Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

On Christmas Day, we left THIS:

and spent the next five days enjoying THIS:

Granted, it wasn't sunny, blue skies every day. (Actually, the first 4 days involved pounding rain with 30-40 mph winds, with 60 mph gusts! The waves were reported to be up to 28 feet high. It was WILD. What better place to be during a storm than at the Oregon Coast, holed up with 4 of my most favorite people in the world?!?)

We spent our days completely relaxing in a condo that we've stayed at enough that it feels almost like a second home (without the burden of a mortgage or taxes, grin.) It felt so good to escape for awhile and just "be." We had actually planned on leaving a couple of days before Christmas, but the Arctic Blast had other plans for us.

That said, God's plans turned out far better than our own. We were blessed with a white Christmas at home, ate a yummy breakfast and then did some of the fastest packing we've ever done. Getting out of our neighborhood (18 plus inches of snow and ice), proved to be the most treacherous part of our journey. I'm so thankful Geoff was driving (you did great, Hon!) The rest of the drive was actually quite enjoyable. :-) I definitely prefer seeing black roads with white snow piled up along the sides.

We got lots of hours in at the pool, watching new DVDs (I LOVE Prince Caspian!), playing with the kids' new toys, snugglin' and eating yummy food. Whenever we go to the condo, Geoff blesses me by doing most of the cooking. I always feel so spoiled (especially when it involves him letting me sleep in while he gets up to make the kids breakfast.) What an incredible treat! (Note to Geoff: "I love you, too, Curtis!" hee hee. Add Kit Kittredge to the list of new DVDs in the Ivey household.)

We returned home to huge piles of no-longer-white snow (yuck) and a clean house. We decided to make use of our days snowed in and spent the time cleaning out all of our rooms and closets (especially our kiddos'.) It felt SO good to come home to a house that felt lighter with most of the excess gone. Goodwill received a HUGE delivery today! :-)

I hope you've had an enjoyable Christmas week and pray that 2009 is full of amazing blessings, growth and joy. May God reveal Himself to you in a deeper and more powerful way.

By the way, I've decided to try something I've never done this year. I'm joining Beth Moore and all of her "Siestas" in Scripture Memorization. To learn more, be sure to visit her blog and read her post titled "Anyone Game?"

My first Scripture is Isaiah 58:11:

"The LORD will guide you always,
He will satisfy your needs...
You will be like
a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters
never fail."

Looking forward to LIVING A BLESSED LIFE in 2009!

Happy New Year Friends,

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

It is because of a God so personal that He chose to send His very own Son to become like us and experience life as we know it that I am LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Wishing you and your loved ones an especially sweet Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

it doesn't get any better than this

We've accumulated at least 9 inches of snow today. Our kids have NEVER experienced winter weather like this. Come to think of it, neither have we.

At about 4:00 this afternoon, we all put on our snow gear, invited our neighbors and went for a walk around the 'hood. There was lots of fun to be had (and snow eatin' by "Miss Sara Snowball.") We took turns pulling the kids around on the sled. Geoff even found the strength to pull me AND Sara a bit. Gotta love that! So much fun!!!

Can you see the remnants of her hot chocolate still on her face? What a cutie!
Liam's self-portrait. :-)
Liam asked me to post his pics of their stockings. I opted to make Sara's a little bit different then ours. She was treated to an "Asian-themed stocking." (We try to honor the differences within our family while also not making a big deal out of them.) She loves her panda stocking. ;-)

Watching Home Alone 2 together and busting up.
Love the snuggles.
Haircuts go by the wayside when you're snowed in...but her long bangs haven't stopped her from enjoying her chocolate yet...
Seriously, we have about 80 pictures of Sara eating snow.
Busted! ;-)

Liam trying to convince Geoff to make him "ice shoes." (It involved nailing the ice block to his shoes. Can you say, "Um, no..."?

Aren't self-portraits just lovely? ;-)


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

it 'toe-ing'

We've become quite fond of how our youngest pronounces certain words. (For those of you who haven't met our sweet girl, Sara was born with a cleft-lip and cleft-palate. While she was living in China, she was blessed to receive her first two surgeries. She'll have the next round in a couple of years. We are so in love with her beautiful little face just as she is today, though.)

So anyhow, some words (especially consonant blends) are a challenge for our little cutie. While we're careful to work with her speech and help her with proper pronunciation, there are definitely phrases that make us smile. Sara loves to laugh and joke and gets a kick out of our teasing her in love. :-)

So, when the snow started falling on Sunday afternoon it was followed by lots of smiles and laughs as Sara ran around the house yelling, "It toe-ing! It toe-ing outside!!! MOM! It toe-ing!" As I tickled her, I asked her if there were toes falling from the sky. She thought that was absolutely hysterical and came up with quite a few of her own jokes in return.

Wouldn't you know by the end of the day Sara was able to say, "It's snowing," quite clearly? We are so proud of our little girl and how far she has come.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a picture of Sara smiling this time. Although it may make you smile to know the reason for that is because her mouth was full of "TOE." I have no idea how much she ate that morning, but I have a feeling it was a lot!

She also has a big sister and big brother who love the snow as much as she does (playing in it, that is.) They've been outside almost nonstop during this "arctic freeze." Brrrrr. It's far too cold for their parents who would much rather sit inside next to the fire.

Smile, laughter, jokes and snow --- all an essential part of LIVING A BLESSED LIFE.

Hope you're staying warm in your neck of the woods! We've got more wintery weather and "toe" headed our way tomorrow. Smiles and laughter are sure to abound. :-)

Monday, December 15, 2008

makin' memories

Last weekend, we asked the kids to put their pj's on and then loaded them up in the car for an adventure. We had planned on driving to the Portland International Raceway like we do every year. However, that night, we got hit with some heavy fog and realized we needed to change our plans.

Instead we drove to the closest Starbucks and surprised them with ginormous cookies and hot chocolate. They were THRILLED and the "thank you's" were endless that night! (You see, our family went allergy-free for a year and are still very careful about the foods we eat. No wheat, gluten, eggs, dairy, soy and peanuts. Not an easy diet. That said, whenever they eat outside those restrictions, they are giddy with delight!)

After we had sufficiently sugared them up, we cranked up the Christmas music and Geoff set off in search of the best decorated house. Needless to say, we had a great night and we've added a new tradition to our family's holiday celebrations.

Makin' memories each day is definitely a part of LIVING A BLESSED LIFE! I hope your family is enjoying the Christmas season as well!

With joy,