Grace On Rainbow

Monday, April 27, 2009

Getting caught up . . . or at least attempting to

Well my crew is at Scouts tonight. Bob took both kiddos with him - so I thought now might be a good time to try and get somethings caught up on here.

I thought I would start by showing you some of Noah's music program and his graduating class from Children's Music Academy. We are so proud of him - he has really worked hard this past year and he did a wonderful job. We are still waiting on finding him a private teacher until things get a bit more settled here and we know exactly where we will be - but I am still planning on putting him in the Homeschool Orchestra this coming fall.

Yes - Even the mom's had to be a part of the program. For the past 3 1/2 years we have sat with and practice with the kids - that is one thing I have loved about this program - you do not just drop the kids off and know nothing about what they are doing. You are responsible just as much as the kids are.
The kids have to know all the notes on the grand staff. Their goal was to be able to say and play all the notes within two minutes. Noah was able to reach level 4 - saying and playing all the notes - there were days however that it was done with much frustration and tears, but he stuck with it and was SO excited when he did it.
I think this was one of their favorite songs 12 Bars Blue (Brush Your Teeth) - Although I got pretty sick of hearing it by the time it was over because not only did Noah like it but Avery did as well and the only part she knew was the chorus.
Along with piano and ear training - the kids also got to know the basics of the recorder. Now comes one of his favorite things - the guitar. I know I am a proud mama, but can I just say that he did amazing at picking up the guitar. He loved it. Bob and I really want to get him started on guitar lessons, but we are trying to find someone who will teach him classical guitar (not such an easy task). This is Mrs. Carlin - his music teacher.Noah's Diploma along with the rose he gave me that night.
(Yes I cried! ! !)
We are so proud of you Noah. . . you are a joy to have in our lives.

A new Dress . . .

Here are a few pictures of Avery and her new dress. Well actually it isn't so new since I am so late in posting them, but better late than never. This picture cracks me up - she is so stoic (first time in her life I think).

I found this pattern on-line - It is from Portabello Pixie and I love the simplicity and how quick the pattern works up. This is actually the second dress I have made using patterns from this company, but I did not take pictures of the first one.
We went to Joann's and little girl helped me pick out the fabric. We ended up buying way too much - I think it is a sickness with me because no matter what it is I'm afraid of running out so I go overboard on it. So now I have like 2 yards or so of each of these fabrics left. Oh well, I'm sure another project will come up sooner or later.

It is a little hard to see, but this is my first attempt with shirring (using elastic thread). It took me several attempts and much tossing and grumbling before I got the hang of it. It really turned out to be pretty neat and fun to do . The shirring is done around the neckline, arms, and waist. You were suppose to finish the edges off with a serger, but I just turned them under 1/4 of an inch and it worked just fine.

So there you have it - one new dress for little miss and smiles to boot. Yeah ! ! !

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Be still and know that I am God . . . Frannie's Cabin

Well with the kiddos up to Grandma and Grandpa Allen's for a week and us all alone what were we to do . . . . . . . go on a trip? Well that is exactly what we did. Bob planned a little get-a-way for us and I must say that it was AMAZING ! ! ! ! ! I think it has been our best trip ever. I think the only thing that could have made it better was if we were able to stay longer. It is so funny but Arkansas gets such a bad "report" because of the "hill folk" - but it has some of the prettiest country I have ever seen. We left Sunday after church and headed down - stopping at Hollister for a quick bite to eat and some groceries (no Wal-Mart were we were headed). We drove the 3 1/2 hours turning it into almost 5 with my excellent map reading skills - and we even had our GPS with us - not too good huh???? (if anyone knows me I get lost at the mall . . . seriously I should never be allowed to be the one giving directions . . . I am in fact directionally challenged and I admit it). But the views through the mountains were amazing (sometimes a little scary) - but I think I did pretty well. Bob didn't threaten to give me any tranquilizers this time. So here are just a few of our pictures. Hope you all enjoy the amazing beauty that God created for our enjoyment.
This is a picture that we took on our way up the mountain. It was still drizzling a little bit and chilly - but beautiful none the less.
Okay so this is where I started to get a little nervous. We had no idea what the cabin was going to be like - Bob was the only one that saw pictures from their website - but we have learned that you can make anything look good on the web. So when Frannie told us to look for the stone statue and the road to the cabin would be across from it - we had no idea this is what we would fine and can I just say I began wondering where we were going to end up. She did reassure us by telling us that the "neighbors" did have a college education. (I think I feel better . . . maybe) So very reluctantly we turned down the lane and headed for the cabin and this is what we found . . . .
Frannie's Cabin set in the breathtaking Ozarks. It was truly an amazing place. We drove up and were surprised at how peaceful and at home we felt. This was truly a much needed blessing that God provided for us.
As you step into the cabin you are greeted with a rustic interior that just says "comfy and relaxing". The living room was complete with a fireplace - TV - Stereo - DVD library - and board games. This is a view of the kitchen which was completely stocked with anything and everything. We have never been to a place that had every imaginable supply you could think of and then some.
This is the master bedroom downstairs. It was complete with a king size bed - which was way too big for us. We are use to our queen and we both felt like we kept losing each other at night.
The door on the right led into the master bath.
The master bath was huge. I would definitely take this over our little "water closet" that we have. There is also another room to the right which held the washer and dryer.
This is a photo of the steam shower. I know it is kind of heard to see because it is really dark - but it is a shower built with flagstone (just like the floors throughout the house). It has a wide bench so you can sit and relax and enjoy the water or you can turn on the steam and literally enjoy a steam shower. It is not near as hot as a sauna and you can actually breath in it unlike a sauna where you feel like you are suffocating.
This is one of two bedrooms upstairs. It was a huge open room with an antique writing desk in the corner.
The other bedroom upstairs would have been perfect for the kids. Their beds were directly across from the french doors that led out onto a balcony and overlooked the west side of the mountain.A wonderful game of Scramble on the back porch. And much to my dear husbands disappointment "jetset" is two words not one so technically I won on default! (the word ended up being worth like 40 some points) and who even knew there was a word jet set and that they use to use it for magazines and newspapers. I tell you he has read WAY too much stuff . . . .
It was funny, but after Frannie showed us around and let us know about all the hiking trails and things to do - she was walking out the door and said "Oh there are some dog bones under the cabinet in the kitchen for the dogs if you want" . . . . . .The dogs are staying? I looked at Bob and I could tell he was wondering the same thing. Well sure enough off she drove and there the dogs stayed. Come to find out the dogs are actually the neighbors but prefer to hang out with the visitors at the cabin - especially when Milk Bone and BBQ are involved. So meet our company. King (the black one) - Katie (the white one) and Sierra the hyper puppy. They were all great fun except for Sierra who made it her mission to walk one step ahead of you so you could trip over her every time. King and Katie are actually brother and sister and are 1/2 lab - 1/2 Great Pyrenees and were two of the gentlest and sweetest dogs I have ever known. It was fun to have them with us (even though I still was not allowed to bring them inside).
Even though there was a lot of things we could have went and done, we just didn't want to leave the cabin. . . so we didn't.

I wish you all could have enjoyed the beauty of watching the sunset of the mountains. It was something that I will cherish and miss. God gave us so many gentle reminders during our stay of His greatness. It was truly a humbling experience.
Well like all good things they must come to an end - and so we packed up and headed for home. We decided to go another route home so we headed toward Boxley Valley to see if we could see the elk. On the way we decided to take a little detour and found a gravel road leading down the mountain to a camp ground and this is what we found.
The majestic cliff and deep blue/green waters were so spectacular. I am still remembering how wonderfully small I felt and how great God felt.

Thank you my love for a wonderful time. I cherish you and thank God for you daily. May we always take with us a piece of God's love and beauty that He revealed to us during this time.

Monday, April 6, 2009

In the mist of a trial

As many of you know I am a very private person -Sometimes to a fault. I do not find it easy to talk with others about my struggles or fears, although there have and are many. Part of the reason is that I look around me and I see so many who struggle far greater than I - that the trials I face seem so minimal and unworthy of mentioning. Yet even in the midst of these trials I know that God sees my needs and provides for me in ways I could never image.

In Sunday school Bobby is teaching on the love of God and how we cannot even begin to image the depth of the love He has for each of us. He asked us to share a time in our lives when God showed His love to us (other than our salvation). Many in the class shared about how He worked in their jobs (in providing and directing them). Others shared about specific moments when God provided for them financially when there was no income or a blessing of an unexpected gift that helped pay for a bill. It is amazing how God knows each of us so personally that in every single moment (no matter how small we deem them to be) He knows and CARES about us far greater than we could image.

April 26, 2008 was a turning point for our family. In many ways it has been one of our greatest trials. It has stretched our faith and our marriage. It has brought us lower on our knees then we have ever been brought before. Fear and doubt have had to be claimed and captured many times over. I have seen the man that God gave me broken to a point where I feared I would never be able to reach him again. I have cried for understanding that I knew I would not get nor deserve. I have knelt before God unable to even speak the words that thundered in my heart, yet knowing He knew every syllable which I longed to cry out to Him. We have prayed countless hours for strength, peace, grace, and open hearts for a family who we will probably never know and who will never again be the same.

Yet through it all Bob and I have been so encouraged, humbled, broken, and thankful for the love and encouragement that we have received through this past year. People we have never met before have called and prayed with us and sent letters of encouragement. We received love from almost every corner of the globe. Family members have cried and encouraged and given strength to us. In the early days following the accident men of our church family and members of Breaking Barriers (Bob's band) came into our home and poured out prayer over my husband and our family. We have been humbled by God's AMAZING and unspeakable love that He has shown to us through the hearts of so many of you.

This week I have struggled with stopping the panic that unexpectedly grips my heart. Without warning fear takes control of my thoughts, even for the briefest of moments. Yet I am in awe as God provided friends who shared a card of encouragement, a word of prayer being offered on our behalf, and a simple hug which gave so much strength.

We are still in the midst of our trial, yet I know this day that God is far greater than I could ever think or imagine Him to be. Yesterday morning I came across the above video and it put into words what my heart longed to say to God. I pray that it will encourage and strengthen you as well.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.
(Psalm 121)