Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Light in the House

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

John 5: 14 & 15

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas was good part II

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
Norman Vincent Peale

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas was good

Christmas was so good this year. I don't know where to start.

We started off the holiday season by going to Boone, NC to get our Christmas tree, and found a winter wonderland! There was a fresh layer of snow! That really got us in the holiday mood. We picked out a 10 foot tree, and brought it home. The family tree is where we showcase. Whenever we go on a trip, or an adventure we try to pick up an ornament to remember it by. So this year we added alot of favorites! We added a jellybean from the jellybelly factory, a trolley car from San Fransico, a tomahawk from the Cherokee mountains, the statue of liberty, a redwood tree, and a sealoin! We all have our favorite ornament! We are going to need a really big tree if we keep going on all of these adventures!

We were also blessed to have Judy spend the holiday season with us. We have kept her very busy, shuffling her to school parties, horse lessons, church, and a shopping marathon.

Dave and I both had Christmas Eve off this year, which was a blessing. We started out that morning by making a peppermint cake Emma found a recipee for. She was reading a Christmas cookbook, and picked it out all by herself, so we made it for her. It was a big project. We sifted, measured, whipped, baked and iced for about 3 hours. Well worth the holiday memory. Later that night she said she didn't really like it, it was just too pepperminty. Oh well.

Then as tradition would have it we go to my moms. We all get together. It is a night of excitement and huge anticipation. Before we open presents though, we read the nativity from a book I bought Dave when we were dating. We try to take a few minutes out of the hustle and bustle to refocus on the true meaning of Christmas.

Then the mayhem begins. . . This year was fun for me, because Robbie and Angie and I got to go in and buy my mom a laptop! Robbie had fun picking out the specs and customizing it just for mom. It was such a treat to watch her.

After the craziness we come back home. The girls sprinkled reindeer food out on the yard, put Santa's cookies out, and got to unwrap a new pair of jammies. This year, those girls could not go to sleep!

But. . . Christmas morning was worth the wait! Maggi found a stable, horses, and lots of treats. Emma found a DSI, games, and more treats. Then Judy sent them on a treasure hunt for their American Girl Dolls. Amazing.

This year, Judy even got an American Girl Doll. This year was about indulging in our "wishes" not being practical.

Then we were blessed to be able to go to my dad's for Christmas Day. It is fun to find out who went to bed the latest and got up the earliest. And to find out what all Santa brought.

I haven't had a chance to upload all my Christmas pictures, but these are a few of my favorite.

I don't know where we will be next year for Christmas, but I know that whever we are, or how is beside us, my family will always be in my heart. Thank you all for making my Christmas so wonderful!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.
Mother Teresa

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"The Lord your God is with you,He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."

Zephaniah 3:17

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons (and daughters) and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up." - Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Handle with Care

Seasons are changing, and I don't mean the weather. Our family is in the process of answering God's call on our lives and setting out on a whole new adventure. This isn't a small change, and not one that we thought of just yesterday, but rather the culmunation of a lifetime of God's hand in our lives and tugging on our hearts.

If you know us at all, you know David and I are passionate about missions. We both felt we were called to be missionaries from a very early age. We even met on foreign soil (a story for another blog). We have some exciting, LONG awaited news. We officially put our application in on Monday, November 2, 2009, to the Assemblies of God World Missions Department to be full time missionaries. . .

We as a familiy applied to be full time missionaries. The application process, is a long process, and it could even be a year before we are approved. But we know God's timing is perfect, so we begin the process of wating. .

God placed the call to missions on both our lives when we were both children. At differnet places, David in Northern California, and Amy in South Carolina at a summer camp. We even met each other in Europe working out God's call, listening to God's leading and direction.

We have known since the day we started dating that this was where we wanted to head eventually. God's timing and method have always been the great unknowns. About 6 months ago, David and I started talking about spending next summer studying Spanish, in Costa Rica with some Missionary friends (Jay and Nancy). In just a matter of weeks God expanded that small step and vision to reveal this as His timing for us to make this giant step in our lives. It has all happened just like He promises when we listen to His call and wait on Him, He accomplishes that which He has started in us. Not to say there haven't already been minor struggles and there are many more hurdles to overcome and patiently waiting experiences to be had. We have a long approval process to go through and aren't assured of acceptance, but this whole experience feels like the hand of God so there is much less apprehension and uncertainty than if we were trying to maker this happen on our own.

So we put the completed 200 page application in our hands, each prayed, and then placed it in the Lord's hands (via the US post office). We hope you join with us in prayer. Pray that as this process begins to unfold the Lord"S plan is revealed, in His time, in His way. We are standing in His word,

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

Thank you for sharing this dream with us, thank you for standing in prayer with us.

The Cartwrights.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

South Carolina State Fair

Last Friday, the girls were out of school, so we decided to treat them to a great day at the fair. We went Uncle Robbie, Aunt Beth, Jake and Ava. We rode rides, ate fair food, got rained on, sunburned, and completely motion sick (ok that was me and Rob). We all had a blast. We even watched the pig races! The kids are ready to back next year!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cloudy with a chance of Rain

We took our annual trip to the NC mountains yesterday. Despite going at peak leaf season, mother nature had other plans for us.

We woke up early and got off to a great start. We headed to Altapass Apple Orchard, where we planned on apple cider, and walking all over the orchard in search of the perfect apples.

We were driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway in heavy fog, but remained hopeful that the sun would burn that off, so we could see the rich fall colors. Once we got to the orchard, the girls hopped on a wagon ride around the orchard, and then the rain started. . .

As you may, Emma wants to be an apple picker when she grows up, so that was a big deal for her. We don't know why she has this dream, but being in charge of helping her make her dreams come true we took the trip to apple farm seriously. She doesn't just want to be an apple picker, but one who picks apples while doing ballet!

Her little heart was so sad. I mean you only get to pick apples once a year. So we put on our rain ponchos, rolled up our jeans, found the umbrellas and started picking. About 20 minutes of looking for apples, we realized that there weren't alot of apples to be picked (we learned later that the spring rain and wind had damaged the crop by 60%). We were very hardpressed to fill up the bag we paid for, but we finally succeeded. The girls rewarded their effort with a warm cup of cider.

We had planned to roast hotdogs and make smores at a picnic spot along the parkway, but by the time we got back in the car, the fog was so thick you only had about 50 yards of visibility. Really? We could see vibrant leaves as the wind nocked them on the windshield, but that was about as good as it was going to get. We couldn't see past the guardrail along the rode.

Lastly, we headed to Linville Falls so I could take some pictures for my photo class. We hiked about 1 mile up to the falls, in the rain and mud and got to our view point. But by the time I figured out how to take the pic, the fog had covered the falls.

Not exactly as we planned, but we made the most of it. We still. . .
had family fun
picked apples
took pictures
learned something new
and enjoyed God's beautiful creation.

Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of GOd that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 39

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy Fall Ya'll

Fall is here, and I lu huv it. The leaves are starting to change, the sweaters are out, the windows are open, pumpkins are on the porch, candy corn in the bowl.

This is one of my favorite times of the year. God is so evident in nature. His handiwork is seen everywhere. I love that He allows change to occur, and gives us a glimpse.

We all have seasons in our lives too, I am ready for the next season in The Cartwright House. Where we start living, REALLY living how He wants us to.

There is a Matthew West song that talks about "going through the motions". I don't want to be like that one more day, where I just go through the day. I want the passion of Christ to live through me and change the way I live. I don't want to spend my whole life wandering what if I had given everything, instead of going through the motions.

Pray with us, as we search for our next season, as we stop going through the motions. Help us pray that we would give it all

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

h1n1 hits here

We have a sick Maggi,
We got a call from the school nurse today telling us Maggi was in the nurses office with 102 fever, and throwing up. Dave picked her up and took her to the doctor, and she has the swine flu. She has laid around and claimed the chair and half as hers. Her big blue eyes seem sad. She has little energy. I hoping tomorrow I can read a book to her. She just finished Nancy drew, I think I am going to try to read something special to her, it will one of my last chances. I want to maximize on this. Just me and her and a couch, and a good book. What a way to travel the road to recovery.

Friday, September 25, 2009

See ya at the pole

9/23/09 was See ya at the pole. It is an event where school children can gather around their school's flagpole and pray with one another for their school. This year Maggi was asked to lead the student led prayer. She was chosen by someone who knew she could touch the heart of God with her heart felt prayer. Maggi did a great job leading the group. That morning their were about 25 others, we all held hands, bowed our head and prayed for the students and faculty of Larne Elementary. My heart was blessed listening to Maggi lead the group. We met at 7:00 am, and the flag was not yet raised, there was a light rain, but I believe that God was pleased with the those young hearts that morning. I am blessed to have children brave enought to stand up for what they believe in.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Bike Ride

Emma came to us on Monday asking for us to help her ride her 2 wheel bike. We got her helmet on, laced up our shoes, and got started. It took about 5 minutes before she was off and riding. Literally, that was all it took. No tears, no sweat, no skinned knees.

I was telling a friend about it, and she made a great observation. She said it is all about attitude. If someone believes they can do it, they can. Your mental attitude goes a long way in handling a new situation.

How true! What great advice (I have been blessed to have such great friends). Things seem so simple for Emma, she believes she can do something, and then makes it look effortless as she charges forward. She believes she can do it because she has witnessed her sister do it.

Once again I am amazed how different these 2 girls are. Maggi calculates the risks, assess the situation, probably even thinks about how the weather is going to affect the situation. Afterward she journals, draws pictures and thanks her heavenly Father for keeping her safe. Emma waits till she is ready, charges forward, doesn't look back and rest soundly that night.

I love watching them grow, and learning from each day. I just wish the clock would stop, let me have time to enjoy each moment. I also love that her sissy was on the side line cheering her on. Even our neighbors came out to watch. I love that.