Friday, December 19, 2008

My Husband Rocks~Friday

This picture totally makes sense to you, right? I mean, you have moved a staircase? Can you make it so it's not too steep? How about it? Oh, and while we are at it, how about a flagstone patio or maybe a rock, water feature? Oh, even better, maybe a pagoda?

This is one thing I have always admired about Josh, it doesn't matter if he has never tackled a particular project before, he is always willing to give it a try. AND seriously, it always turns out fabulous. I wish my efforts were so rewarding. He has such great confidence, and I admire that a lot.

A friend asked Josh if he would help MOVE a staircase, which from my "limited" knowledge of construction, doesn't sound like an easy job. MOVE A STAIRCASE?? Isn't that like ripping it out and building a new one? "Of course I will help!!" he says. Why did I imagine any different?

I am glad to have such a handy guy, and now I know if I ever need my staircase moved.......I have the MAN to do it!!

You rock, Josh, because you are willing to tackle any problem.
I love your confidence, and you always do things with perfection.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Levi's New Trick

Step 1: getting ready for cuteness!

Step 2: just making sure you know I am cute!
Step 3: leaning against short suitcase

Step 4: letting go!

Step 5: standing all by myself and trying not to laugh.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Our First Snowman

I cannot remember every building a snowman, so it was a lot of fun to enjoy it with my children. Abishai, especially, has been waiting for almost a year to make a snowman. He had a carrot that he brought from California, JUST for this occasion. I had to freeze it last year, knowing that we would not be able to use it.

We have had a few inches of snow, but we happen to live in a house that gets direct sunlight most of the day. Most of the time our snow melts pretty quickly. I almost thought that we would get to build a snowman last weekend, but I was told that -15 degrees was not good "snowman-making" temperatures. I was told from the "snowman experts" that 25 degrees was the best temperature.

We waited, hoping that the snow wouldn't melt too much. Josh came running in the house to say it looked like it was a PERFECT time, so even though I was in the middle of cooking......we went outside. I think we did a pretty good job, for first-timers.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Husband Rocks~Friday

Another day to brag about how my husband Rocks!!!!
If you have never participated, and you want the picture!

I have to admit this is getting more difficult to think of good things to write about, but I don't want it to seem like that is because he is not "rockin!" In the last few months, Josh has never been more amazing. Sometimes I have to STOP him from helping me out, because he is making me feel badly. I am three months pregnant, and I have been having a harder time keeping up with my housework. BUT I have already mentioned how helpful he has been, so I have to think of something different.
This time of year always makes me think of "how it all began!"
Josh lived in California while I lived in Arizona. We wrote many letters, emails, supported the phone company, and visited as often as possible. My mom would do her best to drive me up there on long weekends, but it never seemed long enough. One Christmas, I planned a surprise. I would come for a visit for three weeks so we could spend the holiday season together. I didn't tell him I was coming. AND I was even more shocked that my mom said, "Yes!"

I arranged everything with his family. They arranged for his best friend to pick me up at the airport on Christmas morning. Christmas morning, his parents faked a disagreement, then Josh and his Dad went to town on a last minute errand. As the story goes, apparently, they "forgot" to deliver a present. Honestly, Josh was a bit frustrated, as all of this "fuss" did not seem necessary. He was feeling that Christmas was not turning out as he had hoped. While they were doing a series of pointless things in town, including a stop at the post office. By this time, Josh was frustrated because we ALL know the post office is CLOSED ON CHRISTMAS MORNING!!
I arrived at his house, his sister helped wrap me up and I was placed under the tree. Josh's mother paged (yes, I said PAGED) his dad to let them know we were ready. Josh came home a little exasperated that the traditional Christmas morning had been a little ruined. Here it was nearing ten o'clock and they hadn't eaten breakfast or opened presents.
"Let's have devotions!" his mother said. All the family rushed into the living room to read the Bible and pray, something usually saved for later. Josh decided to throw a minor fit; I cannot imagine him doing it now. But he was SO hungry, and things were NOT going "as planned!"
And everyone was acting so strangely! After many minutes, Dad finally convinced Josh that he would be brief in his devotions, so that we could get on with the day. Please keep in mind, I have been in a PLASTIC BIKE BAG for what seemed like a long time. I was in high heels, and a skirt. Josh finally glanced over to the tree, only to see a BIG present. "What's that?" he asked curiously, then poked me in the head. All the time I am getting hot and tired of being wrapped up. Finally he read the tag, "To Josh, From Serena." He tore the package open. I popped out, giving him a hug! The look on his face was priceless! I think we ate breakfast right after, so Josh was no longer minding that things did not go as planned.
Happy 10th Christmas, Josh!
You Rock, more every day!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Basket

Our church blessed us with an abundance of things for Christmas. Josh says we probably got the most submissions, some know things are tight, other just feel like a family of six can ALWAYS use more help. I will take any blessing God wants to throw our way. His blessings are always ABUNDANT! It was a tiny bit harder for Josh, but he decided not to listen to Satan's lies. He is a great provider, and I am thankful for that. But who doesn't want a blessing once in a while?

I wrote a list of ALL the things we got, just so you could see HOW MUCH!!!!!
The church was organized; they bless 800 families during this project. They were streamlined, and it was a great thing to see. I should have taken pictures of how amazing the church looked.

On to the list:

1 Turkey
3 Dozen Eggs
2 Stalks of Celery
2 Bags of Carrots
15 lbs. of Potatoes
2 Pkgs. of Hot Dogs
2 Pkgs. of Hot Dog Buns
2 Gallons of Milk
3 Loaves of Bread
2 Gallons of Juice
2 Boxes of Margarine
1 Bag of Mixed Fruit
Sliced Cheese
Whipped Cream
3 Family Size Cans of Chicken Noodle Soup
2 Boxes of Saltine Crackers
2 Pkgs. of Spaghetti
2 Jars of Pasta Sauce
1 Bag of Sugar
3 Bags of Cereal
2 Cake Mixes
2 Chocolate Frosting
2 Boxes of Buttered Popcorn
2 Cans of Cranberry Sauce
3 Bags of Seasoned Croutons
2 Boxes of Pancake Mix
2 Bottles of Syrup
1 Box of Raisens
2 Jars of Peanut Butter
1 Jar of Jelly
2 Bags of Onions
3 Boxes of Macaroni and Cheese
1 Box of Jello No Bake Cheesecake
2 Bags of Peanuts
4 Cans of Sweet Peas
2 Boxes of Flavored Oatmeal
7 Cans of Corn
6 Cans of Green Beans
1 Bottle of Shampoo
2 Deoderants
2 Bottles of Dish Soap
1 Bottle of Laundry Detergent
2 Toothbrushes
2 Tubes of Toothpaste
2 Bags of Toilet Paper

4 Presents (one for each of the children)

And LAST BUT NOT LEAST: 2 Bags of Peanut M&Ms, which is fun..........

I explained to the kids about our blessing, and they were very excited to go and pick our things up. Abishai said they would be only thankful for the things that God gave us, no complaining. BUT he added that it sure would be nice to have some candy!!!!

Awanas Grand Prix

I asked Jael if she thought she would win! "Of course, Mom!" Now, who's daughter is she? How am I supposed to teach her how to be a good sport when she never loses? I guess a lesson for another day!! AND maybe a lesson she will learn by having a heart after God.
Josh and Jael both did a great job on making a great car, a fast one. There were 100 clubbers in the race, but Jael only had to race against 40 of them.
We expected to be there for about 3o minutes, just enough to participate! We were there for 2 1/2 hours!!!! Jael raced over 10 times; her car had no malfunctions. The design was her idea, and the wood work was done by Josh.
It was, of course, a family affair. Everyone wanted a piece of the action. The car had to weigh no more than 5 oz. I got my kitchen scale out, so that we could get as much weight as possible. Maybe I get points for my contribution.

We were very proud of her accomplishment. Jael also managed to win a raffle prize: a huge bar of Hershey's chocolate and a special-edition Coca-Cola. (which Daddy drank)
And when I say that our church makes a fun time of their events, I mean it. They had a concession stand and everything. Brownies were only 25 cents! The boys got some little yogurt bites. Jael was way too excited; she had a small taste of her chocolate, that was it for her.

As time went on things got a little anxious for all of us. Josh and I were very excited at how well she was doing. As she progressed to the semi-finals and then to the finals, we text messaged all of the family. Jael's police car ranked in 2nd and 3rd place for every race. The last and final race was the most exciting, because she came in 6th place!!! Her car crashed, but they had a "do-over!!!!!" The digital finish line did not get the readings. We knew on the next race, that she had to get in second place or she may not win. The didn't give the results, but we could see it was close!!! The intensity!!



If only you could have seen the joy and excitement on her face, when they gave her a ribbon for participation. She got her ribbon and proceeded to retrieve her car. She knew, as we all did, that if she couldn't find her car on the table............THEN SHE WAS A WINNER!!! She was extremely excited at not finding her car. You would have laughed if you could have seen those long legs jump up, and almost trip her!!! She WON!!!!! Jael was the 2nd place winner!! She got her first trophy, and she has been waiting anxiously for me to write and tell you ALL about it.

Definitely a fun day!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Husband Rocks~Friday (Monday)

Sorry, Babe, for not acknowledging how much you ROCK. You never voice how much you like something until you miss it. I am glad to see that you read my blog. I was pleasently surprised to know that you check it all on your own, once in a while.

Wow, the weekend was SO busy, and you made it more enjoyable. We had lots to do, but you were by my side the whole time.

Jael made us proud by winning 2nd place in the Awanas' Grand Prix, and you were the main reason she won. You worked on building her the fastest car. Thank you for taking the time, even though you don't have much extra.

You chose to stand by your convictions all weekend, even though I know a few times it was hard. I am so proud of you, my friend!

AND even thought the weekend has been busy you never sit to take a break, if there is money to be made. You are already out making some cash, since your regular job isn't giving you the hours. You have so many things that make me proud.

You Rock, every day of the week!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm a Grace

You Are a Grace!


You are a Grace -- "I need to understand the world."

Graces have a need for knowledge and are introverted, curious, analytical, and insightful.

How to Get Along with Me
* Be independent, not clingy
* Speak in a straightforward and brief manner
* I need time alone to process my feelings and thoughts
* Remember that If I seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be that I am feeling uncomfortable
* Make me feel welcome, but not too intensely, or I might doubt your sincerity
* If I become irritated when I have to repeat things, it may be because it was such an effort to get my thoughts out in the first place
* don't come on like a bulldozer
* Help me to avoid my pet peeves: big parties, other people's loud music, overdone emotions, and intrusions on my privacy

What I Like About Being a Grace
* standing back and viewing life objectively
* coming to a thorough understanding; perceiving causes and effects
* my sense of integrity: doing what I think is right and not being influenced by social pressure
* not being caught up in material possessions and status
* being calm in a crisis

What's Hard About Being a Grace
* being slow to put my knowledge and insights out in the world
* feeling bad when I act defensive or like a know-it-all
* being pressured to be with people when I don't want to be
* watching others with better social skills, but less intelligence or technical skill, do better professionally

Graces as Children Often
* spend a lot of time alone reading, making collections, and so on
* have a few special friends rather than many
* are very bright and curious and do well in school
* have independent minds and often question their parents and teachers
* watch events from a detached point of view, gathering information
* assume a poker face in order not to look afraid
* are sensitive; avoid interpersonal conflict
* feel intruded upon and controlled and/or ignored and neglected

Graces as Parents
* are often kind, perceptive, and devoted
* are sometimes authoritarian and demanding
* may expect more intellectual achievement than is developmentally appropriate
* may be intolerant of their children expressing strong emotions

USA Received a Celestial Frown

December 1st, 2008, was one of the last times for many years that Venus, Jupiter, and the moon will be this bright in the sky--seen all together. The next time will be in the year 2052. My children will show their grandchildren. In America, we saw a frown but in Australia they got to see a smile. I enjoyed spending the evening watching the sky; the kids had fun, too! We called relatives just to enjoy the sky together, for a moment.