Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another August Birthday(s)

Sophia with her new Scooby lunchbox (Holly & Hope in background)  
I couldn't let 2 very important birthdays pass too far into history without acknowledging them here. On Aug. 16th my niece, Sophia, turned the big 5! She's almost too big for her britches but adorable, sweet, and endlessly funny. She had a Fancy Nancy birthday (like her big cousin Keliah) in the community garden where they live. So cool...and green! She also just started kindergarten on her actual birthday so she's having new adventures every day. (So is my sister who is struggling just a little bit with the schedule change - I love you!) Happy Birthday, Sophia, we are so proud of you & pray many blessings over you!
Also, last Saturday, the 21st was Holly's birthday; she's 30something which means I am 30somethingplus. Scary how the years just keep piling up. Anyway, happy birthday, Holly! We love you so much & want you to know how much we miss you. I pray God's peace over you and many blessings of abundance!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Definition...

What defines you?
Is it your job.... your clothes... maybe your relationships?
Are you defined by the place you live or what you do for fun? What music you listen to or how many "friends" you have?
I am troubled by this question.
What defines me?
I suppose a big part of it is the people I love and the ones who love me. It's not about perception or looks. Not anymore.
I've struggled with my desire to do more, to be more, to have an identity other than Mommy, or even Wife.
I've found my answers in Psalm 127, a scripture that continues to define me.

1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
         They labor in vain who build it;
         Unless the LORD guards the city,
         The watchman stays awake in vain.
 2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
         To sit up late,
         To eat the bread of sorrows;
         For so He gives His beloved sleep.
        
 3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
         The fruit of the womb is a reward.
 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
         So are the children of one’s youth.
 5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
         They shall not be ashamed,
         But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

He calls me His beloved. I am a builder, a watchman, a warrior. I have been rewarded richly by the Lord with children. I am happy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I haven't done a TT for a long time. Not because I'm not thankful, but mostly because my days sometimes run together and by the time I remember it's Thursday, it's not anymore.
Today, I am truly thankful that my sister will call me when she's having a bad day.
Not necessarily because I can solve any of her problems, although I occasionally hand out free big-sister advice, but because she knows she can vent to me and (hopefully) feel better. I can usually make her laugh at least once. Plus, I usually have a story from my own life that is so over-the-top that her problem shrinks to a manageable size.


I happen to think my sister, Holly, is pretty amazing.
Thank you, God, for giving me a sister and blessing our relationship.

More Birthday Props! Rocky's 11th

It's a crazy busy month in August. Ryan "Rocky" James turned 11 on Aug. 9th. We had invitations created and given out about a week before the big day, however the party didn't really come together. 2 of his good friends moved THAT DAY, so we had them over to play hang out a few days earlier. The other friend he invited is a girl, and I think her parents are just not cool with her coming over for a boy's party. Not sure why, but we decided to do something else to make up for the disappointment. Since Rocky had decided on a Lego Beach Party as the theme, we thought it would be appropriate to go to Downtown Disney to the big Lego store. We got there kind of late in the day, but managed to cram in the maximum amount of fun (with Nick on crutches.) Then, after losing and finding Luca in the meandering Disney store, we came home for cake and presents.
Rocky, Luca, Carlo & Sabina greet the Lego family & dogs.
Non-edible Lego cake with Lego flies! Ew.
Keliah with Lego Woody
Sabina & Luca checking out the Lego water serpent.
Rocky creating a car (Luca watching) to race outside of Lego store
We shared the super mega sundae at Ghirardelli soda fountain. YUM

Rocky had a high-concept for his cake. He loves Legos and likes baking, so I provided the goodies, created the water/beach cake and he decorated with the Legos he'd picked out for this purpose. It came out really awesome & showed what a great, creative kid he is. I can still call him a kid for at least the next year, can't I?
Finishing touches by Rocky.
Make a wish! He looks so proud!
Only a small part of the Lego-heavy presents
Happy 11th, Rocky! I love you!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Can You Believe 15 years?

As I continue the updates from the past month, I have to give mention of a momentous occasion.
August 6th was Nick's and my 15th wedding anniversary. Kind of a big deal. We decided to celebrate with a special getaway for the 2 of us. Thankfully, God was faithful (as always) and provided the mini-vacation for us. Just a few days before we left for the midwest this summer, I had attended a homeschool conference and entered a raffle. There were many items available to enter drawings for, but when I saw the sign for a 2-night stay at the Shingle Creek Resort hotel (where the conference was being held), I knew that it was mine! (The prize package also included a big basket of Godiva chocolates so I just HAD to enter.) I only put one ticket in, and just happened to be passing later in the day when they drew for that prize - it was my number!!! I was so excited and thankful. It was a gorgeous weekend alone with my husband.
Super bonus: before Christmas last year, I'd won an online sweepstakes with part of the prize being spa gift certificates. We took full advantage of them at Mandara Spa on our Saturday alone. We were blessed to be able to celebrate in style, but also just blissed out to have this time to connect with no pressures. Just enjoying each other.
I highly recommend it to every married couple!
My wonderful husband, Nick, chillin' by the pool.
"Beautiful Music" mango cheesecake - YUM!
Me, enjoying gelato post-spa: note the glowy skin

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Bit Late...Birthday Love!

On August 2nd, my son Carlo turned 6 years old! It was a big day because he "officially" doesn't have to take naps anymore. Enter quiet time... :) Anyway, we celebrated with a Woody Toy Story party as a family. I take a lot of joy in making birthdays special for each of my children. We baked a cake in the horseshoe cake pan that my aunt in Oklahoma handed down to me this summer; Carlo helped decorate by frosting most of the top himself. And at the telling of this birthday story, Carlo has misplaced about half of his gifts. I guess quiet time in his room doesn't lend to cleaning it. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story:

Carlo unwrapping presents while the crew watches. (Hopefully w/o envy.)
His own chair (and Mickey pillow) for watching t.v. or reading in!
Decorated with Toy Story fruit snacks.
May all his wishes come true!

I love you, Carlo! Happy Birthday buddy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Lesson in Servanthood...

Andrea rubbing Nicole's legs and feet. Baby due in 4 days.

Sunday evening, 6 ladies from church gathered together at Nicole's apartment for a Girls Night. She was 4 days from a scheduled c-section and wanted to have some fun before then. We came together with chick-flicks and nail care supplies in hand. She provided desserts (YAY) and an empty apartment (NO HUSBANDS!). Chancia sells skin-care products and brought her samples so we all ended up with facials as well as our do-it-yourself mani/pedis. She was so great - sharing her expertise, painting on the masks, and as you can see above, giving a chair massage to Rachel. We took turns helping Nicole with her toes - removing polish, salt-scrubbing, rubbing lotion on, and painting. Andrea took special care after we told her about the pressure points that can induce labor. My point, besides sharing our great time together, is that my heart was so blessed by the attitude of servanthood exhibited by all of these ladies. These are the small moments in all of our lives when we can exhibit the qualities of Christ. Jesus was a model of leadership and servanthood (one and the same.) He provided wine for a wedding, food for over 5,000, healed so many, and taught us God's heart. My goal is to teach those I come into contact with me about God's heart, even without words and only actions. Thank you OHOP ladies for sharing this with others, and each other.

Smiling Chancia giving a chair massage to Rachel
Scripture of the Day: "Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples' feet, drying them with the towel he had around him." John 13:3-5

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Baby Picture Sunday- too funny!

Well, I don't know if Debi has decided not to do BPS anymore or if she's just taking a break. I know she's got her hands full. I just had to post this pic, though!

Sabina eating Rocky's birthday cake.
I just had to capture a picture of Sabina with her blue frosting mustache! It's too funny.
Last Monday was Rocky's 11th birthday and with everything else going on that day, we didn't have cake and presents till after 8:00! Sabina was already dressed for bed in her oversized T, but had fun with us as we celebrated Rocky. She's going to be 3 in October, so I may not be able to post current pics of her on "Baby" Picture Sunday much longer. I guess it's time to start scanning in those old pics of my big kids!
Blessings, Dixie

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Under Construction

As my regular readers may know (if I still have any), I haven't been blogging lately. Things are a bit... confused around here. Everyone is healthy, we are blessed, but I've been in flux. God is doing something in my life. He seems to be calling me to rise above my everyday existence and step into the destiny He has for me. I am still trying to get through the days in peace and resisting His voice. On the outside, everything seems the same with me, but on the inside I am under construction. I am not even sure of the blueprint yet, but I know preparations have begun. The landscape has been altered, smoothing the way for a new thing. I'm kind of excited, but also nervous about how it's all going to turn out.
This is what I know:
  1. Jesus is my Lord and Savior, I will follow God the best that I can.
  2. He has definitely told me to homeschool my children.
  3. My husband, Nick, is a man after God's own heart.
  4. I am blessed abundantly - not only by God the Father, but by the love of the people in my life.
  5. The time has come to live radically.
  6. I'm not the only one who's hearing this call.
I'm going to be blogging regularly again. I will still share cute pictures of my kids and stories of our journey of faith. I will also be journaling about this path I am traveling - wherever it may take me.
Blessings, Dixie