The word "Change" can be: exciting, different, thrilling, exhilarating. But most of all, down right NOT FUN!!!!!!

Who knew that 2 1/2 years ago, my family would undergo the most drastic "change" we've ever experienced. That with one conversation, our lives (as we knew them) would be turned up side down.

Almost 6 months ago, I packed up my parents and youngest brother and sent them off to Israel to live. I thought that I would never be able to survive without them but I knew that having the rest of my family here with me in Texas was going to be my saving grace. Some may not be able to comprehend but my family and I are really close. Not a weird sort of close, but we all truly (spouses included) love being around each other. Having to pack up my parents house and sell most of the belongings that I remember growing up with, was the hardest thing I've had to do. When you see a casserole dish that your mom made all your favorite dishes in as a child walking out the door with some stranger cause they bought it in a garage sale, it makes you want to run after them screaming and demand that they stop stealing your stuff. You just can't begin to imagine the grieving process that I had, and still am having to go through. As if THAT wasn't hard enough....

....Here we are 6 months down the road, and NOW I'm having to pack my sister, Brother-in-love and beautiful, adorable, smart niece and nephew, to move to Belgium. Can it get any harder???? My sister who is my best friend, my 2nd mom to my children, my confidant, my call 6 times a day for stupid reasons person and my neighbor. I love her!!! I get so emotional just writing about it. I knew that when she married Jon that she was destined for a life overseas but it still doesn't make it any easier right now.
Today was move day for them. We loaded their 20 ft container this morning and watched it drive down the street on a semi headed to Houston and then to be loaded on a boat bound for Belgium. I did not have any emotions as we were loading things in or when I saw it drive away but right here in this moment, I feel all sorts of emotions. I feel happy that my sister is going to start this brand new life in Belgium and that my niece and nephew will be little french speakers. Happy that they are doing what the Lord has called them to do and that how fulfilled they will be. However, deep sadness that I won't get to see her or my little munchkins walk in the door unexpected and sadness that when I don't want to cook dinner, I can't just go 4 doors down to her house and eat her food. And that I wont be able to call her if something funny just happened, or if she wants to catch a late night movie with me after the kids have gone to bed. I got so used to having her so close to me. Belgium is going to be a HUGE adjustment.

Although I know that they are not actually moving for a couple more months, I know that the day is approaching. I'm having to prepare myself. I guess you could say there is some grieving that I'm having to go through.

I have lost my neighbor.

I used to pride myself in being a person who handles change well. But this kind of "change" I'm not handling well at all. It's not everyday you have to pack your parents, sister, brothers and nieces and nephews to go live overseas in the same year. Good thing is we serve a good God who supplies us with all of our needs. That includes GRACE. He has given me grace to have my mom, dad and brother living in Israel and I know that he will give me the grace to send my sister off to Belgium. But between now and then, I can sulk. :)I pray that we will not be separated for long. These sister's were meant to be in close proximity forever and always. So here's to you, "CHANGE". You're not my best friend right now.

9:46 AM

I can't believe this day is actually here!!!

Posted by Courtney |

My little son, Judah has officially jumped on the walking train. I thought this day would never get here. After all he is 17 months old. That is the latest any of my kids have EVER started walking. Kadyn was 14 months old and I thought that was late but NOOOOOO....17 months takes the cake.

He took his first steps about 2 months ago but never really had an interest in walking. He knew that crawling got him where he wanted go and QUICKLY!!! He literally was the fastest crawler I had ever seen. Anyone that saw him crawl would say the same thing. It was seriously hilarious. That boy loves speed and walking was just not fast enough for him. Until now. It probably didn't help that he had 3 older sisters who think they are his mom and carry him around the house like he's a baby doll. He even yells out, "Maddy, Maddy" with his arms raised when we wants to go somewhere. Smart I tell you.

Here is a video of his new found love:


Way to go Judah!!! Welcome to the wonderful world of walking! We are so proud of you!!!! I love you Judah boy!

2:13 PM

New adventures of a SAHM!

Posted by Courtney |

I thought this picture was funny! It totally describes how I feel sometimes :) FRAZZLED!!! I wonder if that's how I really look in those times too. Eyes blood shot and my hair all a mess with kids puking and smelling from a disgusting diaper? Probably.

ANYWAYS.....

You would think that after having been married for 9 years and with 4 kids under my belt that I would have this SAHM (stay at home mom) thing down. Nope. I am discovering new ways all the time on how to make the most of my days at home with the kids. My new found adventure is....drum roll please.....


COUPON CUTTING!!!!!!


I have never done this before. Shocking I know. I guess it always seemed to daunting and time consuming for me especially having such small kids in the house and not feeling like I have time for anything other than staying sane. However, I realized that I could have been saving my family TONS of money if I would have just done this before. Oh well, this is the new me! The coupon cutting me!!! It truly helps having another SAHM who lives 4 houses down to do it with. That would be my lovely sister, Destiny. We are determined to save money. I feel so funny getting excited about cutting coupons. In my opinion this is the epitome of a SAHM. I would always make fun of people like this, honestly. But seeing the error of my ways, I too have joined the coupon cutting club. Destiny and I are going to buy a coupon book so we can be so organized and everything.

Ok, enough of the boring coupon cutting talk, another thing I have started doing for my family is, Meal planning. Another 'Duh' thing to do I know, but for some reason, I was never good at doing it. I felt over whelmed at the thought of planning meals for the week. Cause what if Nathan didn't want that meal I had planned and I would have wasted money. I finally got over that and realized I just needed to say, "oh well, get over it. This is what we're having." My favorite website for recipes is www.thepioneerwoman.com. Every recipe I have tried have been absolutely delicious as well as a HUGE hit with the family.

This week's meal plan is:
Tues- Chicken & rice with green beans and french bread
Wed- leftovers
Thurs- Manicotti & ceasar salad
Frid- Shabbat Mexican themed potluck
Sat- Homemade chicken salad sandwiches
Sun- Homemade beef stew

I have found a new passion for cooking as well as baking. I'm going to be baking some homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast for Saturday morning. Now if I can find a passion for laundry, then I would be the greatest SAHM EVER!!!! Not to mention my husband would kiss the very ground I walked on. Don't know if I'll ever embark on that adventure. Is there a "Good at doing laundry" pill that I could purchase? That would be awesome!

My baby girl Kadyn is 3 years old now!!! I can't believe it! She actually turned 3 on May 3rd and I'm just now writing a blog about it. Oh well...better late than never right?

Kadyn is our little comedian of the family! Everyday she makes us laugh over something she either did or said. She LOVES life....but hates animals, no seriously... HATES them :) Kadyn LOVES to worship! That's her favorite thing to do is dance before the Lord! She tells me, "mommy I want to wuship". How can I deny that??? I just love this little girl! I really can't imagine what this family would be like without her. She is absolutely adorable!!! However, she still sucks her thumb when she is sleepy or needs to be comforted for some reason. I guess for now it's ok but sometime soon it's gotta stop. Hopefully she won't be 16 and still sucking her thumb. Ha! Her best friend is "Korby" aka. Korbin Shull. They are inseparable. Super cute! I feel bitter/sweet about this 3rd birthday for her. The getting older thing is very hard for me, especially with her. I absolutely love the 2 year old stage, call me crazy I know, but it's true! That stage is full of new discoveries and new adventures. They have this zeal for life that is exciting and new. The world is their oyster! Seeing their face light up when they discover something new, well...there's just nothing like it! Can you tell I love it?? HAHA! So Kadyn getting older is kind of sad, however, it's awesome all at the same time cause it means she's that much closer to walking into the call of God for her life! I can't believe I get to be apart of that!

We had such a fun birthday party for her. Anyone who knows me knows that party planning is not my specialty and I'm seriously not good at it so when a party that I PLAN goes well, I am very proud of myself :)

We all went to Boomerangs in Hurst (it's a bounce house place and a perfect place for a party). So we met there, let the kids jump for a bit then headed to Chick-fi-la for lunch, cupcakes and presents! It was perfect! Thank you to everyone who came and made the day so special for Kadyn! She had a BLAST!




























Happy birthday Kady Girl! You are a delight to your parents and am so proud of the women of God that you already are! I love you!!!!!

12:32 PM

A little slice of heaven...

Posted by Courtney |

......Cabo San Lucas,Mexico....possibly the most heavenly places on the face of the planet! Nathan and I had the privilege of taking an impromptu trip to this glorious place last week (No, don't worry we didn't get the swine flu). This was our first actual vacation ALONE with no kids, family, friends or a team that we had to lead since our honeymoon. I have to admit, I wrestled with major feelings of guilt and selfishness before I left. However, I knew that Nathan and I needed this trip REALLY BAD!! I really can't believe that we actually were able to go. We were blessed beyond belief by Ray and Teddi Baker. They let us have 1 of their time share weeks in Cabo and we were BLOWN AWAY by their kindness. Ahhh!!!! Thanks you guys! You have no idea how AMAZING this was for us! Truly the MOST memorable trip EVER!

We left early Sat. June 6th at about 5am and came back June 12th. We flew from here to Houston then from Houston to Cabo San Lucas. Here is an aerial shot of Cabo as we flew in.

The resort was out of this world!!! It's called Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach. It was located on the side of a mountain and overlooked the beach. Spectacular!!!! Besides a little excursion of Jet skiing in the pacific ocean we did one day, all we did ALL week was lounge by the pool or beach for 5 to 6 hours at a time reading and listening to teachings or music on our ipods while sipping on diet cokes. Jealous? I would be too :)
Sitting on our balcony
View from our balcony

Pics of our fantastic 1 Bedroom suit!:

Guest bathroom



Master suit and bath







Where he spent most of his days :) in that lounge chair

An end to what we called our "PERFECT DAY"! Dinner at sunset!

Isn't he AMAZING? I fell deeper in love with this man on this trip! He rocks my world!!

Taken during one of our night strolls on the beach




This is why they call it Sunset Beach. The pic doesn't do it justice.



Our cabana where we spent most of our days



The last night :( but we were ready to see our kids!


So there it is! Our 2nd honeymoon as we like to call it :) We came back feeling refreshed and ready for life again. I am so grateful for the opportunity! Thank you to the Smiths, Shulls, Bakers and Vandeputs for keeping my precious children. Without you, this much needed getaway would not have been possible. I love you guys more than I can say! Thank you for your sacrifice! You are AWESOME!!!!