Saturday, June 30, 2012

Radiance


Written on June 15, 2012

Tonight I was lying in bed and was praying/spending time with Jesus. My mind wandered to my brother's upcoming wedding and I remembered my own. I asked Jesus, "Do You ever feel like you missed out on being married?" 

"I am married to the church," He responded matter of factly. 
"I guess You have Holy Spirit too," I replied. 
"And the discples," He nodded. Then He went on to explain how the disciples had provided Him with all of the companionship that He needed while He was on earth and Holy Spirit had provided the intimacy to Him that we feel with our spouse. 

After His explaination of how He had been in relationship with His friends and Holy Spirit, He took me to heaven and showed me something else. He showed me one of His lovers who had just "graduated" to heaven. As they entered into the heavenlies, something happened that I was not expecting. They began to glow, glowing so brightly that I could barely stand to look at them. I looked to Jesus, expecting Him to be glowing more brightly than they were. But to my surprise the glory that He was radiating was reflecting off the person and it was 10 times brighter than He was by Himself. 

In that moment He showed me how when a believer comes into heaven and finally meets Jesus face to face, it is the same as we feel when we see our spouse for the first time on our honeymoon. That moment, the moment that can only happen once on earth, when we are standing before each other naked and pure, the way that God intended for us to be; that moment of fulfillment and knowing that everything you fought for and loved for and believed in was so incredibly worth it. And the moment when you as husband and wife become one for the first time, as incredible and bonding as it is on earth; will not even come close to the way it will feel when you are with Jesus. That moment when we stand face to face with Him, both naked and pure before each other knowing that everything we fought for and loved and believed in was incredibly worth it, we will feel a fulfillment that we never dreamed up or knew on earth.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jonathan & April's Wedding

Well, luckily the rehearsal weather was no indication of how the actual wedding would turn out.

Saturday morning started with pouring rain and an overcast sky. All day it went between raining, drizzling and no rain but still cloudy and overcast. It was raining pretty good until 15 minutes before the ceremony was suppossed to start. At 5:45pm the clouds parted, the sun came out and the rain stopped. About 15 people grabbed beach towels and ran down the rows of chairs drying them off. Everyone was seated and the ceremony began.

Our family! 
We were able to sneak in a picture when it stopped raining and before Xander spit up on his outfit (a onesie with a tie sewn on it!) and while Gabriella's dress was still white. 

Me and the kiddos! Gabriella was in the middle of saying, "smile!" when we took it

Me with my dad and bro

Ariella with me and Xander. She looked so cute in her dress!


Gabriella and James waiting for their turn to walk down the aisle. Gabriella was trying really hard to untie her co-flower girl's (cousin Amelia) belt.

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A video of the kids walking down the aisle. 
Gabriella and Amelia were the flower girls and James was the ring-bearer. 
The video is quite a bit shaky because I was holding Xander in one hand, holding the camera in the other and  directing the kids down the aisle at the same time!

A picture of the ceremony. 
I was standing in the back with Xander. 
The wedding at in April's parents backyard with a pond. It was beautiful!

Cousins running around after the ceremony was over. 
Here are James C., Nicholas, James M., William, Gabriella and Haylie. 

Me and my mom! I sure do love her!
It was freezing so after we had pictures taken we all bundled up in our warm coats.

The cousins finding more ways to play. Its so fun watching them play together. It reminds me of when we were kids and we all played together at big get-togethers. 

My sister, Amy with me and mom
And Ariella huddled in the background. She wrapped up in that blanket and kept it around her most of the night. Even while she was on the dance floor!

Uncle Steve and Brad found a way to stay warm. Brad managed to sneak in a couple bottles of wine wrapped up in a kid's jacket and they hid them under the table!

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Gabriella and her friend Lucy dancing at the reception. Gabriella continued to "bust a move" until well after 10pm. 

Beautiful bride and groom!

Gabriella dancing with Grampa

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Dancing with Grampa

Me and Matt. He looks a little tired (his wisdom teeth extractions are still healing up and he was hurting pretty bad by this time of night)

Mom brought glow sticks for all the kids. Ariella made a mustache of hers. 

Overall the day was great. It started out looking like it was going  to be really bad, but turned out wonderful. God showered down blessing after blessing and made their day a memorable and wonderful time. They had not a drop of rain fall during the reception or ceremony, eventhough all around us was black cloudy skies. 
Beautiful sunset at their reception. 

I am so proud of Jonathan and April. They have walked through the mud to get to this point (literally) and are all the better for it. They are a great couple, and I love them both dearly. I couldn't ask for a better sister-in-law and friend. They both bring so much love and gold out of each other. It will be so much fun looking forward to seeing all the glorious things God has in store for them!



Friday, June 22, 2012

Rehearsal and Dinner

Tomorrow is the "big day" for Jonathan and April so tonight was the rehearsal and dinner.

Typical Oregon weather that we live in, it was blazing hot yesterday and poured rain all day today. They weren't able to get any of their set-up done today and we held rehearsal (for their outdoor wedding) under a couple of easy-up awnings.

Figuring out what they wanted to do

Gabriella and James trying to keep each other warm. 

James got huddled up inside Andy's (the best man) coat to stay warm

April and her dad practicing their walk down

Kids standing in their spot with the bridesmaids

And inside for a yummy dinner! What kid doesn't love fried chicken, pizza and watermelon?! 
Good job on dinner, Gramma!
Here James and Gabriella are sitting with their friend Ila. 
(she loves James!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day & Our 6 Year Anniversary

What a busy/crazy weekend! 

Matt got all four of his wisdom teeth pulled on Thursday so he wasn't feeling good most of the time. (He went to the dentist this morning and found out he has a dry socket and an infection)

Sleepy Snuggles with Curious George

Sunday was Father's Day (or "Daddy Day" as Gabriella dubbed it) and our 6 year anniversary!
We went to church and then headed to my parents house for the rest of the day.

Gabriella going for her first quad ride. 
She insisted on wearing Uncle Jonny's helmet which was obnoxiously big on her!

"I all done now!"

Xander was having a great time being outside with Gramma. 


Happy Anniversary to my best friend, Matt! I can't imagine the last 6 years without you! You can been my greatest joy and my most intense emotions. The ups and downs, the mountains and the valleys; they have all been memorable because you have been beside me. I love you more each day than I ever imagined was possible! Here's to 60 more!!
A picture of my side of the family at our wedding


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Soccer

I picked up a soccer ball for Gabriella at a yard sale last weekend. She loves it! All day long she is constantly asking to go outside and play with her soccer ball.

Showing me her soccer ball
(not bad for $.25!)


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We were outside on Friday (Matt was home because he had gotten his wisdom teeth pulled the afternoon before) playing and she started "kicking the ball with two feets". So funny! 
This video is of her kicking the ball with two feet and smelling some flowers. 

As usual, Xander was highly amused by Gabriella's antics

He started getting grumpy later. He's working on getting some chompers in

Xander and daddy fussing because their mouths are hurting. 
Gabriella laughed her head off while we were taking this picture. 
She has been very concerned about daddy's mouth owies and keeps asking him if his mouth is doing okay. 




Friday, June 15, 2012

All Tied Up

Yesterday the kids and I spent the morning at my sister-in-law's house and hung out with her and her silly kiddos. The kids were starting to get bored and antsy after lunch so they started tying each other up to see who could escape the fastest.

One of my favorite memories as a kid is when I would tie my brother Jonathan up and see if he could escape. He always did, EVERY TIME! It drove me crazy that he could always escape!

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Here is Chloe trying to escape after Hunter and Noah tied her up. 

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Next was Noah. 

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Eliana had a turn

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And finally Hunter (He had actually gone first, but I didn't have my camera on at the time so we tied him up again!)

We had a little bit more time before we had to leave to go pick up Matt from work, so I tied the boys together. Naomi and I were laughing SO hard watching them try and get out!

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Then the girls wanted to be tied together too so Naomi tied them up!

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Noah and Xander hanging out and playing with some stuffed animals. 

We had a fun-filled morning (as you can see) and some great laughs! I love hanging out with those kids!



Sunday, June 10, 2012

Baby Goats & A Birthday Party

We spent Friday and today over at my soon to be sister in law's parent's house helping them get the yard and other things ready for the wedding (only 13 days to go!). April's parent's house has lots of animals to see and play with. They have dogs, chickens, a horse and lots of goats. They just had babies two weeks ago so we took the kids in the pen to see them.

Xander right after he licked one!

Sweet goat huggies!

Gabriella helping April plant some flowers. April, her mom Susan, and my mom planted a ton of flowers and did a bunch of landscaping. 

Eating some watermelon. 

Saturday we went to the All Sports Park for one of Gabriella's friends, Ila's, birthday party. 

Xander playing on the jungle gym

Me and my girlie!

Trying to convince her to go down the tunnel slide. 
My mom talked her into it later and she LOVED it!

Gabriella taking Xander for a slide by herself. 

Gabriella and Gramma!

Over all it was a fun, and busy weekend. Matt, Dad, and Jonathan went camping Friday night up in the mountains for Jonathan's bachelor party. The kids and I had a sleepover at my mom's and my sister came over for the evening to hang out and cook dinner for us. 
It was nice to spend a lot of time with family this weekend, and I really enjoy hanging out with my mom. She's such a great friend!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Best Coupon Deals For May

May was a good month for couponing!

These are all the freebies that came in the mail during the month of May.

Its like Christmas every day. I always have a free sample of some sort in the mail every day. I love it!
After Matt and I have taken out what we can use/want, then I get to take it over to my parent's house and let them and my siblings go through it and pick out things that they want. 
*The Arm & Hammer toothpaste, Vaseline lotion and Arm & Hammer laundry soap were free samples through an online trial site called smiley360.com*

This deal cost us only $3.01 and Matt made it even better than I had sent him to the store expecting to get because he found bottles with "peelies" (stick-on coupons that are for instant savings at the register). Good job, honey!

I made $1.02 profit on this deal! 
(through mail-in rebates)

Made $2.56 profit 
(again, using mail-in rebates. Pairing a coupon with a mail-in rebate is an instant money maker for you!)

Paid $0.72

Here is a picture of some of my couponing surplus. We are stocked up on cleaning supplies, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, hand soap and paper towels for at least 6 months.  

I am still loving couponing and getting great deals. I have been able to get great deals for lots of people in my family too, so that is super fun. Its great to have name brand items for significantly less than generic at Walmart. Such a blessing to be able to save so much money as a stay at home mom and make my hard working hubby's paychecks go even further. 

If you ever have any questions or want more information on any of these specific deals, please let me know!