Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Praise! Praise! Praise!

Wow, the last few days have been quite unnerving for us. This past weekend Joshua discovered a chain of small lumps on his neck near his lymph nodes, so off to the Doctors we went. The doctor wasn't sure what it was. They gave him an antibiotic and told us to come back in 7-10 days. (They were thinking something viral might be the cause.) Several hours later that same day we received a message from the doctors office saying that they wanted us to call them the next day (Sunday) to talk to us about making plans. Needless to say this really scared us and led our minds to think about things that we didn't want to think about. So, we called them on Sunday to find out what they were thinking. All the nurse could tell me is that the doctor wanted to see Joshua on Tuesday. While we were waiting we had lots of people praying. Finally Tuesday came and we got great news. It turned out to just be a lymphatic chain we were feeling. Because he is fairly thin it made it easier to feel and it could be that he is fighting a viral infection that made it inflamed. The doctor assured us that it was nothing more than that and that if he had any doubts he would be doing tests to make sure. We were soooo relieved Mike and I both almost cried right there in the office. While going through all of this the Lord really spoke to me. After talking with our Sunday school class about it, the teacher started quoting several verses about healing and not fearing. I was trying to look them up as fast as I could because I wanted to have them for later, but then he passed a card to me and told me that was the list of verses he had picked out to memorize that week.(I still have the card in my bible) The sermon was on trusting God even when things are bad, and they played a song that has special meaning to me.(God used that song to help me get through a past issue I had dealt with) Even this morning when I had a momentary break-down God gave me his comfort. I prayed and told God I really needed to hear from Him, that everything was going to be okay no matter what the news was. I decided to read from a devotional book that is special to me. I went to todays date in the book and the verses for the day was a verse I had memorized just a few weeks earlier. The verses in Psalm 34:17.....The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. (I get teary eye just thinking about this verse.) The Lord really does hear our cries and He is good all the time and that would still be true even if the outcome would have been different. Thank you, thank you for all your prayers, and Thank you Jesus for answering them all!

Now on a lighter note here are some pictures from our ski trip on Monday. We were cleared from the doctor to still go on our trip. It was a great trip and I was glad to not be at home thinking about what might happen the following day. We went to Appalachian Ski Mountain with our homeschool group. It was cold and at some moments frustrating (me trying to get up after falling!!) but overall it was a nice trip for our family.

The whole Ryals gang!

Joshua (snowboarding) and Noah zooming by some kid who had fallen.

Seth looking cool in the shades!

Mike and I coming down the slopes. It snowed half the morning and looked pretty while skiing.

I don't know what I was doing here?

My Hubby! or aka "Daddio" by the boys.

Yes, that's still my hubby!! (I do love him so especially when he's silly!!)

What a sweet picture of Noah on the way Home. Can you tell he's tired?

Look at those cute red cheeks!

Joshua snowboarding.

That's my boys!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2009 Goals

For the past few years, at the beginning of a new year, I take time to set a few goals for the year. I started this after reading a book that was talking about how important it is to have goals. The Author said, "If you aim at nothing you will hit your target every time." That really got me to thinking, "What am I aiming at? Where does God want me aiming?" So, this is how I make sure I'm not aiming at nothing. I begin with prayer and ask God to show me the things I need to work on then I take three index cards and on one side of each card I write one goal. Then on the other side I write the steps of how I can achieve that goal. So for example the main goal could be... to live a more Christ centered life.(That would go on one side of the index card) Then on the other side of the index card I would flesh out how I will live a more Christ centered life. This is kind of how it looks...

1. Spend more time in the word...
a. get up 15mins earlier to read the bible
b. get involved in a bible study

I keep these index cards in my bible to review periodically. At the beginning of the next year I look back at my goals and see the areas that still need some work but, best of all I see the goals I did accomplish that year.

One of my goals this year is to read at least 12 books. This may not sound like a huge goal, but between homeschooling and taking care of my family this is a good challenge for me. I plan to read at least 15mins a day. My 12 book goal does not include the books I read to the boys. Most days we read a chapter a day after lunch, while snuggling on the couch. (That is my favorite part of homeschooling!) So...I thought I would write a review of the books when I finish them. The first book is....

I really liked this book. It talks about how important it is to bless those we love and equally important to receive a blessing from those who love us. The unconditional love and approval that come with the blessing shapes our self-esteem and emotional well-being. There are chapters on what happens when we don't receive the blessing and how we can make sure our loved ones receive the blessing from us. In the back of the book there are ideas for ceremonies of "Blessings" that can be done for your parents, a spouse, or a child. I wish I had read this book about a year ago. It would have helped with the planning of the celebration we had when Joshua turned 13. He invited a few friends over for a sleep over. At one point during the evening we gathered the boys together and Mike gave a short speech and read some scriptures. We went around the room and had everyone say some words of affirmation to Joshua. Then we presented Joshua with his gift. We gave him a purity ring.(We had discussed this prior to the event and he wanted to make a commitment to purity.) It is a woman's wedding band. He will wear it until he puts it on his brides finger. (If she wants to use it as her band, of course!) It ended up being a very special night. We plan to do this again with Seth and Noah when they turn 13.

Joshua receiving his ring.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our trip to Virginia

This past weekend we went to visit my parents in Roanoke, VA. Mike had a long weekend so we took advantage of an extra day off. This is the Mill Mountain Star. At night it's lit up nice and bright. The boys always see who can be the first one to spot the star. (And no, I did not take this picture. I tried taking one as we passed it on the way in but mine looked like a red and blue blur. That's what happens when you are traveling 65mph on the highway and trying to take a picture.)

I did take these...

Saturday was a great day of visiting with family. While we were there my grandparents (Nana, Paw-Paw) and Uncle (Michael Bean) came to visit also. It was great having everyone together. I got this great picture of Nana and Joshua sitting in the sun room together.

On Sunday night Mike, Joshua and I went to Lynchburg to a Ken Ham conference. (He's the big creationist guy) It was really good and we got lots of stuff. I'm very excited about some curriculum I purchased. It's a unit study on the Pilgrims Progress. I have not read the book yet but I hear it is great and I can't wait to start this study.

Before we left on Monday we decided to run downtown to the market and see if there was anything there. There are usually vendors selling all kind of things, but there wasn't much going on that day. So, we decided to grab lunch and hit the road for home, but first one more picture...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pinedale HSF Service Project

The following pictures are from our homeschool group. We meet twice a month. Once for a service project and once for a field trip. Tuesdays meeting was for a service project. We met at the church and made Valentine cards and trail mix for a couple of the shut-ins we visit regularly. The kids really enjoy meeting together with friends and have learned a lot about doing for others. It really doesn't take a lot of time/effort to make a difference in someones day. ;-)

Noah being Noah!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snow Days

Here are some pictures from the Last time it snowed. It snowed a little less than an inch, but the boys were determined to make the most of it. I on the other hand was admiring the beauty from my warm kitchen still in my pj's. This was taken around 8:00am unfortunately most of the snow was gone by noon.

Monday, February 9, 2009

More pictures from the lake

Joshua on the wave runner.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Seth at Lake James

This past summer we visited our family in Indiana. During our trip we spent a few days at Lake James. We all really enjoyed the fishing, tubing, and riding on the wave runner. We all agree, the wave runner is a must have!