Friday, December 26, 2014

The Covering House

Have you heard of The Covering HouseThe Covering House is a St. Louis organization that seeks to provide a place of refuge and restoration for girls who have experienced sexual trafficking or sexual exploitation. Until this past year, I don't think I realized how big of a problem this is in the U.S. It is heartbreaking! I encourage you to visit their website and read the facts and to see how they are helping these young girls after they have been rescued.

For the 12 days leading up to Christmas, the girls who are living in the long-term therapeutic home were able to learn about a different character trait each day. Some of the included character traits were love, joy, peace, bravery, and finishing on Christmas day with forgiveness. I had the great privilege of speaking with the girls about bravery. 

What's kind of ironic about the situation is that I was scared to death to speak. And I was supposed to be sharing about bravery. For me, speaking in front of a group generally means shaking, sweating, nausea, and watery eyes. But I wanted so badly to try to encourage these girls so I tried to get over those feelings. 

I was asked to share about my history with cancer and what made me feel brave during those times. But as I was trying to rehearse what I was going to say, I realized that looking back, I didn't really feel so brave. But how would that be an encouragement to these girls who are also struggling? So instead of telling them what made me feel brave, I told them what I felt made me brave. On the days that I felt like giving up, that meant relying on the ones who cared about me to help me not give up. Pushing through each day. Surviving. Ultimately I know God is the one who healed me and He is the one who got me through each and every day. I pray that these girls will also know this truth one day.
I honestly don't know if the girls took away anything from what I said to them. But I know the Lord can use anything, even if I was a nervous wreck and spilled out 2 years worth of words in 3 minutes. 

After I was done with what I had to say, Maggi and I took some pictures of them that they will be able to have printed and put in their life books that they received this week. Spending the afternoon with the girls was great, but also so sad. Sad that there is a need for a home like this. Sad that there are so many hurdles for organizations to help the girls. Sad that this is still a problem that people either don't know about or don't acknowledge. And sad that there are so many who are still out there, needing to be rescued or just needing the help that is very needed after coming out of something so horrible. The girls are so sweet and such normal kids. They have had a piece of their childhood stolen away from them. But there is ways we can help improve their future. We can let them know that they are brave, they are special, and they are loved. I still look back at those years with cancer with such positive memories because of all the selfless people who invested their time and money to help my days feel a little bit brighter. 

As I said at the beginning, please visit their website to learn more information. You can make a monetary donation, find a way to volunteer, or donate something from their list of constant needs (included below, just to help you out.) Please get the word out and help this great cause!

·         Toilet Paper
·         Tissues
·         Hand Soap
·         Paper Towels
·         Dish Soap
·         Laundry Detergent
·         Dishwasher Detergent
·         Copy Paper
·         Large Trash-Bags
·         Small Trash-Bags
·         Tampons/Pads
·         Cocoa Butter
·         Pomegranate Seed Oil for hair
·         A moisturizing shampoo, like Ojon's Ultra Hydrating Shampoo,
·         A moisturizing deep-conditioning treatment, like Ojon's Restorative Hair Treatment
·         A moisturizing styling product, like Tresemmes Anti-Frizz Secret Smoothing Cream
·         A moisturizing hair dress to replenish hair daily, like Biosilk's Silk Therapy Serum
·         Canvases (different sizes)
·         Paint (Acrylic Paints)
·         Bleach
·         Cascade dishwasher tablets
·         Air Freshener
·         Gallon Size Freezer Bags
·         Saran Wrap
·         Aluminum Foil

Friday, December 19, 2014

gold!

It's been over two weeks since I last posted anything here. December just always seems so busy. After adding in the shorter daylight hours (which becomes depressing) and 1st trimester exhaustion, I have pretty much been avoiding it. I have also had an ongoing headache for almost two weeks now. Tylenol does not do a thing--but I keep taking it to feel like I'm doing something. I've also been using peppermint oil with no success. I think essential oils only work for people who are not skeptical. So if anyone has any advice or a great (low priced) chiropractor to recommend, let me know!

Anyway, on to more fun stuff! For many months, a few of us girls have talked about getting together to play around with some studio lighting in our friend Rachel's basement. She picked up some gold sequin fabric a couple of weeks ago so we finally got a chance to snap a few pictures. All four of us took turns taking pictures on the same memory card so I can't be sure who took which picture.




glitter always makes everything a lot more fun




My friends are the best!
Happy Christmas break!

Monday, December 1, 2014

November iphone photos and "kids say"

November was a good month, even though I had pneumonia during most of it. We celebrated a few birthdays, a couple of new Rockport babies, hearing my baby's heartbeat for the first time, and so much good food and dessert!

Bonfire season is always the best. I can never say no to a s'more.

the Lovings surprised me with delicious chocolate chip scones on my birthday


3+ weeks of pneumonia calls for Full House marathons

the first snow of the season--with Rachel :)

two(!!) donut cakes for Kingston's birthday


We haven't put up Christmas decorations for years. This year we put up a small pink tree. It works for now but I'm holding out for a big white or colored tree!

#nomakeupnoproblem!

Thanksgiving pie

this makes me happy

Maggi and I saw "Mockingjay." By the way---great movie! 

This next picture has kind of a strange story. I have always been a dreamer. Like, I have crazy, vivid, intense dreams pretty much every night. I spend the rest of the day thinking about the dream I had the night before (or the ones I've had years ago.) But the other night, I had one long, not exciting dream. For what seemed like many hours-worth of dream time, I took my time picking out colored pencils, sharpening them, and arranging them in a heart shape so I could take a picture for Instagram. I had a vision. It had to be fulfilled. So the next day, I blistered my fingers just so I could take this picture. And there's your daily dose of weirdness.




And this "kids say" post should pretty much just be called "kai says" because he's the one who contributed to all but one of these. 

"Kingston, do you love tickles?",
"no", 
"what do you love?",
"uhmmm... punching",
"what else do you love?",
"uhmmm...flowers",
"what else do you love?",
"princess leia"

Don had just played "Happy" by Pharrell on his guitar
Don--"So did that sound like "Happy?""
Kai--"Yeah, but your face isn't the same color as his." (Pharrell's)

Me--"I love you guys so, so much."
Kai--"Oh! So does that mean we get candy now?"

Kai--"Mommy, I love you more than cake."

Kai--"Does everyone in the world have boogers, except God?"

Kai--"Eww, what smells so stinky?"
Liam--"Maybe it's daddy's breath."
Kai--"It smells like a stinky diaper."

Kai was complaining that his dance moves weren't as silly anymore because he was just "getting too good" at dancing. 


Happy December!

Friday, November 28, 2014

baby number 5!

So let me just get straight to the point. In case you missed the special announcement the other night, we are expecting baby #5! Lord willing, we will be holding a brand new baby next July. It is a very exciting time for our family. The boys are already guessing that we will have another sweet baby girl, and I have to admit, I am guessing the same thing at this point. 

Now let me be honest, announcing baby #5 isn't the easiest thing in the world. After only our second child, people were already making rude and sarcastic comments and teasing us about our family size. It becomes difficult to want to share your joy with others when people make jokes, talk behind your back, or voice their worries. It gets a little tiring to hear the same "you've got your hands full" comment multiple times during every single outing. 

But during all my worrying about how people would respond, I was reminded of the verses in Scripture that tell us that God intended children to be a blessing, not a burden.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
    who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."


All that to say that I am very thankful and encouraged by all the family and friends who have rejoiced with us in this new pregnancy. I know I have many months and years of hearing negative comments, attacking the size of our family or the way we train our children. But right now, I can be thankful for a whole lot of people who are just rejoicing with us. 

A special thanks to Maggi for going out in the cold to take these pictures for me!



Monday, November 17, 2014

Kingston's 3rd birthday

Yesterday was Kingston's 3rd birthday. It was also the first snowfall of the year. Last year we were enjoying temperatures in the 70s, so it was pretty crazy to be getting snow already. We had a little donut party for him--because nothing is better than a cake made of donuts. Except maybe this dark chocolate salted caramel oreo pie?? I haven't tried it yet but I will be sure to report back after I make it for Thanksgiving.





glitter/confetti pictures are always the most fun


  

a few pictures from my phone yesterday...


Kingston got the best birthday gift! A little birthday buddy. Arrow Gideon Gunby was born on Kingston's birthday. He sure is a cutie!


I always like to do little "birthday interviews" with the kids. Kingston wasn't into it so much but I got a few answers out of him before he rushed off to watch Space Jam (the most hilarious birthday gift a 3 year old could receive--thanks, Maggi!)

Favorite color- blue
Favorite food- chicken
Favorite TV show- Animal Mechanicals
Favorite movie- Star Wars
Favorite game- Infinity
Favorite restaurant- Chick Fil A
Favorite drink- milk
Favorite animal- elephant
Favorite toy- lightsaber
Favorite superhero- Hulk
Best friend- Sam Mcmillian


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Early November

Has anyone noticed that the older you get, the less exciting birthdays become? Yesterday I turned 27...and while the day wasn't exactly the most thrilling, we did get to go to one of my favorite places (Salvation Army) and have delicious burgers (Five Guys.) But since we didn't get to try a new burger place, I'm going to pretend we never actually celebrated my birthday. Burgers are my thing--and I'm on a mission to find the best.

We went to my dad's house this past week. I have a hard time not pulling out my camera each time we are over there.

this is Scarlett--isn't she beautiful?





This little guy will be 3 next week. That sweet face just begs to be photographed. But of course, in true Roberts boy fashion, he busted his face on a brick the other day. I'm glad I got a couple of his face before it got covered in wounds.





a few random pictures....
our little friend, Legacy

Liam with his first science project, an edible cell

Don and his much anticipated Martin guitar. He was leaping with joy after this purchase!

How's that for a random post? Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

our busy days

Just last week the trees were full of leaves that were the most beautiful shades of red, yellow, and orange. This week, the last of those leaves are barely hanging on. Daylight savings has come, which makes for dark, depressing evenings. And the never ending cold-weather sicknesses are already starting to appear at our house as I was just diagnosed with walking pneumonia.

And through it all, I will still praise the Lord for the promise of life that comes after death, just as the spring shows us after every winter. I will be grateful to know that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. And whether healthy or sick, I can trust that the Lord will carry my burdens for me. He gives me more than I can handle so that I will lean upon Him, reminding me that His grace is sufficient. It was very encouraging to re-read "The Hiding Place" over the past few days and see how that true that was for the ten Boom family.

The past couple of weeks have been really busy and it doesn't look like things will slow down anytime soon. One of those afternoons was spent playing in the leaves while the big kids played football.

love these kids and their sweet smiles




we also took a little trip to the park--I love these faces!




also a trip to the zoo




isn't my Grandma lovely?

I made the mistake of not taking pictures of their Halloween costumes until that cold 40 degree day...which left me without any good pictures. Oh well. My Star Wars cuties won a costume contest that night and we came home with lots of candy and gift cards. It was a good night!




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