Thursday, July 30, 2009

It was yet another fun filled day at the fair today! The kids were beyond goofy.. .I think they may be getting a bit punchy :) First thing on the agenda was showmanship for Brianna and Sweetie, much to BOTH of their disgust! But for some reason those pictures are not wanting to up load tonight, so you are spared those for now :)

This is Audrey watching and waiting for Brianna and Sweetie to come into the ring. She was a complete cutie today, of course! (And I admit I may be a bit biased..) She let me French braid ribbons into her hair and it looked so cute. Had a conversation with a friend last night and that made we want to do Audrey's hair today... good thing Audrey cooperated with me!

It's sort of a tradition with our kids that they get to have wristband day at the carnival after showmanship, because that is really the end of all of their work. They have a bit more stall duty and to sell, but mostly everything is done. So Brianna, Josie and Andrew went riding on the rides this afternoon and evening. Brianna was a great sport and wore a tutu for Butterfly on the rides for a few hours.... isn't she just too cute?? What a good girl she is!

Audrey NEVER wants to be outdone.... especially when it comes to selling product! This kid is SUCH a born sales person!! I swear... I don't know where she gets it from, but she SELLS things!! Today she was working on selling Squeaky Shoes and tutus.... and she is just so darned cute at it!!

Make sure you scroll down and mute the blog music for the FULL IMPACT of these two video clips :)

Isn't she just so funny!!! :)

LOVE that kid!!

A friend of a friend is having some super cute giveaways this week....

Check it out!

I wanna win the pretties fro April at Funky Vintage Kitchen...

What would you like to win??

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Did you hear me screaming??

Could you hear us screaming this afternoon???
We were SO EXCITED!!!
Brianna WON Reserve Duroc Champion today at the California Mid State Fair!!
Whoo Hoo!!! We were so excited for her :)

Isn't that a beautiful smile on her face??
Can you tell how thrilled she is??

This is her showing, looking at the judge BEFORE he told her she place second!

This is Brianna, Sweetie (her pig) and the Duroc Champion waiting in the pen before the final, overall champion judging.

Nathaniel chillin' at the fair watching Bri.

Audrey rocking her cowgirl gear :)
This cowgirl is ALL attitude! Can you tell??
We are all floating a bit in the clouds for Bri tonight :) It was a great day for her, and so fun to watch her, she was so happy!
I am beat though, so I am heading off to bed!

Blog Hop 7/28

This weeks Blog Hop theme is "Your Favorite Kids Picture". I am excited to share this one with you... not because it's the world's best picture, but because it's got an awesome God story behind it!!

This is a picture of my son Nathaniel walking on one of my favorite beaches! I love walking on this beach and praying. I t really helps center me. But there were a number of years that I NEVER thought my son would get to WALK on ANY of my beaches! You see, when I was 17 weeks pregnant with my son he was diagnosed with Spina Bifida. We were told over and over again that Nathaniel would never STAND, let alone walk, run, jump and play the sports he adores! God is so AWESOME, through many avenues God provided healing for Nathaniel. This picture was taken on the FIRST time I got to take Nathaniel to the beach and he walked on HIS OWN!! See that look of pure joy on his face? There was one on mommy's face too! Joy that my precious son gets to experience something so important to who I am, gratitude that I serve a God who CARES about the little things, like walking on the beach, and thankfulness for all of the technology that He has given mankind to help people like my son!

See, doesn't that story make this a GREAT picture :)


Monday, July 27, 2009

Isn't he just SUCH a HOTTIE???

I am so blessed, my little brother decided to take me to the concert tonight, and I had such a great time!! I LOVE listening to this guy and watching him too :)

But the best part is that he seems like such a nice guy! I actually got to meet hi MANY years ago, before he was really BIG like he is now... and he was such a nice, down home type of guy then... and if his behavior on stage tonight was any indication, he still is!

So to share a story with you that I found simply great! I wish more of our society was willing to call out someone that they see treating other wrong. Maybe people would be nicer all around then! So in the middle of one of the songs, about 1/2 to 2/3s of the way thru the concert Tim said to someone in the crowd "Hey buddy, that is NOT how we treat our girl where I come from!" And he was SERIOUS! I guess the dude in the crowd did not respond in a way that Tim approved of... Tim got down on his knees in front of this guy on the stage and said "That is NOT how we treat a lady, leave. Now." And I guess that the dude didn't leave.... because the next thing you know Tim is calling the security "Get this guy out of here. I am not singing anymore till he's gone." Then he walked back and sat down for the rest of the song, until security had gotten rid of the trouble making dude.

How cool is that??? I think that it's great! People NEED to treat each other with respect!

At the end of the show, 2 of Tim's little girls came out to sing a song with daddy too... it was so darned cute! What an awesome show! I always love watching this guy! He doesn't talk a lot, just sings some great music and has some fun!

Thank you Grady!!!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 4 ....

So today is/ was day 4 of the California Mid State fair.... and I am ready for a nap! :)

But first I thought I would blog for a second.... because I am having blog world withdrawals!! It's amazing to me how tied up in reading the blogs I follow and praying for the families that are dear to my heart I am! And I have never even MET most of these people IRL.... I just know them through their blogs! So as I have been working away at the fair, pulling incredibly long days, my heart has been filled with prayers for Gavin and Stellan, who are both sweet little children who are suffering right now, and for their mommies too! But I digress.....

The fair has been fun.. and lots of work... and a bit slow :( Overall I think it's going ok. We are working well together, and still all friends :) We ARE selling things and making money, while I see other vendors sitting there selling NOTHING... And I haven't seen my baby brother this many days in a row in years! But it is a little slower than I hoped, and I pray that things pick up a bit for us SOON!

I did get a little creative with the marketing today... and made Josie do it :) She wasn't really thrilled with me.... and she got REALLY grumpy when I took pictures of her... she said I could NOT put them on the blog too :) See ..... I follow directions really well!

Josie got to wear a tutu around over her shorts (yes there ARE shorts under there..) and had out business cards!! She did a good job, even if she complained a lot! Brenda had her sons wear Squeaky Shoes too... but I got off cheaper than she did! I only had to split a $3.00 gelato with Josie.. Brenda had to pay her son $4.00! :)

Notice the LACK of customers walking around in the pictures :( Not the greatest thing.... we get lonely you know!!

And for those of you who don't know our Kids With Style friend Brenda, this is she! She is our FABULOUS supplier of Squeaky Shoes :)

So I am off to bed to catch up on my sleep... and back at the fair tomorrow. Stop and see me if you are there! Brianna also gets to bring her pigs in tomorrow and get it settled in at the fair grounds, so that should be fun for her too! More pics to come soon.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

the diaper saga continues!

I can't believe this... it's going to send me up the way!! So I am keeping you posted so you can pray for a resolution to the situation that meets Nathaniel's needs!

Ok.. so I go to new sample today.... and who do they think they are kidding???? First off the part that goes between his legs is 9 INCHES WIDE!!! There is so much bulk there that it bunches up all the way to his knees! And they are so long that they go up to the armpits front and back! With all of that you would think they are just too big right?? Nope... here's the best part... they don't fit AROUND him! I can't get it hooked on the sides :( I don't know who they think these will fit.. but it's not Nat!

SO I emailed our service coordinator again... and am praying that we can find something that will work for Nathaniel. It's kind of frustrating to me that this is happening right now, when we have taken so many hits with the state so far this year, but I also understand that we aren't the only ones taking hits. So my biggest prayer right now is that we can find something that meets Nathaniel's needs without us having to spend anything out of pocket. I know that seems selfish, but we are barely hanging on with all of these hits and I don't HOW we can pay for diapers too! Please pray with us!!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

today = UGH!!!

Today was one of THOSE days...

The type of day that reminds me FULL FORCE that I am, first and foremost, the mom to a special needs son....

And not in the way that I like!

I started the day with an email from one of mys son's service coordinators that brought frustrating news. It seems that the budget crunch in the state of California has got many agencies looking to cut costs. So the agency that currently funds his diaper delivery is looking to pass it off to another agency. This happened a few years ago, and NONE of the approved diapers for the other agency met Nathaniel's needs. So I was bummer reading that email, but hoped that it would work out ok. That is I hoped until I opened my front door and found the sample bag here already... and opened it. First the diapers were for a 38 pound child... Nathaniel is 9! and weighs more like 56 pounds! Second, they were pull up style, with no side opening... that does NOT work for us since he would have to be completely undressed at school, including his braces, to change him! So I got to call and argue with the issuing company, telling them to send me something else! I hope and pray that the new samples will work better...

Then it was off to work. Silly Faline scheduled me a 1015 am fitting. This is NOT NICE since we open at 10 and my kids don't always cooperate so well... and this morning was one of those non cooperation days! It took me over 20 minutes to get the car loaded AND the kids in the car and out the driveway! Seriously.. I live 1 BLOCK from my shop... you would think I could get there in less than 25 minutes!

As soon as we walked into BB Nathaniel went bonkers.... and didn't stop all day! We had full blown tantrums, screeching, biting, hitting, kicking... the works.... for no reason! He DESTROYED the work area and office.... in MINUTES! He lashed out at EVERYONE for no reason. The girls were in tear multiple times today. I had SO MUCH work to do to get ready for tomorrow.. all of the finish up stuff, but got next to NOTHING done today. I even had to leave over an hour early because things were so bad! His respite worker took him out for 2 hours, ad I feel like I spent that WHOLE TIME fixing all the things he broke, messed up or threw all morning.

My completely obsessive son was stuck on tennis all day. Trying to play tennis with anything handy, asking a million questions about the rules and "what ifs" of an imaginary game in his head. Going completely bonkers when my answer did not match his imaginary game! And I DID schedule his respite person to take him to play tennis, and even set the timer to count down to when she was getting there.... but none of it helped :(

I had to run to the market after work to get TP (can't live without that) and tortillas for dinner. I know I would blow a gasket if I took him in with me, so I left him in the car with Bri. I told her that if he was hurting her she could lock the car and stand right next to it. I came out of the market to find Nathaniel climbing out of the sun roof!!!! It was nice today, and I had the sun roof open for air... NEVER did I think he would climb out of it! And Bri was in tears trying to get hi back in the car! Ugh!

Right when I though I would completely loose it he comes in, crawls up in my lap and gives me a kiss. Then he asks "Mommy, what was your favorite part of the day?" as innocent as all get out!

You have got to be kidding me, right?????

So here I am alone with the two little ones, a million things that need to get done for fair tomorrow... and I am curling up and going to sleep with them! Maybe if they will go out for me I can get up an do my work in a peaceful house......

Here's hoping anyways....

When does school start again? And WHY do we take such long summer breaks??? UGH!

Hope you had a better one than me today :) and that my good day is coming soon!!

Blog Hop for Tuesday 7/21.... Favorite Recipe!!

Yummy... this sounds like a super fun Blog Hop, I hope I will get lots of new yummies to try :)

This is one of my absolutely fav stand bys.... and since we get gifted tons of free bananas it gets used OFTEN in my house! This Banana Bread recipe came from my Great Grandmother, but I have made it a tad more healthy over the years... not too much, but a tad. Hope you love it as much as we do!

Nana's Banana Bread
5 Tablespoons Butter (do not sub margarine)
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar (can sub 1/4 Spelnda)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (can sub 1/4 Splenda Brown Sugar)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups mashed, very ripe bananas (I usually use 3-4 bananas)
1 3/4 Cups All purpose Flour
(I sub 1/4 Cup flax seed, and 3/4 Cups Wheat flour and 3/4 Cups All purpose flour)
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream (or whipping cream, or I even sub milk when out of everything)
1/3 Cups chopped Nuts (or raisins, or dried cranberries, or chocolate chips...
or anything :) )

Pre heat oven to 350 degree F. Spray bottom only of 9x5x3 inch loaf pan (or muffin tin) with non stick cooking spray.

Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar and brown sugar; beat well. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add mashed bananas and beat on high speed for at least 30 seconds.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternating with cream. Add nuts, or other add ins to the batter; mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until browned and a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 mins for loaf and 30 mins for muffins (23 for mini muffins). Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan to cool completely.

And as long as I am at it... the perfect complement to this around our house is a protein shake!

Banana Protein Shake

2 ripe bananas, peeled and cut in half
a handful of ice
1 1/2 Cups Soy Milk or Milk
2 teaspoons honey
1 scoop protein powder*

Put it all in the blender and blend for 2-3 minutes, until SUPER smooth

*We use Melaleuca Pro Flew 20 protein powder and the kids love the flavor while I like the benefits :)

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, July 20, 2009

All Set Up!!!

My business, Butterfly Boutique, is going to be at the California Mid State Fair in conjunction with Kids With Style! This is a first for us and we are very excited about it!!

Last week we tookin in all the hardware, gridwall and tables to set the framework of the booth up. Today we took in the merchandise and set it all up... or at least all of it that is made! Merchandising is one of my favorite parts of the business. I like making it all look pretty! My plans were slightly skewed by the director when we got there and she said we couldn't set up like we wanted to, nor did we have much backstock space... but I think it came out pretty cute anyways!

Frist thing we had to unload EVERYTHING out of the cars, because we had to move them quickly.... so we had boxes EVERYWHERE!!!
Joise was there to help... and so was Audrey. Audrey did a great job of handing us all the things that we were hanging up. Josie...... must have thought that she was the entertainment because she was dancing, singing and striking a pose.... but not helping much!
After a few hours it all began to come together.... this is the head on front shot of the booth. There is no one on either side of us yet so it tooks a little.... blank. But I think our section is good.
And we got A LOT of tutus jammed in there!!! Tutuville is in full force :)

This is the girls side... shoes, bibs, socks, and Hip N Funk Arm & Leg Warmers... the HNF are girls abd boys, but this is mostly the girls side, with all of the girls styles of shoes.

The back wall is the Peek A Boo Nursing Covers, and tutus...

Then this is the boys side and the cash wrap.... all of the boys style shoes, socks and bibs.... there are more bibs to go up on Wednesday (opening day) to fill out this side,... we jsut have to finish making them :)

So I am really happy with how it all came together... and Brenda and I are hoping that this is our "cash cow" show for the year! We both are ready for a gang buster type show!!

- - - - - -

On a toatlly unrelated note.... Why is it that I *LOVE* EVERYTHING that I buy at Trader Joe's??? I tried two new things this time I went and they are both super yummy too! I can't keep adding "must have" items to the TJs list!! Don't these people carry anything "bad"????

On that note... I am off to make more bibs... talk to you all soon :)


Not MY Kids Monday!!!

I am so excited to do this :) I think it will be so fun to hear what everyone else's kids AREN'T doing!

I don't believe in child slave labor, nope not MY kids..... they did NOT get told that they were tying tutus till the cows came home and they did NOT work late with us every night this week. And one of them most definitely did NOT drag her boyfriend into it too! Nope... Not MY Kids!

You will NEVER hear random screeching coming from where my kids are... Nope, my kids are well behaved and know not to let out blood curdling screams for no reason!

My kid does not start crying with the slightest provocation. Nope, my kids are emotionally healthy, well adjusted kids and know not to cry every time they don't get their way...

One of my kids did NOT sing the "Die" song while dancing around the store killing ants. Nope, I most defiantly do not allow my children to sing about killing any of God's precious creations.... Nope not at all! And even if she did, we did not roll on the floor laughing at her..... and most definitely did NOT blog about it!!

None of my kids chant what they want to do for the day AFTER they have been given the daily schedule. Nope, my kids know that we lay out the schedule and stick to it, even if they would rather be playing "Basketball, Basketball, Basketball, Basketball" or going to "Sunnyside, Suinnyside, Sunnyside, Sunnyside" or any such thing. Nope they know better!

And my children would not sneak into the freezer and then sit on the floor sharing the cartoon of ice cream when they should have been cleaning their area. Nope, not my kids!

And I most definitely did not allow them to have milkshakes for dinner multiple times last week. Nope, my kids know to have healthy, well balanced meals!

And NONE of my kids gave their Sunday school class a lesson on the technical differences between cows, steers and bulls! Nope NONE of my four years even KNOW the difference between those things...

None of my children throw missiles over the banister at Butterfly with or without customers in the store. Nope NONE of my children would do that!

NONE of my children would make bracelets or other accessories with the sterilized catheters waiting for their second use. Nope, my children know that those are medical equipment and must be handled properly!

Finally, none of my children would EVER consider locking their father out of the house.... just because he wasn't being nice to mommy or just because they wanted to see if he would yell about it... Nope, never! ALL of my children know to respect their elders.....especially their parents!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Such a cool surprise!!!

So what do you think of the new look??? something different, hu? There's a story behind it....

It has been a looonnnnggggg hard day! We have been busting tail to get things ready for the booth that Butterfly Boutique is having in conjunction with Kids With Style at the California Mid State Fair. There is so much work to do, and even more since I took off a few days to go to the valley and help my grandparents. We have tons of inventory to finish still, lots of packing to do, and the booth to set up too! So crazy.

To make matters worse I threw out my back first thing Wednesday morning. And I mean REALLY threw it out.... like I am on MAJOR pain killers to move and not cry! Makes moving grid wall and tables around a bit difficult to say the least! And sitting at the sewing machine is not all that comfortable either!

This morning Brenda, Josie, Audrey and myself headed up to the fair grounds to set up the first part of the booth. We have all of the hardware, walls and tables up and ready for inventory to come in on Monday.

Then this afternoon and evening we were hard at work at the shop making inventory and getting things packaged to sell. We even roped the kids into helping, much to their disgust tonight... but the count down is on and we have work to get done!

I was chained to my sewing machine most all of the day after I got back from Paso. And we worked WELL into the night....

Faline was the ironing queen, getting everything prepped and then doing the final press on things once they were done. She also packaged items when she was caught up!

Brianna thought she was dinner....
she got up ON the kitchen table to tie tutus all evening

And Josie made herself comfy on the couch while she tied tutus!

We even sent tutus home with Brianna's boyfriend Andrew to tie at his house. (thanks Beth for snapping the pic!) My friend Lorena (who didn't pose for the camera) had some she was working on at her house.... And my mom came in and sewed nursing covers with us for a while too! This is an all out team effort to get things done!

So with everyone hard at work on inventory you might wonder HOW IN THE WORLD I had time to make all of these changes on my blog, hu? Well I didn't.... this AMAZING blog friend of mine Carla did all of it! I have been wanting to change some things, but keep lacking the time. And the know how... I only have so much room in my brain for computer stuff! I asked I asked for a cool new banner, and I got a whole makeover!!! What an wonderful surprise it was to me..... And I really needed the smiles, giggles and joy it has brought me today! What a blessing it was to receive this great new do! It's like getting a new hair cut, only better!! :)

Carla does Blog Make Overs as a way to earn extra money for her family and all of their outrageous medical expenses.. .so if you are in the market for a cool new do and want to support an awesome family head on over and check her out!!!
I am so glad I found her!



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Josie's just a little..... CRAZY!!!

So I am sure you all need a little laugh just as much as I do some days....

And THIS was worth a laugh or two.... Josie was SO FUNNY!!

At Butterfly we seem to have been attacked by ants. Yuck! Gross! Annoying! I was NOT HAPPY about this attack! So I asked the kids to clean up really well and spray the ants with Sol U Mel to kill them. I meant business. I wanted them gone. But Josie meant even more business! She straightened things up and sprayed the Sol U Mel, but it wasn't working quiet fast enough for her liking.....

So she grabbed a rag and went into counter attack mode! It so hilarious to watch her bouncing around the room towel slapping the ants singing....

Die Ants!
Die Ants NOW!

Look at that stance.. she means business!
And she was swinging the towel so fast and hard that I couldn't catch it on film!

We were all rolling on the floor laughing at her!
I wish I had videoed it for you all.... but all I had handy was my cell phone camera :(
Anyways, it truly was funny!

Have a laugh out loud kind of day!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Ahhhh... it's so nice to be HOME!!!! Well.... in theory anyways :)

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go to my grandparents and take care of my very ill grandpa for the last few days, and attend some important doctor's appointments with him, but I am equally thankful to be home!

Grandpa has stabilized. His REALLY TERRIFYING blood counts are gone thanks to a few days of intense chemo, which of course made him very ill and weak. The nights were the worst.. I slept on his floor for two reasons, first because there wasn't a bed for me, and second so I could help him throughout the night and let my grandma sleep better. What I learned from that.... I am TOO OLD to sleep on the floor! But on Monday his blood counts were almost back to normal! Praise the Lord!! The infection in his knee where he had surgery 4 weeks ago is still there, but they gave him a new treatment for that yesterday, so I am praying that will work and clear up! They also too all of the staples out yesterday, so I hope that will help him heal better too :)

I did feel that I needed to come home last night, so here I am. My kids missed me terribly. Especially Audrey. So it was good to get their sweet snuggles and loves. The other reason I felt pressed to come home was that we leave for fair in 6 days, and I don't have all the product ready! I am going to have to pull a bunch of all REALLY long days to get the product done for fair! And the wedding party I have in right now needs finished too! Work, work, work! So if you don't see me around much this week, it's because there is so much work to get done :)

Now off to remedy the worst part of being gone..... the absolutely GROSS house I returned to! Ugh.... why is it I am the only clean one around here??? But I am going to do it with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, because I love my family!

And I hope to find time to look for pictures today for a surprise coming up soon on Simply Soares.... so exciting!!!

May your day be filled with grace, joy, laughter and family!


Thursday, July 9, 2009


If you have been reading this week or talking to me, then you know that I have had a tushy kicking kind of week...
it has been storm after storm and I have been struggling to hold on...
but tonight I got the call that knock me flat on my tush!

Serious, down on my knees sobbing uncontrollably call....
So now I am begging you for your prayers to hold me up!

My grandfather is my ROCK.
He is the one I hold dearest above all from the relatives that raised me.
It is to his arms that I run when I need shelter from life's storms.
It is his opinion and judgement I trust above all else when I need an ear to listen to me.
It is with him that I feel the fullest and most stable.
He is the ONE that I trust unconditionally and that I now loves me unconditionally (besides God of course!)

And tonight my world shook in ways I can't describe.
My Rock is failing and I don't know how to handle it.
I am on my knees and don't know how to get up or when to get up...
or even if I can get up!

You see my grandfather has been fighting the valiant battle with cancer for over 10 years. And he has been kicking cancer's B*&%...... but he is loosing this round. And it came out of the blue on us this time. He has been so stable and doing so well. But not today, not now.

Here's what I know so far. On Wednesday he went in for his normal check up.... he had only been in a few short weeks ago and all was good, so we thought this would be a pretty "status quo" appointment. But is numbers were bad, REALLY bad. And they started him on chemo IMMEDIATELY... that day. He went back for round 2 today, the very next day! And they put a port in him today. He has round 3 of chemo tomorrow, and then goes in to see the Dr on Monday and get numbers checked again.

The call I got from him tonight was so emotional... he was weeping as soon as I answered the phone. I took so long for him to even get the words out to me. I seriously thought someone had died.... but not yet. He is still fighting, but so worn down too. And so scarred. And so worried about my grandma.

And this is my Rock.....the one who wasn't afraid to hold me when Taylor died. The one who cried with me over Nathaniel's diagnosis. The fought right along side of me every step of the way through Nathaniel's journey. The only one I ever run to besides Jesus.

Now it's time to show him how much he means to me. How much I love him, even though he knows. And to do that I need your prayers!

Prayers for strength... eternal strength.
Prayers for grace abounding.
Prayers for the words to speak and those to hold.
Simply prayers that I can get out of bed tomorrow and face the day!

I know eternity is the best place for him... I am just NOT READY for him to go home yet!!! Please Lord, if this is your plan help my heart deal with it!

I feel like the rug, floor, foundation and earth has been yanked out from under me right now! I am tired of the roller coaster. I need a break! But that is obviously not what the Lord has in store for me today... so please pray....
this is not the best picture.... but it's the one I have right now. This is my mom, my grandfather and the kids at Audrey's birthday in Feb.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

it's been one of THOSE times....

There are days that I am just not sure why God has given me so many trials to overcome, or why I have so many storms in my life..... and it's been one of THOSE days for the last few. I am truly trying to stay in His grace and be filled by Him, but I lack so much at times!

I know in my heart that He is in control and He WILL work all things to his glory... but HOW??? Isn't it just so human to question it all? To fall down face first with tears streaming down your face as your scream His name? To feel that the storm is too overwhelming to handle, and it would be so much easier to let it wash you away? Yup... it's one of THOSE days around here!

But through the tears, through the questions, through the hurt I am clinging to the one and only one that will get me through it all... my Lord, Jesus. I am clinging to His promise of everlasting joy, everlasting peace, and everlasting happiness... once this trial called life is over.

Today I am clinging to the promise of holding Taylor for eternity.... for though it's been over 10 years since she went home to Jesus, I am missing her so much these last few days!

Today I am clinging to the promise that my son will be HEALED of all of his disabilities in heaven. He has started questioning WHY he is different, and the only thing I can tell him without breaking down in tears is that God made him PERFECTLY how He could use him.....what else is there to say? I just don't know. I didn't think these questions would come yet, so I am not prepared as I should be. It is amazing to me how much Nathaniel has matured in the last few weeks, and I am just not ready for it. Especially in combination with everything else.

Today I am clinging to the promise that He will Work all things for His glory! This means ALL THINGS, right? Even my marriage? Even the dysfunction surrounding me? Even the broken promises and the hurt and the tears? ALL THINGS! He has a purpose for EVERYTHING that is happening right now, and if I cling to Him and endure with His grace, ALL OF THIS will be worked for His glory! Lord, let your glory fall...

Today I am cling to the promise that He will be here, in the valley, when we are at our lowest.... because I am pretty darned low! I need His strength to get off of this computer, out of bed and to work where I need to be..... soon, very soon. I need His strength to look at the people I will encounter today and be able to meet their needs, when all I want is my problems solved. I need His strength to have discretion and grace, when I feel I have none. He WILL be with me today, whatever you see through me that is good today is HIM! For I don't have the strength today!

Today I am praying for grace in situations I have little grace left for.... how hard is it to be ETERNALLY filled with grace here? So hard for me.....

Today I am praying for solutions for Nathaniel.... especially the interview tomorrow with Big Brothers, Big Sisters. May he be paired QUICKLY with someone that he can grow into relationship in a positive way with! Also, that I am able to hire a respite worker soon.... we REALLY need that perfect someone with him right now!

Today I am praying for peace in the storm for my children. That I am able to shelter them from the worst of it, and that they may continue in their innocence!

Today I am praying for Godly wisdom in all of my encounters. For I have no wisdom left!

Today I am praying for leading in ALL parts of my life and those closest to me.

Today I need your prayers too please.

May you be blessed. May your storms be quieted. May we all feel His peace, love and joy. May there be laughter in our lives today!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Blog Hop 7/7/09

This week I am trying something new that sounds fun! It's called a Blog Hop... the idea is to make a post on your blog that fits the theme, add yourself to the list, then hop around and look at everyone's posts! Today, TUESDAY, 7/7/09, the theme is A FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPH.

This is a picture of my Darling Daughter, Audrey. I think it not only captures her sweetness, but shows sides of her impishness too! I just love looking at this one.... she is so darned cute!! But too be fair, I can't have a favorite of one child and not the other....

So this is currently my favorite pictures of my Prince of Princes son Nathaniel. It was taken in one of my favorite places, and I love the look of deep concentration or contemplation. He is such a deep thinker! Oh, and I love that he can hike here with me when NONE of his doctors EVER thought that would be a possibility!! Thanks you Lord!

Enjoy you Blog hopping :)

MckLinky Blog Hop

For some reason the list will only show at the bottom of my page.... so scroll on down, down, down to get the list for the next hop! :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th 2009

All I can say is WOW!!!

Since we opened the business in 2006 I don't think we have taken a whole family day trip... and that used to be something we did ALL THE TIME! But Faline and I closed the shop, gave ourselves the weekend off, loaded up the kids and headed out! It was mostly great, and we really have to do this more often!

We started this holiday weekend off with tickets to a pancake breakfast fund raiser. This was a treat for us since we usually can't afford things like that. The tickets were gifted to us this time, and we took all 4 kids and Gramie down to hang and eat. It was really cool to see many of our local business friends and some of our community friends and just hang. Nathaniel actually had a REALLY HARD time with all of the people, but there were enough "big" people in our family there that he didn't end up on my lap the entire time. This was kinda nice for me because it allowed me to enjoy being there, but still had him feeling safe. We simply passed him from lap to lap, giving everyone some Nat free time, but still having him feel safe.

While we were at breakfast my mom and I were talking about the next local store that is falling prey to the economy and how few days are left for it. I felt very sad, I am really going to miss Gottschalks! So, beings as Josie needed shorts for our trip, I needed new clothes for fair and my mom wanted to see what was left in her size we headed in to SLO for a quick shopping trip. It was very cool. First, with only 12 days left I did NOT expect the store to be so full still! When Mervyn's was this close a few months ago it was so empty... pretty much just the store fixtures left. But Gottschalks had a big selection left here. Second, I really needed that last journey through there, that is a store that played such a big role in my life and some really good friends were there too. One last journey down that memory lane for me.... AND they had their fixtures on sale!! As a CHEAP business owner that is cool to me! I came away with some really great finds for Butterfly :) Oh, and LOTS of new clothes for Faline and I!! It was pretty funny when Nathaniel called Faline on the phone and said "can Mommy buy you new clothes? Do you trust her to pick them out?" Ummm.... yea, Mommy knows what I wear better than I do, was the answer of course!

So then we loaded up the kids and headed out of town. Our goal for the day was Coalinga to see my grandparents. This is a trip that I used to take monthly. I would head over to see them very often, but over the last few years a number of factors have limited my trips. First, there is the obvious, I own a business that is open 6 days per week. I am always so busy there, so my one day off per week tends to be spent getting ready for the upcoming week, not traveling or even finishing my house :) Second, they can only handle Nathaniel in small doses, so I usually end up driving there and back in the same day, alone, with both kids. This is not exactly a relaxing way to spend your day off. And third, they come here so often now that I don't miss them like I used too! But I do miss their house and the sense of peace that I always have there. It has always been a place of refuge for me.

The trip over was pretty easy. The kids were good (thanks to the wonderful invention of the DVD player built into the car that allows them to watch movies while I listen to my music!). The traffic was bearable. And the no one really fought! Oh... and we saw karma in action :) Highway 46 tends to have some really psycho drivers on it... and this Fourth was no different. There were these two dark SUVs in particular that were being just plain reckless and unsafe. I don't like drivers like that endanger everyone else on the road! But they flew past us and on their way. Well, not to far down the road (like 30 miles or so) guess who was pulled over on the side of the road by a Highway patrol??? Yup, one of those SUVs and they did NOT look all that happy either! We applauded the CHP officer as we passed :)

Once we got to GGmama and GGpapa's house it was nice to visit with them. But the kids quickly got restless and a little bored. So we got out the water guns and soaker balls for them. They are on pretty strict water rations in Coalinga, but we figured two buckets of water would be ok. And since it was over 100 degrees outside, even though it was after 4 pm, I figured water guns would feel good to the kids!

Nat found it all great fun! He was happy to have permission to shot his sister and cousins!

And Josie was very playful with it! It was fun to see her playing, she has got to the sulky point usually... so this was a great treat to see her let down and play!

Look at the smiles on those girls! How fun!

And Nat was deadly with the soaker balls.... he has such great aim!

The playful ones out playing....

Faline was taking pictures so she was excused, and Bri was hiding. I think that was the one low point for me, Brianna was pouting that she had to come and so off sucking most of the time. I don't like the way that she thinks that she is old enough to get out of all family time. Teenagers....

After the water war, Faline and I BBQed dinner (remind me not to volunteer to BBQ in 100+ degree weather again...) and we all had a nice dinner. It's been a long time since we gathered around GGmama and GGpapa's table. It was fun! And the kids even BEHAVED! No spills, no vomiting, no fights, it was great! (And, yes, those are all common occurrences in our lives!)

After dinner all four kids headed to the local park to play while we waited for it to get dark. I think Bri volunteered this so she could escape and talk to her boyfriend on the phone, but I ignored that fact and let them go. It was nice because it gave the adults time to visit without being constantly interrupted by the kids. And it gave them more opportunity to run their energy off! It also brought back memories of my childhood... when I used to escape to the park in the evenings when it finally cooled down some :)

At dusk we loaded up the kids and headed up to the road that overlooks town to watch the fireworks. I am not a crowd person, and neither is Nathaniel, but we love fireworks, so this is a great compromise!

While we were waiting I could not resist a few pics of the area.... I love interesting pictures of nature! I actually saw so many places on the way over there that I wanted to stop and take pictures, but we were running late so I didn't. But here, while we were waiting I couldn't resist a few... Then the fun began. We could see fire works from the Coalinga city display, but also out on the horizon, the displays from two other towns as well! For a firework lover such as myself and Josie it was pure delight! A bonus was that both Nathaniel and Audrey enjoyed the display this year, neither of them scared like they have been before!

We were too far away for Mom's camera to really take pics, but I had to try...

After the great displays, it was back to the house. Because fireworks are LEGAL in the Coalinga city limits, unlike where we live!!! I *LOVE* setting off fireworks almost as much as watching them! And it seems Josie shares my enthusiasm! GGpapa bought us a nice bag full to set off and I felt like a child again! And all 4 kids were really into it. I was worried that it would freak Nathaniel out, but it didn't. And Bri was good at helping Audrey, which kept them both engaged.

Faline and I picked up two packages of sparklers because we love them, and it just isn't 4th of July without them! We are trying to teach our kids this too I guess! Josie really got into it without much prompting.... and Faline got some fun pics of Jo and I with our Sparklers.

Then we did some of the street works that GGpapa got us... and they were fun too.

Everyone went over the safety lessons before we began and were very respectful of the rules, so I was able to relax and have fun without worrying which kids was going to try to hurt themselves. It is such a relief to me that they are more mature now and can follow rules better.

This was one of our favorites.... it went on and on for a long time :)

Did I mention that I borrowed my Mom's camera? Well I did, because as you know, mine died a very sad death..... But anyways, since we had a camera that we were relatively unfamiliar with, Faline ended up with some interesting pics. We aren't sure WHAT button she pushed to get this, but it's pretty cool hu?

And here's another one...

The more we set off the more relaxed Nathaniel became. At first he wouldn't go anywhere near the, he just wanted to watch fro the chair. Then Josie was able to hold his hand and they did a Sparkler together. This is so sweet to me because Josie doesn't always have the most patients with Nathaniel, but they were so good together on this day!

By the end of the evening all four kids were out there with Jo & I doing Sparklers :) There is even one in Audrey's hand, not that you can see it well. And, no, it may look like Bri is setting Audrey's hair on fire, but they were actually many feet apart!!

Overall it was a very fun day and I am so glad we took the time and energy to go! We had so much fun, and the kids we so good. My only disappointment (besides the fact that Bri is becoming a sulky teenager) is that GGpapa snuck off to bed so fast I didn't get pics with him and the kids. But he is to be forgiven since he just had surgery two weeks ago and his body is still trying to recover.

The other really funny thing was the traffic coming home. I expected some traffic, but was I did not expect was the CONSTANT bumper to bumper traffic all the way from Reef City to Paso Robles, heading the opposite way as us! It was so funny... Faline and I seriously laughed about it the whole way home... and wondered WHERE IN THE HECK they were all coming from! It was so insane!!!