Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Photos

Last weekend was such a BUSY weekend, so we decided to refrain from taking a normally scheduled Memorial Day visit to the beach. :( We sure do miss the beach a ton. Normally by this time of year, we would have gone at least twice if not three times. Despite are cravings for the beach, one thing remains certain, we have a church body who always offers great fellowship. On Friday, we had small group. Our family always looks forward to our gatherings for so many different reasons. Saturday, Molly's baby shower. Saturday night, a bbq at my house (totally LAST MINUTE) with the Williams' family and Monday pool fun with our small group at Lisa Fernandez' parents' pool!!!! I quote Darren, "I think from this day forward, our lives will never be filled with a dull moment. We are ALWAYS on the go." And he's 100% right!
After our last minute bbq, I let the kids light off some sparklers.
Even Jax gave it a whirl!
Ansley too!
Jax used his light up sword from "KK". She blessed them with all kinds of goodies for being in the wedding.
There are no words for this face other than SCARY!
This is the BIGGEST kid you'll ever meet. Some of the adults relaxed, others "played".
At the pool, Lilah smooches on baby Caleb.
She finally let him breath after coming up for air :)
Zach and Cohen sit by the pool.
Sweet Vivian.
Julia and Lilah splash their feet in the pool!
Daniel just chills.
My over energized hubby.
Now I know where Ty gets it from.
Kate was a brave little girl in the pool.
I love this photo. Jax is peaking in at Daniel as he rests in his infant carrier. Too funny!
Monkey See, Monkey Do! They wouldn't LEAVE HIM ALONE.
Darren thinks he can do a handstand on top of the water.

Dawn and Loren enjoy the water on a hot, hot, hot day! Loren was ALLLL laughs. I loved seeing that side of her.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I love being an American, but I especially love being Italian. I was never taught how to act Italian or cook Italian. I think it's just in my genes. I don't purposefully try to look Italian, actually, quite often, I am MORE mistaken as Puerto Rican than anything. Anyway, I am 50% Italian and 50% German. I love that combo. When I have time, I enjoy cooking Italian for Darren. It's his all time FAVORITE. It's a good thing because at my dad's house it's all that's served :)

Thursday night, I made a homemade marinara sauce and eggplant parmesan. My kind, next door neighbor came over while we were at Ty's baseball game and put it in the oven so dinner would be piping hot for the family when we arrived home (7:50 pm). We have really had to adjust our schedule BIG TIME on game nights. Eating at 8:00 pm just doesn't feel right. At least we did come home to a nice, hot, homemade ITALIAN meal! Buon appetito in my CUCINA.

A Baby Shower for Molly Carroll

On Saturday, Mia Kennedy hosted a baby shower at her lovely home in the new Cherokee Hills. Gretchen did a fabulous job creating a game geared toward the theme of Isaac's nursery.... nautical. The favors were also darling. They were tiny sailboat cookies wrapped to perfection. Some of Molly's closer friends brought some side dishes for all of the ladies to pig out on. I'm pretty sure Molly is all set for baby Isaac after two very gracious showers were given to her in preparation of baby 1. Ben and Molly recently married last June (I believe) and were surprised to find out a tiny miracle was granted to them. Although it is sooner than expected, they know God's sovereign hand was at work when he chose to place this baby in their lives when he did.

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." ~Isaiah 55:9

The mommy-to-be
Gretchen made a beautiful vase of fresh roses with lemons in the bottom. So clever and so matchy match to the theme.
Fresh Hot Coffee - AND STARBUCKS AT THAT - Mia knows how to please her guests that's for sure!!!! Who doesn't care for Starbucks?
Erin Carroll made one of her beautiful and VERY delicious cakes.
The food was delish!!!! Especially the egg casserole and french toast casserole.
This mommy had her hands full with her two girls. Some brought their children, some did not. I was happy to be childless for a few hours :)
Gretchen's made up Nautical themed game was funny and clever. I bet her crazy boys and husband helped her come up with it.
The shower guests split up in three groups. This was one of the teams. I didn't capture the others. Whoops!

Molly opens gifts galore!!!! I'm pretty sure she has it all now.

Dirty Pop V2

Friday, May 27, 2011

Water Balloon FIGHT

Today Tyson had off from school. He has been begging me to use his water balloon 3-in-1 pumper system that we bought weeks ago. It's a really need contraption that we purchased at at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Check it out....


It's the EASIEST way to fill up balloons with water.

Anyway, it was a tad gloomy outside, but Tyson convinced me that it would still be fun. So I agreed AND of course I had to snap away. Enjoy!!!!
These were really fun to take pictures of. So colorful.
Papa bowl, Momma bowl, baby bowl.
I had each kid stand/sit by their bowl.
And the fight begins.....
It was mostly between Tyson and Jax.
Jax took it like a man, but Lilah didn't care for it at all.
Jax was determined to get his brother back though.
"I don't get mad, I get even!"
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this photo.
Tyson had three balloons left. He was happy to share two with his siblings.
Not sure WHY or HOW he comes up with these ideas, BUT Tyson thought it would be hysterical to put the last two balloons in his pants.
And then he asked Lilah and Jax to punch his pants.
They weren't successful at popping them, so he tried to do it.
After the fight, they cooled off by eating popsicles.

3's company!
Then I put the sprinkler out.
Tyson tackles JAX. You can already see, from Jax's face, what's about to happen next. Yup... tears.

I'm really itching to have a family water balloon and kickball fight on MONDAY (for Memorial Day). I am thinking of telling EACH FAMILY to bring 100 filled water balloons and 2 side dishes. I first need approval from Darren. We shall see. If not this weekend, then definitely ONE TIME this summer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Will I ever feel worthy?

Lately, I feel so disconnected. It's amazing how blessed I am, in MORE WAYS THAN 4, and yet I look right passed it. Small trials lately have added up and it's tearing me down little by little. I find myself thinking about how unworthy I am to call myself a Christian. I recognize that no good deed will allow me to gain merit in the Kingdom of Heaven, but it's hard to let that stick. I believe it, but it goes against ALL the ways this world fights for freedom, success, and peace. Our God is so holy, so honorable, so loving, and so worthy of glory that it just feels right to "work your way to Heaven." When I sin or when I fail DAILY, I just feel like throwing in the towel. I'm tired of disappointing my Father. I'm tired of being a witness to others sin as well as my own. I hate it. Different things have transpired this week and I have found myself in a pinch of self-pity. I looked to my family in Christ and they have given me such a great amount of encouragement and not encouragement that comes from their own wisdom, but from the Lord. As I sit here eating lunch alone, I decided to grab the bible and daily devotional book by Max Lucado. The devotional book doesn't have any DATES, so I just scrolled through the pages until I felt lead to STOP and read one. I'm sure ALL OF THE DEVOTIONALS would have really hit home and been so powerful, but I am so grateful for this one...

Let's Talk to Jesus

What do you do when you run out of gas? You don't exhaust your petroleum perhaps, but all of us run out of something. You need kindness, but the gauge is on empty. You need hope, but the needle is in the red. You want five gallons of solutions but can only muster a few drops. When you run out of steam before you run out of day, what do you do? Stare at the gauge? Blame your upbringing? Deny the problem?

NO. Pity won't start the car. Complaints don't fuel an engine. Denial doesn't bump the needle. In the case of an empty tank, we've learned: get the car to a gas pump ASAP.

My first thought when I run out of fuel is, How can I get this car to a gas pump? Your first thought when you have a problem should be, How can I get this problem to Jesus?

Let's get practical. You and your spouse are about to battle it out again. The thunderstorm looms on the horizon. The temperature is dropping, and lightning bolts are flashing. Both of you need patience, but both tanks are empty. What if one of you calls, "Time Out"? What if one of you says, "Let's talk to Jesus before we talk to each other. In fact, let's talk to Jesus until we can talk to each other'?

I just thought this was such an appropriate devotional for me today! I am so thankful that no matter what my deeds are, good or bad, the Lord is not dependent on them. The good deeds are only done in obedience and to glorify His name, and the bad deeds are forgiven, if true, Godly repentance takes place and belief in Jesus Christ has been professed. What a grace it is to know that I'm not technically worthy, none of us are, but through his work on the cross and my acknowledgement of him and repentance, I am HIS and will meet him one day in Heaven.

Today a VERY DEAR FRIEND shared this quote with me, "Don't tell God how big your storm is, but tell your storm how big your God is!" AH, I love that quote. I really do.

Lord, you are the answer to our questions and the solution to our problems. We don't have the wisdom to work through the storms of life, but you do. In your presence we find help and hope and healing, amen.

"They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses." Psalm 107:19

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Surprise Guests At Ty's Baseball Game

It's been a looooong week. Darren's sweet grandmother passed away on Sunday and we have been so busy with the wake and the funeral. Fortunately, baseball has been keeping our minds and our bodies busy since those two events. Tyson has (2) games this week. I think Grandad and Grandnee needed a distractor from the loss, so they surprised us by coming to Tyson's baseball game. Lilah and Jax wasted no time getting comfortable with them. They stuck to Grandad and Grandnee like glue. Tyson was thrilled to show off his baseball skills. The "Hot Rods" have been undefeated all season, but supposedly this game they tied.

Grandad and Grandnee, we really enjoyed your company. We pray that you surprise us more often. You are NOT intruding on us. We enjoy your visits and the kids will cherish these memories for years to come.
Lilah was really having fun with her grandparents.
Grandnee getting some "sugar" from Lilah.
"Bro-bro, Grandad and Grandnee are here. You have to make a home run for them!" said Jax. Jax was too busy running around to sit on laps or give out some sugar.
"Good game Ty!" Said Grandad.

"I love you!" Said Grandnee.