Thursday, August 2, 2012

It has been a LONG time since our last post. Really a lifetime ago. So much has happened and life has completely changed. So many of you know everything that has happened and yourselves have been grieving and wondering if the hole in your heart will ever be filled, not hurt so much, or offer any joy again. Of course, we know as Christians that we do not grieve as those who have no hope. So the void is being filled as Christ who is our Comfort leads us through this valley, gently speaking His truth into our souls and caring us on the days of tears and sadness.   He is making the path of joy straight for us and reminding our hearts with greater assurance that this is not our home.

Gogo met Jesus on Feb. 19, Grandaddy met Jesus on April 6, and Papa met Jesus on July 11. An unbelievable sentence.

So many of you ask how are you getting through all of this, you all have been through so much... these things are true. Christ is so real to each of us and not in a fake spiritual means... no He is real to us through His people through you. He is made real to us through the prayers that go up on our behalf, the cards, phone calls, inbox messages, texts, meals, invites out, and visits. Thank you for ministering to our very souls as you each have pointed us to Him and offered us kindness beyond words.
The kids are doing well. They share their tears with us and talk about Gogo, Grandaddy, and Papa, remembering what the loved about each of them.

We are ready to move forward with tears, not forgetting these past months that will continue to define, refine, and shape us for the rest of our lives. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

All things considered we have had a great summer... morning coffee on the side porch with Ryan, a week vacation with the SuperGroup in TN, a day at the beach for Caedmon's birthday, painted the girls room, got other home projects done, baseball games, Samaria Project week (local missions), I bought a cornhole set, GREAT visits with friends in our home.

The Russell's are getting ready to head back to school. Ryan will go back on Monday the 6th and begin classes on the 15th. This year he will be teaching Algebra 1 along with the upper bible classes. Ryan has taken on different responsibilities at the church as Worship and Outreach Minister.

The kids and I are switching to My Father's World. We are excited to study History, Geography and Science together as a family. Language and Math (Saxon Math) will be taught individually. Caedmon is on 4th grade, Justin and Athan are in 2nd grade and Holland is in Kindergarten. We are excited about our M.A.T.H. homeschool coop. They will also be starting art lessons taught by a Mike Jancart and Jody Bohannon.

We will make no grand promises to faithfully update our blog this year... but thank you for reading it when we do!! WE LOVE YOU ALL!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

July - October ... WOW... that is a long time.

Well, I do believe pictures will say all of this better than I ever could. But here are some things that have been going on in RusselLand over the past few months.

July: we got home from the beach and enjoyed a few weeks before school began. We took the kids to LakeFest and had a BLAST. We finished the day with fireworks at the Moorings with the Gee and Lyon family. What a GREAT day! The month ended with VBS and Caedmon's birthday!! Holland Joye attended VBS... with all four kids out of the house for several hours each night Ryan and I decided that when they get older we are going to get season tickets to the Durham Bulls games to fill our time :) Caedmon had Levi, Josh, and Preston over for a sleepover... the end result was lots of WII and Lego playing and popcorn kernels ALL OVER THE FLOOR!

August: Justin and Caedmon along Preston Bright attended Lego Camp at Crossroad Christian. The girls & myself headed to Lynchburg for Adventure's with Oma! We went to Natural Bridge and Amazement Square, great places for any age. We all (Oma included) headed down to Monroe, NC for a visit with the Mayhorn ladies! WHAT FUN!! Kelli and I went out for sushi and drinks affording us some valuable time to catch up and have full conversations! Thanks Oma for watching the kids! Mom spent the next day visiting a friend who she hadn't seen in 40 years!! What fun!

Then school began for everyone. Caedmon is in 3rd grade, Justin & Athan are 1st graders, and Holland is doing 4yr old Kindergarten. Our day begins around 9. We turn off the phones and computer and do school til about 1:00. This year is going so well. I am so pleased with the kids and their diligence to honor God with their minds!!

A precious lady in our community has started a home school co-op we had such a marvelous time!! This month we are dissecting owl vomit!! It was so encouraging to see the other families in our area who home school and then have lunch at the park!

August also ushered in some very hard times for our family as Ryan's dad (Herman) was in the hospital for 5 weeks.

September began with the Maxwell's coming for a visit... always a fun time!! On the 7th we went to court for Justin's adoption. The judge granted us an interlocutory adoption. He is a Russell and the deal will be sealed in about six months! We are so thankful to Joye, Tammy T., and Bo who have been at EVERY hearing and have NEVER testified... but as the judge said "had someone walked through the doors of this court everything would have changed, and you would have been needed." So, we are praising God for unopened courtroom doors. I am so thankful for Justin and how God has graphed him into our family. Living life without him is unimaginable. I am thankful that in all of the unwise decisions that have been made for Justin that his "birth" mom choose to give birth to my son! So, I am thankful beyond words to God for his grace that was extended to Justin while he was still in his mother's womb. THANK YOU LORD!

As many of you already know that same day Joye was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia. Sept. 7th was also Joye and Herman's 42nd wedding anniversary!! They spent it together in the hospital :( Herman's nurses wheeled him down for a visit...they and we were all so grateful.

The students and parents of WECC join us every Sunday at our home for "The Truth Project". The small groups of our fellowship prepare meals for us every week and we get to fellowship around food and The Word. It has been a powerful time of discussion and growth for everyone!

Ryan, myself and JoAnny took apart Joye and Herman's downstairs bathroom... we worked GREAT as a team, it was the bathroom that didn't cooperate! So, needless to say, after some small repairs we will paint it another weekend!

The boys began soccer this year and it has been a BLAST for them and us! They are both very talented and the games are a blast to watch! Caedmon scored a goal in his first game and played great defense. Justin had a some great breakaways and did a GREAT job stopping the ball as goalie!

Jordan, my niece got engaged!! She is getting married to a wonderful godly man on April 14th!

The month ended on G-ma's back porch overlooking Kerr Lake enjoying hot dogs and chips in our annual picnic!!

October has been really fun so far. Harvest Party at Camp Kerr Lake, soccer games, school, Kimberly's birthday celebration at the Pizza Pub, a much needed visit with the McGann's, SEW, wedding planning and dreaming with Jordan and Martha, wonderful fellowship with WECC at our new building, Truth Project and Race planning!

This weekend some ladies from WECC and surrounding areas are competing in a Run Like a Girl race that raises money and awareness for ovarian cancer a cause worth supporting!!

That gets us up to date with the RussellSprouts! Pictures to come!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

March 2011!

March is almost gone and we are exhausted! I find these days full and wonderful. My heart has an understanding that these moments are passing by too fast. Currently in my home we have Caedmon 7, Justin 6, Athan 6, and Holland 3... where has the time gone. Recently at a women's retreat a lady commented to a new mom that before she knew it her kids would be older like "Christie's kids!" That opened my eyes... though there are joys in every stage of parenting... this is my favorite so far. The kids play, laugh, fight, enjoy, and fill this house with motion all day long. All too soon it will just be me and dougie again...so I will enjoy this season and fill it with pictures, memories and TONS of kisses.

Justin's birthday was March 9th... THANK YOU EVERYONE for cards, money, and presents! He invited his best buddy Preston over for a guys night. He wanted a dino cake and a batman cake... with PB&J sandwiches and Mac and Cheese for dinner! His grandma Kelly, her sons Marshal and Jacob along with Jacob's girlfriend Savannah came to celebrate as well! We all had a GREAT time!

Athan's bday was March 17th... AGAIN THANK YOU EVERYONE for cards, money and presents! She had a few more girls over for a sleep over and they planted plants, watched girlie movies, dressed up and played DVD bingo! The boys got to enjoy some time with Levi swinging from the trees and playing baseball!

Our newest adventure has been purchasing fish... they are STILL alive three days later!! But the kids were so excited... I do not have pictures yet of our fish, but they will come!

Kaleb is a special little man who joins in on our life a few days a week!! So, when you see a baby in our pictures we have not acquired another child, just a sweet little man who comes to visit so his mommie can work!

Russell life is good... My heart is preparing for Resurrection Sunday, each morning I am reading short sermons from "Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross" edited by Nancy Guthrie... Christ work on the cross, His power in conquering death and sin for me has overwhelmed, humbled, and softened my heart to my desperate need for a Savior everyday... His grace is sufficient every moment and I pray that in my life and in the lives of my children we will know the power of Christ and His resurrection everyday!

Love to you all!! Enjoy the pictures!

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Week Two! Enjoy

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shattered Hopes...

Well, it has been my deepest hope to catching up our blog from 2009 but there are some goals that are just too high and lofty :)

2010 started off much the same as 2009...we had a set number of children 4 and then God decided to double our quiver. January brought four beautiful works of art from our Creator. Tiesha (17), Shantell (14), Montreal (12), and Alatasia (18 months). With the help of Bobby and Allison Maxwell we were able to shuffle the house around to make room for everyone. And with the help of friends we were able to, in one week get the house ready and all the necessary paperwork done to make it all legal. They will be with us for 8 months. We are really looking forward to birthdays, family days out, church events, school achievements, and potty training!

This weekend has been GREAT... we are establishing chores, goals, and fun dinners. The girls and I planned out our menu and went grocery shopping. It was so much fun! We are learning the art of 8 minute showers and enjoying our long dinner conversations.

We are so thankful for all your prayers... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep them coming... there is no way we will all make it through without your prayers and His Grace!

Here are some pictures of Russell Life the new norm...

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