Friday, December 17, 2010

The Latest ....

Bad mommy ... didn't post a picture of our birthday girl on her FIRST birthday! So, here she is flocked by her biggest fans on her big day! Can't believe she is one. Simply amazing and what an amazing year! We celebrated her birthday with a visit to Build-A-Bear and to see Santa. She was all grins and laughter. Precious!

Here's a little update ....

We have been enjoying our time in New Orleans ... visited the Aquarium and Insectarium, eaten LOTS of good food, learned to cook gumbo and etoufee, captured (quite by accident) a rather large oppossum in our dog pen (he got away before I could snap a photo), won second prize in the RV decorating contest on Halloween, met lots of interesting people, enjoyed our temporary church home at Vintage, and have really enjoyed living in this beautiful state park here in Louisiana.

God has blessed us so tremendously. Sweet hubby is full-time employed (as opposed to being a temporary employee) and we are moving to the Mississippi coast in the next couple weeks. We are looking forward to this great adventure ... always a great adventure with God. Lots to embrace, savor, share, learn and enjoy. We will miss NOLA and the new friends we've made, but leave with lessons learned and life enjoyed to the full.

How is the RV life ... we are surely enjoying the togetherness. The girls and I have really loved feeling like we were living on the edge of a forest. We have met some really sweet friends that have been camped out here "long-term" with us. There are but a few things we miss from Texas ... our friends and family and our church, most definitely. There are days that I miss having a washer and dryer, although we've cleverly made the laundromat a game so visiting it is not such a drag, and there are times I really miss my dishwasher and recycling, which is not a huge priority in this city. We are learning collectively that you have to pick things up and put them away in a little space. And, you can't stay mad at each other long when there is no where to get away from each other. I must say, I am so proud of our girls ... they are seriously adaptable and that has been amazing. God's grace.

So that's the latest! :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Oh the gifts ...

I'm rejoining the Gratitude Community. It's been way too long since I posted the gracious and amazing gifts of God in our lives ... way too long and so begins the habit again ... I'd been avoiding it because I have no way to post pictures with it, but praise cannot and should not be avoided. So I'll post pictures later, but I'm going to catch up on the gifts ...

676. Our newest baby girl.
677. The joy that lights up in that sweet baby's face when she smiles.
678. The precious laughter that shakes her whole body when she is giggling at her sisters.
679. The tender way that her sisters (generally) have with her.
680. Beautiful older daughters who love Jesus.
681. Our new 5th wheel RV home ... love it!
682. Simplifying our life!
683. That I have figured out how to work and cook well on the gas stove/oven in this RV. :)
684. My new cell phone that helps me not get lost and know the weather and FB and stay connected with our friends.
685. Snail mail ... there is just nothing better than getting a letter in the US mail.
686. Live streaming of church service at Gateway Church. We miss it there.
687. The adventure of meeting other believers as we look for a new, temporary church family.
688. The three fellows at Explore USA RV who have taken personal time on their days off to walk these new RV owners through "problems" on the phone! Chivalry is not dead!
689. My faithful Heavenly husband who provides for us through my faithful and hard-working earthly husband.
690. Bayou-Segnette State Park ... gorgeous!
691. The peace of waking up to the view of the woods ... yep!
692. Wildlife ... like the cute momma possum walking with her baby on her back that we watched yesterday.
693. Meeting new people all the time as they float in and out of the park on weekends.
694. Cooking class where we learned how to make authentic gumbo, etouffe, banana's foster, and pralines.
695. That we won the decorating contest for Halloween ... second place and we were not scary and we won a birdhouse ... how cool is that?!
696.Warm sweaters.
697. Aging gracefully.
698. My sweet momma and her continued amazing example to me ... a mother's job truly never ends, praise Him!
699. Paying down/off debts by His grace and provision.
700. A cool birthday surprise date with my hubby ... adult's only dinner at Emeril's Delmonico, a night in a fancy hotel, manicure/pedicure. Precious!
701. Breastfeeding.
702. Great homeschool books to read ... just great!
703. Hearing God speak.
704. New seasons.
705. New friends.
706.The priveledge of raising three Godly girls ... boggles my mind that God would trust me with them.
707. Libraries.
708. The joy of being together in one place versus driving back and forth between states.
709. Family time ... movies and popcorn, games, wrestling, hide and seek, bike riding, laughing.
710.Lessons learned from dumping black, grey and galley water from the RV ... a picture of the yuck the Lord saves us from everyday! Praising Him that He washes us clean ... white as snow.
711. Blog and Facebook friends.
712. The privelege of staying at home with our children ... this Momma's heart is full and thankful.
713. Conviction.
714. Power from the Holy Spirit to carry-out all He calls me to do and be.
715. My sister.

I could go on, but I'll stop for today. I want to live a life of gratitude EVERYDAY because He calls us to be thankful in ALL things. Obedience. And, because it changes my lenses and those of the eyes that watch how I view the world. Prayerfully, there will be pictures next time! :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

We Are Here!

Our new adventure has begun. We are here in our 5th wheel RV in a G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. state park in Louisiana. Oh my! We are getting settled in and adjusted to new routines, like showering in the park showers so we can savor the hot water for longer. :) I don't have readily accessible internet yet, so I'll be posting later with pictures ... the new "home" (which my girls started right away saying, "Mom, we are going home, not to Louisiana"), the bunnies that come out every night (which thus far have numbered in the 50's), and all the details of our new life. Wanted to check in and let you know we are alive and kicking and I'll be blogging more soon ... just going to take a bit longer than anticipated! :)

I will say with assurity, however, that, we are blessed beyond measure by the One who holds us in the palm of His hands, the One who saves us and loves us more than we can imagine and Whose plans are ALWAYS good and to His glory. And, we are beyond ecstatic to be reunited as a family in one geographical place. :) God rocks!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Daddy's Hand

Is there anything sweeter? ... just like The Father's love for us!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Organized (attempted anyway) Chaos

What's been going on around here ...

... crawling ...

... pulling up ....

... work/homeschool breaks to ...

... play Mario Brother's on the Wii (can you say, Oh my word!) ...

The verse I am claiming that is helping keep me focused on all that needs to get accomplished, with God's help, in the next 3 and 1/2 weeks ... Isaiah 50:7 ... yes sirree!

... packing ...

... sorting, tossing, boxing, pricing ... who can do school at this table?

It's God-crazy around here, I tell ya!

Friday, August 27, 2010


Okay, I am stealing this quote off of Gitz's blog. I'm thinking it struck me because it is where we are ...

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
Martin Luther King

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Latest Adventure with God ...

Here is our new home! Yes, it is a 5th wheel RV. Yes, our family of 5 is moving into it. Yes, we are simplifying from about 2,500 square feet to about 400 square feet. Yes, we are selling most of our belongings (anyone need furniture?), packing the rest and heading for an RV park in Louisiana that is wooded and on a lake. And, we'll be looking out for "Louisiana Yard Dogs" and, most of all, we will be together full-time again and walking in obedience to God's call on our lives in this season. And, that, my friends, excites me!

Friday, July 30, 2010


Two thoughts that have converged powerfully for me ...

"... see the value of a soul."

"Jesus paid much too high a price
for us to pick and choose who can come."
Casting Crowns, "If We Are the Body"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tea Party, Dahling! :)

Okay, I am so proud of our daughters ... really ... this is the second year in a row that their birthday party has been delayed and they have not complained. They also bless their Momma by having a combination party, since their birthdays are so close together. Last year, they went with Madison's theme, so this year, they went with Peyton's and we had a tea party, dahling, complete with foofy clothes (thank you Miss Kristi and my cousin, Amy, for the dresses), foofy food, and fake fingernails. I can say that a great time was had by all, including me! :) Oh the joy of watching the giggles and laughter and silliness and beauty of such precious young girls! God has blessed us immensely!

School room reinvented as tea room and can I say the flowers smelled SO GOOD and the table was just beautiful!

Petit fours for dessert ... the girls were all excited about these and how fancy they were (we made them together by the way), but all of them agreed they were ... are you ready? .... too sweet. What? Is anything too sweet for girls?

Beautiful birthday girl, Peyton!

Beautiful birthday girl, Madison!

The "Diva" pose ...

Be still my heart ... these are MY daughters! So amazing!

Okay, I said, do the "Charlie's Angels" pose and they all looked at me like, what? Yep, I'm dated.

Sitting down to order off the menu's and to start the luncheon ... fresh fruit, fancy sandwiches made to order, chips and, of course the petit fours ... oh, and, lots of giggling and fun!

One quick change of outfits and I thought this was the cutest posed pictures.

Our next stop was the swimming pool ...

Baby girl thinks the water ROCKS!

Never fear, while the petit fours didn't go over, chocolate chip cookie bars and birthday candles did! Such joy!


Swamp Tour!

Brian was able to steal away part of a day and we loaded up the car and headed for the swamp ... swamp tour that is! Okay, seriously, God has an imagination that is simply mind-boggling. Thankful to God for making this world so varied and full of wonder for us to enjoy!

Our host ...

Um, yeah, that is a baby alligator she is holding, not a lizard.

And, she is holding it, too! :)

Daddy and Brianne waiting out the rain so we can go hang out in the swamp. The rain seemed to help with the mosquitoes, too.

This was our first alligator. He was H.U.G.E. with snapping jaws and did I mention HUGE? Madison's favorite bit of information on alligators was discovering they don't have tongues, just HUGE jaws to go with their HUGE selves.

Momma's holding on to that baby ... no alligator food here. No ma'am!

Okay, I love this picture for a multitude of reasons. But, most of all, because it gave me a picture of our Heavenly Father ... who holds our hands and journeys with us and wants to be in this close of a relationship with us always ... doing life together. That, my friends, is what it's all about!

And, I love this picture, too. Daddy's and daughters. Be still my heart!

"He's looking at you, kid!"

Little rascals ... they were scavenging bread we were throwing at them. Too cute!

This is pink moss ... we learned that pink moss is always on the side of the tree facing north. Okay, God is so cool that He never wants us to get lost. He's given us the Bible ... His words, His direction ... and He even put pink moss on trees so we can find our direction. Isn't that the best?

Egret ...

Bye-bye big guys ... these are some of the alligators that tailed us in the boat. Thinking they were hungry. The tour guide was feeding them raw chicken and they are ferocious! Glad to be leaving them behind, but blessed to be able to marvel over God's creations as a family!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Catching up ... June & July

So, June and July have been filled with road trips to Louisiana, hotel fun, many trips to the a.m.a.z.i.n.g. kids library in LA, a visit with Grandma, swimming, a trip to the Science Museum, a swamp tour (that's another blogpost) and a birthday tea party (another blogpost, too). We are blessed so much. Baby girl has done great on the 12 hour treks. Her big sisters have been TOTAL troopers themselves, as we travel without any t.v. for entertainment. We are blessed with awesome neighbors and friends who have looked after our dogs and mowed our yard while we were gone ... and the biggest thing we have learned solidly is that home is with Brian, no matter what version of home that is (hotel, house, RV, whatever) or where that is (TX, LA, or wherever God leads us or calls us to be). So blessed are we!

Our kids have an incredible imagination and a terrific sense of fun!

Here they have turned our hotel room entry into a craft barn.

So creative ...

Such imagination ...

... a box turned into a "suite with a loft." When can I move in?

'Course baby girl is kept busy with her box of treasures that are "new" everytime she dives into them ... and she has kept busy with sitting up tall and learning to crawl!

Crazy hairdo's ... sleeping in braids results in such fun the next morning!

Awww ....

Science Museum with our sweet neighbors ... this is pretend grocery ...

Baby girl and I in front of the bubbles. She loved looking at this as it lit up.

Dinosaur dig ...

And, last but not least, this is not shaving cream ... it's homemade whipping cream that was used to make Grandma Cooper's world famous banana pudding. The girls had lessons on her visit in order to properly carry-on the banana pudding tradition!

Catching up ... May

Lots of catching up to do, so I'll start with May ... swimming lessons, "Big Grannie" turned 93, and we had "Hoopla," which is my families annual gathering on Memorial Weekend. It was also the month when the Lord moved us in a new direction ... how? He blessed Brian with work after about 13 1/2 months. It happened in a day and he received the call on the way to Hoopla, dropped us off, drove to Alabama to interview, was hired on the spot and has been helping with the oil spill clean-up in Louisiana every day since. We are thrilled! And, while that calls for a lot of changes for our family, we are on an adventure with God and there is no better place to be!

This year Peyton moved into the stroke class and we were amazed at the changes in her skills and her confidence swimming. Wow!

Madison has always been a natural in the water ... takes after her mother. :)

Brianne and Grannie cheering the girls on on the last day of lessons.

"Big Grannie" at her 93rd birthday party ... eating at her favorite place, Luby's, where there is a lot of good diabetic choices and loving on the her great-grandchildren. One of many reasons I love that we homeschool is we get to be there for events like these that happen while everyone is in school. Thank you Lord for this calling!

Everyone's favorite activity at "Hoopla" is swimming ... lots of time spent in the pool.

'Course there is fishing, too, with Uncle Justin ...

Running from the waves at the boat dock ...

Uncle Justin "rocked" it with the cousins when he rented a wave runner and took them all on rides. Hours of great fun and adventure. Uncle Justin rocks!

Aunt Tracy got lots of her Brianne fix ... making sure no one is "pinching her neice!"

Annual cousin crazy picture ...

The favored event at "Hoopla Olympics" are always the water ones. So many pictures of this fun event it was too hard to pick them all out, so I settled on the kids favorite, which is pouring water in a jar on your head. Wonder why they love this one?

Seriously beautiful Daughters of the King ... it's amazing how fast they grow up. These are the girl cousins and, as you can tell, they are a tight-knit group.

And, we'll end May with a baby enthralled with a blue lollipop ... oh, that life's pleasures will always remain as simple as this!