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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Cora!

Yesterday (I started this post on Monday. One of these days I'll finish a post the same day I start it!)Sunday, March 27, our little fireball turned 2! Holy moly, how did that happen?!? I can. not. believe. it! I rolled in from our annual church ladies retreat around 1:30, hugged all the kiddos, chatted with my number one fan, and got going on getting ready for her little birthday party...dinner and cake with the fam. We had a good time! She is so adorable. After finding the cah-uest ladybug pillowcase dress, I went with a ladybug theme for her cake. My sweet friend, Melissa made it, and it was deelish! I also asked her to make some cookies for Cora's class. The kids thought they were great! Here are some photos to show off our little birthday cutie!

Birthday Hugs and Thank Yous!

Cute little ladybug decor

Loves to do her trick in her new tutu!

Adores her Aunt Paula!

Wearing the birthday crown at school!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hop over and visit

Yesterday, my sweet friend Lesley, who has such an inspirational testimony about how God is bringing her family together, invited me to write on her blog for her Marriage Monday feature. I'm so honored. This was so much fun! I hope you'll hop on over and check it out! Lesley's writes at Estes Family Moments. Click here to get there.

So, how was your spring break? We had a very relaxing week. It was full of sleeping late (LOVE), playing outside, visiting friends, cooking good food, and Rodeo Houston! Yee Haw! Kelvin and I got to go Friday night with his mom and nephew to see Alan Jackson. We had the best time watching all the rodeo fun. I love the barrel races and mutton bustin the most. Those little kids holding on to the sheep for dear life are adorable. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, one little guys said, "Batman!" precious! Don't you wish you could bottle up times like these?

I wish we would have gotten Luke registered for this event last year. I think he would've given them a run for their money, especially since he tries this almost every. single. time we're at the deer lease! Sunday we were blessed with more Rodeo tickets and took the family. Our seats were great! They got a kick out of the bull and bareback riding (hee hee) and had a blast cheering on the chuck wagon races. We had a perfect end to our spring break as a family.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Continuing to count 1,000 gifts

#11. scriptures that come at just the right time...
#12. "...He will make you happy and give you something to smile about." Job 8:21
#13. spring break
#14. chore buckets
#15. the butterflies I still get when I see Kelvin
#16. the bright green on the new leaves.
#17. salvation
#18. adorable 8 and 9 year olds at a tea party
#19. a firepit sizzling with fajitas on top of the grill
#20. a baby girl who holds my face in her hands
#21. Luke's scruffy voice saying his memory verse
#22. cool breezes and warm sunshine

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Studio Ainsley and Emma's Hugs

Following is some exciting news I believe I forgot to share here...
"We are so excited to partner with Emma's Hugs this Spring to bring you the ARK Project (Acts of Random Kindness)! This is a joint effort between Emma's Hugs and Studio Ainsley to raise funds and awareness of Houston families in need of a HUG!

When you complete a session between March 1 and April 22, 2011, designate your session as an "Emmas Hugs" session and 20% of your session fee plus 5% of your final print order will be donated to this amazing organization. Additionally, your session images will be entered into a drawing for select images to be included in a Gallery Reveal Gala, held at the Studio on the evening of Friday, May 6, 2011. At this event, we will unveil our favorite images at a special Gallery Opening and allow our guests to cast paid votes for their favorite photo. The winning image will be used by Studio Ainsley for the remainder of the year as the official "spokesimage" on all advertisements and our website home page. All net proceeds will be donated to Emma's Hugs.

This is a local and very worthwhile charity that needs our support. Help us spread the word about this incredible opportunity to help our friends at Emma's Hugs raise funds to continue to be a blessing to families in the Texas Medical Center!

Space is limited, so contact the studio today about reserving these special sessions! Email or call 832-344-0010. We look forward to seeing you this spring!"
~~Maca, photographer, Studio Ainsley Photography
We would love to see your photograph at the Gala on May 6!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Repost: Flat Stanley

They will present the project on Monday, March 21, so please send the photos this week. Thanks!

Carleigh's class is doing a Flat Stanley project. Since you all live in our town, across the state, all over the U.S., as well as on the other side of the world from here, I thought it would be fun to extend the invitation to you to participate in Carleigh's project...

Dear Friends and Family,
In school we read the story, Flat Stanley. It is about a little boy named Stanley that is smashed by a bulletin board. He wants to visit a friend in California so his parents fold him up, put him in an envelope and mail him away!

Below is a photo of my Flat Stanley. You can print out a copy of him and take him on an adventure. He can visit some popular sites in your area, (my class loves to learn about other places!) or he can just go with you on your everyday routine. Please take some pictures with Flat Stanley in them and email them to my mom at along with any other fun or important information we can learn about the places he visits! We will be locating each city Flat Stanley visits on a map. We can't wait to hear all about the adventures!

We will begin sharing our class projects on March 21, so don't delay!

Thank you so much for helping us out!

We can't wait to see what happens with this project. Thank you in advance for your participation! I will be sure to post some photos that come in...hopefully we'll have bunches!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weight of the world

Are you as tired of the sadness as I am? The sick babies, the hurting sisters, the crumbling marriages, the negativity, the rudeness, the destruction, the catastrophies...

We don't even watch the news, literally, and I see so much pain. When I opened the laptop this morning I saw the headline about the tsunami in Japan. Just last night Kelvin told me about the church? (I'm not sure that is the proper term for this group) who protests at soldiers' funerals. I read this week about the family in Pennsylvania who lost all but one of their seven children in a house fire. My sister continues to struggle with indescribable pain. My grandmother is forgetting more every day. Little ones at Texas Children's Hospital are awaiting heart and lung transplants or fighting off cancer for the second or third time. It all makes me want to say, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus!"

But then I see the beauty among the ashes...
#1. the way my 23 month old says, "bess you, Mommy" when I sneeze
#2. my husband's sense of humor
#3. notes from my 8 year old daughter
#4. my 7 year old son's wild curiosity
#5. a love note from my 8 year old
#6. a joke from the joke book
#7. a belly laugh
#8. a long kiss from the one I love
#9. the way Cora puts the back of her hand on her forehead and says, "I hab beber?"
#10. the azaleas blooming...

Joining with Ann in counting 1,000 gifts...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Playground bench

In memory of our sweet daughter, my MOPS group purchased a bench for our playground at church. These people are so precious. There is good in the world, and we have seen it from so many people. Here is another example...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Helping Haitian Women

This morning at MOPS, my friend Aleesa displayed some beautiful purses and bags.

So peaceful.

Mine has this pretty stenciling on it.

Isn't it pretty?

They were for sale. And then she gave a testimony as to how these bags and purses were made and where the money goes. It's a beautiful thing, this ministry called Heartline and Haitian Creations.You've heard the old proverb, "Give a man a fish and he won't starve for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he won't starve for his entire life." Well, this ministry has applied this to women in Haiti. Orginally this husband and wife went to Haiti to open and run orphanages, but they saw the problem was that the women of these precious children had no skills, no way of providing for and keeping their families together. So, the husband and wife decided they would provide the skills these women needed. They don't teach them to fish, but they do teach them to make jewelry or sew. The ones who sewed the gorgeous bags we saw at MOPS today will get half of the money made from the purse. It's a wonderful ministry. Please take the time to watch the video below. Maybe you can help one of these women today. (Don't forget to mute the music at the bottom of our blog first.)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


What a celebration we had yesterday! Kelvin and I started out in the Texas Medical Center at M D Anderson and gave out 1 year worth of parking chips to families there from Emma's Hugs. She lives on...

Yesterday afternoon, we shared a precious dedication ceremony at Wee School with friends and family. Several friends, and the Wee School staff purchased a beautiful drinking fountain for the playground at Wee School in memory of Emma.

Jeanine, one of Emma's therapists, and a friend, began the ceremony with some precious heartfelt words, and finished with a precious story...

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read
Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.
And if that weren't enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.
He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"
In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,
With its petals all worn--not enough rain, or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.
But instead of retreating he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise,
"It sure smells pretty, and it's beautiful, too.
That's why I picked it; here, it's for you."
The weed before me was dying or dead.
Not vibrant of colors: orange, yellow or red.
But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower, and replied, "Just what I need."
But instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
He help it mid-air without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed for the very first time
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.
I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.
"You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact he'd had on my day.
I sat there and wondered how he mangaged to see
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.
How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight.
Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see
The problem was not with the world; the problem was me.
And for all of those times I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life, and appreciate every second that's mine.
And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
And smiled as I watched that young boy, another weed in his hand,
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.

We released birthday balloons up to Emma, and had cupcakes, too. I got pictures of Carleigh and Cora at the water fountain, but Luke was too busy!

We went to the cemetary after that and put some yellow roses in Emma's vase. Someone had placed the beautiful vine butterfly and flowers in the photo above in there too. I think I might know who it was...thanks so much, Aunt Terry.

We ended the day with dinner and rides at Kemah. The kids had a ball.

Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers and love. We appreciate you all. You are such a blessing in our lives. I can't imagine life without friends and family to help us through the hard times and celebrate the good.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Emma

Today is Emma's 5th birthday. My, how the time flies. I wish our celebration included her today. We have balloons and cupcakes, but they sure would be a lot more fun if the birthday girl were with us. I miss her.
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