Monday, December 31, 2007

Too cute!

Graham Thomas








Andrew Grant














These pictures were taken yesterday at the dedication of my nephews. It was such a privilege to be there. They are such a beautiful family that offer themselves wholeheartedly to the Lord!

Happy New Year!




"What exactly are we doing this for?" (Isaac)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Things I have learned from Christmas season 2007

1. Fevers come and go...just when you think they've broke, and it's been close to 24 hours...then they come back with a vengeance higher than ever.

2. Stomach sickness is even less fun when away from home.

3. Noses can run incessantly...multiplied times three children and you go through a LOT of tissue.

4. Sickness makes you miss the crazy things your toddler normally does...Isaac hasn't climbed on one table or even chair since being sick...but I sure wished he would at times. I'll trade the snuggly baby for a healthy one any day.

5. Josiah has no interest in cartoon networks...he is an Animal Planet or Discovery Channel only consumer (and thank goodness for their availability in the midst of our plagues).

6. The mystery of viruses...we all went through one the week before we left...all got better....Josiah gets another one, Isaac soon to follow....Cole and Maddie still seem relatively healthy.

7. Having a nurse in the family is SO nice when the flu bug comes and bites you.

8. Sleep is very underated.

9. Motrin rocks!

10. Kindness in the midst of illness is a soothing balm.

Well, the short of it is...we thought we were healthy and left for PA to spend Christmas with both sides of the family. We stopped at Mom's first (where Josiah became sick again but seemed to come around within 2 days); then it was on to Krystal's where we had a great Christmas celebration followed by a night of flaming fevers back with a vengeance. In the hopes of quarantining the kids from all the other cousins, I drove the sick ones back to my Mom's leaving Tom and Cole to spend the remainder of the week with the cousins, aunts, uncles, Nana and Gramps (who were all meeting in PA this year). As I write this I am hoping to be reunited with them all tomorrow (Sunday) morning for the twins dedication.

In spite of all of this we have had a really blessed Christmas season. The one song that has reallly struck me this season as ringing very false is "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Forgive me if that is your favorite...but the line "from now on our troubles will be out of sight" is just so far from truth to the people I know that are fighting valiant fights for health or justice. Christ in the flesh does not make our troubles disappear...it does mean He is with us in the midst of them. That had been my one epiphany moment of the season and it ministered to me while I was on my knees cleaning up after one bout of illness. Christ is with us...His presence does not guarantee or promise "merry" days but He does give us quiet joy in the times of question and uncertainty. I am so inspired by my friends who are fighting cancer and their quiet hope and trust in the Lord. I want to live with that kind of Christ in me hope...that no matter what tomorrow holds...to know that I am held by the almighty everlasting omnipotent hands of the incarnate One.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tom preaching (updated)

Tom was really excited to have the opportunity to speak on the second Sunday of advent. You can listen to it here. It was not part of the series "Stewards R Us" even though that is what it says on the church site.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A milestone for Cole...

It was a really exciting evening for us last night as Cole was able to say the apostles creed all by himself at the supper table. Si and Maddie aren't far behind him either! Thanks to the Friedeman's for inspiring us to tackle this when we saw them this summer. We love their catechism for kids and their approach to parenting.

video

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Homemade Nativity Ornament


One thing I have really enjoyed about this fall is teaching in the childrens ministries at our church. It has truly been a privilege to teach kids on Wednesday nights and alternating Sunday mornings. Especially exciting has been the chance to bring kids into our church that have never been to church...anywhere, ever. It is an awesome privilege to be the first person to facilitate the gospel to another. What good news we have, how much better it is when given away.

This ornament is a favorite my boys made a few years ago. This past week we made it at church, both in Sunday School and Wed. night classes. The kids all loved it. It was like they were making their very own nativity. They can hang it on the tree or keep it in their bedroom. The only downside was it is really hard to use a gluegun with a lot of small kids. So if you ever do it with a larger class, get several adults to help you. To construct it you need:

1.) mini grapevine wreath (I found 6/$1 at Hobby Lobby)

2.) natural colored moss/hay

3.) ecru felt cut into ~3" squares

4.) wire

5.) wooden golden stars (I painted plain wooden stars using gold spray paint, $1 at Walmart)

6.) wooden round balls (I used 1/2")

7.) permanent red and black marker to draw a face

I used a gluegun to attach the head to the felt, then wrapped it up in a "swaddling" fashion. I also used a gluegun to attach the hay to the wreath. Affix the wire to the star just by wrapping it around the points, wrap the wire around a marker to curl it, then attach to the wreath. You can also hotglue a ribbon onto the sides to make an ornament that easily hangs on the tree.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Prayer

Please pray for Matt (our AK friend)--he was in a really terrible car accident this week. We haven't been able to talk to him yet, but Tom was able to talk to his parents. He is stable and was discharged from the hospital but has a LOT of healing to do.

We did make contact with Matt and he is doing ok. His car is totaled, the insurance is a mess, but all that really matters is that he was not hurt worse than he is. He has a lacerated spleen which means he is not allowed much activity. We are so thankful for God's protection and pray he continues to heal.

Sled riding

We've been getting a few snow flurries this week and that has made for one very excited household of kiddos. Isaac was just as delighted as his older siblings to be out in the snow. If not sledding, though, he wants to walk all by himself....you can picture it....plod, plod, plod, PLOP! Every few steps and then he would do a face plant, only to get up and do it all over again. You have to love that kind of perseverance.

Maddie was having a ball...she didn't sled near as much as the others but she sure enjoyed socializing with everyone out there...and even if there wasn't anyone around she just kept talking and talking and gesturing with those hands.


Isaac's first run down!
Josiah and Cole were never ready to go...they just went up and down that hill the entire time we were out. And of course there was the elusive "one more time" to end the night.

Just as we were putting the younger two into the car, I looked for Cole and couldn't find him on the hill. Then I found him up above the sledding area trying to sled off a neighboring yard over a retaining wall (of course brick). Boys....you gotta love 'em!