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!