Sunday, September 5, 2010

By The Ocean Shore

Each year during our family beach week we take on the dreaded task of capturing a family photo by the ocean shore. It's a good thing the memories fade of the chaos that always seems to ensue around this tradition, and we are left with pictures of smiling faces and a few out takes to document the chaos! It was extremely humid this year and my lense fogged up at first!! So my one good picture of the 4 kiddos is a bit hazy, but I can't resist posting a pic of  these 4 smiling faces!

The haze on my camera lens cleared and then the wind picked up!!! But we still captured this one of the whole crew!!

Lottie ventured down to the water to stick her toes in!! She just couldn't resist!!

And never passing up an opportunity to pose for the camera....

Corrie was done with the whole picture thing and decided to play in the sand...(which she would have no part of at the beginning of the week)

The older cousins....they really are like brothers and sisters...Anna Scott is one year younger than the boys...and Baxley is one year younger than her...

My sister managed to capture a beautiful family photo too...

And a few unique photos of her kiddos...

Emmie is their youngest...a year younger than Lottie...

Yes, we made footprints in the sand and memories for the heart!


Slippin' And Slidin'

The older cousins always enjoy going to "Magic Mountain" one day during our beach week, where they can slip and slide a few hours away in the summer heat!

They always have so much fun together!!!!


Friday, September 3, 2010

Down at the Docks

One night during our family beach week each year, we go out to eat seafood. We usually end up at Betty's. This is a nearby restaurant down at the docks on the intercoastal waterway. The kids enjoy watching the boats come and go and the fried shrimp and crab cake sandwiches are yummy!!

The whole crew while waiting for our table

Ta Da!!!
 After dinner, we head to play putt-putt! This is a family affair with all 7 children and 6 adults parading through the 18 holes!

Nothing like COUSINS!!!

Noah lining it up!

Graham preparing to sink it!

Graham winning his Free Pepsi!

Lottie gets in on the action!

Corrie prefers a pony ride!

And Lottie decides she must ride too!

The older cousins

The younger set

She had to pose in front of the waterfall too!

Corrie enjoyed hanging out with Daddy...

And Mommy!!

As the evening was drawing to a close , I experimented with taking some close ups of the kids...still only using the automatic mode. I don't know what to do with the manual setting...maybe I will learn one day!!

I pray that they will ALL have vivid memories of a warm summer's evening spent down at the docks and playing on the island with their cousins. Sweet memories indeed!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fun In The Sun!!

We were so excited to be able to join my family for our traditional family week at the beach! AND to be able to introduce our daughter to the sand and the surf! She was not such a big fan at first, but by the end of the week, she was enjoying it along with the rest of them. When we first arrived, it was very windy and she did not like the wind in her face or the stuff we call SAND on her feet! But by the end of the week , she was even EATING it!!

Notice the towel she is sitting on....she wouldn't sit on the sand!

The kiddie pool on the deck was more her speed at first!!
I couldn't resist this hula suit for my little sunshine!

Graham and Lottie hangin' ten!!!

Noah and Corrie hangin' ten a little closer to shore!

My 4 treasures having Fun in the Sun!!!

More beach posts coming soon!!!!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Camp

Earlier this month, the boys had the opportunity to go to a Christian summer camp in our area that they have attended since they were in kindergarten. They started out in the day camp program and the last 2 years have participated in the overnight camp for one week each summer. They thoroughly enjoy the camp. They stay in cabins with 2 counselors who are Godly young men and 8-10 other boys their age. They participate in daily bible study, worship, games, sports, swimming in the lake and pool , etc.

At the end of the week, they have a closing ceremony which the families are invited to attend. This year at the closing , both of the boys were recognized for their efforts throughout the year to complete monthly bible studies which they submitted back to the camp each month. They each had completed ALL their lessons and had submitted them on time and were recognized with a trophy for their accomplishments.

I know that God's Word says It will never return void, so I know that the seeds of His Word planted in their hearts through these lessons will grow and develop in the months and years to come and provide wisdom and guidance as they grow and mature.

After all the awards were given out at the closing ceremony, the camp director said they had one last award to be given. He said he saved this one until the last because it was given to the one camper at camp who had demonstrated Christ like character throughout the week and who the staff felt would go home and without doubt continue to exhibit this kind of character in their daily life. My eyes filled with tears as they called out our son Graham's name to come and receive the award. They said he had gone out of his way during the week to look after the younger children at camp and make sure everyone was having a good time. They said he had exhibited the 3D lifestyle they had talked about throughout the week and wanted to present Graham with the 3D character award. It was quite an honor and Graham humbly walked up to the front to receive his award.

We could not hope for more than having children who love the Lord and seek to live their lives for Him on a daily basis.

Our prayer is that they will continue to walk in His ways, trusting in Him throughout all the journeys life may take them.

Here are our 4 blessings........reunited after a week of camp for the boys.....


Monday, July 19, 2010

First Steps

You may have noticed in all the pictures of Corrie to this point ,she has been sitting, or carried, or holding on to furniture. That is because she had not yet started walking independently when we met her in Ethiopia.

Our first update on her back in December ,after the director of our agency visited with her, said she was a very happy and content baby ,but she did want us to be aware that she was delayed in her ability to walk. Other children in the orphanage her same age were walking just fine and yet she was not even crawling or pulling to stand at that point. We assured her that we understood the situation, but that YES we were certain that SHE was our daughter ,as God had confirmed that over and over in so many ways. We, in every way , wished to move forward with completing whatever was necessary to call this little orphan girl....OUR daughter. The director assured us then that they would be moving her to their home in Adama where Tezera would work with her, giving her massage and attention as well as pray for her along with the widows in their weekly prayer meetings. I must admit that first week , I wondered what our life would look like if she was not able to walk for some reason. Even as a physical therapist, I knew that the inability to walk would make life complicated. But any concerns I had quickly faded with the total peace I had that I knew that I knew that I knew God had planned for this little girl to be in OUR family. We also began praying, along with our other three at home each night , that God would strengthen her legs as well as prepare her heart in the days that we waited to bring her home.

We received updates as we waited that told us she was happy and social, as well as beginning to crawl with one leg , pull to stand and walk with assistance. When we met her in June, she had progressed to crawling normally, and she could cruise along the furniture, and take somewhat unsteady steps with assistance. Of course , with her in our arms, we had never been more SURE that she was OURS.... matter if she EVER took a step on her own.

On June 12th, 2010, any concern over her inability to walk was gone, as Corrie Sifan Rose took her first independent steps!!! Praise God for the answered prayers of many!!! She took 3-4 steps to me in the kitchen that afternoon, with Battle watching near by . Later that evening she walked down the hall and she has not looked back!! She is walking anywhere she wants to go!!!

And believe me, she is going LOTS of places!! She is into EVERYTHING!!!

Don't you love the concentration with the tongue sticking out!!! It must help with balance!! Before I know it, I will be running to keep up with her!!

I am oh so grateful that she is walking on her own, AND that God allowed me to see those first steps!! So very precious!! One of these pictures will go in our memorial box to REMEMBER God's goodness!!