Monday, May 31, 2010

Wonderful Weekend!!

It is so fun to get together with old friends with so many shared interests!!

families may 2010  AG and SD smiling AG smiling in pink dawson and cole kids

This weekend the Dawson family drove out from Colorado to see us and spend a few nights.  While here they did get a Chuy’s fix too – since they have been missing that!!  In fact we made it there 2 times in 3 days!!  But it was great!

We did get to play with the smoker too and enjoyed some great ribs that Robert made on Saturday and snacks on some turkey Sunday night.

We played our favorite game of Settlers a couple times – Robert being the overall Victor with Brian and I not coming close to winning…oh well!

We were so thankful on Saturday when a friend called to offer the use of her pool to us due to our AC being out!  Not the best plan (the AC part) especially for the Dawson’s who are not used to Texas heat any more!!  The pool was great for everyone!

So now it is almost back to normal life for our family, after Monday anyway.  Today we are heading back to the pool with the Jackson family to enjoy some fellowship with them (with the Dad’s this time).

Hopefully we will hear some news this week on the job front….we will see!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

what a bunch of days

We have had a busy 9 days or so and it does not look like it is going to slow down too much for a few more.

Wednesday we were blessed with a wonderful visit with my brother and Silvia!  Great pictures and just lots of fun getting to know everyone!


May 2010 041

Thursday we were immensely blessed by a wonderful Tea Party compliments of Jana!  She arrived at our home with baskets of plates, serving bowls & cake stands and tons of yummy food!!  it was so much fun!  My kids all love tea, but having a full scale tea party made it even more fun!!

tea foodwonderful tea party

Friday were invited to swim with friends at their pool – so the kids were in heaven there too!  We enjoyed a pizza supper on the patio and just had a great day!!

Saturday we trekked out to Cedar Hill State park (“Chigger Hill”) to see our boy scout friends who were camping on their Family Campout!  Lots of fun there too – Robert joined us and we were able to sit and talk with several friends from Sunday School and enjoy the great outdoors!  We did bring home some friends – AKA Chiggers – and  I may not ever go back to Cedar Hill now.  Oh well – still a fun day!


mom and ag

AG and A in the hammock

AG laying on daddy 

Some baby birds who were nesting at the campsite – fun to watch!baby birds at CH chopping wood 2


Sunday we drove down the Houston and spent the afternoon with cousins again swimming – and it does not get any better than swimming in Houston on a hot day!


terri and kids in pool daddy and 2 boys

Monday we swam some more while Robert had a interview.  Then we drove back up so he could get back to work before they missed him!

Tuesday we had dentist visits for all 4 kids – love to do a 4 for 1 trip anywhere!!  So that was great to see our favorite dentist and get generally good reports.

Wednesday was a whirlwind day : started at the zoo with our friends the Jackson Family, then we joined them again swimming, then we ended the day with some time at church.  We all slept well that night!!

Today we trekked out to Honey Grove (our temp. home last fall) to search for Robert’s good suit and low and behold it was there!  We were thrilled to have the Jackson’s with us to play and enjoy the quiet country!!   We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the porch and let the kids run loose for a while before heading back to the city.

SJ sweet smile AG and L at the cabin 

She is holding a Daddy Long leg here that she picked up!AG w daddy long leg girls in tall grass Kimberlie and S on swing my country girl 2 PJ & L in the grass

Tomorrow our Colorado friends will arrive – the Dawson Family – and they will sweat off some pounds in this heat – but we cannot wait to see them!  We are going to our favorite restaurant tomorrow night – then plan to spend a lot of time around the house playing Settlers, catching up and letting the kids play.

So life will not slow down until maybe Monday, but we may even get together with friends then too.  Who knows?  It has been fun to be so busy these past many days!  God is good to keep my body and my mind busy as I have a tendency to stress about the “worries” of life.  And that is not what he wants me to do.  So I am thankful for friends who are keeping me busy and keeping my mind off interviews and jobs!!  Who knows, maybe next week we will have good news to report

Monday, May 24, 2010

playing in the pool

That is where we are – well, what we are doing.  We trekked down to Houston on Sunday and crashed' Robert’s cousin’s house.  We always love spending time with Matt & Terri and their kids.  When our kids are together they get along so well.  Our little girl and their “bigger” girl were so excited to have each other (I think each would love to have the other – a big sister or little sister) so they had so much fun being with another girl!!

We were able to see Robert’s grandmother too who moved back to Houston recently.  It is always fun to visit with her!

We made our way over to the pool Sunday afternoon for hours of swimming with the cousins and mom and dad – which is always fun!!

Terri and kids 1 AG swimming in Houston daddy and 2 boys ED at the pool JM at the pool P & JM swimming PJ at the pool in Houston S at the pool We also took a nice walk over to Terri’s mom (Robert’s aunt) and their Grandmother -

S & A walking to Gmas sassy little girl S & A piggy back

Hopefully we will be back in this area soon!! It was fun to catch up and play!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Family Moments

Having Jim and Silvia at my house today was great!  The kids loved playing tag, fussball, showing off pictures and just playing in general.  it was great.  This is what family is.  Going through the good and bad times!


May 2010 059


May 2010 040


May 2010 023


Thanks for all your prayers leading up to this reunion!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Quiet on this end

Well, not really, we are not any quieter than normal, just not blogging about our every day adventures.

Life is good here in our Cole home.  Things are changing here in our world.  Funny how that happens.

It seems that maybe we did not do things quite the way God hoped we would back 8 months ago.  I am not saying that this was a big mistake, it was not.  Again proof that God can take our mistakes (so to speak) and do great things with them.  You see it all goes back to Joshua. 

In Joshua 9 lots of interesting things happen.  First, God has told Joshua not to be friends with any of the locals.  He warns that if they befriend them, they will start to marry, and those locals are all heathens.  So Joshua obeys, he knows the benefits of obeying God.

However, some kings get together (local kings) and they send some men to Joshua to get a treaty with him.  They dress them up in old clothes, old shoes, old wine skins.  They lead Joshua to believe (and his advisors too) that they are really from far away. So a treaty is signed.  Know what Joshua did wrong?

I did not, neither did Robert when I told him this story.

Joshua did not ask God for his advice.  He never sought his counsel – and this is Joshua a man that god spoke to and advised.

So how does this apply to us?  Well, we were on the job hunt, we were offered a job.  One that looked good from many appearances (not all but we seemed to dismiss those) and we took it.  It was the first job offer.  We were out of money and we were anxious to work again.  So we took it.

What did we do wrong?  Well in the world’s eyes nothing really.  But we were trusting God through that whole process, through the finding houses to stay in, putting food on the table and opening job doors for us.  But you know what?  Sometimes Satan can open a door too.  I am not saying that the Dr P job is from satan.  It is not that he has this tremendous power in the lives of believers, but he likes to stir things up, get our focus off what we should be doing and living and get it on other things : stress, worry, fear, etc.  And I think that if we had prayed fervently, taken some time to look at all the aspects of this job and trusted ourselves and God a bit more we would not have travelled down this path.

That all being said, God has blessed us tremendously despite our knee-jerk reaction.  We LOVE our church, we love our new friends.  We have made some real relationships here that I hope will last no matter how long we are here.  We were able to get back into life as we knew it quickly.  So many benefits!!  But I still think that maybe Irving was not God best for us.

I believe this because we know what Robert wants to do, we know the kind of field and the kind of people he wants to work with.  Now we need to trust that God will open the right door and if we trust him, and talk to him he will make it clear to us.

I can see that now as doors are starting to open in some crazy ways.  How I can go from one day worried about anything to the next seeing his hand upon us, this situation and our lives in general. 

So I am excited, we are on the move.  Maybe within the DFW metroplex, maybe not.  Either way I feel like God is asking for it all this time.  All our trust, all our faith.  Last time we had a few cushions in place.  Not this time.  And that scares me – but Sunday he told me (through our pastor) that he wants it ALL.   He wants me to trust him in all of it, and with all of it.  So I do.  I am ready to go where he leads and to see what he does.  I trust him with our dinner table, with our home, with my kids, with it all.  And finally the stress diminishes and fear is replaces with FAITH.

I am excited to see him grow my mustard seed faith, and I am excited to see the work he will do in Robert too, and I am excited to see where he takes us!!


PS – Jim is out!! WooHoo! Thank you to all of you who have prayed for him.  I hope to  post pics tomorrow when he comes to meet my kids and visit with us!! Cannot wait!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Tonight as I wait for my sweet husband to return home from work, I am troubled.  I am troubled because yesterday I sat in a conference room filled with moms like me.  And we listened to a man like my husband (because he is married to a mom like me) talk to us moms about lies we believe.

I am wondering why we listen to these lies?

First, I will back up.  Those moms – like me – were mostly homeschool moms, but that is not why they are like me.  They are like me because honestly I do not know a mom “not like me” in the sense that they just don’t care.  I mean really, are we not all struggling to make the best choices for our family?  For our kids, for our dinner table, for our home, for everything?

Who do you know that wakes and says, “You know what?  Heck with those kids I birthed (or received as a gift from God…) I really do not want to deal with them, so I am going to just do what works for me and me alone today!”  I do not know a soul.  I know many moms who wake so overwhelmed by the life they are living that they cannot see clearly how to navigate the waters of their day, but none that so honestly quit.

So this Dad who was speaking, he is great!  Todd Wilson of Family Man ministries.  He said that after taking an informal poll among many moms (even some of those with a true dozen kids) and asked them if they were doing a good job of homeschooling.

Now, stay with me, I am about to get to the troubling part.  Now these moms he polled, they have chosen to be intentional about their lives.  Many have made hard choices and big sacrifices to do what they are doing (not all, but some).  Some are very highly educated.  And yet he did not have one mom report that she felt she was doing a good job.


I mean, really?  Who is telling these ladies that they have to do more than really sit and read and love their kids?  Why do we feel so driven?  Why do we (not just homeschool moms but all moms) feel like we are failing?  Is it the media reports that our kids are so screwed up?  Is it MTV and VH1 that are telling us these lies?

And for goodness sake, have we not read Genesis?  I mean, the first lie was told to Eve there in the garden, and you know what?  She did was we are doing – she believed it.  And needless to say. the consequences for her choice of believing the lie were catastrophic to say the least!

I think I am troubled because if we do not feel like we are doing a good job, ultimately we are going to conclude we should stop or that it is not worth it.  Maybe that is part of what is happening in our society right now, so many parents have thrown up their hands as if to say why bother?  Could that be?

I am just sad.  I am sad that we think so little of ourselves as women to think what we are doing is not good enough.  I mean no matter what choices you are making as a mom (homeschool vs public vs private,  work at home vs go to work vs stay at home) if we are choosing to be intentional, choosing to be involved with our kids, if we are choosing to love them and teach them Godly character traits, then why is that not enough?  Our kids do not need to be the smartest, not the best, not the prettiest, just a child raised to love God and to do their best and ultimately to follow the path He leads them down.

Todd talked about the fact that our kids are going to be what God designed them for (often) despite us.  That you can raise a chemist without teaching chemistry.  We just need to make sure to point our kids in the direction we see them being called into and trust that God will do the rest. **

What is the answer to my troubling issue?  What if it is not just homeschool moms who do not think they are doing a good job?  What if it is any woman who allows another to make her feel unworthy?  The root problem is that we are listening to others or ourselves – it depends sometimes.  But we are not 1) talking truth to ourselves not 2) listening to the only speaker of truth – God.  We allow others to speak lies into our heart, or we look at others and make evaluations based on what we see and not necessarily truth either.

So Todd told us we need to have a friend or partner in our journey who we can be real with, and we can allow them to be real with us – someone to encourage us, to build us up and remind us of HIS truth.  I am so incredibly blessed to have more than one partners in the journey – and I love those ladies more than I can express.  They have walked with me on some dark days and it has gotten me through some tough times.  God is good, we need to let Him and his people fills us up – and not this world!


**Did you know the man who mapped the human DNA – he was homeschooled.  Do you know what they did for school?  Read and acted out plays – that was basically it (his parents were hippies so to speak).  And look where he ended up – I am telling you, this happens in spite of US!!

Friday, May 7, 2010


I read an amazing blog post today – @ A Holy Experience – I love how she writes.  She fills my soul with her reflective writing and her words of life.  I hope you will journey over to read her words. 

So I am setting a goal of choosing to be grateful when my mind wants me to feel other emotions.  Like fear of change – grateful that we are in a place that can allow change to happen.  Fear of not enough, being grateful that we have so much, more than we need.  I want to be grateful for all that we have, and have the faith to trust the One who gave it all to us and who watches over us.  I trust Him, not anyone or anything else.

So here are a few things I am thankful for tonight:

How sweet is this?  This is my shy little one – she has days when she opts out of talking and since Wednesday night she has been singing this for us – only when everyone asks and we all sit and listen – but still – TOO SWEET!!


And I am so thrilled that I am almost done with this

quilt along 006 Quilt 1 quilt along 004 quilt along 005

I still have work to do in this, but it is getting there!!  I cannot believe it – I love the brown sashing.  I still do not love all my squares and there are lots of mistakes, but I think I am going to LOVE this quilt because it is my first one and – well I just think I will – not sure all the reasons why!

So as we are about to embark on another journey as a family – looking for a job, listening for God to direct our steps, tonight I am choosing not to fear, not to worry, but to replace those emotions with gratefulness.  I am ever so grateful.  For honest friends that I can be so real with.  People who love me for who I am and despite all my issues.  For my wonderful children who delight in me for reasons I cannot figure out.  For a husband who takes such great care of us and works so hard.  And for a man who trusts that God is in charge even when the waters are treacherous.

So thank you.  And Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there – you are doing a great job and it is the most important job in the world!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Do you know what you are eating?

I did not plan to get on my soap box about food, but I think I must.  I am not plagued by food guilt this week like last (I was plagued by lots of stuff last week, food was only one of the things).

But after you learn so much, like a lifetime of learning in a few days, you cannot help but think about it – A LOT.

So this is the article that has pushed me over the cliff of restraint :

The Worst Healthy Foods in America

It all started so innocently.  We watched Food Inc after a friend posted a link on Facebook about it being on PBS. 

And my life will never be the same again.  Here is a snippet for your viewing pleasure

So I think we are done buying hormone infested meat, eggs, dairy products, and processed food.


So this saga continues with the movie King Corn – Robert watched that movie this week and that just pushed us even further away from grocery store items.  Do you know how much corn we consume?   Here is another snippet on this subject…




So where do you go once you learn all this stuff?  Where do you shop?  What do you buy? 

A couple years ago I was an “organic” skeptic – I only bought organic veggies because I was in an organic co-op and I realized it kept me out of the Big W – and therefore saved me money.  Now the only apples or potatoes we buy are organic (because that is all the farmers eat!)  The genetic engineering starts at the seed level for many food items and those are 2 big ones.

So now I am on a quest to buy some grass fed beef.  Do you have any idea how much that costs – not even factoring in the shipping??  A LOT!!  But you know what?  We will not waste one single ounce.  I think our family is going to start eating like they did in the 50’s and 60’s – less meat – less of lots of things. 

I know I waste way too much food.  But when it becomes a commodity – when we are really paying for something good it will not go to waste.  Kind of like my organic apples, they never go bad – we eat every one before it has a chance to go bad.  I do not have that attitude for very much in my pantry.  I mean, if I do not get to some item in time – oh well, I can get some more.  Not any longer. 

I am not going to go into details, but if you do not know what I am talking about you should find out.  Trust me.  We are a modest family, single income, 4 kids.  We cannot afford to just buy only the best – but we will find a way.  I am not going to continue letting my kids eat stuff that is plain bad for them.

Before I close, I will say that I know that God is sovereign, I know he reigns and we are his.  I cannot add a day to my life or my kids through our diet.  I know this food crisis is no surprise to him.  But I know it is my job to do the best I can with what I have.  That includes how I manage my money, how I serve our family (what I cook and buy) and how I honor this temple (my body) by how I treat it and what I put in it.  I am not a slave to the food I eat.  But I want to eat the best I can for my health and the health of my children!!

Monday, May 3, 2010


It has been a while since I have basked in the glory of a regular Monday.  Last week was a manic week for me – on many levels.  The week before I was driving from Colorado to Texas, and the 3 Mondays before that I was either travelling to Oregon or enjoying the rainy wonderful Oregon weather!

So today was so wonderful!  Really I love Mondays!!  I just love them.  They are like a fresh start for me every week.  Get the house in order after a care-free weekend (or whatever the weekend was – it never leaves the house in order), get back to the routine of school, get my to-do list started, etc.  I just love it!

Today was especially good since Robert finally had a few days where he did not go to work!  Woo Hoo – it was only about 3 weeks since his last day off – and we were enjoying those 3 days in Oregon on the beach.  So we were all in need to Dad/Robert having some time off work!  He even knocked out a few tasks on his to-do list. 

Here is some of the results of my work this Monday:

I did most of the sewing yesterday finishing 6 blocks, but today when I counted I realized I had to do 2 more.  So today I trimmed, irons, and started sashing my squares.  So exciting!  I hope it ends up being worth all this work, I hope I love my finished quilt, but I am afraid that I will not.  We will see.

Here is where I am right now…

( here are my rows laid out on my bed so I could see what I think – there will be brown in between the rows too – then brown all the way around)

quilt along 010 quilt along 008 quilt along 009

I have my rows together,  I need to make some little squares that will go in the corners and then add the brown between my rows.  But I am getting there. 

I did get some bread made too – so that is always fun to enjoy in the morning. 

I have not added to my grateful list in a while, here is for today and the past few weeks …


I am so truly grateful for

102.  my children who are children and drive me crazy – but whom I love so much and treasure immeasurably

103. my husband who works so hard, and dedicated himself to our family

104. my friends who encourage me when I am manic and need someone to tell me what to do (like reading on the grass in the sun)

105. my church, where I am filled spiritually, and educationally as I learn so much from our pastor – and where I find like minded friends

106. time to sew in the afternoon

107. tea (from Stash or Hanley and Sons) and the memories with my mom

108. time to run off to Oregon to spend some quality time growing closer to my mom and Louie

109. teaching my kids about Wyoming while driving through the state (and Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Oregon & Utah)

110. for the freedoms that homeschool allows our family – and the joy it brings into our home

111. for new friends taking the plunge into the unknown homeschool world – and demonstrating faith and obedience to God

112. for balanced hormones – what a difference a couple days make!

113. for people in my life who I love and who love me – and show me forgiveness even when I do not deserve it – I am blessed by your love and encouragement!

114. for all the things that I take for granted – but if I lost them tomorrow would be sorry.

Finally, if you read this today or tomorrow, say a prayer for those in your life who you love – especially your spouse.  My friend/classmate lost her husband yesterday (Sunday) in a tragic cycling accident – so she is now a widow at 37 or so – with 2 small children.  Life is so precious – treasure those you celebrate your life with, and never take any day for granted.  I am praying for Michelle and her children as they navigate this horrible time, and I pray for peace and comfort from our Heavenly Father for each of them.


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