on the ferry with their vehicle. I am proud of them for taking on this big adventure!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Homemade Popsicles: a lesson in patience

Homemade popsicles: a lesson in patience

Today Hazel and I bought a Crayola popsicle mold (at one of our favorite stores, Grocery Outlet). She could hardly wait to get home and make popsicles! I was thinking of the low sugar juices we could freeze. I bought some V-8 Fruit Fusion too thinking these would make excellent juice pops. We unloaded our groceries and Hazel could not wait to pour the juice in the molds and FREEZE! Trouble is, a three year old doesn't have a lot of patience for homemade popsicles. And you know, if you open the freezer every five minutes it seems to delay the process. :)

I have been taught several lessons in patience in my thirties and I am so happy to report I am much more patient at thirty something compared to what I was at twenty something. And there is much more work to be done in me. I need to continue to be patient with those around me and with myself. I need to pray for patience for my children and help them in this process.

Hazel ended up forgetting about the popsicles, either that or she was just being very patient. :) When she asked me at 3:00 if they were ready, I told her "yes"! And boy did she love her clementine, low sugar, juice pop.

As our family grows in #s - I think our patience is tested. We have to wait for others. We have to be patient with one another. Yesterday, Willem and I needed to find something to do while Merit was at Math is Cool. Sometimes the boys need to wait for help with homework because I am helping someone else with homework, working on dinner, playing with Hazel... Sometimes laundry doesn't get done in a timely manner and my family shows me patience.

The popsicles are a sweet lesson in patience. And I am sure enjoying these days of having a little girl home with me - pretending, playing, often teaching me patience. I don't sweat the sticky fingers, the messes, the little person who NEEDS me. And how is it that I am so blessed to be able to add another little one to our family? My first pregnancy was a true lesson in patience. It seemed to take FOREVER. But baby #4 is growing quickly! I have learned a little more patience in my "old age" AND life is cruising along at a faster pace!

Galatians 6:9
And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Happy 7th Birthday Willem Vance!!

 I don't think words could describe how sweet and kind this boy's spirit is. I am so thankful for him everyday, but especially thankful today -- on Willem's 7th Birthday!!!

sweet blonde boy

Vance, Rudy and Willem

Hazel and Willem

Amara and Willem, playing with their food!
Lucy and Willem - Ketchikan Cabin

I love the relationship these three have! And I am excited to see
them love a new little brother. We are blessed! Willem, we love you! Happy Birthday!!

Willem, praying you have a GREAT year!! A year of FUN, kindness, learning, growing...Happy
Birthday to our January baby!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy Sunday

Yesterday I was working in the kitchen and overheard Willem and Hazel talking. Hazel said, "I am so glad we are getting a baby bruver." Oh it warmed my heart. Also, I love the way she says brother. The way she talks about this baby on the way makes me smile from ear to ear. I can't believe how tuned in she is to all of it.

I've started knitting a scarf for Hazel. I have lots of craft projects I should get to. I told myself I couldn't purchase any more yarn or cardstock until I used some of what I have.

My sis Natasha, her husband and their kids have a BIG move ahead of them! A move to Kodiak Island, Alaska. They will leave sunny Coronado and head up north! They bought a house there and I have no doubt that they will quickly make Kodiak there home. I am thinking of them so much as they begin their "travels" to get there. Natasha and the kids will get some time in WA so I hope I can make it up to Lynden while she is there.

Also, my friend Jessica and family are moving to Ohio. Her husband has been a youth pastor here and their family has been such a great family to get to know!! Their two children were born here in Moses Lake. Their daughter is five and their son is just a few months younger than Hazel.  I have been able to take their family pictures and pictures of their children as babies... Jessica and I have laughed together and cried together and shared lifes' joys and struggles. She will be missed!

Good byes can be hard! I pray that God blesses these families on their journeys.

This weekend we have had time to just relax. I have been looking on pinterest and blogs, I always enjoy that.

There are sooo many cute ideas out there for Valentines! Lots of free printables too. I framed a few last night.

Vintage Holiday Crafts has some beautiful, free, vintage printables!

The Graphics Fairy had this little boy:

Friday, January 11, 2013

January Days

There is something about January days...
I love hot cups of tea, Starbucks coffee, baking, snuggling up, reading and hanging with the family in a cozy house.

Willem working on his birthday invites!

Oh.... today our morning called for Monkey Bread/Sticky Buns!
One of Merit's all time favorites!

Willem likes it too! :)

I've got a baker in the house.

She is busy at it with her very cute new hair style.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's a ...


We loved seeing this bouncing baby boy moving on the ultrasound.
His profile was so cute and it was so fun to get a good look at him!
It will be wonderful to have a sweet baby brother join Merit, Will and Hazel!

Thank you God for this baby BOY!