Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Review

At this point in my life, I don't have a ton of time to read books other than the daily book times with the kiddos. I love to read when I can so last week when I went to Indy I had time on the plane and in the evenings to read.

I have been a huge fan of Steven Curtis Chapman's music for some time. A few years ago, the Chapman family went through a horrible tragedy losing their youngest adopted daughter who was hit by their son's car as he pulled into their driveway. Since that time, Mary Beth Chapman (SCC's wife) has written a book called "Choosing to See".

The book begins with Mary Beth telling of her youth and how she came to meet and marry Steven Curtis Chapman. She gives some really great insight on marriage and how even long and strong marriages can be attacked by Satan. She goes on to tell about having her three biological children and the building of Steven's music career. She is really funny as she tells about the ups and downs of her life at that point. Mary Beth also shares about their journey through adopting their three little girls from China. It is so intriguing how through the pleading, praying and nudging of their 13 year-old daughter Emily, Mary Beth realized that it was part of God's plan for them to adopt. Through this process they learned of many families that wanted children badly but were struggling financially to make it happen...thus they formed Show Hope. Show Hope (named after their daughter Shaohannah Hope) is an organization that helps care for orphans and gives grants to families to help them in the adoption process.

The last part of the book tells of the details of Maria Sue's accident, death, and memorial. Grab lots of kleenix for this part. It is extremely sad but the best part is that the Chapman Family members are strong in their faith and their hope. They realize the big picture and are choosing to see that Maria is in heaven with Jesus and that they will see her again soon.

I love love love this book!! I love that Mary Beth is so real. She admits her faults and that she isn't perfect...even being married to someone that is in the spotlight. She over and over reminds readers that we can't walk this journey alone and that God is with us all the way through it. Each of the chapters begins with Steven Curtis Chapman song lyrics and relates with each of the chapters....absolutely beautiful!

I could go on and on about this book but would most definitely recommend reading it for yourself. I will read it again as there is so much insight. I could only hope to be as strong as this woman going through the things that they have gone through.

If you are looking to borrow a copy of the book, let me know!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Friends, Fun and Fondue!

Tonight Matt and I met some very dear friends to celebrate our anniversaries. Last year we began a yearly tradition to get together with Aimee and Jason Bakke to celebrate our October anniversaries! Last year the guys picked Fogo de Chao. This year it was the girls pick and we decided on the Melting Pot....what a great choice!

It was very relaxing with four different courses (cheese fondue, salad, main entree fondue, and dessert fondue). It was so fun to catch up with great friends and have a night out. Can't wait for next year's night out with the Bakke's!

A couple of pictures from the fun of our evening. You can see the two fondue pots in front of us and the wonderful food that we got to cook...I would highly recommend this place!

Can you see Aimee and Jason through the steam?!

Meat, veggies, bread, fruit and cake...just a few of the things you can put into the fundue pot (with different toppings of course!!)
Happy Anniversary Aimee and Jason...we are blessed to have your friendship!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Bit Behind on Blogging...

We've been busy...

I attended the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis last week

I'm so proud of our officers and MN FFA members on all their accomplishments.
I love my job!!

While I was away, Matt (aka Rockstar Daddy!) had some fun with the kids...

They played
They went for rides on the Ranger
They went to the farm
G'ma Carol came to visit so daddy could hunt a bit

Emmy had a little fun with the markers or in other words gave herself some tattoos!

Since being home we are enjoying some family time...

Taking naps
Eating as a family
Going to church on Sunday
Family photo session on Monday
Life is good and blessed!

Here are a few photos from the other day...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Harvest Home

The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.
Psalm 85:12

It is by far one of my favorite times of year....fall and harvest. It is the time of year when farmers are busy working all day every day in the fields to get the crops in before the weather turns bad. Growing up on the farm I always remember my mom and dad being on their toes constantly from early morning to late at night! They would go from the barn milking cows, to the field, back to the barn, and then many times back out to the field until it was dark and I was in bed. Thinking about my parents and so many other farmers makes me so proud to be a part of the agricultural industry. Hard-working people, strong values, and pride in their land and animals.

Today the kids and I headed to the farm to play, ride in the combine, and just be a part of this fun time of year. Beans were finished up last night so today was all about cleaning up and switching gears to prepare for corn harvest. I don't know what it is about the combine but it is by far one of my favorite pieces of machinery :).....very powerful and amazing what it can do! After lunch, Cameron and I just sat in the combine and watched as my dad worked on cleaning and tuning up various parts of the combine bean head.

Although they didn't do any actual combining while we were at the farm, Cameron and Wyatt got to ride along with G'pa Don as he drove out to switch from the bean head to the corn head. G'ma Deb, Emmy and I followed on the Gator and were able to spend some time picking up corn cobs that hadn't been picked up during corn silage chopping. It was another glorious sunny day! We've had so many great days in a row (praise God!) Its been perfect for the farmers!

Here are a couple of snapshots I took on my phone today...

G'pa Don and his little helpers in the combine
G'ma Deb with the corn picking crew

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Emmy's 2nd Birthday Party

We were blessed to celebrate Emmy's 2nd birthday today with our family. Hard to believe she is two but life is more precious and fun every day at this age. All week when asked how old she was, Emmy would announce "I'm three!" I'm glad she isn't three yet as the next year is sure to be full of fun and adventure!

I remember when I was young being very in love with Care Bears, Barbies and My Little Ponies. Emmy's favorite things right now are drawing/coloring and Dora The Explorer! She loves to watch Dora, wear Dora and gets excited with anything that has Dora on it. Therefore, we had a sort of Dora theme going for the day. At least her cake was Dora but many of the wonderful gifts to her were also Dora types of goodies!

It was a beautiful day so the kids got to play outside a lot and had Georgia out of her cage to run around. It was so fun to have everyone here and at times maybe a little crazy as we had seven kiddos all three and under running around! Check out some of the pictures from the day...

Thank you all for the gifts now on to the cake!!

Matt and I partnered up to make the Dora cake!
Emmy dug in like a was like her 1st b-day all overWe all had blue lips from the bright blue frosting - little miss Harper was especially sweet with her blue lips
We also had fun playing with cousins (Wyatt, Harper, Brynn, Molly, and Peyton) and our bunny Georgia

Many more birthdays Emmy!!

More from tonight....a few of Emmy's favorite things right now!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Two Reasons to Celebrate Continued...

Eight years ago...our family began.

Two years ago....Emerson (Emmy) Rae Addington joined our family.

Today....we are blessed beyond measure!

Dear little Em, we love you so much. You're our little firecracker...maybe it is the bit of red tint in your hair! You are smiley, silly and can always make us laugh. I love that at such a young age you have confidence and you are strong but very loving. You love your big brother and try to do everything he does. Although you have your spats, we can tell you will be close. You always have a little spring in your step and can always cheer me up. You are both a girly girl and a bit of a tom boy! You love to dress up and play with dolls and yet you can go outside and be covered in dirt and mud and never mind. We pray that God will shower you with grace and love all the days of your life and that you will be a light for him in this world. We are blessed to have you in our lives and we love you and dad

"There could never be a more beautiful you...
You were meant to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you"
- Jonny Diaz

I'm thankful for you.
I'm blessed because of you.
I love you!

Thank you for the past 8 years...they have been amazing!

"God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I’ve lost my way
*If* There are no words here left to say, it’s true
God gave me you

On my own I’m only
Half of what I could be
I can’t do without you
We are stitched together
And what love has tethered
I pray we never undo

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I’ve lost my way
*If* There are no words here left to say, it’s true
God gave me you, gave me you."
- Dave Barnes

Monday, October 4, 2010

Two Reasons to Celebrate

8yrs + 2yrs = 10 Blessed Years with Matt and Emmy (Cameron Too!)

Happy 2nd Birthday Emmy!

Happy 8th Anniversary Matt!

Love You Guys!
(More to Come Later)

Full and Fun Fall Weekend

Lots of fun this past weekend with beautiful fall weather! We packed as much into the weekend as we possibly could and had a blessed weekend with friends and family.

Friday night we headed to the Twins game with Carol and Gary and the kids. We bundled up and brought books and crayons for Emmy and had a blast! It was a great night for a game even though they lost. The kids did great before they fell asleep.

Cameron was so excited to see his "Buddies" at the Twins game!
This photo is a bit blurry but love it! The kids are asleep and Cameron is buried under the blanket!
Saturday morning had a great breakfast gathering with my college roommate Betsy and Janelle. Nellie brought her little guy Joseph...who isn't so little anymore. Great to see them and catch up.

Matt headed off to a wedding in Albert Lea and the kids and I met up with Missy, Kasey and Riley for a trip to the apple orchard and the pumpkin patch. It was such a beautiful day to be out and we stopped up at the St. Oluf campus to take in the beautiful fall colors and let the kids run around amidst their homecoming weekend.
Sunday morning I participated in the Medtronic TC 10 Mile race. I would sum it up by saying the following...

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!!

Sunday evening Matt headed out to the woods for some peace in the tree stand and I got to celebrate the engagement of some great friends and neighbors - Jenna and Ben. They will be married in December and it will be a huge party for our friends in Sogn Valley...we can't wait!