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Friday, July 27, 2007

Summer Sun?

This has been a summer of rain here in Texas. We never know what to expect when we wake up in the morning. We plan to go to the pool and then...it rains.



Yes, we've been a little bit but certainly not every day or even every week this year.



This summer has also been the summer of camps. Our children are going to more camps than ever before this year.



The Monday of ice skating camp, this is what I woke up to...






Imagine my grin at the irony of hats, gloves, scarves and coats in the Texas summer heat. (It's even hot when it rains here!)



Cute kids!



They had so much fun. Hunter learned to skate without holding on to the wall. Alyssa learned to skate without holding on to the cones. Julia, well, she learned to go faster!



This is a really fun camp that we've done for two years now. The kids get to ice skate so much they don't beg to go for awhile afterwards.



Their favorite part of the week is when they empty the Zamboni and have a snowman building contest.



Summer snowmen!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Prayer Appreciated



This is Bethany (the one on the right). She is an 18-year-old professional dancer with an amazing heart for Our Lord.
I have known Bethany since she was 18-months-old. I can't she is a young woman following the dreams the Lord put in her heart on the path He has set her feet on. I have had the privilege of praying many of these awesome accomplishments into being.

I have also had the pleasure of watching her become a woman after God's own heart. She is full of purity, humility and passion for Jesus. She would love to be a Broadway dancer and performer but if God can get more glory through her another way, that is the way she'll walk. Every step she takes and every breath she breathes is an act of worship for her not to mention the turns, leaps and extensions she does in worship to the Lord.
She is a member of a professional christian ballet company called Dance Ad Deum.

She has danced in many, many places. Some as secular as New York City and Broadway others as reverent as church sanctuaries.

Right now she is dancing in Holland with YWAM (Youth With a Mission). She is teaching dances to many teams who will take these dances to minister to people all over the world. They will dance the dances she choreographed in such places as Indonesia, China, Australia, France and South Africa among others.

She has stumbled (while being led by God) into another amazing opportunity. She has been invited to go from Holland to South Africa with the South African team to minister through dance.
One of the many things about Bethany that is so beautiful is her heart for the Lord. She dances with an expressed passion for Him that few people can express in the flesh. She could be many places dancing. She has had many offers and many opportunities but the humility with which she offers each request to the Lord is truly inspirational to watch.
She really thought she would be performing in a different way this summer but when it got right down to it, God had a better plan. She is doing something she loves and giving glory to God in a special way this summer.
The finances have been raised and she will head to South Africa at the end of her ministry in Holland. Please join us in praying that she will be Light in the darkness, she will have physical, emotional and spiritual protection and receive rest and encouragement in this busy time.
Remember there are time differences, language barriers, dancers with varying experience and extreme spiritual darkness where she is.

Pray for her family and the families of the other dancers during this time as many of them are experiencing attack as well.

Pray for the lost. Pray for soft hearts, ears to hear and eyes to see. Also remember to praise God for all He has done and will continue to do through these willing dancers.


How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Isaiah 52:7

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Psalm 1:1-3




This is the Seay family. I was in youth group with Amy. She was always pretty, sweet, gentle and compassionate. Anyone who reads this and has lost touch with her will be interested in their current story and how to pray for them. You'll also want to admire their beautiful family!

Brian's sister, Jenn, is a friend of mine here in College Station. So until a few weeks ago, I really had very little idea what they were up to. Then Jenn announces that Brian has a blog and asks her readers to pray for them because they are in the process of adopting two foster children.

This is really an amazing story and you should read about it on Brian's blog.

Basically God has moved the heartstrings of a family in another state, who already have four children, to defy the American odds and adopt two more children. These children are preschool aged and desperately need a forever family.

The Seays have been told "no" because they have four children already. The world and CPS say that is enough. They have all the usual issues that a family of six could have...financial stretching, space stretching and time stretching...But they believe God has told them these children will fill a space in their family only God knew needed filling.

They will wait with raised hands and outstretched arms saying, "Pick us, we're willing, we're ready, we love them already," until God shuts the final door. Pray that doesn't happen. Pray things happen smoothly and quickly for the children's sake. Pray for favor with the system and caseworkers.

Just pray.


Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27



Sunday, July 15, 2007

Fiesta a la Familia




We just took the funnest vacation. We went to San Antonio...with our girls.

It was a wonderful time.

I missed my skinny-legged, cuddly, always-hungry boy and my chubby-legged, teetering, baby boy.

I loved, absolutely loved, going on a vacation without packing a port-a-crib, diaper bag, bottles, stroller, wipes, milk, baby's food, a million changes of clothes, swim diapers, life jackets, car seats, etc. I loved walking around Fiesta Texas, the Alamo, getting in and out of the car a million times without a stroller, diaper bag, baby on my hip, changing diapers and fixing bottles. I did not miss the stuff that goes with my little boys.

Thanks so much Mom and Pete for making this happen! We appreciate your tireless efforts to give us this time with our girls. We love you!

I also love vacation with my husband. He is a fun man.

Before you go on vacation with Andrew, you get gifts and cards. Vacation starts a little early.

So on July 3rd we got gifts from Uncle Sam. (Uncle Jack or Tommy to Alyssa so we also got a quick history lesson.) Glow in the dark jewelry and noise makers for July 4th, DVDs, purses, clothes, chocolate, etc. Andrew is a good celebrator. He always starts vacations out with a bang. Whether it's a new book, a bathing suit or a set of luggage, there is always new stuff, gifts and surprises. This time I got a gorgeous shirt, animal print of course, that I had admired in the mall. Yes, a shirt from the mall! I also got a cool surprise of a domain name for my blog. http://www.lisasmithblog.com/ is me! So easy, what a creative gift. Thanks, Love!

We like his surprises. We love him!

So we started out and really had no agenda except to be on the river walk for dinner and on a boat there for fireworks.

We started out and ended up stopping at the outlet mall. We bought a couple of things...not much. I got an awesome pair of shoes. Nine West. Namebrand. I was feeling nice.

We trekked on toward The Snake Farm. This is where Alyssa, The Animal Angel, got to hold a real, live ring-tailed lemur. It sat on her head and played in her hair. It totally made her day!
The lemur loved Alyssa...and Julia in its own way. We saw snakes and other scary reptiles but our favorite was the lemur!


Then we went to the National Animal Park and fed zebras, rams and ostriches. The zebras were really pretty and our favorites. The ostriches poked their long pokey heads in our car and scared us silly while pecking us. Did you know an ostrich bite feels really weird?










From here we hurried to get to the riverwalk on time for the festivities of the Fourth. We got there...but it was closed down completely. The fireworks were cancelled. The restaurants were closed. The boats quit running at 8:00.

Even though it was closed, we scared the few people who were there with our very loud noise makers celebrating the Fourth of July on our own.

We ended up taking a bus to the market to eat at a crazy all-night restaurant. It was an...ummm...experience to say the least. Walking back from dinner, we stood over grates that blew our shorts and skirts full of air and ran as fast as we could to dodge the rain. Giggles all around!

We saw a few fireworks from our hotel window. Did I mention our awesome hotel? We were on the fifteenth floor of the most luxurious, comfy hotel in town!

The girls said they felt like Mary Kate and Ashley (as kids) and I loved watching them run in and bounce on the bed in all its softness and stand on tippy-toes to peek out the window at the super cool movie star pool.
We spent the next day riding the boat up and down the river, exploring the mall, the Alamo, the museums, rides, el mercado and swimming in our movie star cool hotel swimming pool.

We had an excellent dinner on the river. Casa Rio...Excellent. So good and really great to sit out over the river and feed half our dinner to the ducks! The girls wanted the mariachi so we enjoyed La Cooka Racha for a small fortune, but worth the memory...that's priceless!

Again, watching the girls in awe was one of the greatest memories.







I really just enjoyed revelling in their personalities and who they are becoming. Watching them not compete for our attention and not try to pull us away from babies was freeing and fun. I loved that Alyssa wanted to wear her sunglasses and be just like me the whole time. I loved watching Julia run towards any adventure she could see and yet wanting Mommy and Daddy right there. I loved listening to them without being interrupted by everyday stuff. Their entertaining stories, their likes, their dislikes, their hopes and their fears.





Our visit was completed by a trip to Fiesta Texas where Julia and Daddy rode roller coasters and Alyssa and Mommy set out to find Scooby Doo and Tweety Bird.

Alyssa the brave rode her first roller coaster. Even though she was scared out of her mind, she calmly got on this train right when we got there, she mustered her courage and put this look of "I think I'm having fun" on her face before the ride started.



She deserves kudos for her bravery and courage. She was very proud of of being brave. Her head was in my lap as she tried to hold her tears back during the ride. She screamed in her high-pitched, shrill, little loud voice the entire ride! But still, she was very, very brave! (She may never ride another roller coaster no matter the size for the rest of her life.) It made both she and I a little dizzy so the quest for Tweety and Scooby continued in earnest.




We even saw a Grease-like show that some of us loved and others slept through. I'll give you a hint, the ones who loved it are pretending to be cheerleaders in this picture...other members of our family were tired. It had been a long day!

All in all, we escaped the rain mostly and wore ourselves out making good memories of a big kid trip.

Andrew was amazed how much and how long girls of any age can shop, not really buying anything, just going from shop to shop looking. It didn't matter if we were at the outlets, upper end mall or el mercado flea market, we just looked and looked never tiring of the stuff...and the people.



Our girly-girl vacation was so much fun. I love the big-kid phase lots too. I miss the baby-babies. I love the big girls. This family vacation was filled with good times.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Feet



Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)


The beautiful feet are now also happy, walking feet!!! Praises to God!!! It's hard to get a picture of Palmer walking because walking is such hard work. It makes him hungry and tired! He's such a laid back boy, he just walks a little at a time. He's so proud of himself he grins and claps after each step. He does a little dance before he takes a step...so it's boogie...step...step...boogie...step... step...so cute. We are all grinning and clapping too! It won't be too long before he's running circles all over the place with his brother and sisters. We are praising God for his happy, walking, beautiful feet.