Saturday, June 27, 2009

Slow Fade



Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4:23

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Romans 12:9

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22

This is love for God: to obey his commands.
1 John 5:3

The more I give up of the world the more I am convicted of the things I still cling to.

Why do I cling to what is evil? Why do I toe the line? Why do I see just how far I can get? Just how much I can get away with? The bare minimum of righteousness I can live with?

Where is my love for God? Where is my desire for Him? Where is my passion? Where is my faith?

How did I get here? How do I go back? How do I love God? Truly honestly completely with all of my heart mind soul strength love God?

Where did we start to fade?

I want to play Mass Effect. I have been convicted that I am not to play that game. This is my personal conviction, I'm not condemning anyone who has played that game, I'm just telling you all so that I will have some extra accountability in this area. It's incredibly tempting for me. How stupid is that? Why is it so hard? Why is obeying God so difficult? This is not just about a video game... by the way... ;-) I'm just using it as an example in my life where, despite the blatant "stop sign" I've received from God, I want to plow on ahead anyway even though I know it is so not worth it.

But you know what? Maybe it starts with a video game. Or a movie. Or a book. Or a relationship. Maybe it starts with that still small voice telling you to just back away, turn around, and flee for goodness sake. Even though it looks harmless. Even though it seems okay. It's not that bad. It's just a little thing. But it's the beginning. It's where you begin to fade.

I feel as though I'm hanging on by my fingernails, He's going to have to frap me together, 'cause I'm losing it, friends.

It's not just me. One of my closest friends, my sister, is so discouraged, she is this close to losing heart and I have no idea what to do. I am so scared because I've seen how far she's come, she's never loved God like this before and I can't see her lose the fight. I can't see her give in. Don't let the fire die.

Today is the day. Do not harden your hearts. While it is still called Today, cling to God. Turn away. Is it really worth it? Gwen, is it really worth it? (yeah, I'm talking to myself.... it's okay, I hope...)

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
Isaiah 11:19,20

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Meet Micah

Travis and I wanted a little brother or sister but Mom and Dad were not so sure. They told us to pray. We prayed. For two years. On May 17, 2000 our prayers were answered. Micalyn Nicole entered the world.

She was so darn cute. Oh my word. I wish you could see her newborn pictures, but my printer scanner thing is malfunctioning and this was back before we owned a digital camera.



Oh goodness... Oh I can't stand it... I'm gonna cry!




Her third birthday... see... three candles... *sniff*



I'm pretty sure we'd just finished making cookies... Oh those curls...



Micah and her BFF Kaiserin (Rin) Oh that dog adores her... and she adores that dog... they are inseparable...



See?



This was my favorite outfit... the hat... oh... I miss it...



Her lightsaber facination began at an early age...



Micah and her other BFF... me!



Do you have any idea how many pictures it took to get her to smile? The look on Trav's face should give you a hint...



We three kings... Kids church christmas play... we made the camels... and the sheep... I have video... hehe



Awww...



Happy Birthday Micah! It was a jungle birthday party... that's supposed to be a snake... not a green elephant turd... um... it was my first attempt at a cake?



Micah meets my future husband and promptly decides that she is going to marry him too...



Look at those blue eyes... Christmas '06



Travis' Christmas Cards... Micah wasn't too happy about being stuck up on the roof of the chicken house... but it made a great picture!



A week before the wedding... she's trying to steal my boyfriend...



Micah and Chip playing the DS... hehe... I think this was Bre and Brishaun's birthday party '07



Micah's tea party birthday party... and the first of two broken arms that summer... (fell off Dad's work truck)



The second of two broken arms that summer... (fell off the monkey bars at Kramers during the Nevertheless concert...)



"Hiking" in Shawnee...



It's a turnip...



She likes chickens...



She does not like waking up... Fat Boy wasn't trying very hard, though...



She was a toy soldier in her first ballet "The Nutcracker" one month after starting dance at CCDE in November 2007



She has a lot of hair...



Decorating the tree...



Advertising for Orange Soda...



Waiting backstage. Midsummer Night's Dream in Princeton. She was a dragonfly... later in the year she became a butterfly.



See? Only you can't tell she's a butterfly because I was a dork and didn't take a picture of her with her costume on...

She was also a tree in Sleeping Beauty... but I forgot my camera... because I'm a dork...



Her ballet birthday party in '08... I thought a CCC would be fun... HA! Not! I hate CCCs... It was yummy though... that's all that counts, right?



Okay... so horses and ballet don't really go together... but that's Micah so we did a ballet birthday party... and rode horses... Micah riding double with her cousin Maddie on Dandy... Travis is leading them because Dandy is dork and we don't trust him...



Micah in Nashville, IN We all went there for our 2nd wedding anniversary... it's gorgeous... I love it there...



Micah and the Dumpster... there is a story... but it wants to wait to be told...



Micah was a gingerbread in the parade... I think it was a Thanksgiving parade... but I can't remember...



Tree trimming party '08... Micah showing Dad his rooster ornament...



Micah was an angel in the Nutcracker '08



She was also a Gingerbread girl...



This is very typical... for one thing... Micah LOVES those gloves... she'd wear them 24/7 if she could... and Micah LOVES Bre... so if Bre is sitting in a chair... Micah is sitting on the arm of the chair...



Hehe... she's so cute!



Cleaning up and Grandmas after the storms earlier this year...



If there is a fire... we must play in it... it's genetic...

So that's Micah... she can't really be explained in words... or even pictures... she's just that awesome. I had a very hard time limiting myself to these pictures... we have tons... and tons... and they're all awesome and then of course there are the events that I didn't get pictures of... like her soccer games and her surgery at Riley and Sleeping Beauty and Alice in Wonderland (I did get Alice pictures on my phone... but I have no idea how to get them off and into my 'puter... any ideas?)

So yeah... Micah is beautiful and talented and smart and sweet and the most selfless kid I've met. She loves animals, her family, kid's church, ballet, tomatoes, and Star Wars.



And she's goofy...

And this is a crazy long post...

Friday, June 12, 2009

We Love Veggies!

Veggie Taaaales Veggie Taaaales Veggie Taaaales Vegg-ie Tales... Broccoli....Celery... Gotta Be... Veggie Tales!

No, wait! Come back! I won't sing anymore... I promise!

Sorry about that... I couldn't resist...

Okay... so veggies are super yummy... Oh boy... we love veggies... we eat veggies... a lot... we've had fried cabbage 5 nights in a row... I kid you not... and there are 5 heads still in my fridge... and 22 still in the garden... yeah... but anyway... cabbage tastes so good, but it also makes a great... um... hat?



My husband... the cabbage patch kid...

And radishes... oh my word... radish chips are so yummy... saute 'em in a little butter then toss 'em with some spices and stick 'em on a cookie sheet in the oven until crispy... then eat 'em...

oh yeah... they also make fabulous eyes...



Oh my...

Head and shoulders knees and toes knees and toes...



Eyes...



And ears... and mouth and...



Nose... head and shoulders knees and toes knees and toes!

No, wait! Come back! I won't sing anymore... I... um ... promise?



Well... after I sing the belly button song... then I won't sing anymore, okay?

Go eat some veggies! Or wear 'em... whatever floats yer boat!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Micah!

My little sister turned nine on May 17, 2009... we celebrated her ninth birthday on May 31, 2009... why so late, you ask? Because May is apparently ballet month and she had performances or dress rehearsals every Sunday except Mother's Day... but we all know what we did on Mother's Day... so the 31 was the only day in May that would work...

Are you wondering why I am just now blogging about this event? No? Well I'll tell ya anyway... I'm a procrastinator... but... I really was going to blog about this... a week ago.... but my lovely Kenneth unloaded the memory card in our camera onto his computer... and then erased it... and then asked me "Is that okay?"! No! No it's not okay! But there really isn't anything we can do about it now, is there? Now I'm stuck with all my pictures on his computer... and his keyboard is evil... and I can't type right... and... and... *sigh* I can't stay mad at him... not even for a second... he's just so darn cute.



See? *big sigh* I love you Kenneth... but I hate your keyboard... for punishment... I'm making sauerkraut... and you shall eat it... and like it... hehe ... or I'll just eat it and make you kiss me...

Anyway. Back to the birthday thing... Micah is obsessed with Star Wars... it runs in the family... She is particularly obsessed with anything from the clone wars time period. So I made her these invitations...



See? That's the inside... it's a Republic Commando's HUD... yeah... no one else got it either... I'm just slightly obsessed with clones...

So all the little Padawans arrived at 4 ish and played in the backyard for about an hour. I had planned to play "Pin the 'saber on the Jedi" (thank you Simmering Over the Koals for the idea) and "Musical Speeders" but they were having plenty of fun on their own... I've learned to not force party games on younglings unless they need them... so they played... and then we ate cake...



That's a lightsaber... and training remote... specifically, Bao Dur's (I'm in love with Bao Dur... don't tell Kenneth)

The lightsaber is life size (meter long blade with an approx. ten inch hilt) as is the remote (ten inch diameter) Yup... I'm a geek...

Micah requested carrot cake... I love that kid... oh my word... carrot cake... (I'm in love with carrot cake w/ cream cheese icing... don't tell Kenneth) So her lightsaber is carrot cake, and since not all young people are as culinarily refined as my dear little sister... the remote is half chocolate half butter. Oh and all cream cheese buttercream... I don't do fondant... the point of cake is tasting good... right? Well fondant... is nasty... even marshmallow fondant... and I refuse to demean my cakes in such a way... Or maybe I just can't seem to get the hang of fondant...

Okay... so we ate yummy cake and yummy ice cream and then we played a bit longer...



There's Brishaun setting up the "dummy"... Micah and Brishaun go through "dummies" like crazy... Brishaun is a Ninja and Micah is a Jedi Ninja... yeah... we're a peaceful family...



Wow... Kyler is looking pretty ninja-ish... And we're advertising for Rural King... they make the best "dummies"... hehe...



Micah is vicious... she is an expert feed bag killer... is this the same kid that is training to be a ballerina?



Sure looks like it... (backstage after the Nutcracker in New Harmony... fyi)



I spent the majority of the time hogging baby Joely... I'm not a bit sorry...

Okay... back to the party... after killing the dummy... they opened presents!

From Travis and Sara...



We are slightly obsessed with Hoops and YoYo...



Nerf Ninja Swords...



A Ninja Master Set...



And... Sparklers and those poppy things you throw at people... or maybe you're not supposed to throw them at people... but we do anyway... We're a peaceful people...

From Angie and The Twins...



Psychedelic Hats...



A Talking Gerbil Card... or something like that... we like talking cards...



A Jedi Robe that Bre made... She's going to make me one too... I have robe envy...

And a bokeh that I don't have a picture of... I think that's how you spell it... a Samurai training sword?

From Kenneth and I...



Clone Wars: Vol. 2 and Barbie: Thumbelina (not pictured) She's a little excited...

From the Hatfields...



Squirt guns... lots and lots of squirt guns... Are we seeing a theme?

From Emmy...



An adorable card she made...



And lots and lots of cool art stuff...

From the McCools...



An awesome Beth Moore book... we love Beth Moore... (What's up with Micah's eyes? She's looking a bit Sith-ish... scary...)



And this adorable shirt.... "be original"... I want one...

The we went back outside and put those presents to good use...







I love this picture... and that robe... the ugly equipment in the background... not so much...



I'm sure using the fountain to refill the water guns had nothing to do with the filter getting clogged up...



This picture is blurry... but I love it... Carson is just too cute...



I'm sure this is how all families demonstrate love...



Emmy and Micah... She was dressed up as Princess Leia... it was too cute....



Someone got a hold of my camera... Kenneth cut off my legs... but he did not escape unscathed... looks like Micah is going to stab me in the back... she has no honor... And Harmony has taken up residence on the trampoline to escape Skittles, the over exuberant and over sized puppy...



Throwing those exploding poppy things at each other...

After the kids were all worn out... we ate...



The Food...



The Fire...



Roasting and Reclining...

The food was good... Everyone except for the twins went home... we fed the "livestock"... and changed clothes...








And played flashlight tag until the wee hours of the morning... it was fun...

Happy Birthday Micah! Love you, you little ninja jedi mando'ad squirt!

Re'turcye mhi!