Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Bunch Of Random Quotes For You To Enjoy

"Ninety eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them."

----Lily Tomlin

"From pacifist to terrorist, each person condemns violence -- and then adds one cherished case in which it may be justified."

----Gloria Steinem

"I'm happy to finally be in shape ... round is a shape right?"


"[God] is not proud...He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him."

----C.S. Lewis

"Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes. That way, if he doesn't like what you have to say, you're a mile away and you have his shoes."


"What if we trusted God to do the utterly impossible?"
----Beth Moore

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I sent out our annual Thanksgiving letter a few weeks ago and I thought I'd post it here as well. I hope you all have a great day of Thanksgiving to our God for His many gifts to us!

It’s time again for our annual Thanksgiving letter. This is always such a fun letter to write at such a good time of year. Autumn is a soothing time of year here in Erie, PA. We’ve made it through the sticky heat of summer and we’re gearing up for the long, gray winter, but right now we are enjoying bright blue skies, a tapestry of brilliantly colored leaves gently falling around us, and that pleasantly crisp nip in the air. It’s a good time of year to stop and thank God for His many gifts to us.

Our health. As Adiel struggled through a rough bout of morning sickness this summer, we were reminded again of how important our health is to our daily lives and how much we take it for granted. All six of us (including the newest one on the way) are healthy and well. We can breathe, walk, run, see, hear, get out of bed in the morning- all because God has given us good health. We are very thankful indeed that God has made our unborn child healthy, too, which is evident by a strong heartbeat and a lot of kicking!

Our love. “All You Need Is Love.” Isn’t that how the song goes? And while our own feeble love is so insufficient much of the time, when it’s backed by Jesus’ all- sufficient love then that really is all you need. Sometimes it seems like we’re full to bursting with love in our family: Lily is so good with Evangeline- helping her, comforting her, being patient with her, Malachi is already tenderly loving his newest sibling- he’ll rub Mommy’s belly and talk to “Baby Boo,” and the kids take turns going out on “Daddy Dates” with Joshua- what a treat that is! And Adiel still stays at home and shows her love through cleaning, cooking, teaching, etc. We all genuinely like being around each other and we are so grateful for this love that fills our lives.

Our home. We’ve lived in this house for a little over four years and it has been a good home for us. Even though we are starting to feel a little cramped here as our family continues to expand, we are so grateful for a warm, comfortable house to call home. These four walls hold some of our best memories.

Our Family. This is the gift that keeps on growing! Just when we think this parenting thing can’t get any crazier, along comes another addition of joy, trials and dirty diapers. We’re so excited for Kid #4 to arrive in February, but in the meantime we’re keeping mighty busy with the other three kids! Lily is a very loquacious 5-year-old Kindergartener and she’s learning like crazy! We’re doing our best to keep up with her growing mind, but she learns everything we put in front of her and is eager for more. She is so excited to learn how to read and Adiel is thrilled to have the honor of being her teacher. Malachi just turned four and is growing in size, brains, and character. He is turning into a little gentleman. Well, he’s gentle when he wants to be, but when it comes to getting rough and tough with a mud puddle or wrestling with Daddy, then he leaves gentleness behind! In fact, the only one who can compete with Malachi’s roughness at times is little Evangeline. At 1 ½ she’s gaining quite a reputation for herself as one tough cute cookie. She may be pint-sized, but that little girl makes up for her size with her spunk. She doesn’t seem to realize that she’s small so she runs, climbs, wrestles, and gets into trouble just as much as her big siblings. We’re kind of hoping our next kid is a little mellower than Evangeline.

And Joshua and Adiel are still truckin’ away at raising this family and keeping busy with their own talents- music and winemaking for Joshua and photography and homemaking for Adiel. We’re a strange crew when you put us all together, but this family is still striving toward holiness in our own odd ways.

Our Hope. We have had some really great times as a family, but we’ve also gone through some dark, horrible times. We’ve experienced death and heartache, sickness and pain, but through each and every moment we’ve been held together by the promises of God and the hope we’ve found in Him. Today the sun is shining, but tomorrow maybe it will rain again. But we know that even then our hope doesn’t change. We know our place in God’s kingdom and we know that this earth isn’t really where we belong. Heaven isn’t that far away and we are getting ready for it. And that hope is truly something to be thankful for!

Here we are at the end of another letter at the end of another year. How exciting it is to anticipate the events waiting for us in the coming year! We hope you, too, are filled with the wonder of God’s goodness toward us simple humans. How good He is!

With our love,
Joshua, Adiel, Lily, Malachi and Evangeline

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Quote

"If we discover a desire within us that nothing in this world can satisfy, also we should begin to wonder if perhaps we were created for another world."

---- C.S. Lewis

Sunday, November 16, 2008

15 Things I'm Not Ashamed Of

Gaby tagged me for this "15 Things I'm not ashamed of" ditty and since I've never been tagged before, I thought it'd be fun to follow through and write down these 15 things.

15 Things I’m not ashamed of:
1. I like to sing Psalms.
2. At this moment I look like a rough representation of what a walrus would look like after eating a heavy Thanksgiving dinner with a bowling ball for dessert.
3. My kids are ordinary. Yes, they are very special to me, but I’m not ashamed to say that they aren’t all that out-of-the-ordinary.
4. I don’t celebrate Christmas.
5. I do celebrate the Sabbath.
6. I can’t cook rice, make certain kinds of fudge or chewy peanut butter cookies (unfortunately for my husband.)
7. I got married at 18 and started having kids right away. Folks around here assume that getting married young and having a baby so soon means we weren’t “pure” before our marriage or “responsible” after getting married. Some people are subtle as they do the math, but others just ask outright: “How old are you? And how old is your oldest child?”
8. I stay home and care for my own kids.
9. I struggle on and off with depression.
10. I like the smell of gasoline- except when I’m pregnant.
11. I often laugh so hard that I start sobbing and can’t stop.
12. I like shopping at Wal-Mart and Pier1. Polar opposites, but good stuff at both places.
13. I’m addicted to buying coffee mugs (especially from Pier1.) Just bought two new ones yesterday.
14. I’m part of an odd church that a lot of people don’t like. We’re too serious for them.
15. These Internet questionnaires are really just desperate cries for love and attention. We all want someone to know these things about us, but no one listens long enough to get to know us this well. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m so hungry for love that I’ve settled for writing this little blurb rather than try to find someone who will listen and care in person.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Memory

Today I was remembering a history lesson Mom had given us back in 6th or 7th grade. It was someting I'd had an attitude about at the time, but I realized that I remembered more of it than I thought I did. What's more, I cared about this topic now.

"How about that?" I thought. "Mom actually knew what she was doing when she taught us. She taught me to care about this stuff. I should tell her that. She'd get a kick out of hearing me say that after all this time."

It only took half a second or so before I remembered that I couldn't tell Mom. It's been over five years now since she died. You'd think I'd be able to remember that.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

My Daily Thanks

If you are a follower of my dear sister's blog, you'll have noticed that she is once again posting her daily thankfulness posts. While I greatly enjoy reading those posts of hers, when I saw that she had started that again this year I felt a little down. You see, that was my idea to begin with. A few years back I started writing my Daily Thanks posts and it was such a good time for me. But this year I just can't write daily posts like that. I simply don't have the time or brain power. And that kinda bums me out.

But I've decided to not get down about it. Yes, I miss thinking up and writing out my Daily Thanks posts, but I need to realize that, for now, this is just a side effect of the stage of motherhood that I'm at right now. Sometimes I feel like there are too many things I've had to give up over the last several years, but then God always reminds me of how much I've gained in the beautiful blessings of my children.

So I guess this right here is a Daily Thanks post. I'm so thankful for my children and everything that goes along with them- sleepless nights, poopy messes, temper tantrums and bickering, the drain of my time and energy and the goodnight hugs from warm, cozy little people, the smiles that greet me whenever I come home, the little life squirming in my womb, and the feel of my heart winding around four other little hearts.

Thank you, God, for my little people. They are exactly what I've always wanted, even if I never knew it before. Give me strength to keep loving them when I don't feel loving toward them and help me to remember the blessing that they really are to me. And thank you for letting me see, as I look at my children, a little of what You see when You look at me.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Captions, Anyone?

This was a "blooper" from my portrait session with Barb, Grace and Dora. I thought Grace's expression was priceless! Here's the challenge: What do you think she's thinking? (You can click on the image to see it larger.)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Quote

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one."
---C.S. Lewis