Monday, May 30, 2011

let summer begin!

today my heart is very grateful to every
man and woman who has given their
life to protect and serve our country,
as well as to those who have served 
in our military
and those who are serving today.
we are so blessed.

we spent the majority of our day
on paris mountain watching this...

the US Pro Cycling Championships

and cheering on own our local cycling pro
George Hincapie

whoop whoop!

the cutest cheerleader on the course

the "we're bored waiting for the second round" shot

happy Memorial Day!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

dear father time...please slow down

as of today
after her final exam,
Ali is a senior in high school.
wait a minute...
didn't we just attend her K5 graduation?!
now she's driving and
has her first job.
so proud,
but it's bittersweet, I might add!

a junior marshal at her 
high school's graduation

with her bffs

then there's this one...
Erin will be in high school next year.
can't. be. true.
she's departing her amazing middle school
with honor roll awesomeness.

as we count down to this little princess' surgery,
she's keeping mighty busy...

creating masterpieces

riding her bike

and following her big brother around everywhere.
all the time.
she thinks she's 9.

one more week of school
and it's no more alarm clock for awhile!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

hear me roar

mama bear.

after we had been home from China
 for a couple of months
I wrote a post following a tough incident, and decided
after all to not publish it.
it was therapeutic just to type the words, I guess.

I found myself in a similar situation today,
and although it's happened quite a few times,
it really hit me the wrong way this morning.

I'm tired,
I've had a cold,
and life is crazy busy right now,
so maybe that's why I'm hypersensitive.

the Father has extended grace after undeserved grace
 to me personally.
I must choose to do the same to others.
it's a choice.

so here are the words I wrote almost 2 years ago...

I guess I knew it would happen, but after over 2 months of being home w/ no incidents, I was taken by surprise. Someone made fun of my baby's mouth. It was child, and I have been prepared to extend much grace in that department. I have definitely been there as a mom...your child makes a comment (the kind where you're wishing to melt into the floor) about someone's physical appearance...but this wasn't innocent childlike curiosity or even immature out-spokeness. It was downright making fun, sheer disgust and laughter at her expense. She was blessedly unaware of it all, but my heart was ready to explode.
My point in all this? Not sure...maybe to vent a little, but also to challenge (myself included). I know everyone's natural personality is different and unique, but compassion and sensitivity can be taught! It's times like this that I painfully recall words spoken out of my own mouth at someone else's expense that I desperately wish I could take back. Words are powerful (James chapter 3). If one of my children have ever spoken hurtful words to or about someone, I am so sorry. One of my most heartfelt prayers for them is to see others the way Jesus sees them, and to be oh so sensitive to what comes out of their mouths.

I'm done roaring.
I've forgiven.
I'm moving on.
a beautiful day awaits!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

rollercoaster weekend

we had such a busy weekend!
  • strawberry picking
  • the purchase of a 3rd car (SUCH a God story!)
  • a royal banquet
  • the cd release party of our amazing worship leader, David Walker
  • one sad little curve ball was also thrown our way

beautiful girls on a beautiful morning!

someone ate more than they helped!

our church had it's annual Kingdom Kids Royal Banquet
saturday evening. it's such a fabulous evening where
our kids dress up, enter their beautifully decorated "royal kingdom"
to the sound of trumpeters, and are served a
fabulous meal as they hear wonderful stories
 about the kingdom of God.
the purpose is to remind them of who they are in God -
children of the King, and  empowered to bring His
kingdom here on this earth as His children - fabulous!

  our handsome little knight  

one of the beautiful royal servers!

saturday was also a tough one for all of us as
our family dog had to be put to 
sleep following a vet ER visit. 
i'm so glad Brian was here when she had
what they believe to be either a prolonged seizure
or stroke due to a brain tumor.
we all will miss that crazy dog, especially Ali.
she was the one who picked Scout out 14 years ago,
so it's been especially tough on her.

 happy memories!

the countdown to the last days of school
and Gracie's June surgery has begun...
a rollercoaster ride for sure!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

my inner martha stewart

maybe it was the mother's day full of inspirational love
maybe it was because there was a gallon of strawberries calling out to me
maybe it's the rising cost of groceries...fruit snacks in this case
maybe it was the fact that I've told the kiddos I'd be making this for weeks...

it's a good thing

and I feel like the homemaker of the year
 (if  I don't look around at the piles of laundry,
mountains of scattered toys, and unchecked to-do lists...)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!

Happy Mother's Day to the most amazing mom in the entire world!!! She is always there for us, no matter what! We are so blessed to have such an awesome, loving, sweet, beautiful, and godly mom! We love you so very very very very very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

thank you

as Mother's Day approaches my mind is turning
frequently to Gracie's birth mother.

What would I say to her if I could?

Thank you for giving her life.

Thank you for placing her in a public place where
she would be found and taken in to be cared for.

Gracie will always be told of her beginnings,
and her birth country will be a part of all our lives.

Gracie is beautiful, and delightful,
and she is loved unconditionally and
with such a deep love it's overwhelming at times.

I don't know your motives/reasons, but
God's plans for Lian Jia Shu were made before
she was even conceived. The months you carried her
and the moments you shared with her on her first day
can be treasured in your heart - Please don't feel
shame or hopelessness. The Father's hand is
clearly on her.

We have prayed from the start that Gracie's birth parents would also be a part of the family of God so that one day they will see with their own eyes the beautiful girl they had a part in bringing to this world. We won't romance their story with Gracie. We don't know their situation or motives, although her special need and her gender may have been clearly part of their decision. She will always know that she was NO mistake, and that she a Woodard just as much as Ali, Erin & Quinn are. I believe the picture of adoption/salvation will be even sweeter to her heart and mind one day - that that truth will be deeply rooted in her.