Friday Photo Flashback-- The angry years

Today I am joining Alicia at More than Words again for Friday Photo Flashback.

If there are very few photos of me when I was little, there are even less of me as a teen, or how I would call them, my "angry years". Not that I was angry all the time, but for what you see in the photos, I may as well. I never smiled. Don´t ask me why. But no one else is showing teeth is these photos, so maybe it was in back then... :)... you know, back in my time :).

This photo was taken in 1998, in the end of April. I remember because my sister had move to the States the december before and my mom was going there to visit them. She was going to spend mother´s day with her in AL, so before she left, the whole family went together to a restaurant to celebrate it with her early.

In the photo I am with my nephew and niece. I am the one on the right of the photo. Yes, my hair was that short. I went through a time for a couple of years that I kept cutting my hair shorter and shorter. This was when I hit rock bottom :). It may be funky, but it was sooooo comfortable. Wash hair, hair gel and go!

That october was when I met Matthew. He told me if my hair hadn´t grown by then he wouldn´t had like me.... or so he says :). He really doesn´t like hair that short in girls, at least his girl.

This one was taken just a few months earlier (notice my hair is longer). It must be taken around october november 1997, because those were taken from my sister before she moved. I am the one on the top right, the other two are my nieces.

So, everyone, have a wonderful weekend!!!


A victory and a surprise

A victory: I think it is safe to say that my youngest child, my baby is officially potty trained. After almost a couple of weeks of lots of frustration going both ways, last friday I decided to give up. I had it. She wasn´t ready. So I was going to leave her the weekend (and me mostly) and then think about starting again on monday..... maybe.

I guess something click on her head about 15 minutes before my decission, and since then, she hasn´t had an accident, she ask every time, for #1 and ·2. And although I do put a diaper on her for naps and nightime, no accidents have happen since friday.

So what I have to say................... PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!

A surprise: October 16 is mine and my husband´s 10 year anniversary. We were not planning on doing anything because we live away from family and friends and didn´t have anyone to keep the girls. Plus, I have never slept away from my girls, and haven´t left them with anyone for more than a couple of hours.

But last night, after church, I was putting the girls to bed and when I came back downstairs I saw candle lights, and a few snacks to eat for dinner. Afterwards there was a little game when I was supposed to follow clues that lead me to a bottle with a message inside.... I know, isn´t he romantic?.

So inside there was a little message about our anniversary....... You want to know??

We are going to ROME!!!!

Flights within Europe can be as cheap as 30 dollars!!! So Rome here I go!

My girls will be taken care by my sister in law and brother that have girls my girl´s ages. They will have fun.


Give me a walking stick!

Do I deserve this? I don´t think so

After all, I am only 31..... kids this days......

I feel old, really, really old. Prehistoric old. I think my wrinkles are growing within the seconds.... why???? You want to hear the story???

It was mean, he didn´t mean too, but it was mean.... it hurted.... really bad...

So there is a young 24 year old guy coming to church. He is from Brazil and he is on his own for the next week. He has been here already 4. He came to Spain for 5 weeks for some intensive spanish classes in the university here. He has been coming to church and he has been a blessing to us, because of his faithfulness and because he has been going with Matthew on visitation and I know that has been a blessing to him.

I tell you this so you don´t hate him after the story I am about to share....

So I thought I would invite him home today, before visitation, so he could have a home meal. Not that I think I am a chef or anything, but hey, at least it won´t be a sandwich.

So we were talking after lunch and somehow the subjet of high school came out. He was asking something and we were comparing it to the way it was when I was going to high school here in Spain.

So then, he said. " Well, I don´t know how it was for you in the old times...."

Then he said something else but I didn´t hear it... as you can imagine..... OUCH!!!!!

So I said "In the old times?" (big smile and everything, at all times he knew I was ok.... although I was thinking about plastic surgery inside :)). Right then he turned bright red, he is not a bad guy after all. He had just realize what he had just said. He tried to fix it.... it didn´t work :) You know guys when they try to fix things.......

Well, trying to help him feel better and me, by joking with my pain I say "I don´t look so old for being 40!!.

Remember, I said I was 31 (which I am).

Total silence...... wrong..... he should had say something like you don´t look 40!!!

But he didn´t....

I think he was to afraid to open his month again.

So this is how I feel now.....


A quick post to share our family photos

A quick post to let you guys in to our beautiful photos our favorite photographers took os us while we were at the States in July.

Like I told you then, my niece Arancha and her husband are photographers and they gave us, as a gift, a family session. To take a look at their work click here or here.

She called me this afternoon and told me my photos were ready and up in her web site, and I wanted to share it with you!!! Click here to see those.

Do you need a photographer?? Call her!!! Satisfaction guarantee.

Make your home Sing Monday-- A party pooper

Today I am joining Nan from Moms the Word in her weekly meme, "Make your home Sing Monday".

I really enjoy this meme, but this morning, when I sat down, I decided I could not participate in the meme today. You know, there are good days and bad days, and today my flesh is taking a lot of control over me, so what could I say?

So I got up and went on my way.

My heart is heavy and I am so sick of living in this sinful body.

I think we all have something in our personalities that makes us look bad. Those little corners that are not yet fully controled by God, not because He is not powerful to do it, but because we let our flesh out for while instead of turning to God when we see it coming.

Mine is my temper. It is ugly, it is strong, it says things that I hate, it says things that make me feel like a failure. Still, it is in me and, although I fight hard against it, and God gives me many victories, there are other times when I lose the battle...... but I will not lose the war. Because my God is a powerful God.

So, what I am going to do today to make my home sing?.

First, I am going to ask God forgiveness one more time, knowing that He loves me and He will give me that forgiveness.

Second, I am going to stop looking angry and jumping at everyone around me, and apologize to my sweet patient dear for being a party pooper.

And third, after spending some time reading my Bible (taking advantage of the girl´s nap), I am going to start reading these two books that I got while we were at the States this summer and that haven´t been started yet.

Also, and aside from this meme, I finished reading the third book of the Defenders of Hope series by Amy Wallace. This books was just as good as the other two and I would recommend this book to everyone. I would like to share a couple words that Amy Wallace enclosed in the Author´s Words section.

" My prayer for you is twofold. One, that Hanna and Michael´s story challenges you to look deeper into what you believe about God, yourself and others. Because in the end, it´s what we believe -not what we´re supposed tp believe- that determines the course of our lives.
And second, that you would experience God´s amazing, unfailing and perfect love for you. He´s the One who puts shattered lives, hearts, and people back together again. Grab His hand, trust His heart, and take the leam into whatever holds you back. He´s there. And He loves you. Forever"


A blessed Fall

Is it Friday again? It is funny how fast the days fly anymore. I remember when I was little the days going by slow.... well.... not anymore...

So you know it is Friday Photo Flashback here, at the Stark Family blog, so it is time to take a part of Alicia´s meme. It is great to have a reason to go back and remember all the wonderful memories pictures bring.

The fall of 2001 was a wonderful, life altering, blessed, fall for us. It was the year we bought our first (and only) house.....aaahhhh, I loved my house.

And also the fall we found out we were expecting our first child. We had lost a baby that spring, a day after we found out I was especting, so it was so exciting to know that God had bless us again, and that this baby was fine. Notice the hads on the belly :)

Such sweet memories. Have a blessed weekend everyone!


Bubble gum anyone?

Well, the day you guys were waiting for.... (hahahhaha) The revealing of my girls new room (well, just the paint).

This is the color wall before.... yeah, so girly..... haha

And this is the beautiful new bubble gum pink wall color!!!!

Every girl needs a special place for her purses :)

Love those wall stickers

Three happy girls!!!!

Now I can´t wait to change the color in all the rooms!!!! The whole house the the same color of the before photo. I am getting so sick of it. :)
Oh, btw, a word to describe out potty training journey so far..... FRUSTRATION.... in both sides!!


True Heart

Mocha Momma, from Life: Be in It gave me the True Heart Award, and I thank her so much for it.

"Those who receive this award are of the sweetest nature. They are kind, fun, friendly, loving, eager to share their love for Jesus with others, and brave with their effords to reflect Him with this darkened world. They are the kind of folks you are blessed to know, even if it is only in the bloggy- sphere¨--- From Mocha Momma

I am not sure I deserve those worlds. There are people whom those words describe them because of their nature. It comes easy to them. The light of Jesus just shine through them. Those are the ladies we look up to.

For me, it is not like that. I have a daily battle with my flesh to even be close to accomplish one of those things in my life. But I can see God working in me, despise my own self, and it is a blessing to know that maybe someone can caught a glimpse of that work God is doing in me. He is taking my old nature and is making me new. And I thank Him for it. Because I know there is no good in me aside from Him.

Well, I am suppossed to pass this award along. I know many of you have already receive, although you would be the ones I would think of to pass it also. So I am going to try to give it to those that deserve also, but I don´t think they have received it. I also want to give it to those ladies that I follow that are married to the ministry because of the godly man they married.

Nina, from Portugal Bound for sharing the Light of Jesus with the people in Portugal

Rachel from Smith Family of Six for her service as a Pastor´s wife

Nan from Moms The Word. Her blog reflect Jesus and other fun stuff :)

Jill from Jill Boyd Place for her service in the mission field in the past and now as a pastor´s wife

Ingrid from Reaching Brazil for her service in the ministry

I know there are more, but I will stop for now.

Again, Mocha Momma, thanks so much, I feel so honored that among all those godly ladies you thought of me. And to everyone else, have a wonderful blessed day!


Making your Home Sing Monday: The Chart

Mondays are now, "Making your home Sing Monday" day. You can head over Moms The Word for more MYHSM or to participate in this cool meme.

MYHSM is about sharing and action, and attitude, a motivation... whatever!!! that you are going to do today to make your home sing.

May I introduce you...... THE CHART......!!!!!

Times before we have started doing kind of the same thing. But eventually it has gotten old, and the girl have done the some chores but without the chart..... and the money.....

But today we are starting again, hoping to teach the girls more than just doing jobs at home. Of course, we have the jobs at home they can do everyday (like they have a choice... :)), and then they will get 5 cents for every sticker they get, once they complete the chore. The money will be given to them on saturday night, and then, with that money, we can teach them about tithes, offerings.... at church; and also the value of money, as they will be able to use that money to buy things.

And update on last weeks "Potty training making your home sing monday", well, the home is not singing very well. She waits between times to go in her training unddies, and hates sitting in the potty chair because she says it doesn´t work.... poor baby.... :(

We were giving her jelly beans just for trying once we realize she hated sitting so much, but then we realized that yes, she would sit, but she would wait and pee afterwards. So..... jelly beans are on hold....

What are we doing now? We took off the training panties and put on her real panties. We hope the house won´t be full of paddles, as that is the reason why we won´t give them the puppy they so much want.

Well, ladies, HAVE A GREAT MONDAY!!!


Here and there and everywhere..

Today is Friday and I usually participate in PFP, but my scanner is not working and my husband, who would be the only one capable of working that thing again, is gone. I would admit it, I am not afraid to say it out loud, I am no one without my husband. I can work these things, but if they break, I need my hubby to get them working again... I ain´t no electronic gal (did I mention I learned english in the south ;))

I spent all morning painting the girl´s room. It was a while back when I showed you the photos of what I was going to do, but haven´t been able to do it because we were planning on moving to a different house. With the crisis, all the houses were going down on prices and we were looking for something cheaper to take advantage of the crisis.... hehe

Anyhow, my God is great, and He just got my actual landlord to bring our rent down a good bit so we don´t have to move. It is not finish yet, especially now that the girls are out there and the floor is full of girl´s toys again. But I will show you a photo next week. Let´s just say that after painting the room I am feeling like strawberry bubble gum ;)

This morning I was reminded again of my need to be thankful and take advantage of every day God gives me on earth. There are things we take as for sure on a daily bases that are not ours to be sure of.

Marriage is one of them in my case. But I look around and I see all those broken marriages, the infidelities, the abuses, and I realize what I have is nothing but a blessing from God. I praise God for a husband that loves me, but loves God even more. Because I know that as long as God is number 1 in His life, I would be there, second on his list. And that is not something I should be taken for granted.

Another thing is my kids health, mine and my husband´s. Cancer, and so many other sickness are filling up our prayer request lists. I praise God for healthy children, and for my healthy husband. Health is not something to be taken for granted either.

So, what happened? The wife of the assistant pastor of my home church in AL passed away this morning. She had heatlh issues because of her age, but her death was a surprise to everyone. She wasn´t in the hospital. She died, I guess, while she sleep. What a sweet way to die, you fall asleep and you wake up with Jesus, praise the Lord!. But if you would remember her family in prayer I would appreciate it. Pastor Boruff, her husband; her children, grandchildren. Pray for grace, that His name may be glorified in all this.

Have a wonderful weekend everyway and hold on to God´s blessings, that are not to be taken for granted.


Kreative Blogger :)!

Thank you, thank you to Chris from Inspirational Insight for giving me this award! :)

Now, because every good thing comes with something to do afterward, here are the rules of the game:

1.- Name 7 things about yourself that people may find interesting:

ummmm.... let me think........

* In high school I always ignore english class because I didn´t think I was going to need the english for anything (that and that the teacher obviously hated me... so that didn´t help either)

* Because of that, when I met my husband I didn´t know much english and he didn´t know much spanish.... still, somehow, we would spend hours talking to each other.

* When I was 3 I swallow a coin and they took me to the hospital. There I fell down and broke my nose. They were not able to have surgery on it until I was 15, so I spend most of my childhood and teen years with a very crooked nose.... so much for my self-steem uh? :)

* My mom had me when she was 45. Back then they didn´t think I would make it but my mom went on with the pregnancy (Praise the Lord) and she had to spend 6 months in bed with somewhat of a cast in her belly for what they tell me. I was already giving her problems :)

* Although I am from Spain, and didn´t move to the States until I was 21, Alabama is what now feels like home. I think it is because it is where I started my family. I do live back in Spain again so... I better get over it soon ;)

* When people first meet me I give an impression that is opposite of how I really am.

* I always talk way to much :)

Now, I have to nominate 7 for this award, which I always hate because I love every blog I follow and I follow lots of blogs. But, just to name 7 great bloggers:
Alicia from More than Words
Danielle from Gospel to Gijon
Rocio from You and Me plus Three
Christy Rose
Kim from Stuff could always be worse
Denise from ShortyBears Place
Mimi from Frump´s Findings

Okay, I am done. Have a great day everyone!


It is time....

I have been following in Momstheword for quite a while and have been enjoying hers and other´s "Making your home sing Monday", but for some reason I never joined before, although I always wanted. Today is the day, it is time.. :)

So, a little question for ya´ll.

What is going on in a house when you mix this....
And this.....

Yep, you guess it!

It is potty training time, and it is well overdo.

With Noelia turning 3 and getting ready to start school in a month I couldn´t postpone it anymore. My car is in the shop anyway, so what better time that when you are stuck at home to do so?

No, I am not one of those mommies with great patience that start potty training when the kids are 1-2. I wait until their 3rd bday. I wait until I can buy them with Jelly Bellies. I wait until months worth if work only last a couple of weeks because they are older and way ready. My oldes one took 1 day! My second took 2! So, can you blame me for trying again :)

With three kids so close together I didn´t feel strong enough to do it any other way. I know there are many out there that agree with me :)!

Well, I better go. Potty training kids are an accident waiting to happen :)!!
I don´t know if my house is going to sing, but for sure my grocery budget is going to sing because it is going to have a little break :)


Photo Friday Flashback- Baby Faces

Hello everyone, and welcome once again to Friday Photo Flashback hosted by Alicia over at More than Words-

I may be coming to an end with FPF soon, because I am realizing that I have very little to none photos of me when I was growing up and even as a teen.

I was never much of a photo person and always run away when I saw a camera. Too bad because now I would love to have more photos of me and I don´t.... oh well.... I know my dad has photos of me but...... next time I go to Madrid I must make copies of everything I can find from when I was little.

I do have, however, a million photos of me once I met Matthew and once we got a digital camera. I won´t make that mistake of not having enough photos again :).

In one of those trips to Madrid I did made a copy of one of the few photos I have seen of me as a baby.

Yep, that cutie is me just a few months old, dont think I was too old because my back looks like it wasn´t used to hold me up and could let go and let me fall in any second. :)

This second one is a photo of my babes and I when we were little. I have always wanted a boy just because I wanted a boy to look just like my husband- He was/is so sweet and looked/looks like a poster boy.... but, no boys for me :)

Instead I have three beautiful girls with a great mix of both of us :)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


Summer Favorites

Christy Rose tagged me to write 5 things that I would consider to be my summer favorites and I decided to take up on the challenge, after all, who wants to be the party pooper ;)?.

I will change the tag a bit because I am in a bad time of the month (yeah, I know, you didn´t need to know that) and I couldn´t think straigth because it changes my whole.... everything. Am I the only one? Anyway......

I am posting, since we are a family of 5, the favorite part of summer of every one in the Stark household. So here it goes,

Kayla´s favorite part of summer is that she gets to ride her bike a lot

Nicole´s favorite part of the summer is that she gets to play in the pool. This photo is from my in law´s pool while we were in the States. Out pool doesn´t even cover my whole foot so...

Noelia´s favorite part is the playground. She gets to go all year round but... since she just turned 3, among all the choices she gave me (pink, ponys, what?) I decided that one was the one we would use.

Matthew´s favorite is that we get to spend a lot more time together as a family since there is no school and we get more time off... awww

And mine, VACATIONS!! Let´s us face it, this was our first actual vacation in many, many years (I don´t remember ever taking one since we have been married) so I was super excited and praying we would get to do something (even if it is not going back to the States for 3 weeks) every year.

Now, who am I tagging? Well, you ladies are free to follow along or not I would understand. But I would love to read about the summer favorites of Nan at Momstheword, Laura from The Texas Hills, Jill from Jill´s Boyd Place, Mimi at Frumps Findings and Kim from Stuff could always be worse.

Have a great day everyone!


The Way

Wednesday is Word Filled Wednesday time. For more WFW head over to 160 Acre Woods

Today I wanted to share something from my devotionals this morning.

What a blessing to know that we are not alone in all our decissions, and that we have a great and mighty God who wants to show us the best way.
Have a wonderful wednesday everyone!