10.29.2009

Family Pics Time Again :)

This is one of the most anticipated events of the year for me. Picture time with Rachel. Once a year. I am always excited and anxious at the same time. For those of you who have tried to get four kids under the age of six to smile on cue and all at the same time over and over again know what I mean...I'm excited to get good shots of my family but anxious/frustrated/resolved (in that order) knowing deep down that the "perfect" family shot is just not going to happen at this stage of life. But you know what I always realize afterwards? That for us, it wouldn't be perfect unless it included at least one child looking away and maybe one crying. Because that's our life, and in my book, it is perfect and I want to capture it just the way we are in real life - imperfect but blessed beyond measure.

I know...some of you have forgotten what the Ferguson family looks like since I have been on a blogging sabbatical. Here are some pics to jog your memory :) I think you just click on the link for the photo album.

Family Pics 09 Rachel

7.10.2009

Refreshed

I didn't get to post much last month, but only because I could barely keep up with life, much less recording life. We had so much fun during the month of June - we celebrated my birthday all month, went on vacation, went on a study break (without the kids), finished the triathlon, enjoyed our typical summer playdates at the pool and the free movies, traveled to Dallas for a friend's baby shower and had Brynlee's 1st birthday party. Not to mention all the normal routine stuff that keeps us busy anyways like church, real life group, date nights, changing diapers, reading stories and studying God's Word. I so love that our life is full, but at the same time I struggle because deep down I know that I will never catch up on recording all these memories.

One of my friends got me wanting to try my hand again at digital scrapbooking - so here was my first project...a reflection on the three days in June when we were totally refreshed - of course, we were by ourselves at a bed and breakfast in the hill country. And the refreshment only lasted thru day two of being back in the chaos of our life. But...it was awesome :)


I got this quick page from jessicasprague.com. She has a free tutorial on how to get into digital scrapbooking with Photoshop Elements - you should check it out if you're into scrapbooking.

7.05.2009

Lifelong Friends



There's just something sweet about celebrating the upcoming birth of one of your closest friends from high school's baby girl. She's going to be the greatest mommy. It was so much fun to get to spend time with a couple of girl friends that I know are friends for life. Due to us all living in different cities, our time together is pretty sparse these days, but I know that I can always count on these ladies to be there when I need them. Here's to lifelong friends that accept you on your good days and bad :)

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6.09.2009

She swims...she bikes...she runs...sheRox!!

I did it - completed my first ever sprint triathlon! I say first ever because I definitely think that I'm a glutton for punishment and will be talked into doing it again next year with my crazy friends. My goal was to finish in under 2 1/2 hours and my final time was 2 hours 19 minutes. Not only did I achieve that goal, but I also got back to the weight I wanted to get to and feel so much healthier than I did when I started training. Plus, I trained with some awesome ladies that I am just so blessed to be friends with. They challenged me to do something that was very BIG in my book and I am so thankful to them for that. Here are some pics from the event...beginning with my favorite moment of the day, my family (minus Bryn who was at home with granny) running with me across the finish line - priceless.


We ended family vacation by going to the Danskin Expo, where we put our bikes in the transition area, got our timing chip and colored swim cap and found out what wave we were going to start with. This year, we went with the Buddy group so that we could all start together. I think next year we'll go with our age group so that we don't have to wait until the very end to take off, but it was such a memorable experience standing in the water with my friends as we waited for the go signal to start our swim.

Here is a back shot of me about to cross the line to complete the 12 mile biking portion of the event. If only you could see my face, you would know how much I hate biking. I'm going to have to really practice in this area to improve my time for next year.

Laura, looking like it was no thing at all to just have biked 12 miles. I say it's because of the clips and camel pack :)
Here is Alison coming out of the transition area to begin the 3 mile run. She made an incredible time - finishing somewhere around 600 out of almost 2000 ladies - pretty impressive!


I wish we had a picture of the beginning, when the four of us were standing with our wave (all the purple caps) by the lake waiting for it to be our turn to begin the swim. I can't even describe the adrenaline as we got into place and put our goggles on. And then we were off...swimming with a mass of women all trying to get to the same place. What makes us want to swim in dirty water and get kicked in the side and face to boot? I don't know, but I do know that I have grown the most in my swimming ability. I couldn't do two laps without being totally out of breath when we began training and now, I can swim a mile without stopping to rest. That's a miracle and a testimony that it is possible for anyone to take up swimming.

Here's me coming out of the transition area. My smile is because I am 2/3's of the way done!

Yes, I feel like I look in this picture - ready to drop. But what a neat feeling to be on the other side wearing the medal. Pretty cool.
Alison Robert, Alison Ryan, me and Laura Murray - we make a fun fitness team.


Anyone want to join us for next year? Women came from all over Texas to participate. And trust me, if I can do it, anyone can!

I have to end by giving a special thanks to my mother-in-law, E., as most of you know her. She should really get mother-in-law of the year award because she had to walk (pushing a stroller) at least 1.5 miles to get to the event and 1.5 miles back (up two hills each time). And Keith couldn't have made it with the boys without her. It was special to have you there mom. Thanks. And thanks to my mom who got up to bring us breakfast at 5:30 a.m. and then watched Brynlee for the event.
And I can't close without thanking my sweet husband - who has run many miles with me to help me prepare, stayed up with me a lot of the night before the event and has encouraged me so much with his confidence in me. You're simply amazing and I am totally in love with you.

5.20.2009

Babe, You're Amazing

Today, Keith and I celebrated being married nine years. I want to take a moment to publicly tell my husband how truly incredible I think he is...bear with me, it will get mushy :)

Baby,

You have enriched my life so much. You make me so much better than I would be by myself. The Lord has used you in my life to give me a tangible picture of what His love is like. I thank God all the time that I get to walk thru this life with you. He blessed me with so much more than I deserve when he put us together.
You make me feel loved all the time - that gives me a confidence that I can't even explain. I have never once doubted in our marriage if you loved me because you show me love daily in your words and in your actions. You provide for me and our family so well. You encourage me in my mommy role by placing such a high value on it that you choose to sacrifice in other areas so that I can stay home with our children. Thank you for having so much confidence in me.
You are still the one that I enjoy being with the most. I can't get enough time with you. I so love just sitting and talking with you about anything (even theology :)...I know I tease you that God put me here to help keep you humble, but seriously, I think you're the smartest person I've ever met. I just won't tell you that too often because I don't want it to go to your head ;)
I love how you love the Lord. I am so thankful that you lead our home spiritually - that makes my role as your wife so much easier. You gently point me to God everytime I start looking somewhere else. Your walk with God, your conviction in the gospel, and your commitment to see those around you become Christ followers inspire me.
I am so blessed to be your wife. Did I mention that I think you're HOT? You are..very much..and I'm so glad that God gave you to me.

love you,
barie sue
You know how there are those things that you just don't realize you need until someone introduces you to it...well, I was just visiting my sweet friend's blog (check it out...At Home in Austin) when I discovered this:

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Is this not the coolest ride ever?!!! I could have so much fun taking our four little ones around the neighborhood with this. I wonder if Keith would think this was a need also? Probably not, but a girl can dream :)

5.13.2009

A Sad Week

Yesterday we got a call from Keith's mom that his Mimi (E.'s mom) had passed away. She was 92 and up until about a year and a half ago, she was in extremely good health, both mentally and physically. She lived past her husband, one son and most of her friends and had a fascinating perspective on life because she had lived thru so much, including the Great Depression. Keith and I got to spend time with one of her nieces last summer and gained a whole new appreciation for Mimi as we listened to Delight Marie talk about her with an awe and reverence for the tough woman she was. She said that all the nieces were inspired by how Mimi could tackle anything that life threw at her with a "Deal with it and move on" mentality. I've seen that same spirit in E. and also in Keith. I remember being in awe of her when I first went to Gladewater to visit her with Keith because she had e-mail and knew how to use the Internet. She was in her 80's then - you've got to admit that it is very rare to find someone that age who is in to surfing the Internet and keeping up with people by e-mail :) She seemed to be a woman with few words but with so much wisdom.

Please pray for E. and the rest of Mimi's family as they say goodbye to someone they love so much. And pray for Keith as he prepares to preach at his Mimi's funeral on his 30th birthday. That will be a bittersweet day. Pray for Karen, my sister-in-law, who will be struggling with wanting to celebrate her husband's graduation from medical school this weekend while also mourning the loss of her grandmother. Not to mention that she has a new baby boy that is keeping her up at night...speaking of Evan, I don't think I've posted a picture yet of him. He is a cutie...here he is with Alan, the proud daddy:



Here are a couple of pics of Mimi:


with Kade...

with Kamden...

with Kale...
with Brynlee, taken a couple of months ago...When we asked the boys what they wanted to pray for tonight at dinner, both Kade and Kamden wanted to pray that Mimi would have fun in heaven. And Kale just wants E. to not be sad anymore. Kids keep things sweet.

5.11.2009

A Formal and Blue Hair :)

Keith and I got to have fun getting dressed up in formal attire for a Gala event last weekend (thanks, John!). We had a blast even though the virus was beginning to make me feel sick towards the end of the night. What really made the evening memorable was coming home and getting changed just in time for our two oldest boys to throw up all over their room. There's nothing like lots of throw-up to get you back to reality :) Here we are pre-sickness:

I am married to one HOT man and I'm so thankful that he is the absolute love of my life. I know many of you are going to get a chuckle out of this: we had to stop by the store and pick up dog food on the way home and we actually heard a couple of comments that we must have just come back from prom. If only they knew that we were on our way home to take care of our FOUR kids and that we were about to turn the big 3-0!

Speaking of the big 3-0, we are one week away from kicking off our month long celebration. That's right, I figure that with all that Keith went thru with his health last year that we need to really celebrate life and turning 30 is a good reason to have fun :)

I actually began prepping for turning 30 a couple of weeks ago when I had my hair done - can you see my blue streaks in this picture ;) The boys think I'm the coolest mom ever because I have blue hair. Kamden came up to me this morning with a red marker and asked me to bend down so that he could give me red hair. I'm a little afraid to go to sleep while they are awake now!

5.10.2009

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Mom,
So I know that I give you grief 95% of the time. I am known for teasing you even while you are in the midst of serving me or my family. I am sure that I take you for granted a lot. But I love you. Lots. And I think that you are a wonderful mom and granny. You're fun and I enjoy having you close by to be a part of our daily life. Sorry I don't tell you that as often as I should.

5.09.2009

Good Friday

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated Easter, beginning with Good Friday. It is always a fun-filled day for us, but this year we really wanted to make sure that, as a family, we spent time reflecting on the seriousness of that day for Christ so long ago. It was such a God-thing that the day before Good Friday, I met with Kathy and Kendall for our regular mentoring time and this topic came up. They reminded me about the service their church (HCBC - Pflugerville) was having for Good Friday. So, Keith and I decided to take the boys so that it would give us another opportunity to reflect with our kids on the cross and the incredible sacrifice that Jesus made for us. As we sat there and watched the pictures flash on the screen, I saw the boys, especially Kade, watch with an intensity and seriousness that usually does not characterize them. They asked a lot of questions that night. Before bed, we did the Resurrection Eggs with them.

When Kade trusted Christ as his Savior a couple of weeks ago, he brought up the Good Friday service and the eggs. He said, "Remember mom and dad when we saw those pictures Jesus on the cross - I know he did that for me." You just never know the moment when your children will grasp the gospel for themselves. That's why it is so important to not get weary in pouring the truth of God's Word into our children. I honestly do find myself struggling sometimes to see the importance of talking about the gospel with my children when I'm in my daily parenting mode. I know it is so important, but I struggle because it just doesn't seem as urgent as the other 15 tasks that are staring me in the face. As I sit here reflecting on the incredible role of "mom," I am reminded that my most important task is to shepherd their hearts towards the One who created them and sacrificed his very life so that they could be free and live life with a peace that is only available thru Christ.

Like I said earlier, Good Friday was filled with fun. It is a tradition for our family to visit the local feed store on Good Friday to see the Easter bunny and colored chicks. The boys love to play on the tractors and other ride-ons while we snap as many pictures as we can. E. and Papa met us there and then we headed over to a park for lunch with some friends. We spent the afternoon dying Easter eggs.



I don't think I can do a short post.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you reading this!

4.24.2009

Kade trusted Christ as His Savior!!

So, I don't even know where to begin. This past week I have had two conversations about children accepting Christ at a young age and then getting baptized. And let me just tell you that I was the one saying that I want my children to be old enough to really remember the decision so that they won't doubt their salvation later on in life. In fact, just this afternoon I was telling a friend that Keith and I would lean toward having our children wait to get baptized until they were old enough to really believe for themselves and not just believe because mom and dad said that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.
Well, I think the Lord put the smack down on me. Around five o'clock, Keith sent me an e-mail with a link to a video he wanted me to watch. The boys were sitting here with me and so I pressed play for us all to watch. It was the baptism promo video that we are showing at church this Sunday to let people know about our next baptism coming up next month. To my surprise, Kade sat still the whole time (like 8 minutes) watching and listening with his mouth wide open (which means he was focused :). So, at the end of it he turns to me and says, "So I'm getting baptized, right?" I said (a little shocked), "Sure, at some point, when you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and that He rose again. And that you trust that it is thru Jesus that you can have a relationship with God." He looked at me like he was offended and said, "Mom, I do believe that. Remember the pictures that we saw of Jesus on the cross? I know he died for my sins, that he died for all of us because we're all sinners. " I quickly excused myself for a moment and called Keith. We affirmed each other on the phone that it was awesome that Kade seemed to be getting it, but that we would still wait to let him get baptized because he is so young.
Keith arrived home and Kade immediately told him the same thing. We all talked some more and both Keith and I realized that for Kade, this was very real and that he truly was serious about where his trust was/is. So Keith and I told him to pray with us and just tell God what was on his heart. He held our hands and prayed the sweetest prayer saying that he believed that he sinned and that he believed that Jesus died for his sin and everyone's sin and that he rose again and thank you God for all the people and that he's a Christian. Amen.
It still seemed so surreal to Keith and I. We asked if he wanted to tell anyone and thus began almost an hour of him calling people and walking down our street telling our neighbors. He was just so clear each time and Keith and I didn't help him with words at all. We wanted him to be able to articulate his belief. Retta said that it sounded like he was preaching to her :)
So, where are we now on the whole age thing for baptism? Well, Kade will be getting baptized like he asked to do. He just watched a video of his dad telling our church body that Jesus modeled it, commanded it and the early church did it. His dad also explained it by saying that it helped identify to others what Christ had done on the inside. So, to ask Kade to wait to obey after sincerely placing his trust in Christ would keep him from fully obeying the Lord. I will just pray that the Lord will allow him to remember today and his baptism so that as he grows, he won't doubt that he is redeemed and a new creation in Christ.
I just got back from taking him to Chile's with Tomi and Henry (our close friends) to celebrate. It was so cute because Henry has also trusted Christ recently and is planning on getting baptized. We hadn't told the boys about the other's decision because we didn't want that to sway them. So it was funny when Kade got in the car and told Henry, "Guess what, I trusted in Jesus tonight and believe he died for my sins and rose again." Henry cut him off to tell him, " I believe in Jesus too. And you know what? I'm getting baptized." Kade looked at him and laughed, "I'm going to get baptized too!"
Such a precious day. Thank you Lord for forgiveness and salvation. I just thank you so much and pray that you will continue to move in all our children's lives that they may all know you as their Lord and Savior.

4.19.2009

Crawling!!

video

Bryn's been getting around for the past couple of weeks by either crawling backward or rolling to her destination. But no more! She has officially found a way to make her knees and hands work to her advantage :) The boys and I were playing with her on Wednesday morning when she just began taking off like it was an old skill. The best part is that once she made it to where she wanted to go, she sat up and started clapping for herself. Even she knew that she had just achieved something big! This video was taken a little later in the day after she had had a couple of practice rounds.

4.13.2009

Leap of Doubt - Current Series at Church

Easter Sunday kicked off an awesome series at our church called Leap of Doubt. Here is the preview for this coming Sunday, the 19th. If you do not have a church home and are just plain skeptical about the church (global) and/or Christianity, please consider joining us for the next five weeks.


The Church is responsible for Injustice from Douglas Hallam on Vimeo.

You can get on www.leapofdoubt.com to see more videos - they should have the message from this past Sunday up in the next day or two. Something that we are trying in this series is texting questions to the church during the message. Then, at the end, the very hot pastor (I'm allowed to say that - I'm his wife :), will do a Q & A session and answer as many of the questions as he has time for - how is that for quick response time to your burning questions about faith?

4.09.2009

Bryn and Addie

OK, I have laughed so hard at these pics that Kendall and I took today of our babies that I just had to share them with my take on their "conversation."

Here goes:

Addie: "Brynlee, what happened to your big toe?"
Brynlee: "What!? I don't know...let me have a look at that!"

Brynlee: "Addie, look at that band-aid - my big toe is starting to hurt actually."

Addie: "What do you want to do? Should we sit here a little longer or start crying so that we can be carried around a little while?"
Brynlee: "I don't know. Let me think about that one."

Brynlee: "Let's just have fun and pose some more for our photo shoot!"
Addie: "I'm confused. Weren't you just saying that your big toe hurt?"

Addie: "Ah, what the heck? Life's too short to be serious for very long. Let's strike a pose."

I know, I know. What's wrong with me that I'm coming up with conversation for my baby and her sweet friend? Well, this is what I do to wind down at midnight. Isn't that normal? :) Goodnight. I hope you have laughed a little.

4.07.2009

She's 9 months and so much fun!






Brynlee turned 9 mo. on April 2nd. She could not get any easier - I mean seriously, she smiles 95% of her day. And oh, how she can already flirt with her eyes. I so look forward to going into her room every morning to see her beautiful smile and hear her "talk" to me. The best thing is how she hugs me. She'll really squeeze my left arm and nuzzle up against me when I hug her. Here are a couple of more fun things she is doing now that she's a big 9 mo's:

clapping
waving bye-bye
pursing her lips together and blowing
eating pretty much any solid food I give her
crawling backwards
rolling everywhere
talking with her hands (no joke, just like I do!)
saying Gracie, patty-cake, Kade, mama and dada
she says the same thing when she's waving bye but I can't make out what it is yet
taking baths with her brothers
she loves to pat everything from the Bible (Pat the Bible) to books to my shoulder
she has pulled up a couple of times
pulling all bows out of her hair (to her mother's chagrin)
smiling and laughing a lot!
sings her abc's (hehe, just kidding - she won't start that until next month :)

I do think she's pretty bright - and I'm not biased at all! I would love to post pics with this posting, but my 'Upload Image' icon is not working right so I'll try again tomorrow.