Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Psalm 82:3

What if there are children who will suffer somehow because I failed to obey God?
What if my cowardice costs even one child somewhere in the world his or her life?
(excerpt from The Hole in Our Gospel)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hello NC...home at last.

Lots of stuff has happened since my last pathetic post; the overwhelming majority being positive this time around.  Notice the parents?  Smiling?  Sadly, that hadn't happened in over 3 months.

Before we left you-know-where, though, we had to finish end of the year programs for the girls.


 Have a "fancy" tea party...
(there WAS a dress code for the affair)


 Celebrate an awesome school year for one super-smart young man...

and High-5 this one for having the hightest GPA
in his academic career (3.675 :o)

 Send this one to basketball camp...

and visit a museum made especially for him :o)

Then, once we got to NC, we had to teach a certain someone how to bowl....NOT using a Wii remote.
(look at how far he THREW it before it rolled)

 Even did a chicken dance while patiently waiting for our turn.

We immediately had visitors come stay with us for a month.  Yep, our cousins and grandma came just to help us move in (haha...and they thought this was going to be a 'vacation').

Found a 4th of July carnival...

Watched some fireworks.

Went to a local park and found some paddle boats, too. See the small dots in the water?  That would be rain BEFORE the rain.  The moment all 10 of
us were loaded onto 3 boats, it POURED. 

The kids who volunteered to paddle didn't think it would be "that hard".  HA!  They were exhausted and only one of them begged and complained so badly that one parent ended up trading him places in the boat for the ride back to the dock.  That child's name will remain nameless...for now...hehe

We won't forget this trip to the park, though.  Never went paddle boating in the pouring rain and thunder before...that was fun!

These were the bravest girls on the fastest boat, if I do say so myself. 

And when it's raining, who doesn't enjoy a nice quite game of HedBanz?

Once we got moved into our new home (finally-yea!),
the girls had a lemonade stand / bake sale to say "hello"
to our new neighbors (and to make a few $).

They even played musical instruments to get some added publicity.

Our neighborhood has a pool, too, so that's a HUGE bonus.  No platform dives...and I can't tell you how many times I hear how much certain kids around here miss those!  But we do have a slide.

Can you tell which photo was scripted?

I told Chels she should consider diving lessons...look at that form!

Who knew she could stand on water? Walking on the ground in flip-flops throws her off balance :o)
And finally, we've had some rather unique entertainment.  A live fashion show. 

As you can hopefully see, N.C is WAY better than VA.

As far as us leaving VA and all of the "mess" that ensued, as of today we've not been contacted further by the man we now NOT-so-affectionately refer to as "bob the builder".  Our attorney doesn't think we'll ever hear from him, but if we do, we feel good about our decision to walk away.  In the end, our little "mess" was turning into some kind of Erin Brockovich story (nope, not kidding at all) and God moved mountains to get us to where we are.  Huge, brutal and evil mountains!!!!  The day we closed on our home here the agents and attorney said they've never seen a home be sold so quickly, paperwork and inspections done in such a short amount of time and all closing documents ready to go in the blink of an eye.  Can you say "Answered Prayer"?  WE CAN.  Thank You prayer warriors....Thank You! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Birthdays, Pee and other Spring Updates

Kyle and I are NOT country folks, but we don't mind hanging out on the farm for a good cause (so long as I can go home and shower at the end of the day).  Our 10 year old wanted one and only one thing for her birthday - to "ride a horse."  Not sure where she gets her love of smelly animals, but she was beyond thrilled when we pulled into a country farm that had a horse sign out front!  The man who owns the ranch let the kids explore and check out animals on his farm and he took us for a carriage ride (of sorts) through the fields...where the horses grazed.  Chels was all smiles, the boys thought it was very cool and MJ did what MJ does best - plug her nose and tell us how smelly animals on a farm are.  That's my girl!!!!

And here is my man...
THIS is how you KNOW you're ready for the Chicken Dance!
Chels on her first "real" horseback ride.  All by herself.
He liked the ride, but has a whole new respect for his horse enthusiast friend :o)
Hum...I can think of 10 captions for this one!
I'll let you decide for yourself what we should title this picture.

Nope, she didn't like the horse ride.  But her parents strongly encouraged her to "be brave" and just sit on it for a minute.  She did...for a minute...and not one second more!

Jacob had more fun on his horse stroll than this picture would lead you to believe.
He said he likes cows better, though :o)  Then he asked if we could bring home a goat with us...for a pet.
He misses his animals, that's for sure!

On our carriage ride through the fields...horses grazed...
...and then they saw us coming, so they followed...

...and our birthday girls was on cloud 9 that day!

The kids got to hold a baby bunny on the carriage ride, too.

Our giant teddy bear teen loved his bunny.

Chels's squirmed all over the place, and MJ just enjoyed petting them all
(though she wasn't "sold" on holding her own).

And just when we thought we ran out of "new experiences" for the day, Jacob had a new sensation soaking through his clothes.  It was SO funny...because rabbit pee is funny to everyone right?  Well, just after he realized he was soaking wet, small brown pellets started falling from you-know-where.  Now THAT was FUNNY!  And after that, Chels's rabbit started to pee...and peed right where it looked like she had peed her pants.  And THAT was even FUNNIER! 

A wind-burned (slightly peed on), but happy bunch.

When on a carriage ride, SOMEONE has to hop out and open and close gates to all the pastures, right?
Run dad, run!

Our 10 year old...
Opening presents with colorful tissue paper is pretty interesting...

...but making "dresses" for your sister is even more fun!  So long card-board boxes -
hello rainbow tissue paper!

Spring break arrived - so before leaving town Jacob practiced his teaching skills by helping Chelsea with her math homework so she wouldn't have to take it with her.  Yep, the student has now become the teacher.  And Chelsea really liked him teaching her...because she doesn't get much play-time with him now that he and Corey act like twins from another mother (which they totally are!).

The teacher explains how to reduce fractions and add/subtract fractions
that have different denominators.

We went to grandma's house and it only took us 15 hours to drive there!  And you know what?  Not one complaint from any of our 5 kiddo's.  Not one.  And you know what else?  None of them have an iAnything to entertain them.  Just movies, activity books and music.  Oh, and Jared slept 1/2 the way...which apparently makes the trip fly by!

It was so nice to be there, but it was very different without grandpa there anymore :o(
Chillin' with grandma :o)
The poker table comes usual.

Jared is an expert driver now, and helped grandma with some yard work.
One of his "jobs" was to drive younger kids around the yard...
which he didn't mind doing one bit.
3 speed limit signs...and some hills.  Nice!

Since he can reach the pedals, Kyle taught Corey how to drive.
He did great!
Still not looking forward to him having a license in 2 1/2 years;
that's a SCARY thought!

Jacob loved it.  But then again, he loves just about anything!

WHAT is he doing standing on a pile of dirt????
That's what I asked myself one morning as I looked out and saw this.

It's Jared-Hood :o)  He got some bulls-eyes, too!

This is sort of our "adopted grandma" (Kyle's sister's husband's grandma - did you get that?)
We see her each time we visit and she came out to Kyle's mom's house for Easter dinner.
She's 89, funny, witty...and according to my children, "the shortest grandma we've ever seen."
Now that they've all outgrown her we wanted to get a picture.
And she was willing to play along...thanks Grandma L!

Housing update:  Framing is done and drywall should be started by Monday...that's what they tell us anyhow.  Kyle and Jared spent this past weekend wiring the house for surround sound (which we've never had before), and something else (which I can't remember at the moment).  Jared learned quickly and ended up doing one entire floor all by himself.  Thanks couldn't have done that without you!