Saturday, April 30, 2011

A "Very Special" Little Girl

This is Joy, Josh's little sister.
She is carrying a "very special" little girl who's name I will not share:)
This is the day Joy chose this "very special" little girl to be placed in the orphanage.
This is quite possibly the day that this "very special" little girl got a chance at life!
What a sweet memory to have this picture to document the hope that she now has!
And two years later, her story continues...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fun Facts For Friday

My parents got in last night.  They get to stay the WHOLE weekend.
Josh and I had rehearsal at Journey last night so my parents stayed home with the kids.
Every few minutes the kids kept asking us, "Is it time for you to go yet?"
For some reason they were SO ready for us to get out of the house 
to play with their Nonnie and G-daddy.
We later found out that that "some reason" was to ask 
if their Nonnie and G-daddy brought them anything "surprises":) 
I guess a kids gotta ask.  It's just part of being a kid.
And a grandparent always has "surprises".  It's just part of being a grandparent!

My sister-in-law caught Cai and his cousin, Karis,
playing in our backyard.  This picture was just too cute not to share!

It's that time again!
We pulled out the pool with the cousins last week.
We couldn't figure out why it was taking like an hour to fill up
and then we found the leak in our hose...
I had 6 impatient kids just WAITING to have more than their feet covered with water, ha!

I had the kids help me fold clothes this week.
I don't know how in the world we have so much laundry!
Anyway, this is Zeke telling me, "But mom, I did fold my clothes. Look!"
He was on his way back to his dresser to put them away.
Bless his sweet little heart:)

Being part of the local Via family has its perks.
We had enough kids for a rockin' Easter egg hunt.
Look how cute they all are!

 We had a family game night a few weeks ago.
Cai was surprisingly good (or just lucky) at catching the butterflies:)

I am so ready for this weekend!
Bring on the family togetherness!!!

Happy Friday ya'll!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Words Of Wisdom

Josh:  "Rainy, that picture of you on mommy's blog, when we went out helping the people with the tornado, you looked like such a big girl.  You know you are disobeying me by growing up..."

Areyna:  "Daaadd, I am NOT disobeying you!  I'm not growing up and getting bigger.  God is growing me up."

Josh:  "Then maybe He is disobeying me?"

Areyna:  "Nope, 'cause He is the King and He can do whatever He wants!"

Josh:  "Wow, you just put me in my place:)"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Music To My Ears - Silver

Here's some music candy for your ears.

They are called Silver.

The lead singer is a good friend of ours.  He actually helped us out with our "Resurrection Songs" album!

Their music is tight.

Their stage presence if energetic and fun.

So, get out there and go support your local musicians!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CharlotteONE Season Finale

Josh and I have the awesome privilege of playing for the season finale of CharlotteONE tonight!  Come on out and join us, and the rest of the band, if you live in the Charlotte area.

WHEN:  Tuesday    April 26, 2011
WHERE:  First United Methodist Church, downtown Charlotte

See you there!


"Is it snack time?"

"Mommy/Daddy, when we wake up do you want to watch a movie on my computer?" the kids pretends like they have Netflix on their Leapfrog computers:)

"Is it lunch time?"

"Is it Journey day?"

"Is it snack time?"

"You want to play with my stickers with me?"

"Is it dinner time?"

"When is it time to get out of room time?"

"Is it snack time?"

"Mooommm...why do I have to take a bath?" (if you helped in Zeke's class on Sunday you know the answer to this one, ha!)

And these are just a few of the questions that I answer on a DAILY basis, ha!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not Me Monday

I always give my kids what they want.  Especially when it comes to food.

The kitchen is always open around here.

So, when we have, say, six children, who never seem to get full (of snack food at least) I would never barricade the kitchen off, deeming that the kitchen is closed and that you may not enter, under any circumstances, until the curtains are open again, signaling that it is "snack" or meal time again.
Nope, not me!

And seeing as I am just about as domestic as they come,

Always cooking with delight...

a smile always on my face when I'm in the kitchen,

I would never sneak into a barricaded kitchen just to get a quick quiet minute to myself.
Nope, not me!

Friday, April 22, 2011

But He Came To Bring Hope

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." 
Genesis 1:1
"Then God said, 
'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...
So God created man in His own image" 
Genesis 1:26, 27
"Then the angel told her: 
Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  
Now listen: 
You will conceive and give birth to a son 
and you will call His name JESUS. 
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High." 
Luke 1:30-32
But "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"
Romans 3:23
This sin has separated us from our Lord.
"For the Son of Man has come to save the lost." 
Matthew 18:11
"But God proves His own love for us in that
while we were still sinners Christ dies for us!"
Romans 5:8
"Death has been swallowed up in victory.
O Death, where is your victory?
O Death, where is your sting?"
1 Corinthians 15:54-55
In His death we find an empty tomb.
In this empty tomb we find hope.
Eternal hope for all who believe in His name!

We took our kids out yesterday, to bring hope and relief to many of those 
who were devastated by last weeks tornadoes.  
These pictures were taken less than 2 miles from our house.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Week: Holy Thursday

I'm sitting here.

Just sitting.

Cai is contently pushing his cars back and forth along the fireplace.

Back and forth...back and forth.

Zeke is searching for a match to the flipflop he's carrying around.

Areyna is dancing around to music.

Music that Josh is practicing.

Practicing for our weekend services.

I'm just sitting.



Reflecting on what Christ did for us.

When I really sit,

just sit,

and allow myself to remember,

and meditate

on what He did for us,

it's a bit overwhelming.

Maybe it's the exhaustion from the week,

or maybe it's the reality of what this week represents

but It's really hitting me today.

Today is Holy Thursday.  Maundy Thursday.

Today is when we remember the Lord's Last Supper and the washing of his disciples feet.

Today we are taking our kids out to "wash" the hands and feet of our neighbors who have lost everything in the tornado.  We are going to serve.  And while we serve we will remember.  We'll remember how the Lord served us.
Tomorrow, for Good Friday, we are having a special time of singing, worship and reflection.  Josh and I and our good friends, the Leinos, will be singing/playing from 5-8pm at Journey Church.  You can freely come and go.  Come and sit.  Come and listen.  Come and reflect.  Come and meditate.

Are you observing Holy Week?  I'd love to hear about it.

Watching Soap Operas and Eating BonBons

Watching soap operas and eating bonbons

That is most definitely what I have been doing this week:)
Yeah right!
In between
refereeing "King Of The Playhouse"
countless trips to the infirmary
to bandage up matching boo-boos
(I believe we need to replenish our Band-Aid stockpile after this week, ha!)
making sure each child has age-appropriate toys to play with
(We figured the BBGun wasn't the best "option" for Cai)
as well as
finding fun things for all the cousins to do together!

We've still managed to have wonderfully
knowledge-filled family devotions
for Holy week!
We were really surprised at how much they learned;)
Check it out:)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What's Four More?

Yesterday we had some very special visitors come hang out the entire day!
Emily and Jody Jennings are long-time friends of ours.
They were in town for Jody to do some classes at the Seminary.
They have four kids of their own and one on the way.
I figured, what's four more kids?!  The more the merrier:)

The cool thing about it was that every one of my 6 kids had someone new to play with pretty close to their own age!

The older boys had some computer fun.
This is Alex, Joey and Silas
Luke and Zeke had fun and played super well together.

Millie and Abby even palled around together!

And with 4 prissy little girls,
You better believe there was some good princess time.
Hattie Ruth and Areyna are only 1 day apart in age.

They were the cutest princesses EVER!
With 10 kids running around all day we knew we they needed some rest time.
We put the youngest 3 down for a nap...
and go ahead, gasp, we popped in a movie:)
We popped some pop-corn
and took advantage of Sonic's Happy Hour.
You can't beat 12 slushies/drinks for $7!

After some good rest time their imaginations were put into full gear.
Elaborate paper airplanes were created...
the Sonic cup trays were painted

and wonderful food and music were provided to everyone's delight!

Meal Mania with 10 kids and 4 adults was a sight to behold, for sure!

Josh said it was absolutely comical as he and Jody drove up the driveway for dinner.
He said there were kids EVERYWHERE!

What a wonderful day!
We love the Jennings.  
I have learned so much from them as a family.
It is so good to have friends like that!
Thanks for coming to share our day with us:)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Girls Only!

This is Abby
She is my sister's youngest
She is so stinkin' cute!
We have ALL enjoyed her company
Areyna has been in "Big Sister" heaven!
They have had SO much fun together.
Areyna fixes Abby her snacks,
puts toothpaste on her toothbrush
and even helps her put her clothes on in the morning.
My favorite thing to do is stand outside their door at night
and listen to them chatter
until they sweetly fall asleep.

I saw this picture and realized that in just a few short months
Areyna will be cuddled up with her new little sister just like this.

P.S. Check out Areyna NOT sucking her thumb!
I'll be posting about that soon:)

Resurrection Songs: "New Life"

 Last weeks song for the "Resurrection Songs" album is up!  It has been a crazy couple of weeks, so thank you for your patience.  This weeks song will be out shortly, but just think, next year, when you do the devotional, you'll have all the songs at the beginning of each section:)

So now it's time to: listen, share and download...Ready...GO!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Not Me Monday

I have always been good at spelling and gramer gramar grammar.


Just ask my mom.  Heck ask my husband for that matter, ha!

I mean, I'm a published arthor author!

So, when I'm sitting down with my morning cup of coffee to write my blog for the day, I never need to spellcheck spell check my posts.

Nope, not me!

They are always correct.

But, even if I were to misspell a few words I'd never resort to useing using Google search as a spell checker for words such as laundary laundry, exercize excersise exersize exercise,  consciouse conscious or to figure out whether to use hungry vs. Hungary or their vs. there.

Nope, not me!

That's just lame.

Who doesn't know how to spell those kinds of words the right way?!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Aftermath From The Storm

We had quite an eventful day today.

My sister got here with her 3 kiddos around 2:30pm.

By 3:30 we were all piled in our secret hideout.  Yup, all 6 kids and 3 adults.
I'd been tracking the storm warnings all morning long, knowing that they were headed our way.

When the Emergency warning came up we knew it was time to wake Micaiah up from his nap and pile under the stairs.

We grabbed a big box of goldfish, knowing that full tummy's give us happy hearts.
To keep our minds occupied, so as not focused on the noises above (and the air pressure popping our ears),  we opted to obnoxiously loudly sing songs like "Deep And Wide" and our own rendition of Veggie Tales "God Is Bigger Than The Boogie Man Tornado."

We made it out really good.  We had someone's siding in our front yard, sticks and limbs and toys blown all over.
 Our neighbors had trees and fences down.  We were without power for about 5 hours, and were shocked when we actually got power because this... what was all around our area.

Josh took these pictures while out with a friend while helping neighbors remove trees and help with various other things.

We were very thankful to hear from all our friends and family we knew and all the neighbors we checked on were fine too...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fun Facts For Friday - Cousins and Arise Africa Weekend

1 - We have a BIG weekend planned this weekend.  First of all, my sister and her 3 kids are driving down from the DC area.  I couldn't be more excited to see them!  They've never been to our humble abode here in Rolesville.  I've been in clean-up mode for the past two days making sure everything is perfect for their arrival.

2 - My sister will be leaving for a getaway with her hubby on Sunday morning.  That means that she's leaving her 3 kids here with us!  I am SO excited.  I know her oldest is a little leery that he's going to be stuck playing with tricycles and baby dolls, ha, but it's going to be a super fun week:)

3 - I am also excited about church this weekend.  I'm always excited about going to our church, but I'm especially excited about this particular weekend.  This weekend we are raising $50,000 for our orphanage in Uganda!  Every penny given this Sunday is going toward this goal to finish building the schools and dormitories to house at least 250 more orphans.  I love our church's heart for the world, local and abroad!  If you feel lead to donate toward our goal you can go HERE.  You can be a part of hope for the hopeless.

Josh and I with the Wanamitsa family in October during our trip to Uganda
4 - As if things couldn't get any more exciting, Godfrey Wanamitsa and his wife Mama Joy, the director of Arise Africa International, who started this orphanage, will be joining us.  We have a long history with this man and his beautiful wife!  You can read about the summer Josh spent with them and their children in Jinja before we got married HERE.  It is a beautiful testimony. 

5 - Godfrey is a prophet, well, not really, but he did have some very wise words to share with us while we were in Uganda last fall.  He even put them to song so we can remember them.  A man after Josh's own heart:)  Enjoy!