Christmas Time

Sunday, December 27, 2009

december highlights...

well another month has passed with not a thought recorded here on my blog. ugh! it would be so much more efficient if my thought process could just be uploaded to the blog whenever i felt it would be fitting.

let's see... this month has been packed with all kinds of fun. we celebrated henry's 8th birthday! wow, where have the years gone. it really does feel like only a couple of years have passed since he arrived. i can still close my eyes and be right back in that hospital room laboring with a great excitement for what was ahead. the Lord has changed me in so many ways through henry's life. i have learned my desperate need for dependence on the Lord in all things. i have learned more about dying to self. i have learned that a kind word turns away wrath. i have learned the God delights in His children! those things don't even scratch the surface of what i have learned in the last eight years. i am so blessed to be this kid's mom!! he really is the greatest boy i know.
this month also included daphne learning to ride her bicycle sans training wheels. this was somewhat of a surprise to us. one day she told us she wanted to take the training wheels off which she has tried before about a month ago but today something clicked for her! she did it. and can i just say that she is one tough cookie!! i can't tell you how many times henry would eat the pavement and justifiably cry like a remember what skinned knees feels like. not daphne. she just gets up and tries again.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

thankful for so very much...

this month has been so full!! we have enjoyed so many things and had lots of fun!

at the end of october henry qualified to participate in the regional speech meet. what this means is that out of all the second graders at his school he was one of four that scored high enough to move on to basically a statewide competition. on the 13th ross and i went with him and watched our boy stand before a table of judges and a group of about 40 people. he recited psalm 1 and did FABULOUS!!! he ranked superior- which meant he was awarded a blue ribbon! we were so incredibly proud of him!!
we celebrated my 32nd birthday and ross was wonderfully amazing to me once again! he gave me a much needed new camera. back in august my camera was flooded by a kid's water bottle thrown in a bag so all i have had in the mean time was my camera phone. i am anxious to learn how to use my new camera to its those of you with great camera skills...tell me your secrets!!! PLEASE!!!

our family, the newman portion, has grown to 17!! that's right, 17! there are tons of kids on this side of the family so for christmas ross and i decided to give a photo shoot and pictures to the family. our friend, jenna, came out and captured some great shots for us. of course not everyone looks great and kids aren't looking at the camera in some but the reality is that this is where we are in life. years from now everyone will stand still and look at the camera but for now we will enjoy this stage.

after leaving the family photo shoot ross and i made a quick change and headed back out the door to my aquatica's first annual little black dress party. this was an event we planned to celebrate some of our first goals and really just a great opportunity to dress up and party! we had so much fun and we all looked beautiful! (everyone in black is a participant and our coach is in the white shirt)
to top off the month one of my sisters and her family drove all the way here from texas to spend thanksgiving with us. we were so excited when they suggested the plan even if they could only stay for a day and a half! their family of 5 arrived late afternoon on thursday and we ate like royalty! we spent the evening laughing and enjoying one another as if we had just been together the week before. i am so thankful each time we are together because God graciously allows our families to get along and to allow no evidence of time passed or the distance in miles between us.

on friday of their trip i took keesha and eric with me to aquatica. they felt it saturday morning! once we were home we loaded up and headed to the catalinas for a hike up the panatoc trail. we had an amazing time despite the complaints of the under 5s. henry and chloe took off leading the way most of the time. i have said it before and i will say it again- henry shines out there on the mountains! when anna and lily could take no more ross & eric hiked back down with them while keesha and i caught up with the big kids. this picture cracks me up!! lily is sticking her tongue out at a cactus she just bumped into to. no harm done just hurt feelings.
they are exhausted and in need of a potty break but tried to humor me with a quick picture.
or two!

today we enjoyed a family adventure once again. ross and i took the kids to a place called karchner caverns. it was so beautiful! there were all kinds of geologic structures to see and learn about. in fact at one point as the docent was explaing how the stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws and drapery were formed i smiled as i thought about God's artistry and creativity. for the man explaining everything you could hear his excitement as he talked about the co2 and all the other components. i thought about how God reveals Himself to us in such personal ways. i began praying that the docent might meet God in that cavern.

the room we were in was called the throne room. our docent pointed out some helocites, i think that's what they were called, that were no longer doing what they were doing in another potion of the cave but rather bent over in the direction of the "throne room". whatever explanantion he gave i did not hear much of...only enough to hear something about a breeze but what i thought of was how every knee will one day bow down before the Throne. this was just God's story illustrated in a cave.
so there you have our month. lots of adventure, lots of fun!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


here it is mid october and the weather is still in the upper 80s here in the desert. today was extraordinarily skies, a few clouds, sun shining and a warm breeze. you know the weather- cool enough to wear jeans and shirt with sleeves rolled up.

after picking up the two middle girls at school on tuesdays we only have about an hour before picking up henry. there is no point in driving all the way back to the house so we can be there for 15 minutes just to get back in the car to pick him up. (this is one of those areas that i envy you wonderful women in my life who homeschool!)

so with an hour to fill we headed over to AJs, a nice grocery store here in town, for a free cookie for the girls and an ice tea for me. i don't know if it was the fact that we were not in a hurry for a change or if it was that we had an hour but we got the cookies and tea and walked out into a beautiful half hour of just pure delight. we walked slowly and looked at all the fall decorations. we threw pennies in the water fountain and then just stood there for a few minutes. we walked into one of my favorite stores and enjoyed seeing the thanksgiving table decor that i would so love to put on my own table. nothing but a slow paced-no agenda half was good. so good! (now that i have written this i am wondering if maybe the fact that two out of three kids were in a stroller may have been a huge contributing factor to the calm as well.)

after we loaded back into the car and headed over to the school i began processing the whys of such a peaceful bit of the day. as i said before there were probably several contributing factors but one that stood out to me was the weather.

a common ice breaker question is, "what is your favorite season?". my answer to that is always fall...until someone else answers and gives their reasoning. what i realized today is that i love all the seasons (in moderation re: arizona summers) but more than the season, i love the changing of seasons. it is like a rebirth of sorts. i find that with the dawning of a new season there is hope for change in my own life. i am a sucker for school supply season and for the spring color options for kitchen aid mixers in the william-sonoma window. store shelves with scarves or winter hats and sunscreen usher in more of the same- hope for change and newness.

so there you have it- my favorite season is the changing season!

Lord, You are the Author of hope and i praise You for it! because of the cross i have hope and i thank you for letting me see that with the change of the season hope can be see there too. thank you for showing Yourself to me today in the stillness of that one half hour!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

iphone pics...

over the last several months i have enjoyed having my iphone on hand to capture those moments that will not ever be least not in a genuine fashion. now these pics are not in chronological order by any means but who cares...this isn't the scrapbook!

here are my two middle girls headed into pre school for their first day. daphne loves school and so it was sweet to watch her lead her baby sister into class. anna is loving it!

many people have asked what is it like having four kids. here is a glimpse. while i was fixing dinner ross and all four of the munchkins sat together to read a book. i loved this moment in is exactly what i hoped for!

these girls bring such joy and laughter to our family each in there own way! this was a trip to the zoo and they were just waiting on the wall for our friends to arrive. i pray they will grow a strong friendship with one another in the years ahead.

i may have posted this picture before but this captures our anna. most mornings she is up by 5:45am dressed and spending some quiet time by herself or with our dog, otis. on this morning she had let him outside and pulled up a chair next to him to watch the morning arrive.

for some reason i thought it would be fun to get anna her first hair cut. we went with a cute little bob and yes it is cute but i am still not sure why i cut off those curls! silly me, adorable her!

here's our henry covered in shaving cream. for the end of the year swim team party they had a huge shaving cream fight. he didn't hesitate to join this chaos!!

now this is why i have an iphone! here we are in old navy one day and while we were in line anna finds these boots. often times i would tell her not to do this and to come stand next to me but in a rare moment of delight and enjoyment i let her waddle around in these GIANT rain boots. she's adorable and it was just plain fun for a few minutes for all of us.

here's my precious husband and his two eldest. i love how ross loves all of us. he gives of himself all the time...i really mean all the time. these kids have such a great example of a husband and daddy and i praise God for that all the time!

this is an arizona sunset. sadly i have grown to take them for granted all too often but not on this day. it was breath taking as most of them are. the sky here is more beautiful than anywhere i have ever been...pure and beautiful.

girl's night out for daph and i! i got my hair done and so did she. there truly is a difference between super cuts and the salon and the price difference wasn't too bad either. we followed up our hair appointments with sauce and frost (for you non tucsonans- pizza and gellato).

just last weekend i took henry & daphne to see cloudy with a chance of meatballs in 3D. we had a blast!! i love taking them to the movies. i am looking forward to toy story and toy story 2 next weekend.

so there you have one more little peak into our world.

Lord, you have so richly blessed me with our little 6-some. Lord, help me to instill in our children a love for our family both near and far. i pray they learn, through word and example, how to enjoy the little things time and time again and i pray we would glorify You by enjoying You forever.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

family, car pool and chores- oh my...

i can't believe it has been almost 3 months since i posted anything on here! ugh!! it drives me crazy that i have let that happen.

much has gone on around here so i think i will catch you all up via pictures.

after ramey's birthday we took a mini vacation up to a resort in phoenix with the gooding family. we all had a great time enjoying our time by the pool! definitely a must for next summer!

the kids were packed and ready to go by 7:30 am...estimated time of departure = 9am

anna didn't want to be in this pic but here is ross and 3 of the 4 heading to the pool!anna did enjoy being in the water- especially if she could snag ramey's are something to get excited about!

alan and allison getting a couple of minutes to themselves!

me & my girl!

anna, me & hj

swim team was such fun this year!!
henry improved 10 fold this year with his swimming. by championships he placed 4th overall in backstroke, his favorite stroke!

henry & his buddy kody
connor, henry, alia and callie
some days cookies are a must!
ramey loves to feed herself! weighing in at 17lbs at 12 months we've had to find foods to fatten her black beans, cheese and avacados
in july we went a tucson toros game with uncle tod, aunt cat and zach. the kids had a great time!!CYT is a youth theater group that henry and some of his friends enjoyed over the summer. for one week a ton of kids gathered on the UofA campus and by friday they put on a production of the Lion King.
henry was part of the chorus but had a one line solo!
we took a big trip to texas right before school started. we drove to denton first to see friends and to stop by ollie's grave. this is our first picture of our 5 kiddos!once we left denton, having seen krissy and the carbajal family we headed south for a week at the beach. it was much needed time in the sand.

while at the beach i actually got to see two of my friends from my younger years! i have known allison and kristen since elementary and jr. high. funny thing was- kristen and her family were staying about a block away so we caught up with her and then allison and 2 of 3 of her boys drove down for the day just to hang out with us! it was such a treasure to see both of these girls!while on our beach trip, the first day, i put my camera in the beach bag to protect it but somehow a water bottle that didn't get closed all the way ended up in the bag and poured out all over my camera. ugh!!! so for now i can only use my iphone. i am hopeful to get a new camera for my birthday/christmas gift this year!

once we got home from the beach it was time to start school again! henry started second grade, daph started pre k and anna is enjoying her first year of pre school.

born on august 12th, baby hannah catherine joined our family! i was so blessed to hold her before she spent the next week and a half in the nicu. all is well and she is wonderfully healthy and settling in at home with mom, dad and big brother, zach.there are still more pictures to share, the girls start to school and anna's bday but for now i need to get some sleep! hope you enjoy the overview of the past few months and i hope to not be so far behind next time!