Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 in Review

Wow, what a year 2008 has been. It has been one of change, one of growing, one of learning, and one of loving. I feel so blessed looking back, words really fail me. Here are some pics of what all has happened over the last year. And I can't wait to see what God has in store for 2009.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

When She Grows Up

Could this be what Morgan will be when she grows up.....


Morgan was playing dress up at her cousins house the other day. They had a doctors scrub outfit, that she put on. Oh, the possibilities that she has ahead of her.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wow


Every Christmas, before any presents are opened, Ralph would read Luke 2 in the Bible. This year however, he did not read it - Madison did! It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating our first Christmas with Madison - this year she read the Christmas story to us! Wow, children really do grow up fast. I can't let my mind wonder, to how long before she will be reading this story to her children- because I do not want to cry tonight.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wiiiiii



We gave our girls a Wii for Christmas. We started looking back in August for one, before the holiday rush. We found one on Ebay for a great deal (contrary to some peoples thought - Ebay is great). So, that was what they got, plus a few other small things. I think they were pretty excited.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Family Night




For a the last few years we have not spent Christmas Eve at our own house. We were back visiting family, usually. We started a tradition when the girls were young that the night before we had our Christmas, we would watch a movie and sleep out in front of the Christmas tree. This year we are at our house on Christmas Eve! I have been so looking forward to this. So, we ate homemade pizza, our normal movie night meal, watched The Santa Clause 3 and then the girls dragged their sleeping bags out.
They are set for the evening and are anxiously awaiting tomorrow morning, and so am I.

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas to you from the Yoder family.
Here’s our Christmas letter…just to catch you up on the events of our year. 2008 has been a rewarding year for us as we have made adjustments in our lives, our jobs, and our volunteer roles.
And don’t forget to share the Grace that graced the world years ago when God sent His Son to build a bridge for relationship with His creations.
Enjoy.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Loving Life

My baby girl was loving life Saturday. It was a warm day, she was able to be outside playing and digging in the dirt and swinging from the monkey bars. I need things like this to remind me of the simple, fun things in life. To smile, and keep loving life.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ok, What!?!

My wonderful husband took me on a date tonight. We went to
Tallahassee, did a little shopping, ate out, and then went to a
movie. Being the wonderful man that Ralph is, he let me pick the
movie and we saw "Four Christmases" . I wanted to laugh, and I love
Christmas, so it seemed like a good pick. Before we went I read the
reviews and and the ratings. I knew there would be language that I
don't use. I knew there would be jokes that I would not retell. I
knew that going in.
Half way through the movie, not during a particularly objectionable
moment, several people get up and walk out. As they are walking out
I hear one of them say, "I can't watch something like this as a
Christian!" To which someone still sitting said loudly, "Amen!" My
thoughts to this was, Huh!?! Did you not read the review? Did you
not know you were watching a PG-13 movie? Did you not see "contains
language, crude humor"? Come on. These were adults leaving the
theater. They should have known. These were not children who needed
to be shielded. These were adults who should have educated
themselves before they entered the theater. Now, I know there are
things in films that sneak up, and yes, you should leave the theater
if you feel it's over the line. But to loudly state as you are
leaving that you can't endure this because you are a Christian.
Well, I say get educated or stay home.
I actually had a take away from this film. My take away is that your
family of origin can be screwed up, but your choice can be to break
family systems that are messed up. It's your choice.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Life is Messy

Ok, this week I have a whole lot of stuff rolling around in my head.  There seems to be a process that God is wanting me to go through.  To be honest, I don't want to go.  I will go, but I don't want to.  Because, here is the thing, life is messy.  When you are dealing with others, it gets messy.  People disappoint.  People die.  People move.  People hurt.  Dealing with people is messy.  Is it worth the mess?  C.S. Lewis explains it better than I can on why it is worth the mess, the pain, the loss.  

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."   C.S. Lewis - "The Four Loves"


Because without all those things we are left hollow, selfish shells.  I will choose to love, to let go, to hurt and be hurt.  I will not avoid pain, I will embrace it.  Because I choose to learn from these experiences.  I choose to love through these experiences.  I will choose the path God has for me.

Ok, I feel better now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A View from My Front Porch

Last week, Ralph got home a little early from work. He then went outside with the girls. I thought they were going to do a little clean up in the yard, and play with Belle. Then one of the girls came in and said, "Daddy needs the matches." I thought, ok, he must be burning some paper. Then another one came in and said he needed more matches. "Um, ok," I thought to myself. So, I went along with what I was doing and happened to walk by the window and see an orange glow in the yard. And this is what I saw........


My husband was burning our garden spot, with his daughters. I think you could probably consider it a "wild at heart" moment. For me, it was a "faint of heart" moment. But, I kept quiet and instead took pictures. I know he had it under control, it just made me nervous! The girls of course enjoyed every moment, so I wanted to document the fun time they had with their daddy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blountstown Parade

Ok, so we participated in the Blountstown Christmas parade on Saturday night. That meant that my dear husband missed the Florida/Alabama game. I will admit that it was a lot of work to get ready for it, but I learned a lot helping put that float together. Maybe one day I will share..... For now I will share a couple of my favorite pics from the night!




My handsome husband and me. I love his smile.



Morgan hiding behind the wand that Mr. Claude so "graciously" gave to the kids. I now have 3 of those things that light up and sing at my house.



And a picture of part of the float, with 2 of the virtues I struggled with last week - joy & peace. I think this week I have found them.

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Baby Girl

My baby girl got her ears pierced last week.  We were walking thru the mall and were actually done with what we had to do and leaving.  As we were walking thru the last store to get to the van we walked by the jewelry counter.  Madison and Laney started talking about earrings and what they would like for Christmas and Morgan said she could not wear any because her ears were not pierced.  Ralph looked at her and said, "Do you want them pierced?"  She said, "I think so."  So, we back tracked and found Claires.  She asked if it was going to hurt, so me and the girls explained that it would fill like a pinch, then it would be over.  She put her brave face on and went to pick out her earrings.  Then she asked me to hold her hand during the process, which I gladly did.  She held still and waited and then it was over with!  She looked at me and her eyes were welling up, so I scooped her up and she cried, just a very little bit.  No screaming or hysteria.  She was a tough one.  Which I kind of expect from the child who we sometimes call Bubba.  This was a neat experience in the fact that Ralph got to be there.  I had taken the other 2 on special dates to get theirs done.  He was glad he got to be there to document the occasion.  I am glad that we let her make this decision.  She has taken good care of them so far, and she is excited to be able to pick out her next earrings.  My baby girl is growing up.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving Family Night

Ok, so it took me a week to post this. I can admit, I am slow, in many ways. So, we went to Justin and Belinda Smith's house Thanksgiving evening for supper. We had Potato soup and Cheesy Tomato Bacon Soup. Then we made pine cone turkeys, just like when I was a kid! Then we watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie that was about gratitude, which was also our virtue in UpStreet for the month of November. Here is a pic of the girls (and Clem and Justin) with the completed turkeys.

Friday, November 28, 2008

He got one!

Ralph killed a hog Thanksgiving day! He happened to look out right before dark and saw that the hogs were out in the field again. So he got his gun and went out and took aim and here is what he hit. The girls were kind of grossed out. Ralph was happy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Answer to the Question

So, Morgan asked her Daddy last night if country girls spit. His
answer - yes, but country ladies don't. I know now why I let him
answer that one, he is so good.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Question of the Day

As a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM), I get a lot of questions through out the day. Some are very serious, some make me blush, and some are just slap your leg funny. Today was one of the slap your leg days.
The girls and I had walked out to the mail box, and as we were walking back Morgan leaned over and spit. Then she looks at me and says, "Momma, do country girls spit?" Not sure that I had understood her, I asked, "What?" "Momma, do country girls spit?", came the question again. So, do you know what my response was, "Honey, ask your Daddy." She asks me why she needs to ask her daddy and I tell her because he knows the answer to questions like that. Sorry Ralph, if you can avoid the sex questions, then I am avoiding the spitting questions. "OK.", she says, then promptly spits again. I guess she had her answer.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

View From My Front Porch

Today I was cleaning house, and as I walked by one of my windows,this is what I saw....



Yes, that is wild hogs, eating Beaver's rye that is just coming up. Sorry for the grainy photo, but I was literally on my front porch getting this shot. I didn't want to scare them off before Ralph got a chance to "scare" them off.
I never know what I am going to see from my windows - and I love it!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

View from My Front Porch

Here was the view from my front porch this afternoon - 3 girls having absolute fun, in the rain, on the trampoline. I may pay for this later with them being sick, but for now, this is worth it. They are loving life, and I am letting them.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Passage from Maya Angelou

I have just finished reading a book that was written by Maya Angelou, the title is "Letter to My Daughter". She has one child, and that child is a son, but she has many "adopted" daughters.
There was something she has written that struck a deep chord with me, and I wanted to share.

" I find it very difficult to let a friend or beloved go into that country of no return. I answer the heroic question, 'Death, where is thy sting?' with 'It is here in my heart, and my mind, and my memories.'
I am besieged with painful awe at the vacuum left by the dead. Where did she go? Where is he now? Are they, as the poet James Weldon Johnson said, 'resting in the bosom of Jesus'? If so, what about my Jewish loves, my Japanese dears, and my Muslim darlings. Into whose bosom are they cuddled?
I find relief from the questions only when I concede that I am not obliged to know everything. I remind myself it is sufficient to know what I know, and that what I know, may not always be true.
When I find myself filling with rage over the loss of a beloved, I try as soon as possible to remember that my concerns and questions should be focused on what I learned or what I have yet to learn from my departed love. What legacy was left which can help me in the art of living a good life?
Did I learn to be kinder,
To be more patient,
And more generous,
More loving,
More ready to laugh,
And more easy to accept honest tears?
If I accept those legacies of my departed beloveds, I am able to
say, Thank You to them for their love and Thank You to
God for their lives.
"
" Letter to My Daughter"
Page 108
Maya Angelou

Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist. I do believe that Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life. But, I also have asked the same questions she has asked. Death hurts. It hurts physically, emotionally, spiritually. It also is a teacher. It has taught me to love each moment, not just the "special" ones. It has taught me to let the little things go. Ok, actually, I am still working on this one. My to-do list sometimes gets the better of me. It has taught me to be thankful, for each moment that I have with the ones that I love.
Yes, death has a deep sting, but life - joyous life and memories bring love.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

How we spent Halloween

The day started out with me volunteering at the girl's school. The school was having a celebration for the faculty and kids for being an 'A' school. That means that they did really well on the FCAT, that wonderful test that everyone loves. So, I got to put popcorn in the bags for the kids. That meant after I was done, I could go around and see what the girls were doing at the different things they had set up for them to do. It really was a lot of fun, and I am glad that I was able to volunteer. I think the girls actually enjoyed having me there!
When the celebration was done, I checked the girls out early. It was an early release day anyway. We came home and ate an early lunch and then Ralph came home and we headed to Tallahassee. We had told the girls since we were no longer living in a neighborhood, we really could not go trick-or-treating. So, we asked if they would like to go watch High School Musical 3. That was met with a resounding "YES!" We caught a matinee.
Then we went and bought our Christmas ornaments for this year. That is always a holiday tradition that the girls enjoy. They go back and forth on which one they really want. Madison got a Tom and Jerry one this year, Laney a Hannah Montana, and Morgan a HSM 3. Ralph and I got the John Deere and the Mary's Angel that we always get. It is so much fun watching them try and decide. They kept saying, "Well, I just get this one next year." They have no concept that it won't be the same thing next year!
Next, we had to go shopping for Morgan. She has been selected to be the Flower Girl for the homecoming court for BHS! She was so excited when we told her that she was going to have the opportunity to do this. She keeps asking me if today is the day, so we have begun a countdown to help her know when it will be happening. The first store they all did really well, then it was downhill from there! Fortunately we were able to find a dress, that was both appropriate and one that Morgan likes.
It was a long evening, but it was so much fun being with the girls and shopping and watching a movie. They never asked about not having a costume, and I don't think they missed trick-or-treating. Besides, they brought enough candy home from school! And that is how we spent our Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This was picture was taken at PCB in September, when we went for my mom's birthday.
I am thankful for the man in this picture. That he is fearless.
That he doesn't worry about what others think. That he has a mind of his own. That he will dance, even with a woman on stilts. That he can calm me. That he provides well for me and the girls. That he smiles - a lot.
I am thankful for my husband today, and every day!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stranger Here

We have now been back in Calhoun County for 10 months (January 1 was the day we headed out of Leesburg, GA). Time really has flown by. I can't believe that Ralph had not even interviewed for his job this time last year! That being said, I knew moving back would have it's difficulties. The girls have never lived here, except for the 9 month in 2002. They have no recollection of that. Ralph and I have essential been gone from this area for 9 years. Some things change, and some things stay the same. I love the feel of small town. I can go in the Piggly Wiggly, and yes that is the grocery store to shop in, and be guaranteed that I will see at least one person I know. Or, that knows who my momma is. My goodness the times I have heard that since we have moved back.
This is how great a small town can be - I got a voicemail from the elementary school telling me that Morgan's flip flop had broke. I was in town, so I was thinking it would be cheaper to go by Dollar General and pick up a pair to get her through the day. As I am walking up to the counter the lady says, "They didn't fit?" I responded with "Excuse me?" She repeated. I said, "What are you talking about?" She responds with, "You are Bonnie's daughter, right?" "Um, yes ma'am." "Well, she was just in here and picked up 2 pair of shoes for your daughter." I said, "Thank you, you just saved me from having to bring this back!" The school had called my mom when they couldn't get up with me, and she picked Morgan up and took her shopping! I loved it! That's the great part.
Unfortunately, there are also drawbacks. People thinking you should think a certain way. No tolerance for those who are different in looks or ideas. That has been the hard part. It has made me feel like a stranger in a place that had once been so familiar and "safe". It is funny the things that can change you when you are taken out of your original "home".
I am thankful for the different place we have lived. I have learned so much from each of the moving experiences. I have made life time friends with people I would have never met had we stayed here. I am thankful for the lessons learned in welcoming and accepting new people, because I have been one. It has drawn Ralph and I closer as a married couple. We learned to rely on each other, and not our family of origin.
With all that being said, I am glad to be back here. I am glad for the lessons I have learned. I am glad that sometimes I still feel like a stranger. Most of all I am glad that my God is big and He doesn't waste any experience I go through.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A View from My Front Porch

This is just too good to pass up. Friday, Ralph had gotten home early. Madison had a honor roll assembly at school, so we went to see her get her ribbon. We came home and Belle needed to go for a walk. She was one big ball of puppy energy. It had been raining all day and the night before, so she was ready to run. Ralph decided to let Sammie the calf loose so that he could wonder around. Well, what ensued was hilarious, at least to me. Ralph looked like he was literally walking a dog, a calf and his 3 girls. It was so funny! Being the good wife that I am, I grabbed the camera and took this picture standing on our front porch. Country life is so much fun, there is never a dull moment.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thursday, so I am going to remind myself of all the things I am (or at least should be) thankful for.
Here goes - I am thankful for health. The girls have had sinus issues and the stomach bug, but they never got extremely sick.
I am thankful for good grades. They got their report cards this week, and they all did really well. I am thankful for teachers. I am thankful that Morgan is learning to read. That is such a cool process to watch.
I am thankful for a husband who is so good to me and the girls. He tries so hard to be in tune to what we all need. I couldn't ask for any better. I am thankful for the daddy he is to his girls, to take time to sooth, pray and lead them. He is wonderful.
I am thankful most of all for grace - the grace God shows me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Like mother, like daughter

Oh my. My middle child is so much like me, sometimes it hurts. Like today. As usual, today I picked the girls up from school. I always ask how their day was, as soon as they all get buckled up. Madison and Morgan both said good. Laney on the other hand, she said she had not had a good day. So, I asked her what was wrong. She proceeded to tell me that her tummy was hurting. It was hurting because she had not eaten her lunch. Of course my next question was, "Why?!?" My dear Laney bug, then told me of the bad day she had.
Halloween is around the corner, so of course you know what that means. Well, besides candy. It's the scary stories. The kids had been telling her a story about some scary lady, that if you said her name so many times and did this and that, then she would tap you on the shoulder, and then try and kill you. She had heard this story at break, at PE, and then at lunch, where she finally lost it. She told me she just cried because her tummy was hurting so bad and she was so scared. My baby. I can so empathize with her.
As a young child I could not hear about a scary movie, much less watch one, and I would have nightmares and be unable to sleep. My mom used to tell me to stay "prayed up" ( a Pentecostal term) because someone was going to scare me to death some day. I think the older I have gotten, the more secure I feel. I know Whom I can put my trust in, and I do trust Him.
So, we have tried to have a teachable moment with her about this. Reminding her that she can trust God no matter what, and He is a big God who loves her very much. Ralph took her for a short drive tonight and was able to talk with her and reassure her. She needed to know her Daddy understood her and would be her protector. He did that. She was able to go to bed without too much stress. It just made my heart hurt for her. I have been there, and done that. Like mother, like daughter.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

BlueBelle

Introducing BlueBelle, our new Australian Blue Heeler puppy. She is cute, and hyper like most puppies are. The girls are having a blast taking care of her. Ralph is happy to a puppy around.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday, because yesterday was just a little upside down. Yesterday had been a long day of holding a child that didn't feel well. I am glad I have the opportunity to stay home, so I can. Madison is sick and she likes to be held, and for an instant I felt guilty. You see, I had a grand plan to clean house and get so much done yesterday. I changed my plans when my 8 year old looked at me and said, "Mommy, will you please lay with me and hold me, because I don't feel good." Um, yes - what else would I say. So, I lay in bed and watched cartoons and rubbed her back, because she likes that. I let her eat Cheez-its and drink Sprite all day. Today, I am thankful. Thankful for the chance to be at home when my girls need me. Thankful for a husband who allows that, and doesn't expect a full course meal when he gets home on days like this. He even helps with supper and clean up, even though I have been home all day. I am thankful for my girls and the joy each one of them adds to our family. I am thankful to have family close, who will take the well ones to school (thanks Grandma). Yes, thankful Thursday indeed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sammy

The girls have wanted another calf since the last one we got did not make it. So, Ralph called his aunt who owns a dairy up the road and bought a bull calf last week. It has been good to see the girls anxious to go out in the mornings and evenings to feed him the bottle. They have done a good job so far taking care of him. Here is a picture of Sammy. The name by the way was drawn out a hat, and it's the one Madison had written down. As a side note, we are supposed to go pick up a puppy on Friday - can't wait to hear what kind of names the girls will come up with!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Goodbye Sugar

Today we said goodbye to a wonderful pet, Sugar. She was our Australian Blue Heeler that we have had for almost 12 years. Yes, she was with Ralph and I way before we started having kids. She was Ralph's dog from the get go. She always listened to him and followed him everywhere he went. I have not let him forget the time he went through the McDonald's drive-thru and bought her 2 hamburgers and didn't bring anything home for me. She was the one that greeted us when we brought Madison home from the hospital. She would keep Laney company as she would sit and read outside. She let Morgan pull her ears and try to ride her like a horse. Sugar was so patient with all the girls. She always protected them. She survived living in a subdivision, when her passion was chasing cows. Well a couple of weeks ago we noticed she was not eating that much, in the last week she basically had stopped eating. So, Ralph called and made the appointment with the vet. We knew it was time to say goodbye. I personally struggled with making this decision, even though I knew it was the right one. This morning I went to check on her, and she was gone. She had died during the night. Which just goes to prove what a wonderful dog she was, she knew when to leave us.
So, goodbye Sugar.



Easter 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Can I just say....

I am so looking forward to this weekend! Ralph and I are off to Sandestin for a little trip. I am so excited to spend some quiet time with my man. And we get to visit with friends from Georgia! The girls are off with grandparents and friends. We are all looking forward to this weekend, each for different reasons! Thanks to all who are making this possible.
I am so thankful that after all these years, the idea of going on a date with Ralph still makes me smile.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Mom (aka, Grandma & BamBam)! Today is her birthday and we spent this past weekend in Panama City Beach celebrating with her. Here is a picture of her at her birthday supper at Margaritaville. She got a special hat made just for her, by a pirate on stilts. It was a fun evening, don't let her face fool you! Love you Mom!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

When life was simpler

I took this picture this afternoon, sorry it's kind of grainy. I was trying to take it without being noticed. It's Madie sitting on the trampoline, reading a book after she had been swimming. It reminded me that I used to sit and read for hours, outside. It was one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon. When life was simpler, and there were no other responsibilities, besides keeping my room clean and making good grades! This served as a reminder for me, to slow down and remember the simple things in life that can bring so much pleasure. What is that simple thing for you?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I thought my eyes were playing tricks...

That was the thought running through my head as I passed the window this afternoon. You see, I was inside doing a few things. I had sent the girls outside to swim. They had all done their homework in a timely manner, supper was not ready yet, so I sent them out to swim. And as I usually do, I was checking on them every few minutes as I worked on things here in the house. Then I thought I saw something, actually the lack of something. One of the girls was standing on the ladder, and guess what she was missing - her swimsuit! Low and behold, they were all sans swimsuit. I could not believe it. They were playing as they usually do, just not dressed. So, I hollered out the door for them to put their swimsuits back on, and they did. I guess they just wanted to be a little bit more freedom today. All I can say is that it's a good thing we live in the woods!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

They do love each other!



There are times these 2 fight so much and so hard I wonder if they love each other. This afternoon as we were resting I happened to stumble upon this - proof they do love each other - at least for the moment. Ironically, the sticker on Laney's forehead reads, "Love One Another!"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dedication to my Man

When I first heard this song I instantly thought of my man! He fits the description in a lot of ways.
I love it, so I had to post the video.
Enjoy Luke Bryan singing "Country Man"



I love you babe, you are my country man!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Walt's Gospel

As we were vacationing at "The Happiest Place on Earth", I heard so many different languages being spoken. The girls actually made friends at the pool with a little girl from London. We were all united by the fact that we were there to be entertained. To experience something. To relive childhood. To be thrilled. To relax. So, I started thinking about why people from all around the globe come to a place, that in some ways have not changed in the last 20 years. I remember as a little girl going to Disney, and riding the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, It's a Small World, Dumbo, and seeing the Country Bear Jamboree. By all accounts most of these rides had not changed. Yes, there were a few minor details on some that had changed, most notably the adding of Jack Sparrow to the Pirate ride. I was amazed, 20 some odd years later, I bringing my kids to see some of the same things I loved as a kid. Why? What was the pull to have my kids experience it? In our ever changing culture, it seemed familiar. I don't know, except Walt did something right. He made a place that people want to go back to year after year, and take their kids. It got me thinking about Jesus. What would it take to create a place (Church) that people would want to come to every Sunday, and bring their kids? To be known as the "Happiest Place on Earth" ? To have people of all languages engaged and searching there? I am by no means comparing Walt to Jesus, because there is no comparison. It just made me sad that the enthusiasm I saw at a theme park, seems to be lacking in today's Church culture. Should not Jesus dying for our sins and giving us the hope of eternal life be enough to spur us into happiness? For me, it was a reminder - to be a light to others who may not know Jesus. Everyday I am representing Him, and my attitude and the way I treat others is a reflection of Him. My point is Jesus has so much more to offer than Walt, what am I doing to make sure others see that?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Favorite

This is my favorite picture from our vacation. Ralph and I were talking this week, and I told him that this was the most fun vacation we have taken with the girls. They are all potty trained :) There were no strollers to have to manhandle. They all had so much fun. Yes, there were a couple of melt downs, but none that lasted long. There is only one thing that I would have changed, and that was I wish I had felt better. But even me feeling bad, was not that bad!! I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to go with the girls and at the age they are. We are so blessed.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

3 princesses

I have to share the pictures of my 3 princesses with Disney's 3 princesses. The cool story behind these pictures is at Disney you have the chance to meet whatever characters are there that day in the tents at Toon Town. The girls all bought autograph books with their money because that is what they all decided they wanted. Then they went through their list of who's autograph they wanted. Madison said she only cared about seeing Sleeping Beauty - Princess Aurora. Laney really wanted to see Belle, and Morgan could not wait to see Cinderella. I told them not to get their hopes up, and to be happy with whoever was there that day. I was so ecstatic when I saw that those were the 3 princesses that were there that day! As you can see they were all so happy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why can't we go in?

I had to take this picture, because it was either be mad that the
girls were not happy, or laugh that they were being so grumpy. I laughed, because we were at the "happiest place on earth". Then I took the picture, so in later years I can laugh again.

Vacation - Welcome

Here are the first of a few pictures from our vacation. I was going to post every day while we were gone, but it was an extra $10 a day for internet so we decided to save that little bit. It was such a good trip.
Disney really knows how to roll out the welcome mat. We were there before the park opened, and this is how they greeted everyone.

Monday, August 18, 2008

3-2-K

No, that's not some type of code. It is the grades my girls are in this year - Third, Second, and Kindergarten. I remember so many people telling me when the girls were just babies to enjoy it, the time would fly. I knew in the back of my mind they were right, but when you have 3 kids, ages 3 and under surviving day to day is the key. Now they are all in school. Wow, Madison is half way to 16. It is like I blinked and now they are all in school. They all came home with reports that they love their teachers and their classes. They are ready for tomorrow to get here so they can go back. Here is a picture of their first day of the 2008-2009 school year. I hope they carry this much excitement throughout the whole year!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Personal

Ok, most of you know that I had some unplanned surgery on Friday. I had my gall bladder taken out after some major pains the few days before. Looking back now I had experienced pains in the past, just wasn't sure what they were. Now I know! So, I have been recuperating and it has not been much fun. Ralph has been gracious, but nursing really is not easy for him. The girls have been with family and friends. I am so thankful for everyone who has helped. Tonight I am struggling with all the emotions that come after surgery. Lots of tears and not exactly sure where they are coming or why. The next few days will be filled with trying to heal and get ready for a trip to Disney that I hope happens!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Puddle Jumping

A couple of weeks ago it rained. It rained a lot. It rained all day. Are you getting the picture. It was really wet outside and the girls had been inside all day! By the time Ralph got home that evening it had stopped and the girls asked him to jump in puddles with them. He did.
Ralph tries so hard to embrace the every day with the girls. Even when that requires him to get muddy. He knows that tomorrow is not promised, and today is a gift. So he jumped. That is why I love him, he reminds me to jump and to let the girls jump.

Getting ready to jump -



Jumping (and for Morgan falling)



Jumping - Take 2 (Morgan needed a hand of reassurance)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Late Birthday

I have been intending to post pictures from Laney's birthday on July 3, but we have been incredibly busy and I have been lazy on the computer. The church that we call home had a huge community event that night that included music, food and fireworks. It was so much fun to be there and celebrate Laney's birthday that evening. So here are the pictures


Laney and her birthday tiara that she wore all day!


Laney and her Hannah Montana cake and her new webkinz (thank you Barlow family!).


Laney at the Community Fireworks event that RiverTown hosted.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Random



Just a random post because Laney asked me if I would put this on my blog. She and Morgan decided to put one shirt on and go around looking like an octopus. Random cuteness!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Whew, what a day.

Today has been one of those days that started planned out, and then gets changed, rearranged and redone. But, that's ok. I stay home so days like today are "easier".
It started with a trip to the dentist for the girls to get their teeth cleaned. They were visiting our new dentist here for the first time and had not had their teeth cleaned since some time last year. Sorry, if that grosses anyone out, but moving and other things have taken priority. Well, that became obvious when the dentist checked them. They all had the beginnings of a cavity, actually 2 - a piece. So, I scheduled to get them filled in August and told the young lady at the front she could call if they had a cancelation. Off we trotted to the library to enjoy hanging out with B and Clem and look for new books. Madison at this point had become quiet and clingy, very much not herself. As I am sitting holding her and talking with B, my phone starts vibrating, it's the dentist office. They have an opening at 4 - ok put Madison down, because I don't think she can make it until August! Hang up. 10 minutes later, dentist office calling again - they have an opening at 3 - ok put Laney down. So, we ended our library visit, went to the bank, went to Harvey's to pick out Laney birthday cake and ran home to eat. Sat down for 15 minutes, then back to Blountstown for the first filling. Madison went first and she was so brave. Fortunately it was caught early and the dentist did not have to even numb it! He was able to fill both of them without having to give her a shot. Same for Laney! I am so thankful, because I know kids can become traumatized with one bad visit to the dentist. Ours was good, and the girls were very brave.
Now we are waiting for our man to get to Blountstown, so we can meet him for supper. Then, I do believe, it will be bed time for this soccer mom.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Miss Organization

I have a girl that loves to organize! Our middle child is a pack rat, but she is organized. And I had the job for her today. It is cleaning day here in the Yoder house, and my closet has needed to be organized basically since we moved in. The shoes got brought in and dumped, and they have stayed dumped since. Not anymore! I asked the girls to put match the shoes up and put in place. Well one got busy trying the shoes on, and one just got distracted. However, Miss Laney got busy and matched shoes up and put them in their spot! She did an awesome job, and I am so glad I have a Miss Organization in my house!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Family Night 4

Tonight we had Family Night 4. I honestly had forgotten that we had not had family night this week and had already planned on having pancakes and sausage. So, tonight's theme- "Breakfast in Bed". We got the girls sleeping bags and pillows and everyone put on their pj's for this one. Not very creative, but we had a good time sitting and talking and eating!

Here are the girls -