Tuesday, September 29, 2009

signs of things to come...

Today Jada shushed me and whispered "SHHH...Kiva is sleeping in your tummy, Mommy..." while gently putting a small blanket on my belly :)

We both proceeded to whisper for the next 30 minutes of play time!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

some upcoming things...

Hi Friends,
I wanted to type this like an email that I would like to send to you all in hopes that you might pray for me and for our family over the next few weeks. So here goes...
This coming Saturday, October 3rd, will be the one year mark when we lost our precious Mia. We miss her and want to experience, express, remember, and look forward to glory as we head into that day. We really just want to remember our Mia well...and remember all that the Lord has done, is doing and will do because of her mark on our lives.

Then, the weekend of October 16th, I will be the speaker for the Phi Lamb retreat. This is a Christian girl's sorority that I was a part of while I was at A&M many years ago :). I will be sharing my story along with 3 other talks throughout the weekend! So...I am in the midst of preparing now and would LOVE your prayers for that too. The theme of the weekend is "consider the birds"...which I have to say that I LOVE the theme. It is a comforting phrase isn't it?

And on the heels of that we will have our first "Talitha" meeting. What is "Talitha"? Well, a few months back my friend Donna told me about a conference that the Lord has given her vision for. In a nutshell...a conference for young women that is purposed to fix our eyes on Christ and allow Him to heal, restore, free, and spur us on towards His kingdom. Pretty exciting. The conference is called "Masterpiece" and the first conference will be held right here in Aggieland in February! So, what is "Talitha?"...Donna asked if I would head up a semi-professional dance company to be a part of the worship times. And, I said yes! The dance company is now called "Talitha" and we start with our first meeting in October! Lots of organizing and planning going on for that and I am grateful.

So...ALL of that packed into the month before our sweet Kiva comes! Kiva is due November 12th and tomorrow we begin preparing her nursery. My mom has made Kiva's bedding and it is fabulous...photos to come when it is set up! I am super excited to get her room nice and ready.
So, friends, all of that to say...would you mind shooting up a prayer or two for us? Thanks!
Love you - Steph

Friday, September 25, 2009

a little old man...

So, this morning was just about the worst morning that I can remember having with Jada. Before 9:00 I was in tears twice and that is not taking into account Jada's tears too. I just wanted to start over...but needed to get to dance by 9:30. After Brian bribed her to obey me in dance today, she still didn't.

She spun in circles while all of the other dancers were standing on their stars paying attention...

She sat down on her star when all of the other children were practicing their shuffles...

She sat by the mirror while the other dancers were practicing sliding their feet with their pointed feet...

So, needless to say, no surprise from daddy as her reward.

I really asked the Lord for patience and joy...for both of us. And I must say, He sustained us both and didn't allow either one of us to have a total fit or breakdown! I have never walked out of a job after saying with a loud voice "I QUIT"...but that is what I wanted to say today around 8:30 am...it was just that kind of morning.

So, as I sat down with a deep breath on my couch after I successfully put Jada in her bed for her nap I opened up my e-mail to find some really fun things:

My new friend, Shauna, who is an outstanding photographer, took some photos of me and Jada on Tuesday...she sent some to me and posted them on her blog. I read what she wrote and I cannot tell you how much the Lord spoke to me today through her words of life. It was as if I was able to refocus in the midst of being pitiful! Shauna's photography and her written words ministered to my soul and helped me to smile from my heart. That was a cheezy phrase, but that is really what I experienced...a glad heart!

About 5 minutes later I hear Jada yelling/singing joyfully "Zacheus was a little old man, a little old man, a little old man and we're going to his house today!" repeated about 20 times. I laughed out loud and just enjoyed the moment.

Now, she is yelling from her room "Mommy, I had a good rest"...without resting one bit, but still I am delighted. Thank you, Father, for lifting me today!

Oh, and Shauna's blog: www.shaunamaness.com and enter into the blog section- in case you are interested!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jada is 3!!!

We celebrated Jada's 3rd birthday on Saturday! We had a pony (horse) riding party with a few of Jada's friends and family. It was a blast...Jada really didn't want to get off of the horse at all. It was really fun to watch the little ones respond to the horses! Here are some photos!

Even though it was a "pony riding" party..these were some horses!

Blowing out the candles that the wind kept blowing out too :)
Jada with Uncle Jason...isn't this sweet?!
The group shot

Sunday, September 13, 2009

rain and wonder

As I woke up this morning to the sounds of thunder and rain, I was again reminded of my friends' blog about rain. It has messed me up in a good way about the WONDER of God in rain! I love feeling small and so not important...rain does that now! Humbles me! So, I thought I would pass it along. This is an article from John Piper taken from the Suh's blog...

The Great Work of God: Rain by John Piper

Job 5:8-10

But as for me, I would seek God, and I would place my cause before God; who does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth, and sends water on the fields.

If you said to someone: “My God does great and unsearchable things; He does wonders without number,” and they responded, “Really? Like what?” would you say, “Rain”?

When I read these verses recently I felt like I did when I heard the lyrics to a Sonny and Cher song in 1969: “I’d love for you. I’d die for you. I’d even climb a mountain high for you.” Even? I would die for you. I would even climb a mountain high for you? The song was good for a joke. Or a good illustration of bad poetry. Not much else.

But Job is not joking. ”God does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth.” In Job’s mind, rain really is one of the great, unsearchable wonders that God does. So when I read this a few weeks ago, I resolved not to treat it as meaningless pop musical lyrics. I decided to have a conversation with myself (= meditation).

Is rain a great and unsearchable wonder wrought by God? Picture yourself as a farmer in the Near East, far from any lake or stream. A few wells keep the family and animals supplied with water. But if the crops are to grow and the family is to be fed from month to month, water has to come on the fields from another source. From where?

Well, the sky. The sky? Water will come out of the clear blue sky? Well, not exactly. Water will have to be carried in the sky from the Mediterranean Sea, over several hundred miles and then be poured out from the sky onto the fields. Carried? How much does it weigh? Well, if one inch of rain falls on one square mile of farmland during the night, that would be 27,878,400 cubic feet of water, which is 206,300,160 gallons, which is 1,650,501,280 pounds of water.

That’s heavy. So how does it get up in the sky and stay up there if it’s so heavy? Well, it gets up there by evaporation. Really? That’s a nice word. What’s it mean? It means that the water sort of stops being water for a while so it can go up and not down. I see. Then how does it get down? Well, condensation happens. What’s that? The water starts becoming water again by gathering around little dust particles between .00001 and .0001 centimeters wide. That’s small.

What about the salt? Salt? Yes, the Mediterranean Sea is salt water. That would kill the crops. What about the salt? Well, the salt has to be taken out. Oh. So the sky picks up a billion pounds of water from the sea and takes out the salt and then carries it for three hundred miles and then dumps it on the farm?

Well, it doesn’t dump it. If it dumped a billion pounds of water on the farm, the wheat would be crushed. So the sky dribbles the billion pounds of water down in little drops. And they have to be big enough to fall for one mile or so without evaporating, and small enough to keep from crushing the wheat stalks.

How do all these microscopic specks of water that weigh a billion pounds get heavy enough to fall (if that’s the way to ask the question)? Well, it’s called coalescence. What’s that? It means the specks of water start bumping into each other and join up and get bigger. And when they are big enough, they fall. Just like that? Well, not exactly, because they would just bounce off each other instead of joining up, if there were no electric field present. What? Never mind. Take my word for it.

I think, instead, I will just take Job’s word for it. I still don’t see why drops ever get to the ground, because if they start falling as soon as they are heavier than air, they would be too small not to evaporate on the way down, but if they wait to come down, what holds them up till they are big enough not to evaporate? Yes, I am sure there is a name for that too. But I am satisfied now that, by any name, this is a great and unsearchable thing that God has done. I think I should be thankful – lots more thankful than I am.

Grateful to God for the wonder of rain,

Pastor John

Saturday, September 12, 2009

the cutest dancers ever

...at least in my opinion!

the princess walk

The dance class went great. All of the girls did such a super job...really! They followed my instructions, were all really sweet and lots of funny comments were made! All in all, a great start. And, I am really happy to do this with my friends :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

DANCE... the little and big

Monday morning was a dance photo shoot with the big girls...Friday is the first dance class for the little girls...Dance is in the air for me :)

The first, and sweetest, is that Jada and her buddies have their first ballet and tap class tomorrow morning! I am excited. I think Jada will be better and more at ease with the class this go round. Why? Well, the class size is 7 and all of them are her friends from church :) And her teacher is Mrs. Stephanie...aka: mom! This will be the first for both of us...I have never taught children under 5! So, here we go :)

And for the "big girls", I am super excited about them, a group of dancers that I am truly honored to be working with. I was asked to lead/create/choreograph and start a semi-professional dance company to go along with a ladies conference. The first conference is in February so we are starting to gather together really really great dancers to be a part of the dance group. The conference is called "Masterpiece" and the dancers are called "Talitha". These dancers will be dancing throughout the worship sets during the weekend conference and I will actually be dancing too! I am really excited. Lots of details and fun ways that the Lord has led me in this particular journey through dance...and I am excited. Here are some photos from our time together on Monday. I didn't think the most graceful pics would be of me 7 months pregnant... so I opted out :) Our friend Andrew took these stellar photos! Thanks again!

Tomorrow I will post the little dancer photos...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

our camp adventures and the secret is out!

To officially finish out the summer, we headed to the hill country to meet up for our "home church reunion." It was so great to catch up and reconnect with the people that we lived our lives with for so long. We love them so much and it was so great to see them. It was fun to watch how all of the children are growing up so much too! I didn't get my camera out near enough but did manage to get a few photos of the children.

Jada getting ready to go :)
The crew of kids playing after some swimming time

The ever important sticker earrings that Ru helped the girls to

We were there for a couple of days when we left for our com-church family camp. It was great to be among the people that God has given us to live our lives with now. It was really fun for us to sit back and see the Lord's kindness towards us in giving us the kinds of friends that He has over the years. We are truly blessed...really. The only pic that I got at com-church camp was of Jada and Brian playing in the top bunk early Sunday morning. It was fun!

And once again, I must post about my secret candy drawer...the word is out and Jada is fully aware of the joy and delight that awaits her in that drawer! O what have I started? Strangely, she doesn't like chocolate (unless it is in the form of an M&M) so that means the Twix are all mine!!! :)