Saturday, November 26, 2011

buncha stuff

Here is a big fat catch up post!
We have some REALLY great news. Like really great! We have heard for years about this really amazing family camp called Pine Cove. We have talked about it several times...but it just never seemed to work. I asked Justin recently if we could start praying about going. Its very expensive, but I just knew with all my heart that our little family could really benefit from this amazing camp. With everything going on right now a vacation is just NOT in the budget. So...we put our praying pants on and we applied for a scholarship. And guess what?? WE GOT IN! We had to submit all of our medical bill information and some other info about who we are. They called me the very next day after I submitted our application and let me know we qualified for a scholarship that would cover 85% of the tuition! We are BEYOND excited and are waiting for the perfect moment to tell Bryce about it. We will be going to The Woods on June 17th! The activities provided at this camp are through the WAY to many to list...and the best part? If Justin is not feeling well...he can rest and relax and I will have help doing activities with the kids!

Another exciting thing that is happening is that our Houston house is almost ready to be put on the market! We have been blessed right through the roof with the people who have helped us get it ready. Please start praying that the perfect buyer shows up soon...because paying two mortgages for much longer is not going to be so good.
I couldnt wait to decorate for as soon as my dad got here (like literally 5 minutes after he walked in the door) we put up the tree! I love Christmas time and all things Christmas-y. I have even made Justin a huge fan too :)
We have now seen Santa several times and even have a new little family tradition to start having fun with. If you do not have The Elf on the Shelf...then you better get straight up and go get it! Our sweet friend got one for the boys and I cannot wait until December 1st when he gets to come out of his box. We spent about 4 brutal hours discussing what we would name our cute little elf and Bryce finally came to the decision Jay Jay Bean. Dont even ask...because I dont even know.

We have had lots of visitors lately. Family and friends filling up the house. We had a full house for thanksgiving too! It was hard work getting all that yummy stuff going in the kitchen...but my turkey came out pretty darn rockin and I had some help from some superstars.

Back when we had pancake supper, we were given a gift card for a date night at Crescent Quarters. We have been so excited to use it and finally got the chance a few days ago. One of my friends came and stayed with the boys (i know! so nice!) so Justin and I could have a romantic night :) This is where we got to stay:

Now for some MORE fun. It was my favorite day in the world. Yup. BLACK FRIDAY.
I think about it for months. I love deals. I love the memories. I love the crazies. The deals are worth it...the lines dont bother me...and when you get to see your friend lay down on the floor at Walmart at 4:30 am then its instantly all worth the no sleep.
We started this year by getting in line at target around 9pm and I rolled in the house with all my goodies around 5:30am. It was a great night and I am now 100% done Christmas shopping. We had a smaller budget than normal this year and I am more than pleased with what all I was able to get with it!

Last night Pop Pop and I took the boys to Dickens on Main! It was so fun! We saw friends, snow, horses, fire people, ate yummy kettle corn and sausage on sticks, visited santa (several santas actually), saw some cute little dancers and much more!
Bryce and Renegade!
Two little snow birds :)

We have quite the collection going for their wedding slide show!
We have lots more fun things coming up in this fun Christmas season. 15 parties in the next 24 days is going to leave us with some FUN pictures to post soon!
Not going to ruin this fun post on a yucky note...but I will ask that you amp up the prayers for Justin. He is feeling worse and worse each day. We need prayers of discernment on some future steps that need to be taken. We need the Lord's peace on decision that need to be made and tests that need to be taken. It is hard to look back at this fun post and realize that my sweet best friend isnt able to participate in so many things that we are doing with the boys. He just doesnt feel well and with work and school...he is just pooped. He is one tough cookie, but I think he has reached his limit.
I recently was challenged to choose some verses for each of our children (I will share those in another post). While doing this, I chose one for our family. I chose a verse that I have spent a lot of time studying recently.

Philippians 1:8

...How I yearn for you with the affection of Christ Jesus...

I have thought so much about the word YEARN. I want to YEARN for my children with the affection of Christ Jesus. I want to YEARN for my husband. My family and friends. The impoverished. The people who do not know Jesus. The children in my preschool class. The women in MOPS. How can I more intentionally YEARN with the affection of Christ Jesus?
The affection of Christ Jesus is legit. Like, he loves us when we are jerks and when we mess up and when we say potty words. He loves us unconditionally forever and ever amen.
I want the McElhannons to YEARN for others. I feel that we have been shown the love of Christ Jesus in so many way. Every single day. I choose this verse as our mission verse. We have done our best to live this out for many years...but we will continue to try harder.
We will pursue those in our lives with HIS mercy.

This is how its worded in the message version:
7-8It's not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. He knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!

That is all for now.

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