Saturday, December 11, 2010

!

Before present time...you can see their excitement!
Isabella (2) opening her presents
The top of Uncle Marvin's Christmas tree hill..the boys LOVED roaming the mtn all day!!!
Riding with Uncle Marvin in his Kubota
Mountain Top view of the Ferguson farm that I spent many summers playing..the white house on the far left was my grandfather's house
Yaya, Sophia (bundled up) and Aunt Jenna
Woot-woot: we get to cut it down!
Owen wrapping our tree
The Whole Vinson/Parker Gang

The week of Thanksgiving we met up with the Vinson/Parker Gang in Boone, NC at a cabin for the week. Thank you Poppy and Yaya!! We had a great time spending that time with our sweet little girl cousins, meeting Sophia for the first time, taking lots of walks and hikes, and just being together. The weather was great to be outside thankfully, and on Thanksgiving, the boys had planned to play flag football. So, we found a park and spent most of the afternoon laughing, running, tackling, and scoring touchdowns. What a FUN memory with Aunt Chel, Uncle D, and Poppy! We ended the week going to a Christmas tree farm and picking and cutting our tree. There were so many to choose from-wow!
One day we drove over to Jefferson to visit my Uncle Marvin and Aunt Wanda, cousin Renee and her new little girl, Amelia. We had a wonderful day roaming the farm, checking out their remodeled home, picking out a little tree for the boys, cracking black walnuts, wandering through the barns I used to play in, and eating some straight up delicious food! Yummy molasses stack cake!!
At the end, the boys rode home with Poppy and Yaya, and spent a week with family in NC. They had a blast spending that time in the car, going to Grandma Jo's for a few days and then on to my mom's house. It was a early Christmas present for Chad and I to have a week to ourselves in our own home. We forgot what it was like to sleep til 9am!!! That week, Chad was able to work on school work after hours and I worked on some Christmas presents. fun stuff!
We are SUPER glad to have the boys back and adjusted from travels, but it sure was a fun adventure!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Orphan Sunday

This is a copy from my friend "Laura Parker Family" who is living out their passion serving overseas. She is sharing the story of one of her friend's persceptive on adoption. I too am so blessed to have friends in my life that have answered the "call" or should I say, "been obedient to the command." As for our family, we are not there yet personally, but its not our of reach either. So far, it has been our joy to love on and bless other families that have adopted and/or fostered.

I
It’s Orphan Sunday. Again. Another day set aside for the church to show orphan related videos, hear testimonies relevant to adoption and orphan care, and an opportunity to listen to sermons where orphans are [possibly] mentioned.
I must confess. Many times I ask myself, “What’s the point of it?” “Is having another day set aside to create an awareness of the orphan crisis even worth the effort?” Is it?
Perhaps I have become somewhat cynical. My bag.
Truth is, it all gets a little tiring at times. We’re the Christians. We’re God’s beloved church. His beautiful bride. We’re the ones He has called. We should not need to be convinced. We all know the need is out there.
Yet, we wait.
We wait for God to speak to us in an audible voice, telling us to “GO!”—sometimes He does that audible voice thing, you know.
We wait for the perfect job to come along—orphan care demands a whole lot of money.
We wait for the bills to be paid—can’t be taking on more than we can handle.
We wait for the larger house—because adding children requires a large house.
We wait for a few kids to leave the nest before we add more—can’t be having too many children in the home.
We wait for confirmation with the perfect scripture to drop into our spirits as a sign that we need to act now.
We wait, we wait, we wait.
And while we wait—they perish. The statistics are staggering. I can’t even look anymore.

Why do we find every reason under heaven and earth why we should not go? The Bible is as clear as daylight—“care for the widows and the orphans.”
It’s a lot like missions. My heart aches when I see how many churches don’t have a fabulous missions program. God’s Word says to “Go into ALL the world and make disciples of all men.” It’s a command! It’s non- negotiable. Taking care of the orphans is a command too. We’re commanded in His word to care for them—however that may look.
But still we wait for “the call” to come. Kind of like, “I am SO glad Mrs. Jenkins is called to lead children’s church, because that is DEFINITELY NOT my calling.

God hardly ever calls us to do things for Him when everything in our lives is just grand. He never calls us to walk on the water when our circumstances are sweet. When I look in the Bible, I see people doing things for the Lord in the midst of impossible circumstances. Tougher than what my circumstances have ever been in my entire life. Yet, they did it. In obedience. The Lord commanded them–and they went. They accepted the tough task that lay before them—come what may. They never asked the Lord for a re-commission.

So why in the world do we? What makes us so different to the people God gave us to learn from in the Bible?
Why are there so many uncared for orphans in the world when we’re commanded to care for them?
We would be wealthy if someone paid us every time we have been told that we were “called by God” to adopt our four children who have special needs. Or for the many people who have told us that “There is no way we could do what you do.”
I disagree.
You know what that does? It diminishes God’s sovereign power to do the impossible through each one of us, His people. Comments like that tell the Father, “Sorry God, but you don’t have enough power to give me the ability to parent a child who struggles in life.” “So sorry, God. Just go and call someone else.” “Oh God, and that mission field thing? There is no way I could ever do that!”
That’s perilous ground to walk on.

God’s power is absolutely made perfect in our weakness. When He commands us to do something, He equips us with everything we need to fulfill the calling with excellence. Even us–ordinary sinners saved by grace who are just average Joes. He does it for His glory! To make Himself famous in the earth. It has absolutely nothing to do with us. Everything God does is for His glory, not ours.
I believe with all my heart that God is raising up an army of crazy people to do the ridiculous. Many believe we are living in the end times. We agree! We sense that more than ever God is looking for those who are willing to do the impossible. Just WILLING! God is seeking out those who will serve Him with reckless abandonment, no matter where that takes them or what He tells them to do in this life.
Reckless abandon for the sake of His orphans. I’m in!
- Adeye Salem

Friday, October 15, 2010

“I’m most blessed when I live each moment as though I’m in desperate need of God’s grace, for in that moment I increase my ownership in the kingdom of God.”
~Jesus (reworded by Ken Boa)

Creative Fun and Camping

videoWHat our boys do when a table is left in the backyard...who needs "real" toys?

This picture just makes me giggle..Looking at his twig legs in my shoes and then that sly little smile. What a nut!!

Here are two of the four ladder back chairs in recently acquired from an antique warehouse, and so I decided to paint 2 black, 1 red and 1 was already a green color..works great in the dining room.

Chair Intermission: Let's paint a brick instead:-)

Ta-da! Two more chairs for our table!!

From the sounds of it, many of our friends had the same fun idea last weekend..CAMPOUT!! I was amazed they all 4 lasted till 6:30am, but they were champs(as they ran inside to get warm ;-))

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Invasion of the SUPER HEROES!


the Super Hero training warm-up! Check out those heroes: Luke Skywalker, Woody, Anakin, Boba Fet, Storm Trooper, Optimus Prime, Captain America, Superman, Super Stitch, Batman, Darth Vader and a FBI agent!
Anakin turned into Darth Vader; aka birthday boy was going through one of the obstacle course trainings for the super heroes.
Can you just feel his excitement!! Yay for STAR WARS!!
A delicious Ice-cream pizza we found at Maggie Moos (lactose-free) and it was yummy with our cupcakes;-)
Captain America and Superman!
Destroying Darth Vader: all super heroes were needed to get rid of this pinata!
Opening his present from Grandmother!
This year for Griffin's 6th birthday, we have been consumed with anything and everything Star Wars. So, we created a "Super Hero training camp" where they all warmed-up, practiced an obstacle course yelling their "hero's name" at the end, tested their balancing ability with an egg race, accuracy with swinging and taking out a pinata, and then of course, food!!! I think Girffin felt wonderfully loved by all his friends and had a blast! Before and after the party we watched the pre-trilogy Star Wars 1,2,3 and then headed to Mellow Mushroom to check out their new GLUTEN-free CRUST. The day was a success in the eyes of my precious little man!

Griffin, I thank the Lord daily as I see Him growing and changing you into a tender warrior for his Kingdom. You have a unique ability to include and care for those around you that could get lost in the crowd-you draw them in-you are intuitive to the hurts of others and wanting them to be ok- So far in your short life, God is already knitting your heart for a specific purpose and I look forward to watching where He guides your path. Thank you for being such a joy to have and laugh with in our home!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Boys+Denim+Nature=Bliss


Last weekend, a dear friend of ours, Rebekah, took these amazing pictures of the fellas. She was wanting some practice with multiple children and asked if I'd be up for it. HECK YEAH! As Chad says, "You're a picture fanatic!" And being that photography is NOT my gift, I was totally up for someone else to take the shots. So she spent about an hour snapping away, and I came home with many keepers.
I few years back when Owen was 5, Griffin 3, and Tate 1 we had similar pictures taken. I wanted to now get a few shots with Griffin now five (that's why the denim overall pics are mixed in) and this past Sat was perfect! (My thought and goal is to "one day" have a picture of each of them at age 5 on the wall) They were taken at a local historic site that provides unique settings, great color, and fun in the water. What child doesn't like that? Anyway, Chad and I were super pleased with the wonderful images and the fellas cooperation and we hope to do more pictures with the whole family soon! Just wanted to share our excitement....ENJOY;-)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Turning Four



"Dinosaur Stomp"
"Pinning the spike on the Stregosaurus"




I love Tate Landry Vinson!

Tenacious
Affectionate
Passionate
Strong
Giggles Often
Tender
Loving
Physical
Enjoys basketball

My favorite 4 year old!!!

Going to "pee-school"




Two weeks ago, Tate did something no one else in the Vinson home has done, started preschool!! He has been beyond thrilled about the idea since we signed him up the beg. of summer. Ms. Julie and Ms. Kristy have been so patient with Tate as he is learning authority from someone else. Above are "Treats from Tate" that we sent on the first day to say "thank you" for all the hard prep work to get his room ready. I really appreciate the role preschool will play our family, because it gives Tate some time with kiddos his age doing his age activities. And while he is away at school, Owen and Griffin are picking up two more subjects to cover on those days. We take school decisions one year at a time, and for this year, pee-school is one we are excited about. (I'm hoping he will find the letter R at school...so he will say pre-school) lol

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Water gun refill = 8 stitches



A post about stitches is one that I knew would come at some point in the life of our family, BUT the details of how stitches get on one's face is never known, and this week proved my point.

Monday afternoon we were playing outside with water guns and jumping on the trampoline with our best buds. Everyone was soaked, but Griffin needed to refill. He went inside and then about 5 minutes later I heard screaming at the back door. Well, I just assumed his hands were wet and he was just yelling, "Mom, help!" because he couldn't open the door. Well, what I saw on the other side of that door is a picture stamped in my mind forever. I opened the door and Griffin's face was COVERED with blood. I couldn't see his eyes..all I saw was blood.

My heart sank but my mind went into mommy mode with my mind racing with what, when, how, only to repeat over and over in a brief 10 seconds. I yelled to Jen and she called Chad and took all the boys to her house. I immediately wiped his face to find the wound. My heart sank again, but I said, "Grif, we have to go to the doctor-you need stitches. Hold this on your head, Can You?" Yes, I think-

I carried him to the car and told him he would have to hold the towel on his head..."ok" I immediately called our pediatrician and asked if we should come there or go to the ER. Thankfully they said, when can you get here-give me 8-10 minutes!
Once there, the nurses were amazing! Most came in to check out the wound and some thought we would need staples. But because it was on the face, Doc opted for stitches. 8 stitches! So, becaue I'm clueless with medical stuff, I asked,"how deep was it? He said, "You were looking at his skull! yuck! Thank you LORD for stopping there!

My little warrior was mighty brave that day! The only fear that came over him was when they wrapped him in the papoose to keep him still. He looked at me and HUGE tears rolled down his face. After that, doc numbed the incision and then stitched it up. About half way through, he just asked, "Can we be done yet?"-so cute:-)

So we were done with the WHOLE ordeal within an hour, and only 10 minutes after being home he wanted to play basketball and jump....talk about resilient! Like my brother said, kids are way more resilient than the parents...so true!

So on the way home I got the scoop of HOW:
"I went to the bathroom, then stepped on the stool to refill my gun and when I stepped off, I slipped and hit my head on the toilet." Toilet?! "Yes, and sure enough while we were gone, my wonderful hubby cleaned the bathroom. He said there was a huge blood mark on the rim of the toilet and drops all through our home.

I am grateful: he didn't pass out, could come get me, didn't pass out in the car, Jen took the others, Chad cleaned the bathroom, Dr. E was at the office, we had peace, the nurses were so attentive, friends were praying, and it wasn't more severe!

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Beginnings

Three weeks ago our family started school with Owen in second grade and Griffin in kindergarten. The boys have done awesome with their work load thus far, and have had amazing attitudes each day. It really is wonderful hearing your own children come to you and say,"Can we start school yet?" or to see them go upstairs and get started early. Wow! I have been blown away by it all! I know the "honeymoon" and newness will wear off and we will have more challenging days to come, but my heart's desire is that they always desire to learn.
Learn new.
Be challenged.
Stretched.
Question reality-Wrestle with their growing character.

This year we have done things a little different and it has proved to be a blessing. I moved our school room upstairs to the latter part of our bonus room. More for me really. In the past, while the boys would be working at the kitchen table, I found myself distracted by the dishes, laundry, or toys to put away and when I left the table to tend to them, the concentration and attention would spiral out. Now, we have a set place to do our work and mommy's is ONLY (haha) multitasking the fellas school work. Chad and I also talked about the role he could play with homeschool, and we thought that if he would start our days praying for us, that would be huge! It has been just that. Tate usually yells down the stairs, "Daddy, time to pray" or he'll say, "the principal needs to pray." Funny how one statement of mommy being the teacher and daddy the principal has stuck:-)

Well, if you have tracked our family for any amount of time, you know Owen has always had an interest in music. At 18 months we put him in a music class and he's desire hasn't waned. The last two years he has talked about learning to play an instrument, and this spring he mentioned a violin after going to the JazzFest. Well, I let it go to see if it would come back in conversation and , sure enough, it did. About two months ago he said, "Mom, the fiddle makes the most beautiful music!" I almost chuckled out loud. His passion is refreshing. Chilling. Contagious.

Here is today after picking up his violin. Friday nights are movie nights and this is how I found him on the couch. Precious!




Dear Jesus, Thank you for Owen's tender heart towards music. I pray he will play loudly for you and Your glory. No one else! Stir in his heart a beat that continues and evolves as you grow him in wisdom and stature. May He never let go of this passion....just the way you made him."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ferguson/Vinson Fam

This is a rare moment to snap a picture with my brother, but I'm so grateful I did. A week after we were there, he was in a horrible mtn. biking accident and crushed his collar bone. Last week he had surgery and they were able to place everything back with the aid of a steel plate and multiple screws! What a trooper! So thankful he is doing better, but pls pray for complete recovery!

Look closely to the top of the swing set...yes, that is Haywood walking the plank directly above the youngers guys.. The adventure apple doesn't fall far.lol

Hamilton-5, Owen-7, Griffin-5

Hallsey-8 Our family's princess...beautiful inside and OUT. She has such a servant heart that was so tender to our guys:-)