Christmas Time

Monday, January 29, 2007

the art of the exclamation mark...

if ever i have sent you an email or you have read this blog, you can attest to this "mandyism". i am an exclamation mark over-user!! (see there it goes again.) i am sure that if i were to speak my writings i would have to show WAY more enthusiasm than intended originally.

why is this i wonder??? why do i feel the great need to make exclamations?

it is not always because what i want to tell you is sooooo amazing but rather that i want you to know that i think it is a blessing to share something with you as my friend. you are important to me so i want the blessing that our friendship is to me to be overflowing in all that i say to you.

wow- that needs an exclamation mark(s)!!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

a taste of andalusia, spain...

tonight was such a blast! ross' brother and sister-in-law went to spain a few years back and had a phenomenal time. we also have spent a little time with one of the golfers on the u of a women's team who is from spain. well all of that has given us a taste of spain but tonight we went to cafe vicente, a pretty authentic spainish restaurant for a date night with tod & catherine.

we enjoyed tapas (small portions of food - much like appetizers) and sangria. evidently in spain they do not eat until late into the evening, which is something we just don't do these days with the kids. our reservations were for 6:30 so we had eaten our meal when the entertainment began. wow!! there were 3 young guys who were playing flamenco music. it was so exhilarating! it made me wish i knew how to to do a little flamenco dancing. there was to be some dancing but the place was packed and they needed our table so we didn't get to see the dancers.

maybe next time. there will most definitely be a next time at cafe vicente!! if you are ever here in tucson, you should try it!

spain is now on my "must visit" list.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

still processing...

i have been reading a blog that is really challenging me. let me give you the back story...

the other night for some reason or another i got real snippy with ross and well...i was just not nice. so while i was pouting i was surfing on my computer and came across a blog through a friend's sister's blog. the lady writing is from texas (God's country) and is a wife and mom to four boys. she is a christian and her heart is for teaching younger women (titus 2).

as i began reading i felt like i had been whacked upside the head! here are few of the thoughts and scriptures i have been meditating on in the last 36 hours...

proverbs 14:1 says, "the wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."

* i want to be a wise woman. i want to build not tear down. what do my children see and learn from me? is it peace or anger (proverbs 22:24-26)?

1 thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

* these things do not come naturally to me. this is God's will for me...scripture tells me that. i want to respond to life this way. when i am dead and gone this is the legacy i want to have left for my children and grandchildren. even before i die i want to experience they joy and peace that come with being right in the center of God's will.

2 corinthians 12:9 says, "but he [Christ] said to me, "my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.""

i confess that all too often i lose sight of Him in my struggle. i have struggled in my life...not just little struggles but, what to the average man or woman would be, pretty big ones. i have lost babies, i have watched my son on a ventilator, i have grieved the death of another son, i have known what it is to have a husband lose his job, i have been without money for bills, i have moved when i didn't want to. Christ has met me in those horrible times in such ways that i cannot understand why i lose sight of Him in the daily grind so often. i am flawed and yet Christ's power is perfected in those moments!

my desire is to bring glory to God in all i do! what does that mean? it means i want to bring Him fame. i want to make Him famous to my children and their friends, to my family and friends and to my neighbors. i want to love God, which is to obey his Word, and love my neighbor as myself. am i being changed into the likeness of Christ? would those who knew me 10 years ago see Christ in me? would i be making Him famous because of what He has done or would i be trying to make myself famous?

Lord, thank you for being what i am not. since the beginning you have been all i need. you gave me value when you knit me together in my mother's womb. i confess that i try to build my house on my own even though i know that is not wise. Lord, search me and try me. see all the offensive ways in me and cleanse my heart. teach me and lead me in the way everlasting. thank you for loving me, a sinner, and giving your life for mine. You, and You alone, are worthy of all my praise!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

snow in tucson!

it began to fall around 6 tonight and will continue off and on all night. that's right, snow! when we moved out here in april of 2005 henry began praying for snow to fall. now, almost 2 years later, henry has seen that God answered that request. we have had snow since we've been here but we have had to drive up onto the mountains to see it. tonight we enjoyed snow in our own yard!

here are some more pics from

callie and henry had to go check out the snowflakes before they even got jackets on.

isn't luke, callie's little brother, the cutest??

daphne and i even joined in the fun. i love watching the kids enjoy such an unexpected treat!!
thankfully our friends, the bushelmans, gave henry this great winter coat last night just in case there were anymore "snow" days this winter. it came in handy tonight!! daph sure liked throwing snowballs at ross and me. snowball throwing was much preferred over sledding. (that's what we did last to come soon!)

there you have it... snow on the ground in tucson!

Friday, January 19, 2007


today was anna's four month check up. she weighed in at 13 lbs. 6 oz. and was 24 1/2 inches long. i can't believe how much she is growing!

you know i am in awe once again at how richly we (the universal "we") are blessed. yesterday a friend of ours from college, john cordes, and his wife vanessa welcomed another precious daughter to their family. what a treasure each new life is!

in the last year our church welcomed 38 new babies...many of those were our friend's and one was our nephew. this year we are awaiting the arrival of another niece or nephew. ross' brother and his wife are waiting on God's blessing through adoption. we are so excited to see what the Lord has in store for them and for our family with this baby's arrival. it has been a long and hard road for them and still continues to be as they wait. for those of us who have not been through all that they have the fear of never having a child is not there. for them, however, it is difficult to believe that they will ever hold their baby. please pray for their hearts to be encouraged in the waiting!

Monday, January 15, 2007

four months...

there she is, my precious girl. she is four months old (as of yesterday) and really a sweetheart. anna is pretty laid back and doesn't get worked up about much. we really enjoy every moment with her and we are so thankful she is part of our family!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

not again...

let me go on record...i am done!! i am not doing this anymore!!
for those of you who may not have read ross' blog awhile back about daphne and her tooth- let me get you up to speed.
the second week of october daphne and henry were playing on a wooden rocking horse that we have in our living room. she was being silly, fell and knocked out her front left tooth root and all. after months of haggling with trying to reroot the tooth and then attempting a bridge we finally became content with our toothless little girl.

well this past friday the dentist office called and said, "we've got an opening this morning would you like to bring her in and we can try cementing that bridge again?" i agreed and so we went.
about an hour and half later the bridge was in and she looked precious! see the pictures on your left. so her smile isn't perfect any longer but she looks great with the bridge.

after 24 hours we were encouraged about the possibility of it staying in. after 44 hours (that was this morning) i saw her before leaving for work and the tooth was still in looking good! well about 9:30 this morning i get a call from ross saying that she was playing, tripped and fell into his elbow once again knocking out the dang tooth. let me just say - i was crushed. my heart physically ached for a brief moment. i don't know why it upset me so. this is the 3rd...maybe the 4th time she has knocked that bridge out. i shouldn't be surprised.

God is good all the time! He gently reminded me later this morning as i drove home of the story in 1 samuel when samuel had gone to the home of jesse to find the king that God has chosen. as samuel was looking at one of jesse's sons he says to himself - oh this one must be the king God has chosen. then the Lord says to him to not pay attention to this man's outward appearance. man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.

my prayer for daphne and for my other children is that their hearts would be ones that seek to know Christ wholly. i pray that they each would love Him in such a way that their joy and their affections would be towards Christ. i have so many things to pray for when it comes to my kids but today may it be that their reflection would be that of Christ.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

that's what i am talking about!

you all are fantastic!! you have cured me of bbs and now i can move on to greater blogging!

last week before henry went back to school, he and his friend callie had a play date. i mentioned this before but forgot to explain that the original reason for the date is that they wanted to play leapster together. if you've read ross' blog at all then you know that being "white & nerdy" runs in our fam!

here is my precious girl, daphne. check out those pigtails! i must admit that i have never really had lots of style so the idea of teaching my little girl how to present herself on the outside is a bit daunting. that being said, this pic is proof that i do try to do the hair thing. the frustrating thing though is that she always takes the hair thingies out. i can't tell you all how many times i have done my best work and then put her in her car seat only to arrive at my destination with her, bow(s) in hand, saying "here mommy. i take my bow out."

miss anna is not really doing anything new these days. it is so wild how when henry was a baby i just couldn't wait for him to roll over or sit up but with baby anna i just want her to stay tiny for as long as possible. don't get me wrong, when i hear of friends babies that are about the same age and they are doing things like rolling i do think to myself, "is she normal?" i know she is doing just fine and will roll in due time. ross quickly reminded me last night, when i voiced slight concern over the rolling, that once she rolls then she will never stop moving. he shared this as henry and daph were chasing each other around our couch squealing...let me say that our house has tile floors so the squealing sound is VERY LOUD!!!

on another note... i am reading a book called raising great kids by cloud and townsend (the guys who wrote all the boundaries books). the main thought of the first chapter is that we, as parents, have the responsibility to help grow good character within our children. the aspects of good character are
  1. attachment- they must gain the ability to form relationships
  2. responsibility- they must learn to take ownership over choices
  3. reality- they need to accept the negatives of the world (self and others included)
  4. competence- they need to learn how to strengthen their God-given gifts and talents
  5. conscience- they need a growing internal sense of right and wrong
  6. worship- they must learn that God loves them and is sovereign and they need to seek God on their own, apart from parents
i am looking forward to reading more in the book. i love to read about child rearing, being that that is what i do all day everyday. i will keep you posted on what i am gleaning.

have a great weekend! i am sure to post again very soon!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


is it just me or is it the world of blogging? i don't necessarily write this blog for the comments, i mean- that is why i have email, but i am starting to wonder if anyone other than ross reads this thing? do i have beginning blogger's syndrome?

henry is back in school, my bible studies are back in full swing and my brand new 2007 calendar is beginning to get covered. i love this time of year almost as much as i love september. yes, i am one of those people who loves to get new binders (with a fresh package of dividers), new pens and sharpened pencils and a brand new pack of notebook paper!

i think this begins deep inside my heart where the need for "do overs" resides. it is in us all somewhere. we all desire that chance to have a fresh start, an opportunity to do things differently than we did the first (second or third) time, a need for mercy and grace.

"The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease. For His compassions never fail. Your mercies are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness." -Lamentations 3:22-23

Saturday, January 6, 2007

this is what we saw down the street from our house this evening. there were five of them!! i guess javelinas are like raccoons... they were digging in the neighbor's garbage cans.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

"heaven is the north pole"

how amazing it is to sit back and just listen to our children play. so often my world of running around doing errands, cleaning up the neverending messes in our house and doing loads and loads of wash seems to be too noisy to hear their little imaginations. our imaginations are not some strange quirk that we developed at random but rather a sweet gift from our Maker. if you are like me and love to get into a great book it probably has something to do with allowing my imagination to paint a scene and to watch the characters, each one so unique, play out great adventures in my mind.
today henry's little friend callie is here to play. they play so well together...if you have ever had someone else's kiddo over for a playdate you know how important the playing "well together" can be. right now they are dressed up in costumes- callie a fairy named lissa and henry a police officer named santa. they are talking about pets, Christmas, babies and Jesus. just a minute ago "lissa" was asking "santa" how he knew all the things she wanted for Christmas and henry, being santa, explained to her that their God, Jesus, whispered in his ear exactly what she wanted. then he proceeded to tell her that heaven is the north pole.
so what, if his understanding of heaven is a little off in terms of location. he gets the fact that it is a very special place!
thank you Lord for creating in us the ability to imagine. let me be like a child.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


every year begins with a bowl of black-eyed peas and steamed cabbage. well every year but this one. we totally didn't even cross my mind!
since we didn't do that then do i really have to make my list of resolutions that rarely gets completed? do you always complete your list? will i feel some great sense of accomplishment or will i feel like a better person?
either way, i find myself with the nagging urge to make a list so here it goes...

  • i resolve to read one book a month for enjoyment.
  • i resolve to make 4 quilts: one that is already pieced and planned for my nephew, patrick, one for my neice/nephew's nursery, one for my friend's baby girl (it was meant to be her baby gift when she came home but that didn't happen- so it will be her 1st birthday gift!) and lastly i want to make a christmas quilt for myself.
  • i resolve to be a better encourager to my husband and children
  • i resolve to mop my floors more
  • i resolve to spend more time in prayer
there you have it...attainable goals! (i hope.) i will let you know how it goes.

to ride or not to ride...that was her question

for Christmas henry and daphne both got new bicycle helmets from my grandparents. we decided the other day to take them out to the rv park where ross' parents are staying for the winter so that they could take on the open roads with their wheels. daph started strong but after a few minutes....