Thursday, December 30, 2010

Twenty Ten

Two thousand ten has been a year of many changes for us. I was preparing to tell you all about them but when I finally put my fingers to the keys the words just would not come.

That has been the story of my blog life lately. Our lives are so full right now, but for some reason, known only to Christ, I cannot form the sentences to tell you about it.

We are daily falling head over heels in love with our Precious Lord. He is beyond anything we could imagine and is so very other than we expect.

He is stealing our hearts and consuming our minds.

He is gentle.
He is compassionate.
He is funny.
He is patient.
He is faithful.

He doesn't give us joy. He gives us Himself. And in giving us Himself, He gives us joy, because He is joy.
He is peace.
He is truth.
He is rest.
He is knowledge.
He is confidence.
He is love.

These are not things that can be had apart from Christ. They can only be had in Him. And as children of the Most High God we are in Him.

This truth is becoming our reality in a deep and profound way. It is changing our lives like never before.

I look forward to sharing more with you in the future. I hope that 2010 brought you more of Christ and that 2011 does the same. Our Lord is a vast ocean whose depths we can never entirely plumb. Let us not mistakenly think that we have need to 'move on' from Christ. He is the ALL. IN. ALL. Nothing is apart from Him for those of us who believe.

Christ Jesus, our LORD.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Popeye's Lost Tooth

Popeye lost his first tooth on Sunday, in the back of the van, on our way home from Jacksonville. He was thrilled.

Before he went to bed that night I asked him if he wanted to put his tooth under his pillow or if he wanted to just give it to me now and I would give him the money. (I know, not cool. But we tell our kids the aweful truth and then let them pretend) He said he wanted to put it under his pillow.

When he woke up the next morning I asked him if he found his money under his pillow. He said, "Yes, it was just a dollar."


How much does my SEVEN year old think a tiny little tooth is worth?

"Well, it was a small tooth." I said.

He just shrugged and grinned at me.

That tooth might not be worth much in my book, but that grin sure is.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Out of this Universe Vacation in Orlando

We spent three days in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios last week. R.C.'s parents, sister, brother in-law, and nephew flew down to be with us. The trip was actually our Christmas present from R.C.'s parents. It was wonderful!!!

The first picture is looking out our hotel window.

We got to meet some of our favorite Super Heroes.

And Popeye got his picture with Popeye! =)
We rode all available rides.

And snuggled when it got cold. Actually, the forecast for the week was in the upper 50s / lower 60s. However, it never got above the upper 40s / lower 50s. We weren't prepared. So Monday night R.C. and I made a run to Walgreens to pick up two dollar hats and gloves for everyone. Then on Tuesday we put on lots and lots of layers.
Jaws was very friendly. Here we are waiting in line at one of the Universal Studios attractions. Because we stayed at one of the Universal Hotels we were able to purchase the Express Pass and just have it attached to our room keys. All we had to do was let them scan our hotel room keys and we were able to get in to the express lane for most all the rides and shows. We never waited longer than 10 minutes for anything. It was wonderful!

Our precious nephew. We tried on some hats for size. And really got into character. I don't know where they get this idea that it's fun to try on hats and stuff. All bundled up and heading out on Tuesday. There was a big mirror in the elevator so I took a chance on snagging a picture of the group that I'm actually in (though I'm behind the camera). Aunt Molly. New Mommy. (She's fabulous at it) Molly and Jimmy are big Harry Potter fans. Island's of Adventure has a whole area devoted to all things Harry Potter. It was the busiest place in the park.
The obligatory picture in front of the Universal fountain. Princess was not happy about it.
Bobo took this picture of us.
And you can't have a Christmas Vacation without a picture in front of the huge Christmas Tree in the lobby of the hotel.
We had so much fun! Thank you so much, Ronny and Susan, for a great Christmas experience and the joy of getting to experience it with you!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Berry Christmas!

Our neighbor has a beautiful berry tree in his front yard. Yesterday I snagged the kids, two at a time, for some pictures. They were in goofy moods as usual.

We have a busy weekend and on Sunday we head to Orlando to meet RC's parent's and sister and family at Universal Studios. We are super excited! I'm taking both The Camera and the video camera.

We'll have lots to share when we return, but probably won't be back to the ol' blog till late next week.

See you then!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fall in Florida

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful! How was yours?

Today we checked out a hiking trail that was referred to us by a friend. It was beautiful. (Princess looks cold in the next picture, but it was 70 degrees outside. She wasn't really) We are LOVING spending more time outdoors. Gainesville has lots of outdoor activities and we are trying to take advantage of them!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Babione 6 + Valdez 4 = Babez 10

Well, hello world!

Moving is crazy. And this is the longest I've ever gone without updating the ol' blog.

Sorry about that.

We pretty much hit the ground running and have had very little down time since. So where do I begin?

The biggest change for us is probably the fact that we have decided to cohabitate with our friends, the Valdez Family, for longer than at first expected. The house fits us all comfortably, we even hosted a guest last week, and it is financially beneficial for both families that we share the load right now.

My parents have taken to calling our home "the compound".


But through this season of putting the Lord's home before our own we are learning so much of Christ and of laying down our own personal interests and desires for the sake of Christ's interests and desires. It's not always easy or enjoyable but we are all in agreement that it is very worth it.

God is filling His creation with Christ. Nothing but what is of Christ will be left in the end so laying down our lives for Christ is really the only choice. He is all in all.

And He is our very great reward. (Gen 15:1 NIV)


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Swagger Wagon

This video has been all over the internet. I'll be more surprised if you haven't seen it then if you have.

But since we are now the owners of a new-to-us Toyota Sienna I had to post it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Big Changes Pt. 2

Back in this post I told you about our new plans.

What I didn't tell you was that for the last year we had been praying about and planning on moving to Gainesville, FL. You see, after returning home from the conference we knew we had to go somewhere to be a part of an organic church. And we knew that Jesus was inviting us to go to Gainesville.

But there was a catch.

We had no way of getting there. (read: absolutely no money)

So we prayed and waited. And along came New York Life Insurance. The beauty of RC's new career is the ability to do it anywhere in the U.S.. The bummer was that it was gonna take months to get liscensed and trained. But we prayed some more and felt confident moving forward with NYL. And in January 2010 he started.

Throughout this journey we had the companionship of another family. They, like us, had attended the conference and left with the same desire and plans. (no, not everyone that attended the conference left feeling that way. We were actually the only ones.) They, also like us, needed funds and NYL was the ticket for them as well. But they also had another trick in the bag. They owned their home. So in May they listed their house and sold it within a week. Seriously.

And at the end of July they were leaving A-town in a huge moving van headed for Gainesville. And we were still in A-town, absolutely no closer to leaving. It was hard. Honestly, it easily ranks in my top 5 of hardest things ever gone through.

We knew we couldn't stay in A-town alone. We needed others and so we made a few contacts with people in The City. And we started to get excited. What if we could figure out a way to move to The City instead. Surely that was more doable than moving across the country. So we talked to people. My parents, the organic church in The City, RC's parent's, our friends in Gainesville and all of a sudden we were making some changes.

And then God dropped a bomb.

We recieved an anonymous gift specifically for moving to Gainesville. (read: no move, no gift) And we were back on our knees. But we didn't stay there long bc in our minds the gift wasn't enough to actually make the move. We still needed more. So we prayed on the go. You know: kept moving in our direction while occasionally asking God what He wanted. The problem with praying on the go is that we rarely take the time to listen for His answer.

And the weekend we planned to move in with my parents Bobo ended up in the hospital. Well, if we weren't gonna stop to listen I guess God was gonna stop us. But it still seemed impossible.

Then we had an idea. Maybe we could use the gift for an extended vacation in Gainesville. You know, put our stuff in storage and just go hang out with our friends from A-town for a month. And for about three days we liked this idea. But something still wasn't right.

And then the rain from the hurricane landed our way and we were delayed once again in moving in with my parents. And that's when we got real.

Christ made it clear that it was not His will for us to just take an extended vaca. (read: no MOVE, no gift) He is worth more than that and He was asking us to make a commitment. To trust Him and go where He had invited us to go. And as we opened our hearts to Him the puzzle pieces started to fall into place.

Does our plan look like something akin to the 'American Dream'? Not at all. Many people would say we are crazy and taking steps backward. But if you truly believe what our Lord says, then no earthly or temporary thing is worth missing out on Him. We are moving to Gainesville at the end of this month. The things of true value are always worth great cost.

But that is why their value is TRUE.

We are moving in with our A-town friends and RC will start working right away using his non resident FL liscense. And we will go from there...


*I in no way mean to imply that Christ is only in Gainesville. We all know that is not true. What I am saying is that moving there is what Christ is asking of US. And I am encouraging you to accept whatever invitation He is offering you. It is worth whatever it costs you. ALWAYS. Because it is always more of HIM. And He is worth more than riches untold.

"and the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What We Did This Summer: Zoo Edition Pt. 2

Our trip to the zoo continued with the birds and the butterflies. Unfortunately, the torrential rains I talked about in the previous post had killed most of the butterflies. =( However, Princess was as excited with a dead one as she would have been with a live one.
This crane was quite friendly.
So after all the birds and butterflies we sunned with the bears...
...and slithered with the snakes... ...and swam with the otters... ...and stretched with the eagles... ...and stalked with the alligators... ...and played hide and seek with Nemo... ...and swam some more with the sea lions... ...and then we climbed with/on the gorillas... ...and rode on a baby rhino. We had a wonderful day at the zoo... ...despite what Bear says. Bridget