Wednesday, September 16, 2009

our vegas trip

Ok, so the previous post is not true :) I don't think I fooled anybody, either!

Last weekend, we spent 4 days in Las Vegas. Mom and Dad Barkel took Jordan and I and Jeremy and Jess, Jordan's sister and brother-in-law (Jordan's other sister couldn't make it). This was actually Jordan's and my 2nd time going, the first being 5 years ago, and it was just as fun. There is just so much to see and do. We stayed at the Bally's Resort. It was right in the middle of the strip. It was really great hotel! We had a good time just laying out by the pool, walking up and down the strip, and gambling (of course). We gambled a lot (time-wise) and had a lot of fun doing it and when we finally called it quits, we came out $10 ahead. Whoopee! We discovered a place with $1 Margaritas, really good food, and cheap beer, called 'Bill's' and it kind of became our hangout place. We had such a great time!

It was the perfect amount of time away from our girls. Our friends, Aaron and Heidi and Katie and Matt, my sister and brother-in-law, took good care of them. Aaron told us that Natalie crawled into bed with them one night and asked him a couple of times, "daddy?" and Aaron would correct her and say, "no, Aaron." But now, we've had it a couple of times where she'll point at a male stranger and say "my daddy?" and she's been calling her own daddy "Jordan"..... I'm thinking there's more to the story that Aaron told us about her asking if he was her daddy! What did he tell her? :) Natalie has been talking about Aaron and Heidi and Matt and Katie everyday since we've been home. I don't think our girls missed us at all!

Here are some pics of the weekend:












Thanks, mom and dad, for another great and memorable family vacation!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

summer '09

Where did the summer go?!! I thought this was an awesome summer; I loved the comfortable weather! Today, Jordan and I took a bike ride with the girls from Beechwood Reformed to the beach. The weather was amazing and the girls did really great. We pull them in a burley behind us. I think this has been the first bike ride that neither of them got bitten by the other and there was no fighting! I'm so regretful for not doing more things like that this summer. We made ourselves way too busy this summer. But it was still a great summer.
Ruby is 10 months old now! She can say a few words and she's still as happy as can be. She loves dancing and music! She can't not dance when someone sings or when music plays. When I sit her by the piano, she just pounds away... she's going to be a pianist, I just know it! She still has quite the appetite as well (like her mother!). She enjoyed her first of corn-on-the-cob the other night - so funny. I just can't believe how fast time has gone with her.
While Ruby is our overly happy and content sweetheart, Natalie is bi-polar! No, I'm just kidding, I hope!! But she does have many different personalities ;) Sometimes, she is just soo sweet, caring, and playful and literally the next minute, she's rolling on the ground throwing a fit. AGH! This parenting stuff is getting tricky! Ruby goes to sleep earlier than Natalie, so when we bring Natalie into the room sometimes Ruby wakes up and starts crying. And then Natalie yells, "Ruby, STOP CRYING!" And things go downhill from there and we've got two screaming children probably waking up the neighborhood since their windows are usually open. But what a fun age at the same time. She's talking constantly and some of the things she says are so funny. And hearing 'I wuv you' never gets old (especially when I'm so sure throughout the day that she doesn't exactly like me).

Check out some of our pictures of the girls over this summer:


At the beach with my sister, Katie and all of the kids!

Natalie and Briella put lotion on each other :)





I feel like I could write a lot more on this post, but I am very sleepy from the summer sun and the girls are asleep, too.... I feel a nap coming on :)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

story of my life....

Just watch (pause the music at the bottom of this page first):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU66Tlp-vpI

Multiply that by two.

Enough said.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

getting my priorities straight

This afternoon, I was sitting in the sun. I have not done that hardly at all this summer because I've been too busy working on the house, or mowing, or blogging :).... While sitting outside, I began to think about God's marvelous creation. I've been so busy with ME, the girls, and Jordan (and probably in that order, too) that I haven't left (or made) time to be with God.

I think God has been trying to reveal it to me that I need to make Him number 1. Our sermon on Sunday really spoke to my heart. It was about partaking of all that God has to offer us when we actually have a relationship with Him. There's so much more to this life if we just give God the reigns. And last week, Jordan showed me a youtube video that shows a black speck in space actually being another universe. God is AMAZING!! We humans have not even begun to see the vastness of this creation. We are less than miniscule beings on this earth and in this life and yet God considers us His greatest creation! He knows the number of hairs on our heads! How can that be? And Jesus gave himself up for us? How humbling.

We were made to praise Him but He has not been the priority in my life, lately. This creation is so gigantic and God is even bigger and yet I put Him in a box and take Him out when I need Him or when I have the time for Him. And I praise Him often for our health, our girls, our marrige, family and friends, and even for blessing us financially. But sometimes the devil gets in my head and I subconciously believe that we deserve all these blessings, that we don't need God.... UGH! When I consider God's creation, and then look into my heart and see that it is black with sin and that what I'm deserving of is hell, then I can't believe that God chooses to love me still. I love this phrase from the song 'Here I Am to Worship': I'll never know how much it cost, to see my sin upon that cross. That's so true - we have no idea....

God created us to praise Him and we are to make Him priority number one. I have been so selfish this summer, always working on the house, or running errands. or dot, dot, dot and those things have to be done but it's September and I just finally 'smelled the roses' (literally, too!). It's time for me to praise God first and let everything fall into place after that.

If you want to see the video I'm referring to that Jordan showed me, click here. It's pretty cool!