Friday, August 29, 2008

Here She Comes...Miss America & A Chicken...

Did you ever wonder what it would feel like to be Miss America?

Now, don't get me wrong...I have not spent countless hours imagining myself in a trailing evening gown with a beautiful gold sash wrapped around my perfectly sculpted abs; but, on occassion I have wondered what it would feel like to have the world staring at me as I did a slight wave of the hand in ever so delicate fashion.

Will I ever get to experience that feeling?

Probably not....that is, unless the Miss America 'powers that be' decide they're replacing sculpted abs with muffin-top abs, or long flowing locks with thin frizzy hair as a prerequisite.

Maybe then I might get my chance to be Miss America.

Nevertheless, I may come closer than ever before when I crawl out of bed tomorrow morning and hoist myself up on the back of a pickup truck where I'll sit and wave to the world (okay, okay; just my town) during the annual Labor Day Parade.

Aren't you all just green with envy?:)

Don't you worry, I'll post plenty of pictures of the big event!

The last parade our family attended had a Wing Restaurant that was throwing rubber chickens from their float.

Brekyn is fully convinced that we will be throwing chickens at the crowd.

No matter how much I've tried to convince him otherwise; he refuses to believe it.

Of course, you realize that the minute we get on the float and my child realizes there's no rubber chickens, there will be major weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I can just picture it now...maybe I ought to throw a few tysons in my purse just in case.

Nevertheless, for better or worse; we'll be the goofy little 'red, white and blue' family on the back of the adoption float and; oh yes, you can bet I will practice my delicate little hand wave!

Be still my heart!

If there are major declines in adoptions when Monday rolls around, don't say I didn't warn you.

Stay tuned, if you dare!

Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Drum-Roll Please...

Now, I know you all spent a sleepless night tossing and turning over what big project I've been up to (admit it...you know you did)!:)

Well, okay, maybe you didn't; but in an attempt to humor my pathetic efforts at creativity, let me unveil my latest creation....

But first!

Let me start by explaining to you what in the world my bathroom window has to do with chip clips...stay with me now.

You see, since I'm such a classy girl, I hung a piece of fabric over my bathroom window while I attempted to figure out how in the world I would change this blessed piece of fabric into an actual curtain. In hanging it up, I found that the best way to hang it was by using my chip clips to attach the fabric to the blinds.

Needless to say, one thing led to another and the project soon became a "Gee, I still need to do that" project.

That was like 8 months ago!

I finally took the fabric down this past weekend when I realized that I was hosting a baby shower at my house and it might be slightly tacky to have my guests see my fabric hanging from the window with a big blue chip clip.

But, a new day has dawned and I have finally decided to haul out the sewing maching and its handy dandy manual and figure out how in the world to make this fabric into a latrine masterpiece!

Now, I know most of you would have had this project done in 20 minutes, but that's just not my style.

Nope...it took me about 10 hours. Stop laughing...it's true.

I know, I know...a "wife of noble character makes linen garments and coverings for her beds."

Ya da ya da ya da....

Hmm...somehow that character trait skipped a generation for me.

I personally have always clung to the verse that says "she sees that her trading is profitable and her lamp does not go out at night." (Translation...It's biblical to stay late into the night while looking for bargains at TJ Maxx).

Nevertheless, I digress...

The bottom line is that this is nothing short of a miracle!

I have actually taken down the chip clips and hung up a real curtain complete with liner and trim!

You go girl! (Gee, thanks)!

I fully expect to be darning my socks by the weeks' end!

Won't that just be a blog worth reading!:)

Drum-roll Please....

The curtain that took me 8 months and many stale chips to create...

Dum, dum, dum....


Not too shabby, if I do say so myself:)!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Windows and Chip Clips...

This is my window...


And these are my chip clips...


I'll be back later tonight to show you what I'm up to.

I know you're all just on the edge of your seats!:)

See you tonight!

Oh wait...Let's be realistic...

maybe it will be tomorrow...

you know what; I promise that by a week from Tuesday I'll let you in on what I'm doing!:)

Oooohhh....sweet anticipation!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day of School!

We have a bit of a corny tradition in our family...I know that's a shock to you all!:)

On the first day of school my mom always took pictures of me standing on the front steps with my bows in my hair and my best school dress on. I remember thinking that my mom was insane (sorry Mom) and that these were about the dumbest pictures I could think of.

But, as life has a way of doing, I now find myself running for my camera on the first day of school each year. This year I even forced the tradition upon Eden (our friend who is living with us for the year).

And so, without further ado, I present to you our "students".

Eden and Ayden (yup, that gets confusing at times)!

Eden's first day of Senior Year:


Ayden's first day of First grade:

We love you both so much!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Trust...

There was once a man whom many of us may have admired.

He had a wonderful wife, 4 precious daughters and wealth that surpassed anything I could personally dream of.

Life seemed to be good to him. I imagine that many of us may have secretly figured that life was easy for him.

But then it happened. ..

Tragically, in the blink of an eye, a massive fire of devastating proportions consumed his business and left him financially ruined. I imagine that if you or I had known him at this point in his life we would have rallied around him. Tears would have been shed, meals would have been brought to the house, family would have come to his aid.

If we were optimistic, we may have reminded ourselves that God is sovereign and He will carry our friend and his family through this trial. We would have thanked the Lord that his family had remained uninjured.

But then it happened…

Again, in the blink of an eye, his four precious daughters were killed in a horrible collision. Before he knew it, his life was turned completely upside down as he received word from his wife that she alone had survived the devastating wreck.

I try to put myself in this man’s shoes. What would my reaction be? What words would I cry out to the Lord with? Would I curse His Name for the hardship that had plagued me or would I cuddle up in His arms and beg for His tender fingers to wipe my tears aside?

I pray I would do the latter…I pray.

I write this today because I am in the midst of trying to discern the Lord’s will for my life. No, I’ve not experienced tragedy such as these devastations. I simply have decisions to be made.

As a family in ministry, money is always tight. We’re used to that lifestyle. For years the Lord has taken care of us and provided us with all of our needs and then some. He continues to do that each and every day.

However, recently, with the shift in the economy our family has met its budgeting max. We are forced to make some tough decisions and to explore the reality that the Lord may have it in His will for me to go back to work.

It’s very hard for me. My primary job will always be as my children’s mommy. I want to be the best mommy I can be and I want to watch my kids grow. I can’t stand the thought that I may miss a special moment or not be the primary caregiver in their lives. This morning as I was praying for the Lord’s wisdom and guidance in this area, I felt like he asked me:

“Cyndie, are you willing to do anything I ask of you?”

“Yes, Lord, of course I am.”

“But, Cyndie, will you trust me?”

GULP.

And then I remembered the words from an old hymn:

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

Do I trust Him enough to say;

no matter what trials arise in life,

no matter what financial hardships occur,

no matter what devastation I may witness;

it is well with my soul?

The writer of this great hymn trusted God enough to lose every bit of his financial security in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and then to lose his 4 daughters when their ship collided with another ship in the Atlantic ocean.

He then turned to the Lord and praised Him saying,

Lord, I trust you with my life. I trust your decisions and I trust that you have chosen this path for me. ..

“It is well with my soul.”

Lord, may we remember that You are sovereign and You love us more than we can begin to imagine.

I pray that I will have the faith to trust that You have more planned for me than I can begin to plan for myself.

I trust You with my life.

I trust You with my family.

I trust You with it all…

It is well with my soul.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I think it's safe to say that Brekyn will truly miss Ayden when he heads off to school on Monday.

They have certainly had their fair share of arguments over the summer, but when it comes down to it, they LOVE being together.

Today, I glanced in the backyard where the boys were playing while Daddy mowed.

At first I thought, 'Oh, how cute...look at them each riding on a car.'

Then I realized what they were really up to.

video

Yup, you got it...Ayden has tied Brekyn's car up to the motorized fire engine and is driving him around the yard.

I have to admit...it's pure brilliance.

The most creative I ever got with my sisters was when we came up with a "knock code" so we could knock messages back and forth through the wall while we were supposed to be sleeping.

I asked Ayden what they were doing and he said they were taking a trip to see cousins.

At which point Brekyn promptly yelled, "No we're not...I'm waterskiing and Ayden's driving the boat."

Oh, sweet innocence of youth.

Even if they are both imagining two different scenarios at least their playing nicely.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chefs, Food Shacks and Monkeys; Oh My!

I heard a little commotion in the playroom today so I went upstairs to investigate.

When I got there, I found that my two little 'award winning' chefs had set up a great little restaurant.

"What do you want, Sir?" My little Brekyn asked me.

"Brekyn, she's not a sir, she's a woman," Ayden commented.

"Oops...What do you want woman?" Brekyn stated (in a tone that truly sounded as if he should be walking around with a giant belly and wearing a sleeveless t-shirt).

"How 'bout a hotdog." I said.

A few minutes later, I walked back into the room and found this...

"Hey boys...what's up with the giant monkey?" I curiously inquired.

"Oh, that's a great deal Mom!" Ayden said,

"Buy a hamburger and get a free monkey!"

Well, golly gee...this must be my lucky day!

"How much is the hamburger," I asked.

"Oh, it's free...we had to make it free to get rid of the monkey."

Hmm...maybe that's a good idea for our neighborhood 'Food Shack'!

I don't think they've tried that marketing technique before!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Popcorn and Fire Flies...

I can’t type much right now…

You see, this may be our last night of staying up late, searching for fire flies in the woods and eating popcorn till we burst.

I say may, because; well, we just don’t know.

Ayden starts school Monday..well, maybe not Monday…maybe Friday. Hmm...

Now, I know that most parents would have it figured out by now but, NAAAA, not us!

In line with everything else in our crazy life, nothing is quite as it seems.

As of now Ayden is scheduled to begin at his school from last year on Monday. BUT, we had also applied for him to attend a more private school that has only a few openings each year and fills those openings with a random lottery.

A few months ago we were told that Ayden was number 3 on the waiting list for his grade.

As of tonight…YOU GOT IT…Number 1.

And so we wait.

We have now received word that it is very likely we will receive a phone call tomorrow inviting Ayden to come to his new school on Friday morning.

So there you have it…we either have a few more evenings of movie fests on the couch or this is it and tomorrow will be a 'school night'.

And so, I can’t type much…it’s time to sit back…munch on some butter popcorn and breathe it all in.

I love these days.

I’ll take as many as I can get!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Welcome Fall

Do you ever just stare at a wall for a little too long?

That’s where I am today…staring at the wall, totally unable to form a logical thought.

Nothing particular causing it.

Just too many things on my ‘to do’ list and not enough brain power left to do them.

I think it may actually be the result of a wonderful summer that I am sad to let go of.

Today Eden started her first day of school.

Ayden begins in a few days.

It’s all gone by so fast.

Remember when we were saying “WELCOME SUMMER” and dreaming of all that we would do over these glorious months?

I guess I’ll try to look at the bright side and say “WELCOME FALL” as I dream of all the glorious things I will do over the next few months…

…homemade applesauce, Halloween costumes, pull out my favorite sweatshirt and sit by the fire with my studly hubbie.

Hmm..maybe Fall isn’t so bad after all.

WELCOME FALL!

Now we just all need to pray that my brain catches up with the rest of my body and I can actually get something meaningful accomplished tomorrow!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Minivan Chronicles 2008 Video

What a great summer it's been!

Here's a little video of one of the busiest summers we've ever had!

It's sad to see it draw to a close but I will cherish the memories forever.

It was truly a summer that dreams are made of.


Friday, August 15, 2008

DUH!

So, what do you do after three weeks of minivan travelling, 6 loads of laundry, inch thick dust covering most surfaces and a ridiculously empty fridge?

I suppose most normal people would come home and spend a few days getting life back in order before school gets underway.

But, if you’ve spent any amount of time reading this blog, then you probably have also noticed that our family seems anything BUT normal.

Sooo, what does our family do after a three week tour around the country?

Well, of course; we move a new guest into our home for the next year!!

DUH!

We are thrilled to introduce you to the newest ‘member of our family’ Eden!

Eden is a good friend from back in NY who will be living with us for the next year to attend a Christian School in our area.

She is an amazing young lady with a heart for the Lord and we are SO blessed to have her!

Seeing as though we’ve spent 9 years fruitlessly begging our family to move to the South, we are thrilled that someone has actually taken us up on that offer!

Please pray for Eden as she makes the transition into a new school as a senior and as she forms new relationships here.

Please also pray for her wonderful Godly parents back home who have had to make the tough decision to give their daughter a great educational opportunity despite the fact that it meant letting their baby girl go far away.

Welcome to your ‘home’ away from home Eden!

We love you!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Minivan Has Returned...

We're Home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great trip...

Kids behaved in the car...

Tired beyond belief...

House a wreck...

Laundry piled to the ceiling...

Mommy's going to bed.

Thanks for the prayers!

This concludes the saga of the Minivan Chronicles 2008 :)!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On the road again...

Well, the big summer tour is drawing to a close.

It's been a great three weeks. We've had many laughs; some tears and our fair share of 'Food Shack' stops along the way.

The final stop on the tour has now brought my minivan all the way from NY to central Florida where we've enjoyed visiting Nana and Bop (my grandparents). We've had a great few days in the pool and soaking up the sun.

I will admit that the trip here was pretty rough. My mom had graciously agreed to travel with us from NY and I am so grateful she was there. We had 2 very cranky boys in the back seat and a packed car. We had more diaper blowouts than I'd like to count and malfunctioning car seats. The two day experience took its toll and when we got here we all crashed for a bit.

When I recounted the experience to Donn back home, he said, "Well, at least you'll have some good stories for the blog."

Nope...that's not going to happen. You see, I have virtually blocked out those 48 hours from my memory. I refuse to re-live them and therefore I won't make you suffer through hearing about them.

I must admit that God has a sense of humor however. Despite all of the issues along the journey here, I was driving down the highway and heard Brekyn all of a sudden declare from the backseat,

"Livin' the dream baby...livin' the dream."

"Is that right Brekyn? Is this the dream?"

Praise God he had such a positive outlook about the drive.

We will now pack up the minivan for one last time and tool on down the highway toward our cozy home and the open arms of "Daddy". Please pray as we spend all day Wednesday travelling.

What a trip it's been!

"Livin' the dream baby...livin' the dream!"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Heaven On Earth!!

...As if vacation isn't heaven in and of itself?

This year I was blessed with an amazing vacation time with family AND my mother-in-law made me the world's largest SWISS CAKE ROLL!!!


Can you hear the angels singing in the background? :)

HALLELUIA!

Friday, August 8, 2008

At A Loss For Words...

Do you ever feel like you just can't find the right words?

Apparently my sweet little girl has felt that way also! :)

video

Thursday, August 7, 2008

40 years...

So, what do 40 years of marriage look like?

Well, if we had been able to pull it off, it would have looked like a cruise to the Bahamas; however, my 3 sisters and I were unable to fund that little extravaganza. :)
So, we did the next best thing.

We took a dinner cruise along Lake George in the mountains of New York and celebrated the occasion with my parents.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman Family Followup...

I was incredibly blessed to watch this video this morning. I would love to share it with you all as a followup.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

1923...

So, remember those few days when I had no internet access back home?

Well, now my minivan chronicles have taken me back in time to the lazy days of Adirondack living where I have no cell phone reception and NO INTERNET!!

Nope...NONE!:)

It's like 1923 all over again...okay; really I suppose it's more like 1983 but you get the picture.

I must admit, it's the perfect way to vacation. There's nothing like being forced to slow down a bit. I have run off for an afternoon of doing laundry and catching up on emails while I'm in the 'big city'.

However, I have run out of time.

Tomorrow, my minivan will time travel back into 2008 and I will be sure to post the latest pictures and stories then! :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dog Days of Summer...

Each summer Ya-ya throws a birthday party for all the grandkids that have summer birthdays. This year's theme was dogs.

The kids ate from dog dishes, played doggie games on all fours in the back yard, and had the most amazing doggie cupcakes ever (thanks to my sister Amy).