Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Joys and another birthday

School is well underway now.... The first report cards have come out and we have a quarter of the school year under our belts. It's so nice that they can help each other in math because after about the 5th grade I'm dead to them when it comes time for math.

Here is an inexpensive project I did this fall.
 I got some cheap dollar store pumpkin shaped gourds.
 I Took my spray paint can and gave them a good coat of paint.
Added some stencil letters to spell "Thanks".  My Simple pleasures.

This boy has been playing lots of football and had his first touch down this year.

I will miss watching this bunch of boys play together. I love that number 88
 My oldest turned 18 at the end of September... This is a money tree that we gave her for her birthday. I am trying to not let my heart run too wild with emotion at all the lasts this year.
 I know life will change next year without her presence in our daily lives.
 But I have no doubt she is ready to fly.
 She is my adult child now. So hard to believe.
 And I think I may just hold on to this moment instead of thinking about next year.
 We celebrated at Olive Garden with her siblings.
I am sure we will have many more moments to celebrate.
I love you princess Malaina. You are all I dreamed you would be. And then some.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Gideon Ladies

For 2 months this fall they have been gathering in my living room once a week. These Ladies (plus a few who weren't pictured here)

I have so enjoyed the richness of friendships old and new.
And God's word has just been pouring over my soul as we make our way through the story of Gideon.
Gideon is found in the book of Judges.  One of the many truths from this story is how God used some very unusual vessels to accomplish his purpose. It was such a good reminder to me that God usually uses weapons for his kingdom that look very different from my weapons.
He takes whomever and whatever he pleases and makes something amazing. He is especially glorified in our weakness because in our weakness others can see that it is not us but him who is doing the work.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.* ICOR 12:9

Lessons to be learned were plentiful. One was clear. He has his eye on each of his own and loves our humility. If your desire is to please your Lord he will use that in very significant ways. Listening to his voice and acting when he speaks. No matter how small you feel or how minuscule the task may seem, if he is in it, it is a thrill to be part of his idea and his army. 

I am so grateful that in his grace he pulled me up and gave me a new name. Where I felt fearful he called me warrior. He reminded me that my identity is in him not in what I do or haven't done. Where I felt a lack of hope he gave me reason to sing again. When I felt defeated he reminded me he wins in the end. 
Unusual weapons to fight this battle. Weapons like his Word. And listening to his Spirit who always speaks truth. Weapons like weakness and small people who might seem most insignificant.

I love the One who gives me all I need for this life and the next. 
How can I keep from singing his praise? 

Summer Camp 2013

We had our Family Camp out at a camp in Syracuse.
We were all a little sad thinking about our first family camp out without Benji. 
He loved these weekends and he leaves a big hole in our family.


We did have a good weekend  planned with lots of fun and activity.
To begin with we had bbq with a square dance in the barn.




After doing that for a couple of hours we were ready to sleep.
The next day we got divided into teams and played games.

The first mission was to find a soft shell for our eggs that we would drop later.
 Then we got busy with relays.
 And balloon crush.
 And random requirements we drew from a bag
 Here are the team colors
 YELLOW
 Purple
 RED
The Egg Drop

Here are some of the other activities of the weekend

 Slip and slide down the hill
 Head exams by Dale
 Riding the mini bike
 Dale doing his thing... "cuttin up"
Card Games

Corn Hole

And playing with hair.

 WE are glad these guys are back in the area. 
 And Megan sleeping so peacefully and smilefully
 On Jason and my little adventure on the 4 wheeler we spotted this beautiful Hawk... Eating some rabbit.
And just to spice it up  a bit we got some of the rooms locked that didn't have keys. So here was the locksmith who came to try to help... But couldn't.

 It's always important to find places to get away for some alone time :)

My mom and her sister, with a cute little face in the middle. :)

On Sunday at our church service we enjoyed my dad giving the input on Proverbs. It's always good to hear what he has to say. And Mike and Hanna led our worship time. At the end some of us sat around singing songs from our past. It was a glorious sound in this echoie room.

A place to belong... I am blessed to feel that from this clan.
My prayer is that God will use us for his kingdom not just for our sake but for the sake of many more.


And in the end we left with more good memories and sleepy people.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Summer Love all in one package

I'm sorry for the catch up post ... But since I create blog books for our own scrap books,I'm playing catch up with my summer pictures.
It was a good summer.
But it sped by at tremendous speed.
 Once again...We watched lots of baseball







  Three play ball all spring and summer







 We spent some time in or on or by the water.
















 We surprised Allen and Cindy on their 25th Anniversary.
It was such a surprise We had a hard time getting Cindy there...




 There's my Buddy Dale.

We sent this girl off to Costa Rica with her youth group for a week.
A wonderful experience for her.


 We worked on some projects around here.
 When I say we.. I mean he.
Fourth of July is always fun....


 Some time with these girlfriends.

 Sophie took an honor ribbon home from her first fair entry... Banana muffins.

 We celebrated birthdays and Father's day.



The boys had basketball camp, we took lots of bike rides and spent some days freezing and canning fruits and vegetables. 





We went to watch our friend Steve announce at the horse track he works at along with these friends.


We took a day berry picking in Narnia.



We  took a trip to Iowa for a family reunion and a wedding.




 Car parkers at this country wedding
 Some hay bales to sit on
 Sophie and her cousin Erin
 Funny or maybe not.
 Sophie loves her baby cousin Justice
 Sweet Kimberly with her groom
  Every year we add some more.

School started again... Even though we hadn't gotten enough summer.



*notice the tippy toe stance from big sis*

 We celebrated Jalens 16th birthday with a surprise party for him.


 His class from school came over and played some volleyball, made some pretzels and watched ND lose to Michigan




This year's school Pictures for these kids I love...

Jalen...16...10th grade
 Sophia...10.. 5th grade
Micah....13 ... 8th grade
And Senior Girl who is 18.
I love summer and right next to it fall. Here we go dancing right into the the chilly nights and colorful days.