...Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16 This is the journey of our lives...

Friday, December 31, 2010

Life Unexpected

Oh how life has thrown us some curve balls this year. In every day there have been questions and more questions. Answers have been few and far between and we have continued to press on as you have to when there are unknowns. One thing that has been very certain is that we are expecting. This was unexpected... four seemed a great number and although my "I'm done" button seems broken, it made sense to not have anymore. Ha! What do you know, while not "trying" we got pregnant. Nothing is an accident and babies are always a blessing...the timing has been interesting! So during the move, the changes, the newness, and all the frustrations this year. One thing has remained constant, my growing belly. As far as we were concerned boy or girl would be great, but for some reason we had it in our minds that it was a boy. I even took a at-home gender test that clearly showed BOY. For the last 10 weeks I have been thinking of boy names, I even bought a baby boy sleeper with guitars on it! We went to the ultrasound today and through all of it, I waited for her to say, yep its a boy. When she said you're having a girl! I was shocked and so very excited. It took me a while to think girl again but now I can't stop thinking about her. What a great surprise to day. No definite names yet, we are still arguing over them. Daniel likes to come up with names like, Wilma, Sedona, ect. So we haven't gotten very far. Evelyn Claire, has been one that we both like, but as you well know it is NOT set in stone:) So as life comes at us unexpectedly, each day brings one exception to it all, we are having our third little girl!

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, SC was a great adventure! Derek and Amy invited us to meet them at their beautiful three bedroom hotel and indoor water park. Two huge rooms filled with pools, slides, lazy rivers, and wading pools. It was 40 degrees outside and we were running from our room to the pools is bathing suits! We swam for two days and then went to Bass Pro Shop in Myrtle Beach to see Santa. We drove home Thursday the 23rd to prepare for Christmas. It was a wonderful holiday before the holidays!

Living room

the kitchen

The view

The Girls at the hotel

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow Days

What a great surprise to wake up to snow! It snowed all day and into the night. We bundled up and played in it, the kids had so much fun...and the adults did too! It was so beautiful, we took a drive and looked at all the trees covered in snow and ice. Thankfully it did stop snowing and is warming up this week a little bit. Today is 30 with wind but by Friday it will be 65.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve

What a special surprise for the kids when we showed up at the airport to see if we could watch for Santa... and low and behold...Grandma and Grandpa were standing there! We then headed home to open gifts and have a traditional German dinner krautnadel (sp?) . Daniel has eaten this for Christmas eve since he was a little boy, and normally mom makes it. This year it was my turn to try it, and I did a pretty good job! Daniel loved it! We had a great night, stayed up late visiting and wrapping last minute gifts.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!
From the Zimmermann Family
We are having very different Christmas this year. Obviously we are so far away:( and missing family like crazy. My parents are flying in Christmas Eve so that is going to be such a wonderful surprise for the kids. We haven't told them yet and they think we are alone this year. They have been missing their cousins and friends so much this year.
We have enjoyed our time here for what it is, the Fall was absolutely beautiful. The trees were so many colors, vivid and bright. It felt like fall. The warm weather held out and we were able to visit the beach and enjoy the outdoors....until December. Then the leaves fell and the cold moved in. I have been inside more than anytime in my life! 35 degrees and wind does not bring me outdoors. The kids are wild in the house, needing to get some energy out and we have tried many things to keep them busy. Nothing but bundling them up and making them head outside to ride their bikes helped! It does feel and smell like Christmas. The crisp cold and barren trees are a daily reminder that Christmas is coming.
We had Josh and Brittany come to visit for a week and that was so much fun! Getting to spend time with family and just enjoy each other was a blessing. Josh kept the boys busy every day with a wrestling match, we stayed at the Robert's beach house a few days, went to the aquarium and even had a date night just the four of us downtown. It was so hard to see them go.
On December 21st, to celebrate the Holidays with our dear friends, the Roberts, we headed to Myrtle Beach, SC to a hotel with an indoor water park. We just stayed one night and had two great days swimming and sliding down water slides. The kids had so much fun! It was a great mini-vacation.
We are back and ready to pick up my parents tomorrow!
Each of the kids have grown and changed so much this year and especially with the move, so here is a little update on each one of them:
Noah turned 8 this year. He had lost all four front teeth and we are waiting for his last top tooth to grow in. He looks so much older. He is such a handsome boy. He is full of energy and joy. He is always joking and doesn't miss a thing we say. He is very smart and enjoys school. He is great at math and reading. His favorite subjects are science and history. He loves to ride his bike and is looking forward to playing soccer this spring. Thankfully he has not broken anything this year. But we did find out he has a terrible allergy to bee stings. He hopes to move back to Arizona soon but would also enjoy spending a summer at the beach getting better at boogie boarding.
Graham turned 6 this year. He is very tall and lean, exactly like my brother Josh. His hands and feet are huge and so he moves much like a puppy still growing into his paws. He loves to laugh and play tricks on people. He is always playing pretend games with the others and making up elaborate pirate ships, barns or boat docks. Braxtyn and him have found that although they disagree about most things they need each other. They find they have a lot of time together when Noah is finishing school and Cozy is napping. Graham is doing amazing in Kindergarten this year. School is hard for him but he is learning by leaps and bounds. He has found that he is very good at math and really likes his math work. He has very good penmanship and when he wants to, can write amazing for a 6 year old! He still loves horses and animals and is looking forward to seeing his horse Gunny.
Braxtyn turned 4 in July. She has her very own agenda for most days and happily plays and just enjoys life. She is very determined and independent and appreciates it if everyone just does things her way, especially her brothers. She loves playing with barbies and doing crafts. She is participating in a lot of school and has her own pre-K work that she is learning. She is a quick learner and likes to know what the boys know. She loves painting her nails and putting on fashion shows. And lately she has been putting on concerts with a guitar and song that she's written. You cannot convince her of much unless she's thought of it, and this year she is determined she will marry Micah Main. We of course approve if this union, in about 20 years!!! She loves North Carolina and is very quick to make new friends. She is looking forward to her summer here because she hates the cold.
Cozette is 18 months. She is growing up so quickly! She jabbers a lot and we make out a few words. Her favorite thing to do is sit in your lap and read books. She says Mom about 20 times a day. I think she is trying to out-call me and grab my attention from the other three. She does a pretty good job stealing all of our attention. She is a cuddle bug and will love on you when you need it. She is full of joy and delight and we are usually surprised to hear her cry. Other than her screams of "NO" to her brothers and sister, she is very happy to just hang with the crowd.
Daniel and I are doing good. We are still meeting new people and trying to find steady work. small jobs here and there are keeping us going but who knows what will happen this year to come. We are just trying to learn to listen and be joyful no matter what the circumstance. We are so blessed and love our sweet family. The pregnancy is going great. I will have an ultrasound December 31st to find out the sex of the baby.
We hope that you all have a very Happy Christmas and New Year!
Much Love
The Zimmermann Family

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ramblings of a four year old

Today I was doing my hair and she was sitting in her usual spot, atop the vanity counter, applying loads of blush and brushing her hair. She was also begging me to paint her nails, this a daily ritual and we spend our time having long talks or playing the sister game, where I am her little sister and we plan large parties, movie dates, makeovers and tea parties. Today, she was making faces in the mirror and looked up at me with a very " I know-it-all" face to tell me the following:
Braxtyn: I do not believe in Santa Clause. He is is a big man with a fake beard. I only believe in Jesus. I don't believe in reindeer flying. Mom, do you believe in magic?
Me: I believe that Jesus can do miracles
Braxtyn: Well I don't believe in magic so reindeer can't fly.
Me: well who brings the presents?
Braxtyn: Moms and dads, aunts and uncles, grown-ups and Jesus. There are no elves either.
Me: there aren't'?
Braxtyn: No, they are just little people who wear fake ears and don't have real jobs. They take care of pigs.
Me: Wow, that is a lot of information for me today. You have this really figured out don't you?
Braxtyn: Yes, yes I do.
Graham enters the conversation: If you don't believe in Santa you won't get presents.
Braxtyn: yes I will, grown ups give them to me.
Me: Let's just all settle on the fact that Santa or not, it is Jesus' Birthday and He is why any of us get presents.
End of discussion...

Later at lunch...
Braxtyn: Mom, I'm going to ask Santa for an Easy bake oven.
Hmm... She is a mystery

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Finding Church

I'm finding myself with Sunday depression. Yes, that's what Daniel has called it in the past and until recently I didn't understand him. We have visited churches and although I have met some beautiful, wonderful people...I have yet to find a home church. That name has only belonged for me, at GFF in Arizona. Well without that I though that we would just find a place where we love the people and settle in. I have this strange feeling, God doesn't want me settling in. Actually the one thing I can say that has been truly clear over the last year or so is that the word "settled" is not in my vocabulary. It's more of an "I don't know" vocabulary. Anyways, I have been wondering why, of all places where there is at least 4 churches at every intersection, I cannot find one. I have read Wayne Jacobson's blog tonight and this answered my question.

Even our Christian culture tells us that increased attendance, best-selling books, and growing audiences await those who obey Jesus. In fact, those who misunderstood Jesus the most were those most passionate about religion. You will even find other Christians calling you back to the broader road thinking they are helping you follow God. Don't be fooled. He's the only one we can follow. Even if that means you are misunderstood, God will be faithful to provide other believers at just the right moment to encourage you on the journey.
Fitting in with Religious Leaders or Perhaps Disappointing Them
In our day, many who claim to lead in the body of Christ are not much more than well-intentioned program managers. They have an organization to run and personal goals to meet and often view people around them as simply part of that process. If we confuse a submissive heart with following their instructions, we will often find ourselves moving away from the path God has chosen for us.
We all know how important it is to glean God's wisdom from other believers, including those who might be further along the journey. However, make sure those are people who are on the journey to knowing God, not those imbedded in religious institutions and who have a vested interest in you doing things their way. Religious leaders are those who lead people into religion. Weren't these types always at odds with Jesus? Did he put their directions above his Father's?
Of course not! But how can you tell the difference between religious leaders and mature believers God has put around you? True leaders won't tell you what Father's will is for you; they will instead help you grow close enough to Jesus to understand that for yourself. I find it curious that most of the latter I've met in recent years rarely waste their time in management positions of institutionized Christianity.

Signposts On the Journey
By Wayne Jacobsen
BodyLife • May 1999

This is the answer, I knew it when I read it. So what to do now? We aren't attending church for now. I'm hoping to skype GFF sermons at home and learn to BE the church here, in a way of fellowship and encouragment with other believers that have a desire to share in this journey. Everything else is religion. And I am not interested in religion.

Braxtyn: What church are we going to?

Graham: It's just a building we can have church anywhere

Braxtyn: Can I have church outside? In a tree? On a rock?

Daniel: In a train, in a box, with a fox....

Noah: our church is wherever we are. Jesus is here so we can have church in the car.

And then we recited the remaining verses of Green Eggs and Ham. I am thankful that my children understand that there is a greater body of believers than what's in a building and that we are all the church, not separated into small institutions that compete for attendance and club dues.

On a side note. While the boys were upstairs "allegedly" cleaning their room...Graham shoved a wire of some sort into Noah's ear. The pain has lessened and I'm probably taking him to the Dr. tomorrow to check it out. Braxtyn decided to use her toothpaste as face wash and is now crying with a runny nose and bright red eyes. CAN THEY GROW BRAINS SOON? PLEASE?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks and catching up..

This year has been hard to give a lot of thanks. Not impossible and we didn't forget it, it just took a little longer to make the list, or so I thought. A lot of the things I'm normally thankful for have been absent this year and especially this last few months. But in retrospect I feel like I actually have more to be thankful for than ever. This journey, spiritually and physically has taken me for quite a ride. There have been many ups and downs and lots of questions. Mostly, "WHY" and "WHEN". I have been blessed to have some key people in my life that seem to understand this journey to its deepest depths and I know that this was given to our family by God, I am thankful for them. We are surrounded by amazing people, mostly family and some friends that are also as close as family, I am thankful for this too. Since we've moved I have learned many things... I will try to list them but I know I will forget something:
1. Your junk follows you no matter how far you travel
2. A change of scenery is only that, all other emotions are still with you, they do not stay behind you.
3. My family husband and my children are my very best friends and support group. I love their presence all the more.
4. Trusting God with EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME, is the biggest challenge of my life
5. God answers the smallest things at the biggest moments, and when your alone, you don't miss them
6. Being alone is not so bad
7. Meeting new friends is wonderful and complicated
All these things are growing on me, stretching me and releasing me to be who I think, God is wanting me to be.

Most importantly, the journey that Daniel has been on and that I've been lucky enough to see and be a part of, has stretched us more than we thought possible and granted me with a man that loves me better than I thought possible. I am thankful for that!

I wish I had more answers as to what our future held. I'm not sure at this point why the limited front view, all I know is the rear view is crystal clear and I need to look back to trust the future.

Our Thanksgiving here was very good. It was VERY different. But I know that my sweet friend Lisa, worked very hard to make Daniel and I and the kids feel at home and very welcome. We had lots of food and there were five other children there for the kids to play with. We played the Wii, and looked over Black Friday ads. The parsonage where Bobby and Lisa live, is surrounded by a lake and prayer garden that backs up to the church. The church has a very old graveyard as well, it is surrounded by trees with red, yellow and orange leaves and green grass. Very picturesque and fallish. We ate and played and enjoyed our time, while still missing our families soooo much! I shopped Black Friday with another friend Kelly and her daughter and SIL, we had a great time and I'm almost done with shopping! It rained most of the day today and the boys went fishing while the girls and I napped. We are going to the floatilla tomorrow night to Wrightsville beach to see all the boats decorated for Christmas on parade in the water. Another new and interesting experience!

Cozy has come home with lots of new words:
please, cute, ice, juice, milk, and up to add to her list of : mama, dada, NO, ME!, horse, bapple (apple), boys and sissy and papa.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Beautiful catch - third trip to the ER

My poor baby girl. She went fishing with her dad and brothers and Noah caught her instead. He felt so terrible! The hook was truly through her little face and we could not get it out ourselves. So, yes we headed to the ER! She was so brave and calm during the whole process. They had to give her numbing medication, that was the part that hurt. But once she couldn't feel anything she allowed me to hold her head and the Dr. to push it back through her skin and then clip the hook part and then pull it out. It made my stomach hurt watching it that close but I had to keep a smile on my face. She was listening to Taylor Swift on the Ipod and watching Disney channel and just laid there. I was so proud of her. They gave her antibiotics and a bandage. Unbelievably, she has no scar!
(I was out to dinner with a friend and when we got home to take her to the ER, she was this calm sitting on the couch telling me what happened)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Halloween and my sewing room

A BMX champ, A cowboy, A lady bug and a Lamb
One thing I really like about this house is that I have some room, room for everything even a sewing room. It is such a perfect place to quietly create things without having to pick up after myself!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A trip downtown

A Saturday trip to downtown Wilmington was so much fun, well for Daniel and I. The kids were tired of walking around.. Here found someone with a sense of humor.

The Cape Fear River is beautiful, the town is basically built on the banks. There are historical buildings that boast visits from Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.

Noah is finally getting his front teeth!

Pancakes, Pumpkins and the Fair

8 children + Free Pancakes = Yum!
Yes, the waiter was surprised we ordered 7 smiley pancakes, 4 adult meals, and 4 kids meals (also free). He was even more surprised when the food was completely gone when we were through!
Cape Fear Fair 2010
We had so much fun and the kids enjoyed all the rides they could get on in the four hours we were there.

Pumpkin Time
We cleverly painted our pumpkins so they would last longer... We set them on our fall porch to dsiplay and then it rained that night and washed away their hard work:( I have to get used to the weather around here.