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Monday, December 27, 2010

Mall performance

 She loves dancing so much. She always has so much joy on her face when she's dancing.

 Me and My ballerina! She did a wonderful job and I was such a proud mama.

 A very tired Maddie at the end of the performance. She didn't get a nap before she danced!

Maddie getting ready to dance with her friends.

The Oak Park Mall, in Austin had asked Miss Bridget, the owner of the dance studio of some of her dancers would dance in their holiday stuff going on at the mall. Miss Bridget emailed all the parents to let us know. Maddie had SO much fun dancing with her friends. It doesn't even occur to Maddie to be nervous to dance in front of lots of people. In her mind why wouldn't you! I love that she loves to dance.

Christmas day O'l Christmas day

 One of the best series of books I have ever read is Little Britches by Ralph Moody.
I was blessed to get the WHOLE series for christmas! They are serious page turners!

 yummy chocolate!!!

 Maddie's skirt from Aunt Kristina! Super duper awesome!

 Mark when he realized there was a knife in the box.

 Another moment of excitemen for Mark. A dvd player from his brother mike.
Our old dvd player has led a good life but it has a tendancy to shut off in the middle of a movie
as well as has other issues!

Titus and Omi trying to figure out how her computer works!

 Curious George has always been one of Maddie's favorite.
We also got a wonderful rudolf I spy kind of it!

 Maddie and Mark were talking about her two skateboards she got for christmas.
He was explaining to her she could use the little one for now and grow into the big one!
She was so excited to have a cars one AND a pink one!
Thanks G'ma Apple and Uncle Micheal Micheal(that's not a goof up it's what she calls uncle Mike)

The twins ooing and ahing over Omi's toy she got from Grandma Russell 

 Mark excited to find inside the box was a pocket knife!
This is rare footage of Mark truly excited and wowed by something.

Maddie got a skateboard from her Grandma Russell!
She is so excited to get to go skating with daddy this summer at the skate park.

Every year my MIL gets us a calendar and every year I'm thrilled it's a horse calendar!

Merry Christmas to all. We pray this year finds you drawing closer and closer to Christ Jesus. We pray that you will welcome him into your heart, home, and life. We pray that you will glorify him and give him praise through out the year! Jesus is the reason for not only the season but for eternity! He is king of kings, Lord of Lords, and HE is Mark and I's master! We pray that one day our kids will allow HIM to be their master too.

Usually the extent of Mark getting excited is he says, that's great, when what he really means is this is the best thing I've ever done! This is an area we differ in. When I'm excited everyone on the planet knows. This christmas however, I was excited to capture more than one moment of excitement for Mark! When it pours out of his body you know he's super duper excited. Our family made our christmas super special! My sister in law made the twins coats and hats for christmas and made Maddie a skit. She is seriously super talented!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sick and Tired of being sick and tired!

It started with a sore throat, which I can usual combat with garlic and hot tea. This cold smiled at the garlic, glared at the hot tea and took root in my body. Then my body decided it would be a great idea to send muscus to every pore of my body that wasn't already occupied with something! I then made the journey to urgent care to get antibiotics for sinus infection which at first I wasn't sure it was doing anything and now apparently it is doing what it is suppose to. However now my ears have fluid in them and I'm pretty sure they are infected too! Stink! Is it really too much to ask to have my body be healthy? I mean really! On top of it all Maddie's battling something also. Although antibiotics for her ear infection see to help immensely. Thankful for that! My body has been fighting junk for about a month now and I really think it's time for whatever is attacking my body to exit!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"The Nativity" Maddie's First recital!

Maddie getting a good job hung after her performance from Aunt Emmy!

Maddie dancing with her friends! She's the one with her arms behind her back.

Maddie made her debut as one of "The Stars" of bethlehem. Joined with 14 other little girls they made their way across the stage with the brillance and dazzle only 3 and 4 year olds could have! They waved, they grinned, and they stole our hearts! I am SO proud of my Madeline! She took the stage without even knowing that she should be nervous. To her it was natural to join her friends and dance in front of a bunch of people! Great job Maddie Moo Moo! Mommy and Daddy are SOOOOO proud of you!!!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

She's beautiful! Daddy's going to need to keep the shot gun loaded!

Maddie satnding in front of our finished Christmas tree.

December 15th will mark Maddie's 4th birthday. Four! Wow! What an amazing ride and journey it has been to become a mom. My selfishness was the biggest obstical that I faced. I wanted to be able to do what I wanted, when I wanted to do it. I wanted to be able to sleep in if I felt like it. I wanted to get away from her crying, her needs. I am SOOOO thankful to my family who stepped in and helped Mark and I when Maddie was itty bitty. The Lord knew we would need to be in Minnesota and that we would need my families love and support. My parents helped with Maddie when she had colic (she literally was at our house half the time and my parents house half the time so someone could sleep).
Maddie is a joy to us. She has a tender heart who loves to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Emmy and Uncle Tim. She has a great imagination and love for dancing. She has a joy for reading that I pray she continues to have as an adult. Experiancing anything through her eyes is amazing. She is so much like her daddy it's amazing! She is a perfectionist with girl emotions, a potent combination. She is gentle with the twins and loves playing with them. She is sensitive to others emotions and has great sympathy and empathy for them. She has come a long ways from the insecure little girl she was. She will often see a kid on the side lines and ask them to go play when no one else notices that person isn't participating. Pink is beautiful to her and christmas tree lights are breath taking.
I love you Madeline Grace Russell! You brighten my life and open my eyes to things I would miss with my impatience! You are amazing!


Friday, December 3, 2010

"The Nativity"

Tomorrow Saturday, December 4th @ 7pm, in the Austin high school auditorium. Maddie will hit the stage as one of the stars of Bethlehem that welcomed Baby Jesus into this world. She will be dress in a hot pink, sequence bodice, with tul tutu! She will be accomplied by 14 other little girls dressed in the same fabulous tutu! They will twirl, they will awe us, and we will be proud!!! There will of course be flowers waiting for her when she is done dancing as every dancer needs to be given flowers when their performance is done!!!! Bravos will be shouted, hugs will be given, and a beaming, proud as a peacock mama will be beaming at the accomplishments of my beautiful, give it her best ballerina!!! Now for the 4-8 inches of snow predicted to hold off and allow the show to go on!!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Year in Review

Maddie has been amazing this year!
She has been patient while mommy was busy with
twins, daddy was busy with twins and school.
Maddie is an amazing little girl!!!

Whew! Is the word I would use to describe this year, well really the last two years. But this last year has been the most crazy, the most wonderful, and the most stretching! The phrase what doesn't kill you makes you stronger can also be applied to Mark and I's marriage.

Mark and I taking a very needed break from kids, school, and responsibilty!

The year started with the birth of our twins. Yes they are a miracle and wonderful, but they are also ALOT of work and demand TONS of attention. Attention which has been taken from Mark and I's relationship as well as with Maddie. While balance is the goal it is not realistic all of the time. One of the things I appreciate about Mark is that he is so willing to help with the kids. There have been many mornings he has gotten up with the kids so I could sleep in. He's willing to feed the twins, play with Maddie, let me have away time. All while attempting to balance work and school.

Our little bundles of joy! They are a LOT of work but they are amazing! Titus loves to laugh and giggle and get into trouble. Naomi is content to cuddle and needs lots of reassuring. It's interesting because really they are both laid back but in different areas.

College has been the other stresser in our lives. The last two years Mark worked on a mechcanic degree while I worked at Hy Vee. This year he decided to return to school and get his web design certificate. Working this year doesn't work because paying for day care cancels out my being able to work. So completely relying on God and Mark to provide is stressful but also great to learn to rely FULLY on God! Going back to school was a good decision on Mark's part. He has finally found something he loves and enjoys! This is very encouraging and hopefully a step in the right direction for providing for us, while bringing Mark joy in the work place.

While we are very thankful for our three bedroom apartment (the extra space is amazing) we are SO done living in an apartment with a family. We would LOVE LOVE LOVE our own washer and dryer (this would revolutionize our lives), driving up to our drive way and getting the kids into the house more easily instead of parking the car, going up to our two story apartment. We are trying to hang in there and be thankful while looking to the future with hope.

We have seen God provide a double portion with the birth of the twins. We have seen God bring Mark a job he enjoys going to, with a flexible boss. We have seen joy in the homework Mark is doing for College (we've also heard him swear and seen him throw things in frustration but that's with everything in life). God provided a three bedroom apartment! The extra space is AMAZING! We have found in our cubboards, heat in our apartment, and we are surrounded by family and friends! We have a God who has saved us from hell! We are blessed! These are the things Mark and I remind each other of as we work towards a future that encludes a house and a possible savings account!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sin nature

Thankfully Titus doesn't stay mad long.
Naomi however doesn't forget so easily and lets everyone know it.
Titus looking with the look that says mom can I please have her toy!

hmmm...can I get that from her?

What are you doing Titus? I have a giraffe. This is there favorite chew toy.

One of the things about having twins is seeing the raw sinful nature of mankind. Titus and Naomi have been pushing each other since the womb. During ultrasounds they would be pushing each other back and forth. Naomi would shove Titus while sucking her thumb. The other day after lunch I gave the twins each a toy while they sat in their high chair. I gave Titus one that lit up and made noise, to Naomi I gave a simply rattle. The whole time she would look at Titus's then look back at her boring one, then look back at Titus's like why didn't I get one like that. I then put her in the excersaucer were she would have lots of toys. Still she looked at the toys and then looked at Titus's, still wondering why she didn't get the one Titus had.

Snow White?

Maddie and her golden and according to her a poisoned apple
(you know like snow white she preceded to tell me!)

Her eyes totally say it's WAY past bedtime!!!

Maddie is into eatting her apples whole. Not cut, not diced, but skin and all, round and juicy as she describes them. She took a bite of her apple and then informed us it was a poisoned apple. She then began to tell me that that was from Snow White and the seven dworfs. We then got into a discussion were I would name a scene from a princess movie and she would tell me the correct movie. For example which princess had step sisters, correct answer: Cinderella. Which princess has a beast in it, correct answer: Belle. She thought this was a VERY fun game!

Sisters! you think they're sisters?

Maddie tickling Naomi

I asked Maddie if she wanted me to lay Naomi down beside her thinking she'd say no way. She grinned and said yes. Naomi loved sitting next to Maddie and Maddie did a great job of loving on her and playing with Naomi. Maddie is a wonderful big sister!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oh that I could change a nation too

My sister borrowed me a book called Under God, by DC talk. It is about historical people who made a difference to our nation. This book has introduced me to people who were brave enough to face slavery in the face and say no way. People willing to risk their lives for freedom, both African Americans, as well as whites stood up and spoke of slavery's injustice. It is said when Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Stowe who wrote "Uncle Tom's cabin" he said so this is the woman who started the war. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and "American Slavery as it is" caught the attention of a nation. Harriet Stowe had to have two printing presses to be able to keep up with the demand of her book sales. I want to be brave enough to tell a whole nation the way they are living is wrong. The way they are living is displeasing to God and we need to repent as a nation. I want to be bold like them! Two books that have the power to turn a nation are worth reading!

Harriet Tubman: The Moses of her People

Harriet Tubman:The moses of her people was a slave woman who made her way to freedom. After she made it to the "promise land" she then went back to "eqypt" and rescued about 300 slaves. There was also a reward of $40,000 for her capture, dead or alive. She was lead by God her whole life. While she was dusting she was praying, when she was in the field she was praying, when she was being beaten by her masters she was praying. As she lead different people from the south to the north to freedom she was lead by the Holy Spirit. Often the holy spirit would tell her what houses to stay at, when to get off of roads and hide, when to move on. So close to the Lord was she that she knew immediately it was her Lord speaking! I want that. When God speaks to me I don't want to say was that him, did anyone else here that? I want to know without a shadow of a doubt it's him. Harriet did not know how to read or to write. She did not have her bible to clarify and make sure it was he Holy Spirit, neither did she have the time in the pinch of a moment when she was about to be captured to check her bible and know it was the Lord speaking. It was either listen to the Holy Spirit, believe it's him or be captured. I want to know the Lord that well!
I want to be able to risk life and limb to do what God wants me to do and trust my life and my time on this earth to him. I want to risk my all for Him! Harriet, along with other stories I'm learning about slavery are simply ordinary people, in harsh circumstances that the Lord raised up for such a time as these. I want to be one that God can call up in any such circumstance and listen to His leading and ready to act when He calls me to!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I am under the firing process

I am under the firing process, but I don’t mind.
I don’t mind because I know something better is coming.
I get overwhelmed at all God is changing at once, but I don’t mind.
I don’t mind because I know when he’s done I’ll be stronger.
I know my relationship with Him will deepen.
I know he will raise me up to soar with eagles.
Something I cannot do on my own.
The old is being scrapped away.
Similar to a marshmallow in the fire, burnt on the outside but delicious on the inside.
I may look burnt and I probably act like it too, but inside I’m healing.
When the charred is wiped away and the inside revealed,
I pray, I beg Jesus that I will look like him when inside is revealed.
I pray that when the charred pieces are removed I will bare his image!
I pray I will ooze out and the world will know there is something different.
There is something life giving and wonderful.
I pray they will see the peace I have. Peace only found in Jesus!
Oh sit and listen to all the wonderful things he wants to tell you!
Oh sit and expect! Sit and watch the wonders God will do for you!
Oh beloved Jesus loves you with an everlasting love.
I am being stretched but I don’t mind.
I don’t mind because I know I will be able to reach so much further.
I am waiting and I do mind this, but I am learning to not mind.
I am learning God has a purpose. To expect Him to be great!
What kind of God do I think he is if I know he can do great things but don’t think he will?
He will DO great things in my life! I will walk it! I will talk it! I will believe it!
Yes, God puts me in the fire but he knows what temperatures I can take.
He knows how long I can stand the heat. He knows what heat to use.
My God is all knowing and he knows me!
He knows my heart and how it cries. He knows it worships him and him alone.
My God knows me and I am learning to know Him.
I am learning my shepherd’s voice. To distinguish it from any other sound or voice.
I am learning my shepherd’s voice so that I may know which way to turn, when to stop, when to go. I listen to know how the shepherd needs me to pray and for whom he needs me to pray.
Yes I am confident the Lord speaks and that he speaks to me!
Yes the maker of this world, my daddy, the king of this universe and the next speaks to me!
Yes I trust my King, I trust when knows I am ready to be put in the fire.
I trust my daddy to know what is best for me.
What does your trust look like? Do you trust at all? Whom do you trust?

Monday, September 20, 2010


Titus goes and goes and goes and then finally falls asleep where ever he happens to have been playing. I have caught on to this and when I know he's starting to get sleepy, he along with some of his toys go to bed. Works great for me because he's content to play with his toys for a bit in his bed when he wakes up.