Friday, August 21, 2009

Homework Helper???

This afternoon I invited my neighbor Linda over to make a little craft. It's a homework station. Her son Aiden is also going into 2nd grade and we thought this would be fun for them to start off the year. It's a little station to do homework at while at the kitchen table. I'm always hearing, "Mom, where's the ____." and now all the schoowork supplies are in one place. All the markers, flash cards etc are attached with velcro and they work really well. The scissors etc are all attached with magnets.
So, maybe the mommies like this more than the kids, and maybe they won't be any moreexcited about homework, but Linda and I sure had fun making them!
Here's to 2nd Grade Homework!

The one I made for Kenzie
(Book it calendar goes on the left, weekly homework list goes on the right)

The one Linda made for Aiden. She did such a cute job labeling everything. I might copy her, but I ran out of time.
So fun!
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Last Sunday evening was really exciting for our family. Eric was baptized and it was an awesome time for us! Thank you so much to all of the family and friends that came out to support him. It was really special. Rather than give a terribly abridged version of his reasons for being baptized, he said I could share with you the email that he used to share his story with some family and friends. God has been doing some neat things with our family and it's exciting to see what he has in store for us. So, here's Eric's email.
So… It all started when Monica asked me to be in a small group with the Motts and Fuentes. I was very reluctant b/c I was just tired of the same old Bible study/small group thing where we go, act all good and Christian, and don't actually live out what we talk about. It wasn't something new that I was frustrated with - my whole life I've really struggled with doubt, disbelief, and just had serious frustrations with all things Christian. I've "tried" to figure things out, but never really got anywhere was just kind of stuck in a place where I said I was a Christian, went to church, and outwardly acted the part - but didn't really believe, love God, or have him as part of my life. Basically I was not a Christian. (I think many people take issue with me saying that and more think that I really was a Christian but was just struggling, but I disagree). I feel like the Bible is full of passages that say if you're actually, truly, really a Christian, you'll live like one (James 2:14-26, Lk 6:26, Mt 7:15-21, Jn 8:31, and on and on). Anyway. About 6 months ago I came to the point where I basically set out to really make a choice. I can either believe, or not believe. Be a Christian, or not. But I was done faking it. (Which isn't such an unbiblical idea - see IICor 13:5 and Phil 2:12-13 - I definitely "failed the test" as it says in II Cor 13:5).
I started meeting with Rich Sparling, just so I could get off my chest all the questions, objections, doubts and frustrations I had. I read a lot of books, a lot of the Bible, and trying to figure things out. I didn't think that I could ever just figure it out on my own - and really, I couldn't. But there are two verses that just kept sticking with me (one of which, ironically, I saw in your downstairs bathroom) Jer 29:13 - "you will seek me and you will find me when you seek with all your heart." and the other, James 4:8 "Come near to God and he will come near to you." All this time I had been expecting God to just magically open my eyes and make clear all that I didn't get - sort of just snap his fingers and make me believe, and I was frustrated, like it was all his fault that I didn't get it. The more I tried to get it on my own, the more frustrated I got. But as I started to truly seek him (not just seek ways to prove or disprove his existence) and draw near to him something amazing happened. I was able to read passages like Romans 9 (the predestination chapter) and be able to say, "It doesn't make total sense to me, I would probably have done it differently, but God is so beyond what I can understand - and like vs 20 says - who am I to talk back to God?" I was finally able to read the Bible with the purpose of drawing near to God - and not just being a skeptic, pulling out anything that didn't make sense to me in my flawed human mind.
So I guess in the end I came to believe (probably around 2 months ago was when I really came to grips with it). It wasn't like I had thought it would happen - like a light switch going on. But more of a slow process. (an exciting process for me none-the-less).
I thought the natural next step when you become a Christian is to be baptized - and I didn't want to wait 6 months, so Sunday it is! I hope this all makes sense and that you'll let me know if you have any questions.
Now, Monica and I are both evaluating our life to see where we've cut God out, and how we can better live our lives for him, not just for ourselves. It's definitely a process, but I'm excited about where we're headed.
Thanks for listening, and sorry for being long-winded or not so clear.

Cal survived the heat, but man it was hot!
We don't know this person, but I thought it was a neat picture with the parents watching and holding hands. What a cool moment for a family!
The Nobles rented a boat for the occasion and watched from the Lake.
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When each person was baptized, their family and friends went down to the shoreline in support. Most people had 3-5 people at the water... but not the Mangins. I am pretty sure we had about 30 people cheering, clapping, and of course whistling. It was awesome!
Eric, Dave Marks, and Jay Desko

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I love this smile. It makes my heart melt knowing why he's so happy!

E's mom was a very proud mama and his Dad was thrilled too!
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Friday, August 14, 2009

{Puppies!} and no, we're not getting one

The Sparlings have 16 adorable black and yellow English Labs right now. Two of their females had puppies about 5 weeks ago. Oh my word, they were adorable! Kenzie has been dying for a time to go see them and last night worked. We'd love one some day, but right now I think we have enough on our plate. If you're interested at all, let us know and we'll give you the Sparlings' info. They are very well bred dogs and adorable too!

My fav. pic... "Please take me home!"

Kira wasn't a fan when they chewed on her skirt! She liked to see them from outside the pen.
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This little guy (who is actually going to be HUGE) had the best chill disposition
all tuckered out
playing with Richie... see how small!
Ok Kenzie was in total Heaven!
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Happy Birthday Baby Girl

Today is Kira's real birthday. It was a pretty normal day since we partied this past weekend. Throughout the day we kept saying "Happy Birthday" and singing to her. I kinda think she's going to be glad when all this is over b/c she's a bit confused and might think her birthday is every day for the next 2 weeks :)

As I was putting her to bed tonight I just was thinking back to my little six lbs preemie that seemed so fragile and tiny... as I paused for that thought, I'm pretty sure Kira tried to twist off her changing table and kicked me in the stomach while saying "No Mommy" Ahh the joys of a little monster! I wouldn't want it any other way though and I love her to bits!

It's Eric's turn tomorrow and I love it b/c he hates it SO much. :) We're just having a little mini friend gathering for dinner and games. I promised nothing big.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Kira's Elmo Party

KJ turns two on Thursday of this week. We celebrated with family and friends on Friday night with an Elmo party. It was a wonderful time and I just can't believe that this little lady is already two!
Eric and I did the math and we've had 13 birthday parties so far and we only have 59 more to go if we plan on having them until the kids are 18. I am working on making them more simple and I think this one was decently simple, but the goal is pizza and a Dairy Queen cake... maybe by party # 40 or something :) hehe.

My girls
This is the first party ever that we've used party hats! Kira is so into them... it cracks me up!

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Oh my word! What a goofy face!
a flower for mommy

Okay, this is the face that I get when I ask her to smile...
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I can't believe my baby is two!
Kira and Cam were cracking me up... KJ was feeding her popcorn

how kind :)
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Kira loves cheese curls! look at that goofy face

Dan and Cal looked like twins
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Laurie made the most amazing cake for Kira! It was sooo cute!
Thanks mom!
Blow Kira!
Present time! Kira loved her gifts. Thank you everyone!
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