Welcome to our journey. The purpose of my blog is not only to journal our life experience, but also to share what God is doing in our lives. I do not claim to be an expert in parenting, marriage, or even the Bible. But I do have a heart to share my experiences and the true love that God has for each and every one of us. You can read our testimony by clicking on the top of the page. And if you'd like to know about the Homeless Ministry my husband started, you can click on the Homeless tab. I hope you will comment freely on my posts and in my community.

Monday, July 8, 2013

4th of July

I love this holiday!
There are several reasons but one is that it's a time to celebrate our wonderful country with family and friends. I love the hot weather, parades, barbecues, and of course...fireworks! This is the first time I've spent it with Mitchell in quite some time. He is usually at grandma and grandpa's cabin. Dave and I stay back because Mackenzie and/or Hailey have been in the parade.
Last year Mackenzie was recovering from mono and couldn't be in the parade. Hailey was in it with the girls scouts. This year Hailey and Mackenzie were in it together with the Apple Valley High School Cheer Team.

 Kenzie (Hailey is on her left in the white looking ahead)

 Dave and Mitchell...the water "boys" :)

Watching the parade after walking it
(Being at the beginning has its perks)
Pool fun
We had a great time at a barbecue/pool party with our friend's Leslie & Andy and others.
We watched fireworks with my mom in Apple Valley.
Mitchell bought some fireworks and we ended the night watching his display!
It was a bitter-sweet day for Mitchell...he LOVES to be at the cabin. That's where his heart is. Since  Grandpa U is still recovering from his heart transplant, we stayed home. Mitchell is eagerily awaiting the day we get to go up to his home away from home. :)
I'm thankful for the gift of my family.
I'm thankful for friends.
I'm thankful for this country!
God bless America and all of you!!

Oh geez!

It's been almost four months since my last post! Where does the time go? So much has happened in the past few months. The highlight...
Our first grandchild was born on May 18, 2013. Alexandra Echo Richardson...

Yep...she's perfect!
More posts to come...I hope you're enjoying summer.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Year of Cheer

Anyone who knows our family probably knows that Mackenzie was on the Apple Valley Varsity Competition Cheer Team this past year. They would know this because it's her OUR life. ;) It's pretty much year around. They just ended at the end of February. And normally they would do try outs in March and then start again in April with Open Gym practices. Except for this year there's a longer break because the coach is having a baby. Yeah for the girls!

I put together this video for her the banquet. Thought I'd share. *There are even a couple pics of Hailey (a future Apple Valley Cheerleader) and one of Mitchell. She's counting down the years. One year to go. :)

There are three teams on this video. Middle School, Junior Varsity, and Varsity. You'll know by the sections on the video. For those looking for Mackenzie...she is on Varsity and in the performance pics where there is a pyramid or stunts happening, she is either the flyer (the one in the air) in the middle of the pyramid or the one on the right depending on the performance. That helps a ton huh? lol! *Here's one hint: at 9:27 in the video Mackenzie is the flyer on the right doing a 360 Basket. Here's a little cheer info: a 360 basket is where they throw them in the air and the flyer does a 360 rotation. I was told that Mackenzie gets great height in the air because she "rides" it. I had to ask what that means. lol! It means she waits until she's at full height before she "pulls" the trick. :) Don't you feel smarter now?! ha, ha!

I think it's amazing that these girls throw girls in the air and catch them. It takes great strength, concentration, and trust to perform these stunts. I admire the hard work of the bases and back spots and the trust for those being thrown in the air. I truly mean it when I say I trust these girls with my daughter's life.

Kenzie...I'm so proud of you! You are an amazing cheerleader and quite the flyer! It's been fun to watch you grow in your ability and your confidence. Also, not once did I ever hear you complain about a practice, fundraising, or any performances. Your commitment shows and will be valuable as you get older. I hope that you hold these memories close to your heart. I know I will. I love you! And I have come to love these girls and their parents. Thanks for sharing this part of your life with me lovie.

Congratulations on a great year!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Newborn triplets in need!

Hi there...

I'm reaching out on behalf of a mom and dad of newborn triplet girls! They were born last Thursday. This was a homeless couple that Breakthrough Ministries came along side a while ago. Anyways...they are now a huge part of Breakthrough and give back to others. They are just a sweet couple growing in their faith. Being that they are basically starting over in life as they really had nothing when they finally got off the streets...having three brand new babies is going to be a challenge. Although not one that is too tough to overcome with some help.

I am waiting for a list of specific needs and will update when I get them. The babies are doing so well that they may actually be home later this week. And I hear that if they are home they will all be at Breakthrough Church on Sunday. ;) My purpose is to see if anyone has any donations for these three baby girls. I do know that they need sheets for their pack-n-plays. Also, some swaddle blankets. Beyond that...I'm sure any baby clothes would be great. Also, they will obviously be needing TONS of diapers, wipes, and other consumable products such as baby soap, lotion, ointment, etc.

Please let me know if you have anything to donate. You will receive a tax donation receipt from Breakthrough since this is for one of the couples they are ministering to.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

One GREAT weekend!

This was absolutely one of the best weekends we've had in long time! It started out on Thursday. We went to Mom and Dad U's house. ALL of us! All four of the kids. My parents joined us too. We celebrated Dave's birthday and it was just a fun night. I was thinking about Dave's birthday 18 years ago - we had celebrated it in that same dining room. Frank & Mary had brought in chefs to prepare a special dinner. My parents were there too. And then Dave surprised me by proposing! One of the best days of my life for sure. Many memories have been made over the past 19 years...since Dave came into my life. Not only did I gain a wonderful husband and 3 more children, but I also gained more family. Frank, Mary, Bob, Debra, Christine and her family, Bobbi, and all the extended family too! I only wish we saw everyone more.

Ok, back to our weekend. Dave, all four kids, and I spent the night at Mom & Dad U's. We then had a relaxing morning before Dave left to head down to his dad, Bob's house. He celebrated with Bob, Debra, and Bobbi. I know it was special for him. I missed him though. ;) He then had the privilege to speak at a Men's Breakfast at Bob's church. I can't wait to see the video.

Hailey and Mitchell stayed at Grandma & Grandpa U's while Mackenzie went to her friend's birthday dinner. Amanda, Josh, and I helped my mom take her Christmas tree down. YES...it was long overdue! My mom is still recovering from a bi-lateral knee replacement. She's doing great. Then us three girls went to see a movie. We picked a good chick flick complete with tears. Again...it was a blessing to spend time with my mom and my oldest daughter, who's soon to be a mom herself. 4 generations. :)

Saturday was a busy day. Hosanna! had an Impact Conference and we were blessed to hear Joel Manby, author of "Love Works" speak. I will do a special blog post just for that. If you haven't read the book, I highly recommend it.

My hubby surprised me and stopped by church as we were finishing up the Impact Conference. We had planned on picking up the kids but they wanted to spend another night. Well, we decided to go on a date. First stop, a "man flick" movie. Second stop, Rudy's Red Eye Grill...thanks to John and Shari for the gift certificate. It's a nice restaurant and they had a piano man. He was fantastic!

And now...I have to get ready to head to Breakthrough Church. I'm excited to worship with Jon Russel, Erin Petersen, and Rachel Cummings. I will end our weekend by listening to my hubby, Pastor Dave, preach. And then we'll have dinner with some friends who are currently homeless. I can't think of a better way to end my weekend.

Have a great night friends! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Wish for My Children

Actually it should say My PRAYER for my children. 

I came upon this song while putting together a video for Mackenzie's cheer season. While this song didn't really fit with that video, it did fit my feelings for Mackenzie. (Actually this is my prayer for all my children).

As a mom, my heart aches for the hurt that my children go through. I wish I could spare them from some of it. Although I know that some of the trials are what will shape their character. It will get them ready for their adult life. One thing that really hit me in this song is that when you're faced with a choice and you have to choose that you choose the one that means the most to you. A step further than that is to choose the path the Lord has laid out for you. Others will come against you when you're trying to follow your heart and the Lord. Not all things are good for us. But when it is...I hope that you make the choice that means the most to you. I pray that you don't let someone else's opinion or thoughts stop you from following your heart and passion. 

My wish for you is that you continue to dream big! Continue to LOVE others with your whole heart. Not only those who are close to you but those who are difficult to love. Always take the time to help others, especially when it's inconvenient. Always take the time to listen to a friend who's hurting. Always take time to laugh.

Know how much you are loved! Remember...Jesus died just for you! Know that no matter what you do, it will never change how much I love you! It will never change how much God loves you either. When you make a mistake (and there will be many) learn from it, change from it, except God's grace and move on. When others hurt you, forgive them and move on. Love well.

My prayer for you is that you will seek the Lord with all your heart! His yoke is easy and his burden light. 

Jeremiah 29:11 says For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 

Here's the song:

I love you!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 2 - Roseville

Thursday, February 7

We leisurely made our way to Roseville (a suburb of Sacramento).

It was a beautiful drive

Hey guys...Take note of this next paragraph. Ha, ha!

When we arrived in California, I told Dave I needed to find a Target to purchase some nail polish so I could paint my toes and wear my sandals. I thought he might be irritated for this silly stop. But instead he said "Honey, I think we should just find you a place to have a pedicure done. You deserve it!". What a sweetie! And when we got to the hotel, that was the first thing he asked the person at the desk. ;)
This was the most relaxing pedi I've ever had!

We were then blessed with a wonderful dinner by Rod and Connie Marquette. They are pastors of Destiny Church in Rochester, MN. 
We also met some new friends, Peter & Karen, who were also ordained.

Then it was off to a church called "The Family". They truly treat you like family visiting their home. There was such honor. I've never felt treated so special at a conference before. 

This was a prophetic picture done during the worship time

And he was in his glory too!

We heard from Pastor Shawn Boltz.
He was amazing!

We went back to our hotel room exhuasted...but in a very good way.
And we were excited for the next day.