Sunday, August 23, 2009

Spreading her wings

Last summer, my in-laws had a sweet member of their congregation, Charity, that they had spent some time with and she had heard them talk about us periodically. As she began to pray about what she was going to do next, she approached us about living with us to save money for college. We prayed about it for several months and then met with her this last January.

In February, she came to stay with us as she saved money, sought God and prepared for the next season that God had for her. Its been a swift season of intense discipleship and her sweet presence. After 6 months, she headed off this last week to Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO. We are so excited for all that God has for her and thankful for her time here in our home.

She left early in the morning and we woke up Isaac to say good bye to "EEE."

Charity kept us laughing and could make any story any interesting one. We love you "EEE" and are praying for you as you embark on this new adventure!

When Its Too Hot Outside...

The guys were having "man time" and I came home to this...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stay Za Za

As I mentioned in my previous post, I put my precious first born in the car with my mother-in-law to stay with his grandparents overnight. While he was livin' it up with his "Meme" and "Pops," Joe and I headed to surprise Nicole for her birthday....waahahhaaha...I love surprises.

It was Nicole's 21st...I mean 30-something :) birthday. John planned to take her to Hotel Za Za to celebrate. Let me warn you that Za Za isn't the most "family-friendly" type place but rather I would recommend it if you are needing a little pick me up in the bedroom department. It is rated the #1 romantic hotel in Dallas, very "swanky" and adultish (if you follow me).

We had a great time! To describe in words how much of a blessing John and Nicole are to us would be impossible! We had a great time, even better talks, sweet laughs, fun planning, and enjoyed it being just kids (which we adore every one of them, but uninterrupted adult conversation was n-i-c-e.)

Now to my Nicole, Little mama, Grammie, Nicky-G, Nicole Bobbadee, are a God send and a gift. You keep me real, make my life so sweet, make me laugh- the smoker's kind (and sometimes gasp), tell it like it is, and love me even through all my junk.

This is how it all began in 2000. I was dancing in college and I was in the middle of walking through a nasty eating disorder. I didn't know what to do or who to turn to. John was the college pastor and I knew that his wife, Nicole, used to dance in college too. I figured she might understand where I was coming from. I just walked straight up to her and told her that I was really struggling with an eating disorder, could she recommend anyone for professional counseling? :) To which she responded, "Let me pray about it and get back to you." She called me a couple days later and said that her and John would love to meet with me. I went to their house for dinner, they could see straight through to the core of my issues and spoke the truth. They said that they felt like their home was my East Tx home (they didn't even know me- I could have been some crazy person)- I could come do laundry, get home cooked meals, hang out in their prayer room or just spend time with their family.

Wow, little did we know, that in the last almost 10 years that I would live with them 5 times, work for John's congressional campaign, be their part-time nanny, then their full time one, Nicole would be my maid of honor, I would love her kids like my own, and even when I moved to Dallas once I got married that we'd talk pretty much every day.

It was one of those things that I couldn't have planned and only in His sweet love could He give such a beautiful gift. Nicole, we have walked through so many different seasons and every one of them has been more wonderful because you have been a part of them. I hope you had a spectacular birthday and know how many lives you have touched especially my own. I am not the same person because of you (thank you Lord!). I really believe that God has only begun to launch you forth into all that He has for you. I love you...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Couple of Firsts

Joe's mother, sister, and her girls came to the ranch- yea! Isaac loves babies and it was no different with his five month old cousin, Addison.
Son, this was the first time and hopefully the last that you take a bath with two girls ;)

Then I had a monumental mom day when I strapped my little man into their car and he drove away for his first spend the night with his "meme" and "pops." Wow, I tried hard not to cry and I was most concerned about him sleeping. I knew he was in good hands and he had such a wonderful time. Thanks mom and dad!

Wonderful Surprise!

Some old and very dear friends gave us a wonderful surprise when they came last Sunday for a visit.

They are so fun and have such a neat story. Short version...They were married in their early twenties- they had good times and some difficult times too. After five years of marriage and what they felt were irreconcilable differences among other things, they divorced. During that time, Patrick drew even closer to the Lord and stood, prayed and fasted for their marriage. After a long time of seeking the Lord and believing that reconciliation was possible, Christi agreed to try to work things out. After going through some counseling, they remarried! God has completely restored their marriage and they have since had two more children. They are amazing and now spend much of their time counseling other couples.
Isaac loved playing with all of their kids, as you can see.

Ingram family, thank you for blessing us with a wonderful visit! We loved your company and our time together.

Party Day

News Glorious News! For the last week and a half I have started feeling more like myself. I guess the magic number for me was 16 because I haven't thrown up in awhile and have much more energy. It has been so fun being beyond survival mode. It was perfect timing for...

Celebrating our favorite one year old boys all in the same day!

Here's all of the chitlins at my nephew's 1st bday party!

An impromptu swim with Aunt "Tee Tee" (so Isaac calls her)

Both grandsons with "Ga-pa" and "G"

Then we had the wonderful privilege of joining my Deo family for Graham's bday. He is so precious and getting so BIG!

Isaac loved playing most with Graham's sister, Claire.

After all of that, I was showered and in bed at 8:15 :)