Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Days of Christmas ~ 16

For the past years or so we have hosted a "Christmas at the Parsonage" as our gift to our church people. It is a night we really look forward to and enjoy! This year was no exception! We had around 35 or so people who were able to come. There was enough food to have fed about twice that many....:) I'm paranoid about not having enough so I always do way to much, but, hey we have lots of leftovers!! We have the best group of people in the world!! They make pastoring a very lovely thing!! Now I can set back and relax...all I have left to do before Christmas is:
1. Finish my shopping
2. Wrap about 50 gifts
3. Address 100 Christmas cards
4. Decide if I will write a letter to go in those cards
5. If I decide to include a letter then I'll have to write it
6. Get those cards mailed
7. Bake sugar cookies and decorate them
I think I'll just stop there cause I'm already exhausted just typing the list!! :)

Some of the ladies getting ready to dive in...

John and Nancy Fields hanging out with Troy

One of the counters filled with food.....


I'm really feeling good about today since I'm getting my post done 15 minutes before midnight!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Days of Christmas ~ 14 & 15

Baking, Dipping, Eating........ :) We had a girls baking night tonight at my house! 3 of our friends, Lauren, Andrea, and I had a great time seeing what all we could create! I almost burned the house down trying to cook some pizza....that is another story altogether!! :0 Thankfully Troy came to our rescue and saved the day....the main concern is that our house was filled and I mean FILLED with smoke and the fire alarms never went off!!! Now that isn't a very comforting thought! We will have to see what we can do about that problem very soon!! We did get about 3000 pretzels ( ministerially speaking ) dipped and decorated.....I don't ever want to see another pretzel!! :) Going to be cooking all day tomorrow getting ready for "Christmas at the Parsonage" !! I better get to bed!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Days of Christmas ~ 11,12, & 13

Sorry I have been MIA for the last 3 "Days of Christmas"! This is what we have been getting ready for.....our Christmas Program!! After all the stress and worrying if it would turn turned out! We had 102 people in attendance which was very exciting!! The simple Christmas story never fails to touch my heart every year!! All 34 kids did great and we can now breath a huge sigh of relief!!!

One of the 14 shepherds!!!

Caleb Boardman and Andrea.....Andrea was estatic that she got to be Mary! She has looked forward to tonight for weeks now!!

The " wise guys" !

They all look so sweet here...folding their hands for the closing prayer

We closed with the kids singing "Happy Birthday Jesus" ~ He is the reason for this season!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Days of Christmas ~ 10

This evening was our kids piano recital. This was a first for Travis and Andrea and who know what number for Lauren. Andrea has been asking me for days, "how many more days until I get to play at the recital!" She surely didn't get this from me!! I always dreaded those things!! They all did great and we had a fun evening together!

Tyler is starting up piano in January and Luke is starting guitar lessons at the same time. I guess we will be a musical house. :)

Days of Christmas ~ 9

This Christmas at our church is EXTRA special since we FINALLY have our own church!! We celebrated the first Sunday of December with a dedication service. Our sanctuary is newly remodeled and is beautiful!!! Happy Birthday Jesus!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Days of Christmas ~ 8

Christmas is all about friends.....these two are definitely best buds!! Lauren was so glad to have Katie here for last weekend. Now they are counting the days until they see each other in February!! :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Days of Christmas ~ 7

Alex has recently discovered the joys of "licking the bow clean" ! He was really enjoying this bowl!!

Days of Christmas ~ 6

Andrea and Emily at our Christmas Dinner.... these two are joined at the hip! They even came dressed in matching clothes and we didn't even plan it! :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Days of Christmas ~ 5

The stocking were hung from the Living Room ledge since there is no fireplace anywhere..... I hope Santa is pretty tall! :)

Days of Christmas ~ 4

I have this smiling reminder of how few days I have left........and oh how much I have to do!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Days of Christmas ~3

I got this day in by the skin of my teeth...hey I had to grocery shop today and it was an all day thing! But the cupboards are full and I'm headed to bed! I remember about the days of Christmas and here it living room tree.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Days of Christmas ~ 2

This is what has kept me going for the last 2 1/2 years......FAITH! Don't get me wrong, I have had faith before that but, my faith has really been put to the test over the past 2 1/2 years in ways that it never had been before! It is easy to say things but, to acutally put them in action is a whole different thing! :) I'm thankful my FAITH is in someone who knows matter what I think I know!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Days of Christmas~ Day 1

These skates are my newest favorite find! They were just a few $$ at Kohl's! I love that store! They added such a nostalgic touch to this Coffee shelf....

Catching up for November

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! Hey, better late than never! We started off the month of November at a full run! I kept thinking it would slow never happened! I took the kids to a park here in town for annual pictures. I decided to try it with my own camera this year and I was pretty pleased with how they turned out!

Here is our littlest man...he thinks he's pretty big!

Alex- 18 months

Our Princess!

Andrea- 5 1/2 years

Travis with the most serious look he has had all year :)

8 years

Tyler is my right hand helper! He loves to organize and clean....after my own heart!
10 years

Luke....what a great guy! He is our easy going one of the bunch.
13 years new chauffer!! I can't believe my baby girl will be 16 in April! Oh where has time gone?!!!

15 years

The Oklahoma Sooner Fans!

Lauren and buddies!

The Boys.....and let me tell you, boys will be boys!!!

Troy made a trip to Dallas in November to preach a weekend revival at the Dallas Spanish church. While he was eating tamales and trying to learn a little Spanish the rest of us headed down to Alabama to visit my sister,Penny and her family! It was youth hunt week while we were there so Travis and Tyler headed out with Uncle Robert and Branden to hunt for the first time in their life. To all of our amazement Tyler shot his first deer! It caused quite the excitement for the whole family! So now Troy (who is not a hunter) went and helped the boys find their first gun and they are preparing to hunt full force next year! Pray for us you all!!

Tyler and his "trophy"

We wanted to get a picture of all the cousins while we were there.....let me just say that after sitting all morning in church, it is not really the prime time to try to get 9 kids all standing still. smiling, and looking in the same direction!! Oh well, we tried!

Alex and Aunt Penny just sitting and relaxing!

Lego city in full progress...

Our missionary president presented a Christmas project for our Orphanage in India to us this month. She brought a jar and challenged us to save all of our change and bring it for the jar. We then would send this money to the Orphans to help them have Christmas. The kids took this very seriously and while the total count isn't in yet, I am guessing we have well over $300.00! Troy wrote down their guesses of how much there will be and lets just say some of them have a lot of faith!! I think the highest guess was around $100,000.00! :) You gotta love kids!

Thanksgiving Day arrived before we knew it! We had 25 people at our house for Thanksgiving Dinner! It was a wonderful relaxing day!
Take note of the China.....we usually have paper :) The china was a lot of fun!

Me and My Mom

My mom and my sister,Patti

Alex opted for his blankie, Lauren's sunglasses, and some Dr.Pepper!

The Saturday after Thanksgiving found us in our van headed to St Louis with 8 teens! Troy teaches the teen class and had promised them a trip to Mills Mall if they all made good grades on a class he taught. They did and he did! :) We had a blast! They ice skated, shopped, and generally kept us entertained! I wish I could just freeze them all where they are now and have them all live with me.....okay, I'm just kidding! They are really good kids though and it was our privilege to take them!

Well that about sums it up for November! I am going to try to do the days of Christmas...we'll see how that goes! The decorations are up, we have the next two weeks crammed full and then hopefully school will be out and we will relax......:)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Andrea's last chemo party!

Monday, October the 12th our family loaded up and headed to St Louis for Andrea's last chemo celebration! We hadn't been up there as a family for over a year so everyone was pretty excited.
We arrived and Andrea got checked in. Then the party began! Confetti, singing, dancing, a no more chemo t-shirt, no more chemo sugar cookie and lots of smiles!!! We saw tons of people who have been through this whole thing with us from the very beginning. The pictures say more than words so I'll let them tell the rest!

Andrea and Dr. Gauvain. Dr. Guavain is Andrea's primary oncology Dr. and our "Angel"! Dr.Gauvain has had cancer herself so she more than sympathized with us, she emphathized! When I wondered if I was crazy for being scared for Andrea to stop taking chemo she assured me that she herself was terrified when she stopped her chemo. Dr Gauvain has been a real inspiration to our family and we will never forget what she did for Andrea!!

Let the party begin! Andrea was a little taken aback when they first started singing and dancing around! :)

Here is Bobby and Marsh holding her no more chemo shirt....she wears this shirt all the time to bed!

Andrea and Dr Bhatla....another one of our "angels"! Dr Bhatla has just recently completed treatment for cancer as well. She has taken care of Andrea many times when she was hospitalized and we love her to death!

Luke, Andrea, Tyler, and Travis waiting for her check-up. 8 people in a small room can get REALLY small, REALLY quick!! :)

Andrea....all smiles!

Andrea and her best buddy, Bobby! Bobby is truly an inspiration to our family! He is always happy and always has a smile and a hug! He made clinic so easy and something to look forward to! He sees pain and sorrow every day yet always has an encouraging word to give! We love you Bobby! You are part of our family now!!

Andrea and her favorite 4th floor nurse, Miss Kristin! Miss Kristin is our 4th floor angel!! Words cannot even begin to describe what she has done for our family...from a smile, a batch of cupcakes, to offering to take our laundry home and do it while we were in for a long stay! I know it isn't just our family she has taken care of....I have acutally seen her bringing clean laundry to rooms! ( I mean laundry she has taken home and done for someone! ) Krisitn loves God and has taken time to pray for us and with us! She lost her brother to cancer when he was fairly young and she has dedicated her life to trying to help kids with cancer smile! We love you Kristin!!
Andrea finishing her chemo was a bittersweet time believe it or not. It has been our life for the past two and a half years and that is a long time! All Andrea has know (that she can really remember) is having cancer. She still thinks she has Leukemia. We have tried to tell her it is all gone but, she just hasn't been able to process it all. My biggest fear is that we aren't doing anything at all now and will it really stay away. But, life goes on and you just have to keep trusting in God who has brought us this far!

After our 4 hour visit at the Costa Center we headed to a place we haven't been able to go to for 2 1/2 years.....Chuck E Cheese!!! This is a family favorite but has been out of the question with Andrea on chemo. We had special gift bags made for each of the kids since they have all had to sacrafice "normal" life on many different occasions. They have never complained and have rolled with the bumps like champs! I can't say enough good about these 6 awesome kids! I wouldn't trade them for all of the money in the world!!

Troy and I. Troy is my rock! He has always been so strong for our family through this time. If he ever got scared, I was in FULL PANIC mode because I know its really bad when he is scared!

5 Happy kids with their suprises! Alex was to busy eating another piece of pizza! :)

Mr Alex, enjoying a cold piece of pizza! This little guy keeps us all young!!
Sorry this post was so long but, 2 1/2 years is a long time to cover! :) Now we just wait for 5 years to see if we are all clear! Andrea will go every month for blood work for this 1st year to make sure everything is still okay. We go in about 2 weeks for her first check up. They tell us most relapses happen within the first two years and then after that the chances lessen. We are going to just take it one day at a time and enjoy every moment we have! God has been so good to us and our heart overflow with greatfulness!!!!