Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baby Picture Sunday - sometimes there's tears

I know Debi is on break from BPS for her huge road trip, but I wanted to do one today anyway.


A couple posts ago, I wrote on Cecelia's birthday. Sabina immediately fell in love with her sister's new white poodle Webkinz. (As I've mentioned before, Sabina LOVES puppies and dogs of any kind.) Since Cecelia had JUST opened it, we reproved her gently and told her to give it back. She did, but this was the result: tears and the need of mommy comfort. I thought that I should capture some of the sad moments of growing up as well as the toothy smiles. As we all know, in life there are tribulations. The secret in God's word is that "those who sow in tears shall reap in joy." (The trick is the sowing!) Sabina, you will be happy to know, has gotten lots of play time with the white puppy. Her sister has a loving and sharing heart.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Something short and sweet...

I am so blessed that God trusted me with these 7 children. I just pray that He continues to speak to me about how He wants them raised! Please Lord, give me ears to hear Your whispers as I walk this noisy path!


My Family from WiddlyTinks.com

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Birthday Girl!

 

My oldest daughter, Cecelia turned 9 on Sunday. She was a good sport about not having a big party this year. She'd wanted a Hannah Montana party, and I had some cute, fun ideas on that front, but it was not to be. Nick and I were extremely busy all weekend with OHOP's monthly Awaken the Bride conference. Nick led worship on Friday night, Saturday morning and Sunday morning (I sing on his team.) He also taught classes on Sat. afternoon and Sun. afternoon. It was a crazy time to think about poor Cecelia's birthday. She was thankful, though, that her birthday was on Sunday and glorified and worshiped God with excellence! Fortunately, Grandma always remembers to send birthday gifts early, so she had a gift to open first thing after church. (Thank you Grandma & Grandpa; you are awesome!) Her sister, Keliah, couldn't wait to give her gift of a pink Princess Disney hat, either. That evening, she and I got to go out (just the 2 of us!) to see Alice in Wonderland - sharing the tub of popcorn and large Cherry Coke for supper. We had fun together and planned to have our family cake party to celebrate on Monday evening.


After much speculation and looking at other guitar cakes online, I just made up my own ideas with what I had on hand to create her pink guitar cake. (Notice the C.C. initials!) Nothing too fancy, but perfect for our little gathering with 2 kinds of ice cream. The remains were breakfast this morning. Anyway, I'm so proud of my little girl, getting so grown up (but not too grown up.) She is truly a gift from God and I'm so humbled to be her mom.

The gifts from us were pretty simple this year. Books, a couple toys, candy and clothes. As you can see below, Sabina was certain that the cute puppy was hers!  Today, she even got to stretch that birthday joy for another day with the arrival of a package from my parents - Granny & Papa. Woo-hoo! I'm determined to enjoy letting her be a little girl for these next couple of years. I don't want her rushing in to growing up too fast. These years are precious. Besides, once you are grown up it lasts for the rest of your life! That's not so fun. Even though I try to impress a sense of responsibility and contribution upon all my children, I also want them to have lots of time to just be KIDS. This is the time for the games, books, songs, artwork, and dances that will truly make up the woman Cecelia will be. And, please God, help me be the mother that Cecelia needs.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful that I got to participate in intercession for the Exodus Cry set - an end to Human Trafficking & modern slavery!
I'm thankful that my kids are healthy and pretty well behaved.
I'm thankful to be on the worship team tomorrow for the Awaken the Bride service at OHOP.
I am supremely thankful that God is always faithfull, even when I'm not. He is a good, good Father!
I am thankful to have a husband who works so hard to serve God and glorify Him.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cheering for the YMCA!

 Cecelia (middle of frame) cheering during a game with her team!

A couple months ago, my 2 older daughters Cecelia (8) and Keliah (7) got to experience cheerleading for the 1st time. We signed them up as beginners at our local YMCA and they were on a team! They practiced and learned cheers on Friday evenings and then cheered for the beginning boys basketball teams on Saturday mornings. It was a rather eye-opening experience for me because the closest I got to cheerleading was as a 6th grader on the pep-squad in Texas and an 11th grader on a short-lived dance team (no cheering required.) My girls enjoyed it, but I think Cecelia is more interested in joining the basketball team in the future and Keliah was wanting to add her cartwheels - which she is awesome at! As beginners, the team was relegated to standing and sitting cheers with arm movements and occasional step-outs.

 Keliah's favorite cheer was: Hot to Go!
H-O-T-T-O-G-O the mighty Y is Hot to Go!
Whoooo...hot to go....whooo...hot to go!
(much pom-pom shaking on whoooo.)

Keliah with "Hands on Hips, Smiles on Lips!"

Cecelia's favorite cheer was: Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry Shortcake, Huckleberry Pie,
Take that victory to the sky!
Go Y!

It was a fun time to meet other families and for the girls to make new friends. We're really looking forward to getting more involved at the YMCA, but will double-check next time on the actual game times because we're committed to our involvement in the Children's Prayer Watch at OHOP on Saturday mornings. Cecelia and Keliah are getting more bold and melodic in their prophetic singing - it's exciting!

Friday, May 14, 2010

3 New "Babies"

I better start this story at the beginning.
Pretty girl Fina hanging out at home.

About 3 years ago, Nick got a parakeet. He'd wanted a bird for a long time, and after researching, he decided that a parakeet would make a good intro bird. It was his 32nd birthday present. He named it Forte, fed him, held him, carried him around on his shoulder, even taught him how to fly. Then Forte thought it was hilarious to fly and dive into my hair while I was busy in the kitchen. Everyone loved him. About half a year later, there was an accident and Forte died in Nick's hands. It was very sad and Nick was devastated. The kids put together their Christmas money and got Daddy a new parakeet a few months later. His name was Solo, we think he was too old when we got him, because he would not leave his cage unless forced and never bonded to any of us. He just died about 6 months ago. I think only Carlo missed him. Sad, but true. But, Nick was still longing for a bird friend. He took to visiting the sun conures at the local PetSmart. One of them is pretty snotty and jealous, the other more friendly and fun, but under the "thumb" of his partner. Nick wanted to bring him home, but the bird and large cage we would need were about $1000. YIKES!
After we got our tax return a couple months ago, Nick started looking at craigslist ads for a feathered friend and ended up taking our 4 oldest kids to the Bird Hut, a local pet store with every kind of bird. They had the opportunity to play with several kinds of parrots there, they even had a sun conure, but it was a little scarlet lady who stole Nick's heart. She snuggled right up to Nick and was gentle with the excited fingers of our children. I was recruited for a visit, and after talking about finances and other concerns, we brought her home at the end of the week. Fina is a female eclectus, still quite young, and has totally bonded to Nick - even enjoying outings to Starbucks and the outside tables at OHOP. She is just starting to chatter and likes to whistle when she hears music or the vacuum. We picked the name "Fina" because it means "the Lord provides" - and there were several prophetic references to birds in the week we got her and in weeks following.
 Keliah with Skittles

Now, we have a friend at OHOP, Charlotte, who has an amazing ministry of provision in Africa http://www.possibilitiesministries.com/ - and it looks like God is sending her there personally in the coming months. She made the decision to come on staff full-time at OHOP until she is sent to Burundi to minister. That meant she wanted to live closer to the missions base and needed to cut living costs, to opportunity to move in with another OHOP family fulfilled her needs, but she couldn't bring her 2 birds. She approached us about taking in her African Grey Parrot, Storm, and her Macaw, Skittles. Nick was ready to say yes and kind of asked me as a formality. In fairness, when she asked us months ago about the possibility of taking them when she went to Africa and we'd agreed. That was before we'd adopted Fina, of course. Anyway, we have 3 birdy babies in the house.
Now, Storm and Macaw are, I think, about 3 years old so they have more boldness than Fina right now. Storm is super smart, as an African Grey, and a pretty vast vocabulary already not to mention all the other noises he makes. He has different whistles, imitates a knock at the door and the barking of a dog following (Charlotte's dog), the whines at the door of our own dog Indy, and has already perfected the high-pitched screams of Sabina in a temper. YAY. However, he had acquired a bad parrot habit of over-preening. Whether out of nerves, boredom, or other causes we're not sure, but he was pretty plucked-over when we got him. Through the advice of a vet, and our own attention, his pretty feathers are starting to fill out again. I'll be so happy when he has a proper tail and wings again! Skittles is a rainbow colored Macaw with all the loud squawking of his breed which can be trying at times - but he loves the kids! I think he's really just a kid himself and wants to play all the time. He can say "Hello" and dance, he kind of says "step up." He likes to be ticked under the wings and ride around on our shoulders.
 Sabina and Luca with Storm "kissing"

It's been a little crazy around here getting into the flow of caring for so many little ones, but the kids have stepped up to help with the responsibility - especially Cecelia. I tell ya, there is never a dull moment around here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ugh...

You know when your husband's sick and you feel bad for him, and try to take care of him, and keep the kids away from him while he's napping? But, after a couple days, you feel kind of irritated that he's not pulling himself together and getting over it? Well, that was me a week ago. Then, the illness hit me. So NOT fun. I tried to pull out of it over the weekend, but Nick took me out to a movie Sunday night for Mother's Day and I think I just overdid it. I stayed in bed almost all day Monday. On Tuesday, I was either in bed or on the couch. My head hurt too much to even watch T.V. Well, it was Nick's turn to get a little annoyed that I wasn't doing anything. I can't really blame him. So, today, I valiantly got up, got dressed and got the kids motivated to straighten up, do schoolwork, and I actually folded 3 loads of laundry. I did rest a bit this afternoon, but I managed to make a healthy dinner! It's been a trying week, I'm just thankful that none of the kids have gotten really sick.
Please say a prayer for us as there is still quite a bit of hacking coughing going on around here. And I have 2 mountains of laundry in the garage to attend to by Saturday morning. ;)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baby Picture Sunday - Mother & Child

Here I am with my 7 babies. It's hard to believe this is my 13th Mother's Day. Antonio is 12 now, and how clearly I remember that first sunny day in May with little tiny Antonio. He was full of smiles and had wispy blond hair and a bad milk rash on his chin that I thought would NEVER go away! I have been abundantly blessed by motherhood and strive to be a blessing to my kids. Lord, help me to be the mother you want for these, Your children!
Thanks, guys, for the chocolates and always making me laugh at least once a day!

In other news: the winner of the 2 Nick Canuso CDs in my give-away for the 2nd Annual Tuesday Blog Party is - Debi Bouffard from Who Says 8 is Enough. Since she was the main organizer for this Blog Party, I'd say she deserves a round of applause and some great worship music!
A big thank you to everyone who participated! I can't wait till next year's blog party!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Moment of Reflection...

On our recent trip to St. Augustine, partly to celebrate my husband, Nick's birthday, we stopped in the Greek Orthodox shrine. It's so beautiful, and has an interesting history recorded there from the earliest years of settlement in the area. We have a Catholic background, and the idea of prayer candles really spoke to our children. Nick paid for a candle, we all laid fingers on it (all 9 of us) and offered up prayers to God for our family. Then, the wick was gently tipped into the flame of another candle before Keliah planted it as firmly as she could in the sand. It was a beautiful moment.
Those candles are only representing the prayers going forth to the throne room, but I thought it was a special reminder that the flame from someone's heart can spark the prayer from another's. Just as our prayers for the children battling cancer can spread to the community, sending warmth and support to the families contending for the life and health of their children.
Please take a moment to pray for them, take a few minutes to visit the other blogs participating in the 2nd Annual Tuesday Blog Party. Thank God for the health of your own children, and remember the moms who are spending this Mother's Day weekend with their children in hospital beds. You can help with your small flame. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

HEY! Please help for pediatric cancer!

Hi! Just wanted to post quickly about the amazing work my friend Debi is doing over at Who Says 8 is Enough. She's hosting this blog party in memory of little Tuesday Whitt to help raise funds for those battling and dealing with pediatric cancer. Please follow the links in my previous post to donate and possibly win awesome give-aways, even my own! (see post below!) It all goes through the 8th! Get involved, say a prayer, and do your part! Thank you! Bless you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

2nd Annual Tuesday Blog Party

From now until May 8th, I am holding this give-away to help benefit Whatchagonnado.org, which is an organization that was founded by Charley & Jessica Whitt to honor their daughter Tuesday.
Although their site is not completely up and running yet, the idea they have is. (it will be up by mid-May)
Whatchagonnado.org is being set up to benefit families that are dealing directly with pediatric cancer. It will help to fund their medical costs, food & travel, and even funeral arrangements, if needed :(
And, of course, it will also help to provide funds for Pediatric Cancer Research.

Charley & Jess know all too well what it is to live with pediatric cancer....
Tuesday was their beautiful twin daughter who bravely fought and sadly lost her 8 month battle with stage 4 neuroblastoma in January of 2009. They learned firsthand what cancer does to a family and they want to turn their pain & their loss into something to help others.

And myself, and all of Jess & Charley's friends, want to do anything we can to help them achieve their goal and make sure that the loss of Tuesday is never forgotten and always has purpose.

Up for auction:
2 AMAZING worship CDs by my wonderful husband, Nick Canuso.
Awaken Love is a full-length CD of original songs, sure to lead you into the throne-room to encounter God!

More of You is a 3-song CD of originals and the title song was written at the Orlando House of Prayer during the Wednesday night intercession sets.
These CDs are wonderful accompaniment to your personal prayer time.

All you have to do to enter to win this auction is simply leave me a comment letting me know you are interested in winning these wonderful CDs and then, be sure to donate $1 to the Tuesday Fiona Whitt Foundation, which benefits Whatchagonnado.org.

Also, head on over to the Tuesday Blog Party to see what other fantastic items are being auctioned off by clicking the image below.

There are lots of great auctions going on and all it costs is one dollar to enter each one. (unless otherwise specified)
If you would like to make one donation, instead of many individual donations, please feel free to donate however is easiest for you.
If you end up donating $10, but only find 5 auctions you are interested in, you can use those additional dollars as additional entries :)

Thank you so much for supporting a great cause and remember to have fun!
Good luck!