Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Disney Vacation - Day 1

{The surprise guest} Amelia did not know that her friend would be joining her on vacation until there was a knock at our door. When we opened the door, they both just stood there as if they were in shock or something. Not nearly the dramatic event I had imagined in my head. (Laughing) But they didn't stand there long and soon trekked back to their bedroom for some serious conversation.

This is one of the villas surrounding the lake at the resort we stayed at. They gave us a great home away from home on the ground floor, so we were able to walk out our patio door and head straight to the pools, etc.

The ducks also enjoyed visiting us on our patio, although they did leave us a few gifts....

It was one of the best places we have stayed on vacation. It was like a miniature town. With five pools, two lazy rivers, a playground, a putt-putt course, arcade, water slides, water park, and other activities, we really didn't have a need to leave the property in pursuit of entertainment.

Madison, Cari, and I were out for an evening stroll and caught a picture of this guy.

{Nighttime putt-putt}

{The Dads}

{Matthew enjoying his first round of putt-putt}

{The BFFs}

Monday, May 21, 2012

Amelia's First Recital

This is from picture day ~ May 1, 2012

Amelia completed her first year of dance yesterday with a tap/ballet dance recital with her teacher and classmates and a bunch of family and friends sitting out in the audience, enjoying the show. She was a little nervous but eventually settled down and just enjoyed performing.

She really likes her dance teacher and on several occasions has said, "She's the best teacher ever except for you." :D

I'm glad she likes her so much because having an awesome teacher makes all the difference in the world - it can make the student love something or hate something. I'm very thankful that God directed us to this class.

He's Got the Whole World in His Hands - ballet routine

It's a Small World - tap routine. Just a little nervous....

Relaxing a bit.....

She represented the country of Egypt.

With daddy after receiving her flowers.

With me.

She was very happy about receiving a trophy!

Her sweet teacher.

Since it was her special day, we came home and enjoyed homemade egg rolls and beef stir fry - one of her favorite meals - followed by her favorite dessert. Pound cake with strawberries. The whip cream is what tops it off for her, but unfortunately, the whipping cream I purchased on Friday was ruined when I opened it yesterday. She didn't complain though.

Well, that was definitely the highlight of the day, and she's already looking forward to going back to class in September. :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Silly Boy

Matthew climbed onto the porch railing and was just sitting there. He said, "You should take my picture." So I did.

Amelia was sitting nearby on the steps, so I grabbed a shot of her as well.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Let God Judge Me

My head is literally spinning from all of the posts I have read on Facebook this past week regarding people's opinions, followed by "But don't judge me. Only God can do that." And to that, all I can think is, "Seriously?" I do not understand why people would rather God judge them. Personally, if a fellow Christian sees me doing something that is without a doubt contrary to God's word and His commands as to how I am to live and what I am to believe, than I would most definitely want them to come to me and show me in the scriptures where I am wrong - thus allowing me the opportunity to repent and avoid the judgment of God in my life.

I guess maybe some people have in mind that God is just a God of love and will be much more understanding and compassionate than silly fellow human beings. But that is so wrong. Yes, God is a God of love. But He is so much more. He is also a God of wrath.

God warned Pharaoh through His servant Moses of coming judgment if he refused to let His people go. Pharaoh refused to repent and do what was right in the eyes of God. In Exodus 6:6 we read, "Therefore say to the children of Israel: I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments." And Pharaoh and the Egyptians truly did experience great judgments.

Remember Sodom? It was an extremely wicked city, and Genesis 19:9 says, "And they said, "Stand back!" Then they said, "This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them." So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door."

This sounds as if Lot had tried at some point to warn the people regarding their wicked ways, but as scripture teaches, they obviously did not listen. Thus, they endured the wrath of God with only Lot, his wife (until she looked back), and his two daughters being spared while the rest of the city and its inhabitants were destroyed.

There are many, many other examples in scripture where God has poured out His wrath on sinful men and women who refused to turn from their sin. There are also great days of wrath that are yet to come.

I am currently reading Radical by David Platt, and he makes some good points that I think go along with this.

The Bible describes us as enemies of God and objects of his Wrath. We are spiritually dead and eternally separated from God. What's worse is that we can do nothing to change our status before God. No one who is morally evil can choose good, no man who is a slave can set himself free, no woman who is blind can give herself sight, no one who is an object of wrath can appease that wrath, and no person who is dead can cause himself to come to life.

The gospel confronts us with the hopelessness of our sinful condition. But we don't like what we see of ourselves in the gospel, so we shrink back from it. We live in a land of self-improvement. Certainly there are steps we can take to make ourselves better. So we modify what the gospel says about us.

The modern day gospel says, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Therefore, follow these steps, and you can be saved." Meanwhile, the biblical gospel says, "You are an enemy of God, dead in your sin, and in your present state of rebellion, you are not even able to see that you need life, much less to cause yourself to come to life. Therefore, you are radically dependent on God to do something in your life that you could never do.".....there is absolutely nothing we can do to come to him.....God has to open our eyes, set us free, overcome our evil, and appease his wrath. He has to come to us.

Now we are getting to the beauty of the gospel.

I am so thankful that God did come to me and open my eyes and set me free. The wrath of God is truly something none of us should want to or ask to experience.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spring Pictures

Amelia is taking a ballet and tap dance class this year. They have a couple of weeks left until their end-of-year recital, and yesterday her teacher arranged a picture day. This isn't her full costume but just what we had at the house before leaving yesterday afternoon. She was a little nervous about doing the dance class at first, especially when she found out she would have to be "on stage" eventually, but she is slowly coming around. I've seen her overcome some of her shyness this year in different ways, and although we're still working on other areas, her willingness to perform in front of people is going to be a big step. I'm looking forward to the recital. I just know all those little girls are going to be adorable!

As soon as we got home, she quickly let her hair down and grabbed her favorite t-shirt and jeans. Then she and Matthew took a little ride.

Someone else was wanting to take a ride!

In an effort to save a little money and also because of the fact that I enjoy small challenges of this sort, I like to buy half-dead flowers that are on sale at Wal-Mart. Here is one I bought last year, and it has come back quite well this year.

Here's a peek at one of my wheat straw bales with some little tomato plants trying to find their way into the world. So far, Annabelle has only torn up one-half of a bale and turned over one pot. :/

Here's another half-dead plant from last year that came back this year. I don't remember exactly what this one looked like, so I'm looking forward to seeing some blooms.


Here's the "more about that" I mentioned in the previous post... I was around 6 years old the first time I realized I nee...