If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

About Me

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I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sunday Snapshot- Bluebonnetts

Ni Hao Yall

There is a practice here in Texas.  Call it a ritual.  It is a right of passage to motherhood in the Lone Star State that happens in a 2 week window every spring. 

It involves loading up our kids and taking them for their annual pictures in the bluebonnets.

Why the bluebonnets?  Well it is our state flower.

And the fields of them are really pretty.

And well everyone else did it so you should too.  Right?

It occurred to me this week that Ruthie has never had her picture taken in the bluebonnets and I had to wonder if she could really be called a Texan prior to this experience.

So we loaded up the other night and drove to the nearest patch along side the highway (yes we risk our lives for this in Texas) and stopped for pictures.

The sun was setting and she was as beautiful as ever.  And I have to admit, the bluebonnets were beautiful too.

These were shot with my Canon 5D mark ii and my Canon 24-70 2.8L.  They were all shot between 2.8 and 3.5 at ISO 500 and shutter speed 1/500 - 1/2500.  I edited them in Lightroom using One Willow presets and my exposure brush and a brush for light skin softening. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our Home As A Place of Ministry

I finished a great book the other day.  Many of you may have already read it because I have seen the links to her ministry on your blogs.  It is Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis, a missionary in Uganda.   Katie moved to Uganda as an 18 year old and over just a few years adopted 14 girls.  She now runs a ministry that feeds hundreds of Ugandan children and pays for their education. 

The book is great on many levels.  It is a well written, honest picture of this young ladies' journey to follow Christ while sacrificing the things that would make her comfortable and then finding that God’s plan is always greater than our own.  I think that if 10 of us read it, we could all potentially walk away challenged in a different way. 

I expected to read it and and then have a desire to either go to Uganda or bring a child home from there.  I walked away though with something quite different.  Katie's example really challenged me to stop viewing my home as a place of refuge for our family and start viewing it as a place for outreach and ministry.  When we first moved here I felt very strongly that as the pastors family I needed to provide a safe home environment where we could all come to for recharging and family centered focus.   I remember once being volunteered for a fundraiser where people bid for the right to eat dinner at our house to raise money for youth camp.  This idea was terrifying to me because I felt like my family was always being evaluated outside these doors so why on earth would I open up my home for someone to pay for the right to come in and no doubt form opinions.   Can you tell I was pretty passionate and let's go ahead and say it, insecure about this?

Well Katie's view and example are much different.  I was shocked to read about this mother who moved in perfect strangers for weeks at a time so she could take care of their wounds and illnesses.  Not only that but she also opens up her home to hundreds of kids to come to eat and take a bath.  You know what the coolest part of all of this was?  Her girls started to do the same.  They learned what it meant to use their home as a place to bless others and this became a natural thing for them. I love that!

Okay so I am not quite ready to say I was completely wrong to want to use my home as a place of refuge, but I am definitely challenged now to ask how God might want to use my home to bless others and to teach my children how to live out the Gospel.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

We are Home

And getting better everyday.

Thank you for praying for Jack and his surgery.  He is not moving as well as I had hoped yet but he is certainly getting better everyday.  I appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers.  It is pretty great to sit here beside him and see his legs straight and his feet facing straight up.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Jack's Surgery Today

My oldest son Jack will be having surgery today to cut, de-rotate, and pin both of his femurs.  Surgery starts at 11:00 and I am just asking you to pray for good health and good healing.  It may be pretty painful so please pray for that to be minimized as well.  Thank you bloggy friends.  You are a blessing.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Few Vaca Pics from the Disney Cruise

For spring break we took the kids on a 4 day Disney Cruise out of Port Canaveral.  Here are a few of my favorite pics from our trip.

The kids had a blast and it was good to get away together.

Disney does everything so well.  A lot of the things that may bug you about a regular cruise, Disney seems to have remedied.

Ruthie loved seeing her favorites, Mickey, Minnie, and Tinker Bell.  She wasn't very excited about the Princesses though.

The water was a little cold for those from South Texas who are used to warm days year round.  It was funny to see how people from all over the world viewed the temperatures.  We were in long sleeves and jackets at night while others were in tank tops. 

It was a great few days and now we have quickly returned to the reality of our busy schedules and to do lists.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Post Op Princess Report

Some of my AMC friends who are contemplating Ruthie's most recent procedure have been asking me to post on her progress since surgery and I feel bad that I am just now getting around to it.  So here is The Good, The Bad, and The Hopeful for the Disney princess who refused to pose pretty in her costume this week and so we had to go for the action shots.

In late December Ruthie had an elbow triceps tendon transfer to make a bicep in her right arm.  She spent 5 weeks in a cast and 5 weeks in a splint.

The Good- She has beautiful active anti-gravity elbow flexion in her right arm.  She no longer has to use her other arm to assist her with bringing things to her mouth and she no longer has to bend back to use gravity to assist her.

The Bad- It appears either the surgery or the splint impaired her ulnar nerve and she is now having some difficulty with her right grip strength.  She also has some pretty big scars from the procedure. She also cannot yet full straighten her elbow.  Her surgeon does not see this as a big deal but I am a little more concerned about it.

The Hopeful- Her grip strength is improving and she is slowly gaining the range of motion in her hand back.  As she grows her scars will appear smaller and I haven't given up on her elbow range.  I will keep you posted.

My Disney Princess.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Some Dresses Need a Photo Shoot

Ruthie got a precious Matilda Jane peasant dress from her Nana for Christmas.

It is one of those dresses that calls out for a photo shoot in an old part of town.

So we stopped in Huntsville on our way to Dallas for a few pictures at the Sam Houston Museum.

Besides it was a great way to break up the trip.

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