Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Best of 2010

These are in no particular order...just the top happenings of the year. 
1. Makiyah celebrated his first birthday in January. He has proven many times over that he is ALL boy. He loves to cuddle and be tickled. He still has the best laugh and can easily make you laugh. He's the social one of our two kids at this point. He and Amaya can play together like best friends and fight like brother and sister. I guess you can't have one without the other. His favorite toy right now is a horse. He got his first 2 haircuts this was sad to cut off the curls but it needed to be done.

2. Amaya celebrated her 3rd birthday in April. We celebrated with a Dora and a princess party...(two different parties). She is my little sweetie and I've actually stopped calling her baby girl all the time...where has the time gone.  I still do it every once in a while but not like I used to. This year we've spent some time doing "pre-school." I haven't been consistently doing it every day but we use every experience as a learning opportunity. This year has not been without trials...I think she breaks the record for fits and whining but it's been getting better in the last few weeks. She also loves to cuddle with me and one of my favorite things these past few months is her and I falling asleep together. She often wants to sleep on "mommy's chest." Gonna definitely let her do it until the belly is too big.

3. Chad has officially been at his job over 1.5 years now. It seems just like yesterday that he couldn't find a job and we are always thankful for this one.

4. Chad got 3 deer this year to stock our freezer once again. I'm looking forward to the jerky he is going to make any day now. I'm also going to try making some canned "bologna" with deer meat. It's not really bologna except it has different spices. I used to LOVE the stuff my mom made with ground beef so I thought I'd give it a try.

5. Chad finished our bay window in the living room. It has literally been taped off for 2 years now.  He was going to finish it when I was gone about 2 years ago and didn't end up having time so he taped it then and finished it actually didn't bother me (most of the time)...all things get done in due time. BTW: it looks beautiful!! =)

6. In March, I started my photo business: Joy For Life Photography by Elaine. It has been a blessing and has helped me to stay creative.  I love being creative and love capturing that special photo for someone. I've learned that I am more creative than I thought I was.

7. In September we took a family vacation to St. Augustine.  We took my mom and dad and really just had a relaxing time.  If you received a Christmas card from us, the pictures were taken there. We didn't have much of an agenda and it ended up working great. Makiyah loved the beach and was just starting to say sentences but didn't always know what to say.  During that trip we often heard...."blealkjlkeoidjfaoien;galkd..BEACH" (the first part of that means we had no idea what he was saying but he always finished it with a loud "BEACH"). He thought that every time we left the condo, we were going to the beach and it resulted in several meltdowns when he realized we were only going to the van instead. Amaya also could have spent each day, all day out there. She loved digging in the sand and getting all dirty.

8. While on our St. Augustine vacation I would have to say I planned one of the best surprises ever for Chad. See one of my previous posts. It worked out so perfectly and really couldn't have gone any better.

9. In November I went with my mom to Florida on a bus.  I can say that I will NEVER do that again...hopefully we will either fly or drive next time.  We contemplated both and then decided that it would be ok with her helping me with the kids.  I have never been so miserable in my life. On the way down from Cincinnati on I was in 2 seats with the kids and for most of the night I couldn't move b/c if I did Mak would wake up and cry. The way back was much much better since my mom was able to sit beside me and take care of Amaya through the night but I would definitely fly next time.

10. In November I also chopped off 10 inches from my hair (you can see my shorter hair in the first photo).  I donated it to Locks of Love.  I didn't know if I had that much but I did. I was glad since I was ready to have it cut off. Now I'm ready for it to grow out a bit again...LOL.

10. In October we found out we were pregnant with #3 and yes it was all planned. =)  We like to plan and space out the kids. After Mak, I really didn't know when I would be ready for a third.  I can't say I'm totally ready now but that's why they are in my belly for 9 months so I can prepare. I'm already excited to meet this little one. When Mak was born, I told Chad that we should be surprised when we have our third and not find out the sex.  He totally disagreed with me and now I think I disagree with myself. I want to find out. Only 7 more weeks till we know. At 13 weeks, this little baby already has legs and arms and little tiny finger prints....LOVE!

Some fun pictures from this year. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shutterfly...Great Deal!!

This is an absolutely amazing deal. I'm excited to announce that Shutterfly is giving away 50 free fellow ya go...check it out! Isn't it a great deal?  I've used Shutterfly before and have been happy with the quality of their prints and services. I always choose my prints/cards in matte since I think it looks more "finished." I absolutely love their selection of Christmas cards in all sizes this year! I typically stick with the 4x8 size but because of this give-a-way I might just go with another size.

So far some of my favorites are:
Many Memories Tree Christmas Card
Glitter Glamour Joy Christmas Card
Pictures in Snow Christmas Card

Oh my goodness they are all soo nice this year!!  REALLY! Go check it out for yourself:

Shutterfly has great search options too. If you know what color(s) you are looking for, you just click on those on the left side of the screen and it eliminates all the ones you don't easy is that? Also you can go directly to the size you want and not have to look through so many choices if you like to make it easier on yourself. You can also choose the amount of photos you want on the card and it will eliminate all the rest...again..soo nice!!

Here is a direct link to their CHRISTMAS CARD SELECTION...these all have photo options so you can add all your family and kids photos.

Seriously the more I look, the more I can't figure out just which one I'm going to get this year...yikes. =) I have to choose soon though.

One other gift I am thinking of giving this year is a photo calendar...what a great idea for grandma.  I may just have to put all the pictures my kids throughout the year in that is a link to their CALENDAR SECTION.

And just in case you are wondering...they also do photo birthday invitations...I'm a HUGE fan of using a photo for just about any invitation or occasion. Check out their BIRTHDAY INVITATION CHOICES.

Head on over to and see what you can find for your Christmas cards and/or presents this year. =)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our Vacation...The Surprise!

We arrived in St. Augustine yesterday evening.  Amaya kept asking if we were there yet..."mommy are we at the beach yet? Mommy are we in Florida yet?"  I think the first time she asked we were in Columbus...about 1 hr from our home. =) Fortunately she forgets easily so she didn't ask constantly..just enough to still be cute. =)

So far we have only spent about 10 min on the beach (yesterday) and 20 min. today.  I had a huge surprise planned for Chad for months now.  I don't even remember how long it's been but when we knew the dates of our arrival here in Florida, I contacted some friends (David & Suzanne Anderson) who moved to Florida almost 2 yrs ago. I wanted to try to set up some time with them when we came.  I also wanted to do it at the beginning of the week so that we would make sure we have time. Anyway, today worked out best for them so here is how it all happened.

Yesterday I sent Suzanne several texts and we agreed to meet at Planet Hollywood at Disney. I decided to keep our GPS with me in the backseat and give Chad just enough directions so that he had no clue where we were going.  Yesterday I told him I had something planned for today but I wasn't going to give him anymore details.  So today I told everyone they needed to be ready by noon. My mom was in on the surprise ..somewhat but my dad didn't know. Anyway, we started out going south of our location and Chad thought I was taking him to a place we had visited on our honeymoon. =)  That was so fun.  I tried to pry him to see if he had any idea and he didn' far so good.

We continued to travel south towards Orlando.  He still had no clue...later he admitted that as we got closer to Orlando he thought..."we should have contacted the Andersons and met up with them" but he never voiced that to me. We finally get to Orlando and finally make it to Planet Hollywood (got stuck in traffic...tried to find a way around it and lost some time doing that..=).

The plan was for Trent to come out and see if Chad still recognized him...he's changed quite a bit since they lived in Bloomington. Keep in mind at this point, I still haven't told Chad anything about our trip.  We were walking up to the restaurant and there was a huge alligator above the gift shop beside it and so Chad was busy looking at that.  I knew the Andersons were in the gift shop so we just kept walking.  Trent's girlfriend came out and walked up to Chad and said.."can you take our picture?"  Which at that point, Chad finally looked at them and since Trent's back was turned he hadn't recognized him yet. When he turned around Chad did a double take and said..."well, no I can't take his picture" (teasing) and then he says..."wow, what a coincidence that you are here". was so fun. 

He didn't actually get that it had all been set up until David and Suzanne walked up...oh what fun!!  I LOVE surprising people..haha I think it made me tear up a bit...but out of the pure joy of the moment. I haven't surprised him like that since his 30th birthday and his reaction was so great!

I love you honey. I love that I was able to surprise you today....and I love that we were able to spend time with the Andersons again!  They are a special couple in our lives.  Thank you Andersons for a truly memorable start to this vacation!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Final Project...Cake Decorating

Here is the decorating from my second night of class..the border and the finished piece (and yes that's a fish....made some mistakes on that one but hey it's a learning process right?) =)

I don't really like my handwriting very much but it turned out ok...I'm sure if I work on it a bit more it would turn out even better. =) It was also supposed to have some leaves with the roses but I didn't have time to finish those and I thought it looked good just the way it was. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cake Decorating....the steps

My friend Karina asked me to take a cake decorating class with her and I must say it was a lot of fun!!  I learned so much. I'm one of those people who hates to spend money on cakes especially when I feel like I should be able to make them.  I'm also one of those people that know nothing about decorating cakes. My two favorite cakes that my mom used to make growing up did not have any frosting so I didn't frost much.  I bought an instruction booklet a few years ago and learned the very basics...I mean the very basics.  I never learned to do any flowers or how to smooth a cake so it was basically not a very good deal for me.

I took pictures as I frosted the cake for my final project...see for yourself:

1. I didn't take a picture of this step but the first thing you do after baking and cooling a cake is level it. I got a really cool new tool to do much easier than trying to take a knife which I used to do.

2. The second step is to pipe some frosting on the bottom layer to create a dam for your filling.  As you can see my filling was simply a pudding cup...a trick I learned from it!! =)

3. The third step was to put the top back on...I put it on "inversely" so that my new top would be completely flat (it was the original bottom of one of the cakes).

4. The fourth step was simply frosting the cake. I frosted the cake and smoothed it as well as I could with my spatula. As you can see it's not very smooth..that's what my cakes used to look like.
5. The next step was really smoothing the cake.  The Wilton method is using a piece of parchment paper.  I learned an even better method from my classmate.  She told me about the VIVA paper towel.  It worked great...see for yourself. Isn't it amazing?

Stay tuned for pictures of my final project and pictures of the second night of class.  I didn't take pictures of the other two nights b/c I just didn't think they were that cool. =)

Friday, August 20, 2010

pretty girl

Mak's first haircut

On August 2nd Mak got his first haircut.  I was very sad to see the curls go but as you can see in the photo below...he really needed it! =)


Friday, August 13, 2010

From the Fair

This is for all my single ladies out there....woot woot!!

New Comebacks For Old Come-ons

Everybody's doing it!
     Really? Then you shouldn't have a problem finding somebody else.

You are so special.
    Too special to waste my virginity on you.

Don't worry, I'll use protection.
   You're gonna need protection if you don't get off me.

I love you.
   Great. But love doesn't equal sex.

You don't know what you're missing.
    Just the fear heartache, the diseases, the pregnancy....need I go on?

But I'm clean. I promise.
    And I"m gonna stay clean because of MY promise to myself!!!

You've done it before. Why quit?
    Because I can. Because I'm worth it. Because you're not.

Nothing bad's gonna happen, trust me.
    That's right, because nothing's gonna happen.

You're still a virgin? What are you waiting for?
    My wedding night. I don't need to practice with you to get it right.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Fun Week

Last week we had a lot going on.

It started with Sunday morning. I wasn't teaching so I decided to curl Amaya's hair. I love doing this!!  She lets me play with her hair a little more now so I can actually do fun stuff. I don't know if you've noticed but I can braid it now so I do that when I can. Before she would cry the whole time I was braiding it so I didn't try it very much.

Next in the happenings was the fair. We went on wrist band night. So we had to ride at least one ride. Amaya really wanted to ride the Ferris Wheel but it had a long line so we stuck with the Carousel. I tried to do the video but it didn't work.
After the ride we went to the animal barns...Amaya loved the animals. Mak did too but only if we didn't get too close.  He was a bit afraid of the big animals (and even the smaller ones too). That surprised me a bit but you learn something new every day. =) (Notice how Chad is holding his hand... that's because he had to force him)

And one final pic of all of us that night just as we were getting ready to leave:

Friday, July 30, 2010

How do we keep our marriage strong?

by doing this......wooooohooooo!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Me on Marriage #3

This is the last post in my marriage series...I've really enjoyed doing this. I love when God gives me inspiration for my blog. =) Leave me a comment...let me know your thoughts on my posts...I'd love to hear from you.  Let me know how I can pray for you.

After all those things I explained in the last marriage post, Ephesians tells us to:


Paul actually talks about all these things (the above and the stuff from the previous post) BEFORE he talks about marriage in Ephesians.
I believe there is such significance in this.  If we hold fast to what God has asked of us, our building will have NO choice but to be strong and storm worthy! Just look at the last three...walk in love, walk in light and walk in wisdom.  How often do we forget these in order to be "right" in our marriage? Maybe if we forgot about being "right" in exchange for being "love," we would see different results. (Whew....God help me be reminded to walk in love through each discussion and/or argument)

AFTER Paul talks about marriage, he then gives us some great tools: the ARMOR OF GOD!!

This is how I put on the armor of God:

I put on the belt of truth.
I put up the breastplate of righteousness (to protect my heart)
I fit my feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace
I put up the shield of faith with which to withstand all the fiery darts of the enemy
I put on the helmet of salvation to protect my mind
I put up the sword of the spirit which is able to divide between soul and spirit.
for some added 'protection' I add these:
I put on the robe of righteousness for His name's sake
I put on the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness
I thank you Lord that Your glory is my rear guard

The following is something I've confessed and prayed over our marriage and the marriages of my friends around me...God is at work! 

Behold how good it is for brethren (Chad & Elaine) to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down the beard, the beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.
It is like the dew of Hermon, 
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing:

I encourage you this way: 
...if your marriage is great and strong ....continue giving glory to God and speaking the word over your marriage..and above all else be obedient to Him.

...if your marriage is struggling...continue giving glory to God and speaking the word over your marriage..and above all else be obedient to Him.

...if your marriage is broken...continue giving glory to God and speaking the word over your marriage..and above all else be obedient to Him. 

Love to all and thanks for reading!! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Me on Marriage #2

I was really having a hard time deciding what to write on this blog.  For some reason every time I sat down to write I had this huge block.  So then I remembered ummmm...the reason I was doing this was b/c God gave me something I wrote in my me being super smart, I went back and read it and you know was all there.  Everything that I wanted to write, I had already written.  LOL...sometimes I just need to stop and take a breath and realize God's in control. 

 The beautiful bride and her dad walking down to meet her man: Jessica & Bobby's Wedding

"It takes two to make a thing go takes two to make it outta sight" 

Going back to what I was talking about for our vows.  I believe that just as God spoke, "let there be light and light was," when we speak our vows it simply is. The hard part to that is this thing called LIFE.  After we speak our vows, how we choose to deal with life is how our building looks.

For example if I as a wife choose to neglect submission (i.e. respect, acknowledge his leadership, listen to him, praise him), I am building something with holes and something that will begin to crumble with time. If Chad fails to love me (no matter if the dishes are undone, dinner uncooked, laundry piled high), he is building something with holes that will crack over time.  What the Bible says he must do: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her." (Ephesians 5:25)

The key is to create a sure foundation and to follow biblical example. We not only look at the specific scriptures on marriage but on the ones preceding those marriage scriptures...AND we look at the scriptures describing Christ's instructions for the church b/c that is how He likens a marriage.

If you look at how the book of Ephesians is set up, Paul starts off describing our redemption, he then goes on with a prayer for our spiritual wisdom, next he reminds us of God's grace through faith...(are you starting to see what I'm talking about?) Next Paul tells us we were brought near to him by his blood...then he says Christ is our peace....OUR CORNERSTONE....THE MYSTERY REVEALED.

Paul then shows us the purpose of the mystery and how to have an appreciation for the mystery of Christ.
Before I begin my next part, I feel I must explain the above with a diagram...the way the I put the "blocks" is just how I see the Bible describing them...(I'm not a Bible scholar...just a lover of Jesus). =) I also did not finish the building because that is different for each marriage.

When we first are saved we start to see these things for ourselves: Christ's redemption for us, grace through faith, wisdom, and how we are brought near by Christ's blood.  All of that doesn't change when we get married...BUT as a married have to build something together and it starts with your experiences as a married couple. You may have a "sure foundation" for yourself but what are you building together?

So in the last blog I finished with a story of Chad and I having an argument.  We do really still love each other. =)  It made me go back a while though and I realized that I needed to forgive him of hurting my feelings over 3 years ago...geesh.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Me on Marriage #1

Just a pic from the most recent wedding I attended (last Saturday):

Why I want to post this:  For the past couple years I have seen marriages that I thought could withstand (or were withstanding) anything....fall apart.  I've seen couples divorced who I personally was friends with, people who I ministered to and in some ways it seemed like an "out of the blue" decision. I'm sure it was not a quick decision but it prompted me to write in my midnight one night. CRAZY I know but when the inspiration hits you gotta go with it.

One thing that really struck me is how these couples that I know have children who they put in the middle of their issues. Not only are the actions of the parents extremely detrimental to the children but to each other. I believe when a marriage happens a spiritual union happens also. In order to break that union you have to give a part of yourself away AND you tear a part of your children in the process.  I really believe it must be a three-fold cord (you, spouse, God) and it must be checked for breaks and frays at all times.
In the breaks that I have seen or heard typically is one spouse blaming the other for everything.  That really gets to me.... I understand that a spouse can be terrible at times BUT in marriage no matter how you put takes two.  (I am not talking about abuse in any form here).  I am talking about marriages that have simply fallen apart because one spouse simply quits and starts blaming.  I fully believe in order for a marriage to work there has to be a humility from both sides.  Humility must be present to recognize that neither is perfect and that always blaming will not build up.  Humility must be present to realize when to give up your own wants and desires for the good of the both. 

ALL marriages need to have both sides working FOR the marriage at all times.  If you think about the vows you spoke...for better or for worse...most people only stay true to the for better part. Have you thought about your marriage (if you're married) and what you will do in the for worse parts?  Have you thought about the words till death do us part?

Maybe it's really just being a man or woman of your word...maybe it's trusting God that He can bring good out of any situation...maybe it's taking the situation out of your own hands and trusting God to bring your spouse around...maybe it's letting go and letting God and being obedient to doing what He says to do.

What's really funny (or not really) is last night as I was starting to write this post, Chad and I had an argument. He said something about the kids that I took extremely personally.  He was simply making a suggestion and I took it as a negative against me....ok so we all know this probably did not turn out to be very romantic...'nuff said'. be continued...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Big Girl and A Big Boy

This post is about Amaya and Makiyah....

So I know the last post was all about Mak and it's made me realize how quickly he is growing again.
A few things that I didn't post that he does:
  • say amin (for Amen) after we pray
  •  he looked at me yesterday morning as I was feeding him breakfast (grits..yum!) and puts out his hands and says "all none" (for all done) that's so cute to me...we've been doing that for a looong time and all we've been rewarded with is "aghhhhhh"....whines and grunts when he wants something.
  • He is started to recognize and say people's names.  

I'm sure again I'm missing a few things but I just can't believe how quickly time love love him.

Now on to Amaya:
She truly is my big girl.  In the past two weeks she has peed in her diaper 2 times and has been in underwear for nap time the past week.  I still put her in a pull-up at night but she always keeps it dry.  The not-so-good part of this all is that she now wakes up in the middle of the night to potty but actually it feels pretty good that she is able to do that.  She also has been climbing onto the toilet and doing her business then wiping and washing her hands all by herself.  The first time she did that was Saturday morning...even going #2 she has done a good job wiping...all I can say is wow!  If you don't have kids day you'll have this proud feeling of your kiddo wiping her own butt. =)
She is such a sweetie and although she has her 3 yr old moments, my heart is so full of love for her too. 
One thing she absolutely does not like: to be woken from a nap...she is in a terrible mood for a while then all of a sudden someone does something to make her laugh and it's over....totally a 3 yr old with no control over her emotions.  I find myself being more and more patient with her...but at times I am super impatient and then it's not good. 

On another note: Pastor Renee asked us to write our decrees for our life...I have to admit, I have not thought of what mine are for a while. I do believe I know what mine will be but I don't confess them every day.  One thing I have been praying more recently is that God would make me more humble.  I find that the more humble I am, the more I am able to do what God asks me to do.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Makiyah is 15 I mean 17 months old.

Ok ok so this post was supposed to be done 2 MONTHS ago. I wanted to do a post in honor of his 15 months.

So here is that update for Makiyah at 15 months to be followed by one of 17 months below:

15 months:
Mak loves climbing on the couch
He has 2 molars and 4 upper and 4 lower teeth
He loves my phone
He knows when he is in trouble and will run away from me

His words at 15 months:
boon (balloon)

cow, cat, pig, dog, duck, monkey

Hugs, kisses

Loves playing with his big sister Amaya.
He throws tantrums by stiffening his body and stomping his's pretty hilarious..when I'm not too stressed. =)
One of my favorite things he knows: how to spin. He will spin, make himself dizzy then try to walk.  It's pretty cute.

At 17 months:
He obviously knows all the above and more.

He talks so much...much of it is just babble language but he can tell you a whole story and look at you like "what do you think about that?"

Right now his absolute favorite thing is: "bubbles" not those floaty things..."bubble" are bugs.  He has a great eye and will play with the smallest of ants until it goes out of sight. He loves to play with a daddy long legs spider....can I say YUCK!

He has started to respond better to no but still has his little tantrums.

He has a mouth full of teeth now including two of his I teeth...the most painful ones to come in..I think.

He has a total of 12 teeth (I think). Since he is currently asleep I cannot confirm that.

He loves to climb on things..anything in fact. I've found him standing on the stove door several times (don't worry it wasn't on...but still scary).
He climbs on beds, couches, little chairs (not adult table chairs yet)...he keeps trying and trying something until he finally gets it.
He's climbed in the dryer when I left the door open.
He climbs on Chad or I when we are laying on the floor...(he learned that from Amaya)..she loves a good horse ride. =)
He still has not had his first haircut but I have to do's in his eyes for pete's sake. I just don't want to mess up that pretty red hair and get rid of the little baby look.

I believe his favorite word is Mommy...he now wakes up saying "mommy...mommy...mommy"
He clearly says Reggie
He mimics almost anything...the other day we were asking "where's reggie"...and he clearly repeated it.
He's not as quick to repeat things as Amaya was at this age but he takes in everything!
He loves...loves his Poppy (great-grandfather)...his eyes light up and he drops whatever he is doing and runs to him every time he comes to our house (love's a really sweet thing to see and I think it makes Poppy feel really good) =)
He's finally started to say milk (at times) but still grunts for just about everything....he's not very patient.
He's learned how to navigate our porch steps without help...I think he falls halfway down each one but he's not very patient and doesn't want to wait till I can help him. =)
He's very curious and has many spills but has a way of holding his head so that he never falls on that.

So this post is getting really long...that's it for's a picture of him meeting his cousin for the first time since she's gotten bigger. He's a loving little boy. =)  Love this picture. Look at his little curls...I mean if you were me you wouldn't want to cut them either..would you? Isn't my niece super cute?...she's in a house full of boys too so she's the princess.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

5 Years!!!!!

So my last full post had pictures through our time together.  For our 5 year anniversary Chad and I headed to downtown Bloomington to eat at Chipotle..then we walked around for a bit and got some yogurt at Campus Candy.  We had a lot of fun just being was actually kinda funny but when you don't spend a whole lot of time together without the kids it's hard to find stuff to do.
Sean and Samaria had offered to watch our kids for a date night...umm several months ago and we hadn't taken them up on our offer so what better time to do it then our anniversary.  It was even short notice...and they still agreed. =)  Thank you for that!!  We love and appreciate you both very much!! Samaria also took these pictures of us...didn't she do a great job?

So I have a question for you all:  I really like all of these pictures...I edited them all a bit differently and I can't decide which one is my favorite since I like all of them.  I really want to put one of them on my living room wall so can you help please? =) (I apologize about the quality...I can't stand what it does to the quality when I upload them.) =(

Let me know which one you like the best in the comment section. Ok trying to number them is not working sooo...just number them from 1-4 starting with the top one.

Thank you to all!!

I have so many more blogging stories to post...I gotta get caught up...Memorial Day, Mak's milestones, a fun recipe, Amaya...etc..whew..I'm gonna do it soon!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I'm still alive!!

Just wanted ya'll to know I'm still alive...just been on vacation and been a bit more busy since it's summer. Still no excuse to not blog for a MONTH!! Yikes...please stay tuned!! Samaria took some awesome pictures of Chad and I on our 5 yr anniversary.  They are frame-worthy. =) I will post later. The images are on the other computer.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Our's been 5 Years!!

Happy Anniversary to us!  5 years ago today I married my best friend. It was a special day!  The ceremony was absolutely perfect...NOTHING could have ruined that day..not tuxes coming in late..not a few tears early that morning..NOTHING!!  God had designed that day and it was perfect!

Our ceremony was exactly as we wanted it...the praise team singing a few songs...the dance team dancing...then the fun part started. =)

We had a bridal party of 7...woohoo!!  Loved that all my special friends were a part.

I love music so I had 3 songs...I'm a big fan of people that I know singing them so my sis-in-law LoraLee with her beautiful voice sang two...Pastor Renee sang along with her in one and then Patrick Harris and Katrina (Gilbert) at the time sang in another one....awwww...I can still remember. =)

Then we did our own vows that we had written...I wish I had them memorized still.  I know I have them in a special notebook but don't know where that is at the moment. =) Something about love submission...blah blah...LOL was a big deal and Samaria helped make sure I had them memorized...I love that I have a picture of that in my wedding album...I will never forget how we practiced that day. (I held her hands and everything) haha

Then we had our first was really special. (big smile!!)

All in all it was a super special day!!  But the best part of everything was being able to finally go "home" with my that was a big deal.

a few pictures of us dating and married - check out all my different hairstyles...I don't think of myself as having many different ones but it's a little different in each picture..=)

This is the day we got our old church parking lot...see I'm showing off my ring. =)
The next one (brown tone) is at Bonneyville Mill Park (I think this was the weekend Chad asked my dad if he could marry me)
The one where we are all bundled up is at the firetower where he took me to show me the "helicopter" seeds that fall off a tree...he had a whole bag of em and he dumped the out so we could watch them fall.
The next one was after we were married we were at Niagra Falls...I would soon find out I had my first teaching job at Cloverdale Elementary.
The next one was on our honeymoon.
The last one was on the cruise boat on our way to the Bahamas (my all-time favorite picture of us).

Then you ask why I have no wedding pictures...well simply cause I have none...they are all in an album.  I guess I could take pictures of the album....maybe someday.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Little Girl is 3!!

My Dearest Amaya....I can't believe you are 3 already!  You have been such a joy and blessing to Daddy and I.  The past 3 years have not always been easy. At times it was even a bit scary when things were happening to your body that were out of our control. I am truly thankful that you are now a strong healthy little girl and that the only thing you have on your body is a scar to show what you've been through. are always ready to learn and listen.  I love how you take the things Daddy and I teach you and use them...just tonight you said, "Daddy let's go downstairs...vamonos". (You read Dora for your naptime book..enough said). 
I cannot say enough how truly proud I am of you. Some of the things you like to do:  
when I am praying in tongues in the car, you always want me to pray for you, Daddy and Mak...and you usually remind me to pray for me too. =)  Sometimes you even "pray in tongues" too.  
You love putting on the "full armor of God" (Ephesians 6).  You can finish all the parts of the armor the few other things I add to that confession.  You remember so much that I teach you sometimes I am amazed! 
You know your numbers up to 11..after that it gets a bit hazy...
You know ALL your capital letters and 90% of your lowercase letters
You know about 70% of the sounds of the letters...something that makes me smile every time as you sound out letters. =)
You've started drawing our family on your doodle pro and you still include Teresa (something that also makes me smile). I love watching you draw and making the "stick figures".
You are beginning to color the items on a coloring page but still prefer to color with just one color and you don't care too much about staying in the line.  
You love playing with playdoh and playing in sand can keep you occupied for a long time.
You love feeding the turkeys, deer and crows with Daddy and I love watching you two throw the sweet!!
You know the road signs and what a stoplight is for and usually tell me when ..."red means stop, green means go and yellow means slow down."
You also recognize when you see a bicyclist with a helmet on...and one that doesn't and of course we always talk about safety after that.
Your favorite songs: "This Old Man," "Jesus Loves Me," Jesus Loves the Little Children," and "Oh Come Let us Adore Him".
When I sing Jesus Loves the Little Children..I add a verse like this: 
"Jesus Loves Miss Amaya
How He loves Amaya Kaylan
He died and rose again
So that she might have life
Jesus loves Miss Amaya Kaylan"
(As I am singing this the smile on your face is so look completely at peace and I can tell you feel so safe...the absolute best look for a parent to see.)
You understand how to calm yourself by taking some deep breaths.  This is especially helpful before naptime and bedtime.
I could go on and on with all that you have filled our lives with but for now I will stop.  You are our precious firstborn. We will NEVER stop thanking Jesus for you!  We love you dearly!!!
I love you my, Mommy

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Beneath My Heart doing another giveaway. You've got to check it out.  I've posted about it's a giveaway from



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Busy times

Last weekend we had an Easter Egg Hunt at our was a super fun time and we saw lots and lots of families pass through.  We had a giant bouncy and giant maze set up along with FREE FOOD...FREE EASTER BUNNY PICTURES (which I had the pleasure of taking)....DID I MENTION EVERYTHING WAS ABSOLUTELY FREE!!

It was tiring but sooo fun!!  I took over 350 pictures that day plus more the next on Easter Sunday.

I've spent this week cropping and saving..cropping and saving...cropping and saving....and finally got done with the Saturday pictures and now just have to finish the Sunday pictures.  If you want to check them out head on over to my photography blog: Joy For Life....Photography By Elaine.

Here's my kiddos and their Easter bunny experience...Enjoy! At first Mak's not too sure but then he's fine. =)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mak is 14 months old

Yesterday Mak turned 14 months old...he's my little man!
I wrote down these words that he "mimics" or says on February 18th...guess I missed the 13 month post. =)

doggie (after ma-ma or da-da his new favorite word)
knows that outside is looking out the window
He signs more and tries to sign please.

patty cake
playing with toys
reading (when he wants to read and you're sitting on the floor..doing dishes etc, he will bring you a book and proceed to sit in your lap - maybe I already shared this, I can't remember but I love it!) 
playing with Amaya
playing with Reggie
putting things in something and taking them out

He also knows when he's in trouble and tries to "run" away. 
He has very "healthy" plumbing...taking only a few seconds to drop a bomb and then it's off to playing again. =)

We love our little man.
and here's my two favorite males (I may be biased but I think it should be a magazine cover)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Why worship?

Why do we worship?  What is the point of worship?
Yesterday during service I was once again reminded of why we worship and how dangerous it is to not worship.
I thought of myself about a year and a half ago when my world seemed like it was falling apart and how dangerously close I was to being at a point where I couldn't worship.  It seemed like life was giving me lemons and I had lost the instructions for lemonade.   I had lost focus of Him.  I remember the negative feelings I felt at times even toward God.  I remember knowing and feeling my heart closing off.
And then...I also remember how I felt when I was able to raise my hands and worship Him. I remember really feeling God's grace being poured out on me in spite of myself.  There weren't that many bright spots of intense worship but when it happened, I can still remember it. I realized that I can worship and love in spite of myself and the issues of life that come to face me..I can be tried and tested and still yet I can worship!  I most definitely have not arrived to some sort of glorious "happiness" but I can choose to have joy in spite of every negative thing going on around me.
So again going back to my first questions.  Why do I worship? What is the point of worship?
I worship because HE is good!  I worship because I am compelled by His love and grace.  I worship because the Bible tells me to worship.  I worship because I have two beautiful little ones and one handsome husband who need me to worship so I can love and give to them...even when I have nothing left.

Oh come. let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with Thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God, 
and the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh, come let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

This is why I worship for HIM and for them:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Photo Shoot with the Pates

I did a photo shoot with the Pates...great friends of ours for many years.  Their little guy is so full of expressions.  Thanks Pates for letting me take your pictures. =)

Again there are some more pics on Joy For Life .