Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gabriel's Speech

For those of you who have asked to read it, this is the speech that Gabriel wrote and recited last night.

How My Optimism Will Help Me Press on to Greater Achievements of the Future

 What is optimism? Optimism is hopefullness and confidence about the future/the successful outcome of something. My optimism has taken me on journeys to all the places I've set my mind to, with a cheerful disposition. Optimism will take me on journeys, in the future, that may possibly involve me becoming a band director, a singer/praise and worship leader, a baseball player, or maybe even a teacher. Optimism helps me to believe that, as long as I jump high enough, I can reach the stars.

 If I didn't have my optimism, I wouldn't be the person I am today. This boy who works hard to be a child of God and to represent Him well, or this boy who tries my best to be a good role model for my younger siblings, or this boy who gives my all to the percussion ensemble or band at my school. I am flawed, but I know that I'm doing my best and I am blessed for it.

 Optimism pushes me to venture out of my comfort zone and to do things that I've never done before. It helps me to get up and push forward after I fall...and then try even harder the next time. This oratorical, for example...I struggled with it. It would have been easy to tell myself that it wasn't mandatory and just not do it. In fact, I did tell myself that once or twice. But then I knew I'd be disappointed in myself if I didn't push myself to do it. My optimism is much like faith. It helps me to have confidence in knowing that God will give me the words for this speech, and the confidence to recite it.

 Many people came to mind while writing rough drafts of this speech. People who have ventured out of their comfort zones in order to fulfill their dreams. Martin Luther King Jr, Ghandi, and Mother Teresa, for example. Each were filled with obvious optimism.

 I was bullied by a teacher and, after he was dismissed from his position, some of my peers picked up where he left off. If it wasn't for my faith in God and optimism of my future, I don't think that I would have come out of that situation well. I knew that God was with me and I pressed on. I thought of how David must have felt after defeating Goliath, or when Daniel was thrown into the lion's den to be devoured, only to be befriended and respected by the lions in the end. Most importantly, how our Savior carried the heavy cross that he was nailed to... each man overcame under extreme circumstances, and I can too!

 Each and every person has an ability to make this world a better place. Abilities that may involve a cure for cancers, perhaps a meal, or maybe even just a simple smile or a prayer. Ghandi once said, "Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. If I have the belief that I CAN do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it." Well, I believe that I CAN do anything that I put my mind to doing because as Philippians 4:13 states, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Optimism is strength therefore it comes from the Lord . I embrace it and am very optimistic about my future.

Thank you.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Two Years Later....

How I've missed thee! So much has happened in the two years that I've neglected to visit here. You little ole splendor, you. For starters, my children are growing way too quickly! 17,14,12,7,& 2....all of which have yet to celebrate their birthdays this year! Ack. A year ago, the Lord answered our prayers and we were given custody of my step daughter, Cheyenne. Having her with us has been such a blessing! I am so privileged to be her step mom. She transitioned surprisingly well and has been an all A/B student since moving here. She also tried out for the high school's Color Guard team and made it! This was her first time ever being in an extra curricular activity! She has made us so proud! Lindsey (also pictured above) made color guard for her high school. It was such a blessing to watch both girls out on those fields performing! Lindsey started her first year of high school, last Fall. That was a huge shock to me! It's all happened so fast. She has continued to partake in chorus and recently tried out for her school's Honor Chamber Choir, and made it! Woot! Gabriel is in the seventh grade, this year, and for a second year is in band as well as his school's percussion ensemble. He has been utterly blessed with AMAZING mentors/directors, and it's just been a super exciting adventure for our entire family. He absolutely loves it, and has just been relishing in every moment. I couldn't be happier for him. My sweet Ella is growing like a weed . I hoped, for so long, that she'd be a toddler forever. Alas, just like her older siblings, she grew quicker than I ever imagined she would. And then there's my Jacob. My precious toddler baby. He is at such a fun age! He has come into the most awesome little personality. He has truly been a tremendous blessing to each of us from the very beginning. He is adored by his older siblings, and we all just have a blast with that little stinker! I am amazed at how much God loves me! So undeserving of such love, but am thankful...so, so thankful for it, nonetheless!
Relishing in His goodness...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Been A Long Time Gone...

It's been so long since I've come to this place I love to escape to. I nearly cried when I read the last post I'd posted. The pictures of my babes, the memories. Wow. Seems like forever ago!

We survived the Summer heat. It's lingering, but getting a little cooler, by and by.

We have been in our new home for a year, as of last week. That is SHOCKING, as I still feel as though it's all so new to me.

Lindsey started her last year of middle school a month ago. She is still involved in chorus, and FCA, but has added the pep squad to our agenda. :0) She is growing into a beautiful young lady. She is absolutely in love with Jacob...and he with her.

Gabriel started his first year of middle school! He tried out for drums, in the band. Out of nearly 100 students, he got picked for the one out of ten slots available! So exciting! He's also involved in FCA, and recently tried out for the Art club. We haven't heard the results of that yet. He is doing very well in school and I am just so super proud of my little man!

Miss Ella started kindergarten. She is doing SOOOO well! Her teachers are absolutely precious and she has the coolest kindergarten room I've ever seen! She has made friends quickly, and thoroughly enjoys being at school. We are thinking about putting her into gymnastics, soon, as she has a talent for doing flips, catrwheels, head stands, splits, and such. Plus, she's been begging, since the Olympics began, to do it!

Baby Jacob is not so small anymore...but he's still my baby. He is starting to walk, and talk...and keeps me on my toes. But, oh, how I love my baby boy. He's been pure joy since the day he was born. He turned eleven months old yesterday. That blows my mind. Seems as though we were visiting him in that NICU, just yesterday.

The Lord blessed us well, in July, when Darrell was accepted onto a new weekend shift, that will allow him to bring home just as much money and still be off for four days. PRAISE THE LORD! He doesn't know how long this shift will last, but it's been a complete blessing. We all needed to have him home with us more often.

As for me, I am just happy. We made the right decision to move out of our tiney little town and into  the country. We have grown so much, in such a short amount of time, and I'm just so grateful. I have everything I need...and then some. The Lord is so good!

Relishing in His goodness...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dauset Trails

Spontaneity, you fine splendor, you!

We woke up in the early hours of Saturday with knowledge of the fact that the forecast called for yet another lovely day. It didn't take long to plan a spontaneous road trip to one of our favorite spots on our state's map...Dauset Trails!

We decided to keep the destination a secret from Ella and Gabriel. It's been nearly a year since we last visited. But first, we had to make a pit stop to drop Lindsey off at a friend's house for a birthday party. This 13th birthday consisted of a shopping trip to Rue 21 where the mom bought each girl a shirt, then to the movies to see Hunger Games, pizza for dinner, followed by a spend-the-night party...I'm glad she's gone to so many 13th birthday parties. Nice to get a few ideas for Lindsey's party! I've got my work cut out for me.

An hour and a half on the road...







and we made it! They were ecstatic! Who wouldn't be? Between the gardens, the animals, the farm, the lake, the trees, the beautiful trails, the butterflies....that place is magical!







Can you see the doe hiding out in the tall grass/shade? Bottom left. :0)

We counted 21 turtles basking in the warmth of the sun. As we threw food into the water, we quickly realized that there were sooooo many more turtles surrounding the baskers!
HUGE catfish & snapping turtles!
The turtle wins!

The farm



My lil animal lover


Water break! It was HOT out there!
Can you see the turtle resting just under the face of this alligator?




























Thank you, Father, for creating such beauty.




One amazing trip, made even better after stopping off at MeMe and PawPaw's house, on the way home, for a yummy feast. Thanks, Mom & Bill! Love you both oodles!


Spontaneity doesn't come in a bottle prescribed by a doctor, but it does a heart good!


Relishing in His goodness...