Thursday, May 31, 2012

And God Provided

So the theme for the past year for us was "And God Provided"...

Carey needed a job change. And God Provided
We needed a place to live. And God Provided
We were having a baby and did not have maternity coverage on our health insurance. And God Provided
We don't have enough money to pay our bills. And God Provided
We don't have enough money to buy groceries and pay for gas. And God Provided

But not only did God provide, he overflowed our cup with what and how he provided. We never went without. We were prayed for by family and friends and it was felt daily. We didn't pay a dime for the birth of our baby. We were living in our dream house. It got to the point at times that we were so humbled by it all that we felt unworthy by his provisions. That is was too much. Can you believe that? Too much. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't easy. We had to keep reminding ourselves that our God was bigger than our financial difficulties. That our God was bigger than the physical difficulties of being 35, pregnant with our fourth and working. That if we let God be bigger and continue to trust him, that one day this would all be a memory, a testimony of how he refined us by fire. A friend shared this with me recently ... "God will not protect us from something that will perfect us." I can honestly say that our faith was perfected during this time. And I consider it all joy and a privilege to have walked through this time of perfecting with my God and my man.

During this time of provision, we were able to enjoy life as usual. We were very busy that Spring of 2012. Carey was still officing out of the house and Kim was working about 25 hours a week at a local CPA firm. The kids participated in scouts, soccer, basketball, AWANA, piano, dance and children's choir. Then we topped off the end of spring with their first trip to Six Flags.

Victoria playing Upward soccer. Oh how she loves it!
Her awards ceremony for soccer. Loves her trophy!
Awards ceremony for AWANA. She is now a Sparky.
Riley at his crossing over ceremony for scouts.
He is now a Webelo.
Victoria's dance recital. Mommy has been
waiting for this day for five years!
Riley's piano recital. He's got talent!
The Children's musican Jonah's Druthers.
Riley was the Sheriff. He's got talent!
The antique car ride at Six Flags. Mommy couldn't
ride this one either.
It was a hot one the day we went to Six Flags.
Juliet all sacked out and sweaty by  midday.
 And now it is just waiting time until number four arrives.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Victoria Turns Five

So, in our family, kid parties are not the norm. It is only on special birthdays that we invite our friends over and have an all out birthday bash. It was Victoria's turn. After all, the little darling's turning FIVE! We had a great party with her closest friends. Pizza, cake, milkshakes and a pinata! Oh and some presents too.

Time to whack the pinata!
Who's next?
Our partiers ... Juliet, Caroline, Riley, Victoria, Sage,
Noah, Mckenzee, Jack and Isaac

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Secret, a Trip, a Wedding and a Birthday

Shortly after the new year in 2011, we loaded up once again and set out for Traverse City, Michigan. Carey's brother Craig was to wed their step-sister Mandy. We were super excited!! We also were going to be able to celebrate Riley's 9th birthday there and announce our news about a new addition to our family come July.

So we decided to tell the kids on our way up to Michigan. We were at Braum's on that first day and told Riley that we were going to have another baby. He didn't believe us. "You're kidding, right?" were his exact words. Need less to say, he was very excited about another brother or sister, but was leaning more towards a brother.

The kids had a blast at Craig and Mandy's wedding! They danced and danced and danced. It was so fun to watch. It was also so wonderful to get to see Carey's family and have them enjoy the evening with the kids.

The kids got some time in to ski a bit while we were there. Victoria did ski school and had a good time while Carey, Riley and Corbin took to the slopes. Juliet and I just laid low at the house.

We also got to celebrate Riley's 9th birthday while we were there. This is a rare occasion to be with Carey's family on one of the kids' birthdays.

 After we got back from our trip, we took Riley to Fuddruckers, his most favorite out to eat spot, with his best bud, Sage to celebrate his birthday with Pops and Gigi and family.

 Obviously very excited about his cash.

 Photo bomb courtesy of Uncle Kevin

Best Buds since 2010

Saturday, December 31, 2011

LOCT, Old House, New House, A Test

He had been talking about it for months. It scared me to death. Were we ready for this. This is big. This is huge. This would take total dependence on the Lord to be our provider. We couldn't put our faith in the steady paycheck that came every other Tuesday like clock work. Then it happened ...

On October 12, 2011. Carey resigned from the law firm he had been working at for the past four years. The Law Office of Carey Thompson, PC was formed.

Very exciting. Very scary.

We had a grand total of $2,000 in the bank. We had $7,000 in his 401k. We had a house payment, two car payments, a student loan payment and five mouths to feed. Gulp

So, we prayed and prayed. And then we sat back and were able to have front row seats to the most amazing, incredible, miraculous experience of our lives thus far. God moved. God provided. God blessed.

October 13, 2011. We received an offer on the sale of our home. We put our house on the market in October of 2010. Yes, 2010. A year ago. Our contract with the real estate agent had expired a few weeks ago and I just hadn't had a chance to contact the agent to tell him to take it off and that we were going to stay put. Well, we got an offer. It wasn't great offer or even a good offer. It was an offer to break even. So, we took it.

Now we are broke and homeless. A little dramatic, I know. But that it how it seemed.

So began the search for a home. We decided to rent because we were pretty certain that no lender would lend money to a couple who was not gainfully employed. We found a home to rent in Saginaw that seemed nice enough. The monthly rent would be the exact same amount that we were paying as a house payment, even though the house was smaller. But the neighborhood was safe and that was our main concern.

Then my parents had an epiphany. Why don't they buy the house and we pay the mortgage. Ok. Let's do that! So then the search began for a house to buy. FUN!! We went ahead and looked for our dream house. The one that we would move to and finally be settled.

Price: $200,000
Lot size: 1 acre
Bedrooms: 4
School District: Eagle Mountain Saginaw
And some other details, but those were the major requirements.

October 30, 2011. Well, there were exactly zero houses that fit that in EMS ISD. So, let's look in Northwest ISD. Found it.


So, I called the loan guy and told him our plan. He said "Easy, just have your parents say that this is going to be their permanent residence and then we are good to go." And there it is. That little voice inside you that whispers ... um, no, this isn't right. I couldn't do that. I couldn't get this house on a lie. I know that the Lord hadn't brought us down this path to a point that we could only move on with a lie.  And that is exactly what I told the loan guy. I told him all the God stuff I just mentioned. And he was silent. Then he told us that we would need $40,000 to buy this home then. Well, it might as well be $4 million. We barely had $100 to buy groceries that week. We said our good-byes and I told him we would give him a call in the future when we were ready to buy.

Bye-bye house. Maybe in a year or two. Let's just rent. And I immediately fell out of love with the dream house.

So I called my mom and told her the bad/good news that the Lord had made for us. And she had another epiphany. Why don't they co-sign for the loan. Hmmmm ...

Called back the loan guy. And he was silent. Then he said "Now that is a good idea."

HELLO dream house! I am back in love with you!!

November 19, 2011. Moving day. Moved stuff into storage. Moved people into Pops and Gigis' house. And something else happened too (see December 5, 2011 below). Am I blushing?

November 21, 2011. Closing day on the old house. Very emotional day. Lots of people not doing their job correctly. Lots of mistakes made. But had my first In and Out burger ... it was good!

December 2, 2011. Closed on our new house. Moved in that evening. There was alot more to it but I choose to focus on the fact that we did reach our end goal. The journey was SOOOOO excruciating. Everything that could go wrong did and everyone took advantage of our good nature. But we were home.

Ahhhhh ...  The end to a long and emotional journey. We had sold the house and bought our dream house and had exactly $200 in the bank. I started unpacking and didn't stop for three days.

December 5, 2011. Once I finally sat down and relaxed, I realized something.

I took a test. And it was positive. Of course, I didn't realize it was positive. I had lost the instructions. So I looked them up on the internet. If there are two horizontal lines then it is positive. Well mine had to vertical lines.

Carey then tilted the test upward. And there they were ... the two horizontal lines.

Couldn't believe it. Jumped in the car, drove to Walmart and bought another one. Read the instructions. Took the test. Positive.

We were having a baby.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Just the Two of Us

We were long overdue. When was the last time we had been on a trip together just the two of us?? And um ... camping trips don't count. July 1997. Hawaii. The honeymoon. That was a long time ago. So yeah, we were long overdue. We set off for Seattle Washington in September 2011. We left Riley (8), Victoria (4) and Juliet (13 months) in the more than capable hands of Pops and Gigi. Even though we left at different times and days and I arrived almost 12 hours after I left and Carey almost missed his plane (they were paging him in the airport as he was running through the corridors) we both made it there. And it was AH-MAZE-ING!!

So what did we do for our four days away from the kids ever? Whatever we wanted!! We slept late. We ate. We saw all the sites. We ate. We rode the ferry. We ate. We climbed a mountain. We ate. And we just enjoyed each other's company. Oh and Carey had to work some. Yeah, it was a working trip and I was a tag-along. The weather was beautiful. It didn't rain a drop while we were there. Our hotel was very nice. They were filming some Canadian B movie while we were there. Random, I know. We drove and drove all over to see as much as we could. It is so peaceful with the mountains and the water and the trees. Love it there.

We would like to make this a more frequent thing. Getting away just the two of us. And we can't wait to go back to Seattle. There were some things we just didn't have the time to do. Here is what we did do ...

 Waiting for the ferry ride.

Mt. Rainer. Beautiful. My favorite part of the trip. 

Pike's Place Market.

So when I look back on this trip, I see the Lord's hand. I see that He was giving us some time away for us to renew our relationship. He knew the trials that were to come and that the next year would bring drastic changes to our lives in the form of totally dependence on Him and abundant blessings, too many to count. I thank Him for this sweet time we had together to prepare us for what was to come.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Camping in Colorado Summer 2011

We loaded up Carey's truck with the tent, air mattresses, picnic canopy, pack n play, cook box, towels, clothes, car seats, stroller, and various other camping paraphernalia, and 3 kids and 2 adults and set our sights for Colorado.

First stop, Palo Duro Canyon State Park on the Fourth of July. Great hiking. Great campsite. Even had a visit from a deer that let us feed it from our hands. 


Next stop, Mueller State Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This campsite was just to the west of Pike's Peak. Great sight ... except for the walk up hill to the bathroom, which was a bit difficult with the altitude sickness. Oh and the no fire ban because of the drought. Oh and also the bear that visited our campsite while we were off to see Pike's Peak. To which we were told to keep your food in your vehicle overnight and bang on a pot with a wooden spoon if you were to encounter one in person. !!!! Yeah, didn't sleep much that night.


Then off further west. We drove through the most beautiful part of the country I have ever seen. Mountains on both sides with waterfalls and streams ... gorgeous.

Our most favorite spot on this camping trip (and probably any trip we've ever taken) was at The Matterhorn National Forest Campground near Ouray, Colorado. We were surrounded by mountains on all sides and there was a stream not far from our campsite. The weather was perfect. The hiking was just right for the kids and we were able to see gorgeous scenery. Plus, no more altitude sickness, no bears and we got to have a campfire!!

We took a trip into Telluride one evening to eat. We were able to ride on the gondola. The kids loved it!

Another day we took a trip to Ouray and went swimming in the hot springs pool. That was really fun!

Juliet was filthy the entire time. She was not yet walking and crawled everywhere and played in the dirt, gravel, put rocks in her mouth. We would give her a bath in the totes we used to pack out camping stuff because she would get to slippery to hold in the shower. I'm sure the critters just loved her since most of her food ended up on the ground after meal time. She did love the hiking. She had a bird's eye view in the the hiking backpack.

It was a wonderful family camping trip that we will never forget. We were a bit anxious to get home and drove straight home without stopping from Ouray. We did get a little turned around when we stopped off at a rest stop just before the Texas border and ended up going back west for about 5 miles. It was when I noticed that there was "another" White Woman Creek that it dawned on us that we were going the wrong way. Pretty funny stuff.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spring Brings a Stink Bug, Soccer, Scouts and Singing

[Been a while, I know, gonna try to catch up]

STINK BUG: When the note came home from asking the kids to indicate which part they wanted in the school play, Riley immediately said "Either the Stink Bug or the Maggot."  Well, after seeing the play from beginning to end, I know exactly why those were his choices ... comic relief. Riley LOVES to make people laugh. When you laugh at anything he does, his heart just swells. That is his love language. I am pretty sure the love language of laughing is not in that book (The Five Love Languages), but I know my boy and that is his.

So, he got the part of the Stink Bug. Here he is in his costume. Cheapest costume I have ever made.

Green Shirt - Goodwill $1.50
Green Hair Spray - Walmart $1.25
Green Face Paint - Dollar Tree $1.00

 He was very pleased with how he looked.

In case you were wondering, the Stink Bug would stand in the bug crowd during the songs and then run across the stage between songs, while everyone held their nose and made smelly, stinky faces. This was funny. Riley really hammed it up. Then towards the end of the play, he had a bit of dialog in which he commented on the fact that leaving him out of the picnic just because he stinks isn't quite fair, blah, blah, blah. The point is, he was funny and people laughed ... and he loved it!

What he didn't love was the week or so after when the kids at school would hold their nose and talk about how he stinks at school. I didn't care for that either.

SOCCER: So, we signed Victoria up for a social club, oh I mean soccer. Yes there was a ball and some goals and some running and even uniforms, but to Victoria, this was a time to meet up with friends, pick them flowers, talk about shoes and clothes, and have a snack. She had a blast! And she learned the game and even scored once ... we think.

SCOUTS: Riley has moved on to become a bear scout. He is enjoying cub scouts. And Carey is enjoying being his den leader. We took a train ride to downtown Dallas and went to the Aquarium with the den. The boys really enjoyed that. This is such a great organization. Teaching boys how to be men.

SINGING: Music is a big thing in this house. We love it. Whether singing with our voices or playing an instrument. Performing is a love of ours too. Put the two together and you have a musical ... love musicals!!! This year the Children's Choir performed Survivor Babylon. The story of the fiery furnace told with a bit of The Survivor television program twist. Lots of fun. I worked with the 3 and 4 year old's this past year. That was definitely a challenge, but it was fun ... for the most part. At least, I hope they had fun and learned about singing to God. Riley had a speaking part in this program as well. And which part did he get you ask ... well one of the boys telling a joke of course!