Monthly Archives: July 2010

Have you ever…

made a timeline of God’s faithfulness in your life?   On paper.  Can you account for the ways he has come through for you over the years?  He always does.  He says He will. It’s a promise.

Have you ever stepped out in faith and watched God perform a miracle in your life?  He is doing it in mine and I can’t keep quiet about it.

We got an offer on our house!  Had you been a fly on the wall in our home the last couple of months you would know what a testament to God’s faithfulness this is.  With the market the way it is, the size/price of our home, and our timeline, the odds seemed against it.  But not with the Creator of the universe on our side.  Truly, and Big A will confirm this, I said it would go down this way the whole time–the final hours– keepin ya right on the edge of your seat just watchin.   I love that.  The challenge of patience and timing and waiting.  Of course, we had to be prepared for the challenges and lessons that could come if the house didn’t sell…. but not this time.

This time I guess what we were suppose to learn, is that he wants us to break even in the whole deal.  Like a reset button.  Nothing over and nothing under.  Just a wash.  Fine by me.  Big A, that’s another story.  But supposedly I “live in La-La Land when it comes to finances” so we must just deal with things differently.  Basically, we are going to take a big ol’ hit on the house….

Most of you know Big A and I have made the decision to move our family back to Florida.  I haven’t talked about it much because there are so many conflicting opinions swirling out there.  While this decision seemed crazy to most, it seemed perfectly reasonable to us.  I didn’t say financially savvy, clear cut and obvious, or supported by the masses, just reasonable.  It was by far the most difficult decision we have ever had to make (which is probably saying we haven’t been faced with much).  And yet, the reasons to go far out weighed reasons to stay.  I could type for days about all of our thoughts, discussions, reasons, ideas, philosophies and everything else that went into it, but the bottom line is this: we wanted to do what is best for our family.  You can’t put a price on it.  Not a prestigious job, a good or bad housing market, the hassle of moving cross country, the amount of pride you must swallow, fear, disappointment from others,  nothing can stop it.  Doing what is best for our marriage, kids, and family unit trumps it all.   There have been times in the past when I have asked what God wants me to do in this situation or that one. It was about two years ago He blew me away with this:  God is not waiting for us to make a good or bad decision with our lives.  He isn’t saying you chose the wrong thing or the right thing to do.  Where you choose to live and be cannot be right or wrong; a sin or not.  He simply wants you to serve Him with your life every day every way and wherever you are doing that (which can be anywhere) it can’t be wrong.   I needed this revelation from Him.  It has changed the way I make decisions completely.

Also, I have heard many things over the years, about how to make a decision, that have been helpful.  Taken individually each method could be selfish or misunderstood.  Added together and used in combination these suggestions have been helpful:  No decision you make is that final or that big.  You can always change if you need to.  If your decision did not effect anyone else, no one else cared, no one would be mad or hurt what would you decide then?  How will you feel in 5, 10, 20 years?  Ooooo those are all good right?  Just little thought provoking questions….

More tangible reasons to move:

God opened a door in Florida — twice.  We listened the 2nd time. Revelation 3:8 says: “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

Big A works too much and commutes too far.  Anywhere we live in town would present a similar situation.  His work became all-consuming of his time and thoughts.  No time for anything else during the week– except sleep.  We hope our decision sends a primary message to our kids, that they are more important to us than a job or money or inconvenience– however simple that may sound– the older girls get that.

We want to live in a smaller and slower-paced town where activities, friends, and  life are easier to get to.

Spending time with our kids is really important right now, and living there will give us more opportunity to do so.

Nothing can replace the time we have had to spend with friends and family here.  We have been able to reconnect with, visit, and host friends and family.  We have learned so much about ourselves and had lots of wonderful experiences that have made us who we are.  We wouldn’t change one thing.  This is how it all had to be.  I am grateful for all of it.

God opened a door for us. And since we’ve decided to go through it, yes scared and uncertain, He has “slicked the streets”.  Each phone call, each set of paper work, each hoop to be jumped through, He has had a hand in.  This is not to say that if we face an obstacle the opportunity is not of God.  I am just testifying to what he has done so far…. and I pray that He keeps us ever-challenged, never complacent and open to his plan, however uncomfortable it may be– it’s always exciting.  Big A has already said not to even look at him or talk to him about moving for 15 years.  I guess my dream of being medical missionaries in Africa is going to have to wait a little longer.  I’m patient– NOT.


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Beaver Creek, CO

We are back from our family vacation to Beaver Creek, CO.  It seems like every time we venture out and try a new place we end up loving it even more than the place before.  Maybe that’s because I haven’t been alot of places but for a while I thought we’d never find a better place than Disney (dont get me wrong I am the biggest Disney nerd there is and it is fantastic for young families-old families too) but then we tried the Destin Beach area and fell in love with that too.

(Adam and I had been to Beaver Creek, but it was before kids so a whole new perspective this time around.) Come to think of it, this is our first real family vacation that included a plane trip, hotel and just the six of us.  We wanted to wait until the youngest was 3 to attempt a mountain vacay.  With no pack-n-play, diapers, or strollers anything is possible right?

If you can get to Beaver Creek in the summer with kids you’ve just gotta do it!   It is the most amazing place.  I tried to breathe deep the creativity of our God the entire time and that was overwhelming enough.  But on top of that it’s SO kid friendly.  Around every corner is another fountain, park, trail, or interesting outdoor activity.  I am going to try to highlite some the best parts, but truly the whole experience rocked!!

Hiking– so incredible!  Promise the one in the popsicle shirt thought so too.  This was called the 5 senses trail– each stop had a sign that told you what sense to look for-really fun.

Discovery Loop

Bungee Trampoline– they wanted to do this everyday.

White water raft trip down the Colorado River

Bocce Ball Court.  Guess whose chillin on the couches?

Ice skating in the village at night.  We did bathe every day, even tho this makes it look like we didn’t.

Playground at our hotel

No we did not go snow mobiling– saving that for a couple more years, but dont think the boys didn’t beg.

Horseback Riding to Beano’s Cabin for dinner

Beano’s Cabin

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Trail Mix (G.O.R.P)

We are headed to Beaver Creek, CO in a few days and it got me thinking about trail mix.  This delightful little snack has an unbelievable amount of real estate in my pantry.  I love it because there are so many creative things you can do with it.  It travels anywhere.  It keeps for a long time.  It’s healthy– usually– but it doesn’t have to be.  It can be given as a gift for just about any occasion: new house, new baby, Christmas, Thanksgiving, hospital visits, school lunches and party treats.  You can almost always have the ingredients on hand to make some.  It’s so quick, it’s so yummy and it’s so personalizeable.  (My college age cousin loves to raid our pantry and use whatever we can find to whip up a batch to take back to school with him.)  Plus, there are adorable ways to wrap it- put it in a clear treat bag, tie with cute ribbon, add a love tag and viola– fabulous homemade gift.  I love the endlessness of possibilities.  Ahhhhhhh……

It is quite the topic of conversation in our house too.  For some reason we have had lots of experiences in our married life that relate back to trail mix and some seriously funny inside stories to go with it.  One of the funniest ones Big A and I love to talk about is this and I am not embellishing it.

Several years ago we were at Disney Worlds’ Magic Kingdom.  (some of the most fun we’ve ever had is watching other families who have traveled from everywhere “Do Disney”).  So we are sitting and waiting in a little cove waiting for Belle’s Story Time to begin and this mom and dad beside us whip out what we now call “Disney Trail Mix.”  Please believe this.  Disney Trail Mix consists of:  mini snickers bars, chocolate chip teddy grahams, peanut m&m’s, and fruit loops.  I am dead serious. All mixed together in a tupperware.   Some of you are saying, “Ya? So?”

Some people call trail mix G.O.R.P.  Is that only in the East?  Growing up in Texas, I never heard G.O.R.P. in my life.  But I found out it stands for Good Ole Raisins and Peanuts.  Just a little but of trivia for those of you who never knew and/or never cared to know that.  I’m probably the only one who didn’t know it though.

Here are some ingredients you can keep stocked in your pantry for making trail mix anytime:

Any kind of nut you like:  cashew, almond, walnut, peanut, pistachio, macadamia

Sunflower seeds or roasted pumpkin seeds

Any dried fruit you like:  raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, apples.  The grocery store is full of great options now.

Pretzels

Chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, cinnamon chips, white chocolate chips

Goldfish

Cereals

Mini Fig Newtons, marshmallows, corn nuts, potato stix, popcorn, mini vanilla wafers, graham sticks….

Pretty much any ingredient that is bite size.

This is my favorite combo.  Took it with us to the hospital everytime.  Salted cashews, sunflower seeds, semi sweet choco chips, dried cranberries.  Yum!

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Biotin

Have you ever heard of Biotin?  It is an amazing little vitamin (in the vitamin B category) that I started taking a couple of years ago– it promotes the growth of hair and nails.  I’ve got a seriously weak hair and nail gene so this was a huge discovery.  The fact that I was born with thin hair coupled with the fact that after each baby I was practically bald six months after delivery due to hair loss, makes this a miracle pill in my book.

By the way, do you take vitamins?  I didn’t use to but now I do and here is what I’ve narrowed it down to for me.  (surely there will be additions as the years go on) Do tell what you take and why?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biotin

1 women’s multi

2 fiber

1 biotin

2 calcium

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Blogging everyday is like a full time job…

and I ain’t gettin paid.

So, I didn’t realize that doing a post every day was going to be an absolute whip.  Took a wee little break (sorry  more like two weeks).  Probably not going to post every day like I originally thought, but I am going to get to it as often as I can.  Leaving today to find a house for us to rent in FL, so hopefully I’ll get back to it on Monday.  Stay tuned…..

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