Tuesday, December 16, 2008

God's Plan

This past week has been one chaotic whirlwind. It all started with the dreadful phone call I received Wednesday afternoon at 4:30. I knew for quite sometime that our company had been in trouble, but never really thought it would come down to this. Especially not at this time. Only a few weeks before Christmas. Right when I was expecting a call to come pick up my Christmas bonus, the complete opposite happens...I get a call telling me that I am being laid off. Now my 2 weeks of vacation time that I have worked so hard for all year long & saved up to enjoy time with my family during the holidays has been stripped away from me & will be spent searching for a job. Obviously, I was devastated at the news. As always, I tried to keep my spirits up as I am an extremely firm believer in God's plan for all of us. I know things can get really difficult in life at times, as I am sure they will be for us over the next several months, however; I know God has something bigger & better waiting ahead. We have been through much harder times emotionally, more than most people can imagine, with the loss of our first daughter. At the same time, we have never had a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. This time around may be the hardest financially for us. Only time will tell. All we can do is put our faith in God & his plan for our family.
I would like to share with you the reading, of which I am pleased to say, I was the lector for this Sunday at church. I could not have imagined a more perfect reading at a more perfect time.
Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil.
May the God of peace make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
While reading this letter in front of my entire church, I tried my hardest to fight the lump in my throat & hold back the tears I knew were about to come. As always, God pulled me through. This was the third Sunday in Advent, also know as Gaudete Sunday, which means "rejoice" in Latin. This Sunday we were given a chance to rejoice in the Lord and look forward to all the ways He will make justice and praise arise in the future, as were apparent in the lessons of the Gospel. As hard as life seems to be at times, it is in these times that I am so grateful for my faith in God & all He has given me. All I can do know is look forward to what lies in the future.

It may be a tough journey, but it is one we are not willing to take without God as our leader.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas Weekend...Girl Style

Anthony was out of town this past weekend for his annual flag football tournament. So, that left me at home with the girls all by myself. Isabella wasn't very excited at the thought of Daddy being gone for 3 days straight so, I had to put my creativity to work & think up some extra fun activities to keep us busy.
Friday night, after I put Kenzie to bed, Isabella & I stayed up watching Alvin & the Chipmunks & making the girls Gingerbread t-shirts. We had a lot of fun & I think they turned out pretty cute. Saturday we spent the day at the Christmas Stroll in downtown Georgetown. I look forward to going to this every year because my brother, sister & I were always in the parade as kids & it brings back so many memories.

Tori, Isaiah, Isabella & Mackenzie in front of the BIG tree on the square

We couldn't get Mackenzie to stay still to take a picture with Isabella, but they both did good on their own...silly girl.
We started off the day watching the parade & then went to stand in line to see Santa. This is actually the first year I have even taken Isabella to get pictures with Santa, so they got to enjoy their first experience together. Mackenzie was okay once we got her distracted with a Christmas ornament.
But, once she realized who was holding her, she wanted down immediately.
Cassie took Claire in afterwards & told her they were going to see Papa. Why didn't I think of that!?! She did so good!
Isabella's favorite part was of course the jumpy. They had an entire area full of activities for the kids which was completely free. Very cool!
One of my favorite parts was the little town of Bethlehem. They had a really sweet little skit with the story of Jesus' birth. All the kids squatted down to watch right in the front. After all, Jesus is the reason for the season!
After the stroll, we went to the store to pick out a Gingerbread House for the girls to decorate. We ended up saving that for Sunday since we were all worn out after our day full of walking around. The best part was getting all prepared for it & seeing how excited both of the girls were.

Ready to begin

Oops...we almost forgot to wash our hands. Isabella being the big helper, as usual.

Beating the gingerbread kit like a drum...very excited!

Isabella working on her masterpiece

Proud of the finished product

So, that ended the festivities of our Christmas weekend. Although, I have to say, their favorite part was seeing Daddy walk in the door after a long weekend away.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

from the Kemper kids!!!This is the first time we've all been together since Mary Beth was here for Todd's wedding last September!!! I think that may also be the longest we've ever been apart.

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with lots of yummy food & wonderful time with family as we did.

We've gotten a little behind on our posts again because our computer was infected with a virus.... 41 actually, to be exact. Luckily, my computer genius brother-in-law came to the rescue (Thanks Mark!) So we are back to the blog world once again.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Baby Randomness...

So, this is my attempt at a response to being tagged by Emily & Kristi. I know it's rather late but what a better time to share a little information about our newest little miracle on the way. I know I didn't share much in the last post, but we just wanted to get the wonderful news out to everyone. So, here goes...

1.) My due date is June 1st... Anthony's sister's birthday, also the day after my dad's birthday. Once again this baby is coming right during a cluster of family birthdays. (But, I suppose that's pretty much impossible to avoid at this point.)
2.) This will be my parent's 18th grandchild & #8 for Anthony's parents (if you count our first baby angel...which my parent's always do.)
3.) I am 12 weeks as of today, Monday & I am already starting to show quite a bit. This time around is much different.

4.) Mackenzie & the new baby will be 20 months apart (the same age difference between myself & my sister, Amy); Isabella & Mackenzie are almost 19 months apart (the same age difference between Amy & my brother, Adam)
5.) If we're following any sort of pattern (in reverse order), my theory is that this baby must be a boy. Although, Anthony still thinks we're bound to have 5 or 6 girls before we get a boy. So far he has been right all 3 times...& I have been wrong every time. Isabella's guess is for a baby brother. Mackenzie just stares at me with a smile when I try to get an answer from her. Any guesses?
6.) Once again, we are not finding out the sex of our baby. It will be just as much a surprise to us as everyone else. Only 28 more weeks of waiting.;)

These are our 6 random baby facts. Instead of tagging 6 more people I am putting out a little challenge. I challenge all of my blog readers, family & friends, to start your own blog if you don't have one already. It really is so much fun & a great way to keep everyone updated in our lives. Especially with the holidays coming up, everyone is bound to have tons of great pictures to share. We love you all & hope everyone is doing well.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Halloween '08

Since Halloween was on Friday this year, of course that meant Friday night football. This has been what our Fridays have been consumed with since the beginning of September. It has been so much fun spending our Friday nights cheering on Paul Michael along with the rest of the Georgetown Eagles. It really brings us back to our high school days. Only this time around I actually get to cheer along side Anthony & the 2 biggest Georgetown Eagle fans I know, Isabella & Mackenzie. So, on Halloween night we decided to dress the girls up as "Eagle Princesses" rather than having them wear their typical Friday night t-shirts... & they just loved it!
The Eagles have had an excellent season. They won their last game of the season last week 24-0 & clinched a spot in the playoffs. How fitting is it that their first playoff game tomorrow is back in my 2nd hometown of College Station! So, off we are to Aggieland tomorrow morning to watch the Eagles in their first playoff game in 9 years!!! Gig 'Em Eagles!

Since we spent Halloween night at the football fields, we had our 3rd annual Halloween Party a day late on Saturday night. Anthony & I spent so much time preparing our costumes all week long. We barely finished them up just in time for the party. Introducing the Guajardo Backyardigans...
Uniqua, Tasha, Austin & Tyrone
the real crew...sadly, we left out our favorite, Pablo
the little bat family; Jamal, Nadia & Amar

Angel Amy with the "little devil" Cian

Punkin Claire with her "baby", Cassie
the two little princesses, Ava & Tori

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Birthday Surprise!

I had a wonderful birthday this year. I woke up early on Saturday to go out all by myself to get a much needed haircut. It's the first actual style I have had to my hair besides just long & straight since high school pretty much. I got a really yummy fruit bouquet from Anthony's family complete with chocolate covered strawberries & all...mmmm. Later in the day Anthony & I got to go see a movie while my parents took the girls to a Fall Festival for Mom's school. Then on Sunday, we had my family over for brunch after church. It was a great weekend. But, nothing could top this last present...


Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Kenzie Girl

It's hard to believe our little Kenzie Girl is already a year old....& what a little cutie she is. (Yes, her birthday was on the 2nd & I'm just getting around to posting pictures...sorry!) We love you so much Mackenzie & look forward to seeing what the next year holds. You are such a precious little angel. Love you to pieces!!!!! Mommy, Daddy & Bella Girl

I had a lot of fun making Mackenzie's birthday outfit...about as much fun as she had taking pictures in it. Anthony says I should start selling these...what do ya think?!? :) hehehe

Kenzie's Carnival

For Mackenzie's birthday party we threw a little carnival in our own backyard. We set up tents for everyone to sit under, had the guest house set up as our concession stand/ticket booth, & had tons of candy & games for all the kids. It really was a lot of fun. A bit chaotic at the beginning, but it all turned out great.
Kenz & Mommy
Vanessa even dressed up as a clown & painted the kids faces....which they all loved!

Cake & Presents ;)

Isabella helping Kenzie with her cake

Silly Girl

She was very excited about her Gloworm....& truthfully, I was too!

All the kiddos playing musical chairs

By the way, I know you're all probably wondering what is going on with my lovely outfit. I was supposed to be a clown, but since I never had enough time to paint my face & Anthony never had enough time to put his clown outfit on, I just ended up looking like a crazy lady. I don't normally dress this way...honestly!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bourbon Street, Bush & Babies...

The last weekend of September we took a road trip to New Orleans to go watch the Saints & 49ers play football. This had been a much anticipated trip for quite some time. We got our tickets back in June, but Anthony & I had actually been talking about going to an NFL game ever since we got married. Now that our 2 favorite teams were going head to head in New Orleans, we had found the perfect opportunity for a vacation.

We started off our trip with a stop at the Brewer's house. We were all so excited to finally get to meet baby Kayelyn. She is truly a little angel from heaven. What a doll! I only wish we could have spent more time with them when all the girls were awake.

Friday morning we headed on our way to New Orleans. We got there pretty late in the afternoon, so we just did a little walking around our hotel before grabbing dinner & calling it a night. We got a lot of looks from other people walking around. It mush have been from the massive double stroller we got for the girls.

Saturday was a really great day. We spent most of our time walking around the French Quarter & Bourbon Street. It definitely lived up to our expectations. Even during broad daylight it was just like one big block party. The architecture reminded me so much of my trip to Paris which I really enjoyed. Once back at the hotel we ordered in a New Orleans feast consisting of red beans & rice, jambalaya, & shrimp gumbo. It was a first for all of us & I have to say we all really enjoyed it.

Sunday was, of course, the best day of all. We headed to the football game after finishing up the final touches to our poster. We were trying to get ourselves on T.V. It didn't work though because the camera man was directly in front of us filming the 49ers side the whole time...bummer! We really didn't mind though because we had such a great time. We had amazing seats on the 3rd row, 50 yard line. As soon as we walked into the stadium we got to see all of the players practicing. Reggie Bush was right in front of us....very cool! The game was so exciting. All four of us really enjoyed it. (I have a feeling we might have a couple of future cheerleaders on our hands!) I think I enjoyed it the most since the Saints actually won. Although, I don't think Anthony was too disappointed. The whole thing was just very surreal & we all thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

We stayed with the Brewers again on Sunday night, but got there pretty late after the girls had already gone to bed. Before heading home on Monday, we stopped to visit Karen & Joshua. What a cutie pie! Both the girls were absolutely in love with him. Isabella has actually named one of her baby dolls Joshua since we've been home & even asked for a little brother.
All in all, it was a wonderful vacation. We look forward to the time (if ever) that we get to do it again.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Backyardigans at Sea World

Anthony & I had been wanting to take the girls to Sea World all summer. So, when we found out the Backyardigans were going to be there one weekend we decided to jump at the opportunity. We couldn't beat it.... two great deals for the price of one. All week we had been telling Isabella that we were going to Sea World to watch the Backyardigans. So, as soon as we got there, that's what she did. Sat on the bench & watched the Backyardigans....sign. Funny!

It was so cute watching the excitement on the kids' faces when they got to see their favorite characters in person. Isabella, Isaiah, & even Mackenzie were so excited!

As soon as Isabella saw them walking in she shouted out above everyone, "Pablo, come here... I want to hold you!" I don't think she realized this Pablo was about 5 times her size.



My personal favorite of the whole day was getting to see Shamu. The show was truly amazing. To watch the trainers with all the whales is a remarkable sight to see. I just loved it!