Sunday, December 2, 2012

olivia's baptism...

was one of the most special days i have experienced as a mother.  i have prayed that my children would grow up with a faith in christ and that they would have a relationship with him, but i have also known that my desires are not those of His and that was a decision and a relationship that only He could foster.
the journey to this day began several months ago, so let me start there...
on april 1, 2012 olivia felt the Lord speaking to her and confessed that she was a sinner and that her sin separates her from god, that she understood that christ loved her very much and came to earth to die on a cross for her (and all those who believe) so that she can be perfect in god's eyes and have a friendship with Him forever.  i'll admit i thought she was too young to understand all of that, but god reminded me that He is in the midst of this conversation and was completely capable of helping a little girl who truly has a heart for the Lord understand how very much He does love her.  we rejoiced with her, prayed with her, and continued to seek Him in fostering this new relationship.  olivia was a little nervous about talking to our pastor about what god was doing in her life and she was REALLY nervous about being in front of our whole church family to be baptized so we took baby steps over the next several months.  we encouraged her to continue to ask questions about her faith and new relationship.  we prayed for her heart and her confidence.  soon enough, in god's perfect timing, olivia was ready to talk to our pastor.  yay!!  god is so faithful! she spoke with our preschool minister about her decision and she gave us some great tools to continue on this faith journey with olivia.  fast forward a few more months, olivia was excited (and still a little nervous) to share her decision with our church family.  so the sunday she got her first grade bible, olivia shared with our church family that decision she made to ask God into her heart and that she wanted to be bapatized. we thanked God for giving her the confidence and step out of her comfort zone.  now that brings us to today...

our family was all there to celebrate with olivia.  mark watched from the stage since he was leading worship.  that actually made the day extra special.  ;)
another one of my greatest sources of joy-worship on sunday mornings with  my church family lead by mark and the worship band.  thankful for their gifts and how they use them to serve God.  
ellis asking o about her decision.

praise god for this day, this little girl, and for being an amazing god that cares about our olivia so much that he spoke to her and gave her a passion for him.   i stand amazed and so very thankful!

Matthew 28: 19-20
"19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with youalways, to the very end of the age.”

soccer saturdays...

our saturdays this fall were spent on the soccer fields.  it was jack's first season of soccer and olivia's third season.

happy to report that jack's team, the dortmund dragons, had a great time each time they took to the fields but didn't ever win.  jack did score three goals the one game i missed due to surgery! :)

coach john and coach fish with the might dragons!!
typical look for jack running on the field. 
olivia's team, team lyon, had a great season!  they won second place in their division.  it has been so much fun to watch these girls learn the sport together and work as a team.  way to go LYON!!
pony tail down celebrating with her team after a win!!
coach C and his fab team lyon!!  :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

november iPhone pics...

our favorite moments and memories from november, brought to you once again from my iPhone...

(they are not great pictures, but i am prego and can't seem to remember our good "real" camera anywhere we go!)

jack showed off his singing and musical talent at church one sunday night.  his church choir class praised god with their voices and made beautiful music.  it was precious hearing all the 4 year olds sing from their hearts.

jack waving at his "fan club" sitting in the audience.
part one of the fan club- nana, chrissie, and nana's high school bff, joanne.
part two of the fan club- bowlins and fifers.  b, ra-ra, christman, abby, and pop
thanksgiving chapel at jack's school... 
praying and thanking god for his many blessings. 
our thanksgiving table at the lake with the fifers and bowlins.  love thanksgiving at the lake.
amazing cake balls at blanchette family thanksgiving @ the farm.
my BIG girl who picked out such a darling outfit for school.

Monday, November 19, 2012

a tea party with some special friends...

to celebrate olivia's 7th birthday.  her party in a few pictures...
the invitation
the location- sweet firefly sweet shop
the birthday girl was ready and so excited!
the tables were set with glitter, flowers, a craft, feather boas, and o's great-grandmothers REAL teacups.

the food table with lots of sweet treats- chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate pretzel rods, petifours,  fruit,  and the finest country time "pink" tea. 
any party olivia plans must include a craft.  so first up, making jewelry boxes.  we painted and bedazzled them!
then we sang happy birthday and ate ice cream and the other sweet treats.
and finally some sweet friends to make the whole celebration extra special.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

seven years old...

it can't be possible that my first born girl is SEVEN!!  i am amazed daily at the life that God created when He made her.  olivia is kind, so smart, sensitive, determined, faithful, curious, artistic, the best big sister, considerate, loving, diligent, a great friend, thoughtful, talented, a super student, a rule follower, a precious granddaughter, fun, and loves Jesus.  it is such a joy to be her mommy and watch her grow into a lovely little girl who i know God has big plans for.  my prayer for her continues to be that she would seek Him first in all that she does and that she would know that He will be EVERYTHING she ever needs.
a birthday breakfast with decorations, donuts, and our little family

a birthday outfit from moonbeam!  a few birthday gifts from b and pop.
birthday dinner at benihana with gramps, nana, and the fam

a rockin' birthday gift- her very own iTouch from nana and gramps.
thank you God for olivia!  i am beyond blessed by her life, her example, and her love.

olivia,  your daddy and i are so very proud of the young lady that you are growing into.  may all your days as a seven year old be filled with love of family and friends, seeking Christ, lots of prayer, and even some new lessons learned to make you the best eight year old ever.  we love so very much!! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

we flung our green and gold AGAIN...

at baylor homecoming!  it has become a fun family tradition and one of my favorite weekends of the fall, when we head down south to waco, texas and celebrate baylor with our bowlin family and college friends.  it is a weekend that makes me smile from start to finish and as we drive home my heart is full of gratitude for family, friends, and my college days all bound together because of baylor.  sic em bears!!

first, dinner with the bowlin family and bonfire...
the cousins after a yummy dinner at heitmiller steakhouse
olivia coloring at the tent promoting the new baylor counting book.  it's the cutest book for any new baylor baby!!
this year we were all tired and didn't stay long enough to see the bonfire, but we did run into some good friends, do some shopping at the bookstore, and had a great time being on campus.

next, saturday morning parade...
the traditional cousin picture sitting on the curb waiting for the parade.  love these kids!!
jack with his new bruiser bear.  so proud!
sarah and i.  we are usually the ones taking the pictures so i was happy mark snapped this one of the two of us.  :)
the whole bowlin/fifer fam.
then it's off to the game...

pop and abby ready for some baylor football.
kk and o, faces painted and ready to cheer on the bears.
christman and jack snacking on peanuts and hoping for a baylor victory!
and this year our little family concluded our weekend by walking around campus on sunday morning telling our kids stories, swinging on green and gold bench swings, and of course taking a picture or two...

our cute kids.

can't wait until next year when we can introduce our newest little love to BAYLOR!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

sarcoma journey, the blessings...

as this journey continues, i am humbled by all the blessings that have been poured out to me.  as i have said before, this journey was unexpected and frightening at times, but time and time again i have been blessed and i know that is what this time in my life is really teaching me- gratitude.

here are just a few of the blessings i have been given in the last month...

a husband who never leaves my side, an amazing team of doctors, a supportive loving and encouraging family, meals given, treats delivered, emails of encouragement received, my kids are well loved and cared for, texts from friends to remind me that i am in their thoughts and prayers, gift cards sent with love, flowers to brighten my day, a family who serves me whatever my need, friends who visit and bring lunch and great conversation, understanding that i don't always want to talk text or visit, a church family who faithfully prays for me, and a God who shows up every step of the way and reminds me that He is enough and all i really need to get through anything.

i am so very blessed.  thanks be to god!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


was so much fun AGAIN this year.  now that the kids are getting older, i don't have control over the costumes anymore.  sniff, sniff! :(  i must admit the days of me searching the internet to find cute and coordinating costumes were fun, but now it's off to target we go!  this year they decided on a witch and mario (or superman, whatever jack felt like).  not too bad!

first costume op was the pumpkin bash at church.  once again we decorated our car with baylor garb and passed out candy for "trunk-or-treat" while the kids walked around with chrissie and friends.  fun times!!
jack wasn't so sure about his mario costume so he opted for superman pjs.  they still look adorable.  love my superman and little witch.  :)

our "trunk" for trunk or treating.  there was lots of baylor music blaring as well.  sic em!!

then of course, the big night arrived... "REAL halloween," as the kid call it.  we went over to the fifers for some yummy soup and then the kids got all dressed up and headed out into the neighborhood for some trick-or-treating.

the green witch, mario, the purple witch, and a pumpkin
love these two! :)
happy halloween from the bowlins!
pretty typical halloween for us, but it is always so much for for the kids.  i love experiencing holidays with them and seeing the fun and excitement of special days, like halloween!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

october iPhone pics...

a few of our favorite moments of october brought to you by my iPhone and instragram...

an ice cream date with friends at sweet firefly...
jack loving his BLUE kookie monster ice cream

sweet friends enjoying a sweet treat
 a lunch date with my boys (mark and jack)...
the perfect fortune... i have been so reminded of how blessed i am with so many true friends.
 a trip to waco to spend time with friends and cheer on the bears...
grant and jack sporting their new baylor t-shirts.  sic em bears!!
an evening with cody and besty-- games, art, pizza making, chinese food, and lots of good conversation...
cody, jack, and o eating their pizza creations.  yummm!
 going back to church after surgery and having breakfast with these two...

Monday, October 22, 2012

sarcoma journey, surgery...

god has been so gracious and given me a peace that can only be from Him, but the day of surgery i was still consumed with anxiety about my little girl who is only 24 weeks old.  she is not developed enough to live outside of my body, but i really need to have this surgery so i chose to trust in the lord that He would protect her and me.  i chose to pray continuously that surgery would be successful and that she would not be affected by it.  god is so good!  the 2.5 hour surgery was very successful and the tumor was removed completely with clear margins!  they did have to remove an entire muscle in my left thigh to get those clear margins, but praise god for a successful procedure!! i then spent the next two days in the hospital recovering and resting on the anti-partum floor.  i was glad to be on a specialized floor where they could monitor the baby and care for me.  the next two days were restful, full of visits from family and friends, and even some big accomplishments on my road to recovery.  i felted so loved by all my family and friends that were there to support me after surgery.  their smiles, hugs, and visits lifted my spirits and reminded me of how blessed i am to have so many people in my life that love me so well.

i didn't take any pictures, but i did have one very unexpected friend show up in my hospital room and i couldn't let her leave without a pic.  katie, all the way from haiti, came by for a visit.  she happened to be in town for a family event and surprised me with her visit.  so thankful for her.  :)

besides my concern for my little baby girl, my fear was my mobility.  would i be able to walk since they removed a muscle?  would i have to have physical therapy?  so when they brought in the walker and asked me to stand up and walk i was nervous.  mark was by my side and my mom sat in the hall to watch, and i did it!!!  i walked all the way around the floor of the hospital with the walker.  my mom sat with a nurse and shed a few tears, as if i was 12 months old again and taking my first steps.  i was thrilled!!  i had a big ole smile on my face and so thankful to the Lord that i was clearing another hurdle on my road to recovery.

a few more visits from the doctor, a consult with a physical therapist, and then i was released to go home!!  now home to rest and go to lots of follow-up visits...