Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kids can be funny....


Noah..."When I get big like Camden, then I will know what to do."
Thankfully, that means we only have about a year and Noah will have it all figured out.

Hope.... when asked what she will be when she grows up..."Umm, I won't pee and suck my thumb."
Way to set those goals, Hope! You really raised the bar on this one. ; )

Monday, October 12, 2009

Endurance

Endurance - the ability or strength to continue or last, esp. despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina

I started to post about my run yesterday, which I am, but when I started to...I felt like it was turning into more than that. So....endurance....the ability or strength to continue... despite...stress or other adverse conditions. Is it just me or does that sound like life? It seems, more than ever, people need endurance to live life. People need that ability or strength to continue despite stress or other adverse conditions.

I believe we are in the last days, as referred to in the Bible. Mark 13:5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. 7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. Who can read this and say these things are not happening? We are living in what the Word has said we will live in in the last days.

I believe the return of my Lord Jesus is drawing nigh! I watch and pray for His return, but He isn't here yet and that brings us to endurance. Luke 21:26 says men's hearts will fail them from fear and expectation of those things that are coming on the earth. We need strength despite the stress! We need the ability to continue regardless of the adverse conditions.

Where will we obtain that strength or ability known as endurance? I know where my strength and endurance comes from. It comes from the One who endured all things for me! My strength comes from the Lord, my Maker, my Savior! Psalm 27:14 in the Amplified says, Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord. See in Luke 21 just after the the verse saying men's hearts will fail them from fear the Word continues in verses 27 and 28 by saying, Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. Our strength, our endurance will come as we lift up our heads, as we wait and hope for and expect the Lord! Isaiah 40:31 also tells us that strength will come as we wait. But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. I think I just wanted to encourage anyone that reads this. If you are feeling stressed, tired, faint, or feel surrounded by adverse conditions, know that your strength will come as you wait on the Lord. He will give you the endurance you need to get through each day. He will not leave you nor forsake you! He loves you and He too is waiting and longing for the day when He can come and take you home!

I experienced endurance in a way yesterday that I never dreamed I would. I ran a half marathon. My goal was to run the whole time, never walking, and to end somewhere around 2 hours and 30 minutes. I told myself to be happy, even if it took longer, just with finishing. I'm not a natural runner. I run slow. It hurts. It's hard. BUT there's something about running that draws me in. I can't seem to not do it. I'll admit I enjoy a short run, three....four miles that's fun, but 13.1 that's a challenge(for me).

When I started running a few years ago, I did it just to lose some weight and found I began to enjoy it. I lost some weight and found it easier to maintain if I kept it up. Then I started hearing friends talk about this half marathon in Evansville. What? Run 13.1, are you crazy? This is what I thought. I was impressed by their dedication, ambition, and endurance, but yes they were crazy.

Well, it turns out that crazy is contagious. Last year I trained for it and the week before the race ran 10 miles and injured my foot. No half for me, I could barely walk. This year I began training again. Praying before every run. There were times I thought....I don't know if I can do this. Lord, this is hard! Then other times I thought....I think I can do this. Lord, You are my strength! Back and forth I would go, confident then not so, back to confident then wavering again. One thing I was, though, was determined. I have a little stubborn streak in me, and sometimes it comes in handy. ; ) I was determined to do this thing that seemed so difficult and unnatural.

Saturday, I began thinking....Oh my gosh! What have I done? What was I thinking? A half marathon? Oh my gosh! I set the alarm and began to get things ready in the afternoon and that's when the nerves really hit. This was really happening. Oh golly! In addition to the obvious distance, the weather didn't cooperate either. I despise running in the cold. I feel like my lungs are freezing. I prefer to run in heat, so of course on Sunday as we head to the start line it's 40 degrees. Dressed in layers, off we go. Laura and Jason Burton, Jamie Newcomb and myself hop the nice warm shuttle bus to Reitz Hill.

As to not bore you with a play by play of the actual race, I'll jump ahead. I DID IT!!! I ran the race that was set before me with endurance. I never walked, not once. I finished with a time of 2 hours 15 minutes and 37 seconds! I have to say it was a very proud moment for me. My mom, step-dad, niece, and husband drove around town cheering me on all morning and capturing pictures. I was so thankful! They'll never truly know how much that helped me! It was so encouraging to see them! I also had a couple of friends cheering at different points! It was an awesome(freezing) day!

Here's a few pictures.....(for those of you not on facebook)

Me and my neighbor, training partner, and amazing friend, Laura!

Trying our best to stay warm.

And we're off!

Half way!!Two of our fans trying to stay warm! Thanks Mom and Doug!!!

Trying to finish strong!

Myself, Laura, Jason and Jamie with our medals! Happy it's over!!

Thank you, Lord, for the endurance to run this race! Not just the half marathon but this race you have set before me called life! I thank You for being with me every step of every day! I wait, hope for and expect You, my Lord, to come to my rescue! I look forward to your appearing!

Thank you, Laura for being an awesome training partner and friend! We've had some great laughs during all of this and I will remember this for many years to come!

Thank you, Mom, Doug, and Janessa for being our cheering squad! You were so awesome and so encouraging! Thanks for braving the dark, cold, windy morning to be there for me!

Thank you, Jeremy for encouraging me, even when I made goofy, determined choices. Thank you for chauffeuring the cheering squad around town and capturing so many great pictures of the day! You are so good to me! I love you and thank God for you everyday! Thanks for running the race we call "life" with me!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Race for the Cure 2009

Saturday is this year's Greater Evansville Race for the Cure 2009! I am really looking forward to this years event. Last year, some of you may remember I walked it with Mom and Jordyn. We laughed and cried all day! It was an amazing experience! This year we will set out again to enjoy our day celebrating what the Lord has done in Mom, Jeremy's grandma, and in prayer for his step-mom, who was just recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Please check out my personal page by clicking the link below and considering helping me reach my goal!





These pictures are from last years race!

Jordyn, Mom and I getting ready for the big event!

Jordyn walking in celebration of Meemaw and Grandma Butus!!

Mom walking in the survivor parade! I will never forget this moment!
It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wow!

Updated: 12:59pm - Hope is at school!!!


Has it seriously been almost two months since I posted on here. Sorry, to any of you that still check! I would say, "I'll do better," but honestly I probably won't.

So much has happened since my last post. We moved, church camp, school started.....we have been busy, busy, busy. Let's see if I can summarize for you.

We had a great summer! The kids have had fun playing with friends, riding bikes, swimming, camping, typical summer fun! Here's a few pics we captured of our summer fun!






The Lord worked it out for us to purchase a new home(new to us). It has been awesome to see how the Lord worked every detail out for us to move and He did it VERY quickly!! We feel so blessed to have more space (inside), we have great friends next door, and the kids are loving living in a neighborhood!


The weekend we moved, the kids all headed off to church camp! Again, the Lord worked it out. We were able to do the big stuff without needing to entertain, feed, bathe, etc....the kids. They were off having a WONDERFUL time at church camp with their friends! I would include a picture, but I wasn't there! ; )

School is in session and the kids are loving their new schools! We didn't move far, but far enough to need to change schools. The transition has been smooth and we are almost settled into our new routine. Hope starts school today, but here are some pics from the other kids first days of school. Jordyn is in 7th grade, Alexis 5th, Camden 2nd, Mia 1st and Noah kindergarten.



Hope starts PreK today and let me tell you she has NOT been patiently waiting! ; ) She is so ready to go to school and for the last two weeks has asked multiple times everyday, "When am I going to school? Am I going to school? Do I go to school today?" I'm not sure why she spoke as if we had never discussed these details, because we had......in great length......everytime she asked! For some reason there was something that blocked the words from my mouth to her ears, because everyday we had the same coversations. I admit it finally came down to me saying, "Hope, don't ask again." We are both excited that she will start school today! ; ) I will try to post pics from her first day soon, but in case I forget, here's a beautiful picture Jordyn took of Hope while we were camping.


That's it for now. There's so much more I could post, but I don't have time to post it and you don't have time to read it. I'll just end by saying the Lord has been so good to us!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Update...

I apologize for my lack of updates. I wish I had more time to tell you all the little details, but I'm usually too busy dealing with all the little details. ; ) Today I am almost home alone, so I'll take a little time to give you a sneak peak into our summer. 5 of the kids are at a pool party today. Unfortunately, Noah made some poor choices at church last night and his consequence was not going to the pool party. I have to say that this was a hard thing to follow through with, for two reasons. One, I was looking forward to a day all to myself. As you can imagine, with six kids, those are few and far between. Actually, they simply don't happen. I love my life, but who wouldn't enjoy a little peace and quiet for at least a few hours, right? The second reason is obvious, my poor little guy had to watch all the other kids get up excited about the party, get their swimming suits and sunscreen on, and sadly watch from the back seat as everyone filed out and began greeting their friends at the party. Thankfully, their was no meltdown, just quiet whimpers as he was reminded of his poor choices and the need to make better ones. I hope it's a lesson he learns quickly.

This brings me to one thing I've noticed with my children. My oldest three have always been better for others. They are good for me, but typically FABULOUS for other people. There have been rare occurrences of course, but mostly when I let them go somewhere I know they will behave. My younger three, however, are not that way. They will test the boundaries and see just how far they can push. This is hard. I think in some ways people tend to let them get away with more, sort of compensating for the life they had before coming home. Unfortunately, this doesn't help. We have found that, more than ever, they need those strict boundaries and they need them enforced. It isn't fun, but needful. It's not always fun being the parent. Just like today, I wish I could make this a fun one on one day with Noah, but what message would that send. Act bad in church and you get special/fun time with Mommy. So, we are home alone, with everything at our disposal, yet there will be no swimming, no trampoline, and no movies. I hope it's an example to all of my children that behavior when Jeremy and I are not around is just as important as when we are. Mia seems to have figured it out pretty quickly. Her obedience with others has come a LONG way!! We are so proud of the choices she is making in our absence! Now if we can just get Noah and Hope to follow suit!

Enough of that, let's talk about fun stuff! Last week Noah celebrated his 6th birthday! For weeks leading up to it I would ask him what he wanted for his birthday. He would respond, "I want cake and for you to sing Happy Birthday to me." Ok, consider it done! It was the sweetest thing! He did finally ask for a bike. Everyone had a bike or a trike but him, so that seemed like a fair thing to ask for. As you can see below, he was pretty happy with it!


It really was wonderful having him home! We had the privilege of spending his third birthday with him at the Orphanage, but all the others had been missed! This one was so special. We had a party at my sisters for him and Father's Day. My sister asked me to bless the food and as I thanked the Lord for our fathers and for the miracle of Noah being home, I barely made it through the prayer. Our Father has been so faithful to us! We are amazed at the miracle of our son!

Camden is loving summer! He loves to swim, ride his bike, jump on the trampoline, you name it he likes it! Two days ago he found a turtle in the yard, so for a couple of days he was allowed to keep it. He has been trying to get me to let him keep it as a pet, but I assured him that the tortoise was created to enjoy life outdoors in the wild! I reminded him that if that's where he was created to be, that is where he would be happiest. We have big plans of releasing him tonight at a pond near our house. Camden has asked it be a special time of riding bikes, rock skipping and tortoise releasing. ; ) I think we can handle that. Seriously, you would think we've had this thing for years. Apparently, they are buddies and will need this time to say their goodbyes.


Camden has grown up so much! He will be in the second grade this year and I have NO idea where the time has gone! He's learning to be a great big brother. Today, he wanted to give Noah a toy since he couldn't go to the party. Jeremy explained that it was a very nice thought, but that Noah needed to understand this punishment and therefore he couldn't be given a "gift." Camden teared up. He has such a tender heart. It doesn't always surface, but I love it when it does.

Hope and Jordyn continue to have a sweet little relationship. They are true sisters from driving each other crazy one minute to have fun together the next. The night before our Haiti trip, Jordyn let Hope sleep with her. As you can see here, they were having tons of fun at their little mini-slumber party. Hope LOVES spending time with Jordyn, and I think it goes both ways.


Hope has changed so much. She was still such a baby in so many ways when she came home, but now she is becoming a little girl and full of personality! She is so excited about starting school in the fall. She will be in Pre-K and cannot wait! I think it will be good for her in many ways, but it reminds me of how fast time will go. It seems once school starts you turn around and they are 12. I hope I can remember to enjoy every moment, because I know it won't last long.

Speaking of 12, Jordyn will be in the 7th grade this year. Wow! That doesn't seem possible! She has turned into an amazing young lady with a heart to please the Lord. I am so proud of who she is. She's really at a great age right now. She's old enough to have some responsibility but is still Mommy and Daddy's little girl. I don't want her to grow up so fast, but I'm excited to see the woman God has created her to be.

Alexis has changed so much lately too. She is outgrowing her princess side. She assures me that she will always, "be my girl and Daddy's princess," but my little girl is growing up. Haiti was such an amazing experience for her and it was hard for her coming home. She still misses the kids! I think it really opened her eyes though to what a great life she has. She has been so helpful and talks about the fact that even though we have a lot of work to do, it's so much easier than the way things are done in Haiti. She really recognized how much harder life is for Haitians than for us. I was so proud of what she learned and brought home from that trip. She handled it so well and showed me how mature she is now. Again, where does the time go?


Ali is such a beautiful girl, inside and out! So many people have said, "I have never met anyone as sweet as Alexis." It's true, she has such a sweet nature. She can bring the drama too, but all in all she is a sweet, sweet girl!

Mia is in summer school right now and is enjoying it WAY more than she thought she would. She just loves to meet people and learn all about them. I think she knows more about her bus driver than she does me. ; ) She loves to talk! She was behind in several things at school but her communication skills were incredible! For many of you, I know this doesn't surprise you. At this point we just need to figure out how to get her to stop talking. ; )


This picture is who she is, full of life, and enjoying every moment. Ok, maybe not every moment, but most of them. She has a little stubborn side and wants to do what SHE wants to do, but she, for the most part, simply enjoys life. She loves to help people! She genuinely loves people! Our social butterfly, indeed!

If you saw my previous post you know that Jeremy and I celebrated our 16th Anniversary last week. Thanks to my Momma, we were able to go out for dinner and a movie. We talked about the next 16 years and how fast it will go! We are so blessed with a wonderful marriage! We simply love being together. Girls night out/guys night out, they can be fun, but we would rather be with each other. He always makes me laugh and I hope I make him, at least, half as happy as he makes me.
Whew! I made it! I don't know if you read it all, but don't worry there won't be another long post like this for a while. ; ) Thanks for checking in with us!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm so blessed!

video


Happy Anniversary, Jeremy! 16 years and all I know to say is I'm so blessed! I love you!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Family Photo!

After many years of our family photos being incomplete, I would like to share with you our new, and complete, family photo.


Cundiff Family, (always) a party of eight!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

So proud!

Sorry for the multiple posts but with 6 kids it's bound to happen!

I was so proud on Sunday! Camden gave his heart to the Lord at an early age. This is something I have always prayed for my children. Since the time they were born or since the time I knew they were mine, I have prayed that, "my children will come to know You at an early age and will desire to serve You all the days of their life." I can praise the Lord for answering that prayer for three out of six thus far. Jordyn was four when she told me she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart. Alexis was three when she, completely on her own, said, "Mommy, I want to ask Jesus in my heart, all of Him." Camden was five and made his decision during a Sunday School class at church.

The girls had since been baptized but Camden declared he wasn't ready for that. We had talked to him about what it means and that is something he should do, but that he didn't have to until he was ready. So a little while ago he decided it was time. Sunday our son was baptized! It does my heart good to see the goodness of the Lord in my children. Our God is good and His mercy is everlasting! Thank you, Lord!


Camden said yesterday, "I will never forget Sunday, May 24, 2009."

Exhausting...Part II

When I came home from my morning errands yesterday this is what I found....


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ali's Corner


Alexis has a new blog with blogger. She wanted to have the same kind as the rest of us, so out with WordPress and on with blogger! ; ) Check it out!



alexiscundiff.blogspot.com

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!


Today was the first Mother's Day since 2004 that I had all of my children with me! What a blessed day! It started with breakfast in bed(Thanks Ali!) and was wonderful from then on!! Thank you, Lord, for my amazing SIX children!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Words of Hope


"Well, I want to sit on your lap because I love you and I'm your baby."

"If you sing, I'll give you some candy."

"Let me see if you stink."

"When I marry Jonas I need pretty pink shoes."

"Give me five. Good job!"

"I'm your mom and you're my baby. Oh!! I don't say it right!"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Two amazing girls!


Many of you may know already that Jordyn and Alexis are planning to go to Haiti in June. Jordyn went a couple of years ago and has wanted to go back ever since. Alexis on the other hand wasn't sure she was ready to go until about a year ago and she began to have a burning desire to visit the place her siblings once called home. These girls are so amazing! They have left me speechless on many occasions with their compassion for those less fortunate than we.

I told them they could go only if they raised the money to pay for it themselves. They started fund raising and saving right away. I'm so excited to report that they are getting so close. Each one only has about $300 left to raise! They worked at our church auction, sold Papa Murphy peelers, sent support letters, and saved change to put as much as they could in their "Haiti box." They still have a few things left to do, but I had to take a moment to say how very proud I am of them. I cannot wait to share this experience with my amazing girls!

If you would like to help in their efforts please e-mail me at mecundiff@yahoo.com for details on how you can be a part of their journey!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Zoo...

We had so much fun over Spring Break visiting the St. Louis Zoo! The kids loved it!

Nearly every exhibit he was the last to leave. All day we heard, "Oh gade!!"

Jordyn and Hope are quite the pair. I had a feeling they would be buddies and I was certainly right. Speaking of buddies, turns out the buddy system is a must to survive a day at the zoo with 6 kids. Thanks to this system we didn't lose a single child. Thumbs up on that one!

My boys! It's so great seeing them all together! I love each one so much!
I'm blessed beyond measure that's for sure!


Mia was all smiles! This girl could light the world with her smile.

Check out this exhibit! Wait a minute....

All of my amazing children! Well and a zebra, that one's not mine.


Taking time to stop and smell the flowers. Hope just has to make sure Noah is smelling the right one. ; ) They did smell really great, unlike the elephants that smelled really NOT great!

Alexis with her buddy, aka "Grandma."

Gotta love timers! Apparently, Mia wasn't ALL smiles. ; ) It was a wonderful family day!!

The carousel is always a big hit!

Yuck, Alexis!

Hopey loves the ride!

I guess that sums it up. This post was brought to you by someone's dirty underwear!