Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Eternally Blessed

This week's Walk Down Memory Lane is going to be one of those that brings a tear to my eye even just looking at the pictures. Yet I feel it is so good to capture these moments that mean so much to me in this format for my girls. So, with that, I am going to attempt to put to words that day as we walk down memory lane to the day my Doodle was baptized by her daddy. Oh what a day!

Doodle asked us to pray with her and ask Jesus into her heart as her Lord and Savior on Valentine's Day 2004. What a valentine! Nothing has blessed me more than watching my children question and grow in their knowledge of the Lord. The decision to take the next steps in their faith walk has always been their own but I have always been so blessed to be present for each step. After her decision to accept Christ as her Lord, she immediately wanted to be baptized. So we set up with the church a time to have that happen. What blessed this mama the most, Doodle wanted her daddy to baptize her. Oh my, the joy!

The church we attended at that time had the person baptizing the new believer speak about their journey. Then they asked them some questions to allow the new believer to publicly confess their faith in Christ. Matt started off speaking and realized Doodle was too short to see over the wall so he picked her up to share her story. That moment was too sweet to this mama! Truly started weeping then. Tears of joy!
Matt holding Doodle and letting the congregation
know about her decision.
Look at her face! Pure joy!

After he shared her story, he then put her down and asked her the simple questions of faith and after she answered he baptized her. My joy was overwhelmed and I could not hold back the tears of joy with that! We had our entire family there to witness this special moment as well as dear friends.
The special moment he baptized her.

When he pulled her out of the water, he immediately grabbed her into that Daddy bear hug and carried her out of the baptismal that way! Though we don't have the picture of him doing that part, we do have the picture as he was trying to get her up into his arms. He was so moved by that moment and did not want to let it go by too quickly. He clung to her and they prayed when they went back to the dressing area.
His joy! Here he is trying to pick her up out of the water.
He hugged her and carried her wrapped around him with pure joy!

After she got dressed and emerged from the back, we all hugged and loved on her before leaving to go eat together. What I remember about this day most was not the family and friends there, although that was so touching. It was the moments of true joy and peace I saw in my daughter's eyes and in my husband.

Doodle after

Words can not express the joy we have at the gift of being parents in the first place. But to be able to know that we will one day spend eternity with our children is a priceless gift and a joy that no words do justice to describe. God knows that joy. We are so blessed.
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekend Fun!

This weekend we had a great time with dear friends. We drove up to Culver, Indiana where they now live. Truly it is a beautiful area! Upon our arrival, we all packed up the vehicles and headed over to the nearby drive-in movie theater! What fun! We saw G-Force and UP. The girls had a blast laying in the back of the van or their SUV.

Buddies reunited! Sitting in van at drive in.
The adults all had fun sitting in lawn chairs, chatting and eating snacks galore!! We were all shocked how much we went through by the end of the two movies!! We use to call our small group "The ChowBuckets" just for fun, but we all decided the Chow Buckets ruled on this night! :)
Our "babies"....when did mine get so big!!!

The next morning, the kids did allow us to sleep in which was so nice. We all had a nice breakfast sitting out on their deck. We sat and talked with our friends while our girls entertained their little ones. It was so pleasant. Of course, Doodle wasn't feeling quite right since she had eaten too much junk food the night before but soon she was back to normal and we were off!

Mr. P took us on a tour of his school campus. If you have never been up to visit or check out Culver Academy on so! It is gorgeous!! He made Doodle's day when he took us to see the horses in the horse barn. They are part of the Culver Academy Black Horse Brigade which has marched in the Inaugural Parade for many years!! So cool!
Doodle meeting "Thomas"
(the leader of the Black Horse Brigade
in the inagural parade)

still in the horse barn

After the tour, we headed to the beach to play and chat some more! What fun the girls all had playing in the lake and jumping off the pier. Doodle and Bean truly adore these little girls. They just all play so well together and it didn't matter that they were 5 and 2 and mine were 12 and 9. They just clicked and worked together. Doodle enjoyed playing with her little buddy again as did Bean. The have missed them since they moved a year ago.
What a precious moment to witness but
also to know these girls really do love each other!

After the beach, we walked to the local Corn Fest for a yummy dinner of hamburgers and all you can eat corn on the cob. Did I mention...ALL YOU CAN EAT!?! Boy did we! I am not sure how many ears of corn our group went through, but we certainly got our money's worth!

In the lake

This trip was just so sweet to my soul. I have missed my dear friend Mrs. P so much. I love knowing that miles may separate our families right now, but when we are together, we just pick up right were we left off. I am grateful for our families friendship and am looking forward to another visit ASAP!

After we left the P's house, we drove to the lake house. We spent the night and woke up late again. That rest is so needed right now. We have been going full speed ahead all summer and I truly feel the pressure of this next school year piling on. Thankfully today I sat out on the deck with the sun on my face, wind in my hair and my kids in the lake, working on plans. I can now breathe. We enjoyed our day with Matt's parents before heading home. We are all in our beds and I am planning a full week again but the cool thing about the busy week....I can always look forward to another relaxing, fun weekend with friends and family very soon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Change is Hard!

My girls have been blessed with the sweetest piano teacher now for over 4 years for Doodle and about 2 for Bean. This week will be the last lesson with this precious woman of God as their family will be moving for a new job for her husband. While I am so excited for his new adventure, we are going to miss this precious woman so very much. Today's walk down memory lane will be in honor of Mrs. Witzig and the powerful influence she has had on both my girls but especially Doodle through her gentle guidance and spirit. We met Mrs. W at a homeschool co-op that we use to belong together. While we stopped attending, I did grab her name and number off the table to start Doodle's lessons. Doodle would just sit and look at Mrs. W with such awe. I soon figured out that she just really was amazed by her sweet, tender voice with Doodle. (what does that say about me?! haha!)

Doodle at her first recital playing Winnie the Pooh.
Doodle has a passion for music of many kinds but really enjoys listening to classical music throughout the day. I know the passion she has for good music comes from the time she has spent seated next to Mrs. W over the years. They will play a piece and she will get so excited over their accomplishments which feeds into their desire to do well each week. Now, we have the same struggles as every other piano lesson family...practicing is not always fun. However, Doodle seems to take joy in finding pieces that she is to work on one or two lines at a time and she will complete the entire thing to surprise her teacher. And boy does she.

Bean at her first recital playing Jesus Loves Me

Doodle's second recital playing Star Spangled Banner

Not only do I appreciate this sister in Christ's encouragement of my girls piano technique, but I consider her a dear friend. She is a true light in my week. I know she will pray if I ask her and she will follow up the next week to see how things have gone. Truly she is a rare gem in this crazy world that is so focused on self and material gain.

Doodle and Bean playing a duet at a nursing home.

Mrs. W's daughters exemplify grace and beauty in the Lord. They are sweet teen age girls who love God and respect and love their parents. I have cherished their influence on my girls. I was hoping to have that continue through the teen years at my house! What a joy to witness in this world of self-centered teens.

Doodle playing Happy Day Waltz at the nursing home.

Bean playing Stand up for Jesus at the nursing home.
So, thank you, Mrs. W for your hard work and dedication to teaching my girls the skills they need to play piano. Thank you for loving them as you do and praying over them as I know you have and will continue to do. I am grateful you have touched their lives in such a way they find it sad to arrive at piano lessons tomorrow knowing it is their last with you. That shows just how much you have touched their hearts and not just their little hands. For me, I will miss my friend. You and I have talked endlessly over our girls ventures or growing pains. I know your hand in my life has helped me to be the mom God wanted me to be at those times. Thank you for your wisdom, your gentle words and spirit, your prayers, your encouraging words, your generous heart and kind ways. You will always be such a special friend in our home. We will miss you so much! I do not know the words to say to someone who has touched your life and poured themselves into your children in such way, but for now, I will just end with:Thank you!

Mrs. W and my girls

Monday, July 20, 2009

Birthday fun!

Bean loves to sing. My husband has managed to find a decent Christian kids group for her to substitute some of the other kids groups that are so popular off of Disney. We figure if she is going to memorize songs and sing them all day long they might as well be something that has a bit more substance. So, with that, PureNRG and the Rubyz have become staples coming from her bedroom. Since she likes to sing, she had a singer theme...we had so much fun finding fun dress up stuff for the party!

Here is my little superstar!

Bean and her cake.

Bean with sister and all her cousins that were able to attend.
One of the funny things that happened this birthday took place two days before her party at my nephews birthday. At that party, my dad decided to joke with Bean after she hugged him with her wet bathing suit. He told her he was headed to Chicago the next day and was planning on getting her present but since she got him wet he wasn't going to. He asked her if she knew what was in Chicago. At this point, I am sweating thinking, surely he won't tell her! But to my horror, HE DID!! He sat there and told her that American Girl store is in Chicago and now he wasn't going to stop there!!!

When she went upstairs to change, my sister and I just rolled! We could not believe that he just sat there and told her what she was getting!! We had all gone in together to give my parents the money to get the doll and an outfit. Bean already got her bike from her other grandparents and her parents. So this was it!!! Now she knew....or did she?! Sadly, I must admit that I tried to lie to her about it when she asked me in the car if Poppy was serious. I sat there stone cold and just said," Well, honey, what do you think? I mean, why would anyone sit there and tell a kid what they are giving them for their birthday? Does that make any sense? I guess we will just have to wait and see." With that she decided it was not true but she told her sister she hoped it was. So when she opened the box and saw Josefina looking through it she just grinned!!! So even though Poppy let the cat out of the bag, she was still so happy to meet her new little friend.

Bean and her new friend, Josefina.

We really don't do friend sleepovers until you are a bit older in our house, but the joy of having so many cousins that live nearby is that some of her best friends are her cousins so we can do family sleepovers. So after the entire family came over to celebrate her party, we had two of her cousin buddies stay the night and go to the lake house with us the next day. They took pictures of each other dressing up with crazy outfits, watched a movie, had popcorn and ice cream. It was just a fun time.
Bean with two of her cousins.

The next morning, we headed to the lake house. These girls are die hard! It was barely 70 degrees outside and they were in that water all day long! My nieces had not been tubing before so it was fun to see them experience something new together. Bean loved having them there with her. I just enjoyed watching the three of them giggle and be silly most of the day. We enjoyed the surprise of having Matt's sister and her kids join us later in the day as well as his parents when we arrived at the lake house. That allowed Bean to be with her entire family over her birthday weekend. Such fun!
Bean and CarCar
NayNay and Doodle

Mid-air fun! Matt trying to knock the girls off!

Tube crazy girls! They all loved it!

The end of the day, all wrapped up in towels.
Over all, Bean's birthday was a special day and a fun night with family. I think as I reflect on this time with the girls, it just truly makes me smile to know that my girls are not only growing up with close cousins, but also growing in the Lord with these cousins. They all are good kids with a heart to honor God. What can be better?
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Monday's Menu

How sweet to say that this week we have nothing big going on! Yeah! It is a breath of fresh air around here to be able to just go with the flow for the week and enjoy those fun, "lazy" days of summer. I'm not sure how lazy our days will be as we have some chores to tackle but nothing that will take our entire focus for the week. Should be a good week. Here is what the Miller crew will be eating:

Monday: breakfast for dinner: waffles, bacon and eggs

Tuesday: chicken on grill, corn on cob, fresh green beans, tomato/cucumber salad

Wednesday: baked ziti , salad, fresh garlic bread

Thursday: taco salad, chips and salsa, fresh guacamole

Friday: headed to our friends...Perkins! Yeah!

Saturday: turkey burgers, grilled veggies, sweet potato fries

Sunday: pulled pork (crock pot), baked beans, Cole slaw

(check out others at

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Beanie!

Today we celebrate my youngest daughter's 9th birthday. I am in shock at how fast time has gone by over those 9 years! In honor of her day, I am going to take a nugget from my friend Lainie and write our own Top 9 list about Bean. Along with that, I have posted a few pictures I think are just too sweet. I think that is a momma's right on these big days, don't you?!

1. I love listening to my girl giggle. No one can keep a straight face once she starts. Bean has a true joy that radiates to others around her. No one can make her laugh as hard as her sister. Always has been the case and I think it always will.

Bean on carousel at Disney World...age 3. Look at those cheeks!

2. Bean enjoys helping me around the house and will do so without being asked. She has a true servant's heart in that way as well as when she sees someone is cold, she will run and get them a blanket or if they are thirsty a drink. Truly, she is very willing to serve others before herself and I could not be more proud of how humble she truly is in this area.

Bean's first "big girl" bike...age 4!

3. Bean has the ability to make me laugh when I am trying to correct her at times. While that is frustrating at times, most of the time, I truly think God has placed her in our family to remember to lighten up a bit. And that I have.
Being goofy Baking Christmas cookies~ age 5

4. When we transfer Bean from the car or our room after she has fallen asleep, this child grins and giggles all the way to her room. She is a happy kid straight out of sleep. That has come in handy many nights.

5. I adore this child's mind. She is a problem solver by nature and never ceases to amaze me with how she sees a problem working itself out.

Lost first tooth~age 6 (LOVE these curls!)

6. While Bean started out being more bashful, I have enjoyed watching her come out of her shell this past couple years. There is still room to grow in this area, but right now she is at a good spot. We see her personality popping out in front of more and more people which is so fun. I love that others now get to see the sweet spirited, goofy kid we see around the house.

Ta-da! Doing what she does best~ age 7

Bean adores babies and is really good with them. She has a natural bent towards being a babysitter or care giver of some kind. I do know she will make a good mommy one day but for now it is fun to see her step up to being helpful in this way.

9. Most of all, I love that Bean is not only my daughter but also my sister in Christ. She has accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and has taken steps in making that decision more public through her decision to be baptized. Watching her grow up these past 9 years has been wonderful but to know we will spend eternity together worshiping God...well that just is priceless!

Bean's new bike she just got for her 9th birthday.
As I compare the last picture to the first little bike suddenly I am reminded, my baby is no longer a baby! She is truly a lovely young girl! Love you, sunshine! I could not be more proud of the young lady you are and continue to become.
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Spectacular Seven!!!!

Today's Walk Down Memory Lane is in honor of my little nephew we will call Mater. Today is his seventh birthday so it seems fitting that I take a day to share some of my favorite memories of my little buddy.
Mater at age 2 during a family portrait session at my parents.

Mater is number 7 of 8 grandkids on my side of the family. He is my sister's youngest child and he is a riot! This kid makes me laugh so hard. He has a little southern twang that we just can't quite figure out but it is the cutest thing ever. Add the little dutchy speech when he was younger and I would just giggle at some of the things that have come out of his mouth.
Don't you just want to swoop him up and kiss on those cheeks?!

Mater did not get to stay at my house as much as his older brother and sister because when he was born, I would have had 3 under 4 in my house and only one of them was mine. With beginning homeschooling, I felt it was time to stop watching my sister's kids. That decision was one of the hardest things ever for me. Yet my sister handle it with such grace and love. She knew it was not personal. I adore her kids. It was just time. With that lack of daily interaction, I feared I would not have the same bond I do with her older son, Drew. I love hearing about what is going on in their life and watching them change before my eyes. So I missed that part and was sad about it for a long time. When Mater turned 2, he started going to Bible Study Fellowship with my Bean, his sister and me. I think we also had my other niece Nay that first year. Regardless, he loved Bible School as he called it. We sang silly songs all the way to the church and would march inside holding hands like a choo-choo train. What a joy!
Mater's first day to BSF with the ladies!

I think one of the things I enjoy so much about Mater is that he just sees life through such innocent eyes. He does not ever appear to be easily angered or sad. I am sure he is, he has just learned to let things roll with the punches. Even when he broke his collar bone at his own birthday party, he still was sure he was fine. He just is not a complainer. What a gift!

First Baseball Uniform...looking too big!
Now, whether it is baseball, swimming, reading or riding bikes, Mater loves for his family to watch him. When he visits, he is constantly saying, "Neeny, look at me". He just wants to see your smile as you watch what he is doing. He wants to please.
reading to me during Nana's school.

One of the coolest things, this little guy is a cuddle bug. He loves to curl up and let you read book after book to him. Now that he is old enough, he is reading on his own, but he still wants you to be right there curled up by him with a blankie. I think I appreciate that while I do not have sons of my own, my sisters boys have always filled that void for me in some ways. I see the differences in how God made their little spirits and truly it is amazing how much of that is just in them!! I am grateful my sister allows me to be so gushy with these guys and knows that at the end of the day, there is no one this little guy would rather curl up next to than his mommy. I'm just grateful I get to cuddle up and listen to him read now. Time flies!
This year's baseball trophy. He chose to come to my 40th birthday party and miss his last game where they pass out these trophies. What a sweetie!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Doin' the Hop!

***This week I found a fun blog hop. So I thought I would join in after all who doesn't enjoy a good blog hop....or is that the bunny hop? Regardless, here we go! Today's focus is 3 things you don't know about me. Well, since I am a pretty open gal, not sure I can come up with three, but I will try. First of all, I adore being at the ocean. I love hearing the sounds of the rushing waves beating against the shore. Something about that sound, the smell and the vastness of the ocean makes me realize just what a mighty God we serve. I feel small standing next to it and am reminded He is so much bigger than anything I am dealing with or feeling. Awesome!

Secondly, although I desired to have a larger family than God blessed me with in my home, I am content with having the number He chose for me. What I think is cool is that I am aunt to 8 amazing kids who really seem to enjoy hanging out with this lady. ;) I adore being an aunt!

Third, I love my girls feet! I loved getting their picture when they were little with little bare feet and I still do now that there feet are the same size as mine! Something about those little them!!!***MckLinky Blog Hop
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