Friday, July 30, 2010

An abandoned life . . .

In my quiet time today, I ended with this devotional regarding John 15:4

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me."

"It was not our imitating Jesus. It was not trying to reproduce the life of Jesus; but it was our being an empty surrendered temple for Jesus to dwell in, to repeat His own life in us.

Our part is to keep the channels open and unobstructed. I saw how He would love sinners through us, and draw us out after them; how He would minister to them through us, and how He would pray through us. After that it was no longer the cry of my heart, "Lord help me to do this or that;" "Lord, help me to speak;" and "How can I do that?" But as I met each emergency, it was, "Lord, do this through me;" or, "Lord, speak through me now," and as I went to prayer I would abandon myself to Him to give the petition.

I found, too, that Christ's presence in me often spoke to others with a word from me. Oh! The possibilities of such an abandoned life to God! Some of us have sweet happy flashes of this life, and how life a bit of heaven it is! Some of us see it, yet do not break away from old habits of though about our being a wonderful Christian, and that God is going to help us do a great work. And so God can only work through us in a limited way. Yet His thought for us is that His life in us may be an abiding one."

- Jennie Fowler Fuller in a Missionary to India.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Doesn't this make you remember . . .

how exciting slumber parties were when you were little?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fourth of July in Michigan

We usually spend the 4th of July up in Michigan with my family. We packed in the activities on this trip . . .beginning with a normally 6 - 7 hour car ride taking 9 1/2 hours. May I remind you that I have 3 children under the age of 3? Thankfully the girls did well overall - although we arrived with a tired mommy and a sick Kate. Why is it kids always get sick on vacation?!

We were celebrating Ava's 3rd birthday with my parents. As part of their gift, Ava went shopping to pick out a birthday bike thursday morning. It was so fun to watch the process - although I did a big gulp as I watched how big she looked!

The winner!

Sophie was along for moral support.

Giving Grandpa a "thank you" snuggle

Back at home, Kate and Olivia thought they'd try the gator out.

Friday morning, we all got dressed up and had family pictures taken. We haven't taken pictures as a family since our wedding. Overall, the girls did well and it'll be fun to have the updated photos for my parents.

Olivia and Kate hanging out between shots

Playing with Addy and Brynne - I like this shot because these are the two I most often hear people think Kate and Olivia resemble.

Dear Jesus, please let pictures be over soon. Amen. love, Kate.

Hanging out with Sophie

Mom and Dad : )

So I saw this cute guy there . . .


Sophie and her aunts

LOVE this shot of Alisa and her girls

And what was my eldest daughter doing to entertain herself?

playing with worms of course : )

Olivia had to check them out for herself.

Kate wasn't so sold.

I just kind of liked this shot. Got to love cousins.

Mommy and Kate
Friday night we headed to Greenfield Village - the DSO performs, we picnic on the lawn and fireworks end the night.

Kate said, "Let's get this party started!
Our closest thing to a "family shot" - we couldn't figure out why Olivia was so fussy the first part of the evening. And then her fever hit halfway through the concert and it all made sense.
My attempt at a photo of Kate and Olivia. Poor Olivia - looking back, her eyes already look sick to me.

Ava personally claimed half the glow bracelets Grandma brought.

Olivia "playing" cards

Not the most flattering shot of Ava, but I had to include it. The pair of Ava and Cole crack me up - they bring out the goofy in each other. Enjoying their oreos.

After we walked and rocked for over a 1/2 hour, this is how Olivia and I spent the remainder of our evening. While I was sad she was sick, I have to say that I soaked in the excuse to snuggle one baby like this. Some days, I think that is the only aspect of my girls s0 close together that I "dislike." You just don't get the one on one down time with them that I sometimes wish I had. Ryan and I have talked that we're going to start trying to be more intentional in creating that time. It seems to happen easily with Ava, but not so much for the twins.

Kate was quite happy to remain on Daddy's lap and eat oreos herself.

Our view.

Ryan stole an idea from the tv show "19 kids and counting." He had seen them make a homemade water slide down a big hill with dish soap. My parents have the perfect back yard for this. So a trip to the hardware store got us a 100 feet plastic tarp, we lathered it up and the fun began. I have to admit, I had about as much fun as the kids.
That is, until going down one time with your daughter, you happen to slide off the edge of the tarp. Then, in protecting your daughter, you completely cut up your bottom on the grass and it gets infected. Just saying. If it happened, it wouldn't be fun. But that's a whole other story . . .

The view from the top
From the bottom

After two trips that she was "helped" down, Ava took up a gleeful post at the bottom. She had a blast just playing in the bubbles.

Ava and Brynne

Addy joins the fun

A trainful of cousins going down the hill.

Olivia woke up from her nap before Kate and we brought her out to see what she would think of things. Ava was so sweet trying to get her to have fun in the bubbles.

Poor girl. When you're sick, even bubbles aren't that exciting.

So Ava just laid down to play with her.
Olivia did end up deciding that she thought it was pretty fun. Here's a glimmer of a smile.

My girls are at the stage that their hair is just all over the place. But as we're waiting for their bangs to grow out, they've had kind of a "mullet" of curls growing. So we asked Aunt Alisa to give them their first haircut (that is, if we're not counting the time I had to cut a fruit snack out of Kate's hair).
A popsicle and they were ready to go.
Olivia went first and did pretty well.
Are we done yet?!?!

Kate? She didn't like a single minute of it.

We finished our days with a big birthday bash for all the august birthdays.
Ava had been declaring for a solid month that she wanted a white birthday cake with pink, red and blue butterflies AND flowers. Grandma did pretty well in delivering.

My girl loves her some birthday cake.

Olivia was wondering where her piece was.

Opening up presents - pretty excited!

She'd been asking for a baby doll you can play doctor with and was pretty happy to open one up. I was just trying not think what number baby doll this was about to become. Got to love little girls. : )

Opening up her princess baseball gear.

Kate was just content to watch.

And with that, you all deserve a prize for getting to the end of this marathon post. Too bad there isn't one. : )