Saturday, April 27, 2013

PROM 2013 - Junior Year

I was sitting on the swing set just a few minutes ago as the two youngest were on the trampoline a few feet away, and I was thinking about the fact that today is prom day for my oldest.  I remember when we put that swing set together.  It was an all-day Saturday project, and later in the afternoon, our next door neighbors were taking pictures of their daughter and her date who would be attending prom that evening.  We listened to all that was going on while working away and while two little girls impatiently waited for us to finish.  I can't remember exactly how little they were, but I'm guessing they were somewhere around the ages of 3 and 6 - about the ages that Matthew and Amelia are now.  At any rate, they were so little that prom night for our girls seemed ages away, but boy did it get here quickly!  So much has changed since that time.  That young neighbor girl is now, last I heard, the mother of two children who are probably in school now themselves.  (Those neighbors moved away about three or four years ago with a job transfer).  Our then little kiddos are now teenagers and haven't touched the swing set in years - handing it down to the two younger siblings.  The radio station I listen to has a saying that is announced fairly often that is so true - "The days are long, but the years are short."  So, so true.  But actually, sometimes it seems even the days are short!

Fast forward approximately 11 years from that Saturday night, and here we find ourselves today.  It all started a couple of months ago when we set out to find the perfect prom dress.  She had shown me a picture a few weeks earlier of a dress that she liked that had a strap on one shoulder, and she said that she really wanted to find a blue dress.  We drove about an hour away to look at some dresses but didn't have any luck.  We ended up at the local formal dress shop - like 10 minutes away from our house local - and decided to take a look in there.  She tried on a couple and found one that she kind of liked, but it was going to need some altering.  We told the owner, who is also a friend of ours, what we were looking for, one strap and blue, and she thought that she had a dress fitting that exact description if someone had not purchased it yet.  She took a look and couldn't find it.  Madison continued to look at the other dress, but I could tell she wasn't entirely sold.  I went back to the racks and tucked away behind some other dresses was a blue dress with one shoulder strap - the one in fact that the owner had been speaking of.  Madison tried it on, and it fit perfectly.  No alterations needed at all.  It didn't have a price tag on it, so that made me a little worried.  A salesgirl went and looked up the price, and it turned out to be the best price we'd seen all day - how amazing is that!  A few weeks later, we found the shoes, and after a month or two of tanning bed visits, one manicure, one pedicure, a hair styling, and some makeup applying, we finally made it to the big moment.  Phew!  I may be a bit biased, but I do think the end result was stunning.

Her date arrived later in the afternoon for pictures and then they left for more pictures with his family, a Japanese dinner, and then off to prom.  Now we're about to leave to go watch the Senior Walk, and as the evening ends and this day becomes a memory, I think it will be one she won't soon forget.  That's just how prom day is.

My mom and dad didn't really feel prepared for photographs, but I do like this one.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Birthday, Wee Ball, Track

Cari celebrated her 14th birthday yesterday, but the celebration actually began last Friday when she had some friends over for a bonfire party - complete with hotdogs and s'mores of course.  Three of her friends brought their guitars and entertained us around the fire.  It was lots of fun and probably the easiest birthday party I've ever thrown together.  And what a funny group of kids! - kept me and Brad laughing throughout the evening.

Matthew had his first wee ball game on Monday - the 3- and 4-year-old version of baseball.  They play indoors, which is a good thing, because I have a feeling they would lose about half of them if they were outside. Matthew is taking it very seriously, though, and LOVES it!

In the midst of softball travel ball, Madison decided to take on the track world.  She did pretty well with the 4 x 1 and 4 x 4 events.  Her group of four runners made it to the 2nd stage of district yesterday, but that's as far as they got.  Honestly, that's as far as they wanted to go because the next stage would have been the day of prom, and none of them were excited about being in a track meet on that day.

And here's some cute pics of the younger three that I took before church yesterday evening.  The girls had fun fixing their hair yesterday afternoon as you can see.

Amelia and her best buddy.

Cari's first official picture as a 14 year old.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Unanswered Answered Prayer

That prayer I was so happy about being answered back in January seems to have taken a turn back in the other direction.  Or has it?  Maybe I was happy because it was answered the way I had planned, but apparently God had/has other plans.  Apparently?  More like definitely.

I clearly see God working in all of this.  One big way is how I've seen mine and Brad's hearts change on a matter at the same time when our thoughts had been so opposite to this new thing.  Only God could have done that, and the best thing we can do is let Him lead and not get in His way.
“God, what are you doing?” That’s a fair question. I knew that he had not abandoned us, so he must have been doing something. I just didn’t understand what. “God, what are you doing?” …no answer came
“God, what are you teaching me about yourself?” I knew that if God did not act in a way that I expected, it was not God who was wrong but my expectations. I firmly believe that when God doesn’t act in a way you expect him to, he is trying to teach you something about himself that you don’t quite get. “God, what are you teaching me about yourself? …no answer came
“God, what am I supposed to do?” I knew that if God was doing something and teaching me something, that there must be some response required on my part. “God what am I supposed to do in response to what you are doing and what you are teaching me about yourself.” …and then the answers came pouring in.
I came across the above last night - and not by accident I'm sure.  It was a wow moment.  This person is going through something totally different, but it did not change the fact that I could so relate.

And the wow-ness continues:
“I know that God is for me. But is it possible for his hand to be working against us?” After all, he told Moses to go to Pharaoh and say ‘Let my people go.’ Meanwhile, God was hardening Pharaoh’s heart so that he wouldn’t let his people go! God did this because there was a greater glory and a greater story that only came through prolonging the trial. “Could this be what God is doing through us?”
At this point, you're probably wishing I would just share what the prayer is, but now is just not a good time.  But I do look forward to the day when I can post the whole story - when the Great Artist has finished painting this picture.

But I do encourage you to go and read the whole story from which I just quoted two pieces.  It is an amazing story and paints a beautiful picture of Christ and how He came to us because we could have never come to Him on our own.  So, so amazingly beautiful.

(Ann Voskamp's post from yesterday was right on target as well:  I need the perfect, sinless sacrifice of Jesus Christ who can take all the broken messes and make them into mosaics of Grace.)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter 2013

After a wonderful worship service at church and pictures upon returning home, we enjoyed a nice Easter meal.  After clean-up, I had one of the best naps ever!  (I had gotten up that morning around 3 a.m. with Matthew who apparently had eaten a whole package of gummy bears(!) before bed, went back to sleep for a bit, and then got up a little earlier than usual to fix lunch. I was pooped!)  While I was sleeping, Brad decided he really wanted to decorate some "real" eggs.  He went to the store, and then he and Matthew - Amelia helped a little - had fun dyeing and decorating the eggs.  I woke up in time to see the end result, so I didn't get any pictures of that.

But I did get to experience the fun of hiding and hunting them!  We all took turns hiding, and I have to say that Amelia and Matthew did a pretty good job of hiding eggs.

When we finished with the hunting, they had just as much fun throwing and busting the eggs - seeing who's could go the highest or splatter the most.  We let Annabelle out at that point, and she took care of the clean up.  We stayed away from Annabelle for the rest of the evening. LOL


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...