Yesterday I entered the world of breadmaking. Here is a my early gift from Santa brought to me courtesy of craigslist :-).
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I'm really enjoying this season of Christmas. I always love this time of year but this year especially has been so much fun. We went to a Christmas tree farm and cut our tree down for the first time, we've been celebrating Advent and we've already watched quite a few Christmas movies. We went for our annual trip to visit Santa which turned out to be great as well. I've also finished up a large part of my shopping which brings gives me a big relief. Today I finally decided on a dress for Ellison's Christmas program. It's this Thursday night. She and I went out shopping last night for one and we had a great time together. She sang Christmas songs and loved having all of my attention. Although we went to 3 stores I couldn't find one that I loved. After I picked her up from school the 3 of us (Me, Jude and Ellison) went to Belk to get a dress that I'd spotted this weekend during our Santa visit. I can't wait to see her on the stage doing her little songs. I am sad, however, that my parents won't be able to be in the audience. That is the one thing that stinks about this time of year. My brother lives in Colombia and my parents and sister are in SC and they are just far enough away that we don't see each other as often as we'd like. Thanks to the digital age, however, we can keep them in the loop on things. Well here are some pictures from December fun so far. Enjoy.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
It really seems like there has been so much sadness all around lately. Don't get me wrong, I'm not living with an unawareness of all the sadness in the world at large, but there is something about sadness experienced by people who you know. In the past 2 weeks we've seen a lady who I was in small group with contract a flesh eating bacteria which required amputating her leg and she still continues to fight for her life, 2 friends have lost their fathers, one co-worker lost her mother and yet more sad news as one of our neighbors, a father of 3 children took his life on Saturday evening. In some of the cases mentioned above the families will have the hope of our God as they walk through these tragedies. In others they are not in relationship with the Lord and will not have the peace that can come from knowing him.
This is the season of Advent. Advent comes from the latin word meaning "coming." It is a preparation for the coming of the Lord. The devotion from yesterday lead us to Isaiah 40:1-11. It's a consolation from the prophet and a reassurance that the the time of darkness will come to an end. "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken." Is. 40:3-5
I do love Advent and the way that it draws Christians back to the beauty of this season. As I think of these families and their sorrows, my heart breaks for them. I am reminded of the eternal hope that I -that we- have in Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the gift of Jesus and am praying for all those who will start this day without that hope.
BTW I have been getting the Goshen devotions for Advent each day and they have been really good. If you would like to see what they are like here is a link. www.goshen.edu/devotions/Home
Friday, November 28, 2008
We did it! Praise God for giving us the endurance and energy to finish. It was a great race. I had such a fun time listening to my tunes and chatting with Ian. There were times during the race that we would just sing aloud. The people around us were like "what is wrong with them." We didn't care. It kept us moving. It took us right at 2.5 hours to finish. I know the hubbie could have finished much faster, but he stuck with me and I needed it. During the race we talked about a marathon....talked about, just talked about. I can, however, understand the thrill of finishing something like that. When I was done with the 13.1 I really wanted to cry out of excitement and accomplishment. Overall, it was fantastic and I hope to be able to do another one and improve on my time. Here are my top 5 memories and some pictures of the running duo.
Top 5 memories from the race:
5. It was cold! When we started it was right at 34 degrees. About 5 miles in we started to really warm up.
4. Hills, Hills and a little mountain: The race had quite a bit of elevation to it. Every time we thought we were done, there came another one.
3. Singing "Dream On" aloud while running a ginormous hill.
2. Hearing Ian go "Uh...Uh...and do the air drums while singing his music.
1. Crossing the finish line and feeling so much joy with what we had accomplished.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tomorrow morning is the big race. I have so many emotions. I'm honestly mad at myself because I'm not as prepared as I should be. None the less, there is something to be said for finishing....I hope. I'm looking forward to lacing up early in the morning and joining thousands of other folks who are running too. As I go into the race, I really just want to finish. If I finish it in under 2:40 that will be a great bonus too. I'm off now to get some sleep. 5:30 is going to come early.
PS- I'm really looking forward to tomorrow night's post when the race is all said and done.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
PS- I'm really looking forward to tomorrow night's post when the race is all said and done.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
On Thursday I ran 10 miles! Man I was so proud of myself. That was some tough stuff but now my foot is really hurting. My husband assures me that it's just muscle pain and he has me on intense icing :-). It involves me putting my foot in a bath of the coldest water and ice you've ever felt in your life. Last night we got into an argument over it but tonight I'm like whatever it takes, bring it on. Anyways I'm just sitting here icing my foot and obeying my trainer.
Friday, November 14, 2008
People say all the time that time flies by, but when I look at our little girl it's not a saying anymore. I've lived it. It is hard to believe that 4 years ago today I was huge pregnant and wondering what we were having. Here I am four years later reflecting on the years since then.
With birthdays come celebrations! This is the first year that Ellison has been really asking about her birthday. We have had countless conversations that go something like this "First is daddy's birthday, then comes Jude's then Mommy's and then Ellison's." So in March she was asking when daddy's birthday was coming (July!!!)? We knew that this year had to be a fun one for her. We had a bit of a challenge however. All of our Saturdays are booked for the month and Sundays(normal Chadwick party days) for her school friends is a work day for many of their parents. The solution-2 parties of course!
Today we started the birthday celebrating with a playdate with Ellison's friends from school. She has been with most of these kids since she was 8 months old. Many of their names have become such household names that it feels like they are a part of our family. Because the kids see each other all the time, it's not as often for us to get together for a playtime outside of school. Ellison also asks for play dates all the time so we thought it would be fun to do a playdate birthday party. I really wanted to keep it simple and a chick fil a party was just the right thing! We got there at around 10 and by 11 everyone was ready to eat. They played some more and then I got to come home to a clean house (well semi-clean)! Chick-fil-a did all the rest.
On Monday, her actual birthday, she will get to pick all the meals(a great tradition that I got from my sister-in-law) and they will sing happy birthday to her at school. That night we will open some gifts from SC and have dinner with her surrogate Aunt and Uncle-J anc C. Next weekend she will get to celebrate Chadwick style with her Atlanta cousins and Nina and Papa to wrap up a true celebration fit for a princess!
I just love watching her soak it all in. It makes me want to be a kid again. This year has been tough in a lot of ways. She is very very determined and challenges me in so many ways. She has really helped me see what an important responsibility parenting really is.
I really am so thankful for all that she's taught me. It is a blessing to be her mom. I pray that my parenting would only improve this year and God would continue to use me to shape her into the child and ultimately woman that He wants her to be.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Over the past couple of weeks we have had to get physicals for a number of things. Just getting to the doctor and making all the arrangements for 2 preschoolers is work enough. Much less getting there and being poked at, stuck, and questioned to death.
After all of the tests, I found out that all of my levels are good. I had a slightly higher LDL level which means I need to back away from all the greasy stuff and eat what God made :-). (Why is that so hard!!!) One of the concerns that I talked about with my doctor is my knees. Since the age of 16 they have cracked very loudly but haven't been painful. As I've started running more this year I have noticed some pain as well. This morning I went to have my knees x-rayed and everything looks great. The doctor told me that I have runners knees and gave me some exercises to strenghten my legs. So in 3 weeks I will be running 13 miles in the Atlanta cold to accomplish a goal that I set after completing the peachtree. He did say that the pain I'm feeling is my body's way of saying something so I should look into other options of exercise. So for now, I'm still running on Thanksgiving day. It may take me forever to finish, but I'm looking forward to the challenge with Ian at my side and I'm so thankful for being declared healthy!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
It has been such a fun day seeing things through Ellison's eyes. She will be 4 next month and this is the first year that she really gets it! After changing her mind numerous times about what she wanted to be (that's genetic) we settled on a fairy. I must say that she was the cutest fairy I've ever seen.
We started the day with 10AM trick or treating at the YMCA. The rest of the day was filled with preparing for our community event. Through it all the kids hung with me and did GREAT. I let Ellison wear her costume all day as a special treat. She had lots of people asking her all about it.
We just finished the day with our community party and trick or treating. At the end of the night, Ellison said "I love this world" after she saw all of her candy.
Here are some pictures from our day.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
One of the things that Ian and I have always dreamed of is adopting a child. The trick has always been trying to figure out the time. Well, we are pleased to announce that we are officially in the process. It all began with one of my volunteers on UpStreet telling me about he and his wife's journey through DFCS (department of family and children services). He told us that they were hoping to adopt with very little to no out of pocket expense. Three weeks ago, we began an exploratory class that teaches you all of the ins and outs and the lingo and legalities of adopting.
At our second class we heard of a bi-racial baby being born in Florida due in January. What a cool possibility! Although we know this baby is a long shot, we are putting together our profile (which I'm taking a break from writing right now as I blog :-)) and sending it in.
In the meantime we have been pursuing the DFCS route as well. We finished up our initial training into the foster care system last Saturday and we are all set for our criminal background checks. We have 20 hours of pre-service training to complete and then a home study before we are approved. Our hope it so bring a child under the age of 3 into our home whose parental rights are severed or are nearly severed.
Today a friend of our family told me "Since you have 2 children of your own, it would be great to offer a home to another child who needs one." That sums it up very well. I don't know how long this will take and what all is in store, but I'm encouraged to know that He will be with us on the journey. After all, He loves adoption. That's what we he did for us.
Someone just twittered a cool quote that I think is so fitting for adoption because let's face it, there are lots of unknowns and scary what ifs. The quote says " Achieving God-sized visions always invloves taking God-sized risks." Perry Noble
The timing is surely not perfect, but I don't know if the timing will ever be perfect. The neat thing is that this dream that we have been thinking of for many years is now upon us and we are taking a God-sized risk for sure!
Pray for us as we continue this pursuit and pray for our number 3 either yet to be born or out there somewhere. Pray that God would prepare their heart and protect them until he connects us as a family.
Friday, October 3, 2008
My latest home improvement project.....
This dresser was used by Ian's dad as a kid. We've had it since Ellison was born. The top of it served as her changing table at one point. I finally had a chance to put a new coat of paint on it and some new knobs. It is a special piece that I hope our family keeps for a long time.
After a very long 2 weeks of sick, sick and more sick I felt like today would be fitting to do a 5 things list. Scripture teaches us to give thanks in everything even in the midst of sickness so here we go....
1. I don't talk a lot about my husband but that is in no way a reflection of how grateful I am for him. This week he took on daddy duty while I had 2 girls nights. He also just has the ability to love me so well. In my most stressed out moments he's the first one I want to call or chat with just to feel ok again. He even helped me by typing out a week of curriculum when my computer died! He is a good man ;-).
2. My kiddos..I've learned a lot about my kids through these sick days. I've learned that Jude is a cuddler. This morning his couging woke him up at 6 and I went in to get him. I sat in the rocker and just rocked him for like 40 minutes. When I would peek at him to see if he was sleeping he would just look up at me and smile. Ellison on the other hand wants her space. I just now tried to cuddle with her and she told me she couldn't turn the pages on her book (LOL). She wants me to be there just not snuggling.
3. Yesterday I had a great lunch with a freind of mine. We sat outside on the grass and just talked about life. She asked me a great question which was so right on with everything going on in my life. It was one of those cool "God knows me" moments. Our conversation was sweet and was a reminder to not put God in a box.
4. God's grace for sure! Man I have not been the best mom and wife since coming home from Spain. Things just keep coming at me and it wares on me. Unfortunately my family doesn't always get my best. I am reminded and encouraged in the fact that his grace is so good and sweet. If I had it all right, I wouldn't need Him.
5. The final thanks for this week is for my job. Over the past month or so I've had to be out for a number of reasons. Family in town, lice, mission trip, sickness, computer craash. Through all of it, I've had nothing but support from my co-workers. I love that I can be a contributor even though I'm only in the office for about 8 hours per week. I'm able to do my job and feel valued and wanted. It truly is such a gift to be able to be a part of UpStreet and North Point in general!
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever......
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Ellison has been really sick over the past couple days. It started with a fever yesterday and progressively got worse through the afternoon and into the night. She just had a pita pizza and some ice cream, signs that she is feeling much better! Even in the midst of her being sick she keeps us laughing. She saw my "pregnancy service strips" AKA stretch marks and said " I see those waves on your tummy mama." I said "Do you know why they are there?" She said "Because you went to the beach." HA! Gotta love that.
Friday, September 26, 2008
So, just like always, life has been really crazy and I haven't had the time to blog. I find myself experiencing something and thinking..."I want to blog about that." Then 2 weeks passes and it's old news..bummer. So today I bring to you, hot off the press, "the beauty of a good find."
One thing I love about my mom is that she taught me how to stretch a dollar. It's so funny but when we talk on the phone one of us is almost always on the way to Target or Goodwill looking for a steal :-). Some of the first stores that we shopped in growing up were TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Oh the thrill of a good find!
Well she would be very proud of me today as I loaded up the kiddos and headed to Kid to Kid on the hunt. As the cold weather is knocking I realized that Ellison has 1 pair or pants. For those of you who don't know. Kid to Kid is a fantastic place to get second hand clothing for kids and to sell to as well.
There are lots of ladies who blog about great grocery deals and picture their loot, so I will do the same. Basically I got 11 pieces of good quality clothing (Gap, Old Navy, Children's Place) and a pair of new balance shoes combined to make 12 different outfits (yes 12!) for under 50 dollars. YES!!!!! I love a good deal. I didn't have the time to look for little man but maybe I can go back at some point tomorrow to get some goodies for him too. The best part is really the out of pocket cost to our budget is zero dollars because I sold to them last month and made just over 50 dollars.
Happy shopping to you as the weather cools off!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
We landed at about 2:15 yesterday and we were in Alpharetta by 5PM. The best surprise of the day was seeing Ian and the kids at the airport. Man I missed them! Orginally we had planned that I would drive home because I'd left my car down in Buckhead. As I was on the plane I was so anxious to get moving so that I could see them so the surprise of having them there was just GREAT! I could hardly believe how good Jude is on his feet now. In only 8 days he really has the walking thing down.
There is so much that I could write about my time in Spain. Most of all God showed his power at work from the beginning to the end. Bethany, our team leader, gave us a scripture that stuck with me the whole week and really summed up the entire experience well. "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever; Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21. He indeed did immeasurably more than I asked and than we asked as a team. We serve a BIG God!
My biggest prayer as I finish this journey is for the country of Spain and for this church East Park Church (Parque Este). On our last day we heard the testimony of Pepe, the pastor, and he told us that on average 2 christians per year come to know the Lord in Spain. TWO!!! There are a million people alone in the city of Sevilla which is the 3rd largest in Spain. This country will remain in my prayers and in my heart as well as this dear family. He and his wife are only in their early forties and have suffered tremendously for the cause of the gospel. It is hard to imagine that people continue to suffer to simply believe in the one true God and His son Jesus Christ. I pray that the mountains would be moved and that a revolution would break out in this country and in all of Europe. I can't help but hope that God would allow our family to be a part of such a revolution!
All Glory to Him, because He is able!
Friday, September 12, 2008
I am so excited that I had the chance to sit and write curriculum for this Sunday. Kinda cool to think about that. Here is a picture of Bethany and I at the computer. We are curriculum buddies back and home and we put our skills to work here in Spain. I've also posted a picture of the finished product. Pretty cool huh?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
We are here in beautiful Spain. The people are such a joy to be around and there is much work to be done. Thanks so much for your prayers during this trip. I have attached a photo of the church and a view from inside of the church. Be sure to check out www.spainupdates.blogspot.com for more information.
Blessings to you!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Today I keep hearing the song "How beautiful is the body of Chirst." I have been the recipient of this beauty in so many wonderful ways in preparation for this trip to Spain. Today was the culmination of it all. On Wednesday, we had our final team meeting and got a report of the support that each person raised. I had not raised all of my support but I was so grateful that as a team we met our goal. Praise God for allowing me to go!
A few weeks ago, however, when I was only a third of the way there I prayed and asked God to confirm that He had called me to go on this trip by allowing me to raise the portion allotted for each team member. As you can imagine, I was a little disappointed to see that I didn't meet the goal. As I thought about it, I was just grateful that other people's gifts allowed me to be able to go on the trip.
Through this journey, I realized that it wasn't a money thing, it was more of having folks on board cheering from the sidelines and knowing that people were excited about me going and were supportive through prayer or financially. More than the money is the support of friends and family.
This morning I was so blessed by confirmation after confirmation that yes God has called me to this trip for this time. It all began at 7:45 with our UpStreet staff praying over me. Every person that I work with prayed specifically for this journey. Each prayer was rich and precious to me! It was such a sweet send off for which I am so grateful. As the day progressed volunteers and friends followed suit with their well wishes.
When I went to church with Ian, I bawled through the entire worship set. Specifically the lyrics "my Savior he can move the mountains, my God is mighty to save, he is mighty to save." All I could think of was God, please move the mountains that separate the residents of Sevilla from you. Move the mountains that separate Spain from you, move the mountains that separate Western Europe from you and please God move the mountains that separate the world from you. Tonight I am so overjoyed that I get to be a light for Him in a place that I've never been before and in a place that I may never return. For all of you who have wished me well, prayed for me and even given to allow me to serve in this way, I just want to say thank you.
On the way out of church today one of my volunteers stopped me with a check for 200 dollars. That is more than what was needed to meet my goal. YAY God! How beautiful is that!
Check out spainupdates.blogspot.com for information on our travels. I will update if I can but I think our internet will be limited.
Friday, September 5, 2008
A friend of mine from work posted 5 things she liked about her week and i loved the idea. So here's my list this week. If I knew how to do pictures with captions I would do that but I'm still learning here....
1. Last year on this day we brought our son home! WOW! I've attached the only picture that we have of him while he was so sick (thanks to the Northside nurses). It is a great reminder that God is so good and he is faithful. Today Jude is 25lbs., walking, talking and shows no signs of menengitis.
2. I'm going to SPAIN on Monday. I can hardly believe that I'm leaving so soon. I have always wanted to visit Spain and now I have the bonus of being able to do it as a mission trip and launch children's ministry.
3. We are signed up to run a half marathon. It's 12 weeks till the big race and this week I've completed all of my runs so far!
4. Zumba. I love Zumba. Everytime I watch a dance movie, I want to be a dancer. I even start thinking in my brain about how it could maybe work...um no! So Zumba has filled the hole for me. I take it every Friday morning and it is super fun!
5. I'm starting a new study called "Becoming the Woman God wants You to Be" thanks to my friend Joy. Basically it's a 90 day journey to cleaning house (spiritually, finacially, and even literally). I'm looking forward to this book. Along the same lines, I got an ipod touch to help organize my life yesterday!! I got a great deal on it from a friend and I'm looking forward to connecting all the dots in our lives.
Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
It's been another busy 2 weeks here at the Chadwick house. We've been getting rid of lice (yes lice), trying out big boy milk , traveling to the North Georgia mountains, preparing for Spain (next week!!!!)and....WALKING. Yep our little guy is officially taking steps. He's still getting the hang of it, which is so cute. Here is video of his latest steps.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
This week was the first official week of preschool. Although Ellison has attended Weekday(North Point's childcare for employees) since she was 8 months she now has an official program which requires her to come 3 days a week. Her teachers are just fabulous and so on it! We got a detailed breakdown of how things work in the classroom everyday and man it is really organized. On the first day she barely said good bye as she hugged her teacher and ran into her class. Sadly, she has been separated from some of her buddies who she's been with since she's 8 months but she seems like she is getting into the swing of things. On Tuesday I felt like a true preschool mom, because I just drop her off and go back home with Jude. It is such a blessing to have some alone time with him and I'm really looking forward to that.
Today we went to the dentist which she was very excited about. She picked out a toothbrush and makeup kit as a reward. The dentist is so great. They have a little movie theater, an arcade room and coffee for parents! We do have homework...flossing and stopping the thumb sucking. So we got some m-n-m's (i know it's ironic) and she gets one taken away each time I catch her with her thumb in her mouth. A friend of mine gave me the idea and I hope it works. The dentist said that it takes about 40 days to form a new habit so hopefully we'll be thumb free before she's 4. For the flossing, we all need to do a better job in that department so we are going to implement family floss time each night! HA!
Friday, August 8, 2008
So there are a number of reasons that I haven't written over the past few weeks. Life has been crazy! Ian got his wisdom teeth pulled, Jude was sick for about 2 weeks on and off, we're in the midst of moving over 2000 kids to new classes at work (aka PROMOTION), my preparations for Spain continue and the list goes on and on. Through it all I kept meaning to update my blog but today I have a few minutes to update so here it goes.
To be honest, the past few weeks have felt like I've been under a spiritual attack. On Wednesday in our starting point group the reference to John 10:10 came up, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy...." I listened to Steven Curtis Chapman last night on Larry King as he and his family talked about the evil one and they referred to this scripture as well. I don't always acknowledge that there is a spiritual battle going on and that Satan wants to get at Christians in any way he can. These past few weeks have been downright tough and he has tried to destroy me emotionally. I feel like every area of my life has been under attack. So today's post is just a reminder for me and maybe for you too that we are the redeemed we are the ones who are free and we belong to Jesus!!! That is a line from "We Shine" which is one of my favorite songs. (myspace.com/stevefee listen to we shine ). There is really nothing we have to fear or be downtrodden about. The end of John 10:10 sums it up well.."I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." So today, I wish you life to the full. May you know that you do belong to Jesus! As satan comes and attempts to steal, kill or destroy remember that the perfect Prince of Peace has come to bring us life and life to the full! That is my declaration. I hope you have a fantastic rest of the day!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
YAY! We finally have a headboard. I am a total HGTV junkie and if I could, I'd love to go to design school. I've got quite a bit on my plate these days however :-). Every now and then, (ok.. everyday Ian I know)I will see something that I want to try. Time after time host after host whips up a headboard that looks spectacular for a really great price. Well I'm defintely not a host on HGTV, and I'm not exactly sure it's spectacular, but the great price is true for sure! Here it is. The new headboard of the Chadwicks. The chargers were a bonus from a storage clean out at church! SCORE....
Monday, July 21, 2008
Here is the group of us who are going to Spain to launch UpStreet. We had a great retreat this past weekend and I'm so excited to see what God will do. If you think of us please pray for supportive families, wisdom in our planning efforts, team unity and for God's provision for all of our expenses. Here are some specific prayers from the church in Spain:
1. For motivation and excitement about the new strategy in ministering to children. (Currently the kids leave during the preaching and after our visit they will be having an entire service just for them.)
2. That God will bring more children to the church.
3. That they would be unified.
4. Through their work that God would be glorified.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Today has been such a good day with both of the kids. I had a moment where I wanted to cry just looking at them. I feel so blessed to have these 2 incredible children. Today, Jude is 11 months. He knows how to wave bye-bye and sign more! I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown by. It's been even faster with Ellison. We had fun this morning playing at the soft play area at the mall. When I told Ellison we were going, she asked if there would be a coach like at daddy's games (confused it with soft ball) :-). We had a tea party this afternoon where the 3 of us ate ritz crackers and water. Jude of course had more fun destroying than anything else. Here are some pictures of Jude at the softplay and Ellison in her tea hat (sorry Joy just borrowed it for the party).
Praise God for children. They truly are a blessing from Him! I'm finally starting to get in the groove with having 2 and on a lot of days recently am feeling the itch for the 3rd. It's almost like it happened overnight. 3 months ago I could have been fine with 2 and now I'm beginning to feel like there is another little someone to be added to the family. Ian and I have been praying about the possibility of adopting so it's cool to think that maybe there is a child already born waiting to come to our home. I am open to whatever He has in store, He always knows best.