Friday, November 19, 2010

Gavin's Fire Station Bday Party

This past weekend, one of Ella's sweet friends from church, Gavin, had a birthday party at a historical fire station in Dallas. It's historical because it's one of the oldest working fire stations still around and it is only 1 of 4 that still have a pole that the firemen use to slide down when a call comes in.

Did y'all know that they are taking out all the poles? I had no idea. I'm not sure why that makes me sad. It just seems strange to me. As a kid, when I saw a movie or show that had a fireman sliding down the pole in an emergency I just always thought it was so cool.

It was a great party! The kids and the adults had a blast.

This is Ella, her friend Layla and the Gavin the birthday boy walking from the parking lot to the fire station.

First sight of the fire truck.

Looking down the hole where the pole is. After all the kids got to look down the hole, we all walked back to the bottom floor and got to watch our guide demonstrate sliding down the pole.

Showing us how they put on all that gear.

Getting to sit in the firetruck. Ella said this was her favorite part.

I'll let you know here that once again I forgot my camera and had to take all of these pics with my phone. So the quality is horrible. Especially this picture, but I wanted to show how the tires of the fire truck are as big as Ella.

It was so fun that they let them spray water out of the hose. One of the kids almost soaked a man and his dog that came around the corner and didn't see them spraying the water.

The ambulance and one of the fire trucks got called out while we were there. It was very exciting. I think the adults were more excited than the kids! It was pretty funny because our tour guide was the ambulance driver and when the call came in, without hesitation he was in the ambulance and gone. Practically mid sentence, he turned around, hopped in the ambulance and took off. So another fireman had to take over.

It was a great bday party. I recommend this for a party if you are trying to think of a fun thing to do for your kiddos.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

We love this little pumpkin patch farm that is close by our house. It's family owned and operated and so quant and wonderful. It's become one of our family traditions over the past few years.

This year the Murrells & the Lewises joined us!

The first thing we did when we got there was have a picnic dinner.

My sweet, sweet girl!

Ella could barely get her food down fast enough before she was off and running with Joshua.

After the hay maze, they took off for the tractors.

A quick break for some kettle corn! I LOVE that stuff!!!

A cute picture with Laney in the hay house!

Family picture time.

We always let Ella pick out her own pumpkin. Thankfully she always goes for a little one or as she likes to call it, "A punkin size pumpkin."

The "perfect" pumpkin!

Group picture of all the kids! Sam, Miles, Laney, Joshua, Gabe & Ella. As you can imagine, I took about 25 shots of this and it was quite an experience, but we got them all.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

God's Faithfulness thru our Homestudy!

Praise the Lord, our home study has come and gone. It seemed pretty surreal. The reason is because adoption is something Heath and I always felt we would do, much like most people probably. But is it something I thought we would actually do before are biological children were grown and maybe even out of the house? I don't know. I knew the desire was there, but I had absolutely no idea what that looked like and how in the world is was going to play out.

So for this woman to be sitting in our home, completing our home study, a surreal feeling come over me that this is actually happening. I can't believe it's actually happening.

Is it happening in my timing? No. Is it happening under circumstances I would prefer? No. But nevertheless, it is happening and the Lord has deeply rooted in my heart for the past 9 months a joy and calling for this.

Let me explain to you the events leading up to the home study days before.

I got a call on Friday, October 29 that are home study is scheduled for November 8. I freaked because that only gave us a little over a week to prepare and we were NOT ready at all. Heath and I were currently in one bedroom and needing to move all of our stuff to another bedroom because we felt the bedroom we were currently in would be better suited for foster children. We had to then clean the room we came from and set it up as if children were coming at any moment (crib, toddler bed, daybed). We had to clean the house. We had to lock up all medicines. We had to organize closets. The list went on and on and on and I quickly, within seconds of hanging up the phone that Friday, became instantly overwhelmed.

I did have some sense, surprisingly enough in that moment, to pray and tell God, if you are planning it for that day, then you will work all this out for us to get done.

Because it wasn't this never-ending list of stuff to do that had me totally overwhelmed, it was mine & my husband's schedules for the next 10 days also. We had literally one of the busiest weeks of our lives leading up to November 8. So in my head, there just wasn't enough time in the day, unless I did not sleep for 10 days. I'm so serious.

I'm going to tell you my schedule, but at the end it's going to be a great moment of AHA!
October 30 - Different bday parties/church parties all day.
October 31 - Play on the worship team for church, which means at church from 7:00a.m. till 1:00p.m. Then halloween was that night. So spent entire afternoon getting all of our costumes ready.
Nov. 1 - Pretty open day to get stuff done. Thankfully!
Nov. 2 - Worked until 5:15p.m. Worked very hard that evening to get stuff done.
Nov. 3 - At church from 8:15a.m. to 8:30p.m. Got nothing done that day.
Nov. 4 - Worked until 5:15p.m. Worked very hard that evening.
Nov. 5 - Open day to work on stuff!
Nov. 6 - Women's conference at church, which I was in charge of the worship team. So at church from 7:00a.m. to 5:45p.m. Then totally exhausted when I got home.
Nov. 7 - Play on worship team so at church from 7:00a.m. to 1:00p.m. Had evening service that night (which we rarely have) so was at church again from 5:30p.m to 8:00p.m.
Nov. 8 - Home study lady comes at 9:00a.m.!

I wanted to show you this because I was so sure that this was the absolute worst timing for us to have our home study. The absolute worst. When I opened up my calendar, to see what the next 10 days held, I thought there is no way! I even tried to get out of it, but the director of our agency really encouraged me to keep the date.

Our Women's conference Saturday was called Generations. We had 5 speakers from 5 different generations from our church speak. The theme was how God has been faithful to them through their life.

Are you catching my aha moment? As I sat through almost 5 hours of listening to these women, whom I love, speak about the ups and downs of their lives and the hugeness of God's faithfulness, I wanted to weep.

At the end of the day on Saturday, I was on to God. :-) I knew what He was trying to get through my thick skull. That He is faithful. It wasn't by chance that this was planned on the busiest week I've had in a long time. It was a gentle or not so gentle reminder that God is faithful. And He will supply all my needs. And He did that through a very good friend/mentor of mine gifting us with a team of cleaning ladies to come in and clean our house on Saturday while I was at the Women's conference. He did that by having close friends that came over and helped me organize. He did that by allowing my husband and I time, even though it was not much, this week to move all of our bedroom stuff over. He did that by having a mom and mother-in-law that helped watch Ella. He did that by having countless people praying for us.

There were so many opportunities for me to see His faithfulness throughout those 10 days, I'm so glad that I did. Help me not to forget Lord, the next time something seems impossible or overwhelming.

The home study was great! There are just a couple of things we need to do to our house, but that's it. It will still be a little bit before we are officially licensed. We still have another inspection and some more paperwork, but we are definitely one HUGE step closer with this behind us.

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Texas State Fair!!!!

It is one of our family traditions for us to go to the great Texas State Fair every October. So we went last Tuesday and had a great family day!!!

This year we started out at the petting zoo. It's always so cute and Ella loved it more than ever this year.

Next, we went to The Jumping Dog Show. This is Ella's favorite part of the fair every year! She asks all year long when do we get to go see the dog show again.

I'm a bad mom for forgetting Ella's sunglasses and it was very sunny that day. So at times I had to relinquish mine so she could see. But I thought they looked pretty cute on her. :-)

Finally the moment arrived when we got our Fletcher's Corn Dogs!!!

Ella loves Big Tex! She kind of thinks that Big Tex is Texas. She doesn't really get that Texas is a state that we live in. So she says things like, "Mama, we are going to see Texas?" And as much as I try to explain geography to her, she can't quite wrap her mind around it yet. It's pretty cute!

Time for our traditional picture! We did this the very first year we went to the fair with Ella and thought it was really funny. So every year we find a truck we like and pose the exact the picture! Here's the progression...





Ella was very excited to take a picture with Bumble Bee. In fact I wasn't thinking much about Bumble Bee until Ella came up to me and asked if I could take her picture with Bumble Bee. It was really cute that she wanted to have that.

Watching the Acrobat show.

Fried Frito Pie!! This was the new fried thing I wanted to try this year and it was actually really really good!! If you are not familiar with the Texas Fair than you don't know about this strange thing they do where they literally fry everything. Everything!! It's pretty bizarre.

Mother Goose story time. This is what Ella and I did so Daddy could have some extra time at the Auto Show.

Ella's pink cotton candy.

Playing a fishing game so she could win this little pink bear. She has slept with that little thing every night since she won it, which makes it worth the ridiculous amount that we paid for her to play this fishing game. :-)

The Bird Show is another one of our favorite shows to go to at the fair. They let these birds go from the back of the arena that literally have a 10 feet wing span and they fly inches about the audience's heads. It's actually really cool. Well this was Heath and I Ella on the jumbo tron, which Ella got really excited about.

At the end of the show, they collect money if you want to give some to their bird cause. I'm not sure what it goes towards. But we always let Ella give a dollar because it's really fun to let the bird take the dollar out of your hand and put it in the box.

Just a sweet picture of my sweet girl.

Another tradition we have is we always share a turkey leg.


And as if hadn't already had enough junk food...

We had a great day and the weather was perfect!!! I ended up taking pepto at about 2:00a.m. that morning because I felt so sick, but it was worth it!

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