Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day "Shout Out" to my Hubs!

Happy Father's Day...Hubs!
I love you so very much. You have been a wonderful influence to our boys in many areas of their lives, thank you. For stepping up to the plate and taking on the challenge of being a great step dad to Spencer, I know its not always easy but you come through and my son's life is a reflection of that growth in your relationship together, thank you. For always maintaining a balance of love and compassion with that constructive discipline with each child you've been given. For being a God-fearing man growing in the Lord, thank you! For keeping your sense of humor when the rest of us have bad days, thanks for your efforts. We appreciate all that you are and will be in Christ, I am so elated to be your wife and raise our children together. I can count on you always. For being such an awesome problem solver...I couldn't do it without you! Enjoy your day. Hugs from your wife and the boys!!!!



To my Dad on Father's Day...



Happy Father's Day, Dad!
Thank YOU Dad, for having a great sense of humor in everything. For showing me love and compassion while demonstrating a fine balance of the importance of leadership and having strong convictions in the face of adversity. For being a God-fearing man who delights in the Lord with your life. For loving mom with your unique way and showing me how important family bonds really are. For providing for us growing up, even when times were tough! For never giving up on me when I rebelled against you in the past. For overcoming obstacles with a lighthearted outlook. These attributes have contributed to my spiritual growth, as a wife and a mother today, I am so thankful for that most sincerely. Happy is me to be given as your daughter... :) I truly hope you enjoy every day you've been given. You're a wonderful Grandpa too!!!
We can't wait to visit with you soon! Love and Hugs.



Friday, June 19, 2009

We're Packing the House!

Interesting find...
As Tony and I began the packing proceedings with our upcoming "move", we did some shopping investigating and found that the cardboard boxes we usually pack in are actually more costly for us - I guess depends upon where you go but, Tony found a fabulous deal at everybody's favorite place, Wal-Mart and decided to purchase these bins as pictured...which are actually less money than the cardboard moving boxes! Only 4 bucks each!!! The regular retail price on these particular bins are approx. 9.xx dollars. Really! So, of course, we got a steal of a deal and had to jump on that! Added bonus... we can actually KEEP these bins for storage, as you'll see, Tony's awesome "meticulous" ways (lol) using labels to categorize them nicely too!

We have these bins all over the place right now, but figured it would also be easier for those assisting us in our move to figure out where to put them in the new house too - Oh and I think Tony will be making a color coded index too... he is so funny. Well, we do still have some "cardboard boxes" we will be using too) but, I so love this idea and appreciate my husband for conjuring up such a brilliant way (yet again) to handle the move this time around.

Next Saturday (06/27) we are moving out officially! Praise God for giving us the resilience to keep up with everything (including handling our new little baby Josh and all of his needs) and for those who are able to come out and help us move, we appreciate you! *Similarly, if you can make it out, a church email blast went out with the time we intend on beginning and wrapping things up, let us know if you can make it! Everyone has been such a blessing to us personally, thank you!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Praise for My King!

Lord of Heaven...
You ARE so awesome, all knowing, all powerful and almighty! Holy Holy Holy, is Your name! I lift up my heart cry to you and praise You for loving me even though I am so undeserving of it. Thank You for dying for me and rising again so that You could live inside of me! You ARE passionate about me, thank You with all that I am. Your love is consuming and always available, I want my life to reflect You in every way, may it also be a humble excepting offering to You on the throne in heaven! Thank You for my family, for making each one of us so unique and compassionate to fulfill the purposes You have planned out for us!

I am so overwhelmed by the magnitude of forgiveness You offer to me everyday, thank You for designing me in Your image and making me whole again.

Let's give God a shout of PRAISE today!!!! He is The King of Kings and Lord of Lords!!!

Don't forget to Bless Him with everything that you have and all that you are.



"Little Brother" poem by mom

Little Brother...
you bring us a love so fun
Little Brother...
our adventures have just begun
Little Brother...
your life has made our connection

Little Brother...
our hearts now beat as one!

Baby Talk!

video
To listen to all VIDEOS please scroll down this page and "pause" the music first. Sorry for the inconvenience. But, I also love music. Thank you.

If you can spare about 6 mins. to hear our littlest blessing share some important news, it'll be worth it!

He is growing so fast already. On June 16th, Joshua is 2 months old and 9 lbs 11 oz!!! This was a precious moment for mommy to share with you on yet another rainy day in the Allen family household. Enjoy.

Congrats Spencer!

Congratulations Spencer for completing the first grade. After a rough transition to a new school and some struggles with behavior and academics, he has successfully overcome them through diligent study and patience all with God's help this year and has been promoted to the second grade for his progression in many academic areas. During his Standardize Testing, he also finished in the "top 4" for his strong "listening comprehension" and "word reading"!!! Way to go son! Nothing is impossible with God's help. We love you.

Mom and Dad are so proud of your accomplishments this year! God loves you...keep up the good work!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Our 4th Grade Graduate, Charles!


Today, we celebrated with Charles on his awesome achievements in school and in officially completing his elementary school years with Candlebrook in Upper Merion School District. He is now officially a 5th grader moving up into the "middle school"- Note from home: God loves you Charles and has made you handsomely gifted in many areas, may you become closer to Christ in your youth and use these skills in your future to always glorify the Lord. We love ya...

Charles also received a very honorable award for his (excellence in academics) and received a letter from the White House, signed by the President. We are so proud of Charles and were pleasantly surprised about this particular award! *In this video, he was the "sixth name" called to receive this award!

Remember the moments that shape your future... time is fleeting! Carpe Diem.

video

"Chefs Boy R Dee"!!!


They made their own hats... this made mom and dad chuckle!!!
Being creative with our maker, learning and enjoying the "little things"
is what our family is all about!
Assistant Chef, Spencer
The Head Chef for a day, Charles!
Two of my favorite chefs in the kitchen...

Charles is learning to prepare small meals with mom. His fav is "beef ramen noodle soup" and "mac n cheese"! Spencer is our "assistant to the chef", observing the skills needed to cook for us in the future :)
Mom is so proud of them and their enthusiasm to learn how to make meals for each other first, then for our family in the future. Their muse, "Chef Boy R Dad"







Sunday, June 14, 2009

Family Fun BBQ @ The Wagner's!


Our family was SO excited to get out of the house Friday night, for a couple of hours for some "Pot luck" BBQ fellowship together with our friends from GVF at the Wagner's home!

I can't believe I forgot my camera folks...Arg! So, I thought these illustrations might suffice for this post (just visualize with me...lol). Oh, but I did remember my pasta salad thankfully!!!

Our family would like to send a BIG HUG with THANKS to Rand and Kaylee for throwing a fabulous BBQ on Friday! So glad the weather held out nicely for it too. The boys had a blast, Tony thoroughly enjoyed the golf pitch with the fellas and me, well of course, enjoyed chatting it up with the girls, holding babies, laughing and enjoying some awesome food...is there really anything else? So fun..

Looking forward to more fun times this summer with family and friends...


Friday, June 12, 2009

Just "Joshin" Ya"!

Smile for mommy... come on you can do it!
YAH!!! That's my boy... everybody dance!

Awe shucks mommy!!! Can I take my nap now?

I thank the Lord everyday for the smile of a child...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We're Moving!

By God's grace and His unfailing provision, Tony and I were able to locate a more affordable "spacious" house to move into the end of this month! Our kids will thankfully have the same school district (Upper Merion) to continue their academic training!

We are delighted to see how God will use us as a couple to reach out and meet new friends/neighbors along with our boys! This particular home was built in 1978 (Shhhhh...the year I was born) not exactly a newer model and quite possibly the "ugly duckling" on this particular drive and with much potential - I love the space, much needed for our growing family as we speak :) Though, everything is "on loan" from the Lord anyway, right?

It has been converted into a (Twin) a very unique "sideways" Twin home - in other words: you are actually looking at the front half and we were fortunate enough to choose which half to live in and so we chose the more upgraded of the two AND slightly furnished section!!! So, our front door entrance is actually in the back.

Yipee...I'm very excited about it so I can work my creativity throughout! More pictures of inside of house will follow after Tony and I get through with it ;)

We are so thankful for a roof over our heads and an awesome family to fill each room with laughter and good times ahead!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Opinion on "Dog Poop Etiquette"

Readers, I must admit this is kind of a ridiculous topic to begin with, though, after witnessing this "intrusion" or invasion of privacy, more like rudeness as far as I'm concerned, I had to vent publicly!

Several people in my neighborhood enjoy taking walks with their dogs, of which I think is great if they feel the need to do that, animals need to get some jogging in to. But, I'm getting a bit livid over the fact that they are actually willing to allow their dogs to lead them by sniffing their little noses all the way up to my front door (well pretty close) and allowing their animals to defecate on our lawn! Did I invite them over, who is out there? Oh, its just someone showing no respect for our right to privacy at our home (sorry, some sarcasm there).
This is our third neighborhood that these little invasions occurred. Apparently, its the norm these days and happens often in other areas too...but quite frankly, I'm disgusted by it and feel its totally inconsiderate with regard to other people's property and privacy. I don't even allow my children to play on other neighbor's property unless invited! Am I being fair? I think so...

Given, some people have picked up after their dogs with little baggies in hand with or even without gloves (which I think is strange in every aspect, but at least thoughtful) but others have just ignored it and continued jogging/walking after their dog invaded our space/privacy. I want to also make note that there are "dog parks" out there, so feel free to use that area all you want and not to mention the most obvious of locations to train your sweet pups, your own backyard for some added consideration :)
Does anyone else have a problem with this? Am I being a bit insensitive? I don't think so.
Though, I'd love to hear your feedback on it sometime.


I believe there are actual laws somewhere out there pertaining to this problem/issue too. I actually spent sometime investigating this problem - laughing a bit at this subject thinking, WWJD? Though, its a rainy day and baby was occupied peacefully:) so I thought about posting my thought about this subject today.

In closing, I believe in reaching out to others and meeting friendly neighbors, though, this particular way just simply turns me off because I just find it to be quite rude and inconsiderate of other peoples space and privacy especially when we don't know any of these people.

That was today's "venting" session! Feel free to bark back at me if need be... Woof! nma

Imaginations run free under the tree!

I caught the boys outside under a tree over the weekend, wrapping up their last few stories for the school year, as we had to tally up their total minutes for yet another year end prize! There are some "motivating" factors involved!
For mom and dad, these were priceless photos...
















Monday, June 8, 2009

"Weaving a Basket of Faith" AMAZING VIDEO!

Click on the title link to view this awesome video!

Mothers and ladies who would like to have children someday...this message is for you!
This video will move you to tears, having you re-thinking your motherly strategies and looking toward the Lord for more of a partnership with him to REALLY protect our children and not stand for less by what society is telling us!

Please listen by setting aside about 30 mins. to view Jentezen Franklin in his provoking video presentation during mother's day. Because my heart was open and I have an unquenchable zeal for my Savior (I pray as you watch this, that you will be open to receive God's message) I was completely moved by the Holy Spirit as I watched and listened to this message and want to share it with you today. It's life changing for mothers! It's also a reality check for those of us who may be weary in spirit as we raise our children and run households for our families in today's world.

Let it lift you up in every way to become the woman and mother God longs for you to become.

Please pass this along if you feel moved to do so... Our children will thank us and be delivered by our steadfast prayers in weaving a basket of faith around them as they grow. Wow...I wish I heard this the first time around - though, its never too late to begin again!

P.S. I'd really like to hear your feedback via comments after viewing this video in its entirety and see how it might have changed your perspective on mothering or if it simply made you cry during some moments, laugh and/or enjoyed it or even if it didn't change anything in your heart - if your willing to share!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Rose

My mini rose garden...
notice I said "rose"
just a singular
rose!

I don't have much of a green thumb indoors or even outdoors for that matter - so we won't go there, but at least I have one beautiful colorful rose to show, blossoming in its own special time! This photo was taken a few days ago when the sun was shining... but I'm proud of it - wait a minute, I think my husband might have planted this one!


Baby Protest! Finds peaceful place

video

Tony and I were having a rough night with Joshua and usually tag team with diaper duty and other baby needs and so, through this long night of baby stomach issues, crying and just constant irritability, Josh could not find his happy place UNTIL... Daddy found just the right move to calm his little heart - at least for a little while!

Any parenting tips or suggestions are always welcome on other ideas to soothe baby! We also found that music and movement work extremely well. :)
*Commentary by Nichole (aka The Mom)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

President's Speech Re: Muslim "New Beginning"

Please click on the title link on this post to view this speech from our new President, Barack Obama from the White House. or this link to view speech: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/NewBeginning/

A personal note,
I almost did not post this as I don't like politics and this is my family site...though the Holy Spirit convicted me today after viewing this and because of the world we live and raise our families in, I felt obligated to share this topic today. If you've been praying for our Presidential team, please continue to do so - there is strength in numbers and "where two or three are gathered in My Name, I am there."Jesus that is.

I had a TON of thoughts to share (so I simplified it hopefully), but decided to share some pondering and let the Holy Spirit do the convicting after viewing our world's leader's speech. It's really no surprise to those of us who know the Truth of the Gospel of Christ, it so saddens my heart (but also puts a righteous fire in my spirit to share the Gospel even more) to see such faulty beliefs and compromising tolerance being pushed, spotlighted and taught throughout this nation.

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything as they say... Well, I'm not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation!

It's always been about a spiritual war since the beginning, we are not each other's enemies. But its difficult to trust in the leader of our nation who doesn't really stand convincingly enough on the Gospel of Christ, is just troublesome to me - and brings much confusion to those most vulnerable, the children of the world - we can't have multiple god's (Jesus said so, He's the Alpha the Omega, remember? WAIT, not to mention the fact that He went all the way to the Cross for OUR sins and then actually decided to rise from the dead to prove it and still we test Him? I don't think I could do that let alone really want to - but He did folks, He loves us enough - still we compromise on the Lord's Truth... as our president so boastfully reveals with many references toward Muslim/Islamic belief including his own family ancestry... then he quotes messages from the Koran during his speech? YIKES.... you have to choose a side Mr. President. The scriptures it seems, have gotten way out of context from the sins of many these days with everything the world seems to be "promoting", don't get me started!

I also know that Jesus refers to any idols that may become our "gods" too...but, I'm pretty sure that also covers other gods literally also, you with me here? - anything/anybody that exhalts itself as higher priority than Christ the Lord - makes sense to me!

Boy, He is really long suffering over us. We can argue this topic all day.... But is in God's hands and feet to lead us right? Oh, Wait? We ARE His hands and feet while we're here on this earth!!! Got cha Christians (this includes me too!), we don't have tape over our mouths do we or chains on our feet? Let us be so thankful and praise the Lord for our blessings...those of us who sit comfortably at home unlike those who are really the true martyrs for Christ across the globe. (its that compassionate nature I have... really)

My prayer, Lord. I praise you today because you forgive me and love me and teach me...thank you! Will you raise up more of your children to preach the Gospel's truth even more now as our spiritual foe battles and rages against us! (told ya.... I was passionate about everything)

Just wanted to share in the hopes that you will truly understand its not the leaders we put complete trust in, clearly...it's in the Truth of our Lord and Savior only, Jesus. May God draw near to you by any means necessary including a broken heart to give you a spirit of conviction to be transformed into His likeness - this includes His Holy God righteousness - so that you may truly "see"and experience His Truth, the real Peace they speak so much of but yet to find.

"Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that JESUS is Lord oh, one divine day!"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

To Nana and Pop Pop upstate ...Very Soon!

Very Soon...

A joyful day it will be when we meet face to face
the smiles, the laughs and maybe some tears
as I ponder the moment of our first embrace...
very soon!
Love,
Joshua

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mom's Little Helper

Spencer was so wonderful during the game too - he helped mommy with the baby needs, keeping Josh's feet warm, making us laugh with his funny faces and calming the baby during feeding time. He also volunteered to pick up belongings for some team parents that fell between the bleachers during the game and even purchased water and treats for us!

Just a side thought...I think he's looking more and more like that "Malcolm in the Middle" child star, do you agree? I don't recall his name though...lol

We love you so much Spence and are becoming quite a remarkable young man. God loves you and made you so awesome!

Tired baby...


Hanging in there (barely, as he yawns)
Josh was such a good boy and
never cried once during the 2 1/2 hour playoffs -
Just for Daddy and Charles!


Take Me Out To The Ball Game...

Joshua is getting so big and LOVES the outdoors!
On June 1st (yesterday), we got out of the house and supported Boys Minors league baseball "Team Mariners" with Dad and Charles during the "playoffs".

Couldn't resist the little blue ball cap! I think he wears it well, trying to be like his big brothers... lovin these moments, can you tell?

Weather was a bit chilly though, felt like September yesterday?

Weekend at Grandmom's - "Becks Visits"

This is Rebecca (aka Becks)
(Tony's beautiful daughter)
Rebecca is about to graduate the 8th grade
and we are so proud of her -
She is growing up too quickly!
She visited with us during our "Weekend at Grandmom's"-
(previous posts below)
She is holding her littlest 1/2 brother, Joshua - our little peanut.

You are always in our prayers Becks!

Dancing Past Regrets

This is an awesome read ladies and gents. Please do enjoy...

Dancing Past Regrets
By: Cindi McMenamin

Linda stared across the table at me, her eyes filled with tears.

"If only I hadn't married him. If only I had just waited on God a little longer. But how could I have known?"

The tears spilled out, along with her regrets from the past several years.

Linda was raising two children alone since her husband left a year earlier when he decided he no longer wanted the responsibility of taking care of a wife and children.

Linda had spent the past year recounting her "if onlys", beating herself over the head for not having figured out when she met him that her husband was the kind of man who would eventually leave. Yet I was there at Linda's wedding ceremony years ago and I, too, never would have seen it coming.

Shortly after my conversation with Linda, I got a call from Becky. She was lamenting over her upcoming 20-year high school reunion, and couldn't believe she would be attending it single. "How did I miss God's plan for me?" she asked, in frustration. "I can't imagine He'd want me to live out my life by myself."

I looked at my watch as the phone call came to an end. I was almost late for an appointment with Terry, who was agonizingly lonely in her 25-year marriage.

Linda. Becky. Terry. And sometimes you and me. We all forget, at times, that God knows all things -- even the miserable things in our lives -- and can still bring the tangled threads of our lives together into a beautiful love story revolving around us and Himself. Yet we, as women, continue to blame ourselves and stress that we didn't get God's Plan A for our lives. And instead, we fear, we're living out the dreaded Plan B.

Have you ever considered that it's no accident that you are where you are today? Whether you're single and still waiting to be married, married but feeling alone, widowed earlier than you thought, or divorced and regretting that you somehow missed "God's best", none of it takes God by surprise. Your Maker, who fashioned you in your mother's womb, knew the circumstances that would play out in your life to cause you to feel frustrated, or alone. The Psalmist says God has written out our days in a book before we ever came to be. That means He has a plan -- and purpose -- in what we sometimes see as our pain or plight.

God doesn't have a Plan A for the majority of women -- to get married and live happily ever after--and then a Plan B for the rest of us, which leaves us feeling that somehow we missed Plan A. No, God looked down through the corridors of time and knew what each of us would need to become more intimately connected with Him and then He ordained our days -- overseeing our circumstances, directing our paths, and providing enough of Himself to be available to us when we feel we're at our wits' end -- so that we would live that story and find Him as our all in all.

In Psalm 139, David sang this about the God who made him and planned out his life:

"You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."

Then David went on to say this about the Divine Writer of our life story:

"How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!
They are innumerable!
I can't even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up in the morning,
You are still with me!"
(verses 16-18, NLT)

The Writer of our story and the One who has ordained all our days loves us intimately. The number of precious thoughts He has toward us cannot even be measured! That means God not only has our life story planned out, but because He loves us immeasurably, that story is truly a good one...one of loving kindness and hope. So we don't need to be doubled over in disappointment and shame, thinking our lives are past the point of ever turning out well. We don't need to live with regrets that we made certain choices that messed up our lives. We can, instead, dance past those regrets knowing that God is still in charge and He knows the plans He has for us, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11b).

Will you go through this day differently knowing that the Writer of your story has precious thoughts of you too numerable to measure? And will you trust Him today that He has this chapter of your life already resolved and is waiting for you to see the benefits of trusting Him as you live through it?

You can rejoice today knowing that your circumstances are no accident in the eyes of an all-knowing, all-seeing God. And because your days were written out in His book before you were born, He has already planned the "happy ending" that still lies ahead of you. Don't' give up on God because your story in His book is only half-lived. Trust the process. Trust your Maker. And rest in the fact that the Writer knows exactly what's ahead and can get you safely to the "happily ever after."


Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and the author of several books, including 'When Women Walk Alone: A 31-Day Devotional Companion'. For more on her ministry, see her website:
www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekend at Grandmom's "2"

Aunt Krystal (my sister) and Uncle Rich (my brother) and niece Olivia so joyful!
Grandma and Josh's Great Grandmom escorting little man in old time coach - well maybe just for photos!
Pop-Pop and Grandma in their glory capturing Josh's enthusiasm!




Weekend at Grandmom's House

What a fun weekend!

My mom's parents, Eleanor and Nicholas Del Piano (aka mom-mom & pop-pop) shown here with Joshua now the 16th "great grandson"!!!

We finally travelled to their home in Bucks County after church on Sunday. They were very anxious to meet Josh, as they only saw him in pictures for the first few weeks and were so happy to finally meet him face to face. To top off the weekend, the weather was gorgeous and we even managed to play some bocce ball (a family favorite) and of course, Dad and KS (my little sister) cooking up some BBQ meats to satisfy our cravings on a hot day! Oh, and my mom made her famous delightful macaroni salad - Sooooooo delicious!

More of (same day photos above)

Today's Bible Riddle


Q: Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?


A:Pharaoh's daughter;

she went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet.

Image from: FreeBibleIllustrations.com
02002005 CBS - Exodus 2 5 - Baby Moses found by Pharaoh's daughter.jpg
FOR SOME ADDED FUN ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

Who was this great prophet?
and what was Pharaoh's daughter's name?

*1ST person to submit the correct answers via "comments" wins!