Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Is Coming!

Just the other day I wrote our Christmas letter and printed off a copy (before the printer decided it was hungry and ate all my paper) for Tim to proofread. He then commented that I didn't include Papa's passing. I went on to share that I wanted to keep the letter positive and focus on the "happy" things of 2009. He agreed, but then I continued to think about that. Maybe I do need to address the hard things.

Those who know me well know that fall is my favorite time of year. There's nothing like a cozy sweatshirt, a football game, and a bowl of chili, all with the love of my life that I met in the autumn. It seems though that fall is now starting to be characterized by death. In 1994 my dear Grandmother passed away in the month of October. Last year in October we lost our beloved Jerri. For some reason in 2009 news of death has occurred quite frequently. From pop stars like Michael Jackson, to football prodigies like Steve McNair and Chris Henry. We brushed death's door for a while with my mom's cancer diagnosis, and lost our precious "Papa." It seems like this fall was heavily laden with those dying. In just four weeks time our dance teacher's grandpa passed away, our pastor's wife suddenly lost her dad, and my cousin and her husband both lost their dads! While people pass all year long, those that went in the fall remind me that God is making His harvest. Some are profitable grain, others are chaff.

Shortly after Halloween, a holiday focused on death, you see Christmas things in the stores! There's lights, gifts, and baking supplies. There's something joyful to look forward to! There's more to the story than the depressing thoughts of death. That's what makes the Christmas story so special. God sent His son Jesus so that there may be life instead of death. He is the Light of the world, the most precious Gift, and there's no sweeter name than the name of Jesus. Those thoughts are are happy thoughts. Those thoughts give us hope of seeing our loved ones once again, and most importantly being with our Creator for eternity.

Holly especially is excited about the presents that are under our tree. Our gifts to her aren't even there yet. If all of us are truly honest with ourselves, we get excited about gifts too. Some gifts we just absolutely love. Others get laid aside not to be played with or used a month down the road. If you're reading this, you've been given the best Gift of all. Some have opened it and cherish it deeply. That Gift is used on a daily basis. Others have opened it. They claim to like it, but it sits in a closet collecting dust. Still more have a wrapped Gift sitting there waiting for them. I'm not sure why they don't receive it. Maybe they feel like the tag doesn't say it's for them. Maybe they're worried there's strings attached.

I guess the reason I can focus on the joyful things in a Christmas letter is because thankfully I have the joy that is found in the gift of Jesus and can look at life with an eternal perspective. Our prayer for you this Christmas is that you have that prized Gift with your name on it. If you can't find it, we'll be glad to help. It's not hard to find, have to fight a mall crowd to get, nor is it too late (yet) for special delivery. For those that have lost loved ones, know that we are praying for you by name. Hang on to the hope of Christmas. We know what it's like to especially go through that year of "firsts" and we love you all so much.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


While most of you have heard about the big snowstorm in the Northeast, some have not heard how that affected Tim. I woke up Friday morning to read on one of my friends' Facebook status that they were expection 10-15 inches of snow. I immediately texted Tim to make sure he knew. By the time we were on our way to dance, he called to say he had his flight changed free of charge. He safely arrived in Louisville around 3:30 Friday afternoon.

Our New House!

This is not what our house looks like right now, as there is 2 foot of snow surrounding it. However, as soon as I had an address a dear new friend of mine went over and took this snapshot for me ahead of the storm. While it's one of the smallest 5 bedroom floorplans, we are blessed to have an attached garage, fenced in backyard, and be located next to a playground which all backs up to a wooded area. Best of all, all 6 of us will be living under the same roof! God is faithful and we are thankful.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Haley & Bekah's Performance

The recital began with the senior music class singing "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." Ahren took the lead while playing his guitar, Mrs. Kim played the piano, and Nick played the drums. Haley, Bekah, and Beka were the back-up. It would surely bring peace on Earth to all who heard. The senior class performed 3 dance numbers to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," "Christmas Shoes," and "Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland." Mrs. Mindy and Mrs. Theresa did a fantastic job choreographing those. As a dream come true for a budding ballerina, Mrs. Tara came back in time to teach Bekah her first pointe routine. She made her debut in a beautiful way. The teachers and staff at Grace In Motion put together a blessing of a morning to worship our Savior.

Holly's Dance and Music

Holly was able to sing and dance at the Christmas recital at Grace In Motion. Ahren played his guitar while the kids rang their bells singing Jingle Bells. They also sang Away In A Manger. Mrs. Kim has been so wonderful to teach them music in a way that honors the Lord. They had a display of the artwork that Mrs. Kathy and Mrs. Paula led them in throughout the semester. Mrs. Mindy taught them a tap routine to "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!" It was ironic that as they were dancing to this song, we were trying to get Tim out of DC before a big snowstorm hit! It was good to know that he got an earlier flight out and made it home shortly after the recital.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Housing Update

As I was walking out the door to a busy Tuesday I happened to pick up the phone to "Unknown Name, Unknown Number." The kids were already in the car, but for some reason, I answered it. It was the housing office from Ft. Belvoir. They will have a house ready for us in mid January. It's too early at this point to give out many details, but we're in the process of getting things moving. We now need to greatly purge what we have to prepare to downsize. It would also help to get our house here sold as well. This brings about many mixed emotions for everyone. We cling to the hope that God has this all in control. We are so greatful to all of you who have prayed for us during this time of separation.

Pack Christmas Party

Sandwiched into the same day was Hunter's Cub Scout Pack Christmas party. There was singing, games, awards, and of course, food. This is such a great group of boys. We are quite thankful to be a part of this pack. The top picture is the group of boys from 9th and O. The middle picture is Hunter's Webelo II den with leader, Mr. Chipman. At the bottom, Cubmaster, Mr. Mathis awards Hunter with 4 activity badges. This puts him very close to earning his Arrow of Light.

Spreading Christmas Cheer

Haley and Bekah had the opportunity to sing and dance at a nearby nursing home with their dance class. They got to experience what it's like to perform in a small space and do quick changes. Regardless, I'm sure the residents were blessed. This was a great opportunity to learn how great it is to give during the Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Haley's C-Group Party

Our church youth group has small groups so that teenagers can form close friendships and strengthen their walk with Christ. Sarah, one of Haley's leaders, organized a Christmas party for their group and we were honored to host it. The girls decorated cookies, dipped pretzles, and exchanged gifts. Everyone had a good time. Some special girls were missing due to other obligations. We are thankful for a beautiful team of young ladies.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Friends Fit for a Picture

You get the kids all dressed up and just have to take a picture! I just had to share these. Here are a few of Hunter and Holly with their friends. Of course, they just have to be themselves at times too, even under the fancy clothes.

Christmas Worship

I think Sunday, December 13, 2009 was the night of Christmas musicals for many people we know across the country. 9th and O Baptist was no exception. How blessed we were under the direction of Dr. Barry Joslin. The Worship Choir, Made 4 Praise, Made 2 Praise, Wee Praise, instrumentalists, and Heather Payne did an awesome job in leading us in worship. What an awesome offering of thanksgiving for what God has given us!

Bekah Turns 15

The Saturday after Thanksgiving would be Bekah's 15th birthday. Where has the time gone? I was just recently thinking of the year when she played baby Jesus for the Singing Christmas Tree. Now she's itching to drive. We had an awesome time of celebration at Marian's Piazza. Not only did we have Tim's side of the family, but my cousin Angi and her family were able to come as well. Good pizza, good cake (Ele Cake Co.), good company, and one happy teenager!


Tim was home for 10 days during the Thanksgiving holiday. We traveled to Ohio (the six of us + my mom + 2 dogs) Wednesday morning. Half way there we realized I forgot the pumpkin roll. It actually turned out this year! After arriving safely, two more pumpkin rolls were made. We had the opportunity to meet Patti, Dennis' new friend. What a blessing she is. Jessica prepared an awesome turkey complete with all the trimmings. Patti added darling party favors for the tables. Of course the day was complete by skimming through the ads for the next morning. 4am would come very early! Tim got up with me this year. He needed a coat for this side of the mountains. After meeting Jessica and the teenagers, he went back home. The whole family gathered at Panera for lunch at the request of Bekah. Thanks, Papaw! Later that evening we had a good visit with my dad. Overall, a very good weekend.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Boy Scout Camp

One of the requirements for a Webelo to earn his Arrow of Light is for him to attend a campout with a Boy Scout troop. Uncertainty concerning our move, I was worried this wouldn't happen for Hunter. Thankfully it did. Tim was able to attend with him. It was a very cold night, but we were thankful it was dry. He and the other boys in his Webelo den planned their "grub" and fixed it themselves. He also set up the tent all by himself. He was able to meet with the Scoutmaster and shared his goal to one day be an Eagle Scout. If you'll notice, there's no picture to accompany this post. Just a sign that he is outgrowing "family" outings when it comes to scouts.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November News

Well yet again another month has passed since I've updated. Here I have all these pictures sitting on my laptop waiting to be posted. Maybe one of these days! I do want you to know what is currently going on with our lives. We got a contract on our house in early November. Right before the inspection the couple decided to back out of the contract. While in some ways this was very disappointing, it was going to add a lot of stress had it gone through. First of all, we had no where to go. As of today, we are #5 on the waiting list. We're hoping that will continue to come down. I joke about the delay being that the house in the right community with a front porch on a corner lot hasn't come up yet. Secondly, it uprooted the kids in a difficult way. The girls have been working on a Christmas recital that they wouldn't participate in and Hunter would miss a camp out that is a requirement for his Arrow of Light. As it turns out, Tim and Hunter will attend that camp out this weekend and the girls will perform in December, Bekah's first time on pointe. You can't tell me that God knows exactly what He is doing.

I took my mom to the doctor for a regularly scheduled check-up on Monday. Despite the fact that we had to wait for three hours to be seen by the doctor, the news was good. Evidently the radiation is still working and her CT scans looked better this time than they did the last. Praise the Lord!

We're looking forward to Tim coming home on Friday for a 10 day Thanksgiving vacation. It will be a time of work, play, family, and celebrating Bekah's birthday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Raingutter Regatta

This was Hunter's last year for the Raingutter Regatta. This is one event that we never seemed to get a handle on. Since Daddy wasn't here, I let Hunter take full reign. I don't know the first thing about how to do it well. He did have a nice looking boat and had fun. That's what counts.

July Birthdays

Holly and I have birthdays two weeks apart. Tim was home for 4th of July weekend, so we celebrated them together with him. Holly got a new bike. Her other one was just too short. Tim got me a DSi. What a fun surprise! I am now another year older, Holly is now 8.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Favorite Pictures from the Dance Recital

I don't like having to just choose a few! I want to share a little of what went on behind the scenes. The recital was bathed in prayer. Everywhere you turned you'd see groups asking for God's blessing on the day. He certainly did. I was blessed to be a room mom and witness these special times. We are so blessed to be a part of the GIM familiy.

Voice of Truth Dance Recital

On June 6, 2009 the students at Grace In Motion Dance Academy presented their recital Voice of Truth. This wasn't just any dance recital, but a worship service. Haley and Bekah are in the senior choir. They sang the theme song to open the recital up. They also performed in three dance numbers. Their tap routine was to a very upbeat Amazing Grace. I must say, it rocked! Their ballet routine was to He's Not Dead. Simply beautiful. They worked on their lyrical number for a year and a half. Casting Crowns East to West was the music for it. What a beautiful message it had about our sins being cast as far as the East is from the West, one scarred hand to the other. Holly was in three numbers as well. Her tap routine was a jazzy This Little Light of Mine. Her ballet routine was You Are My All In All. She was part of the first part of the finale, Transformation. Background music from the Creation Museum was played as little catepillars turned into butterflies (Holly's class) which later transformed into monarchs. All Grace In Motion students joined Kim, Ahren, and Nick Porta for the second finale, The Revelation Song. Awesome worship at it's finest! We are especially thankful for the teachers at Grace In Motion and the high standards they set. Tara, Theresa, Kim, Paula, Kathy, & Mindy: we appreciate you!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Overdue Update

Who says "soon" can't be defined as 3 months away? I don't like that it's been so long since I've posted, but in all honesty, I guess I've tried to hide the trials we'vebeen going through. While going through them, they seem really big. However, when I look around and see what others are going through, it's really nothing at all. So here at the beginning of October, here's where we are. Tim settled into his job mid June. Through the summer we were able to see each other about once a month. He came to Louisville for the 4th of July, then met in Dayton the first weekend in August to celebrate his Grandmother's 90th birthday (which is actually later this month). We also took a road trip to Virginia to spend time with him for his birthday. This gave the kids the opportunity to see the National Capital Region as a place to live. I'll comment more on that later. What kept us motivated was the promised trip to Disney World. We spent 5 wonderful days in the parks and were able to meet up with several friends during this time. Tim went back to Virginia on Sunday and we started back to school on Monday. We are #9 on the list for housing at Ft. Belvoir. While we've had a few showings, there have been no offers on the house. The latest reason being, "they wanted a bigger yard." While much of this sounds discouraging, we are continuing to trust that God has this plan worked out. In the mean time, Mom has had her follow-up visits with the cancer doctors and they are very pleased with her progress. They never said the cancer was "gone" and honestly, they never promised that. They did say there was significant decrease and plan to see her back in 3 months. We'll praise God for that and be thankful. Hopefully sooner than later I will get some summer pictures up here. I'm sorry for the lack of communication.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Coming Soon: An Updated Blog

So much has been going on in our lives in the last couple of months and I've neglected getting the information to you. I'll save you all the excuses, but over the next few weeks I will be learning about how to add new features and cover some of our activities. We have posts about the dance recital, Haley's trip to Ecuador, the girls' trip to Florida, and a tribute to Papa along with I'm sure much more. Be sure to sign in and "follow" our blog. We so enjoy keeping in touch with you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Papa's Arrangements

The viewing will be held at the Beavercreek chapel of Newcomer Funeral Home on Wednesday, June 24 from 5-8 pm. The funeral will follow on Thursday morning at 10 am.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Eroy Mullins - "Papa"

I realize I am very far behind on the blog, but this update needed to come right through. I'll get the other stuff posted later.

We just got a call that Tim's beloved grandfather, "Papa" has gone on to be with the Lord tonight. He has joined his first wife of 50+ years, Helen, and all three of his children; Jim, Sandy, and Tim's mom, Jerri. He leaves behind a wonderful wife, Maggie, and many others who loved him very much. There are no arrangements at this point. We're going to do our best to get Tim home. This is definitely a difficult loss. Thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chemo Round 3 In the Books!

This update may come a little late, but here all the same. Round 3 presented a couple of problems, but nothing major. Day 1 the nurses had some trouble with the port working. Thanks to some kind of med and Ernie, they finally got it working. It made for a long day though. They discovered Mom is low on potassium so she is now taking supplements for that. After the anti-nausea drugs wore off this time, she has been feeling very tired and a little sick. We do have some meds for that and we're fighting it off. I don't know if it's allergy related or not, but she's also had some congestion. Fighting that with drugs as well. We thank you so much for your prayers. Although she is having these inconveniences, it's amazing how we made it to week 10 in the chemo before all this came about. Just one more round to go!

Friday, May 22, 2009

"Voice of Truth" Preview

Many times a post will come through and you will be reading about something that you missed. If you read this within two weeks of posting, you won't miss this! Our girls have been working for two years on this recital. Mrs. Tara and the Grace In Motion staff are placing together a most wonderful event of music and dance. It will be held Saturday, June 6. There are two performances; one at 1:00 pm, and another at 5:00 pm. Tickets are free, but you need to let us know if you'd like any. Haley and Bekah are in the senior class. They will perform dances in ballet, lyrical, and tap. Holly is in the Shooting Stars and will perform a ballet and tap routine. This is your personal invitation. We would love for you to be here. Don't wait to see the "after" post - be a part of it!

AWANA Awards

It's hard to believe that another year of AWANA is now over. It's even harder to believe that we will never have a "Spark" anymore as Holly will move up to "Truth and Training." Holly received the Sparky Award for completing all three Sparks books along with her friends Emily and Lakyn. Hunter completed his first Truth and Training book and also dove into the second book. He has big goals for next year. We are so thankful for Mrs. Vanessa who is the AWANA Commander, Mrs. Lettie who leads Sparks, and Mr. James who leads the TNT boys. Mrs. Margarita has been Holly's verse listener for all three years. Hunter also appreciates listeners Mr. Steve, Mr. Morris, Mr. Tommy, Mr. Garrett, Mr. Bob, Mr. Adrian, Mr. Austin, and Mr. Haskins. They especially loved game time - Thanks Mr. & Mrs. Tieman, & Mr. Kelly.


One of the blessings we've experienced with the Christian Educational Consortium is the drama class. Bekah originally signed up for drama, but Haley, being in chorus under the same director, Mrs. Davis, tagged on as an extra. We were out of town for Jerri's home going during tryouts back in October, but Bekah still had the opportunity to get the part of a Dryad with a few speaking parts. Haley was a Cruelie. A little bit of good vs. evil here! You would never know that this was a homeschool performance. It was excellent! From the costumes to the staging, to the professionalism of everyone involved. We were very pleased. We are especially thankful for all the friends who came out to support them. Haley made the comment coming home from one of the rehearsals. She said that it was very hard to play the part of the "bad guy." As she, along with other cruelies and the white witch killed Aslan, it was like being one that was responsible for killing Jesus. I guess we're all cast into playing that part. The punishment that we deserve for our sin is what killed Jesus. Pictured above is Haley with a fellow Cruelie, Katie. Bekah is with the White Witch, Kelsey.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Wild Week

As you can tell by the number of posts, we were quite busy last week. Knowing that this week could be just as busy or more, I humbled myself to knowing that I needed help. I called on my sister-in-law, Jessica to fill in the gap as she graciously agreed to take Hunter and Holly. We planned to take them to Ohio right after morning worship. That idea was brought to a halt when we arrived home from church to find sick dogs. I'll spare the details here, but needless to say, they had to be dealt with and our jaunt to Ohio was off. We began the week with Mom's doctor's appointment early Monday morning. We learned that she had a UTI and the doctor postponed the chemo until next week. They were also going to look more into her pain in her esophagus. We took her to the hospital Wednesday morning to have a procedure done to determine if it is an infection, or a result of the radiation. If it is a result of an infection, it can be treated and she continue the radiation again. We're still waiting to hear the results and she will come home later today. To add to the week, Haley and Bekah will be in the CEC production of Narnia on Friday. They are practicing hard each night this week. What may be a little harder is fighting the traffic where the play will take place. Tonight will be the real test - roads are closed due to the Pegasus Parade! But wait - that's not all! We got a call on Tuesday that Tim's brother, Mark, was sent to the hospital with a very high fever, bad headache, chills, and chest pain. I'm sure you've been watching the news as we have and immediately think "swine flu." The original diagnosis is pneumonia, but they have yet to say it's NOT swine flu. He is being treated with IV antibiotics and remains in the hospital. I now see why God didn't allow for Hunter and Holly to go to Ohio this week. Jessica is having a hard enough time, she didn't need our two children in the chaos as well. Sometimes I wish God would give us His eyes to see the things it takes us longer to see. I'll close by adding that my dear cousin, Emily, is back in the hospital. Boy, all this sure makes us look forward to the time that there will be no more suffering and no more pain. Until then, we're praising Him in the storm.

Haley's 16th Birthday Party

About 6 months ago I began thinking of Haley's Sweet 16 birthday party. The girls would all dress up and it would be a fancy, girly, extravaganza. As I began discussing these thoughts with her, I realized that my plans were not her plans. She had more thoughts of it being casual and heading to the go-carts. Well - it's her party and if driving is what she wants, then that's what we decided to do. She invited Alex, April, Hannah, Katie, Kayla, Sarah, and Sophie - all 16 or almost there, to share in the fun. Add a little bit of putt-putt golf, pizza, and chocolate cake and we came up with the perfect evening for Haley to remember. They drove a little to fast for me to capture any "driving" pictures, but here's a few others to share. I will also take this time to comment about how blessed we are with Haley's friends. They are such a great group of girls and we love them dearly.

Prom 2009

It just so happens that prom fell right into birthday weekend for Haley. Her "guest" was Sophie, but they all attended as a group of friends. The evening began with dinner at the Olive Garden. Haley, Sophie, Jill, Sarah, Katie, Emily, Brandon, and Dalton feasted with us as well as Mr. & Mrs. Wilson, and Mr. & Mrs. McNeil. We then helped to escort them over to Wildwood Country Club where they danced to an English garden theme. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to attend a well planned out and supervised prom, that is not characteristic of typical high school mayhem. Ms. Cretella, the Wilsons, and the prom committee did a fantastic job creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Driving 101

As I mentioned earlier, Haley drove us to Wendy's for lunch. After her guests left tonight it was time for more driving lessons. Tim got her into his truck and they did a little stick shift practice. I must say, she did better than her mom! I looked to make sure that our neighbors across the street were gone before she backed out of the driveway. Thankfully she didn't end up in their yard like I did when I was 16. When Tim got her back home I took her back out in the Suburban. We even got on Bardstown Rd. to get to the car wash. She drove it through there and she and Bekah vacuumed it out when it was done. Nothing like teaching them from the beginning to take care of their vehicle!