Christmas Time

Monday, December 22, 2008

school christmas programs...

video

you have to love school christmas programs. henry's school does a very nice program and this year was no exception!! the music teacher created a program that was so incredibly worshipful. here is henry's portion of the program. these kids are precious!! enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

busy days...

things have been crazy busy around here lately. too much so i must add!! i am ready for life to find a rhythm and stick with it. wishful thinking- i know.

we had originally planned to spend our thanksgiving at disneyland but with the five month layoff period we ended up staying here. there are a few things in life that i tend to hold sacred and i must say that the thanksgiving meal is one of them. it was so hard to "settle" for other people's food this year. don't get me wrong the food tasted fine- it just wasn't how my family does things. for instance i grew up with cornbread dressing and giblet gravy. none of that this year. i grew up with asparagus. not this year. again, i will say that the food was good just different. the kids and i did however get to make the pecan pie which turned out fabulous!
something else about not hosting thanksgiving is we didn't have any leftovers. i totally missed the late evening sliced turkey on white bread. because we didn't have turkey leftovers i cooked a turkey for our family. i can remember loving the leg of a turkey when i was a kid and sure enough our kids totally loved the legs. even anna needed something with a bone in it so she could be like the big kids.

it doesn't rain here too terribly often but when it does come it can be almost as exciting as snow in houston. the kids have always enjoyed playing in the rain and so this time they again asked and i said yes. i grabbed the camera so i could capture the fun.


video

if you cannot understand what daphne says in the beginning of the video she says, "thank you God for the rain!" i just love that she was praising Him in the midst of her play. oh how i pray she would praise Him in all things all her days.

my "no no no" at the end of the video was because they started knocking on the neighbors garage door rather loudly!

let's see...once thanksgiving was over we got out the Christmas decorations and got right to it. the kids once again made decorating the tree tons of fun! i loved listening to them try to tell the stories of each of the ornaments. our sweet family tree is looking exactly as i had once hoped- full of handmade angels with class picture faces, hand prints and glitter everywhere. i think next year will need a bigger tree so we can fit all these little treasures on the branches!


we've already made lots of Christmas candy, a yearly tradition. we made chocolate covered cherries, caramels, peanut butter & marshmallow fudge, peanut brittle and i think i will make some divinity today.
now that all of those things were done we celebrated henry's 7th birthday. i cannot believe that he is seven. i have been so thankful for this little boy God blessed us with who gave us the names, Mom and Dad.

for his birthday party we had a "messy" party! we had pizza, the kids made their own ice cream sundaes with whip cream and tons of toppings. but the grand finale of the party was the 72 cans of silly string that those kids went nuts with!! it was a blast!!
**note the ground covered in silly string behind henry!

miss ramey has finally weighed in at 13lbs!! she is doing fabulous and even started eating some cereal in the last couple of weeks. she is sleeping through the night, talking up a storm and working so hard to strengthen her little leg muscles. i am sure that in no time she will be crawling all over the place and we will be in for it!!
i guess that is the quick update as of late. like i said- life has been crazy busy!

at this time of year i can quickly loose sight of what we are celebrating. this year however it is my prayer for myself and for my family that we would not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of commercialized Christmas but rather have a growing excitement as we approach the birthday celebration of Jesus!

Lord, i pray that you would captivate my mind and heart in such a way this season that my eyes would be fixed on you. thank you for your Word that has revealed your son, my savior's, coming since the very beginning and thank you Lord for giving a far greater gift than anything we will give or receive this year.

Merry Christmas to all of you!! For any of you who may not have received a Christmas card from us this year please know that you are not the only one...i under ordered by a huge margin this year!! here are some of the pics from our attempts at a Christmas card...enjoy!!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

face lift...

i tried putting this really cute background on here but because my last background was custom made by my sweet husband...i am not sure what to do to fix this.

tonight maybe my hubby will get it all fixed up.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

life with four...

i often am asked, "what's it like with four kids?" well let me give you a quick idea...
trying to capture a family photo for a christmas card is basically impossible. in fact i think next year while attempting the for mentioned photo needed for a christmas card i will also have someone there video taping the whole ordeal. then instead of a family photo we will send out a dvd of the "adventure" and title it "we tried".

another fun thing about four kids is the fact that real life happens and though i would love to be able to have my eye on all the kids at all times (for safety reasons) i just can't do it. sometimes i have to go upstairs and change a poopy diaper and the others are left downstairs.

yesterday this is exactly what happened. i took ramey caroline upstairs to change her diaper and left the other three in the living room. upon my return i saw anna on the floor in the laundry room. i was not concerned at finding her in this location simply because her other name around here is emelda marcos and the laundry room is where we keep our shoes. i assumed she was putting on some shoes... we all know what happens when we assume! i said to her, "anna, what a you up to?" she turned around and this is what i saw-
don't worry- it is not blood. no it is in fact- my lipstick. for whatever reason she decided to put it on as if it were eye makeup. it actually scared me when i saw her at first but then i realized what it was and so i grabbed the camera and then washed her face.

i am finding that in so many situations where i could totally lose my cool and get mad about something the kids did if i grab my camera then i calm down rather quickly. don't get me wrong she did get corrected for this choice but not with the anger that was there when i realized what she has done to my lipstick.

another fun thing is that i love the stage where ramey caroline is (by the way she has finally reached 12lbs)...she found her feet a while ago and loves to put them in her mouth. this lends itself to seeing serious baby yoga poses!!

well there is just a glimpse of what has been going on with the kids around here.

for any of you who might not have heard- ross is working again. he started a position here in tucson last week. though it is a 3 month contract position it has potential to become permanent after that time. please pray we would trust God to put him right where he needs to be for as long as he needs to be there.

have a wonderful thanksgiving this week. i know our family is so very thankful for this year in many ways. praise the Lord we are able to say thank you!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

video clip is too big...

sorry, everyone, but the video of henry's baptism is too big for it to post. i am including some of the still shots of it for you to see.
allen is talking with henry about his relationship with Jesus.i know allen is blurry but check out all that water...

allen is praying for henry's relationship with Jesus to grow day by day and in all things.

Monday, November 10, 2008

haircuts and baptism...

henry decided to give himself a HAIRCUT on the morning of his baptism. yes- you read that right...he cut his own hair an hour before we had to be at the church. let me just say that our son was blessed with a double cowlick on the back of his head. this allows for an unintentional mohawk when his hair gets too long. the mohawk had been starting to stand out in the last week but i had no time to take him to get a haircut and he never seemed bothered by it. that was until sunday morning.

he came in after having gotten dressed and said, "mom, can you cut this up here? it's standing up." i responded with, "sure, just go get me the scissors." on his return he had a strange and guilty look on his face. then i saw it. there was a patch of hair laying on the front of his little vest. i then brought my eyes up to his hairline and there it was...a chunk taken out of his hair.

i immediately prayed, "Lord, don't let me lose it over something silly like this. help me keep my cool." i took a deep breath, smiled and told him to not cut his hair again. i then said, "henry, i am going to get the camera, take a picture of you and then shave your head." that's what we did.

for many of you who might want to see henry's baptism i have included the video of it here for you. henry prayed to accept God's gift of salvation two and a half years ago and recently began asking about baptism. he was very excited to let his church know that Jesus is his Savior. by the time we got to church and he saw all the people my shy little guy decided to only nod and answer the pastor with a quiet voice. it was precious to actually see what God has already done in his heart and the work that is going on in him daily. i held the tears back until the water poured over his head. what a day!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

"pick a peet"...

yes, "pick a peet" does in fact mean "trick or treat". it only took anna about two houses before she had the whole thing figured out. she even threw in a "tank to" after receiving the loot and gave a wave as the door would close.some of our good friends, who couldn't come last year, came over for the festivities this year. ross and alan stayed at the house enjoying tasty beverages and passing out candy while ramey slept upstairs and allison and i took the other 6 kids around the neighborhood. i think the older kids had a blast and i know anna and emmie did. every once in a while the kids would cop a squat in a driveway and dig in their bags for a treat. this was also the time when a diaper would get changed.
little miss ramey didn't go with us this year but she did sport a pumpkin outfit for about ten minutes...just long enough for some picture.

our neighborhood did a great job of keeping the decorations a little more low key. only a couple of houses were questionable. two in particular stand out as the wackos this year. at one house a man had a VERY SCARY mask on and of course when anna saw him she started to wig a little so we began backing away. meanwhile emmie is starting to walk backwards and all the while this guy is growling. yes growling at two year olds...wacko award #1 goes to him. wacko award #2 goes to the old creepy man who brushed his extremely long gray hair over his face like cousin it. none of the kids liked him either especially not luke. when the man realized he was not a favorite he pulls his hair back and makes a scary face at luke and a yucky noise too. what is wrong with people?? fetal alcohol syndrome?

on the flip side though- one family gets major kuddos!! dad dressed like captain hook from head to toe, mom dressed as wendy and the little girl was tinkerbell with pixie dust!

oh and for those who may be wondering if ross has a job yet- the answer is no. we are still waiting. there are four possibles but nothing for sure yet so please pray as we wait on the Lord.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

ode to laundry...

friday i realized the kids were out of clean underwear and all their other necessities.
then i began to sort four kids worth of laundry plus mine and ross'.


this is what the piles of clean laundry look like for all four kids...there are still two more loads going. note to self...don't wait two weeks to do the laundry.
this is me when it's all done...

Friday, October 10, 2008

wonderful weather...

i love this time of year! highs in the 80s, low humidity, a cool breeze! my kids love this weather too. in fact this morning the girls played outside for quite some time. they were swinging on the swing set and writing with chalk on the porch. the windows are all open on the house and the birds are chirping a sweet sound. i don't know if there is anything better! it was so nice that i couldn't even finish cleaning the kitchen or brush my teeth. i had to go outside and play with them. i wish i would slow down more to just play! (jen- this pic is one that daph and i did for miss ellie belle.)
this week was crazy hair night at awanas. spiky hair just isn't crazy these days so thankfully my friend had some color spray. henry and sage had blue and green hair which they of course thought was the coolest thing ever. i have to admit...it was pretty fun looking!


henry has been doing a lot of reading these days which i am so excited about. i pray all the time that he would have a love for learning but most of all that he would have a desire to read the Bible all his days so that he would know God more deeply. the other day as i was getting dinner ready this is what i saw...


video

hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

the latest...


here's anna and emmie once again, loving life and enjoying each other.


ramey is now 3 and half months old...well she was when i took this picture. next week our little one will be four months old. time is flying by way too fast!


we withdrew daph from school at the end of september with the thought of moving away or at least saving money while we wait. last thursday i took the girls to the zoo with aunt cat and zach. we had a really fun time just enjoying the animals. i have to say, our zoo is just the right size for a morning outing. not too big and not too small.
this picture is of daphne being silly while we waited for aunt cat and zach to arrive. note my younger one in the background trying to jack the atm machine. we aren't that desperate!!


lastly, here's our birthday girl. daphne turned 4 on the 1st so we invited family and a couple of friends over for dinner and cupcakes to celebrate.

keep praying, folks. we are not going to phoenix either. there are a few things in the works right now so pray that something will stick SOON!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

not what we thought this week would be...

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9

i have no clue what is going on in our lives other than God is doing something!!

we are no longer going to seattle. two days after receiving his "welcome to the company" letter and packet the company ross was going to work for retracted their offer. we were shocked and very disappointed to say the least. as i had said in the previous post my heart ached at the thought of leaving our friends and family here but the desire for adventure rages within both ross and me. we had become excited about going. we were ready to see what the Lord had for us to learn and share there. now that is no longer.

after receiving the "welcome" letter ross contacted the other company who had extended an offer to him and kindly declined their offer. needless to say when word came that we were no longer going to seattle he immediately called this company to see if they would still like to have him. they told him they were already interviewing someone else but would let him know the next week. they did call him on the following monday and extended the offer again (plus relocation). we were thankful but so much less excited...the job is in phoenix (just outside of).

let me say that when this seattle job was taken away it really shook me. when ramey and i both faced death this year i stood more firmly on my faith than i did in this. why? why would something as trivial as losing a job/not having to move to a city 1500 miles away shake my faith more than my daughter's fight for life? the answer- the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. i am sure that we are being pursued by one who wants nothing more than to void our impact for Christ. i, too often, want to sit under a palm tree and sip on an umbrella drink and watch the world pass by but because i am a christian i must fight the good fight all the way to the finish line.

early catholic art made popular the mythical bird- the phoenix. near the end of the life of the phoenix it builds a nest of cinnamon twigs that it then ignites; both bird and nest burn fiercely and reduce to ashes from which a new bird is born. catholic art used this as symbolism of Christ's resurrection.

in our attempt to love and live like Christ i believe our move to the phoenix area may be symbolism in our lives. ross and i, because of Christ living in us, will rise from the ashes of disappointment and pride to make God famous because it is only because He wills it that we even sit here breathing.

i am a very self reliant person- so much so that i once said to the Lord during this layoff, "Lord, could you hurry up and give ross a job so i don't have to depend on you anymore?" i wasn't even being silly in saying that- i meant it and when i realized i truly meant that in my heart i laughed at myself for still being so dense.

i have no doubt that God has plans for hope and a future for me and ross and our kids. i also have no doubt that all too often i get on the floor kicking and screaming because i think i know what is best for us. i am wrong every time. this time i want to step out in faith and trust God to provide for our every need. i want only to be exactly where God wants me for i know there is no better place to be than under the shadow of His wing.

join us as we pray for a new excitement towards this job and this relocation. we want to go and be like daniel, meshach, shadrach and abednago- we want to come out of this fire not even smelling like smoke!

"In my distress I call on the Lord and he answers me." (ps. 120:1)

** to our sweet friends who actually sent us a gift card to ll bean, we would love to return this to you being that we won't need rain wear after all. email me and let me know how to get this back to you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

we're moving...


today it is for sure. we are moving to seattle, washington. ross took a job there and will leave next week. the kids and i will follow, hopefully, before the end of october. it is crazy to think that we will be living in the northwest. 10 years ago i figured we'd live in texas all our life but look at the adventure we are on! we are excited about this new adventure. we love the coast and cold weather so we're giving it a try.

my heart is sad though. God has given us rich blessings in our friends here. i cannot imagine not seeing the faces of my friends each day. in fact my heart physically aches when i think of this. so much so that i am going to quit writing about it for now.

the kids go back and forth about the move. they don't want to leave their friends either but are very excited to whale watch and pick blueberries. i have checked out pumpkin patches and christmas tree farms.

i can't wait to see all the beautiful things that so many people keep telling me about. one thing i have realized though...we don't have winter wardrobes. if ever you want to give a gift to the newman family...ll bean gift cards, lands end gift cards...that would help to clothe our flip flop, tank top wearing family!

g.k. chesterton once said, "an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." adventure is defined as "an unusual, exciting, and daring experience." so we are following Him to a new place. though difficult, we know He is at work and our lives are in His hand. bring on the adventure!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

superfriends...

fighting the bad guys
in flight
wonder girl

Monday, September 1, 2008

we almost wet our pants watching this...

you have got to see this hilarious video of the kids...well actually anna. after dinner we were watching the kids dance to some music and anna had to join in. it is so funny!


video

anna turns two in just 14 days. i can't believe how fast it has gone by and yet it seems like she has always been with us. she is definitely our comedian and life of the party... as you can see in the video.

here's our girl wearing the mane to henry's lion costume...i still think of tina turner.she loves this hat even if it is 97 degrees outside. curls!! i can't bring myself to get her first haircut because she is our only one with curls. they are too precious!anna and emmie, her best friend.

happy almost 2nd birthday, little bit. we love you!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

pity party & some pictures...

so bear with me for just a minute...

i was just looking at some pictures of some friend's new baby born yesterday. he is beautiful and their family looks so excited to have a new little guy in the mix.

for some reason all of a sudden i felt so sad that we would not be having any more kids. i think the reality of how everything happened when ramey was born hit me. i missed out on having the sweet moments after she was born to hold her and stare at her and then to introduce her to her siblings. i know that seems silly in the big picture- don't miss understand me- i am forever thankful that i can hold her in my arms and look at her everyday. too many mommies out there cannot hold their precious ones in their arms today and there is nothing more difficult than that- i know this!

my ideal of how her birth and first days were to happen were blown out of the water and i will never do it again. i think i am grieving that a little today. i don't know that we would have had any more kids even if we could but today the idea of how my birthing experiences should go is no longer and i am a little sad about it.

my baby's are each so precious to me and i am so very grateful to have them. i have been richly blessed by God who has given them to us. so i will now stop my pity party and have a thankful heart!

now for some pictures from the last few days...anna's nap. can that be all that comfortable?
henry and ramey enjoying some time together. she is starting to coo these days.
the kids are enjoying their rocking horse that grandad alan made for them. in fact they all love it so much that sometimes the horse has to go into timeout. for a rare moment though the girls are having fun together on it!

have a great evening...we're going to watch superman with henry. i'll let you know how he likes it!